This week’s nuclear news

Weapons and war are in the news this week – well, even more than they usually are. US President Trump sent a missile strike attack on a Syrian military airfield, in the first direct American assault on the government of President Bashar al-Assad.  The reverberations of this continue around the world, and USA warns that there could be further attacks.  Trump did act without Congressional approval. There is debate about this – some say he  violated the US Constitution and the War Powers Resolution. Others say that Trump had legal authority to attack Syria. My own opinion – it is a worrying precedent.

The United Nations  held the global summit for a treaty on banning nuclear weapons .  1st round of nuclear weapons ban treaty talks ends, aims to draft treaty next month. North Korea remains a worry, as US President Trump and China’s President Xi begin an uneasy meeting. Meanwhile, Donald Trump expands the power of the President to declare war.

AUSTRALIA

Trump administration informed Turnbull in advance, of USA strike on Syria. Will Australia be drawn into a fresh conflict in the Middle East? Well, we hope not. Turnbull critical of Russia’s support of Syrian govt, but will not be drawn on Australia’s response.

Nuclear waste issues simmer on – South Australia is the focus. South Australian Liberal Party to launch advertising campaign against Nuclear Royal Commission plan to import nuclear wastes. Does Australia REALLY need a radioactive waste facility in outback South Australia? ANSTO admits that Federal waste plan is for reactor generated wastes, (not just “medical” ) and that no long-term disposal plan exists. Some enthusiasts for nuclear waste dump at Kimba, but many opponents.

Victorian Liberal Party rejects nuclear power, also rejects climate denialism.

CLIMATE. Australia’s security, like America’s, is threatened in unexpected ways, by climate change. While coal mining contributes to climate change, climate change is wiping out coal mining revenue!  Adani coal mine granted UNLIMITED ACCESS TO GROUNDWATER. Adani coal railway line plan in breach of Australian government policy. While the Australian government slumbers on, business takes lead on climate disasters.

RENEWABLE ENERGY   Despite the blindness of Australian govt and vested interests, the switch from ‘base load’ to smart grid energy is underway.   With big solar, Australia can meet renewable energy target of 33,000GWh by 2020.  New Queensland homes can have Solar + Tesla battery storage.  A cautionary tale about going off grid with solar energy.

INTERNATIONAL

Arctic Sea Ice Volume Continues to Crater

USA is dramatically in the news this week, as I mention above.  Trump is taking a gamble in USA relations with Russia.

UK.   UK approves USA military strike on Syria, but not committed to military action.    Britain’s airports and nuclear power stations have been placed on a terror alert – cyber threat         Nuclear Decommissioning makes every other disaster in the post-war period pale into insignificance. Hunterston B and Hinkley Point B Nuclear – safety concerns. Ongoing collapse of UK’s Moorside nuclear project, as French nuclear industry mired in scandal. Who will put up the cash for Wylfa nuclear power project?

JAPAN. Reconstruction minister lashes out over remaining Fukushima evacuees. Reconstruction Disaster: The human implications of Japan’s forced return policy in Fukushima. Lifting Fukushima evacuation orders. After Fukushima, battling Tepco and leukemia. 60% of new utilities object to helping pay Fukushima compensation.  Real cost of Fukushima disaster to reach $626 billion. Think tank estimate triple that of government.

SOUTH AFRICA. President Zuma drastically reshuffles Cabinet, to make way for nuclear power development. Nuclear corruption in South Africa – new allegations. Did Russia’s nuclear lobby make Africa’s President get rid of Finance Minister Gordhan?.

INDIA.  Pakistan, India taking rival steps ‘to advance nuclear arsenals’  9 year old girl sues Indian government for inaction on climate change.

RUSSIA.  Russian warship headed towards US Navy destroyers who launched Syria attack.   Reactors from Russia are Unsafe and Unreliable, Says Russian Environmentalist

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