Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

25 September – anniversary of nuclear bombing at Maralinga – causing Aboriginal deaths, and later deaths of soldiers exposed to radiation.

David Jarvis

On 25 September 1957, a 6 kiloton nuclear device was exploded at Maralinga range South Australia. None of the aboriginals whose bodies were discovered by the armed service personnel were living.

The Aussie and British Defence personnel all died in their fifties from cancers. Australia spent over 100 $million cleaning up the English’s nuclear explosions and the smaller and more dangerous tests that occurred in the hundreds!

After a long and difficult legal battle, the indigenous families received less than $14 million aud in compensation for their losses of habital land and family deaths and ongoing radioactive damage done to their genome.

In three days time will the Australian government hold a day of mourning for those lost lives?

September 24, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australian Capital Territory consumers reap rewards of 100 pct renewables as wind and solar farms hand back windfall profits.

The ACT is the only region of Australia’s main grid spared from sharp
increases in electricity bills, and its consumers can thank the shift to
100 per cent renewables and the structure of their deals with wind and
solar farms.

The ACT government has written contracts with 11 wind and
solar farms to provide the equivalent amount of electricity consumed by
homes and businesses in the ACT each year. The nature of these deals –
called contracts for difference (CfDs) – means that if the wholesale market
trades below the agreed strike price, the government (and consumers), top
up the difference to the wind and solar farms.

But if the wholesale prices are above the strike price – as they have been by a big distance over the
last six months – then the wind and solar farms must return these windfall
gains to ACT consumers. And in the last quarter, as wholesale prices soared
to record highs – and an average of more than $300/MWh in NSW – the wind
and solar farms paid back a total of $58 million to electricity consumers
in the ACT, shielding them from any significant bill hikes.

Renew Economy 22nd Sept 2022

September 24, 2022 Posted by | ACT, energy | Leave a comment

Kimba community groups need to pose these hard questions to Ministers Madeleine King and Ed Husic, and to ANSTO ARWA and ARPANSA

In order to establish fully and properly the breaches by the federal government as to its Kimba nuclear installation, community group opposing the installation proposals need to immediately send out this formal request to the various persons and organisations listed below

KIMBA COMMUNITY
Formal requests for Kimba proposals:

  1. What are the earthworks being carried out or planned in connection with
    the government’s proposed nuclear waste facility
  2. Are these earthworks confined to the Napandee farm site
  3. If not what other land in the Kimba region is affected by the earthworks
  4. How much actual physical work has been carried
  5. By whom and how was this work authorised
  6. Was any licence issued by ARPANSA for his work
  7. If not and why not as is required by the guidance codes and standards of
    IAEA
  8. Was a progressive safety case started for these earthworks
  9. If not how was the work justified without community consultation and
    involvement
  10. How have the environmental aspects of these earthworks been dealt with
  11. Have there been any environmental studies done
  12. Has the community generally been consulted on the environmental studies
    or referrals
  13. Will the community be involved by consultation as to all aspects of the
    earthworks as to the environmental implications

PLEASE immediately provide:
• the plans and other details for for the earthworks
• the environmental studies and assessments for this work
• any licences or applications for licences
• a full copy of the environmental referral

This list of requests should given to:
Hon. Madeleine King Hon. Ed Husic as the responsible ministers
The chief executive officers of ARWA ANSTO and ARPANSA
Meghan Quinn PSM as the Secretary of the Department of Industry, Science,
Energy and Resources
Andrew Metcalfe AO as the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Water
and the Environment

September 22, 2022 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Greens Senator Barbara Pocock calls on the Federal Government to suspend work on South Australian nuclear waste site

Call to suspend work on SA nuclear waste site InDaily , Stephanie Richards, 20 Sept22, The Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation in December applied for judicial review in an attempt to thwart construction of the controversial radioactive waste storage facility at Napandee near Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula, arguing they weren’t properly consulted before the site was selected.

Despite the active legal challenge, the Federal Court was told in June that the government had already approved plans to begin earthworks.

That prompted South Australian Greens Senator Barbara Pocock to last week write to federal Resources Minister Madeleine King asking her to commit to suspending all preparatory work and construction at the site pending the outcome of the court proceedings.

“The Barngarla people are unanimously opposed to the waste dump,” she wrote in the letter, seen by InDaily.

“The site is an important part of their culture and heritage, yet they were not consulted on the proposal.

“In light of the Barngarla opposition and lack of consultation, I write to ask that you commit to suspending all preparatory work and construction in relation to building the waste dump at Napandee, pending the outcome of the current judicial review and court proceedings underway.”

……………………….new information released by the federal government reveals it is spending three times more than Barngarla Traditional Owners fighting the project in the Federal Court.

In response to a question on notice lodged by Pocock, the government stated that between December and July, it had spent $343,457.44 on legal fees.

That compares to the approximate $124,000 spent by the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation over the same period.

The Native Title group estimates that the total cost incurred by the federal government would run into the millions.

Pocock said the disparity between the spending was “disproportionate and just unfair”.

“This is a David and Goliath case,” she said.“The spend so far shows that the government is doing all in their power to minimise the voices and traditional rights of the Barngarla people.”…………….

The Napandee site was selected by the former Morrison Government in November last year, with then Resources Minister Keith Pitt saying the government had secured “majority support” from the local community after more than “six years of consultation”.

But Barngarla Traditional Owners opposed the project and argued they were not included in the consultation.

South Australian Labor has long called for Barngarla people to have the right to veto the project, with Premier Peter Malinauskas telling ABC Radio Adelaide this morning that the state government had expressed its views to the federal government…………..

 https://indaily.com.au/news/2022/09/20/call-to-suspend-work-on-sa-nuclear-waste-site/?fbclid=IwAR112RR7jtDs6_ZDGb98Do0kqLRnWhuhoZAb-esAG6tp9WaB5F1YHIIPWM4

September 22, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Crikey and Media Watch v Friendlyjordies and IA

Independent Australia, By David Donovan | 19 September 2022,

Despite its claims of being small and independent, Crikey uses its cronies in the mainstream media, including ABC Media Watch, to promote itself and its funding campaigns and attack its competitors. Another eye-opening exposé by Dave Donovan and Michelle Pini

AUSTRALIAN news website Crikey, which you have probably never heard of before, recently launched a successful crowdfunding campaign to fund its defence of a defamation lawsuit.

However, Crikey is owned by billionaire and millionaire media tycoons, influential media insiders and affluent identities. It is small, perhaps, but only in the sense that it is not very well known, respected or read.

You might think a publication with that sort of backing and those sorts of connections wouldn’t need to reach out to ordinary Australians for cash. We discuss this issue in previous articles HERE and HERE, where you can also get a more detailed understanding of the big money and the insiders behind Crikey.

This article is about how one of Crikey’s major media insider shareholders, who hosts a program on Australia’s public broadcaster called Media Watch, used his position to promote Crikey’s deceptive crowdfunding campaign. Promoting Crikey, despite previously utterly discrediting other truly independent journalists engaged in crowdfunding campaigns. It will also discuss other links between Media Watch and Crikey.

Crikey, Paul Barry!

In a recent Media Watch segment (30 August), host Paul Barry discussed Crikey‘s latest media campaign, using imagery lifted seemingly straight out of Crikey’s crowdfunding schtick:……………………………..

Nowhere did Barry mention that Crikey is backed by media tycoon billionaire JB Fairfax — a fierce dynastic competitor to the Murdochs. Nor did Barry choose to note that Irish-Australian media tycoon Cameron O’Reilly, who made much of his fortune selling his newspaper business to the Murdochs, also holds a large stake in Crikey

Some way into his segment, tacked onto yet another statement about how tiny Crikey is, Barry did, briefly, just in passing, gloss over his glaring conflict of interest:

“Crikey is a Melbourne-based news site with 11 journalists and around 25,000 subscribers — and I should declare I once worked for it and have a very small shareholding.”

……………….. As for Paul Barry’s “very small shareholding” in Crikey — well, small does seem to be a term thrown around a lot by Crikey and its cronies. According to Fairfax Media, in June 2012, Paul Barry was given around $152,000 worth of shares in Crikey’s parent company, Private Media. Accounting for inflation, this would be the best part of $200,000 in today’s money.

Compared to Lachlan Murdoch and JB Fairfax, that may appear small, but to ordinary Australians? To the average everyday person and to this, in fact, impecunious, independent small news website, it is a huge amount. It is also significant enough for Barry to be listed in the ASIC’s Current & Historical Company Extract as a key shareholder in Private Media https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/crikey-and-media-watch-v-friendlyjordies-and-ia,16778

September 22, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

China, and others, see the International Atomic Energy Agency as biased in supporting AUKUS nuclear submarines plan

Ed note. My problem with the IAEA is that it is NOT an impartial body, on matters nuclear

China accuses IAEA of issuing a ‘lopsided’ report on AUKUS nuclear submarines plan, more https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-09-14/china-iaea-lopsided-aukus-nuclear-submarines-report/101441254 By foreign affairs reporter Stephen Dziedzic 15 Sept 22

China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has launched a furious attack on the UN nuclear watchdog over AUKUS, accusing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of issuing a “lopsided” report about Australia’s plan to build nuclear submarines while ignoring widespread concerns about its ramifications for non-proliferation.

Key points:

  • The IAEA issued a report to member states which said it was “satisfied with the level of engagement” from Australia, the UK and US
  • A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman slammed the report, saying China was “gravely concerned about the substance” of it
  • China has lobbied against AUKUS accusing the three countries of undermining the non-proliferation treaty

Last week the IAEA sent member states a confidential report on Australia’s move to develop the submarines drawing on nuclear submarine technology provided by the United States and the United Kingdom.

China has lobbied relentlessly against the deal in international forums, accusing the three countries of undermining the non-proliferation treaty and fuelling a regional arms race.

However Reuters reported last Friday that the IAEA issued a confidential report to member states which said it was “satisfied with the level of engagement” with the agency from all three nations so far.

Earlier this week the IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi struck a similar tone while addressing the agency’s Board of Governors, saying the Secretariat had held four “technical meetings” with the three AUKUS members so far and suggesting it was comfortable with the way they were handling the matter.

But on Tuesday Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning slammed the report, saying China was “gravely concerned about the substance.”

“This report lopsidedly cited the account given by the US, the UK and Australia to explain away what they have done, but made no mention of the international community’s major concerns over the risk of nuclear proliferation that may arise from the AUKUS nuclear submarine cooperation,” she said.

“The report turns a blind eye to many countries’ solemn position that the AUKUS cooperation violates the purpose and object of the NPT.”

IAEA report finds AUKUS non-proliferation risks ‘limited’

While China has repeatedly attacked Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom over the agreement, this is the first time it has publicly excoriated the IAEA over the matter.

US and Australian officials have privately accused Beijing of gross hypocrisy over its public attacks on AUKUS, pointing out that China has been rapidly developing its own fleet of nuclear powered submarines — including submarines capable of launching nuclear weapons.

But nuclear non-proliferation advocates have also raised serious concerns about AUKUS, suggesting that it will establish a dangerous precedent by allowing a non-nuclear state to acquire nuclear propulsion technology for the first time.

Indonesian diplomats have also repeatedly made it clear they’re uneasy about the plan, and the country’s foreign ministry recently claimed recently that it won widespread support at the United Nations nuclear non-proliferation review conference for its plan to monitor nuclear material in submarines more closely.

Reuters reported last week that the IAEA report acknowledged Australia’s argument that the non-proliferation risks posed by AUKUS were limited because it would only be provided with “complete, welded” nuclear power units which would make removing nuclear material “extremely difficult.”

It reportedly also said the material within the units could not be used in nuclear weapons without chemical processing which requires facilities which Australia does not have and will not seek..

September 18, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Barngarla people say NO to a nuclear waste dump

NITV – The Point, September 18, 2022)

September 17, 2022 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Australia needs a non-nuclear submarine – the TKMS TYPE 218SG would be fine – just do it, Richard Marles!

This article is definitely worth the read! Highly possible we may not be getting nuclear subs in Australia – and the reasons why!

National Times The Answer is staring Richard Marles in the Face. ( Article by Politics Australia) 17 Sept 22.

It was fomer Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s rank incompetence, stupidity and arrogance that has landed Australia in its Submarine replacement program dilemma

But all this goes back the Liberal Party and its bizarre idea to buy French Nuclear Submarines and have them convert back to a conventional propulsion system. This meant a complete redesign of the existing hull to accommodate diesel engines, fuel tanks and bank of batteries.

Just what were our Defence Planners thinking, obviously the French must have been laughing all the way to the bank.

All this was done in the face of existing and proven conventionally designed submarines. Submarines that were available at the time.

It was only because Scott Morrison wanted to appear the big man by cancelling the French submarine contract and tugging his forelock to the British and the Americans who held out the distant promise of Australia buying British or American Nuclear Submarines. In reality it was about basing existing American submarines here for them to operate out of Australia.

As it turns out the current and forecast British and American building programs have no scope to add in an extra eight or so submarines for Australia’s needs and never intended to.

Then there was Peter Dutton’s desperate political pitch that Australia could lease a couple of Nuc Boats from the Americans, another stupid idea.

At present Richard Marles is doing an ‘all the way with LBJ’ routine, sticking to the script with Australia purchasing Nuclear Submarines. Having Nuc Boats isn’t just a matter of tying them up at the Port of Darwin, Freemantle, or Sydney. There needs to be specific infrastructure to accommodate, service and maintain these expensive pieces of kit and that is something Australia does not have.

Sure, the proponents of Nuclear Submarines will argue that Nuc Boats have unlimited range and would be able to conduct long range patrols right up into the South China Sea, in cooperation with the Americans, and remain on station undetected for weeks and weeks on end.

While in theory this is true, Nuc Boats and to a lesser degree conventional submarines are governed by the same logistical problem that faced the Germans in WWII and that is the amount of food they need to carry.

Politics Australia can assure our readers that a Nuc Boat’s endurance is governed by the amount food it can carry which obviously limits its time on station.

So, let’s look at some basic economics.

If it were to occur, Australia might purchase a current Virginia class submarine which costs $US3.6 billion ($5.2 billion) but as reported in the Australian Financial Review by Andrew Tillett who reports that estimates for the new design put the price tag at between $US5.8 billion ($8.4 billion) and $US6.2 billion ($9 billion) per boat.

However, the cost of a German 218 class submarine is $1.36 Billion.

For instance, the German 212A, 214 and 218 class submarines are very capable and are equipped with Air Independent Propulsion.

The Air Independent Propulsion allows submarines to stay underwater longer before surfacing to recharge the battery that powers its systems. The battery is charged by a diesel engine that needs air to operate.

As such, the Type 218SG Submarine can last underwater two times longer than Australia’s current Collins Class submarines. “That makes the submarine even more stealthy and mysterious because it can be all over the place without coming up,”

They have a crew of 30 and can stay submerged for 3-4 weeks.

Australia could buy 10 class 212A or 218 submarines off the shelf for approximately $15B by around 2030,

It’s widely known the Germans are very keen to do a deal with Australia over Submarine purchases.

The conventional Submarines are quieter than nuke boats and could be maintained in Australia.

Nuclear submarines are unmaintainable in Australia and would have to be maintained in the USA. Crews in the vicinity of 100 to 137 add to the costs, and if ever delivered, it won’t be until at least 2045 at a cost of more than $150B.

Food for thought, isn’t it?

Richard Marles has to stop dithering and tugging his forelock to the Americans and think about Australia’s needs first and not those of the Americans and their anti-China stance.

Richard Marles can order German, Japanese, Spanish or Swedish conventional submarines and have them delivered in a timely manner whilst still maintaining Australia’s best interests.

Stop dithering Richard Marles and just ‘do it’

September 15, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Aw gee shucks – Australia can be IMPORTANT if we lead USA’s attacks with our AUKUS submarines !

Marles said nuclear subs would make “the rest of the world take us seriously”,

Final design and cost of Australia’s nuclear submarines to be known in early 2023, Defence minister Richard Marles links the cutting-edge technology to Australia’s economic and trade success

Guardian, Josh Butler, Thu 15 Sep 2022 The defence minister, Richard Marles, says Australia’s pathway to acquiring nuclear submarines is “taking shape”, flagging key decisions within months about which ship to use, how to build it and boosting the country’s defence-industrial capability.

On the first anniversary of the Aukus pact, Marles said nuclear subs would make “the rest of the world take us seriously”, linking the cutting-edge technology to Australia’s economic and trade success.

Final design and cost of Australia’s nuclear submarines to be known in early 2023

Defence minister Richard Marles links the cutting-edge technology to Australia’s economic and trade success…………………………….

On the first anniversary of the Aukus pact, Marles said nuclear subs would make “the rest of the world take us seriously”, linking the cutting-edge technology to Australia’s economic and trade success.

“The optimal pathway is taking shape. We can now begin to see it,” he said. “With Aukus there’s a really huge opportunity beyond submarines of pursuing a greater and more ambitious agenda.”……..

Marles, also the deputy prime minister, said the first steps toward acquisition of nuclear submarines were on track. In a briefing call with journalists this week, he said the current timeline had Australia slated to make initial announcements in the first part of 2023.

The government plans to give answers to five questions by that time: the final design; when it can be acquired; what capability gap that timeline will create and solutions to plug it; the cost; and how Australia’s plans comply with nuclear non-proliferation obligations.

The government is said to be choosing between building American or British ships, or some hybrid. Marles said the government was not ready to announce which type of submarines would be built but hinted Australia’s design could be “trilateral” in nature………..


In a press conference with Marles in the UK earlier this month, the British defence secretary, Ben Wallace, said future submarine designs may see a combination of British, American and Australian components.

“We are on to our next design and our new one and that might well be fully shared with all three nations as a collaborative design,” he said.

The cost of the submarine program is not yet known but is expected to be in the tens of billions. Marles linked the Aukus arrangement not only to military but economic security, saying a boosted submarine fleet would protect freedom of navigation through vital shipping routes.

“We need a highly capable defence force which has the rest of the world take us seriously and enables us to do all the normal peaceful activities that are so important for our economy,” he said………

V Adm Jonathan Mead, the chair of the nuclear submarine taskforce, also spoke of protecting “sea lanes” on the call.

Mead said the navy was investigating workforce challenges, such as how to build and crew the ships – which may involve placing Australian staff in British and American nuclear schools or agencies, laboratories and shipyards

“The exchange of these personnel will be both ways and won’t just involve our submariners,” he said.

Facilities to build and maintain the submarines in Australia are part of the equation. Defence this year pinpointed Brisbane, Newcastle and Port Kembla as possible sites for an east coast nuclear base and consultation with those communities is said to be in its early stages.

Marles also spoke of building Australia’s defence-industrial capability on the back of the nuclear process…………………..“We hope Aukus can help develop a genuinely seamless defence industrial base across the US, the UK and Australia.”…………………….

A report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (Aspi), released on Thursday, recommended further investment in other Aukus streams like hypersonic missiles and artificial intelligence technology, to help plug a capability gap while the submarines are built………..

Such short-term investment may force government to make “difficult choices and trade-offs” in its defence strategic review, also slated for March, Aspi said.  https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/sep/15/final-design-and-cost-of-australias-nuclear-submarines-to-be-known-in-early-2023

September 15, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia needs a non-nuclear submarine – the TKMS TYPE 218SG would be fine – just do it, Richard Marles!

This article is definitely worth the read! Highly possible we may not be getting nuclear subs in Australia – and the reasons why!

National Times The Answer is staring Richard Marles in the Face. ( Article by Politics Australia) 17 Sept 22

It was fomer Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s rank incompetence, stupidity and arrogance that has landed Australia in its Submarine replacement program dilemma.

But all this goes back the Liberal Party and its bizarre idea to buy French Nuclear Submarines and have them convert back to a conventional propulsion system. This meant a complete redesign of the existing hull to accommodate diesel engines, fuel tanks and bank of batteries.

Just what were our Defence Planners thinking, obviously the French must have been laughing all the way to the bank.

All this was done in the face of existing and proven conventionally designed submarines. Submarines that were available at the time.

It was only because Scott Morrison wanted to appear the big man by cancelling the French submarine contract and tugging his forelock to the British and the Americans who held out the distant promise of Australia buying British or American Nuclear Submarines. In reality it was about basing existing American submarines here for them to operate out of Australia.

As it turns out the current and forecast British and American building programs have no scope to add in an extra eight or so submarines for Australia’s needs and never intended to.

Then there was Peter Dutton’s desperate political pitch that Australia could lease a couple of Nuc Boats from the Americans, another stupid idea.

At present Richard Marles is doing an ‘all the way with LBJ’ routine, sticking to the script with Australia purchasing Nuclear Submarines. Having Nuc Boats isn’t just a matter of tying them up at the Port of Darwin, Freemantle, or Sydney. There needs to be specific infrastructure to accommodate, service and maintain these expensive pieces of kit and that is something Australia does not have.

Sure, the proponents of Nuclear Submarines will argue that Nuc Boats have unlimited range and would be able to conduct long range patrols right up into the South China Sea, in cooperation with the Americans, and remain on station undetected for weeks and weeks on end.

While in theory this is true, Nuc Boats and to a lesser degree conventional submarines are governed by the same logistical problem that faced the Germans in WWII and that is the amount of food they need to carry.

Politics Australia can assure our readers that a Nuc Boat’s endurance is governed by the amount food it can carry which obviously limits its time on station.

So, let’s look at some basic economics.

If it were to occur, Australia might purchase a current Virginia class submarine which costs $US3.6 billion ($5.2 billion) but as reported in the Australian Financial Review by Andrew Tillett who reports that estimates for the new design put the price tag at between $US5.8 billion ($8.4 billion) and $US6.2 billion ($9 billion) per boat.

However, the cost of a German 218 class submarine is $1.36 Billion.

For instance, the German 212A, 214 and 218 class submarines are very capable and are equipped with Air Independent Propulsion.

The Air Independent Propulsion allows submarines to stay underwater longer before surfacing to recharge the battery that powers its systems. The battery is charged by a diesel engine that needs air to operate.

As such, the Type 218SG Submarine can last underwater two times longer than Australia’s current Collins Class submarines. “That makes the submarine even more stealthy and mysterious because it can be all over the place without coming up,”

They have a crew of 30 and can stay submerged for 3-4 weeks.

Australia could buy 10 class 212A or 218 submarines off the shelf for approximately $15B by around 2030,

It’s widely known the Germans are very keen to do a deal with Australia over Submarine purchases.

The conventional Submarines are quieter than nuke boats and could be maintained in Australia.

Nuclear submarines are unmaintainable in Australia and would have to be maintained in the USA. Crews in the vicinity of 100 to 137 add to the costs, and if ever delivered, it won’t be until at least 2045 at a cost of more than $150B.

Food for thought, isn’t it?

Richard Marles has to stop dithering and tugging his forelock to the Americans and think about Australia’s needs first and not those of the Americans and their anti-China stance.

Richard Marles can order German, Japanese, Spanish or Swedish conventional submarines and have them delivered in a timely manner whilst still maintaining Australia’s best interests.

Stop dithering Richard Marles and just ‘do it’

September 15, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

China, AUKUS clash over nuclear subs

By Francois Murphy, South Coast Register, September 17 2022  China has clashed with the countries in the AUKUS alliance at a meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog over their plan to supply Australia with nuclear-powered submarines, capping a week in which Beijing has repeatedly railed against the project.

Under the alliance between Washington, London and Canberra announced last year, Australia plans to acquire at least eight nuclear submarines that International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi has said will be fuelled by “very highly enriched uranium”, suggesting it could be weapons-grade or close to it.

To date no party to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) other than the five countries the treaty recognises as weapons states – the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France – has nuclear submarines.

The vessels can stay underwater for longer than conventional subs and are harder to detect.

“The AUKUS partnership involves the illegal transfer of nuclear weapon materials, making it essentially an act of nuclear proliferation,” China said in a position paper sent to IAEA member states during this week’s quarterly meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors……………………

The AUKUS countries and the IAEA say the NPT allows so-called marine nuclear propulsion provided necessary arrangements are made with the IAEA.

China disagrees in this case because nuclear material will be transferred to Australia rather than being produced by it.

It argues the IAEA is overstepping its mandate and wants an unspecified “inter-governmental” process to examine the issue at the IAEA instead of leaving it to the agency.

In its seven-page position paper, China said AUKUS countries were seeking to take the IAEA “hostage” so it could “whitewash” nuclear proliferation.

Nuclear submarines are a particular challenge because when they are at sea their fuel is beyond the reach of the agency’s inspectors who are supposed to keep track of all nuclear material.

IAEA chief Grossi has said he is satisfied with the AUKUS countries’ transparency so far……………………

https://www.southcoastregister.com.au/story/7906718/china-aukus-clash-over-nuclear-subs/?cs=202

September 15, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Pine Gap a target as Ukraine invasion raises nuclear war risk, Australian defence expert warns

A humiliated Russia could be driven closer to China in a ‘grand coalition’, former Joint Intelligence Organisation director says

Guardian, Ben Doherty 7 Sept 22,

Australia could become a nuclear target due to its hosting of a US military base at Pine Gap in the Northern Territory, one of Australia’s leading defence strategists has warned.

Prof Paul Dibb, an emeritus professor at the Australian National University and former director of Australia’s Joint Intelligence Organisation, said the current Russian invasion of Ukraine carried potential global nuclear consequences, with the possibility of a defeated and humiliated Russia pushed closer to China in “a grand coalition … united not by ideology but by complementary grievances”……….

Australia should not feel its geographic distance from the epicentre of the conflict affords it any significant protection, Dibb argued.

“We need to plan on the basis that Pine Gap continues to be a nuclear target, and not only for Russia. If China attacks Taiwan, Pine Gap is likely to be heavily involved,” he said.

“We need to remember that Pine Gap is a fundamentally important element in US war fighting and deterrence of conflict.”

Pine Gap is a highly secret US-Australian military installation near Alice Springs. It serves as a major hub for US global intelligence interception, and for satellite surveillance operations for military and nuclear missile threats in the region.

Russia is unlikely to be able to subjugate Ukraine in its current invasion, Dibb said, but Ukrainian military is unlikely to succeed in driving out Russian troops entirely. “Most likely there’ll be a negotiated conclusion, probably at the ceasefire talk.”

Regardless, Dibb argued, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, was unlikely to be deposed as a result, but he would be a leader grown increasingly isolated, and the threat of nuclear escalation was real.

“There’s little doubt that Putin is the sort of person who won’t resile from the use of nuclear weapons, particularly if it looks as though he’s losing this war. But he must surely realise that there’s no such thing as the limited use of tactical nuclear weapons in isolation from their escalation to a full-scale strategic nuclear war.

“Once we enter the slippery slope of even limited nuclear exchanges, the end result will be escalation to mutual annihilation – something about which both Putin and Xi Jinping may need reminding.”

The comprehensive defeat of Russia in Ukraine would bring its own dangers, Dibb argued.

A severely weakened, isolated and smaller Russia might then become more – not less – dangerous for the world.”

A Russia left humiliated would be driven closer to China, Dibb said, with the nuclear powers forming what he described as a “grand coalition”, unified “not by ideology but by complementary grievances”.

Dibb told the Guardian: “The most serious threat to America would be a de facto alliance between China and Russia, united in the common cause of their hatred for the west.” ………………….https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/sep/07/pine-gap-a-target-as-ukraine-invasion-raises-nuclear-war-risk-australian-defence-expert-warns?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other&fbclid=IwAR0C13ws8uQOEBEW6RVAReW1B96DyhginkTX1ujZ-CEeLKm1ePkchpnKzr4

September 10, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia’s Defence Strategic Review and the loss of Australia’s strategic autonomy to the US

 https://johnmenadue.com/the-defence-strategic-review-and-the-loss-of-australias-strategic-autonomy-to-the-us/, Pearls and Irritations, By John Menadue, Sep 8, 2022

Over the next two weeks we will be running a series of articles to focus on the Defence Strategic Review (DSR) which is headed by Sir Angus Houston and the Hon. Stephen Smith.

In becoming a US proxy, even patsy, we are on a risky and dangerous path.

Smith was Minister for Defence when the Gillard Government committed to US Marines in Darwin. As Minister he told us in 2011 that ‘Australian troops are making good progress in Uruzgan province…the Taliban is losing ground’. On the domestic front he told us in 2016 that Mark McGowan was a failed party leader. He offered himself, unsuccessfully, for ALP preselection for a State seat in order to defeat McGowan.

The review was announced on 3 August with submissions closing on 30 October.

But is it a genuine review? Minister Marles called it a ‘snap review’. Stephen Smith has told the Western Australian newspaper that a ‘draft report with initial findings would be given to the Minister for Defence Richard Marles on November 1’. That is one day after submissions close!

My major concern however is that this Review will be dominated by the Washington Club and its derivative media followers with the mistaken but widespread and spurious view that China is a military threat to Australia. The Club is very ignorant of Chinese history. It trash talks and goads China day after day.

This Review takes place against a successful anti China campaign in Australia waged by organisations like the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the Office of National Intelligence, politicians and importantly by our media including the ABC. There has been a colonisation of the mind by western media.

Our new Prime Minister is also not immune to the anti China infection. His first rushed overseas trip was to join the anti China group at QUAD and NATO.

As set out in the terms of reference for the Review on Critical information Requirements. ‘the review is to be informed by the intelligence and strategic assessment of the most concerning threats which challenge Australia’s security’.

It’s clear to everyone that the unstated assumption in setting up this Review is that China is a threat in some undefined way.

Although not naming China, Angus Houston was quickly out of the blocks after the announcement of the Review by commenting that ‘the deteriorating strategic environment facing Australia is the worst I have seen in my lifetime’.

But is that so? Is China a threat?

China may be a threat to the United States Empire with its 800 bases world wide, including 19 in Japan and ROK ringing China, but it is not a threat to the United States or Australia.

Countries of our region have built more balanced and better relations with China than we have.

In the last forty years the US has waged numerous illegal wars resulting in the death and displacement of millions of people. In that time China has not waged a single war.

China will become a threat to us if we continue on our present very dangerous path of acting as a US proxy and tying ourselves ever more closely to the United States a county that is the most violent in the world and almost always at war.

As Jeffrey Sachs put it in a recent interview, ‘A new database …has just shown that there have been more than 100 military interventions by the United States since 1991. It’s really unbelievable’.

On the domestic front the US is more and more a failing or failed state.

Will the US fall into the Thucydides Trap by refusing to accept its own decline and fearful of a rising power, China.

In considering the ‘China threat’ what is the evidence? What is China’s intent? What is its capability to threaten Australia? How does Chinese history inform us? Are China’s security concerns largely limited to its own borders and relations with buffer states?

In Australia today we are witnessing a new version of the “yellow peril’. We seem unable to shake ourselves free of our racist history.

As Hugh White has described it, our unthinking alliance with America means that we may be sleep walking to war with China.

We need to take resolute action to slow the rapid ceding of our national sovereignty to the US. In becoming a US proxy, even patsy, we are on a risky and dangerous path.

The series starts tomorrow.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

PM grills Peter Dutton on location of power plants amid Coalition’s nuclear push

Albanese said after “22 failed plans” the Coalition now wants “to go towards nuclear energy”………………. we know they have to be near urban areas and water.”

the shadow climate change minister, Chris Bowen, ruled out consideration of nuclear power because he said “it is by far the most expensive form of energy”.

Guardian, Paul Karp, @Paul_Karp,Wed 7 Sep 2022

Peter Dutton has doubled down on Liberal support for nuclear power, pre-empting a review of its energy policy by arguing nuclear will be needed to support renewables.

Dutton told the Minerals Council on Wednesday that Australia needs a “frank debate” about nuclear energy, suggesting that it has a “wonderful opportunity to add value” to its uranium resources.

The comments sparked a demand from the prime minister, Anthony Albanese, in question time for the Liberals to nominate “where the plants are going to be”.

The Coalition didn’t do much on nuclear energy while in office. Why are they talking about it now?Read more

On Wednesday Dutton confirmed that he appointed Ted O’Brien as shadow energy minister in part because a committee inquiry he chaired in 2019 recommended the partial lifting of the moratorium on nuclear energy to allow for “new and emerging nuclear technologies”.

Dutton suggested nuclear energy could also help Australia “power up irrigation and open up thousands of square kilometres of export opportunities” before concluding the government should “at least allow” the community to have a debate about it.

In August the shadow climate change minister, Chris Bowen, ruled out consideration of nuclear power because he said “it is by far the most expensive form of energy”.

“I mean, this is economic illiteracy from an opposition searching for relevance,” he told ABC News Breakfast.

“[Nuclear] is slow to deploy. It couldn’t be deployed in Australia until 2030.

“The CSIRO has made it very, very clear renewables are the cheapest form of energy. Nuclear is the most expensive. Why with rising energy prices you would put in the most expensive form of energy available is beyond me.”

Albanese replied that the government stands by the modelling supporting the claim, and that Labor’s policy was based on the systems plan of the Australian Energy Market Operator, which identified it would “promote investment in renewables which is the cheapest form of energy”.

Albanese said after “22 failed plans” the Coalition now wants “to go towards nuclear energy”.

“And they can say, if you like, where the plants are going to be. I’ll look forward to their review, letting us know … [because] we know they have to be near urban areas and water.”

While Labor raised the spectre of campaigning on the location of putative nuclear power plants, Dutton accused the government of asking Australians to sign up to an Indigenous voice to parliament “sight unseen”.

“We have no idea what it means for the mining sector,” Dutton told the Minerals Council earlier.

“We don’t know whether a voice that doesn’t represent the elders that you negotiate with or that your agreement is with in a particular location, now, they might be usurped and [the voice will] exercise a veto, right? That would damage your employees, that would damage your business.”

Earlier, Dutton said it was an “inconvenient truth” for climate activists that “decarbonisation will require more mining”, due to critical minerals’ importance in renewable energy, batteries and electric vehicles.

“I take some delight knowing it must keep them up at night.”

Dutton said the Liberals don’t support “locking in” the 43% emissions reduction target in legislation because the “inflexible position” might disadvantage Australia if competitors did not meet their targets and it would make it “harder if not impossible” for government agencies to fund resources projects………………………  https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/sep/07/pm-grills-peter-dutton-on-location-of-power-plants-amid-coalitions-nuclear-push

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September 8, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

One legal win for Aboriginal people in South Australia gives hope to the Barngarla people who are fighting the Kimba nuclear waste dump plan

Nuclear waste site in spotlight following Barngarla court win, Traditional Owners say they fear the destruction that an accident at the waste dump could cause to Country.

By Keira Jenkins, Source: The Point,, 6 SEP 2022,

Barngarla Traditional Owners are fighting for access to a number of federal government documents regarding the proposed nuclear waste facility near Kimba, South Australia.

The Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation (BDAC) and its lawyers have requested the documents that the federal government relied on to choose the 900 hectare site more than 400 kilometres north-west of Adelaide

The argument over the documents is part of a federal court challenge launched by Barngarla people.

Jason Bilney is the chair of the BDAC. He told NITV Barngarla people were not properly consulted about the facility, and were excluded from a community ballot.

“It’s very disrespectful, very hurtful to my people as a community and to my past and present Elders,” he said.

“It’s a disgrace.”

After the Supreme Court overturned authorisation to drill on South Australia’s Lake Torrens last week, Barngarla people are hopeful their fight can lead to protection for the Kimba site as well. 

Mr Bilney is joined in the fight against the facility by Lez and Dawn Taylor, who grew up in Kimba.

Standing at the site, which has been fenced off, Dawn Taylor said she’s deeply upset that nuclear waste could be stored on this Country……………………………..

Government officials didn’t talk to the Barngarla people for the study.

Barngarla Elder Harry Dare said the Traditional Owners of the Country should have been involved in this study.

“We know what’s on our Country, they choose not to let us go and have a look at that Country but we already know what’s out there,” he said.

‘I still feel strong’

But regardless of what has occurred up to this point, Jason Bilney said Barngarla people will continue to fight for their Country.

“[The government] think they’re going to put [the facility] there, they’ve still got a long drawn out process and for any government, it doesn’t look good to go against First Nations people,” he said.

“I still feel strong, I still feel proud to keep up this fight for our people, being up there and doing it for our community.

“It has taken its toll for a lot of our family. It’s sad but we’ve got to keep going.”

Barngarla woman Linda Dare said she hopes this fight means the voices of her people will be heard.

“We want them to stop what they’re doing, we want them to listen to us and hear us, take the time to sit down and listen and talk to us not disrespect us and put waste up on our Country,” she said.

September 6, 2022 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment