Australian news, and some related international items

Sutherland Shire happy to host nuclear reactor, but not so keen on hosting radioactive wastes

Oscar-wastesSutherland 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.

Construction of the facility at Lucas Heights is set to begin next year, with intermediate-level radioactive waste set to arrive back in Australia from France in 2015.

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”…..

November 30, 2013 Posted by | New South Wales, wastes | Leave a comment

Typhoon causes spread of radioactive soil from Fukushima

text-radiationTyphoons 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.

flag-japanThe typhoons “strongly contribute” to soil dispersal, he said, though it can be months later, after the winter snow melts, that contamination actually passes into rivers……….

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…….

November 30, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trans Pacific Partnership can allow foreign companies to sue Australian governments

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! 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 Continue reading

November 30, 2013 Posted by | ACTION, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Tour of Victoria’s Hepburn Wind Farm

 text-Please-NoteHave you been up close and personal with a wind turbine?… Ever wanted to?… Well here’s your chance…   by  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.

November 30, 2013 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment