Archive for the ‘Christina notes’ Category

Week to 7 July in Climate, Nuclear, Coronavirus news

July 7, 2020

Well, I do leave the biggest news – coronavirus  – to others, although Jane Goodall eloquently reminds us that the pandemic is utterly connected with our onslaught on the natural world and may well be a foretaste of worse to come, if the human species does not respect nature.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0SoLNdftHw&t=111s  It’s time to get emotional about climate change.

But anyway, Covid 19 – climate change – global phenomena that don’t care about borders, are affecting  above all, the world’s poorest and most vulnerable – what are we to do?  Some media are rejoicing about hot weather in the Arctic, but the reality is that the persistent Arctic heatwave is wreaking havoc, with uncontrolled forest fires in Siberia, thawing permafrost destabilising buildings and industry, especially oil and gas, in Northern Russia and the Arctic North of America. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75IxMysh10E&t=8s  Meanwhile, the South Pole is warming at triple the global average.   Climate change will make world too hot for 60 per cent of fish species.

It’s hard to get concerted action on global heating, with powerful influencers like Facebook and the oil industry sabotaging efforts and information about climate change. Climate denialists are increasingly spreading misinformation on Facebook, while Facebook  is actively discouraging fact-checking.

Meanwhile – don’t let’s forget, even a limited nuclear war, whether started by intent or by accident, would bring a rapid climate change, a nuclear winter, which the human species might not survive.

A bit of good news –  Meet the Nuns Who Created Their Own Climate Solutions Fund.

AUSTRALIA

Julian Assange’s fight for freedom.  Julian Assange’s father in tireless fight to free his son, calls on Scott Morrison to help Australian citizen Julian.

Australia –  USA’s Deputy Sheriff goes for bloated military expenditure.  Agressive defence policy – Australian Strategic Policy Institute has too much influence on government and media.

CLIMATE.  Canberra unprepared for climate upheavals that will rock the nation.    Australia seen as successful in Covid-19 response, deplorable in climate response. Australia ranks second worst in world on climate action, outside top 50 on clean energy. Independent MP Zali Steggall calls for conscience vote on zero carbon bill to kickstart Covid recovery.  Former Socceroos captain wants Australia to show climate leadership as World Cup host.  Australia claims Kyoto success, but three decades as a climate wrecker is all it can boast.

NUCLEAR.

Napandee  nuclear waste Bill.

Yellowcake Country- a new webinar series explores the local, national and international impacts of Australia’s uranium industry.

Murdoch press enthusiastic about nuclear propagandist Michael Shellenger. Michael Shellenberger mucked up the pro nuclear “climate action” propaganda.

Queensland splinter political party   North Queensland First pushing for uranium mining in Queensland.

Western Australia: call for Mt Walton hazardous waste facility to accept toxic material from across Australia, (includes radioactive wastes.)

Australia was the guinea pig population for Britain’s nuclear weapons tests radiation fallout.

RENEWABLE ENERGY. Australia’s secretive defence operations HQ to get 1.9MW solar farm.  Deakin’s new Hub for world-leading energy storage and conversion.  Much more renewable news, but I am running out of time.

INTERNATIONAL

Rethinking security: Nuclear sharing in Europe in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nuclear power is incompatible with a Green New Deal.

Misinformation about Energy Economics, from nuclear companies and their propagandists

US, Russia nuclear arms talks end with plans for second round.

ARCTIC.  The Arctic’s climate disaster-Verkhoyansk goes from record cold to record heat.

IRAN.    Iran Says Fire At Natanz Nuclear Facility Caused Significant Damage; ME Intel Official Said Israel Planted a Bomb.  Following fire at nuclear site, Iran warns it will retaliate if it suffers cyber attacks.  Board of IAEA issues mild rebuke to Iran.  UN nuclear watchdog seeks to inspect old nuclear sites in Iran.

EUROPE. European Council stands firm on excluding nuclear power from energy transition money. European Union countries agreed to exclude nuclear, fossil gas from green transition fund.  An Unexpected Radiation Spike Has Been Detected Over Europe.  Ruthenium and Caesium radioactive isotopes over Europe due to mismanagement at a nuclear reactor – says IAEA.  Europe’s effort to save Iran nuclear deal.

RUSSIA.  What caused radioactive releases from Russia?  Russia’s nuclear imperialism in Africa.  Russia’s priority is to involve UK, France in future nuclear arms control talks — diplomat.  Russia’s nuclear workers in long lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.  Russia’s environmental groups protest nuclear waste imports.

ROMANIA. European Commission demands that Romania adopt a national radioactive waste management programme.

ESTONIA. Long process ahead, if Estonia to get nuclear power – at least 15 years.

BOSNIA.  Unacceptable to build a radioactive waste repository on the BiH border, Bosnia forming an expert team to plan Croatian nuclear waste disposal .

HUNGARY. Hungary to apply for nuclear plant expansion licence.

UK.

FRANCE. France’s EDF in a financial pickle over huge costs of UK’s Hinkley C nuclear project.

CANADA.  Small modular nuclear reactors distract from real climate solutions.  Safety documents by Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) are vague, inadequate and put Canadians at risk  .

INDIA.  Climate change blamed for surge in India’s deadly lightning strikes. Explaining the India-China conflict.    No economic benefit in nuclear power for India.

SOUTH KOREA. Investigative journalism –   Is South Korea’s scandal-plagued nuclear industry a model for others to follow?  South Korea’s corrupt and dangerous nuclear industry.

USA.  USA financing nuclear projects abroad – but what if Small Nuclear Reactors are a flop?  Groups in 5 other States challenge Holtec’s plan to transport nuclear waste to New Mexico. Donald Trump intervenes in Wylfa, UK,  nuclear project discussions.  Swarm of insects cause nuclear reactor to lose power in Michigan.  USA’s secret plan for “dominance”by exploding a nuclear bomb on the moonPentagon to get more control over nuclear weapons funding under Senate proposal,  but  Senate undoes proposed power shift in nuclear arms budgeting

GERMANY. Germany the first major economy to phase out coal and nuclear.

CHINA. Many experts question Trump’s claim on China’s nuclear weapons buildup.

NORTH KOREA.  North Korea to ‘counter nuclear with nuclear’ against US.

JAPAN.  The suspension of the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020

Nuclear, climate, pandemic news for last week in June

June 29, 2020

We are going to need to learn to live with the virus. Scientists just beginning to grasp how bad this Coronavirus is.

Will the pandemic open up global action to halt global heating? 16th Century colonisation, slavery began the planet’s damage, 21st Century pandemic response could repair it.    Coronavirus is an SOS: Mend our broken relationship with nature, says UN and WHO.

Need for action on global heating –  It’s 38°C in Siberia.  One climate writer thinks that “it’s time to get emotional about climate”.

On the nuclear scene – same same – propagandists touting nuclear as a “cure” for climate change, and minimising the issue of costs. A European worry –  about a cloud with tiny levels of radioactivity detected, over Scandinavia and European Arctic

AUSTRALIA

Julian Assange faces new indictment in USAJulian Assange’s fiancée calls on the Australian government to secure his freedom

Killing Australia’s democracy – first kill the ABC.

NUCLEAR  Labor reaches for bipartisanship on energy policy, but a DEFINITE NO TO NUCLEAR.  Reality bats last-Small Nuclear Reactors just not economic for Australia (or anywhere else).

Misinformation about Energy Economics, from nuclear companies and their propagandists.  Ben Heard and the fake environment group ‘Bright New World’.    South Australian MP Rowan Ramsey, and Minister for Resources, Keith Pitt, talk nonsense about the planned nuclear waste dump at Napandee.

Radioactive Waste Facility SiteWoomera Amendment circulated in Senate.

There is really no market in India for Australia’s uranium . A journey from Tokyo to Mirrar country: Fukushima and Australia’s uranium trade.

Australian government to blame for failure of environment lawsAuditor general finds that Morrison government has failed in its duty to protect environment.

CLIMATE. ACTU warns Morrison: get real on climate and renewables, or lose metals industry.  Australia could create hundreds of thousands of jobs by accelerating shift to zero emissions – report .  Plan.Morrison government has failed in its duty to protect environmentMinerals Council slammed for “woefully inadequate” Climate Action .

RENEWABLE ENERGY.

INTERNATIONAL

US, Russia nuclear arms talks end with plans for second round.

How we can manage the intermittency of renewables and attain 100% renewables.

UK.   Costing the Earth – New Nuclear is Beyond Expensive Beyond Dangerous and often Beyond Operational- so why is it touted as “Clean Energy”?  UK’s expensive problem of nuclear power’s inflexibility.

EUROPE. European Union countries agree to exclude nuclear, fossil gas from green transition fund

RUSSIA.  Russia denies its nuclear plants are source of radiation leak .  Radiation level increase in northern Europe may ‘indicate damage’ to nuclear power plant in Russia.  Russia’s priority is to involve UK, France in future nuclear arms control talks — diplomat. 2,000 Covid-19 Cases in Severodvinsk, city that builds Russia’s nuclear submarines.

USA.

JAPAN. Radioactive hotspots near Fukushima Olympic facilities: will Japan be ready for 2012 Games?  Testing for radiation in Fukushima – the continued anxiety.

UKRAINE.  Ukraine declassifies Chernobyl nuclear disaster documents.

CANADA. Ontario Power Generation pulls the plug on nuclear waste project.  Opposition by Saugeen-Ojibway nation brings end to plan for nuclear waste near Lake Huron.    Coalition for Responsible Energy Development wants a stop to nuclear expansion in Canada.    Small modular nuclear reactors fraught with problems.

BOSNIA. Unacceptable to build a radioactive waste repository on the BiH border, Bosnia forming an expert team to plan Croatian nuclear waste disposal .

FRANCE.  France’s old Fessenheim nuclear reactor to finally shut down- the first of many.

GERMANY. Nuclear waste from Germany to Russia.

NEW ZEALAND.  New Zealand stood up to the nuclear bullies- the Rainbow Warrior story.

POLAND. Marketing man Donald Trump trying to sell U.S. nuclear reactors to Poland.

NORTH KOREA. North Korea to ‘counter nuclear with nuclear’ against US.

IRAN. Board of IAEA issues mild rebuke to Iran.

 

This week’s nuclear/climate news, Australia and overseas

June 23, 2020

With a record world increase in coronavirus cases, Brazil and North America in the spotlight – media attention has been rightly focussed on the pandemic. FAIR exposes the false claims about China and COVID-19 . At the same time, global heating seems to be at a runaway pace, affecting the Northern Hemisphere, and especially the Arctic.  To protect our planet – we need to transform, not grow, the economy.

Global nuclear news is mainly just the same old collection of handouts from the nuclear industry, faithfully regurgitated by journalists who want to keep their jobs.  Otherwise, not much is happening.

A bit of good news – Coronavirus  more than 1500 treatment studies are underway world-wide.

AUSTRALIA

Is Australia getting a second wave of Coronavirus?

NUCLEAR

National Radioactive Waste Management Mysterious, manipulative and corrupt process whereby Napandee was selected for nuclear dump site.  Kimba community unaware that Australia’s medicine does not need nuclear reactor. South Australia targeted: easy to later bring international waste in to nuclear dump.

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) sits on the fence regarding Napandee choice for nuclear waste dump.

Senator Rex Patrick provides Federal Parliament with another option for nuclear waste storage.  South Australia outlaws nuclear facilities, but yet not one S.A. Liberal MP voted against the waste dump!

Submissions to Senate Inquiry.

The seriousness of mobility of radionuclides in developing the nuclear waste facility at Kimba, South Australia

Expensive, dirty and dangerous: why we must fight miners’ push to fast-track uraniumScott Morrison gives a boost to uranium mining at Olympic Dam.

Gabrielle Costigan- another one revolving from tax-paid jobs to weapons industry!

Coalition’s push to deregulate environmental approvals will lead to extinction crisis will lead to extinction crisis.

CLIMATE CHANGE.

Australia’s best energy measure – to lift energy efficiency – Chief Scientist says.  Morrison government just doesn’t get it, on climate change.  The number of climate deniers in Australia is more than double the global average, new survey finds. “Too late for gradual transition”: Quiggin calls for coal exit by 2030.

Foreign ownership of Victorian water hits whopping high – Herald Sun

RENEWABLE ENERGY. Renewables will power Australia’s economic growth.  South Australia: The first big grid where rooftop solar could eliminate all demand. South Australia  fast-tracks energy plan to dodge blackouts and meet 100% renewables goal.  Rooftop solar reshapes Western Australia. grid, and retiring coal units won’t be missed Tesla says energy market reform must be accelerated in Australia

INTERNATIONAL

Now, the nuclear arms race has become even worse.

Joint Project Nuclear Risk and Public Control.

Explaining ionising radiation -a film about nuclear fallout https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaH5heMIC_k&t=96s

COVID-19, nuclear war, and global warming: lessons for our vulnerable world.

Covid-19 pandemic – ‘fire drill’ for effects of climate crisis.  COVID-19 recovery plans – excellent opportunity for global renewable energy development.

USA. 

RUSSIA.  The ‘chemical fingerprint’ of a 2017 nuclear explosion.    Anti-nuclear resistance in Russia: problems protests, reprisals.  Siberia’s alarming  prolonged heat wave.

UK.  UK’s Nuclear Future in Doubt amid Diplomatic Fallout over Huawai.   EDF’s failing nuclear reactors in UK.  Covid-19 pandemic being used to prevent proper public consultation on Bradwell nuclear project.   Bradwell nuclear project “unsustainable, unsuitable and unacceptable” – and not a done deal.  Sizewell nuclear power station could become a dangerous nuclear island. Sizewell C nuclear project threatens nationally important landscapes, habitats and species of the Suffolk coast.

PACIFIC ISLANDS. Pacific leaders do not want the coronavirus pandemic to distract from work on climate change.

FRANCE. Nuclear power sales heavily affected by COVID-19 in France: legal battles to follow.

SOUTH AFRICA. Financially ruinous coal and nuclear power proposals – will muck up post-Covid-19 recovery. South Africa’s environmental watchdogs warn government against new nuclear power.    Renewable energy for South Africa – cost-efficient and quick – forget coal and nuclear.

SOUTH KOREA. Kim Jong Un’s cyberwar preparations.    U.S. – China talks may cover North Korea nuclear issue

BULGARIA.  French, American, Russian nuclear companies join forces to build Bulgarian nuclear station.

INDIA. Explaining the India-China conflict.

JAPAN. COVID-19 sheds doubts on Tokyo Olympics 2021.

IRAN. Europe’s effort to save Iran nuclear deal.

BRAZIL. 35 years in construction, Brazil’s very costly Angra 3 nuclear plant to be delayed yet again.

TURKEY. Environmental problems, and legal holdup for Russia’s $20 billion nuclear power project in Turkey.

 

Australia and beyond – the week in nuclear/climate news

June 15, 2020

News is, by its nature, all about bad stuff. Whatever is normal, reasonable, decent,  is ordinary, and just not news, – a fact that we need to remind ourselves of, in these uncertain Covid-19 days.  There’s a lot of good will for changing society’s trajectory towards ruining our planet.  Half of the Earth’s ice-free land is still free from human impactPost-pandemic packages could green up our energy systems for environmental and economic benefit.   Some seemingly small ideas can have surprisingly large successes – for example, fast-growing mini-forests springing up in Europe are helping the climate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZO0IWAgJdlk

Another bit of good news –  Elders Around the World in Their 80s, 90s, and 100s Are Bouncing Back From Virus – and Sharing Advice.

AUSTRALIA

Australia’s Environment Laws have no teeth, are in much need of strengthening.  Australia’s very bad record on environment: it’s no time to weaken our laws.

NUCLEAR  Don’t send uranium to India- Dr Vaishali Patil speaks to Australia.   Former weapons chief executive now South Australian Premier’s top advisorReviews of two TV shows on Australia’s nuclear history at Maralinga.

National Radioactive waste Dump Plan.  Australia’s govt rushes nuclear waste Bill through Lower House, but this story is not over.  Labor, Greens and 2 Independents voted against it.    The Maritime Union of Australia (SA branch) rejects Nuclear Waste Bill, discusses transport dangers.  Is Napandee another Maralinga?

Government -owned Woomera a better site than agricultural land, for nuclear waste dump. MP Rowan Ramsey depicts town of Kimba as failing, desperate to have nuclear waste dump for its survival.  Senator Rex Patrick – nuclear waste dump should not go on agricultural land.

Submissions to Senate Inquiry.

CLIMATE.  Australian Government’s Covid-19 advisory body – stacked with fossil fuel big-wigs, but their conflicts of interest kept secret.  Australia is one of world’s worst transport polluters: Covid-19 response could change this.  Four ways a smart government can create jobs and cut emissions.  The latest on Adani and the decline of thermal coal.

RENEWABLE ENERGY.  Australia’s best performing wind and solar farms in May.   How community-owned renewables could lead Australia’s Covid-19 recovery plans.   Western Australia is emerging as the new hot spot for wind energy in Australia.  Contracts awarded for Brisbane’s $1b all-electric Metro bus projectMorrison’s $25,000 renovation grant could deliver full energy retrofit for social housing.

INTERNATIONAL

Our existential threat – our extinction.

Cloud studies indicate that global heating may be more alarming than anticipated.  Global heating to bring more frequent, more extreme, ocean waves.  Seeking ways to remove carbon from the air.

The last major treaty for nuclear weapons control now hangs in the balance.

USA. 

JAPAN.

TAIWAN. Taiwan green groups urge Japan not to discharge radioactive water.

FRANCE. Fire on French submarine – luckily its nuclear reactor, nuclear fuel, had been removed for overhaul Risk of fire on a nuclear submarine. France’s lucky escape, due to reactor being removed for overhaul. French nuclear watchdog demands EDF fix faults at 5 reactors.

RUSSIA. Russia: commentary on its nuclear deterrence principles.

EUROPE. Radioactive cloud over Europe in 2017 came from a civilian nuclear reactor.

INDIA. India will follow with nuclear weapons testing, if USA resumes testing.

UK. Investigative journalism – Will Sellafields nuclear waste waft to Ireland? Or waft somewhere else?    Why doesn’t debt-ridden EDF cut its losses and close its uneconomic UK nuclear reactorsSellafield waste will stay on site after 2021, Cumbria County Council agrees.  Grave climate risks to Sizewell C nuclear project – all too close to the sea.

NORTH KOREA. North Korea Vows to Boost Nuclear Program, Saying U.S. Diplomacy Failed.

SOUTH AFRICA.  South African activists threaten to sue over nuclear plan.

CANADA. Canada’s proposed radioactive waste disposal rules are weak and industry-friendly.  Delay to community vote on nuclear waste dump for South Bruce, Ontario.

ARMENIA. Armenia Rejects Russian Funding For Nuclear Plant Upgrade.

BELGIUM. Wallonia rejects nuclear waste disposal suggestion.

LUXEMBOURG. Greenpeace Luxembourg Protests against Belgian Nuclear WasteNo feasible solution found between Belgium and Luxembourg on nuclear waste disposal.

BRAZIL. Brazil government approves plan to complete third nuclear plant.

AUSTRALIA. Australia’s govt rushes nuclear waste Bill through Lower House, but this story is not over.

Climate and nuclear news – Australia and beyond

June 8, 2020

Going back to “normal”? But “normal” IS the problem. The world waits, to see how the plans of nations to get over , recover, from the pandemic period are actually going  to work.  Not too well, in some cases.  New Zealand shines.

The nuclear lobby is enthusiastically promoting itself as a saviour in helping deal with the pandemic. Does anyone believe this spin? Meanwhile nuclear nations, led by USA, turn to a renewed burst of spending on nuclear weapons.

AUSTRALIA

NUCLEAR.   A reality check on the cost of nuclear power for Australia.

60 years ago, Aboriginal people’s land desecrated by nuclear bombs. Now a new desecration – nuclear wastes?

Submissions to Senate Committee on   National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment

National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment Bill aims to prevent Bangarla Aboriginal people from legal action against the nuclear dump.

Australia’s nuclear-free, anti-uranium movement adapts to this pandemic period – presenting a series of webinars – “Yellowcake Country“.

The  revolving door – another Australian former Senator, Stephen Loosely,  glides easily into the weapons industry.

Australian company Silex Systems involved in nuclear enrichment, in Kentucky’s radioactive disaster site Paducah.

CLIMATE  Southern Australia to be among the worst-hit by global heating.    Australia must plan for future disasters, bushfires, floods – NSW Resilience Commissioner.    COVID-19 Commission stacked with fossil-fuel bigwigs. Surprise surprise -they find gas is the answer. Gaslighting Australia: How gas industry is driving up emissions.

Why it’s time to get moving on decarbonising Australia’s transportElectric and hybrid car sales jump in Australia, as fossil fuel market plunges again.  Even with rooftop solar boom, households are paying dearly for what lies beneath.  Renewables jobs could boom to 44,000 by 2025, but only with the right policy support. Australian media watchdog found Andrew Bolt breached press standards by vilifying Greta Thunberg.

Order of Australia recipients for environment and conservation

Injustice of UK court process regarding Julian Assange. Assange too sick to attend.

RENEWABLE ENERGY.  Rooftop solar market powers on in Australia, despite Covid-19 blip.  Solar and wind’s stunning cost advantage sparks call for mass coal closure.  Australia’s first offshore wind project says it can cover early exit of Yallourn coal generator.  AEMO pushes for minimum standards for solar, battery storage and EVs.

INTERNATIONAL

Time to transfer funds from weapons to making vaccines.

The world is sleepwalking toward a period free of nuclear arms control.

New report calls out banks that make nuclear weapons investments.

Loophole in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT): small military nuclear reactors lack safeguards.

Species are becoming extinct at an accelerating rate.

The most effective leader in the world – Jacinda Adern,  Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Some bits of good news – For the First Time, U.S. Renewable Energy Surpasses Coal Every Day For An Entire Month. Coronavirus Cooking Survey’ Finds That People Are Eating Healthier and Wasting Less

USA.

UK. Climate Experts Predict ‘Grim Future’ For Nuclear Power . UK’s Sizewell nuclear plan in doubt, due to cost and China’s involvement?  China is reconsidering building nuclear reactors in Britain.  Deep concern over environmental  cost of planned Sizewell C nuclear station.  Caring about Cancer? A UK and Irish perspective. Most UK pension providers are investing in nuclear weapons companies.   Choosing nuclear narrows future energy choices.

FRANCE. Huge police squadron paid by nuclear industry to monitor residents of Bure.  French state-controlled utility EDF has to inspect valve leaks at Flamanville, Taishan, Finland nuclear sites. EDF terminates nuclear electricity supply contracts.  High rate of cancers among Mururoa nuclear veterans’ families.  France goes back to its restrictive nuclear compensation law affecting Polynesian nuclear test survivors.

RUSSIARussian city Severodvinsk, (near site of nuclear accident) sealed off due to Covid-19. Russia will now allow use of atomic weapons against non-nuclear strike.   Anti–nuclear resistance in Russia: problems, protests, reprisals. The Mayak nuclear reprocessing plant: Rosatom’s dirty face- and the courageous opposition. Uranium mining protests in Russia.  Activists, despite government oppression, campaign for decommissioning of Russia’s aging nuclear reactorsNuclear submarine accidents contaminating Russia’s Far East.

INDIA. Nuclear power plants in the path of oncoming Cyclone Nisarga.

GERMANY.  German Parliament in debate on basing of nuclear weapons.  Discussion on Poland, Germany hosting nuclear weapons.

CZECH REPUBLIC. Czech Fiscal Council warns on the long-term risk of financing a new nuclear reactor.

IRAN. Iran challenges Donald Trump to return to nuclear deal.

NORTH KOREA. Kim Jong Un unlikely to use nuclear weapons – an alternative leader of N Korea might be worse.

ITALY. Latina plant, the last of Italy’s 4 nuclear power stations to be dismantled.

EUROPE.  The European Union plus France, Germany and the UK “deeply regret” US decision on Iran sanctions.   Desperate nuclear lobby tries to con the European Commission with its bogus claim about climate solving.

CHINA. China’s nuclear power ambitions face delays, waste problems, and the growing success of renewables.

ISRAEL. Nuclear Weapons: The Reason Why Even Iran Fears Israel.

 

Week to beginning of June – nuclear and climate news

June 1, 2020

The media’s, politicians’ and the public’s gaze has now shifted from the health aspects of coronavirus, to the economic effects of the pandemic, and of the response to it.

Which brings us to the question of – what should governments be doing with tax-payers’ money?

Well, one thing they shouldn’t be doing is wasting it.  Yet, in the case of the nuclear industry, that is what’s happening, and especially in the cause of nuclear weapons.   Alex Smith, of Radio Ecoshock covers not only the shocking economics of the nuclear industry, but its unsafety in this time of pandemic, the associated secrecy and bungling in America, Russia, Japan, China, Canada, Europe and beyond. And this includes the vulnerability of nuclear facilities to the effects of global heating.

AUSTRALIA

And yes, so far, Australia is doing very well in its response to the pandemic.

NUCLEAR.

Australian nuclear dump decision trashes indigenous peoples’ rights.

Submissions to Senate Committee on Radioactive Waste Management Amendment Bill:

BHP Olympic Dam copper-uranium mine operates on outdated 1991 era Occupational Radiation Exposure Limits.

A tribute to the Maralinga traditional owners.

Australia must not forget – the plutonium abuse of an Australian child, by Argonne National Laboratory.

ERA’s focus is now on rehabilitating the Ranger uranium mine site. Prospective Northern Goldfields uranium miner fails to submit environmental and mine closure plans on time.

Australia’s national environment laws ‘actually allow extinction to happen’.

CLIMATE.  The Australian government has officially given up on climate action.  Wind, solar and drought drive down emissions, but Australia still lags on targetsMorrison government has not modelled a zero emissions scenario.  Federal energy and emissions reduction minister Angus Taylor says higher emissions targets ‘not necessarily good policy’. Australia won’t budge on 2030 climate targets, keeps mum on longer term intentions.   Covert-19: Government stacks Covid Commission with oil and gas mates, cosy deals follow.

In 2019, fire chiefs were ‘gagged’ when trying to give climate change warnings to government.

 News Corp cuts represent an huge threat to Australian democracy ⁠- enormous power of Rupert Murdoch over Australia’s media.  Australian media is not doing its job to expose power and corruption.

RENEWABLE ENERGY. Networks can now replace costly poles and wires with solar and storage micro-grids.    Ausgrid seeks thousands of NSW homes to join expanded virtual power plant . NSW calls for wind, solar, storage ideas for first renewable zone in central west.  Huge Uungula wind project edges closer in NSW renewable energy zone.  Sun Cable’s solar and battery mega-project may be first of many.   Suntech’s 9.4MW Robinvale solar farm completed in Victoria.  Lawyers’ picnic, and $47m at play, as Sunraysia solar farm faces further delays.  “Once in a lifetime opportunity:” NSW farmer on why he wants to host a wind farm.

INTERNATIONAL

Eminent Persons Warn Against Any Demonstration Nuclear Test Explosion. – “grave challenge to global peace and security” – Nuclear watchdog on potential U.S. nuclear test.

The Environmental Legacy of Nuclear Weapons Production: Five Case Studies — HUMAN WRONGS WATCH

The Triumph of Doubt‘ – corporations’ war on science.

Research is needed into health effects of 4G and 5G [electromagnetic] radiation.

SOUTH ASIA Extreme heat, humidity, air pollution – combined threat to South Asia.

EUROPE. European Union’s recovery plan promotes renewable energy, omits nuclear

FINLAND. Finland’s new nuclear reactor hit by valve leak.

LUXEMBOURG. New Luxembourg law allows claims over nuclear accidents.

BELARUS. Lithuania, Belarus sign nuclear incident notification agreement.

SWEDEN. Sweden gets a new Nuclear Emergency Plan.

USA.

CANADA. Ontario’s nuclear re-build postponed due to pandemicOpposition in Canada to nuclear waste dump on agricultural land.  Canadian farming community not happy about taking on nuclear wastes.

RUSSIA.  Oleg Bodrov on the status of the Russian nuclear industry.

UK.

JAPAN. Green light for Rokkasho nuclear reprocessing plant, but is it viable?  Coronavirus pandemic hampers Japan’s nuclear regulators’ probe into Fukushima disaster.

FRANCEResistance developing to EDF’s plan to store nuclear waste at Belleville-sur-Loire. Safety lapses at France’s nuclear reactors, new delays at EDF’s Flamanville 3 nuclear reactor .  Radioactive pollution at the Bugey nuclear power plant in France : EDF condemned.  Court set-back to France’s EDF nuclear supply contracts.

IRAN. Iran tops the list of countries which accepted inspections of the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2019.     Britain, France, Germany not happy that USA will end waivers for Iran civilian nuclear projects .  Iran envoy says that Trump has pulled the final plug in violating nuclear deal. Trump administration to remove almost all sanctions relief to Iran.

CHINA. The way that China plans its nuclear weapons strategy.

UKRAINE.  Ex-president Kravchuk estimates compensation for Ukraine’s nuclear weapons at US$250 bln.

FIJI. Fiji ratifies the TREATY ON THE PROHIBITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

This week’s nuclear news Australia and beyond

May 25, 2020

Can’t keep up with the pandemic news – I hope you can.

One thing, though. Beyond Nuclear has pointed out the significance of the floods in Midland, Michigan, where they do have one nuclear research reactor, but fortunately no commercial ones.  They warn on ” the almost impossible challenge of evacuating people to safety during simultaneous catastrophic events.” The floods bring together the climate, pandemic, and nuclear dangers all in one area.

Public attention is not on this one. BUT, the 2020 Review Conference of a landmark international treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), is due soon, though postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty is also at risk.  It’s under the radar, while everyone worries about COVID-19 and climate, – but the danger of nuclear weapons use is escalating, as Donald Trump unravels the treaty system that is aimed at preventing nuclear war.  He also wants USA to hugely increase its nuclear weaponry.

Some bits of good news – Maasai Nature Conservancy Asks For Help To Fight Pandemic—And 100,000 People Answer.  World’s Most Endangered Primate Population Triples After 17 Years of Careful Conservation

AUSTRALIA

NUCLEAR

National Radioactive Waste Dump PLan. Peter Remta: Misleading and inaccurate information provided by authorities on National Radioactive Waste Management.  The false economics promised by the government’s National Radioactive Waste Management plan.  Napandee is geologically and geophysically unsuitable for Australia’s nuclear waste dump.  Australian Law on radioactive waste to be changed in order to prevent any judicial review!.

National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) under scrutiny – fact checking.

Some more submissions to the Senate on National Radioactive Waste Bill:

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors included in Morrison govt’s energy plan?.

Australian govt and ERA squabble over monitoring of Ranger uranium clean-up.

CLIMATE  Australia, and other countries – deaths from global hatinge are being underestimated .  Australian government’s climate and post-Covid policy is a sop to the fossil fuel industriesNational Coordination COVID-19 Commission – a fossil fuel mates’ rort of staggering proportions.

Morrison’s lack of transparency is undermining green recovery, Coalition’s Technology Investment Roadmap: Poor policy in practice. Leaked plan for huge gas subsidies– Coalition’s ‘grey’ baseline and credit scheme could pay companies to increase emissions. The Morrison government manipulates, to paint the coal industry as “clean” and “renewable”

MPs sayLeading doctors in Australia (over 180 of them) want Australia’s Australia’s Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) made stronger, not weaker.  Minerals Council of Australia keen to keep Australia’s environmental law the same, (or make it even worse)

RENEWABLE ENERGY. Greens pitch Green New Deal, 100% renewables target for post-Covid recovery. Huge 2GW of wind, solar and storage to deliver green future for Queensland industrial hub.

INTERNATIONAL

A moment of reckoning – when coronavirus meets climate change Coronavirus: How to prevent a new nuclear arms race – and future pandemics.

The danger to children of low level nuclear radiation has been underestimated.

The international nuclear weapons raceComprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty at risk, due to Donald Trump’s accusations ?

ANTARCTIC. Antarctic krill threatened by warming waters – climate change’s danger to the marine ecosystem.

UK. Ministry of Defence’s poor management of contracts for nuclear infrastructure projects. Sellafield’s safety dilemma– risk of coronavirus versus risk of nuclear accident.   Britain will have to decide whether it wants nuclear power stations funded — and powered — by China. Doubts on the funding of Britain’s £18bn Sizewell nuclear plan.  Move to prevent dumping of Hinkley radioactive mud on the South Wales coast.  Shinfield residents urged to look out for update from nuclear weapons facility.

JAPAN.  Time that Japan faced up to the folly of its nuclear fuel cycle dream.

NORTH KOREA. Kim Jong-un Moves to Increase North Korea’s Nuclear Strength.

USA.

EUROPE. A mistaken idea, to put U.S. nuclear weapons in Poland.

INDIA. Climate: Cyclone Amphan disaster in India, Bangladesh.

SAUDI ARABIA. Saudi Arabia’s push for nuclear power – a nuclear weapons danger.

CANADA. Bruce Power and the Ontario Government ordered come clean on the cost of nuclear power.

SOUTH KOREA. South Korea risk of power disruption, as nuclear spent fuel builds up, with storage shortage.

NORWAY.  Dismantling of Norway’s nuclear research reactors – up to 25 years, about $billion

Nuclear,Climate, and of course, Coronavirus News

May 18, 2020

There’s  no avoiding coronavirus news, and it changes all the time.  The focus has shifted to”post – virus”, though it is not clear that it is “post” now, or even within 2020.  At present, New Zealand and Vietnam are looking like shining success stories.  The secret of their success? –  strategic testing, aggressive contact tracing and effective public communications campaigns. That last point -all important -that everyone, down to small kids, understands the basic story, the national plan and what they need to do.  Planning needs to be national, and then, international.

Who knows whether the post-Covid-19 period will move towards a cleaner and more humane world, or back to “business as usual” or worse?     Meanwhile the non-stop news cycle takes its toll, and of course, being news, it’s all bad.   It’s probably good to (a) take lots of breaks from the news, and (b) follow good news.  Some examples:

  • The IEA says greenhouse gas emissions will fall by more than 8% this year, the largest annual decrease ever recorded. NPR
  • A decade ago over 40% of the UK’s electricity came from coal. This week, it clocked up its first full coal free month since the advent of the power grid in 1882. Gizmodo
  • Sweden has closed its last coal-fired power station two years ahead of schedule, becoming the third European country to exit coal. Independent .
  • Freshwater insect species have risen by 11%, possibly due to efforts to clean up rivers and lakes. Science

You can find good news at FUTURE CRUNCH, and at GOOD NEWS NETWORK.

AUSTRALIA

The torture that awaits Julian Assange in the US.

Environment Minister Sussan Ley will not support protection of Murray-Darling river systems

NUCLEAR. The push to weaken Australia’s law regulating the uranium industry, in the review of Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.  New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro got it so wrong about Britain and small nuclear reactors.

Kimba Nuclear Waste Dump Plan:   Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) question government’s plan for nuclear waste dump near Kimba, South Australia.  13 top Australian non government organisations say that the Kimba nuclear waste dump plan is illogical.     Cameron and Toni Scott: brief but compelling critique of National Radioactive Waste Management.  Marty and Rachel Yates: the wrong nuclear dump process- individuals nominate their own land for their own personal gain.

CLIMATE. New climate models suggest that Australia could reach 7C temperature rise by 2100. A Covid-19 Green Recovery for Australia. Australia listened to the science on coronavirus. Imagine if we did the same for coal mining.   How the Murdoch press defended fossil fuel industry while Australia burned. Experts warn of growing fossil fuel influence in Prime Minister Morrison’s Covid-19 response .   Cheap electricity is back, and the next casualty will be a coal fired generator.

RENEWABLE ENERGY. Australian investors play key role in huge 690MW solar and battery project – America’s largest.  UNSW solar researcher wins global award, as funding remains in doubt. Tesla big battery recoups cost of construction in little over two years.  Balancing act: Tesla battery system earns university nearly $74,000 in 3 months.

Australia’s reputation as solar leader under threat if ARENA funding not extended. Tasmania unveils action plan to reach 200 per cent renewablesQueensland urged to unlock $36bn renewable investment boom in lead-up to election.  Australia is uniquely placed to be able to reinvigorate manufacturing through renewable energy.

INTERNATIONAL

Latest climate models suggest global heating could be worse than we thought. Killer heat and humidity already with us.   Covid-19 highlights risks of doing nothing on global heating.    Water loss in northern peatlands threatens to intensify fires, global warming.

How much radioactive waste is stored on our planet?

The race to nuclear suicide continues despite Covid-19 crisis.  $73 billion world spent in 2019 on nuclear weapons, half of it by USA.  The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty– its promise and its failure.

THE ATOM: A LOVE AFFAIR – nuclear dream to global nightmare.

USA.

JAPAN.  3600 working in Nuclear power plants in Japan – concerns raised over coronavirus. Worker infection halts anti-terror project at Genkai nuclear plant.  Rokkasho nuclear reprocessing, a pointless effort , to postpone coping with plutonium trash.  Korean navy to study impact of Fukushima Daiichi’s radioactive water leakOnagawa 2 upgrade faces further delay.  Fukushima Daiichi buildings pose safety risks.  The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster and Civil Actions as a Social Movement.

UK.

CANADA. ‘Small Modular Nuclear Reactor’ entrepreneurs trying to revive dangerous ‘plutonium economy’ dream. Investigative journalismNuclear waste plan divides South Bruce community.

RUSSIARussia proposes 3 year extension of Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start-3): USA silent.    Raising dangerously radioactive Russian submarines from the bottom of Arctic oceans.

NORWAY. Nuclear fraud in Norway could affect nuclear safety in other countries.

FRANCE. Coronavirus affecting France’s nuclear reactors’ safety and output. French government tries to downgrade radiation risk, avoid compensating Polynesian victims of nuclear testing.

SOUTH KOREA. South Korea, Germany to bolster ties in transition towards renewable energy.

IRANIran’s Nuclear and Military Efforts in the Shadow of Coronavirus and Economic Collapse.

UKRAINE. How an innovative  community overcame Ukraine’s nuclear trauma.

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa’s nuclear waste problem– why plan to increase it?

GERMANY. Radiation leak at nuclear research reactor.  As Germany transitions to renewables, massive nuclear cooling towers are demolished.

PAKISTAN. Nuclear war between India and Pakistan very unlikely.

The week in climate, nuclear, (and coronavirus) news – Australia and elsewhere

May 12, 2020

The movement is on, in many countries, to return things to”normal” as the infection “curve” is reported to be “flattening”.  But as lockdown rules are eased, in Germany and South  Korea, infection rates go up again.  With 4 million confirmed cases globally, there is no slowdown in the rate of infection. USA’s death toll is 80,000, while Russia’s and Brazil’s are thought to be soaring.  COVID-19 is such a strange disease. Like climate denialism, –  is a form of coronavirus denial going on?

AUSTRALIA

The Liberal coalition government killing the ABC by 1000 cuts – but a possible way exists to save it.

Australian government stops listing major threats to species under environment laws.  New environment laws must address main cause of the biodiversity crisis – climate change.

Investigative journalism – ‘Under cover of coronavirus’ New South Wales govt approves US company to mine coal beneath a Sydney drinking water dam.

NUCLEAR. Minerals Council of Australia wants radiation risks to be discounted in Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.  Film Maralinga Tjarutja premieres on ABC Sunday 24 May.

 Kimba National Nuclear Waste Dump Plan   Bogus claims and dodgy Fed govt nuclear waste dumps process. Submissions to government:

Western Australian uranium projects floundering, as Cameco’s Kintyre environmental approval lapses.

CLIMATE.  States so far ahead of Australia government, it’s as if they are in a different industrial era. Canberra is a model for using climate action to drive economic recovery, minister says.   Covid-19 co-operation lays out pathway for climate ambition, CMI says.   How “green steel” could replace Australia’s coal industry – and end climate wars.

RENEWABLE ENERGY  States so far ahead of Australia government, it’s as if they are in a different industrial era.  Helen Haines launches renewable energy plan for regional Australia.    Record growth in rooftop solar pushing coal out of Australia market.    Switching to renewables could cut industry energy costs by almost a quarter.

ARENA funds study into smarter solution for system strength issues plaguing solar, wind projects.  Australian Renewable Energy Agency funds end in 2022 – a major blow for solar research.

Queensland’s Yurika to install 15MW of solar on shopping centres.  Lithium Australia assessing the use of recycled battery components as fertiliser micro-nutrients.  South Australia minister aiming for 100 per cent renewables before 2030 .  Victoria calls on feds to “put aside ideology” and pave way for offshore wind.

INTERNATIONAL

A potential US extradition of Julian Assange poses existential threats to democracy..

Another world is possible.

Tiny killer agents – Cornaviruses, and also, Nuclear Radiation.  As with viruses, containment of atomic weapons may be good, but eradication is best.  .

International co-operation – essential for Coronavirus action, and for Climate action .  Can Covid-19 response be a model for climate action?.  Climate change – a bigger still challenge follows coronavirus.  A small window of opportunity to stave off rapid global heating.

2020 hurtles toward the warmest year milestone –Heat+ humidity – global heating has already made parts of the world too hot for humans.

Trilateral Track 2 Nuclear Dialogues Consensus Statement.

USA.

UK.   Wide and growing coalition of real concern about EDF’s Sizewell C nuclear project.  Delay in preparations for Wylfa nuclear plant.    Barrow, UK – hub of nuclear weapons work and nuclear transport.  As UK’s Torness nuclear power station deteriorates, – cheaper to build renewables than to repair aging reactors.  UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) gags staff on subject of Trident nuclear weapons in Scotland..

BAHRAIN. Bahrain’s new environmental bill – strict laws against nuclear waste dumping.

JAPAN. More delay for Japan to open Onagawa nuclear power plant Unit 2: Unit 1 to be closed.

NORTH KOREA. Satellite images reveal North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s new nuclear facility.

RUSSIA. The pandemic is a direct threat to Russia’s secret nuclear cities – says Rosatom chief.

INDIA. Lockdown in Tamil Nadu: 800 guest workers  stage protest at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, attack cops .

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa’s financially difficult nuclear ambitions.

BOSNIA. Bosnia aims to stop Croatia’s plan for radioactive waste dump close to the border.

LITHUANIA.  Lithuania presses Belarus to delay use of nuclear fuel, for safety reasons.

UKRAINE. Ukraine’s Energy ministry limits operations of nuclear power plants.  Looking back to May 1986 – the exodus from Kiev, after the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe.

SOUTH KOREA.  South Korea sticking to its policy of phasing out nuclear power, switching to renewables.

FRANCE. France’s Strategic Nuclear Forces Big drop in France’s nuclear power generation..

SPAIN. The search for the 4th hydrogen bomb dropped over Palomares, Spain.

GERMANY. SPD, junior partner in Germany’s coalition government, calls to withdraw US nuclear arms.

Australia and international – the week in nuclear and climate news

May 4, 2020

Well, ya can’t get away from it. It’s always the pandemic! This week, the news moves on to considering the future.  Biodiversity scientists warn that future pandemics are on the horizon, if we don’t stop our rapid destruction of nature. With increasing human population, encroaching on wild habitats, there’s increased risk of pathogens transferring between animals and humans. 

But also, the pandemic is showing us how our trashed world can heal.

Amidst the continuing propaganda for the (still non existent) new “cheap ” small nuclear reactors, comes the sobering fact that the nuclear industry is in trouble, in this time of pandemic.  It’s not just nuclear’s unique  safety problem, but now the business problem. As wind and solar power thrive , nuclear power is going down the drain, with low prices and slumping demand.

A bit of good news –  Hole in the ozone layer is now closed.

AUSTRALIA

Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) continues attacks on ABC .

Rampant, unmonitored use of water by Australia’s coal industry in time of drought!.

NUCLEAR. Australia: Epidemiology on nuclear radiation?  

Flinders Local Action Group want a new process for disposal of Australia’s nuclear waste.   South Australian group calls –  ” No to radioactive waste on agricultural land in Kimba or South Australia.”  Dr Helen Caldicott explains the (virtually eternal) problem of toxic nuclear waste. Beyond Uranium Canberra. Group calls for an end to Kimba waste plan, wants Inquiry into nuclear waste management.

CLIMATE  Emissions Reduction  Minister Angus Taylor, refuses to release findings of ‘expert panel’ into emissions reductions Australia’s govt betting on a fossil-fuel led recovery – despite expert advice on renewable energy. Why does the Morrison govt hear the experts on coronavirus, but ignore the experts on climate change?

RENEWABLE ENERGY

INTERNATIONAL

The nuclear pandemic.  Nuclear Issues and Epidemiology.    Low Oil Prices May Kill Off The Next Nuclear Boom Before It Begins.

New START is the only U.S.-Russian nuclear treaty still in effect. Time to renew it.

Petersberg Climate Dialogue to be held virtually this year.  Climate change: lakes and rivers will become drier, increasingly infectious and toxic.

Solar and Wind Cheapest Sources of Power in Most of the World   Solar heating.

ARCTIC. An Arctic island is warming SIX times faster than the global average.

JAPAN.  16 Japanese Financial institutions won’t invest in companies involved in nuclear weapons. Half of highly radioactive exhaust stack dismantled at Fukushima Nuclear Reactor 1,

RUSSIA. Coronavirus a big threat to Russia’s secret nuclear cities, as virus incidence rises. Russia warns US against using low-yield nuclear weapons, threatening all-out retaliation.   With international finance help, Russia is dismantling its most radioactive ship.

USA.

UK. UK ignored warnings about pandemic danger, cut health funding, spent up big on nuclear weapons.  Report warns on the threat of sea level rise to Sizewell nuclear plan.  Everyone is needed in bid for a future free of nuclear .

NORTH KOREA. Time to support humanitarian initiatives for North Korea.

ISRAEL. Netanyahu’s deceitful push to try to get USA to attack Iran.

INDIA. Hundreds of foreign companies procuring nuclear materials for India and Pakistan.

FRANCE.  France’s unfairly heavy monitoring of anti-nuclear activists, treating them as violent criminals.