Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

In India, Customs Department accuses Adani of fraud, as Adani bids forAustralian coal loan

If true, one effect of the alleged scheme would have been to move vast sums of money from the Adani Group’s domestic accounts into offshore bank accounts where it could no longer be taxed or accounted for.

Adani mining giant faces financial fraud claims as it bids for Australian coal loan, Exclusive: Allegations by Indian customs of huge sums being siphoned off to tax havens from projects are contained in legal documents but denied by company, Guardian, Michael Safi in Delhi, 16 Aug 17, A global mining giant seeking public funds to develop one of the world’s largest coal mines in Australia has been accused of fraudulently siphoning hundreds of millions of dollars of borrowed money into overseas tax havens.

Indian conglomerate the Adani Group is expecting a legal decision in the “near future” in connection with allegations it inflated invoices for an electricity project in India to shift huge sums of money into offshore bank accounts.

The directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) file, compiled in 2014, maps out a complex money trail from India through South Korea and Dubai, and eventually to an offshore company in Mauritius allegedly controlled by Vinod Shantilal Adani, the older brother of the billionaire Adani Group chief executive, Gautam Adani.

Vinod Adani is the director of four companies proposing to build a railway line and expand a coal port attached to Queensland’s vast Carmichael mine project.

The proposed mine, which would be Australia’s largest, has been the source of years of intense controversy, legal challenges and protests over its possible environmental impact.

Expanding the coal port to accommodate the mine will require dredging an estimated 1.1m cubic metres of spoil near the Great Barrier Reef marine park. Coal from the mine will also produce annual emissions equivalent to those of Malaysia or Austria according to one study.

One of the few remaining hurdles for the Adani Group is to raise finance to build the mine as well as a railway line to transport coal from the site to a port at Abbot Point on the Queensland coast.

To finance the railway Adani hopes to persuade the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (Naif), an Australian government-backed investment fund, to loan the Adani Group or a related entity about US$700m (A$900m) in public money.

While it awaits the decision on the loan, in Delhi the company is also expecting the judgment of a legal authority appointed under Indian financial crime laws in connection to allegations it siphoned borrowed money overseas.

The Adani Group fully denies the accusations, which it has challenged in submissions to the authority.

The investigation

News of the investigation was first reported in India three years ago, but the full customs intelligence document reveals forensic details of the workings of the alleged fraud which have not been publicly revealed.

The 97-page file accuses the Adani Group of ordering hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of equipment for an electricity project in western India’s Maharashtra state using a front company in Dubai.

To read the pdf click here. Continue reading

August 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australia must not forget – the plutonium abuse of an Australian child, by Argonne National Laboratory

Paul Langley,  https://www.facebook.com/paul.langley.9822/posts/10213752429593121CAL-2, 14 Aug 17, 5 yr-old Simon Shaw and his mum. Simon was flown from Australia to the US on the pretext of medical treatment for his bone cancer. Instead, he was secretly injected with plutonium to see what would happen. His urine was measured, and he was flown back to Australia.

Though his bodily fluids remained radioactive, Australian medical staff were not informed. No benefit was imparted to Simon by this alleged “medical treatment” and he died of his disease after suffering a trip across the world and back at the behest of the USA despite his painful condition. The USA merely wanted a plutonium test subject. They called him CAL-2. And did their deed under the cover of phony medicine.

“Congress of the United States, House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515-2107, Edward J. Markey, 7th District, Massachusetts Committees, [word deleted] and Commerce, Chairman Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Finance, Natural Resources, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe] MEMORANDUM To: Congressman Edward J. Markey From: Staff Subject: The Plutonium Papers Date: 4/20/94

Staff Memo on Plutonium Papers

The medical file for Cal-2 also contains correspondence seeking follow-up from Argonne National Laboratory in the 1980s. Cal-2 was an Australian boy, not quite five years old, who was flown to the U.S. in 1946 for treatment of bone cancer. During his hospitalization in San Francisco, he was chosen as a subject for plutonium injection. He returned to Australia, where he died less than one year later.

Document 700474 is a letter from Dr. Stebbings to an official at the Institute of Public Health in Sydney, Australia, in an attempt to reach the family of Cal-2. This letter reports that the child was “injected with a long-lived alpha-emitting radionuclide.” Document 700471 is a letter from Dr. Stebbings to New South Wales, Australia (names and town deleted), inquiring about recollections of the boy’s hospitalization in 1946. The letter notes that, “those events have become rather important in some official circles here,” but provides few details to the family.

A hand-written note on the letter reports no response through October 8, 1987. Considering the history on the lack of informed consent with these experiments, it is surprising that the letters to Australia failed to mention the word “plutonium.”

The Australian news media has since identified Cal-2 as Simeon Shaw, the son of a wool buyer in New South Wales, and information on the injection created an international incident. The information in the medical file does indicate that at a time when Secretary Herrington told you that no follow-up would be conducted on living subjects, the Department of Energy was desperately interested in conducting follow-up on a deceased Australian patient.

In an effort to determine the full extent of follow-up by the Department after 1986, your staff has requested, through the Department’s office of congressional affairs, the opportunity to speak with Dr. Stebbings, Dr. Robertson, and any other officials who may have been involved in the follow-up. So far, that request has been unsuccessful. It remains an open question as to what was the full extent of follow-up performed in the 1980s, and whether the efforts then would facilitate any further follow-up on subjects now. It seems appropriate for the Interagency Working Group to address these questions as its efforts continue.”

Source: National Security Archives, George Washington Universityhttp://www.gwu.edu/…/…/mstreet/commeet/meet1/brief1/br1n.txt

See also ACHRE Final Report.

NO MORE DUAL USE ABUSE OF AUSTRALIANS MR PRESIDENT. STOP FUNDING SYKES AND FLINDERS UNIVERSITY IN THE DOE QUEST FOR CHEAP CLEANUP OF URANIUM CONTAMINATED SITES.

Mr. President, you are wrong if you think you can do the same again re hormesis funding in Australia as the USA did with CAL-2. We have not forgotten and do not trust you or your paid agents in Australian universities such as Flinders.

August 14, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, history, reference, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Federal govt keeping Australia’s pollution data secret

FOI documents confirm government holding almost one year’s worth of pollution data, Brisbane Times, Lucy Cormack  7 July 17 The federal government has been keeping almost a year’s worth of pollution data secret, despite it being scheduled for release in May, documents obtained under freedom of information laws reveal.

Independent estimates suggest Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions have risen sharply since the government last released its quarterly data in December – a trend that would make the nation’s commitment to cutting emissions more disruptive and expensive.

Quarterly updates by the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, described as “up-to-date information on emissions trends for business, policymakers and the public”, have been released 28 times since 2009, but not since last year.

Documents obtained under FOI by the Australian Conservation Foundation reveal that while the government possesses data on greenhouse pollution for the two quarters leading up to the end of last year, it has failed to release them……..http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/foi-documents-confirm-government-holding-almost-one-years-worth-of-pollution-data-20170706-gx5um3.html

July 8, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Mystery of fireball seen in sky near Port Lincoln

South Aussies mystified as blazing fireball tears through sky https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/36231067/port-lincoln-fireball-in-sky-video-mystifies-south-australia/?cmp=st#page1  on July 1, 2017, 

Experts are not sure if it’s a meteor or a piece of space junk.

Nor are they sure where, or if, it landed.

July 3, 2017 Posted by | secrets and lies, South Australia | Leave a comment

ANSTO’s hidden agenda? – nuclear waste dump to precede tax-payer funded “new nukes”

From ENuFF South Australia Australia 20 June 2017, The hidden agenda becomes less opaque….. Coupled to the recent GenIV treaty endorsement, the proposed dumps will be used as additional justification for developing a commercial reactor industry “…. see, we have already resolved the ‘back end’ problem… “.

Since when have the Liberals’ been interested in Government having commercial money making enterprises? Never. We are witnessing the global military industrial wedge being hammered home…

In the Senate, Arthur Sinodinos tabled the ‘AUSTRALIAN NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ORGANISATION  AMENDMENT BILL 2017′

“…. includes the use of ANSTO’ s property to bring together start-ups, high-tech industry … it will allow ANSTO to leverage its facilities to generate additional capability and increase opportunities for ANSTO to generate commercial revenues…” https://www.facebook.com/sanuclearfree/posts/1693731754265029

June 28, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

What tests go on at Woomera – ‘the largest land testing range in the world’ ? 

What IS the army testing in the South Australian desert? Mysterious mushroom cloud erupts over historic Woomera range just after a drone flying near the secretive site was ‘forced to the ground’  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4616616/Mystery-mushroom-cloud-erupts-Woomera-range.html  By Bryant Hevesi For Daily Mail Australia

A man has captured image of ‘mushroom cloud’ near Lake Hart, South Australia  Jason Wright said loud explosion occurred after his drone was forced to ground . The cloud formed over the Woomera Prohibited Area, used for military testing The prohibited area is known as ‘the largest land testing range in the world’

A man has captured the moment a mysterious ‘mushroom cloud’ formed over the Woomera military testing range in outback South Australia.

Jason Wright snapped images of the cloud shortly after he says his drone was forced to the ground prior to hearing a loud explosion while he was near the testing range.

Mr Wright told Daily Mail Australia he had stopped off along the Sturt Highway with his partner and children to see Lake Hart on Saturday when the unusual incident occurred.  The experienced drone flyer had set-up his drone to take photos near the Lake Hart tourist rest area on the edge of the salt lake when he says it came down out of his control and made a hard landing.

Mr Wright, who lives in Coober Pedy, believes the drone’s GPS-based tracker may have been interfered with. About a minute after the drone fell, a ‘fireball’ erupted in the far distance, estimated to be as high as a 30-storey building, with the ‘mushroom cloud’ forming.

‘It was quite a spectacular explosion. It was very bright and there was a lot of heat in it,’ he said.

Mr Wright said despite criticisms he should not have been flying a drone in the area, he said the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s ‘Can I fly there?’ app showed was able to have a drone up to 45 metres where he was standing.

The Woomera Prohibited Area ‘is used for the testing of war materiel’ and is ‘the largest land testing range in the world’.

Exclusion zones are in place at various locations within the prohibited area at different times of the year while military equipment is tested.

One is currently in place until June 30.

In a statement to Daily Mail Australia, the Department of Defence said: ‘No weapons were being tested; the activity was a demolition of war materiel’.

Defence did not carry out any action to impact the unmanned aircraft,’ the statement said.

‘Defence carries out operations for the testing of war materiel within the Woomera Prohibited Area. This includes capability being developed and tested for use for defence purposes. The photograph was the result of the demolition of war materiel.

‘An unauthorised person must obtain a permit or approval to enter the Woomera Prohibited Area.

‘In addition to the entry requirements, all unmanned aerial vehicle or remotely piloted aircraft operators must comply with the requirements of Part 101 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998, this includes requirements associated with operating within a designated restricted area (for the purpose of regulation 6 of the Airspace Regulations 2007).

‘The Woomera Prohibited Area includes restricted areas for the purposes of the Airspace Regulations 2007 and these areas may be active during periods of defence testing activities.’

June 26, 2017 Posted by | secrets and lies, South Australia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Adani will profit from APPROVAL for coal mine expansion, even if the project does not go ahead

Malcolm Turnbull is considering spending almost $1 billion of his $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund on one project: a loan to a company controlled by the Adani family to enable it to build a 400 kilometre railway to get the coal to a deep water port near the Great Barrier Reef. By definition, such a loan wouldn’t be needed if the railway was commercially viable, which raises a disturbing question: if the railway isn’t viable, what about the mines it would rely on for business?

“One of the most profitable activities in Australia is the magical act of getting things rezoned, and that’s just as true for the mining industry.”

If Adani gets environmental approvals and a licence to mine, the value of its asset will have soared whether or not it actually mines. It could even onsell the asset without mining.

Even better, if it did onsell the project, it could maintain ownership of the railway, without which the next owners couldn’t get the coal to port.

Patriarch Gautam Adani has put ownership of the railway (the one that would be financed by the Commonwealth) into a separate private company owned by the family in the Cayman Islands. Should the publicly listed company that owns the mine go bust and have to sell, the mine’s new owners would still have to keep paying him.

Mine games. Why Adani is banking on the unbankable http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/mine-games-why-adani-is-banking-on-the-unbankable-20170531-gwgzvb.html Peter Martin  2 June 17,

You would think Adani would have gone away by now.

The giant Indian conglomerate can’t get a loan for its proposed $22 billion Queensland coal mine from an Australian bank, it can’t seem to get one from an Indian bank, the mine would be so big it would depress the world coal price, and the Indian government plans to phase out coal imports altogether.

In documents released to Fairfax Media under freedom of information laws, the Queensland Treasury as good as described the project as “unbankable”.

What is being proposed is breathtaking: a series of coal mines 60 kilometres long. If scrunched together they would be 40 kilometres long and 10 kilometres wide – an area bigger than Paris, much bigger than Sydney Harbour.

It would be the biggest coal mine in Australia and the biggest export coal mine in the world. It and the neighbours in the Galilee Basin that would open up when the railway went through would double our export capacity. It’s more than important enough for the Australian government to take a serious interest in. Continue reading

June 2, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Karla Way-McPhail, Annabelle Chaplain, – involved in coal industry , but on the Board to decide about Adani mine?

Adani: director on board that will consider $900m loan says project is ‘vital’
Karla Way-McPhail, who runs mining labour and equipment companies, will not say whether she will recuse herself from Carmichael decision,
Guardian, Joshua Robertson, 31 May 17, A director of the independent board due to provide recommendations regarding a $900m taxpayer loan to Adani publicly declared she was “very supportive” of its “vital” coal project, a day after she was accused of allowing a perceived conflict of interest to develop.

Karla Way-McPhail, who runs mining labour and equipment hire companies, last week told a central Queensland newspaper that Adani’s Carmichael mine project would be “a huge boost” for the region.

“We’re very supportive and have been in the industry over 20 years and think it’s vital to the economic platform of central Queensland and we think we really need to see the Galilee [basin] opened,” she told the Morning Bulletin in Rockhampton in a story published last Friday.

Way-McPhail sits on the independent board of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (Naif), which will make investment recommendations, including whether to grant the loan to Adani.

She is the chief executive of the coalmine labour and machinery supplier Undamine Industries, which says on its website it is well-placed to work with miners in the Galilee. The Adani proposal would open up the Galilee for development.

“Our Central Queensland base allows us to effectively serve areas such as the Galilee Basin and beyond,” it says.

Final approval for a Naif loan rests with the minister for Northern Australia, Matthew Canavan, and Naif has said its board members are aware of their conflict-of-interest obligations. It is unclear whether Way-McPhail plans to recuse herself from any decisions.

The Morning Bulletin article did not refer to Way-McPhail’s $56,150-a-year role on the board.

A day before the article appeared, Environmental Justice Australia had written to Naif raising questions about Way-McPhail’s alleged conflict of interest as the chief executive of Undamine and Coal Train Australia, a mining training company.

“There is a perception that Ms Way-McPhail could gain an advantage if either project were to proceed,” EJA said.

Asked by Guardian Australia if her public support for the Adani mine compromised perceptions of her independence, Way-McPhail said: “Due to confidentiality and privacy obligations I am unable to make comment or respond.”

A Naif official did not answer EJA questions about whether Way-McPhail had received any internal information about the Adani proposal, whether she had been present for board discussions or had been included in other correspondence about them. The same was true for questions about Aurizon, which has also approached Naif with a loan proposal to support the construction of a rail line to open up thermal coalmining in the Galilee basin.

 Adani’s proposed $900m Naif loan is to build a line connecting its Abbot Point coal port, near Bowen, to its Carmichael mine, hundreds of kilometres inland. The terms of both proposed loans are unknown.

Naif would not say whether Way-McPhail planned to recuse herself from any decision on Adani or Aurizon.

EJA also raised questions around Annabelle Chaplain, who sits on the board of the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic), which advises Naif. Chaplain also sits on the board of and owns shares in Downer EDI, which has provisional contracts worth up to $2bn with Adani, including to build its mine……https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/31/adani-director-on-board-that-will-consider-900m-loan-says-project-is-vital

May 31, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Conflict of interest in federal government bodies considering $billion loan to Adani coal company

Adani: Government body board members considering rail loan ‘linked to companies who may benefit’ Mark Willacy and Alexandra Blucher, ABC News 29 May 17, Conflict of interest concerns have been raised about two board members of federal government bodies involved in the consideration of a billion-dollar loan to Indian mining giant Adani.

Adani is seeking the loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) for a rail line linking its proposed Carmichael coal mine to the port of Abbot Point in north Queensland.

Green group Environmental Justice Australia said the two board members had connections to Queensland mining companies that could benefit financially if the Adani mine is approved and as such have a potential conflict of interest.

They have written to the NAIF and to the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic), the government credit agency, which is helping to evaluate the loan.

Environmental Justice Australia said Annabelle Chaplain was a board member of Efic but also a director of Downer EDI, which has a $2 billion commercial arrangement with Adani.

It also said Karla Way-McPhail was a NAIF board member as well as being the chief executive of two companies that do work in the mining industry. One is Undamine Industries, which hires out labour and machinery to support mining operations.

The second is Coal Train Australia, a mining training company based in central Queensland.

Efic board member Ms Chaplain is listed as an independent non-executive director of Downer EDI, whose $2 billion arrangement is to conduct drilling, blasting and coal haulage at the Carmichael Mine, if it goes ahead.

According to Downer EDI’s last annual report, Ms Chaplain held 74,000 shares in the company, putting her stake at more than $450,000. Downer EDI chief executive Grant Fenn told The Australian Financial Review last year the company was a “supporter” of the Adani mine and that the Indian giant was “a very large potential customer”.

‘Clear connections’ to companies that could gain from loan

Environmental Justice Australia said both Ms Way-McPhail and Ms Chaplain had clear connections to companies that could benefit financially if the Adani project was approved.

“We understand NAIF is considering proposals by an [Adani company] and Aurizon Holdings Ltd for Galilee Basin rail projects that would cart thermal coal to the Great Barrier Reef Coast,” Environmental Justice Australia wrote in its letter to both government bodies.

“There is a perception that Ms Way-McPhail could gain an advantage if either project were to proceed.”

Efic told the ABC Ms Chaplain was unavailable for interview…….

The NAIF has been accused of excessive secrecy over the operation of its board and the board’s deliberations. The ABC reported earlier this year the NAIF rejected a freedom of information request for the dates and locations of its upcoming board meetings. The NAIF chief executive said the “disclosure of the dates of board meetings could reasonably be expected to adversely affect the NAIF’s operations” by creating media attention and protest activity……http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-29/conflict-of-interest-concerns-over-adani-rail-loan/8564368

May 29, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australian government about to secretly sign up to developing Generation IV nuclear reactors?

Should Australia invest funds and resources in developing Generation IV nuclear reactors? Online opinion, 

By Noel Wauchope, 23 May 2017 Without any fanfare, with no media coverage, Australia’s Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) is presently considering Australia signing up to the International Framework for Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems (GIF), which will commit this nation to take part in developing new nuclear reactors.Dr Adi Paterson, CEO of the Australia Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, signed up to this GIF Framework last year. However, that does require confirmation by the Australian government. Hence there was the need for the JSCOT Committee to at least take a look at it, before the government completes the membership. Apparently there is no need for public discussion, or probably even Parliamentary discussion.

This Committee very quietly invited submissions, and very few were in the know about this. Now the received submissions have been published – at http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Treaties/NuclearEnergy/Submissions.

Anyway, it looks as if ANSTO is the driving force behind this process, and judging by the submissions received, the nuclear lobby was in the know, even if the public was not. Fourteen submissions were received. Of these, eleven were strongly pro- nuclear, and three were opposed. The opposing submissions came from Friends of the Earth (FOE), (jointly with the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF ), Medical Association For The Prevention of War (MAPW), and myself, (I came upon the Parliamentary website just by chance).

In assessing these submissions, of course, I have to admit to bias on my part. Still, I think that any reader would find that there is one submission that stands out for clarity, and a detailed, factual discussion of the GIF plan. That is the one written by Jim Green and Dave Sweeney, for FOE and ACF.

Green and Sweeney respond to assertions made in ANSTO’s National Interest Analysis. They question claims that the new reactors reduce weapons proliferation risks, are economic, efficient, and solve waste problems. They rebuke the claim of ANSTO that “a significant expansion in nuclear power production is underway “, listing the overall decline in nuclear power growth, with the exception of China. They discuss at length the very long time frame expected even by nuclear industry experts, before any Generation IV reactors could be commercially viable.

They go on to discuss each of the six proposed new nuclear reactors, giving a detailed history of the attempts to develop each, and factual information that refutes those claims made by ANSTO. For all of their statements, Green and Sweeney provide evidence and references.

The Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW)’s submission questions the government’s high subsidising of ANSTO, and points out the poor prospects for private investment in new nuclear power. It refutes the argument that Gen IV reactors would solve the nuclear waste problem, quoting analysis by the US National Academy of Sciences. They discuss the history of attempts to develop Gen IV nuclear reactors: ” a track record of repeated failure and massive cost”. They discuss the direct and indirect costs, and ANSTO’s secrecy about nuclear costs. Safety and reliability issues, and proliferation risks, are examined. They also point out that the recent Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission (NFCRC) was not supportive of new nuclear technology. The Commission proposed:

…monitoring and reporting” of new designs, not participation in research and active subsidization. The Royal Commission also places emphasis on economic value for nuclear power generation, which is clearly entirely absent from fast reactor operations.

My own submission also discusses non-proliferation, nuclear waste, and claims about climate change, but it focuses on the lack of public information and discussion. In view of Australia’s laws prohibiting the development of nuclear power in Australia, I find it disturbing that the government is about to put money and resources into developing new nuclear reactors.

Now – to the eleven pro nuclear submissions. In general these faithfully repeat the claims made by ANSTO, stressing the value of Australia participating in an international forum. (e.g: submission from Australian Nuclear Association)

Now – to the eleven pro nuclear submissions. In general these faithfully repeat the claims made by ANSTO, stressing the value of Australia participating in an international forum. (e.g: submission from Australian Nuclear Association)

  • Most submissions praise ANSTO and universities ANU and UNSW for their expertise.
  • Then there’s the claim that nuclear power will decarbonise the economy. (submission by The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE)). (and from Barrie Murphy)
  • Joining GIF will increase the visibility of Australia’s cutting-edge research (from Nuclear Engineering Research Group, School of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, UNSW Sydney)
  • Would increase Australia’s ability to influence international policy – will increase the international status of ANSTO and Australia’s universities. (from Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering)
None of these submissions discussed the proposed reactors or provided any evidence for those claims…….http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19049

Continue reading

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

‘Dirty Deeds’ – The shady web behind potential Adani coal mine finance

https://www.acf.org.au/dirty_deeds STOP ADANI 24 MAY 2017
An Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) investigation has discovered the publically funded Export Finance Investment Corporation (Efic) could be used as a backdoor option to finance Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.

An Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) investigation has discovered the publically funded Export Finance Investment Corporation (Efic) could be used as a backdoor option to finance Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.

Efic could provide loan insurance to private investors for Adani’s Carmichael coal mine, leaving Australians exposed to billions of dollars being lost to a useless stranded asset.

These findings are part of a new report from ACF exposing the web of ties between the fossil fuels industry, the government, the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) and Efic.

  • Five of the seven NAIF directors have close connections to the fossil fuel industry.
  • NAIF Board has lack of experience with industries such as communications and renewable energy which are critical to the development from Northern Australia.
  • NAIF’s chief adviser, Efic, has a track record of investing in large fossil fuel projects, backing fossil fuels over renewables at a rate of more than 100:1.
  • Efic could insure private investment in Adani coal mine – Turnbull government has refused to rule it out.

Download the investigation, and watch a video below showing the web of NAIF and Efic coal interests.

“That public money could be put on the line to protect private profit from the Adani coal mine that will help destroy the Reef and Australian tourism jobs is a truly gobsmacking and outrageous idea.” said Kelly O’Shanassy, Australian Conservation Foundation CEO.

“Both NAIF and Efic must be prevented from supporting a mine that will end up being a stranded asset, potentially wasting billions in public money. The Turnbull government must take responsibility and rule it out immediately.

“When the Adani mine fails, the Australian public will be the very last people to get their money back and probably won’t.

“Public investment in coal is a losing proposition for public money, the Reef and the 70,000 tourism jobs that rely on it.”

May 24, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Is the Australian govt secretly planning for tax-payers to finance Adani coal mine?

Report; EFIC may finance Adani coal mine, Michael West, May 23, 2017 Is the government secretly planning to put taxpayers on the hook to build the world’s biggest new thermal coal mine? It is refusing to rule it out.

Until now, speculation has centred on a $1 billion discount loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to Indian billionaire Gautam Adani to build a rail line from the Galilee Basin to Abbot Point on the Queensland coast. This is a “cart before the horse” proposition however. There can be no rail line without a mining project, and Adani is yet to attract project finance from commercial banks to build its mine.

A new report by the Australian Conservation Foundation notes that a number of approaches were made to the Federal Government and its credit agency, Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC), asking whether the agency was considering supporting the Carmichael thermal coal project. Already EFIC has a team working within NAIF on project evaluation. Continue reading

May 24, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

NO PUBLIC DISCUSSION! Australia’s Generation IV Nuclear Energy Accession

Submission to:  Inquiry: The Generation IV Nuclear Energy – Accession. by Noel Wauchope, 24 April 2017

First of all, I find it very strange that this agreement has been signed up to in advance, not by any elected representative of the Australian Parliament, but by Dr Adi Patterson CEO of the Australia Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, apparently pre-empting the results of this Inquiry!

I find it disturbing that this Inquiry is being held without any public information or discussion. Are we to assume that the decision to join this “Charter” is being taken without prior public knowledge?

It is a pretty momentous decision. 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.”

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 currently prohibits the development of nuclear power in Australia. Nuclear power cannot be approved under either the EPBC Act or the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998.  These prohibitions are, as I understand it,  supported by all major parties in Australia?

This would be an extraordinary step for Australia to take, especially in the light of the recent South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission (NFCRC) pro-nuclear Royal Commission, which, while recommending South Australia for an international nuclear waste dump, nevertheless stated that

The recent conclusion of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF), which issued updated projections for fast reactor and innovative systems in January 2014, suggests the most advanced system will start a demonstration phase (which involves completing the detailed design of a prototype system and undertaking its licensing, construction and operation) in about 2021. The demonstration phase is expected to last at least 10 years and each system demonstrated will require funding of several billion US dollars. As a result, the earliest possible date for the commercial operation of fast reactor and other innovative reactor designs is 2031. This timeframe is subject to significant project, technical and funding risk. It extends by six years a similar assessment undertaken by GIF in 2002. This means that such designs could not realistically be ready for commercial deployment in South Australia or elsewhere before the late 2030s, and possibly later.”

This was hardly a ringing endorsement of Generation IV nuclear reactors.

The South Australian Citizens Jury, Community Consultations, numerous economists, and the S.A. Liberal Party all rejected that nuclear waste plan, as not economically viable.  A huge amount of preparation was done by the NFCRC in investigating the phases of the nuclear Fuel Cycle (more accurately Chain) to arrive at their rather negative view of Generation IV nuclear reactors.

That makes it all the more extraordinary that the Australian government would be willing to sign up so quickly to ANSTO’s request that Australia put resources into these untested, and so far, non-existent nuclear technologies.

I hope that the Committee is aware of the present financial troubles of the giant nuclear corporations, such as AREVA, Toshiba, and Westinghouse Electric. Nuclear power is turning out to be a financial liability wherever it is not funded by the tax-payer, (as in China and Russia). (1)

The World Nuclear Association describes the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) as countries for whom nuclear energy is significant now or seen as vital in the future. Australia’s situation in no way fits these criteria.

Nuclear energy is not significant now in Australia, and even the NRCRC nuclear proponents do not see it as vital for Australia’s future. It is almost laughable, that right now, renewable energy systems are taking off in Australia – both as large solar and wind farms, and as a huge increase in small decentralised systems such as home and business solar panel installations.

That’s where Australia should be putting its resources of human energy, talent, and funding.

The claims made by the nuclear lobby, ANSTO and some politicians, notably Christopher Pyne and Julie Bishop, about Generation Iv nuclear reactors, do not stand up to scrutiny:

Non proliferation “-   Furthering Australia’s non-proliferation and nuclear safety objectives.” The well-known claim that a “conventional” nuclear bomb cannot be made from these new types of reactor, might be true, to a certain extent. However, IFRs and other plutonium-based nuclear power concepts fail the WMD proliferation test, i.e. they can too easily be used to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons. The use of thorium as a nuclear fuel doesn’t solve the WMD proliferation problem. Irradiation of thorium (indirectly) produces uranium-233, a fissile material which can be used in nuclear weapons.  These materials can be used to make a “dirty bomb” – irradiating a city or other target.  They would require the same expensive security measures that apply with conventional nuclear reactors.

If the purpose in joining the GIF is to strengthen non-proliferation and safety – why is ANSTO the implementing agent not the Australia Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office?

Solving nuclear waste problem? Claims that these new nuclear reactors will solve the problem of nuclear wastes are turning out to be spurious. For example, Nuclear energy startup Transatomic Power has backed away from bold claims for its advanced reactor technology after an informal review by MIT professors highlighted serious errors in the company’s calculations. (2) Even at the best of times, the “new nuclear” lobby admits that their Gen IV reactors will produce highly toxic radioactive wastes, requiring security for up to 300 years.
The Integral Fast Reactor is called “integral” because it would process used reactor fuel on-site, separating plutonium (a weapons explosive) and other long-lived radioactive isotopes from the used fuel, to be fed back into the reactor. It essentially converts long-lived waste into shorter lived waste. This waste would still remain dangerous for a minimum of 200 years (provided it is not contaminated with high level waste products), so we are still left with a waste problem that spans generations. (3)

Climate change. The claim that new nuclear power will solve climate change is spurious. This ignores life-cycle CO2 emissions

Nuclear energy is not zero carbon.

Emissions from nuclear will increase significantly over the next few decades as high grade ore is depleted, and increasing amounts of fossil fuels are required to access, mine and mill low-grade ore.

To stay below the 2 degrees of global warming that climate scientists widely agree is necessary to avert catastrophic consequences for humans and physical systems, we need to significantly reduce our emissions by 2050, and to do this we need to start this decade. Nuclear is a slow technology:

The “Generation IV” demonstration plants projected for 2030-2040 will be too late, and there is no guarantee the pilots will be successful.

Nuclear Economics. For “a time when significant expansion in nuclear power production is underway” – this is a laughable falsehood. In reality, nuclear power economics are in a state of crisis, most notably in America, but it is a world-wide slowdown. (4)

The vagueness of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) agreement is a worry. Australia is to formally commit to participate in the development of one or more Generation IV systems selected by GIF for further R&D.  Surely Australia is not going to sign up to this, without any detail on what kind of research, what kind of reactor, what amount of funding we would be committing to the GIF.

And all this without any public discussion!

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/apr/11/toshiba-losses-uk-moorside-nuclear-plant-westinghouse
  2.  https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603731/nuclear-energy- startup-transatomic-backtracks-on-key-promises/
  3. https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4555
  4.  http://reneweconomy.com.au/nuclear-industry-crisis-29735/

 

May 17, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, reference, secrets and lies, spinbuster, technology | 2 Comments

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: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Treaties/NuclearEnergy

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