Australian news, and some related international items

17 October – Sydney University – Dr Helen Caldicott on “South Australia as the Worlds’ Radioactive Waste Dump’


Make sure to RSVP to this amazing event! – go to the Sydney Democracy Network page 


Helen Caldicott will discuss the medical implications of converting South Australia into the world’s radioactive waste dump. The terms of reference for the Royal Commission into South Australia’s nuclear industry do not address health impacts for nuclear workers of the general public, despite the legacy health issues arising from nuclear weapons testing and uranium mining in the state.  What some have described as a Trojan Horse of the Commission is the search for a place to dump nuclear waste.  Industry advocates are seeing dollar signs, not danger signs or protest signs, in their sustained effort to target South Australia as an international nuclear waste repository


Caldicott-2013Dr Helen Caldicott 

Dr Helen Caldicott has devoted the last four decades to international campaigning to educate the public about the medical hazards of the nuclear age and the necessary changes in human behaviour to stop environmental destruction.

In 1971, Dr Caldicott played a major role in Australia’s opposition to French atmospheric nuclear testing in the Pacific; in 1975 she worked with the Australian trade unions to educate their members about the medical dangers of the nuclear fuel cycle, with particular reference to uranium mining.

Returning to Australia in 1987 from the US where she founded the Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament WAND), Dr Caldicott ran for Federal Parliament as an independent. Defeating Charles Blunt, leader of the National Party, through preferential voting she ultimately lost the election by 600 votes out of 70,000 cast.

Dr Caldicott currently divides her time between Australia and the US where she lectures widely. In year 2001, she founded the US-based Nuclear Policy Research Institute (NPRI), which became  Beyond Nuclear. Currently, Dr Caldicott is President of The Helen Caldicott Foundation/, which initiates symposiums and other educational projects  to inform the public and the media  of the dangers of nuclear power and weapons.

October 3, 2015 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

The week that has been in Australian nuclear and climate news

a-cat-CANLeading up to Paris Climate talks, the nuclear lobby is still going hard at spinning Lie No. 1 – that New Nuclear technology solves the radioactive trash problem.  But for October,  the focus is on Lie No. 2, – that ionising radiation is harmless, indeed , good for you.

Their favourite tactic is to confuse the public, by comparing the harmless Potassium K in bananas (of very low radioactive intensity), with man-made Cesium 137 and Strontium 90 (of very high radioactive intensity).  Their next favourite is to promote the quack theory of “hormesis” – the claim that ionising radiation is actually beneficial to health.

CLIMATE CHANGE.  Still possible to contain climate change: Paris UN conference will be critical.   Pope Francis’ US visit has triggered awareness of climate change as a moral issue.   Bank of England warns on climate change’s threat to global stability. Coming refugee crisis as sea levels rise on Pacific Islands.

South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission.  Analysis of the pro nuclear submissions shows that the major aim is to get South Australia to set up “New Generation” nuclear reactors. (yes, they’re the ones that still exist only on paper). The nuclear companies, not South Australia,  would pay the costs of setup – because Australia would pay them back later from the proceeds of importing radioactive trash. The Commission is paying lip service only to renewable energy as a”low carbon’ option.

Of course most of these submissions come from nuclear companies, from individuals connected to nuclear technology, and from a couple of wannabe famous South Australian politicians.

However, the nuclear front group The Breakthrough Institute also has a submission published.

Meanwhile, at the public hearing in Adelaide , October 1st,  Dr Arjun Makhijani explained the diseconomics of nuclear power, the irrelevance of it to climate action, (too slow), and the futility of the drive for Small Modular Nuclear reactors (SMRs).

Nuclear lobby aiming to overturn an Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act ban

BHP and Toro energy look to climate action as the reason why  the uranium market ( now in doldrums) should have a ‘renaissance’, though, interestingly, BHP actually mentions the possibility of another nuclear disaster mucking things up for them. Toro’s Wiluna uranium project is now stalled indefinitely.

Renewable energyAustralian govt to promote battery storage, through Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). Australia world top in household solar panel installations. Canberra school Amaroo to get benefits from ACT’s largest rooftop solar system.

October 3, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

PODCAST: Into An Uncertain Future: Containment of Radioactivity

podcastSmradioactive-showjRadioactive Show, 26/9/15: Into An Uncertain Future: Containment of Radioactivity

… features Tauto Sansbury (2015 NAIDOC Lifetime Achievement Award) reporting back on a meeting between 16 Traditional Owner groups in South Australia and the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission. Followed up by some recordings from a panel discussion at the Environmental Film Festival’s Melbourne screening of the documentary on radiation and nuclear waste, ‘Containment’, featuring Dave Sweeney (Nuclear Free campaigner with ACF and Dr.Margaret Beavis (President of MAPW).

Download program (28 min) at

(The radioactive show airs on 3cr 855 am (Melbourne) at 10am Saturdays and repeated at 6am Tuesdays, broadcast nationally on Tuesdays at 12 noon on the Community Radio Network and podcast on the 3cr website Find the Radioactive Show on Facebook:

October 3, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment