Comedy time in Australia? Nuclear and Climate News elsewhere

AUSTRALIA

Tough times for Australia’s comic writers, as the news is out-doing them these days with a nudge and a wink, and Federal Liberal politicians in a post-budget turmoil.

I can even get  a bit of black humour out of Prime Minister Tony Abbott pressing on with his campaign against climate change action and renewable energy, while at the same time, Eastern Australia is getting its warmest, driest May on record, with the forecast of more to come.

Tony Abbott, settling in to his anti-climate action policies is like that proverbial frog, sitting comfortably in ever heating water, not realising that he is going to be cooked.   Not that this is Abbott’s immediate biggest worry – but I’m betting that later this year, it will be.  It’s just a pity that farmers, bush-fire victims, flood victims, have to pay the price, as Australia becomes an international disgrace, due to our fool of a Prime Minister.

Map-Abbott-climate

But – on to some good news, for  a change. The unique and beautiful giant cuttlefish is back in its breeding grounds at cuttlefish,-giantthe top of Spencer Gulf, South Australia. Its numbers had dwindled, and if BHP Billiton’s desalination plant had gone ahead, that would have been the finish for this iconic Australian animal- found in no other place. (The desal plant was part of BHP’s now-ditched, grandiose Olympic Dam uranium mine plan).

A certain irony – Rio Tinto famous for its uranium/nuclear industry is now finding that solar energy is its best option for its remote Weipa bauxite mine.

I spare you  a repetition of all the climate and renewable energy programs to be destroyed by the Abbott government. But I think that they’re in trouble when conservative groups –  rural citizens  and the Australian Industry Group (AIG) speak out in favour of the Renewable Energy Target.

INTERNATIONAL

Japanese court rules against the restart of two nuclear reactors.  Deception by Tepco and government revealed on what really did happen in the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Japan has started dumping radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. Fukushima’s children’s thyroid cancer rates have risen. Japan soon to build massive ice wall in ground around Fukushima nuclear plant, – at massive cost

Finland’s Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant  has long been touted as the poster child for magnificent huge new nuclear power. With ever more delays, costs, legal problems, it’s turning out to be a super-expensive white elephant.

CanadaFederal court denies approval for 2 new nuclear reactors, due to safety and environmental factors.

USA continues to thrash out insurmountable problems in nuclear waste and closing down reactors, (but they still keep making the stuff!) Nuclear industry’s costs and delays cast a gloom on chance of “new nuclear’.   Small Modular Reactors are part of the problem, not the solution. At least 8 USA nuclear plants expected to be swamped by rising sea levels.

Climate change –  In USA  The Energy and Policy Institute (EPI) in a new report ‘outs’ the front groups and individuals who attack renewable energy on behalf of the fossil fuel industries. Meanwhile a new progressive (and non-profit) group  NextGen Climate now campaigns to elect politicians who support climate change action. An evangelical Christian group declares that action on climate change is a pro life issue, and petitions Florida government accordingly. 

India’s new Prime Minister Modi aims to bring  solar power to every home by 2019. Opposition parties increase their fight against nuclear power.

Ukraine. Westinghouse, not Russia,  now to supply nuclear fuel rods to Ukraine, even though they are not suited to the Russian made fuel assemblies.

Uranium market. A call to cut production, as uranium price is in free fall, below cost of production. Bad lookout for new uranium mines. 

 

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