Australian news, and some related international items

Australians’ ‘moral duty’ to dump nuclear wastes on Aboriginal land – Ferguson

If you read, or listen to, this ABC  TV story, it gives an insight into the question of storing radioactive wastes.   Medical  experts explain the management of the short-lived medical radioactive wastes.   A radiology expert explains that the major waste problem is the nuclear wastes generated by the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor.
The point of view of the Aboriginal landowners is shown.

Martin Ferguson continues to claim that the purpose of the Muckaty dump is to store ‘medical wastes”  – ”   —   “It is a moral issue. If you want access to nuclear medicine then take on the responsibility of storing your waste.”

So Ferguson is more or less telling Australians that -” no Muckaty waste dump, no nuclear medicine for you”.  Apparently it is also our ‘moral duty’ to impose these wastes on Aboriginal people, whether they like it or not.  Of course, we can always bribe them by providing the living standard facilities that the rest of us get, anyway, without having to host a nuclear waste dump.

National radioactive waste dump faces resistance  Australian Broadcasting Corporation Broadcast: 21/03/2012  Reporter: Rebecca Baillie

March 22, 2012 Posted by | Audiovisual, Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Another nuclear worker takes legal action over victimisation by ANSTO

Third nuclear worker in bullying claim BY: LEIGH DAYTON,   The Australian March 22, 2012 AUSTRALIA’S troubled nuclear facility is facing legal action brought by a former employee who was suspended then fired after raising health and safety concerns over the mishandling of radioactive materials.

David Reid, a former technician and staff-elected health and safety officer, is seeking compensation for harm he claims he suffered after raising concerns about contamination incidents in the radioisotope production facility between 2007 and 2008.

“I believe I was unfairly treated and victimised after raising safety issues,” Mr Reid told The Australian. “After working there for 30 years, the chances of getting another comparable job are unlikely at
my age.”…

Mr Reid’s solicitor confirmed the matter was proceeding for the 58-year-old, who was suspended in June 2008 and dismissed in June last year. A statement of claim was lodged last week, seeking compensation for loss of income and damages including offence, humiliation, anxiety, depression, dislocation to life and reputational

March 22, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal | Leave a comment

Comparing conditions for Lynas’ radioactive waste: Australia or Malaysia

Let’s de-politicise the Lynas issue — Stop Lynas Coalition, The Malaysian Insider  March 21, 2012  “…….Lynas loves to boast that their project is approved in Australia also.  Given Australia’s high environmental standard, if it is approved in Australia, why would Malaysians reject it? However, Lynas hid from the public that the Australian proposal was approved under extremely stringent conditions.

The table shows the conditions under the Australian proposal [6] compared to LAMP.

Regardless of what justification the government gives, any person of general intellect can deduce that LAMP is shifted to our shores because Lynas wants to dump its waste here. How can our government inflict such indignity on the very people it is elected to protect?…

[6] “Proposed rare earths mining and beneficiation at Mt Weld, Laverton and secondary processing at Meenaar, near Northm”, Ashton Rare Earths Ltd, August 1992.

March 22, 2012 Posted by | politics international, rare earths, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Independent expertise needed to deal with radioactive waste, not a shed in the NT

22 Mar   An independent commission of experts should be created to decide how to deal with the nation’s radioactive medical waste, the Australian Greens urged today. Senator Scott Ludlam said the Greens had tried to legislate for an independent commission on radioactive waste but faced “a wall of dogma” from the major parties.

“Wednesday’s report on the ABC’s 7.30 concluded with the suggestion this was an intractable problem – but it doesn’t need to be. We need a body that has the skills and expertise to determine what is the safest and most sustainable way to deal with this waste, rather than banishing it to a shed built on the land of people who don’t want it there, watched by two security guards rather than qualified technicians.”

The Greens have pushed for the establishment of the Independent Commission on the Long Term Safe Storage, Transport and Management of Australia’s Radioactive Waste.

“Through this Commission, Australia could apply world’s best practice to responsibly deal with the 4020m3 of so-called low-level and short-lived intermediate radioactive waste and the approximately 600m3 of long-lived waste in this country, and also to deal with the 32 cubic metres of spent research reactor fuel that is returning to Australia from reprocessing in France and the UK in 2015-16.”

Senator Ludlam led the two-year struggle in the Federal Parliament against the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill, legislation which finally passed last week and makes it legal for the Government to force a waste dump on Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory.

March 22, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Contradictory statements on the return of Lynas radioactive wastes to Australia

Lynas had denied reports that the Western Australian government had refused to accept the radioactive waste from the miner’s RM2.5 billion rare earth plant in Malaysia.

“If the (Australian) government accepts waste, why not they (Lynas) stay in own country?” Himpunan Hijau chairman Wong Tack asked. Wong said Lynas Corp was “clearly taking advantage” of Malaysia’s
“loose environmental laws” and “non-functioning administration”.

Australia: No request from Lynas to accept waste By Lisa J. Ariffin March KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — Canberra
has yet to receive any request from Lynas Corp to accept radioactive waste from the Australian miner’s controversial rare earth plant in Gebeng, Kuantan that will be ready this June.

“Australia has not received any request to import residues from the plant,” an Australian High Commission spokesman told The Malaysian Insider when contacted today. Continue reading

March 22, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | | 2 Comments

Federal Court challenge to Olympic Dam approval

 Environmental Defenders Office (SA) Inc, 22 March 12, Mr Kevin Buzzacott has filed an application in the Federal Court challenging the  Commonwealth Environment Minister’s approval of the Olympic Dam expansion. He is  represented by the Environmental Defender’s Office (SA) Inc (EDO) in those  proceedings.

Mr Buzzacott (known as Uncle Kevin) is an Aboriginal Elder of the Arabunna Nation in  Northern South Australia, who is concerned about the impacts of the mine on the  environment. The EDO is a community legal centre that specialises in public interest  environmental law. Continue reading

March 22, 2012 Posted by | legal, South Australia | | Leave a comment

Wind energy a winner for South Australia

Wind Power costs a lot less than the savings it makes – it’s like a preventative measure; an insurance that you buy against high electricity prices. In the case of South Australia, they did just that and it paid off.

Wind Works. It’s giving South Australia climate security through decarbonising its economy, energy security through reduced imports of expensive volatile fossil fuels. And it works so well that South Australia can now go further and target 50 per cent of the state to run on wind power and put much more solar on rooftops while planning to integrate this with
Baseload Solar Thermal plants installed in locations like Port Augusta.

South Australia’s big win with windREneweconomy, By Matthew Wright   21 March 2012 Wind Power in South Australia has been a howling success; it now provides more electricity in the state than coal and in just a decade the wind industry has developed into one of the world’s leaders – and all to the benefit of South Australians. Continue reading

March 22, 2012 Posted by | South Australia, wind | , | Leave a comment

Voters in Mt Isa electorate have no choice on the uranium issue

Fiona Lake , commenting on Queensland election policies  With leaking tailings dams already in her electorate, it is astonishing that Betty Kiernan is in favour of a uranium mine on her doorstep.

And so much for a democracy providing us with a real choice, with the 3 main contenders all in favour of uranium mining.

I’ll be voting for whoever publicly guarantees that they will not be considering uranium mining in their term of government and I bet I’m not the only one.  Voters need firm policies and they need them right now, not each way
bet ‘we might consider it’, statements.

Parties say uranium mining could happen in Queensland ABC rural news By Paul Sutherland , 21/03/2012 The LNP and ALP candidates in Queensland’s Mount Isa electorate both say their parties’ opposition to uranium mining in the state could change….
Labor member Betty Kiernan says while her party opposes mining the mineral, there’s no reason why the policy won’t be overturned….
Rob Katter, the Katter’s Party candidate for the electorate, made his position clear – if that party wins in Saturday’s election, uranium mining would be legalised….

March 22, 2012 Posted by | politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Decision to sell uranium to India could backfire badly on the Gillard government

If their err in judgement places Australia on the wrong side of nuclear proliferation or nuclear safety history, Gillard and the Labor Right would face political kryptonite capable of removing them from power and tarnishing their records forever……

Despite Gillard’s Victory, Australian Uranium Exports to India Debate Far from Over, HUFFINGTON POST, Wddie Walsh, 21 March 12,  – “…… a number of important foreign policy issues will continue to divide Labor as Gillard looks to consolidate her power. One of the most serious is her position on Australian uranium exports to India. This
poses a chronic risk for both Gillard and the Labor Right – just as it does for the United States… Continue reading

March 22, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

USA cannot afford the cost of closing down old nuclear reactors

 The cost is projected at $400 million to $1 billion per reactor, which in some cases is more than what it cost to build the plants in the 1960s and ’70s.

As Reactors Age, the Money to Close Them Lags NYT, By MATTHEW L. WALD March 20, 2012 WASHINGTON — The operators of 20 of the nation’s aging nuclear reactors, including some whose licenses expire soon, have not saved nearly enough money for prompt and proper dismantling. Continue reading

March 22, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Radiation risk of rare earths processing

Let’s de-politicise the Lynas issue — Stop Lynas Coalition, The Malaysian Insider, March 21, 2012  The majority of us anti-Lynas people feel offended by the government’s unending insistence the issue is politicised. We feel belittled by a government that does not see us rakyat as capable of thinking for ourselves, and so easily hoodwinked by the opposition.

They insist on talking facts, which came to mean solely the IAEA review report, but completely ignored all other dissenting opinions, even if these dissenting opinions are voiced by esteemed professional bodies such as the Bar Council and the Malaysian Medical Association. Perhaps, their members are somehow misled too.

These opinions are raised over time in published articles and public feedback and they have either been poorly addressed, or completely ignored. I hope to raise 3 main ones in this article and request that the government gives them befitting consideration so that we can de-politicise this Lynas issue.

a) The radiation risk is greater than what Lynas and the Malaysian government are willing to admit Continue reading

March 22, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

3000 jobs and cheaper electricity for South Australia with wind power

They are reportedly unpopular but a CSIRO report in January found there was stronger community support for wind farms across Australia than suggested by media coverage.

It found rural residents often backed the developments but did not seek media attention or political engagement to express their views.

SA wants to lead with renewable energy, Business Spectator, 22 March 12,  South Australia’s Labor government wants to be a leader in renewable energy and wants more wind farms to do it. SA has more than half of Australia’s wind farms and they provided 26 per cent of the state’s electricity last year, up from 18 per cent in 2010, and less than one per cent just five years ago…… Continue reading

March 22, 2012 Posted by | South Australia, wind | , | Leave a comment