New Zealand, EU push ahead with renewable energy initiatives in Pacific http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.aspx?id=213961 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.
“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 http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/renewable-energy-projects-key-to-uaes-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
NZ’s nuclear-free legislation wins top disarmament award, Scoop, 24 October 2013, World Future Council, New 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). http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1310/S00241/nzs-nuclear-free-legislation-wins-top-disarmament-award.htm
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. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11138519
the MoD’s position is further evidence of a “cover-up” to protect the civilian nuclear industry.
Fife 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
In April 2006, the Herald reported Dr Rowland saying a small but statistically significant level of genetic damage had been found.
“Taking all confounding factors [like smoking, alcohol and medical x-rays] into account, we are left with only one other interpretation of what it is about this group that’s different to the control group: they went to Operation Grapple.”
His work on chromosome damage – the first step in the formation of cancer – gave hope of compensation to thousands of men from Britain, Australia, Fiji and New Zealand.
The research was commissioned by Nuclear Test Veterans’ Association chairman Roy Sefton, who sought Government acknowledgment that men were harmed in their teens and had no choice on whether they went to Mururoa.
Tony Cox, who was on HMNZS Otago and heads the Rimpac veterans’ rights organisations, said an attempt was being made to convert Dr Rowland’s findings to apply to the Mururoa veterans.
“Just because the Government did not accept the Rowland study does not mean that it can’t come up for a review.”
Mr Cox said he had cancer of a type that was contracted only through exposure to ionised radiation…
Mururoa – our darker legacy New Zealand Herald By Wayne Thompson Jul 19, 2013 A band of men who “drove the taxis” – the naval frigates carrying the official New Zealand protesters against French nuclear testing in the air of the Pacific Ocean – will be in a sombre and angry mood at their 40th anniversary reunion in Tauranga tomorrow.
“Our feeling in 1973 was there was one protester, Government minister Fraser Colman,” said one of the former crew members of HMNZS Canterbury, Wayne O’Donnell.
“We were there just to keep the ship going and do what we were employed to do.
“By the time the blast was observed we were glad to head home.
“We did not expect any major radiation fallout, which has been proven wrong.” Continue reading
Mururoa fallout worse than first thought http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/south-pacific/8872214/Mururoa-fallout-worse-than-first-thought 3 July 13 MICHAEL FIELD Newly declassified French military documents have revealed that nuclear tests at Mururoa Atoll were far more deadly than has previously been admitted with plutonium fallout at much higher levels and over wider areas.
The documents cover the 46 atmospheric nuclear tests conducted at Mururoa and Fangataufa in French Polynesia between 1966 and 1974 and reveal that warships near the tests were hit by higher levels of radioactivity than known.
A New Zealand Labour Government in 1973 sent two warships, HMNZS Canterbury and HMNZS Otago, to monitor the Mururoa tests. It was not believed, at the time, that they may have received nuclear dusting but these new documents reveal there were much higher levels of radiation than were known.
A 1974 test, code named Centaur, dumped 500 times the maximum allowed level of plutonium fallout on Tahiti, 1250 kilometres away, the documents show.
There were also 140 more incidents of nuclear fallout above the 209 incidents already known. Tahiti, home to around 178,000 people, was hit 37 times by fallout. Continue reading
Flashback: When David stood up to Goliath stuff.co New Zealand, 9 Feb 13, The Dominion Post, TOM HUNT ”,,,,,It may have soured our relationship with Washington and provided a dramatic end to a paradisiacal trip to Tokelau, but it certainly set Lange up as New Zealand’s David versus America’s Goliath.
February 4, 1985 was the day the New Zealand Government backed overwhelming public anti-nuclear sentiment and effectively became officially nuclear free – even if legislation was still two years away.
”I felt so proud,” long-standing anti-nuclear protester Barney Richards said this week.
”We stood up against the most powerful nation in the world. And we had a major victory.”
He remembers a reporter travelling all the way from Britain ”to see for himself the little country that snubbed its nose to the world”. Continue reading
No backdown on nuclear-free NZ: Key Herald Sun AAP September 24, 2012 NEW Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key is promising there will be no backdown on the country’s nuclear-free status as part of renewedco-operation with the United States.
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta visited New Zealand last week, and raised the possibility of having US troops based here…… During his visit, Mr Panetta announced New Zealand navy vessels will be able visit Defence Department and Coastguard facilities in the US and around the world.
Mr Key has also invited a US Coastguard vessel to visit New Zealand - as long as it’s not nuclear-powered.
“There’ll be no change to New Zealand’s anti-nuclear legislation, no change to the provisions about boats that would come to New Zealand,” he told TVNZ’s Breakfast…… http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/no-backdown-on-nuclear-free-nz-key/story-e6frf7k6-1226479988638
Radiation tests for monster bluefin tuna Weekly Times, September 7, 2012 SCIENTISTS are to test a monster bluefin tuna caught off New Zealand to see if it carries radioactivity from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant.
The 275kg tuna was caught by Victorian fisherman Paul Worsteling50km off the coast of Greymouth.
Mr Worsteling said he waited more than 30 hours to hook the fish, then another two hours to haul it on board.
This came after a year planning the trip to hook the fish.He said he was “blown away” when he saw the tuna, which took five men to haul aboard the boat.
The fish will now be tested for radiation to determine if it has been affected by the Fukushima reactor meltdown in Japan.
The waters around Japan are a spawning ground for bluefin tuna. Mr Wosterling, from the Mornington Peninsula, said the fish would be worth more than $700,000 in Japan, but as an amateur fisherman he couldn’t sell it….
Nuclear material on stolen ute TVNZ July 21, 2012 Police fear radioactive material could be released from a nuclear density metre on a utility stolen in Christchurch. Continue reading
Her first-hand experiences and those of her fellow protesters feature in an anti-nuclear exhibition called Blast! Pat Hanly – The Painter and His Protests, on now at the Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum….. Blast! is a travelling exhibition featuring the paintings
of anti-nuclear artist Pat Hanly and his wife Gil Hanly’s photographs.
Memories of anti-nuclear era Western Leader, Auckland NZ NICOLA MURPHY 19 July 12, PEACE PROTESTER: Jody Lusk doesn’t regret participating in New Zealand’s anti-nuclear protests, despite getting injured after attacks by French police. Continue reading
Kiwi soldiers tested for uranium poisoning, TVNZ June 25, 2012 Soldiers returning from Afghanistan are having urine tests to check if they have absorbed radioactivity from American depleted uranium munitions…. The issue will come before Parliament on Wednesday during the first reading of the Depleted Uranium (Prohibition) Bill, backed by Labour MP Phil Twyford. Continue reading
Wellington: 30 years proudly nuclear-free Capital was a benchmark for other cities The Dominion Post, MICHAEL FORBES 14/04/2012 Wellington became a benchmark for others. By the end of 1984, 40 local authorities had nuclear-free policies and by 1988, 72 per cent of the population was living in 105 locally declared nuclear-weapon-free zones.
“The declaration had repercussions way beyond anything I anticipated at the time,” Ms Ritchie says. “I’m pleased that it has stood the test of time. To have it stop at Wellington would have been insufficient.”
To even be able to put such a motion before council was a privilege, Ms Ritchie says; in today’s climate of local government being told to keep their nose out of non-essential matters, it probably would not have happened.
“It was in the days when we could actually do this sort of thing politically, which was great. We could move a motion that was not related to rubbish, rates or drains. Not even related to the agenda. Now, you can’t do that.”….. http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/6743621/Wellington-30-years-proudly-nuclear-free
The way in which radiation workers are monitored is set to change with the introduction of a new and very different type of dosimeter that has just been approved for legal use in New Zealand.
Instead of waiting months for information about a possible exposure, radiation workers can now plug their dosimeter directly into a USB port of an Internet-connected Windows or Maccomputer and get an instant readout of any dose received.
Exposure information now available for radiation workers http://www.voxy.co.nz/business/exposure-information-now-available-radiation-workers/5/120503, 13 April, 2012 - We tend to think of New Zealand as nuclear-free but the reality is quite different. Radioactive material produced in nuclear reactors in other parts of the world is imported into the country on a near daily basis and thousands of x-ray generations are at work up and down the country. X-rays, gamma rays and radiopharmaceuticals are used extensively in human and animal health and radioactive sources are deployed in a plethora of industrial and research applications.
Human senses cannot detect the presence of ionising radiation and over time the cumulative effects of undetected radiation exposure become a threat to health. This is of particular significance for the thousands of workers whose occupation brings them into close and frequent contact with sources of ionising radiation. Continue reading
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