Australian news, and some related international items

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

Secret history of Maralinga nuclear bomb tests

text-from-the-archivesThe half-life of plutonium is 24,000 years. At this rate of decay, the Maralinga secret-agent-Austlands would be contaminated for the next half-million years.…..A variety of factors underlay the harm to public health, Aboriginal culture and the natural environment which the British tests entailed. Perhaps most significant was the secrecy surrounding the testing program….There seems little doubt that the secrecy in which the entire testing program was cloaked served British rather than Australian interests…..Information passed to Australian officials was kept to the minimum necessary to facilitate their assistance in the conduct of the testing program. The use of plutonium in the minor trials was not disclosed……

A toxic legacy : British nuclear weapons testing in Australia, Australian Institute of Criminology. “…… Three days after the conclusion of the Totem trials, the Australian government was formally advised of British desires to establish a permanent testing site in Australia. In August 1954, the Australian Cabinet agreed to the establishment of a permanent testing ground at a site that became named Maralinga, Continue reading

December 23, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, secrets and lies, uranium | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Australian government about to subsidise shady coal corporation Adani Enterprises

corruption textAdani’s Galilee Basin complex corporate web spreads to tax havens, ABC News 21 Dec 16  Stephen Long It is an intriguing corporate web that spreads from North Queensland, across Asia to the Caribbean.

Giant Indian conglomerate Adani, which plans to build one of the world’s largest coal mines in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, has set up a complex network of companies and trusts in Australia which are owned in one of the world’s major tax havens, the Cayman Islands.

The Adani Group is also attempting to shift ownership of the existing Abbot Point coal port — which it bought for $1.8 billion — to a Singaporean company ultimately owned in the Cayman Islands.

An exhaustive search of company filings and documents across the globe has cast light on this opaque structure of ownership and control.

It has alarmed environmental activists and legal experts, who fear it could make it harder to gain compensation from Adani in the event of an environmental disaster from Adani’s planned mine and port expansion on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef.

“I’ve been a businessman for most of my life, as well as an environmental activist, and the risks are great,” said Geoff Cousins, former Optus CEO and chairman of the George Paterson advertising agency, now a board member of the Australian Conservation Foundation.

“With these kinds of approvals of big mining operations or port operations, you always get a set of conditions that the Government puts on.

“But those conditions aren’t worth anything if, when something goes wrong, you try to find the company responsible and either it has no money or if it has money it’s in a tax haven and you can’t reach it.”

It is a view echoed by David Chaikin, a professor of business law at the University of Sydney.

“The advantage of having the money in tax havens is that you are able to conceal the source of money, the use of money, and also to minimise tax,” he said.

Coal infrastructure owned through opaque structures

As well as building Australia’s biggest coal mine in north Queensland, Adani is planning a huge expansion of the existing coal terminal at Abbot Point, near Bowen, to ship coal across the Great Barrier Reef to India — turning it into one of the world’s biggest coal ports.

It also wants to build a new railway linking the mine, about 400 kilometres inland, to the port.

All the planned developments are based on corporate structures involving tax havens.

Control of the railway — which the Federal Government is preparing to support with a $1 billion publicly subsidised loan — ultimately resides in the Cayman Islands, one of the world’s most notorious and secretive tax havens………

Transferring ownership of the critical port infrastructure to a Caymans Islands’ company “means it will be unregulated, unaccountable,” Tim Buckley, director of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analytics told the ABC.

“It will be non-transparent to the Australian Government as to what is going on, who owns it, who are the directors. To me it is a matter of national security.”

Companies and trusts created by Adani for the proposed Carmichael mine are ultimately owned by Adani Enterprises, a publicly-listed company in India, but the control flows via a company registered in the tax haven of Mauritius, Adani Global Ltd.

A $5 billion fund the Federal Government set up for the development of northern Australia, the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility or NAIF, is considering a request from Adani for a $1 billion subsidised loan for its rail development.

The NAIF refused to disclose which Adani entity had applied for the finance when approached by the ABC.

December 21, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Evidence that Maralinga soldiers were radiation guinea pigs

The press release was drafted ahead of Operation Buffalo at Maralinga, during which secret-agent-Austtroops were ordered to crawl through areas hit by fallout. It was not meant to be made public

text-from-the-archivesTop secret document reveals British troops were knowingly revealed to radiation during nuclear fallout tests –, by Susie Boniface, 2 Jan 2011, British troops WERE knowingly exposed to radiation during nuclear fallout tests, a top-secret document has finally proved.

For five decades, successive governments have denied any harm was caused to the 22,000 servicemen ordered to witness nuclear bomb tests in the Fifties and Sixties – saying the explosions were to test the weapons, not their effects on humans, and the men were at a safe distance.

But a draft Press release written before tests in Australia in 1956, now uncovered in the National Archives, reads: “The possible effects of the ingestion of radioactive fallout (by men and animals) will be among the subjects studied.”

It has the words “by men and animals” crossed out in pencil, and the version that was actually released mentions only sheep and small animals.

The document blows apart official claims that the tests were not harmful to the troops who witnessed test blasts in Australia, the US and the South Pacific.

It also backs the test veterans’ claims that they were used as “guinea pigs” by the MoD in its race to build an atomic bomb.

Since the tests they say they have suffered high rates of cancers and other illnesses. More than 1,000 vets and widows have won the right to sue the MoD.

The top-secret Press release was unearthed by veteran David Wilson, 74, from Shropshire, who served as an RAF clerk at Christmas Island in the South Pacific during two bomb blasts.

Mr Wilson, who is one of the vets suing over illnesses he has suffered, said: “We were ordered there purely and simply to witness those tests, as guinea pigs.”

The press release was drafted ahead of Operation Buffalo at Maralinga, during which troops were ordered to crawl through areas hit by fallout. It was not meant to be made public until..

Top secret document reveals British troops were knowingly revealed to radiation during nuclear fallout tests –

December 21, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, secrets and lies | | Leave a comment

Federal government bribing Aborigines to accept nuclear waste dump?

The feds are offering Traditional Owners trips to France, Spain and to Sydney ….. hmmm this sounds like another form of bribery to me, another form of trickery and I think a waste of tax payers monies, why????

November 25, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Adelaide campus of University College London (UCL) – a nuclear Trojan horse


Dennis Matthews, 24 Nov 16 

The Adelaide based campus of University College London is a Trojan Horse for the nuclear industry which, as I recall, was the brain-child of Mike Rann and Alexander Downer and was (I think) conceived on a train when the opening of the Ghan line extension from Alice Springs to Darwin, which just happens to be a great boost for exporting minerals such as uranium and for importing nuclear waste.

November 25, 2016 Posted by | secrets and lies, South Australia | Leave a comment


Jim Green, 3 Nov 16  No High Level International Nuclear Waste Dump in South Australia 

The Nuclear Royal Commission was a disgraceful con-job from start to finish.
The SA government chose a nuclear advocate as Royal Commissioner.
The Royal Commissioner stacked his Advisory Committee with three strident nuclear advocates, ‘balanced’ by one token critic.
There wasn’t even one token nuclear critic on the Royal Commission’s staff.
And there isn’t even one token nuclear critic on the SA government’s Consultation & Response Agency which has been exerting influence on the Citizens’ Jury, and which also has strong influence over the statewide ‘consultation’ process (thinly-disguised promotion).

Royal Commission bubble burst

This morning the ABC reveals that the economic modelling commissioned by the Royal Commission was co-authored by the president and vice president of a group which aims to promote nuclear waste “solutions” and which also promotes nuclear power. A clear conflict of interest and an absolute disgrace. (

Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce told the ABC this morning:

                “The conflict of interest would arise if they were the only source of information that we were                      using to assess the evaluation. They were not.”

Really? In fact, only one, conflicted consultant was used by the Royal Commission for economic modelling. The fanciful speculation of the conflicted consultant was heavily promoted in the Royal Commission’s report and is now being promoted as solid, factual information by the government’s Consultation & Response Agency.

For a serious discussion on the economics of the plan to turn SA into the world’s high-level nuclear waste dump, see this submission from Prof. Richard Blandy:…/upl…/2016/04/Blandy-Richard.pdf
And see also the report by the Australia Institute:…/P222A%20Digging%20for%20answers%20-…

November 2, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

The role of Professor Ernest Titterton in deceiving Australians about nuclear weapons testing

text-historyChapter 16: A toxic legacy : British nuclear weapons testing in Australia  Published in:  Wayward governance : illegality and its control in the public sector / P N Grabosky Canberra : Australian Institute of Criminology, 1989 ISBN 0 642 14605 5(Australian studies in law, crime and justice series); pp. 235-253

“……….Another factor which underlay Australian deference during the course of the testing program was the role of Sir Ernest Titterton. A British physicist, Titterton had worked in the United States on the Manhattan Project, which developed the first nuclear weapon.

After the war, he held a position at the British Atomic Energy Research Establishment, and in 1950 he was appointed to the Chair of Nuclear Physics at the Australian National University. Among Titterton’s earliest tasks in Australia was that of an adviser to the British scientific team at the first Monte Bello tests. In 1956, the Australian government established an Atomic Weapons Tests Safety Committee (AWTSC) responsible for monitoring the British testing program to ensure that the safety of the Australian environment and population were not jeopardised. To this end, it was to review British test proposals, provide expert advice to the Australian government, and to monitor the outcome of tests. Titterton was a foundation member of the Committee and later, its Chairman.

While Menzies had envisaged that the Committee would act as an independent, objective body, evidence suggests that it was more sensitive to the needs of the British testing program than to its Australian constituents.

Members tended to be drawn from the nuclear weapons fraternity, as was Titterton; from the Defence establishment, from the Commonwealth Department of Supply, from the Commonwealth X-Ray and Radium Laboratory, and from the Australian Atomic Energy Commission. Although the expertise of these individuals is beyond dispute, one wonders if they may have been too closely identified with the ‘atomic establishment’ to provide independent critical advice. The nuclear weapons fraternity have often been criticised as a rather cavalier lot; no less a person than General Leslie Groves, who headed the Manhattan Project which developed the first atomic bomb, has been quoted as having said ‘Radiation death is a very pleasant way to die’ (Ball 1986, p. 8). In retrospect, the Australian safety committee suffered from the absence of biologists and environmental scientists in its ranks……..

In 1960, the British advised the AWTSC that ‘long lived fissile elements’ and ‘a toxic material’ would be used in the ‘Vixen B’ tests. Titterton requested that the materials be named, and later announced ‘They have answered everything we asked.’ The substances in question were not disclosed (Australia 1985, p. 414). In recommending that the Australian government agree to the tests, he appears to have been either insufficiently informed of the hazards at hand, or to have failed to communicate those hazards to the Safety Committee, and through it, to the Australian government. Earlier, before the Totem tests, he had reassured the Australian Prime Minister that

the time of firing will be chosen so that any risk to health due to radioactive contamination in our cities, or in fact to any human beings, is impossible. . . . [N]o habitations or living beings will suffer injury to health from the effects of the atomic explosions proposed for the trials (quoted in Australia 1985, p. 467).

There were other examples of Titterton’s role in filtering information to the Australian authorities, a role which has been described as ‘pivotal’ (Australia 1985, p. 513). He proposed that he be advised informally of certain details of proposed experiments. In one instance, he advised the British that ‘It would perhaps be wise to make it quite clear that the fission yield in all cases is zero’, knowing that this would be a misrepresentation of fact (Australia 1985, p. 519). Years later, the Royal Commission suggested that Titterton may have been more a de facto member of the British Atomic Weapons Research Establishment than a custodian of the Australian public interest.

The Royal Commission’s indictment of Titterton would be damning:

Titterton played a political as well as a safety role in the testing program, especially in the minor trials. He was prepared to conceal information from the Australian Government and his fellow Committee members if he believed to do so would suit the interests of the United Kingdom Government and the testing program (Australia 1985, p. 526)………

October 23, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, secrets and lies, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Coal Seam Gas industry far too influential in CSIRO research

‘No-brainer’: Calls for CSIRO to make its CSG gas research more independent , The Age, Peter Hannam, 19 Oct 16  The CSIRO needs to ensure its research into coal seam gas remains independent of industry if it’s to win over opponents worried about environmental and social impacts, The Australia Institute (TAI) argues in a new paper.

The report highlighted how the original research advisory committee of the CSIRO-led body – known as the Gas Industry Social & Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA) – had been dominated by industry representatives and the CSIRO.

While this committee have since been split into NSW and Queenslandones, industry continues to have a significant presence that raised doubts about how arm’s length the research work could be, said Matt Grudnoff, a researcher with the TAI.

“It’s not just the industry is sponsoring this research,” Mr Grudnoff said. “Industry also sits at the table that decides the questions, and decides what projects get funded.” “It’s a no-brainer that they should get gas executives off these research committees” if the industry wanted to be accepted by communities worried about interference and possible contamination of aquifers from CSG wells, he said.

The industry also wants to convince the public that gas is cleaner than coal as part of efforts to gain “social licence”, Mr Grudnoff said. CSIRO executives will face a fresh grilling at Senate estimates on Thursday.

Emails released earlier this year revealed the nation’s premier research agency was looking to shift its emphasis away from “science for science sake”.

“Public good is not enough, needs to be linked to jobs and growth, but science that leads to SLO [social licence to operate] is OK,” Andreas Schiller, an executive in the Oceans and Atmosphere division, said in one email.

According to CSIRO, GISERA funding totalled $13.05 million for the 2014-15 to 2016-17 years. Industry chipped in about half, or $6.65 million, with governments and CSIRO providing the rest…….

October 22, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, secrets and lies | Leave a comment