Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear Citizens Jury South Australia Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26

Citizens' Jury scrutinyThe first Jury of 50 South Australians has now been randomly selected with representatives from far and wide across the state ranging in age from 18 to over 65. The jurors will meet for the first time in Adelaide next Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26 for a weekend of deliberations.

South Australians will have the chance to sit in and watch first-hand the deliberations and workings of a Citizens’ Jury. Ten randomly selected people will be able to attend selected sessions of over both upcoming Jury weekends.

To register for your chance to be offered an observer place at one of the Jury sessions, you must first be logged in or registered on the YourSAy Nuclear website, before filling out the application form.

The observers will be able to sit in during a morning or afternoon session. Each day there are between three and four sessions available. All open sessions will be streamed live on the YourSAy Nuclear website

Registration for the first two days of the Citizens’ Jury (Saturday 25 June and Sunday 26 June) will close at 5pm Wednesday 22 June, 2016.
Registrations for the last two days (Saturday 9 July and Sunday 10 July) will close at 5pm on Wednesday 6th July. All applicants’ names will be sorted into a random stratification process which will be
facilitated independently by newDemocracy Foundation. To allocate seats, a random number draw will be conducted.

June 20, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics, South Australia | 1 Comment

Does the South Australian plan meet the BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR CITIZENS’ JURY ?

  • Assurance that the participants are randomly selected from as wide a range as possible.
  • Honorarium payment, crèche facilities, and easy-access jury locations, etc, every effort made not to exclude any person because of their situation.
  • The selection of a truly neutral Advisory body, with equal representation from pro and anti nuclear witnesses.
  •  Moderators for the hearings also selected to be neutral.
  • Questions well selected so as not to influence the response (this was one of the major failings of the Royal Commission)
  • Complete video and audio of the hearings available to the public, (though not the private discussions of the participants)
The jury of citizens, usually consisting of 15–24 individuals, serves as a microcosm of the public.

The public availability of complete audio or video recordings of all jury hearings, (though not of “jury room” deliberations if participants would prefer privacy) is an important aid to transparency. Multiple sources of funding help to ensure that the jury’s organisers are not seen as having a financial interest in producing a verdict that supports the interests of a single funding body. To maximise the scrutiny they provide, the two or more funders should have somewhat opposing interests regarding the subject likely to be under discussion.

The moment in a citizens jury that is most important for its participants is the point at which they deliver their recommendations to those in power. A jury in which jurors are not only allowed to present their conclusions themselves at a press conference, but also undertake work towards ensuring that some of their conclusions are implemented, is a far more empowering process than one in which their verdict is merely extracted by researchers and written up without further input from the jurors.

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN PROCESS  run by Sydney’s New Democracy  contact
Iain Walker <

but sub-contracted out to South Australia’s  DemocracyCo

         – CEOs are Emma Lawson and Emily Jenke.

 Principal Advisor is Ilka Walkley


     0421 098 355

           0427 834 062
          Ilka Walkley

          0409 961 902
          Vivienne Lambert

         0417 084 475
       Note how the poisoned chalice is always given to women. They can then  be blamed when it all stuffs up


    June 20, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

    David Noonan’s Nuclear waste security brief, in brief

    highly-recommendedNuclear waste security brief by David Noonan, Independent Environment Campaigner, June 16 

    Proposed International nuclear waste storage exposes Australia to risks of terrorism”


    An International nuclear waste storage agenda exposes Australia to a range of potential profound adverse impacts through nuclear insecurity as a target for terrorism.

    Claims by the Nuclear Commission Findings Report (Feb 2016, p.16-20) that SA “offers a safe long term capability” for the storage and disposal of high level nuclear waste are contradicted by the fact that Australia will be exposed to significant and developing threats in terrorism over decades of proposed Nuclear port and above-ground waste storage operations.

    The UK Nuclear Free Local Authorities are concerned a determined terrorist group could be able to pierce nuclear waste transport and storage casks in use around the world and states that transport of nuclear materials should be limited as much as practical, with safe on-site storage facilities developed instead.

    The Nuclear Commission’s nuclear waste transport and storage plans face fast emerging and unexpected nuclear security threats as lethal technology gets ever more destructive.  Rocket propelled grenades, demolition charges and innovative available technology like the use of small drones by non-state actors are of increasing concern.

    Attacks could seriously compromise operations of a nuclear port or an above-ground nuclear waste storage facility and the extent of impacts could conceivably require the site to be abandoned.

    June 20, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, safety, wastes | Leave a comment

    For women, climate change is an election priority

    USA election 2016Election 2016: Climate change – an election priority for women, ABC News, 19 June 16 By Erin Stewart Women care more about addressing climate change than men, doubtless because they suffer more from its effects, writes Erin Stewart. So why are the Coalition and Labor not prioritising it in their election campaigns?

    In his capacity as the former minister for women, Tony Abbott claimed the best thing he did was repeal the carbon tax.

    “As many of us know,” he said in December 2014, “women are particularly focused on the household budget, and the repeal of the carbon tax means a $550-a-year benefit for the average family”.

    Aside from overstating his figures, Mr Abbott expressed the absurdly inaccurate view that women were more interested in domestic arithmetic than the world around them. In actuality, women care a great deal about climate change, and are more likely to suffer as a result of it.

    Eighty-two per cent of female respondents to the ABC’s Vote Compass felt the Federal Government should do “much” or “somewhat more” to tackle climate change, compared with just 67 per cent of men.

    These findings are in line with data from the Pew Research Centre which found 83 per cent of Australian women see climate change as a serious problem, compared with just 71 per cent of men.

    Part of the reason for the climate gap is doubtless because women would be disproportionately affected if climate change was not effectively addressed. Chair of Population Health at Western Sydney University Professor Hilary Bambrick said extreme weather events killed more women than men globally because they were less likely to have the resources to survive.

    They were also more likely to experience poverty and social restrictions, were less likely to be part of decision-making processes, and were also more likely to be exposed to mosquito-borne diseases in performing household tasks such as collecting water and harvesting food.

    The reasons climate change was especially bad for women, Professor Bambrick wrote recently at the Conversation, was “largely because they are overrepresented among the world’s poor and are thus more exposed to these dangers”.

    Australian women ‘financially vulnerable’ to climate change  The threats are seen in Australia, too. Greens Senator Larissa Waters said she believed women were particularly financially vulnerable to climate change due to structural disadvantage and discrimination.

    “With lesser financial means, it will be harder for women to recover from damage to their homes from extreme weather events driven by global warming, such as flooding, droughts or bushfires,” Senator Waters told ABC News…….

    June 20, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2016 | Leave a comment

    Security dangers in Nuclear Royal Commission’s plan

    highly-recommendedNuclear Waste Brief (June 2016) by David Noonan, Independent Environment Campaigner

    scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINProposed International nuclear waste storage exposes Australia to risks of terrorism “In the event of a major nuclear accident, adverse impacts on the tourism, agriculture and property sectors could potentially be profound.” Nuclear Royal Commission Finding 155 Feb 2016, Impacts on other Sectors p.28

    An International nuclear waste storage agenda exposes Australia to a range of potential profound adverse impacts in major nuclear accidents and in nuclear insecurity as a target for terrorism.

    The SA Nuclear Royal Commission Final Report (9 May 2016, 16 Mb) flagged risks in proposed high level nuclear waste transport and storage and concluded that terrorist attack scenarios are conceivable and rocket attack has the greatest potential to cause a release of radiation from impacted waste transport and storage casks (Appendix L – Transport risk analysis p.312).

    In an age of terrorism following the devastating September 11th 2001 attacks there is no room for denial on the real security risks society faces in nuclear and radiological terrorism. Continue reading

    June 20, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, reference, safety | Leave a comment

    Transport of nuclear waste is hazardous: accidents happen.

    antnuke-relevantHow much radiation is OK in an emergency? By Rebecca Moss, The New Mexican, 19 June 16   New guidelines proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would significantly increase the amount of radiation that people can ingest in the days and years following a radiological accident — levels far higher than existing limits set by the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974.

    Watchdog groups, academics and even some EPA officials worry the change could severely compromise public health……..

    radiation-truckNew Mexico’s highways pose concerns under the new EPA proposal because truck transportation of nuclear waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad will resume if the now-shuttered underground storage facility reopens, as planned, by the year’s end. When operations restart at the waste site, which has been closed since a radiation leak in February 2014, U.S. 62-180, Interstate 25, Interstate 40 and U.S. 285 would once again be used to transport nuclear waste to WIPP from Los Alamos, as well as from out-of-state defense sites.

    In the first decade of the waste plant’s opening, at least 900 trucks carrying transuranic waste traveled those roads to reach the Carlsbad facility. The New Mexico Environment Department documented 29 accidents between 2002 and 2013….

    June 20, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Plutonium poisoning crippling airmen who cleaned up B52 crash with hydrogen bomb load

    Radiation-Warning1In the decades since, the Air Force has purposefully kept radiation test results out of the men’s medical files and resisted calls to retest them, even when the calls came from one of the Air Force’s own studies.

    Many men say they are suffering with the crippling effects of plutonium poisoning.

    The Pentagon focused on finding the bomb lost in the ocean and largely ignored the danger of loose plutonium, the Air Force personnel at the site said.

    Decades Later, Sickness Among Airmen After a Hydrogen Bomb Accident, NYT, by DAVE PHILIPPSJUNE 19, 2016 Alarms sounded on United States Air Force bases in Spain and officers began packing all the low-ranking troops they could grab onto buses for a secret mission. There were cooks, grocery clerks and even musicians from the Air Force band.

    It was a late winter night in 1966 and a fully loaded B-52 bomber on a Cold War nuclear patrol had collided with a refueling jet high over the Spanish coast, freeing four hydrogen bombs that went tumbling toward a farming village called Palomares, a patchwork of small fields and tile-roofed white houses in an out-of-the-way corner of Spain’s rugged southern coast that had changed little since Roman times.

    It was one of the biggest nuclear accidents in history, and the United States wanted it cleaned up quickly and quietly. But if the men getting onto buses were told anything about the Air Force’s plan for them to clean up spilled radioactive material, it was usually, “Don’t worry.”

    “There was no talk about radiation or plutonium or anything else,” said Frank B. Thompson, a then 22-year-old trombone player who spent days searching contaminated fields without protective equipment or even a change of clothes. “They told us it was safe, and we were dumb enough, I guess, to believe them.” Continue reading

    June 20, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Uranium as a Fossil Fuel

     uranium-oreIndian Point Safe Energy Coalition  April 11, 2016   Marilyn Elie,  “……..Coal, oil, and gas are all remnants from our prehistoric past. They are mined from the earth at great cost and labor…….

    The price of civilization has been the destabilization of the natural system of checks and balances that has kept our atmosphere – the air we breathe – operating within the narrow band of gases that is hospitable to life.

    Uranium, although it is not rich in carbon, fits into this category of mined fuels. The Navajo have a saying, “You might meet old coal miners, but you will never meet old uranium workers.” The mining and enrichment of the ore into fuel requires an enormous amount of electricity, and most of all, the reactors that are fueled by uranium alter the fuel rods and produce plutonium. One of the most deadly substances on the face of the planet, plutonium leaves a legacy that is deadly for 240,000 years and takes us to a time in the future that we cannot even begin to imagine.

    There is no going back. What has happened cannot be undone. What we can do is work to keep all of these ancient fuels, including uranium, in the ground where they belong. We can only hope that we have not yet reached the tipping point that will return us to the Earth’s stormy past and a world inhospitable to life…

    June 20, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

    Indian village gets free irrigation with solar energy

    antnuke-relevantsunWith Solar Power, A Gujarat Village Is Irrigating Its Fields For Free NDTV,  All India  by Rohit Bhan  May 22, 2016 DHUNDI: 


    1. Farmers formed cooperative to install solar panels in their fields
    2. Solar panels power irrigation, surplus power sold to electricity board
    3. Project funded by farmers and non-profit group IWMI
      Ramabhai Sagar, a 46-year-old farmer in Gujarat’s Dhundi village, is experiencing first hand a solar revolution of sorts.

    Around seven months ago, about a dozen farmers in Ramabhai’s village about 90 km from Ahmedabad came together to form a solar cooperative and set up solar panels in the fields to generate electricity.

    “We used to spend 500 rupees on diesel for pumping sets for drawing water for irrigation. But now we do it with solar energy,” Rambhai said.
    “We also make money by selling solar power when we not irrigating our fields. We can sell excess electricity to the power board for Rs. 4.63 per unit,” he added…….

    June 20, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Dangers of allowing India into Nuclear Suppliers Group

    India is a nuclear-armed state. India is not a party to the NPT, it is not a party to a nuclear weapon-free zone treaty, it will not join the CTBT, and it will not make legal commitments identical to NPT articles concerning its nuclear arms. NSG members therefore are compelled to think harder than in previous cases about what will be the consequences of admitting India into the group.

    The United States advocates Indian NSG membership for commercial and geostrategic reasons largely unrelated to nuclear export controls.

    The Nuclear Suppliers Group’s Critical India Decision An upcoming meeting will decide whether India will be allowed to join. Member states should think carefully. The Diplomat, By Mark Hibbs June 18, 2016 Beginning on Monday, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, or NSG – 48 countries that export most of the world’s nuclear material, equipment, and technology – will meet in Seoul to decide whether India should now be allowed to join. The United States has strongly urged the NSG to say yes.

    The NSG should not say yes next week. Continue reading

    June 20, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment