CLIMATE. The worrying thing about climate change is not only that it’s happening so fast, but that it could now be seen as “normal”. The World Meteorological Organisation is telling us that the world climate is now in ‘uncharted territory’.
NUCLEAR. As climate change risks becoming “normalised”, so, too, does the Fukushima situation. As if the 6th anniversary is over – now we can all ‘move on’? Deadly nuclear radiation levels detected in Fukushima. 80% of families not going back to Fukushima after housing aid ends. Fukushima fishermen fight release of tainted water as tritium standoff continues. Yakuza gangsters thriving. And lots more…
CLIMATE. Leaders of Australian Climate Change Authority quit over government’s inaction
This week, it’s all about Adani’s planned mega coal mine. The Stop Adani Alliance is being lainched by former Greens leader Bob Brown. Adani investors misled? Money shifted to tax haven as Australian govt subsidises loan. Immense coal mine “good for the environment” says fossil fuel lackey Resources Minister Matt Canavan. Australian cricketing great Ian Chappell wants Adani solar, but NOT Adani coal mine. 73% of Australians want investment in solar, not coal.
“Small” rooftop solar is driving Australia’s solar energy boom: rooftop solar the unsung hero in recent South Australia blackouts. Victoria and South Australia embrace grid-scale storage for power reliability. First Nations Renewable Energy Alliance- a formidable lobby group takes off.
Aboriginal issues. Senate Inquiry report tabled: Labor support for Native Title Bill profoundly disappointing.
I scratch around for good news. There is plenty, on the renewable energy scene. And this: CO2 emissions from energy remain flat for third year running. Total number of global nuclear weapons has dropped.
Not so good news. Disaster looms over North Korea: how could this be stopped? US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, rejects negotiation with North Korea, and keeps journalists out. Tillerson considers a pre-emptive strike against North Korea.
CLIMATE and RENEWABLE ENERGY The week has been a bewildering cascade of news, views, and squabbles about energy. Best news – THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper, longtime mouthpiece of the right-wing and fossil fuel lobbies – today pronounced Australia’s unstoppable transition to renewable energy. ! That came after: South Australia announcing a new energy plan, a huge kerfuffle about gas, heaps of news about solar battery storage, and, finally, a desperate Snow job by Malcolm Turnbull.
The Turnbull magic trick is his plan for Snowy River pumped hydro power. That could work, in the longer term, a decade or so. However it smells more like Turnbull scrambling to cover up government failure to address immediate energy problems, and also to distract attention from Elon Musk’s offer to fix South Australia’s energy by solar and storage, within 100 days.
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) could require financial institutions to test climate risks’
- A pack of Liberals want nuclear power for Australia. PM Turnbull comes out in his true pro nuclear colours. However, South Australian Liberal Party condemns the plan to import nuclear wastes.
- Sydney Morning Herald on radioactive waste dumping – ignores Lucas’ Heights’ high level nuclear reactor waste.
- Labour’s win in Western Australia means more gloom for the uranium industry.
- UNDEMOCRATIC NUCLEAR WASTE LAW DISEMPOWERS COMMUNITIES AND TRADITIONAL OWNERS
Aboriginal issues. Senate Inquiry told Native Title amendments will disenfranchise Traditional Owners.
Japan and the sporting world are cheerfully preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It will bring in 32.3 trillion yen. And goody – they’re going to have trans gender toilets! Forget about Fukushima. That’s all fixed up. But, actually, – No! Fukushima remains a lurking global catastrophe. Despite the propaganda, Fukushima nuclear clean-up is not under control.
- Attempts to use robots to find and assess the melted fuel within the reactors have failed: the robots died of heat and radiation.
- Over 1000 tanks around the nuclear station hold 900,000 tons of radioactive water, with the quantity soon expected to reach 1m tons.
- The costly “ice wall” around the No 1 reactor has not really worked, to prevent radioactive water getting into the groundwater.
- Fukushima laden with piles of radioactive soil that can’t be moved into storage
- 32,000 workers at Fukushima No. 1 got high radiation dose, Tepco data show.
Fukushima nuclear disaster evacuees pressured to return to contaminated homes. About 40 percent of 42 local leaders along the coasts of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures doubt their areas will recover by the time of the 2020 Tokyo Games due to the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis. Link between the Fukushima nuclear meltdown and thyroid cancer in children?. Roaming, radioactive boars slow the return of Japan’s nuclear refugees. Financial crunch time looms for Fukushima’s ‘voluntary evacuees’.
CLIMATE and RENEWABLE ENERGY (I’ve left out heaps here) State of the Environment report says climate change impact on Australia may be irreversible. Australia’s record-breaking summer heat linked directly to climate change. Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Apra) could require financial institutions to test climate risks. Australia’s peak farming group asks govt to consider emissions trading scheme.
NUCLEAR South Australian Liberal Party condemns the plan to import nuclear wastes.
The most significant article of the week comes from 3 very distinguished writers, in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, in explaining how the USA’s military upgrade means a vast expansion of the killing power of the most numerous warhead in the US nuclear arsenal, with the ability to launch a”first strike”. Consequently, the Russians are gravely concerned, and are developing new sea-based weapons.
CLIMATE an ENERGY . Issues surrounding coal mining dominated the news:
- A Federal Court case about Adani’s plan for Carmichael megamine has just reserved its decision.
- Ian Dunlop, formerly an international oil, gas and coal industry executive and Australian Coal Association chair, calls for an emergency taskforce for clean, renewable energy, and says “the game is up” for coal”.
- Coal power now “univestable”, but Australian government is keen to subsidise it. Turnbull govt appoints coal and uranium boss, Vanessa Guthrie, to the ABC board. Also appoints Sid Marris, a former analyst with the Minerals Council of Australia.
- Industry request for Clean Energy Finance Corporation funds for new coal-mining!
- Conflict of interest: Queensland govt appoints Adani director to oversee coal port!
- Medical profession warns on Adani coal mine as a public health catastrophe.
Economist Prof John Quiggan puts convincing case for public-owned Australian power grid.
Murdoch media wages war on renewable energy.
Solar farms to benefit farmers in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo areas. Victorian government more than doubles solar-feed-in tariff. Clean Energy Finance Corporation to repeat its solar success in battery storage. National Australia Bank now investing in renewable energy in Europe, US and UK. Plan for solar panels accessible to flat dwellers.
NUCLEAR. A renewed push for South Australia to import nuclear waste, with a letter to politicians from 43 citizens, turns out to emanate from Australia’s most talented nuclear propagandist, Ben Heard. With his nuclear front “group”, Bright New World, Heard is pretty much a one man nuclear band, on the international, as well as the national, pro nuclear scene, and is seeking charity status. Next week he is off to help the South African nuclear lobby, in their very troubled cause.
Radioactive cows buried in Werribee, Victoria.
While it’s true that Australia’s mainstream media pretty much ignores nuclear issues at present, the exception is the Adelaide Advertiser, which seems to have a hotline to the nuclear lobby. I should mention also the Whyalla News.
It’s a different story with social media. Australia’s nuclear lobby is active on Facebook and Twitter, and fortunately, Australia’s nuclear critics are, too.
Currently, that very talented pro nuke publicist Ben Heard is leading the pack.
- Heard has put in a submission to the Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s Energy Review, in which he advocates new nuclear reactors , especially small ones:
members are in that organisation:
I know that this site is dedicated to matters nuclear – but right now, very short on nuclear news for Australia. Well, that’s because nothing much is happening, not on the surface anyway. No doubt the federal government is working on softening up the South Australian public, and indeed, the public in other states, on the idea of transporting Lucas Heights’ nuclear reactor’s highly toxic radioactive poo f or 1000s of miles to Barndioota, SA. They keep up the pretense that it’s just “medical wastes”
Anyway, nuclear in Australia has all gone a bit quiet since the debacle of the shonky South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission.
However, Australia’s nuclear lobby crusades on. Crusader Ben Heard is off to South Africa, to give their failing nuclear lobby a boost that they so desperately need. He’s prettied up the logo of his pro nuclear front group, with a leafy background -( probably not enough to convince the punters that nuclear is green.)
Blissfully away from news, and from all matters digital, – I returned to find that the climate and environment politics are worse than ever in USA and Australia.
Meanwhile, on the nuclear scene, things would be farcical, if they were not so dangerous. Donald Trump wants to expand US nuclear arsenal, make it ‘top of the pack’. Australia’s own Dr Helen Caldicott set out all too clearly the grim situation at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex.
The farcical part is in the nuclear lobby’s pretense that theirs is a viable industry. As the giant Toshiba corporation nears bankruptcy, and nuclear power stations go down like dominoes in USA, it’s really only China where the industry still might save itself. And that’s dubious, too.
