Nuclear news this week – Australia and more

January 24, 2022

Readers of this news summary seem to like the ”Bits of good news” – so I think I’ll put them at the top:  Meet the scientist moms fighting climate change for their children,  . Transition to genuinely clean energy has succeeded in many cases, including economically.When it rains, it soars: Wetland birds come back from the brink 

Coronavirus: What’s happening in Canada and around the world

Climate Change. What will the climate be like in the year 2500? Provocative new science.
Nuclear.  Ukraine is the urgent news this week-   it’s not nuclear news? – well, I certainly hope that is the case.  France is the country of most interest this week, as Emmanuel Macron tries to hold it all together. In the lead-up to the presidential election, Macron must convince everyone of a positive future for the nuclear industry, despite its multiple problems.

AUSTRALIA.

A mutual suicide pact: Australia’s undeclared nuclear weapons strategy. Australia-UK talks – all about nuclear submarines and military co-operation against China.  Options for Australia’s nuclear submarines – all of them impractical.

  Flooding in South Australia includes Kimba– what about the nuclear dump site? and what impact on uranium tailings dams? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um6N-XV-V1E


Environmental protection prevails over uranium in Western Australia, with expiration of a third mining approval.Environmental approvals lapse for three out of four grandfathered uranium projects in WA
Dozens of questions on climate and energy policies go unanswered by Morrison government — RenewEconomy


Australia continues to lead the world for solar installations‘Everything about the Gulf of St. Lawrence was warmer in 2021’: federal scientist

There’s nothing radical about climate action in 2022      Labor has climate policy edge over Coalition, solid support for Greens

INTERNATIONAL

Common Security Approaches to Resolve the Ukraine and European Crises.

Washington pumping up war fever .

January 22 -one year since nuclear weapons became illegal. U.N. Treaty on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons – in force one yearDoomsday clock stays at 100 seconds to midnight. Doomsday Clock continues to hover dangerously.

Nuclear energy too costly for humans — and the planet .

2021 was one of the hottest years on record – and it could also be the coldest we’ll ever see again .     Research shows planning for climate change will save billions

Changing from a consumer economy to a conserver economy – painful but necessary.

Chemical pollution has passed safe limit for humanity, say scientists.      Nanoplastic pollution found at both of Earth’s poles for first time    

NATO to apply Article 5 collective war clause to outer space.

ANTARCTICAGiant canyon discovered underneath Antarctic glacier, adding to history of rising sea levels.     World’s largest iceberg melted – now one trillion tonnes of ice – gone

UKRAINE. What the heck is going on with Ukraine? Ukraine crisis is a terrifying impasse200,000 pounds of lethal arms and ammunition, “directed by Biden,” arrive in Ukraine.

JAPAN. Call for Japan to join nuclear ban treaty on first anniversary.    Robot for removing nuclear fuel debris at Fukushima Daiichi. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyJ_Or6Vzdw&t=5s        Six people to sue Tepco over thyroid cancer after Fukushima disaster. Class action suit against Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO) by 6 thyroid cancer sufferers.

EUROPERedesigning nuclear arms control for new realities. Why nuclear power can never be green. European States opposing inclusion of nuclear in ‘green’ taxonomy warn on diverting investement from genuinely clean technologies. Europe’s nuclear waste remains an unsolved and highly dangerous problem – EU Assessment Report.       ITER nuclear fusion – a spectacular waste of time, money, and political clout.

GERMANY. Germany formally opposes inclusion of nuclear energy in EU’s ”sustainable” taxonomy.

AUSTRIAAustria preparing for a legal battle to prevent EU from calling nuclear power ‘sustainable’.

SWEDEN. Having sat out first two world wars, NATOzied Sweden gearing up for third . Drones sighted over Sweden’s nuclear power stations.

SWITZERLAND. Swiss reactor meltdown.

CANADA. Holding in the deep: what Canada wants to do with its decades-long pile-up of nuclear wasteNew radioactive waste plan poses ‘Milennia of Risk” for Ottawa River communities.

ISRAEL. Nuclear Notebook: Israeli nuclear weapons, 2021.

USA

FRANCE

UK. 

CHINAChina hits back at US, Japan over nuclear transparency call.

RUSSIA. Stranded in Vladivostok: KIMO International and NFLA express concern at mysterious plight of Russian nuclear-powered freighter. Just a reminder. Russia did not INVADE Crimea.

ASIA. EU plans may boost Asian nuclear ambitions but progress likely to stutter, say analysts. (journalist)

Why are they all buying into the fantasy of ”new nuclear”, and propping up ”old nuclear”

January 22, 2022

The Bitter Truth

is that the ”peaceful” ”economically viable” nuclear industry is clearly failing.

