Australian news, and some related international items


Friends of the Earth, Australia,, January 2018
“The disposal of radioactive waste in Australia is ill-considered and irresponsible. Whether it is short-lived waste from Commonwealth facilities, long-lived plutonium waste from an atomic bomb test site on Aboriginal land, or reactor waste from Lucas Heights. The government applies double standards to suit its own agenda; there is no consistency, and little evidence of logic.” ‒ Nuclear engineer Alan Parkinson11 Alan Parkinson, 2002, ‘Double standards with radioactive waste’, Australasian Science,

RADIUM HILL: A radioactive waste repository at Radium Hill “is not engineered to a standard consistent with current internationally accepted practice” according to a 2003 SA government audit.

PORT PIRIE: The Port Pirie uranium treatment plant is still contaminated over 50 years after its closure. It took a six-year community campaign just to get the site fenced off and to carry out a partial rehabilitation. As of July 2015, the SA government’s website states that “a long-term management strategy for the former site” is being developed.

ARKAROOLA WILDERNESS SANCTUARY: SA regulators failed to detect Marathon Resource’s illegal dumping of low level radioactive waste in the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary. If not for the detective work of the managers of the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, the illegal activities would likely be continuing to this day. The incident represents a serious failure of SA government regulation. The Royal Commission report dealt with this scandal in two sentences and failed to note that the SA government regulator did not detect the illegal dumping of radioactive waste.

MARALINGA: The ‘clean-up’ of nuclear waste at the Maralinga nuclear test site in the late 1990s was a fiasco:2
•                    • Nuclear engineer Alan Parkinson said of the ‘clean-up’: “What was done at Maralinga was a cheap and nasty solution that wouldn’t be adopted on white-fellas land.”

•                    • Scientist Dale Timmons said the government’s technical report was littered with “gross misinformation”.

•                    • Dr Geoff Williams, an officer with the Commonwealth nuclear regulator ARPANSA, said that the ‘clean-up’ was beset by a “host of indiscretions, short-cuts and cover-ups”.

•                    • Nuclear physicist Prof. Peter Johnston (now with ARPANSA) noted that there were “very large expenditures and significant hazards resulting from the deficient management of the project”.

If there was some honesty about the mismanagement of radioactive waste in Australia, coupled with remediation of contaminated sites, we might have some confidence that lessons have been learned and that radioactive waste will be managed more responsibly in future.

But there is no such honesty from the government, and there are no plans to clean up contaminated sites.

More information: Pages 11-15 in Submission to SA Joint Select Committee,

February 1, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, reference, wastes | Leave a comment

Keep Lucas Heights nuclear waste at Lucas Heights, for the safety of all Australians

Paul Waldon Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, January 31Security of nuclear waste is being eroded, now is the time to beef it up, and Lucas Heights is the safer venue than outback South Australia for holding radioactive waste.

Over the years there have been explosives found at reactor sites, arson with many millions of dollars damage, a guerrilla band had taken control of one reactor site, incendiary device detonated at another, bombs explode that were planted at one site, and even a person walk past a security check point with a bazooka while with a group of tourists, not to mention a derelict reactor had uranium fuel rods stolen, and it doesn’t seem to end.

The Rosenbaum report, “In recent years the factors which make safeguards a real,imminent and vital issue have changed rapidly for the worse.Terrorist groups have increased their professional skills, intelligence networks, finances, and levels of armaments throughout the world.”
Security is failing and to place radioactive waste in a region of poor security is the wrong measure to be taking.

Keep it at Lucas Heights for the safety of all Australians.

February 1, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

The era of nuclear decommissioning — RenewEconomy

After a growth spurt from the 1960s to the ’90s, then 20 years of stagnation, the Era of Nuclear Decommissioning is upon us.

via The era of nuclear decommissioning — RenewEconomy

February 1, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Polling shows that even Liberals now opposing Adani coal megamine project

Big surge in opposition to Adani, new polling reveals, Brisbane Times, By James Massola, A growing majority of Australians now oppose the construction of Adani’s huge Carmichael coal mine, while environmental groups are ramping up pressure on Bill Shorten and federal Labor to rule out support for the project.

A poll of 3312 people, conducted by pollsters ReachTEL on January 25 and commissioned by the Stop Adani Alliance, found 65.1 per cent of Australians opposed or strongly opposed Indian mining company Adani building the new coal mine in Queensland.

The figure represents a 13.2 per cent rise – from 51.9 per cent – in opposition to the project compared to March 2017. Significantly, the latest poll found an outright majority of Nationals (55.3 per cent), One Nation (52.9 per cent), Labor (75.6 per cent) and Greens (94.2 per cent) voters all oppose the mine.

More Liberal voters (43.2 per cent) said they opposed or strongly opposed the project compared to 34.7 per cent who said they supported or strongly supported it.

The findings come a day after Mr Shorten told the National Press Club the project had to stack up commercially and environmentally for federal Labor to support it, and that more needed to be done to protect the Great Barrier Reef, which environmental groups warn will be negatively impacted by the project.

“If it doesn’t stack up commercially or if it doesn’t stack up environmentally, it will absolutely not receive our support,” Mr Shorten said………

The polling also showed 73.5 per cent support for stopping the expansion of all coal mining and accelerating the construction of solar power and storage to reduce the threat of climate change.

Australian Conservation Foundation chief executive Kelly O’Shanassy said the poll showed  opposition to the coal mine was growing and was a reminder our to MPs that “they must listen to the will of the people and chart a course from our dirty coal fuelled present to a clean energy powered future”.

“We are encouraged by the comments of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten yesterday [Tuesday] that the ALP is scrutinising the merits of the dirty Adani project. Mr Shorten is right, you can’t have it both ways on climate change,” she said.

“He should reject the mine. A clear rejection of the mine and a pledge to stop it would be Mr Shorten’s Franklin River moment.”

If it goes ahead the mine would be Australia’s – and one of the world’s – largest coal mine.


February 1, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Australia way behind on low carbon action – UN investor expert warns

Australia cops UN investor slap on climate policy as ‘green paradox’ looms, The Age , Peter Hannam, 1 Feb 18 

Australia’s climate policies are “a decade behind” other rich nations, according to a United Nations investment official, leaving the country exposed to risks of a so-called “green paradox” when carbon emissions will have to make a precipitous retreat.

A phasing out of coal and other fossil fuels is the centrepiece of four recommended investor goals to be unveiled by the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment unit in New York on Thursday morning, eastern Australian time.

Fiona Reynolds, UNPRI’s managing director, said investors needed to take the lead in forcing companies to reveal their exposure to fossil fuels and to step up pressure on governments to meet their Paris climate commitments.

“Investors have a huge, huge role to play on climate change,” Ms Reynolds told Fairfax Media, citing their ability to influence the companies they own, including steering them away from fossil fuels to renewable energy. “This a really urgent issue.”

While countries in Europe of all political persuasions were tackling the need to switch to a low-carbon future, the debate in Australia 10 years behind, she said.

 “Australia keeps battling about the downsides and not the opportunities that could be available to the country in this transition,” Ms Reynolds said.

Carbon price

The Abbott government’s scrapping of a carbon price in 2014 – and the kryptonite reaction to another policy since – went against the global trend.  Some 40 nations had introduced some form of carbon pricing and major international investors were generally supportive, Ms Reynolds said…….

February 1, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Lethal radiation detected at Fukushima plant reactor 2

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has released the results of its latest probe of the site.
A remote-controlled inspection of the Unit 2 reactor containment vessel last month detected a maximum of 8 sieverts per hour of radiation.
Experts say exposure to such radiation for about an hour would be fatal.
Officials from Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, released the results on Thursday.
They said the radiation reading was taken near what appeared to be fuel debris, the term used to describe a mixture of molten fuel and broken interior parts.
The finding shows that nearly 7 years after the meltdowns, radiation levels remain so high that they present a major challenge to decommissioning work.
During the probe, 42 sieverts per hour of radiation was also detected outside the foundations of the reactor.
But officials said they have doubts about the accuracy of the…

View original post 76 more words

February 1, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Save the Town”: Insolvable Dilemmas of Fukushima’s “Return Policy”

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

Namie Mayor Baba Tamotsu interviewed by Katsuya Hirano with Yoshihiro Amaya and Yoh Kawano at Namie town hall, July 4th, 2017. Introduction by Katsuya Hirano, Transcription and translation by Akiko Anson

1Baba Tamotsu. Photo by Yoh Kawano 


The town of Namie is the largest in both area and population among eight towns and villages within Futaba Country in Fukushima Prefecture. At the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 that precipitated the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster, the town’s population was 18,464.1 Although Namie is located just 11.2 km from the nuclear power plants, it took four days from the explosion of the power plants before Tokyo issued an evacuation order. The government’s belated order was consonant with its decision to withhold information on radiation levels provided by SPEEDI (System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information) in order to avoid “public panic.” Consequently, many residents of…

View original post 7,960 more words

February 1, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japan Should Clarify its Plutonium Usage Plans

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

Japan possesses almost 47 tons of separated plutonium. A clear plan for its potential usage and storage is essential.
This will be an important year for Japanese nuclear energy planning, as it will announce its domestic and foreign nuclear energy and plutonium policy. Japan, the only non-nuclear-weapon state (NNWS) with a civilian reprocessing capability, has faced some proliferation concerns. Despite this, Japan has consistently pledged their peaceful usage of their approximately 46.9 tons of separated plutonium, potentially enough to make over 5,000 nuclear weapons. Other East Asian countries have expressed worries about the storage of this much material.
Big events for Japanese nuclear energy planning
The “Strategic Energy Plan,” due to be released later this year, sets the fundamental direction of Japan’s energy policy. Japan’s Basic Energy Law mandates that the government release an energy plan every three years, and the current plan was the first to be released after…

View original post 830 more words

February 1, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Powershop signs huge deal for solar, wind projects – “stunned” by low prices — RenewEconomy

Energy retailer Powershop signs up for new 200MW solar farm and two major wind projects and says it was “stunned” by the low prices offered. It will also buy three hydro generators, but will need to more than double customers to match output.

via Powershop signs huge deal for solar, wind projects – “stunned” by low prices — RenewEconomy

February 1, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s first solar farm co-located with wind formally opened — RenewEconomy

Gullen Range, the first solar farm to be co-located with a wind farm formally opened, to be followed by at least a dozen more.

via Australia’s first solar farm co-located with wind formally opened — RenewEconomy

February 1, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NAIF: Any port in a storm — RenewEconomy

NAIF’s first loan – to the oil and gas industry – is an effective subsidy to accelerate climate change.

via NAIF: Any port in a storm — RenewEconomy

February 1, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment