Australian news, and some related international items

No nuclear French Connection for Port Augusta, South Australia


Supporters of the anti-nuclear group ENuFF will travel to Pt Augusta on Wednesday Feb 8 to protest against the federal government’s latest attempt to dump the nation’s nuclear waste in SA; no matter where it is: the Flinders Ranges, Kimba or anywhere else.

ENuFF spokesperson Ally Fricker says, “Why is the federal government spending more money parading a French delegation around the countryside? French nuclear dumps also have problems. They too leak e.g. in Normandy and in Aube in the Champagne area and are opposed by primary producers and anti-nuclear groups, who say, When you stop producing the waste, then we will discuss disposal.

“But, even more significantly the Aube dump in the Champagne region east of Paris does NOT dispose of or store reprocessed nuclear waste.”

The French and Australian authorities categorise radioactive materials differently. When the French refer to intermediate level waste (ILW) they do not mean the type of waste currently being stored at Lucas Heights in NSW and which is destined to be transported (via an undisclosed route) to a, yet to be designed and built, National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) if, and when, one is built.

“Reprocessed nuclear waste is defined by the French and the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Report (see pg 95) as high level waste (HLW). This is highly radioactive and hazardous material and must be kept removed from the natural environment for thousands of years,” Ally Fricker says.

Containers currently containing the waste stored at Lucas heights have a life span of only 100 years.

“This is the waste that the federal government intends to dump or “store” in a centralised national dump for an indefinite period. It’s time for the government’s agencies responsible for this waste to stop the confusion. It’s time to tell South Australians what their real intentions are about the type of waste, how it would be transported, and how long it would be stored, or otherwise disposed of, in a national dump. We say stop producing the waste.”

February 6, 2017 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

High Level Nuclear Waste IS planned for South Australia’s Federal Dump



Steve Dale Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges, 6 Feb 17,   Inside the massively shielded “intermediate level waste container that returned to Australia from France” are multiple stainless steel containers of vitrified reprocessed waste (pictured) – and this would be called “High Level Waste” (HLW) in France, USA, Canada, Japan and the UK.

Accepting the first container of this HLW anywhere into South Australia opens the door to South Australia becoming the vitrified HLW dump for Sellafield and France. 

February 6, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Final indignity for tiny Aboriginal atomic test victim

Remains of Aboriginal infant, who died after 1950s Maralinga atomic tests, exhumed from burial cave, NT News Nigel Hunt, February 5, 2017  THE exhumation of an Aboriginal infant’s remains from a sacred burial cave in the state’s Far North has provoked outrage from community elders, who are demanding an inquiry to determine how it was allowed to occur.

February 6, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, South Australia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

“Intermediate” nuclear waste- opens door for High Level Wastes

canister-high-level-wastePaul Waldon    Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 5 Feb 17 The governments sluggish piecemeal approach to nuclear responsibilities that betrays all South Australians safety, needs to be addressed. Also I would like the issues of classification of high grade waste dealt with promptly, as this could open the door to Frances high grade waste being dumped in SA under the guise of intermediate waste.

I believe that the French delegate are here to feather their own nest. A professional, when brokering a deal will kick ass out of the price of their second option knowing it will be rejected, then move in on their intended target, “Their first option.”

With the agenda of a nuclear waste abandonment program I believe Kimba to be their first option. Can anyone tell me with previous such programs, was there more than one site proposed per sortie, or is this a new strategy that may pay dividends to the French?  

February 6, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) propagandising to Aborigines

a-cat-CANThey talk of ‘showing the group how we safely manage waste here at ANSTO’.  If it’s all that safe why not keep it there at Lucas Heights?  Why transport it 1000s of miles to outback South Australia?

They are lying about “intermediate waste” . the waste returned from Franc e is classified as “high level” by the French waste management authority ANDRA


devil-bargainANSTO WELCOMES TRADITIONAL OWNERS TO LUCAS HEIGHTS The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) last week welcomed members of the Adnyamathanha community in South Australia.

Barndioota, which is in their area, is a potential site for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

Les Bursill, an elder of the Dharawal community, gave the welcome to country and shared insights about some of the rich traditional heritage surrounding ANSTO.

The Sutherland Shire Mayor, Carmelo Pesce, was on hand to welcome guests, and discuss some of the benefits of having a nuclear facility in his areas, in terms of jobs, growth and community participation.

The group were at ANSTO at the invitation of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, which is extending invitations for such tours to all community members near potential sites of the facility.

“It was our pleasure to the welcome visitors, to show the group how we safely manage waste here at ANSTO, and to answer any questions they had,” said ANSTO’s Chief Nuclear Officer, Hef Griffiths.

“The group toured our campus, saw how the low level radioactive waste is packaged and stored, and stood beside the intermediate level waste container that returned to Australia from France in December 2015.

Throughout the year, ANSTO staff and experts will continue to make visits to Barndioota as part of technical studies, and ANSTO will continue to receive guests looking to get facts on radioactive waste management.

February 6, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, spinbuster | Leave a comment

U SA lawsuits against nuclear waste transport

legal actionradiation-truckNUCLEAR WASTE TRANSPORT THROUGH STATEantnuke-relevant IN FEDERAL COURT Sun, 02/05/2017A plan by the federal government to haul weapons-grade liquid nuclear waste through western North Carolina may be on hold pending a ruling by a Washington, D.C. judge.

An extensive report by Michael Gebelein on the Carolina Public Press Web site on Jan. 24 noted that several regional environmental groups have filed a lawsuit, arguing that the U.S. Department of Energy violated the National Environmental Policy Act by planning to move the waste in relative secrecy.
Those opposing the shipping of the waste have argued that this would be the first time weapons-grade highly enriched uranium, in liquid form, would be transported in this manner, that the government’s containers are untested and dangerous, and that the containers only have transported solid nuclear waste in the past.
The cargo comes from the Chalk River Laboratories power plant in Ottawa, Canada, which created the waste during production of medical isotopes for use in diagnostic tests. The shipments would be heading for the DOE’s Savannah River Site nuclear facility near Aiken, S.C.
Movement of the material would cover more than 1,000 miles. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit argue that in the “worst-case circumstances” — such as a breach of one of the containers — the waste could become agitated and fission might occur leading to extremely high temperatures that might rupture the tanks and spill nuclear waste onto the ground or into the water system.
The Department of Energy, in a report published in 2015, argued that the potential environmental impact of transporting nuclear waste would be low and that “no radiological or non-radiological fatalities” would be expected.
A federal judge heard oral arguments in Washington last Wednesday but made no ruling.

February 6, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

American concerns about the dangers of nuclear waste transport

radiation-truck“You’ve got this stuff going out in the middle of the desert with temperature extremes,” Hadden said. “You’ve got intense storms and flooding, lightning, wildfires. … I don’t think the casks are at all robust enough.”

Unexpected accidents are not unheard of in the nuclear waste field.

antnuke-relevantNuclear waste could pass through Texas cities en route to Andrews disposal site,   Brendan Gibbons, San Antonio Express-News   February 4, 2017 In the high, dry plains of West Texas sits a hazardous waste site operated by Waste Control Specialists, a company that wants to begin storing high-level nuclear waste from dozens of nuclear power plants across the country.

For that waste to get to the facility in Andrews County on the Texas-New Mexico border, it would first travel on thousands of miles of railroad tracks, according to a WCS spokesman and a Federal Railroad Administration document. That could include rail lines that pass through Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, though the specifics so far are hard to come by. Continue reading

February 6, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Very troubling: Trump’s Authority to Use Nuclear Weapons

TrumpWorld War III? Into Uncharted Territory, Trump’s Authority to Use Nuclear Weapons: “Let it be An Arms Race. We will Outmatch Them…and Outlast Them All.”  By Arms Control Association  February 04, 2017

February 6, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

French nuclear waste ANDRA – severe accident last year

a-cat-CANANDRA is currently visiting South Australia, to tell the locals how safe it all is!



antnuke-relevantFatal rockfall at planned French repository site 26 January 2016

One person was killed and another injured today by a tunnel collapse within an underground laboratory operated by French waste management agency Andra. The laboratory, near Bure in the Meuse/Haute Marne area, is assessing the site for its suitability to house a national radioactive waste repository.

According to an Andra statement, the working face of the gallery within the laboratory collapsed at 12.20pm. Geophysical surveys were being carried out at the time and the rockfall is believed to have happened as drilling was taking place. The gallery has now been evacuated and its stability is being assessed.

Andra said it is analyzing the overall causes of the accident, whilst a police investigation under the supervision of the prosecutor of the municipality of Bar-le-Duc has been launched to determine the precise circumstances.

France plans to construct the Centre Industriel de Stockage Géologique (Cigéo) repository – an underground system of disposal tunnels, known as galleries – at a depth of some 500 metres in a natural layer of clay near Bure. The facility is to be financed by radioactive waste generators – EDF, Areva and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission – and managed by Andra.

Some 2700 cubic metres of high-level radioactive waste and about 40,000 cubic metres of long-lived intermediate-level radioactive waste is to be disposed of in the Cigéo facility. Between them these contain 99% of the radioactivity from nuclear power generation that has provided the majority of France’s electricity over the last few decades.

No radioactive material has yet been placed within the facility, which is awaiting the government’s final investment decision. Andra has been conducting work in the underground laboratory to determine the suitability of the site for the planned Cigéo repository.

February 6, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trump’s military power – timr for Australia to re-evaluate its US bases

Australia urgently needs to re-evaluate its American bases and promote steps that defuse rather than intensify regional tensions. Having senior Australian defence personnel integrated into the US defence force hinders Australia acting independently. Do we want Australia to be capable of making strategic decisions in the national interest? New Zealand clearly acts in its own interest and remains an ally.

With Trump now the new US Commander-in-Chief, is it wise that we allow ourselves to be so automatically tied to American foreign policy? War in our region would be a humanitarian catastrophe for all involved.


With Donald Trump in power, Australia urgently needs to re-evaluate its US bases, Margaret Beavis 

Recent changes to the US National Security Council should be ringing loud alarm bells in Canberra.

By demoting the highest-ranking military officer and the highest-ranking intelligence officer, and appointing political adviser Stephen Bannon as a permanent member of the NSC, Donald Trump has seriously escalated the risk of the US launching into ill-advised conflicts. Bannon comes from a role as chairman of the racist, Islamophobic website, and is reported as having been in charge of writing the recent executive order that has banned US entry for refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations.

It is no secret that Australian foreign policy and defence forces are closely enmeshed with the US. Since Trump has taken office he has loudly proclaimed an “America first” foreign policy, and his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, talks of denying China access to artificial islands in the South China Sea. Any such blockade is likely to be seen by the Chinese as an act of war. Continue reading

February 6, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Britain’s fake charity Weinberg Next Nuclear spruiks “harmless” radiation

Weinberg Next Nuclear welcomes new Patron January 26th, 2017 Weinberg Next Nuclear, by Suzanna Hinson Weinberg Next Nuclear, the charity !!! promoting the next generation of nuclear energy, is delighted to announce its newest Patron – Professor Wade Allison, Emeritus Professor of Physics and Emeritus Fellow of Keble College. Professor Allison is a leading authority on medical physics, especially the effects of radiation on life……..

In Radiation and Reason (2009) he brought the scientific evidence of the effect of radiation to a wider audience. After the Fukushima accident this was translated into Japanese and Chinese. Nuclear is for Life (2015) is a broad study that contrasts the cultural rejection of nuclear energy with the evidence, at all but the highest levels, for the harmless, and even beneficial, interaction of radiation with life.

Upon his appointment, Professor Allison said:

‘’Fukushima showed that radiation is no threat to life ………

Stephen Tindale, Director of Weinberg Next Nuclear, said:

“Public opposition to nuclear energy on the basis of exaggerated and unscientific fear of radioactivity is a significant barrier to nuclear progress. The world needs more nuclear energy, and addressing the fear factor is a major part of nuclear advocacy. So I am delighted to welcome Wade as a Patron. Wade has immense scientific knowledge and is also extremely well versed in the need for new public communication on nuclear.”

February 6, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jeff Baldock could make $$$s from #nuclear waste dump, but poses as community benefactor

a-cat-CANNote previous news item : In Kimba, farmer Jeff Baldock, one of the shortlisted applicants, volunteered to sell one square kilometre of his property for the facility in exchange for a premium price and a reported $10 million community fund.
Fading Eyre Peninsula town looks to nuclear waste dump for a future  The Australian February 6, 2017  6 Reporter  Adelaide  Jeff Baldock, a third-generation farmer at Kimba, watches the Eyre Peninsula town 460km west of Adelaide declining as families move for work and schooling, but believes that if his land was chosen for an intermediate-level nuc­lear waste dump it would mean econo­mic salvation.

“It would basically guarantee Kimba’s future, it’s a 300-year prog­ram the federal government will be here for,” Mr Baldock said.

“If we don’t do something, I’m worried the school won’t be going to Year 12 by the time my grandchildren get there, and the hospital might be closed by the time we need it. We’ve only just secured a doctor; we don’t want to lose any more services.”

The federal government earmarked a cattle station at Barndioota in the Flinders Ranges as its preferred site last April, but Bruce Wilson, the head of the Industry Department’s resources division, said other sites would be considered until a final decision, which could be made late this year. Construction of the facility is likely to be completed in the early 2020s.

A second Kimba farmer also put his property forward last week, and both submitted formal applic­ations ahead of a French deleg­ation visiting Kimba and Barn­di­oota from Wednesday.

Among the delegation will be two mayors whose towns are near the Aube Disposal Facility in Champagne, the facility’s director and a representative of the French national radioactive waste agency. They will discuss safety concerns with residents, who have not previously supported the proposal.

“The facility we are proposing is for Australian low- and intermediate-level waste only, [REALLY?] and we will answer as many questions from as many perspectives as we can at these sessions,” Mr Wilson said.

Mr Baldock, whose family farms three properties, suggested a different site last year but neighbours were opposed. This time, all the adjacent property owners are supportive.

Mr Baldock said selecting a Kimba property would mean the federal government injected at least $10 million into the community and created 30 fulltime jobs. His own payment would be equivalent to a year’s worth of fertiliser costs, with the community benefiting more than his family.

Local funding could be used to boost services for the community’s ageing population, fix the pool which has been closed this year ­because of disrepair, and create jobs, agricultural research projects and economic opportunities.

Kimba Mayor Dean Johnson said there had been some oppos­ition to hosting a dump last year, but an information campaign on the low risk involved was turning the tide. His council would also ask the Australian Electoral Commission to run a referendum for the 700 voters after a 60-day community consultation period ended.

“Certainly there is a group that is solidly opposed and that hasn’t changed, but the important thing to remember is this is a chance to get more information about the benefits to the community,” Mr Johnson said.

February 6, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Scientists find out why uranium persists in groundwater at former mining sites

water-radiationThis cycling in the aquifer may result in the persistent plumes of uranium contamination found in groundwater, something that wasn’t captured by earlier modeling efforts.

highly-recommendedStudy helps explain why uranium persists in groundwater at former mining sites

February 2, 2017

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
A recent study helps describe how uranium cycles through the environment at former uranium mining sites and why it can be difficult to remove.

Decades after a uranium mine is shuttered, the radioactive element can still persist in groundwater at the site, despite cleanup efforts.

A recent study led by scientists at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory helps describe how the contaminant cycles through the environment at former uranium mining sites and why it can be difficult to remove. Contrary to assumptions that have been used for modeling uranium behavior, researchers found the contaminant binds to organic matter in sediments. The findings provide more accurate information for monitoring and remediation at the sites.

The results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Continue reading

February 6, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Russia’s secrecy about nuclear reactor failure

see-no-evilflag_RussiaRussia fixes a reactor it initially refused to say was broken Russian nuclear officials say they’ve fixed a generator glitch that more than two months ago shut down its prized, first of a kind AES-2006 reactor under a cloud of embarrassment and initial secrecy. Bellona, January 31, 2017 by Russian nuclear officials say they’ve fixed a generator glitch that more than two months ago shut down its prized, first of a kind AES-2006 reactor under a cloud of embarrassment and initial secrecy.

The November 10 generator failure at the reactor, which began operating last year at the Novovoronezh Nuclear Power Plant south of Moscow, was kept under wraps by nuclear utility Rosenergoatom.

Official Russian news agencies reported the hiccup six days later, and referenced a statement from Rosenergoatom published the same day. Since then, however, the utility appears to have backdated its initial November 16 Russian language Web post on the incident to November 10.

When the company finally did publish information on the cause of the unexpected shutdown at the flagship reactor, also known as a VVER-1200, which Rosatom is building for a number of foreign customers, it cited a short circuit as the cause.

The apparently re-dated release emphasized that the shutdown was not unusual, and that it had no effect on the radiation safety of the plant. But the utility’s late reporting of the incident gave rise reports in local publications that the plant had suffered an emergency. Continue reading

February 6, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ruling in favour of challenge against Noongar Indigenous land use agreement may lead to amendment of Native Title Act

handsoffAdani mine leases and national parks in doubt after native title court decision

Ruling in favour of challenge against Noongar Indigenous land use agreement may lead to amendment of Native Title Act, Guardian, , Resources projects including the Adani coalmine, pastoral leases and a number of national parks across the country are potentially in doubt following a shock federal court decision striking out a native title deal in Western Australia.

The ruling by a full bench of the federal court on Thursday has prompted speculation the Native Title Act will be amended in response. Continue reading

February 6, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment