Australian news, and some related international items

BHP shareholder opposes dangerous expansion of Olympic Dam uranium mine

The production of radioactive tailings waste is projected to increase from 10million tonnes each year to 68million tonnes. The tailings dams now rise more than 20m above the landscape and cover many square kilometres. BHP Billiton intends these tailings piles to increase to 60m high and to cover up to 44sqkm.

BHP Billiton’s uranium quest has too many risksJohn Poppins, Canberra Times, Nov 15, 2010 Thousands of ordinary Australians, including my own family have benefited from BHP Billiton’s mining success. However, like increasing numbers of BHP Billiton shareholders, we are troubled by the long-term effects of some aspects of its mining projects. Continue reading

November 17, 2010 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, South Australia, uranium | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aborigines, unions voice anger at BHP Billiton’s uranium mining plans

“The WA mining industry, and BHP in particular, has a poor worker safety record and uranium mining poses even greater health risks as uranium mine workers are exposed to radiation from the ore itself and from the inhalation of radon gas,”

Anger at BHP’s Yeelirrie uranium project  Perth Now Russell Quinn & Rebecca Lawson,  November 16, 2010 BHP Billiton has met with opposition from traditional owners over the development of the proposed Yeelirrie uranium mine at its annual general meeting in Perth today. Continue reading

November 17, 2010 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The other side of BHP Billiton’s Annual Report

Threatening lives, the environment, and peoples’ future – An Alternative Annual Report on BHP Billiton 2009-2010 In this 25 page report, case studies question BHP’s record on human rights, transparency, and ecological justice.

“………..This report examines a number of BHP Billiton’s operations around the world. The collection of case studies highlights the disparity between BHP Billiton’s ‘Sustainability Framework’ and the reality of its operations.In the year 2009-2010 BHP Billiton has continued itsinvolvement in many controversial mines, is advancing riskyand unwanted projects….. Continue reading

November 16, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, religion and ethics, uranium | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BHP Billiton under fire over radioactive waste dumping

”This company plans to dump rather than to dispose of their radioactive wastes, and do not intend to rehabilitate the proposed open pit, intending instead to leave a toxic lake as a permanent scar on the landscape,”

BHP boss faces a grilling, Sydney Morning Herald, Mathew MurphyNovember 15, 2010 BHP Billiton boss Marius Kloppers will come under pressure from shareholders at tomorrow’s annual meeting…… Continue reading

November 15, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear, uranium | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John Durie of THE AUSTRALIAN recommends nuclear waste storage industry for South Australia

South Australia’s Rann could do everyone a favour by realising the best way to maximise growth in the state is to look at some sort of environmentally friendly nuclear waste storage in the state. – John Durie writes in THE AUSTRALIAN 5  Nov

“This could be a new industry for the country, and as much as the environmental benefits of nuclear power are questionable, it is another source of power which should go into the mix.

It just so happens BHP is sitting on tonnes of uranium, and it just so happens its boss Marius Kloppers is a big advocate of a carbon tax to get Australia on to the greenhouse combat zone efficiently.

Next stop is to start pushing for nuclear power in Australia, powered by the Big Australian, which it seems has got too big to buy anything of any size offshore…..”

November 5, 2010 Posted by | South Australia, uranium, wastes | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Australia’s nuclear power spinners – theme for November

It is well accepted, (even by Ziggy Switkowski in his 2006 report) that Australia does not need nuclear power. Yet, Ziggy and other old nuclear lobbyists are now urgently “spinning” , promoting nuclear energy for Australia. And new spinners are joining them

Apologies to Bob Hawke – I left that old attention-seeker off the picture!

One reason for this nuclear spinning is the fact that Australia will be expected to take back international wastes, as part of its uranium export industry. So, by getting Australia into the entire nuclear fuel cycle, this would make a smoother transition from “our” nuclear wastes, to “theirs” too.

The radioactive waste question is becoming critical in Australia – with the government’s attempt to impose a dump on Aboriginal land, and with Lucas Heights wastes soon. due to return from England.

Hillary Clinton and  Robert Gates visited Australia. Their mission?  –  to get Australia deeper into the US military machine, with Western Australia, like Pine Gap, part of the Space War project.

The USA’s urgent nuclear waste problem might have been  on the agenda in talks with Julia Gillard. We, the great unwashed, would not know. (but for USA to export its nuclear rubbish to Australia could be a bit more difficult now –  since the European Union declared that export of nuclear waste overseas is unsafe)

October 29, 2010 Posted by | Christina reviews, uranium | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stacked nuclear discussion panel for Melbourne

In November Melbourne University is to grace the public with another stacked nuclear power panel. ( It’s been a while since Ziggy Switkowski was heckled at the last one)

Despite the fact that nuclear power involves issue such as the environment, health, atomic weapons, even economics, the panel will be dominated by pro nuclear interests, with just one (?token) speaker possibly having some knowledge of environment.

Speakers will be: Ziggy Spinowski –  paid nuclear spruiker from ANSTO, Dr Selena Ng, from AREVA, Prof John Daley – background in stockbroking, with ANZ – from Grattan Institute which is largely funded by BHP Billiton, Prof Mike Sandford, geologist, from Pro nuclear Melbourne Energy Institute

None of your “soft”  scientists there!

Except possibly Prof Lee Godden  – ? token woman –  lecturer in human rights, indigenous issues, environment

October 28, 2010 Posted by | energy, uranium | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hazards in BHP’s planned export of uranium to China

“BHP propose precedent sale of uranium in copper concentrates to China…“This is not sanctioned under Australia’s nuclear treaties … it would compromise our safeguards and environmental responsibilities, and dump some 1.2 million tonnes of long-lived radioactive mine wastes in China every year.

‘Toxic lake’ future for Olympic Dam, Roxby Downs Sun, 25 Oct, 2010 02:26 BHP must present feasible alternatives to prevent or reduce the environmental impacts of the proposed Olympic Dam expansion in the next phase of the Environmental Impact Statement process, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) say. Continue reading

October 26, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, uranium | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tax-payer subsidises uranium mine, but unaware of toxic result

“BHP propose to dump radioactive mine tailings on the surface and to leave them there forever rather than to dispose of their wastes,”…“BHP do not intend to rehabilitate the proposed open pit, intending instead to leave a toxic lake as a radioactive scar on the landscape.”.

‘Toxic lake’ future for Olympic Dam,  Roxby Downs Sun, 25 Oct, 2010 “……..  BHP had designed the project to leak an average three million litres of liquid radioactive wastes a day until 2050 and only plan to line about 15 per cent of tailings piles. Continue reading

October 26, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies, uranium | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big polluters head Australia’s carbon tax advisory panel

For a carbon tax to truly make a significant difference on carbon emission levels, revenue raised from the tax needs to be funnelled back into renewable energy projects, not into concessions for energy intensive industries and big polluters,….Australia has vast solar power potential that is being neglected

Australia’s Carbon Tax And The Big Business Roundtable : Renewable Energy News :by Energy Matters, 19 Oct 10 Big business will head the discussion on how to implement a carbon tax in Australia; a situation causing concern in some sectors. Continue reading

October 18, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BHP Billiton’s carbon tax policy aimed to promote its uranium mine

BHP has an interesting little asset called Olympic Dam in South Australia where it is considering a major series of upgrades. Expanded Olympic Dam output would exceed one quarter of global mined uranium. …..Olympic Dam is the world’s largest known uranium deposit,

BHP: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing? The Star, by Mark Taylor | 15 Oct 10 Why would BHP BHP CEO Marius Kloppers express support for a carbon tax? The mining industry has its fair share of climate skeptics. Geologists and model-based climatologists have very different views of the world. Does BHP stand to gain or lose from a carbon tax? Continue reading

October 16, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming, energy, uranium | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BHP Billiton held accountable for environmental impacts of uranium mine expansion plan

Call on BHP to answer over Olympic Dam impacts, Australian Conservation Foundation,  David Noonan, 16 Oct 10

    BHP must present feasible alternatives to prevent or reduce the impacts of the proposed Olympic Dam open cut mine in the next phase of the Environmental Impact Statement process, including: considering copper mining alone – without uranium exports; properly managing radioactive liquid wastes and tailings; using renewable energy for its large new electricity demands; and protecting the fragile gulf environment from impacts from the mine’s proposed water supply. Continue reading

October 16, 2010 Posted by | environment, South Australia, uranium | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Expansion plans for Olympic Dam uranium mine need public scrutiny

BHP upgrades Olympic Dam forecasts | Adelaide Now SARAH MARTIN,The Advertiser October 15, 2010 …..Greens MLC Mark Parnell said the company’s plans to double expansion should require it to submit a revised EIS allowing further public consultation.”This has major implications for BHP Billiton and its shareholders,” Mr Parnell said.
“The State Government and BHP Billiton need to come clean with the South Australian people and reveal the full extent of this project, before any approvals are given,” he said…….BHP upgrades Olympic Dam forecasts | Adelaide Now

October 16, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, uranium | , , , , , | Leave a comment

BHP Billiton and uranium mining – a bad investment

Across the globe from uranium mines to coal, nickel and copper BHP have a trail of bad human rights records, poor working conditions for workers, environmental damage and dodging responsibilities.

Tell BHP Billiton Uranium mining is bad investment!Uranium Free, Oct 10, In 2006 BHP Billiton bought up Western Mining Corporation and with it their uranium mine assets at Olympic Dam in South Australia and Yeelirrie in Western Australia. Since then people around Australia and internationally have been calling on BHP to back out of uranium, an expensive, toxic industry which produces radioactive waste and weapons usable material. Continue reading

October 5, 2010 Posted by | General News, uranium | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Slowdown in BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam expansion plans

BHP May Consider Phased Olympic Dam Mine Expansion, Review Says   By Jacob Greber Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) — BHP Billiton Ltd. told analysts it’s considering a revised expansion of its Olympic Dam copper- uranium mine in South Australia, the Australian Financial Review said. The company is considering a phased expansion, resulting in a slower increase in production than originally anticipated, the newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information. BHP May Consider Phased Olympic Dam Mine Expansion, Review Says – BusinessWeek

September 28, 2010 Posted by | business, South Australia, uranium | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment