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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Australia breaks international Treaty, in selling uranium to India

India-uranium1Seen from the perspective of adherence to non-proliferation norms and commitments If Australia exports uranium to India, Australia would violate its obligations of the Treaty of Rarotonga, which binds it from not indulging in such trade. Article 4 of the Rarotonga Treaty requires India to comply with safeguards requirements of Article III(1) of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Article III(1) of the NPT is about reaching a comprehensive safeguards agreement with IAEA. Instead, India has only acknowledged safeguards on certain foreign-supplied reactors and facilities. India’s safeguards agreement is based upon the IAEA’s ‘facility specific’ safeguards.

Australian uranium sale to India will be subjected to weak monitoring safeguards or ‘facility specific’ of IAEA, contrary to nuclear deals Australia has with other countries

AUSTRALIAN PROSPECTIVE NUCLEAR TRADE WITH INDIA – THE CONTROVERSYhttp://www.eurasiareview.com/21082014-australian-prospective-nuclear-trade-india-controversy/AUGUST 21, 2014   BY 

 Australia is expected to sign a civil nuclear agreement with India during the visit of Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott early next month. Negotiations have been concluded to smooth the path for uranium imports from Australia. The news came out when hundreds of thousands of Indian men and women have protested against the expanding nuclear industry.

These protests have been a regular feature in Koodankulam (Tamil Nadu), Jaitapur (Maharashtra) and Gorakhpur (Haryana) and at least five activists have lost their lives since 2010 in their struggle against the Indian government’s decision without taking the affected parties on board. Radioactive waste from uranium mining in the country’s east is reportedly affecting adjacent communities. Thousands of Indians suffer from the effects of uranium mining as related to poor technical and management practices.

Australia controls the planet’s largest known uranium reserves. Uranium is a controversial and debatable subject in Canberra, because it can be used both for civil and military purposes. Australia had previously cancelled plans to sell uranium to India as it is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but it was Indo- US nuclear deal which paved the way for the ban’s lifting.

The move of lifting the ban came despite a parliamentary report on nuclear safety regulation in India had emphasized grave nuclear safety concerns and organizational flaws comparable international norms. India’s auditor general in this report has designated the country’s nuclear industry as insecure, disordered and in many cases, unregulated. The report underlined the fact that there is no national policy on nuclear and radiation safety after almost 30 years and is not much ardent to adopt world standards and best practices.

It is an unpredictable and unjustified security situation into which Australia is selling uranium. Australian government’s idea to sell uranium to India was strongly criticized by the Australians but the government seems inclined to disregard it. Analysts in Australia are opposing the Uranium sale without preconditions and any meaningful concessions from India, like Indian ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and stopping the production of nuclear bomb making material.

Seen from the perspective of adherence to non-proliferation norms and commitments If Australia exports uranium to India, Australia would violate its obligations of the Treaty of Rarotonga, which binds it from not indulging in such trade. Article 4 of the Rarotonga Treaty requires India to comply with safeguards requirements of Article III(1) of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Article III(1) of the NPT is about reaching a comprehensive safeguards agreement with IAEA. Instead, India has only acknowledged safeguards on certain foreign-supplied reactors and facilities. India’s safeguards agreement is based upon the IAEA’s ‘facility specific’ safeguards.

Australian uranium sale to India will be subjected to weak monitoring safeguards or ‘facility specific’ of IAEA, contrary to nuclear deals Australia has with other countries.Andrew Davies from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute highlighted IAEA’s inability to screen exactly where uranium sent to India from Australia if comprehensive monitoring safeguards are not applied. “For example, if 100 tones go into a civilian nuclear program and 90 tons of products come out, they don’t know where the missing product was diverted from,” he convincingly argues.

A defense research group, IHS Jane’s has revealed that India is increasing its uranium facility that could support the expansion of nuclear weapons. India is trying to buy foreign sources of uranium so she can use its domestic reserves for a nuclear arms race with Pakistan. India is expanding its nuclear power programme to use its own uranium for the production of more nuclear weapons. Adding Australian uranium into India’s energy mix would have serious fall outs on prevailing strained relations between India and its nuclear-armed neighbors. Can Australia trust India to not use Australian uranium for weapons manufacture?

Non-proliferation is a top agenda item when it comes to Pakistan, Iran or North Korea, but it is an inoperable standard when it is India or Israel. The commencement of nuclear trade with India – first by Washington in 2008 and currently by Canberra – has immense repercussions. It will profoundly upset the proliferation equation for other countries in the region. India-Australia nuclear deal will aggravate India-Pakistan nuclear rivalry and exacerbate Pakistan’s security dilemma. Both countries have nuclear weapons, so this commitment by Aussies will no doubt intensify the India-Pakistan tensions. Nuclear trade with India will profoundly upset strategic stability of the South Asian region.

August 22, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international | Leave a comment

Australia now seen by China as a military threat – due to pact with USA

China Declares Australia a Military Threat Over US Pact http://www.therealnewsmatters.com/2014/08/china-declares-australia-military.html By Joshua Philipp, Epoch Times , 17 Aug 14  China’s state-run media have declared Australia a threat to its national security, after Australia finalized a 25-year military pact with the United States.

The United States currently has 1,200 troops from the Marine Corps and Air Force training with Australian troops for humanitarian and disaster relief. The defense agreement will increase the number of U.S. troops at Darwin in northern Australia to 2,500.

The Chinese regime is none too pleased about the agreement, however.

Li Jie, rear admiral of China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy, told Want China Times that Australia could pressure China’s supply lines in the Strait of Malacca in a conflict over the South China Sea.

“Australia is therefore likely to become a threat to China’s national security,” it states.

Global Times reported that if a war broke out between China and Vietnam or the Philippines, the United States could deploy submarines and aircraft from Australia….
http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/877760-china-declares-australia-a-military-threat-over-u-s-pact/

August 18, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international | Leave a comment

Fukushima children having an holiday in Australia

Fukushima children visit Australia A group of Japanese schoolchildren affected by the Fukushima Nuclear disaster has travelled to Australia this week, as part of a trip organised by charity project.   By  Helen Isbister    World News Radio 1 AUG 2014 A group of Japanese schoolchildren affected by the Fukushima Nuclear disaster has travelled to Australia this week, as part of a trip organised by charity project.

The Rainbow Stay Project is designed to give the children a chance to do things they can no longer do at home, due to the fear of radiation poisoning……..The group of children, aged between ten and sixteen, are here on a charity-sponsored trip.

It is world away from the ongoing fear of radiation which affects their daily lives back home………..

Kazuki says the threat of radiation still affects her life in many ways.

“I was really sad because everything was polluted by radioactive material. I couldn’t swim in the sea anymore and my mum told me to stay inside and not touch the soil.”

There have been several trips like this since 2011, thanks to a Japanese woman living in Sydney.

Yukiko Hirano set up a Rainbow Stay Project with the aim of giving the children new hope.

” I tried to invite the Fukushima children to come over to Sydney. Beautiful environment, and no fear of radiation earthquake. They can enjoy entire holiday, without fearing those kind of things.”……..Andrew Vickers is from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union which helped make the trip a reality.

“They can’t eat fish from the sea, they can’t pick up plants and flowers, they can’t touch any wild animals for fear of further radiation poisoning – so it’s not just coming to another country, it’s a totally new experience” http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/08/01/fukushima-children-visit-australia

August 2, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, social effects | Leave a comment

Australia’s much hyped Silex uranium enrichment technology bites the dust

thumbs-down

GLE suspends Silex laser treatment of uranium as market bites, Optics.org Matthew Peach
29 Jul 2014
Focus switches to reduced US program after Japanese shutdown narrows market; Silex hopes for resumption when conditions pick up. Silex Systems, an Australian high-tech company developing energy and materials technologies, has announced that the Licensee for Silex’s Uranium Enrichment Technology,GE-Hitachi Global Laser Enrichment, is reducing its funding and commercialisation program of the laser treatment technology in response to “current adverse market conditions” – with the result that related operations in Australia are stopping.
GLE will consolidate its efforts on the technology development activities to its Wilmington facility in North Carolina, USA. The Silex annoncement said, “most contractor-based work on the project will be suspended, with the project facility near Oak Ridge, Tennessee to be placed in a safe storage mode, and GLE-funded activities at the laser development facility at Lucas Heights, Sydney, to cease.”………
Dr Michael Goldsworthy, Silex CEO and Managing Director, said, “the global nuclear industry is still suffering the impacts of the Fukushima event and the shutdown of the entire Japanese nuclear power plant fleet in 2011. Demand for uranium has been slower to recover than expected and enrichment services are in significant oversupply.”……..
Media speculationJust two days before the GLE announcement, Australian daily newspaper the Sydney Morning Herald suggested that “With a share price down 65 per cent in the past year, [Silex] is one of the best intelligent speculations on the ASX (Australian Stock Exchange)”, adding, “The enrichment market is expected to be worth US$10 billion by 2019.”http://optics.org/news/5/7/48

July 30, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, business and costs, Uranium | Leave a comment

Global warming bringing extreme weather to Australia – droughts and floods

Abbott-fiddling-global-warmAustralia’s drought – yes, it’s climate change http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/2483139/australias_drought_yes_its_climate_change.html Tim Radford 18th July 2014 Australia’s prime minister thinks climate change is ‘crap’ and has just abolished his country’s carbon-pricing system. But scientists say that it’s rising levels of CO2 that are leaving the south of the country parched and sweltering – and it’s only going to get worse.

American scientists have just confirmed that parts of Australia are being slowly parched because of greenhouse gas emissions.

A report in Nature Geoscience shows that the long-term decline in rainfall over south and south-west Australia is a consequence of fossil fuel burning and depletion of the ozone layer by human activity. Such a finding is significant for two reasons. One remains contentious: it is one thing to make generalised predictions about the consequences overall of greenhouse gas levels, but it is quite another to pin a measured regional climatic shift directly on human causes, rather than some possible as-yet-unidentified natural cycle of climatic change.

The other is contentiously political.

Australia’s prime minister, Tony Abbott, has in the past dismissed climate science as “crap”, and more recently has cut back on Australian research spending.

Bush fires and catastrophic flooding

Australia has already experienced a pattern of heat waves and drought – punctuated by catastrophic flooding – and even now, in the Australian winter, New South Wales is being hit by bush fires.

Tom Delworth, a research scientist at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, reports in Nature Geoscience that he and a colleague conducted a series of long-term climate simulations to study changes in rainfall across the globe.

One striking pattern of change emerged in Australia, where winter and autumn rainfall patterns are increasingly a cause of distress for farmers and growers in two states.

The simulation showed that the decline in rainfall was primarily a response to man-made increases in greenhouse gases, as well as to a thinning of the stratospheric ozone layer in response to emissions of destructive gases by human sources.

The computer simulations tested a series of possible causes for this decline, such as volcanic eruptions and changes in solar radiation. But the only cause that made sense of the observed data was the greenhouse explanation.

It began in 1970, and it hasn’t stopped yet

South Australia has never been conspicuously lush and wet, but decline in precipitation set in around 1970, and this decline has increased in the last four decades.

The simulations predict that the decline will go on, and that average rainfall will drop by 40% over south-west Australia later this century.

Dr Delworth described his model as “a major step forward in our effort to improve the prediction of regional climate change”.

In May, scientists proposed that greenhouse gas emissions were responsible for a change in Southern Ocean wind patterns, which in turn resets the thermostat for the world’s largest island.

Australian scientists report in Geophysical Research Letters that they, too, have been using climate models to examine Antarctic wind patterns and their possible consequences for the rest of the planet.

Another consequence: accelerated ice sheet melt

“When we included projected Antarctic wind shifts in a detailed global ocean model, we found water up to 4°C warmer than current temperatures rose up to meet the base of the Antarctic ice shelves”, said Paul Spence, a researcher at Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science. This temperature rise is twice previous estimates.

“This relatively warm water provides a huge reservoir of melt potential right near the grounding lines of ice shelves around Antarctica. It could lead to a massive increase in the rate of ice sheet melt, with direct consequences for global sea level rise.”

Since the West Antarctic ice sheet holds enough water to raise sea levels by 3.3 metres, the consequences would indeed be considerable.

“When we first saw the results it was quite a shock”, said Dr Spence. “It was one of the few cases where I hoped the science was wrong.”

July 19, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change | Leave a comment

Anti science, climate denialism, championed by electing Australia’s Tony Abbott

History will condemn climate change denialists    theguardian.com, Wednesday 16 July 2014  Tony Abbott was elected by the right-wing of his party for a single purpose: to destroy any meaningful action in Australia against the threat of climate changeAbbott Koch policies

The argument for radical action on climate change– which Australia will soon at least temporarily reject with the shameful decision to repeal the carbon tax – is embarrassingly simple.

For the past 200 years, western culture has granted science pre-eminent cultural authority. A quarter century ago, a consensus formed among contemporary scientists specialising in the study of the climate. The consensus comprised one principal idea: the primary source of energy on which industrial civilisation relied – the burning of fossil fuels – was dangerously increasing the temperature of the earth.

Thousands upon thousands of scientific studies have been conducted estimating the impact of this warming. Hundreds of outstanding books have been published making the conclusions of the scientists available to the general public. To anyone willing to listen, these scientists have explained that unless human beings derive their energy from sources other than fossil fuels, the future that we face over the next decades and centuries involves the rendering of large parts of the earth uninhabitable to humans and other species – through the melting of the ice caps and glaciers and thus steadily rising sea levels, the acidification of the oceans, the destruction of forests and coral reefs, and the increase in the prevalence and intensity of famines, insect-borne diseases, droughts, bush fires, floods, hurricanes and heat-waves.

Climate scientists also explained that radical action on climate change could not be delayed. …….

As global emissions increased, something surpassingly strange occurred in the realm of politics in the US – something without parallel in the history of the post-Enlightenment west since the Darwinian controversy. The emergence of a broad-based movement of thought challenging the sovereignty of science in one specialised field.

Anti-science climate change denialism began with money cynically and strategically supplied by the massive American fossil fuel corporations. From there it spread to the powerful US network of neo-liberal “think-tanks” whose purpose was to produce the ideas helping to make the world safe for the wealthiest members of the society – the so-called 1%. And from the think-tanks climate change denialism steadily spread downwards to American society more generally, thanks to rabid right wing media like Fox News, until it was powerful enough to capture, almost in its entirety, one of America’s traditional political parties, the republicans.

As a consequence of the spread of climate change denialism, tens of millions of American citizens now base their opinions on the kind of pseudo-knowledge manufactured by the climate change denialist blogs and disseminated daily by the right-wing media. They have come to treat the questions of whether the earth is warming, and if so why, as political matters concerning which those without any genuine scientific understanding or training are as qualified to form an opinion as professors who have devoted their lives to one of the disciplines of climate science.

Climate change denialism soon spread beyond the US, especially to the countries of the English-speaking world. As Australia is a country extremely sensitive to the cultural winds blowing in from the US, reliant on the export and consumption of coal, and where the denialist Murdoch newspapers exercise enormous unhealthy influence, it is hardly surprising that over the past decade climate change denialism quickly sunk deep roots here.,,,,,

The right-wing denialists, now dominant within the Coalition, often call themselves conservatives. They are not. At the heart of true conservatism is the belief that each new generation forms the vital bridge between past and future, and is charged with the responsibility of passing the earth and its cultural treasures to their children and grandchildren in sound order. History will condemn the climate change denialists, here and elsewhere, for their contribution to the coming catastrophe that their cupidity, their arrogance, their myopia and their selfishness have bequeathed to the young and the generations still unborn. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/16/history-will-condemn-climate-change-denialists

July 17, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change | Leave a comment

USA Tea Party types created Tony Abbott the world’s new warrior on behalf of the fossil fuel industries

Abbott-fiddling-global-warmHow Rupert Murdoch created the world’s newest climate change villain, Salon  Australia was once a leader on climate action. Thanks to American conservative powerhouses, that’s no longer true   21 June 14, Australia, the sunburned country, is uniquely vulnerable to the dangers and risks of global warming. Whether it is the severe effects of flooding, unseasonal heat waves, devastating bush fires or decade-long droughts, Australia’s people, economy and natural environment have all keenly felt the impact of extreme weather and climate change.

Australia’s national scientific organizations have been raising the alarm for more than a decade, and the previous government accepted that scientific consensus and enacted a cap-and-trade scheme in 2012. But after a divisive election last year — one that saw native-born Rupert Murdoch exercise his considerable influence in Australian media markets to disastrous effect — the country is now governed by a deeply unpopular Liberal-National government, crafted in the image of the most climate-denying elements of the Tea Party. And its position on climate change has significant impacts on global efforts to reduce carbon emissions: Australia is not only the chair of the G-20 group of nations, but also holds a place on the U.N. Security Council.

The rest of the world saw this ideology on full, embarrassing display with the recent visit by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to Canada and the United States. Continue reading

June 24, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change | Leave a comment

Australia special: Aborigines win out against nuclear waste dump plan

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Well, for a few weeks, the Australian media has been happily occupied titillating us all with matters legal – the court cases of Oscar Pistorius and of Rolf Harris.

Meanwhile barely noted by the media, a 7 year legal battle was over this week –  one that has far more significance for all Australians. And especially for indigenous Australians.

The  Aboriginal Traditional Landowners of the Muckaty station area, (Northern Territory)  fought against nuclear waste dumping on their land, and following the last weeks of this case, that plan has been scrapped. It has been a very unequal fight, yet those proud indigenous people have won out, against the legal forces of the Australian Government, and the Northern Land Council, which first signed up to  the dump plan.

Background. The global nuclear lobby is happy to have a research reactor at Lucas Heights, in Sydney. This reactor was envisaged, way back, after World War 2 as part of a push to get a nuclear bomb.  It remains there as a way in for the nuclear industry in Australia. The medical isotope production was tacked on later – to make the reactor look more respectable, but medical isotopes can be made in alternative ways.  Australia sent the high level nuclear reactor wastes overseas is legally bound to take them back.

2004   The Australian government first attempted to site a nuclear waste dump in South Australia, but South Australia resisted this and won. A Territory has less power and that is why the Government  targeted the Northern Territory. The Northern Territory Government passed the Nuclear Waste Transport , Storage and Disposal Prohibition Act 2004

2005 . A government expert team investigated and selected 3 sites suitable for burial of the returned high level nuclear wastes. All of these sites were on Commonwealth land.  The Muckaty area, which is seismically risky, as well as being on Aboriginal land, was not selected.  Nevertheless, the Howard Liberal government passed a draconian Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act 2005 , over-riding environmental and Aboriginal heritage laws, and State and Territory laws and selecting Muckaty for the site

2010. The Labor government repealed that Act in 2010, and promptly replaced it with an equally draconion Radioactive Waste Management Act 2010.

The medical waste deception. The argument that a Northern Territory  waste dump is needed for medical wastes is disingenuous.  “Waste from nuclear medicine procedures, the majority of which is for diagnostic services rather than treatment, is low level and short term waste can be stored on site and safely disposed of locally.  The small amount of higher level waste from nuclear medicine can also be stored locally, as it is currently” -Public Health Association of Australia,

The future. The relatively small amount of high level waste from the Lucas Heights reactor could be stored at Lucas Heights, and the reactor could be shut down, to stop further toxic production. The Australian government, lik ethe rest of the world, does not know where to put the ever accumulating collection of radioactive trash.

My bet is that our not very bright, and totally unethical government will try it on Aboriginal people again – with blackmail or bribes – ‘whatever it takes’.

aboriginal-issues

 

June 20, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Christina's notes, indigenous issues | Leave a comment

Australian government’s plan for nuclear waste dump on Aboriginal land is scrapped!

flag-AustraliaNatalie Wasley, Beyond Nuclear Initiative, 19 June 14 Some fantastic news today- the Commonwealth Government has committed not to pursue plans for a national radioactive waste dump at Muckaty, 120km north of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory!

Lawyers from Maurice Blackburn Social Justice Practice have just announced the exciting development in Melbourne and a delegation of Muckaty Traditional Owners travelled to Alice Springs for a press conference that has just concluded.

The announcement comes mid-way through the Federal Court trial examining the process under which the nomination of Muckaty was made by the Northern Land Council and accepted by the Commonwealth Government in 2007.

Two weeks of the trial were completed with hearings in Melbourne, Tennant Creek and on country at Muckaty outstation. The Northern Land Council and Commonwealth Government have agreed to settle with the Applicants by committing not to act on the proposal or nomination, so the hearings scheduled for Darwin (June 23-July 4) have been cancelled.

A blog of the court proceedings is online at www.beyondnuclearinitiative.com/blog and photos posted atwww.beyondnuclearinitiative.com/photos

This campaign has followed the successful campaign by the Kupi Piti Kungka Tjuta to stop a nuclear dump in SA and been built from the ground up in Tennant Creek with help from supporters across the NT. Over the last 7 years, the community has marched in Tennant Creek every year, hosted trade union delegations, written songs and poems, made films and toured photo exhibitions. People have travelled tirelessly around the country to build awareness and support, having conversations over cups of tea in regional areas and walking the corridors of Canberra Parliament House to lobby Ministers.

The community used the May 25 rally and media attention on the federal court proceedings to reiterate they would continue campaigning until the dump was stopped- including blocking the road if needed.

So the deadly news is now public – please tell everyone that together we dumped the Muckaty plan! Traditional Owners and the broader community in Tennant Creek are very excited and relieved and looking forward to a big celebration in the coming few weeks.

We will then set about collating photos, footage and other materials from the campaign, so stay tuned for the call out to copy and/or send these to the Arid Lands Environment Centre for archiving.

There is a lot more to say but we are still all a bit shocked and processing the news so will send more updates and reflections in the coming week.

Media release from today is attached.

I was asked to finish this note with a huge thanks to everyone who has been part of this campaign and supported the Muckaty mob to be heard- every action, letter, conversation, trip to Tennant, fundraising gig and movie night has helped bring about this victory!!

Muckaty will be nuclear free!

June 19, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Legal, politics | Leave a comment

AUDIO: Australia shamed as court hears how Government tried to impose nuclear waste dump on Aboriginal land

handsoffHear-This-wayMuckaty Court Case heads to Darwin  http://caama.com.au/muckaty-court-case 17 June 14 Damian Williams  The federal court case on the planned Muckaty nuclear waste dump has now adjourned. Paddy Gibson for the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning is following the trial:

The court is now adjourned. The last sitting was on Saturday. The judge travelled again out to Muckaty.  Aboriginal people thanked the court judge for coming to Muckaty out-station coming to country to hear from the elders directly and other Aboriginal people who are opposing nuclear waste dumping on their land. The  case will now move to Darwin to take evidence from Northern Land Council

justiceCrucial day of evidence, we  heard from –  a very senior man,  Dick Foster known as reliable authority on who owns this land. NLC was relying on  this man, Dick Foster.   In their early nomination they actually used Mr Foster’s name.  Whereas Dick has been crystal clear since 2007 that the NLC is wrong  The NLC are relying on the wrong idea that a small piece of Muckaty belongs to just on e family group. Not alright for this family to sell one piece of the and  made it clear that this was wrong.  The anthropology used was not correct. They needed to slow the process down. NLC should have heard from all of the groups on how decisions would be made for that small piece of land. NLC forged ahead in 2007  far too quickly according to Mr Foster. Sold Muckaty out without the consent of Aboriginal owners.  Far too much pressure.

Needed to encourage proper discussion on how that should be done. Sold Muckaty out

His evidence crucial. Process was far too rushed.

He made it clear that there was a lot of pressure on senior people like himself.  with a number of government people on senior Aborigines,

That evidence was very significant. No one in this case is questioning the cultural knowledge of Mr Foster, though not  a traditional owner himself. No question that he is not an authentic witness on Aboriginal culture, and the land around Muckaty

handsoffThe NLC and government should back off now. They really should listen to these people. People have been saying – “You’ve got it wrong. You’re rushing us”

The other point about the evidence that came out on the country –  people have not been told the real story, right back to 2007.  Even the individuals who nominated the land were never told. had no idea of the true nature of what was planned. No one was ever told that there could be accidents.  Those sorts of question are in the legislation, but this was never explained to the people.  People were not told of possibility of drastic accident. People were never properly informed that they may lose their land forever.

The government  is trying to say that it’s only for 200 years.  But there are provisions sin the legislation, that the government could hold that land forever. Never explained to any traditional owners in the consultation process. That is clear from the evidence which has come out. They’re trying to say that this will be  at temporary facility.

Relying on faulty flawed anthropology. Enormous amount of pressure was put on the traditional owners. They were relying on faulty, flawed anthropology. Iy was rushed through inn order to do a deal. Rights systematically stripped away from the traditional owners.   Very strong case coming out now from the  people who are opposed to the nuclear waste dump.. Quite shocking to learn how the government and NLC have treated these people, through this process.

Evidence is now wound up in Tennant Creek and Muckaty

Next is a trip to Darwin.  The focus now will be on the NLC and the Commonwealth. They will be subject to the same cross examination that the Aboriginal people had to go through.

The Aboriginal people are happy and proud with what they have achieved.  They have been so strong, so articulate.-  that they have stood up to these non indigenous very highly paid, highly educated barristers for the Land Council and government attacking them in the witness stand.  Some of the Aboriginal witnesses were cross examined for 3 hours – with lawyers for the government and NLC trying to trick them trap them  The truth has come out on how this nomination came about back in 2007.  Evidence is now wound up

We’ve had to go through 7 years of heartache, pain, stress sickness, and many people have died. A lot of people not alive now to give evidence on how they were treated. A very sad stressful thing that has happened to this community. In Darwin the pressure will be on the NLC and Government.

June 19, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, indigenous issues | Leave a comment

Australia’s fossil fool Prime Minister Abbott let loose

Dear oh dear!  It’s such an embarrassment!

Abbott-fiddling-global-warm Australia, (population 23 million, about the size of one city in Asia) has a Prime Minister who confidently lectures the whole world against taking any effective action on climate change. Tony Abbott’s on a whirlwind trip to Canada and USA to preach his gospel of promotion for fossil fuel industries

US President Barack Obama speaks out forcefully on the need to act, on carbon pricing as the most effective action, and has introduced significant action to cut greenhouse gases. China has started 6 regional emissions trading schemes.The World Bank’s survey found that 39 countries and more than 23 States and provinces have adopted emissions trading schemes or a carbon tax. No worries. Abbott pronounces that there  is “no sign” that such schemes are being adopted.

The Australian tragedy of all this is that –  Abbott is probably not lying. He is ignorant.  He got into power via the money of the fossil fuel lobbies and the propaganda of the Murdoch media. Abbott gave a wonderfully informed and authoritative description of the theory of man-made climate change. He said it is “absolute crap” Yes, we have  a fool for  a PM, and it’s a national embarrassment.

diagram-carbon-schemes

Wait to see the blackly funny side of this.  Tony Abbott is  a firm supporter of the nuclear industry. When he has destroyed all action on climate change in Australia, and when he has stopped renewable energy development there – watch Abbott suddenly believe in climate change ‘action’.  That’s when Tony Abbott will come all out in favour of nuclear power as the ‘solution to climate change’ – Christina Macpherson, 11 June 14

June 11, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Legal case continues over Australian govt’s plan to dump nuclear waste on Aboriginal land

Indigenous land owners accuse lawyer of manipulating nuclear waste storage report June 4, 2014 –  Legal Affairs Reporter for The Age A lawyer who was key to the Howard government’s plan to store nuclear waste on indigenous land has been accused of manipulating the legal process required to ensure its approval.

Traditional owners from four indigenous clans are challenging the Ngapa clan’s 2007 nomination of Muckaty Station for the dump site in the Federal Court in Melbourne. The owners, including Aboriginal elders, argue they did not consent to the nomination, were not consulted on the agreement reached and were misled on the government’s proposal for the nuclear storage site.

aboriginal-issues

Ron Levy was then the chief legal counsel for the Northern Land Council, which was set up to help indigenous people in the Northern Territory acquire and manage traditional lands. Mr Levy will be called as a witness later in the five-week case before Justice Anthony North.

Ron Merkel, QC, for the traditional owers, told the court on Thursday that Mr Levy “personally edited” anthropologists’ views in a Council report which concluded that only the Ngapa Lauder clan owned the site. Mr Levy also wrote a new section in the final report, reflecting his view that the Land Commissioner could depart from judges’ previous decisions on land claims, “if relevant material was before the commissioner.”

Mr Merkel said that he did this “(so) that the Lauder Ngupas would be recognised by the Northern Land Council as the only traditional owners of the site so their consent could be secured.” The site nomination could then “jump a hurdle” of having to consult in more detail about about the plan with other clans, he said………..

Mr Merkel told the court on Tuesday that Mr Levy, who controlled the consultation process, also failed to tell the full Northern Land Council or traditional owners about the only up-front $200,000 payment given to traditional owners for the site nomination or the terms of their agreement.

But he later told the federal goverrnment that he had all traditional owners’ full consent.

Mr Merkel said there was no explanation for this “unless … Mr Levy had a plan from the outset about how to achieve the end result and he did”. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/indigenous-land-owners-accuse-lawyer-of-manipulating-nuclear-waste-storage-report-20140604-39jk8.html#ixzz33nhZjp26.

June 5, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, indigenous issues, Legal, wastes | Leave a comment

In Australian Federal Court, Aborigines continue the fight against radioactive waste dumping on their land

flag-AustraliaNuclear waste dump on Aboriginal land invalid, court told The West Australian, 3 June 14. Sydney (AFP) – The earmarking of a remote Australian outback area as a nuclear waste dump was invalid because officials failed to contact all traditional Aboriginal landowners affected, a court heard Monday.Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory was nominated in early 2007 as a site to store low and intermediate radioactive waste under a deal negotiated with the Aboriginal Ngapa clan.

While Australia does not use nuclear power, it needs a site to store waste, including processed fuel rods from the country’s only nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights, on the outskirts of Sydney,…..Opponents have fought against the dump for years, with a trial starting in the Federal Court in Melbourne Monday alleging Muckaty’s nomination was invalid due to a failure of the government and the land council to obtain the consent of all Aboriginal owners.

“What we’re here to say is ‘no more’ and that this process was so legally flawed that it is invalid,” Ron Merkel, who is representing traditional owners, told the court.

“The opposition is in no small part based on a spiritual affiliation to the land and that radioactive waste will poison the land,” he said in comments cited by Australian Associated Press.

aboriginal-issues

The court was told the consent of all groups with a claim to the land was required for the facility to go ahead, but some Aboriginals whose country was affected have never had a chance to voice their concerns until now……..Speaking to reporters, Kylie Sambo, of the Warlmanpa people, said the idea of a waste facility on the land, which is in the centre of the country, was “poison”.

“We don’t want it to spoil our country because we love our land and we’ve been there for centuries,” she said. “My uncle once told me, ‘You may think you own the land, but in fact the land owns us’.”

The Australian Conservation Foundation said the case raised questions about the country’s management of long-lived radioactive waste.
“Australia has never has an independent assessment of how best to manage radioactive waste; now we urgently need one,” campaigner Dave Sweeney said.

The case is set to run for five weeks. https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/world/a/24084083/nuclear-waste-dump-on-aboriginal-land-invalid-court-told/

June 3, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, indigenous issues, Legal, wastes | Leave a comment

The flight of investment – away from uranium

graph-down-uraniumA uranium price collapse has made mining companies radioactive to investors,Quartz By Jason Karaian   May 28, 2014 Here’s the latest sign that uranium-mining doesn’t pay: Paladin Energy, an Australian uranium mining group, announced today that it was ceasing production(pdf) at a key mine in Malawi. The move will take 3.3 million pounds of uranium per year off the market.

Paladin blames the plunge in the market price for the commodity, which has been languishing below $30 per pound, down from a peak of around $140 per pound in 2007:……..

Paladin is far from alone. As uranium prices have tumbled, others have been feeling the pinch. Indeed, for some 60% of global uranium production, the cost of extraction is higher than the market price for the commodity, the firm says.

In 2012, BHP Billiton put off a $20-billion expansion plan for a mine that sits on the world’s largest known uranium deposit. The prospects for processing more yellowcake at the site still look dim, given depressed prices. Yesterday, the French nuclear group Areva signed a uranium mining deal with the government of Niger, the world’s fourth-largest producer, but immediately put the start of the project on hold until prices improve. “Neither Areva nor Niger are interested in dumping uranium on the market that would not find a buyer,” Areva boss Luc Oursel said.

Uranium prices have been hit by a series of setbacks in recent years, from a global financial crisis that put a big dent in nuclear power demand, to a glut ofdecommissioned weapons-grade uranium, to the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, which led to the shutdown of all that nation’s nuclear power plants and inspired nuclear phase-outs in places such as Germany and Switzerland.Investors in uranium mines have seen their assets plunge in value:……http://qz.com/213889/a-uranium-price-collapse-has-made-mining-companies-radioactive-to-investors/

May 30, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, AUSTRALIA, business and costs | Leave a comment

Poverty-stricken African nations exploited by mining companies, especially Australian uranium miners

THE SCRAMBLE FOR URANIUM IN AFRICA http://www.phantomreport.com/the-scramble-for-uranium-in-africa 19 May 14, Africa’s resources are extracted by outsiders, with benefits only reaching the involved non-African mining companies and non-African end-users of the commodity. Africa is the next frontier to meet energy needs. Oil and gas are being exploited as never before, exacerbating conflict in Darfur and Nigeria, social inequality in Angola, and environmental damage in Chad.

At the same time, renewed demand for uranium is being explored on the continent more than at any other time in history.

Yet the continent’s huge potential for renewable energy is not fully being realised. The government of Malawi granted a uranium mining licence to an Australian uranium mining company without having any legislation on the mining, handling and transportation of radioactive materials. Malawi is now home to twelve potential uranium mines.

In Niger mining companies from Australia, Canada, France and other parts of the world are scrambling for licences to explore uranium in a country which is already the world’s sixth producer of uranium. In the Central African Republic (CAR) there is a scramble amongst Chinese, American and French companies which are all interested in mining the Bakouma region.

In Tanzania the Australian Omega Corp obtained the Mkuju River concessions through its subsidiary, Mantra Resources. Other Australian juniors are represented in Tanzania, including Sabre Resources, Goldstream Mining, Uranex and Deep Yellow.

In Zambia, the Australian Energy Ventures through its subsidiary Africa Energy Resources started drilling the Kariba Valley in May 2008. Another Australian enterprise, Albion Ltd,, is also undertaking exploration.

In Nigeria, representatives of the South Korean Institute for Geoscience and Mineral Resources visited Nigeria in late 2005 to discuss exploration and co-operation. In Namibia uranium has been mined since 1976 at Rössing, which has the world’s largest open cast excavation. Closure has been staved off by the rise in the price of uranium. A second Australian-owned mine, Langer Heinrich, has come into operation inside the fragile Namib-Naukluft National Park and run by the same company which has invested in uranium at Kayelekera in Malawi. Other mines are scheduled to come on stream in the near future, at Venecia and Trekkopje, and exploration continues in a dozen other areas. Recently a moratorium has been placed on granting further exploration licences. Uranium is found in arid areas where water and energy are scarce. Namibia is also considering nuclear energy, and already has overtures from Russia and South Africa to offer reactors. Read More at Wise International

May 20, 2014 Posted by | AFRICA, AUSTRALIA, politics international, Uranium | Leave a comment

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