Australian and overseas nuclear and climate news

April 28, 2017

You wonder how long the world can teeter on the brink – Donald Trump says:  Chance of ‘major, major conflict’ with North KoreaUnprepared President Trump risks blundering into nuclear war. But Why so little public protest on the current threats of nuclear war?  Have we all got nuclear-war-fear fatigue? Or, in Australia, it is the football season.

Investigative journalism lives! – Time to pay attention to long term effects of low dose ionising radiation. The radioactive berry harvests of Chernobyl.

AUSTRALIA

Pine Gap and Northwest Cape– Australia’s very obvious nuclear targets. America’s deployment of 1250 marines to Darwin rattles North Korea.  North Korea developing missiles in 3 years time, that could reach Australia, esp Pine Gap.

NUCLEAR. Today submissions closed for the secretive Parliamentary Inquiry into Australia joining the international Generation IV Nuclear Energy Framework (GIF) . I sent one in. It will probably  get lost in  a pile of pro nuclear submissions from nuclear companies and their shills.

USA preparing charges for the arrest of Julian Assange.

Protest occupies Downer EDI office: Don’t get into bed with Adani  Taxpayer loan for railway to Adani mine “not in the interests of NSW”: report

ENERGY. Dennis Mattews reviews Senate Committee report on Electricity Stability and Affordability. Obvious to all, except the Australian govt, that the nation needs a clear energy market policy. Australia’s rapidly increasing solar energy capacity. Turnbull’s dishonest spin about his Snowy Hydro energy plan.  Turnbull government wants to subsidise fossil fuel transport.

INTERNATIONAL

Trump says that Kim Jong Un ‘is a problem that needs to be finally solved’, sends Cruise missile-carrying nuclear submarine to South Korea. China’s strong warning to North Korea against another nuclear weapons test. Japanese buying nuclear shelters and radiation-blocking air purifiers, in fear of nuclear attack. Just 10 minutes to prepare for a North Korean nuclear attack, Japan’s government says. The multi-million death toll that would result from a pre-emptive strike on North Korea. Close to human extinction – a nuclear war warning from Ex-CIA operative Valerie Plame.

Plutonium in space – the danger in space probes.

USA.   America’s anti-ballistic missile systems capable of nuclear strike against Russia, China.  Nuclear energy utilities NextEra, FPL lose lawsuit over $97.5 million in nuclear-related tax refunds Nuclear bomb drill in New Jersey.  

American scientists march to save science.  Florida’s nightmare outlook with climate change.   9 year old boy persisting in suing Donald Trump over his climate policies. Heartland Institute’s misinformation campaign into schools.

CANADA. Emergency exercises in Ottawa and Nova Scoria: testing how to respond to a nuclear threat.

INDIA. Duration of Indian Hot Season Nearly Doubles as Crushing Drought and Heat Expand Across the Subcontinent.

SOUTH KOREA. South Korea: All major candidates vow to stop building new reactors.

UK.

RUSSIA. Children Still Endangered by Chernobyl Radiation in Russia; Russia Pretends Area Has Improved; Removes Medical, Social Insurance and Compensation. Russia Continues Crusade Against Environmental Groups in Run-up to Earth Day.

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa’s Eskom nuclear plan set back, as Judge rules nuclear decisions unlawful.

UKRAINE.   Chernobyl’s massive steel arch – temporary protection against ionising radiation.

JAPAN. 80% of voluntary Fukushima disaster evacuees outside pref. unwilling to return home.    Japan reconstruction minister quits after inappropriate comment on disaster zone. The scandalous deficiency of the health scheme in Fukushima.   Tests to start on radioactive soil for use in reconstruction.  Japan’s very big problem of nuclear wastes from its failed Tokai Reprocessing Plant.  High contamination in Namie, Fukushima

Submissions until 28 April to Australian govt’s secret nuclear inquiry, but nobody knows about this

April 26, 2017

The gift of the ‘GIF’: Generation IV International Forum, Independent Australia,  19 April 2017 The Turnbull Government has quietly signed Australia up to the GIF Framework Agreement for the development of Gen IV nuclear reactors and is currently conducting a Parliamentary Inquiry of which most of us are unaware, writes Noel Wauchope.

