Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Keep Australia’s ban on nuclear power – Noel Wauchope at Federal Inquiry Hearing

I’m here today to state that I totally oppose changing Australia’s present laws banning nuclear activities. At the present time, Australia’s in a bit of a mess energy-wise. There’s a big transition happening with energy, and—not much helped or understood by government, it seems—renewable energy is taking off pretty fast in Australia. But Australia is a kind of test canary for climate change. I think you all would know of the extremes of climate which we’re getting more of now, already, and which will come on in the future with climate change. It’s very important for Australia to decide what to do about it, and at present we have no energy policy for going forward, and the world is watching us—watching our energy policy and watching our Prime Minister cuddling a lump of coal, which doesn’t go down very well with the world. We are not showing ourselves to be a good global citizen. Worse, we’re not helping our own selves.

So what we need is a way forward. We need to head towards a zero-carbon economy. We have all the ability to go in that direction. We’ve got an intelligent, educated population. We can largely work very hard on energy efficiency. That is something which is kind of the forgotten, the ugly stepsister of energy, but the biggest thing we could do is plan and organise energy efficiency in our buildings, in our transport and in many other ways. As well as that, we need to pursue renewable energy and properly phase out coal.

When it comes to nuclear power, a debate on nuclear power for Australia is simply a waste of energy, time and money. We all know that it’ll take many decades to have nuclear power established in this country. The idea of small modular reactors, which has been put forward at times, is absolutely ridiculous. It would not happen for at least two decades. Imagine little reactors dotted about the country. It’s absurd. I believe that, while that discussion is on, we’re not heading in the direction that is practical and could be done. If we change the policy and cease to ban nuclear activities, that opens the door for the big nuclear companies, and the little ones—I suppose you could call NuScale little, although it’s probably very well funded for its propaganda if not for its actual setting up. With that distraction of removing the ban, we open the door for propaganda to be spread by these companies and their friends in Australia. Of course, some people in the defence industry are very interested because they’d be looking to small modular reactors for nuclear submarines. So I see this as a great distraction from what we should be talking about and what we should be doing.

Our laws were not just set up as a random whim; they were set up because of a realisation, well before the Fukushima thing happened, of the environmental and health hazards of nuclear power and of the issue of nuclear waste. Nobody has solved the problem, as Rosamund has said, of where to finally dispose of it. That hasn’t been worked out, and it seems quite ridiculous to keep on producing something for which we have no proper garbage can.

As well as that, there’s the question of weapons proliferation. Continue reading

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October 15, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Dick Smith, Julian Assange, and USA’s “outrageous” claim to “universal jurisdiction over every person on earth”. 

October 15, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, politics, politics international | Leave a comment

Wildly exaggerated economic claims by Australia’s National Radioactive Waste Management Taskforce

Kazzi Jai  .Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste In The Flinders Ranges, 15 Oct 19,

“Down in the Dumps” Report – August 2018

Conservation SA commissioned economic think tank The Australia Institute (TAI) to examine more closely the Federal Government’s claims of an economic windfall for the communities under consideration for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) – the Flinders Ranges and Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula.
TAI examined the claimed economic benefits to regional communities associated with the establishment of the facility and found the government has exaggerated the benefits, and not properly factored in insurance costs and other risks.
The “Down in the Dumps” report compared the current Australian NRWMF plans with similar facilities overseas, and found a raft of exaggerated jobs and economic return claims. For example, a proposed facility in Canada which is more than one hundred times larger with more functions and features, will cost only half as much to construct and operate.
As the report’s author, Dr Cameron Murray, states: ‘Either the waste facility is orders of magnitude larger than need for Australia’s nuclear waste, or the government has exaggerated the economic returns to the local community of the NRWMF facility’
It also questioned the true value of the promised $31 million in local grants and infrastructure promises, as some of this appears to be double-counting, re-labelling of other programs or matched by cuts to other funding streams.
Adjusting the economic impact assessment to account for the exaggerated claims reduces the number of net full-time jobs down to just 6.

The Full Report is available in the Link below:
https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/conservationsa/pages/9910/attachments/original/1534679998/Down_In_the_Dumps.pdf

October 15, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Northern Territory Aboriginals call out for climate action as mangroves dieback with heat

NT traditional owners urge climate change policy makers to witness mangrove devastation  ABC News, By Jane Bardon 14 Oct 19,  Traditional owners are devastated by the lack of recovery at the site of Australia’s worst recorded mangrove dieback and are calling for action to limit climate change threats.

Key points:

  • Scientists have said the severity of the mangrove dieback is on a par with Great Barrier Reef bleaching
  • The Top End is experiencing sea level rise at two to three times global averages
  • The CSIRO is warning the world is not on track to halt sea level rise

Traditional owner Patsy Evans had hoped there would be signs of recovery at the site of the mangrove dieback, in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

But during a recent visit to the area for the first time since 2015, when she and her husband alerted the Northern Territory Government to the extent of the damage, she was devastated by the scene.

She said she wanted policy makers to see how climate change was affecting the land near her home on the Limmen River, 750 kilometres south of Darwin.

“Go out and see what’s happening, be aware and look at it, and don’t make decisions where you are,” she said.

The mangroves were once nurseries for the mud crab, barramundi and prawn fisheries, but now consist mainly of dead trees and dusty earth.

The few live seedlings coming through are exposed, and vulnerable to damage from the fallen dead trees……

On par with Great Barrier Reef bleaching

“We can’t see any other driver of the dieback other than the extreme climatic envelope has shifted,” Charles Darwin University professor Lindsay Hutley said.

Dr Hutley said the extent and duration of the dieback was on a par with the severity of Great Barrier Reef bleaching………

Polar icecap melting underestimated

The CSIRO has mapped the average sea level rise of the Top End at between six and 13 millimetres a year — two to three times the rate off southern Australia and the global average……… https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-14/climate-change-mangrove-traditional-owners-call-for-action/11598238

October 15, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Weather experts predict more heat and fire risk coming, though fewer cyclones

October 15, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Climate change – heat -drought – more mass fish deaths to come

The communities preparing for more devastating mass fish deaths in rural NSW, In the first in a series of reports from communities along the Darling River, SBS News meets those who have been impacted by water mismanagement and drought., BY ANEETA BHOLE 14 Oct 19,    Rural New South Wales communities are bracing for another ecological disaster, despite efforts to save local fish populations.

More than a million fish died in December 2018 and January this year along the Darling River at Menindee, which was once home to 60 different fish species.

Local fisherman Graeme McCrabb still recalls the stench that saturated the town following what has been called Australia’s largest fish kill on record……….

Disconnected river system

A lack of fresh flows down the river, combined with the drought, are exacerbating the disaster.

“There’s six kilometres of dry riverbed and think when you’re looking at that everyday it’s really confronting,” he said.

“It’s a stark reminder of just how dire the situation is.”…………

Loss of culture

Barkindji man Michael ‘Smacka’ Whyman, lives upstream in Wilcannia.

He said the state of the water system is devastating to his community, the Barkindji people, or ‘Darling River folk’.

“I’d like to see the government stop draining or rivers our national waterways we’re living in the longest river in Australia and they’ve killed,” he said.

“The environmental damage alone is bloody massive.”

In September, an independent review by the state’s Natural Resources Commission found that the Barwon-Darling river system is an ‘ecosystem in crisis’.

The review found: “The weight of scientific evidence is clear: while reduced inflows due to drought, upstream extraction, and climate change are all impacting the flows in the Barwon- Darling, the Plan provisions that allow increased access to low flows have resulted in poor ecological and social outcomes downstream of Bourke.”……….

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-communities-preparing-for-more-devastating-mass-fish-deaths-in-rural-nsw

October 15, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Clean Energy Council slams Federal Nuclear Inquiry as “distraction” from real energy challenges

CEC slams nuclear inquiry as “distraction” from real energy challenges,  https://reneweconomy.com.au/cec-slams-nuclear-inquiry-as-distraction-from-real-energy-challenges-40379/
Sophie Vorrath.
14 October 2019 The Clean Energy Council has delivered a scathing submission to the federal government’s nuclear power inquiry, describing the review itself as a waste of time, and the consideration of nuclear energy as a viable generation source in Australia as “beyond comprehension.”The CEC’s belated submission on the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia said the clean energy industry was disappointed the federal parliament had prioritised the inquiry over “much more pressing and worthwhile topics” such as the need for integrated energy and climate policy.

The Clean Energy Council has delivered a scathing submission to the federal government’s nuclear power inquiry, describing the review itself as a waste of time, and the consideration of nuclear energy as a viable generation source in Australia as “beyond comprehension.”

The CEC’s belated submission on the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia said the clean energy industry was disappointed the federal parliament had prioritised the inquiry over “much more pressing and worthwhile topics” such as the need for integrated energy and climate policy.

“Inquiries such as this are not only misdirected, but also act as a distraction to addressing the real challenges confronting investors, customers and institutions attempting to facilitate and respond to this transition,” CEC chief Kane Thornton said.

And it said little had changed since past analysis of the topic had concluded that nuclear power was too costly, took too long to develop, and would require “a minor miracle” to win community support.

These factors, considered in the light of the “extraordinary progress” of renewable energy and energy storage, and its potential to deliver reliable, affordable and clean power for Australia, just made the inquiry seem even more ridiculous.

“It is beyond our comprehension as to why Australia would contemplate replacing one dirty energy energy production technology with another that produces large amounts of highly hazardous waste, when it could fulfil its objectives of zero emissions with technologies that are lower-cost, faster to develop and readily available now,” the CEC said.

The submission points to the findings of the CSIRO’s GenCost study of 2018, which puts the cost of small modular reactors in excess of $250/MW/hr, compared to the prices of wind and solar energy at $50/MWh. Firmed wind and solar costs, meanwhile, are now below $70/MWh.

And it points out that the only remaining roadblock to the wholesale shift to renewables in Australia is a political one.

“A lack of federal energy policy and combination of a range of regulatory challenges mean that investment confidence in large-scale renewable energy and the accompanying energy storage is fragile,” the submission says.

“As Australia’s coal fired generation continues to close, there is a clear need for policy and regulatory reform to support the continued deployment of renewable energy and energy storage that will secure system reliability and lower energy prices.”

Sophie Vorrath, Sophie is editor of One Step Off The Grid and deputy editor of its sister site, Renew Economy. Sophie has been writing about clean energy for more than a decade.

October 14, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Barnaby Joyce and former foreign minister Bob Carr urge stopping extradition of Julian Assange to USA

Barnaby Joyce joins calls to stop extradition of Assange to US, The Age, By Rob Harris, October 13, 2019 Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has joined calls for the Morrison government to try to halt Julian Assange’s potential extradition from Britain to the United States on espionage charges, as the WikiLeaks founder’s supporters intensify their campaign to bring him to Australia.

Mr Joyce joined former foreign minister Bob Carr in voicing concerns over US attempts to have the 48-year-old Australian stand trial in America, where he faces a sentence of 175 years if found guilty of computer fraud and obtaining and disclosing national defence information.

Also seeking to increase pressure on the federal government is actress Pamela Anderson, who is demanding to meet Prime Minister Scott Morrison to request he intervene in the case. She plans to visit Australia next month.

Assange’s supporters say they are increasingly concerned about his health and his ability to receive a fair trial in the US………

Mr Carr has challenged Foreign Minister Marise Payne to make “firm and friendly” representation to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, believing Australians would be “deeply uneasy” at a fellow citizen being handed over to the “living hell of a lifetime sentence in an American penitentiary”.

Mr Joyce, who in 2007 was the first Coalition MP to call for the then Howard government to act over the detention of Australian David Hicks in Guantanamo Bay, said his position was principled and he gave “no opinion of Mr Assange whatsoever”.

“If someone was in another country at a time an alleged event occurred then the sovereignty of the land they were in has primacy over the accusation of another nation,” Mr Joyce said.

“It would be totally unreasonable, for instance, if China was to say the actions of an Australian citizen whilst in Australia made them liable to extradition to China to answer their charges of their laws in China. Many in Hong Kong have the same view.”

Assange is serving a 50-week sentence in Belmarsh Prison in south-east London for bail violations after spending seven years inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden to answer allegations of rape and molestation in 2012.

In June, the then British home secretary, Sajid Javid, signed an extradition request after the US Justice Department filed an additional 18 Espionage Act charges over Assange’s role in obtaining and publishing 400,000 classified US military documents on the war in Iraq in 2010.

Mr Carr, the former NSW premier who served as foreign minister in the Gillard government, said he understood many people would have reservations about the “modus operandi” of Assange and his alleged contact with Russia.

“On the other hand, we have an absolute right to know about American war crimes in a conflict that the Australian government of the day strongly supported – we wouldn’t know about them except for Assange,” he said.

Mr Carr said the Morrison government should make strong representations to the US on behalf of an Australian citizen who “is in trouble because he delivered on our right to know”.

“I think the issue will gather pace and in the ultimate trial there’ll be a high level of Australian public concern, among conservative voters as much as any others.”……..

Mr Carr said the Morrison government should make strong representations to the US on behalf of an Australian citizen who “is in trouble because he delivered on our right to know”.

“I think the issue will gather pace and in the ultimate trial there’ll be a high level of Australian public concern, among conservative voters as much as any others.”…….https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/barnaby-joyce-joins-calls-to-stop-extradition-of-assange-to-us-20191013-p53080.html

October 14, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, politics | Leave a comment

Kalgoorlie Mayoral Candidate John Katahana wants a Small Nuclear Reactor for the town

Cannabis, nuclear power and Mardi Gras: General Hercules’ out-of-this-world pitch for Kalgoorlie mayoral tilt, The West Australian, 

Tegan Guthrie, Kalgoorlie Miner Saturday, 12 October 2019 A mini nuclear power station, cannabis cafe, a Mardi Gras parade, an observatory and a new nightlife precinct are among 303 steps in a Kalgoorlie-Boulder improvement plan floated by mayoral candidate John “General Hercules” Katahanas.
Mr Katahanas is gunning for the mayoral seat again, after receiving 277 votes in the 2015 election, and says he is “quietly confident” voters will get behind his campaign, promising he would be “more like a mother than a mayor” to the city…….. https://thewest.com.au/news/kalgoorlie-miner/cannabis-nuclear-power-and-mardi-gras-general-hercules-out-of-this-world-pitch-for-kalgoorlie-mayoral-tilt-ng-b881350580z

October 14, 2019 Posted by | technology, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Pamela Anderson to confront Scott Morrison and plead for Australia to help Julian Assange

Pamela Anderson coming to Australia to petition the Prime Minister to Help Free Julian Assange, Phillip Adams, [No. I don’t think that he is that Phillip Adams] Brisbane, Australia OCT 11, 2019 — By Monique StClair 

Pamela Anderson is on her way to Australia, and she’s challenging our Prime Minister on entry.

The former Baywatch superstar is headed to the Gold Coast next month to shoot a series of ‘Unexpected Situation’ commercials for Ultra Tune.

The ads are expected to air over summer, in conjunction with the 2020 Australian Tennis Open and Big Bash Cricket.

She’s no stranger to the land down under, after her affiliation with jailed Wikileaks founder and Australian, Julian Assange, gained world-wide attention.

Late last year, Anderson made a public plea on 60 minutes for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to do more to help.   “Defend your friend, get Julian his passport back and take him back to Australia and be proud of him, and throw him a parade when he gets home,” Ms Anderson said.

Scott Morrison then told 1029 Hot Tomato’s Flan, Emily Jade and Christo that he’s had “plenty of mates who’ve asked me if they can be my special envoy to sort the issue out with Pamela Anderson.”

Ms Anderson called out the comments as ‘disappointing’, ‘smutty’, and ‘unnecessary’, and is now – a year later – wanting to address them face to face.

She’s announced she’ll again be petitioning him to intervene on Julian Assange’s behalf.

“What is also important to me about this visit is the opportunity to speak to the Australian people and petition Prime Minister Morrison to intervene on behalf of Australian citizen, Julian Assange, who is being made a scapegoat of and suffered inhumanely for disseminating factual information we all should know about.

“Mr Morrison made a series of personally, disparaging remarks about me and I’d like to challenge him to debate this matter in front of the Australian people,” Ms Anderson said in a recent statement.”

Sources of content : http://www.mygc.com.au/pamela-anderson-challenges-scott-morrison-ahead-of-australia-visit

October 14, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Government study found Kimba and Flinders Range areas to be unsuitable for nuclear waste dump

Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges https://www.facebook.com/groups/941313402573199/ 11 Oct 19

A 2005 feasibility study by URS Australia for the SA government found both Flinders Ranges and Kimba unsuitable for Radioactive Nuclear Waste Dump. Anyone told Canavan and Marshall?

 

October 12, 2019 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Kimba ballot on nuclear waste dump- a good idea, but very badly done

Flinders Local Action Group, Dave Sweeney,Australian Conservation Foundation12 Oct 19

WASTE   The federal government ballot to measure community sentiment over plans for a radioactive waste facility near Kimba is a good idea that has been very badly done.

Clearly, affected local communities should have a say in decisions with direct impacts, and hosting radioactive waste that lasts 10,000 years would certainly impact.

But to make an informed decision a community needs access to detailed and accurate information. This is missing at Kimba. There is little or no detail on waste acceptance criteria, transport and handling procedures, or future plans for the most contaminating waste.

The community is effectively being asked to give a blanket approval to a concept, not measured consideration of a specific proposal.

The federal government wants to set up a purpose built facility: national in
scope, long term in duration and intended to host Australia’s most problematic
radioactive waste.

This problem was not created by the people of Kimba, nor is it their sole responsibility to solve.

The federal approach has been to shrink the space for a discussion around this waste and to seek to turn a needed national debate into a local infrastructure opportunity and bidding war.

This approach has been divisive, failed to consider other options and has not

provided people in the wider Eyre Peninsula or South Australia with a voice.

Securely managing radioactive waste is a complex and costly challenge and giving Canberra a blank cheque for a bad plan is not a good idea.

 

October 12, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

The role of climate change in Australia’s early bushfire season

Climate change partly to blame for early bushfire season, New analysis confirms the relationship between climate drivers such as El Niño, climate change and the Australian bushfire season,  Guardian,  Chris Lucas and Sarah Harris for The Conversation, 11 Oct 19

Summer might be more than six weeks away but out-of-control bushfires have already torn across parts of eastern Australia in recent days, killing two people, destroying homes and threatening more lives.

By Wednesday afternoon up to 30 homes were feared lost or badly damaged by bushfires burning in northern New South Wales. About 40 fires burned across the state.

This did not surprise meteorologists and fire agencies. Record-breaking heat and windy conditions were forecast for parts of NSW and Queensland this week, prompting severe fire danger ratings.

We’re often told the Australian bushfire season is starting earlier. This year it began in September on the eastern seaboard. Last year and in 2013 significant spring fires hit NSW and in 2015 they affected much of the nation’s southeast.

But what lies behind this phenomenon? We examined seasonal fire weather history for 44 years at 39 weather stations to find the answer.

This analysis is the most comprehensive ever conducted in Australia. It confirms the strength of the relationship between climate drivers such as El Niño, climate change and the Australian bushfire season. It also demonstrates that a few milder bushfire seasons do not mean climate change isn’t happening.

Hot, dry, windy conditions spell fire trouble

The prerequisites for a severe bushfire season are high temperatures, low humidity, and strong winds that coincide with long periods of low rainfall.

These weather ingredients are used to calculate an area’s fire danger rating, using the forest fire danger index. The index produces a score reflecting the severity of fire weather on a given day, where zero represents minimal anger, 50 represents conditions where a fire ban may be issued, and 100 is potentially catastrophic………

Climate change is a culprit too

Long-term climate change in Australia is an undeniable reality. The State of the Climate 2018 report for Australia notes strong land surface temperature increases and a 10%-20% decline in cool season rainfall across southern Australia since the 1970s. These changes are closely associated with increasing human greenhouse gas emissions, as well as natural variability.

The changed conditions have led to an average increase in severe seasonal bushfire weather across Australia, especially in southern parts of the continent. The increased severity affects all seasons but in particular spring, which means that, on average, the bushfire season is starting earlier.

Pulling it all together

Our research has made clear that climate modes bring large and rapid swings to the fire weather, while human-induced climate change gradually increases background fire weather conditions. The trend generally means an earlier start to the bushfire seasons than in the past.

Climate change is definitely playing a role in producing the earlier start to bushfire seasons and overall more extreme seasons, particularly in southeastern Australia. However, the natural variations in climate modes continue to play a key role, meaning we should not expect every bushfire season to be worse than the last as a result of climate change.

Similarly, a few milder bushfire seasons among a string of record high seasons do not mean that climate change should be dismissed.

October 12, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Don’t nuke the climate Australia

DON’T NUKE THE CLIMATE

One of the biggest threats facing our planet is climate change, it warrants urgent action, nuclear power is not the solution. Rather than fuel carbon emissions and radioactive risk through domestic coal power plants and the export of coal and uranium, Australia should embrace the fastest growing global energy sector ‒ renewables ‒ and become a driver of clean energy thinking and technology. Renewable energy is affordable, low risk, clean, and popular. Nuclear is simply not. Our shared energy future is renewable, not radioactive.

We are a group of civil society environment groups who have come together to respond to the latest push for nuclear power in Australia. We are not aligned to any political groups or ideology but unite over our position against nuclear power which is proving to be an expensive distraction to the very real need to respond to the climate emergency we face.

In January 2019, the Climate Council, comprising Australia’s leading climate scientists and other policy experts, issued a policy statement concluding that nuclear power plants “are not appropriate for Australia – and probably never will be”. The statement continued: “Nuclear power stations are highly controversial, can’t be built under existing law in any Australian state or territory, are a more expensive source of power than renewable energy, and present significant challenges in terms of the storage and transport of nuclear waste, and use of water”……….https://dontnuketheclimate.wordpress.com/

October 10, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Navy chief looks to nuclear submarines for Australia

Submarines may be switched to nuclear, says navy vice admiral, Australia’s navy chief says it’s possible the country’s future submarine fleet could eventually switch to nuclear power.
Vice Admiral Mike Noonan has opened an international maritime conference in Sydney, where he says defence is keeping a close eye on emerging technologies.
  By Andrew Greene on AM  9 Oct 19, Australia’s navy chief says it’s possible the country’s future submarine fleet could eventually switch to nuclear power.
Vice Admiral Mike Noonan has opened an international maritime conference in Sydney, where he says defence is keeping a close eye on emerging technologies.

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/am/submarines-may-be-switched-to-nuclear,-says-navy-vice-admiral/11584988

October 10, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment