Australian news, and some related international items

Fact-checking Senator Sean Edwards’s claim on future nuclear bonanza

BubbleBurst-1FREE ENERGY – WITH NUCLEAR? November 4, 2015

The claim

Senator Sean Edwards claimed that an expansion of the nuclear fuel Edwards,-Sean-trashcycle in South Australia could provide low or even no cost electricity, create a generation of high-paying jobs and do so without any subsidies from government. His plan is to take spent fuel from older nuclear power plants from around the world, and reprocess them for use in fourth generation reactors here in Australia. We could be paid to take waste which we then turn into fuel, providing free electricity.

The facts

So called fourth generation reactors are not yet commercially available but are predicted to become available sometime in the 2030s. If these reactors become commercially available they will be able to take spent fuel rods(currently treated as nuclear waste) from older nuclear reactors and use them to generate electricity. This effectively turns a waste source into a valuable commodity.

The claim that low or no cost electricity can be produced comes from the idea that other countries would pay South Australia to take their nuclear waste. This would mean that not only will South Australia pay nothing for its fuel costs but it would generate an additional revenue source from taking other countries waste and turning it into a commodity.

We will address his argument as three linked claims:

  • Other countries will pay Australia to take nuclear waste for storage.
  • Australia can build fourth generation reactors to use this spent fuel to generate electricity.
  • This will result in free electricity, and perhaps even earn sufficient profit for the state that it will allow a reduction in taxes.

Claim 1

The expert advice to the South Australian Royal Commission into expanding the nuclear fuel cycle gave a time-frame of 25 years to complete a long term waste storage facility. The Generation IV International Forum expects fourth generation reactors – capable of using existing waste stockpiles as fuel – to be commercially deployed in 2030-2040. This means that any waste storage facility that South Australia develops is likely to be completed at about the same time as fourth generation reactors become commercially available. It is likely that South Australia’s own waste storage business would need to compete with other countries’ fourth generation reactors. Spent fuel will cease to be waste, and will become a commodity. Why would anyone pay South Australia to take a commodity?

Claim 2

The circular reasoning is clear. If fourth generation reactors work as hoped, no-one will pay South Australia to take their spent fuel. Further, if fourth generation technology proves to be expensive and difficult to maintain, South Australia would have locked itself into expensive electricity generation, having set up a waste import industry. In either case, countries with existing stockpiles of spent fuel have a clear competitive advantage over South Australia. It makes more financial sense for them to build fourth generation reactors next to existing stockpiles than it does to transport it half-way around the world. There is no good outcome for South Australia.

Claim 3

According to the US Energy Information Administration, fuel represents less than 15% of the cost of generating electricity with advanced nuclear power plants. Most of the cost is in the initial capital expense and maintenance of the reactor. Even if Australia received “free” fuel – a wildly optimistic hope – the cost of building reactors is still great. Wind and solar have no fuel costs, but no one thinks renewable electricity is free. Furthermore, the cost of setting up an international waste storage component would be extreme large. The Pangea proposal which looked at setting up a nuclear waste disposal facility in the late 1990’s included port facilities and a fleet of specialised ships. It showed that any waste facility would be very expensive.

The first ton of waste that Australia received would require a gamble of many billions of dollars.The findings

Perhaps the cheapest way to take a gamble on nuclear power might be to create temporary storage facilities now, use this brief window before fourth generation reactors are deployed commercially to get paid to take waste, and be among the first in the world to build the reactors which can use our newly acquired waste for fuel.

However, the risks are obvious. If fourth generation reactors turn out to have high costs of operation, we would be locked into expensive electricity. If they can’t be made to work commercially at all, we would have given ourselves a high-level waste problem for tens of thousands of years, a problem that may not have a solution. And if they are cheap and effective, most countries could build their own and bid for the fuel we are so generously taking for a fee. If we can plan ahead for fourth generation technology, so can everyone else.

Even at best, if everything goes just as hoped, the payoff for our gamble is paltry. A 15% reduction in energy costs from nuclear reactors, which already have a higher cost per unit of energy than new wind and solar generators, is far from “free” electricity. A waste industry, costing billions to set up, which will see its revenues killed off – in as little as ten years – by the very technologies we hope to champion, can hardly be said to provide “generations” of high-paying jobs. And we will inherit a nuclear waste storage problem that must be solved for at least hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of years.

The most risk for the least reward is not a smart business plan. Free electricity is no more than a pleasant dream.

November 6, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, South Australia, spinbuster | Leave a comment


scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINTHE ROYAL COMMISSION INTO THE NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE: Thursday 5th November, 2015

Today the Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle will be hearing oral evidence from London based insurance company Nuclear Risk Insurers, on the subject of insuring against a nuclear accident. On October 2015, Dr Timothy Stone, member of the Royal Commission’s Executive Advisory Committee, was appointed director of this company.

“How critically will evidence given by this company be treated, when a member of the Executive Advisory Committee is also one of its directors?” asked Nectaria Calan of Friends of the Earth Adelaide.

On Friday 30th October GE Hitachi gave oral evidence to the Royal Commission on their new PRISM reactor design. GE Hitachi is a global nuclear alliance between General Electric (US) and Hitachi (Japan). Hitachi is the parent company of Horizon Nuclear Power, a UK energy company developing new nuclear power stations, of which Dr Stone is also a director.

“Dr Stone’s connections with these companies highlights the broader issue here, which is his direct involvement in the nuclear industry, regardless of whether companies he’s employed by are giving evidence. He also owns Alpha-n Infrastructure, an elusive company with a partially built website which promotes nuclear power. This interest has not been disclosed by the Royal Commission on its website,” said Ms Calan.

Dr Stone is not the only Royal Commission member directly involved in the nuclear industry. Julian Kelly, its Technical Research Team Leader, is currently the Chief Technology Officer of Thor Energy, a Norwegian company focusing on the use of Thorium in nuclear reactors.

“If you’re directly involved in the very industry the Royal Commission is considering expanding, you potentially stand to gain something if a recommendation is made that this industry expand. At the very least there is an appearance of bias here that will undermine the credibility of the Royal Commissions findings,” said Ms Calan.

November 5, 2015 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission | Leave a comment

Don’t let strident pro nuclear voices drown out alternative voices

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINGone Nuclear Fishing, The Adelaide Review, 2 Nov 15  With the nuclear Royal Commission, the South Australian Government has unexpectedly opened up a debate about our role in the nuclear fuel cycle. ……My own position at the outset is that it is not possible to examine the nuclear fuel cycle, and all that the nuclear industry entails, without detailed comparisons with the range of alternatives that are available to us in tackling climate change and building an energy industry for the future. Fair comparisons need to be commissioned and sought from a wide range of experts and subject to peer assessment. A citizens’ jury could be presented with the evidence to form another step in the advisory chain.

I am willing to listen to all sides of the debate while maintaining the highest levels of scepticism along the way. I need to be convinced, however, that Australia’s deeper participation in the nuclear fuel cycle is a superior journey to the alternatives available to us – particularly advanced solar thermal and energy storage technologies. Safety concerns and proliferation risks need to be honestly addressed. Other parts of the world might require other energy mixes, dictated by local realities and natural advantages but our position need not be dictated by what might be best applied in other nations to bring about sustainable reductions in greenhouse gases……

we need to ensure that the loudest and most well-resourced voices don’t drown out a robust debate about the alternatives available to us

November 2, 2015 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission | Leave a comment

#NuclearCommissionSA chief dismisses ‘overheated’ worries about #nuclear industry

Scarce blahNuclear inquiry head says objections to uranium ‘overheated’
by Simon Evans The former admiral overseeing South Australia’s nuclear inquiry says he is trying to be as straight as possible on what can be a divisive issue, but some concerns about the nuclear industry go too far.

Kevin Scarce, who was appointed by South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill this year to investigate if South Australia should go into nuclear enrichment, storage of waste and power generation, says he is on target to deliver preliminary findings by February before a final report by May. He says he is focused on objective evidence and tapping into global expertise, and accepts that many people have passionate views about the nuclear industry.

“Some of those concerns are overheated,” he told AFR Weekend. “I think it’s really important that we investigate all the issues and rely on fact-based evidence.”


Mr Scarce, who was governor of South Australia for seven years until mid-2014, has taken evidence from more than 60 witnesses. The latest on Friday was Eric Loewen, the chief consulting engineer at United States firm GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy.

Dr Loewen is an expert in the development of the company’s new generation of small, modular nuclear reactors designed to recycle spent nuclear fuel.

He was asked about the approximate costs of the new generation PRISM reactor, and said a United States Department of Energy report had estimated it at about $6 billion.


“We would describe that cost as very reasonable,” Dr Loewen said. Continue reading

October 31, 2015 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission | Leave a comment

Senator Sean Edwards wants the whole toxic nuclear chain here, as well as the radioactive trash dump

Edwards,-Sean-trashEdwards pushing forward on nuclear, Sky News, 30 October 2015 A government senator is upping the ante on the nuclear debate, saying a revamp of the industry could help deliver free energy to his fellow South Australians and reduce state taxes.

Unlike Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is open to a discussion on exporting fuel rods, Sean Edwards wants to see spent ones recycled here and generators installed.

‘We are looking for an energy that week can generate at low cost so we can foster industry and foster jobs and ensure we are not destroying the planet at the same time,’ Edwards told Sky News on Friday, spruiking the economic benefits of having a local industry…….– See more at:

October 31, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Karoonda Council, South Australia, considering floating solar plant

solar floating S AustFloating solar power plant mooted for Karoonda to power waste management pump station  The District Council of Karoonda-East Murray says it will look into the possibility of a floating solar power plant at Karoonda in South Australia’s Murray-Mallee region.

Council CEO Peter Smithson said the floating solar plant would provide power for the waste management pump station next to the stormwater dam.

A similar plant is already operating at Jamestown in the state’s mid-north.

Mr Smithson said the council had committed to undertake further due diligence about the green power opportunity.

“We’ve been approached by a company about the possibility of a solar generating power plant at Karoonda which would provide power to our CWMS [Community Wastewater Management System] pumps,” he said.

“We’ve gone and looked at Jamestown.

“There’s quite a long resolution because it really details the fact that there’s no capital outlay by council and it really looks at the fact that we’ve done due diligence and we’ve asked the company to come and address the next council meeting.

October 31, 2015 Posted by | solar, South Australia | 2 Comments

NoNukes South Australia comments on the South Australian media

news-nukeThe News’ media in South Australia are daily and nightly having a nuclear field day in what they say promoting human nuclear as saviour of the planet.

It is easy to see who and what this Mr Jacobi and his mob are about.

The human nuclear mob have been intensively above and behind the scenes of the human nuclear movement since early the past century.




and especially since there is an extreme pristine clean perpetual abundance of Sunshine and Natural Gas in over and all around Australia that could last almost forever in a conservative frugal austere sustainable society, such as the People Society who has a record of over 50,000 years of natural pre-Invasion habitation.

Regarding the sudden re-appearance of the erroneous need for human Nuclear evaluation and approval:, the same words of wisdom apply as they did for the mass falsetto of the South Australia State Bank Debt crisis (deliberately engineered by human world finance in the 1980’s) and also the pre-emptive dumping of the Libya-like Gough Whitlam government earlier in the 1970’s

“The World is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.”

Benjamin Disraeli – British Statesman


October 31, 2015 Posted by | South Australia | Leave a comment

Fed up with the #NuclearCommissionSAust

a-cat-CANYes, I am fed up with the charade of this Royal Commission –  its pro nuclear bias is apparent from the very start – with nuclear enthusiasts strongly represented, starting from Commissioner Kevin Scarce.

Today I looked for the transcript of the hearing  with Dr Helen Caldicott on 27 October. Well, it’s hard to find. When you go to the appropriate page  on the Commission’s website – not a mention of Dr Caldicott, though she was the first speaker that day.

The one that they do mention is  Professor Geraldine Thomas, Imperial College London. Prof Thomas is a very well known pro nuclear speaker. She appeared prominently on the nuclear dragon thing soft sell series on SBS.  Thomas has spruiked about radioactive iodine, but conveniently has ignored other radioactive isotopes. (I’ve not read her latest spruik to the RC, but you can bet your boots that she is lobbying away there for the nuclear cause. Sadly Imperial College is becoming notorious for this.)

I have been reading through the transcript of Dr Caldicott’s speech, or more correctly, interrogation. by the redoubtable Mr Jacobi.

I am amazed at the aggressive questioning of Dr Caldicott –  it seems to me to be aimed at discreditiing her.

Chan,-MargaretNot long ago, Dr Margaret Chan of the World Health Organisation stated “There is no safe low level of radiation”

Yet when Dr Caldicott said that same thing, she was subjected to aggressive questioning  and demand for exact sources.

I wonder whether Mr Jacobi would have subjected the head of the WHO to the same insulting inqusition.

Inquisition nuclear


October 30, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews, Nuclear Royal Commission | 1 Comment

Opportunity for Port Augusta to be repowered with solar thermal energy

map solar south-australiaRepower Port Augusta, 30 Oct 15 In incredibly exciting news, after returning from a visit to a massive solar thermal plant in the United States, the federal local member for Port Augusta Rowan Ramsey has revealed to The Transcontinental that US solar thermal giant SolarReserve have made a bid to build solar thermal with storage in Port Augusta!

 After a long running community campaign, numerous studies and actions from people like you this revelation is a huge step forward in the community driven push to Repower Port Augusta with solar thermal.

 So, what does this mean?

 The ACT Government are using a policy called a reverse auction to help them meet their 100% renewable energy target by 2025. This is a policy where they effectively bid for projects to buy renewable power from and early this year they called for bids from projects across the country from solar with stoage.

 This is the policy we called on the SA Government to adopt in our submission to the state government that many of you signed onto.

 We are still waiting on the result of the bid, but we know the bid for solar thermal from Port Augusta is one of thirty from across the country.

 Can you share this great news on Facebook and call on the State and Federal Government to back SolarReserve’s bid to build solar thermal in Port Augusta?

 It’s a huge step forward and a testament to the community campaign backed by people across the country that SolarReserve are ready to build solar thermal in Port Augusta.

October 29, 2015 Posted by | solar, South Australia | 1 Comment

Conflict of interest in nuclear authorities: Dr Gordon Edwards explains

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINDr Gordon Edwards at SA NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE ROYAL COMMISSION hearing, 21 October 15 

Dr Edwards gave a wonderful explanation of the danger of nuclear technology, focussing on explaining  radioactivity.

He also spoke of his concerns about the independence of nuclear regulators, and of safety measures needed for population near nuclear facilities, for example, how Canada supplies potassium iodate pills to communities.

Extract DR EDWARDS: The complexity of the technology means that a lot of people 45 are mystified by it, including decision-makers, and politicians, for example, .SA Nuclear 21.10.15 P-742 Spark and Cannon generally don’t necessarily have a background in nuclear science. One of the only ones I know, I think, was Jimmy Carter, he was actually a nuclear engineer in the American nuclear navy. But outside of him, I don’t think of any major politician who has a background in nuclear science.

So that the  technology is sufficiently complicated that people tend to be mystified by it and therefore feel a little bit – they find it difficult to judge, other than by trusting the experts in the industry itself. The difficulty with trusting the people in the industry itself, is that there is either consciously or unconsciously a kind of a conflict of interest there because they are devoted to the industry 10 and they want the industry to succeed and of course they try to reassure the public that it’s safe and they try their best to make it safe but there is this problem of – well, what if they weren’t so devoted to the industry and had the same knowledge, would they make the same judgment? Would they perhaps see it as being unsafe? And one of the difficulties with dangerous technologies 15 is that people who work on the technology feel conflicted and it’s difficult to blow the whistle on a technology that you truly believe in. So this is an inherent problem.

Similarly when you have a regulator, although independence is the goal, it’s 20 difficult to maintain that independence. The people in the regulatory body are often drawn from the very industry that they are regulating because they are experienced in that field and consequently you need people with understanding and expertise, so how do you kind of keep regulatory independent when in fact there is this constant interaction between the people in the regulatory body and 25 the people in the industry. They tend to come to see themselves as colleagues and if I might draw an analogy, you might think of the regulator as drifting towards being more of a coach than a referee…….So this problem of independence is not an easy one to deal with…….

Another thing that I think would be very helpful in my own opinion would be regulators, as the industry itself, they tend to be very top heavy with engineers and physical scientists, geologists and such like, 5 chemists, the so-called hard scientists and they tend to be extremely thin on biomedical expertise. I think it’s very helpful to have some biomedical expertise in the regulatory body because they have a different perspective. They have a different approach and also if and when things do go wrong, the biomedical team can be very helpful in advising the public and the workers and 10 everybody, as to what kind of precautions to take in terms of protecting yourself. What kind of foods should be avoided? What kind of measures should be taken? I think it would be very reassuring to the public to have such people on board.

Moreover, if you had a health department, which we do not have in our regulator, if you had a health department staffed with competent and independent biomedical people, they could also help to educate workers and the public as to why we are so careful with this technology. Why we must invest in all these safety precautions because they could make it clear what the dangers are. Continue reading

October 28, 2015 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission | Leave a comment

100% renewable energy electricity company launched in South Australia

map solar south-australiaSouth Australian company to launch country’s first 100 per cent renewable energy utility provider, ABC News   By Alex Mann, 26 Oct 15  A South Australian company will launch the country’s first 100 per cent renewable energy utility company, with the author of the 2008 Climate Change Review signalling his support.

Professor Ross Garnaut has been appointed chairman of Zen Energy and said the company’s launch would be a game changer.

“I’ve been disappointed that the established energy companies have not taken the opportunity that’s there,” he said.

The company will use a combination of solar power generation, battery storage, and localised energy grids to create self-sustained communities that will buy back the power they generate.

For years, Zen Energy has been putting battery units in people’s homes.

Now its chief executive Richard Turner plans to take entire communities off the grid — from social housing stock, to apartment buildings and regional communities.

He said he will generate the power, then sell it back to users at a fraction of the current costs.

“We’re looking at a spot in the market very soon where we’re going to be almost half the cost of the grid,” he said.

It could be the end of the power grid as we know it

It is just the latest disruption in an energy revolution sweeping across Australia which could spell the end of the power grid as we know it……….

October 28, 2015 Posted by | energy, South Australia | Leave a comment

Tourism industry at Maralinga – but how safe is Maralinga nuclear bomb site?

from THE AUSTRALIAN, 26 Oct 15 …… Robin Matthews, the weathered caretaker of Maralinga nuclear test site, welcomes his visitors with some soothing words: the endless expanse of red gibber plain is safe — just as long as you do not dig.

Concealed under the rusty soil lies 60-year-old secrets of the British Empire, where seven nuc­lear bombs were detonated and hundreds of minor trials using plutonium and other radioactive materials contaminated kilo­metres of land.


But look close enough and the remnants of the tests are there — from the salt bush that refuses to grow any taller than 30cm and marks out a wide circle in the blast zones to scattered shrapnel and dark-green glass scattered across ground zero at the Breakaway ­nuclear test site, created by the heat of the explosion……

Most of the land was handed back to the Maralinga Tjarutja Aboriginal people in 2009 after rehabilitation work was finished, but Defence held on to the ­weapons-testing range in the Woomera Prohibited Area. In November last year, the 1782sq km site was officially handed back to the Aboriginal people.

Government papers released in 2011 show the site had required further remediation, with the topsoil over the massive Taranaki trench — four football fields wide and three storeys deep and now the burial site for contaminated topsoil and machinery — eroding over time.

Maralinga-Tjarutja general manager Richard Preece said the traditional owners of the land still did not want anything to do with the area, which they described as mamu (devil) country…..

Mr Preece said Maralinga was not only a legacy for Aboriginal people, but also for all Australians who had to remediate the site and were now left with buried radioactive material.

“I find it incredible that somehow it was all right for the British government on foreign soil to create a radioactive mess that was completely left to Australia,” he said.

October 26, 2015 Posted by | aboriginal issues, environment, South Australia | Leave a comment

#NuclearCommissionSAust plans for radioactive trash dumping on Aboriginal land: a confusing issue

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINSA Royal Commission: Nuke waste dump on Aboriginal land? Really?, Independent Australia Noel Wauchope 23 October 2015 THIS IS clearly a terribly important question that needs discussion. When and if theNuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission (RC) ultimately results in establishing a nuclear waste import business in South Australia, it is a certain bet that it will be on Aboriginal land.

There are relatively few published submissions from Aboriginal people and organisations. However, these cannot be easily lumped into pro or anti nuclear boxes. There are some passionately anti nuclear ones. There are no passionately pro nuclear ones, but there’s more than a hint of support in the two submissions that take an apparently neutral stance. The RC has allowed Aboriginal people to choose whether or not their submissions are published.

There might be several unpublished submissions from Aboriginal people and/or organisations.  What would the writers stand to lose if these were published?

A pro nuclear submission might evoke condemnation from environmentalists and other Aboriginal groups. This fact is recognised in the submission by Maralinga Tjarutja and Yalata Community Incorporated:   …..

Of the six Aboriginal organisations that sent published submissions, only two take a neutral stance that could be interpreted as (vaguely) pro nuclear. These are Maralinga Tjarutja and Yalata Community Incorporated and the Alinytjara Wilurara Natural Resources Management Board……All the same, their [Maralinga] submission is by no means a ringing endorsement of the plans to expand the nuclear industry in South Australia. ….
Even within their [Alinytjara] determinedly neutral stance, their submission clearly criticises the RC:….
The remaining four submissions from Aboriginal people and/or organisations are clearly anti nuclear……….
Even though the Royal Commission has made efforts to communicate with Aboriginal people, the vast majority of those who would be affected by a nuclear waste dump are not well informed and not involved in the decision-making. It remains a confusing issue for the Australian community at large, but even more so, for the Aboriginal people of South Australia.,8294

October 23, 2015 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission, Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby plans to further override South Australia’s Aboriginal Heritage Act

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAININ the mire of technical jargon at the hearings of the Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission South Australia, sometimes a little gem emerges on what they really want to happen.

Ploughing through the pitch of James Voss  for importing radioactive trash, at the 15th October hearing,  Philip White alerted me to this little gem, from Voss:

“There clearly has to be a siting undertaking – siting of facility for storage. Within that, there has to be a broad set of agreements with the host – with South Australia…. This might be an equivalency to the indenture agreement between Olympic Dam and the state.”

Sounds inoccuous, doesn’t it?  But as Philip White says: “The indenture agreement precedent might sound great for them, but we need to expose the racism of that approach.”

Nectaria Calan comments – “That’s really interesting and corroborates our suspicions that the indenture is indeed a dangerous precedent for the nuclear industry in SA.  Imagine a waste dump exempt from parts of the Radiation Protection Act.” Calan has previously written on this Act:

 “exemptions from the Environmental Protection Act (1993) are of particular concern. The exclusion of this Act means that the Olympic Dam mine is not subject to the same environmental regulatory framework as other industrial projects in South Australia, and the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), which administers the Act, is excluded from its monitoring role. BHP’s environmental performance is instead the responsibility of the Minister for Mineral Resources Development, who, based on BHP’s own reports, has full discretion to approve or reject programmes for the management and rehabilitation of the environment, without any obligation to consult with other agencies.”

The Josephite SA Reconciliation Circle are well aware of the real effect of  Roxby Downs (Indenture Ratification) Act , amended 2011. In their submission to the Royal Commission they state:

Aboriginal Heritage Act
Our Members are particularly concerned that the Royal Commission is actually circulating
information that claims that the mining of uranium in SA is controlled by various legislative
safeguards including any protection afforded to Aboriginal Traditional Owners by the SA
Aboriginal Heritage Act.
Our members’ collective memory is very clear that the reverse is the actual truth. The 1982 SA
Roxby Downs Indenture Act initially for the original joint venturers, BP and Western Mining,
and later Western Mining and then BHP Billiton, EXEMPTED each operator from the
Aboriginal Heritage Act.
The Aboriginal Heritage Act needs to be
• reinstated as a genuine safeguard containing rules to be followed, and
• restored to its original strength
If this is not sufficient then Traditional Owners in our democracy need to be given the power
to refuse to have facilities on their lands – whether under native title or land rights legislation- that will imperil the health of their country, groundwater and the health of the
community members now and for future generations.”



October 23, 2015 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission | Leave a comment

Aboriginal women will fight on against nuclear waste dumping in South Australia

Aboriginal women reaffirm fight against nuclear waste dump in South Australia ABC Radio National,  The World Today  By Natalie Whiting 16 Oct 15 The first shipment of Australia’s nuclear waste to be returned from re-processing in France has now left a French port, and will arrive on our shores by the end of the year. The return of the 25 tonnes of nuclear waste is putting renewed pressure on the Federal Government to find a location for a permanent waste dump.

The shipment began its journey just a day after senior Aboriginal women gathered in Adelaide to mark their fight against a proposed dump in South Australia in the 1990s.

The women say they will fight against any new move to put the waste on their land…..


SA Aboriginal women remember waste dump victory A Federal Government plan to build a Austin, Emily (centre)nuclear waste dump in the South Australian outback in 1998 attracted fierce opposition, especially among local Aboriginal people.

An event in Adelaide last night celebrated the work of a group of women called kupa piti kungka tjuta, who campaigned against the dump. Emily Austin from Coober Pedy was one of them. (centre in picture)

“We used to fight, we travelled everywhere – we went to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide,” she said.
“We were telling them that’s poison and you’re going to bury it in our country? “That’s no good.”

The women campaigned for six years until a Federal Court challenge from the South Australian government put an end to the dump. Ms Austin said she could remember the day the court found in South Australia’s favour.

“I was out in the bush hunting and I heard it on the radio in the Toyota. We were all screaming, ‘We won’.

“All the kungkas (women) were happy.”

While the Federal Government is in the midst of a voluntary process for finding a site for a dump, South Australia’s outback is still seen as an ideal location.

The South Australian Government’s attitude to the industry has been shifting.

It has launched a royal commission to investigate possible further involvement in the nuclear fuel cycle.The royal commission is looking at everything from mining uranium, processing, waste storage and nuclear power.

The organiser of last night’s event, Karina Lester, is the granddaughter of one of the women who campaigned and her father was blinded by the British nuclear tests at Maralinga half a century ago.

She said the Aboriginal people in South Australia’s north have a long and tortured history with the nuclear industry. “Maralinga’s had a huge impact because people speak from first-hand experience,” she said.

“People like the amazing kupa piti kungka tjuta, many of those old women who are no longer with us today, they were there the day the ground shook and the black mist rolled.

“It’s an industry that doesn’t sit comfortably with Anungu community.”

Ms Lester said it was good to see the royal commission consulting with people before a decision is made.”Credit to the royal commission that they’ve made an effort to engage with a broader community of Aboriginal communities,” she said.

“But how many of those Anangu are really understanding he technicality of this royal commission and what industry really means?” Ms Austin said she was ready to fight any future attempts to set up a waste dump in the region.

“Oh yeah, I’ve still got fight yet. They might stop yet, they might listen, I dunno,” she said.

October 16, 2015 Posted by | aboriginal issues, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment


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