To December 8th – nuclear and climate news

December 8, 2017

Can Humans Survive? Nuclear weapons and climate change both threaten our existence, but with different time scales and probability.

Closer to the nuclear brink: American air drills begin over the Korean peninsula. The human consequences of nuclear war: a new medical plea against war.

Nuclear news in America is getting more intriguing – with more being revealed about the shady nuclear deals done by Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.  It’s enough for Trump’s lawyers to be concerned, as Flynn is now co-operating with the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia.

On the climate front – when it comes to climate predictions –  the most accurate ones are turning out to be the worst case scenarios. Even in rich countries, climate change is already costing us all financially, and it’s going to get worse.

AUSTRALIA

Turnbull govt might still try to restrict environmental groups.

NUCLEAR. 

CLIMATE.  Banks warned of ‘regulatory action’ as climate change bites global economy. Climate change preoccupies the mind of Kevin Rudd.

Adani. Adani coal project in a financial pickle, as Australian and Chinese banks refuse funding. Greens Members of Parliament arrested at anti Adani coal mine protest. Greens MP to tour Queensland region to campaign against Adani coal plan. Adani referred to the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) over its misleading job promises.  Traditional owners aiming to block native title ruling on mine site. Wangan and Jagalingou Aboriginal claim that Adani paid people to stack meeting.

ENERGYAustralia’s first offshore wind farm  in Victoria, wins international funding. Lots of renewable energy news at http://reneweconomy.com.au/

INTERNATIONAL

The illegality of  a plan for a nuclear attack.

Hanford, USA and Mayak, Russia – their hidden radioactive megapollution.

Media to blame for focussing on Trump trivia, minimising climate change.

ANTARCTICA. Antarctica – so remote, but so significant in climate science.– An immense glacier is melting, in Antarctica.

NORTH KOREA.  United Nations’ political chief makes rare visit to North Korea.   North Korea says nuclear war on Korean Peninsula inevitable. U.S. ex-envoy Robert Gallucci urges Washington and Pyongyang to consider China’s ‘freeze to freeze’ compromiseEnvironmental dangers from North Korea’s nuclear bomb tests. North Korean nuclear tests sickening residents with ‘ghost disease,’ defectors say.

UK. Electricity from Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) would be much more expensive than from ‘conventional’ reactors. Small Modular Nuclear Reactors not economically viable, but UK govt is funding them anyway. Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit calls for windfarms: wind energy now cheapest form of electricity.

USA.

JAPAN. Tokyo 2020 Olympics costs skyrocket because of Fukushima nuclear reconstruction.  Tokyo 2020 to feed IOC food from disaster-hit regions.   The Japanese Government Is Lying to the International Community: the Radiological Situation in and around Fukushima is NOT Safe.

Failure of Monju fast-breeder nuclear reactor leaves Japan with a huge spent fuel problem. UN General Assembly endorses a Japanese anti-nuclear resolution.   Proposal for Japan to ‘rent’ nuclear weapons from USA.

Fukushima dome roof takes shape, but radiation remains high.   Tepco officials warned workers and journalists not to stand too long next to Fukushima nuclear reactor storage pool. Japan struck by two earthquakes.

RUSSIA. Incident at Russia’s Mayak nuclear reprocessing plant may have caused radiation cloud over Europe.   Fundamental problems with the Russian nuclear industry.    Russia’s deception, denial and propaganda over the nuclear event at Mayak. Russia slams North Korea’s nuclear gambling and US’ provocative conduct.

CANADA. Search narrowed for place to store used nuclear fuel. Just say no to a nuclear waste dump anywhere near the Great Lakes: the message from many officials and residents. Candu nuclear reactor to be buried.

UKRAINE. Risk of Chernobyl sarcophagus collapsing – radiation danger to workers now sealing it    Solar power to take over, on Chernobyl’s nuclear wasteland.

FRANCE. Drones still buzz around France’s nuclear power plants!  France to reduce its use of nuclear power as soon as possible, and discredit the myth of “cheap” nuclear energy. European citizens lodge a complaint against EDF and French govt on nuclear unsafety.

ARMENIA. Armenia considers plan to abandon nuclear power and go for renewables.

 

Advertisements

The past week, in nuclear and climate news

December 1, 2017

The Kim Jong Un – Donald Trump warlike bombast continues, when what is needed is restraint and diplomacy. North Korea unveils a ‘monster’ new intercontinental ballistic missile. Trump administration considers a‘preventive strike ‘ against North Korea – the very worst option.

Always a silver lining, though. Businessmen in Britain and South Korea are enthusiastically marketing new underground bunkers. Their Chumdan Bunker System chief executive officer Go Wan Hyeok  said  “I’m wishing that he presses the button and shoots the bomb! ” “I want to then open up showrooms in Europe and in the UK”

The twin threats of climate change and nuclear pollution join together, as rising seas caused by climate change are seeping inside a remote island nuclear waste dump.

University research indicates that global warming will accelerate as CO2 levels rise.

AUSTRALIA

Lidia Thorpe, Victoria’s first Aboriginal woman Member of Parliament speaks out.

Minerals Council pulls previous support for policies limiting advocacy by environmental charities.

NUCLEARYami Lester’s daughters continue his fight against the nuclear industry. Aboriginal grandmother, survivor of Maralinga nuclear bomb tests, to Norway for Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.

News Corpse writers and politicians mindlessly parrot spin about Small Modular (Nuclear) Reactors (SMRs.)  (I am preparing refutation of the quite extraordinary claims in The Australian’s recent article)

South Australia. South Australian law: government now prohibited from spending money to promote nuclear waste importing.   Proposed Federal nuclear waste dump threatens South Australia’s environment and economy.   Despite the hype, BHP’s Olympic Dan copper-uranium mine is not all that much of a money-spinner.

CLIMATE. Heating oceans make South East Australian hot spots.  Centre for Policy Development urges companies to tell shareholders of climate change risks.

Adani coal mine ‘fundamentally not in Australia’s interests’ – could be a financial disaster. Queensland election result – an ill omen for the Adani coal megamine project.  Support for Adani coal mine damaged Liberal-Nationals in Queensland election.   Report finds that Aboriginal landowners would get little benefit from Adani’s coal mine expansion. Chinese Government denies receiving application to fund Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.

ENERGY.  Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) – Australia has enough electricity for summer . Hot weather in South Australia: Tesla battery turned on a day ahead of schedule. Why South Australia must, and will, lead world on renewables.   Rooftop solar set for record year. Australia can meet its 2030 greenhouse emissions target at zero net cost.

INTERNATIONAL

Western nuclear nations snub Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.

How could the Agung volcano in Bali affect global temperatures?

USA. Trump administration, Michael Flynn, and dodgy nuclear deals with Saudi Arabia.  Michael Flynn’s nuclear role complicates the federal investigation into Russian interference in 2016 USA election. New Study: Over a Trillion becquerels of Fukushima radiocesium fell on Hawaii.  NASA’s new toy – a nuclear reactor on Mars.

FRANCE. Another corruption investigation of French nuclear company AREVA. France joins the rush to market nuclear power to Saudi ArabiaMushrooms contaminated with radioactive cesium 137 stopped by France, – shipment from Belarus.  EDF says individuals detained after breaking into Cruas nuclear plant.

NORTH KOREA.  North Korea moving fast to complete its nuclear weapons program – could be done within a year.  Daily Mail reports North Korean defectors’ claim of damage caused by Kim Jong-un’s powerful nuclear missile test

JAPAN. Japan’s Kyushu Elec likely to delay nuclear plant restart due to Kobe Steel checks.  Kobe Steel scandal: ‘look the other way’ culture of corporate Japan, faked data for over a decade.  Japan is poised to release into the Pacific one million tons of radioactive water contaminated by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.  Fukushima ‘ice wall’ linchpin not living up to high hopes.  11,800 homes to be destroyed in areas evacuated from the nuclear disaster.   Testimony of a mother who evacuated from Tokyo. Fukushima Cover-Up and Denial.

UK. Looks as if UK nuclear power is coming to the end of the line.   South Korea looks to market nuclear technology to Britain,  in  UK’s Moorside Nuclear Power Station.

CANADA. Strong civic movement opposes Canadian proposal for nuclear waste dump close to Lake Huron.

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa’s anti nuclear movement ready for President Zuma’s next pro nuclear move.

AFRICA – GABON Gabon’s uranium miners’ long wait for compensation for radiation-caused illness.

RUSSIA.  Russia: a new nuclear accident on the anniversary of the secret Mayak accident 60 years ago?   Scientist confirms potential source of Ru-106 as Mayak’s vitrification unit.      Damning report from Greenpeace on Rosatom and the Ruthinium 106 incident!

Now illegal for South Australian govt to spend money to promote nuclear waste importing

November 29, 2017

29 Nov 17, Today the Lower House of the SA Parliament passed my Greens Private Members Bill to remove the clause in the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000 that allowed the Government to spend public money on spruiking the benefits of an international high-level nuclear waste dump in SA.

That means that this will now become South Australian law as it has passed both Houses of the SA Parliament.

The Government will no longer be able to spend public money on pursuing an international nuclear waste dump.

With the focus now on fighting the Turnbull Federal Government’s plans for an intermediate-level nuclear waste dump in Kimba or the Flinders Ranges, it’s important to show your opposition to these plans. Come along to the “Don’t Dump on SA Rally” at 11am this Saturday, 2 December 2017 on the steps of Parliament House.

I will be speaking at the rally, outlining the Greens position on this important issue.

The Greens stand with the people of South Australia who choose a nuclear-free future for our State.

Australian Christians activists face 7 years’ gaol for protest against secret USA spy base Pine Gap

November 25, 2017

An American Spy Base Hidden in Australia’s Outback, NYT   The trials — and the Australian government’s uncompromising prosecution of the protesters — has put a spotlight on a facility that the United States would prefer remain in the shadows.

— Margaret Pestorius arrived at court last week in her wedding dress, a bright orange-and-cream creation painted with doves, peace signs and suns with faces. “It’s the colors of Easter, so I always think of it as being a resurrection dress,” said Ms. Pestorius, a 53-year-old antiwar activist and devout Catholic, who on Friday was convicted of trespassing at a top-secret military base operated by the United States and hidden in the Australian outback.

Western Australian offer to host radioactive trash – unaware that it’s nuclear waste.

November 25, 2017

Is Mr Baker ignorant, or disingenuous?

In his enthusiasm Mr Baker seems unaware that the processed nuclear waste returning from France is classified there as high level waste. The proposed dump for radioactive wastes in outback Australia is obviously intended to store those long-lasting toxic wastes. Australia’s nuclear reactor in Lucas Heights, Sydney produces these dangerous wastes, just the same as any other nuclear reactor.

The Leonora man behind plan for a radioactive waste dump in outback WA, ABC Goldfields ,By Jarrod Lucas, 23 Nov 17,  A mining entrepreneur who came to WA’s northern Goldfields during the 1960s nickel boom is behind a new bid to develop an outback repository to store the nation’s radioactive waste.

The Shire of Leonora this week voted 5-2 in favour of joining forces with a private company, headed by former councillor Glenn Baker, to make a bid for Commonwealth funding to fast-track the project.

The council sought legal advice and waited until after last month’s local government elections before voting on the proposal to store medical, industrial and scientific waste underground.

The proposed site is on Clover Downs pastoral station, about 20 kilometres north-west of Leonora……..

Conflict of interest was a deal breaker for council

Mr Baker is a director of Azark Project Proprietary Limited alongside his business partner, Perth-based corporate lawyer and mining executive Peter Remta, with whom he has developed several gold mining projects since the 1980s.

The 79-year-old was behind a previous proposal for a waste storage site that failed to progress in 2015, and he quit the council last month after more than 30 years because of the conflict of interest.

“Now there is no conflict of interest, but it did come up a few times and I left the meetings on those occasions,” he said………

Residents could be offered shares in waste company

Mr Baker flagged the possibility of Leonora residents eventually being given the opportunity to invest in the company.

He described as “mind-boggling” the funds being dangled by the Federal Government, which has been searching for a site to establish a national radioactive waste management facility for more than a decade……

Sites in South Australia and the Northern Territory have been considered, but lengthy environmental assessments and community consultation mean a final decision is not expected until next year…….

Sites in South Australia and the Northern Territory have been considered, but lengthy environmental assessments and community consultation mean a final decision is not expected until next year……..

Traditional landowner Vicky Abdullah said she had previously organised a petition with 500 signatures opposing the project.

“From my point of view, they can do it somewhere else, not in Leonora,” she said.

Ms Abdullah said the local Indigenous community was yet to be effectively consulted about the revived proposal.

Environmentalists opposed to facility in outback WA

Australian Conservation Foundation nuclear campaigner Dave Sweeney said it was a long way from a “bad council decision” to a national radioactive waste dump in outback WA.

“It is pretty much radioactive groundhog day,” he said.

“It’s come up before in Leonora, and there was a strong and negative response from many there in the community.

“I’m obviously disappointed Leonora has put itself back in this frame, because it’s a divisive place to be.”

Mr Sweeney suggested it would not just be for low-level radioactive material.

“This has nothing to do with nuclear medicine, and everything to do with the operations of the Lucas Heights reactor,” he said.

Mr Baker disputed that point, saying it was one of the misconceptions about what was being proposed.

“People are confused when we talk about radiation … this is not a nuclear waste disposal facility,” he said.

“Australia does not have a nuclear industry, so has no nuclear waste to bury. That’s uranium 235 which is used in atomic bombs, powerhouses etc.

“This is another isotope of uranium and has a much shorter decay life, some of it only a matter of months, and it’s not to be confused with nuclear-powered radiation like Chernobyl and Fukushima.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-23/leonora-man-behind-plan-for-radioactive-waste-dump-in-outback-wa/9184020?pfmredir=sm&amp%3Bsf174104777=1

The week in climate/nuclear news

November 25, 2017

It’s that crazy time of the year coming on again. so you will be relieved to find this newsletter relatively short.  Climate news is just as scary as always, but I haven’t had time to keep up with it.

The most interesting nuclear story is about the radioactive cloud across Europe. First described as a harmless wafting of radioactive isotopes “over recent weeks”, this news seemed to become  a bit of a worry, first of all, to air travellers. Then the realisation that even if this airborne plume of radioactive ruthenium 106  is supposed to be harmless, it’s not harmless to those close to the source. Now the source is identified, after weeks of contradictory Russian reports, to be the Mayak Nuclear Production Facility, with Russia still claiming that it is harmless. The locals are not so sure.

New research reveals that space travel permanently changes the human brain.

AUSTRALIA

6 Australian religious anti-war protesters may face 7 years gaol for peaceful Pine Gap protest. Only the ABC News, (and New York Times)  covered this.

The Federal parliament is shutting down for a week –  seems the best idea for a government in chaos.

Meanwhile the State of Queensland is having its election as we live and breathe.  From the climate point of view, this is a pretty important election. It is is critical for solar energy, and for electricity consumers.  Also important is the issue of the Adani mega coal mine project. The Liberal National party is all for it, of course. And nobody’s quite sure what the Labor government would do.

Australia needs special laws to protect its independent broadcaster – the ABC.

Australians fear nuclear attacks.

CLIMATE and ENVIRONMENT. Canberra stood out at Bonn climate talks as a progressive city, adopting renewable energy   Australian Government’s White Paper warns on climate change dangers in our region.

Adani coal project. Australian government lending to Adani coal megamine? A bad look internationally!  Wangan and Jagalingou  Aboriginal land – ruthlessly pursued by Indian coal corporation Adani Adani. Farmers and graziers in Norther Queensland worried about environmental impacts of Adani coal mine project.

ENERGY. Turnbull govt’s National Energy Guarantee is inadequate and confusing.  Chief Scientist Alan Finkel [that wild left-wing hippie?] says that Renewables could reliably contribute 50% to power grid.

NUCLEAR.  Western Australia nuclear waste enthusiast Glenn Baker shows his ignorance of the real purpose of the planned nuclear dump, (to store Lucas Heights very radioactive spent fuel returning from France and UK). Australia’s nuclear propagandist Ben Heard, and “Generation Atomic” , fail at Bonn, so fall back on the “banana” argument.

INTERNATIONAL

A new arms race underway, as USA, then Russia, modernise their nuclear weapons.

USA. 

UK. UK made ‘grave strategic errors’ in Hinkley Point nuclear project.  The consensus is clear: there is no upside to a nuclear Brexit.

JAPAN.  TEPCO and Japanese govt hope to portray Fukushima nuclear clean-up as a success, as robots find molten fuel.   Call for Japan’s aging Tokai No. 2 nuclear plant to be shut down. Fukushima Darkness.

INDIA. Not in the Name of Climate, Not in Our Name! India’s Poor Resist Nuclear Power. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IspLpQXv_1I

SOUTH AFRICA. World Bank to fund nuclear power in South Africa?

Australia’s nuclear propagandist Ben Heard, and others, fail at Bonn, so fall back on the “banana” argument

November 18, 2017

Above: Ben Heard at Bonn, 16 November

Ben Heard and the pro nuclear lobby group “Generation Atomic” were not very successful at the Bonn climate talks. A member of the group ‘marraskuu’ explains:

“we ran around Bonn, trying to secure a permission for a side event that our group would like to organize on Monday, when the UNEP [ United Nations Environment Programme ] Sustainable innovations forum, from which the nuclear industry was kicked out from, starts. They eventually ended up denying us the permission.
The evening was spent in one of the weirdest way I have ever spent an evening: By sticking up stickers on Bananas”

So – the nuclear lobby at the climate talks was reduced to pushing one of their most dishonest and silliest propaganda spins – the “banana argument”.  Because our bodies contain a small amount of (mildly) radioactive Potassium 40 –  and because there’s potassium 40 in bananas – then we are told not to worry about the nuclear fission produced highly radioactive ions like Cesium , Strontium, Iodine,

BUT – IN REALITY :  When you eat a banana, your body’s level of Potassium-40 doesn’t increase. You just get rid of some excess Potassium-40. The net dose of a banana is zero.

 

Australia’s National Radioactive Waste Management Facility  – the obvious place is Lucas Heights

November 18, 2017

Gary See Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, November 15  

ANSTO at Lucas Heights are supposedly short of space to keep radioactive waste, but they are literally next door to a landfill site that is near to being closed. Anyone know if they’ve ever considered building a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility  there?
It would seem a logical place for it.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

Australian government plans high level nuclear wastes for rural South Australia, but doesn’t tell the public

November 18, 2017

Tim Bickmore Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/  November 15 

What the Barndioota Consultative Committee was presented in August 2017 regarding the nature of material storage in the proposed suppository. The guidelines (Waste Acceptance Criteria = WAC) are yet to be formalised, so we are expected to accept the unknown.
No reference to the decommissioned HIFAR & MOATA Reactors demolition waste – hunks of steel & concrete of unknown volume – & no mention of returned processed fuel.
http://www.radioactivewaste.gov.au/…/4.%20WAC%20presentatio…

Climate news, nuclear news, to 17 November

November 18, 2017

Today, the UN climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany, are wrapping up. The world’s diplomats discussed and developed national pledges, with USA’s Michael Bloomberg pledging American action by cities and States, in defiance of President Trump. Scientists reported that the plans are not enough to meet the Paris climate goal of holding the global temperature increase to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels. It is still worth acting to prevent extreme changes, but climate change impacts are already locked in.

To give an example of the kind of climate feedback mechanisms  that might be happening, China has this year increased its carbon emissions, largely because of less availability of hydropower.  Hydropower was in short supply because of drought, which, in itself, was probably exacerbated by climate change.

You would think it hardly possible that tensions could ratchet up any further around North Korea, but they have. China has sent a diplomat to North Korea, and has asked USA to stop the naval military drills around the Korean peninsula.

AUSTRALIA

Australian government helps business lobbies, while punishing charities.

Australia sells weapons to countries like Saudi Arabia, that perpetrate human rights abuses.

CLIMATE. Among 56 countries studied – Australia is close to worst on climate change action.  Pacific Islanders call on Australia and other nations, as climate change submerges islands. Australian World Heritage sites at special climate change risk .

NUCLEARLucas Heights is the obvious place for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility. High level nuclear wastes, planned for South Australia dumping, but not mentioned by Australian GovernmentFederal radioactive waste in South Australia : three sites, two years, one message.   South Australian government: local Aboriginal community has final veto on nuclear waste suppository Australian Aboriginal concerns will now be addressed in Scotland discussions on destination of reprocessed nuclear wastes.

Senator Cory Bernardi’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle (Facilitation) Bill – joins Tony Abbott in pro-nuke fervour.

Western Australia: Supreme Court begins Judicial Review of Environmental Approval for Yeelirrie Uranium Mine.

ENERGY. The Adani Carmichael Coal Mine: Introduction To A Special Five-Part Series. Financial peril for Adani’s Carmichael mine company.  Australia’s dirtiest industry dealt another blow as Commonwealth Bank rule out new coal projects.

Australian Solar Council launches campaign againstQueensland’s Liberal National Party.  Canberra homes battle to be energy champions. More at REneweconomy.com.au

INTERNATIONAL

Climate change and nuclear threats are twins. Climate change leading to wars.  Activists at COP23 Decry Companies and Corporate Sponsors Pushing Fossil Fuel as Energy Solution. 19 nations pledge to phase out coalInsurance companies move to divest from coal projects. Minerals deal needed to fuel the clean energy transition.

Nuclear power – dying a slow, painful and wildly expensive death. Even the International Atomic Energy Agency admits that the nuclear industry is failing.

EUROPE. EU Parliamentarians Still Awaiting Answers From EU About Radioactive Ruthenium Cloud That Spread Across Europe. Europe’s radiation cloud is not harmless, if you happen to be near the source.

JAPAN. U.N. body calls on Japan to improve protection of press freedoms and Fukushima residents rights.  If war breaks out on Korean peninsula, Japan must be ready for influx of evacuees. Nine nuclear reactors in Japan use products manufactured by steelmaker that admitted faking quality data. Japan students offered reward for joining gov’t events on nuclear waste. Tepco starts removing nuclear fuel assemblies from wrecked Fukushima Reactor No. 3 .

USA.

UK. UK’s Ministry of Defence blocks reports on nuclear issues, as £1.3 billion spend-up on Trident begins.  Anger in Scotland, as UK’s Ministry of Defence plans big expansion at Trident nuclear bases . Courier and Mersea Island Environmental Alliance (MEIA) concerned at dangers of nuclear plan for Bradwell.  Enormous survey over 13 countries shows that UK citizens want solar power, not nuclear.   Welsh anti-nuclear group partnering with Friends of the Earth Japan to oppose nuclear build at WYFLA. Nuclear radiation harmed 3 generations of family, claims British veteran. Australian aborigines challenge Scottish nuclear waste transfers. UK Labour will plan for the economic impacts of climate change.

NORTH KOREA. North Korea has a sound reason for wanting nuclear weapons.

IRAQ. Extreme weather, prolonged drought – helped ISIS to recruit jihad fighters.

IRANReport from International Atomic Energy Agency: Iran is sticking to the nuclear agreement.

CHINA. A Nuclear Space Shuttle by 2040 – the aim of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

FRANCE . France’s President Macron vows to replace every dollar Donald Trump withdraws from climate change efforts. French government considers changing focus of EDF from nuclear to renewables.

GERMANY. Remove all nuclear warheads stationed in Germany – call from Germany’s Green Party.

SOUTH AFRICA. New report says that South Africa should ditch nuclear plan, to save Eskom from ruin.

FINLAND. Owners and suppliers of Finland’s Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor – locked in dispute over delayed project.