Monday, May 15, 2006

what do you think?

howard is in washington to plant trees with his good ole boy buddy george, and have a bbq on the ranch mayhap?

i wonder whether they will talk about uranium, and nuclear plants, and australia possibly being involved in a leasing arrangement where we lease uranium to other countries like china, and then we take the waste back for storage or disposal of here.

australia has a third of the world's supply, you know.

and what about this little item in the paper today, just tucked away from the front page stories of howard, and nuclear waste leasing agreements:

Nuclear plant plans
Indonesia plans to build its first major nuclear power plant by 2015 and has been offered assistance by four foreign companies... [The Indonesian energy minister] said companies from South Korea, Japan and France had offered to provide technology, but did not specify the nationality of the fourth company.

so what do you think?

1. South Korea

2. Japan

3. France

4. ???

this article mentions china and russia as being committed, along with south korea, japan and france, to helping vietnam build a plant.

oh, the plot thickens.

and from an online article written in 1995:

One regional actor who has sought to play down public concerns about the Indonesian nuclear program is the Australian government. A document from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, leaked to Australian environmental groups, glossed over many concerns about the plants. In addressing the issue of seismic risk, the document notes that "all modern reactors are designed to withstand severe seismic activity" and "the probability of an accident producing even a small release of radioactivity to the atmosphere is extremely low.

and tellingly, this paragraph from the above article:

Australia government support stems in part from the fact that, despite its non-nuclear power policy, the country supplies uranium to some of the world's biggest nuclear utilities. Australia would find it embarrassing to challenge nuclear power plants close to home when its uranium fuels nuclear plants around the world. Australian uranium mining companies have already hosted visits by BATAN officials, with a view to possible contracts early in the next century. Australia also plans to sign a Nuclear Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement with Indonesia. To date, the details of the agreement are being kept under wraps and it will not be debated in the Australian Parliament. Foreign Affairs officials concede that critics might see the agreement as a legitimization of Indonesia's nuclear plans.

do you smell something?

it seems to get worse:

Apart from environmental concerns about the nuclear reactors, critics are challenging the operational and financial structures of Indonesia's plans. One worry is Indonesia's technical ability to operate nuclear reactors. "Indonesia doesn't really need nuclear power; it's an extremely expensive and difficult technology which even technologically advanced, wealthy Western countries have had real problems with. It's dishonest of these countries to allow a technology to be built in Indonesia which has failed or is now rejected in their own country," says Dr. Paul Brown of the University of New South Wales, Australia. "There are real questions as to whether Indonesia has the technical infrastructure needed to adequately support the industry," he says.

so who is doing who here?

It will be Japanese and American engineers and technicians who oversee this project. This is a form of technological colonization.

oh the japanese and the americans. now i'm starting to understand.

When the Indonesian government takes control of the reactors, they will be 15 to 20 years old, a mature age for nuclear plants.


The government will get limited additional service out of the reactors before having to bear the substantial cost and risk of decommissioning them.

i'd say ripped off.

These are matters that Indonesian academic George Aditjondro, currently at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, thinks should be discussed as part of a wider development issue in Indonesia.

clearly still hasn't happened.

It's part of a push to get new technology, particularly certain Western technology, without thinking through the environmental consequences," he says.


Whether Indonesia's nuclear plans proceed depends on many factors. The World Bank has said that nuclear power is the last energy option that Indonesia should explore.

the last energy option that Indonesia should explore.

Even B.J. Habibie, Indonesia's research and technology minister and the man behind the current push to build the reactors, was recently reported as saying that nuclear power will be given "the lowest and last priority" over other energy sources. Last year, the Indonesian Environment Minister Sarwono said he did not expect to see nuclear power in Indonesia in his lifetime.

short memories, or long lives?

President Suharto, who has previously given unconditional support to the project, has urged caution. "We have various energy alternatives, and with good planning we must increase their utilization, such as hydro energy and wind power that are abundant," he told a May 1995 mining and energy conference in Jakarta. "We are aware of big risks in using nuclear energy, especially if it leaks. Therefore, we need to study very closely the experiences from other countries in nuclear power use."

clearly they've done that too

Jakarta's enthusiastic view of nuclear power may be fading. This gradual recognition of the technology's environmental and financial risks may prove too powerful for even Mitsubishi and Westinghouse to overcome.

you reckon? i'd say not.

this article also mentions some of the same players; there seems to be a pattern here. surely they aren't all moving into position to gang up on australia.

nah, not possible.

[goes back to watching mindless tv, becoming obese with diabetes and skin cancer and drinking far too much alcohol, while smoking lots and lots and voting in liberal governments over and over.]


Chai said...

Very _seditious_. :-)

BEVIS said...

My head hurts.

I don't come here to LEARN! I come here for FUN!

Now I'm going to have to go away and think about things. I never signed up for political world views.


groverjones said...

Come on, what could possibly go wrong in Indonesia?

By the way, you can get top quality, custom made boots in any colour, style, shape and/or fetish you like at a little shop on the North side of Malvern station. I got a pair of black cowboy boots for $120. BARGAIN!

elaine said...

[goes back to watching mindless tv, becoming obese with diabetes and skin cancer and drinking far too much alcohol, while smoking lots and lots and voting in liberal governments over and over.]

Oughtn't someone be writing their thesis? Hmmm? (sorry for nagging)

I'm also unsurprised and vaguely disturbed that all we get in the news is 'JWH is getting red carpet treatment', 'planting trees' etc. but WHAT IS HE ACTUALLY THERE FOR?

elaine said...

oh, and ps grover's onto it with that boot man. He doesn't have a phone so you have to visit.

MelbourneGirl said...

hey chai, how are you? what's seditious about this post??

careful, i'll be doing to cococo dance at you soon!

bevis, sorry. can't all be light and sunshine, but i've posted again, but i don't think you "do" SFU

groverjones, yeah just throw a volcano into the mix, along with everything else. and the boots, cool. will check that shop out. next year... or maybe for a winter sale?

elaine, this bit: [goes back to watching mindless tv, becoming obese with diabetes and skin cancer and drinking far too much alcohol, while smoking lots and lots and voting in liberal governments over and over.] was about middle australia, everyone else, NOT ME!!!! i do watch fairly mindless tv, i don't smoke, i'm not obese, i don't have diabetes and i have never voted liberal. i try not to do the other thing too.

goes to have breakfast - you can read about it here:

BEVIS said...

No, I don't "do" SFU. But that's okay. As you just said over at mine, you don't "do" TAR or BB.

(What about TGYH? I think John's seen one episode, but I'm not sure about you - I'm never sure about you, yuk-yuk - and watching one episode doesn't constitute being a fan anyway.)

My point is: You don't have to apologise about SFU. In fact, I still owe you one.

... or you owe me one, or however that's meant to be said.

BEVIS: 2 post streams of no interest to MG
MG: 1 post stream of no interest to BEVIS

So you're in 'credit'.

That's all I mean.

MelbourneGirl said...

thanks B you are sweet, HOWEVER i wasn't apologising for SFU, but for my heavy no-fun political piece.


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