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Are we now at the tipping point of the consumer society?

consumer-societyTime up on consumer society: Southern Courier, Steve Tighe 17 DEC 12   AT what point will our time-starved society release its vice-like grip on materialistic values and place quality of life above the pursuit of visible economic achievement?

According to futurist Steve Tighe we are now at the tipping point of a post-materialistic society. Tighe told the Randwick Business and Economic Leadership Forum, held at Little Bay’s Prince Henry Centre on Wednesday, that there was a grinding movement away from the consumption of material possessions.

“We have been a high consumption society for 30 years but the new norm emerging is a fundamental shift in the aspirational value people place on possessions,” he said….. A key driver of change is the loss of personal time which Tighe described as the greatest unmet need of our society in 2012, with people now working on average six hours more than 10 years ago. “People are spending too much time at work and too much time is spent getting there,” he said.

December 22, 2012 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Fukushima radiation’s slow journey to USA and China’s coasts

water-radiationMore Fukushima nuclear pollution to hit U.S. starting in 2015 — Study: Impact strength of Cesium-137 on West Coast to be as high as 4 PERCENT
December 20th, 2012 Follow-up to: Ocean Absorbed 79 Percent Of Fukushima Fallout

Title: An ensemble estimation of impact times and strength of Fukushima nuclear pollution to the east coast of China and the west coast of America

Source: Science China Earth Sciences
Authors: GuiJun Han, Wei Li, HongLi Fu, XueFeng Zhang, XiDong Wang, XinRong Wu, LianXin Zhang
Date: November 2012 Continue reading

December 22, 2012 Posted by | Fukushima 2012, oceans | Leave a comment

CND welcomes report on Trident & Barrow employment

Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today welcomed the findings of a ‘timely and significant’ report into the Trident Alternatives Review and the future of Barrow. (For the full report, see here and for evidence submitted, see here)

The report, produced by the Nuclear Education Trust (NET), makes a clear case for the publication of the Lib Dem-led review into alternatives to “like-for-like” replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system, which the government has so far refused to commit to.
It also concluded that while Barrow is heavily dependent on BAE Systems as an employer, the economic impact of an option other than like-for-like replacement is not ‘a “binary” choice between 6,000 employed or none’.

Rather, the report recommends that the Government should ‘take a number of steps now to support a fragile economy’. Reducing Barrow’s dependence on BAE Systems (and thus the need for Trident replacement) could be achieved through a range of investment, regeneration and diversification mechanisms, the report argues. This could include investment from the Energy Coast Initiative, creation of an Enterprise Zone for Barrow and transitional funding from European Structural Funds, as well as support towards industrial diversification.

Kate Hudson, General Secretary of CND, said that the report ‘offers a timely and significant intervention in the debate around Trident replacement.’

‘The issue of employment at Barrow is of great importance in these discussions. This is a very skilled workforce which could and should be utilised in industries which have a sustainable future.’

‘The way for the government to pave the way for such diversification is to invest now to give the workers in Barrow a broader opportunity of employment which is not solely reliant on BAE Systems and Ministry of Defence decision-making.’

December 22, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fukushima type accident risk at Indian Point and Oconee nuclear plants

safety-symbol1Engineers warn: Two US nuclear plants may cause new Fukushima
 21 December, 2012,  Nuclear engineers have warned the
Senate of the threats facing two US nuclear power facilities, which
could result in enormous explosions or a Fukushima-like meltdown if
natural phenomena or weather conditions cause the facilities to fail.

Senator Joe Lieberman is the current chairman of the Senate Committee
on Homeland Security & Government Affairs, but will retire in 2013.
Two nuclear engineers have asked him to spend his last days in
Congress investigating the threats posed by two nuclear power
facilities. Continue reading

December 22, 2012 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Great lakes nuclear threat is greater than all its other pollution problems

Nuclear power: The ultimate near shore threat to the Great Lakes? Great Lakes Echo


“I hope you rethink your really scary plan to bury radioactive waste located only half a mile from Lake Huron…”

That’s a concerned citizen responding to a Canadian nuclear power company’s proposal to store radioactive waste underground near Lake Huron for 100,000 years.

The best-known near shore threats to the Great Lakes are raw sewage and algae blooms. Both receive considerable attention from government agencies and accounts about them are regularly reported in the popular media.

The threat posed by the nuclear power plants that dot the region could easily trump both. It may be the ultimate near shore threat. Continue reading

December 22, 2012 Posted by | Canada, environment, USA | Leave a comment

USA’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission not keeping up with new flood dangers

nuke-&-seaLNuclear power plant flood risk: Sandy was just a warm-up  Remapping Debate,  By Heather Rogers  Dec. 20, 2012 “……..Are nuclear power plants becoming more exposed to flood risks?

While climate scientists, including Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, the director of the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at Princeton University, currently project that the frequency of tropical cyclones such as hurricanes will stay the same, or even decrease, the severity of these storms is expected to rise. This is the result of warming ocean surface temperature, due to increasing atmospheric temperatures. “There will be a shift from less intense, say, Category 1 and 2 hurricanes, toward more intense hurricanes,” Oppenheimer said.

Amplifying the effect of these more powerful storms will be a rise in sea level. “So there are two things expected to happen simultaneously which will increase surge levels in the future,” explained Oppenheimer. Consequently, he said, “Planning for any [nuclear] installations along the coast needs to keep that in mind.” Continue reading

December 22, 2012 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear industry embarrassed by its own bungles

nuclear-comedyA Year Of Nuclear Bungles, New Matilda,  By Jim Green, 20 Dec 12 The nuclear industry’s biggest enemy in 2012 was itself. Security breaches, leaks, illegal dumping and poor oversight – anything that could go wrong, did. Jim Green rounds up this year’s nuclear hijinks

The nuclear industry inflicts far more damage on itself than its opponents could ever hope to.  The mere mention of the easily-preventable Fukushima disaster probably suffices to establish that point, but there are many more examples. To make the task manageable, this snapshot of recent nuclear shenanigans, jiggery-pokery, goings-on and own-goals is restricted to countries that Australia sells uranium to (or plans to sell uranium to).

Tests carried out at the European Union’s 143 nuclear power reactors have exposed hundreds of problems requiring up to €25 billion (AU$31 billion) to remedy, according to a report by the EU energy commissioner. The report concludes that “practically all” plants need safety improvements.

Gee-whiz “next generation” power reactors in Finland and France continue to embarrass the industry. Continue reading

December 22, 2012 Posted by | business and costs, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Julian Assange’s Christmas speech

Assnage,JulianThe WikiLeaks boss also mentioned his plans to run for a seat in the Australian Senate, indicating confidence that he would win in next year’s federal election. “In Australia, an unelected senator will be replaced by one that is elected,” he stated.

‘We continue to stand up to bullies’  ’ every day ordinary people teach us that democracy is free speech.’

see-this.way(includes video )Assange: WikiLeaks to release over a million new docs in 2013  20 December, 2012, Despite all the difficulties the WikiLeaks faced in 2012, Julian Assange vowed to publish some 1,000,000 new documents in the coming year. In his Christmas speech he called for people to continue fighting for democracy “from Tahrir to London.” Continue reading

December 22, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Tepco pays $142,130.00 in admission of a death caused by Fukushima nuclear disaster

Tepco admits link between death and Fukushima disaster for 1st time
December 20th, 2012
 Title: TEPCO settles over death of evacuee
Source: Jiji Press
Date: Dec. 21, 2012

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has reached a settlement with the family of a woman from Minamisoma who died as a result of the accident at the utility’s crippled nuclear power plant […]

This is the first time that TEPCO has admitted a causal link between the death of an evacuee and the accident at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. A total of 183 cases of settlement have been made public […]

According to the center, the woman, who was hospitalized in the Odaka district of the city, died in April last year after she was forced to evacuate […]

Tepco paid the woman’s family 12,000,000 yen, equivalent to $142,130.00 at today’s exchange rate.
See also: NHK: Criminal inquiry into nuclear accident begins — Fukushima disaster “a criminal act by the gov’t and Tepco”? — Multiple prosecutors coordinating investigation

December 22, 2012 Posted by | Fukushima 2012 | Leave a comment

Space travel’s inevitable cancer danger

Astronauts can endure this radiation for only a limited time before serious
problems such as cancer begin cropping up…..

For Manned Deep-Space Missions, Radiation Is Biggest Hurdle
by Mike Wall, Senior WriterDate: 20 December 2012  High
radiation levels beyond Earth orbit pose the biggest challenge to
human exploration of deep-space destinations, experts say. Continue reading

December 22, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health | Leave a comment

Nuclear power’s future not as bright as they say!

power is like building an outhouse without putting a hole under it –
there is no place for the waste to go.

 Accidents will continue to occur,
especially as older plants are being refurbished. Costs are high.
Builds and repairs, refurbishment and refuelling cannot be completed
within – or even close to – estimated times, and accidents are

Wishful thinking on nuclear power
By Dr. Dale Dewar, The StarPhoenix, December 21, 2012 Dewar is
executive director of the group Physicians for Global Survival.

highly-recommendedIn the article Cameco CEO bullish on nuclear future (SP, Nov. 30), Tim
Gitzel presents a report of the nuclear industry that is very much at
odds with the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012 and the
International Atomic Energy Agency.

While Cameco’s chief executive is well paid to sell the industry,
apparently being factual is unnecessary.

The authors of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report are not
particularly friendly to the nuclear industry, but neither are they a
bunch of rabid antinuclear environmentalists. They simply tell it like
it is. Continue reading

December 22, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japanese waking up to the false economics of nuclear power

bribery-1Radiation leaking from the damaged power plants has laid bare national policies and economic choices that have long gone unquestioned in Japan. “Please imagine!” one man told a priest. “A rural town, where there were no jobs, no money and no industries, was able to receive a chunk of money suddenly just by welcoming the construction of nuclear power plants.”

The conferees pledged “to pray for and with the people of Fukushima and other communities suffering the harms caused by nuclear power” and to send the conference’s final statement to next year’s WCC Assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea.

church-&-radNuclear tragedy finds a human face in Fukushima,  flag-japanInsights, ON 19 DEC 2012 BY STEPHENW  “……..Christian and Buddhist clergy, as well as laypersons, told the 87 conferees from Asia, Europe and North America of their struggle to support families and communities, to cope with the disaster themselves and to challenge the official disaster response.
Conference participants resolved to initiate discussions in faith communities about “civilian and military uses of nuclear energy”, and to develop plans of action “including lifestyle changes”.
The conference began in the city of Koriyama, 100 kilometres from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and well beyond the official disaster exclusion zones. Radiation hotspots there—created when a reactor building exploded and contamination was spread by prevailing winds—are as dangerous as areas in the town nearest to the nuclear plant. Continue reading

December 22, 2012 Posted by | Japan, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Use practical diplomacy with Iran, says USA Conference of Catholic Bishops

highly-recommendedThe international community should affirm Iran’s “right to enrich uranium” in exchange for an Iranian commitment to “limit enrichment convincingly short of weapons-grade potential, as confirmed by verifiable inspections,” he said.

diplomacy not bombs 1U.S. Bishops Call for Nuclear Negotiations With Iran Bishop Richard Pates, chairman of USCCB’s justice and peace committee, voices ‘deep concern’ over the current ‘dangerous situation.’ 20 Dec 12, ASHINGTON — The U.S. bishops’ leader on international peace issues said that dialogue is the path to a peaceful resolution of nuclear concerns between the United States and Iran.

“Bold steps must be considered to counter this unfortunate and continually rising tide of aggressive posturing between our own nation and Iran,” said Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, Iowa. In a Dec. 18 letter to Thomas Donilon, national security advisor to the Obama administration, he explained that a “peaceful resolution will require direct, sustained negotiations over a considerable period of time.”
The bishop, who chairs the Committee on International Justice and Peace for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, voiced “deep concern” over the “dangerous situation facing our nation, the international community and Iran.”

Speaking on behalf of his committee, he urged the U.S. to immediately begin direct negotiations with the nation in order to avoid further escalation. “Initiating such talks should be done without preconditions and might include extending to Iran some relief from current international sanctions,” he said. Continue reading

December 22, 2012 Posted by | Iran, politics international, Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment

A compelling argument against stopping Iran’s nuclear research

proliferation has proven to be historically rare, with the number of nuclear weapons states expanding only slightly from five in 1964 to nine in 2006 following North Korea’s nuclear test.

Ironically, the Middle East itself offers further evidence that nuclear proliferation is not inevitable. …….. Israel acquired nuclear weapons in the late 1960s and over four decades later still remains the only nuclear power in the region

flag-IranOne Of The Biggest Arguments For Stopping Iran’s Nuclear Research Is Just Plain Wrong
Christopher Hobbs and Matthew Moran, The Guardian | Dec. 19, 2012, Much of 2012 has seen a steady rise in tensions with regard to Iran’s nuclear programme and its possible military dimensions. Iran has continued to increase its stockpile of 20%-enriched uranium, moving closer to Israel’s red line for military action

Successive rounds of negotiations between Tehran, the P5+1 and the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) have failed to yield tangible results and economic sanctions are now crippling the Iranian economy. Yet the country’s nuclear programme marches on, stoking fears that Iran may indeed be seeking to cross the nuclear weapons threshold.

The regime in Tehran has consistently stressed Iran’s opposition to the acquisition of nuclear weapons, primarily on religious grounds – Supreme Leader Khamenei’s fatwa prohibiting the use of nuclear weapons is held up as evidence of this position.

However, there is widespread agreement that Iran’s nuclear activities extend well beyond what is necessary to meet their civil nuclear needs.

Inevitably, Iran’s nuclear defiance has provided ammunition for the war-mongerers advocating a pre-emptive attack on Iran. Prominent commentators such as Matthew Kroenig, claim that, at the very least, a nuclear-armed Iran would prompt a ‘proliferation cascade’ in the Middle East.

If Iran acquires nuclear weapons – whatever form that scenario may take — its regional rivals will follow suit. The argument here is seductive; it is easier to assume the worst than to hope for the best. The problem is, we find that the counter-argument is more compelling……. Continue reading

December 22, 2012 Posted by | Iran, politics international | 1 Comment

Lynas radioactive waste plans: unsafe?

text ionisingLynas’ waste plans a toxic pipe dream  Aliran,   19 December 2012 by Wendy Bacon ”    ……While Lynas says it is confident in the current by-product plans, they are yet to be tested. Dr Peter Karamoskas, who has been a nuclear radiologist for 13 years and represents the Australian public on the Radiation Safety Committee of Australia’s nuclear safety agency, shares none of that confidence.

Speaking on his own behalf, Karamoskas said that to be safe more than a million tons of WLP residue with a radioactive reading of 6Bq have to be mixed with five times the amount of aggregate to reduce its reading to 1Bq. While he said that a similar process had been used in the Netherlands, the waste was far less radioactive, sitting near 1Bq, which is the threshold for safety.

Karamoskas said it has never been used with material with the Lamp WLP reading of 6Bq. He says that it is extremely unlikely to be a long term solution from a safety or economic point of view: “If this was all ready to go they would be trumpeting it in the public arena … already it looks slippery. If this was possible wouldn’t most countries around the world be doing it?” He thinks it is extremely unlikely that the road mix could be imported, other than to a country with “lax standards” because it would breach international best practice standards. Continue reading

December 22, 2012 Posted by | Malaysia, RARE EARTHS, Reference, Uranium | Leave a comment