Fukushima apologies and apologists Jim Green, Climate Spectator, 12 March 2014 “…..Nuclear apologists Sadly, nuclear apologists have been slow to apologise for peddling misinformation. Adelaide-based nuclear advocate and conspiracy theorist Geoff Russell and Adelaide University’s Barry Brook insist that the Fukushima disaster was “deathless” despite a growing number of scientific studies giving the lie to that claim.
Last year the World Health Organisation released a report which concluded that for people in the most contaminated areas in Fukushima Prefecture, the estimated increased risk for all solid cancers will be around 4% in females exposed as infants; a 6% increased risk of breast cancer for females exposed as infants; a 7% increased risk of leukaemia for males exposed as infants; and for thyroid cancer among females exposed as infants, an increased risk of up to 70% (from a 0.75% lifetime risk up to 1.25%).
Estimates of the long-term cancer death toll include:
- a Stanford University study that estimates “an additional 130 (15-1100) cancer-related mortalities and 180 (24-1800) cancer-related morbidities”;
- an estimate of 1000-3000 cancer deaths by physicist Ed Lyman (based on an estimated collective whole-body radiation dose of 3.2 million person-rem to the population of Japan); and
- an estimate of around 3000 cancer deaths, from radiation biologist and independent consultant Dr Ian Fairlie.
Indirect deaths must also be considered, especially those resulting from the failure of TEPCO and government authorities to develop and implement adequate emergency response procedures. A September 2012 editorial in Japan Times noted that 1632 deaths occurred during or after evacuation from the triple-disaster; and nearly half (160,000) of the 343,000 evacuees were dislocated specifically because of the nuclear disaster. A January 2013 article in The Lancet notes that “the fact that 47 per cent of disaster-related deaths were recognised in Fukushima prefecture alone indicates that the earthquake-triggered nuclear crisis at the Fukushima power plant caused extreme hardship for local residents.”
In Fukushima Prefecture, 1656 people have died as a result of stress and other illnesses caused by the 2011 disaster according to information compiled by police and local governments and reported last month. That number exceeds the 1607 people in Fukushima Prefecture who were drowned by the tsunami or killed by the preceding earthquake.
“The biggest problem is the fact that people have been living in temporary conditions for so long,” said Hiroyuki Harada, a Fukushima official dealing with victim assistance, “People have gone through dramatic changes of their environment. As a result, people who would not have died are dying.”
The claim by Brook and Russell that Fukushima was “deathless” has no basis in truth. They ought to take a leaf from Naomi Hirose’s book, bow deeply and apologise..www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/3/12/energy-markets/fukushima-apologies-and-apologists
They’ve resuscitated the plan for South Australia as the world’s nuclear waste dump, Online opinion, Noel Wauchope, 11Feb 14 , On February 9, with exquisite timing, Terry Krieg of the Australian Nuclear Forum delivered his fourth nuclear industry advertorial, on ABC Radio’s Ochkams Razor. Exquisite timing, because the South Australian election is on March 15, and Krieg’s talk on this prestigious science program is the latest effort of that State’s nuclear lobby to get their cause up as an election issue……. Labor and Liberal contenders are being very low-key about nuclear and uranium issue. The Herald Sun reports
Jay Weatherill : No (chance that SA will have a nuclear industry). I think it’s a dangerous distraction.
Marshall:, the Opposition doesn’t have a nuclear energy division, it’s a potential for the future but I think it would be a long way off.
South Australia’s nuclear push is undeterred.
Krieg presented a “timeline for how South Australia should embrace nuclear energy in the next three decades” . The plan includes Officer Basin as the world’s nuclear waste dump.This would be the first step to the full nuclear fuel cycle. BHP should help the State government to set up an infrastructure development program, and a nuclear education program in schools.and universities. ….
In 2013-2014 a new distinctly South Australian push has taken up the torch. Terry Krieg, from Port Lincoln, is just one of many……the heartland of Australia’s nuclear fuel cycle promotion is Adelaide……
Nathan Paine Chief Commercial Officer at the Property Council of Australia said: “The development of a domestic nuclear power sector could turn us into the “Dubai of Asia”. You’d almost be able to give every South Australian … when they turn 18, a cheque for $50,000 and a house”
Chris Burns, Rundle Mall Management Authority chairman said “What we’ve got unique resources for in this state are for nuclear energy… Never sell it, only lease it and bring it back here to bury it. I think that’s the industry for the state.”
I don’t know why this diverse group of people is so passionately in favour of the full nuclear power cycle and radioactive waste dumping for South Australia. I can only suppose that they see South Australia as an economically depressed State, and therefore envisage the nuclear developments as some kind of financial bonanza for the State.
I ponder that some academics might get a kind of glorious fame, in being Australia’s only climate “experts” who advocate nuclear power.
It distresses me that only one of people mentioned has any expertise in health and ionising radiation, nor in ecology. That person is Professor Pamela Sykes,who has been co-opted by the USA Department of Energy to try to prove how healthy low dose radiation is. http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=16012&page=1
a community that is well-informed, consulted and empowered is much more likely to welcome the development of clean technology, and reject the offerings of anti-wind groups selling a narrative of fear and danger..
The theory of wind turbine syndrome was not sourced from empirical scientific investigation – it was borne of a heady mix of human nature and vested interests,
stew of sentiment and pseudoscience bubbles below the surface, and the link need only be completed by motivated and well-funded lobby groups with no desire to adhere to the bounds of scientific inquiry
Consultation is the key to curing wind turbine syndrome KETAN JOSHI ABC Environment3 FEB 2014 Joshi 7 MAY 2013 Wind turbine syndrome is a symptom of a community that feels it has lost control. It has very little to do with wind farms and ‘infrasound’. PRIME MINISTER TONY ABBOTT’S intention to open a fresh investigation into the vexed issue of ‘wind turbine syndrome’ hasn’t impressed many.
Mick Vagg, SeniorLecturer at Deakin University wrote that ‘there is no scientific justification for any further investigation of ‘wind turbine syndrome'”.
Reader riposte: N enrichment in Australia and beyond http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2014/01/20/Reader-riposte-N-enrichment-in-Australia-and-beyond.aspx 20 January 2014 Richard Broinowski writes:In his speculative piece on a regional uranium enrichment plant in Australia, John Carlson gets a few things wrong.
First, it is inaccurate to suggest that but for Labor’s opposition, Australia might now be well on the way to establishing a uranium enrichment facility. Whitlam’s Minister for Minerals and Energy, RFX Connor, very much wanted to establish such a plant. Only Whitlam’s untimely fall from grace following the Khemlani affair brought Connor’s plans to a halt.
Nor can opposition to such a scheme only be laid at the feet of Labor. McMahon scotched Gorton’s plans for a nuclear reactor at Jervis Bay in 1971-72. Mindful of deep and pervasive suspicion of nuclear technology in the Australian community, many Liberal politicians continue to be extremely coy about giving any support for an Australian nuclear industry.
Second, on what grounds does John assert that the Asia Pacific is a major growth area in nuclear power? Continue reading
In Australia, the figures are very clear. A majority of Australians accept that humans are causing global warming. John Howard is simply wrong with regard to Australia
Are most Australians really climate ‘agnostics’? Guardian, Alex White, 20 Jan 14, Former Prime Minister John Howard claimed Australians had “settled into a state of sustained agnosticism” on climate change. Is this true? Last year, former conservative Australian prime minister John Howard gave a speech at the climate-change denying Global Warming Policy Foundation in London.
In his speech, he derided climate change mitigation advocates as “alarmists” and “zealots” for whom “the cause has become a substitute religion”. He also said that politicians should not heed the advice of scientists when making policy, and repeated the denialist line that climate change was natural: “Of course the climate is changing. It always has,” he said. Continue reading
The argument put by Lindsay back in 2008 is identical to that put by Tony Abbott’s chief business advisor Maurice Newman in recent columns, the latest only a few weeks ago
Mont Pelerin Society Revealed As Home To Leading Pushers Of Climate Science Denial DESMOGBLOG.COM, GRAHAM READFEARN, 14 JAN 14 THERE’S a popular talking point coming from climate change denialists that all people who accept the science and the need to act on it are somehow blinded by faith.
In Australia, climate science contrarian columnists can barely touch their keyboards without typing out the words “global warming faith” or explaining how human-caused global warming is some sort of “new religion”.
This “climate religion” narrative often goes hand-in-hand with another favourite denialist talking point where climate scientists are only doing what they do because there’s a dollar in it.
Presumably the laws of physics, the melting ice sheets, the increasing risk of bushfires, the hottest decades on record and the acidifying oceans are also waiting for their cash.
Newman has described climate scientists as being a “global warming priesthood” and belonging to a new “religion”. In a second opinion column in two weeks in The Australian, Newman repeats his cynicism over the IPCC and climate scientists, describing them as a “cartel” that “will deny all contrary evidence”. Newman even repeats the myth that in the 1970s scientists were certain the world was heading for global cooling, when in fact, as this study shows, a healthy majority of scientific papers were predicting the opposite. ……
In Australia, Mont Pelerin Society members include Continue reading
Mr Abbott’s recent comments about the project prompted the state government to contact the company again, but it responded by saying its plans had not changed.
BHP Billiton put the $30 billion expansion, which would have created the world’s largest open-cut mine, on hold late last year, declaring it unviable
Olympic Dam no SA panacea: business leaders FINANCIAL REVIEW, 24 DEC 2013 JOANNA MATHER It would be a mistake to view expansion of BHP’s Olympic Dam mine as the panacea to South Australia’s economic woes, business leaders contributing to a post-Holden jobs and growth plan have warned.
Maurice Crotti, the managing director of iconic SA business San Remo, said the state needed to seize opportunities in a range of areas, including food manufacturing. Continue reading
Mr Parnell said nuclear power did not have to be pushed into a survey about alternative energy” Lumping nuclear energy in with low-carbon technologies is just wrong,”
Anger after nuclear option placed on alternative energy survey news.com.au DECEMBER 22, 2013 NUCLEAR power has been put on the table in a survey that asks country South Australians about their preferred alternative energy options.
The survey, commissioned by Regional Development Australia, asks residents in the Yorke Peninsula and the Mid North to respond to a “community preferences survey” regarding their views on solar panels, solar farms, nuclear, household, wind turbines, wind farms, hydro, geothermal facilities, waste-to-energy/plant and biomass plants.
RDA, funded by federal and state governments as well as the region’s local councils, states on its website that the survey is part of a “project to determine how best to prepare the region for renewable energy and other low-carbon technologies as part of the state’s climate change adaptation strategy”.
But Greens MLC Mark Parnell slammed the survey and said the proponents, the region’s councils, had been pushing an anti-wind generation agenda. Continue reading
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill is calling Abbott’s comments “a cruel hoax” as Weatherill claims to have spoken with BHP management last week and there was no indication of any plans to resume expansion of the mine.
Australia’s promise to assist BHP with its Olympic Dam expansion a “cruel hoax” Resource Clips, by Cecilia Jamasmie | December 16, 2013 | Reprinted by permission of MINING.com The Australian government has vowed to help BHP Billiton NYE:BHP, the world’s largest mining company, go ahead with an estimated $33-billion expansion of its Olympic Dam copper-uranium mine, shelved last year as metal prices sank and costs rose.
1998 Both ANSTO and the government have sought to cloak rational discussion about the costs and benefits of a reactor under a dishonest claim that the reactor is vital for nuclear medicine. In fact medical isotopes can be easily obtained from a global market which already supplies many Australian hospitals.
a senior government bureaucrat who was quoted on the same ABC radio program saying: “The government decided to push the whole health line, and that included appealing to the emotion of people. … So it was reduced to one point, and an emotional one at that. They never tried to argue the science of it, the rationality of it”.ABC radio on March 29, 1998
The medical isotope rhetoric has become so implausible that the government is itself backing away from it. The parliamentary Public Works Committee produced a bipartisan report in August 1999 which said: “A number of organisations and individuals challenged the need for a research reactor based on a requirement to produce medical radiopharmaceuticals. … The Committee recognises that this issue has not been resolved satisfactorily.”
In fact, a nuclear reactor is likely to commit Australia decisively to the “nuclear club” by ensuring a seat on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA regulates the world’s nuclear industry and is also the world’s biggest promoter of nuclear energy.
It is unclear how our national interest is served by participating in the global spread of nuclear energy with its associated risks and waste problems. Professor McKinnon, who carried out the government’s 1993 Reactor Review, agreed, stating: “There may be national advantages in not being so closely associated with IAEA stances.”http://www.foe.org.au/anti-nuclear/issues/oz/lh/articles
Cyclotrons have important advantages over nuclear reactors in relation to radioactive waste and safety, and cyclotrons pose no risk in relation to weapons proliferation. The underlying reason for these advantages is that cyclotrons are powered by electricity, whereas research reactors rely on a uranium fission reaction.
Canberra’s new energy mantra: Renewables bad, demand good (excellent graphs) http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/canberras-new-energy-mantra-renewables-bad-demand-good-52964 By Giles Parkinson on 28 November 2013 The apparent antipathy of the new Australian government towards renewable energy, and its attachment to the centralised generation model, is betrayed in an unusual document on electricity prices published recently.
The “Facts on Electricity Prices” document, posted by the Department of Resources and Energy (now part of the Industry portfolio), purports to explain to consumers the reason for recent electricity price rises, and what they, and the government, can do about it.
That’s a fair enough proposition. But it is the unusual language, selective information and outdated data that raises suspicion that this document serves another purpose. Continue reading
Time to spill truth on uranium sector, Townsville Bulletin, DAVE SWEENEY, 23 Nov 13, THERE is an old saying that no trader calls out ‘‘bad fish’’. So it comes as no surprise that a former uranium company executive now paid to do public relations for the uranium sector will say all is well in the industry (Uranium: safety first, TB, 18/11). The reality is the industry is in very poor shape, financially and operationally – as can be seen by the recent mothballing of the Honeymoon mine in South Australia, because the numbers didn’t add up, and the backroom push by the Queensland Resources Council to get ‘‘royalty relief for Queensland uranium mines that have not even filed an application to develop yet.
The most recent independent assessment of the Australian uranium industry – an inquiry by the Australian Senate in October 2003 – found the sector characterised by underperformance and noncompliance, an absence of reliable data to measure contamination or its impact and an operational culture focused on the short-term.
Uranium mining is a high-risk, low-return sector that poses unique unresolved and long-lived threats and does not enjoy secure social license. Australian uranium fuelled Fukushima. Every Australian uranium mining operation has a history of leaks and spills. The need to manage radioactive materials over extremely long periods, along with security and
proliferation concerns, make uranium mining fundamentally different from other mining. In the shadow of Fukushima, and given the call by the UN Secretary General in September 2011 that Australia conduct an indepth assessment of the net cost impact of the impacts of uranium mining on communities and ecosystems, it is time the industry and state and federal governments supported a comprehensive and independent assessment of the costs and consequences.
The continued failure to do so highlights the industry’s preference for public relations over public scrutiny– and the fact that uranium is a very smelly fish.
Greg Hunt uses Wikipedia research to dismiss links between climate change and bushfires October 23, 2013 Esther Han, Judith IrelandEnvironment Minister Greg Hunt has hosed down suggestions of a link between climate change and increased bushfire intensity, saying he had ”looked up what Wikipedia” said and it was clear that bushfires in Australia were frequent events that had occurred during hotter months since before European settlement.
Wildfires become more pervasive and dangerous
His comments come as scientists, environment groups and politicians have raised concerns, in the wake of massive bushfires in New South Wales, that the increasing extreme weather events are linked to climate change…..
The head of the UN’s climate change negotiations, Christiana Figueres, and former US vice-president and climate change activist Al Gore have this week both weighed into the debate, criticising the Abbott government over its moves to scrap the carbon price. They also said the evidence was clear that extreme weather would be more frequent as the planet warmed.
She noted that the World Meteorological Organisation had not yet established a direct link between the NSW fires and climate change. Mr Hunt and Ms Figueres spoke by telephone overnight after Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday rejected Ms Figueres’ assessment that a clear link existed between bushfires and climate change, saying she was ”talking through her hat”.
On Monday, Ms Figueres had told CNN that the Coalition government would pay a high political and financial price for its decision to scrap carbon pricing. Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/greg-hunt-uses-wikipedia-research-to-dismiss-links-between-climate-change-and-bushfires-20131023-2w1w5.html#ixzz2ilagdbdT
AND WHAT WIKIPEDIA ACTUALLY DOES SAY
Climate change Australia’s climate has been trending toward more bushfire weather over the last 30 years. The Climate Commission found that “The intensity and seasonality of large bushfires in south-east Australia appears to be changing, with climate change a possible contributing factor.”
A 2006 report by the Bushfire CRC identified South Eastern Australia as one of the 3 most fire-prone areas in the world, and concluded that an increase in fire-weather risk is likely at most sites over the next several decades, including the average number of days when the Forest Fire Danger Index rating is very high or extreme. It also found that the combined frequencies of days with very high and extreme FFDI ratings are likely to increase 4-25% by 2020 and 15-70% by 2050, and that the increase in fire-weather risk is generally largest inland.
The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report due to be released in 2014 warns that Australia’s very high and extreme fire danger days will increase by up to 30% by 2020, and up to 100% by 2050. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushfires_in_Australia
Plenty of funding is available. The USA’s Department of Energy funds programs worldwide, (including in Australia) to research dodgy science about the safety ‒ even alleged benefits ‒ of low level ionising radiation. Nuclear physicists and others, quite inexpert in this field, pronounce solemnly about non-hazardous nature of low dose radiation.
The anti-science about ionising radiation Independent Australia Some people would have you believe that low level ionising radiation is perfectly safe; this is a sinister and troubling fallacy, says Noel Wauchope. 10 Oct 13 DENIAL OF THE HEALTH EFFECTS of ionising radiation is the latest of the lies against science……….none of these motivations would get “airplay” ‒ would prevail, if it were not for the money motive, – that’s the impetus behind public relations people, consultants, journalists, commentators, TV producers, film-makers, and so on who are paid by think tanks that are fronts for polluting industries and billionaires like the Koch Brothers. And don’t let’s forget the scientists and science media who are paid by governments that are financially beholden to polluting corporations and to the military industrial complex.
There is extensive literature in books and on the Internet about the campaigns of science denial regarding asbestos, tobacco and climate change. These are global campaigns, but Australia is well represented.
The climate sceptic campaign has followed the model of the tobacco lobby…….
neither the “old” nor the “new” media are properly addressing the issue of anti-science about ionising radiation. Continue reading
Wind turbine syndrome: farm hosts tell very different story The Conversation, Simon Chapman Professor of Public Health at University of Sydney 18 Sept 13 People who host wind turbines on their properties and derive rental income from wind energy companies have important stories to tell about living alongside turbines, but they’ve largely been absent from the debate on wind farms and health. Australian filmmaker and researcher Neil Barrett is finally giving this critical group a voice in his new short film, The way the wind blows, released today.
Turbine hosts at Waubra earn A$8,000 a year for each turbine on their land. In the bush, the expression that wind farms can “drought-proof a farm” is common: a land owner with ten turbines can wake up each morning comfortable in the thought that a tough year with poor rain or bad frosts can be ridden out, thanks to income from wind generation.
All of Barrett’s interviewees say they can hear the turbines but none say they are bothered by them or suffer from any health problems they attribute to the turbines. Continue reading