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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Uranium effluent discharged into Malawi river by Australian company Paladin

Malawi: Paladin Starts Discharging Uranium Wastes Into Public Rivers, AllAfrica,  By Bishop Witmos Karonga April 23: Few months after Paladin Africa Limited differed with civil society organizations (CSOs) and some chiefs in Karonga over the disposition of uranium wastes into public water, the company has started discharging the effluent into Sere River.

uranium sludge to river Malawi

Paladin Africa Limited, a member of the Paladin Energy group of companies, suspended its operations at Kayelekera Mine in the district in May, 2014, due to unstable uranium prices at an international market. The project is now on care and maintenance.

Malawi News Agency (Mana) has established Paladin invited Paramount Chief Kyungu and the District Commissioner (DC) for Karonga, Rosemary Moyo, to a meeting in Lilongwe early April this year (2015),to brief them about the company’s recent decision.

Paladin Africa Acting General Manager in Malawi, Greg Walker, confirmed in a telephone interview that the company, indeed, started releasing the uranium wastes into the public rivers………

Sere River flows into North Rukuru River, then into Lake Malawi.

When asked why the company decided to brief Paramount Chief Kyungu and the Karonga DC about their action in Lilongwe instead of explaining it to the general populace of Karonga, Walker said the company conducted enough meetings with relevant authorities in the district……..

Despite the decision by Paladin to start discharging its effluent into the public water, some people in the district feet it would have been safer if the company had constructed another dam where the wastes would be transferred into.

Chairperson for Karonga District Council, Patrick Kishombe, said in an interview the plan to release the waste water from the storage dam into Sere River is raising fears amongst communities who feel the water is not fully treated and could be a health hazard.

“This, I believe, will lead into many hazards, like killing of fish in Lake Malawi and may also cause skin cancer to some people,” said Kishombe.

Uranium contains gamma rays, particles that cause skin cancer to human kind, according to experts.

In developed nations, mining companies construct a stable tank that stores all the wastes, ready for transportation to recommended disposal sites. ……http://allafrica.com/stories/201504231621.html

April 25, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, environment, Malawi, Uranium, wastes | Leave a comment

Australia’s PM Tony Abbott sacked real climate scientists, now funds dodgy Bjorn Lomborg

Abbott-fiddling-global-warmLomborg’s influence over key ministers in the Abbott government is quite well-known. He is seen to be at the centre of much of federal cabinet’s climate groupthink………

The real travesty of funding Lomborg’s newest franchise is that it comes from the same government that defunded the Climate Commission. This was composed of Australia’s best climate scientists, economists and energy experts, with an operating cost of A$1.5 million per year. This, more than even the most horrendous of storms, really exposes the parlous state of the Abbott government’s desertion of future generations

The Bjorn supremacy – is Australia getting the climate advice it deserves?.  The Conversation,  David Holmesn 23 April 2015, Senior Lecturer,Communications and Media Studies at Monash University “……..Lomborg’s particularly dangerous form of climate denial is to begrudgingly accept the science while producing economic models to say that global warming is really a minor issue. He is famous for using economic modelling as a mercenary gun for hire, saleable to governments and jurisdictions requiring climate inaction, climate distraction, or just straight-out climate crisis denial.

As such, one has to have some sympathy for Lomborg, who is a strange kind of “climate change refugee”. In 2012, the Danish government pulled all funding from his centre. Since, he has only set up shop in countries that have strong climate change-denying lobbies – both in the private sector and within mainstream media. He has enjoyed this in the US.

Lomborg operates by attaching himself to these centres as an adjunct professor, which will be his title at UWA, rather than a staff member. This offers the freedom to command remuneration well above a professorial salary – such as the US$775,000 he was paid in 2012 by the CCC and the US$200,484 paid for his work in 2013………

a book, The Lomborg Deception, that focuses solely on the lack of rigour in Lomborg’s books The Skeptical Environmentalist (2001) and Cool It (2007).

The Lomborg Deception’s author, Howard Friels, documented how footnote after footnote does not support anything that Lomborg says. In Cool It, Lomborg opens with a claim directly ignoring research by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature showing that polar bear numbers in the Arctic are in terminal decline. He is bold enough to suggest they are actually increasing.

The problem is that Lomborg’s sources consist of a blog and a study that nowhere mentions polar bears – not even the ones that are dead. Not much rigorous thought and analysis there.

The mere fact that Lomborg’s franchise-style “consensus” centre is here is an indictment on the climate politics environment in Australia. The centre subverts the term “consensus”, which is otherwise famous for the 97% of climate scientists who have verified the fact of global warming.

But, what is perhaps a new low for Australia is how the federal funding for Lomborg’s centre was not even subject to a competitive process. Instead, it was through negotiations personally held between Lomborg and Education Minister Christopher Pyne.

Lomborg’s influence over key ministers in the Abbott government is quite well-known. He is seen to be at the centre of much of federal cabinet’s climate groupthink………

The real travesty of funding Lomborg’s newest franchise is that it comes from the same government that defunded the Climate Commission. This was composed of Australia’s best climate scientists, economists and energy experts, with an operating cost of A$1.5 million per year. This, more than even the most horrendous of storms, really exposes the parlous state of the Abbott government’s desertion of future generations.http://theconversation.com/the-bjorn-supremacy-is-australia-getting-the-climate-advice-it-deserves-40716

April 25, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change | Leave a comment

Call to Australian and Canadian govts not to sell uranium to India

International call not to sell uranium to India http://www.acfonline.org.au/news-media/media-release/international-call-not-sell-uranium-india April 15, 2015

QUÉBEC CITY, CANADA: The Australian Conservation Foundation has called on the
India-uranium1Canadian and Australian governments not to further advance controversial plans for uranium sales to India.

The call comes as Australian nuclear free campaigners join Indigenous landowners affected by uranium projects to present at the World Uranium Symposium in Québec.

The conference takes place against the backdrop of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Canada and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s trip New Delhi to advance planned uranium sales.

“Canada and Australia should show responsibility restraint and prudence, as India has been criticised widely over the safety, security and transparency of its nuclear industry,” ACF’s Dave Sweeney said. “Australia and Canada should not rush into uranium sales agreements with India while serious concerns about safety and security remain unresolved.”

Australia’s controversial uranium deal with India has been widely criticised, including by former safeguards director John Carlson, who was for two decades head of Australia’s safeguards regime and was a keen nuclear promoter.  Mr Carlson has raised concernsthat the new treaty’s administrative arrangements could substantially depart from Australia’s usual safeguards conditions, meaning Australia may be unable to keep track of what happens to uranium supplied to India.

Speaking from Québec ACF’s Dave Sweeney called on the Canadian and Australian governments not to further fuel instability in South Asia by selling uranium into the already volatile region.

“Uranium is not like other minerals.  It is the fuel for nuclear weapons and creates carcinogenic waste that lasts for thousands of years,” he said. “Fuelling danger and instability in India is not in the interests of Canada or Australia.”

April 22, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Canada, India, politics international | Leave a comment

Grave danger in Australia’s planned uranium sales deal with India

Australia and India face a graver test than cricket Against the backdrop of Australia and India squaring up in the World Cup cricket, the two nations now face a test with much graver consequences, write Dave Sweeney and Jim Green. SBS News, 26 Mar 15 When Prime Minister Tony Abbott signed a uranium deal with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last  September, he praised India’s “absolutely impeccable non-proliferation India-uranium1record”. This praise came despite the reality that India is actively expanding its nuclear weapons arsenal and its missile delivery capabilities.

Mr Abbott declined to answer serious questions about India’s nuclear weapons program or the inadequate safety standards in and inadequate regulation of its civil nuclear program. Instead, he offered a cricketing cliché, declaring that Australia and India trust each other on issues like uranium safeguards because of “the fundamentally ethical principle that every cricketer is supposed to assimilate – play by the rules and accept the umpire’s decision”.

Gaining comfort from clichés while ignoring inconvenient truths might work for those in Canberra and mining company boardrooms but it fails any real world test.

The proposed India uranium agreement is currently being considered by federal parliament’s treaties committee, and it has yet to be ratified by parliament. Submissions to the treaties committee have raised many serious concerns − and not just from the usual suspects.

Those raising concerns and objections include John Carlson, former Director-General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office; Ron Walker, former Chair of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors; Prof. Lawrence Scheinman, former Assistant Director of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency; Princeton University physicist Dr M.V. Ramana; and nuclear arms control expert Crispin Rovere.

The uranium agreement with India weakens Australia’s nuclear safeguards standards, increases the chances of Australian uranium finding its way into Indian weapons and would lead to further undermining of nuclear checks and balances. If the uranium agreement is approved there will be sustained pressure for Australia to apply equally inadequate standards to other uranium customer countries. As John Carlson notes in his submission: “If the Government does compromise Australia’s safeguards conditions, inevitably this will lead to other agreement partners asking for similar treatment.”

Mr Carlson’s critique carries particular weight given that for over two decades he was the head of Australia’s nuclear safeguards office……..http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/03/26/comment-australia-and-india-face-graver-test-cricket

March 27, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, India, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia clearing out Aboriginal communities to make way for mining

Ghillar Michael Anderson, leader of the Euahlayi people and ambassador of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra, wrote an open letter to the United Nations on March 3, in which he states that the proposed closures of remote communities are to open up the land for mining.

“For the Western Australian government to now dispossess and displace the peoples of these homelands is designed to facilitate an expeditious expansion of mining interests and other developments,” he wrote.

The announcement of the closures coincides with the introduction of the Aboriginal Heritage Amendment Bill by the Barnett government last November. The bill, which is about to be debated in state parliament, proposes changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972. These simplify the process of gaining permission to develop Aboriginal sites, as the chief executive of the DAA will have sole discretion over whether to deem heritage protection. This would continue a DAA trend over recent years of site assessment which is beneficial to industry.

Are Mining Interests Behind Western Australian Remote Aboriginal Community Closures?http://www.vice.com/en_au/read/are-mining-interests-behind-western-australian-remote-aboriginal-community-closures March 20, 2015 by Paul Gregoir Yesterday, 18,000 people turned out at rallies across Australia in protest of the Western Australian government’s proposal to close up to 150 remote Aboriginal communities.

Aboriginal-protest-remote-W

 

The move will see municipal and essential services provided by the government cut. Premier Colin Barnett announced the closures in November last year, claiming many of these communities are economically unviable. Continue reading

March 27, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, indigenous issues | Leave a comment

Exposing the nuclear lobby’s agenda for Australia

What does the nuclear lobby want, for South Australia?, Online Opinion, 

By Noel Wauchope    19 March 2015 “….It is difficult to work out exactly what is planned in nuclear industry expansion for South Australia. The plans involve some or all of these industries: uranium enrichment, nuclear power, importation and storage of nuclear wastes, 4th Generation nuclear reactors, and expansion of uranium mining.
However, we can be grateful to ABC Radio’s Ockham’s Razor programme, as it provided the nuclear lobby with a platform for setting out succinctly their intentions. Oscar Archer, a well -known voice for the nuclear industry, explains……
Australia should get a fleet of PRISM small nuclear reprocessing reactors – Archer’s plan is for  “IFS+IFR: Intermediate Fuel Storage and Integral Fast Reactor, namely the commercially offered PRISM breeder reactor from General Electric Hitachi.”What he means here is the Power Reactor Innovative Small Module

Archer then sets out the sequence of events that would lead to the establishment of this fleet. In Archer’s words “it goes like this. Australia establishes the world’s first multinational repository for used fuel – what’s often called nuclear waste”

However, he notes that “This is established on the ironclad commitment [my emphasis] to develop a fleet of integral fast reactors to demonstrate the recycling of the used nuclear fuel”……

the sting in the tale of his plan is really exactly what he calls the first step – the overturning or weakening of Federal and State laws. The Federal Act protects against nuclear reprocessing and expanded nuclear industries. ARPANSA sets safety standards for exposure to ionising radiation. South Australian State Law would have to be overturned, too – under the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000
These laws are not frivolous products of tree huggers – and are there for sound health and environmental reasons.

The central premise of Oscar Archer’s promotion of this nuclear chain of events is that Australia should go out on a limb – be the first country in the world to import nuclear wastes and to order a mass purchase of PRISM reactors…..

The PRISM reactor exists only on paper and its development is decades away from completion. David Biello, in Scientific American comments “Ultimately, however, the core problem may be that such new reactors don’t eliminate the nuclear waste that has piled up so much as transmute it. Even with a fleet of such fast reactors, nations would nonetheless require an ultimate home for radioactive waste, one reason that a 2010 M.I.T. report on spent nuclear fuel dismissed such fast reactors.”

Nuclear-Wizards

The PRISM can’t melt down in the way that conventional nuclear reactors can. However, its essential use of plutonium entails hazardous transport – vulnerability to terrorism and use as a “dirty” bomb. And – finally the PRISM reactor itself becomes radioactive waste requiring security and burial.

There is another, underlying premise here that needs to be examined. This is the premise that it is OK for Australia and the world to continue to consume energy endlessly…….

consumer-world-nuke

The plan purports to reduce greenhouse emissions by means of thousands of little reactors, (and big ones) – but their development is so many decades away that it would be too late for climate change action.

We are left with a plan that looks suspiciously as if the troubled nuclear industries of USA, Canada and UK have selected Australia as the guinea pig for a plan to reverse their industries’ present decline.

corruptionIt is a worry that the South Australian Government is looking to Canada to take part in the Royal Commission. If ever there were a troubled nuclear industry, it is in Canada. The World Bank’s Corrupt Companies Blacklist is Dominated By Canada, because of one company, SNC Lavalin, – exporter of small nuclear reactors………http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=17185

March 20, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics, politics international | Leave a comment

Asian and Pacific green Parties unite in aim for nuclear free region

Asia-Pacific-green-federatiGreen Parties call for a nuclear free region on anniversary of Fukushima, Global Greens  10 March, 2015 “……The Green Parties of the Asia Pacific region offer our sincere condolences for the tragedy suffered, and our solidarity with the people and Green Party of Japan.

We use this anniversary to remind the Governments of the world, that it is the responsibility of all nations to ensure the safety of our planet.

There is no doubt, the suffering for the Japanese people has been immense, especially for those living in and around Fukushima, and it is not yet over. The world has already witnessed suffering following nuclear disasters in Chernobyl (Ukraine), Khystym (Russia), Sellafield (United Kingdom), and Three Mile Island (USA). However, there are currently 71 new nuclear plants under construction around the world, the majority of which are in the Asia Pacific region (China 26, Taiwan 2, India 6, Japan 2, Pakistan 2, South Korea 5). (3)

It is time we fully committed to a nuclear-free world.

text-relevantWhether your country is listed as one of these constructing further nuclear plants or not, we are all implicated in the nuclear supply chain – through uranium mining, refining, power generation, radioactive waste, nuclear weapons, or through complicity by not discouraging the practice of our trading partners.

global-greensGreen Parties around the globe oppose the expansion of nuclear power and are working to rapidly phase it out.  Nuclear energy is not the emissions-free solution that the world needs to address climate change, in fact, it is a net producer of greenhouse gases.(4)

As we have seen with Fukushima, the human and planetary costs are too high, and when examining the nuclear supply chain, it is simply ineffective at reducing emissions.

We need to stay focused on transitioning to clean renewable energy sources – these are not only safer, but offer a more equitable solution. We can achieve economic development with genuine quality of life through a sustainable smart green economy. Examples of this kind of development include community-based, co-operative, renewable energy operations complemented by reduced energy consumption through electricity saving government policies.

At this critical moment, we ask the people Asia Pacific to call on their governments to:

  1. Commit to a nuclear-free world.
  2. Move to clean equitable renewable energy solutions for your country
  3. Provide democratic process in citizens’ referenda on nuclear power.
  4. Ensure information transparency, participatory democracy, social and environmental justice for residents living near power plants and nuclear waste fields.
  5. Prioritise in decision-making the wellbeing of our planet and future generations.

Signatories:

The Asia-Pacific Greens Federation (APGF) Coordination Committee

The APGF’s members are:

March 14, 2015 Posted by | ASIA, AUSTRALIA, New Zealand, politics international | Leave a comment

Terms of Reference for South Australia’s ill-conceived rush into Royal Commission on Nuclear Power

nukefools-dayflag-Australia
People can contribute ideas to this farce at http://yoursay.sa.gov.au/blogs/draft-terms-of-reference
So far only one person mentioned – the head of this inquiry – Kevin Scarse , a pro nuclear former Governor of S.A. So much for independence and expertise!
The draft terms of reference direct the Royal Commission to inquire into and report on:
  • whether there is any potential for the expansion of the current level of exploration, extraction or milling of minerals containing radioactive materials in South Australia, any circumstances necessary for such an increase to occur and to be viable, any risks and opportunities created by expanding the level of exploration, extraction and milling, and the measures that might be required to facilitate and regulate that increase in activity.
  • the feasibility of the further processing of minerals and processing and manufacture of materials containing radioactive and nuclear substances (but not for, or from, military uses) including conversion, enrichment, fabrication or re-processing in South Australia, any circumstances necessary for that further processing or manufacture to be viable, any risks and opportunities associated with establishing and undertaking that further processing or manufacture, and any measures that might need to be taken to facilitate and regulate the establishment and carrying out of further processing or manufacture
  • the feasibility of establishing and operating facilities to generate electricity from nuclear fuels in South Australia, any circumstances necessary for that to occur and to be viable, the relative advantages and disadvantages of generating electricity from nuclear fuels as opposed to other sources, including with regard to greenhouse gas emissions, any risks and opportunities associated with that activity (including its impact on renewable sources and the electricity market), and any measures that might need to be taken to facilitate and regulate their establishment and operation.
  • the feasibility of establishing facilities in South Australia for the management, storage and disposal of nuclear and radioactive waste from the use of nuclear and radioactive materials in power generation, industry, research and medicine (but not for, or from, military uses), any circumstances necessary for those facilities to be established and to be viable, the risks and opportunities associated with establishing and operating those facilities, and any measures that might need to be taken to facilitate and regulate their establishment and operation.
The draft Terms of Reference specifically require the Royal Commission, when inquiring into the risks and opportunities associated with the above matters, to consider, where appropriate, their impact upon the economy the environment and the community (including regional, remote and aboriginal communities).

February 23, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics | Leave a comment

Lowest production in 16 years – uranium in Australia

bull-uncertain-uraniumLowest Australian uranium production for 16 years, World Nuclear Association 23 Jan 15  Due to the shutdown of ERA’s Ranger plant to June, and despite the rich Four-Mile deposit coming on line, Australia’s uranium production in 2014 at 5897 tonnes U3O8 (5000 tU) was the lowest since 1998. Two thirds of it was from Olympic Dam, where uranium is a by-product of copper.  Production from Four Mile is recovered at the Beverley plant, replacing output from that mine at about double the level. http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=140c559a3b34d23ff7c6b48b9&id=e08ac096b6&e=ae5ca458a0

January 24, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, business and costs, Uranium | Leave a comment

In the interests of uranium mining, Australia’s Aborigines moved off their remote homelands

handsoffflag-AustraliaWaging a war over land rights MEENA MENON , THE HINDU,January 19, 2015  ‘Protests are continuing in various parts of Australia over mining’

In her book of poems, Love Dreaming, aboriginal writer Ali Cobby Eckermann from Australia writes, “Every grain of sand in this big red country is a pore on the skin of my family.” Her writing and her new book, Too Afraid to Cry reflect the alienation of the ‘Stolen generation’ of children who were selectively taken away from their families and raised by white people and also the plight of her people who are waging a war over land rights.

Thousands of people from indigenous communities plan to hold massive protests over land issues on Australia Day on January 26, she says. Protests are continuing in various parts of Australia over mining uranium and minerals and even Kakadu National Park, on the UNESCO World Heritage Site is under threat.

In New Delhi to deliver the annual Navayana lecture, she told The Hindu in an interview that a serious lack of understanding between cultures persists in Australia at a political level and with mining it has expanded. “We worry for our children. Now the Western Australian government wants to use bulldozers and close 150 or 180 small aboriginal communities — they say it is not sustainable to keep these communities going. Where do these people go? They can wander to the city to become a makeshift community under tarpaulin as they are not going to rehouse them,” she says.

The sudden move, she suspects, is to do with mining and removing people from the area so that even that little bit of resistance is gone. That’s the scary part but the aboriginal people will survive. It’s all about land, the war is over land, she says and no one really articulates it like that. “Why would they want these remote areas which are mineral rich to be emptied of people. Western Australia is among the richest mining areas but why is not the government saying some percentage of that mining rights should go to the community. That doesn’t happen, the miners don’t pay tax and we watch the money fly away,” she points out.

Referring to the civil nuclear deal between India and Australia, she said, “Please consider when you support nuclear energy in India what happens to our culture. There will be a slow erosion of human rights but we will fight for the right of our children to have rights of lands.”

The government has given approvals for uranium mines in western Australia. Hailing from South Australia, she said this was a place of ancient knowledge. “In aboriginal culture we do not own the land, we belong to the land and the land does not belong to us, the land is our heart, “she says.

The struggle for land in the mid 70s when people drove to Adelaide and demanded their land back had resulted in some rights being restored. There was a strong law in place on mining but unknown to many communities the government in 2008 has sneaked in amendments which do not provide for negotiations as in the past. “So if a community agrees to exploration it has virtually given away the right to mining as well,” Ms. Eckermann adds.

In Northern Territory some ten years ago the government had proposed nuclear waste storage sites but a group of women pensioners living in old age homes got together with support from Friends of the Earth and fought the government and managed to convince them that this was not a good idea. Ms Eckermann who has learnt a lot from what she calls the “struggle of my grandmothers”, says the women essentially told the government from a cultural perspective their aversion to the nuclear waste dump on their lands and part of that was because they were young girls when the Maralinga atomic testing took place by the British in the 1950s. Many had lost their family in the nuclear fallout and for these women, it was an environmental war- and a cultural war and they were so dignified in their protest, she says.”I don’t know how they did it. They said never raise your voice except to sing traditional songs and they told the government to “get your ears out of your pockets.” It was a such a grass roots victory and there was no more room for lying and deceit. This was a jury of traditional women, against younger white men and the women won,” she grins.

Thousands of people from indigenous communities plan to hold massive protests over land issues on Australia Day on January 26 which many also call Invasion day for that’s when Captain Cook arrived on the country’s shores. ……..

“Land is like my family, that rock is like my grandfather and that sand dune is my mother. We have our ways and they can be customised to modern life but the core wisdom won’t change. We have to stop the intergenerational social impacts but every time the government meets us they have no concept of land or the people. And then we are called ungrateful, “she concludes. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/waging-a-war-over-land-rights/article6800001.ec

January 20, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, indigenous issues | Leave a comment

Australian government trying to kill renewable energy, but funding thorium nuclear power research in China

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Isn’t this just dandy?  The Australian government can’t afford to fund services to the needy in health, education,  and is doing its darndest to kill clean energy, but is quietly promoting nuclear energy. And not conventional nuclear energy, which is bad enough, but the untested, hugely costly thorium experiment – the same one that was tried and found unviable 50 years ago

 ANSTO-SINAP Joint Research Centre, 16 Jan 15  In December 2012, ANSTO signed a memorandum of understanding with the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP) for cooperation in the area of materials research and development.

 Within the same week, the Institute of Materials Engineering (IME) was awarded a major grant from the Australia-China Science and Research Fund to conduct collaborative research with SINAP on advance Thorium Molten Salt Reactors (TMSR). The newly formed Joint Research Centre (JRC) covers a range of scientific disciplines in order to cover the challenges of next generation TMSRS.
The contributions of IME within the framework of the JRC are to provide materials performance assessment and to conduct independent research on the behaviour of nuclear materials exposed to corrosive molten salts at high temperature and in high radiation fields.  ……….
Thorium-pie-in-sky
This Project is supported by the Commonwealth of Australia under the Australian-China Science and Research Fund : http://www.ansto.gov.au/ResearchHub/IME/Projects/SINAP/index.htm#sthash.2cGODOCp.dpuf

 

January 16, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics | Leave a comment

Australian uranium miner Paladin will have to comply with Canada’s new tax transparency laws

Canada transparency laws force ASX companies to disclose tax bills, The Age December 26, 2014    Business reporter Two Australian mining companies will be forced to disclose how much tax they pay in every country around the world by new transparency laws introduced in Canada.

Paladin Energy and OceanaGold, both dual-listed in Australia and Canada, will have to comply with new Canadian laws requiring all oil, gas and mining companies to report payments they make to governments overseas, including taxes, royalties, bonuses, regulatory charges and licence fees.

The Australian government is being pushed to introduce similar rules.

The legislation aims to tackle corruption and tax avoidance in poor countries, as well as payments to indigenous groups. It follows mounting global pressure by transparency organisations and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to introduce a country-by-country reporting regime.

The new rules are expected to come into force by June 2015 after passing through the Canadian parliament on December 16.

Claire Spoors, a spokeswoman for advocacy group Publish What You Pay, said the Abbott government should consider introducing similar laws in line with Canada’s.

“Australia, as a mining giant, could make a real difference in helping resource-rich but poor countries prosper by ensuring there is greater transparency,” she said.

“Well-managed and properly accounted-for resource revenues can be invested in health, education and putting countries on sustainable development pathways.”……….

the Abbott government has signalled it could water down transparency laws introduced under Labor. The tax disclosure laws would mean that from July, companies with $100 million or more in turnover would have their tax information disclosed on the Australian Taxation Office website.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann told Fairfax Media the government would review the laws following complaints by private business owners that they could be kidnapped and held for  ransom when people realised how wealthy they were  from their published tax information.

Senator Cormann said the laws showed a “ham-fisted, ill-thought-out approach trying to crack a nut with a sledgehammer”.

But advocates say greater transparency will boost confidence in the broader community that large companies are paying their fair share of tax.

Australia has endorsed the OECD’s reporting regime, which is not due to be introduced until 2018.

It has also signed up to the OECD’s common reporting standard for governments sharing tax information, after criticism that it delayed the process by consulting big business.

OceanaGold has operations in New Zealand, the Philippines and Australia. Paladin Energy has projects in Namibia, Malawi, Niger, Canada and Australia.  : http://www.smh.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/canada-transparency-laws-force-asx-companies-to-disclose-tax-bills-20141224-12akhd.html#ixzz3OBT5BW5V

January 7, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international | Leave a comment

Radioactive pollution of Lake Malawi by Australian uranium company Paladin?

Malawi-LakeThe lake provides water for drinking and domestic use to millions of Malawians. Part of the lake is protected as a national park, and it is inhabited by more than 850 cichlid fish species found nowhere else on Earth.

Malawi: Paladin Accused of Discharging Uranium-Contaminated Sludge in Lake Malawi http://allafrica.com/stories/201412301012.html A coalition of Malawi civil society organisations (CSOs) has accused Paladin Energy Ltd, a company that is mining Uranium ore at Kayerekera in the northern district of Karonga over reports the mining company is secretly discharging into Lake Malawi uranium contaminated sludge from the tailings dam at the mining site.

Renowned human rights activist, Rafiq Hajat shared a report compiled by a members of the Natural Resources Justice Network (NRJN) in which it is alleged paladin is discharging uranium sludge from Kayerekera into Lake Malawi.

“A radius of 35 km from the Boma, you will be shocked to see fish of different species dead with some communities along the lakeshore collecting [the fish]. Collectiong as part of their relish. The cause not yet known. Reports from the Beach Village Chairman indicates that this started in late November but Government was not forth coming (sich)” reads part of the post.

Paladin had aroused the wrath of the coalition of the CSOs under the banner of Natural Resources Justice Network (NRJN) over reports which emerged late November that Paladin Energy was planning of discharging uranium mining sludge into the Sere and North Rukuru rivers.

The toxic substances that would flow from the tailings pond at the Kayelekera Uranium Mine into Lake Malawi 50 kilometers (30 miles) downstream include waste uranium rock, acids, arsenic and other chemicals used in processing the uranium ore, the coalition fears.

“It is rumored that Paladin secretly have started discharging the so called purified water and the trip was one of the verification. This is terrible news and may have catastrophic ramifications if not checked immediately.” Reads the statement shared by Hajat.

However, in a statement issued last month, Paladin Energy stated that water from its tailings dam at Kayelekera uranium mine which is discharging into the North Rukuru River poses no human or environmental risks.

The process has been reviewed and agreed by relevant agencies of the Government of Malawi, which is imposing conditions regulating critical water quality parameters, including uranium, consistent with international guidelines” a statement issued in November by Paladin Energy stated.

The company also said that it plans to start discharging the water in early 2015 and that reports it is discharging the contaminated wastes are not true.

Lake Malawi in eastern Africa is the world’s ninth largest lake, some 580 kilometers (360 miles) long, and 75 kilometres (47 miles) wide at its widest point. It extends into Malawi’s neighbours Tanzania and Mozambique.

The lake provides water for drinking and domestic use to millions of Malawians. Part of the lake is protected as a national park, and it is inhabited by more than 850 cichlid fish species found nowhere else on Earth.

Paladin Africa is the Malawi subsidiary of Australian mining giant Paladin Energy Ltd, with 15 percent owned by the Government of Malawi.

Last year, Paladin Africa’s Kayelekera Mine in Karonga produced 1,066 metric tonnes of U3O8, triuranium octoxide, a compound of uranium. One of the more popular forms of yellowcake, U3O8 is converted to uranium hexafluoride to make enriched uranium for use in nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons.

January 2, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, environment, Malawi | Leave a comment

Some conservation scientists misinformed by the nuclear lobby- Jim Green busts the spin

nuke-bubbleEndorsing the wishful thinking and misinformation presented in the Brook-Bradshaw journal article is no substitute for an honest acknowledgement of the proliferation problems associated with nuclear power, coupled with serious, sustained efforts to solve those problems.

‘Wishful thinking and misinformation': An open letter to nuclear lobbyists   http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/12/18/energy-markets/wishful-thinking-and-misinformation-open-letter-nuclear-lobbyists

JIM GREEN 18 DEC,  A group of conservation scientists has published an open letter urging environmentalists to reconsider their opposition to nuclear power. The letter is an initiative of Australian academics Barry Brook and Corey Bradshaw.

The co-signatories “support the broad conclusions drawn in the article ‘Key role for nuclear energy in global biodiversity conservation’, published in Conservation Biology.” The open letter states: “Brook and Bradshaw argue that the full gamut of electricity-generation sources − including nuclear power − must be deployed to replace the burning of fossil fuels, if we are to have any chance of mitigating severe climate change.”

So, here’s my open letter in response to the open letter initiated by Brook and Bradshaw:

– – –

Dear conservation scientists, Continue reading

December 19, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, AUSTRALIA, Reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

USA pressure forces Auzstralia’s climate denialist PM to make one tiny concession on Climate Change, at the G20

Map-Abbott-climateG20: Australia makes token concession on climate change after US lobbying  , Guardian Australia political editor theguardian.com, Sunday 2 November 2014 

Government resists calls for climate change to be listed as a major agenda item, but agrees to include in final communique Australia has reluctantly conceded that climate change can be included in a single brief paragraph of the G20 leaders’ communique after heavy lobbying by the US and European nations.

The government had resisted any discussion of climate at the Brisbane meeting on the grounds that the G20 is primarily an economic forum, but other nations argued leaders’ agreements at meetings like the G20 are crucial to build momentum towards a successful international deal at the United Nations conference on climate change in Paris next year.

The final wording of the leaders’ statement after the meeting is still being finalised but it is believed to simply recommit to addressing climate change through UN processes.

The outcome – and Australia’s resistance – have been attacked by the leading climate economist Lord Nicholas Stern, who has written for Guardian Australia that the latest “synthesis” report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) should be “high on the agenda” for the G20 meeting.

“The G20 is the most effective forum for the discussion of the growth story of the future, the transition to the low-carbon economy. Yet the local politics of a country of less than 25 million is being allowed to prevent essential strategic discussions of an issue that is of fundamental importance to the prosperity and well-being of the world’s population of 7 billion people,” he writes.

Australia has agreed the G20 should discuss climate-related issues as part of its deliberations on energy efficiency, but this also appears to be wrapped up in a general commitment that countries consider taking action in the future on some of a long list of areas where energy efficiency improvements might be made……

In a special “message” about the G20 release on Sunday, Tony Abbott also did not mention climate change……..

US president Barack Obama’s international adviser, Caroline Atkinson, has insisted publicly that leaders around the table at the G20 will raise climate change. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/02/g20-australia-makes-token-concession-on-climate-change-after-us-lobbying

November 10, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change, politics international | Leave a comment

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