All nuclear nations are devoted to their nuclear weapons industry. So the commercial nuclear industry must be kept alive – as it is essential to the weapons industry, including in space.

The other reasons.

The macho men and ”visionary” billionaires must see their dreams fulfilled – at tax-payer expense, of course.

It is too costly to shut down old big nuclear reactors, – by propping them up – extending their licences – those costs are passed on to our grandchildren.

The slick, smart, amoral, lobbying gang are ever on the job, feeding nuclear spin to media, politicians, and us.

They have no conscience, and no wisdom, and they sure don’t care about our grandchildren.

A mutual suicide pact: Australia’s undeclared nuclear weapons strategy

January 20, 2022

A mutual suicide pact: Australia’s undeclared nuclear weapons strategy, Pearls and Irritations, By Michael McKinleyJan 20, 2022  As the world’s nuclear arsenals build even more killing power, the need for Australia to abandon this perilous defence arrangement only increases.

The conventional wisdom has it that in the matter of nuclear weapons Australia is an exemplary international citizen. According to the Standard Version, it diligently supports the various nuclear arms control and disarmament regimes, and adheres to the position which regards nuclear weapons as instruments of nuclear deterrence and thus of the stable relations between major powers. Nuclear war-fighting is eschewed. Virtue is asserted. Res ipsa loquitor. The problem is that both claims are not only false, but embedded within what passes for defence policy with increasing willed ignorance, deceit and dishonesty.

At issue is the Australia’s unqualified general support for the various postures the US adopts and the particular role which it provides through the joint Australia-US facilities at Pine Gap and Northwest Cape. Their status as integral components in US global nuclear strategy – and thus nuclear targets in the event of major, peer-to-peer-war challenges the concept of government by consent of the governed.

The arrangements and agreements between Canberra and Washington have never been made public; indeed, successive governments have been industrious in their attempts to close off anything resembling national dialogue or debate on them.

This, of course, is a traditional and dishonourable tradition. Its origins are to be found in the official dishonesty surrounding Australia granting the British government the right to conduct a series of nuclear weapons tests at Maralinga, Emu Plains and the Montebello Islands from 1952 to 1963.

Unabated, it has coarsened the legal and ethical fabric of the nation’s security and foreign policy ever since to the point where the obvious has to be restated because, essentially, it no longer gives cause for shame, outrage, or anger.

Consider just six issues on which policymakers and mainstream national security commentators and scholars have been mute.

Diplomacy, it seems, has been substituted for by bellicose statements by high-level military and civilian personnel which exhibit, little more than its relegation to an irrelevance beyond its cosmetic utility.

Second, there is proliferation by stealth. The US initiative to modernise its nuclear arsenal by installing the burst-height compensating super-fuze has extraordinary implications. It effectively triples the killing power of its ballistic missiles and, as described by three of America’s most respected weapons analysts (Hans Kristensen, Matthew McKinzie and Theodore Postol) in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists the situation is one in which the US has developed “the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike.”

Third, the advent of weapons with warheads described as “variable yield,” “low yield,” “clean” (sic), or “mini nukes” has encouraged declarations at the highest levels in the US that, under certain circumstances, nuclear weapons have “tactical” utility. And they are a matter of pride: as the head of US Strategic Command told a congressional committee in 2020, these innovations made him “proud to be an American.”

Fourth, this embrace of tactical nuclear weapons cannot be separated from the explicit intention to envisage nuclear weapons as inescapably enmeshed in the overarching concept of deterrence. Put another way, for Admiral Richard, and those of a like mind, there is no meaningful distinction to be made between conventional and nuclear deterrence: they comprise a single entity, the former being dependent on the latter for its intellectual and strategic credibility.

By extension the fifth comes into focus: the US to continuing to reserve to itself the right to a nuclear first strike. In 2020, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General Tod Wolters, commander of US European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, went so far as to enthuse over it with this endorsement: “I’m a fan of flexible first use policy.”

Sixth and finally, there is nuclear deterrence itself. The term is employed in polite conversation as though it was simply a technical description; in reality, however, it is an obscenity and this becomes obvious when its explicit principle is confronted.

In simple terms it is a mutual suicide pact to the preserve the status quo of the time. Richard Tanter on this site has accurately described Australia’s position within the alliance and under the nuclear umbrella as one which it expects the US to commit genocide in the name of the country’s defence.

An important point is missed here: this understanding or expectation has never been put to the Australian people. …………  …… https://johnmenadue.com/a-mutual-suicide-pact-australias-undeclared-nuclear-weapons-strategy/

This week in nuclear news

January 17, 2022

The undersea volcano near Tonga is bad enough. But one wonders what would be the effect of disrupting nuclear wastes undersea, whether they  be from atomic bomb testing, or from the dumping of nuclear trash.

Coronavirus.  It’s not that I have given up on studying this: it’s just that the news, and changes, come thick and fast, and we all live in uncertainty.

Climate change. It’s all happening. Keep up with the latest at Radio Ecoshock – Arctic Will Change Your Life. Nitrous Oxide, Sea Ice, & Western Fires.

Nuclear. This week,  Ukraine stalemate, and the same old issues drag on – Europe’s struggle to depict nuclear as ”green”, UK’s struggle to finance the nuclear industry, France’s struggle with old, (and some cracking) reactors. And Fukushima’s crisis springs eternal.

Some bits of good news. By the way, – biggest response ever this newsletter has received on any subject –   about the butterfly story last week!   Some wins for the planet in 2021.  Nice stories about animals – including several ”non-extinctions”.   Beavers Saved From Euthanasia Transform and Replenish Rivers in the Utah Desert.

AUSTRALIA.

Nuclear. .   AUKUS an unwelcome guest at the table of nuclear disarmament.

 In Western Australia, first Cameco’s Kintyre uranium project was disallowed, now Toro’s uranium project also rejectedToro Energy misses deadline to start work at Wiluna uranium mine    

 Climate.   Federal Labor pledges climate resilience funding,   Nationals pledge allegiance to coal — RenewEconomy

It’s not just WA: Sydney and Melbourne will see dangerous 50C temperatures soon enough

‘We’ve worked our whole life, this is our family home’: What the future of climate change means for coastal property owners.

South Australia breaks record, runs for a week on renewable energy

Charities are sick of fighting off attacks by the Morrison government

INTERNATIONAL

Is US extradition inevitable for Julian Assange? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aw4Yz0Va1c

In 2022, nuclear power’s future looks grimmer than ever.   Nuclear: economically unsustainable, inherently dangerous and absolutely unfeasible as a solution to climate change.      A hopeless pursuit? National efforts to promote small modular nuclear reactors and revive nuclear power. Small modular reactors (SMRs) offer no hope for nuclear energy.

Climate change crisis ranked as the biggest threat facing the global economy ahead of wars and pandemics. The environmental impact of emissions from space launches: a comprehensive review .

The Guardian view on The Green Planet: verdant and necessary

We study ocean temperatures. The Earth just broke a heat increase record.

Global heating linked to early birth and damage to babies’ health, scientists find

Stoltenberg: NATO ready for war in Europe.

Horrors of Hiroshima, a reminder nuclear weapons remain global threat.

ARCTICClimate change destroying homes across the Arctic. Fieldwork in the High Arctic found cataclysmic impact of climate change happening 70 years ahead of what the scientific models expected.

UKRAINEThe media downplays Ukraine’s ties to Nazism, as they promote weapons sales, and war against Russia.  This is how I feel about the Ukraine crisis.

UK.

JAPAN.  Fukushima Takes a Turn for the Worse . Survey at Fukushima No. 1 reactor container halted.   Severely damaged fuel at Fukushima No 1 reactor – survey to find this has been halted.   Robotic failure: “We don’t know the cause, and the outlook is unclear…” High barrier to internal investigation of high radiation dose at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1.     Japan to join with NuScale, Bill Gates’ TerraPower, to develop plutonium fast reactors and small nuclear reactors.

FRANCE. 

NORWAYNorway Activists Protest After Docking Of US Nuclear Submarine In Tromso: Reports.

USA.

SOUTH KOREA. Why joint US-South Korean research on plutonium separation raises nuclear proliferation danger .

IRAN. Former Israeli premier says notion of destroying Iran’s nuclear capabilities mere ‘nonsense’.

EUROPE. The science-based case for excluding nuclear power from the EU taxonomy. EU delays deadline on green investment rules for nuclear and gas. The detail in the European Commission’s draft for ”sustainable nuclear energy” makes nuclear energy unfeasible – even the nuke lobby hates it!  Downright absurd to classify a technology with the potential danger of nuclear power plants as green and sustainable. The European Union will need to invest 500 billion euros ($568 billion) in new generation nuclear power stations! The European Association for Renewable Energie Eurosolar rejects inclusion of nuclear and natural in the EU taxonomy.

RUSSIA. Russia finds worrisome NATO’s wish to lower nuclear threshold — diplomat.

MIDDLE EAST. Nuclear war is a genuine threat, so why have non-proliferation efforts stalled?  

CANADAWhat motivates Canadian province Premiers to enthuse about costly, probably useless, Small Nuclear Reactors?


GERMANY.
 Germany to stick to its guns on phasing out nuclear and coal energy . Germany’s admirable record in promoting renewable energy, as it leaves nuclear behind.

FINLAND. No plans for new nuclear , and Fennovoima project hampered by the Ukraine crisis.

LUXEMBOURG.. Luxembourg’s Energy Minister denounces France’s actions on promoting nuclear to Europe.

SWEDEN. Large drone observed over Forsmark nuclear station . Police hunt for drone seen flying over Forsmark nuclear station.  

The Ukraine crisis – shades of the Cuban missile crisis

January 16, 2022

We should study the whole context of this. Russia does not want to be encircled by threatening military systems, and probably nuclear missiles. Just as America felt threatened when Soviet Russia had placed missiles in Cuba. That caused a crisis, resolved when Russia removed those missiles. USA is obsessed with surrounding its perceived enemies with military installations.

The Ukraine government is corrupt, ( yes, I know Russia is corrupt, too) . Sections of Ukraine are ethicnally and linguistically Russian. Quite frankly, a return of Ukraine to Russia is no threat to America.

But NATO in Ukraine is a threat to Russia. USA is at grave risk of starting an uncontrollable war. What use would it be to bomb your enemy to obliteration, if you yourselves are also bombed to obliteration?

What future for Small Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) in Australia ?

January 11, 2022

Small nuclear reactor? It’s a lemon!

Large taxpayer subsidies might get some projects, such as the NuScale project in the US or the Rolls-Royce mid-sized reactor project in the UK, to the construction stage. Or they may join the growing list of abandoned SMR projects

In 2022, nuclear power’s future looks grimmer than ever, Jim Green, 11 Jan 2022, RenewEconomy

”……………………………………….. Small modular reactors

Small modular reactors (SMRs) are heavily promoted but construction projects are few and far between and have exhibited disastrous cost overruns and multi-year delays.

It should be noted that none of the projects discussed below meet the ‘modular’ definition of serial factory production of reactor components, which could potentially drive down costs. Using that definition, no SMRs have ever been built and no country, company or utility is building the infrastructure for SMR construction.

In 2004, when the CAREM SMR in Argentina was in the planning stage, Argentina’s Bariloche Atomic Center estimated an overnight cost of A$1.4 billion / GW for an integrated 300 megawatt (MW) plant, while acknowledging that to achieve such a cost would be a “very difficult task”. Now, the cost estimate is more than 20 times greater at A$32.6 billion / GW. A little over A$1 billion for a reactor with a capacity of just 32 MW. The project is seven years behind schedule and costs will likely increase further.

Russia’s 70 MW floating nuclear power plant is said to be the only operating SMR anywhere in the world (although it doesn’t fit the ‘modular’ definition of serial factory production). The construction cost increased six-fold from 6 billion rubles to 37 billion rubles (A$688 million), equivalent to A$9.8 billion / GW. The construction project was nine years behind schedule.

According to the OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency, electricity produced by the Russian floating plant costs an estimated A$279 / MWh, with the high cost due to large staffing requirements, high fuel costs, and resources required to maintain the barge and coastal infrastructure. The cost of electricity produced by the Russian plant exceeds costs from large reactors (A$182-284) even though SMRs are being promoted as the solution to the exorbitant costs of large nuclear plants.

SMRs are being promoted as important potential contributors to climate change abatement but the primary purpose of the Russian plant is to power fossil fuel mining operations in the Arctic.

A 2016 report said that the estimated construction cost of China’s demonstration 210 MW high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) is about A$7.0 billion / GW and that cost increases have arisen from higher material and component costs, increases in labour costs, and project delays. The World Nuclear Association states that the cost is A$8.4 billion / GW. Those figures are 2-3 times higher than the A$2.8 billion / GW estimate in a 2009 paper by Tsinghua University researchers.

China’s HTGR was partially grid-connected in late-2021 and full connection will take place in early 2022.

China reportedly plans to upscale the HTGR design to 655 MW (three reactor modules feeding one turbine). China’s Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology at Tsinghua University expects the cost of a 655 MW HTGR will be 15-20 percent higher than the cost of a conventional 600 MW pressurised water reactor.

NucNet reported in 2020 that China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Corp dropped plans to manufacture 20 additional HTGR units after levelised cost of electricity estimates rose to levels higher than a conventional pressurised water reactor such as China’s indigenous Hualong One. Likewise, the World Nuclear Association states that plans for 18 additional HTGRs at the same site as the demonstration plant have been “dropped”.

The World Nuclear Association lists just two other SMR construction projects other than those listed above. In July 2021, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) New Energy Corporation began construction of the 125 MW pressurised water reactor ACP100. According to CNNC, construction costs per kilowatt will be twice the cost of large reactors, and the levelised cost of electricity will be 50 percent higher than large reactors.

In June 2021, construction of the 300 MW demonstration lead-cooled BREST fast reactor began in Russia. In 2012, the estimated cost for the reactor and associated facilities was A$780 million, but the cost estimate has more than doubled and now stands at A$1.9 billion.

SMR hype

Much more could be said about the proliferation of SMRs in the ‘planning’ stage, and the accompanying hype. For example a recent review asserts that more than 30 demonstrations of ‘advanced’ reactor designs are in progress across the globe. In fact, few have progressed beyond the planning stage, and few will. Private-sector funding has been scant and taxpayer funding has generally been well short of that required for SMR construction projects to proceed.

Large taxpayer subsidies might get some projects, such as the NuScale project in the US or the Rolls-Royce mid-sized reactor project in the UK, to the construction stage. Or they may join the growing list of abandoned SMR projects.

failed history of small reactor projects. A handful of recent construction projects, most subject to major cost overruns and multi-year delays. And the possibility of a small number of SMR construction projects over the next decade. Clearly the hype surrounding SMRs lacks justification.

Everything that is promising about SMRs belongs in the never-never; everything in the real-world is expensive and over-budget, slow and behind schedule. Moreover, there are disturbing, multifaceted connections between SMR projects and nuclear weapons proliferation, and between SMRs and fossil fuel mining.

SMRs for Australia

There is ongoing promotion of SMRs in Australia but a study by WSP / Parsons Brinckerhoff, commissioned by the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, estimated costs of A$225 / MWh for SMRs. The Minerals Council of Australia states that SMRs won’t find a market unless they can produce power at about one-third of that cost.

In its 2021 GenCost report, CSIRO provides these 2030 cost estimates:

* Nuclear (SMR): A$128-322 / MWh

* 90 percent wind and solar PV with integration costs (transmission, storage and synchronous condensers): A$55-80 / MWh

Enthusiasts hope that nuclear power’s cost competitiveness will improve, but in all likelihood it will continue to worsen. Alone among energy sources, nuclear power becomes more expensive over time, or in other words it has a negative learning curve.

Dr Jim Green is the national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia and the author of a recent report on nuclear power’s economic crisis. https://reneweconomy.com.au/in-2022-nuclear-powers-future-is-grimmer-than-ever/

The week in nuclear news – Australia and more

January 10, 2022

It’s a critical time for the world, as Russia and USA face off over Ukraine – the mainstream media showing an extraordinary ignorance on the background for all this. In Australia we get only the USA government’s point of view – I don’t know about other countries.
The UK government is poised to legislate for electricity consumers to pay for nuclear reactors long before they are built, and to cop the costs of delays, things going wrong, or the wonderful new reactors not actually operating anyway.. Meanwhile Europ continues to contort itself with the conundrum of deciding that nuclear is ”green” and worthy of tax-payer funding. 
Coronavirus news– it’s all too much for me. We’re all in limbo – and a kind of mental paralysis sets in !

Climate Change.  No, it hasn’t gone away. The last seven years were the hottest on record.
Some bits of good news . To cheer myself up, I’ve been reading a lot about butterflies. AND, the nearly endangered Monarch Butterflies are back  – in their many thousands,  Developing food crops that can thrive in dry and hot conditions. 

AUSTRALIA.

The Australian government is complicit with USA and UK imperilling the health of Julian Assange, may well cause his death. The Australian media colludes with USA, UK and Australian governments’ persecution ofJulian Assange -”Crikey journal” typifies this .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-OEJks1ldA .   

  Australia’s ambitious weapons plan -Joint Air Battle Management System (JABMS) AIR-6500.

Climate wars to die down in federal election as major parties dodge risks

   Would the Murray-Darling Basin survive another Millennium drought?

New record caps stunning year of Australian solar milestones, sets tone for 2022.

INTERNATIONAL.

Extraditing Julian Assange Threatens Journalists Worldwide.

 Treaties, Constitutions, and Laws Against War — limitless life What if deterrence doesn’t work?

Ukraine crisis.  US-Russia Talks May Be the Last Chance .     What War With Russia Would Look Like. NATO chieftain to Russia: Georgia, Ukraine belong to us, take it or leave it. On eve of Biden-Putin, NATO-Russia talks, Blinken blasts Russia as threat to European continent.

Emissions from the five major economies set to cause a doubling of extremely hot years in many nations. “Don’t Look Up:” Hollywood tackles the myths that fuel climate denial — RenewEconomy

Nuclear energy backers say it’s vital for the fight against global warming. Don’t be so sure. Nuclear is not a practicable means to combat climate change.

Six reasons to say ‘no’ — Beyond Nuclear International

To preserve the planet, we must reduce our consumption of resources..

UN chief welcomes P5 statement on nuclear war prevention . Five world powers vow to prevent spread of nuclear weapons.

Changing patterns for spreading misinformation on pandemics and climate change.

Going nuclear: Should nations unilaterally decide?

Hundreds of thousands of satellites brightening the night sky with negative effects on the ecosphere.

ANTARCTICA. Enormous Antarctic glacier becoming unstable. Maori workers exposed to radiation in cleaning up USA’s failed nuclear reactor in Antarctica.

UK

ARGENTINA.
Argentina pressures UK over deployment of nuclear weapons in Malvinas conflict .

USA

EUROPE. New generation European nuclear power will need investment of 500 billion euros by 2030. Existing plants will require 50 billion. European citizens divided over nuclear energy . European Commission’s divisive plan to label nuclear power ”green”, revealed on the sly? Anger as European Union is poised to subsidise the corrupt and rapacious nuclear industry. Including nuclear power as ”sustainable” completely undermines the European taxonomy’s original aim of the Green Deal.

AUSTRIA. Austria ready to take legal action against inclusion of nuclear power in Europe’s ”green taxonomy”.

RUSSIA. Russia’s nuclear submarine construction reaches a post-Soviet high. Russia’s secret nuclear waste city – Ozersk, City 40.

FRANCE. France – a serious anomaly detected in several EDF nuclear reactors. Fault found in France’s Chooz 2 nuclear reactor – its outage shutdown now extended.

GERMANY. German government struggles to unite on EU energy proposal.

NETHERLANDSFacebook’s gigantic data farm planned for Netherlands causing a severe energy problem.

IRELAND. Ireland’s EU commissioner Mairead McGuinness insists that nuclear power is ”green”, amidst backlash over the EU ”taxonomy”.

GIBRALTARNuclear submarine visiting Gibraltar puts people and the environment in danger.

NORTH KOREA. What we know about North Korea’s nuclear weapons and their military power.

SOUTH AFRICA. Nuclear power station life-extension project running late — even before it starts.  

The Australian government is complicit with USA and UK, imperilling the health of Julian Assange, may well cause his death.

January 6, 2022

AUKUS alliance driving Assange to his death,  https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/aukus-alliance-driving-assange-to-his-death,15904, By John Jiggens | 6 January 2022,   The actions of the U.S., UK and Australia are imperiling the health of Julian Assange and could result in the tragic death of the publisher, writes John Jiggens.

THE NEWS THAT Julian Assange has suffered a stroke while detained in London’s Belmarsh Prison has strengthened the fears of Assange supporters that the AUKUS alliance is comfortable with the WikiLeaks’ founder’s death at their hands.

But would an Australian Government be complicit in a plot against one of its own citizens?

Consider these recent stories.

In September 2021, Yahoo! News revealed that Mike Pompeo, who was the CIA Director in 2017, became party to a scheme to kidnap Assange from the Ecuadorean Embassy or to assassinate him.

The Yahoo! investigation was based on conversations with 30 former U.S. officials. Among those interviewed, eight provided details on plans to kidnap Assange.

Greg Barns SC, a barrister and advisor to Julian Assange, told Bay FM:

“It was like something out of a James Bond film, except sadly, it was very true. There was a clear plan to take Assange out. We now have the Australian Government on notice that one of its citizens was the subject of a conspiracy to murder plot by the CIA.”

Further, he remarked:

The conduct of the CIA was outrageous, unlawful and represents a complete breach of the so-called alliance or friendship between Australia and the United States.

The CIA acts essentially as a criminal enterprise. It is state-sanctioned criminality. To be overtly planning to murder someone in any circumstances would amount to a conspiracy to murder for anyone else and the persons would face very serious criminal charges.

The Yahoo! report prompted prominent Assange supporters to write to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, asking if the Australian Government accepted the behaviour of an ally plotting to murder an Australian citizen and questioning whether Australian intelligence agencies participated in the plot or were notified about it.

Five weeks passed while Morrison’s office composed a 100-word reply.

It acceped no responsibility or accountability whatsoever. Indeed, Morrison’s reply did not deny Australian involvement or knowledge of the plot.

Instead it passed the buck, advising:

Concerns about the legality or propriety of the activities of Australian intelligence agency are best directed to the IGIS, the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security.’

During the UK High Court extradition appeal in October, the Courier Mail ran another story, titled ‘Assange snubbed Aussie help 29 times, says Payne’.

Why, in the middle of Assange’s High Court hearing, was Foreign Minister Marise Payne using her friends in the Murdoch media to portray Assange as un-Australian, snubbing her patriotic ‘’Aussie help’’?

Assange’s father John Shipton commented:

“I get no help from Marise Payne in any way whatsoever. Saying I have been snubbed 29 times by Julian is to defend her. It’s only to defend her. It’s nothing to do with Julian.”

The family have continually asked for Payne and Morrison to actively engage with Australia’s UK and U.S. allies. They see extradition as an outrageous surrender of Australian sovereignty and they expect that Morrison and Payne should tell UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.S. President Joe Biden so.

Shipton, who has travelled to 50 countries to garner support for Julian, said:

“Everywhere I go, people ask where is the Australian Government in this? What is the substance of Australia in its relationship with the UK that it allows this show trial to go on without comment?”

 

To 4 December – Australian and overseas nuclear news

January 3, 2022

As Omicron rips around the world, attention turns to medical science. In this ever-changing story, conspiracy theories are rife, and trust in science is shaken. Trust in science is diminished, too, in climate change. By and large, media and governments seem content with a ”business as usual” policy.

And now, the European Union is about to declare that nuclear power has miraculously become ”clean”, ”green” and ”sustainable” – worthy of tax-payer funding – this is a real blow to the credibility of science.

AUSTRALIA. 

 Australia’s nuclear-free collective efforts and achievements in 2021. 

  Nuclear waste from Britain heading to Lucas Heights – first load of many . Nuclear waste returning from UK to Australia. Dave Sweeney – Australia needs a genuine discussion about nuclear waste. The Australian government’s Kimba nuclear waste decision rides roughshod over Australia’s obligations under international law, 

Despite war-mongering Peter Dutton, a Defence review finds it not necessary to overturn Darwin port agreement with Chinese company.

INTERNATIONAL

Why a U.S.-Russia War Would Inevitably Be a Globe-Annihilating Nuclear War.

Will the European Commission buy into the lie that nuclear power is clean and green? Angry response in Europe to the draft European Commission plans to accept nuclear power ”climate-friendly” – eligible for tax-payer financial help.

Land and water ecosystems ‘stressed to a critical point’ .

Nuclear Twilight – the ”limited” nuclear war.

Germany, France, Britain, U.S. discuss Ukraine crisis, Iran nuclear talks.

The murky world of financing Small Nuclear Reactors (SMRs).

Increased compensation for those damaged by nuclear accident – OECD.

Threat of nuclear war: Not a thing of the past. UN Nuclear Ban Treaty conference postponed again because of Covid-19.

Radioactive radiation could damage biological tissue also via a previously unnoticed mechanism.

More fusion folly — Beyond Nuclear International

World urgently needs a Paris-style agreement for biodiversity .

COP 27 – the risk of the climate summit becoming a stalemate.

Our Oceans Are Not Sewers.


UKRAINE
A Ukrainian invasion could go nuclear: 15 reactors would be in a war zone. Ukraine aims to produce enough uranium for nuclear energy needs.

GERMANY.   

EUROPEDismantling of nuclear reactor will be expensive, but provide jobs for several decades. Germany aiming for far-reaching methods to reduce carbon emissions across all sectors. European Commission drafts plan to label gas and nuclear investments as ”green”. EU Commission’s draft taxonomy plan – ”a licence to greenwash”.

JAPANGrowing radioactive waste crisis at Fukushima nuclear power plant. Despite widespread opposition, Japan plans to dump water from Fukushima plant into the Pacific Ocean. Japan’s plan for dumping nuclear waste-water into the sea. Protesters call for abolition of nuclear weapons. Naoto Matsumura Guardian Of Fukushima in TokyoPop March 2022. Japan to implement compensation rules for losses by Fukushima rumors.

 

USA. 

UK.

FRANCE

France to lead the European Council – a worrying situation as Macron cosies up to polluting corporations, especially nuclear. Massive leak of tritium at France’s Tricastin nuclear power plant. Nuclear authorities dismiss a massive tritium leak from nuclear reactor as unimportant. But should they?  France’s oldest nuclear power plant, shut in 1985, still highly radioactive

 With 15 nuclear reactors shut down, France faces risk of power cuts. France’s electricity consumers face curbs as EDF struggles with problems and shutdowns. Long and difficult dismantling of EDF’s graphite technology nuclear reactors to continue.

CHINA. China hits back at ‘double standards’ amid US tech war, Washington’s nuclear weapon concerns.

SWEDENRare stoppage in Sweden’s Forsmark nuclear power station.

KAZAKHSTAN. Kazakhstan may build nuclear power plant to provide electricity for energy-guzzling Bitcoin mining. Bitcoin miners in Kazakhstan will rely on government building new nuclear power plant.

INDIA. India  Launches Nuclear Submarine With ‘Vertical Launch System’. India, Pakistan exchange list of nuclear power installations.

FINLAND. FINLAND. Finland’s underground nuclear waste facility in construction, seeks operating licence.

IRAN. Iran launches rocket into space as nuclear talks continue. Will 2022 Bring A Revived Iran Nuclear Deal — Or A Hard-Line Plan B?SOUTH KOREA. South Korea presidential contender vows to seek nuclear-powered submarines, months after Australia’s Aukus deal. 

Australia’s nuclear-free collective efforts and achievements in 2021.

January 1, 2022

Dave Sweeney, 31 Dec 21,

  • Nuclear weapons made illegal: Climate change and nuclear weapons are the two existential threats facing our planet – one reduces our chances every day while the other could end our chances in a day. ICAN – the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons – was recognised with the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force and became part on international humanitarian law in January 2021. Our planets worst weapons are now illegal.
  • International support is growing for the Treaty and the first meeting of state parties is planned to be held in Vienna in March – https://icanw.org.au/
  • Superannuation and pension funds are among those divesting from companies involved in nuclear weapons – https://quitnukes.org/
  • Pushing for the Treaty is an important counterpoint to the AUKUS driven lurch to ever greater militarisation
  • Resistance, rehab and repair: our efforts to stop further, and clean up former, uranium mines saw important results. 
  • All mining and mineral processing at the Ranger mine in Kakadu ceased in January 2021. Nuclear free advocates are now working closely with the Mirarr Traditional Owners to ensure that primary mine owner Rio Tinto does a credible and comprehensive rehabilitation and in supporting an Aboriginal centred post mining regional economy in Kakadu.
  • A federal commitment to ‘full’ funding of a new clean up of the former Rum Jungle site in the NT was confirmed in the 2021 budget
  • Despite extensive efforts there was a disappointing outcome in WA with the recent further approval of the Mulga Rock project east of Kalgoorlie. It is a long journey from a signed paper to a commercial mine and the project faces strong contest – https://www.ccwa.org.au/nuclearfreewa
  • International collaboration continued with efforts to track the impacts of Australian uranium miners in Africa, Spain and Greenland. Opposition to the planned Kvanefjeld uranium project, driven by Perth based Greenland Minerals, was a dominant issue in the 2021 Greenland election which was won by nuclear-free politicians who have since introduced a national ban on uranium mining.

  • Responsible radioactive waste management: 
    the federal government push for a national radioactive waste facility in regional South Australia is not responsible or necessary.

2021 saw deeper co-operation with Barngarla Traditional Owners and Kimba region farmers along with media and political advocacy to highlight and delay the heavy handed federal legislation. Movement advocates welcomed the federal budget allocating $60 million to advance extended interim waste storage at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s Lucas Heights nuclear site. This means Australia’s worst waste can effectively stay in place until a longer term approach is developed and that Kimba is a political choice, not a nuclear necessity.

Unsurprisingly, the federal government has to date ignored the potential this move offers for a constructive circuit breaker in this debate.

2022 will see elevated attention to radioactive waste issues with a Barngarla legal challenge – kick in if you can at – https://www.gofundme.com/f/nbp8f8-barngarla-help-us-have-a-say-on-radioactive-waste – the SA state election in March and growing community awareness and engagement – https://nodumpalliance.org.au/

  • Renewable, not radioactive: in the year that saw the 10th anniversary of Fukushima lots of work went into keeping the door closed to domestic nuclear power and contesting nuclear industry promotion of SMR’s – so called small modular reactors – and other distractions to effective climate action. Efforts have focussed attention on the urgent need for proven and renewable energy solutions – renewable, not radioactive. Australian advocates played a key role in a new dedicated website and co-ordinated the development of a global civil society non-nuclear statement released at CoP 26 in Glasgow that was endorsed by 480 organisations across multiple nations – https://dont-nuke-the-climate.org/   There was increased collaboration with regional partners in Japan, the Pacific, the Philippines and Taiwan – including around next steps in the Fukushima waste water story and the recent positive referendum that has ended plans for a new reactor in Taiwan. 2022 is sure to see more chatter and challenge on the domestic nuclear front ahead of the federal election.