Nuclear and climate news: Australia and beyond

AUSTRALIA

a-cat-CANNuclear waste dump.  It has all gone very quiet, but machinations continue, regarding the proposed site.  It is unlikely that the sound option of storing Lucas Heights nuclear waste at Lucas Heights will be chosen. Interestingly, however, this is the option suggested by the two most ardent pro nuclear publicists for Australia  Ben Heard & Barry W. Brook. (That’s part of their campaign to reassure Australian s that the nuclear industry is so benign)

A nuclear waste dump on Aboriginal land is still the Government’s  favoured idea – this would introduce the full nuclear chain to this country, and the lucrative (to some) business of importing the world’s radioactive trash.. The propaganda will be to destroy the credibility of environmental groups, while using a mix of bribery and blackmail on the Aborigines. Meanwhile the push for nuclear power is renewed – with media items like THE AUSTRALIAN’s – “Let’s go nuclear, for the reef’s sake”

Uranium.  Queensland has just lifted a 32-year ban on uranium mining. Apart from the constantly falling market price for uranium (way below production costs), Queensland faces costly and divisive problems if it goes ahead. For example, the quickest export place would be through Townsville Port. The city of Townsville, home to 190,000 people is only 50km from the mine. The port is close to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, dugong protected areas, seagrass beds, fringing coral reefs and mangrove forests.

Arrest of Australian peaceful protestor in Malaysia. Natalie Lowrey was arrested along with Malaysian protestors against the Australian company Lynas’ Rare Earths project. They were quickly released. Of course – zero mainstream media coverage of this.

Climate change above party politics. Thanks to Al Gore and Clive Palmer, Australia’s clean energy projects have been saved from the Abbott axe.  But the real significance of this important co-operation is to demonstrate that climate change is above party politics.

Also, the Labor Opposition should drop their negativity, and vote for Abbott’s Direct Action policy. That way, there is  a start to action. Without it, Australia has no climate policy. It’s just too important to mindlessly oppose Abbott on everything. And, I for one, think that The Greens should back Abbott’s inflation-based adjustments to the federal petrol tax rate, that will discourage use of greenhouse gas emitting fuel.

Renewable energy. Victorian town Yackandandah has a plan for 100% renewable energy

INTERNATIONAL

Japan. A high proportion of deformities in migratory birds.  Nuclear-news ‘ own co-editor, Sean McGee, exposes the pro nuclear publicity campaign by Toyota, and Ogilvy and Mather, to discredit the scientific research on this. (Attached picture is an example of beak deformity, but not from Japan)

Japan’s restart of nuclear power is far from  a done deal, as municipalities object,  and evacuation plans are inadequate. P.M Abe is ignoring public opinion, and stiff opposition to nuclear power.   Meanwhile, Japan’s nuclear utilities are mired in problems. In energy policy, it is apparent that Germany is now  winner, and Japan on a losing trajectory

Germany is achieving record levels of energy from solar and wind power (74% on one day) The State of  Schleswig-Holstein is close to 100% renewable energy, from starting just 8 years ago.

Fukushima  Japan Gov’t-funded Study: Fukushima has released up to 120 Quadrillion becquerels of radioactive cesium into North Pacific Ocean — Does not include amounts that fell on land — Exceeds Chernobyl total, which accounts for releases deposited on land AND ocean. Plutonium has been found in soil around Fukushima, including in a children’s playground.

India, with 4 big projects going, is on the way to a  renewable energy revolution.  India struggles to find a way to insure nuclear power plants, as France renews its nuclear sales pitch to India. But at home, France adopts a vigourous pro renewable energy policy, and downgrading of nuclear power.

Climate Change. USA  In what might be a very important precedent  A federal judge has blocked a coal project in the wilds of Colorado because federal agencies failed to consider the future global-warming damages from burning fossil fuels.

Renewable Energy  records set in California and Texas 

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