Nuclear and climate news – Australian and International – this week

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AUSTRALIA

Future Fund invests in nuclear weapons, confirmed by  Finance Minister Mathias Cormann

Coal Seam gas drilling by US company Halliburton is using radioactive  CS-137, but this is not disclosed in the CSG projects’ Review of Environment Factors (REF) and Environmental Impact Statements, nor does it appear by name in Materials Safety Data Sheets.

Uranium industry – lots of hype about Japan deciding to restart nuclear reactors, BUT analysts warn that a small recovery in uranium price is a “dead cat bounce”   Australian uranium miner Paladin continues its downward plunge. Sales to India are not imminent. Indeed Tony Abbott suggests that the trade deal with India might be ready “by the end of next year’ 

Aboriginal Jeffrey Lee, who donated all his land to Kakadu National Park, knocking back $millions, in order to stop uranium mining on his land at Koongarra, has still not received the house promised to him by the Australian government

Victorian election. Lacklustre politics from the major parties, but especially by the reigning Coalition, as Victoria is found to have, of all the States, the worst renewable energy policy environment. ACT and South Australia are way ahead.

Australian Government embarrasses us all, with a chorus of criticism for President Obama. Latest from Trade Minister Andrew Robb -who announced that President Obama’s statement about climate change and coral reefs was “misinformed and unnecessary”.  Meanwhile Prime Minister Tony Abbott cheerfully reassured Australians about the coming hot summer (nothing to do with climate change)

Prime Minister Tony Abbott recently paid lip service to climate change.  (Ironically, he was lecturing  French President Hollande whose climate and renewable policies are the complete opposite of Abbott’s)     Still, we should pay attention, as Tony Abbott is sure to very slowly come around to being a believer in climate change action.  Abbott, being in the pocket of the polluting industries, has to keep suppressing ( through uncertainty) renewable energy ,and supporting coal –  until (a) the coal industry eventually collapses, and (b) Australia has lost all opportunity to have  a renewable energy technology export market.  THEN, Abbott will suddenly discover  the climate change problem, and its “low carbon” solution – nuclear energy.  (Look out for those tell-tale weasel words – “low carbon”)  Treasurer Joe Hockey is already touting this, despite his disbelief in climate change)

INTERNATIONAL

Japan disrupted by a large earthquake.with shocks near Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, with its 7 reactors, now still offline. TEPCO gives up on freezing radioactive water –   fails to halt toxic water inflow at Fukushima No. 1 trenches. Japan passes legislation to remove nuclear waste from Fukushima – but implementation will be very problematic.  Japan’s Nuclear Regulator says earthquake fault under Tsuruga nuclear reactor is active.

UK.  Top atomic energy proponent, Sir David King, calls for  renewable energy and energy storage as priority,suggests these as a better future energy source.  Shareholder crisis brings more doubts about UK’s Hinkley Point C nuclear plant’s future. UK government secretly questioning whether Hinkley Point C nuclear power project will even go ahead at all.  Delay after delay , and soaring coasts, for Britain’s new nuclear build plans. Demonstrations against transport of nuclear fuel   The nuclear weapons establishment buys academia

Iran. The tortuous, but very urgent diplomacy of reaching  a nuclear deal with Iran. 

USA. Legal action by Washington State over Hanford nuclear site vapors.  Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s chief warns that Commission is not geared for needs of decommissioning.  Nuclear power promoter Dept of Energy (DOE)  to run research into health effects of radiation?

France. Drone flights near France’s nuclear reactors raise security problems . In gloomy economic situation nuclear giant AREVA “suspends” its financial outlook for 2015 and 2016.     2015 the deadline  for EDF to start closing nuclear reactors in France. EDF’s nuclear power plants Flamanville and Olkiluoto delayed yet again.

CanadaNorthern Quebec Cree Nation run  a determined campaign against uranium exploration and mining.

Cyber security. Pro nuclear trolls are targeting anti-nuclear activists 

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