Australian news, and some related international items

1.This month

for international news go to 

Former Nuclear engineers discuss Areva, EPRs and the Nuclear Industry

For international news, go to nuclear-news 



scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINMore public hearings:

  • 6 October Tuesday, 6 October, 2015 at the Science Exchange Building, 55 Exchange Place, Adelaide. ESTIMATING COSTS AND BENEFITS OF NUCLEAR ACTIVITIES.
  • 8 October at the Northern Festival Theatre ballroom, Port Pirie. 10:30am-4:00pm. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT. LESSONS LEARNT FROM PAST SA PRACTICES


more detail  on EVENTS at Action Australia and  Event details « Antinuclear

September 21 – December 14  Submissions open  Invitation for Public Comment : 
15 October  – Adelaide Exhibition Talking Straight Out celebrates Aboriginal women’s success in fight against nuclear waste dump.
 16-17 October – Sydney University – 3rd Annual Festival of DemocracyCaldicott-2013



Don’t Nuke the Climate COP21 Paris  logo Paris climate1

Exposing Lie No 2 – that ‘low level’ ionising radiation is not harmful to health

(and therefore all those safety rules can be relaxed, thus making nuclear operations cheaper) theme for October 2015 

IONISING RADIATION is just one type of radiation.  In physics, radiation describes any process in which  energy travels through a medium or through, space, ultimately to be absorbed by another body.

In discussing the nuclear industry, we are not talking about other forms of radiation, which are mainly non-ionising – e.g: acoustic radiation (sound,  ultrasound, infrasound) non-ionising forms of electromagnetic radiation (i.e., radio waves.)

While there is debate about whether or not electrmagnetic radiation is harmful to life, there is conclusive proof that ionising radiation is harmful.

RADIOACTIVE ISOTOPES: How they spread from the nuclear industry

the many stages of the nuclear cycle – at each stage, radiation is emitted. Transport of nuclear materials goes on between each stage.



atom-u236Uranium atoms are unstable, breaking up into other atoms – radioisotopes, and giving off energy in the form of gamma rays

The 3 types of radiation (alpha, beta and gamma) are different in the way that they can travel through substances . (Alpha rays do not penetrate the body, but can be breathed in, or swallowed, and remain in the body.) The radioactive isotopes also last for different lengths of time (see table below)

Radioactive isotopes vary in the time they take to break down.This length of time is measured in “half-lives” – counting the time it takes for an isotope to lose half of its radioactivity.


Some of the many toxic isotopes that are regularly released from nuclear reactors into water and air are Radioactive iodine 131, (half-life of 8 days), & Strontium 90 (half-life 28 days), Cesium 137 (half-life 30 years) is gradually released from ageing reactors.

Plutonium 239, created in nuclear reactors, is an alpha particle with a half-life of 24.400 years.


What are “high level” and “low level” wastes?

Where exactly do these radioactive elements come from?

High-level waste consists mostly of milling tailings, spent nuclear reactor fuel from both commerical power plants and military facilities, as well as reprocessed materials .

Low-level waste includes the remainder of radioactive wastes and materials generated in power plants, such as contaminated reactor water, plus those wastes created in medical laboratories, hospitals, and industry. Such wastes come in many ways, including – ” protective clothing of people in contact with radioactive materials, old medical radiation equipment from hospitals and clinics.

All can emit radiation for hundreds of thousands of years. It spreads through the environment mainly through water. Buried wastes leak into groundwate




  1. Imagine a planet where our families were very moderate in size – we wouldn’t be using as much energy in total and could leave some energy for the next generation.

    Comment by L Hunter | September 28, 2009 | Reply

  2. Thank you, L. Hunter.
    I totally agree with you – the goal would be moderation in human numbers, as well as moderation in the way we live, and consume the Earth’s resources.
    I read recently of someone’s suggestion that “the best tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the condom”

    Comment by Christina MacPherson | September 29, 2009 | Reply

  3. I’d have to admit that my views have been influenced by the information put out by the ‘independent’ radio and television broadcasters and by the institutes you have mentioned.
    I feel that I have made a conscious effort to become better educated on the issue of nuclear power but if our public broadcasters and institutes are not providing unbiased information on the issue then where else do I go?
    I personally think the case for nuclear power is strong but I am now wary that I may not have been presented with all the relevant information.

    Comment by MattSmith | January 20, 2010 | Reply

    • Australia’s public broadcasters are not doing such a bad job, by world standards. Of course they find trivia, sensationalism, and overly sentimental topics are more popular than serious matters. And of course, they find it easier to just use the media releases that pour out from industry and government.

      Still, one can find very fair and informative stuff in Australia’s mainstream media – (eg. The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Courier Mail), just that it’s likely to be on about page 7 of the newspaper, or on TV or radio at an unfriendly time (e.g ABC’s Lateline). Also, journalists aren’t always resourced (or inclined) to spend time at the “coal-face” or rather, the “uranium-face” – some topics just not covered.

      All coupled with Australians, (including journalists’) extraordinary reverence for the opinions of “hard” scientists, (nuclear physicists, like Ziggy Switkowski,) compared to their scepticism about “soft” scientists, ( ecologists, environmental scientists like Mark Diesendorf, or Prof Ian Lowe)

      Comment by Christina MacPherson | January 21, 2010 | Reply

  4. A message we get from the media is that Nuclear power is the only way to provide full-scale baseload power.

    Rarely do Nuclear power proponents mention REDUCING or ELIMINATING the gargantuan full-scale waste of power.


    millions of burning electric lights on bright sunny days, eccentric eclectic electric doors opening for any people/objects passing by and often not coming in, almost countless numbers of devices chewing up electricity in standby power-buy mode, dinosaur toasters and dinosaur ovens run on days that a solar oven could do the job, shop “background” subliminal propaganda programming music and video feeds, hair dryers when extreme water wasteful cotton for towels is unused or discarded in frantic frenzy, “boom box” speaker earthshakers human-attempted earthquakers, electric air conditioning to cool those already overflowing with excessive cold-weather-survival calories, grid iron heaters instead of exercise + no-restrictive-nicotine + no-depressive-alcohol + comfortable clothes in winter.

    The True Cost on my electric bill at home is ONE KILOWATT $0.25 per day, but outside of home, and due to waste society, is probably an order of magnitude (10 times) greater at a minimum.


    “To Waste is a Crime.”

    Comment by NoNukes Australia | March 3, 2010 | Reply

  5. I have a query regarding using some material on your website, and getting permission from you to do so. Could you please contact me by email, and I will send you the details?

    Comment by Debbie Gallagher | July 23, 2012 | Reply

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