Australian news, and some related international items

Stop Australia signing up to develop new nuclear reactors -submissions by 28 April

Submissions received until 28 April by Parliamentary Committee

Right now a Parliamentary Committee is considering Australia’s further involvement in the ‘Charter’  or   Framework Agreement for International Collaboration on Research and Development of Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems. The Committee consists of 9 Liberal MPs, 6 Labor, and one Green.

Australia secretly signed the ‘Charter’ on 22 nd June 2016 – signed by Dr Adi Patterson COE of the Australia Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. (pending this JSCOT review). ANSTO is to be the implementing agent.

The An international collection of 14 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, the UK and the USA ( original charter members 2005) Switzerland, Euratom, China, Russia and Australia (signed later)  . The World Nuclear Association describes the collection as countries for whom nuclear energy is significant now or seen as vital in the future.

When the Australian government quietly signed up to the GIF, it made no commitment to any particular action towards developing new nuclear reactors.  Other countries, including Japan, Canada, France, South Korea, have committed to working on particular types ofGeneration IV reactors Australia might be expected to not only fully sign up as a member of the Charter, but perhaps also to provide funding and resources to develop one or more types.

Involvement of various countries in developing particular types of new nuclear reactor

April 17, 2017 Posted by | ACTION, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australian government about to secretly sign up to participate in developing new nuclear reactors

Under the radar: Parliamentary Committee preparing for Australia to sign up to more participation in developing new nuclear reactors 

Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) inquiry into the Agreement for Research and Development on Generation IV nuclear reactors that Australia signed in June 2016, without any public discussion .

Inquiry Homepage: Submissions close 28 th April 2017 Inquiry Homepage:

There are six reactor technologies described as Gen IV. A 2014 industry update on the road map for development of these 6 technologies can be seen here. In short all 6 technologies are in the ‘viability’ (conceptual) or ‘performance’ (engineering) phase. The earliest prediction for the development of a prototype would be 2022, but it’s expected it will take much longer.
What are Gen IV (Generation IV Reactors) ? There are six reactor technologies described as Gen IV. A 2014 industry update on the road map for development of these 6 technologies can be seen here. In short all 6 technologies are in the ‘viability’ (conceptual) or ‘performance’ (engineering) phase. The earliest prediction for the development of a prototype would be 2022, but it’s expected it will take much longer.
What is the 2005 Framework Agreement aka ‘the Charter’? According to the World Nuclear Association the 2005 Framework agreement “formally commits them (signatories) to participate in the development of one or more Generation IV systems selected by GIF for further R&D.” Australia signed the ‘Charter’ on 22 nd June 2016 –by Dr Adi Patterson COE of the Australia Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. (pending this JSCOT review). ANSTO is to be the implementing agent.
Australia’s signing of the GIF Media reports indicate Australia made a bid or approach to join GIF. The active seeking out of such an agreement that is at odds with public opinion, at odds with the current
Governments policy position on nuclear power and is inconsistent with Australian laws which prohibit the use of this technology is astounding.
What the Gov’t said in 2016 in relation to joining GIF: Christopher Pyne, said:

“Australia’s invitation to join this important global project marks an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of global innovation in the nuclear industry.” He added, “Inclusion in the GIF further strengthens Australia’s position as a nation that has the research muscle to deliver innovations on the global stage. It reinforces the governments 1 $billion National Innovation and Science Agenda, encouraging our best and brightest researchers to collaborate with international experts.”

Julie Bishop said in relation to joining GIF 

“Australia has firm non-proliferation goals and nuclear safety objectives, and contributing to the global conversation on this level is an opportunity to assist in the research that is making nuclear technologies safer around the world in the long term.”

April 14, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies, technology | Leave a comment

Queensland premier does secret water deal with Adani, putting the coal company ahead of Queensland

ACF Australian Conservation Foundation: Palaszczuk to put Adani before Queensland
with secret water licence deal–24137075/ 31 March 2017:

“The Courier-Mail has reported today that the Palaszczuk government is set to grant a water licence for Adani to suck millions of litres of groundwater for its mega-polluting Carmichael Coal Mine in secret.

“‘The Queensland Government have created one rule for Adani and a different set of rules for everyone else when it comes to managing groundwater.’ said ACF Healthy Ecosystems Campaigner Basha Stasak.

“‘This is a secret decision to prop up a mine that will help destroy the Reef and the 70,000 Queensland jobs that rely on it. A secret decision to prop up a mine that no one else will fund because it is too risky and dangerous for the climate. … “

April 1, 2017 Posted by | politics, Queensland, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Adani investors misled? Money shifted to tax haven as Australian govt subsidises loan

The Cayman Islands-controlled rail company has rights to a royalty stream worth up to $3 billion from the proposed mine, the ABC recently revealed — a payment that would come at the expense of shareholders in the publicly listed Adani Enterprises.

Adani facing growing pressure on fears investors may have been misled By Stephen Long, Adani Group is facing growing pressure to reveal which company in its complex corporate web has applied for a $1 billion subsided loan from the Australian Government, amid fears money could be shifted to a tax haven and investors may have been misled.

An Australian law firm has written to the Bombay Stock Exchange asking it to clear up the confusion about a $1 billion funding application to the Federal Government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).

The loan would finance a 400-kilometre railway from Queensland’s Abbot Point Coal Terminal to a planned massive mine in the Galilee Basin, which, if it goes ahead as proposed, would contain six open-cut pits and five underground collieries.

It is “absolutely possible” investors have been misled about the loan, lawyer David Barnden from not-for-profit law firm Environmental Justice Australia (EJA) told the ABC. “In terms of misleading the market, the NAIF funding is really, really important for Adani’s share price,” Mr Barnden explained.

“When [Resources Minister] Matt Canavan told Reuters last week that Adani Enterprises had applied for the funding, the share price went up 4 per cent.”

Continue reading

March 24, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Adani to send Coal mine $billions to Cayman Islands

Last year Resources Minister Matt Canavan dismissed the ABC’s investigation into Adani’s web of companies leading to tax havens as “fake news”.

Adani’s planned Carmichael coal mine to shift millions to Cayman Islands controlled company, ABC News 13 Mar 17  by Stephen LongUp to $3 billion from Adani’s planned Carmichael coal mine will be shifted to a subsidiary owned in the Cayman Islands if the controversial project goes ahead, an analysis of company filings shows.

Key points:

  • ‘Royalty deed’ gives shell company rights to recieve $2-a-tonne payment beyond first 400K tonnes mined for two decades
  • Entitlement owned by company registered in Cayman Islands, controlled by Adani family
  • Carmichael coal mine’s production capacity means payment ammounts to about $120 million per year

An “overarching royalty deed” gives a shell company rights to receive a $2-a-tonne payment, rising yearly by the inflation rate, beyond the first 400,000 tonnes mined in each production year for two decades.

The company with this entitlement is ultimately owned by Atulya Resources Limited, a secretive entity registered in the Cayman Islands, and controlled by the Adani family.

“In plain English, the upshot for the Adani family is [that] if the mine goes ahead, they receive a $2-a-tonne payment, so up to $3 billion, via a Cayman Islands company, a company owned in a tax haven,” says Adam Walters, principal researcher and Energy Resource Insights……

“I would describe it as a structure that means that the Adani family enriches themselves if the mine goes ahead but that other shareholders are impoverished,” associate professor Thomas Clarke, director of the Centre for Corporate Governance at UTS told the ABC.

“The worry is that this may be just the beginning.

He said the billions flowing to the Adani private company would come at the expense of minority shareholders in the company listed on the Bombay stock exchange which ultimately owns the Carmichael mine.

Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.

How Adani acquired the right to this multi-billion-dollar revenue stream is a tale in itself……..

Last year Resources Minister Matt Canavan dismissed the ABC’s investigation into Adani’s web of companies leading to tax havens as “fake news”.

He rejected concerns about the web of companies and trusts, many owned in tax havens, that Adani had set up for its Australian operations, says resources companies such as Rio Tinto and BHP also had complex company structures.

Dr Clarke said that is nonsense.

“This is a classic third-world pyramid structure, with the Adani family having a controlling interest in all of the different companies, publicly listed, privately listed and the offshore companies which are its private properties,” he told the ABC.

“It can freely move cash or assets between the different entities to the benefit of its own family interests.”

But according to the Minister, the advice from his department is that it is all perfectly legal.

Adani’s spokesman did not respond to a series of questions.

March 15, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

ANZ, NAB, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac invest $7bn more in fossil fuels than in renewables

hypocrisy-scaleBig Australian banks invest $7bn more in fossil fuels than renewables, says report ANZ, NAB, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac provided three times more for non-renewable than clean energy projects in 2016, says Market Forces, Guardian, , 6 Mar 17, Australia’s big four banks invested three times as much in global fossil fuels as they did in clean energy in 2016, despite pledging to help Australia transition to a low carbon economy.

The banks provided a combined $10bn to projects around the world that expanded non-renewable energy, according to finance group Market Forces.

ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank were the worst offenders, investing over $3bn each in fossil fuels. In the same period, ANZ only lent $225m to renewables, giving it a 14:1 ratio. Continue reading

March 6, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Conflict of interest: Queensland govt appoints Adani director to oversee coal port!

Adani director appointed to body overseeing mining giant’s coal port despite conflict of interest warning Exclusive by the National Reporting Team’s Mark Willacy and Alexandra Blucher    27 February 2017:

“The Queensland Government appointed an Adani company director to chair the authority overseeing the Abbot Point coal port, despite being warned of “potential conflicts of interest”.

Key points:

“It’s undoubtedly a conflict of interest,” said law professor on Mr Fish’s appointment
Treasurer’s office confirms it knew of Mr Fish’s directorship and that he “disclosed potential conflicts of interest prior to his appointment”
But Mr Fish’s link to Adani was not disclosed publicly by the Treasurer when he was appointed … “

March 1, 2017 Posted by | politics, Queensland, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Money intended for research was diverted to coal advertising

Pre-election coal advertising funded by money meant for clean coal research, ABC News, By Stephen Long   21 Feb 17   The coal industry’s multi-million-dollar advertising and lobbying campaign in the run-up to the last federal election was bankrolled by money deducted from state mining royalty payments and meant to fund research into “clean coal”.

Key points:

  • Coal21 fund launched in 2004, aiming to create $1 billion to research “clean coal technologies”
  • Fund’s coal levy was suspended from mid-2012 to mid-2016
  • In 2013 coal lobby changed mandate of Coal21 to allow its funds to be used for “coal promotion”

The mining industry spent $2.5 million pushing the case for lower-emissions, coal-fired power plants in the run-up to last year’s election — a cause the Federal Government has since taken up with gusto.

The source of the funds was a voluntary levy on coal companies, originally intended to fund research into “clean coal” technologies, which coal producers could deduct from state mining royalties.

Instead, some of the money raised paid for phone polling, literature and TV ads that declared “coal — it’s an amazing thing”.

The funds were channelled through the Australian Coal Association Low Emissions Technology Limited (ACALET), formerly owned by the Australian Coal Association and now part of the Minerals Council for Australia.

Queensland Government documents list “the COAL21 levy payable to Australian Coal Association Low Emissions Technologies Ltd (ACALET)” as an eligible deduction against royalty payments in the state.

A “coal research” levy in NSW is also deductible against coal mining royalty payments, under a deal signed off by the disgraced former NSW Labor minister Ian Macdonald, who was charged with criminal offences after an ICAC inquiry.

Coal21 was launched more than a decade ago, with the aim of creating a $1 billion fund for research into “clean coal” technologies like carbon capture and storage (CCS), but only a fraction of the money was raised or spent.

With a lack of research projects to finance, the levy was suspended in 2012. In 2013, the coal lobby changed the mandate of Coal21 to downplay research and allow its funds to be used for “coal promotion”.

Critics ‘outraged’ by industry’s use of funding

Funding the industry campaign from money that otherwise would have been paid to state governments as mining royalties has outraged the Federal Opposition and the coal industry’s critics.

“It is a huge shame that Coal21 funding, which was mean to go into genuine CCS research, is now being used to finance advertising and political campaigns,” Labor’s environment spokesman Mark Butler said.

Australia Institute chief economist Richard Denniss said it was “scandalous”.

“Every dollar spent on advertising as part of the coal industry campaign was a dollar that should have gone into consolidated revenue,” he said.

“Citizens funded a propaganda campaign with money that would otherwise have gone into public revenue to fund schools and hospitals.”

February 22, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australian Conservation Foundation summarises the background of Adani’s Carmichael coal mine and rail project

coal CarmichaelMine2The Adani Brief: our summary!topic/wgar-news/QkXUYq11cmQ   
15 February 2017:


The brief is the result of months of international investigation by Environmental Justice Australia and
USA-based environmental law non-profit EarthJustice into the global legal compliance record of the Adani Group.

It puts governments and private stakeholders on notice that backing Adani’s Carmichael
coal mine and rail project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin
may expose them to financial and reputational risks.

“Key findings

“Environmental destruction:
Adani Group companies have a record of environmental destruction and non-compliance with environmental regulations.
Some examples are: …

‘Black money’: … 

“Bribery and illegal exports: … 

“Confusing and opaque corporate structures: … 

“This is a company the government is entrusting: … ”

The Adani Brief:
What governments and financiers need to know
about the Adani Group’s record overseas!topic/wgar-news/QkXUYq11cmQ

February 20, 2017 Posted by | business, environment, politics, Queensland, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australia’s taxpayers subsidise a private company set up by ANSTO to sell nuclear power produced isotopes

ANSTO’s link This is a slide from the above link. ANSTO Nuclear Medicine (ANM) Pty Ltd is a commercial subsidiary of ANSTO.

So a company is going to cream off the profits while Australian taxpayers subsidise the reactor and the waste disposal – and communities have to deal with the costs of a nuclear waste dump. Another slide says “Full Cost Recovery Model” – the full cost can never be recovered when you are dealing with nuclear waste.


January 14, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australia’s proponents of nuclear submarines are way behind the times

nuke-bubbleNuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia  Paul Richards shared a link. 1 Jan 17 

Emerging this decade are the many challenges to the whole nuclear industries range of products from; medicine, reactors, weapons

Not to mention the always present 1940s backdoor issue that’s never been solved, that of nuclear waste management

This submarine news makes a joke of our neocon naval purchase, particularly if the goal was to put nuclear reactors into the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A at some future point

The whole biased process used by those enamoured the nuclear industry is becoming increasingly obvious. Particularly, when this Swedish technological development must have been known about but discarded in favour of  the nuclear state, France. Who are a founding member of UN Security Council P5 and who as a group control all nuclear issues globally through the IAEA

Nonetheless, this is a notable problem with all nuclear infrastructure, that is, the slow technological development due to the magnitude of the complex physics difficulties. Issues that are becoming common knowledge and as such widely understood by the public as a secondary downside along with unsolved waste problem

Obsolescence is the biggest problem with all nuclear technology, and the whole industry struggles to survive without sovereign capital funding. Most importantly, because clean alternative technology is rapidly developed and easily recycled.

What is interesting is the catalytic conversion of C02 and water into diesel although in its infancy, has already been trialled as economically viable, as well as being CO2 neutral, and that is before the carbon industry started discounting oil. In all probability, blue or e-diesel will be a good, clean fuel for submarines given the exponential growth in German fuel technology and their incredible technological record as world leaders in catalytic technology

Is it any wonder Germany stepped off the whole nuclear cycle, with such advances rapidly developing, making current nuclear tech look so last century, dated and obsolete?

source: the national interest: an American bi-monthly international affairs magazine published by the Center for the National Interest

January 2, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies, technology | Leave a comment

Former Liberal leader Peter Reith now a lobbyist for nuclear related company Bechtel

buy-politiciansDan Monceaux   Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia, December 2016 

Former Deputy leader of the Liberal party, Peter Reith, is a registered political lobbyist in South Australia.

His current book lists just two clients: Bechtel Infrastructure (Australia) Pty Ltd and G4S Custodial Services Pty Ltd.

Internationally, Bechtel has worked on a variety of substantial projects in the nuclear fuel cycle. Examples include:

Advanced Mixed Waste, Idaho, USA

Chernobyl Shelter and Confinement, Ukraine

Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, Ohio, USA

Hanford Waste Treatment Plant, Washington, USA

Horizon Wylfa Newydd, Isle of Anglesey, Wales, UK

Reagan Test Site, Marshall Islands

Savannah River Remediation, South Carolina, USA

Sellafield Pile Fuel Cladding Silo Retrieval, England

U.S. Nuclear Security Enterprise, Texas and Tennessee, USA

Uranium Processing Facility, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA

Watts Bar Completion, Tennessee, USA

Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, Nevada, USA

December 30, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australian government plays dirty tricks with language on High Level nuclear Wastes (HLW)

dirty-tricksSteve Dale Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 27 Dec 16

Consider this – spent fuel, when it comes out of the reactor is both hot and highly radioactive. At this point most countries would call it High Level Waste – Australia calls it an “asset” because a portion of it can be recycled. (So if your dog drops a steamy one on your lounge room floor, don’t call it waste – it’s an asset because you “might” be able to compost part of it. )
We send our HLW overseas to be reprocessed. It cools down over the years. Is it still dangerously radioactive?– bloody oath it is.
But the nuclear lobbyists/scientists/politicians here in Australia had a brainwave and decided to pass a law saying that it can only be called High Level Waste if it is “hot”. WTF. Who cares whether it is hot or not? People deal with hot barbeques/fireplaces all the time – it’s the radioactivity that’s the concern. If they want to deceive us in such a way, how can we ever trust them.
Such a pathetic definition of HLW makes Australia unsafe. It’s like passing a law saying that something is a gun only if it makes a loud “bang” – add a silencer and it is no longer legally a gun. Would such a law make Australia safer? Australia’s dodgy definition of High Level Waste makes us vulnerable to any country wanting to get rid of their “warm” High Level Waste.Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA

December 30, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

France’s submarine sales firm DCNS is notorious for corruption

text-from-the-archives“DCNS’s operations face questions across almost the entire globe, including in Pakistan, Malaysia, India, Saudi Arabia and Chile, with bribes and kickbacks reportedly comprising 8 per cent to 12 per cent of DCNS’s entire budget.”


flag-franceFrench subs builder’s record of corruption, The Saturday Paper, HAMISH MCDONALD, 30 Apr 16  “…….The Defence Department has been dazzled by promises from shipbuilder DCNS of ultra-quiet pulse-jet propulsion, a powerful sonar array from Thales, a comfortable space for the crew, and a very long range. Now all that has to be done is design the new boat, replacing the nuclear reactor in the Barracuda with diesels, batteries and fuel cells, and fitting in fuel tanks.

For the politicians, it’s all about jobs and buckets of money − as much as an extra $20 billion for local production − to retain a few Coalition seats in South Australia. So soon after seeing off the car industry, the Liberal Party dominated by economic “dries” has embraced industrial policy in a big way, in alliance with the Socialists of President François Hollande……
Somehow, even though the subs will be built in Adelaide, the French defence minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, also claims the contract as a “major victory for the French naval industry”, which would create thousands of new jobs in France.
Le Drian added that, “We are married to Australia for 50 years” − referring to the lifetime support for the submarines. So we had better be aware of the baggage our new partner brings. Unfortunately the Direction des Constructions et Armes Navales, now partly privatised and named DCNS, is a lady with a shady past,

As the Hong Kong-based website Asia Sentinel has pointed out, “DCNS’s operations face questions across almost the entire globe, including in Pakistan, Malaysia, India, Saudi Arabia and Chile, with bribes and kickbacks reportedly comprising 8 per cent to 12 per cent of DCNS’s entire budget.”

 One of the notable scandals was the alleged payment, with approval by the late president François Mitterrand, of $US400 million in bribes to Taiwan’s then ruling Kuomintang in 1991 for the sale of six frigates, with another $US100 million going to the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee to keep Beijing quiet. A more recent scandal, still simmering in Malaysia and France, involves the payment of €114 million in commissions to an associate of then Malaysian defence minister Najib Razak (now prime minister) in 2002 for the $US1.25 billion order of two Scorpène-class submarines for the Malaysian navy.

No doubt our politicians and officials are aware of all this, and will be ready to account for any largesse. Perhaps they should automatically knock off 8 to 12 per cent of any price quoted by DCNS.

December 25, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, politics international, secrets and lies | 2 Comments

Lucas Heights Nuclear plant man arrested, charged

text-cat-questionWhy is this article , from The Age print version, not published on the Internet version?

The Age, 24 Dec 16, Eamon Duff. A security consultant who held a “top secret” government clerance inside Australia’s only nuclear facility has been arrested and charged with the secret-agent-Austillegal possession of “official secrets” and an unauthorised weapon.

Until February last year, Anthony Rami Haddad was manager of security and operations at the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, safeguarding the site against theft, diversion and sabotage.

However, following  a stint in the Middle easrt where he worked on another nuclear security project, he returned hom eto Sydney, and last month became entangled in an unrelated investigation being run by the Australian Federal Police’s fraud and anti-corruption team.

A fortnight ago, Haddad appeared before Sydney’s Downi8ng Centre Local court, where he pleaded guilty to unauthorised receipt of official secrets under the Commonwealth crimes Act.

He has yet to enter a plea for a second charge, ppossessing an unauthorised prohibited firearm. His barrister, Nikolaos Siafakas, will apply to have the outstanding matter dealt with under section 32 of teh Mental Health Act……..

According to ANSTO documents, Haddad’s many responsibilities at Lucas Heights included the “mamagement of security operations” at the onsite Little Forest radioactive waste dump and its “seamless integration” into the facility’s “wider” protective security systems.

Haddad will reappear in court on Februaty 7. No link available. I couldn’t find this on the Internet

December 24, 2016 Posted by | New South Wales, secrets and lies | Leave a comment