In brief: nuclear and climate news this week

a-cat-CANAUSTRALIA

As Australia’s media dutifully and thoroughly covered the Spring Racing Carnival, the news on the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report just sort of slipped past us. ABC Radio National did give it  ago. Also I heard a rivetting ABC radio report on health impacts of climate change, from Dr Elizabeth Hanna. I have been unable to find that report. (Is the ABC censoring itself?) Anyway, even THE AUSTRALIAN was moved to publish something about Dr Hanna.

Meanwhile, the G20 summit will be on in Brisbane November 15-16. The military style security is already turning Brisbane into something of a police state. 

In deference to our climate denialist Prime Minister Abbott, Brisbane Airport Corporation has stopped a poster that was urging G20 members to discuss climate change.  Mustn’t have rude things like climate change mentioned, in this coal-exporting country!

The nuclear lobby is a bit hamstrung here, what with climate change being one of their main propaganda points. But that hasn’t stopped them promoting Small Modular Nuclear Reactors for Australia. (Yes, those are the ones that Westinghouse and Babcock got out of – declaring them uneconomic). In this promotion, Australia’s nuclear lobby, particularly Michael Angwin, aims to get rid of environmental law, arguing that nuclear power has no special dangers. Fukushima residents might not agree, and the insurance industry certainly doesn’t.

Uranium industry. Tony Abbott declared that Olympic Damn uranium mine expansion would go ahead, provide many jobs etc. But BHP certainly doesn’t think so, and has firmly mothballed that project.

Renewable Energy. despite well-founded fears about Abbott’s determination to smash the renewable energy industries, lots of good things are happening. Particularly interesting are the community energy initiatives.

Australian government’s ‘Direct Action’ policy. We’ll be hearing a lot more about this farcical project to hand out tax-payer money to the big polluting industries.

INTERNATIONAL

Radiation – new report on danger to young people in risk of brain tumours and leukemia. Aggressive Thyroid Cancers also linked to Radiation Exposure

Japan. Completion of Rokkasho nuclear fuel reprocessing plant postponed for the 21st time due to safety considerations. radioactive cesium detected in pregnant woman in Matsudo city.  Japanese doctors intimidated about connecting cancers, illnesses to Fukushima radiation.

Fukushima clean-up. Removal of melted fuel from No 1 reactor postponed.  Groundwater level rising around the crippled nuclear reactors.

Taiwan wants ‘radiation-free’ certificates for tea and other foodstuffs from Japan.

China: Financial risks of China’s nuclear power programme are examined.

USA. Decommissioning of San Onofre nuclear power plant – a sobering example of the huge cost and time taken .  Nuclear power gets privileged status in US universities. In the interests of the nuclear industry, both USA and Russia try to block European nuclear  safety standards. 

UK: fears on the safety of Sellafield’s decaying nuclear fuel storage pools.  Nuclear thorium lobby buys its way into UK university.

France: numerous mystery flyovers of drone aircraft over nuclear power plants

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