Australian news, and some related international items

To November 20 Climate and Nuclear News Australia

A reflection on the media, especially “social media”: some news media covered the radioactive danger of wildfire at the closed Santa Susana nuclear site, and the need for that site to be properly cleaned up. I covered it, too, on my websites – might have reached one or two thousand people, on a good day.  BUT – celebrity Kim Kardashian’s call for the clean-up would have reached 58 million people!

Public awareness of climate change just might be growing, as its impacts multipy.  Habitable areas of our planet are shrinking – as climate change exacerbates extreme weather. “Predatory delay” – how the fossil fuel industries created and maintained climate change denialism.  Nuclear power is touted as the solution to climate change. But, as well as the many other drawbacks to this ‘solution’, is the fact that nuclear is not ‘low carbon’ as claimed.


Edward Snowden Condemns US Justice Department for Targeting Assange  (Why is Australian govt not helping Julian Assange?)

Labor’s Environment Action Network (Lean) determined that a Shorten Labor government must overhaul federal environment laws. Chifley Research Centre calls for a new and independent Australian environmental protection framework.

NUCLEAR. With the current issue of radiation risk in the California wildfires, it is timely to note that radiation monitoring showed spikes in the Lucas Heights nuclear area, at the time of the April bushfires.

The spent nuclear fuel rods at Lucas Heights can only sensibly be treated as high level wasteIAEA sees ‘Areas for Enhancement’ in Australia’s Nuclear and Radiation Safety.

Federal govt on nuclear waste dump: Minister has “absolute discretion”, dismisses Greens’ concerns. Nov 28 in Flinders and Kimba – ClOSED meetings on nuclear waste dump plan?

Australia-UK agreement on nuclear co-operation and development after UK leaves European Union.

British scientists secretly used Australian population to test for radiation contamination after nuclear tests at Maralinga. “Project Sunshine” tested dead babies for radioactive fallout.

CLIMATE. New Climate Council report links climate change with worsening droughts.     Labor to exploit Morrison’s coal obsessions in new energy policy.  Federal government’s water gift to Adani exposed.

RENEWABLE ENERGY. There are numerous news items.  The best site – is for some unknown reason, inaccessable tody. Headlines include WA’s Synergy says fossil fuel generators not coping with rooftop solar boom.  Third battery storage maker to set up factory in South Australia. Vestas wins largest project in Victoria’s Renewable Energy Auction with the first V150-4.2MW turbines in Australia. Greens establish Senate Inquiry into “fair dinkum power” .. and many more.

Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) group calls on Malaysian govt to shut down Lynas rare earth refinery.


November 20, 2018 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Spikes in radiation monitored during bushfires near Lucas Heights nuclear site

15th April 2018 – Residents told to “Shelter in place”, Peter Daley, 20 Nov 18

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) local radiation monitor station shows significant spikes in radiation during the fire event.

Below are screen shots from the ANSTO radiation monitoring station at Endagine. Endagine is located East of the Lucas Heights reactor.

What caused this spike in local radiation?

Did the fire release local radioactive contamination?

Reactor venting?

Fault in equipment?

Their rainfall monitor shows it definitely was not raining at the time of these detections, so these detections can’t be explained away as Radon wash out events.

Radiation Spike plus rainfall chart 15th to 16th April

More Radiation detection spikes showing on the live Engadine ANSTO monitor station chart, 19th April.

ANSTO live monitoring site,

November 20, 2018 Posted by | - incidents, New South Wales | Leave a comment

Labor to exploit Morrison’s coal obsessions in new energy policy — RenewEconomy

Labor energy policy will attack Coalition’s plan for new coal investment, outline the path to 50 per cent renewable energy, and will likely include a focus on storage and energy efficiency. The post Labor to exploit Morrison’s coal obsessions in new energy policy appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Labor to exploit Morrison’s coal obsessions in new energy policy — RenewEconomy

November 20, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Know your NEM: The impact of Federal ALP policy, some speculation — RenewEconomy

A 50 per cent renewable energy target from Labour would be trivial in terms of new project and investment requirements. But it would have an impact on coal. The post Know your NEM: The impact of Federal ALP policy, some speculation appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Know your NEM: The impact of Federal ALP policy, some speculation — RenewEconomy

November 20, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

WA’s Synergy says fossil fuel generators not coping with rooftop solar boom — RenewEconomy

Synergy says demand “starts and stops” caused by rooftop solar had disrupted operations at its 240MW gas-fired Cockburn power station – one of its newer plants. The post WA’s Synergy says fossil fuel generators not coping with rooftop solar boom appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via WA’s Synergy says fossil fuel generators not coping with rooftop solar boom — RenewEconomy

November 20, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Third battery storage maker to set up factory in South Australia — RenewEconomy

Canada’s Eguana Technologies become third major battery storage company to announce manufacturing facilities in South Australia. The post Third battery storage maker to set up factory in South Australia appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Third battery storage maker to set up factory in South Australia — RenewEconomy

November 20, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Corporate renewable energy contracts are a new force for Australia wind and solar — RenewEconomy

Corporate contracts are now one of the major drivers for large scale wind and solar projects, with Victoria and manufacturing emerging as the hot-spots. The post Corporate renewable energy contracts are a new force for Australia wind and solar appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Corporate renewable energy contracts are a new force for Australia wind and solar — RenewEconomy

November 20, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Edward Snowden Condemns US Justice Department for Targeting Assange 

Sputnik News, 18 Nov 18 The former NSA contractor, who faces capital punishment in the US for leaking classified information on numerous US secret surveillance programmes, voiced his support for the WikiLeaks founder after it came to light that US authorities are apparently poised to indict Julian Assange.

Edward Snowden, who has been granted political asylum in Russia, has voiced his concern about the dangerous precedent for stifling press freedom which could emerge from the US Justice Department’s alleged plans to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The Freedom of the Press Foundation, where Snowden is a board member, also issued a statement condemning the possible indictment of Julian Assange, whose website published a classified Iraqi dossier revealing that the US killed civilians during the country’s 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation. Trevor Timm, executive director of Freedom of the Press Foundation, cited a profound threat to press freedom if any charges are brought against WikiLeaks for their publishing activities.

“Whether you like Assange or hate him, the theories used in a potential Espionage Act prosecution would threaten countless reporters at the New York Times, Washington Post, and the many other news outlets that report on government secrets all the time. While everyone will have to wait and see what the charges detail, it’s quite possible core First Amendment principles will be at stake in this case,” his statement reads.

Earlier this week, it came to light through what is believed to be an accident that there’s a sealed complaint against Assange, as the US Department of Justice is gearing up to prosecute the whistleblower. It is now “optimistic” about the prospect of securing his release to US authorities, a new report suggests. According to the Wall Street Journal, prosecutors have weighed several types of charges against the journalist, who has resided in self-imposed exile at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012……….

November 20, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Climate change effects are multiplying, and ‘top down’ solutions won’t work

Mind-blowing’: Hazards to multiply and accumulate with climate change,, By Peter Hannam, 20 November 2018 — Humanity is already enduring cumulative effects from climate change and damages will continue to mount along with carbon emissions, a new study has found. Tropical coastal regions will be the most exposed to multiple hazards.

The research – which involved analysis of 3280 research papers and was published on Tuesday by Nature Climate Change – identified 467 pathways that populations were already being hit by a warmer climate. Those impacts will likely increase and intensify unless aggressive efforts are taken to curb greenhouse gas pollution.

“We never stopped being surprised by how many impacts had already happened to us,” said Camilo Mora, an associate professor at the University of Hawaii and lead author of the paper. (An interactive can be seen here.)

“It was also mind-blowing that we just refuse to wake up about how serious this is,” he said.

Examples of impacts cited ranged from famine deaths triggered by droughts and the increased spread of diseases in a warming world, to worsening heavy metal contamination in lakes after wild fires and a poor Russian wheat harvest amid heatwaves in 2010 that led to a doubling of world prices for the commodity.

The tendency towards more extreme weather includes accelerated evaporation rates as temperatures rise, worsening droughts and contributing to more severe wildfires – a combination currently being played out in California, Professor Mora said.

Similarly, with the atmosphere holding about 7 per cent more moisture for each degree of warming, the potential for more intense rain events increases.

About 20-40 per cent of the rainfall from the record wet Hurricane Harvey that soaked Houston in 2017 has been attributed to climate change, Professor Mora said.

Coastal regions were already being exposed to overlapping hazards from both the land and the ocean, making them particularly vulnerable locations now and in the future.

If carbon emissions continued to rise unabated at their current rate, tropical coastal areas such as in Southeast Asia could face as many as six climate hazards concurrently, the paper said.

These included rising sea level and the increased acidity of oceans as they absorb more carbon from the atmosphere.

Top-down limitations

While societies often relied on top-down approaches to dealing with emissions, the result was often a fragile policy set-up.

“One person can come along and reverse the whole thing,” Professor Mora said.

“We need to build the solution for climate change from the bottom up,” he said, citing a project currently being tested in Hawaii to make the US state fully carbon neutral by tree planting and other efforts.

November 20, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

UK government in a proper mess about funding new nuclear projects

Another Nuclear Megaproject Bites The Dust, Oil Price, 

Toshiba’s announcement follows word of a breakdown in negotiations with prospective buyer, Korea Electric Power (KEPCo). It appears the Koreans, like others, are rethinking their commitment to nuclear energy worldwide.

Absent the cancellation decision, Toshiba is likely to have had trouble financing a project of this magnitude especially given the stress on its finances from its troubled venture into American nuclear construction. The Moorside project in Cumbria will have cost Toshiba over £400 million and management announced it was taking a write off of £125 million. Toshiba described its decision as “economically rational.” Amen to that.

A government spokesperson commented, “All proposed nuclear projects in the UK are led by private sector developers and … this is entirely a commercial decision for Toshiba.” This is an interesting statement. The only UK nuclear construction project currently underway is owned by French and Chinese state controlled entities, financed  with liberal debt guarantees provided by the UK government.

But let’s review the UK’s nuclear energy plans. There were at a minimum three large facilities planned. One for Cumbria, the Toshiba NuGen entity, is now cancelled. The Hinkley Point C units, being built by a French and Chinese consortium, are under construction and slated for commercial service in 2025-27. Lastly, Hitachi had a planned nuclear site in Wylfa.

Given the turmoil surrounding new nuclear construction, we have our doubts about the financial viability of Wylfa. This plant would cost at least 20 billion pounds ($26 billion). Press reports indicate government support would be necessary for close to two thirds of that amount. To further encourage developers, a government minister said in June that the government might directly invest 5 billion pounds into the project for a one third ownership share.

A little over three decades ago, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher wanted her government to end state ownership of power producers. And she privatized the UK’s electricity industry. Her successors, who still call themselves Conservatives, seem to have reversed course.

November 20, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

You would laugh at this if it were fiction- Saudi Arabia’s Investigation of Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder

Saudi Arabia’s Investigation of Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder Is a Tragic Farce, New Yorker, By Robin Wright, November 16, 2018     Despite six weeks of ferocious denials by Saudi Arabia, U.S. intelligence has concluded that the kingdom’s ambitious young crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, personally ordered the execution of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in Istanbul last month, the Washington Postreported late Friday. The U.S. assessment was reportedly based on a growing array of hard data as well as a psychological study of the thirty-three-year-old prince. The most damning and specific intelligence was provided by Turkey, including audio recordings of the murder inside the Saudi consulate and a call from the diplomatic mission back to Saudi Arabia immediately afterwards. Turkey shared both with the C.I.A. director Gina Haspel. But the United States also had its own electronic intercepts of conversations, some retrieved in a search of its electronic archives after Khashoggi’s murder on October 2nd, the Post reported. One was reportedly between the crown prince’s brother Khalid, who was the Saudi Ambassador to Washington at the time, and Khashoggi, who was told to go to Istanbul to get official papers proving his divorce so he could remarry.

November 20, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Sayonara Nukes ~The Case for Abolishing Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Weapons

Book Review: Weapons,  BY DENNIS RICHES Nukes ~The Case for Abolishing Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Weapons p=4174 BY CNIC_ENGLISH · CAITLIN STRONELL, CNIC AUGUST 2, 2018 

Center for Glocal Studies, Seijo University I first came across Dennis Riches’ blog about a year after 3.11 when I was in India studying anti-nuclear movements. I read it avidly for its rich perspectives and home truths. Dennis was offering cultural, psychological, socio-economic explanations for the innumerable crises that the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns had unleashed. Many of my friends at the time were focused on technical explanations, which although of course vitally important, didn’t answer the really big questions for me, such as: How can the nuclear industry still be telling the same lies? How can TEPCO still be allowed to operate as a company? What are the structures we have to change here? His blog described the stark reality that we were   facing in a matter-of-fact way but with strong undercurrents of extreme passion, which somehow seemed to me exactly what was needed.

  His recently released book is a compilation of these blog posts, divided into three parts: Articles that relate nuclear issues to works of literature, cinema and popular music; articles primarily about nuclear energy; and articles primarily about nuclear weapons.
The first section connects nuclear issues to figures as wide apart as Don Quixote and Bob Dylan, and compares the situation in Japan immediately after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster to a sci-fi drama called LOST. Although I have never seen this drama, Dennis’s comparison of the traumatized victims in the drama who somehow find themselves in an island paradise that has been transformed by technology and their dazed befuddlement and denial of reality, or perhaps inability to even grasp what had happened to them, and the situation in Japan in the nuclear disaster aftermath, make a lot of sense. We are reminded that in times when we feel utter disbelief, it is often the arts that offer the best explanation as to how and why we find ourselves in this predicament. This section also includes other film and book reviews and discussions.
The other two sections also contain book reviews as well as reports of conferences that Dennis attended, including the 2015 Pugwash Conference in Nagasaki (which he is quite critical of) as well as a report of a presentation on India’s nuclear program by Kumar Sundaram given in 2014 when he was in Tokyo. Articles on the devastating affects of the nuclear industry on citizens of various countries around the world, including the US, the Pacific Islands and Dennis’s native Canada are described with a focus on the voices of the victims. More abstract ideas such as the ‘institutional self-deception’ of the nuclear industry as well as an article titled ‘Commucapitalism’ about how ‘plutonium cities’ in both of the superpowers adopted the same political and social values despite their opposing national ideologies.
Many of the articles are 10-20 pages long and this allows Dennis to present many details, but also articulate overarching ideas and arguments. Each article is followed by copious endnotes and in many cases further reading lists providing a wealth of information on a wide variety of topics. Although this may sound a little academic, the articles are very easy to read and draw you in with their forthrightness and slight sarcastic edge.
The time period covered is from immediately after 3.11 through to more recent articles on the Trump administration. I would have liked to have known the actual date that the original blog was published as I think this might give some indication of the phases that Dennis, and perhaps many of us, went through and the way our thoughts developed post 3.11.
The book is published by Seijo University’s Center for Glocal Studies and is available in pdf form, free of charge at

November 20, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Hope is rational – Germany’s radical shift to renewables and efficiency — RenewEconomy

German Energiewende demonstrates renewables transition can be economic and social success if it includes efficiency and a pro-active ‘just transition’ – policies that foster new businesses and jobs. The post Hope is rational – Germany’s radical shift to renewables and efficiency appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Hope is rational – Germany’s radical shift to renewables and efficiency — RenewEconomy

November 20, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

City people would care, if the media told them the full facts on nuclear waste dumping

Roni Skipworth Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 19 Nov 18
Being in Adelaide for the last 12 days waiting for an operation.  I have mentioned about the sites being proposed for this stupid idea of a Waste Dump. To my surprise not many cityites know about it and about  the fight we have on our hands for those in Flinders Ranges or in farmland of Kimba.
Another thing most don’t know where Kimba is or don’t care. Many have heard of Flinders Ranges but didnt know where this site is. Too many noncaring people in the city who don’t have a clue what us Country bumpkins are fighting for. I even mentioned drilling in the Bight but like the Waste Dumps they don’t care or want to know. Gee they know how to waste water and we get told to save it, as SAWater has plans to build another desal off Sleaford Bay via Pt Lincoln costing $millions of wasted SA Taxes. It seems to me we are 2 separate destinations instead of being in the same State
Mari Walker Sadly many city folk have no idea – but I’m a city person and have travelled the State and know that a waste dump is a very bad idea – so not all city slickers are dumb bunnies who haven’t a clue! 
Roni Skipworth I was speaking about those I had spoken to .  I do know there are concerned people throughout the city and suburbs just not enough. I feel there are many immigrants coming in with no care factor

 City people care once they are informed of what is going on up here. There has been hardly any media coverage about a pending waste dump in the Flinders Ranges. Please keep talking and informing people about it.

November 19, 2018 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

In Australia, when they can’t control fires releasing nuclear radioactive ash, they control the media

Paul Waldon Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 19 Nov 18

News of fires in the radioactive contaminated red forest of Chernobyl get a mention. News of fires on the radioactive ground of California get a mention. Yet this year the media has suppressed the news of two separate fires on land contaminated with radioactive materials released from Lucas Heights. Is this the typical case of when they can’t control nuclear they try to control the media.?

November 19, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | 1 Comment