Sutherland Shire to get radioactive waste storage facility St George and Sutherland Shire Leader By Jim Gainsford and Kate Carr Nov. 29, 2013 The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency has given the green light to the controversial plan to build a nuclear waste storage facility at ANSTO.
Sutherland Shire mayor Steve Simpson said this afternoon that the council was ‘‘strongly supportive of the work ANSTO does but we are still calling on the federal government to expedite a permanent waste storage facility for nuclear waste collected throughout Australia’’………
This waste is returning from France in 2015 in accordance with agreements relating to the processing of the waste. The waste will comprise one flask of processed nuclear fuel and six smaller drums of waste. Fortunately the licence from ARPANSA will not cover waste to be returned from the UK which we’re told is due to be returned at a later date.
“The fact that the waste will end up at ANSTO as there is no National Radioactive Waste Repository is not good enough for the residents of the Sutherland Shire who are concerned about the safe transportation and storage of this nuclear waste.
“Indeed the ARPANSA approval notes that the interim storage of the waste at ANSTO is not in line with international best practice and ARPANSA stresses the need to establish a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF), as storage of nuclear waste at Lucas Heights is not an acceptable long term solution.
“The continued transportation of Intermediate Level Radioactive Waste to Lucas Heights in the form of reprocessed fuel represents an unnecessary risk to the surrounding residents and communities”….. http://www.theleader.com.au/story/1941466/sutherland-shire-to-get-radioactive-waste-storage-facility/?cs=12
Typhoons spreading Fukushima fallout ABC News 29 Nov 2013, Typhoons that hit Japan each year are contributing to the spread of radioactive material from the Fukushima nuclear disaster into the country’s waterways, researchers say.
A joint study by France’s Climate and Environmental Science laboratory (LSCE) and Tsukuba University in Japan shows contaminated soil gets washed away by the high winds and rain and deposited in streams and rivers. ”There is a definite dispersal towards the ocean,” LSCE researcher Olivier Evrard said Wednesday.
Studies have shown that soil erosion can move the radioactive varieties of cesium-134 and 137 from the northern mountains near Fukushima into rivers, and then out into the Pacific Ocean.
Last year, the radioactive content of Japan’s rivers dropped due to fairly moderate typhoons. However, more frequent and fierce storms in 2013 have brought a new flood of caesium particles.
This is “proof that the source of the radioactivity has not diminished upstream” said Mr Evrard. Tsukuba University has completed a number of studies on Fukushima since November 2011. Scientists “concentrated mostly on the direct fallout from Fukushima yet this is another source of radioactive deposits” that must be taken into account, he warned. Coastal areas home to fishermen or where people bathe in particular face a potential risk…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-29/an-typhoons-spreading-fukushima-fallout/5124084
If you believe that Australians should get to choose their own policies and have their basic democratic rights honoured and protected, without fear of legal retribution by foreign corporations then please sign this petition!
Don’t let foreign corporations sue Australia over our policies on GE crops, coal seam gas, health & more! https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Dont_let_foreign_corporations_sue_Australia_for_millionsbillions_over_our_policies_on_GE_crops_coal_seam_gas_more/ The decision by Prime Minister Abbott to reverse the blanket prohibition on ‘investor-state dispute settlement’ (ISDS) provisions in Australia’s upcoming trade negotiations has the potential to irreversibly damage Australia’s national interests by limiting Australia’s ability to set its own policies when it comes to health, the environment, social policies and more.
This is because this new policy will give foreign corporations the right to sue the Australian Government if they believe our policies will damage their corporate interests.
This means that biotechnology corporations could sue Tasmania and South Australia over their respective moratoriums / bans on Genetically Engineered (GE) crops. New South Wales could be sued over their environmental guidelines on coal seam gas extraction and any communities choosing to enact a moratorium on coal seam gas extraction could be sued as well. Pharmaceutical companies could sue Australia over our Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS). We could also be sued if we ever wanted to ban harmful pesticides or institute stricter environmental standards in any area of our economy that might impact the interests of a foreign corporation. And that’s just to name a few…
And if you think this all sounds so totally outrageous that it couldn’t possibly happen to us here in Australia, then its well worth considering the impact of what ISDS provisions are currently doing in Canada Read more »
Have you been up close and personal with a wind turbine?… Ever wanted to?… Well here’s your chance… http://yes2renewables.org/2013/11/29/yes-2-renewables-hepburn-wind-farm-open-day/ by Leigh Ewbank With the generous support of Australia’s pioneering community-owned Hepburn Wind farm, Yes 2 Renewables is pleased to announce a wind farm tour on Saturday December 14.
Join the Yes 2 Renewables team, supporters and volunteers for a fun day at the wind farm. See for yourself what wind turbines are like, gain an understanding of community-owned renewable energy, and have some of your questions answered by the tour guides. RSVP essential.
Victoria: state of the environment 2013
Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability
This report is intended to inform the Victorian community about the health of the natural environment and influence government to achieve environmental, social, cultural and economic sustainability.
But over the next six months, Abbott intends to trash the very mechanisms that could deliver this increased ambition – the carbon price, the renewable energy target and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation – along with the independent advisory body, the Climate Change Authority, that could possibly counter the advice from his inner circle of mad ideologues to whom the words “climate change”, “green” and “clean energy” are as inflammatory as the names Fairfax and the ABC.
On the international stage, in the climate change arena, Australia’s reputation has been shattered
Australia backing into climate change corner, MacroBusiness, 29 Nov 13, Carbon Economyon November 25, 2013 Cross-posted from Giles Parkinson at Reneweconomy. Tony Abbott has some homework to do. Over the next 15 months he is going to have to figure out how it is that Australia will meet its contribution to a new treaty that aims to limit global warming to 2°C.
He’s not the only one. More than 190 nations associated with the UN climate talks agreed on Saturday on a series of milestones that will hopefully take the world to a meaningful climate agreement in Paris in 2015. As part of that agreement, ministers will meet in June next year, country leaders in September, and by the first quarter of 2015, they will need to lay their targets on the table.
For Abbott this could be quite a challenge. Firstly, Australia, as one of the wealthiest nations in the world, and the biggest emitter per capita of any industrialised nation, will be expected to pull its weight. Read more »
What they REALLY said about children and radiation – United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR)
“It is not recommended to use the same generalizations used for adults when considering the risks and effects of radiation exposure during childhood,”
infants and children have smaller body diameters, and their organs are less shielded by overlying tissues, with the same exposure the doses to their internal organs is higher than that to an adult.
Effects of radiation exposure of children, relief web 25 Nov 13 Report from UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation Published on 25 Oct 2013 — View Original Publication of Volume II of the UNSCEAR 2013 Report Risk following exposure to radiation differs for adults and children, says UNSCEAR report Vienna 24 October 2013 (UN Information Service) – “Doses received by children and adults from the same source of ionizing radiation can have differing impacts, and therefore, should be considered separately in order to predict risk following exposure more accurately for children,” was the main thrust of the report “Effects of radiation exposure of children” presented today at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
The report, which has been prepared by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), has been in preparation over the last two years (since 2011) and was presented today to the UN General Assembly as part of the Report of the 60th session of UNSCEAR to the General Assembly. “Because of their anatomical and physiological differences, radiation exposure has a different impact on children compared with adults,” said Dr. Fred Mettler, Chair of the Expert Group on the UNSCEAR Report on Effects of Radiation Exposure of Children.
He presented the report as a valuable resource for the international medical and scientific community, because as such, children are generally assessed along with adults in epidemiological studies and comprehensive overviews of the effect of radiation on children are generally unavailable. The report highlights some important issues. For instance, for a given radiation dose, infants and children are more at risk than adults of developing a variety of tumours. This risk is, generally, not always immediate but extends later into life. Read more »
Australian Solar Project Loan Funded By Citizen Donations http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4052 29 Nov 13, CORENA (Citizens Own Renewable Energy Network Australia Inc.) has provided Tulgeen Disabilty Services an interest-free loan of $12,000 to install solar; with the loan funded entirely by donations from the public.
Two rooftop solar PV systems have been installed for Tulgeen; located in Bega, New South Wales. The Tulgeen cheese packaging facility, which employs people with disabilities, has a 4kW system that will supply 58% of its electricity needs. A 3kW solar panel array installed at the Training and Education Services day programs centre will provide 21% of that building’s requirements.
CORENA uses donations from the public to fund projects; then electricity sales and loan repayments from completed projects to help finance future projects, thus continuously recycling donated money. ”Eventually, when we have funded around 120 such projects, repayments from earlier projects will be enough to continue funding one new project per month forever, without ever needing more donations,” said CORENA spokesperson Margaret Hender.
Operating on a shoe-string budget, 100% of the money donated is spent the projects themselves. Currently the group relies on volunteers’ time for administrative functions. ”It enables everyone who wants more renewable energy now to collectively get on with the job, rather than just waiting on government action,” states the CORENA web site. Patron of the organisation is Monica Oliphant, who, among many other roles, was President of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) in 2008/09.
Community-serving organisations are encouraged to apply for funding underCORENA’s Small Projects scheme.
Community-funded solar; both under an investment model or donation basis, has generated a great deal of interest in Australia; with dozens of communities and initiatives attempting to set the wheels in motion.
Government support for such initiatives has been scant to date, although a new ARENA-supported project due to commence early next year will delve into how to best realise the potential of community-owned renewable energy projects in Australia.
War-weary Americans back Iran nuclear deal by 2-to-1 margin The Raw Story, By Agence France-Presse Thursday, November 28, 2013 Americans back a newly brokered nuclear deal with Iran by a two-to-one margin and are very wary of the United States resorting to military action against Tehran even if the historic diplomatic effort fails, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday showed.
According to the survey, 44 percent of Americans support the interim deal reached Sunday between Iran and six world powers in Geneva, and 22 percent oppose it. The findings come as good news for President Barack Obama, whose approval ratings have dropped in recent weeks, largely due to the botched rollout of his flagship healthcare reform law, the Affordable Care Act. Even if the Iran deal fails, 31 percent think the U.S. should launch further diplomacy, while 49 percent would want to then increase sanctions. Only 20 percent would want U.S. military force to be used against Iran.
The survey’s results suggest that a war-weary U.S. public could help bolster Obama’s push to keep Congress from approving new sanctions that would complicate the next round of negotiations for a final agreement with Iran.
While indicating little trust among Americans toward Iranian intentions, the survey also underscored a strong desire to avoid new US military entanglements after long, costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “This absolutely speaks to war fatigue, where the American appetite for intervention — anywhere — is extremely low,” Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said. “It could provide some support with Congress for the arguments being made by the administration.”…… http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/11/28/war-weary-americans-back-iran-nuclear-deal-by-2-to-1-margin/
there can never be a return to the pre-1788 situation, his cry is that we must redouble our efforts to understand it and learn from it
“We have a continent to learn. If we are to survive, let alone feel at home, we must begin to understand our country. If we succeed, we might one day become Australian’.
The answer to burning questions, Online opinion, By Roger Underwood, 29 Nov 13 “…………The Biggest Estate on Earth, subtitled How Aborigines Made Australia is a large and beautifully presented book. The author, Bill Gammage, is well-known in historical and literary circles, regarded by many as the foremost historian of Australian participation in the First World War. Gammage’s capacity for painstaking research and careful scholarship, formerly directed at military history, has now been turned to the Australian landscape and Aboriginal land management. The result is compelling.
He rejects the view that Aboriginal people were backward and uncivilised, or that they were people who “trod lightly on the ground” as a minor component of the ecosystem. Instead, he argues that Aboriginal people were skilful, determined and experienced land managers who were active across the breadth of the Australian continent and Tasmania, operating to a strict set of rules (‘The Law’) about what areas must be burned, when, how, for what purpose, and by whom. They not only knew how to manipulate the Australian landscape and biota to optimise their food resources, but they knew how to sustain pleasing and safe living conditions, and to facilitate their comfortable life style and their spiritual demands. Read more »
Native title recognised after 18-year legal battle ABC Indigenous News, November 28, 2013 South Australia’s largest native title determination will be granted to Aboriginal people in the state’s far west next week. The claim covers 80-thousand square kilometres of land from the Western Australian border, to Tarcoola in the north and Streaky Bay in the south.
The recognition comes after nearly 18 years of struggle by the Wirangu, Kokatha, Mirning and Anangu people. The groups’ connection to the land will be formally recognised at a special Federal Court hearing at Lake Pidinga, north of Yalata, next Thursday……..
National Park gets new name Last year, the Arabana people were granted native title over 70,000 square kilometres of land in the state’s far north, including Lake Eyre. Lake Eyre National Park has now been officially renamed to include the traditional Aboriginal name for the landmark. At the request of the newly-formed Arabana Parks Advisory Committee, the park will now be known as Kati Thanda – Lake Eyre National Park. The park is co-managed between the State Government and Arabana people.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-28/aboriginal-groups-granted-native-title-in-far-west-sa/5122788/?site=indigenous&topic=latest
The site was overrun by residents stripped of ownership of their land for the project after a 10-day sit-in there in January 2011. Part of the plant’s equipment was destroyed to protest the lack of compensation for the land that was expropriated to build the plant.
However, the new political administration in Egypt, which came to power after June 30, struck a deal with the locals that safeguarded the continuity of the project….They were promised that a coastal tourist city would be built for their benefit as a gift from the Egyptian armed forces at a cost of 1 billion Egyptian pounds (about $145.2 million).
Egypt moves ahead with nuclear plant to address electricity crisis ALMONITOR, AYAH AMAN Egypt Pulse Ayah Aman 29 Nov 13, CAIRO — The Egyptian government is taking new steps to implement its ambitious program to use nuclear energy for the generation of electricity. This comes after the project had been halted due to security, political and economic reasons as well as popular opposition…….
A source at the EAEA told Al-Monitor that the government expected to receive offers from 30 international companies for the execution of the project. The actual competition has been limited to 10 companies from six countries: Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, the United States and France…….
“The government will meet the $4 billion financing through grants from companies that it will pay back in installments,” the same source clarified. “However, the Egyptian government has yet to receive any offers for financing or assistance.” He brushed off criticism that external financing constituted a violation of sovereignty, “as it is the only option available to expedite the completion of the project.”
A delegation from the international consulting firm WorleyParsons visited Cairo in early November and met with experts on nuclear safety……… The Supreme Council of Energy is scheduled to hold a meeting next week, chaired by Mansour, to discuss the nuclear dossier and review the steps being considered to hold the tender to build nuclear power plants. Read more »
The onus falls on the media to report on health fears about wind farms cautiously, particularly given strong evidence that it is the discussion itself that may be creating and perpetuating health complaints.
Wind turbines don’t make you feel sick or healthy, but spin can http://theconversation.com/wind-turbines-dont-make-you-feel-sick-or-healthy-but-spin-can-20845 Fiona Crichton PhD candidate in psychological medicine at University of Auckland 29 Nov 13
Despite at least 19 reviews of the scientific evidence universally concluding that exposure to wind farm sound doesn’t trigger adverse health effects, people continue to report feeling unwell because they live near wind turbines.
We’ve known for some time that exposure to negative messages about wind farms makes people more likely to report feeling sick after exposure to turbines. And new research, published by my colleagues and I this week in the journal Health Psychology, shows positive messages about wind farms may have the opposite effect – improve perceptions of health.
Speculation in the media and on the internet often attributes the symptoms to sub-audible sound produced by operating wind farms (infrasound). But the reality is that infrasound (sound below 16 hertz) is consistently present in the environment and is caused by wind, ocean waves and traffic. Importantly, research demonstrates there is nothing unusual about the levels of infrasound produced by wind farms. Read more »
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. Read more »
Uranium. Toro Energy holds its AGM in Perth today. As other uranium companies cut back on spending, in some cases closing, and exploration ceasing this one company forges ahead with expansion plans. I wonder if their shareholders understand the true situation. Or even if their new CEO Vanessa Guthrie, understands what she’s been caught up in. Investment advisers are waking up to the poor outlook for uranium markets
Muckaty nuclear waste dump plan. Traditional owners are determined to fight this – now awaiting a meeting with Minister Ian Macfarlane. (Will he bother to meet them, or just give them the brush off in the style of notorious former Minister martin Ferguson?)
Wind Energy. While the Victorian government (inexplicably) clings to its anti wind legislation, The Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) approves the new Cherry Tree wind farm, near Seymour. VCAT accepted the findings of New South Wales and Victorian state health bodies, and federal departments that wind farms are not harmful to health. Meanwhile in South Australia the EPA study finds no evidence that wind farm noise is impacting residents
Climate Change: The Abbott government presses on doggedly in its course to demolish all effective action – now readying for the costly task of getting rid of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, despite the CEFC’s success so far. Senator Xenophon points out that the government just hasn’t bothered to do any modelling at all on the relative costs of its “Direct Action” policy on carbon emissions
UV RADIATON. Yeah – I know it’s not ionising radiation, but it’s close – and it’s so important. This is scary stuff. Australia (with Egypt and Libya) has the world’s highest rate of UV radiation from te sun. Now they’re finding that the rare, and usually fatal, Merkel’s skin cancer is increasing, in Queensland – and now it’s thought to be caused by UV radiation.