Australian news, and some related international items

Why is the media not being clear about this haste to get a nuclear waste site?

a-cat-CANIt’s NOT about medical wastes.
The reality is that Australia is bound to take back Lucas Heights nuclear wastes that have been processed in France, UK and Argentina.
The French deadline is near – I think it’s 2016.
All this crap about medical wastes. Most medical radioisotopes have very short half-lives.
Most of them used for diagnosis only, not treatment.
There’s an argument for using less.
Medical radioisotopes can be made without nuclear reactor, as is now being done in Canada. Expensive ? Lucas-wastesyes. But not in the long run.
Obvious solution. Shut Lucas Heights reactor. Get non-reactor radioisotopes.
The pretense is that the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor is all about helping medicine.  It’s not. It’s all about keeping  afoot in Australia’s door for the global nuclear lobby.

November 13, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

November 19 – Adelaide – Film “Containment”

FilmConservation SA and FOE are hosting a film night showing the movie Containment on Thursday 19 November at UniSA City West at 7pm. Containment was made by Harvard professors and is about the difficulties associated with the long term safe storage of nuclear waste. One of the professors is attending to answer questions.  .  Please RSVP on the CCSA site here if you can and Facebookers please share the event invitation.

November 13, 2015 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Jay Weatherill at Paris climate conference – to preach “nuclear as climate solution”?

a-cat-CANBeware that little phrase “low carbon” . These days it is code for “nuclear”

They used to use the term “renewable” to mean nuclear – so including it with clean energy  as in solar, wind power. They still tout “clean” quite often, but can get pulled up on that.

Note that Jay Weatherill, pinning his political future on nuclear, could have chosen the term “renewable”, but he didn’t.

Weatherill,-Jay-wastes Energy plan: Jay Weatherill wants the State Government powered totally by “low carbon electrici ty” PREMIER Jay Weatherill wants the State Government to be powered totally by “low carbon electricity”, as he prepares to leave for an international climate change conference in Paris next month. (subscribers only)

November 13, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australian govt to pay 4 times land value for nuclear dump site, plus #10 million to local community

Bribery 1

Sallys Flat should be removed from nuclear waste shortlist, residents say, ABC News 13 Nov 15  By Joanna Woodburn, “……The Government says it needs to build a facility to store the low and intermediate nuclear waste that’s been accumulating in at hospitals, universities and at the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in Sydney.

Landowners were asked to volunteer their land, with the government offering to buy it at four times the market value. Local communities are being offered $10 million for local projects.”…

November 13, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Danger in transporting radioactive trash to Queensland

radiation-truckGoondiwindi mayor raises issues over transport of nuclear waste to Queensland, ABC News 13 Nov 15  The Mayor of a southern Queensland region shortlisted to store nuclear waste is concerned about how it will be transported, but is keeping an open mind to the proposal.

Oman Ama, 250 kilometres southwest of Brisbane,is one of six sites earmarked by the Federal Government, including three in South Australia, one in New South Wales and one in the Northern Territory. Goondiwindi Mayor Graeme Scheu said he did not want to jump to conclusions.

“The main question around it would be transportation, where it goes, so, so many questions that we don’t even have an answer for and the facts,” he said……..

The Federal Government is offering sweeteners to the community that agrees to house nuclear waste…..

Transporting waste to Queensland ‘total lunacy’

National secretary of the Australian local government nuclear free zones secretariat, Ipswich councillor Paul Tully, said “total lunacy” had overtaken the Federal Government.

Mr Tully said the federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will put major cities across southeast Queensland under threat with hundreds of trucks a year carrying nuclear waste across the region.”They will be transporting nuclear waste from the Lucas Heights reactor west of Sydney and other parts of Australia to Queensland,” he said.

“We don’t want Queensland to become the dumping ground for dangerous waste from NSW.”

He said similar plans in 1989 for a radioactive waste dump at Redbank in Ipswich had been thwarted after major environmental concerns were raised.

Kirsten Macey from the Queensland Conservation Council said regional communities should not be used as the scapegoat for a “dirty” nuclear industry. She wants the waste left in Sydney.

“We believe that where the regulator is – where they have the capacity to store it and monitor it, that’s where the nuclear waste should be stored,” she said. “That’s at Lucas Heights where the nuclear waste is being generated.”

November 13, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Queensland, safety, wastes | Leave a comment

Australian Conservation Foundation wants wide-ranging public review into Australia’s nuclear materials

scrutiny-Nuclear waste: Review needed before permanent disposal site, say environmentalists, SMH  , Legal affairs, health and science reporter November 13, 2015
“……Environmentalists fear that a permanent site would pave the way for the nuclear waste of other countries to be stored in Australia, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last month remarking that Australia could expand its nuclear industry, including leasing local uranium overseas.

Dave Sweeney, the Australian Conservation Foundation’s national nuclear campaigner, said on Friday: “There is no public health or radiological imperative to rush the movement of material.”

He said there should be a wide-ranging public review into how, where, and why we produce nuclear material, with clear policies “best worked through when you’re not searching for a postcode”.

Mr Sweeney, a member of the government’s independent advisory panel on nuclear waste, insisted this was “not a stalling tactic”. Environmental groups were prepared to approach a review in good faith, he said: “We genuinely believe that getting a lasting, scientifically responsible solution that enjoys a high level of community consent is through an open review process, with a full range of management options.”

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s (ANSTO) existing facility in Lucas Heights in Sydney, was the “least worst” option for storing waste until a national independent review was completed, he said, with federal police and people with nuclear expertise already based there.

The site held most of Australia’s more-radioactive waste, and now included a national facility for extended interim storage, he said. It would also hold nuclear waste which is due to return to Australia next month, after being sent to France between 1996 and 2009. Continue reading

November 13, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Chronic underestimation of Fukushima radiation health effects

Million Cancer Deaths From Fukushima Expected in Japan,’ New Report Reveals A shocking new report defies the chronically underestimated impacts of the Fukushima’s triple meltdown on the risk of cancer in exposed populations, which does not just include Japan, but arguably the entire world. Sayer Ji, Green Med Info Waking Times, 10 Nov 15 

A new report from Fairewinds Energy Education (FEE), “Cancer on the Rise in Post-Fukushima Japan,” reveals that the ongoing multi-core nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant that started in March 2011 has produced approximately 230 times higher than normal thyroid cancers in Fukushima Prefecture, and could result in as many as one million more cancers in Japan’s future as a result of the meltdown.

text What radiation

According to the new report, data provided by a group of esteemed Japanese medical professionals and TEPCO, confirm a direct link of numerous cancers in Japan to the triple meltdown. As transcribed by, Arnie Gundersen, chief engineer at Fairewinds stated, Nov. 4, 2015:

“It’s been almost 5 years from the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns, and the news from Japan is still not good. Two reports recently released in Japan, one by Japanese medical professionals and the second from Tokyo Power Corporation – TEPCO – acknowledged that there will be numerous cancers in Japan, much greater than normal, due to the radioactive discharges from the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi… I believe, as do many of my colleagues, that there will be at least 100,000 and as many as one million more cancers in Japan’s future as a result of this meltdown… [T]he second report received from Japan proves that the incidence of thyroid cancer is approximately 230 times higher than normal in Fukushima Prefecture… So what’s the bottom line? The cancers already occurring in Japan are just the tip of the iceberg. I’m sorry to say that the worst is yet to come.”

The content of the new report defies what are chronically underestimated radiation exposure levels and effects produced by the International Atomic Energy Agency, TEPCO, and the Japanese government. Continue reading

November 13, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Darling Downs, Queensland, residents shocked at proposal to site nuclear waste there

Queensland--antinukeDarling Downs locals opposed to potential Oman Ama nuclear storage site, 9 News, 13 Nov 15,   A property near the Darling Downs town of Oman Ama has been shortlisted by the Federal Government as a potential storage site for low-to-intermediate nuclear waste, but locals have told 9NEWS they are seriously concerned by the plan.

“Initally, horror, shock, how could they?” Liff Parr said.  “I would hate to find something like that happening in our area,” Jo Clark said.

Locals had not received any notice of the plans, Andrew Clark-Dickson said. “Up until seven o’clock this morning I knew nothing about it,” he said. “It’s got to be put somewhere, but I really don’t think it should be on top of the Murray-Darling Basin.”

Organic olive farmer Gesine Owen echoed his concerns. My biggest fear is the water contamination,” she said. Ms Owen said she had spent many years investing in infrastructure to attract tourists to the town.“We just don’t see why we should be picked,” she said.

The residents realise one landowner has volunteered to sell their property for the purpose of establishing a nuclear waste site, with the government offering to pay four times market value for the selected site………

The Australian Nuclear Free Alliance said Australian Aboriginal communities “are reeling from this announcement”.

“We are concerned about the lack of consultation with Aboriginal communities, which are already under attack due to unconventional gas mining, coal proposals and the roll-back of Aboriginal heritage protections,” Alliance co-chair Adam Sharah said in a statement.

November 13, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Queensland, wastes | Leave a comment

MP Warren Snowdon sceptical about siting nuclear waste dump in Northern Territory

radioactive trashNo reason to fear nuclear waste dump says owner of shortlisted farm near Alice Springs, ABC News, By James Oaten, Xavier La Canna and Nathan Coates, 13 Nov 15 “……….MP can’t see significant benefits   The federal Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, whose electorate includes the farm, said the Government had done the right thing in starting a consultation process, but was sceptical about the benefits the project could bring. “I don’t think there’s any question that if the community is opposed to this site around Alice Springs, it won’t happen,” Mr Snowdon said.

“I’ve always been a sceptic about the nuclear industry but this is a process that needs to be followed through. “There would be minimal employment opportunities. “I can’t see significant benefit from this.”

Mr Snowdon said he believed it was best to have such a facility closer to where the nuclear waste originated from…..


“It’s always been my view probably better off elsewhere, closer to where the bulk of the radioactive waste is rather than being transported long distances.”

‘Just the starting point’, environmentalist says

Director of the Alice Springs-based Arid Lands Environment Centre, Jimmy Cocking, said he was concerned the proposal may be a precursor to storing more dangerous nuclear waste.

“Low-to-intermediate waste is generally the starting point,” Mr Cocking said.

“So our concern is, if established, it will in the long term not just have low to intermediate waste.

“We are opposed to it being in Hale, we think it should be located at Lucas Heights [in New South Wales] where the expertise is.”

November 13, 2015 Posted by | Northern Territory, wastes | Leave a comment

Australian Parliament House will soon be 100 per cent renewably powered.

renewable-energy-pictureTom Swann says ACT government will have last laugh at climate sceptics, Canberra Times, November 13, 2015   Reporter for The Canberra Times. “…..researcher and campaigner Tom Swann says whether the former treasurer or prime minister or anyone else in Federal Parliament likes it or not, the Australian Parliament House will soon be 100 per cent renewably powered.

This is one of the implications of the ACT government’s clean energy policies, the most ambitious in Australia, which Mr Swann will explain at the Progressive Canberra Summit on Saturday morning, at a gathering of people discussing energy, housing, social justice and sustainability in this city and globally.

Mr Swann will point out the ACT government plans to completely decarbonise the territory’s electricity system and its moves to decarbonise its investments, by starting to divest from fossil fuels.

He will ask a group of people how can Canberra make the most of this leadership? “How do we ensure this transition engages all of Canberra, using local energy and expertise and providing options to those on lower incomes?” Mr Swann said.

He will present research from public policy think tank Australian Institute which shows three in four Canberrans surveyed (78 per cent) support the 100 per cent renewables target, a majority strongly supporting it. The polling also found an interesting national perspective.

“Canberra’s leading position on renewables is the envy of the rest of the country,” Mr Swann said.

The research is based on two polls  in September, one by ReachTEL of 731 residents in Fraser electorate and 717 residents in Canberra electorate, while a separate poll by Research Now surveyed 1407 people across Australia.

Three in four Canberrans (75 per cent) said they were willing to pay more on their bills to achieve the 100 per cent renewables target and almost two in three (62 per cent) said they would be willing to pay at least $5 per week more on household electricity.

 Almost three in four Australians from outside of Canberra (72 per cent) said they wanted a similar policy in their own state……..

November 13, 2015 Posted by | ACT, energy | Leave a comment

USA testing more land, sea, and air-based nuclear weapons

boys my toys bestThe U.S. Is Now Flexing Its Nuclear Muscles on a Weekly Basis, Popular Mechanics, 
The Pentagon is suddenly very interested in making sure Russia knows America’s nukes still work.
 By  Nov 12, 2015 The Last Three Weeks Has Seen A Surge In Testing Of American Nuclear Weapon Systems, Accompanied By Carefully Released Photos On Social Media. The Tests And Pictures Appear Calculated To Drive Home One Point: The Cold War May Have Ended 24 Years Ago, But America’s Nuclear Weapons Still Work.

On October 21, a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in in Southern California. The missile, launched by crews from the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, delivered a re-entry test vehicle to Kwajalein Atoll 4,200 miles away.

 On November 3, 2015, a pair of B-52H bombers flew from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana to Spain, where they participated in a maritime strike scenario exercise. Although the mission simulated a conventional strike, the B-52H has the ability to drop nuclear bombs.

On November 7, a Trident II D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missile launched from the Pacific Missile Test Center in Southern California, also at Kwajalein Atoll. This launch from the nuclear submarine USS Kentucky was seen up and down the West Coast, as far as Arizona and San Francisco, and widely photographed and shared on social media. Five members of Congress were on board to observe the launch. On November 9 a second Trident was launched from Pacific Missile Test Center……..

There you have it: All three legs of America’s nuclear “triad”—land, sea, and air-based nukes—have been doing some stretches in the past three weeks……..

The first Trident II launch occurred during evening commute hours in Southern California, which virtually guaranteed the public would see it. The Minuteman III test occurred at 5:45 AM on the West Coast, which was 4:00 PM the same day in Moscow. Both launches probably were meant to generate publicity—in their own way—that would make its way back to Putin.

Either that, or America really doesn’t like Kwajalein Atoll.

November 13, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia making ’empty promises’ on phasing out fossil fuel subsidies – report

fossil-fuel-industryAustralia and its fellow G20 nations are “paying fossil fuel producers to undermine their own policies on climate change”, a British think tank says.

In a report released on Thursday, the Overseas Development Institute questioned why the Australian government continued to provide more than $5 billion a year to support fossil fuel production, despite a G20 commitment to phase out subsidies six years ago.

The report, titled Empty Promises: G20 subsidies to oil, gas and coal production, comes ahead of the G20 summit in Turkey on November 15, and says that G20 governments collectively spend more than $640 billion a year to support the production of fossil fuels – almost four times the total of global subsidies for renewable energy.

November 13, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste dump threat to South Australia’s agriculture. Concern in Kimba

South Australia nuclear toiletNuclear waste proposal raises SA concerns, 13 Nov 15  The Eyre Peninsula’s clean, green farming image could be damaged if a proposed nuclear waste dump goes ahead, a regional mayor says.The federal government has short-listed six sites for a nuclear waste dump, including three in South Australia.

Two sites are west of Whyalla and another is north of Port Augusta.

 Kimba Mayor Dean Johnson, whose district covers the two Eyre Peninsula sites, will next week tour the Lucas Heights nuclear facility on a fact-finding mission.

“The concerns are around agriculture, which is our main industry. There is a concern we’ll damage our clean, green image,” Mr Johnson told AAP on Friday.

“We don’t want to base any of our decisions on fear. We want to base them on facts.”

SA Premier Jay Weatherill says findings from the Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle will guide SA’s response to the proposal.

Current state legislation does not allow for the establishment of a nuclear waste storage facility but that could change depending on the commission’s recommendations………

The Conservation Council of South Australia says the federal government is yet to release detailed maps showing the exact locations of short-listed sites.”Worried members of the community are not being given enough information to work out whether [site] areas are in conservation areas,” chief executive Craig Wilkins said.

“It feels like they are stage-managing the release of information.”


November 13, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Radioactive trash dump would damage tourism – Sally’s Flat residents say “NO”

radioactive trashSallys Flat should be removed from nuclear waste shortlist, residents say, ABC News 13 Nov 15  By Joanna Woodburn, Residents have slammed a proposal to store nuclear waste at Sallys Flat, near the historic gold mining village of Hill End in New South Wales’ central west.

The Federal Government has shortlisted six sites to potentially house a nuclear waste storage facility, including Sallys Flat, in the Bathurst district. Near the village of Hill End, the area boomed during the 1850s gold rush and remains a major tourist attraction, according to the local progress association.

The association’s Ross Brown said the historical significance and population of the area made it a poor choice for a nuclear facility…….

 On its website, the Hill End and Tambaroora Progress Association described Hill End as a “well-preserved gold-mining ghost town”, which draws thousands of tourists each year……….

Bathurst Climate Action Network head Tracy Carpenter said Bathurst, which is an hour away from Sallys Flat, had been a sister city with Okuma in Japan, one of the towns affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. “People cannot occupy [Okuma] since the tsunami and earthquake and the result [of] the nuclear disaster, and now we’re being slated as an area to dump nuclear waste,” she said. “It’s just appalling.”…….

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley said he would be surprised if the site was chosen……….”I think people in New South Wales will take an enormous amount of convincing for such a repository to be placed in our state, somewhere around Bathurst.

“We’re not talking about the outback, we’re talking about a pretty well populated area.”…….

November 13, 2015 Posted by | New South Wales, Opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment

Australia two-faced at OECD discussions on coal and climate change

Turnbull climate 2 facedIn addition, taking a blocking position at the OECD has the potential to damage Australia’s credibility in other international negotiations and particularly as its role as co-chair of the Green Climate Fund. Overall, to address climate change, our policies on energy and climate change will need to align. As the US, EU and China step up their leadership on climate change, Australia will come under increasing pressure to reconcile its different positions. 

OECD coal discussions highlight tensions in Australia’s position on climate change, The Conversation,  November 13, 2015  While the UN Paris talks approach at the end of November, attention is currently focused on another forum, the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), where member countries are negotiating a deal to limit public finance to overseas coal projects in emerging and developing countries.

Australia and South Korea are reportedly opposed to an agreement struck by the US and Japan and supported by other member countries, notably Germany and France, to prevent public finance to all but the very cleanest power plants.

How will these discussions at the OECD impact on the UN Paris negotiations? Australia’s approach to these international meetings would seem to be inconsistent……..

Australia is walking a fine line in climate diplomacy

Are Australia’s positions on climate change in the UN and the OECD inconsistent?

On the one hand, Australia supports the objective of keeping the global temperature rise within 2℃ and is willing to make some domestic emission reductions to assist in achieving this.

On the other hand, it is not yet willing to place any real limits on its coal exports to developing countries. It justifies this position on the basis that coal is required by developing countries to alleviate poverty and that it is not for Australia to decide how other countries allocate their public finance. Continue reading

November 13, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international | Leave a comment