Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Much posturing, but little content, on how AUKUS, and the nuclear submarines, will work

what does not make sense is a decision which, in essence, announces you are going to have a glorified interdepartmental committee look at whether it will actually work (the only missing ingredient from the Prime Minister’s usual modus operandi is mention of his department head Phil Gaetjens).

There are no details on just how this new alliance will work, but vast quantities of posturing, which is presumably designed to show the Chinese that we mean business.

However, a government desperate to avoid a referendum on pandemic management — and now threatened by challenges from independent candidates in blue-ribbon seats such as Kooyong and Wentworth over its inaction on climate change —— desperately needs something else to talk about.

Scott Morrison’s AUKUS submarine deal and ‘BFF theatre’ leaves Australia in a tricky spot,  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-25/missing-details-on-australia-uk-us-submarine-deal/1004905647.30 / By Laura Tingle Sat 25 Sep 2021   The federal Coalition have always been keen advocates of contracting things out.

It started in the Howard years, when the delivery of services was contracted out and, over the intervening years, spread to contracting out policy advice — from the public service to richly rewarded consultants who sometimes produce little more than vacuous PowerPoint presentations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the current government is willing to contract out responsibility for things such as quarantine, vaccines and vaccine-mandating rules to the states.

But who would ever have thought it would contract out our national security and defence strategy?

For, in a nutshell, that’s what has happened in the past week with the decision to embrace a new alliance with our old allies and “forever” friends, based on the decision to buy an (unspecified) nuclear submarine that will not go into service until 2040.

Capability gap

There is a vast amount to unpack in this decision, even amid a sense that, by the end of the week, the political caravan was moving on to climate change.

It is hard to think of a decision by Australia with such profound implications for our future that has been so redolent of symbolism, yet so completely lacking in substance.

A decision driven so much by valid concerns about defence capability, that leaves us so exposed as to not having any of that capability for the next 20 years — the time period when the power balance in our region is going to be decided.

In short, a massive strategic step-up announced to cover a massive capability gap.

The majority view in the political and strategic establishment in Australia says the strategic position has fundamentally shifted in the past five years and continues to rapidly evolve.

China’s capacity to scan the oceans, as well as both its military firepower and assertiveness, have all grown exponentially.

And most think that makes nuclear submarines, rather than conventionally powered ones, a rational decision.

It might also make sense to ramp-up your armaments — such as long-range Tomahawk Cruise Missiles — and talk of more US troops, planes and ships, and even British submarines, being based in Australia.

Looking to the US

However, what does not make sense is a decision which, in essence, announces you are going to have a glorified interdepartmental committee look at whether it will actually work (the only missing ingredient from the Prime Minister’s usual modus operandi is mention of his department head Phil Gaetjens).

There are no details on just how this new alliance will work, but vast quantities of posturing, which is presumably designed to show the Chinese that we mean business.

Things such as getting all our spooks to go to Washington this week.

Things such as emphasising the so-called Quad arrangement between the US, Australia, India and Japan, which makes it look like we have even more friends on our side.

Yet, when the Prime Minister holds a press conference in Washington DC ahead of the Quad meetings, what do you say it is about? Vaccines and energy policy.

No mention of China or strategic alliances here. And that sort of makes sense, given the constraints on Japanese military action, and that India has a very different take on Chinese issues to the Americans.

The implication in all this announcing is that the Americans are now committing to the region. That we can rely on Dad to sort out China for us.

All the talk of the new Cold War in the East raises obvious comparisons with the one in the West that occurred last century — and possibly even the crucial role the US played in Europe at that time.

Enduring questions

However, even among the more hawkish analysts, there is a gnawing question of how we (Australia) actually hold the feet of the Americans — and the British with their splendid history of reliable commitment to Asia and Australia in the 20th century — to the fire if things do indeed escalate with China.

And how do we now, on a day-to-day basis, differentiate ourselves from the US position on China when we have made so much not just of our operational dependence, but also of the whole “BFF theatre”?

This goes to questions of sovereign capability. That is, our capacity to run our own strategic policy, both in an operational sense and a diplomatic one.

Labor has backed the government’s decision on nuclear submarines with three caveats.

However, its foreign affairs spokesperson, Penny Wong, asked some valid questions on the point of sovereign capability in a speech on Thursday, such as: “How will we control the use of technology and capability that is not ours?”

“With the prospect of a higher level of technological dependence on the US, how does the Morrison-Joyce government assure Australians that we can act alone when need be; that we have the autonomy to defend ourselves, however and whenever we need to,” she said.

The alacrity and misrepresentation of Wong’s remarks by the Prime Minister in response only added to the suspicion that there is just a tad too much politics in the way this momentous dogleg in the country’s strategic position has been undertaken.
“Well, I think Australians would be puzzled as to why there can be bipartisan support for this initiative in the United States and within days, within days, the Labor Party seems to be having an each-way bet,” he said.

You can see why Labor has chosen to just stay as far away from this issue as it can, within the constraints of a responsibility to set out some reasonable questions about strategy, rather than nuclear submarines per se.

It is determined not to get wedged as it once was on Tampa.

The fallout

Labor’s determination not to get wedged may have taken away some of the political dividends of this huge shift, as has the debacle over informing the French of the decision, which has embarrassed not just Australia but the US.

And, of course, the Prime Minister’s ever-changing descriptions of how he had informed France’s Emmanuel Macron that he was tearing up a multi-billion dollar contract has been, well, just embarrassing.

“What I said was, is that I made direct contact with him,” he said in Washington on Thursday.

Having been unable to get Macron on the phone the night before the announcement, he said he “directly messaged him Australia’s decision in a personal correspondence”. 

Australia dumped France, it appears, in a text message: A modus operandi more usually associated with 14-year-olds.

The nuclear subs decision may have all sorts of ramifications, from halting negotiations on a European Free Trade Agreement to entertaining prospects for cooperation between the US and China on climate change.

Its complexities are not best teased out in the lead-up to an election.

However, a government desperate to avoid a referendum on pandemic management — and now threatened by challenges from independent candidates in blue-ribbon seats such as Kooyong and Wentworth over its inaction on climate change — desperately needs something else to talk about.

September 27, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

How AUKUS May Damage NATO

How AUKUS May Damage NATO   https://www.pressenza.com/2021/09/how-aukus-may-damage-nato/ 24.09.21 – US, United States – Independent Media Institute   The fallout over the AUKUS deal, as we are now seeing, has been a severe rift in relations between two historic allies, the U.S. and France. And the collateral damage may also include NATO.

By James W. Carden

Only weeks after U.S. President Joe Biden courageously ended the war in Afghanistan—in the face of bitter opposition from the media and Congress—came the announcement of the formation of AUKUS, a new trilateral security alliance between the U.S., the UK and Australia.

The creation of AUKUS is only further confirmation—as if more was needed—that the Biden administration intends to wage a new cold war in Asia with China as its target.

This is not a development we should welcome. As the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft’s Anatol Lieven has recently observed, a new cold war “with China… will continue to lock in place the power of the U.S. military-industrial complex and squander trillions more on wasteful and unnecessary military programs designed to benefit American corporations rather than defend the actual security of actual American citizens.”

And so, as Biden puts an end to one hot war, he finds himself starting yet another cold war: One step forward, two steps back.

AUKUS’s debut has been marred by a high-profile controversy with France, which believed it had reached a deal with Australia to provide it with 12 diesel-electric submarines. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, meanwhile, noted in a statement that, instead, the Americans and the British will be providing Australia with nuclear-powered submarines.

European leaders have come out strongly against AUKUS. Both European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen condemned the move. And the French are furious. French President Emmanuel Macron has recalled his ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia, while the former French Ambassador to the U.S. Gérard Araud observed on Twitter, “The new reality of the world rivalry of great and middle powers should lead France to a 2.0 Gaullist stance. Allied but not aligned. Some confrontations are not ours.”

And so, the fallout over the AUKUS deal, as we are now seeing, has been a severe rift in relations between two historic allies, the U.S. and France.

And the collateral damage may also include NATO.

The AUKUS controversy puts the future of the transatlantic alliance in question. Recall that Macron has long been a vocal and perceptive critic of the nearly 75-year-old alliance. A self-described disciple of France’s wartime leader and former President Charles de Gaulle, Macron has criticized the foreign policy of his immediate predecessors as a kind of “imported neoconservatism.” His own foreign policy forays can be characterized as a quest for strategic autonomy, away from the dictates of Washington and London.

Biden’s AUKUS debacle just may give Macron the leverage he needs to move the rest of Europe in his direction, toward a foreign policy that rejects the decades-old Atlanticist consensus in favor of a continental security architecture that takes into account the interests of all of Europe, as de Gaulle once put it, “from the Atlantic to the Urals.”

At a minimum, the AUKUS debacle may have the effect of pushing France closer together with its old ally Russia. Macron may double down on his policy of detente with the Kremlin, which only recently was the target of criticism by his partners in the EU.

This would leave Anglo-American neoconservatives and liberal hawks seething, but such a development might be just what is needed for a stable and peaceful future for Europe.

This article was produced by Globetrotter in partnership with the American Committee for U.S.-Russia Accord. James W. Carden is a writing fellow at Globetrotter and a former adviser to the U.S. State Department. Previously, he was a contributing writer on foreign affairs at the Nation, and his work has also appeared in the Quincy Institute’s Responsible Statecraft, the American ConservativeAsia Times, and more.

September 27, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Maralinga – ushered in Australia’s nuclear age

A picture in time: Maralinga, the blinding flash that ushered in Australia’s atomic age.  https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/sep/27/a-picture-in-time-maralinga-when-the-atomic-age-reached-australia

Nuclear tests conducted in South Australia from 1956 resulted in swaths of countryside obliterated and decades of highly contaminated land.

The atomic age reached Maralinga with a blinding flash. At 5pm on 27 September 1956, a 15-kilotonne atomic device was detonated at the site in the western plains of South Australia.

The ensuing blast had as much explosive strength as the weapon which fell on Hiroshima 11 years earlier.

More than a decade after that horror struck Japan, Australia had become tangled up in the UK’s nuclear testing program, which saw swaths of countryside obliterated to further the nuclear arms race.

The atomic test at Maralinga was carried out by the British government as part of Operation Buffalo, run by the UK’s Atomic Weapons Research establishment.

In the moments after the detonation, RAAF personnel flew through the mushroom cloud to carry out tests with little instruction or protective equipment to shield them from the radiation.

For the next seven years, major and minor nuclear tests were carried out at Maralinga. The minor tests led to contamination of the area with plutonium-239, which has a radioactive half-life of 24,000 years.

Prior to the test, very little effort was put into finding and notifying the Anangu Pitjantjatjara people who lived on the land. In addition to the obvious immediate dangers of nuclear fallout in the area, the Indigenous community would endure the long term hazards of poisoned land and water for more than thirty years.

Maralinga was not the first nuclear weapons test conducted on Australian soil. Three years earlier, on 3 October 1952, Britain detonated a nuclear weapon on the Montebello Islands off the coast of Western Australia.

A further two detonations were carried out at Emu Field. Britain moved the testing site to Maralinga after previous locations were deemed to be too remote for nuclear weapons tests.

When Maralinga was eventually closed as a testing site in 1967, the British government began the process of cleaning the 3,200 sq km of contaminated land.

By 1968, the Australian and British governments agreed that Britain has successfully decontaminated the area by covering contaminated debris in concrete and ploughing the plutonium-laden soil into the ground.

In 1984, as the land was slated to be returned to the Tjarutja people, scientists found the land was still highly contaminated.

Nine years later, in 1993, following a royal commission, and after mounting pressure, the British government agreed to pay a portion of the estimated $101m cleanup cost.

It wasn’t until 1994, 38 years after the initial blast, that the Australian government paid $13.5m to the Indigenous people of Maralinga as compensation for what had been done to the land.

September 27, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, weapons and war | Leave a comment

No nuclear submarines, say protesters

No nuclear submarines, say protesters  https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/no-nuclear-submarines-say-protestersRenfrey ClarkeAdelaideSeptember 27, 2021 A protest on September 24 against the federal government’s decision to build nuclear-powered submarines and join in the new AUKUS pact drew 150 people to the front of Parliament House.
It was organised by a new network of anti-war, anti-nuclear and left activists. Speakers included Arabunna elder Uncle Kevin Buzzacott, Stephen Darley of the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network; economist and Greens Senate candidate Barbara Pocock; and Friends of the Earth anti-nuclear spokesperson Jim Green.

September 27, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

AUKUS and talk of conflict with China could torpedo COP26 climate summit

What role will Australia play in Glasgow? Will we go in good faith, promising bold action on climate change and preparedness to help our neighbouring countries in mitigation and adaptation, in recognition of our shared interests, or will we go as a spoiler? 

History suggests the latter —

U.S.-China talk could torpedo climate conference  https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/us-china-talk-could-torpedo-climate-conference,15558 By Graeme McLeay | 26 September 2021  If the focus favours an uncertain future threat of U.S.-China conflict when world leaders meet in six weeks to address the real danger of climate emergency at COP26, the summit will likely fail, writes Dr Graeme McLeay.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”

~Dwight D Eisenhower

WHEN “IKE” spoke those words in his 1961 valedictory speech as U.S. President, he would not have dreamt that Australia, 60 years later, would become part of the military-industrial complex of the United States. As someone who understood the horrors of war, he understood the dangers of an arms race while at the same time acknowledging the need for defence at a time when America faced a belligerent adversary. He was cautious.

No such caution is evident in Canberra. In the space of a few days, we have been told we are to have nuclear-powered submarines, a larger presence of American armed forces based in Australia and missiles – presumably of the intercontinental variety – if all the China-talk is to be believed.

The very idea of Australia getting into an arms race with China is risible and preposterous. It will take at least 20 years for Australia to have something like the military capability that China has now and the massive spending involved will impoverish the next generation.

We have not been told whether our neighbours in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Singapore, India and the Pacific Islands have been consulted about the AUKUS deal, which brings a whiff of colonialism about it. New Zealand was quick to make it clear nuclear-powered subs will not be welcome there. It is likely they will also not be welcome in Port Adelaide.

The $90 billion French submarine deal is to be scrapped and bigger, more capable, and almost certainly, more expensive submarines will be built in Adelaide. An uncertain future threat of U.S.-China conflict is the justification for this 20-year program — about the time the world will have tipped into runaway, unstoppable climate change if the world’s present emissions trajectory continues.

In six weeks, world leaders come together in Glasgow to address the existential threat of climate emergency. As the war drums beat louder it appears unlikely they will meet in a spirit of cooperation and harmony. Without both China and the United States on board, there is the possibility of a disastrous failure, much worse than the Copenhagen fiasco because the urgency for action is so much greater.

Climate change and conflict are not unrelated. In a recent report from the Climate Council‘Rising to the Challenge: Addressing Climate and Security in Our Region’, authors describe climate change as a driver of insecurity.

Conflicts will arise over water, rising seas, salination, fisheries and crop failures. India, Pakistan and China – not always the best of pals – rely on meltwater from Himalayan glaciers for the survival of millions and internal conflicts over water have the potential to trigger war among neighbours which could drag the United States in, and Australia with it.

Much of Bangladesh, a country with a population of 166 million, is low lying and already experiencing inundation and salination from sea level rise. Food shortages are almost certain to occur when climate-related crop failures happen in multiple regions at the same time.

According to Climate Council spokeswoman and former Australian Defence Department Head of Defence Preparedness Cheryl Durrant:

‘Australia’s unwillingness to deal with climate change is already affecting our security, leading to a loss of geopolitical influence, particularly in the Pacific.’

What role will Australia play in Glasgow? Will we go in good faith, promising bold action on climate change and preparedness to help our neighbouring countries in mitigation and adaptation, in recognition of our shared interests, or will we go as a spoiler? 

History suggests the latter — a history that goes back to the last century and the first Kyoto agreement. A belated promise of zero emissions by 2050 with no change to our weak 2030 target, with talk of future technology fixes, will convince no one.

The World Health Organization has described climate change as the greatest global health threat. Disruption of Earth’s stable climate and the biodiversity which protects us is an immediate health and security risk. A sober assessment of the risk which China poses to Australian security is common sense but failure to address the real and present danger of climate emergency, clearly set out in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCCSixth Assessment Report, is negligence — negligence which will not go unnoticed by our young.

In his 1961 farewell speech, President Eisenhower also said:

“The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

September 27, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international | Leave a comment

New Natrium Fast Reactors’ Also Present a Fast Path to Nuclear Weapons

This is worse than hypocrisy. Once nations have easy access to nuclear explosive material, no inspections can prevent them from making bombs.

‘Fast Reactors’ Also Present a Fast Path to Nuclear Weapons, New “fast reactors” promise sustainable nuclear energy. They also pose serious proliferation risks because they can make lots of plutonium.  https://nationalinterest.org/feature/%E2%80%98fast-reactors%E2%80%99-also-present-fast-path-nuclear-weapons-194272, by Victor Gilinsky Henry Sokolski   6 Sep 21, The Energy Department’s choice for the leading reactor design for reviving nuclear power construction in the United States is so at odds with U.S. nonproliferation policy that it opens America to charges of rank hypocrisy. The Biden administration is proposing to use nuclear fuels that we are telling others—most immediately Iran—not to produce. It will make it difficult to gain the restraints the United States seeks to limit nations’ access to bomb-grade uranium and plutonium.

We are talking here about the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) enthusiastic support of TerraPower’s proposed Natrium “fast reactor” demonstration plant and similar fast reactor projects, which DOE has showered with grants and supports with department-funded enrichment, test reactor, and spent nuclear fuel recycling programs. TerraPower and DOE expect to build hundreds of fast reactors for domestic use and export.  

Unlike conventional nuclear plants that exploit fission reactions triggered by slow neutrons, fast reactors maintain nuclear chain reactions with much more energetic fast neutrons. These reactors are billed as advanced technology, but they are an old idea. The first fast reactor designs date back to post-World War II.

Fast reactors’ main advantage is that they can make lots of plutonium, which can be extracted and used as reactor fuel instead of mining and using more uranium. This sounded good, so good to the Nixon administration that it set a goal to shift electric generation to plutonium-fueled fast reactors by the turn of the century. But the project came a cropper when it ran into safety hurdles that escalated costs. And then the increased awareness of the dangers of putting plutonium—one of the two key nuclear explosives—into the world’s commercial channels finally caused President Gerald Ford to announce the United States would not rely on plutonium fuel until the world could cope with it.   

 

Continue reading

September 27, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What is the Quad?

Justin Bergman, Senior Deputy Editor, The Conversation 27 Sep 21, On Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison joined the leaders of India, Japan and the US in Washington for the first in-person summit of the Quad.

What is the Quad, you ask? It’s sometimes labelled an “Asian NATO” — especially by China — but this isn’t quite right. Unlike NATO, the four members have not committed to defend each other in the event of a conflict. The group also doesn’t have a permanent headquarters that coordinates joint military plans.

Instead, as Ian Hall, deputy director of the Griffith Asia Institute, explains, it’s a diplomatic forum for the four Indo-Pacific powers to discuss issues in the region and cooperate to solve them.

Formed on the sidelines of other regional diplomatic forums, its remit is much broader than just security issues, encompassing infrastructure, cyber security, economic development and more.

But the big elephant in any Quad meeting room is China. “Fundamentally, the Quad is still driven by mutual concerns about China,” writes Hall. “But, of course, this can’t be said openly, in so many words.”Whether these allies succeed in containing Chinese influence in the region and corralling its more expansionist tendencies will be a key test for US President Joe Biden’s foreign policy legacy — and Morrison’s, too.Visit theconversation.com for more coverage of the Washington summit to come.

September 27, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Talk of war with China reveals Australia’s delusions of grandeur

Talk of war with China reveals Australia’s delusions of grandeur, Independent Australia, By Dean Aszkielowicz | 26 May 2021,  Australians need to be realistic when it comes to China, write Dr Dean Aszkielowicz and Paul Taucher.

THE LAST MAJOR CONFLICT in the Pacific ended over 75 years ago. Japan, the United States, China and the European colonial powers fought a war that cost millions of lives. It contributed to the downfall of several empires and overturned the regional political order.

Further, the American use of atomic bombs against Japan led to subsequent generations living with the fear of nuclear war.

Public figures in Australia who are now loudly predicting that a war with China is looming, ought to think carefully about something like this scenario playing out again. No matter what the behaviour of the Chinese regime is, or what the status of bilateral relations are, war is not an option.

Australia’s message must be peace. At the end of both World War I and

World War II, and again in the wake of the Cold War, political leaders and diplomats insisted that dialogue and international institutions are the key to a peaceful world. This view has persisted and the hope is that cooperation in politics, economics and security will protect sovereignty, increase prosperity, and allow smaller countries to determine their own path in world affairs.

This framework is known as a rules-based order and for much of the post-war era, many countries – including Australia – invested heavily in it. Indeed, much of the recent Australian angst over China stems from a belief that the regime is acting in a way that does not meet these international expectations.

Lately, however, the talk of war in Australia reflects its own emerging lack of faith in the rules-based order and a belief that ultimately the region will collapse into war. This belief downplays Australia’s ability to achieve its goals through diplomacy in the international arena.

Australians who entertain the thought of war also dramatically overstate the ability of the military in the face of an opponent like China. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is effective, technically advanced and has a proud history. It has made major contributions to peacekeeping operations and supported the U.S. military.

The ADF has been most effective is as a diplomatic tool, by responding to disasters across the globe and through peacekeeping. In these kinds of deployments, the ADF makes an important contribution to supporting a rules-based order.

Much of Australia’s international reputation is built on these operations, and this work is indispensable in building and maintaining partnerships. The most challenging deployments, on the other hand, have been when the ADF has paid the price on behalf of the government for political crusades into practically unwinnable wars.

Australia does not have the capacity to fight a major war with China and deliver results that the Australian people would find acceptable in the aftermath of it. China is a major military and industrial power, whereas Australia is not.

When people predict a war is coming, they are predicting the deaths of thousands of Australians, the destruction of millions of dollars of ADF equipment and the collapse of a key Australian trade relationship.

This needs to be discussed much more openly if people are talking about war.

Even a limited war with China would deliver these outcomes. There are no guarantees, however, that a war would be contained at all, in which case the consequences for Australia would be an order of magnitude larger.

CNN made its thoughts clear when it called the notion of Australia fighting a war with China “ridiculous”.

Of course, those who insist that war with China is looming assume that Australia would not be on its own and would take part in the conflict in support of the U.S. They probably see war talk, in this context, as supporting the American agenda for the region. When the positions of Australia’s partners are considered, however, the recent war talk seems much more like Australia further escalating a situation that others would pay the highest price for.

Opinions in the U.S. are divided over how close war with China really is and over whether America is likely to win a war in the South China Sea. Some projections are very bleak.

Tellingly, Australia finds itself largely on its own in escalating war talk with China. Neither the U.S. nor China seem to want to go to war at the moment………

The hawkish tone of recent comments in Australia are currently out of step with the other major players. They convey an inflated sense of the country’s readiness for such a war and represent a loss of faith in a regional order that Australians spent decades helping to build.

If people in government or the military feel war with China is likely, then they must do everything they can to cool tensions, which is something diplomatic institutions are well equipped for. Issues with China over territory, human rights, or trade, need to be addressed through a renewed commitment by Australia to international institutions and international conventions……….. https://independentaustralia.net/article-display/talk-of-war-with-china-reveals-australias-delusions-of-grandeur,15122

September 27, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

‘Humanity remains unacceptably close to nuclear annihilation, says UN chief on International Day

‘Humanity remains unacceptably close to nuclear annihilation, says UN chief on International Day  https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/09/1101242  26 September 2021Peace and Security

“Now is the time to eliminate nuclear weapons from our world , and usher in a new era of dialogue, trust and peace”, declared UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Sunday, marking the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

Addressing the threat of nuclear weapons, said Mr, Guterres, has been central to the work of the United Nations since its inception; the first General Assembly resolution in 1946 sought “the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction.” 

The UN chief pointed out that, although the total number of nuclear weapons has been decreasing for decades, some 14,000 are stockpiled around the world, which is facing the highest level of nuclear risk in almost four decades: “States are qualitatively improving their arsenals, and we are seeing worrying signs of a new arms race.” Humanity, continued the UN chief, remains unacceptably close to nuclear annihilation.

Comprehensive ban in ‘state of limbo’

On Thursday, the UN chief called for all countries holding nuclear technology to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which was adopted in 1996, and has been signed by 185 countries.

However, for the CTBT to enter into force, it must be signed and ratified by 44 specific nuclear technology holder countries, eight of which have yet to ratify the Treaty: China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Pakistan and the United States.

“We have remained in this state of limbo for too long,” he said.  

Signs of hope

However, Mr. Guterres said that he sees the decision by Russia and the United States to extend the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) and engage in dialogue, as a sign of hope. He added that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which entered into force in January, also constitutes a welcome step.

The responsibility to build on these developments, said the Secretary-General, falls on Member States. He described the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, scheduled to take place in January 2022, as a window of opportunity for all countries to take practical steps to comprehensiely prevent the use of, and eliminate, nuclear weapons. 

“Now is the time to lift this cloud for good, eliminate nuclear weapons from our world”, exhorted Mr. Guterres, “and usher in a new era of dialogue, trust and peace for all people”.

September 27, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Expansion of nuclear engineering at University of New South Wales

Australia’s only nuclear engineering program expands, Manufacturers Monthly, September 27, 2021  The Sir William Tyree Foundation has donated $1 million to the University of New South Wales (UNSW) to support expanding nuclear engineering program and foster the skills in Australia for using future technology. 

The program prepares students for careers in high-tech industries including nuclear science, nuclear medicine, mining and resources, energy, manufacturing, aerospace, space exploration and defence……….

This gift builds on the foundations laid down to develop a high-tech nuclear industry in Australia, which will be essential if we choose to adopt nuclear energy …….. Sir William Tyree’s daughter and chair of the foundation board, Robyn Fennell said. 

“To make this a reality, nuclear engineering programs like UNSW’s are critical in ensuring Australia has the home-grown skills to support that choice. My father believed strongly in the benefits of nuclear energy as a safe, clean Ed. [there’s that word again – it’s a lie] power source for Australia and our gift continues to support that vision.” ……..

September 27, 2021 Posted by | Education, New South Wales | Leave a comment

$1.4 million election war chest, here’s how it will be spent for climate action with genuinely clean energy


$1.4 million election war chest, here’s how it will be spent

Climate 200 is an initiative co-founded by Simon Holmes a Court, clean energy advocate and son of corporate raider Robert and philantropist and businesswoman Janet. It will support progressive independents at the next federal election, building on the success of the likes of Zali Steggall.

September 27, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

AEMO installs early warning system for surplus solar and rooftop PV shutdowns — RenewEconomy

AEMO institutes early warning system for potential rooftop solar “shutdowns” if there is too much PV in the grid for it to control. The post AEMO installs early warning system for surplus solar and rooftop PV shutdowns appeared first on RenewEconomy.

AEMO installs early warning system for surplus solar and rooftop PV shutdowns — RenewEconomy

September 27, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 26 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion:  ¶ “COP26: What Is The Glasgow Climate Conference And Why Is It Important?” • The UK is hosting a summit that may be crucial for climate change to be brought under control. The meeting in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November could lead to major changes to our everyday lives. Two hundred countries […]

September 26 Energy News — geoharvey

September 27, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment