Australian news, and some related international items

How the Australian Federal Government fakes community consent for radioactive waste dump

text-half-truthEllenor Ziggy Day-Lutz , Fight to Stop Nuclear Waste Dump in Flinders Ranges,  19 Dec 16,  Just shared this info in another group and thought some of you might be interested – it’s about the Australian government’s sample size that they used to make the statement that “The nomination at Barndioota in South Australia demonstrated strong overall support (65 per cent of those surveyed) for moving ahead to Phase 2” (in their Phase 1 Summary Report released earlier this year).

Any people interested in reading the full results of the government’s consultations can find the info here:…/NRWMF%20Community%20Se…

They phoned 228 people, 59 refused to be surveyed and contact couldn’t be made with a further 56. So 113 households were surveyed, and in total 146 responses were received. Yep, 146 survey responses out of the 1702 population of the Flinders Ranges Council area to come up with that statistic of 65% supposedly demonstrating strong support for the waste dump. This included 38 people from Hawker and 106 from Quorn (and 2 from other areas around Barndioota). They also surveyed Neighbours, Indigenous people and Businesses, but these were reported separately and aren’t included in the 65% statistic I’m talking about.

In their own document the government said there is a high margin of error for consultations around the Barndioota site. Even they got confused, because on page 68 they say it was +/-10% and on page 100 they said it was +/-9%.

Brenton Barnes The study was outsourced to Orima research and is nothing special. But what’s important is how the government interprets and uses this information. They cherry picked data excluding Aboriginal and neighbours. One small section of this group 35% opposed therefore 65% didn’t oppose. But to use this small sample size and cherry picked data to then go and promote this as “strong overall general community support” is just simply dishonest and misleading. A few of us did petitions around Hawker and Quorn and got about 40% of these two towns physically signing no, just done by me and a couple of others. This latest survey was hardly supporting the dump. Ramsey offering his land in Kimba was a conflict of interest, yet Chapman* is not?

*Grant Chapman Former Liberal Senator

December 19, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

America’s secret military facility at Pine Gap makes Australia a nuclear target

VIDEOS here comprise  a three part interview with Donna Mulhearn, from Christians Against War, formerly a media adviser with the NSW Government. The text-from-the-archivesinterview details the role of Pine Gap as a secret US spy base. Donna discusses action (2007) she and other activists from Christians Against War attempted to carry out a citizen’s inspection of the secret US Pine Gap base, and the subsequent arrest and charging of these activists. She also exposes the utilisation of Pine Gap in triangulation of missle targets during the Afghan and Iraq wars.

PINE GAP & WAIHOPAI – THE SOUTHERN ECHELON  by reanimatedresidue  April 8, 2012  Pine Gap is a satellite tracking station located near Alice Springs in Central Australia. It hosts the largest CIA facility outside America. In the late 1960s, the then prime minister, Harold Holt, entered into an agreement with the Americans that led to the establishment of Pine Gap. Holt disappeared in December 1967 while swimming at Cheviot Beach near Portsea, Victoria, and was presumed drowned. Pine Gap is officially called the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap since 1988, previously it was known as Joint Defence Space Research Facility. Continue reading

December 19, 2016 Posted by | Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history | Leave a comment

Dangers of transporting radioactive trash from runways not fit for purpose

Airplane dangerantnuke-relevantCalls to ban ‘unsafe’ nuclear flights from Highland airport   Sunday Herald, Rob Edwards, 18 Dec 16 FLIGHTS loaded with weapons-grade uranium that are being launched from a Highland airport are in dangerous breach of runway safety limits, according to documents released under Freedom of Information (FoI) law.

The revelations have led to angry accusations from politicians and environmental groups that a “horrific gamble” is being taken on these flights and calls for the nuclear transports to be banned immediately.

Bombs-grade uranium from Dounreay nuclear plant in Caithness is being flown from Wick John O’Groats Airport to America aboard 130-tonne C-17 US Air Force planes, which according to the documents, are too heavy for most of the runway. Continue reading

December 19, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment



Adopted at national conference, 27 November 2016

1.LEAN supports the current ALP national policy on this matter, and sees no evidence or reason to change that policy. The policy states that Labor will:

“Remain strongly opposed to the importation and storage of nuclear waste that is sourced from overseas in Australia.”

2.No State or Commonwealth ALP government should take legislative or executive actions to advance any proposals to store and dispose of nuclear waste from other countries until:

  1. After well-informed, evidence-based, ALP policy platform decisions at the National and State levels allow such actions; and
  2. There is sufficient well-informed community consent for such actions.

December 19, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, wastes | Leave a comment


logo CCWA19 Dec 16, Environment groups and Aboriginal Community member will step up their efforts against Vimy Resources’ proposed Mulga Rock uranium mine, 240 kilometres north-east of Kalgoorlie, following the decision by the WA Environment Minister to provide conditional approval for the operation

“Like other uranium mining projects in WA, this proposal does not have bipartisan support” said ACF campaigner Dave Sweeney. “Environment groups will continue to work with local communities to fully explore all options to ensure this mine does not proceed. This task is made easier by the depressed uranium price and deep uncertainty surrounding the project’s viability”.

Concerns about lack of consultation as well as environmental impacts from the proposed operation are casting a shadow over the controversial plan.

“A particularly disappointing aspect of this decision is that Government agencies and the Minister have ignored the Anangu Spinifex people’s cultural and historical connection to this area,” said Conservation Council nuclear free campaigner Mia Pepper.

“This failure has unacceptably allowed Vimy Resources to avoid any consultation with this group.

The Mulga Rock area is also ecologically sensitive and part of the Yellow Sandplain Priority Ecological Community. This pristine desert environment is home to many threatened and endangered species,”

“Vimy plans to take 87,600 million litres of water a day and leave behind 32 million tonnes of radioactive mine waste. The long-term risks for the community far outweigh any inflated short-term rewards for the company” Ms Pepper said.

December 19, 2016 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Sunday Mail changes the meaning of a letter, thus removing climate change statements

scrutiny-GUTTED by the SUNDAY MAIL


The Editor
Sunday Mail

I totally agree with Chris Kenny (Sunday Mail, 11/12/16) when he writes “Climate change has dumbed down the public debate. Otherwise intelligent people are reduced to incoherent slogans” and some people “are too busy with emotional outbursts and virtue signalling to consider the basics.”

Using derogatory adjectives to describe policies and outcomes does little to further intelligent debate. Some facts would be helpful, especially if they are correct.

Three events in 2016 contributed to what Kenny emotively describes as an “energy basket case”. None of these events can be attributed to ensuring that 40 percent of SA’s electricity is “clean and green” yet Kenny leaves us in no doubt that he thinks being clean and green is part of the nasty “tunnel vision” that is “leading SA into a dark place”.

Rather than “clean and green” being the culprit, the three events were directly related to the privatisation of the electricity industry in SA and Victoria and to the formation of a national electricity market.

Dennis Matthews


The Editor
Sunday Mail

SEVERAL events this year contributed to what Chris Kenny emotionally describes in his column as an “energy basket case”. None of these can be attributed, as he says, to ensuring that 40 percent of SA’s electricity is “clean and green”.

Rather than “clean and green” being the culprit, the events were directly related to the privatisation of the electricity industry in SA and Victoria and to the formation of a national electricity market.

Dennis Matthews

My attempt to reply to Kenny’s extensive accusation that climate change activists are only being emotional was totally lost in the Sunday Mail’s edited version of my letter.

December 19, 2016 Posted by | South Australia, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear worker compensated for thyroid cancer

more than 2,000 workers have radiation doses exceeding 100 millisieverts just in their thyroid gland. 

thyroid-cancer-papillaryThyroid cancer compensation for Fukushima plant worker YURI OIWA/ Staff Writer December 17, 2016 A man who developed thyroid gland cancer after working at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has for the first time won the right to work-related compensation.

While the case ranks as the third time a worker at the Fukushima plant has been recognized as eligible for work-related compensation because of cancer caused by radiation exposure, it is the first instance involving thyroid gland cancer. Continue reading

December 19, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hanford nuclear waste cleanup just cost a whole lot more

Hanford-waste-tanksThe price tag for cleaning up nuclear waste at Hanford site just went up another $4.5 billion LA Times, 16 Dec 16 Ralph Vartabedian  Contact Reporter

  The U.S. Energy Department said Friday that its long-troubled attempt to build a plant to process highly radioactive sludge at a former nuclear weapons site in central Washington state will cost an additional $4.5 billion, raising the project’s price tag to $16.8 billion.

The Hanford treatment plant, a small industrial city with some two dozen facilities on a desert plateau along the Columbia River, is more than a decade behind schedule and will cost nearly four times the original estimate made in 2000.

The government aims to transform 56 million gallons of deadly sludge stored in leaky underground tanks into solid glass, which theoretically could then be stored safely for thousands of years.

But the effort has involved an extended history of errors, miscalculations and wrongdoing. The result has been a massive, partially built concrete facility that has been under a stop-work order for three years because of serious technical doubts. Continue reading

December 19, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Comments on Preliminary Report SOUTH AUSTRALIAN SEPARATION EVENT, Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)

scrutiny-Dennis Matthews, 18 Dec 16 , 1 DECEMBER 2016. 

The “separation event” was the disconnection of the Heywood interconnector into South Australia.

The following uses the same headings as the AEMO preliminary report.

1. Overview

A short-circuit in a Victorian 500 kV (kilovolt), alternating current (AC) transmission line connected to the Heywood Victorian-SA interconnector resulted in the SA electricity network being disconnected from the Heywood interconnector.

At the time of the “incident” the Victorian electricity network was highly vulnerable to disruption. One of the two circuits served by the Heywood interconnector had been taken out of operation for maintenance. To make matters worse, one of the circuits supplying the Alcoa aluminium smelter at Portland was also out of service. Like all aluminium smelters, the Portland smelter had a very heavy electricity demand (about 480 MW).

The vulnerability of the Victorian electricity network meant that the SA network was also vulnerable to an abrupt loss of 230 MW. Nevertheless, no measures had been put in place to immediately replace power supply from Victoria in the event of disconnection from the Haywood interconnector. As with the SA state-wide blackout two months earlier, there was more than sufficient generating capacity available in SA but it was not on standby.

A short circuit in the remaining transmission line in Victoria to the Heywood interconnector resulted in SA and the Portland smelter being disconnected and the shutdown of two wind farms in Victoria.

The “incident” in Victoria, together with inadequate contingency plans resulted in the loss of 230 MW to SA, BHP’s Olympic Dam project losing 100 of its 170 MW for 3 hours, Portland smelter being disconnected for 4½ hours and disconnection of two wind farms (Portland generating 3MW, and Macarthur generating 4MW) in Victoria.

2. Pre-event Conditions

“Immediately prior to the incident there were two planned outages.”

Use of terms such as “incident” and “event” is reminiscent of the nuclear industry’s avoidance of terms such as “failure” , “accident”, and “meltdown”.

“Planned outage” refers to deliberate disconnection of parts of the system for maintenance or repairs. Such deliberate disconnections should be permitted only if they do not expose the system to serious disruption and only if there is sufficient backup in case of a fault developing in the remaining parts of the system. For SA no backup was put on standby in the case of SA being disconnected to the Heywood interconnector.

One of the “outages” referred to was that one half of the Heywood supply to SA (a 500 kV busbar) was out of service. This left SA and Victoria vulnerable to a fault developing in the remaining half of the Heywood supply. The other “outage” was the Heywood to Portland 500 kV transmission line servicing the Alcoa aluminium smelter.

Both outages were given permission by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

These two decisions left the aluminium smelter vulnerable to a fault developing in the remaining half of the Heywood transmission line in Victoria. There was no backup plan for maintaining supply to the smelter in this contingency.

At the time, SA was importing about 240 MW from Heywood in Victoria.

3. Event

“A single phase to earth fault occurred on the Morabool-Tarrone 500 kV transmission line causing the line to trip out of service.” In other words, there was a short circuit in the only remaining transmission line in Victoria to the Heywood interconnector.

“It is believed that the line tripped as a normal response to this type of fault”. The short circuit caused the transmission line to Heywood to be disconnected (trip).

The short circuit was caused by the breaking of an electrical cable. The reason for the cable breaking was not known to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

The “trip” of the transmission line left the Portland smelter still connected to SA, the power flow reversed so that instead of 240 MW into SA from Victoria there was 480 MW from SA to Victoria to supply the Portland smelter. A control scheme then disconnected the smelter from SA.

5 Operation of SA when Islanded

Islanded means that SA was on its own as far as power supply was concerned, in particular, it means that it was not receiving power from Victoria. In fact, SA was still receiving about 220 MW through the high voltage, direct current (DC), Victoria-SA, Murraylink interconnector.

December 19, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, South Australia, spinbuster, Victoria | 1 Comment

Britain – nuclear industry’s insatiable appetite for taxpayers’ money

For a project whose £740m cost will undoubtedly escalate further, aggrieved taxpayers may take some comfort from Sellafield’s 2012 announcement that plans for a fifth (£600m) Evaporator E had been scrapped. But they should now cast a wary eye to NuGen’s new-build project just across the road from Sellafield where the prospect of further pilfering from the public purse is simmering on the back-burner.

hungry-nukes 1flag-UKNuclear plundering of the public purse – the Sellafield and Moorside billions, Ecologist, Martin Forwood 13th December 2016  While the government is cutting vital public expenditure across the board there’s one industry for which no costs are too great, writes Martin Forwood. The price of an ‘evaporator’ at the Sellafield nuclear complex is escalating towards £1 billion, while billions more of taxpayer finance are being lined up to finance cooling systems, power lines and transport links for the adjacent Moorside new-build nuclear power plant.

The Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s elevation to the US Presidency have turned the international status quo upside down.

But some things – like the nuclear industry’s insatiable appetite for taxpayers’ money – never change.

Sellafield’s Evaporator D project, with NuGen’s Moorside in hot pursuit, is a prime example as it limps along, sustained only by ever increasing helpings from the public purse.

With nuclear power rightly acknowledged as being a hideously expensive way of boiling a kettle, then Evaporator D – known to the Sellafield workforce as the ‘Big Kettle’ – must be breaking all records.

Initially costed at £90 million (2007) and originally due to come into operation in 2010/11, the cost has increased eight-fold to £740m – as at September 2015. With a ‘challenging’ operational date currently pencilled in as 2017/18, and with updated figures yet to be published, the sky is clearly the limit for Evaporator D Continue reading

December 19, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Warning from UNESCO on Great Barrier Reef

barrier-reeefUNESCO says Great Barrier Reef is back in the danger zone (includes videos) 

December 19, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, environment, Queensland | 1 Comment

Climate fight is US history’s ‘biggest economic opportunity’ – Leonardo DiCaprio

Di Caprio, LeonardoLeonardo DiCaprio: climate fight is US history’s ‘biggest economic opportunity’, Guardian, Reuters in New York, 18 Dec 16  Actor and environmental activist tells UN awards ceremony that truth about climate change has spread like ‘wildfire’ despite prominent science deniers Tackling climate change is the “biggest economic opportunity” in the history of the US no matter who holds political office, the Hollywood star and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio said on Friday.

But “the truth” about climate change has spread like “wildfire”, he said.

DiCaprio’s comments, as he received a prize for his work as a global citizen, did not refer to the US president-elect, Donald Trump, by name but were a thinly-veiled reference to his views and nominations of climate sceptics with oil industry ties for cabinet posts.

Earlier this month, 42-year-old DiCaprio and the head of his foundation met Trump and his team, reportedly arguing that support for renewable energy could create millions of jobs.

Trump has suggested climate change is a hoax and raised the possibility of withdrawing US support for a new global accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which most scientists believe are driving up sea levels and causing more droughts and violent storms.

“In less than 100 years of our pollution-based prosperity, we humans have put our entire existence in jeopardy,” said DiCaprio, who released his own documentary, Before the Flood, on the impacts of global warming two months ago.

DiCaprio, who won an Oscar this year for playing a fur trapper battling nature in The Revenant, said his documentary was the most viewed “in history … [showing] just how much the world cares about the issue of climate change”.

But he said the battle to address it was far from over, calling on the world to implement the Paris agreement on climate change, which came into effect in November, and to “go further”.

People everywhere are acting to curb the damage to humans, nature and wildlife from a warming planet, DiCaprio said – from putting a price on carbon emissions to buying cleaner cars, eating less meat, and businesses vowing to be carbon-neutral……..

December 19, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment