Australian news, and some related international items

South Australia Nuclear Citizens Jury afternoon session 9 July

Citizens' Jury scrutinyIn this session, facilitator (probably Emily Jenke from DemocracyCo) was asking the jury to discuss and develop a consensus on the wording of their reports on several topics.

I hope that there will be a transcript of this – (a) because I missed quite a lot and (b) because the to and fro of questions between jurors is hard to follow in an attempted transcript such as I’m doing.

In fact, I learned only some of the discussion on subjects of Education, Community Consent and Trust, and Safety.

Parts that I found particularly significant –

  • On Economics – how much investment does the State of South Australia have to put into development of nuclear waste importing facilities? Some jurors felt that there was not enough economic modelling. on education: when will a yes or no answer be acceptable?
  • on Trust : it was stressed that this is important because the current South Australian legislation prohibits import and storage of foreign nuclear waste. We need to decide if South Australia, as producer of uranium,  has a moral and ethical obligation to take back wastes. Apparently Haydn Manning in a previous hearing has suggested that there is this obligation. However, one juror stated that this was not the finding of the old Ranger Inquiry.  International standards state that the society that generates the waste (i.e in nuclear reactors) has that obligation, (not the society that provides the uranium). The Royal Commission Report also states this.
  • on Safety – a comprehensive report was given on this, outlining many questions. Here one juror complained that the risks had been emphasised, rather than safety. He referred the jurors back to then evidence given the previous week on radiation risks. At this point my live-stream reception cut out –  just as it was getting interesting, seeing that last week’s Citizens’ jury speakers  produced a whole lot of trivial nonsense on this topic.


July 9, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

The Nuclear Industry and Indigenous People -theme for July 16

Mary-Kathleen-Uranium-mine-Indigenous people continue to bear the brunt of nuclear toxicity. It started with uranium mining – of course, on indigenous land in rural areas, in USA, Canada, Bulgaria, Australia, Germany , India,  and of course to provide nuclear weapons material.

Then came the nuclear bomb tests – on remote rural indigenous lands and islands

map atomic bomb tests

Indigenous peoples either stayed on their polluted lands, as uranium mining continued, or were removed from bomb tests sites, unable to return.
Algeria bomb site


















This Radioactive pollution remains today, from uranium mining in many countries – but always on or close to indigenous lands. The nuclear bomb test sites remain too radioactive for the indigenous people to return home.

Uranium mining and milling, nuclear bomb tests and radioactive wastes ... Russia is Mayak Russiasecretive about its nuclear wastes. They used to dump it in oceans, as  did the French and others. Russia is notorious for its extremely polluted remote area at Mayak, where the rural people suffer the health legacy to this day

The “developed” world realises that something must be done with the growing amounts of radioactive trash.

Where to dump it?  That’s a “developed society” no brainer waste on indigenous
– ON INDIGENOUS LAND, of course.  There’s now a movement to export radioactive trash to remote rural areas, such as the Aboriginal lands of Australia

Next week we will look at the indigenous fight against the nuclear industry


July 9, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Christina themes | 1 Comment

Nuclear Citizens Jury discusses Community Consent

Citizens' Jury scrutinyEnice Marsh from the Adnyamathanha Camp Law Mob led off with a clear and passionate statement on the fact that, despite the friendliness and courtesy of the Nuclear Commission’s Jon Bok, their group utterly rejects nuclear waste importing.

This discussion focused mainly on Aboriginal issues. Of course, mainly white people talking. But it is encouraging to note that these jurors showed real concern for the interests of Aboriginal people.

Some interesting discussion on whether  the question of importing nuclear waste is an “ethical question or an economic question”

One juror answered firmly –

 “If you read the Royal Commission’s report, it’s all about the money”

Nobody disputed that , and the facilitator moved the discussion on quickly.

A juror questioned the lack of information amongst the ordinary public, including the jurors,  about radiation. This matter was not followed up.

Proposals were made that there should be no further discussion, until all potential native landowners be fully consulted, before there is any further progress in the State discussion on nuclear. waste importing. It doesn’t look as if that proposition will be taken up.  It was knocked on the head by another Aboriginal speaker  – Harry?

The group ended up working out a paragraph for their Final Report. – along these lines:

“We have confidence that the best consultation must be what works for the people being consulted. It should not be rushed, and this must be clear from the start.” 

July 9, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Today’s Nuclear Citizens’ Jury Hearings – not looking too good, so far

a-cat-CANIt’s 12.30 p.m. Adelaide time. Session on SAFETY has just ended.

Listening to the Citizens’ Jury hearings at  the first livestream session.  – I’m glad to say that the jurors are asking intelligent questions.

The facilitaror emphasised more than once that  “We are not here to make a recommendation” (even though it’s  a JURY)

Jim Green, of Friends of the Earth, pointed out issues concisely:

  • the contradiction in the Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission Report – that South Australia would get the nuclear waste containers on-ground, first, long before the underground waste repository is made, if it ever eventuates.  South Australia could be stuck with this – with nowhere to put them, and no right of return.
  • on security of containers from foreign countries – e.g meeting international standards for containers. South Korea has record of arrests for falsification of safety standards. In Australia  – a clear breach of international standards in managing Marlainga nuclear wastes.

Apart from Jim Green, I didn’t find any other witnesses having doubts about the Royal Commission’s plan. As yet, I don’t know who these people are. But some of them are very confident about the whole thing.

Confident speakers,  :

  • Quentin ? from jacobs and Jacobs – specialised in nuclear transport security – not able to answer some safety questions – “not in his scope”
  • David ? expert on nuclear waste safety
  • Lisa ( ? from Royal Commission)
  • Steve McIntosh – of Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, (by phone)

July 9, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment