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Christina Macpherson

Nuclear news for the past week

Friday 7 September 2012

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AUSTRALIA. It has been a seemingly quiet week in Australian nuclear news. But then, in the Australian media, it’s always a quiet nuclear week. I have got a bit of a shock, in studying the media as a theme for September, that in fact - the norm for Australia is just to not know anything about nuclear issues. That’s how the nuclear lobby, government and mainstream media like it.

That doesn’t mean that nothing is going on. Alas no. The nuke lobby keeps on. Go to the business pages. Look up "uranium" on Google. A whole lot of hype about the great future for uranium mining - (despite all the evidence to the contrary). Then there’s the subtle move for nuclear power in Australia. For example, in today’s news, Utility Products praises "low carbon" (not necessarily renewable) energy.

- "For non-renewable energy technologies, combined cycle gas and nuclear power are considered the cheapest and will stay cost competitive with the lower cost renewable technologies also up until 2050."

considered by whom? I’d like to know. On the less subtle pitch, Barry Brook continues his promotion of nuclear power for Australia, also despite evidence that this would be economically disastrous, as well as environmentally.

In Western Australia the great walk against uranium mining continues - the nuke lobby would never admit it, but such brave protests have their impact, as they did with Olympic Dam, too, in South Australia. Lynas rare earths company is jubilant about getting a temporary operating license in Malaysia. But no mention of whether their radioactive waste plan is yet accepted by Malaysia, or even if they really have a radioactive waste plan.

In Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria the Liberal governments clamp down on renewable energy, while in South Australia over 50% of electricity is being supplied currently, through wind energy. The federal government disappoints in its backdown on closing down dirty coal plants.

INTERNATIONAL. Japan’s government wrestles with its future energy policy, not yet decided. Very worrying reports keep coming out about the still dangerous state of the Fukushima nuclear reactors, and the anxious plight of Fukushima area residents.

Pakistan - a scare, as police report on afoiled (this time) attempt by suicide bombers to attack a nuclear facility.

India. Kudankulam anti nuclear movement continues their struggle, with legal cases to come.

USA. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to develop a new "Waste Confidence Rule" - (means they think that nuclear power could go ahead, because they believe that a waste disposal solution will be found, one day, ). Obama and Romney have different policies on renewable energy promotion - Obama basicall FOR, Romney AGAINST.

France - had a minor nuclear reactor incident - but not inspiring public confidence in the industry.

Christina Macpherson
Antinuclear Australia