Australian news, and some related international items

Radioactive dust storms from uranium mine will threaten Australia’s cities

Dust storm envelopes Coober Pedy, South Australia – September 27 11, Christina Macpherson    Dust storms can travel thousands of km, from South Australia – the Olympic Dam uranium mine area,   to three capital cities, and even to New Zealand.

These winds travelled similarly to the 2009 Red Dust storm and went across to NSW and through Victoria. Coober Pedy is just East of Emu Field.

Weather forecast was : A vigorous front moving across South Australia 28 September 2011, with west to southwest winds averaging 60-km/h with damaging wind gusts in excess of 80 km/h

RED DUST STORM TWO YEARS AGO to the week was: Forecast September 2009    A vigorous front moving across South Australia 22-25 September [2009], with west to southwest winds averaging 60-70 km/h with damaging wind gusts in excess of 90 km/h.

This time around, Australia’s capital cities have been lucky. Not like two years ago, when dust covered dozens of towns and cities in three states, affecting Adelaide , Melbourne and blanketing Sydney. The dust from the Olympic Dam region might have carried radioactivity –  the uranium mine then , and now,   an underground mine.

But what happens when Olympic Dam uranium mine becomes the world’s biggest open cut mine?

Similar wind storms will happen.  But then the winds will be carrying the  radioactive dust from BHP Billiton’s massive mountain of tailings. The waste rockpile (overburden) will be an enormous mountain on the landscape, 150 metres high and up to 8 kilometres wide.

BHP Billiton themselves admit – or is it boast ? – that this giant mine will alter the region’s weather patterns – to such an extent that aircraft flight paths will have to be changed.

Wake up, city-dwelling Australians – the radioactive threat of Olympic Dam means that Coober Pedy’s dust storms will concern you, too


September 30, 2011 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, Olympic Dam, uranium |

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