Australian news, and some related international items

South Australian govt under pressure over Arkaroola’s environment

Some of the worst effects would be on the region’s scant groundwater resources….five million litres of water a day for mining and processing. “That’s a heck of a lot of water in a very dry environment,”

SA Labor buckling on Arkaroola uranium?,  Green Left Weekly, February 27, 2011, By Renfrey Clarke, Adelaide Under heavy public pressure, the South Australian government of Labor Premier Mike Rann appears to be wavering in its support for mining uranium in the Arkaroola wilderness in the state’s north. Continue reading

February 28, 2011 Posted by | South Australia, uranium, water | , | Leave a comment

Precious groundwater at risk from uranium mining

The conservation council’s Mia Pepper says mining for uranium in Wiluna’s dry climate could be disastrous for local water supplies.
With uranium mining, water uptake is always a really big issue, in a dry and arid area recharge of groundwater is also a problem but the biggest issue is radioactive tailings from uranium mining which will inevitably contaminate groundwater with other uranium mines around Australia,” she said.

Miner urged to rethink uranium plans – ABC North West WA – Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 16 Feb 2011, The Conservation Council of WA says a mining company which has begun testing for uranium, near Wiluna in the mid-west Western Australia, should consider the environmental impacts of its proposed exploration. Continue reading

February 16, 2011 Posted by | water, Western Australia | | Leave a comment

Aboriginals want a GENUINE study into Ranger uranium mine and water

Aboriginal people living in the area were worried about the health of their communities, wildlife and nearby world heritage listed wetlands. “The mining company – they wouldn’t listen to us,” she said…..The Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation which represents the Mirrar is now calling for a study into surface water that comes out of the mine…

ERA rejects ‘poison’ mine water worry – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), By Anna Henderson  Feb 9, 2011 A senior traditional owner in Kakadu National Park is calling on the Australian government to reject plans to expand the Ranger uranium mine. Continue reading

February 9, 2011 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Northern Territory, uranium, water | | Leave a comment

Doubts on the value of desalination plant for Adelaide

Given the plant will be one of the top 10 users of electricity in the state, Parnell wants the Government to commission an equivalent amount of new renewable energy to put into the grid……Gulf is being exposed to further damage to its marine life and sea grasses from excessive salinity and ultimately deoxygenated water………….

Will desal be worth its salt? | Adelaide Now, 22 Jan 2011, “……….The plant’s appetite is enormous. While Port Stanvac is better than some, it still takes 2.1 litres of seawater to produce a litre of fresh.When fully operational at the end of next year, the 100GL plant will suck in around 260 Olympic swimming pools of seawater a day and transform them into 120 swimming pools of clean water.The unwanted 140 pools of hyper-saline waste will be dispersed in the Gulf through an outfall pipe 2.5km out to sea………….. Continue reading

January 22, 2011 Posted by | South Australia, water | , | Leave a comment

Wave energy for South Australia

Wave power could roll in to South Australia’s west, ABC Rural News, 23/11/2010 Waves on the west coast of South Australia could soon be powering up towns in the region.Renewable energy technology company, Wave Rider Energy, will set up a pilot plant in the waters near Elliston.
The plant will turn the waves kinetic energy into mechanical energy, with a potential 250 kilowatts of power available………Wave power could roll in to South Australia’s west

November 23, 2010 Posted by | climate change - global warming, energy, South Australia, water | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Colorado Town Council opposes uranium mill

the chief concern for the town is the danger a uranium mill could pose to the region’s water and air quality….“The increased presence of radionuclide particles that will contaminate our surface water bodies, currently used as our municipal drinking water source, is of critical concern to the Town of Telluride.”….because it could affect the tourist population, he said, it endangers Telluride’s economy.

Town of Telluride protests uranium mill Town pens letter to CDPHE Telluride Daily Planet, By Katie Klingsporn, November 21, 2010 A group of environmentalists from the Telluride region has been hustling for more than a year to protest a uranium mill proposed to go up in Paradox Valley, a lonely, windswept valley in western Montrose County. Now, the Telluride Town Council is hopping aboard the opposition movement. Continue reading

November 22, 2010 Posted by | uranium, water | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Victorian Greens will promote transition from coal to renewable energy

Renewable energy has become a hot topic in the lead up to Victoria’s November 27 election, with the Clean Energy Council of Australia predicting a $9 billion cash windfall for the state from renewable energy projects.

Greens Pledge To Divert Millions From Coal Into Renewable Energy, Renewable Energy News : by Energy Matters, 19 Nov 10, The Victorian Greens say they will redirect $150 million away from a proposed coal-fired power station in the Latrobe Valley and put the money into renewable energy projects instead. Continue reading

November 18, 2010 Posted by | climate change - global warming, energy, politics, solar, Victoria, water, wind | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Uranium company chairperson spruiks nuclear power to solve Australia’s water problems

Here’s a lovely bit of spin –  from Erica Smyth, of Toro  Energy uranium company, at Toro’s AGM yesterday.  Of  course, she’s on the board of ANSTO – Australia’s nuke-spruiking agency. and a member of Julia Gillard’s mining tax advisory panel.

Erica spruiks nuclear energy as a solution to Australia’s water shortage!   Hers is a complicated story about combining nuclear energy with desalination plants.

She also advocates nuclear power for electric cars – well, we knew that particular spin was coming!  But nuclear power to provide fresh water for Australia – that is indeed a new and wonderful spin.  (And, let’s not forget – the uranium/nuclear industry is the most water-intensive, water guzzling, of all industries. – Christina Macpherson

November 16, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina reviews, spinbuster, uranium, water | , , , | Leave a comment

Water use, radiation hazard, in Cameco’s planned Pilbara uranium mine

Cameco’s Kintyre Uranium Project report details risks to mine workers from radiation exposure, the potential for groundwater contamination and the spread of radioactive dust and its potential to endanger flora and fauna.

Radiation fear for Pilbara uraium mine workers * Narelle Towie,   The Sunday Times  November 08, 2010 A CANADIAN company plans to draw five million litres of water a day – two Olympic-sized pools – to operate a uranium mine on the edge of a Pilbara national park. Continue reading

November 9, 2010 Posted by | environment, uranium, water, Western Australia | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Newcastle project for new solar energy technology

The main advantage of the technology is that, unlike current solar thermal plants, it can be used in areas with no water, which are often the sunniest places on the planet.

Magic of mirrors, Newcastle Herald, BY MATTHEW KELLY27 Oct, 2010 It is used to power jet engines, now the same principle of converting compressed air into energy will produce enough electricity for up to 200 houses.CSIRO’s energy centre at Mayfield West has become home to the southern hemisphere’s biggest Brayton cycle project, which uses only the sun and air to produce electricity. Continue reading

October 26, 2010 Posted by | climate change - global warming, energy, New South Wales, solar, water | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Renewable Energy Powered Desalination Plants

U.S. based Engineering For The Earth‘s Aeolus system require minimal wind speeds and can produce drinking water for communities of up to 500 people per unit. The only additional energy input required is for telemetry, which can be supplied via small solar panels.

Wind Powered Desalination With A Twist Renewable Energy News, 22 Oct 10, With potable water becoming an increasingly scarce resource in some countries, governments are turning to solutions such as desalination. An energy-intensive process, desalination has been made “greener” through the use of renewable energy. Continue reading

October 22, 2010 Posted by | solar, water, wind | , , , | Leave a comment

Uranium mining’s threats to Tanzania’s water, & economy

One environmental consequence of uranium mining is that the process uses enormous amounts of water…Water is already scarce there and it would be imprudent to let one company consume huge amounts of water at the expense of area inhabitants…..If global demand for uranium were to decrease, the estimated value of these deposits would also drop. Therefore, it is unclear how much revenue uranium mining would really bring to Tanzania.

Take care that uranium mining turns into blessing, not curse, for Tanzania, Daily Nation  By SHAABAN FUNDI, October 20 2010 Continue reading

October 20, 2010 Posted by | uranium, water | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Solar powered desalination plants – small or large

the team hopes scale up the size of the solar module for use in disaster zones and desert areas where climate change has impacted on water stocks.

Portable Desalination System Powered By Solar Energy  Renewable Energy News, 18 Oct 10, A group of researcher s at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), have unveiled a portable solar-powered desalination plant which they say will help provide access to clean drinking water in the developing world. Continue reading

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

BHP, Rio Tinto, drain Australia’s bore water – for free!

BHP, Rio Tinto, Pilbara Manganese, Fortescue Metals and Hamersley HMS were the thirstiest, collectively taking more than 345 billion litres of water last year….Bore users are not charged for the water…the drawing of water by bore users had dried up lake systems in Yanchep National Park.

  • Bore users escape fines | Perth Now, By Narelle Towie,  September 18, 2010 “………….the mining sector has been exposed as the biggest water guzzler in the state, according to the department’s annual report, which will be released at the end of the month. Continue reading

September 20, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, uranium, water | , , , , | Leave a comment

Uranium injustice – AREVA’s history in Niger

Besides alleged bribes made to Tuareg rebels, Areva was also criticised by several NGOs for polluting underground aquifers, aggravating a chronic water shortage, and exposing its employees to uranium contamination……..

Kidnapping comes as French nuclear giant Areva works on image, France24 , 17  Sept 10, The kidnapping of seven foreign nuclear employees in Niger comes as the French nuclear giant Areva is trying to improve its image in a region threatened by robbery, widespread resentment, and radical Islamism.”In nearly 40 years, Areva didn’t care at all for the locals. But in the last few years, Areva changed its strategy and started implementing development projects”, says Moussa Kaka, RFI’s correspondent in Niger. Continue reading

September 17, 2010 Posted by | uranium, water | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment