Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s uranium industry – open slather for BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam mine

Uranium mining companies in Australia are in denial. They cited “commercial in confidence” so as not to disclose their contracts and not to reveal which reactors were fuelled with their uranium.

 Olympic Dam mine is a dam designed to leak an average of three million litres of liquid radioactive waste a day from the tailings storage facility through decades of mining up to 2050.

The federal and SA governments agreed to surface dumping of the tailings rather than to require best practice disposal into the pit.

Our uranium fuelled Fukushima, David Noonan, The Guardian, 22 Feb 12, Australian uranium fuelled the Fukushima nuclear disaster yet our governments have just approved the world’s largest uranium project in BHP Billiton’s proposed new pen pit mine at Roxby Downs.  “We can confirm that Australian obligated nuclear material was at the Fukushima Daiichi site and in each of the reactors – maybe five out of six, or it could have been all of them; almost all of them”.

This frank smoking gun admission by Dr Floyd, the Director-General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office (ASNO) in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade came some seven months after the Fukushima crisis had started to unfold. It is quite likely this Australian uranium came from Roxby Downs in SA.

Denial runs deep in the nuclear industry. The nuclear utility TEPCO
and the Japanese government lacked capacity and preparedness to
respond to the inherent nuclear risks that reactors imposed on their
society. Fire fighters from Tokyo had to risk their lives and health
to try to control the failing Fukushima nuclear reactors as they
exploded and burnt and the reactor cores melted down spewing radiation
over nearly 10 percent of Japan.

Uranium mining companies in Australia are in denial. They cited “commercial in confidence” so as not to disclose their contracts and not to reveal which reactors were fuelled with their uranium.

The radioactive tailings produced by uranium miners need to be
isolated from the environment for far longer than recorded human
history – in effect forever.

However, Olympic Dam mine is a dam designed to leak an average of three million litres of liquid radioactive waste a day from the tailings storage facility through decades of mining up to 2050.

The federal and SA governments agreed to surface dumping of the tailings rather than to require best practice disposal into the pit.

They agreed that the company does not have to rehabilitate the proposed one kilometre deep pit that will be left to form a
hyper-saline contaminated lake of some 350 metres in depth as a permanent scar on the landscape. Some 3.5 million litres a day of saline groundwater will be lost to the pit in perpetuity as it cuts through the local aquifers.

The world’s largest and richest mining company has been allowed to
avoid paying for environment protection measures and mine
rehabilitation costs of some many hundreds of millions of dollars.

The federal government gave election policy commitments that they have
failed to deliver:

“Labor will accordingly only allow the mining of uranium under the
most stringent conditions”.

And: “Ensure that Australian uranium mining, milling and
rehabilitation is based on world’s best practice standards”……..
http://www.cpa.org.au/guardian/2012/1536/08-our-uranium.html

February 22, 2012 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies |

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