YOU HAVE probably never heard of the “GIF”.

I hadn’t, until just this week when by chance, I heard of the Parliament Inquiry into the Framework Agreement for International Collaboration on Research and Development of Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems.

The Committee consists of nine Liberal MPs, six Labor and one Green.

That inquiry is being held now and the Committee calls, or more correctly, whispers, for submissions by 28 April 2017.

It is all about the GIF — Generation IV International Forum. The Australian Government signed up to this, in 2016, without any public discussion.

What is The Generation IV International Forum (GIF)?

An international collection of 14 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, the UK and the USA (original charter members, 2005); Switzerland, Euratom, China, Russia and Australia (signed later).

The World Nuclear Association describes the collection as countries for whom:

‘ … nuclear energy is significant now and also seen as vital for the future’.

What is the 2005 Framework Agreement AKA “the charter”?

According to the World Nuclear Association the 2005 Framework Agreement:

‘ … formally commits them [signatories] to participate in the development of one or more Generation IV systems selected by GIF for further R&D.’

Australia signed the charter on 22 June 2016 represented by Dr Adi Patterson, COE of the Australia Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). — pending this Joint Standing Committee on Treaties review. ANSTO is to be the implementing agent.

When the Australian Government quietly signed up to the GIF, it made no commitment to any particular action towards developing new nuclear reactors.  Other countries – including Japan, Canada, France, South Korea – have committed to working on particular types of Generation IV reactors. Australia might be expected to not only fully sign up as a member of the charter but perhaps also to provide funding and resources to develop one or more types.

Australia’s signing of the GIF

Media reports indicate Australia made a bid, or approach, to join GIF. The active seeking out of such an agreement that is at odds with public opinion, at odds with the current government’s policy position on nuclear power and is inconsistent with Australian laws, which prohibit the use of this technology, is astounding…….

ANSTO makes a number of questionable assumptions about Australia joining in developing new nuclear reactors. For example, ANSTO claims that it would ‘further Australia’s non-proliferation and nuclear safety objectives’, and ‘further strengthen our claim as the most advanced nuclear country in SEAP’ and will position Australia to develop Generation IV reactors.

There are so many questions about — one hardly knows where to start:…….https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-gift-of-the-gif-generation-iv-international-forum,10215#.WPbL2mlNX7g.twitter

Australian public unaware of government’s secret sign-up to developing Generation IV Nuclear Reactors

April 26, 2017

Under the radar: Parliamentary Committee preparing for Australia to sign up to more participation in developing new nuclear reactors 

Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) inquiry into the Agreement for Research and Development on Generation IV nuclear reactors that Australia signed in June 2016, without any public discussion .
Inquiry Homepage: Submissions close 28 th April 2017 Inquiry Homepage: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Treaties/NuclearEnergy
There are six reactor technologies described as Gen IV. A 2014 industry update on the road map for development of these 6 technologies can be seen here. In short all 6 technologies are in the ‘viability’ (conceptual) or ‘performance’ (engineering) phase. The earliest prediction for the development of a prototype would be 2022, but it’s expected it will take much longer.
What are Gen IV (Generation IV Reactors) ? There are six reactor technologies described as Gen IV. A 2014 industry update on the road map for development of these 6 technologies can be seen here. In short all 6 technologies are in the ‘viability’ (conceptual) or ‘performance’ (engineering) phase. The earliest prediction for the development of a prototype would be 2022, but it’s expected it will take much longer.
What is the 2005 Framework Agreement aka ‘the Charter’? According to the World Nuclear Association the 2005 Framework agreement “formally commits them (signatories) to participate in the development of one or more Generation IV systems selected by GIF for further R&D.” Australia signed the ‘Charter’ on 22 nd June 2016 –by Dr Adi Patterson COE of the Australia Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. (pending this JSCOT review). ANSTO is to be the implementing agent.
Australia’s signing of the GIF Media reports indicate Australia made a bid or approach to join GIF. The active seeking out of such an agreement that is at odds with public opinion, at odds with the current
Governments policy position on nuclear power and is inconsistent with Australian laws which prohibit the use of this technology is astounding.

What the Gov’t said in 2016 in relation to joining GIF:
Christopher Pyne, said:

“Australia’s invitation to join this important global project marks an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of global innovation in the nuclear industry.” He added, “Inclusion in the GIF further strengthens Australia’s position as a nation that has the research muscle to deliver innovations on the global stage. It reinforces the governments 1 $billion National Innovation and Science Agenda, encouraging our best and brightest researchers to collaborate with international experts.”


Julie Bishop said in relation to joining GIF 

“Australia has firm non-proliferation goals and nuclear safety objectives, and contributing to the global conversation on this level is an opportunity to assist in the research that is making nuclear technologies safer around the world in the long term.”

This week’s nuclear and climate news

April 23, 2017

It’s getting monotonous, as well as scary,  – news reports on all the sabre rattling going on, mainly about North Korea, but also about Syria and Iran. The upshot of all this: –  risk of ‘catastrophic’ nuclear accident increases.  – communities fearful of nuclear war, especially in South Korea, and luxury bunkers in high demand by the filthy rich. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3hbtM_NJ0s

March for Science events in New York, London, Paris, Berlin – crowds gathered worldwide on Earth Day.

Spin  for “new nukes” – Generation IV nuclear reactors – ramps up.

AUSTRALIA

Effusive (?nauseating) meeting as Trump’s Vice President visits Australia, seeks support for potential attack on North Korea. Australia all too ready to join America in fighting World War 3. North Korea warns of nuclear strike against Australia: Turnbull tight-lipped about joining any USA military action.

Marches For Science held in Australia yesterday, in cities including in Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Perth, Brisbane and Townsville.

NUCLEAR. Stop Australia signing up to develop new nuclear reactors -submissions by 28 AprilAustralia quietly joins international forum to develop new Gen IV nuclear reactors.

A March on Anzac Day: 6 years of FRONTIER WARS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmVAxy59WVI

CLIMATE and RENEWABLE ENERGY We are about to choose Adani or Australia.   Adani coal mine just does not make economic sense. John Hewson says $1bn loan to Adani the ‘last thing’ Coalition should be doing. There’s An Army Of Indian Twitter Accounts Pushing Suspiciously Identical Pro-Mining Tweets.

The great gas con: There are cheaper, cleaner alternatives.

Bid for rare earths mining and processing in Australia.

INTERNATIONAL

Decline in the size of the world’s nuclear arsenals, due to cuts by Russia and USA.

As predicted, world’s atmosphere now has 410 parts per million C02

NORTH KOREA Confusion on North Korean situation. RUSSIA ‘moves troops and equipment’ to North Korea border. USA spy plane over North Korea, increases preparations for THAAD antimissile system in South Korea. USA considers show of strength, shooting down North Korea missile tests.  CHINA praises US on nuclear issue, criticizes North Korea. North Korea Threatens Nuclear Strike On Australia.

USA.

GREENLAND New and worrying studies on Greenland ice.

JAPAN. Japan to decommission 5 nuclear reactors – but where to put the wastes. Niigata governor dashes TEPCO’s hopes for reactor restarts in 2019. Six years after Fukushima – women and children still suffer most.

FRANCE. France’s next president is in for a big nuclear headache.

SOUTH AFRICAEskom seeks exemptions from nuclear procurement rules and regulations. South Africa’s Democratic Alliance will fight Eskom’s rushed nuclear procurement process.

BANGLADESH. Tragic climate change effects already there, in Bangladesh.

RUSSIA. Russia’s claims of ability to carry out Electronic Warfare.  Secret Floating Nuclear Power Plant to be fuelled all too close to city of St. Petersburg.

Australians should reject the government’s secret joining in Generation IV Nuclear Systems – Submissions due by 28 April

April 18, 2017

Submissions received until 28 April by Parliamentary Committee

Right now a Parliamentary Committee is considering Australia’s further involvement in the ‘Charter’  or   Framework Agreement for International Collaboration on Research and Development of Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems. The Committee consists of 9 Liberal MPs, 6 Labor, and one Green.

Australia secretly signed the ‘Charter’ on 22 nd June 2016 – signed by
Dr Adi Patterson COE of the Australia Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. (pending this JSCOT review). ANSTO is to be the implementing agent.

The An international collection of 14 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, the UK and the USA ( original charter members 2005) Switzerland, Euratom, China, Russia and Australia (signed later)  . The World Nuclear Association describes the collection as countries for whom nuclear energy is significant now or seen as vital in the future.

When the Australian government quietly signed up to the GIF, it made no commitment to any particular action towards developing new nuclear reactors.  Other countries, including Japan, Canada, France, South Korea, have committed to working on particular types ofGeneration IV reactors Australia might be expected to not only fully sign up as a member of the Charter, but perhaps also to provide funding and resources to develop one or more types.

Involvement of various countries in developing particular types of new nuclear reactor

The week that has been in nuclear and climate news

April 15, 2017

Once again – weapons, and with the Syria conflict, the threat of nuclear war are in the news this week. South Korea tries to reassure citizens that U.S. won’t strike North Korea pre-emptively. Meanwhile cautious and problematic negotiations at at U.N. nuclear weapons ban treaty meeting.

The other big nuclear story is the dismal nuclear power industry prospects, after Westinghouse bankruptcy. Toshiba corporation might not survive its nuclear financial crisis.

AUSTRALIA

For Australia, the big issue of the week was, and still is, the Queensland Adani coal mine expansion project – a foolish use of tax-payers’ money.  Prime Minister Turnbull actively lobbying for Adani and the coal industry, not without attracting criticism.   Adani coal mine could become a massive stranded asset, lawyers warn. Turnbull offers to  sacrifice Aboriginal rights  to Adani in  an act of national betrayal.  Adani faces strong Indigenous fight despite court outcome  Labor resists pressure  for $900 million  Adani coal mine loan. Satellite images showed black water flowing to wetlands from Abbot Point Coal Terminal. Big Nobs at Westpac dinner interrupted for 90 minutes by anti Adani protestors.  #StopAdani National Week of Action.

Pine Gap critically involved in USA – North Korea antagonism.

NUCLEAR. Australian government about to secretly sign up to participate in developing new “Generation IV” nuclear reactors. Kimba South Australia: Neighbours still opposed to nominated nuclear waste facility sites. ERA boss pushes nuclear power as energy source for Australia.

CLIMATE  Australia’s “CATASTROPHIC collapse of life”in some areas, if we don’t change policies on climate change. Insurance companies want big increase in govt disaster mitigation spending. Unprecedented Harm to Great Barrier Reef From Back-to-Back Bleaching.

Farmers For Climate gives a voice for rural Australians.  Senate Committee Report recommends market-based carbon trading scheme, but shows idealogical divisions between political parties. Young Nationals split from party policy, now to back emissions trading. Liberal COALition’s answer to global warming – more coal is needed!! Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) backing shonky climate denial book.

ENERGY.

INTERNATIONAL

Pre-emptive strike by USA on North Korea is on the cards, if North Korea conducts nuclear weapons test. North Korea has threatened “nuclear thunderbolts” at the first sign of a US preemptive strike.

Hans M. Kristensen on New START 2017: Russia Decreasing, US Increasing Deployed Warheads. Nuclear history, and the false promises of Generation IV reactors

In a radical change of pattern, Arctic warm water is being pushed to the surface. Global warming hitting Sub-Arctic wastelands, permafrost, more severely than expected.

March For Science 22 April . People’s Climate March 29 April.

CHINA. China warning North Korea against escalating tensions to an ‘irreversible’ stage.

IRANForeign Ministers at G7 declare support for Iran nuclear agreement.  US reaffirms Iran nuclear agreement. Overall analysis of the Iran Nuclear Agreement.

USA. 

SOUTH KOREA. South Korea’s nuclear power programme under threat, as Presidential candidates against nuclear or coal expansion.

UK. Toshiba’s financial woes – a bad omen for UK nuclear programme: is Moorside dead? UK’s Ministry of Defence brings in nuclear bigwig to run the £41bn programme for Dreadnought nuclear missile submarines.

JAPAN. IAEA chief urges global support for decommissioning Fukushima plant. Fukushima-linked bullying survey reveals hundreds more cases. Toshiba warns that it might not survive its nuclear financial crisis. Japan’s nuclear technology faces extinction.

RUSSIA. Russia’s plans for nuclear waste ships: but where will they dump the radioactive trash?

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa’s new Finance Minister all set to rubber stamp nuclear build programme. Eskom says that South Africa has NOT signed any nuclear deal. South Africa’s ‘R1 trillion nuclear deal will guarantee SA ‘junk status’

EUROPE. Problems in Europe with Westinghouse nuclear fuel assemblies

This week’s nuclear news

April 8, 2017

Weapons and war are in the news this week – well, even more than they usually are. US President Trump sent a missile strike attack on a Syrian military airfield, in the first direct American assault on the government of President Bashar al-Assad.  The reverberations of this continue around the world, and USA warns that there could be further attacks.  Trump did act without Congressional approval. There is debate about this – some say he  violated the US Constitution and the War Powers Resolution. Others say that Trump had legal authority to attack Syria. My own opinion – it is a worrying precedent.

The United Nations  held the global summit for a treaty on banning nuclear weapons .  1st round of nuclear weapons ban treaty talks ends, aims to draft treaty next month. North Korea remains a worry, as US President Trump and China’s President Xi begin an uneasy meeting. Meanwhile, Donald Trump expands the power of the President to declare war.

AUSTRALIA

Trump administration informed Turnbull in advance, of USA strike on Syria. Will Australia be drawn into a fresh conflict in the Middle East? Well, we hope not. Turnbull critical of Russia’s support of Syrian govt, but will not be drawn on Australia’s response.

Nuclear waste issues simmer on – South Australia is the focus. South Australian Liberal Party to launch advertising campaign against Nuclear Royal Commission plan to import nuclear wastes. Does Australia REALLY need a radioactive waste facility in outback South Australia? ANSTO admits that Federal waste plan is for reactor generated wastes, (not just “medical” ) and that no long-term disposal plan exists. Some enthusiasts for nuclear waste dump at Kimba, but many opponents.

Victorian Liberal Party rejects nuclear power, also rejects climate denialism.

CLIMATE. Australia’s security, like America’s, is threatened in unexpected ways, by climate change. While coal mining contributes to climate change, climate change is wiping out coal mining revenue!  Adani coal mine granted UNLIMITED ACCESS TO GROUNDWATER. Adani coal railway line plan in breach of Australian government policy. While the Australian government slumbers on, business takes lead on climate disasters.

RENEWABLE ENERGY   Despite the blindness of Australian govt and vested interests, the switch from ‘base load’ to smart grid energy is underway.   With big solar, Australia can meet renewable energy target of 33,000GWh by 2020.  New Queensland homes can have Solar + Tesla battery storage.  A cautionary tale about going off grid with solar energy.

INTERNATIONAL

Arctic Sea Ice Volume Continues to Crater

USA is dramatically in the news this week, as I mention above.  Trump is taking a gamble in USA relations with Russia.

UK.   UK approves USA military strike on Syria, but not committed to military action.    Britain’s airports and nuclear power stations have been placed on a terror alert – cyber threat         Nuclear Decommissioning makes every other disaster in the post-war period pale into insignificance. Hunterston B and Hinkley Point B Nuclear – safety concerns. Ongoing collapse of UK’s Moorside nuclear project, as French nuclear industry mired in scandal. Who will put up the cash for Wylfa nuclear power project?

JAPAN. Reconstruction minister lashes out over remaining Fukushima evacuees. Reconstruction Disaster: The human implications of Japan’s forced return policy in Fukushima. Lifting Fukushima evacuation orders. After Fukushima, battling Tepco and leukemia. 60% of new utilities object to helping pay Fukushima compensation.  Real cost of Fukushima disaster to reach $626 billion. Think tank estimate triple that of government.

SOUTH AFRICA. President Zuma drastically reshuffles Cabinet, to make way for nuclear power development. Nuclear corruption in South Africa – new allegations. Did Russia’s nuclear lobby make Africa’s President get rid of Finance Minister Gordhan?.

INDIA.  Pakistan, India taking rival steps ‘to advance nuclear arsenals’  9 year old girl sues Indian government for inaction on climate change.

RUSSIA.  Russian warship headed towards US Navy destroyers who launched Syria attack.   Reactors from Russia are Unsafe and Unreliable, Says Russian Environmentalist

To 31 March – nuclear and climate news

March 31, 2017

The United Nations has just held the first of two global summits to negotiate “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.   This was sponsored by 57 nations, and with 125 nations represented, but the nuclear weapons-dependent  nations did not participate.

Does this mean that the conference is meaningless? Perhaps. Yet, increasingly, public opinion supports nuclear disarmament, and those governments are being challenged, to explain their support for nuclear weapons.

As for the “peaceful” nuclear industry – it is having a financial meltdown. Westinghouse’s bankruptcy, and Toshiba’s record loss, shed doubt on new nuclear build in America and Britain.

Globally, the Paris climate agreement will continue, while Trump Trashes U.S. Climate Policy.

AUSTRALIA

NUCLEAR. Australia – America’s Deputy Sheriff again, as USA opposes nuclear-weapons-ban talks. Radioactive soil dumped at Mary Kathleen mine.

CLIMATE.

RENEWABLE ENERGY Australian Energy Market Operator new boss Audrey Zibelman will reform Australia’s energy vision. Success of Australia’s Clean Energy Program.

As costs tumble, Australia poised for large-scale solar boom. Canberra’s shining example of renewable energy development. $1billion battery and solar farm for South Australia’s Riverland. Giles Parkinson explains need for battery storage to be configured properly

Indigenous. Success of Indigenous rangers program: calls for it to be expanded

Environment. Western Australia: Uranium mining OR the rare and beautiful Night Parrot?

Canberra’s Beyond Uranium Campaign Launched.

INTERNATIONAL

Pope Francis backs nuclear weapons ban treaty. Buddhist Association joins Christian groups in support of historic UN nuclear weapons negotiations

Climate change forcing indigenous peoples from their homelands.

International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA): global economic growth possible with 2˚C scenario with Renewable Energy.

USA.

JAPAN.  11,000 Wikileaks documents related to Fukushima.   Residents furious over high court decision to revoke Takahama nuclear plant injunction. TEPCO fails to pinpoint melted fuel at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

NORTH KOREA. Need for America and China to work together on North Korean situation.

UK.  Ireland demands to be consulted on potential effects of nuclear power station on England’s west coast.   Nuclear decommissioning debacle is costly for Britain. Britain will struggle with nuclear regulatory system, after leaving European Union. Britain’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) sounds alarm over doctored papers and security breaches at French nuclear parts supplier.  As if in a department store sale day, foreign nuclear companies compete to sell their radioactive products to Britain.

UKRAINE. Danger to Europe of Ukraine’s nuclear corruption.

Climate, nuclear, news to 24 March

March 24, 2017

CLIMATE. The worrying thing about climate change is not only that it’s happening so fast, but that it could now be seen as “normal”. The  World Meteorological Organisation is telling us that the world climate is now in  ‘uncharted territory’.

This month, my websites have focused on MEDIA. And that scene is worrying, too, as mainstream media has trivialised or ignored climate change. . However, that might now be changing.

NUCLEAR. As climate change risks becoming “normalised”, so, too, does the Fukushima situation. As if the 6th anniversary is over – now we can all ‘move on’?  Deadly nuclear radiation levels detected in Fukushima.  80% of families not going back to Fukushima after housing aid ends. Fukushima fishermen fight release of tainted water as tritium standoff continues.  Yakuza gangsters thriving. And lots more…

AUSTRALIA

CLIMATE. Leaders of Australian Climate Change Authority quit over government’s inaction

This week, it’s all about Adani’s planned mega coal mine. The Stop Adani Alliance is being lainched by former Greens leader Bob Brown. Adani investors misled? Money shifted to tax haven as Australian govt subsidises loan. Immense coal mine “good for the environment” says fossil fuel lackey Resources Minister Matt Canavan. Australian cricketing great Ian Chappell wants Adani solar, but NOT Adani coal mine. 73% of Australians want investment in solar, not coal.

RENEWABLES and MEDIA. Australian media distorts facts on renewable energy: 1. ABC’s Chris Uhlmann. Media distortion 2. THE AUSTRALIAN. Media distortion 3. Fairfax. 

“Small” rooftop solar is driving Australia’s solar energy boom: rooftop solar the unsung hero in recent South Australia blackouts. Victoria and South Australia embrace grid-scale storage for power reliabilityFirst Nations Renewable Energy Alliance- a formidable lobby group takes off.

NUCLEAR. Radioactive Repeat: federal radioactive waste Groundhog Day increases uncertainty. Govt advances 2 sites at Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula for assessment as radioactive waste dumps.

Aboriginal issues. Senate Inquiry report tabled: Labor support for Native Title Bill profoundly disappointing.

INTERNATIONAL

New Study: Rapid Transition to Renewable Energy Helps Global Economy, Prevents Worst Climate Impacts

USA.

JAPAN.   Japan stages mass evacuation drills, following North Korean missile launches.  Toshiba’s financial meltdown set off by nuclear power plans. Govt plans A Campaign to Tackle “Misinformation” about Radioactive Contamination. Japanese companies exploit refugees for Fukushima radioactive clean-up work.

NORTH KOREA. North Korea’s Capability Has Entered A ‘New Phase’ – warns U.N. Nuclear Inspector Yukiya Amano.

INDIAIndia could launch ‘preemptive’ nuclear strike against Pakistan, says expert.India Already Facing Water Shortages Ahead of Dry Season

UK. Request by UN to Britain: Pause Hinkley Nuclear Plant Work for Environmental Assessment.   As Toshiba’s $500m nuclear bankruptcy looms, Britain’s Moorside project could be  doubtful. Campaign groups mobilise against UK’s Bradwell nuclear power project.

NORWAY. At Svanhovd another tiny measurement of radioactive iodine – ongoing release?

RUSSIA. Russia developing Major Naval Base for Nuclear Warships in Syria.

PERU.  Signals of Climate Change Visible as Record Fires Give Way to Massive Floods in Peru

SOUTH AFRICASouth Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) organising anti nuclear petition

The week that has been in nuclear and climate news

March 18, 2017

I scratch around for good news. There is plenty, on the renewable energy scene. And this: CO2 emissions from energy remain flat for third year running.  Total number of global nuclear weapons has dropped.

Not so good news. Disaster looms over North Korea: how could this be stopped? US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, rejects negotiation with North Korea, and keeps journalists out. Tillerson considers a pre-emptive strike against North Korea.

AUSTRALIA

CLIMATE and RENEWABLE ENERGY The week has been a bewildering cascade of news, views, and squabbles about energy. Best news – THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper, longtime mouthpiece of the right-wing and fossil fuel lobbies – today pronounced Australia’s unstoppable transition to renewable energy. ! That came after: South Australia announcing  a new energy plan, a huge kerfuffle about gas, heaps of news about solar battery storage, and, finally, a desperate Snow job by Malcolm Turnbull.

The Turnbull magic trick is his plan for Snowy River pumped hydro power. That could work, in the longer term, a decade or so. However it smells more like Turnbull scrambling to cover up government failure to address immediate energy problems, and also to distract attention from Elon Musk’s offer to fix South Australia’s energy by solar and storage, within 100 days.

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) could require financial institutions to test climate risks’

Adani coal mine expansion plans. Queensland Premier backs this, despite strong opposition from Aboriginal landowners, and a delegation of other prominent Australians.

NUCLEAR. 

Aboriginal issues. Senate Inquiry told  Native Title amendments  will disenfranchise Traditional Owners.

INTERNATIONAL

Massive amounts of heat being stored in the oceans.   G20 will not be mentioning that nasty left-wing phrase “climate change”.

EUROPE. The very serious threat of sea level rise.

USA.

JAPAN. 

UK. UK government boycotts UN nuclear disarmament talks.  UK plans for small nuclear reactors stalling. Bechtel pulls out. UK’s Moorside nuclear project in more doubt, with Toshiba’s crisis.

RUSSIA. Russia Plans to Fuel Floating Nuclear Reactor(s) in St. Petersburg – Endangering the City of 5 Million, Before Towing It Around Scandinavia. Russia will pay Kenya to buy its nuclear technology.

TAIWAN. Taiwan govt reaffirms aim to phase out nuclear power by 2025. Thousands in Taiwan protest against nuclear power, demand low carbon sustainable energy.

TURKEY. Call for Turkey to get its own nuclear weapons.

FRANCE. Areva factory for nuclear parts gets poor report from regulator.