Australian news, and some related international items

Radiation – April theme – PLUTONIUM

Plutonium is a manmade element created in nuclear reactors. Plutonium is fiendishly toxic. A speck of it the size of a pollen grain, if caught in the lungs after inhalation or in bone after ingestion, can cause cancer. A severe reactor accident with plutonium-based MOX fuel in one-third of the core will result in 100% more latent cancer fatalities than if the core was made up entirely of conventional uranium fuel. Such an accident with an all-MOX core would kill 300% more people than with an all-uranium core……Pu Threat

March 31, 2011 Posted by | Christina themes | 1 Comment

Aboriginal resistance to Australia’s nuclear waste dump plan

Japan disaster sparks nuclear dump concern ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), Mar 31, 2011 Traditional owners say the nuclear crisis in Japan shows plans to build a nuclear waste storage facility near Tennant Creek, in Central Australia, should be reassessed…… Continue reading

March 31, 2011 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Explaining the health risks of radiation

Any increase in radiation increases the probability that you’ll get cancer. And that’s not radiation sickness but that is a much more pervasive effect than acute radiation sickness.

VIDEO Q&A: Japan nuclear crisis ‘getting worse’   : World News Australia on SBS31 March 2011 Australia won’t be exposed to a substantial increase in radioactivity as Japan’s nuclear crisis unfolds, but the situation at Fukushima’s crippled power plants is getting worse, Continue reading

March 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

South Australian Premier STILL touting uranium industry

Progress toward Roxby mining expansion welcomed ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Mar 31, 2011 Premier Mike Rann says a feasibility study marks a significant step toward expansion of Olympic Dam mining in outback South Australia. Continue reading

March 31, 2011 Posted by | marketing for nuclear, South Australia | | 2 Comments

The uranium industry has had the gong

The bull market in uranium is over, – MoneyWeek. By Dominic Frisby Mar 31, 2011 “The worldwide backlash against the nuclear power industry is only beginning to be felt and promises to deal a devastating blow long-term to the uranium stock sector. The catastrophic events in Japan were followed by a precipitous drop in uranium share prices, which have just had their obligatory dead cat bounce.

“What lies in store is a long-term decline in the sector as new projects are deferred or cancelled, public sentiment and political pressures make it impossible to get permitting or green lighting, uranium prices retreat and juniors find it virtually impossible to get new financing to develop projects for which there will be no economic justification. This will all be reflected in a slow, inexorable decline in share prices and ultimately the failure of most uranium juniors.”

It’s a grim outlook. But I think it’s the right one…….


March 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

1000 radioactive bodies cannot be buried

Radiation leaves 1,000 tsunami bodies near nuke plant off-limits, USA Today, Mar 31, 2011 Radiation within 12 miles of the leaking Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant has prevented the recovery of about 1,000 victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Kyodo News reports.

Even after the bodies are recovered and returned to families, how relatives choose to say goodbye to loved ones will pose health and safety dielmmas, sources said: Cremation could spread radioactive material, while conventional burial would contaminate soil.

Police sources said today that bodies had been exposed to high levels of radiation after death and that officials are reconsidering their plan to inspect the bodies after removing them from the evacuation zone……Radiation leaves 1,000 tsunami bodies near nuke plant off-limits –

March 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Danger at Fukushima continues to be critical

The risk to workers might be greater than previously thought because melted fuel in the No. 1 reactor building may be causing isolated, uncontrolled nuclear chain reactions,

Japan Weighs Entombing Nuclear Plant in Bid to Halt Radiation, – Bloomberg, By Go Onomitsu and Sachiko Sakamaki – Mar 31, 2011 Japan will consider pouring concrete into its crippled Fukushima atomic plant to reduce radiation and contain the worst nuclear disaster in 25 years. Continue reading

March 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Monash University engineer shows the way to expand Olympic Dam without uranium recovery

The Olympic Dam Mega-Expansion Without Uranium Recovery.Dr Gavin Mudd, 2010 Peer-Reviewed Report for SA Greens MLC Mark Parnell and WA Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, Adelaide, SA, December 2010, 10 p (Download PDF – 591 kb).

“…….It is eminently reasonable to propose a process flow sheet for Olympic Dam which does not include recovery of uranium but still allows for copper, gold and silver to be produced… This report .. proposing  a technically viable alternative for operating Olympic Dam in the next expansion which excludes uranium recovery….”

March 31, 2011 Posted by | South Australia, technology, uranium | | Leave a comment

BHP Billiton gambles on China’s nuclear boom

BHPB will have to spend something like $30-35 billion on the project and dig up a rather large part of SA.

It will not want to wake-up, so to speak, in eight years or so after it’s spent the money, to find the China boom has evaporated.

BHP Billiton to bank on big boom | Herald Sun, 31 March 11, BHP Billiton is on the brink of a huge, huge bet that the China-driven resources boom will just keep expanding and be joined by the Indian-driven one.It will also make a huge bet that the Japanese nuclear problem will figuratively speaking blow over.

Continue reading

March 31, 2011 Posted by | business, South Australia | | Leave a comment

BHP Billiton’s coy silence about Olympic Dam uranium mining

Missing from BHP Billiton’s  announcement was any mention of the fact that, by the time Olympic Dam  reaches full production (and the time frame for what is proposed to be a four stage expansion remains highly uncertain) it will be the world’s biggest uranium producer…..

Silent on uraniumThe Australian Matthew Stevens March 31, 2011 “……. FUKUSHIMA’S nuclear shadow seems to have reached all the way to BHP Billiton headquarters in Melbourne, with the Global Australian yesterday confirming Olympic Dam’s move into full feasibility, but remaining cautiously mute about what that might mean for the future giant’s uranium production. Continue reading

March 31, 2011 Posted by | secrets and lies, South Australia, uranium | , | 1 Comment

Medical experts denounce propaganda about “safe” levels of ionising radiation

According to the National Academy of Sciences, there are no safe doses of radiation. Decades of research show clearly that any dose of radiation increases an individual’s risk for the development of cancer.”…”There is unfortunately a continuing tirade of statements by self-interested parties and some official agencies … implying a threshold for radiation exposure below which there are no adverse consequences,”

No ‘safe’ threshold for radiation: experts, Analysis (ABC Science)31 March 2011 Anna Salleh,As Japanese authorities work to contain radiation at Fukushima, concerns have been raised about public communication on radiation risk.

The US advocacy group, Physicians for Social Responsiblity, recently criticised press reports implying there is a safe threshold for ionizing radiation exposure. Continue reading

March 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

China to increase solar energy, decrease nuclear

China mulls to switch over to solar photovoltaics to scale down N-power The Times of India | Mar 30, 2011, BEIJING: China is seriously considering to down size its massive expansion plan of nuclear plants in view of radiation crisis created by ruptured Japanese nuclear reactors and weighed option to double the target capacity of solar photovoltaics (PV) to meet future power requirements. Continue reading

March 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

BHP hastens to calm investor fears on uranium’s future

it was more likely BHP made the unusual announcement to calm fears of the Rann Labor government that international concerns about nuclear power caused by Fukushima could threaten Olympic Dam’s expansion.

BHP assurance on mine, Sydney Morning Herald, Barry FitzGeraldMarch 31, 2011 BHP Billiton has moved to dispel suggestions that the development timetable for its planned $30 billion expansion of the Olympic Dam copper/uranium/gold mine in South Australia is set to slip because of uncertainty about uranium demand. Continue reading

March 31, 2011 Posted by | politics, South Australia, uranium | | Leave a comment

Questions over impartiality of Australia’s nuclear safety watchdog

ARPANSA last year released two conflicting reports on the claims at Lucas Heights

Australian nuclear agency under review Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Lateline,  30/03/2011 Australia’s nuclear industry regulator, ARPANSA, is under review over its handling of safety breaches at the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor.
TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Australia’s nuclear industry regulator, ARPANSA, is under review over its handling of safety breaches at the nation’s only nuclear reactor. Continue reading

March 31, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, safety | Leave a comment

Greens will fight to save Pilbara environment from uranium mining

it is a pristine natural area and it has environmentally sensitive wetlands in the vicinity,” Senator Ludlam said.

The risk of ground water and wetland contamination made it one of the worst possible sites for a uranium mine, he said.

Greens urge govt to block Pilbara uranium, Sydney Morning Herald, Andrea Hayward March 29, 2011 The Greens have vowed to fight a Canadian company’s bid to mine uranium in Western Australia but hope the federal government will reject the proposal on environmental grounds.

Continue reading

March 31, 2011 Posted by | politics, Western Australia | 1 Comment