Nuclear energy

Resources minister Matt Canavan jetted off to India last month to continuing the unedifying Australian government tradition of flogging the nation’s dirtiest minerals to the places that least need them, documents obtained by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) have revealed.

The Traditional Owners of the Tjiwarl native title claim lost their Supreme Court appeal to have the approval for the Yeelirrie uranium mine revoked on July 31.

Nuclear power is currently enjoying a flurry of interest in Australia. But those promoting nuclear power are almost exclusively from the far right of the political spectrum, writes Jim Green.

As the British government is set to celebrate 50 years of Trident, Scottish-based anti-nuclear activist Linda Pearson argues they should instead apologise for the impact of British nuclear weapons testing on Aboriginal communities and halt plans to transfer nuclear waste from the Dounreay nuclear power plant to Australia.

In the very early hours of Sunday, July 29, the federal government carried out a highly secretive transport of spent nuclear fuel. Helicopters and hundreds of police accompanied trucks from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology’s reactor at Lucas Heights to Port Kembla in New South Wales. 

Crowd at a forum

Hundreds of people attended the first leg of the 100% Renewables Roadshow in Adelaide on October 31, demonstrating strong community support for renewable energy in South Australia.

Solar Citizens National Director Claire O’Rourke spoke about their Homegrown Power Plan, which maps out a proposal for how Australia can get to 100% renewable energy by 2030.

South Australia’s peak environment body Conservation SA warned on September 19 that a nuclear waste repository under construction in Finland has few lessons for the high-level nuclear waste dump proposed for SA.

Conservation SA CEO Craig Wilkins said there were so many differences between the Finnish and SA nuclear waste plans that Premier Jay Weatherill’s current study trip there would provide little insight.

About 60 anti-uranium protesters set up a bonfire in the middle of the road leading to Olympic Dam, in South Australia, stopping all traffic in and out of the BHP Billiton uranium mine for about 19 hours on July 3. Olympic Way was also closed for about 90 minutes on July 2 as about 200 demonstrators undertook a funeral procession, carrying a black coffin and baskets of animal bones to the gates of Olympic Dam. The protest was organised by Desert Liberation Front, which opposes toxic waste dumps in Australia and wants BHP Billiton's uranium mine to be closed within two years.
Armed with the findings of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, South Australian Labor Premier Jay Weatherill is pressing ahead with plans to import as much as a third of the world's high-level nuclear reactor waste and store it in the state's outback. There are compelling reasons to reject it. The project, it now emerges, could go ahead only over resistance from Indigenous traditional landowners, some of whom took part in the Lizard Bites Back convergence in early July.
As a sagging economy cruelled their electoral chances, right-wing parliamentarians and power-brokers in the South Australian Labor Party decided in late 2014 that it was time to ditch a once fiercely-defended point of policy. The party's remaining opposition to the nuclear fuel cycle would have to go. Labor Premier Jay Weatherill soon came on board, and by March last year the state's Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission was under way.

Pages

Subscribe to Nuclear energy