And -sorry- this newsletter is too long today!
South Australia No place for nuclear enthusiasts in South Australia’s Liberal Party. Department of Industry, Innovation and Science avoids hard questions on nuclear waste. Will the nuclear waste of Sydney’s dead HIFAR nuclear reactor be sent to South Australia?
- Victoria’s ground-breaking climate change bill passed into law on 24 February.
- Australian Prudential Regulation Authority dropped a climate bombshell – ignored by Government!
- Australia’s Minister For Coal Josh Frydenberg blackens the name of wind and solar power. Josh Frydenberg aims to have coal mining subsidised by Clean Energy Finance Corporation. Coal-dependent states had power bills rising more than in renewables-powered South Australia. Money intended for research was diverted to coal advertising. Mining lobby tries to stifle environmental activism. Australian Conservation Foundation summarises the background of Adani’s Carmichael coal mine and rail project.
- Seed- Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network.
RENEWABLE ENERGY. There’s heaps of news on this: World-first digital energy marketplace for rooftop solar launched by Australian consortium. South Australia’s Spencer Gulf ideal for pumped hydro energy storage. Global battery storage industry to fight Australia home bans. Shorten speaks out f or Labor’s 50% renewable energy target. Poll shows that majority of Australians support Labor’s renewable energy goal.
I don’t know which is the worst news this week – climate or nuclear. But I am going away for a week on a boat, WITH NO ACCESS TO ANYTHING DIGITAL. I can’t wait. I’m taking one of those old things we all used to use – A BOOK.
But I digress:
CLIMATE. I hardly know where to start. I think that the worst thing is connected with the collapse of journalism – as articles appear denouncing climate scientists as “frauds”. This, despite the 97 percent scientific consensus on climate change.
NUCLEAR. Remarkable apathy prevails, as nuclear weapons tensions hot up.
CLIMATE and ENERGY
- Climate change report: Australia’s heatwaves to be hotter, longer and more frequent.
- Chief Scientist Alan Finkel warns of Trump’s Stalin-like attack on science.
- Cory Bernardi spouts the climate denialism of American right-wing “think tanks”. “Alternative facts” form the basis of Trump and Turnbull’s energy policies.
- Attack on both climate and tax-payers’ money – subsidies to coal power. Taxpayers would put up 21 times more subsidy for Carmichael coal mine, than they would for renewables. Traditional Owners act to defeat Adani’s invalid Indigenous Land Use Agreement.
Fossil fuel generators, not renewables, are to blame for high electricity prices. Australian Energy Council warns on likely electricity problems in New South Wales. Australian Energy Market Operator now confident of wind power security in South Australia. Queensland govt will back renewable energy, not new coal-fired power stations.
Powershop electricity customers funding community renewable energy.
Western Australian Greens propose solar battery rebate scheme.
NUCLEAR A responsible global citizen would not sell uranium to Ukraine.
- On nuclear waste dumping: America’s Dept of Energy more truthful than South Australia’s Nuclear Royal Commission.
- High Level Nuclear Waste IS planned for South Australia’s Federal Dump.
- France’s ANDRA waste company propagandising rural South Australia, but their French nuclear waste dump leaked radioactivity into wine growing area.
- Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) propagandising to Aborigines.
- Jeff Baldock could make $$$s from #nuclear waste dump, but poses as community benefactor.
- ENuFF SA (Everyone for a Nuclear Free Future SA) made a real nuisance of themselves, and asked some very hard questions of Australia’s nuclear authorities.
- South Australia’s Liberal leader Steven Marshall wants nuclear power.
Western Australia.Ruling in favour of challenge against Noongar Indigenous land use agreement may lead to amendment of Native Title Act.
- about his choice of Steve Bannon on the National Security Council – “Unsupervised by people who know what they’re doing. Trump and Bannon could bring the world closer to a nuclear holocaust.“
- Pentagon urges Trump to expand nuclear weapons, ready for “limited” atomic war.
- Thanks to Trump’s comments on climate change and nuclear arms we are once again close to nuclear war.
- USA intelligence agencies to study whether the Russian and Chinese leadership could survive a nuclear attack
- Dangerous steps by Russia and Trump on nuclear arms control
Meanwhile the global nuclear industry is in financial crisis. And Fukushima nuclear reactor radiation at highest level since 2011 meltdown.
Trump is having his impact on climate change news and action, too.
