The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Renewable energy in Pacific Islands – promoted by New Zealand and European Union

New Zealand, EU push ahead with renewable energy initiatives in Pacific Apr 22,2014 WELLINGTON, (Xinhua) — A joint New Zealand-European Union (EU) mission will tour four Pacific island countries this week to assess progress on renewable energy projects, New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully announced Tuesday.

 The tour follows up on the Pacific Energy Summit in New Zealand in March last year and the launch of the European Union-New Zealand Energy Access Partnership to fund renewable energy projects in the region.   The summit’s aim was to move Pacific nations closer to achieving 50 percent of their electricity from renewable means and 635 million NZ dollars (545.02 million U.S. dollars) was secured for Pacific energy projects.

“This mission is an opportunity to see the progress being made on renewable energy initiatives in Samoa, Tuvalu, Kiribati, and the Cook Islands, and to meet with the Pacific governments and organizations to discuss opportunities for further cooperation,” McCully said in a statement. “Representatives from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the International Renewable Energy Agency are also joining the mission to gain further insight into the potential for sustainable energy across the Pacific,” he said.

“Renewable energy is a strong focus of our support to developing countries and we are committed to working with partners like the European Union to deliver clean, safe and reliable energy projects.”

European Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, who will accompany McCully on the mission, said the EU projects included solar panels installed to renewable provide electricity in Apia, extending the availability of reliable electricity with solar panels for Tuvalu’ s outer islands, and agreeing with the Asian Development Bank to construct six photovoltaic power plants in the Cook Islands.

In Kiribati, Piebalgs would also launch a barge that would protect Tarawa’s beaches from silt build-up and open a laboratory dedicated to monitoring and responding to environmental diseases.

Both projects were necessary to mitigate the effects of climate change in Kiribati, Piebalgs said in a statement.

April 23, 2014 Posted by | New Zealand, OCEANIA, renewable | Leave a comment

Migratory birds could be picking up Fukushima’s radioactive cesium

Birds Could Be Flying Japan Radiation Around Pacific Rim 4, 2014 MigMig  Mi

Migratory seabirds that spend part of the year around New Zealand after flying in from Japan’s coastal waters are being checked for contamination from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.


A study by the University of Auckland is investigating whether radioactive cesium has entered the New Zealand ecosystem or food chain via the shearwaters, known in New Zealand as muttonbirds. Physicist David Krofcheck told NZ Newswire that the “detection of gamma rays would tell us whether the birds spend sufficient time near Fukushima to accumulate cesium-134 from nuclear fission.”

Vast amounts of contaminated water from the meltdown-plagued Fukushima Daiichi plant have poured into the Pacific since the disaster began in March 2011. Fish have since been measured with unsafe levels of nuclear contamination. Because the shearwaters feed on seafood, it is feared the long-haul birds could be carrying radioactive debris for many thousands of miles around the Pacific Rim.

April 9, 2014 Posted by | environment, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Renewable energy help to climate-change affected States – from UAE

During the campaign we saw the impacts of climate change. We know those islands are among the most vulnerable to climate change.”The desire to more effectively conduct projects in the Pacific was also the reason the UAE signed the partnership arrangement with the New Zealand ministry of foreign affairs and trade.

Renewable energy projects key to UAE’s diplomatic efforts  26 Jan 14 ABU DHABI // Renewable-energy projects are now a mainstay of diplomatic efforts with developing nations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says.

At Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week last week, technology partnerships were signed with New Zealand and Denmark, and plans announced to give US$20 million (Dh73.4m) in aid to Pacific Island states.
Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, director of energy and climate change at the ministry, said clean energy had been identified as a major area of focus for UAE diplomacy. Dr Al Zeyoudi said the money would go to Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Continue reading

January 27, 2014 Posted by | climate change, New Zealand, OCEANIA, renewable | Leave a comment

Criminality of atomic bomb testing in Marshall Islands

U.S. Human Radiation Experiments Covered Up by Public Broadcasting Op Ed News, By William Boardman — Reader Supported News 10 Jan 14 ”……..director  [of film Nobles Savages] Adam Horowitz has been angry about American treatment of the Marshall Islands for a long time. In late 2013 he told a reporter the U.S. “destroyed an entire country that we were not at war with, that we were at peace with. Not only did they blow up all these islands, but they purposely contaminated all these people as human experiments. It’s a very unknown story here.”


The story was classified top secret until the 1990s, when the Clinton administration declassified documents related to nuclear testing that including previously unknown information on the Project 4.1 program to use Pacific Islanders as human guinea pigs for assessing the impact of ionizing radiation. Even the official historian of U.C. nuclear testing, Barton Hacker, who tries to minimize the criminality of Project 4.1, ended up writing in 1994 that an “unfortunate choice of terminology may help explain later charges that the AEC [Atomic Energy Commission] had deliberately exposed the Marshallese to observe the effects. Like the American radium dial painters of the 1920s and the Japanese of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the Marshallese of 1954 inadvertently were to provide otherwise  unobtainable data on the human consequences of high radiation exposures.”  Continue reading

January 11, 2014 Posted by | OCEANIA, secrets,lies and civil liberties, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Public questioning about relicensing of Seabrook Nuclear Station – no satisfactory answers

questionCritics slam nuclear plant at NRC hearing,         Seacoastonline  Relicensing of facility opposed By Nick B. Reid December 20, 2013 HAMPTON — More than 20 members of the public criticized Seabrook Station’s application for relicensing Wednesday at a public hearing before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission…..

 the public was given a chance to address the regional NRC group……..Several public comments went as far as recommending the plant be closed immediately. No one spoke in favor of the NRC granting an extended license anytime soon.

Doug Bogen, executive director of the Exeter-based Seacoast Anti-Pollution League, encouraged the NRC to think long range, noting that no nuclear power plant in the country has operated more than 43 years. He said it was “premature” to even consider relicensing the plant nearly 20 years before its current license expires, adding, “It doesn’t pass the credibility test to assume you can project 20, 30, 40 years into the future,” ……

After the comment period ran overtime by more than 40 minutes, the session was cut short, with 20 percent of those signed up to speak left without a chance to voice their opinions. The crowd at the Best Western Plus in downtown Hampton numbered more than 100 in the early going of the four-hour meeting.

The eight-member panel of NRC representatives, which included David Lew, the federal agencies deputy regional administrator, heard the concerns expressed by the audience and in some cases agreed with issues brought up by scientists in the crowd……

December 21, 2013 Posted by | Legal, OCEANIA, USA | Leave a comment

Solomon Islanders facing the prospect of climate change caused evacuations

Climate-threatened Solomon Islanders prepare for evacuation,, Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation – Mon, 25 Nov 2013  Catherine Wilson AUKI, MALAITA PROVINCE, Solomon Islands – In the Solomon Islands, where the sea level rise of 8 millimetres per year is almost three times the global average, survival of communities on the low-lying atoll of Ontong Java is already threatened.

But identifying a new home for those who are eventually displaced will be difficult, even in this sprawling nation of more than 900 islands located northwest of Fiji, in the southwest Pacific region.  “The number one obstacle will be access to land,” said Hudson Kauhiona, deputy director of the government’s climate change division, in the capital, Honiara. “It is going to be a very big challenge when moving people.”…….

Resettlement is the last option for atoll communities impacted by climate change.  But the situation is becoming critical as the encroaching sea erodes Ontong Java, which is an average of 2-3 metres (6-10 feet) above sea level and has just 12 square kilometres (4.6 square miles) of land area.

Adaptation activities, including an atoll agriculture project and installation of rainwater tanks to provide salt-free drinking water, are currently being implemented by the Anglican Church of Melanesia’s mission programme………

The Solomon Islands is not only on the frontline of climate change, but also a pioneer in developing new strategies to deal with climate-related displacement. The European Union is currently assisting the Solomon Islands government in developing its first climate change relocation policy, which is expected to be finalised by the end of 2014.

“According to scientific projections, the climate change situation is not going to get better,” Kauhiona said. “Cases such as Ontong Java, where people have to move to other islands, will only increase. So we might as well put ourselves in a better position now, rather than in 30 or 50 years time when things are happening and we aren’t prepared.” According to the Pacific Climate Change Science Program, ocean acidification, extreme rainfall and temperatures will steadily increase in the Solomon Islands, while the sea could rise by up to 15 centimetres (6 inches) by 2030. Looking ahead is vital given that an estimated 1.7 million people in the Pacific Islands could be displaced due to climate change by mid-century, programme officials say.Catherine Wilson is a journalist based in Sydney, Australia.

November 26, 2013 Posted by | climate change, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Climate change and the significance of Pacific Ocean’s tiny islands

Tiny islands with big climate change problems Tiny island states that speck the vast swathe of the Pacific Ocean have a far greater importance in understanding global climate change than their tiny populations would suggest. This was the message given to delegates during a side event of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 19th annual meeting in Warsaw today

The delegates from Fiji and Samoa believe their nations do not get the support they need to conduct vital climate observations in the region.

“In terms of climate change, up to 90 per cent of heat is absorbed by oceans, so understanding how the oceans behave is critical to understanding how the atmosphere will change,” says Neville Koop, a climatology advisor with the Samoan delegation.

Considering the huge marine areas that Pacific nations cover — Kiribati consists of 800 square kilometres of coral atolls spread over an area half the size of Europe — the poor observational capacity of island states creates a large gap in the global climate data set, he says.

Better oceanic and high altitude measurements, as well as more rudimentary metrics such as rainfall and atmospheric pressure are vital for producing more accurate climate models, Koop adds.

Furthermore, as the birthplace of the El Niño Southern Oscillation weather system that periodically warms the waters of the Pacific Ocean, this patch of ocean influences climates across Asia, Africa and the Americas, and so accurate observations are necessary to predict future changes, he says.

But with populations often in the tens of thousands, these states’ meteorological agencies can never hope to fulfill this vital task alone, Koop says.

Some governments, such as the United Kingdom’s, are already working to increase the observational capacity in the Pacific, but a concerted international effort is needed to fully plug the data gaps, he says.

November 15, 2013 Posted by | climate change, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Philippines delegate at UN climate talks pleads for action


(Also, as pointed out previously – it’s lucky that the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was never fully activated. )

“It’s time to stop this madness” – Philippines plea at UN climate talks  RTCC 11 November 2013,   Yeb Sano tells UN summit in Warsaw “colossal devastation” from Typhoon Haiyan should serve as warning to planet Philippines lead negotiator Yeb Sano has just addressed the opening session of the UN climate summit in Warsaw – calling for urgent action to prevent a repeat of the devastating storm that hit parts of his country at the weekend. A full transcript of his speech is below………

The science has given us a picture that has become much more in focus. The IPCC report on climate change and extreme events underscored the risks associated with changes in the patterns as well as frequency of extreme weather events. Science tells us that simply, climate change will mean more intense tropical storms. As the Earth warms up, that would include the oceans. The energy that is stored in the waters off the Philippines will increase the intensity of typhoons and the trend we now see is that more destructive storms will be the new norm.

This will have profound implications on many of our communities, especially who struggle against the twin challenges of the development crisis and the climate change crisis. Typhoons such as Yolanda (Haiyan) and its impacts represent a sobering reminder to the international community that we cannot afford to procrastinate on climate action. Warsaw must deliver on enhancing ambition and should muster the political will to address climate change…..

What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness. The climate crisis is madness. ……….  :

November 13, 2013 Posted by | climate change, Philippines | Leave a comment

Call to France to end secrecy about the state of Mururoa Atoll

Mururoa-test-1971Paris Urged To Release Information On Moruroa Atoll
French Polynesia Greens want to know about risks of collapse WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 24, 2013) – The Greens in French Polynesia are urging Paris to give information about the risks of Moruroa atoll collapsing.

The former nuclear weapons test site is a no-go zone, which France has kept despite promising to return it to French Polynesia after the end of the testing regime in 1996.

France is refusing access to independent monitors while saying the chance of a collapse is practically nil.

A spokesperson for the Greens in Tahiti, Olivier Champion, says France has a record of lying about the tests and their effects, and many fear a Fukushima-like disaster is possible.”Transparency, of course, and another thing, a plan what to do in case of… if the reef barrier of Moruroa and Fangataufa is collapsing, what is the plan? What can we do? How can we react?”

Olivier Champion says the chain of command via France is so long that a possible tsunami would hit nearby atolls before a local warning is issued.

He says nuclear contamination could imperil the livelihood of vast areas of the Pacific. Radio New Zealand International:

October 26, 2013 Posted by | OCEANIA, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Top nuclear disarmament award goes to New Zealand

NZ’s nuclear-free legislation wins top disarmament award, Scoop, 24 October 2013,  World Future CouncilNew Zealand’s ground-breaking nuclear-free legislation wins top disarmament award

Hamburg/Geneva/New York – 23 October 2013: In 1987, against the backdrop of rising Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, New Zealand passed its ground-breaking Nuclear-Free Act, which banned nuclear weapons and meant US nuclear-armed and nuclear-powered ships were no longer allowed in New Zealand ports.

Today, more than 25 years later, the policy has been announced by the World Future Council as winner of the Silver Future Policy Award. This year’s award seeks to highlight disarmament policies that contribute to the achievement of peace, sustainable development and human security. This evening, a formal awards ceremony will be convened at UN Headquarters……

New Zealand’s policy started as a radical and utopian gesture, and has become part of our national identity – our DNA,” says New Zealander Alyn Ware, winner of the 2009 Right Livelihood Award for his work on nuclear disarmament, and a participant in the Future Policy Award ceremony at the United Nations on 23 October. “It inspires other countries, and empowers us kiwis to take nuclear abolition global.’

The Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco) won the 2013 Future Policy Gold Award, while Argentina’s “National Programme for the Voluntary Surrender of Firearms” also received Silver. Four additional disarmament policies from Belgium, Costa Rica, Mongolia and Mozambique/South Africa were recognized as Honourable Mentions.

The Future Policy Award is the only award that honours policies rather than people on an international level. The World Future Council convened this year’s Award in partnership with the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).


October 25, 2013 Posted by | New Zealand, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Only nuclear-free Chinese ships to enter New Zealand ports

China assures ships are nuclear free New Zealand Herald, By Audrey Young @audreyNZH Oct 11, 2013 China has given a guarantee to the Government that its three ships visiting Auckland today comply with New Zealand anti-nuclear law, Prime Minister John Key says.

He said he signed off the paper work – required under New Zealand’s anti nuclear legislation – a week or 10 days ago that says he is satisified it complies.

He also reiterated that the United States would be welcome if its ships met the criteria of being neither nuclear powered or armed.

A Chinese destroyer, a frigate and a supply ship are due to arrive in Auckland today……..

The United States policy has long had a policy of neither confirming nor denying nuclear weaponry or capability and China’s willingness to vouch for its ships is in stark contrast.

New Zealand’s anti-nuclear policy first promoted by the Labour Government in 1984 eventually led to a suspension of the Anzus security alliance that New Zealand had with the United States and Australia.

October 11, 2013 Posted by | China, New Zealand, politics international | Leave a comment

Mururoa’s atomic test victims neglected by France

Fritch Wants To Revisit Moruroa Nuclear Testing Issues Pacific Islands Report  Territorial assembly president: compensation laws don’t work WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 8, 2013) – The president of French Polynesia’s territorial assembly says the 2010 French nuclear test compensation law is not working, echoing the findings of a fresh French senate report on the issue.

Speaking on local television, Edouard Fritch says the issue needs to be revisited because too few people claiming to have suffered poor health and seeking compensation have their application recognised.

Mr. Fritch says the president, Gaston Flosse, turned to the French president, Francois Hollande, last week to point to the territory’s difficulties in dealing with cancer sufferers.

He says at the time of the weapons tests, the French Polynesian leaders like him and Mr. Flosse were assured by France that the tests were clean, but he says now they know that they were mistaken.

Last week, Mr. Flosse visited the Moruroa test site and said he was assured there was no problem with radioactivity nor any risk of the atoll collapsing.

Radio New Zealand International:

October 10, 2013 Posted by | health, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Pacific Islands Forum supports Marshall Islanders call for justice about climate change, and nuclear bomb tests

VIDEO Marshall Islands gains Pacific Islands Forum support for US nuclear legacy By Pacific correspondent Sean Dorney  6 Sep 2013,  The annual Pacific Islands Forum has wrapped up in the Marshall Islands with relations between the host nation and two of its largest aid donors, the US and Taiwan, under some strain.

Along with keynote support for the Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership which commits the countries to increasing their efforts to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions by turning to alternative, sustainable energy resources, the US announced a new aid injection for the region.

“We’re announcing today a new Pacific American Climate Fund that’s going to be administered through the USAid where support will be provided to the Small Island Developing States with a focus on adaptation,” said Sally Jewell, the United States Secretary for the Interior. Meanwhile, the official forum communique stated its support for the Marshall Islands in its dispute with the United States over more compensation for nuclear contamination.

In a joint news conference with the US interior secretary, Marshall Islands’ President Christopher Loeak restated the sensitivities around the issue.

“The Republic of the Marshall Islands and the United States have a unique and deep friendship even though we may have our differences including on high sensitive, highly sensitive issues,” he said.

So highly sensitive, the interior secretary referred the nuclear contamination issue to the US Ambassador to the Marshall Islands, Tom Armbruster……..

September 7, 2013 Posted by | climate change, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Nuclear Free Pacific – a call from Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC)

pray-radPacific Church Body Pushes For Nuclear-Free Region Call comes as Japan reveals nuclear waste leaking into Pacific WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 8, 2013) – The Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) says regional leaders must urgently revive calls for a nuclear-free Pacific.

The PCC call comes amid revelations by the Japanese government that radioactive waste from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has been leaking into the Pacific Ocean for two years.

The PCC’s general secretary, the Reverend Francois Pihaatae, says Pacific churches have for nearly four decades consistently called for a nuclear-free Pacific and they renew this call today.

He says Japan has a moral responsibility to keep the region informed of what is happening with the waste and what is being done to contain the seepage.

The Reverend Pihaatae, who is from French Polynesia, draws parallels with the French territory’s failure to properly deal with the impact of nuclear tests there.

“That issue has not been really been taken seriously by our local government, but the impacts and the damage that the nuclear waste will do upon our people in the Pacific, because it is leaking and it will be spreading all over our ocean.”  Radio New Zealand International:

August 10, 2013 Posted by | OCEANIA, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

UK secrecy on nuclear veterans’ radiatiom in order to protect nuclear industry

the MoD’s position is further evidence of a “cover-up” to protect the civilian nuclear industry.

radiation-warningflag-UKflag-New-ZealandFife nuclear veteran denied information on radiation The Courier UK, By Michael Alexander, 30 July 2013   A Christmas Island veteran from Fife has been denied access to information about the levels of radiation received by New Zealand research ships during nuclear testing in the 1950s because it “may harm international relations” between the UK and New Zealand.

Dave Whyte, 76, of Kirkcaldy, recently placed a freedom of information question on the level of radiation the New Zealand Royal Naval ships Pukaki and Rotoiti received whilst patrolling Christmas Island during the British nuclear tests.

A scientific study carried out for the New Zealand Nuclear Test Veterans Association in 2007 concluded that the crews of these ships received three times the normal level of “chromosomal translocation”, leading to long term genetic damage.

However, the Ministry of Defence has now told him that while it does hold the exposure information, it is to be withheld because the request “requires consultation with a foreign government and disclosure would prejudice international relations”. Continue reading

August 2, 2013 Posted by | New Zealand, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment


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