In brief: nuclear and climate news this week

a-cat-CANAUSTRALIA

Climate change. International criticism as the Abbott government repeals the carbon tax, leaving Australia with no climate change policy.Scientists demonstrate that human-caused global  warming is causing more severe droughts and floods in Australia. South Western Australia’s long term dry is becoming a big cause for concern

Renewable Energy ‘Maverick’ politicians Clive Palmer and Ricky Muir save The Australian Renewable Energy Agency the Climate Change Authority, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Renewable Energy Target  from Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s renewables -destroying axe.  It is clear that the condition for Abbott’s rise to power, courtesy of the fossil fuel industries, was that his central task is to destroy all real action on climate change in Australia.

The remote South Australian town of Coober Pedy is to get  the  second major off-grid project recently supported by ARENA, which is also investing in a 6.7MW solar plus storage installation at Rio Tinto’s Weipa refinery in far north Queensland.  Australian banks face risks if Renewable Energy Target is gutted or abolished.

Wastes. The problem remains of Lucas Heights nuclear wastes due to return from France to Australia in 2015

Uranium industry – current world glut of uranium , and predicted slow return to nuclear in Japan mean that Australia’suranium industry future still looks glum    Even if regulators do approve Cameco’s  Western Australian Kintyre project, it is not now economically viable.

Warren Mundine, Tony Abbott’s appointed top Aboriginal adviser is in the hot spot, with apparent conflict of interestin mining deals in Western Australia.

INTERNATIONAL

Ukraine I cannot yet find information on what the airline tragedy might mean  for nuclear power in Ukraine – and sanctions perhaps on Russia.

Iraq. ISIS insurgents seize nuclear materials

USA  – Radiation Safety Standards The Environment Protection Austhority (EPA)  is calling for comments on its planned update of  “Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Nuclear Power Operations.”   The nuclear lobby is of course very keen to weaken those standards. Sophiticated and disingenuous arguments are being pushed towards that aim.  This is  acomplcated and difficult matter. I would hope that the EPA is concerned first for the public, and second for the nuclear industry, but I doubt this.

Japan. Even with safety clearance Japan’s nuclear reactors might not restartBig protest in Tokyo against nuclear restart.

Fukushima.   Now  available first hand witness: The Yoshida Testimony. The Fukushima Nuclear accident as told by plant manager Masao Yoshida   The ice wall plan to stop leakage of radioactive water is not working

TEPCO workers leaving Fukushima for better paid, clean, safe jobs in solar energy projects. $1 billion in loans forJapan’s solar energy.

Iran Diplomacy struggles on, as the nuclear talks between Iran and the West are extended until November

Renewable Energy. International Renewable Energy Agency estimates that there are now 6.5 direct and indirect jobs in renewable energy.     10 top USA corporations call for renewable energy

 

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