Joint Statements on Climate Change from National Academies of Science Around the World.
CLIMATE. Well, Prime Minister Turnbull and Resources Minister Matt Canavan have flung themselves well and truly into the embrace of the coal industry. They have set up a task force to promote coal. They are setting up a $5 billion fund for ‘clean-coal’ power stations, and plan to use the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to fund “clean coal”, seeing that no private investor would take that risk. New “clean” coal plants would cost $billions in taxpayer subsidies, and not clean anyway.
Australia’s national government falters on climate policy. Victoria races ahead.
South Australia is in position to be renewable leader, stabilise Australia’s energy system with supergrid. Snowy Hydro turns to solar
Solar power now taking off in a big way in Western Australia.
Federal nuclear waste dump plan ( This is not just a South Australian issue – it’s national.) Extracts from Hansard show how the Australian government seeks to deceive the public on the definition of “High Level Nuclear Wastes”
Kimba Mayor wants a referendum first, before any decision on nuclear waste dump. South Australian property owners offer land for nuclear waste – at Napandee and Lyndhurst, near Kimba. Community survey shows strong local opposition to Federal nuclear waste dump at Barndioota, South Australia. Nuclear propaganda group to visit Port Augusta.
Federal govt embarrassed over backlash to its plan to expand Shoalwater Bay military training area.
Much as I hate joining the throng paying attention to that global narcissist, I must admit the fact that Donald Trump’s statements and actions are provoking reactions in America and around the world. On many important issues, such as torture, and religious discrimination, people are responding with alarm. Equally worrying are his policies on climate and nuclear matters, and his attacks on science and journalism.
I am reminded of a kindergarten teacher, explaining the real message of a child’s bad behaviour “How bad to I have to be before somebody stops me”
I did get some macabre amusement from this news item- Under Trump, nuclear lobby to dump the argument about climate change.
NUCLEAR. Federal nuclear propaganda group to visit proposed nuclear dump towns in South Australia. Federal govt announces bribes to these communities. Dishonest spin from ANSTO and government, about Spain’s nuclear waste program. Good riddance to the Trans Pacific Partnership: it could have furthered nuclear waste import plans.
- Victoria is a world leader in energy efficiency.
- Australian conservative MPs, Cory Bernardi etc, urge Turnbull to scrap the Renewable Energy Target.
- Renewable energy groups mobilise as ERM’s RET shortfall looms as major test – this is a complex story, but points to the way in which the Turnbull government is undermining renewable energy.
- A new, intelligent renewable energy culture for Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), with new leader ?
As I write, there’s a sort of an anxious lull in climate and nuclear news. Indeed, in other news, too. The media world seems to be waiting for the next event, on January 20, concerning a certain narcissistic American. I’ve decided to leave him out of this week’s newsletter, except, perhaps, for a picture (attached).
The exception in all this is Fukushima. Not that you find anything about this in the mainstream media. However, the news is getting out in alternative, and some Japanese media: workers’ cancers: Thyroid Cancer Patient Group : Designation of radioactive waste lifted: Fukushima ‘voluntary’ evacuees: Fukushima foodstuffs.
CLIMATE. 90% of rural Australians say their lives are already affected by climate change. Pauline Hanson’s One Nation picks climate sceptic for Western Australian election. Australian Resources Minister Matt Canavan’s fantasy about “low emission” coal.
RENEWABLE ENERGY. Some considerations about Australia’s clean transition to renewable energy. Tony Abbott calls for ditching Renewable Energy Target: PM Turnbull disagrees. Smarter, cheaper solar plants are halving Australian solar farm capital intensity. Utility scale investment marks the surge in wind and solar power in Australia. Potential of Queensland solar farm– to make this State the energy capital of Australia. Melbourne trams to be powered by solar energy by end of 2018.
Federal waste dump plan. Scrutiny on Hansard reveals the Australian government’s confusion about nuclear wastes.Australian government’s pro nuclear propaganda to South Australia’s Barndioota residents. Flinders Ranges Community survey – 79% do NOT want the Federal nuclear waste dump.
State nuclear waste import plan. Ben Heard and Barry Brook spruik for nuclear reprocessing at Port Augusta. Old nuclear spruikers never give up – Bob Hawke, Ron Walker, Hugh Morgan. South Australian Liberal leader stresses that the Royal Commission nuclear waste import plan was economically risky.Derek Abbott explodes the Royal Commission proposal for a nuclear waste dump.
Western Australia. In an act of ?religious faith, Western Australian govt backs uneconomic uranium industry. Aboriginal Traditional Owners speak out against Yeelirrie uranium mining approval.
Tasmania. Tasmania’s Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom speaks out for nuclear weapons ban.
A week away from Donald Trump taking over the USA Presidency, and it’s anybody’s guess as to how bad the repercussions of that will be, for climate action, nuclear safety, and the public good. If there happen to be some accidental unintended benefits for they public good, I doubt that these will compensate for the world’s most powerful nation being run by the lead bully boy for corporate America. Barack Obama retires graciously, claiming that “we did”. Perhaps more accurately “we tried”.
Record loss of sea ice in 2016-both Arctic and Antarctic.
Alexei Yablokov, grandfather of Russian environmentalism, dies at 83
Australian not-for-profit, the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) installs solar household systems in East Timor villages.
Loss of Great Barrier Reef will be part of major collapses of ocean ecosystems.
Australia and USA trail behind in renewable energy, as China and India lead.
ACT. Australian Capital Territory prepares for role as clean energy hub and exporter of renewable technology
South Australia. Pro nuclear former Senator Sean Edwards to run for South Australian Parliament, considers leadership of S.A. Liberals . Prominent wealthy nuclear industry fans back former Senator Sean Edwards.
Western Australia. W.A. govt approves Toro Energy’s Wiluna uranium mine, as uranium prices continue to decrease. Western Australia leads the world in wave energy. Heat records smashed in 2016 in many Western Australian towns.
Northern Territory. Darwin’s hottest year on record.
Tasmania. Tasmania needs to be better prepared for climate change and weather extremes.
We start the year with some concerning new evidence on climate change. Global warming is happening faster than previously estimated. Climate Change threat to global ocean circulation might be worse than we thought. The tipping point for climate change is nigh upon us.
The nuclear scene remains one of anxiety about the arms race. There are the nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan, with fear about ISIS. There’s anxiety about the situation when the Trump administration takes over in America.
On the so-called “peaceful” nuclear industry a rather distressing tendency is becoming evident. That is simply, that despite overwhelming evidence that the industry is an economic disaster, Britain, France, and in some States, America, are pressing on with it. The argument is always “JOBS”. It reminds me of the Bertolt Brecht play “Mother Courage and Her Children” – in which the mother continues her job, as that job gets all her children killed, one by one.
World Health Organisation confirmed that low dose radiation increases cancer risk.
CLIMATE. 2016 was Australia’s year of record-breaking extreme weather. It’s also tipped to be Australia’s hottest year. Turnbull government admits that Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are increasing. Australia has its very own Minister For The Coal Industry- Matt Canavan Determined local protests against Adani coal mine.
Queensland Government moving fast towards its renewable energy target.
NUCLEAR. Things seem still quiet, with the defeated push for nuclear waste importing to South Australia. The proponents are now regrouping for a new campaign. Ben Heard leads the propaganda push.
The Federal plan for a nuclear waste dump in South Australia – the Australian government plays dirty tricks with language on High Level nuclear Wastes (HLW) – it is done with deceptive labelling. The government will hold a webinar on nuclear waste dump project on 23 February.
Here are my predictions for 2017 . They are not all that cheerful. But I am comforted by that fact that I usually predict most unreliably. I pronounced that Hillary Clinton would win the US presidency by a landslide.
But – here goes, anyway :
CLIMATE news. The anthropocene is here with a vengeance, and will be evidenced by continued weather extremes – droughts in Africa, India and other places, floods elsewhere, the continued creeping sea level rise, affecting island nations, and low-lying ones, like Bangladesh. Most worrying of all, the continuance of extraordinary changes in temperature in the Arctic, with effects on ocean currents.
With climate-denying politicians in power, at the national level, action on climate change will be stalled, to some degree. However, at the level of states, local councils, and cities, increased adoption of renewable energy will mean that meaningful climate action goes on with renewed vigour. At the grassroots level, more homes and businesses will adopt solar and wind technologies, as well as smart energy conservation – a trend already apparent in Australia, and parts of Europe and USA, as well as in developing countries, where off-grid energy becomes a boon to millions. Public disillusion with climate denying leaders will rise.
NUCLEAR news. The world will limp on, avoiding nuclear war by a whisker, especially in relation to India and Pakistan. However, there will be encouraging developments in the international nuclear disarmament movement, with an impressive conference in March.
In America, more nuclear power stations will close, due to their diseconomics. Nuclear power development in China will continue to slow down, for reasons of cost, water shortage, and even public opposition. India’s growing solar energy success will threaten its nuclear development. Britain, however, will be a focus, as France, China, South Korea, even Russia will push desperately for Hinkley, Moorside, Bradwell nuclear projects, which will have to be subsidised by taxpayers.
Fukushima will continue to be a running sore with no cure in sight, while Japan and the world happily look forward to the 2020 Olympics.
The nuclear waste problem will continue to dog USA, and efforts to even trial new solutions like deep bore drilling will meet public opposition, even without any radioactive trash. Some countries, e.g. France, with existing nuclear power stations will look to closing them down. At the same time, there’ll be a continuing frenzy to try to market nuclear power to non nuclear countries.
The proponents of “New Nuclear”, particularly of Thorium and of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors will continue to pretend that they help Big Nuclear by supposedly dealing with the waste problem. But in reality, they’ll be rejoicing at the plight of Big Nuclear, and toting their still non existent new gimmicks to governments. In particular, they’ll want America to weaken its safety regulations.
Above all, the nuclear lobbyists and publicists will hammer their lie that nuclear power can stop climate change. Not only is that not true, but also, that claim becomes increasingly irrelevant as climate change races ahead. – simply no time for that “solution” anyway.
But that won’t stop the “New Nuclear” lobby. They’ll bring out a film – THE NEW FIRE glossy, expensively made, sophisticated – to push the new gee whiz nuclear kids on the block. Their various front groups, e.g Weinberg Next Nuclear , “Breakthrough Energy Coalition” and Australia’s “Bright New World” will continue to pose as charities, and gain tax exempt status.
I’d love to think that journalists and academics will see through the spin. But I am not optimistic, following a year when spin brought Brexit and Donald Trump’s rise. (Even if Trump gets bored, and chucks the job in to run a personal media circus, the USA will still be run by climate denying Republicans. )
Journalists and academics will continue to spout the nuclear lies – about low dose ionising radiation being OK , and above all, keep hammering the message of nuclear being “clean” and “low carbon” . They know where the money is. The public at large will believe them, despite the efforts of the anti nuclear movement, and of a few brave, outspoken journalists and academics.
2016 brought a new word – the Anthropocene. It has been the year in which many of us realised that the planet has been irrevocably changed- by the human species. Of the wide-ranging effects of human activities, climate change is the one that has now become the most terrible threat. People around the world are trying to change our destructive ways: individuals, town councils, city mayors, states, and, to a much lesser degree, national governments work to conserve energy and promote renewable energy generation.
Countering that, the polluting industries have used their think tank front groups, and mainstream media, to confuse the public, and deny the science.
In November 196 countries participated in the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh, to develop agendas for carrying out the the Paris Agreement of 2015. But international action was hampered by the presence of fossil fuel companies, and even more, by the election of climate sceptic Donald Trump to the USA presidency.
The nuclear disarmament movement was boosted on October 27, when—by a vote of 123 for, 38 against, and 16 abstaining—the First Committee of the UN agreed “to convene in 2017 a United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.”
Nuclear power issues focussed on both the decline of the nuclear power industry, and the desperate efforts of the industry to survive. Notably in Britain, a clearly uneconomic pro nuclear programme has been pushed, with the gigantic Hinkley white elephant in the lead. In America, subsidising of nuclear power is a contentious issue.
Meanwhile. nuclear countries, unable to make the nuclear industry profitable, and unable to deal with its toxic wastes, have persisted in their marketing drive to export nuclear technology. The target countries are many, but South East Asia is a prime example. That campaign for SE Asia suffered a setback when South Australians rejected an ill-advised government push to commercially import nuclear wastes – a plan that was intended to solve the problem for new nuclear stations in South East Asia.
Within the nuclear lobby, a quiet battle has gone on between the conventional Big Nuclear Reactor industry, and the campaigners for Small Nuclear Reactors. The latter reactors do not exist, but their hype is everywhere, particularly led by Bill Gates and various nuclear front groups. Unfortunately, Gates has bought into the nuclear lobby’s deception about nuclear fixing climate change.
So – we end the year with climate change not just looming, but already here, endangering us and other species. The extraordinary attention given to Donald Trump and his impact on global climate and nuclear policy leaves us with very worrying questions.