Archive for the ‘Christina notes’ Category

To 21 July – the week in climate and nuclear news

July 21, 2017

I am wondering if those who read this newsletter, (and many other people, too) are getting “climate change fatigue”.

“Nuclear fatigue” too, perhaps. Still, on the nuclear scene, nothing dramatic seems to be happening this week. Nevertheless, a bit like climate change, nuclear pollution is something that continues to creep up on the unaware world. Investigative journalism still lives: a new report tells of vast areas of America’s land poisoned by mismanagement of military wastes

Not a good time to give up on reading about climate change, with the current debate on Is the Climate Emergency Just a Big Problem, or is it a Catastrophe?

AUSTRALIA

Militarisation of Australia’s police?

CLIMATE and ENERGY    Climate denialism rules the Federal Liberal Party – and is bringing about a split within it. The disgraceful state of Australia’s politics and media on clean energy. Australian States and Federal Govt approve 49 Finkel recommendations, but split on Clean Energy Target.Clean Energy Finance Corporation sees rapid growth in renewables.

NUCLEAR. Did Australia cave in to France over Pacific nuclear bomb testing?

Quiet shipment of uranium from Australia to India – non signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty.

South Australia. Clear opposition to nuclear development in South Australia: no further tax-payer money should be wasted on it.  Pro nuclear activities of MP Rowan Ramsey questioned.

Northern Territory. As ERA’s Ranger Uranium mine lease to expire, town of Jabiru’s future is not clear.

Queensland. Queensland Liberal National Party members refuse to pull out of Paris Climate Accord.

RENEWABLE ENERGY. I can no longer keep up with the many developments in solar, wind, sefficency, storage of energy etc. Best information source is Giles’ Parkinson’s REneweconomy.

INTERNATIONAL

CLIMATE  We Still Have Time to Restore Our Climate. But the Climate Time Bomb Is Ticking.Prof James Hansen warns on sea level rise: Earth could become ‘practically ungovernable’. Methane from thawing permafrost could be increasing the rate of global warming. $530 trillion costs for the future, if no effective action on climate change. Global Sea Ice Coverage Has Fallen Off a Cliff — Impacts Likely to Be Wide-Ranging.

NUCLEAR.  Will Small Nuclear Reactors be the great white hope for the ailing nuclear industry? Probably not.

EUROPE. Drought ravages South Europe crops.

CANADA. Huge wildfires again in Canada – 1000s forced to evacuate.

JAPAN.  Japan map showing potential nuclear waste disposal sites to be released  Japan’s government planning protection in fear of radioactive terrorism at 2020 Olympics.  Fukushima Radiation and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Japan’s local authorities want security measures: nuclear reactors a target for military or terrorists.

Fukushima. 5.8 M Quake Near Ongoing Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Site; Torrential Rains; Threats Of Increased Dumping of Radioactive Water to the Pacific. Underwater Robot Begins Probing Fukushima Daiichi’s No. 3 reactor. Will Tepco Dump 770,000 tons of Tritiated Water Into the Pacific Ocean?

FRANCE. Hot weather causes France to cut nuclear power output: (climate change is not good for nuclear reactors)  Europe’s struggle to find a solution to nuclear waste disposal.

UK.

USA.

IRAN. The Iran nuclear deal is working.

GERMANYNuclear and Renewable power really don’t work well together

SOUTH AFRICA. On Mandela Day, South Africa’s anti nuclear movement pledges to stop the government’s nuclear plans.

INDIA. Villagers protest, and stop drilling work for proposed nuclear power plant in Chutka, India.

 

The week that was – climate and nuclear news

July 15, 2017

It’s a toss-up as to which issue is now the most critical – climate change or nuclear war danger. I’m inclined to think – climate change. Some, like Paul Beckwith, Canadian Climate System Scientist, say that abrupt climate change is already with us, and drastic emergency measures are needed. Others are very concerned, pointing out severe problems – e,g today’s news – Asia faces climate change disaster.

On the nuclear scene, the world could be teetering at the brink of nuclear war, with North Korea ramping up its nuclear weapons, and Donald Trump tweeting belligerently.when what is needed is some new strategic foreign policy thinking

AUSTRALIA

CLIMATE. Former head of BP calls for an end to the cynical and dishonest denial of climate change.  Torres Strait islanders affected by climate change – evacuation eventually needed.    The Great Barrier Reef is not going to survive climate change. World’s unstoppable movement on climate change action – explained at Eco­city 2017 World Summit in Melbourne. Greenhouse gas emissions of Australian States; – Queensland’s the worst.

POLITICS.  Rather than mindlessly toeing militaristic USA line, Australia could urge negotiations on North Korea crisis. Australia should join UN nuclear weapons ban treaty, when it opens in September.

With the sudden resignation of Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, Australia has lost arguably its most intelligent and public spirited member of Parliament. This is a terrible loss for all who care about the environment, because Ludlam has been the most lucid, forceful and courteous voice for Australia’s land and water, and for its indigenous people.

A States’ led Clean Energy Target could work for Australia. Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, and the ACT defy Turnbull, will “go it alone” on Clean Energy Target. Josh Frydenberg, Australia’s Minister Against the Environment, warns the States not to act on clean energy target.

Australia’s mining lobby has a win , with government’s subtle tactic to hobble environmental groups

No plans for real development of Adani coal mine expansion. Adani family will benefit most, if it happens.  The real purpose of Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund? – to supply $billions to Adani coal project. Anti Adani coal project Activists claim they were ‘run over’ at protest.

Queensland Liberal National Party confirms its status as the Party For Fossil Fools.

Australian Energy Market Operator Chief abused by broadcaster Alan Jones, of the loony Right.

RENEWABLE ENERGY. Queensland government would welcome an Elon Musk renewable energy storage project. Renewable energy news more – and more

INTERNATIONAL

Atmospheric CO2 Continuing to Increase.

No choice really, but to learn to live with a North Korean ICBM.

Ionising radiation’s cancer effect far greater in females than in males.

Bunkers for the filthy rich: income inequality would continue after a nuclear apocalypse.

The international nuclear industry in financial meltdown.

ANTARCTICA. Huge iceberg breaks away from Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica.

AFRICA. Climate change affecting huge numbers of children in Africa.

EUROPE. Yet again, hope for nuclear fusion pushed into the distant future.

USA.   Climate change: clear split between USA and everyone else at G20.    Massive Wildfires Burn From California to the Arctic Ocean as Temperature Records Shatter.   USA Congress supports Department of Defense policy for action on climate change. Questions on safety of USA nuclear stations, risks of cyber attacks.Senator Edward Markey calls for U.S. govt to reveal details of nuclear plant cyber attacks.Hanford to use air surveillance to track down underground radioactive hotspots  Thorium contamination the likely cause of radioactive pollution at Missouri landfill. Thyroid cancer incidence greater in counties near to Three Mile Island nuclear accident.

UK.   UK government’s issues paper on its position regarding Euratom. The nuclear problem of Euratom has the potential to derail Britain’s “Brexit”.  Legal wrangle looms over British or EU responsibility for nuclear fuel and wastes.   UK’s soaring solar energy capacity – could go even higher with consumers becoming “prosumers”.

JAPAN.  Small head size and delayed body weight growth in wild Japanese monkey fetuses after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.    Fishermen express fury as Fukushima plant set to release radioactive material into ocean. TEPCO chair: Nuclear plant must release contaminated water.

Japan now hoping to export Renewable Energy Technology.

FRANCE.  France’s EDF might have to shut down 17 nuclear reactors.   French government spends €2.0 billion and then €2.5 billion – steps in restructuring near bankrupt nuclear corporation AREVA.

IRAN. It is reported that Donald Trump will say Iran complying with nuclear deal.

RUSSIA. Russia enthusiastically marketing latest third-generation nuclear reactors to India.

NORTH KOREA. USA-South Korea bombing drill on the Korean peninsula angers North Korea.

SOUTH KOREA. South Korea’s nuclear export plans may now be in doubt.

KAZAKHSTAN IAEA’s Uranium bank in Kazakhstan likely to never have any customers.

JORDAN. Solar power at Azraq refugee camp– provided by UNHCR and Jordan govt.

To 8th July – nuclear and climate news

July 8, 2017

At the G20 meeting of 19 wealthy nations plus the European Union, in Germany, G20 President  Angela Merkel planned for discussion of Africa and health to be a high priority. This is now overtaken by the concern over North Korea’s latest test – of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)

Equally important, negotiators representing two-thirds of the 192-member United Nations  finalised   the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons this week after months of talks.

On climate change, at G20 the growing international isolation of the United States under President Trump was starkly apparent, with almost unanimous opposition to Trump’s climate lack of policy. Meanwhile, a 2018 global summit on climate change is planned, led by California Governor Jerry Brown, -as the Donald Trump administration becomes rather irrelevant to international climate action.

Where will climate refugees find shelter and food?

AUSTRALIA

NUCLEAR. Australia now in reach of North Korea’s new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).   Australia can play a role in promoting dialogue, not war, with North Korea. If North Korea attacks USA with nuclear warhead, Australia will join US in fight , says Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce (Joyce doesn’t say what we’d do if USA were to attack North Korea). Former PM Kevin Rudd now suggesting missile defence system for Australia. PM Turnbull says THAAD anti- missile system is “not really suitable” for Australia.

The Australian government boycotted the UN nuclear weapons ban talks, but Greens Senator Scott Ludlam did attend, and regretted Australia’s earlier actions, with diplomats instructed to break up and obstruct the talks.

Coalition pours scorn on Tony Abbott’s call for nuclear submarines. Australia’s nuclear lobby hoping for nuclear submarines as a ‘foot in the door’,

Australian uranium miner Paladin Energy going broke.

CLIMATE  Australia’s energy policy now under the control of the climate denying extreme right wing idealogues     Climate Change Authority has now lost all of its climate scientists . Australia Institute takes up the challenge of climate change research and communication

Adani coal project – farmers deplore the unlimited access to precious groundwater, given by the Queensland government to Adani. Any loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (Naif) to Adani’s Carmichael coalmine project is probably illegal.

RENEWABLE ENERGY   World’s first solar-powered train – for Byron Bay. South Australia: Tesla to supply world’s biggest battery But it’s a pity that the Australian government did not support an Australian company, such as Zen Energy , which has been working for years on battery storage.   Solar panels now on one quarter of Australian homes. Latest renewable energy news from REneweconomy..  and more.  and still more. again more

INTERNATIONAL

Amid the escalating tension between USA and North Korea, calm calls for Engagement and Dialogue. Donald Trump has few real options in dealing with North Korea. Russia and China propose negotiation .

Global Covenant of Mayors to fight climate change.

Lithium use in batteries booming – need for recycling, and environmental protection

USA. 

CHINA. China calls for calm and restraint on North Korea.

RUSSIA. 

JAPAN. Trial of former Tepco executives over 2011 disaster. Costs of building Rokkasho nuclear fuel reprocessing plant now 4 times greater.

FRANCE. France plans to cut nuclear power’s share of electricity from 75% to 50% by 2025. Sixth MOX nuclear shipment leaves France for Japan.

UKRAINE. Forest fire near Chernobyl Nuclear Plant.

This week’s climate and nuclear news

June 30, 2017

From the news media, you would hardly know it, but two big international meetings are happening. In New York,  delegations from more than 130 States are working  to finalize the text  for the “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons”.  In Hamburg, the G20 summit is about to be held, with climate change as a central issue. Meanwhile, as I write, the “important”  news item is, as usual, occupied by Donald Trump, who apparently has tweeted rudely, again – ho hum.

A warning from climate experts – just 3 years left to start real action against climate change.

Investigative journalism lives!  The Center for Public Integrity’s Nuclear Negligence examines safety weaknesses at U.S. nuclear weapon sites operated by corporate contractors.

AUSTRALIA

NUCLEAR

Australia’s Karina Lester speaks at United Nations conference on a nuclear weapons ban treaty.

Karina Lester tells the Anangu story, and of the Aboriginal fight against nuclear waste dumping.

Washed up former Prime Minister Abbott still in the embrace of the nuclear industry.

What tests go on at Woomera – ‘the largest land testing range in the world’ ?

Minister For Nuclear and Coal, Matt Canavan pushes forward with Kimba radioactive trash dump plan. South Australia federal nuclear waste dump plan. Organisation NO RADIOACTIVE WASTE ON AGRICULTURAL LAND  IN KIMBA OR SOUTH AUSTRALIA bitterly disappointed at Minister Canavan progressing this plan without broad community support. 

CLIMATE.

United Nations concerned over impact of climate change on Aboriginals: lack of indigenous inclusion in policy-making. United Nations committee encourages Australia to rethink its support for coal mining industry.

For Australian climate scientists, climate change is becoming a personal and serious concern.

Great Barrier Reef headed for death, without a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions – UNESCO report. Great Barrier Reef’s huge economic value to Australia.

Twists and turns in the saga of Adani loan deal for giant Carmichael coal mineFarmers for Climate Action gathering huge support in their fight against Adani coal mine expansion.

John Pratt ‘s climate and coal news.

RENEWABLE ENERGY. Most Australians want renewables to be primary energy source, survey finds. New South Wales’ largest solar energy farm to go ahead.  Melbourne Water’s network of “mini-hydro” electric plants.  Sorry I just can’t keep up! ……..Energy news from REneweconomy.  More  energy news from REneweconomy. 28 June renewable energy and climate news

INTERNATIONAL

G20 summit July 7-8. Paris climate deal is ‘non negotiable‘- Angela Merkel.

Sea-Level Rise: Bubble, Bubble, GigaTons of Methane Trouble -Paul Beckwith.  Global Warming Effects Map – Effects of Global Warming.  Climate change refugee numbers – 2 billion by 2100?

UKRAINE Cyber attack knocks out the radiation monitoring system of Chernobyl nuclear plant.

GREENLANDGreenland ice melting – a big contributor to sea level rise.

EUROPE. Three European nations spanned in human chain demanding closure of Belgian nuclear reactors.

USA.

UK. UK govt has set up a new team to plan UK’s withdrawal from Euratom.  Financial problems for Britain’s nuclear power projects.  South Korea’s Kepco would rescue Britain’s Moorside nuclear project, but only with its own reactors.  Bradwell nuclear wastes reclassified as “low level”: failed technology now used for disposal. Hackers trading passwords used by managers at British nuclear power plants. Britain’s Hinkley Point nuclear project to cost billions more than was forecast.

JAPAN. Former Nuclear Power Plant Executives to Stand Trial for the Fukushima Disaster and the Deaths of Over 40 People.

INDIA. 37 sites close, as world’s largest coal company winds down. Low morale in India’s nuclear industry: exodus of scientists.

FRANCE.  Activists halted nuclear waste ship for several hours.   Flamanville nuclear reactor 3 likely to go ahead, despite weak spots in its steel. French Nuclear regulator requires more inspections of Flamanville EPR reactor pressure vessel anomaly.

SOUTH KOREA. Fall in South Korea’s nuclear shares. Kepco not now likely to buy out bankrupt Westinghouse nuclear. South Korea  suspends construction of 2 nuclear reactors.

RUSSIA. Russia’s fears of nuclear war: underground bunkers prepared. Russia’s nuclear marketing may create unhealthy dependency in Middle East nations.

GERMANY. “There’s more value today in helping reduce consumption than in selling energy itself”.

CHINA. China “looks to small nuclear reactors” – but it’s not really a very good look.

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa’s govt and nuclear power utility Eskom undermine renewable energy development.

IRAN. Donald Trump leads the world to war against Iran.

CZECH REPUBLIC. Angry reaction to nuclear power plant’s bikini contest for selecting female interns.

We’re not as smart as frogs

June 25, 2017

It’s a myth that frogs will stay in water that slowly heats, until they die.  In reality, they will try to get out, as soon as the temperature becomes uncomfortable. Right now, homo sapiens is dreaming on, in our warming world, as climate change gets to crisis stage. Computer models were showing the coming impacts of climate change: now real life events show them.

This newsletter, and websites, were intended to promote the nuclear-free movement. They still are, but (except for the threat of nuclear war), the global climate emergency is now the most pressing issue. The Guardian has this week shown how some areas are especially threatened: – in SpainBangladesh , Malawi, Norway, Brazil,  New York, Philippines.

AUSTRALIA

CLIMATE Australia’s peril: ignoring the climate ‘disaster alley’ that we are already in.   Report shows how Australia is underestimating security threats from climate change. Australia’s politicians protect the coal industry, not the Australian people.  A renewed push for climate change action .  Future jobs in Far North Queensland threatened by Adani coal mine.

NUCLEAR

Australia kicked off the Global Womens’ March To Ban The Bomb.

The Liberal-dominated Joint Standing Committee on Generation IV Nuclear Energy Framework has just recommended Australia joining this Generation IV International Forum (GIF) (aims to develop new nuclear reactors). Hardly surprising, seeing that Dr Adi Paterson of Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) had already taken it upon himself to sign up in advance. All this, with no Parliamentary discussion, no media coverage, and despite Australia’s strong laws prohibiting the nuclear industry. The Committee’s recommendations were a straight handout from ANSTO. Labor politicians on the Committee had a few wimpy complaints. Only the Greens had the guts to examine and reject the whole thing, noting the secrecy, legal prohibitions, lack of procedural fairness, uneconomic state of the nuclear industry, and ANSTO’s financial problems.

Australia’s top nuclear shill, Ben Heard, of nuclear front group Bright New World presented a paper in Moscow, to help the Russians promote nuclear power at AtomExpo.

Kimba community divided over federal nuclear waste dump plan – fairly narrow “yes” vote. Strong calls to have Kimba nuclear dump plan dumped.

Strong union opposition to uranium mining in Western Australia. Disappointment over Labor’s broken promise on uranium mining in Western Australia.

RENEWABLE ENERGY. Drop in peak energy demand, as Western Australia goes for rooftop PV solar. I can’t keep up here. REneweconomy can.  And there’s more.  And more.   A Kimberley cattleman‘s powerful argument for renewable energy.

Dennis Matthews Scrutinises the Finkel Energy Report.   PM urged, by small business, to decide on Finkel report. Crikey names and shames the Liberal Neanderthals opposing Clean Energy Target.

INTERNATIONAL

UN Human Rights Council on protection of human rights from the impacts of climate change: even USA is supportive.  Research on climate change and migration.

Worrying climate news, as a huge ice shelf melts, in Antarctica.

Second round of UN nuclear ban talks begins in New York.  Global Collaboration Towards a Legally Binding Ban on Nuclear Weapons.Radiation research foundation to apologize for studying but not treating hibakusha, A-bomb survivors submit petition for nuclear ban.

PORTUGAL. Climate change, and Portugal’s deadly fires.

USA. Airplanes grounded because of heatwave. Climate Change Is Shrinking the Colorado River.

RUSSIA.  Russia angered by Nato surrounding Baltic fleet in Kaliningrad- unprecedented war games.  Ever increasing piles of toxic Russian radioactive trash – a challenge for Norway and Russia to clean up. As the global renewable energy transition speeds up, Russia gambles on nuclear energy. Russia holds AtomExpo – a triumph of nuclear marketing.  Rosatom’s plans to DEVELOP NUCLEAR CLUSTER IN SOUTH AFRICA .

UK.  Bank of England to probe banks’ exposure to climate change.  Brexit brings Britain’s nuclear industry to a “cliff edge”.   Wylfa nuclear power project threatens the biodiversity of North Wales nature reserve.   National Audit Office considers Hinkley Point C nuclear power plan ‘risky and expensive’.  Should British tax-payers cough up for both Hinkley and Wylfa nuclear power boondoggles?

SOUTH KOREA. South Korea’s major turn away from nuclear energy with Kori-1’s permanent shutdown.

JAPAN. Students and researchers at research reactors should have background checks, warns Japan’s nuclear regulator.  Plutonium in workers’ urine at Oarai Research and Development Center.  Fukushima. Fukushima’s Radiation will poison food ‘for decades’ Study Finds. For Fukushima returnees, security a growing concern in deserted towns.

NORTH KOREA. There are “positive signals” on Korean Peninsula nuclear issue  – China. New activity at North Korean nuclear test site.

SOUTH AFRICA. Nuclear deal with Russia is central to the corruption in South Africa. President Jacob Zuma says South Africa is committed to nuclear power expansion.   President Zuma “knows nothing” about nuclear corruption in South Africa, or his family benefiting.

FRANCE. Flamanville nuclear reactor: EPR pressure vessel does not comply with safety regulations.

INDIA. India gives up on importing Western nuclear reactors, to save face, will build its own.

GREENLAND. As Greenland Ice Sheet thaws, old nuclear missile site Camp Century is revealed.

And it’s another lot of nuclear and climate news

June 16, 2017

Thanks to those who reminded me that the British PM is NOT Theresa Merkel, (as I wrote last week). As one reader suggested, I must have been doing some wishful thinking – a Freudian slip. Now I know that the  PM is Theresa Mayhem.

17 June, as delegates gather in New York for UN negotiations on nuclear weapons ban treaty, women and men and children around the world will be marching in support of that treaty plan.

Collapsing ice shelves will further accelerate global sea level rise. Cities and states may be able to officially join the Paris Climate Agreement. The “growth economy” must end, along with the coal industry. Record drop in global coal production. Solar power speeding the death of coal-fired power.

AUSTRALIA

Congratulations to those who received Queen’s Birthday awards for work on the environment.

NUCLEAR 

Ukraine uranium sales plan: Unreasonable, unstable and unsafe.

Senator Scott Ludlam probes the Australian government’s plan to dump Lucas Heights’ nuclear waste on rural South Australia.

South Australians very definitely dumped the nuclear dump plan, but a new battle looms.

Liberal MP Jane Prentice speaks out in favour of nuclear power. New South Wales DEPUTY Premier John Barilaro renews calls for nuclear power. Tomago Aluminium boss wants government to invest in nuclear energy.

CLIMATE and ENERGY 

Adani coal project Green light for massive coal mine? Adani has not secured the financing it needs for the project. Aboriginal leader, previous supporter of Adani coal project, now rejects it.   Federal Inquiry needed: Adani should be questioned on history on environment and ‘allegations of fraud, corruption. Adani Group embroiled in corrupt arms deal in South Africa. Adani could be looking for an excuse to back out of unviable Carmichael coal project.

Aboriginal issues  Traditional Owners slam passage of Native Title amendments. Professor Marcia Langton promoting Big Coal, not Aboriginal Rights. Marcia Langton “poorly informed” on Adani coal mine, says leading native title lawyer.

INTERNATIONAL

Renewable energy news– the latest.

NORTH KOREA. North Korea moving surprisingly fast towards launching long-range, nuclear-capable missile. Increased activity around N. Korean test site may indicate 6th nuclear test.

JAPAN  Accidential exposure to Plutonium: what this means for Japanese nuclear workers.  Burst nuclear container scattered contaminants,  Court rejects citizen group submission, allows restart of Genkai nuclear plant.   Review of safety of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant will mean along delay in restart. Underwater robot to probe damage at Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant. Japan accused by UN special rapporteur of eroding media freedoms and stifling public debate of issues such as the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. Radiation levels exceeding state-set limit found on grounds of five Chiba schools.

USA

NORWAY. A warning to Norway, on Russia’s bad history of nuclear waste disposal.

UK. No planning in UK’s Brexit for the problem of EURATOM and UK’s trade in nuclear materials.Hitachi getting out of its financial risks in construction of new Nuclear Power Plant at Wylfa.

SOUTH KOREAPermanent shutdown of unit 1 of South Korea’s Kori nuclear power plant

BANGLADESH. Ship at Bangladesh found to have illegal levels of radioactive material: too dangerous to scrap.

TURKEY. Turkey to go into big debt to Russia for $20 billion Akkuyu nuclear power plan.
FRANCE. France set to close some nuclear reactors.

UKRAINE. Chernobyl nuclear station – smoke detected at crippled Unit 3.

NEW ZEALAND. Auckland commemorates 30 years of nuclear-free New Zealand.

INDIA. American corporations hope to use Indian insurance companies, for nuclear build in India.

To 11 June – Nuclear and Climate news

June 10, 2017

of interest:   Radiological and nuclear incidents – the IAEA database

In the anglophone world, nuclear and climate are not top of the news at the moment, but are lurking not far beneath it. Terrorism events enhance the concern about radiation – “dirty bombs” etc.  Theresa May’s unsatisfactory result at the British election makes it harder for her to negotiate the exit from the European Atomic Community (“Euratom”). In America the unfolding saga of the the sacked FBI director Comey, and the  investigation into Michael Flynn and the Trump election campaign, has now revealed Flynn’s involvement in a truly weird nuclear marketing scheme.

As for climate change action – well, China is taking over the leadership. China and California are setting up their own climate accord. A joint commitment to fight climate change – European Union and China. America is really “still in it” as More than 1,000 U.S. governors, mayors, investors, universities, and companies  pledge to meet the goals of the Paris agreement.

AUSTRALIA

Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel released his report on future energy planning. I think that the report is good. It is real realpolitik, in the light of all of Australia’s political conflicts about energy. The report just might let PM Malcolm Turnbull actually get some energy planning happening – nothing extreme in its promotion of renewable energy, nothing that would promote the coal power industry, while allowing it to die quietly. Nuclear is not mentioned, nor is it condemned.

NUCLEAR.  South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill declares the nuclear waste importing plan “dead”

ANSTO’s Dr Adi Paterson signed Australia up to New Nuclear club with NO Parliamentary discussion!   Senator Scott Ludlam asked inconvenient questions at Senate Estimates Committee about Australia’s role in nuclear weapons ban negotiations.    Australia’s diplomats called “weasels” on Australia’s stand against nuclear weapons ban treaty

Senator Scott Ludlam asked inconvenient questions at Senate Estimates Committee on the cleanup of the Ranger uranium mine

ENERGY  

CLIMATE CHANGE. Traditional Owners fighting Adani mine query Labor’s support for Native Title Bill  Adani announces “green light” for expanded coal mine, but still hasn’t got the finance. Adani ‘investment decision’ meaningless without Indigenous consentReligious leaders in active opposition to Adani coal mine project.

INTERNATIONAL

NORTH KOREA. Defiant North Korea vows to continue its nuclear weapons development. No answer in sight, to North Korea’s march toward nuclear capability.

EUROPELeaders of Germany, France and Italy reject Trump’s suggestion of renegotiating Paris climate accord.

USA.

JAPANIbaraki nuclear research facility under scrutiny after accident; gas suspected in rupture. 5 Workers Exposed to Radioactive Materials at Oarai Nuclear Research Facility in Ibara. Decommissioning of Monju Fast-Breeder Reactor Accepted by Fukui Governor,

Fukushima. Thyroid Cancer Plagues Fukushima Evacuees, But Officials Deny Radiation to Blame. Fukushima town, Namie to receive compensation.  Trial of Three Key Tepco Executives Starting. 80% of voluntary evacuees not yet returned to Fukushima Prefecture.

UK. Dangerous cargo of radioactive trash flying from Scotland to South Carolina.

GERMANY. German Chancellor Merkel says budget not affected by court ruling to refund nuclear taxes.

RUSSIA. Legacy of improperly managed radioactive sites across Russia.

INDIA. The high cost of new Units 5, 6 at Kudankulam Nuclear power – most of it owed to Russia

BRAZIL. Brazil following US in rolling back climate protections.

AFRICA. Solar lamps tackling poverty and ill-health in Africa.

ANTARCTICA. Massive crack in Antarctic ice shelf is near to breaking.

 

June 2, 2017

As I write, the world is reacting to Donald Trump’s announcement  that America will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.  We knew this was coming, but it is still a shock. USA, under Barack Obama was, along with China, a world leader, at least symbolically, in the struggle to save the planet from catastrophic climate change. (Andy Borowitz of the New Yorker, has an original opinion on this.)

AUSTRALIA

Issues about climate change, and of the Adani coal project dominate the news at present.

NUCLEAR Meanwhile important nuclear issues are going on, under the radar. There are the Western Australian planned uranium projects of Yeelirrie and Wiluna

CLIMATE. Donald Trump is a “climate criminal” – Australian reaction to the USA climate deal pullout. Massive implications for Australia, in new report on sea level rise.  Sea level rise threatening Australia’s East Coast holiday beaches.

New South Wales EPA must review procedures for managing contaminated land

Uncertainty about future of existing Indigenous Protected Areas..

RENEWABLE ENERGY Ross Garnaut – green energy will be win-win for South Australia. Australian States lead in move towards renewable energy boom.   Solar power plant for Northern Territory Aboriginal community -cuts reliance on diesel. Telstra funding construction of $100 million solar farm in northern Queensland. If Glencore wants cheap energy for Mt Isa, it should go solar. Josh Frydenberg predicts ‘big battles’ within Coalition after Finkel review

INTERNATIONAL

Donald Trump excelling himself in policies to ruin not only America, but the world.

Climate deniers hijacking a climate science conference in Rome.

If USA moves into Crimea, Russia prepared to use nuclear weapons.  North Korea ramps up nuclear warning to USA. Danger of conflict between USA and North Korea: North Korea has 100 Unidentified Nuclear Facilities.

EUROPE‘s nuclear power stations aging – nearing retirement: Nuclear transboundary consultations.

USA.  

UK.The danger of catastrophic cyberattack on UK’s Trident nuclear submarines. Britain’s exit from European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) – a real damper on UK’s nuclear industry.   Theresa May govt plans to weaken climate action rules.

SOUTH KOREA. South Korea soon to announce plans to phase out nuclear power.

BELARUS. Europe should not turn a blind eye to the developing nuclear threat in Belarus.

INDIA. India going into debt to Russia, for expanded Kudankulam nuclear plant ? A victory for Indian farmers, as nuclear power proposal shifted from coastal district of Gujarat. As solar costs plunge, India rethinks coal projects.

SOUTH AFRICA. Nuclear power company Eskom wants a blank cheque from the South African government. South Africa’s anti nuclear movement renews its campaign.

CHINA. China suspends permits for new coal plants.

JAPAN.  Nuclear storage crisis grows as reactor restarts continue.  UN Rapporteur Received Reports that Japan Media Avoids Covering Ongoing Fukushima Nuclear Disaster; Reporter Demoted-Salary Reduced for Writing About Fukushima.   Toshiba to present UNAUDITED accounts at the company’s AGM next month.

SWEDEN. In Sweden, civil society can influence nuclear waste decisions.

SPAIN. A promising first: hybrid wind power storage plant in Spain using batteries.

POLYNESIA. Declassified: Polynesia  vastly affected by radioactivity from French nuclear bomb testing.

 

To May 27 Nuclear and climate news

May 27, 2017

I think that we’re all going to have to join American youth, in relying on comedy TV shows like Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Late show with Stephen Colbert, to get our English language news, especially about America.  The actual news is more like comedy. While Donald Trump struts about the world, for example, talking about peace to the Pope, the Trump budget sets out cuts to the UN peace-keeping operations.

Danger of nuclear terrorism is not talked about much. But Britain has suddenly replaced  police at Sizewell nuclear site with armed soldiers. Singapore has recently passed legislation for mandatory death penalty for nuclear terrorism.

AUSTRALIA

NUCLEAR. Australian government about to secretly sign up to developing Generation IV nuclear reactors? Australia to join in developing Generation IV nuclear reactors, WITHOUT ANY PUBLIC DISCUSSION??.

New South Wales govt about to go all enthusiastic about nuclear power?   Australia’s rural sector cautious about National Party’s enthusiasm for nuclear power. Nature Conservation Council of NSW slams Deputy Premier’s nuclear power plan.

CLIMATE and ENERGY  (Adani coal mine is the continuing big story) 

Australia’s energy future at a critical turning point. Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) goes for smarter ways to deal with electricity supply and demand.

Federal and State policies betray Australia’s environment, and fail climate action. Sea level threat rising faster than was predicted.  CSIRO is back on the world climate stage, in alliance with China’s largest marine science research institute.   Australian cities becoming urban heat islands 

RENEWABLES. Western Australia’s large-scale Greenough River solar farm to quadruple in size. Australian Renewable Energy Association funding next generation solar PV.  Australia could use hydrogen to export solar energy.

Queensland govt must resist bullying by resources industry: mine rehabilitation should be progressive.

Sweden cancels investigation of Julian Assange, removes arrest warrant.

Aboriginal demands for a Treaty, not just Constitutional recognition.

INTERNATIONAL

Draft treaty on banning possession and use of nuclear weapons released by UN panel.

Cold War nuclear weapons warped Earth’s magnetosphere – what will a nuclear war do?

Nuclear lobby in a bit of a panic – urging for ‘aggressive’ propaganda spin.

Survey of 8000 people in 8 countries: 8 in 10 now see climate change as a ‘catastrophic risk‘.

Almost 10 million jobs already, in renewable energy.

SWITZERLAND. Switzerland’ binding referendum – voted to ban nuclear plants, shift to renewable energy.

JAPAN.

Fukushima.

NORTH KOREA. Breakthrough for North Korea’s missile test – re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere. North Korea’s vast military capabilities, even without nuclear weapons.

IRANElection of Rouhani is good result for Tehran’s compliance with nuclear deal.

USA.

SAUDI ARABIA. Trump and retinue in Saudi Arabia – the main event $110 billion arms package.

ARCTIC. In Greenland, abandoned nuclear base could be unearthed by global warming.

UK.

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa’s nuclear build plans – ripe for corruption.

FRANCE. EDF secretly planning to extend the life of its 58 reactors in France. European Commission scheduled to decide on EDF to gain controlling stake in AREVA nuclear corporation.

GERMANY. German Anti-Nuclear Activist Jailed for Blocking Train Carrying Radioactive Waste Through Densely Populated Areas

INDIA. India’s fast growth in renewable energy.

CHINA. Chinese fighter jets buzz US ‘nuclear sniffer’ plane over East China Sea. China cancelling many coal mines, going all out for solar power.

RENEWABLES IN BRIEF : Solar power -China, Tesla news, India’s push for renewables  – Ever cheaper renewable energy.

SWEDEN. Sweden cancels arrest warrant for Julian Assange, closes investigation.

19 May Nuclear and Climate news this week

May 19, 2017

The English language news media hops about from one theme to another. While the nuclear crisis about North Korea seems to continue- the focus has shifted to the USA’s President’s credibility problem. Well, as long as he’s the focus, I guess that Donald Trump is happy, anyway.

Meanwhile the present drama about the computer hacking of hospitals and businesses has taken on a more sinister aspect. People now realise that  computer hacking could affect nuclear power stations , even perhaps nuclear military sites.

A new twist to this subject is the realisation that “cyber warfare” – to paralyse a country’s computer systems, could become a more satisfactory way for an enemy to attack, rather than use nuclear weapons. Analysts now consider North Korea as potentially able to use this method.

Investigative journalism lives:  Close to Norway – Russia’s secret nuclear weapons build-up, and waste dumps

AUSTRALIA

NUCLEAR 

You wouldn’t know that a Parliamentary Committee is about to rubber stamp a plan for Australia to put money and resources into developing new nuclear power plants, despite our laws prohibiting this, now would you?

  1. Compelling argument against Australia joining the Framework Agreement for Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems.
  2. NO PUBLIC DISCUSSION! Australia’s Generation IV Nuclear Energy Accession.  
  3. ANSTO must be transparent on costs of its nuclear research: Generation IV nuclear reactors – high cost for little benefit.

The military connection to the push for advanced nuclear reactors in South Australia. SOUTH AUSTRALIA’S NUCLEAR MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

New South Wales National Party to embrace nuclear energy.

CLIMATE and RENEWABLES 

INTERNATIONAL

Next generation nuclear power is unlikely to save the industry from bankruptcy. The nuclear industry in financial meltdown

CLIMATE. April of 2017 was the Second Hottest in 137 Year Climate Record.   Severe coastal floods set to double in number, as sea levels rise. 19 May Climate News. Climate change could kill off all coral reefs by 2050.

RENEWABLE ENERGY. Lego goes for 100% renewables.   World’s biggest wind turbines now generating power off UK coast.

FRANCE.

INDIA. India diverts ‘peaceful’ nuclear materials to weapons development. India plans to build 10 nuclear reactors. India’s secret radioactive horror story – Jadugoda.

UK. British Labour Party supports renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent, disappoints many voters. NuGen’s Moorside nuclear project in limbo – unstable and unsustainable. Britain’s new nuclear danger: cyber security attacksScottish Renewables publishes manifesto for 2017 UK General Election.

SOUTH KOREA. Global nuclear lobby very upset at election of South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in. Nuclear power in South Korea is forcefully opposed by Catholics.

SOUTH AFRICASouth Africa’s formidable anti nuclear women ready to take on the government again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WTerLrSS48. South African government still determined to sign new nuclear power agreements. No costing for South Africa’s nuclear build programme,

USA. New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged to pull the plug on nuclear bailout, as lawmakers work against it. Inadequate radiation shielding for USA workers handling highly radioactive liquid waste from Canada. USA signs up to Arctic agreement for action on climate change.

GUAM. America neglects Guam atomic test victims – hopes they all die?

JAPAN. Japan restarts another reactor. Mayors near Hamaoka nuclear plant say wider consensus needed for reactor restarts. In Fukushima, a land where few return. Fire crews finally extinguish Fukushima blaze in no-go zone as officials battle “radiation rumors”.  Families do not want to return to polluted Fukushima areas.  Diet Bill requires Tepco to create fund for Decommissioning Fukushima Daiichi.

SWITZERLANDSwitzerland to vote on promoting renewables and banning nuclear power.

CANADA. Scathing criticism of Ontario’s proposed plan for nuclear plant emergencies

TAIWAN. Chang Hsien-yi, the Taiwanese scientist who tried to save his country from nuclear war.