The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

SMR & Thorium proponents desperately promoting their failed plans to Australia

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

While the BHP-funded Grattan Institute and a number of other “authoritative” bodies tout Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) – powered by Thorium, for Australia, the bottom is falling out of the SMR project.  The big firms involved are pulling out. Westinghouse already has. Babcock and Wilcox will be next.

Lobbyists like the USA’s nuclear front group, the Breakthrough Institute, have worked successfully on Australia’s pro nukers to flog off these (so far non-existent) SMRs to Australia.  Note that they leave out the word “nuclear”, knowing that this word gives their project a bad smell.

However, – forget  the associated bad smells of terrorism targets, proliferation dangers, waste problems that go with these nasty little nuclear reactors.

The biggy is economics. They just don’t stack up economically.  (It’s such bad taste to mention this – but reneweable energy does stack up economically.  And when you’re talking about small decentralised power sources – well – solar and wind are obviously the go.)smr-aUSTRALIA-copy

April 15, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Christina's notes, marketing | Leave a comment

This week in nuclear news

I am struggling to keep up with news of the various machinations going on globally, in

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

regard to nuclear power and nuclear weapons.

There’s the Iran – West talks – many points of view on this. I like Jimmy Carter’s idea – don’t bomb Iran.

There’s – most worrying – this global phenomenon – this spectrum of pressure, harassment, discrimination, ill-treatment, imprisonment, murder – of independent journalists and whistleblowers. Anti nuclear journalists are a frequent target, for example Mari Takenouchi , in Japan.

As existing nuclear reactors age, and need expensive safety upgrades, and new nuclear reactors can’t get going, much angst is going on . in USAUK, and especially Japan.  Nuclear corporations and their obedient governments are in a bit of a panic about this. USA – always the leader, is  panicking most about what to do with nuclear wastes.

But – there’s  a brighter side to all this, for the nuclear industry.  Cleaning up radioactive trash, or “decommissioning’  (that’s  a nicer word) is becoming  a bonanza for the nuclear corporations. Westinghouse has just dumped its plans for making Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs – they left out the word ‘nuclear’ because it put people off even more than people were off already)  Westinghouse is instead going to do decommissioning.  Other nuclear companies are turning in that direction, too.

India soon to have elections. Despite pro nuclear major parties, there’s a growing young Aam Aadmi Party uniting in opposition to nuclear power

Renewable energy  forges ahead, world-wide, – especially in China

April 10, 2014 Posted by | Christina's notes | 1 Comment


Christina Macpherson, 3 April 14, I have not yet read the latest report.  But I have seen many headlines – telling us that there will be  few or no health effects from Fukushima radiation.

Here are a few of the points that I noticed in the news reports.

  • It talks about cancer predictions for the whole of Japan with “ low impact” - rather than focussing on the Fukushima exposed population
  • It finds that there will be no discernable change in cancer rates for the whole of Japan, nor of birth defects.
  • It finds that any effects on terrestrial and marine ecosystems would be “transient”
  • effects on flora and fauna of marine ecosywas limited to the shoreline area adjacent to the power station
  •  the potential for marine effects over the long term was considered insignificant



If you bother to analyse all this –  it really means nothing.  The report admits to a few thyroid cancers amongst children.  But that doesn’t seem to matter!

As to mixing up the exposed population with the whole Japanese population – then the cancer incidence increase would look negligible.  But it mentions “low impact” -  So there IS some impact!

There’s no “discernable ” change –  there could be  a change but they won’t be able to pin[point it, therefore it doesn’t exist?

As no-one really registers birth defects – there is no baseline to compare whether or not birth defects will increase. (also stillbirths, spontaneous abortions – all not measured)

Effects on ecosystems are “transient”.  That’s not what the studies by Dr Timothy Mousseau are finding. but then UNSCEAR hasn’t done any ecological studies, as far as I can find out

Marine effects are limited to the shoreline –  so where did the newly arrived radioactive Cesium in Pacific fish come from? (Radioactive cesium is unknown except from nuclear industry sources – does not exist in nature)

April 3, 2014 Posted by | Christina's notes | 2 Comments

A comforting AUSTRALIAN view about climate change

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogsAUSTRALIA

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

I’ve been humming Reg Livermore’s song all this morning ” I’m in theAbbott-fireman Dance Band on the Titanic”   Now why is that?  Oh, It’s ever since I learned of  Prime Minister Tony Abbott’ response to the IPCC’s report on Climate Change – Tony’s got no worries. ““Australia is a land of drought and flooding rains, always has been and always will be”.  

Is that not dandy?  And here were we stressing unnecessarily about yesterday’s The logo-IPCCreport by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Those panic merchants say that climate change is already upon us, and will get worse. Especially here in Australia! Rubbish! (Excuse me while I yell to someone –  ”for god’s sake someone turn on the air-conditioning, it’s boiling hot here”)

Anyway – not to worry, because it’s the poor and disadvantaged in Australia, who will be hit most. (Not US – will we?)

And, another thought. There’s that enthusiastic push in Australia for the nuclear industry , including the claim that nuclear power will solve the climate change problem.  (That in itself is  a bit of a problem for them, with a government that doesn’t believe in climate change).

But no doubt Tony Abbott will change his mind about climate change, as soon as BHP and Rio tell him to.

Nuclear industry for Australia?  Sure, sez I,  why just stuff up our country partially with coal and gas, when we can stuff it up completely with nuclear?

However, nuclear will have zilch impact on climate change, for many reasons. but here’s  a couple:

  1. The time lapse until the 11,000 necessary nuclear plants are operating, will be many decades – by which time global warming will have run away with no hope of mitigation.
  2. The entire nuclear fuel cycle – uranium mining to reactor and waste burial – gives out heaps of carbon emissions. (The nuclear lobby just doesn’t count the dirty bits at the beginning and at the end.


Oh dear – in my patriotic delight that we in Australia are exempt from worrying about Climate and Nuclear, – I have left little space for those countries that are NOT Australia.

Well – the IPCC says that they are all going to cop Climate Change, too. (See youtube video)  And odd people like Barack Obama, David Cameron, Xi Jinping, and all the European leaders believe it.  Well, we in Oz never did trust foreigners, did we?

USA are going to spend over 1 $trillion making and minding their nuclear weapons until 2015

nukefools-dayUK is paying private companies 7 billion pounds  to clean up old nuclear reactors.

Japan has a shocker of  a nuclear energy plan so full of dangers that it is a (bad)  April Fools Day joke.

Sorry – I gotta go and get some ice.  Summer in Australia is supposed to end in February?   Oh well….


April 1, 2014 Posted by | Christina's notes | 1 Comment

Climate change. The latest IPCC report is coming

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

The IPCC latest Climate Change report will be out today.

And I’m dreading it.   I’m dreading what it means for our children and grandchildren , and even us!

I’m also dreading the attention that will be paid by the Australian and world’s aristocracy and plutocracy of middle aged white males – to the pressure from fossil fuel and nuclear lobbies – in response to this report.

Prepare to see science trashed by our lords and masters.


March 31, 2014 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

This week in nuclear news

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Japan is the focus, with many anti nuclear protests across the world, on the anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and in Tokyo, groups organising to work for renewable energy and against nuclear power.  But the ‘Nuclear Village’ is still in control, as Japan moves to develop the Rokkasho plutonium-making complex.  Meanwhile the government plans to restart nuclear power, though most reactors are unlikely to meet the new safety rules.

Confusing plans to return evacuees to Fukushima prefecture, with some areas clearly unable to be decontaminated for decades Fukushima radioactive material continues to leak into the Pacific,and to be detected in the North West Pacific Japan has cracked down on reporting about Fukushima.

Ukraine  is a concern, but experts advise that it is not likely to get nuclear weapons.

UK does a deal to buy Russian nuclear technology even as it is hosting a summit about putting sanctions on Russia due to the crisis in Crimea!

USA. Nuclear is not faring too well. A nasty radioactive leak at a nuclear waste facility in New Mexico. The government has stalled costly plans to build a Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication (MOX) plant  More news that nuclear power is dying, for economic reasons

China – some encouraging news  Wind Leaves Nuclear Behind

March 14, 2014 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby likes the spread of confusing messages about Fukushima and nuclear radiation

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Confusion is the word. The nuclear lobby is surely very pleased with extremist statements about Fukushima radiation, and supposed explosions, that have been publicised on some alternative media sites.

While governments, corporations and mainstream media praise nuclear power, and omit the bad news, the alternative media tries, and at times fails, to supply the truth.  Those of us who run news websites have to be vigilant in doing our best to check stories. In this, the mainstream media has the advantage of employing “fact checkers”.

Let’s not forget. Fukushima nuclear radiation is still dangerous, is still being emitted, and the wrecked reactors are still perilous.  And, let’s not forget the very real problems of safety and radioactive wastes.

January 8, 2014 Posted by | Christina's notes | 4 Comments

Nuclear notes for this week

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Japan: New Secrecy Laws cause anxiety about civil liberties and press freedom .Fukushima. Big increase of radiation in groundwater at No  reactor. Cancer incidence increasing in Fukushima children.   Japanese govt to select places for nuclear waste permanent dump

UK: new Hinkley nuclear reactor to cost around  £17bn – more than the plant itself, and govt subsidy now being  investigated by European Union as illegal.

USA:  US Navymen lose federal case on Fukushima radiation. Small Modular Nuclear Reactors getting only  modest funding from USA govt – US govt getting cold feet about SMRs?

France: French nuclear watchdog calls for a halt in work on the gigantic Flamanville nuclear reactor, due to safety problems.

December 20, 2013 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Nuclear notes for the week

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Nuclear industry market -  future is not looking too good. The World Bank is investing in renewable energy, but definitely will not invest in nuclear energy. Warren Buffett’s going strongly for renewable energy. Goldman Sachs gets out of the uranium market.

Japan. As the perilous removal of nuclear fuel rods goes on at Fukushima,  Japan introduces a new secrecy law, much to public and journalists’ anxiety.

UK.  UK government wins court case to keep secret the documents on the  radiation poisoning of Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko.   Surviving UK nuclear veterans still fighting for justice

Getting ready for Christmas -  trashy useless gifts to help trash the planet.


November 28, 2013 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Nuclear news for the week

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Fukushima is really the only story this week. Many commentators have expressed anxiety, as TEPCO is now proceeding to remove the 1500 assemblies of nuclear fuel rods from the pool above Reactor No 4. Each worker can stay no longer than 2 hours at the site. Later, the same dangerous removal must be done for the other reactors on site taking some 40 years.     With all the worry and anger about mismanagement at the site, we might spare  a thought for these workers. As well as the radiation hazard, there will be the constant risk of any slip that would bring about a nuclear catastrophe of unimaginable proportions.

UK. The saga of Britain’s exorbitantly expensive new nuclear project goes on. Now South Korea, – notorious for the corruption scandals in its nuclear industry – is moving to join China and France in setting up Britain’s nuclear reactors

USA - Kentucky –  Tornado hits nuclear facility – Uranium enrichment building damaged — Parts of cooling towers destroyed — Alert declared for ‘emergency condition’


November 20, 2013 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

I am really sick of the nuclear lobby’s lying propaganda

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

This week the Murdoch Press further glorified nuclear power by publishing a rave review of the filmic nuclear advertisement “Pandora’s Promise”. They used the dishonest argument that “environmentalists really favour nuclear power but are afraid to speak out”.  So they imply that there’s some sort of “environmental mafia”?

However – as to that filmic ad –  there are indeed many reviews that show Pandora’s Propaganda up in its true light.

Robert Stone and “Pandora’s Promise”

Book-PandoraReportCoverBeyond Nuclear: Pandora’s False Promises Download 38-page report here:  Pandora’s Promise, is a new pro-nuclear propaganda documentary released theatrically in the US in July 2013. It is funded in part by individuals with a vested interest in seeing the development of new reactors and is seemingly a vehicle by which to raise the profile of the anti-environmental Oakland think tank, The Breakthrough Institute, whose personnel feature prominently in the film. Despite the film’s premise and early claim that it features “a growing number of leading former anti-nuclear activists” who now support nuclear energy, no one in the film ever led the anti-nuclear movement. Nor was any credible, independent scientific or medical professional with expertise in the areas covered in the film consulted or featured. Beyond Nuclear has bird-dogged the film from the beginning, and has produced numerous critiques. We have also published a definitive report - Pandora’s False Promises: Busting the pro-nuclear propaganda - and a two-page synopsis. These documents address virtually all of the myths, lies and omissions typically found in pro-nuclear rhetoric and are intended to address these long after Pandora’s Promise fades into deserved oblivion.

Read more:

Download the 2-page synopsis at:

Download 38-page report  Pandora’s False Promises: Busting the pro-nuclear propaganda at:

 Analysis: ‘Pandora’s Promise’ one-sided  Anderson Cooper gets reaction to the CNN Films special “Pandora’s Promise” and talks with the director. More commentary & film excerpts available here:

Scientist: Film hypes the promise of advanced nuclear technology  Editor’s note: Edwin Lyman, a physicist, is a senior scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington. For more of his critique of Pandora’s Promise, see his blog post, ”Movie Review: Put Pandora’s Promise Back in the Box.”

Sierra Club: Nuclear power irrelevant The director of “Pandora’s Promise,” Robert Stone, debates the merits of nuclear power with The Sierra Club’s Mike Brune.

November 16, 2013 Posted by | Christina's notes | 7 Comments

I am fed up with nuclear lobby lying about renewable energy

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Doncha get  a bit sick of the nuclear lobby – bleating away about how renewable energy is not happening ?       When in fact IT IS happening  -   faster, cheaper, cleaner than nuclear power !

Renewable Energy Generation Hits All Time Highs in Denmark andGermany .

South African solar plant connects to the grid three months ahead of schedule, Renewable Energy MagazineRobin Whitlock Friday, 15 November 2013 The 75MW Kalkbult solar plant will generate 135 million kilowatt hours per year and displace 115,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions A solar plant built by Scatech Solar in cooperation with local partners has become the first utility-scale renewable energy facility to supply electricity to South African public utility Eskom after connecting to the country’s electricity grid three months ahead of schedule.

Mena solar energy market gears for growth Most of demand expected to originate from Turkey and Saudi Arabia Gulf news, By Sarah Diaa, Staff Reporter  November 15, 2013 Dubai: With an expected combined output of 10 gigawatts by 2017, the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) solar energy sector is gearing for significant growth, experts said……

Renewables get big boost as 50MW solar plant to be built Ghana Web 15 Nov 13 .

November 16, 2013 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Notes on nuclear and climate news

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Philippines Typhoon Haiyan wrought havoc throughout the Philippines  Philippines lead negotiator Yeb Sano has just addressed the opening session of the UN climate summit, calling  for action on climate change, links global warming to typhoons.  Luckily, the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was never fully activated.

Fukushima. Much apprehension as the time gets closer to the commencement of removing nuclear fuel rods from the unstable reactor No 4. Latest medical report: Fukushima children - 26 confirmed cases of thyroid cancer, 32 with suspicious biopsy results.

Nuclear industry and government officials focus on “fear” and “stress” as causes of illness among Fukushima residents, not radiation. This is part of the move to get the evacuees returned home. However, that return is becoming increasingly unlikely.  Meanwhile the cost of the Fukushima cleanup soars – estimated to be $250 – $500 billion.

Energy efficiency. New York’s move to energy-saving LED lamps.has highlighted the fact that energy efficiency removes the need for nuclear power plants. Information on this is  well worth reading.

Cyberwarning. USA and Israel created the Stuxnet virus to damage Iran’s nuclear programme – but it has also infected Russia’s nuclear computers, and could affect nuclear reactors worldwide

Iran nuclear talks dragged on, but in a warmer diplomatic climate   – “ Unfinished, but Alive”


November 13, 2013 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Nuclear news this week

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Fukushima. Tepco’s plan was to start. on Friday 8th Nov  the perilous removal of  1300  nuclear fuel rods from the cooling pool atop nuclear reactor No 4. Fraught with danger, any slip up could result in catastrophe, the evacuation of Tokyo, the virtually perm anent radioactive contamination of the region, and global consequences.. The building is tipping and sinking, due to the soggy ground from radioactive water leaks. The process will take over year. Highly radioactive – it needs to be done mechanically – too “hot” for human closeness.  Should the rods touch each other, or should they crumble into a big enough pile, an explosion is possible.

The start date has now been delayed, as the government-linked Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization has demanded a test procedure be done first. The USA will help, but Japan must first sign an agreement that frees USA vendors  from any liability from USA equipment, should an accident occur due to faulty USA equipment.

Medical experts accuse UNSCEAR of playing down Fukushima radiation health consequences.  64 Japanese organisations ask UNSCEAR and UN General Assembly to revise the inaccurate statements .

Nuclear costs – UK shows how they are too great.

European Union to consider mandatory disaster insurance for nuclear power plants.

November 7, 2013 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

The week in nuclear news

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

United Nations  Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) has just released publicly a statement that Infants and children can be more at risk than adults of developing  cancers when exposed to radiation, for example from nuclear accidents,  UNSCEAR said children and adults should be considered separately following exposure in order to predict risk more accurately.  The full report was presented to the UN General Assembly.   This is more important than it might at first sound, as it follows all that publiciity in May 2013, that UNSCEAR supposedly did not expect health harm from the Fukushima nuclear accident.

UK Government has finalised its deal with China, and EDF, for new untested nuclear reactors with a guaranteed price for these providers, of double the market price. The government has also already committed itself to providing financial guarantees of £10bn to cover the building of Hinkley Point, something not available to builders of solar or wind arrays.  The European Union is studying this deal in view of the EU’s rules against subsidising new nuclear power. Even pro nuclear George Monbiot condemns the deal as a farce. and says of the nuclear waste problem”No one should commission a mess without a plan for clearing it up”

Japan. The Fukushima radiation leaks continue. All observers anxiously await the operation, planned for November, of removing the spent nuclear fuel rods from their precarious pool above reactor No 4. It will be a very dangerous and difficult task, with the potential for a radiation catastrophe.  Meanwhile the Japanese government has drafted a new law about state secrets, which may inhibit press freedom, and allow for the gaoling of whistleblowers for up to 10 years.

October 26, 2013 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment


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