Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear (and climate) news to 16 January

Some bits of good news.  Here are all the positive environmental stories from 2023 so far.  How the world fixed the ozone layer. The hole over the pole will be closed by 2066.

Coronavirus. Covid cases in China touch 900 million – study.

Climate. Look –  this whole issue is mind-boggling. Glaciers are melting fast. It’s probable that the cleanup of atmospheric pollution by China and others will, for a while, contribute to global heating. I recommend that everyone follow RADIO ECOSHOCK. It’s the best place for getting the most up-to-date and thorough analyses of what is going on with our heating planet.

Nuclear. This week, I’m a bit overwhelmed with the climate stuff – actually more terrible than nuclear. But hey!  the big tennis is on in my country  – so nobody seems to care. (Except perhaps the flooded-out people).  Christina’s notes. NO – Sir Keir Starmer – nuclear power is NOT clean. Strange and contradictory messages from the global nuclear authority IAEA.

AUSTRALIABrian Toohey -on Australia’s new arms race. Australia’s ‘optimal pathway’ on AUKUS. Australia’s nuclear submarine plan – a source of disagreement in US Congress.  Population growth is not a good thing: it’s a bad thing. Mining lobby tricks government with its big taxpayer fairytale.


CIVIL LIBERTIES.  Julian Assange denied permission to attend Vivienne Westwood funeral

CLIMATEEurope recorded its hottest ever summer in 2022. Worlds oceans were the hottest ever recorded in 2022. Extreme weather is pushing more people to flee their homes.

DECOMMISSIONING REACTORS. Lithuania deal to dismantle Soviet-era nuclear reactors could be world first.


Small nuclear reactors:  Eye-popping new cost estimates released for NuScale small modular reactor. The PG and E plan to sell non-nuclear generation assets could improperly increase rates, groups tell FERC. UK should not be building Sizewell C, and rollout of small nuclear reactors will be a nightmare – energy boss. Uncertainty over government funding for Rolls Royce’s small nuclear reactors . 

The Delusion of Infinite Economic GrowthSlew of companies keeping watch on DOE nuclear cleanup work for small biz. Team Korea to bolster exports of nuclear energy systems.

EMPLOYMENT. The renewable energy transition is creating a green jobs boom.

HEALTHAn unacceptable risk to children.

LEGALPacific states entitled to claims against Japan for discharge of radioactive nuclear wastewater.

NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY. Shouldn’t a new and experimental reactor deserve a federal impact assessment? Adam Tooze: Why Nuclear Fusion Is Not the Holy Grail. How close are we to developing commercial nuclear fusion reactors? The problem with nuclear energy advocatesJapan and USA to develop small nuclear reactors “within each country and third countries.”

OPPOSITION to NUCLEARScottish campaign groups hit back over claims nuclear power is cheaper and more reliable. Significant environmental victory for Savannah River Site Watch in stopping import of high level nuclear waste from Germany.



SAFETYDeal on safe zone for Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant getting harder -IAEA. IAEA plans “continuous presence” at all Ukraine nuclear power plants “to help prevent a nuclear accident” amid Russia’s war . Irish Republic monitoring nuclear risk as a consequence of fighting in Ukraine. Nuclear convoys: 40 safety reports in three years. Terror police investigate after uranium found in package at Heathrow airport. Georgia’s Vogtle nuclear plant startup delayed due to vibrating pipe.

SPACE.  Space junk cowboys are ruining our night sky.


WAR and CONFLICT.The Ukraine War Should Alert Us to The Need to Ban Nuclear WeaponsUkraine on ‘NATO mission’ – defense minister. NATO to train hundreds of Ukrainian troops in US and Germany, in operating Patriot missile system . Ukraine legalizes foreigners in AZOV neo-Nazi regiment. Gordon M. Hahn: The West has been reckless with Vladimir Putin Britain sending first NATO nation tanks to Ukraine .


January 16, 2023 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Living With Our Expensive AUKUS Nuclear Submarines

More public discussion of this complex issue might assist in modifying the worst excesses of the AUKUS deal with its enormous financial consequences and more dependency on those powerful friends abroad which have been such a feature of the federal LNP’s foreign policies for decades past.

Will we all continue to live with those dark AUKUS nuclear submarines? Australian Independent Media, By Denis Bright  13 Jan 23,

The Christmas edition of The Australian (24-25 December 2022) released a quote from the head of Australia’s nuclear task force Vice Admiral Jonathan Mead. It described the AUKUS submarines as the gold standard of our new security blanket. Spies worldwide wanted to know so much more as the consultative processes surrounding the details were always in the hands of political, military and intel insiders. The wider public would always be left with future payments to cover the financial costs and fall-out from lost trading and investment opportunities between Australia and China.

Writing in The Guardian (8 June 2022), Daniel Hurst estimated that the still undefined AUKUS deal would be an additional $90 billion over the French diesel-powered submarines negotiated by the Turnbull Government.

Yet, Australians seemed to welcome the dark submarines which had a popularity rating of 62 per cent despite an acknowledgment that the deal would inflame relations with China and our future commercial ties according to Katherine Murphy of The Guardian (28 September 2021).

The Albanese Government has already made a goodwill payment to France of $835 million for our breach of contract over the cancelled submarine deal (ABC News 11 June 2022). These costs will fade into insignificance when the full costs of the AUKUS Submarine deal evolve.

The French Government tried hard to promote its contribution to the US Global Alliance after gaining its contract with the Turnbull Government for the sale of the diesel-powered submarines to Australia. French Navy Rubis-class nuclear powered submarine (SSN) Emeraude and Loire-Class support & assistance vessel (BSAM type) Seine reached RAN Fleet Base West in Perth on 9 November 2020 (Naval News 10 November 2020). Prior to the maintenance and logistics visit, Australian Defence Force elements, including the Frigate HMAS Anzac, and Collins-class submarine HMAS Sheean and a P-8A Poseidon aircraft exercised with the French Navy units off the coast of Fremantle.

The ageing nuclear submarine Emeraude was commissioned in 1988. Ten crew members were killed in an accidental explosion off Toulon, France in 1994. Reporters from Vingt Heures (Channel 2 in Paris) were invited on board to film the missiles on the attack class submarine after its triumphal return after a six-month voyage to Australia, the South China Sea and the Taiwan Straits in early 2021. Naval News in Paris were unable to comply with my request for a detailed map of the navigation route which was flicked across the television screen by reports from Vingt Heures. Were the French vessels welcomed into the naval installations at the US installation on Diego Garcia on their merry jaunt from the Red Sea to Western Australia I wondered?

Up north in the South China Sea, both China and Taiwan of course have rival claims over specific islands and reefs across the South China Sea, so the Emeraude had to be on guard as it moved in stealth mode through troubled waters.

Perhaps more commercial globalization is the only recipe for the new wave of security fears about an emergent China. While China remains dependent on mineral and energy resources from Africa, the Middle East, Australia and energy rich Indonesia for its national economy, it can hardly cut off its supply network with shipping embargoes as claimed by advocates of Freedom of Navigation. The AUKUS submarine deal did not canvass such issues and were to be a trump card in giving a khaki hue to the federal LNP’s plans to win the 2022 election for Scott Morrison. Having won the election, the Albanese government was soon caught up in positive political spin that was deemed to come with the AUKUS deal which required no background briefings to balance references to gold standard security advantages for Australia.

It was a bit late for the Chinese Embassy’s goodwill event on 10 January 2023, to change the tide of Australian public opinion (ABC News, 10 January 2023):

The ambassador made both remarks during a wide-ranging and largely upbeat press conference in Canberra held to mark the New Year.

He declared relations between China and Australia had reached a period of “stability”, saying the Chinese Year of the Rabbit offered an opportunity to “jump over obstacles” that had emerged in recent times.

But there are still deep doubts in Canberra about China’s trajectory and the limits to the rapprochement in the wake of high-level meetings between Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and President Xi Jinping, as well as Foreign Minister Penny Wong and her then-Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing.

Jumping over obstacles to goodwill demands a cooling of tensions over access to the South China Sea, ironclad guarantees about the special status of Hong Kong and an end to saber-rattling over Taiwan which is largely integrated into the economy of China in trade and capital flows. Ambassador Xiao Qian of the Chinese Embassy in Canberra proposed a similar lifeline for Australia to minimize the costs of the AUKUS submarine deal (The Guardian 10 January 2023)………………………………………….

Taiwan still retains some island outposts in the South China Sea including the island of Taiping where the military airport is indeed the main feature of the entire island as covered in the Italian-based PIME AsiaNews (12 March 2022)…………

The ASEAN Forum opposes the return of great power rivalry between nuclear weapons states in the region. Writing in The Interpreter (13 September 2022), Melissa Conley Tyler noted the reservations from regional leaders about the AUKUS submarine deal:

When Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States announced the AUKUS trilateral security cooperation agreement a year ago, it didn’t get a uniformly positive reception in Southeast Asia.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was “deeply concerned” over an arms race in the region. Malaysia expressed concerns at multiple levels, with both the prime minister and foreign minister raising concerns that it could “potentially spark tension among the world superpowers and aggravate aggression between them in the region”. Malaysia’s Minister for Defence Hishammuddin Hussein went as far as saying he would consult with Beijing on its views on AUKUS.

With commitment to the AUKUS deal still at a consultative stage, favourable guarantees from China might yet modify those gun-ho commitments from the Morrison Government to the re-militarization of our region.

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has also revived concerns over the AUKUS submarine deal as covered by Ellen Ransley ( 9 January 2023):……………………….

More public discussion of this complex issue might assist in modifying the worst excesses of the AUKUS deal with its enormous financial consequences and more dependency on those powerful friends abroad which have been such a feature of the federal LNP’s foreign policies for decades past.

This nostalgia for a return to Cold War solutions will hardly bring progress in reducing regional tensions. While waiting for the arrival of the AUKUS submarines, China continues with its development of land and sea based nuclear weapons. Perhaps some eleventh-hour deals are still possible to reduce future tensions, but change is difficult because of bipartisan agreement in Australia on this issue which seems to have strong electoral support in the absence of public discussion on the economic consequences….. more

January 16, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Population growth is not a good thing, it’s a bad thing.

All this enthusiasm for Australia to grow its population! Hasn’t anybody noticed that vast swathes of this continent are getting flooded? Then there have been vast swathes on fire – with hitherto unknown soaring fire temperatures.

And these events are happening in the green fringe around this vast land. With global heating, the centre, the most of this huge land will become too hot, too dry, for human habitation .

We’ll be flat out trying to sustain the population that we already have.

What catastrophes will it have to take, before homo-not-very-sapiens-at-all abandons the suicidal philosophy of endless growth?

SMH January 16, 2023 

Growth of both population and the economy is the cause of most of Australia’s problems, not a solution, and does not align with majority Australian opinion (“Big Australia? Dream on”, January 14). Per capita, Australians already consume resources at a rate which, if extended to the whole world, would require four Earths to fulfil that demand, yet Michael Koziol, together with the political parties and most economists, seeks to grow our resource demand into an unsustainable and increasingly inequitable future. We need to curb our demands on nature, not expand them. The economy we must build is a very different one, in which we seek to satisfy real need, not an avalanche of artificially stimulated wants. John Coulter, Bradbury (SA)

Do we value ecological and economic sustainability and the wellbeing of future generations and ecosystems, or do we prioritise the short-term gains of rapid resource exploitation, consumption and waste disposal? The latter are not sustainable on a planet where the human ecological footprint far exceeds Earth’s renewable biocapacity and whose life-support functions are failing. Indeed, we have an extinction and ecosystem crisis in Australia that has prompted 240 leading scientists to call on the government to take strong protective action. Further, our State of the Environment Report named population growth as a factor causing this environmental destruction. A second criterion is surely human wellbeing. Is it enhanced by population growth? In Australia, it appears that wellbeing as measured by the Genuine Progress Indicator was greatest in about 1970 when the population was 15 million but has fallen since as the population has increased. We have to decide to halt the damage to our life-supporting ecosystems and our own wellbeing. Increasing the population will make it harder. Alan Jones, Narraweena

The State of Environment Report 2021 would be a good starting point for Michael Koziol and other Big Australia proponents, as it details the decline in our natural world, and lists population growth as one of the major causes. Immigration may have been beneficial 50 or more years ago, when our population was less than half of now, but in the current global environment, with 8 billion people, it would be foolish for Australia to increase our population – either through immigration or fertility programs – and still expect our remaining natural environment and quality of life to survive. The increasing costs of dealing with climate change disasters should also be factored in to any population discussion. Karen Joynes, Bermagui

Why do we have this obsession with increasing the population of Australia? Admittedly, we live in a large country, but it is mostly arid with a fragile ecosystem that has been badly treated by our sojourn here over the last 234 years. It is time we demanded that our land be protected from greed and stupidity. We do not need an excessively large population, apparently to keep the economy growing, we need a thoughtful government to ensure we have a country that is sustainable, a country which is nourished by care, responsibility and respect. And it had better be soon. Nola Tucker, Kiama

January 16, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Space junk cowboys are ruining our night sky

Virginia Kilborn, Swinburne University chief scientist January 15, 2023

Without action, over the next decade the night sky as we know it will change drastically. Where once we saw constellations of stars, we will see moving constellations of satellites – hundreds and maybe thousands of them moving across the sky. The magic of a shooting star will be lost.

The constellations your parents once pointed out will be harder to find, and as Kamilaroi astrophysicist Krystal De Napoli has explained, the vital reference points that our First Nations astronomers have relied on for tens of thousands of years will no longer be visible.

Astronomers are already dismayed that their view of the universe is increasingly masked owing to optical and radio emissions from the thousands of objects overhead that make it more difficult to conduct paradigm-shifting research.

When it comes to access to space, we are undergoing a technological revolution. Once the domain of multinational companies and government agencies, the new space race is dominated by agile and comparatively young companies taking advantage of small satellite technologies, such as CubeSats –  nanosatellites the size and shape of a Rubik’s Cube.

These smaller satellites allow companies to quickly test new technologies in space and take less energy to launch to their lower-altitude orbits. While they offer significant benefits to us on Earth, such as monitoring weather patterns and natural disasters, and providing internet access to remote communities, they are less reliable, have higher failure rates and shorter lifespans than previous satellites.

We’re seeing the advantages of new design and advanced manufacturing technologies reducing the cost of sending satellites into orbit. But we should also be concerned about disposable space hardware going down the same path as other technologies, such as low-cost plastics. Plastics have allowed for the development of low-cost products, but the lack of life-cycle planning means plastic waste pollution is prevalent across the planet. We need to avoid this short-term thinking when it comes to satellites.

Rather than launching satellites designed for decades of use – for example the GPS navigation system, comprised of around 30 satellites – many companies are now planning for the launch of mega-constellations of thousands of small satellites in low Earth orbit. In the US alone, the Federal Communications Commission is approving tens of thousands of satellites for launch.

Astra has applied for 13,000 satellites, SpaceX has more than 3000 satellites already launched and has sought approval for 9000 more (but they’re looking at more than 30,000 in the future). Amazon has plans for over 3000 more satellites, and Telesat plans for about 2000 satellites with just a 10-year life span.

While small low Earth orbit satellites are designed to burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere on the timescale of a decade or so, they deposit a higher concentration of aluminium than meteoroids. Over time, this will change the composition of the atmosphere. While the weight of satellite debris now entering the atmosphere is about 20 times less than that of meteoroids, satellites are mainly composed of aluminium; meteoroids are less than 1 per cent of that element. The long-term effects of this change could include changing the albedo, or reflective nature of the atmosphere.

With so many satellites in finite orbits above us, there is also a growing danger of collisions, which in turn could increase the amount of space debris orbiting Earth. NASA is already tracking more than 27,000 pieces of space junk and estimated there could be half a million pieces larger than 1 centimetre; and over 100 million pieces smaller than a centimetre.

Steps are being taken to tackle some of these issues. Here in Australia, space scientists, lawyers and policy experts from Swinburne University of Technology, EY, CSIRO’s Data61 and SmartCat CRC are working on a regulatory framework for AI-enabled systems that can operate to avoid collisions, while other projects are looking to remove existing debris and defunct technology from orbit.

Further afield, the International Astronomical Union has formed the Centre for the Protection of the Dark and Quiet Sky from Satellite Constellation Interference to work with technology companies and policymakers to ensure we preserve the night sky for research.

There is a new voluntary sustainability rating being promoted by the World Economic Forum and the US Federal Communications Commission has recently changed the regulations regarding low Earth Orbit satellite disposal, requiring a much quicker re-entry into the atmosphere to ensure these items don’t clog up our sky.

These are positive steps, but we need to go further and reconsider whether we need to launch thousands of satellites in the first place.

Finding better ways to do things now means both harnessing space to improve life on Earth and avoiding the destruction of one of our greatest assets – the night sky

January 16, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

An unacceptable risk to children — Beyond Nuclear International

Children exposed to radiation are often from minority communities

An unacceptable risk to children — Beyond Nuclear International

Standards don’t protect them and studies dismiss them

By Linda Pentz Gunter

In a peer reviewed article published in the British Medical Journal Pediatrics Open in October, my Beyond Nuclear colleague, Cindy Folkers and I, reviewed the studies currently available that look at the impact on children from radiation exposures caused by the nuclear power sector.

In particular, we looked at the disproportionately negative impact on children living in disadvantaged communities, primarily those of color. As we wrote in the article: 

“From uranium mining and milling, to fuel manufacture, electricity generation and radioactive waste management, children in frontline and Indigenous communities can be disproportionately harmed due to often increased sensitivity of developing systems to toxic exposures, the lack of resources and racial and class discrimination.”

At about the same time, and as if to confirm our hypothesis, the story of the Jana elementary school in Missouri began to break.

The school is in a predominantly Black community in northern St. Louis and the US army corps of engineers had been called in to assess radioactivity found in classrooms, playgrounds and on sports fields at the school after findings of unacceptable levels of radioactivity on the premises were revealed in an independent report conducted by Dr. Marco Kaltofen, President of Boston Chemical Data Corporation.

The radioactive contamination found at the school was, as the report described it, “consistent with the radioactive legacy uranium processing wastes notoriously found in the heavily contaminated Coldwater Creek in North St. Louis County, MO, and in low-lying areas subject to flooding from the creek.”

The report concluded that “radiological contamination exists at unacceptable levels (greater than 5.0 net pCi/g as alpha radiation) at the Jana School property.”

Those wastes, dating back from the 1940s to 1960s, were produced by a company called Mallinckrodt, which processed uranium from the Belgian Congo as part of the Manhattan Project. The radioactive waste they produced was illegally dumped in what was then surrounding countryside and at the West Lake Landfill. It seeped into creeks and spread into parks and even homes. 

story we ran on Beyond Nuclear International in March 2018 relates the struggle of residents to get their community cleaned up. Atomic Homefront, a compelling documentary about this fight, brings home exactly the toll this environmental crime has taken on people living there, especially women.

Radioactive lead-210, thorium and radium-226 were among the isotopes found at Jana Elementary school, at levels far higher than those considered permissible (but not safe) at Superfund sites. The lead-210 was at levels 22 times what would be considered “expected” in such an environment.

Why had it taken so long to discover this immense and unacceptable risk to children?

Jana’s PTA president, Ashley Bernaugh, believes she knows the answer. 

“Jana elementary’s radioactive past looks like a lot of other communities where hazardous waste has been allowed to exist in predominantly minority communities and in lower middle income communities, where it never would have been allowed in upper income level communities because of the public outrage,” she told The Guardian.

By November 9 the corps had declared that radiation levels at the school “showed no levels of radiation higher than ‘the level of radioactivity Mother Nature already provides.’”

“Mother Nature” is a euphemistic reference to “background radiation,” already problematic given the decades of atomic testing and major nuclear accidents that have added to what “background” radiation levels once were but are no longer. Of far greater concern is that these levels, while likely not even safe for adults, are certainly not safe for children.

This determination of what is “safe” is based on a standard that is not only outdated but was wrong from the start. Here is what we wrote about this in our BMJ article.

“Pregnancy, children and women are underprotected by current regulatory standards that are based on ‘allowable’ or ‘permissible’ doses for a ‘Reference Man’. Early in the nuclear weapons era, a ‘permissible dose’ was more aptly recognized as an ‘acceptable injury limit,’ but that language has since been sanitized.”

Reference Man is defined as a nuclear industry worker 20–30 years of age, who weighs around 154 pounds, is 67 inches tall and is a Caucasian Western European or North American in habitat and custom.

“Very early research conducted in the USA in 1945 and 1946 indicated higher susceptibility of pregnancy to radiation exposure. Pregnant dogs injected with radiostrontium had defects in their offspring and yet, complete results of these studies were not made public until 1969,” we wrote.

“By 1960 however, U.S. experts were clearly aware that research indicated higher susceptibility of children, when the Federal Radiation Council (established in 1959 by President Eisenhower) briefly considered a definition for ‘Standard Child’—which they subsequently abandoned in favor of maintaining a Standard Man definition, later renamed Reference Man.”

Reference Man still stands, although our organization, in partnership with the Gender + Radiation Impact Project, are working to get it changed to Reference Girl. (If you are interested in learning more about this, you can join our online classes.)

Why are children, and especially female children, as well as women and especially pregnant women, more susceptible to harm from radiation exposure? This is not fully understood and regulatory practices, particularly in the establishment of protective exposure standards, have failed to take this difference into account. 

An examination of Navajo babies born between 1964 and 1981 showed that congenital anomalies, developmental disorders and other adverse birth outcomes were associated with the mother living near uranium mines and wastes.

Other studies — among Aboriginal communities in Australia and members of Indigenous tribes in India —showed similar outcomes. But so-called anecdotal evidence is invariably dismissed in favor of “statistical insignificance”.

Even perhaps the most famous study, in Germany, of children living near nuclear plants showing elevated rates of leukemia directly correlated to the proximity of their homes to the nuclear sites, was dismissed with claims that the doses were simply too low to have such an impact.

As we concluded in our BMJ article, which is fully accessible and can be read in its entirety here, “more independent studies are needed focused on children, especially those in vulnerable frontline and Indigenous communities. In conducting such studies, greater consideration must be applied to culturally significant traditions and habits in these communities.”

Linda Pentz Gunter is the international specialist at Beyond Nuclear and writes for and curates Beyond Nuclear International.

January 16, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste project in New Mexico opposed in recent poll, company asserts local support

Adrian Hedden, Carlsbad Current-Argus, 14 Jan 23,

New Mexicans in every region of the state allegedly opposed storing high-level nuclear waste in their state, according to a recent poll, as a New Jersey company hoped to build a facility to do so near Carlsbad.

The poll, commissioned by Albuquerque-based Southwest Research and Information Center in a partnership with the Center for Civic Policy surveyed 1,015 voters across the state from Dec. 7 to 14.

It found 60 percent of those surveyed were in opposition to the project, with 30 percent supporting and 10 percent undecided.

Holtec International applied in 2017 for a license from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to build and operate what it called a consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) in a remote area near the border of Eddy and Lea counties.

Last year, the NRC published its final environmental impact statement (EIS), contending the project would have little impact on the environment, and recommending the license be issued.

The CISF would temporarily store up to 100,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel rods, expected to be brought into the site via rail from nuclear power plants around the country through a 40-year license with the NRC.

The 1,000-acre plot of land where the facility would be built was owned by the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance, a consortium of local leaders from the cities of Carlsbad and Hobbs, and Eddy and Lea counties.

The Alliance recruited Holtec and set up a revenue-sharing agreement with the company once the CISF goes into operations.

Despite the poll, Holtec officials argued the project was largely supported by New Mexico, after spokesman Gerges Scott said representatives traveled to local governments throughout the state.

Ed Mayer, Holtec project manager of the CISF said the company had adequate support for the project, after he and other representatives met with local leaders and first responders both around the site and along the rail lines.

“We are educating the affected populations, not only from the facility perspective in southeast New Mexico, but from a state perspective on the rail lines,” Mayer said. …………………………….

But opponents, including Southwest Research – a frequent critic of Holtec and the nearby Waste Isolation Pilot Plant repository for transuranic (TRU) nuclear waste – maintained the project would bring an undue risk to New Mexicans nearby and Americans along the waste transportation routes.

That’s why opposition was spread across political parties, gender and ethnicity, said Nuclear Waste Program Manager Don Hancock at Southwest Research and Information Center.

The poll showed more than half of those surveyed in the region were against the project, with opposition also coming irrespective of political affiliation. About 70 percent of Democrats polled opposed Holtec, along with 51 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of Independents.

When broken down by gender, more men supported the project than women, according to the poll.

A majority of Republican men polled were in favor at 51 percent, while 61 percent of Republican women were against the project, read the poll

White men were mostly for the project overall at 49 percent of voters polled in favor, while 71 percent of white women were against.

Hispanic men and women both mostly opposed the project at 51 and 78 percent against, respectively read the poll.

Central, northeast and southwest New Mexico showed opposition of 60 percent or more, while more conservative regions in the southeast and northwest showed 57 and 56 percent against, respectively, the poll showed.

Critics argue storing nuclear waste puts undue risk on New Mexico

Hancock said the poll showed temporary nuclear waste storage was not supported by New Mexico voters, arguing it was opposed through decades of proposals like Holtec’s.

“I’m not surprised by the results because for more than 45 years New Mexicans have strongly opposed high-level waste in New Mexico, whether the waste is proposed for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in the 1970s and ‘80s, for Mescalero Apache land in the 1990s, or by Holtec,” he said.

Opposition to the project also came from some of New Mexico’s highest-ranking state officials, and its Congressional delegation, with New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham calling the proposal “economic malpractice” for its potential, she said, of imperiling nearby oil and gas and agriculture industries.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) co-sponsored a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate last year to block any federal funds from supporting such a project.

At the state level, New Mexico Sen. Jeff Steinborn (D-36) was a lead opponent of Holtec’s in the Legislature.

While Texas lawmakers recently passed a bill to ban high-level waste storage in their state, Steinborn said New Mexico policymakers should consider a similar measure to prevent the project coming to fruition.

“From the very beginning this has been a dangerous plan pushed on New Mexico, with real risks for all of our communities, and no end in sight,” Steinborn said. “It’s time for this project to be canceled and be replaced by the federal government committing to a true consent based siting process for the permanent storage of this waste.”

January 16, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Not all American politicians want to adore Zelensky

House Republican Introduces Resolution to Place Bust of Zelensky in the Capitol

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and other conservative GOP members blasted the ideaby Dave DeCamp Posted onCategoriesNewsTagsUkraine

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) introduced a bill this week that would place a bust of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the House wing of the US Capitol building, an idea that was strongly criticized by more conservative GOP members.

The resolution reads: “Resolved, That the House of Representatives directs the Fine Arts Board to obtain a bust of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, for display in a suitable, permanent location in the House of Representatives wing of the United States Capitol.”

On Twitter, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) posted a picture of the resolution and wrote: “Absolutely NOT! We serve AMERICA NOT UKRAINE!”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) wrote on Twitter that he wanted to believe the resolution was “satire” and linked to an article from the conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks giving five reasons to oppose the bust.

The five reasons FreedomWorks listed are:

  1. Ukraine is NOT the 51st US State
  2. The US doesn’t own the conflict or is obligated to continue funding it
  3. Further payments would encourage US taxpayer-funded reconstruction of Ukraine
  4. Ukraine is corrupt and this conflict is not about “defending democracy”
  5. Zero oversight of taxpayer aid to Ukraine

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) also ripped the resolution on Twitter. “There is now a House resolution that seeks to put a display of Zelenskyy’s head in the US Capitol. Was the $100+ billion to Ukraine not enough?” he wrote.

While Zelensky mostly received a hero’s welcome when he visited Washington DC and was given many rounds of applause when addressing Congress, only 86 out of 213 House Republicans attended his speech, although some of the absences could be explained by the lawmakers getting a head start on Christmas travel.

For now, GOP leadership is incredibly supportive of arming Ukraine and is critical of President Biden for not sending longer-range and more advanced weapons. But there is opposition to the policy among a small but notable number of Republicans, and that opposition will likely grow as the war drags on.

Some Republicans are against arming Ukraine because they think the US should be flooding Taiwan with weapons instead, a policy that could provoke a similar crisis in the Asia Pacific. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) in December wrote a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the Biden administration to prioritize arming Taiwan over Ukraine.

January 16, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trump suggested dropping a nuclear bomb on North Korea and blaming it on someone else in 2017, book claims.

Yahoo News , Alia Shoaib, Sun, January 15, 2023 

  • As president, Donald Trump suggested nuking North Korea and blaming someone else, a new book extract says.
  • Trump was also reportedly “baffled and annoyed” that he would need congressional approval for a pre-emptive strike.
  • It is alleged that Trump made the comments in 2017 around the time he was issuing public threats to North Korea.

In his first year in office, Donald Trump suggested striking North Korea with a nuclear weapon and blaming it on someone else, according to a new section of a book obtained by NBC News.

Alia Shoaib

Sun, January 15, 2023 at 9:31 PM GMT+11·3 min read

In this article:

  • Donald TrumpDonald Trump45th President of the United States
  • John F. KellyWhite House Chief of Staff
donald trump oval office
Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
  • As president, Donald Trump suggested nuking North Korea and blaming someone else, a new book extract says.
  • Trump was also reportedly “baffled and annoyed” that he would need congressional approval for a pre-emptive strike.
  • It is alleged that Trump made the comments in 2017 around the time he was issuing public threats to North Korea.

In his first year in office, Donald Trump suggested striking North Korea with a nuclear weapon and blaming it on someone else, according to a new section of a book obtained by NBC News.

The revelation was made in a new afterword to the book “Donald Trump v. The United States” by New York Times Washington correspondent Michael Schmidt, due to be released on Tuesday.

Trump made the alleged comments behind closed doors in 2017 when he publicly warned North Korea that it would “be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen” if it continued to make threats.

The then-president also routinely took to Twitter to taunt North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, who he had nicknamed “Rocket Man.”

The book suggests that John Kelly, who had started as Trump’s White House Chief of Staff in July 2017, was alarmed by the president’s attitude towards the East Asian nation…………………………………….

Read the original article on Business Insider

January 16, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Uncertainty over government funding for Rolls Royce’s small nuclear reactors

 Concerns have been raised that the rollout of small modular reactors
(SMRs) in the UK could be delayed due to funding challenges. According to
The Times, a funding deal for the first fleet of mini nuclear reactors is
not expected to materialise for at least another 12 months, with a row
ongoing in government over the cost of Britain’s wider nuclear ambitions.

Going forward, SMRs, alongside large-scale nuclear plants, are seen as a
crucial tool in the country’s battle against the energy crisis and drive
towards net zero.

The government established a new body called Great British Nuclear (GBN) in conjunction with the release of its energy
security strategy with the aim of facilitating the growth of nuclear power on the grid.

However, Whitehall sources have now revealed that there
remains uncertainty over the government’s SMR investment plans. Rolls-Royce
has called for ministers to enter funding talks and start placing orders.
The firm is planning on building SMR power stations and recently announced
three shortlisted locations for its proposed factory and four potential
sites for the SMR plants themselves.

 New Civil Engineer 9th Jan 2023

A plan to build a fleet of mini nuclear reactors across the UK could be
delayed by at least another 12 months amid a row in the government over the
cost of Britain’s nuclear power ambitions. The Sunday Times cited sources
stating that there was still a large degree of uncertainty over the scale
of state investment in small modular reactors (SMRs).

 Energy Live News 9th Jan 2023

January 16, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

South Australia may lead world in wind and solar, but leaky buildings will cause problems — RenewEconomy

Wind, solar and storage cannot address the energy transition cost-effectively without fixing thermally poor buildings and replacing inefficient electric appliances and gas. The post South Australia may lead world in wind and solar, but leaky buildings will cause problems appeared first on RenewEconomy.

South Australia may lead world in wind and solar, but leaky buildings will cause problems — RenewEconomy

January 16, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Forrest and Cannon-Brookes shape up for control of Sun Cable, with or without sub-sea link — RenewEconomy

The future of Sun Cable will be decided by competing offers from Australia’s two richest men, and two different visions of the project’s future. The post Forrest and Cannon-Brookes shape up for control of Sun Cable, with or without sub-sea link appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Forrest and Cannon-Brookes shape up for control of Sun Cable, with or without sub-sea link — RenewEconomy

January 16, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment