Archive for the ‘Christina notes’ Category

Climate and nuclear news, week to 15 January

January 15, 2019

I scratch around for good news on climate. Alex Smith, of Radio Ecoshock, notes that ‘several long-time climate bloggers and Facebook activists are “retiring” to their private lives.’ He quotes one: “I’m no longer interested in awakening the masses. The masses made it clear that they are not interested.”

The grand old man of coastal science Dr. Orrin Pilkey warns: start withdrawing from the coast-line now, or wait for the coming panic. As Australia’s government promotes coal mining and coal power, and avoids any action on climate change, every State and Territory in Australia is being  hit with record heat.  Decentralising the energy supply system – renewables are creating a new world order.

On the nuclear scene, the New Nuclear Arms Race remains the biggest threat in 2019. Meanwhile, as the nuclear industry fails economically, the mainstream media continues to pour out articles about “new nukes” – Small and Medium Nuclear Reactors (SMRs)Molten salt reactors. – articles that read like straight handouts from the nuclear lobby.

AUSTRALIA

Australia’s environment – a winner at National Labor Party Conference.

Australian Julian Assange in new danger as Ecuador caves in to USA pressure (and Australian govt does nothing)

NUCLEAR – UK “reviewing” files on nuclear bomb tests in Australia– this smacks of a cover-up. –Proposed nuclear waste dump in Flinders Ranges – an urgent issue for South Australians, and all Australians.   From uranium mining to nature conservation – Kakadu National Park to get $216 million boost.

CLIMATE

Air conditioners make a massive contribution to global warming (Why not promote SOLAR air-conditioning?)

Bushfire in Adelaide Hills is still a threat.  Victoria’s iconic Great Ocean Road at risk from sea level rise.  Adani Contractor Locked Up and Blockaded.

RENEWABLE ENERGY

The problem of hazardous waste from discarded old solar panels.  Australia’s “largest” wind farm wins planning approval for Victoria.

INTERNATIONAL

Space travel? The human body is not compatible with ionising radiation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uujpLFMCp-A&t=12s

Japan, the U.S. and France failing in their efforts to sell nuclear reactors overseas, (or at home).

UK. UK to use Regulatory Asset Base (RAB) funding for Wylfa nuclear plant, exposing consumers to financial risk?  UK’s nuclear energy renaissance derailed, as Japanese companies step back from nuclear investment? Hitachi to post $2 billion special loss, will suspend UK nuclear power operations. Hitachi looks certain to cancel its plans for a £16bn nuclear power station in Wales. Increasing major cracks in Hunterston nuclear reactors: call to close them permanently.

USA.   State of Washington opposes federal plan to reclassify Hanford nuclear waste. State of Oregon not happy with federal govt plan to declassify some high level nuclear wastes.  Iowa Utilities Board OK’s Alliant ending nuclear power purchase: Duane Arnold nuclear plant to shut down. “Nuclear modernization” a euphemism that ushers in a new and dangerous global nuclear arms race. USA Dept of Energy again confirms its plans to use SRS plutonium for nuclear weapons.

JAPAN. Funding deadlock looks set to sink Japan’s last overseas nuclear project.  Japan abandoning ambition to sell nuclear power reactors to Turkey.   Major financial group in Japan bans lending to those developing, making or possessing nuclear weapons.  Radiation doses underestimated in study of city in Fukushima. Japan Atomic Power Co. (JAPC) denies granting local prior consent for Tokai reactor restart

OCEANIA. Nuclear weapons tests in the Enewetak Atol: rising sea levels add to the toxic legacy.

RUSSIA. Russian blogger reveals photo of venting cloud of radioactive dust from 1987 nuclear test gone wrong.  Russia might revive its fearful automatic nuclear weapons launch system.

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Nuclear and Climate News for the first week in January

January 8, 2019

I’ve made my New Year’s vows –  to keep this newsletter shorter, and to include good news – good things happening. I am mindful of Greta Thunberg’s dictum – “Look for action – then the hope will come”   Climate change: six positive news stories you probably missed in 2018

All the same, climate change’s drastic and rapid impacts must not be ignored. Paul Beckwith keeps us up to date on developments, especially in the all-important Arctic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIbVpgejDo4&t=303s

I wish that I knew the Russian language, and had access to Russian information, because climate change in the very Northern region is profoundly affecting Russia – its business, agriculture, and especially its operations in the Arctic. It is a chilling thought (no pun intended) that Putin has now put the nuclear industry in charge of shipping safety in the Arctic.

Russia certainly has toxic nuclear sites. This, along with Putin’s fervour for nuclear imperialism, means that, without media coverage, the world is ignorant of Russia’s nuclear health, environmental, and safety toll.

Then there’s the reality of escalating nuclear weapons tensions. While there is hope, in The U.N. Nuclear Ban Treaty, the Doomsday Clock  (monitoring the risk of nuclear war) is at a record 2 minutes to 12.

AUSTRALIA

CLIMATE. With heatwaves like this, what sort of future do we have in store? Australia’s wide swathe of mid-40 degree heat breaks records, and there’s more to come.   Over 20 years of Australian governments failure to act on climate change. The Howard government started the hypocrisy on climate change. Victoria’s bushfires could burn for weeks

Adani’s attack on Aboriginal leader morally reprehensible.

NUCLEAR  Dave Sweeney reflects on the achievements of Australia’s nuclear-free movement in 2018.  ANSTO’s worrying history of covering up releases of radioactive gases from Lucas Heights nuclear reactor.    Dept of Industry (DIIS) “rules out” Woomera as nuclear waste storage site, despite much waste already there. Facebook commentators not impressed with nuclear toady Australia’s Department of Industry Innovation and Science (DIIS).  The global nuclear lobby co-opts academia- now they’ve got University of Tasmania.

Caloundra, South East Queensland, an ionising radiation hotspot.

What’s the radioactivity level of Lynas’ refinery thorium wastes?

ABORIGINAL ISSUES: The biggest porky pies: How fake news has shaped our history.

RENEWABLE ENERGY Despite Tony Abbott, renewable energy investment has been successfully promoted by Labor and the crossbench.

INTERNATIONAL

Weather – perhaps our best hope of bringing home the urgent message of climate change.

Between USA’s John Bolton, and Russia’s nuclear hawks – the fragmentation of nuclear arms control spells global danger.

The nuclear power industry is moribund.

Brave environmental journalists face increasing threats and dangers.

Climate change brings a boom in jellyfish, and a threat to nuclear reactors.

ARCTIC. Tons of methane being released into atmosphere by melting ice sheets.

UK. Academic whitewash of leukaemia incidence near Sellafield nuclear site. The nuclear lobby will be delighted with this knighthood, earned for obscuring the cause of leukaemia.  UK govt offers up to £2.5million to prospective “nuclear dustbin” communities, but not to communities endangered on nuclear transport routes. UK govt now prevents any one local council from pulling out of plans for a vast underground nuclear waste dump in Cumbria.

USA.

JAPAN. Fukushima prosecutors demand TEPCO execs get 5 years for negligence that led to nuclear meltdown.   Japan losing hope for having a nuclear export industry. Japan abandoning ambition to sell nuclear power reactors to Turkey. Costs for scrapping 79 nuclear facilities estimated at 1.9 tril. Yen. Farmers struggle to keep cows left behind near Fukushima plant.

RUSSIA. President Vladimir Putin’s new secret weapon –NUCLEAR drone which sends 1,640ft high WAVES.

NORTH KOREA. Earthquakes still being set off due to North Korea’s September 2017 nuclear test.

INDIA. Uranium mining brings disease, deaths, deformities to Jharkhand, India.

GERMANYRenewables beating coal energy in Germany.

CHINA. Chinese state media boasts nuclear weapons escalation, in response to Trump.

The week to 19 December, in Australian and world climate/nuclear news

December 19, 2018

Climate has to dominate this week’s news. It seems that it takes a 15 year-old schoolgirl, Greta Thunberg to best spread the message, the reality of the planet’s situation. . Radio Ecoshock introduced some hard questions that have been ignored:

What social disruptions are being caused by global heating –  increased levels of malnutrition, starvation, disease, civil conflict and war – and not ecluding affluent nations?

Should we tell young people what we’ve done to the climate? (Too late: they are telling us.)

Far from perfect, but still, nearly 200 nations reached an agreement on climate action rules.

AUSTRALIA

NUCLEAR. A second legal case to stop nuclear waste dump: Aboriginal traditional owners lodge complaint with Australian Human Rights Commission.

Labor Party’s National Conference is debating policy on the Federal Govt’s nuclear waste dump plan. Also debating whether to join the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty.  Labor has-been Gareth Evans still pro nuclear, sabotaging the UN Nuclear Ban Treaty.

CLIMATE.

Australia lies low in Katowice as UN scrapes together rules for climate deal.  Australia’s credibility on the line at UN climate talks. Australian government’s hypocritical performance at UN Climate Summit. Promoting coal at UN Climate Summit, did Environment Ambassador, Patrick Suckling speak officially for Australia? Anger, protests as Australia supports US fossil fuels event at UN climate talks.

Liberal Coalition has an energy vision: No more renewables, or emission cuts, before 2030.  Fact-checking Liberals’claim that Australia’s carbon emissions are coming down. Climate Democrats to enter the fray and disrupt Australia’s politics.

Australia’s Liberal National govt will use tax-payer funds to promote new and existing coal mines.  Scott Morrison and the Business Council are pushing coal – but on what evidence?.

The legal clause which could allow Adani to sue Australia.  Priest vows to block Adani bulldozersAdani aims to quash traditional owner challengers, tells court they’re ‘impecunious’. Australia’s Liberal Coalition govt cosying up to coal megaminer Adani.  Coalition designs underwriting tender so it can choose what it wants, including coal .

High alert as bushfire risk reaches Black Saturday levels. Bushfire threat to vital koala habitat.

The South Australian  farmers taking the fight to mining companies .

RENEWABLE ENERGY. Australia Defence taps solar, battery storage for NT base, in push away from fossil fuels.   Whyalla powering ahead – with renewable energy!    Solar farms getting smaller, cheaper and smarter to overcome grid hurdles. Western Australia  names new energy minister, primes grid for 900MW renewables rush.

INTERNATIONAL

Some good news in the climate battle – over 1000 institutions to divest from fossil fuels. Makoma Lekalakala: ‘There should be no nuclear in climate financing’. Nuclear power is no answer to global heating – even if only because nuclear power is unaffordableGlobal nuclear industry aggressively lobbying climate negotiators.

The drying of soils due to climate change is shrinking the world’s water supply.

Numerous nuclear accidents at sea (doesn’t inspire confidence for nuclear-powered space travel). No restraints on nuclear weapons use, if USA abandons Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

ARCTIC. Degrading permafrost puts Arctic infrastructure at risk by mid-century.

JAPAN. Japan’s nuclear export industry about to get the fatal blow.  High Iodine distribution, low intake among children after Fukushima nuclear accident.

UK. 

USA.

FRANCE. How France multiplies hazardous nuclear waste. Replacing nuclear with renewables would save France $44.5 billion.

RUSSIA. Russia claims US ignoring outreach on nuclear treaty dispute. Russia woos China to join nuclear framework with US.  Russia marketing nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.– White House fury as Russian nuclear planes visit Venezuela .

TAIWAN. Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CFTPP) held over Taiwan , because of its referendum rejecting food from Fukushima.

GERMANY.   Explosion and fire at German Advanced Nuclear Fuels plant.     Residential batteries ready to compete with fossil fuels and nuclear in Germany.

FINLAND. Radioactive reindeer in Finland and Norway.

IRANIranian hackers take aim at foreign nuclear experts and US official.

INDIA. India has 140 Nuclear Warheads – And More Are Coming.

BULGARIA. Bulgaria’s planned nuclear power station unlikely to ever be built.

BELGIUM. Call for Belgium’s unsafe Tihange nuclear reactor to be shut down.

CHINA. Chinese military is building a test facility to simulate thermonuclear explosions.

 

Australian and overseas Climate and Nuclear News

December 11, 2018

William Perry,  formerly of the Pentagon, and former U.S. Secretary for Defense, is renowned for his work aimed at limiting nuclear weapons, and warning the world of the great threat of nuclear war.

But now, even Perry is recognising that, in some ways, climate change is an even greater existential threat to the world. He points out that nuclear catastrophe can happen quickly, but that it’s possible to prevent it. But climate change is happening slowly, inexorably, and could be irreversible.

He’s convinced me, and I had always thought that nuclear disaster was the most important danger.

With that new realisation in mind, I’m seeing the events in Poland this week – the COP24 UN Conference on Climate Change, with a more acute interest.  This international meeting comes right after the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

AUSTRALIA

CLIMATE CHANGE. Australia’s ambassador for environment, Patrick Suckling, ridiculed as he joins USA pro coal panel in Poland.

No Australian policy on climate change as Melissa Price, Minister For Coal, heads off to U.N. climate talks. Australia quietly sabotages UN climate change message, in Poland.  Dirty tricks in Poland: getting away with no reduction in greenhouse emissions. Labor backs Greens plan to block Coalition from underwriting coal power . Schoolchildren at UN climate summit, including Toby Thorpe from TasmaniaStudents left hanging during Canberra trip to confront Morrison on climate change.

Students lead anti-Adani protests, vow to remove Liberal Party from power. Nationwide protests against Adani coal mineLegal challenge against Adani coal mine plan, over water use.

Northern Territory – legal case over climate change. Queensland Supreme Court hearing Big Coal’s case aimed to shut down climate activism.

Climate change now brings bushfires to Australia’s Northern rainforests. Increased risk of bushfires in Tasmania. Evacuation orders in place as Little River grass fire burns out of control.

Health risks due to high salt content in water, in a drought town.

NUCLEAR.

Lynas’s problem of radioactive wastes – might send them to Australia? Malaysia tells Lynas to remove rare earths radioactive waste.

RENEWABLE ENERGY  Why South Australia energy transition is seen as model of success around the world.  Australia in midst of $20 billion wind and solar investment boom . The technology, and new thinking, needed for 100 per cent renewable grid . Electric cars, and the hazards of rare earths used in them. The electric-car revolution is here, but is that a good thing for the environment?

Fabricated media attacks on Julian Assange. The article that a Fairfax journalist didn’t want to write, about Julian Assange. Rallies will demand that Australia insists on Julian Assange’s safe departure from UK.

INTERNATIONAL

Do corporations have a legal right to destroy the planet’s ecosystem?

The worst performing countries for climate action- USA and Saudi Arabia.  Saudi Arabia, the US, Kuwait and Russia tried to erase meaning of UN’s report on the impacts of 1.5C warming. Coal lobby is prominent at COP24 U.N climate change conference.  Climate denialist group held fringe meeting in Poland, banning access by environmental reporter.

New nuclear power plants, prolong existing ones – to solve global warming?

A wave of change is coming to our planet’s water resources.

Energy efficiency the starting point for effective climate policies.

Assessing the effects of planetary electromagnetic pollution.

USA.

JAPAN. Former mayor expresses anger at Tepco in trial over Fukushima crisis. Results of the first-round thyroid examination of the Fukushima Health Management Survey. Thyroid cancer impact on children and teens following Fukushima nuclear accident.  Fukushima evacuees forced back into unacceptably high radiation zones.

TAIWAN. Taiwan Votes to Maintain Import Ban on Fukushima Food Imports.

FRANCE. Despite President Macron, France’s government report calls new nuclear power uneconomical.

UK.

NORTH KOREA. If USA does not lift sanctions, North Korea could revive nuclear weapons development.

INDIA. Nuclear Expansion in Kaiga: Is India Ready for the Risk?

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa Energy Minister Fires Nuclear Corporation’s Board .

RUSSIA. Russia sends 2 nuclear-capable bombers to Venezuela.

GERMANY. Germany a leading solar power producer, despite its low hours of sunshine.

IRAQ. Depleted uranium – the cancer-causing weapon still taking its toll in Iraq.

BELARUSTOR-M2 air defense missile systems to protect Belarus nuclear power plant.

The week to 4 December – Climate and Nuclear News -Australia and beyond

December 4, 2018

The world is at the crossroads as U.N. Climate Change Conference takes place in Poland. Many experts think that we have passed the point of no return. UN Climate Conference faces the daunting need for the world to quit coalWorld Bank funding for action on climate change, and for adaptation to climate change.  David Attenborough urges world leaders to LEAD .

Nuclear power, touted as the solution to climate change, is on fact, only a hindrance to action on climate change.

AUSTRALIA

With bushfires and floods, Australia now ranks in the top 10 world’s natural disaster counntries.

Bushfires, Climate Change, and Nuclear Sites – how the threats of climate and nuclear merge.

Release of Federal Inquiry Report into community contamination from toxic chemicals.

NUCLEAR. Nuclear authorities planning for NUCLEAR PROCESSING at Kimba or Hawker dump site!  Government Divides Hawker and Kimba Communities While Hiding Suitable Alternate Radioactive Waste SitesCommunity excluded from Australia’s nuclear waste dump Community Consultation. Concerned citizens of Kimba petition the Senate to remove Kimba site from radioactive waste site shortlistWoomera a more suitable site for a nuclear waste dump – Senator Rex Patrick. Was Woomera rejected as nuclear dump site, because the plan is to later IMPORT NUCLEAR WASTE?

Western Australia’s uranium promise: 10 years later it’s a complete flop. Report casts doubt over the viability of the Mulga Rock project.

CLIMATE.  Total fire ban South Australia -(including Flinders)  a dangerous place to put a nuclear waste dump? Multiple bushfires on Yorke Peninsula South Australia.  Queensland experiencing fires of unprecedented fury, similar to California’s wildfires.   Western Australia set for a scorching summer.

Schoolkids say -Climate change is the biggest threat to our futures, not striking from school.  Yes, Prime Minister, I’m striking from school: consider it a climate lesson.  School students who went on strike for climate action are more likely to have successful careers. Australia’s climate action schoolkids – more intelligent, better informed, than Australia’s government. Australia’s Resources Minister Matt Canavan scorns children who protest for climate action.  Weird responses of righteous fury, against students who protested about about climate change.

Michael West shows the obstacles to Adani actually starting the Carmichael coal project. Queensland Premier sceptical that Adani coal mine will ever eventuate.   Adani’s announcement they are ‘ready to go’ must be reality tested.

Climate change and the Great Barrier Reef. Research on Australia’s climate historyAl Gore to conduct climate leadership training in Brisbane.

Noongar traditional owners challenge settlement that will extinguish native title. Native title win for Nanda people in Western Australia.

False claims against Julian Assange pave the way for USA to imprison him (DOES AUSTRALIA NOT CARE?)

RENEWABLE ENERGY  South Australia now supplying electricity to Victoria, as wind power surges.  Renewables to be providing 80 per cent of electricity market by 2030. UK company chooses Sydney for Australian HQ . Why coal – and not renewables – is root cause of surging Australia power prices. Milestone – Australia renewables output hits 9GW for first time. Top solar postcodes of Australia – state by state. Clean Energy Council calls for NSW renewables target, as another state election looms.

INTERNATIONAL

World Meteorological Organization warns: world running out of time to combat climate change. World’s Worst Public Health Crisis  – Climate Change. The over-looked solution to climate change – equality for womenFlawed arguments in nuclear industry’s push to be seen as climate change solution.

The other big Trump-Putin story: Nuclear weapons treaty hangs in the balance as Russia-US tensions rise.

Molten salt nuclear reactors not commercially viable, but useful for military.

NORTH KOREA. A mistake to expect Kim Jong Un to give a full renunciation of nuclear weapons in advance.

FRANCE. Why France must shut down many nuclear reactors. Report shows how unprepared France is, in the event of a nuclear accident. Appeal lodged to stop commissioning of Flamanville EPR nuclear reactor vessel. France abandons plans for the Astrid (Advanced Sodium Technological Reactor for Industrial Demonstration).

TAIWAN. Taiwan Votes to Maintain Import Ban on Fukushima Food Imports. Taiwan doesn’t know what to do with radioactive trash, so decommissioning of 1st nuclear power plant is delayed.

UK.

USA.

JAPAN.  Japan to scrap Turkey nuclear project.     Thyroid cancer impact on children and teens following Fukushima nuclear accident. 2020 Olympics being used to put a nice gloss on nuclear industry, and Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. Fukushima evacuees forced back into unacceptably high radiation zones.

CANADA.  Saskatchewan sues federal government over cost to clean up abandoned uranium mine.

SOUTH AFRICASouth Africa’s Portfolio Committee on Energy (PCE) praises Nuclear power, glosses over cost, waste, problems.  Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) embroiled in dodgy deals, conflicts of interest.

AUSTRALIA. Australian schoolchildren on strike for action on climate change.

INDIA. Political connections in Holtec’s plans for boosting nuclear power in India.

BELGIUM. Belgium re-authorised nuclear power without having an environmental assessment – EU Magistrate criticises.

This week’s nuclear and climate news

November 27, 2018

Anti-science got a boost this week, as the “leader of the free world” Donald Trump, visiting the catastrophic California wildfire sites, reaffirmed his rejection of climate science.    The Trump administration went on to deny its own government’s dire new report on climate change. It is disturbing and sad, to see so many people accepting the doctrine, which was named by Carl Sagan decades ago, – climate denial. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gjuk2RcZ8uA. Even as the evidence mounts – of rising global average temperatures, arctic melting, sea level rise, and increasing extreme weather events,- politicians and much of the media promote the fossil fuel line of denial.

AUSTRALIA

Assange Lawyers Barred From Visiting Client Ahead Of US Court Hearing -(why does Australia not care?)

NUCLEAR. Australian Senate vote – a resounding NO to a nuclear power development Bill.

Moving Intermediate Level Waste from Lucas Heights to another Intermediate site – dubious and possibly illegal. Labor’s Kim Carr says nuclear waste should go to South Australia, because it’s “too dangerous for Lucas Heights”.

Government organising CLOSED GATHERINGS of nuclear waste dump supporters in South Australia. How to squash democracy – Australia’s National Radioactive Waste Management Facility shows the way, in Quorn, South Australia.  28 November: Anti-Nuclear Coalition (ANC) delegation to meet with Department of Industry Innovation and Science.

Earthquake close to Federal govt’s planned nuclear waste dump site – Kimba South Australia.

Victoria votes for solar, batteries and climate action, as Labor wins in a landslide.

CLIMATE. The UNSW climate dividend proposal to be launched by the Member for Wentworth Kerryn Phelps. Politicians move seamlessly from government to fossil fuel industries.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison furiously against the Big School Walkout for Climate Action.   Friday November 30 – Australian students Strike For Climate Action.

RENEWABLE ENERGY. Australia’s transition to clean energy gets a boost with Victorian Labor’s whopping victory. Victorian elections – Greens helped Labor to a big victory.

Renewable energy boom – up to 60,000 new Australian jobs by 2030 . Queensland’s “solar capital” approves 15th large-scale PV project.  Australia’s biggest solar farm at Coleambally sets new production records .  South Australia launches $50m grid-scale storage fund.  Lack of network planning threatens Australia’s renewable electricity future, expert warns.

INTERNATIONAL

The world heads for Armageddon, as nuclear weapons control is wound back.

IAEA Director General Amano says Iran is abiding by nuclear deal, says North Korea should re-admit inspectors.

Study shows that women care more than men do, about climate change.(surprise, surprise)    Sir David Attenborough to speak for the people at UN climate summit.

Julian Assange at risk, as changes occur in Ecuadorian Embassy.

BANGLADESH. Climate change, rising sea levels, salty drinking water and increased miscarriages.

JAPAN.

RUSSIA. Russia to give up its policy of ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons.

USA. 

UK. Frightening projections by UK’s Met Office on impacts of climate change, rising seas. UK’s environmental campaigners “Extinction Rebellion” block roads around London’s Parliament Square.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLHN1eBbhOs    Sellafield – a nuclear misuse of public funds – and Hinkley Point C will be the next. UK customers to pay in advance for Hinkley nuclear power, AND cop the financial risk?  Architects awarded contest prize for nuclear project that is now cancelled.  Calls for permanent shutdown of Hunterston nuclear reactor 3, with its 350 cracks.    Uncertainty and delay, as UK struggles with plans for dealing with radioactive trash.

VIETNAM. Vietnam government abandons costly nuclear power plans.  Taiwan to host Asian anti-nuclear forum in 2019 .

TAIWAN. Taiwan still on track to become nuclear-free, despite pro-nuclear referendum.

BULGARIA. Bulgaria’s Belene Nuclear Power Plant project unlikely to ever be built, now needs EU approval.

CZECH REPUBLIC. Czechs consider nuclear power options: would require tax-payer funding.

SOUTH AFRICADoubts on future of South Africa’s nuclear research reactors, with glut of medical isotopes, and with particle accelerator production.

FRANCE. France could shut down up to six nuclear reactors by 2028.

The past week in climate and nuclear news

November 20, 2018

Is the California fire spreading nuclear toxins

A reflection on the media, especially “social media”: some news media covered the radioactive danger of wildfire at the closed Santa Susana nuclear site, and the need for that site to be properly cleaned up. I covered it, too, on my websites – might have reached one or two thousand people, on a good day.  BUT – celebrity Kim Kardashian’s call for the clean-up would have reached 58 million people!

Public awareness of climate change just might be growing, as its impacts multipy.  Habitable areas of our planet are shrinking – as climate change exacerbates extreme weather. “Predatory delay” – how the fossil fuel industries created and maintained climate change denialism.  Nuclear power is touted as the solution to climate change. But, as well as the many other drawbacks to this ‘solution’, is the fact that nuclear is not ‘low carbon’ as claimed.

AUSTRALIA

Edward Snowden Condemns US Justice Department for Targeting Assange  (Why is Australian govt not helping Julian Assange?)

Labor’s Environment Action Network (Lean) determined that a Shorten Labor government must overhaul federal environment laws. Chifley Research Centre calls for a new and independent Australian environmental protection framework.

NUCLEAR. With the current issue of radiation risk in the California wildfires, it is timely to note that radiation monitoring showed spikes in the Lucas Heights nuclear area, at the time of the April bushfires.

The spent nuclear fuel rods at Lucas Heights can only sensibly be treated as high level wasteIAEA sees ‘Areas for Enhancement’ in Australia’s Nuclear and Radiation Safety.

Federal govt on nuclear waste dump: Minister has “absolute discretion”, dismisses Greens’ concerns. Nov 28 in Flinders and Kimba – ClOSED meetings on nuclear waste dump plan?

Australia-UK agreement on nuclear co-operation and development after UK leaves European Union.

British scientists secretly used Australian population to test for radiation contamination after nuclear tests at Maralinga. “Project Sunshine” tested dead babies for radioactive fallout.

CLIMATE. New Climate Council report links climate change with worsening droughts.     Labor to exploit Morrison’s coal obsessions in new energy policy.  Federal government’s water gift to Adani exposed.

RENEWABLE ENERGY. There are numerous news items.  The best site – reneweconomy.com.au is for some unknown reason, inaccessable tody. Headlines include WA’s Synergy says fossil fuel generators not coping with rooftop solar boom.  Third battery storage maker to set up factory in South Australia. Vestas wins largest project in Victoria’s Renewable Energy Auction with the first V150-4.2MW turbines in Australia. Greens establish Senate Inquiry into “fair dinkum power” .. and many more.

Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) group calls on Malaysian govt to shut down Lynas rare earth refinery.

INTERNATIONAL

USA.

UK.

JAPANIAEA urges Japan to reach decision soon on handling of radioactive water at crippled Fukushima nuke plant.  Abe, IOC chief to visit Fukushima venue for 2020 OlympicsHigh court rejects bid to shut down Shikoku Electric reactor.

NORTH KOREA. North Korea tests new ‘ultramodern tactical weapon’ amid stalled nuclear diplomacy.

RUSSIA. Vladimir Putin considers his response to US exit from nuclear pact. Russia boasting of a spaceship to Mars ‘in very near future’.

TURKEY. Turkish environmentalists go to the Supreme Court to stop construction of nuclear power station.

SPAIN. Spain will close the last of its nuclear reactors and coal power plants before 2030.

IRAN. Iran hopeful that Europe can salvage nuclear deal – foreign ministry .

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa’s Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s evidence at the State Capture Commission.

FRANCE. France’s Environment Minister questions viability of EPR nuclear. France to cut back on nuclear power.

POLYNESIA. President of French Polynesia admits that leaders lied, over 3 decades, about dangerous radioactivity from French nuclear tests.

to 14 November – climate and nuclear news Australia

November 13, 2018

Again, there’s a collision between the twin threats of nuclear power and of climate change, as California’s wildfires ravage the once-secret Santa Susana Field Lab (Rocketdyne), site of a partial nuclear meltdown in 1959, and still radioactively polluted.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVhtygifsuE.   Physicians for Social Responsibility refute media claims that wildfire ash poses no radiation health problem. ( No monitoring , no assessment: the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.)

California Fires Could Be The ‘New Abnormal’ If Climate Change Continues. Scientists have identified 10 ways in which climate change makes wildfires worse.

Investigative journalism. Again, journalists cover the situation of America’s sick and dying nuclear workers. This is a 2018 story, which was covered magnificently by McClatchy News in 2015.

AUSTRALIA

NUCLEAR. Environmentalists are urging people to contact Labor MPs on two issues:

  1. Labor needs to support the movement against a federal nuclear waste dump at Kimba or Hawker, South Australia, a dump which would contravene South Australian law.
  2. National Conference in December in Adelaide: Federal Labor to hold firm to its strong anti-nuclear policy

Federal government nuclear waste compromises safety and security in South Australia.  Protestors rally at South Australian Parliament against nuclear waste dump plan. Aboriginal landowners say delay in nuclear waste dump vote may bring more opposition to the plan.   Kimba property values plunge, following plans for nuclear waste dump there.

Northern Territory: Mirrar people at last gain some control over their traditional land, as uranium miners leave.  Rio Tinto offloads Northern Territory uranium resources to Canadian company.

Australia already has cyclotrons, producing medical isotopes with no need for nuclear power.

Mining industry and union get together to prevent mining clean-up legislation.

CLIMATE CHANGE. Mike Cannon-Brookes, Atlassian billionaire, calls on Government to reinstate carbon price. Energy Minister Angus Taylor confirms race is on to get new coal or gas finalised before federal election.  Call to Melissa Price, Minister For Coal, (sorry, I meant Environment) to explain why Adani project ‘s massive water use is OK.

RENEWABLE ENERGY.  Small scale solar surge continues to reshape Australia’s grid.   NSW government unveils plan to bring grid into age of renewables. Northern Territory unveils first grid-scale battery in “solar capital” Alice Springs . Plan to shift Kimberley to renewables could save $15m a year.   Huge solar farm planned for Murray Bridge, South Australia.    Victoria’s first big battery charges up on state grid.  Victorian Labor dials up its renewable energy target to 50 per cent by 2030.

INTERNATIONAL

Nuclear reactors “are a bad bet for a climate strategy” – former NRC chairman.

The digital danger to nuclear weapons.

Tell Ft.com that solar air-conditioning is the answer to air-conditioning’s greenhouse gas problem.

Within 50 years, ozone layer hole is predicted to be completely healed.

IRAN. Iran is keeping to the conditions of nuclear deal: latest U.N. report.

NORTH KOREA. North Korea: its nuclear weapons “complete”, but not planning to get rid of them (why should they?)

JAPAN. Tepco to temporarily stop injecting water at Fukushima reactor . Local opposition to restart of Tokai nuclear station, but it is cleared to start by Japan’s nuclear watchdog.

USA.

UK. 

RUSSIA.  Putin claims that Russia is developing an “invincible” nuclear weapon.  Russia now offering to help Norway to deal with the inappropriate storage of  radioactive waste.

TAIWAN. Hundreds of Taiwanese academics urge public to vote for nuclear power shut-down.

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa: leaked report shows Zuma government’s secret plans for nuclear power.

CANADA.  Small Modular Reactors not commercially viable, but nuclear companies want the government handouts.   NuScale and Ontario Power Generation (OPG) trying to make Small Nuclear Reactors happen in Canada. Canada’s nuclear regulator wants Small Nuclear Reactors exempted from full Environmental Assessment.

SAUDI ARABIA. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launches nuclear project in Saudi Arabia.

 

 

 

This week – Nuclear and Climate News – Australia and Beyond

November 6, 2018

Some good news this week. A case of positive international co-operation!  – the healing of the ozone layer. The rest of the climate news – not so good. Climate scientists have underestimated the rapid warming of the oceans.  Climate change disruption of the jet stream is causing more extreme weather.     A warning not to forget the message of UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  –  Climate Change: The Real World War.

International nuclear politics muddles along, – closer to the brink? North Korea warns it might return to developing nuclear weapons, if USA does not end sanctions.  Donald Trump ready to reimpose all nuclear sanctions on Iran.  A world on nuclear hair-trigger, if USA withdraws from the  Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia?

Looking for expert information on nuclear matters? Go to the Nuclear Consulting Group.

AUSTRALIA

NUCLEAR.  Australia’s Liberal Coalition government is frightened that nuclear waste dump would become an election issue.   Labor must keep to its strong nuclear-free policy.   A warning about the privatisation of the Federal government’s planned nuclear waste dump for South Australia. Despite South Australia’s renewable energy success, are the Liberals targetting S.A. again for an international nuclear trash dump?   City of Sydney calls on Australian govt to sign up to the UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty.

CLIMATE.   Kerryn Phelps confirmed as new independent MP: makes climate change action her first priority.  Australian Conservation Foundation encourages all voters to recognise the coming CLIMATE ELECTION.    Is this the Coalition swansong? Just one more coal plant for the road.   The Adani coal mine doesn’t stack up environmentally, economically, or politically. The world does not need Australia’s ‘toxic’ coal –Christiana Figueres.  Severe fire danger as heat hits New South Wales East coast.

RENEWABLE ENERGY.  Nuclear and Coal Lobbyists be warned – Fair Dinkum Power is here!    Clean Energy Finance Corporation marks year of record investment, as industry embraces clean energy.  New South Wales government is preparing for a surge in renewable energy. NSW launches $20m battery round, to shift hospitals and schools to solar and storageQueensland solar is booming and pushing down daytime electricity prices.   Crookwell 2 wind farm opens, in win for local farmers and ACT power prices .

Aboriginal National Congress Criticises Indigenous Affairs Minister,  Seeks Answers For Redirecting Funds.

INTERNATIONAL

The global nuclear industry sneaks into international governments’ “clean” energy movement.

Far from fixing climate change – the nuclear power industry is being stalled by climate change.

Pro nuclear expert urges the nuclear industry to drop its “climate change” argument !

Electromagnetic radiation from cell-phones is a cancer causer to rats.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report DOES show that there is scope for positive progress.

IRAN. Iran is not likely to restart its nuclear weapons programme any time soon.

EUROPE.  Europe has set up a mechanism to sidestep U.S. sanctions against Iran.

NORTH KOREA. Preparation for nuclear international inspections – North Korea.

JAPAN. 2020 Olympics as PR for the global nuclear industry? Fukushima to start the events.  Fukushima’s fishing industry threatened by plans to dump radioactive water. Eastern Japan cities sign nuclear accident evacuation accord.  Shikoku Electric restarts Ikata nuclear reactor following failed court challenges.

CANADA.  Canada’s glaciers are retreating – and fast!    “Clean Energy Ministerial”: despite Canada’s Liberal claims, nuclear power will not save the environmentNon nuclear production of medical isotopes .

HUNGARY. Did Hungarian nuclear authorities fudge the measurement of water heating at Paks nuclear plant ?

UK.  NuGen nuclear power project in Moorside, Cumbria, UK, soon to bite the dust?  UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) reprimanded for nuclear safety breaches.    Fylde Fracking Near Nuclear Fuel Site – “No Problem” says Government.   Spiralling costs of Britain’s Sellafield nuclear site.    One veteran’s story of radiation effects of participating in nuclear bomb testing.   UK could be running solely on zero carbon renewables in summer months 2050.

SWEDEN. Swedish Environmental Court has concerns about speed of corrosion of copper nuclear waste canisters.

USA.

UKRAINE. Radioactivity induced mutations in the animals of Chernobyl.

INDIA. Prime Minister Modi’s doublespeak on India’s first nuclear submarine.

SOUTH KOREA. South Korean firm KEPCO keen to get $20 billion by selling nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia.

FRANCE. Hackers accessed confidential documents about nuclear. Nuclear company AREVA rebranded itself (Orano, Framatome) – but legal troubles linger.

Climate and Nuclear News to 31 October – Australia and International

October 30, 2018

Climate changeBig Trouble on a Small Planet–     The world is pumping out more oil and other petroleum liquids than ever before.   Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere broke another record in 2018.

Climate change is already affecting human society in some terrible ways. Persistent drought is one main cause of the migration of Central Americans towards the USA –   where they will be confronted by 5,000 soldiers!

In matters nuclear, the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabia embassy in Turkey has brought world attention to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who almost certainly ordered this killing. Saudi Arabia’s poor human rights record, abuses in Yemen, and international condemnation of the murder make its bid to become a nuclear nation a big worry to the rest of the world. But Trump is still keen to sell weapons and nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.

World peace teetering again, as President Trump, egged on by his belligerent National Security Advisor John Bolton, prepares to abandon the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia.

Investigative journalismHALF-LIFE   Chad Walde believed in his work at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Then he got a rare brain cancer linked to radiation, and the government denied it had any responsibility.

AUSTRALIA

CLIMATE.  Only a few years left, for action on climate change – but do we care?  Australia losing all credibility with Pacific neighbours, as Morrison pulls out of global climate fund. Coalition digs deeper into coal and climate denial.  Climate change policy – the wrecking ball that destroys Australia’s prime ministers.   Coalition votes down COAG push to keep climate on energy policy agenda.   Liberal MP Dean Smith warns – “Young will abandon us”  New member of Parliament, Kerryn Phelps, will push for strong role for Climate Change Authority. About drought – Scott Morrison, Josh Frydenberg, Angus Taylor, Melissa Price are a disgrace!!

As Antarctica thaws, China, Russia and others move in.

NUCLEAR. Australia’s latest 60 Minutes – on Fukushima – a nuclear infomercial.

Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in disarray – costs and safety problems.

Saturday 3 November: Adelaide. Rally – Don’t Dump on South Australia.

Australian govt documents name Whyalla, Port Pirie, Port Lincoln as possible ports for nuclear waste transport.

Legal action in Western Australia means delay, uncertainty, for Cameco’s Yeelirrie uranium mine.

Is it time for BHP to sell unreliable and expensive Olympic Dam uranium mine?

Nuclear weapons for Australia? – at what cost?

Radioactive pollution problems: Australia’s rare earths mine in Malaysia.

Nuclear lobby revs up its frenzied campaign in Australia. Ben Heard is their front man. Ben Heard and pro nuclear company Frazer-Nash pushing for nuclear Australia.

ENERGY Scott Morrison’s desperate electricity measures have no real policy future.  Greens leader Adam Bandt says that  Labor backing of Liberal coal plan is outrageous. Things are crook for the Liberals, when the right wing IPA blasts them on energy policies!

RENEWA BLE ENERGY Australian business urged to join global embrace of 100% renewables.    ZEN Energy and the stunning solar future for South Australia.  South Australia opens biggest house. energy costs.     Perth’s Scotch College installs 512kW solar, cuts grid power usage by 25% .     WA off-grid school runs 100% on solar and battery.  Coca-Cola to add 3.5MW solar across Australian operations. CSIRO expands rooftop solar rollout to slash energy costs.

INTERNATIONAL

New global approaches needed to tackle climate change. Climate change bringing more droughts, more extreme rainfalls, more often.

America’s decision to abandon arms control treaty would be a ‘dire threat to world peace’ – Gorbachev.

Study of 120,000 hibakusha atomic bomb survivors shows raised risk of breast cancer.

Countries are safer to not have nuclear facilities? IAEA training to prepare for cyberattacks on them.

Medical staff need to be more aware of cancer risks in nuclear medicine.

BRAZILBrazil’s new President – a danger to environment and to action against climate change.

SAUDI ARABIA. America shouldn’t trust Saudi Arabia with nuclear technology.  Nuclear power lobbyists for Saudi Arabia finding it (a bit) tough following Jamal Khashoggi ‘s murder.

INDIA. Uranium mining in India – just another kind of nuclear disaster.

EUROPE. New research on impacts of climate change in the Mediterranean.  NATO – Europeans urge USA not to quit nuclear treaty.

UK.   Toshiba to dissolve its British nuclear unit NuGeneration? Future of Bradwell nuclear project in doubt – Chinese company might withdraw.    USA issues stark warning against UK partnering with China on nuclear power stations.  Nuclear facilities in UK – perfect targets for terrorism.   Serious concern in nuclear industry over no-deal Brexit.  UK Law was changed so nuclear waste dumps can be forced on local communities.

USA. 

RUSSIA. Russia preparing to discuss Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with USA. Putin warns European nations on hosting US nuclear weapons – risk to them of counter-strike.

JAPAN.  Despite health dangers, Japan is sending residents back to irradiated Fukushima areas.  Stop the return of women and child evacuees to radioactive parts of Fukushima – UN’s call to Japan.  Japan’s government refuses UN call to stop returning evacuees to irradiated areas of Fukushima.   Japan’s Onagawa nuclear reactor No 1 to be scrapped. 5.0 magnitude earthquake off the east coast of Japan, close to Fukushima.

TAIWAN. Taiwan’s phaseout of nuclear power.

FRANCE. France’s people turning away from nuclear power. Prolonged drought leads EDF to curb Fessenheim 2 nuclear reactor output.  French government to decide whether or not to build new EPR nuclear reactors.

EGYPT. Egypt’s renewable energy project – going for the green economy.