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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Fiji nuclear test veterans to be compensated by government

Fiji compensates nuke-test soldiers  Asia Pacific Editor Melbourne THE AUSTRALIAN JANUARY 30, 2015  FIJI will give $1.83 million today to the survivors among 70 soldiers exposed to radiation during British nuclear tests and to direct dependants of those who have died.

The servicemen sent to witness Operation Grapple on Christmas Island in 1958 were led by chief petty officer Ratu Inoke Bainimarama, the late father of prime minister and former military commander Frank Bainimarama, who will hand out cheques for $6300 to each of the 23 soldiers still alive. Dependants of the others will receive the same amount………..

The Fiji veterans are persisting with a legal case against the British government. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/fiji-compensates-nuke-test-soldiers/story-e6frg6so-1227201434006?nk=12eb6391f5cbbe65f220fb12fca19ba4

January 30, 2015 Posted by | OCEANIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Case against nuclear powers unfolds at the International Court of Justice in The Hague,

justiceThe Marshall Islands’ latest nuclear test – Marshall Islanders are well-acquainted with the horrors of the nuclear arms industry. , Aljazeera, 18 Jan 15 

The Marshall Islands – a country of about 70,000 people located in the Pacific Ocean – is taking the world’s nine nuclear powers to court for allegedly violating international obligations to work towards nuclear disarmament.

The list of accused is as follows: the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, North Korea, Pakistan, and Israel. Israel has made the cut despite fervently denying possession of a nuclear arsenal.

The spectacle is unfolding at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the main judicial organ of the United Nations. A recent New York Times article on the Marshall Islands’ “near-Quixotic venture” quotes Phon van den Biesen, head of the country’s legal team, on the ultimate aim of the effort: “All the nuclear weapons states are modernising their arsenals instead of negotiating [to disarm], and we want the court to rule on this.”……….

The diminutive nation happens to be the site of no fewer than 67 US nuclear bomb tests in the 1940s and 50s, during an almost 40-year period in which the US administered the Islands under a UN trusteeship. As Greenpeace notes, one of these tests involved a bomb 1,000 times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

Such machinations have predictably resulted in thorough environmental contamination and continuing health complications for the local population, ranging from radiogenic cancers to babies born without bones.

As Marshallese nuclear survivor Lemeyo Abon told the UN Human Rights Council in 2012: “After the [US] testing programme we’ve had to create new words to describe the creatures we give birth to.”

Lexical fallout aside, other US contributions to Marshallese culture include the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll, which continues to generate revenue for US corporations.

The widespread territorial displacement necessitated by the previous era of fanatical nuclear testing meanwhile highlights the irony of Marshallese government support for the US-funded entity that displaces and otherwise oppresses Palestinians……….. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/01/marshall-islands-latest-nuclear-201511352947395615.html

 

January 19, 2015 Posted by | environment, Legal, OCEANIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Renewable energy with battery system transformed electricity system of Caribbean island Bonaire

renewable-energy-picture Caribbean Island Ditching Diesel In Favor Of Renewable Energy Clean Technica January 9th, 2015 by   Originally published on RMI Outlet.By Kaitlyn Bunker

Bonaire (pop. 14,500), a small island off the coast of Venezuela, is famous for its beautiful marine reefs, which are visited by 70,000 tourists every year. What many of the tourists don’t realize is that the majority of the electricity powering their needs comes from renewable energy. Yet for the residents of Bonaire, the switch from fossil-fueled to renewable energy systems has made a world of difference………

the government and local utility began working together to create a plan that would allow Bonaire to reach a goal of generating 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.

Bonaire’s Electricity System Transformation

The result is a transformed electricity system on Bonaire. The island is now home to 12 wind turbines with a total of 11 MW of wind power capacity, which contribute up to 90 percent of the island’s electricity at times of peak wind, and 40–45 percent of its annual electricity on average. Battery storage (6 MWh) is included in order to take advantage of available power in times of excess wind, and provide that stored electricity in times of low wind. The battery also boosts the reliability of the overall system—it is capable of providing 3 MW for over two minutes, allowing time for additional generation to be started when there is a sudden drop in wind………http://cleantechnica.com/2015/01/09/caribbean-island-ditching-diesel-favor-renewable-energy/

January 10, 2015 Posted by | decentralised, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

New solar farms for Pacific Island countries

masdar-solar-wind-projectsMore Solar For Pacific Island Nationshttp://www.energymatters.com.au/renewable-news/pacific-solar-masdar-em4624/ December 31, 2014 Energy Matters

Construction has commenced on four new solar farms in the Pacific island countries of Kiribati, Fiji, Tuvalu and Vanuatu; financed under the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development’s US$50 million UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund.

The solar power projects will collectively have 1.8 megawatts capacity and their output will translate to fuel savings worth US$2 million per year. Many island nations in the Pacific rely primarily on diesel imports for electricity generation. It’s expensive, carbon intensive and creates dependence on external suppliers for what is a critical service.

Pacific Island nations can spend 10 percent of GDP or more on petroleum imports, so renewables can also free up government budgets for infrastructure investments

Completion of the solar farms is expected by the second half of 2015.

The projects will be constructed by Masdar, a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Government-owned Mubadala Development Company.

“Access to clean energy is a pathway toward economic and social development,” said Dr. Ahmad Belhoul, CEO of Masdar. “For Pacific islands, which rely on imported fuel for electricity generation, renewable energy provides a viable alternative. In fact, wind and solar power projects deliver immediate savings, while underpinning long-term energy security.”

Masdar has already been active in the region; building the La’a Lahi ‘Big Sun’ 512kW solar farm in Tonga and Samoa’s first wind farm, which was commissioned in August this year. Both of these projects were also financed through the UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund.

The 550kW wind farm in Samoa is located on the island of Upolu; which is home to nearly 75 percent of the population. The cyclone-proof facility will generate 1,500 MWh of power per year

The UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund was launched in March last year and has so far helped fund 2.8 megawatts of renewable energy capacity across six countries in the region.

“The UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund demonstrates the tangible benefits that renewable energy offers all developing countries,” said His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, director-general of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. “Today, renewables are cost-effective and offer real solutions for growth across the Pacific.”

Source

January 5, 2015 Posted by | OCEANIA, renewable | Leave a comment

2015 court hearings- Marshall Islands versus the world’s nuclear arsenals

Bikini-Atoll-bombA Former Ground Zero Goes to Court Against the World’s Nuclear Arsenals NYT, By DEC. 27, 2014 THE HAGUE — Tony de Brum was 9 years old in 1954 when he saw the sky light up and heard the terrifying rumbles of “Castle Bravo.” It was the most powerful of 67 nuclear tests detonated by the United States in the Marshall Islands, the remote Pacific atolls he calls home.

Six decades later, with Mr. de Brum now his country’s foreign minister, the memory of those thundering skies has driven him to a near-Quixotic venture: His tiny country is hauling the world’s eight declared nuclear powers and Israel before the International Court of Justice. He wants the court to order the start of long-promised talks for a convention to ban atomic arsenals, much like the treaties that already prohibit chemical, biological and other weapons of mass destruction.

Mr. de Brum says the initiative is not about seeking redress for the enduring contamination and the waves of illness and birth defects attributed to radiation. Rather, by turning to the world’s highest tribunal, a civil court that addresses disputes between nations, he wants to use his own land’s painful history to rekindle global concern about the nuclear arms race………

In its first written arguments, presented to the court this month, the Marshall Islands contended that the nuclear powers had violated their legal obligation to disarm. Specifically, the arguments said, by joining the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, five countries — the United States, RussiaBritainFrance and China — undertook to end the arms race “at an early date” and to negotiate a treaty on “complete disarmament.”

Three other nuclear nations that did not agree to the treaty — IndiaIsraeland Pakistan — and a fourth that withdrew from it — North Korea — are required to disarm under customary international law, the Marshall Islands’ case claims. The existence of Israeli nuclear weapons is universally assumed, but Israel has not acknowledged having them.

“All the nuclear weapons states are modernizing their arsenals instead of negotiating, and we want the court to rule on this,” said Phon van den Biesen, the leader of the islands’ legal team, who first asked the court to hear the case in April…….. Continue reading

December 29, 2014 Posted by | Legal, OCEANIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Solar panels installed in a big way in Philippines business centres

Businessmen tap the power of the sun, Manila Standard, By Alena Mae S. Flores | Dec. 20, 2014 Solar technology is now shining in the Philippines, as some businessmen began to install solar panels on rooftops of schools, office buildings and even shopping malls, seven years after the passage of Republic Act No. 9513, or the Renewable Energy Law. This year alone, the industry saw a significant number of solar rooftop projects installed, a feat that has not been immediately felt after the passage of the law, which promotes the use of renewable energy resources such as solar, wind and mini-hydro projects.

Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla expects renewable energy projects including solar rooftop installations to pick up next year, heralding the golden age of renewable energy in the country. Petilla says solar rooftop capacity will continue to increase in 2015, amid the strong interest from schools, commercial and industrial projects and even government offices.

world'slargest-solar-mall

“You can never tell how many institutions are going to be included because it depends on the size of each project. Because of so many interests for solar technology at the moment, some of them are already moving on their own even without our initiative,” Petilla says.

The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines estimates the potential market for solar rooftop projects at $450 million yearly, based on 50,000 households or a tenth of the half a million constructions yearly, with average solar panel installations of 2 kilowatts each.

Solar rooftop installations are expected to  reach 2.5 megawatts by end-2014, as more homeowners and enterprises realize the opportunities to save money and mitigate climate change by harnessing sunlight to power homes and offices.

ECCP says with the continued drop in system prices, solar energy is approaching grid parity, opening the way for more solar rooftop installations.

“Vast installation of solar panels on rooftops of households, commercial buildings and industrial facilities could help safeguard the country’s energy security over the long term. Rooftop solar panels could be a viable solution for the Philippines given its high solar irradiation level,” ECCP says.

The Philippine Solar Power Alliance earlier estimated that the country has an untapped solar rooftop potential of about 300 MW.

One company, Propmech Corp., recently installed a solar-rooftop project at St. Scholastica’s College in Manila that will enable the school to save as much as 20 percent in electricity cost.

“We are prioritizing schools for solar projects because of the reason they more open to the public than private companies, other institutions can freely go to them to learn about solar panels,” Petilla says.

St. Scholastica’s joins the rank of other schools such as Manuel L. Quezon University, Mapua Institute of Technology and La Consolaction College-Manila, in utilizing renewable energy.

St. Scholastica’s St. Cecilla’s Hall has been turned into a 96-kilowatt solar power plant that can generate 38.88 percent of the hall’s daily energy needs.  The amount will greatly reduce St. Scholastica’s monthly electricity expenses…………….

Solar applications have also long been used as off-grid solutions in rural and remote areas in the country.

Solar systems can also power basic necessities such as lighting, water pumping, communications and a variety of livelihood activities that immediately improve the lives of Filipinos in areas where electricity from the grid is not readily available. http://manilastandardtoday.com/2014/12/20/businessmen-tap-the-power-of-the-sun/

December 22, 2014 Posted by | decentralised, Philippines | Leave a comment

Vienna Conference supports Marshall Islands Against Nuclear Weapons,

goliath-&-Marshall-IslesThe Marshall Islands case, which has received worldwide attention and support from many different organisations, is often referred to as “David vs. Goliath”…..: “The Marshall Islands is a small, gutsy country. It is not a country that will be bullied, nor is it one that will give up.

Civil Society Support for Marshall Islands Against Nuclear Weapons, truthout, Friday, 12 December 2014 10:00By Julia RainerInter Press Service Vienna – Ahead of the Dec. 8-9 Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, activists from all over the world came together in the Austrian capital to participate in a civil society forum organised by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) on Dec. 6 and 7.

One pressing issue discussed was the Marshall Islands’ lawsuit against the United States and eight other nuclear-weapon nations that was filed at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in April 2014, denouncing the over 60 nuclear tests that were conducted on the small island state’s territory between 1946 and 1958.

The location was chosen not only because it was an isolated part of the world but also because at the time it was also a Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands governed by the United States. Self-government was achieved in 1979, and full sovereignty in 1986.

The people of the Marshall Islands were neither informed nor asked for their consent and for a long period did not realise the harm that the testing would bring to the local communities. Continue reading

December 13, 2014 Posted by | OCEANIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Latin America and Caribbean ripe for renewable energy growth

Renewable Energy Growth Opportunities In Latin America & Caribbean Clean Technica, December 12th, 2014 by  The renewable energy focus has slowly been shifting away from traditional national powerhouses in Europe and North America towards developing nations, primarily across the Southern Hemisphere. A new report published by the Worldwatch Institute has analysed the particular market barriers and growth pathways available for two specific regions, Latin America and the Caribbean, and found that renewable energy growth could address significant economic, social, and environmental challenges.

The report, Study on the Development of the Renewable Energy Market in Latin America and the Caribbean, published Wednesday, was designed to identify renewable energy growth opportunities and barriers, and offer up specific methods to overcome these challenges.

“Our goal was to prepare a concise and comprehensive report on the current status of, and powerful drivers for, renewable energy in the LAC region,” says Alexander Ochs, Worldwatch’s Director of Climate and Energy and the project leader.

“We identify key technology, market, and policy barriers, as well as concrete instruments to overcome them. Because of the region’s high vulnerability to extreme weather events, we specifically address the energy sector’s climate change adaptation needs. And we provide a clear set of recommendations to multilateral banks for how to best fulfil their important role in supporting renewable energy development and deployment.”

Of particular interest were the particular opportunities to address key economic, social, and environmental challenges that investing in renewables will provide Latin America and the Caribbean. The authors of the report identified several such challenges, including:

  • Achieving universal access to electricity
  • Meeting future electricity demand
  • Transforming the electricity system
  • Mitigating and adapting to climate change
As the report’s authors note, “renewables are increasingly the most economic option for new generation capacity, especially for countries that depend on fuel oil for power generation, such as many in Central America and the Caribbean.”………

The report claims that, even dismissing large-scale hydro, Latin America and the Caribbean have the potential to generate more than 78,000 TWh of electricity from renewable energy sources, enough to meet the region’s current and future energy needs many times over.

“The falling prices of renewables, their abundance, their complementarity, and their reliability today make renewable energy an economically favorable alternative to all conventional technologies in almost all countries of the region—if there is open and fair competition,” says Ochs. “But in many places, existing policies still support fossil fuels, and additional hindrances often exist, including social, market, and finance barriers. Governments have a responsibility to address these, and multilateral banks have important tools to support them.” http://cleantechnica.com/2014/12/12/renewable-energy-growth-opportunities-latin-america-caribbean/

December 13, 2014 Posted by | OCEANIA, renewable | Leave a comment

Anglican priest on the hypocrisy of rich countries’ apathy about climate change effects on Pacific Islanders

Joseph,-Keith-Angl-Dean-of-Anglican priest shames climate change “hypocrites” after witnessing sinking Solomon Islands 105.7 ABC Darwin  By Emilia Terzon The Anglican Dean of Darwin, Keith Joseph, was living and working on the Solomon Islands when he realised the world was slowly drowning.

“In that time, I could see with my own eyes the damage being done,” he said.

“And I could also see the effect [climate change] was having on my friends, their lives, and indeed their culture and futures.”……..

He said it was undeniable that the ongoing problems being experienced by his former parish were linked to climate change and rising sea levels.

“Firstly, it is affecting island groups across the Pacific and Indian Ocean. Secondly, I’m willing to trust 97 per cent of the scientific evidence and advice,” he said.

“If you were sick and went to 30 doctors and 29 said you’ve got cancer and give up smoking and one said it’s not a problem, what are you going to do?

“It’s the same with climate change. The scientific evidence is in.”

Mr Joseph’s comments follow a report by the world’s top scientists for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on Sunday.

The report warns about climate change’s severe and irreversible impacts and links the burning of fossil fuels to greenhouse gas levels being at their highest in 800,000 years.

Mr Joseph said it made him feel “guilty” that humble communities in the Solomon Islands were facing problems due to carbon emissions by those in richer countries……….

He said there was a “strong Christian argument for looking after the environment” and that the earth was a gift from God that should be looked after. “I do think that appeals to other spiritual traditions. The Aboriginals knew well that the land was their birthright to hand on to others,” he said.

“Sadly, I can’t see much political impetus for [stopping climate change]. There seems no great will to change the way we live or to move away from a coal-based economy.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-04/anglican-priest-speaks-out-about-climate-change/5865438

November 6, 2014 Posted by | OCEANIA, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

For centuries to come, ice sheets will keep melting

we cannot ignore it, because the sheer volume of land ice on Earth is enormous – equivalent to more than 65m of global sea level rise; Greenland alone accounts for 6 to 7m, West Antarctica for some 5-6m, and East Antarctica for the remainder. These melting ice sheets will dominate major sea level changes for centuries to come.

ice-sheets-melting

Why ice sheets will keep melting for centuries to come,Skeptical Science By Eelco Rohling, University of Southampton 17 Oct 14    Ice sheets respond slowly to changes in climate, because they are so massive that they themselves dominate the climate conditions over and around them. But once they start flowing faster towards the shore and melting into the ocean the process takes centuries to reverse. Ice sheets are nature’s freight trains: tough to start moving, even harder to stop. Continue reading

October 18, 2014 Posted by | climate change, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Fukushima radiation is just one of the many nails in the Pacific Ocean coffin

Pacific-Ocean-drainNuclear Conspiracies And Pacific Radiation Activist Post, Richard Wilcox, PhD  September 10, 2014 “…….Final Nail?  Fukushima may be one of the nails in the Pacific Ocean coffin but it is not the only one. Many speculate that the Pacific Ocean is dying or that Fukushima is even “an extinction level event.” It may be true the Earth is reaching its breaking point and decades of over-fishing and pollution have profoundly damaged the world’s oceans, but the cause is not only from Fukushima. How do you attribute marine die-offs occurring around the world when not enough of Fukushima’s radiation has reached that far, and there are many other sources of pollutants in those regions?

One mistake the alternative media analysts are making is that they are confusing the huge amount of radiation presently on site at Fukushima versus the amount that was released from the accident and has since leaked out.

There is no question that the amount of nuclear inventory at Fukushima, a site placed on a weak soil foundation and prone to earthquakes and tsunami, is terrifyingly huge:

The total spent reactor fuel inventory at the Fukushima-Daichi site contains nearly half of the total amount of Cs-137 estimated by the NCRP to have been released by all atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, Chernobyl, and world-wide reprocessing plants (14).

But that material has not yet dispersed, therefore the ocean die-offs now cannot be blamed on harm that could potentially occur in the future. ……….

Richard Wilcox is a Tokyo-based teacher and writer who holds a Ph.D. in environmental studies and is a regular contributor to the world’s leading website exposing the Fukushima nuclear disaster,Rense.com. He is also a contributor to Activist Post. He is a contributing editor and writer to the book: Fukushima: Dispossession or Denuclearization? (2014). His radio interviews and articles are archived at http://wilcoxrb99.wordpress.com and he can be reached by email for radio or internet podcast interviews to discuss the Fukushima crisis at wilcoxrb2013@gmail.com.    http://www.activistpost.com/2014/09/nuclear-conspiracies-and-pacific.html

September 11, 2014 Posted by | OCEANIA, oceans | Leave a comment

Largest hybrid renewable energy project unveiled in Jamaica

“World’s largest” hybrid renewable energy project unveiled in Jamaica (incl video)  Gizmag, By Stu Robarts July 18, 2014 Generating renewable electricity at home or in commercial buildings is becoming increasingly viable. WindStream Technologies has installed what it says is the world’s largest wind-solar hybrid array on an office roof in Kingston, Jamaica. The array is expected to generate over 106,000 kWh annually.

The increasing trends towards renewable and distributed energy generation are reflected by other recent “world’s largest” projects. In January, theworld’s largest solar bridge was completed in London, the world’s largest solar-thermal plant became fully operational the following month, and Jaguar finished installing the world’s largest rooftop solar array in April.

The array is expected to generate 25kW of wind power and 55kW of solar power. Windstream says it will return its investment within four years and will produce savings of around US$2 million over the course of its estimated 25-year lifespan.

MFG’s installation is a part of an effort by Jamaica’s sole energy provider, Jamaica Public Service, to make the capability for producing renewable energy more widely available. The electricity generated can either be used and stored off-grid or fed back into the grid.http://www.gizmag.com/windstream-wind-solar-hybrid-jamaica/33013/

July 19, 2014 Posted by | OCEANIA, renewable | Leave a comment

Russia’s huge nuclear waste dumps in Arctic seas

wastes-1Russia announces enormous finds of radioactive waste and nuclear reactors in Arctic seas August 28, 2012 by  Enormous quantities of decommissioned Russian nuclear reactors and radioactive waste were dumped into the Kara Sea in the Arctic Ocean north of Siberia over a course of decades, according to documents given to Norwegian officials by Russian authorities and published in Norwegian media. “…..The catalogue of waste dumped at sea by the Soviets, according to documents seen by Bellona, and which were today released by the Norwegian daily Aftenposten, includes some 17,000 containers of radioactive waste, 19 ships containing radioactive waste, 14 nuclear reactors, including five that still contain spent nuclear fuel; 735 other pieces of radiactively contaminated heavy machinery, and the K-27 nuclear submarine with its two reactors loaded with nuclear fuel.

Bellona’s two decades on the case

“Bellona has worked with this issue since 1992 when we first revealed the dangerous nuclear waste laying at the bottom of the Kara Sea,” said Bellona President Frederic Hauge.

He acknowledged, however, that a precise accounting from the Russian side could hardly be expected given Russia’s own ignorance of the extent of the dumped radioactive waste………

Making way for oil exploration

Bellona’s Igor Kurdrik, an expert on Russian naval nuclear waste, said that, “We know that the Russians have an interest in oil exploration in this area. They therefore want to know were the radioactive waste is so they can clean it up before they beging oil recovery operations.” He cautiously praised the openness of the Russian report given to Norway and that Norway would be taking part in the waste charting expedition.

Bellona thinks that Russia has passed its report to Norway as a veiled cry for help, as the exent of the problem is far too great for Moscow to handle on its own.

The most crucial find missing

Kudrik said that one of the most critical pieces of information missing from the report released to the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority was the presence of the K-27 nuclear submarine, which was scuttled in 50 meters of water with its two reactors filled with spent nuclear fuel in in Stepovogo Bay in the Kara Sea in 1981.

Information that the reactors about the K-27 could reachieve criticality and explode was released at the Bellona-Rosatom seminar in February…….http://bellona.org/news/uncategorized/2012-08-russia-announces-enormous-finds-of-radioactive-waste-and-nuclear-reactors-in-arctic-seas

 

July 2, 2014 Posted by | OCEANIA, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment

Award for Tokelau as it pioneers large solar power arrays

solar rooftop arrayTokelau Wins EECA Renewable Energy Award http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4326  29 May 14, The Pacific territory of Tokelau has been named the 2014 EECA Renewable Energy Award winner for its solar efforts.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is a New Zealand government agency that supports energy efficiency, energy conservation and the use of renewable energy in New Zealand and its Territories.

Like many island nations, Tokelau has in the past relied heavily on expensive and polluting diesel generators for electricity supply.
Thanks to the Tokelau Renewable Energy Project, three large solar panel arrays arrays are now operating on Tokelau’s three atolls, some powered by SMA inverters. The project was completed last year.

These solar farms are now providing 90% of Tokelau’s electricity needs and place it among the world’s top nations for renewably-sourced electricity. Harvesting the sun’s energy is expected to save Tokelau roughly NZD $900,000 (~ AUD $824,500) per year in diesel costs.

The Tokelau Renewable Energy Project (TREP) was a joint undertaking between the Government of Tokelau and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“Island communities such as Tokelau, with few energy alternatives, are ideal sites for solar-generated electricity,” EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill.

“This project showed immense vision and drive from the leaders and communities of Tokelau. They are showing other Pacific nations the way – as well as highlighting to the world the need for more renewable energy and less carbon-intensive fossil fuels.”

Solar power represents so much more to Tokelau than just a stable, clean electricity supply. It’s a flagship for the battle against climate change and a signal to the world.

At their highest point, the islands rise around 2 metres above sea level. Tokelau is a nation in the front-line of the effects of climate change – and it is already experiencing the effects of rising seas. It is believed Tokelau could be the first nation to disappear under the waves unless dramatic action is taken to rein in carbon emissions.

May 30, 2014 Posted by | New Zealand, OCEANIA, renewable | 1 Comment

The Marshall Islands Nuclear Zero Lawsuit deserves all our support

justiceThe Nuclear Zero Lawsuits: Who will speak for the people? http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/homeland-security/206271-the-nuclear-zero-lawsuits-who-will-speak-for-the-people#ixzz3216oOGyg  By Jody Williams and Robert Dodge, M.D. 16 May 14, The U.N. just concluded the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee with representatives from the 189 signatory nations and of civil society. The meeting was in preparation for next year’s NPT conference and to discuss the current status of fulfilling the obligations under the treaty and in particular, the mandate of the nuclear weapons states for global disarmament. The outcome was a continued foot dragging by the nuclear states motivating a demand for meaningful steps and progress toward disarmament by the other 184 nations in view of current international events.

Recent scientific studies by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War on the humanitarian consequences of limited nuclear war have shed additional light on the danger these weapons pose.  Describing a hypothetical conflict between India and Pakistan using less than ½ of 1 percent of the global nuclear arsenals, the studies confirm 2 billion people would be at risk of dying due to global climatic change.

Combined with recent scandals involving U.S. ICBM missile controllers and a growing accounting of nuclear mishaps and near misses in our nuclear forces over the years, the sense of urgency for disarmament is greater than ever. It has become a question of who will step forward and speak for humanity.

On April 24, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) filed the Nuclear Zero Lawsuits in the International Court of Justice against all nine nuclear-armed nations, as well as against the United States in U.S. Federal District Court. RMI claims that the nuclear weapon states are in breach of Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which entered into force 16,121 days prior to the filing. In this David vs. Goliath action this tiny island nation has found the voice to speak on behalf of the world and the other nations signatory to the Treaty.

The case for the Nuclear Zero Lawsuit comes directly from the NPT where Article VI states: “Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”

This was the grand bargain that convinced many non-nuclear weapon states to sign the treaty and agree not to develop nuclear weapons of their own. Forty-four years later, with no meaningful negotiations on the horizon and no end in sight to the “step-by-step” process heralded by the permanent five members of the UN Security Council (P5), the RMI has stepped in to change the discourse on nuclear disarmament.

RMI is seeking declaratory relief from the courts that will compel the leaders of the Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) to initiate good-faith negotiations for an end to the nuclear arms race and to nuclear disarmament. They are challenging the leaders of the NWS to answer, on the record, why 44 years have passed and nuclear arsenals continue to be modernized, national security strategies continue to place nuclear weapons at the top of the list, and the P5 don’t even expect to have a “Glossary of Key Nuclear Terms” to talk about nuclear disarmament until 2015.

In addition to the five Nuclear Weapon States named in the NPT, the lawsuit also includes the four nuclear weapon states that are not parties to the NPT – Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea – which, RMI argues, are bound to Article VI obligations under customary international law.

The RMI is a small sovereign nation, among the smallest in the world. However, their courage could not be greater. Having been a testing ground for 67 nuclear tests between 1946 and 1958, the Marshall Islanders have seen their land, sea and people poisoned from radiation. These tests had an equivalent explosive force greater than 1.5 Hiroshima bombs being detonated daily for 12 years.  The Marshall Islanders paid a heavy price in terms of their health and well-being for these destructive tests. They have experienced firsthand the horrible destruction caused by nuclear weapons and those that possess them. They are willing to stand up to the nine nuclear giants and say, “Never again. We have seen the destructive impact of these horrific weapons and vow to do all we can so the world never sees such atrocities again.”

The RMI does not act alone in this action. A consortium of NGOs working to highlight the legal and moral issues involved in the Nuclear Zero Lawsuit has come together around the world coordinated by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in Santa Barbara.  Respecting the courage of the plaintiff in bringing these lawsuits against some of the most powerful nations in the world they have developed a call to action.

The consortium urges everyone to join them by raising your voice in support of the Nuclear Zero Lawsuit. Go to www.nuclearzero.org, where you can read more about the lawsuits and sign the petition encouraging leaders of the Nuclear Weapon States to begin good-faith negotiations.

Williams received the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the International Committee to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and is chair of the Nobel Women’s Initiative. Dodge is a family physician on the Board of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles. PSR is the U.S. affiliate of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War – recipient of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize. 

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/homeland-security/206271-the-nuclear-zero-lawsuits-who-will-speak-for-the-people#ixzz3216oOGyg

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May 17, 2014 Posted by | Legal, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

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