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Greenland might reject Australian-Chinese company Greenland Minerals in its bid to mine rare earths

Telegraph 4th April 2021, AS elections go, it sounds rather minor-league: a contest with just 40,000 voters, triggered by a planning row in one of the most remote, inhospitable corners of the planet. On Tuesday, though, diplomats from Washington to
Beijing will be watching carefully as Greenland holds snap parliamentary polls. With a total of population of just 56,000, its electorate is smaller than some British town councils – yet their vote over the vexed issue of the Kvanefjeld mine project could have implications not just for Greenland, but the global superpower race.

Overlooking the tiny fishing settlement of Narsaq, where locals live mainly off catching whales and seals, the project
aims to tap into one of world’s biggest deposits of “rare earth” minerals – materials as vital to the 21st-century as oil was to the 20th. Their supermagnetic, superconductive properties are used in everything from i-Phones and solar panels through to hybrid cars and weapons systems.

Yet while they are key to the goals of a high-tech, low-carbon world, extracting them itself can be an environmentally-hazardous process – a point not lost on Greenland’s residents, some of whom are sceptical of promises from the Australian firm behind the project, Greenland Minerals, that strict anti-pollution measures will be enforced.

Frontrunners in the election are the Left-wing, pro-green Inuit Ataqatigiit party, who could throw the mine project out altogether, despite warnings from rival parties that Greenland’s isolated economy must end its dependence on fishing. But for others, the stakes are about much more than even that. Of particular concern is that Greenland Minerals is part-owned by Shenghe Holdings, a Chinese firm with close ties to the Beijing government.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/04/04/superpowers-eye-greenland-vote-scramble-earths-treasures/

April 4, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australian government’s $billion gift to foreign weapons companies

Foreign war lobby gets a $billion for missiles – media fawns

https://www.michaelwest.com.au/foreign-war-lobby-gets-a-billion-for-missiles-media-fawns/ 4 Apr 21,
Scott Morrison’s latest billion-dollar missile spend was deftly leaked to the media then talked up by ASPI whose sponsors have raked in $51 billion in Defence Department contracts while doling cash to the conflicted “think-tank”. Marcus Rubenstein investigates.

No sooner had Scott Morrison’s new cabinet been sworn in than it was back to business, feeding out distractions to the Canberra press gallery.

Nearly 14 hours before the prime minister announced to the nation that Australia was going to spend a billion dollars on building “our own missiles” Greg Sheridan from The Australian had the scoop—along with The Age/SMH, Nine Newspapers stablemate Australian Financial Review and the ABC. Along with the ranks of metropolitan mainstream media dailies who all fell in line behind the announcement.

And with military precision they all fired off their online reports at 10:30pm… or, to be more precise, 22:30 hrs.

The Age and Sydney Morning Herald both quoted ASPI (Australian Strategic Policy Institute) in their coverage as did The Conversation, along with others they listed potential weapons maker partners for this home grown missile mission.

Apart from the glaring fact that none of these companies are actually Australian, most were listed by ASPI in a report it published last year. Of the five potential partner companies being touted by mainstream media— Raytheon (USA), Lockheed Martin (USA), Kongsberg (Norway), Rafeal (Israel) and BAE Systems (UK)—all but one is a long-term financial backer of ASPI.

As is de rigueur there was no mention that ASPI’s enthusiasm for substantial new military expenditure was directed towards spending on weapons made by their sponsors.

A number of media reports included PR handout images from US missile maker Raytheon, which for years was a loyal ASPI sponsor and also the former employer of, recently demoted, Defence Minister Linda Reynolds.

The actual announcement was made by the prime minister, not at Parliament House, but at the South Australian facility of Raytheon.

Government access for weapons makers

Since ASPI’s foundation in 2001, when it was created to challenge the policy direction of Defence, it has become more and more commercialised.

This fact was highlighted by ASPI’s founding Executive Director Hugh White, who wrote on the 15th anniversary of its foundation, “The quality of defence policy slumped… [and] ASPI’s focus inevitably swung round to contributing to public debates not government policy-making.”

Under Hugh White’s leadership, ASPI preserved a great deal of independence and only took an average of $28,000 per year in commercial revenue.

In the last financial year, under the leadership of (former Howard Government adviser) Peter Jennings, ASPI raked in $6,953,000 in commercial revenue. Yet it maintains its façade of independence of outside influence.

ASPI sponsor, French-owned Naval Group was awarded the contract for Australia’s controversial $80 billion future submarine project. It has been in the headlines recently after an independent report released in March found the project was “dangerously off track”.

In 2016, when the contract was awarded Jennings, wrote a glowing opinion piece, about his sponsor, under the headline “Vive Australia’s choice of a French submarine”.

The release of the Future Submarines Report was very critical of the entire project and there were suggestions from highly credentialed defence strategists that Australia should walk away from the deal.

In response, ASPI wrote that not only should Naval Group keeps its contract but the Royal Australian Navy should commission un-maned Orca submarines whilst waiting decades for the French submarines order to be fulfilled.

And who makes the Orca? Another ASPI sponsor, Boeing Defense.

This comes after revelations in March that ASPI had been commissioned to write a report critical of the federal government’s awarding of cloud computing contracts to Australian company Canberra Data Centres (CDC).

As it transpires, ASPI had been commissioned to write the report by lobbying firm Australian Public Affairs (APA); the Commonwealth Lobbyists Register reveals APA represent CDC’s three main commercial rivals.

Last October, ASPI’s Peter Jennings told the ABC, “ASPI’s work as a think tank is genuinely independent” and suggestions it was controlled by sponsors were “frankly nonsense”.

The massive ASPI payoff

ASPI is not an independent think tank, it is in fact a Commonwealth Company which reports to the parliament through the Defence Ministry. In its latest annual report ASPI singled out the then Defence Minister for her “continuing close personal engagement and support”.

In her first speech as Defence Minister, Linda Reynolds boasted of her close friendship with ASPI’s Peter Jennings.

Clearly ASPI’s boss and his board, which is chaired by former Chief of the Army, Lt Gen (Ret’d) Kenneth Gillespie and includes former Liberal Defence Minister Brendan Nelson, has access to the highest levels of government and the Defence Department.

Since ASPI’s inception it has received sponsorship from 12 manufacturers of weapons and weapons systems. Over that period, they have been awarded 9,423 Defence Department contracts with a total value of $51.2 billion.

This does not include another 49 ASPI sponsors who do not manufacture weapons, yet Department of Finance data, reveals have benefitted from more than $30 billion in defence contracts since 2001.


ASPI’s most recent annual report revealed that in the year before the COVID-19 pandemic, it hosted 142 separate events and meetings, many of them bringing together defence policy makers and defence suppliers.

At one such event in 2019, sponsored by Thales, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, then Defence Minister Linda Reynolds was keynote speaker. Presumably executives from these foreign weapons makers had some level of access to the minister.

Department of Finance figures later revealed that ministerial and department staff were charged $30,723 by ASPI in order to attend that speech.

April 4, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Every type of nuclear fusion still requires more energy put in than it gives out!



Four ways to fusion: The pros and pitfalls of our nuclear power pursuit, New Atlas By Nick Lavars, April 03, 2021For nearly a century, scientists have been tantalized by the prospect of attaining an inexhaustible source of energy through nuclear fusion. Unfortunately, engineering a controlled environment where atomic nuclei can continuously fuse under extreme pressure and temperature to produce energy that we can capture is very difficult, but that doesn’t mean exciting advances aren’t being made. Here we take a look at some of the different approaches to nuclear fusion, and the reasons why some appear more promising than others.
Fusion and fission are different processes for producing nuclear energy. Where nuclear fusion seeks to combine separate atoms into a larger one, nuclear fission relies on breaking apart an atom (usually Uranium 235) by striking it with a neutron. Both processes release huge amounts of energy, though fusion produces more.


This energy produced by nuclear fission is captured inside reactors, like those at Fukushima and Chernobyl, and used to heat water into steam, which spins a turbine and generates electricity. But this process creates waste products that can remain radioactive for millions of years, which, as we have seen at Fukushima and Chernobyl, can become a disaster when things go awry.Fusion, on the other hand, would produce no long-lasting nuclear waste, with the necessary materials able to be recycled within 100 years. There is also no danger of a meltdown or nuclear accident because it relies on high-temperature reactions that cool within seconds when disrupted. And because these reactions use relatively small amounts of fuel, there is no danger of them being harnessed to produce nuclear weapons………………… 

while ITER, toroidal magnetic confinement and the tokamak design are certainly the most progressed, nuclear fusion researchers are pursuing a number of different approaches, all with their advantages and disadvantages. Unfortunately, regardless of the approach, nuclear fusion still requires more energy from us than it gives back…..   https://newatlas.com/energy/four-ways-fusion-clean-nuclear-power/

April 4, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The long -term job of cleaning up the radioactive corpse of the only short-term nuclear-powered cruise ship


N.H. firm to decommission the only nuclear-powered cruise ship, 
https://www.concordmonitor.com/nuclear-demcommissioning-seabrook-ship-39696001 4 Apr 21,  A New Hampshire company that has disposed of radioactive material for decades is part of a joint venture that recently won a $54 million contract to decommission one of the few non-military nuclear ships e
ver built.“The Savannah is a very, very interesting ship. It is a cruise ship, a nuclear cruise ship,” said James “Jay” Tarzia, co-owner of Radiation Safety and Control Services of Seabrook.

“It was a test concept for (President) Eisenhower’s ‘Atoms for Peace’ program. It had some cargo space, but it was a cruise ship with a swimming pool, lounge, the whole ball of wax. For 10 years or so it traveled around the world to show off peaceful use of nuclear power.”The Nuclear Ship Savannah was launched in 1959 and taken out of service in 1971, and has been mostly stored since. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1991; the designation says the ship “sailed half a million miles around the world and was visited by 1.5 million people. This exposure, unprecedented for a nuclear facility, is credited with easing anxieties over nuclear energy.”

The Savannah’s nuclear power plant, a pressurized-water reactor that created steam to drive the engines, was removed decades ago, but residual radioactivity lingers in pipes and other equipment within the reactor containment area. A joint venture called Nuclear Ship Support Services, consisting of Radiation Safety and Control Services along with Energy Solutions of Charlotte, N.C., will determine what needs to be removed and disposed of in licensed landfills or radioactive waste sites.

The contract extends for four years with an option for a fifth and will probably involve “a couple thousand pounds” of material, Tarzia said.The goal is to render the ship safe enough so that it no longer has to be licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. At that point it will either be scrapped or turned into a museum. David Brooks can be reached at 369-3313 or dbrooks@cmonitor.com 

April 4, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment