Australian news, and some related international items

Why dump nuclear reactor waste in Flinders Ranges? Lucas Heights is the best place.


Regina McKenzie to Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA November 26 

If any thing does go wrong, which they say won’t, they have all the expert in one place …… why then do they want to put it in remote area if its so safe ? why is it such a no no for the urban sprawl? if it is so safe let Sydney keep it, Lucas Heights makes the waste, then they can keep it, don’t go destroying my cultural landscape, don’t mentally abuse my region with “oh its hospital waste and its so safe, you or a relative have needed cancer treatment and you should take it” NO is a very simple word ….. please some one translate to the feds NO
Steve Dale Jacobs wrote the waste plan for the Federal government. They want the government to create a dump that could potentially take the vitrified waste from Sellafield as well – if they could do this, Jacobs and their “partners” would save billions. If Australia does have a nuclear dump, it needs to well away from railway lines and ports to ensure some future government doesn’t turn it into an international high level waste dump. Lucas Heights is still the best choice. How far is Wallerberdina from the railway line?

November 27, 2016 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

World Nuclear Association figures continue to paint a misleading picture of the industry.

To say that the French nuclear industry is in crisis is perhaps an understatement. There are obviously flow on effects on the European power industry

in China solar and wind projects are on steep cost declines, while the cost of nuclear builds continues to rise.

Nuclear Industry Challenged: Solar And Wind Winning The Low Carbon Competition, Seeking Alpha ,  

  • Significant delays in nuclear implementation in China, with targets not met.
  • France has 20 of 58 nuclear reactors out of action.
  • Vietnam abandons plans to build nuclear reactors with Japan and Russia.
  • Switzerland can’t give its reactors away.

World Nuclear Association figures continue to paint a misleading picture of the industry.

Continue reading

November 27, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Explosion at nuclear power plant in Russia

exclamation- reactor building of the Novovoronezh nuclear power plant, that was built based on an experimental reactor VVER-1200, could only work a few weeks at full capacity until an accident occurred.

Locals reported a powerful explosion at the nuclear power plant, reports Russian ecological media Continue reading

November 27, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Derek Abbott – a thought on the vulnerability of nuclear waste dumps

abbott-derekDerek Abbott to Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia, 28 Nov 16 

The problem with nuke dumps is you can’t operate them as a commercial operation…one unforeseen accidental leak and you can kiss your cash flow good bye, as it takes years to re-open. This could send our State broke.

November 27, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Dangers of “intermediate” nuclear waste transport and storage

stranded“…….the slow and expensive process of transferring some of the older, colder fuel rods—no longer potent enough to efficiently power the reactor, but still hazardous for millennia—into dry casks. The concrete-and-steel canisters, eighteen feet tall and weighing a hundred and eighty tons, have now begun to line up on Pilgrim’s concrete pad, a football field’s length from the Bay. Many in the scientific and activist communities see dry-cask storage as preferable to pools, but the fear among those in Plymouth and surrounding towns is that the casks will become a permanent fixture on the Cape. As John Mahoney, a town selectman in Plymouth, told us, “They’re going to stand on a concrete pad overlooking Massachusetts Bay for centuries, just like those statues on Easter Island.”…

the spent fuel would be moved from plants in thirty states to a handful of regional, aboveground storage facilities—what Kevin Kamps, a waste specialist at the watchdog Beyond Nuclear, has called “parking-lot dumps.” There the waste would sit, on concrete pads similar to the one at Pilgrim, for twenty, forty, maybe even a hundred years, until the federal government finds a more permanent scheme.

radiation-truckDry casks must be hauled on heavy, slow-moving trucks, or on freight trains, which at times pass through densely populated parts of the country. Moving the casks once is arduous and expensive enough, but the D.O.E.’s proposed solution—bringing them to a temporary way station, then to a final resting place—requires doing it at least twice. “Interim storage is, in my mind, a waste of time, money, and resources,” Gregory Jaczko, a physicist and former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, told us.

terroristIn the meantime, the casks are stacking up, vulnerable not only to the powerful storms and rising seas that come with climate change but also to deliberate attack. A terrorist group could sabotage the plant’s power supply or cooling system, mount a direct assault on its personnel, fire a rocket

PILGRIM’S PROGRESS: INSIDE THE AMERICAN NUCLEAR-WASTE CRISIS, New Yorker, By  and NOVEMBER 25, 2016, “…..Pilgrim is one of the worst-rated nuclear facilities in the United States. Continue reading

November 27, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cyclotrons for medical isotopes needed in other States, not monopolised by ANSTO in Sydney

Medical isotope productionTrisha Dee  Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 28 Nov 16 ANSTO want to pick up where Canada has stepped off. Canada used to provide a significant part of the world’s radioactive isotopes. Now Australia wants to get in on this dying industry. They need to make room at Lucas Heights to do so. Hence their push to bury their toxic waste in the outback. There is no strong case for co-location.
 Noel Wauchope . The Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission recommended expanding a cyclotron industry in South Australia, to develop medical radioisotopes.
  Steve Dale   I heard that our Cyclotron at SAHMRI could produce even more of the diagnostic products locally – but are prevented from doing so by ANSTO. When Lucas Heights new reactor breaks down for an extended time, Australia will be wishing we put our money into a nationwide network of Cyclotrons

November 27, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, South Australia | Leave a comment

Cyclotrons for medical uses – a better option than Lucas Heights nuclear reactor

cyclotron - small partcle accelerator, CanadaA NEW REACTOR?  It’s the worst possible option! Nuclear Study Group  Sutherland Shire Environment Centre  1998 By R.D. (Bob) Walshe, OAM“…..There are attractive alternatives to a new reactor, especially cyclotrons. Why are they being ignored?

Dr Jim Green says, ‘There are several alternatives to a new reactor, including particle accelerators, spallation sources, and synchrotron radiation sources.’

But none of these were independently evaluated prior to the Federal Government’s 3 September 1997 statement of intention to proceed with a new reactor. Yet, says Dr Green, in all cases ‘the alternatives are preferable to a reactor, in relation to radioactive waste and safety’.

There is not room here to report the claims of all these scientific/technical alternatives, but the keenest contender, the cyclotron, suffices to demonstrate what is possible.

‘Particle accelerators’ are machines that charge particles to enormous velocities, whence they can be directed to hit a target and so produce the medical isotopes that ANSTO has led so many people to believe require a nuclear reactor. The cyclotron is at present the most useful of the accelerators.

Australia already has two cyclotrons, one in Sydney and a smaller in Melbourne. Dr Green says they are much cheaper to buy than reactors, cheaper to run, are powered by electricity not nuclear fuel, leave only a small quantity of low-level radioactive waste, and so avoid the intractable waste problem associated with a reactor.

Attractive indeed. How, then, to explain the churlish attitude of ANSTO to cyclotrons? The unavoidable answer is – because the nuclear industry fears it will be undermined by the cheaper, safer, electricity-based cyclotron industry.

Several authoritative voices have called for funds for cyclotron research; for example, the 1995 Senate Select Committee on Radioactive Waste was urged to recommend that $500,000 be spent over three years on cyclotron research – a fraction of the money lavished on the reactor – but none has been forthcoming.

The relatively cheap, safe and simple cyclotron undermines the case for a new, expensive, waste-proliferating reactor. The cyclotron and other attractive alternatives to a reactor promise better results in nuclear medicine. And ANSTO’s  last defence of the reactor – that it alone can produce the much-used isotope Technetium-99m which can’t be imported because its effective life is only six hours – neglects to say that its equally effective longer-lived parent , Molybdenum-99m, is being widely transported around the world. (Moreover, American research into cyclotron production of Technetium-99m has shown promising results in recent years, and further research is proceeding actively. )

November 27, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health | Leave a comment

Australian govt ignores UN request to review its failing uranium industry

The Federal Government …remains resistant to an independent cost-benefit assessment of Australia’s uranium trade, as directly requested by the then UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon in the wake of Fukushima.

instead of the requested industry review there has been a retreat from responsibility and a rush to rip and ship more uranium ore by fast-tracking risky and contested new uranium sales deals, including to India and Ukraine.

Despite Canberra’s irresponsible fire sale approach the Australian uranium sector is facing tough times…..

text-uranium-hypeOn shaky ground: Australian uranium and Fukushima,9778  Dave Sweeney 28 November 2016 

THE POWERFUL EARTHQUAKE that struck off the coast of Fukushima prefecture in Japan last week, is a stark reminder of the deep and continuing safety concerns following the 2011 nuclear disaster.

The stricken reactor complex remains polluted and porous and every added complication leads to further contamination.

Closer to home the renewed tectonic instability highlights the need for urgent Australian government action on the industry that directly fuelled the continuing nuclear crisis.

In October 2011, Robert Floyd, the director general of the Department of Foregn Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office (ASNO) confirmed to the Federal Parliament that

“Australian obligated nuclear material [uranium] was at the Fukushima Daiichi site and in each of the reactors.”

Continue reading

November 27, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, uranium | Leave a comment

The bombing of Marshall Islands – still going on today

Bikini-Atoll-bombBikini was just the beginning, bombs still threaten the islanders, New Internationalist DECEMBER 2016  John Pilger visits the Marshall Islands and its bomb survivors, still blighted by US nuclear weapons. “……..The explosion vaporized an entire island, its fall-out spreading over a vast area. There was a ‘miscalculation’, according to the official history; the wind ‘changed suddenly’. These were the first of many lies, as declassified documents and the victims’ testimony have since revealed.

Gene Curbow, a meteorologist assigned to monitor the test site, said, ‘They knew where the radioactive fall-out was going to go. Even on the day of the shot, they still had an opportunity to evacuate people, but [people] were not evacuated; I was not evacuated… The United States needed some guinea pigs to study what the effects of radiation would do.’

The secret of the Marshall Islands was Project 4.1. Official files describe a scientific programme that began as a study of mice and became a study of human beings exposed to the radiation of a nuclear weapon. Most of the women I interviewed had suffered from thyroid cancer; many in their communities did not survive.

The US Navy returned the population of Rongelap atoll, which is downwind of Bikini, even though the food was unsafe to eat and the water unsafe to drink. As a result, reported Greenpeace – which eventually sent a ship to rescue them – ‘a high proportion of their children suffered from genetic effects’.

Archive film refers to them as ‘amenable savages’. A US Atomic Energy Agency official boasts that Rongelap is ‘by far the most contaminated place on earth’, adding, ‘It will be interesting to get a measure of human uptake when people live in a contaminated environment.’ Continue reading

November 27, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Traditional Aboriginal owners will fight on against Adani coal mine

protestAdani mine leases – Queensland Supreme Court Judicial Review decision  25 November 2016

‘We will not be halted in our fight to protect our land and water, say Traditional Owners’

‘Further appeal being considered, full bench of the Federal Court still to rule’

“Today’s decision in the Supreme Court to dismiss Traditional Owners’ challenge to the issuing of the mining leases to Adani  by Mines Minister Anthony Lynham only strengthens our resolve and proves how worthless the State considers our common law native title rights to be, said leading Aboriginal rights advocate, senior Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owner  and W&J Council spokesperson, Adrian Burragubba. …

Lawyer for the five applicants to the Judicial Review, Mr Colin Hardie says,
“My clients will review the decision and consider their grounds for an appeal, looking especially at the way in which they believe they were denied natural justice before the Minister granted the mining leases”.

““We are concerned with the way in which the Minister has failed to consider the native title rights of our clients, and their obvious and plain rejection of the Adani project.   The fully informed and prior consent of traditional owners for mining projects is increasingly being recognised in international law and it should not be any different in Queensland”, Mr Hardie said. …”

November 27, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Adani Carmichael coal mine faces many more questions and legal hurdles

legal actionCarmichael mine jumps another legal hurdle, but litigants are making headway, The Conversation,  Lecturer in Law, The University of Queensland, 27 Nov 16   The Carmichael coal mine planned for Queensland’s Galilee Basin has cleared another legal hurdle, with the state’s Supreme Court dismissing a legal challenge to the validity of the Queensland government’s decision to approve the project.

The court found in favour of the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, ruling that its approval of Indian firm Adani’s proposal was within the rules.

The decision is another setback for environmentalists’ bid to stop the controversial project. But Adani does not yet have a green light to break ground on the project, and legal questions still remain, both about this project and about climate change litigation more generally.

The Supreme Court ruling Continue reading

November 27, 2016 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Firefighters Alliance calls for action on climate change

climate-AustWe must face facts on climate change, The Examiner,   “……As director of the Australian Firefighters Climate Alliance, I seek out the latest information on climate change and bushfires.

I’ve heard from Australia’s top scientists, the Bureau of Meteorology and read up on reputable global research.

The hard work and expertise of climate scientists gives us the opportunity to understand and respond to the challenges climate change creates for Australian firefighters.

Unfortunately, Australia’s response is limited by those prepared to ignore the professionals and listen to people who tell them what they want to hear. Spend five minutes on the internet to find any opinion on climate change you want.

A lot of it based on theories that make the wire stick water finder look credible in comparison.

Some discussion goes beyond the whacky, and is part of well-organised campaigns representing particular interest groups.

Me and my fellow firefighters need sensible action on climate change. We don’t have the luxury of looking for people to tell us what we want to hear as we’re dealing with the consequences already.

It’s time to respect and value our climate professionals, and time to demand that leaders face facts.

Dean McNulty is a professional firefighter and director of the Australian Firefighters Climate Alliance.

November 27, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

California’s 6 year drought has killed 102 Million Trees

climate SOS102 Million Trees Have Died in California’s Drought California’s six years of drought has left 102 million dead trees across 7.7 million acres of forest in its wake, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) announced following an aerial survey. If that is not horrendous enough, 62 million trees died in the year 2016 alone—an increase of more than 100 percent compared to 2015.

“The scale of die-off in California is unprecedented in our modern history,” Randy Moore, a forester for the U.S. Forest Service, told the Los Angeles Times, adding that trees are dying “at a rate much quicker than we thought.”

“You look across the hillside on a side of the road, and you see a vast landscape of dead trees,” added Adrian Das, a U.S. Geological Survey ecologist whose office is located in Sequoia National Park. “It’s pretty startling.”

Most of the dead trees are located in 10 counties in the southern and central Sierra Nevada region.

“Five consecutive years of severe drought in California, a dramatic rise in bark beetle infestation and warmer temperatures are leading to these historic levels of tree die-off,” the USFS said.

Continue reading at ENN affiliate, Care2

November 27, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bolivia’s fast-melting glaciers

We must be prepared for the impact of Bolivia’s fast-melting glaciers
The country’s glaciers are leaving behind lakes that could cause catastrophic flooding of vast metropolitan areas. Simon Cook considers the impact on communities living below the waters,
The Independent, Simon Cook  Thursday 27 October 2016 Bolivia’s glaciers have shrunk by more than 40 per cent in the past few decades. This puts further pressure on an already stressed water supply, while the meltwater lakes left behind risk collapsing in sudden and catastrophic outburst floods. That’s the conclusion of a new study of the country’s glaciers I conducted with colleagues based in the UK and Bolivia. Our results are published in the journal The Cryosphere. Continue reading

November 27, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Concerns renewed about safety of J quake apan’s nuclear reactors, following aftershock

safety-symbolFukushima aftershock renews public concern about restarting Kansai’s aging nuclear reactors  BY   STAFF WRITER  The magnitude-7.4 aftershock that rocked Fukushima Prefecture and its vicinity last week, more than five years after the mega-quake and tsunami of March 2011, triggered fresh nuclear concerns in the Kansai region, which hosts Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Mihama plant in Fukui Prefecture.

The aftershock came as the Nuclear Regulation Authority approved a two-decade extension for Mihama’s No. 3 reactor on Nov. 16, allowing it and two others that have already been approved to run for as long as 60 years to provide electricity to the Kansai region.

Residents need to live with the fact that they are close to the Fukui reactors, which are at least 40 years old. Despite reassurances by Kepco, its operator, and the nuclear watchdog, worries remain over what would happen if an earthquake similar to the one in 2011, or even last week, hit the Kansai region. Continue reading

November 27, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment