Australian news, and some related international items

ARIUS ASSOCIATION’s Submission to #NuclearCommissionSAust confuses ethics with greed

Submission pro nuclearAriusAssociation Submission to the Royal Commission on Management, Storage and Disposal of Nuclear and Radioactive Waste

Arius is a a non profit body, (but friendly to the nuclear industry).  It addresses  nuclear waste disposal. It details structures and measures needed. Arius relies heavily on information from [the failed South Australian]   Pangea Project. Its purported aim is  for an “ethical project” – ‘to fulfil our ethical responsibilities to future generations’

Arius is upbeat about economic advantages, upbeat about safety and security. It appears to be complacent about a safe uneventful future for nuclear industry.

Nowhere does Arius discuss the historic disasters of the nuclear industry, its intrinsic connection with nuclear weapons proliferation, not the increasing risks of terrorism.

In discussing nuclear waste from an ethical point of view, the option of just stopping making the stuff is not considered.

Despite Arius’ confidence in nuclear industry waste disposal technology, they are ware of the implications:

” The Extremely Long Times that must be considered Repository safety analyses are routinely carried out for a million years into the future. These time scales challenge the conventional basis for the design of technological systems. Designs for such systems are usually based on a combination of past experience and theoretical projections, which can be supported by testing and observations of performance on relevant time scales. Because it is not possible to test and observe the engineered components of a repository over representative time scales, a repository’s safety would ideally be guaranteed by natural processes that have already demonstrated their performance over millions of years.”

However, their central theme seems to be to enthuse over the financial benefits to South Australia.

January 18, 2016 Posted by | Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | 1 Comment

David Bowman’s Pro Nuclear Submission – Nuclear waste dump to help wildlife!!

Submission pro nuclear puzzledSubmission to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Professor David Bowman, School of Biological Sciences, University of Tasmania


“I believe there is scope to use uranium mining and nuclear waste storage as a source of funding to tackle the urgent challenge of biodiversity, and particularly the threats to our unique and threatened Australian mammal fauna in the longer term

…….Australia’s insularity, tectonic and political stability make it an ideal setting for high-level nuclear waste storage. Uranium mining and waste storage could potentially provide a funding base for an internationally significant conservation intervention throughout outback Australia. To provide this capital and revenue, I suggest the expectations of mine site restoration are changed from attempts to restore mined areas to their original condition, and instead focus on containing pollution from these sites.

Savings should be invested in establishing at least ten very large predator-proof exclosures (> 500 km2) in the surrounding unmined landscapes in outback Australia. Further, exhausted sites associated with mining in geological stable and arid areas like Olympic Dam could be used for high-level nuclear waste disposal. Income associated with storage of nuclear waste, and the requirement they are managed over the long term (> 100 years), would provide funding for ongoing Aboriginal ranger programs to manage country throughout outback Australia…..”

January 18, 2016 Posted by | Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment

Golder Associates – another pro nuclear Submission to #NuclearCommissionSAust

Submission pro nuclearYou can access this one from

Golder Associates     Submission on Management, Storage and Disposal of Nuclear and Radioactive Waste.    An engineering company, its aim is to  show how they have designed and developed projects, and worked with Indigenous and local communities.

Worked with Pangea , ANSTO , AREVA, Ontario Power Generation,   They set out an Adaptive Phase Management approach. Set out process for building support with indigenous communities.

January 18, 2016 Posted by | Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment

Highly misleading to say that Lucas Heights nuclear reactor is mainly for medical uses

nuclear-medicineit would be highly misleading to attribute this predominantly to medical isotope production given the broad range of uses of the HIFAR and MOATA reactors over the last 60 years.
Radioactive waste in Australia, Medical Association for the Prevention of War (MAPW) 18 Jan 16   “……..How much medical Lucas-wasteswaste will be deposited in the repository? Less than 1% is medical waste (leftover radium and some disused sources). Most states and territories each only have a few cubic metres of low level medical waste.
 There are broadly two areas in which radioactive material is used for medical purposes:
Nuclear scans for investigating disease. These produce the vast bulk of medical nuclear waste. This is short-lived and decays on the medical facilities’ premises until its activity is negligible. It then is disposed of safely and appropriately in the usual manner of most waste (sewers, incineration, landfill tips etc.) according to set standards.
Cancer treatment radiotherapy. Most radiotherapy uses X-rays or electromagnetic radiation which do not produce any waste at all. A very small proportion of cancer treatment actually relies on radioactive materials, which almost all decay rapidly. Longer lived sources must be returned to their (overseas) sources when used up and so do not need local disposal. The provision of nuclear medicine services does not depend on a permanent waste repository.
What about the radioactive waste derived from the production of medical isotopes at Lucas Heights?
 • Firstly, most countries import their medical isotopes and clearly do not store the waste involved in its production. Medical isotope supply is a globalised industry with five reactors supplying over 95% of the world’s supply. Australia’s domestic production of medical isotopes is a policy choice not a medical necessity.
 • Secondly, Canada (the world’s biggest supplier) is switching to non-reactor isotope production, which does not create radioactive waste. This will significantly reduce Canada’s accumulation of waste. In contrast, ANSTO is proposing to dramatically increase reactor isotope production to sell to 30% of the world market. As a result Australia will accumulate much more waste from international isotope sales. Developing cyclotrons instead (like Canada) would eliminate radioactive waste from isotope production. • Thirdly, as outlined above, the majority of waste requiring long term disposal is not medically related at all. ANSTO emphasizes “only 40% of low level radioactive waste” arises from its activities. But ANSTO does not just make medical isotopes; it also produces isotopes for industrial research activities , manufacture of semiconductors and analysis of minerals and samples2 . The contribution to waste production of medical radiopharmaceuticals has been overstated.
Although 61% of Intermediate level waste is ANSTO related, this is only 5.8% of the total waste for the repository. Furthermore, this does not include the returning reprocessed spent fuel, since ANSTO does not classify spent fuel waste. And again it would be highly misleading to attribute this predominantly to medical isotope production given the broad range of uses of the HIFAR and MOATA reactors over the last 60 years………

January 18, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, New South Wales, reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Anti nuclear pro renewables Party in landslide win in Taiwan.



Many articles on the Net today, about the dramatic win in Taiwan’s elections, for Ing-wen Tsai and her DPP Party .  But why so far nary a mention of the role of her anti nuclear stance in that election. ?


Taiwan-140315Independence-minded opposition wins Taiwan election, Irish Times, 17 Jan 16 


“…….“Regardless of how you voted, the exercise of democratic expression was the most important meaning of this election,” Ms Tsai said in a news conference.

Ms Tsai unseated Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang (KMT) nationalist party, which has ruled the island of 23 million people since “Generalissimo” Chiang Kai-shek fled there in 1949, with the exception of 2000-2008 when the DPP were in charge.

The DPP win was by a landslide margin. According to the China News Agency, Ms Tsai won the presidency with 56.1 per cent of the vote. The DPP also took control of the Executive Yuan parliament for the first time, taking 68 of the 113 seats compared to the KMT’s 35 seats…….

Taiwan election points to nuclear phase-out by 20231, Climate Home,  14/01/2016, 
Ing-wen Tsai, who leads the presidential polls, envisions a ‘nuclear-free homeland’ with a bigger role for energy efficiency and renewables
By Megan Darby

Taiwan is facing a phase-out of atomic power, with nuclear sceptic Ing-wen Tsai tipped to win a presidential election on Saturday.

The island state’s three operating nuclear plants are due for retirement by 2023. A fourth, 90% built, was mothballed last year in response to protests from a public spooked by Japan’s Fukushima disaster.

Opinion polls predict a landslide victory for Tsai, with her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in with a chance of its first ever parliamentary majority……

Setting out her green energy platform in September, Tsai predicted NT$1 trillion (US$30 billion) of investment in the renewables sector.

“The time is ripe for Taiwan’s green energy development — what we lack is a government determined to see it through,” she said in remarks reported by the China Post…..

Tze-Luen Lin, energy and climate expert at National Taiwan University, expressed confidence the emissions targets were attainable…..

January 18, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

What materials will go into waste repositary for Lucas Heights nuclear trash?

radioactive trashRadioactive waste in Australia, Medical Association for the Prevention Lucas-09of War (MAPW) 18 Jan 16  …………….Where does the radioactive waste to be deposited in this repository come from? The repository is designed for “low level” and “intermediate level” waste; as of 2014 a total of 4,906 cubic metres (m3 ).
1 • Low level waste will be the largest amount by volume with 4250m3 (87%). More than half is contaminated soil in ten thousand drums (located at Woomera) from CSIRO ore research in the 1950s and 1960s. Less than half is Lucas Heights’ reactor waste. The remainder is contaminated soil (20m3 ), old industrial gauges, smoke detectors, medical equipment, luminous signs and CSIRO waste and research sources.
 • Material from the old Radium Hill mine site will also be sent to the repository. • Intermediate level waste (656m3,, 13%) is the most hazardous and requires the most isolation from the environment and humans. Most of it is ANSTO reactor operational waste, with much of the rest from past mineral sands processing. Much of the 100m 3 of state/territory waste comes from industrial, medical and research equipment. There is a small proportion of radium legacy waste part of which was used in cancer treatments until about 1976.
 • Future intermediate level waste will nearly all come from waste/spent fuel from the decommissioning the HIFAR and MOATA nuclear reactors. These were replaced by the OPAL reactor. This spent fuel has been sent to Scotland and France for reprocessing. The first returning shipment in 2015 comprised of 25 tonnes in concrete containers.
When will the repository be operational? Who knows? The previous deadline of 2015 was missed requiring further interim storage at Lucas Heights until a permanent repository is found. ….

January 18, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, reference, wastes | Leave a comment

International Renewable Energy Agency aims for rapid measures to reduce greenhouse emissions

Some of those changes are already underway. Global clean energy investment attracted a record $329bn last year, according to a report released on Thursday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The report noted the rise in clean energy investment came despite the drop in oil prices.

sun-powerRapid switch to renewable energy can put Paris climate goals within reach

Increasing renewables to 36% of the global energy mix by 2030 would provide about half emissions reductions needed to hold warming to 2C, says International Renewable Energy Agency Guardian, , 16 Jan 16

Countries can deliver on the promises of the historic Paris climate change agreement by rapid scaling up wind and solar power to 36% of the global energy mix by 2030, an international energy gathering will be told on Saturday.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) meeting in Abu Dhabi – the first major global gathering since Paris – is seen as an important test of countries’ readiness to put those plans into action. Continue reading

January 18, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment