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January Nuclear Update

The Nuclear Free Collective is feeling refreshed to continue our fight for a nuclear free future and feel confident that with every new year, we are getting one year closer to this goal.

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This is reflected in our update this month, with the 1 year anniversary of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), the expiry of 3 out of 4 proposed Uranium mines in WA, an article on the grim future of the nuclear industry and a new report by ICAN and PAX that major investors are saying no to funding nuclear weapons.

Of course there is still plenty of work to be done, with the proposed nuclear dump in SA, the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal, the Vimy Resources Mulga Rock uranium mine license extension and the nuclear industry's ongoing misinformation campaign around nuclear energy.

We look forward to keeping you up to date and invite you to join our work in any way that you can.

In this update:

Three out of four proposed WA uranium mines had their license expire in the last year

1-year anniversary of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

In 2022, nuclear power’s future looks grimmer than ever

New ICAN Report Troubled Waters: nuclear submarines, AUKUS and the NPT.

Barngarla Traditional Custodians Legal Challenge update

Australian ‒ UK Nuclear Connections Forum

Nuclear Free News

Upcoming Events/ Actions

Three out of four proposed WA uranium mines had their license expire in the last year

Even though the McGowan Labor government reinstated a policy ban on new uranium projects, it had allowed four conditionally approved projects to continue – Kintyre (Cameco), Wiluna (Toro Energy), Yeelirrie (Cameco) and Mulga Rock (Vimy Resources). As part of the conditions these four projects were given a five year deadline to develop the mines.

Sustained community opposition and poor market conditions have lead to:

  • Cameco's Kintyre uranium project reached their 5 years deadline in March 2020 and are no longer able to develop Kintyre.
  • Toro's Wiluna uranium project expired on the 9 January 2022. 
  • On January 20, we learned that Cameco's Yeelirrie uranium project expired.

Yeelirrie licence expiry notice


Though this news has been reason to celebrate for local communities and campaigners, these sites have undergone substantial exploration activities and trial mining and now present an environmental and economic liability to Western Australia.

To great dismay of local communities, Vimy Resources' Mulga Rock uranium project was granted approval to continue on December 16 last year, without having the capital to develop the mine, a final investment decision at the board level nor engaging into formal negotiations with the Upurli Upurli Nguratja Native Title claimant group who have a registered Native Title claim over the area.

Our focus now will be to support the communities and activists fighting against the Mulga Rock mine to go ahead. Read more here.


1-year anniversary of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

On January 22, the world celebrated the first anniversary since the day the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) entered into force.

  • Over 135 nations joined up to negotiation the TPNW. Today there are 86 signatories and 59 states parties.
  • The first meeting of states parties to the TPNW will take place in 2022, with all nations invited. NATO members Norway and Germany have committed to attend as observers, but Australia hasn’t yet done so.
  • Worldwide 524 cities and towns have declared their support for the TPNW, including 38 in Australia and the Australian Local Government Association.
  • Worldwide 2,015 parliamentarians have pledged their support for the TPNW, including 234 in Australia.
  • While the Coalition federal government has failed to sign and ratify the TPNW, Australian Labor has committed to do so in government.
On top of this, investors behind $3.9 trillion in assets say the TPNW is why they’re saying no to nuclear weapons. This means 101 financial institutions worldwide have policies excluding investment in nuclear weapons. Eight of those are in Australia.

Please read the full report “Rejecting Risk: 101 policies against nuclear weapons” to learn more.

We congratulate the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) for their incredible work and are grateful to help in the efforts to grow the support for the treaty for another year.

In 2022, nuclear power’s future looks grimmer than ever

Our collective's own Dr Jim Green has written another sobering article about the state of the world's nuclear industry.

Nuclear power’s contribution to global electricity supply has fallen from a peak of 17.5 percent in 1996 to 10.1 percent in 2020. Renewables reached an estimate29 per cent share of global electricity generation in 2020, a record share.

Enthusiasts hope that nuclear power’s cost competitiveness will improve, but in all likelihood it will continue to worsen. Alone among energy sources, nuclear power becomes more expensive over time, or in other words it has a negative learning curve.

Read the full article here.

  New ICAN Report Troubled Waters: nuclear submarines, AUKUS and the NPT


The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Australia has launched a new report: Troubled Waters: nuclear submarines, AUKUS and the NPT.

It is a critical time to consider carefully the implications of the nuclear submarine proposal for global efforts to safeguard nuclear materials, prevent nuclear proliferation and eliminate nuclear weapons.

Of key concern is the threat Australian nuclear submarines pose to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the broader safeguards regime and peace in our region. Further, Australian nuclear submarines would increase nuclear dangers and are an unnecessary, precedent-setting and retrograde step.

Read the full report here.

Barngarla Traditional Custodians Legal Challenge update

The Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation has filed judicial review in the Federal Court of Australia against the federal government's plan to establish a national nuclear waste dump on their country in SA -- despite the unanimous opposition of Barngarla Traditional Owners.

If successful, the Court will entirely overturn the decision to locate the facility at Napandee, near Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula, by quashing the Minister’s declaration.

The best way that you can help stop the nuclear waste dump at this point is by supporting the Barngarla Traditional Owners fund their legal challenge.

To learn more about the proposed dump and the objections by affected communities watch this informative video:

Barngarla video

Australian ‒ UK Nuclear Connections Forum

The video below is of a Dec. 2021 forum about the nuclear industries in, and nuclear connections between, Australia and the UK.

Discussion covered the British nuclear weapons tests in Australia, disarmament and non-proliferation campaigning (including the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons), uranium mining and its impacts on Australia's first nations, nuclear power, the links between civilian and military nuclear programs, nuclear-powered submarines, and more.

Speakers included Dr. Jillian Marsh, Sue Coleman-Haseldine, Iona Soper,
Dr Ian Fairlie, Daniel Selwyn, Dave Sweeney, and Jim Green.


Nuclear Free News

News covered in this update and other relevant articles can be read on our website's news section January edition.

Upcoming events/ actions

Sustainable Living Festival: Nuclear Power for Australia?

Can nuclear power help with the climate change abatement in Australia? The aim of this event is to raise awareness about global trends with nuclear power and renewable energy with an emphasis on climate impacts, and to discuss the impacts of uranium mining in Australia including its impacts on First Nations. Speakers: Dr. Jillian Marsh and Dr. Jim Green

Saturday February 26, 2.00pm to 3.30pm. Details here.


RadioActive Show 3CR

Current news and information on nuclear, peace and energy issues.

Every Saturday from 10.00-10.30 am (Melbourne time)
Tune in via 855 AM or listen to past episodes online.



In solidarity,
For a nuclear free future,

On behalf of the Nuclear Free Collective


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