#NuclearCommissionSAust Ethics – an oxymoron – theme for this week


ethics-nuclearThere’ s nothing ethical about pleasing a few greedy entrepreneurs that think they can make a fortune out of introducing Small Nuclear Reactors to Australia – as the follow-up to South Australia taking in global radioactive trash.

There’s nothing ethical about the lie that taking in global radioactive trash will solve South Australia’s unemployment problem .

There’s nothing ethical about planning to saddle South Australia with the biggest white elephant and stranded asset in human history. A radioactive trash dump makes no money. (That’s why no other country wants to do this)

I could imagine one scenario in which taking in radioactive trash might be ethical. Imagine if one country – for example, Japan, decided to completely shut down all nuclear activities, and had trouble organising a waste repository. A global good citizen, such as Australia, might help them out in this.

But there’s no global citizenship in the Royal Commission plan…

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February 20 Energy News



6 Reasons Al Gore Believes ‘We Will Prevail’ in Climate Fight • Al Gore admitted to the TED2016 audience in Vancouver on Wednesday, “every night on the news is like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation.” But he maintained, “I am extremely optimistic. We are going to win this. We will prevail.” [EcoWatch]

Al Gore struck a note of optimism during his TED2016 talk in Vancouver. “Change can happen faster than we think,” he argued. Al Gore struck a note of optimism during his TED2016 talk in Vancouver. “Change can happen faster than we think,” he argued.

Science and Technology:

¶ Smart microgrids provide higher reliability and more efficient operation of distributed generation assets than conventional systems. Siemens is participating in a community energy resiliency grant program in New York State and optimizing electrical generation at a Native American reservation in California. [Justmeans]

¶ Researchers at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have found an energy storage solution that could use of waste from processing apples…

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Nuclear News , Royal Commission Special This Week


a-cat-CANOn 15th February Commissioner Kevin Scarce delivered the “tentative findings” of South Australia’s NuclearFuel Cycle Royal Commission.  In short, these were:

  • Major recommendation for South Australia to make billions by importing, managing, storing and disposing of nuclear waste.
  • Low key support for uranium mining expansion.
  • Not supportive (at present) for uranium enrichment, further processing. But at the same time favours nuclear fuel leasing.
  • Not supportive of nuclear power, but South Australia should prepare for it anyway, perhaps needed later on.

Mainstream Media responses to the report varied from jubilant in South Australia to pretty much ignored in Australia as whole. Alternative media was a lot more probing and critical e.g: The Conversation,  REneweconomy,  The Australia Institute  The Saturday Paper and my own website

However, the significant thing about mainstream media coverage and the lack thereof, is that there seems to be a sort of “nuclear gentlemens’ agreement” that the whole…

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Britain’s nuclear project Hinkley Point C staggers again


protest-Hinkley-CU.K.’s Nuclear Project Falters Again http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/uks_nuclear_project_falters_again_20160219 Feb 19, 2016  By Paul Brown / Climate News Network This Creative Commons-licensed piece first appeared at Climate News Network.

LONDON—The future of the nuclear industry in Europe took another blow this week when the French state-owned power company EDF again postponed a final decision on whether to build two large nuclear power stations in the UK. Construction will now not start before 2019, the company said.

This is the eighth time a “final investment decision” on building two European Pressurised Water Reactors (EPRs) has been postponed because the company has still to secure enough backing to finance the £18 billion (€23.26 bn) project.

The excuse this time was that the Chinese New Year celebrations had held up negotiations with the Chinese backers, who have agreed to put up one-third of the money.

Preparation of the site at Hinkley Point in the west of England…

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Cultural exchange between nuclear victim areas Maralinga and Nagasaki


Maralinga sculpture sent to Nagasaki in symbol of peace and nuclear past February 19, 2016 DOUGLAS SMITH The Advertiser


A SCULPTURE representing the Aboriginal people of the Maralinga Lands is being sent from Adelaide to Nagasaki as a symbol of peace, cultural exchange and their nuclear pasts.

The sculpture of a coolamon dish has left for Japan to be placed in the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Park, which commemorates the atomic bombing of the city on August 9, 1945, when about 73,000 people died.

The Aboriginal people of the Maralinga Lands were subjected to radioactive contamination following British nuclear testing at the site between 1956 to 1963.

The art exchange was organised through international group Nuclear Futures, founded by Professor Paul Brown to support indigenous people worldwide by expressing the legacy of the atomic age through creative…

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Fukushima couple win landmark court case against nuclear operator


Fukushima disaster: Tepco to pay couple in landmark damages case BBC News 19 Feb 16 A court in Japan has ordered the operator of the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear plant to compensate a couple who fled radiation, even though they lived outside the evacuation zone.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) will pay 30m yen ($265,000; £185,00) for financial losses and poor health.

It is thought to be the first time Tepco has been found liable for people outside the mandatory evacuation area………Analysts say Thursday’s ruling could pave the way for many more compensation claims from such evacuees…….

The sum awarded to the couple, who have not been named but are in their 40s, is also far greater than the 11m yen proposed by a government-established centre to mediate settlements for compensation cases.

According to the written submission, the husband became depressed and developed pleurisy after the evacuation and their children were…

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More trouble for USA’s nuclear waste dump Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP)


text-relevantFlag-USATwo Contractors Cited for Radioactive Release at Nuclear Waste Siteshttp://sputniknews.com/us/20160219/1035057063/us-nuclear-waste-contactors.html  The companies responsible for nuclear waste are Nuclear Waste Partnership (NWP), which operates an Energy Department facility to store nuclear waste and Los Alamos National Security (LANS), the contractor that manages the nearby Los Alamos National Laboratory, according to the US Department of Energy.WASHINGTON (Sputnik) 

— Companies in charge of nuclear waste at two facilities in the US state of New Mexico have been cited for safety violations in connection with a 2014 underground fire and an escape of radiation into the atmosphere, the US Department of Energy said in a press release on Friday.


The companies are Nuclear Waste Partnership (NWP), which operates an Energy Department facility to store nuclear waste and Los Alamos National Security (LANS), the contractor that manages the nearby Los Alamos National Laboratory, according to the release.

“The violations by NWP… are associated with two events that occurred in February 2014. The first event involved a fire in a salt haul truck in the [waste storage facility] underground, and the second event…

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Australian govt’s wrong decision to dump CSIRO climate modelling – Dr John Church


Map Turnbull climateRenowned CSIRO scientist Dr John Church speaks out against decision to dump climate modelling, ABC News 19 Feb 16 By Angela Ross One of the CSIRO’s most respected scientists, Dr John Church, has spoken out against the body’s decision to scrap its climate modelling program.

A petition signed by 2,800 international scientists from more than 60 countries expressed outrage about the decision to cut two research programs under the oceans and atmosphere business unit.

“The decision to decimate a vibrant and world-leading research program shows a lack of insight and a misunderstanding of the importance of the depth and significance of Australia’s contributions to global and regional climate research,” it read……..

Dr Church argued there was no point collecting data if scientists were not there to analyse the results.

“If Australia pulls out of key activities in the southern hemisphere then that will leave significant gaps, we will be losing partnerships…

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Political pressure is the only barrier stopping renewables taking over from fossil fuels and nuclear energy


Suzuki, DavidEnergy storage gives renewables a jump-start Independent Australia, David Suzuki 20 February 2016Given the speed at which technology and inventions are advancing, it’s a no-brainer to see that the barriers to a clean energy shift are more political and psychological than technological, argues Dr David Suzuki.

REMOTE AUSTRALIAN communities often use diesel generators for power. They’re expensive to run and emit pollution and greenhouse gases. Even people who don’t rely entirely on generators use Australia’s power grid, which is mostly fuelled by polluting, climate-altering coal.

Now, one company is showing that supplying Australia’s energy needn’t be expensive or polluting.

AllGrid Energy produces 10 kilowatt-hour solar-power batteries that take advantage of Australia’s abundant sunlight and growing demand for solar panels. Their lead-acid gel battery is less expensive than Tesla’s lithium Powerwall, also available in Australia.

Many AllGrid systems are sold in indigenous communities, providing affordable energy independence.

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A Treaty to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

IPPNW peace and health blog

By Lawrence S. Wittner

Dr. Lawrence Wittner, Ph.DAlthough few people are aware of it, there has been considerable progress over the past decade toward a treaty to abolish nuclear weapons.

For many years, there had been a substantial gap between the pledges to eliminate nuclear weapons made by the signatories to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968 and the reality of their behaviour.

To remedy this situation, in 1996 the New York-based Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy – the U.S. affiliate of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms – began to coordinate the drafting of a Model Nuclear Weapons Convention. Formulated along the lines of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which entered into force in 1997, this model nuclear convention was designed to serve as an international treaty that prohibits and eliminates nuclear weapons.

Although the late 1990s proved a difficult time for nuclear arms control and disarmament measures, the Lawyers’…

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