Australian news, and some related international items

The latest comments on ARPANSA’s site about Code for Radioactive Wastes

James & Cindy Shepherdson   We feel very strongly that there should be no consideration at all of having any type of radioactive waste stored on agricultural land. ARPANSA also needs to take into consideration the social ramifications of any proposed site on any populated, productive land.

Janet Tiller Nuclear waste and food producing districts do not mix. I say no.
The whole process is flawed and one sided. The guidelines keep changing when the outcomes don’t suit what the government are seeking.

Tiffany Congdon I am 100% against this proposal and my mind will never change. This whole process has turned a once thriving, peaceful and friendly town into a town of fighting, taking sides and the friendliness has definitely gone. I was born and bred in Kimba and I loved the community but this whole dump idea and how the town has divided was not something I wanted for my family so a few months ago we moved and we are the happiest we have been in a long time. This has made such a damaging impact!!!
Colleen Guidera  I am very much opposed to a Nuclear Waste Facility being built in the Kimba District or anywhere else in South Australia. Low level waste is hazardous for up to 300 years and Intermediate level waste is estimated to take tens of thousands years to decay. How can the Government guarantee it will be monitored? No amount of money or jobs is worth the stress and division in our community that the process so far has caused.

Graham Tiller   BROAD community support. Set figure 70% and dont change it.
Completely transparent and fair process a must.Not the present pathetic process. Not to be on any agriculture aquaculture and horticulture areas of food producing land. Food and nuclear waste do not mix . Clean and Green
The yes / no vote should be the whole state not just one town.
Local vote to be 100km radius of nominated sites. Neighboring councils should be notified and have input .

Graham Tiller  In the event of a nuclear waste dump incedent eg. fire flood earthquake leakage accident, all persons within a 500km radius of the dump must be fully compensated by the gov. for there loses until such time that contamination, health and livelihoods are restored.
All dumps to be on gov. land, controlled by the gov. and put on arid waste land eg. WOOMERA PROHIBITED AREA. Basic common sense really.

GrahamTiller Continuous lies, change of guide lines, half truths proper gander misleading information have been a issue through the whole process period in kimba. And of course the 2 mill. bribe and the 10mill. bigger bribe . Not much for the destruction of a ounce perfect safe and prosperous community . Greed sums it up, it’s all about the money.

February 21, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Hunters Hill residents still waiting on government to clean up uranium contaminated land

Hunters Hill residents wary of latest announcement on uranium contamination, ABC News, 20 Feb 18, By Jade Macmillan

Residents on Sydney’s lower north shore have dismissed the Government’s latest plans to clean up land contaminated by a uranium smelter more than hundred years ago as “a hollow promise”.

Property Minister Victor Dominello announced $30 million to remediate the waterfront land on Nelson Parade in Hunters Hill, the former site of the Radium Hill refinery, which closed in 1915.

The area was also occupied by a carbolic acid plant until the early 1900s and a tin smelter until the 1960s.

Residents have spent decades urging the Government to remove the affected soil, which the NSW Environment Protection Authority found it was contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons, coal tar pitch, arsenic and lead.

“Having this funding should give the community confidence that we are determined to remediate the site,” Mr Dominello said, ahead of a public meeting of more than 200 residents on Tuesday night.

“The Government is currently considering suitable disposal locations for the waste, and is in discussions with the Federal Government on the possibility of using the proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility earmarked for development in South Australia.”

The minister did not provide a timeframe for the works and a site for the radioactive facility has not yet been selected.

Rosemary Manusu, 80, who has lived on Nelson Parade for more than 50 years, said she had little faith in the announcement after years of inaction from successive governments.

“It’s been promised and promised about three or four times. So until they actually start moving it, I don’t believe a word they say,” she said……

February 21, 2018 Posted by | environment, New South Wales, uranium | Leave a comment

Swedish court rules these nuclear waste containment canisters unsafe – liable to corrosion.


Are these the same sort of  canisters planned by the Australian Government for Kimba, South Australia?

Sweden’s problem is also our problem  February 21, 2018 by cumbriatrust

Last month Cumbria Trust reported that the Swedish Environmental Court had blocked a licence application to construct a GDF for spent nuclear fuel after serious concerns were raised over the corrosion of the copper canisters used in the KBS-3 method. The same containment method is intended to be used in the UK. This court ruling was a success for MKG, the Swedish environmental organisation which receives government funding to act as a critical friend, scrutinising Sweden’s plan to bury nuclear waste.

MKG have now released some further details which show that the corrosion concerns are shared by experts within the Swedish regulator, SSM. While the nuclear industry, including the UK’s Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) seem keen to minimise the significance of this court ruling, by describing it as a delay and a request for more information, it appears the problem may be more fundamental, and could lead to this method of KBS-3 copper encapsulation being abandoned……problem

February 21, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Mark Parnell outlines The Greens environment policy for the coming South Australian election

At the South Australian State Election Leaders’ Forum on the environment “South Australia: Our Future”, I outlined the Greens vision for an environment that is clean, healthy and resilient.

Protecting South Australia’s environment means:

• 100% renewable energy by 2025
• A healthy River Murray
• Valuing our wildlife and biodiversity
• Protecting the Great Australian Bight
• Opposing destructive and polluting industries
• Marine sanctuaries
• Investing in our National Parks and Reserves
• No nuclear waste dump 
• Enhancing urban open spaces and landscapes

February 21, 2018 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste canisters will themselves eventually become toxic radioactive trash

Paul Richards No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia, 20 Feb 18, Even if they were the to last not 4, 40, or world’s best practice type with the limited liability guarantee of a 100 years;

The canisters after any time period, create yet more nuclear waste, along with their toxic radioactive contents, that all have to be repackaged creating more nuclear material to be stored.

This process, of repackaging, whether it’s 4, 40, or a 100 years, goes on indefinitely.

To add another layer of complexity to this utterly illogical process, this waste grows exponentially over this indefinite timeline of essential care.

As nothing but steady decay into volatile, life-damaging radionuclides occurs, phasing from one type to the next. A process that literally is indefinite, unimaginable in human governance terms.  Even ‘if’ no nuclear waste and unspent fuel are created by the nuclear cycle, of mining, milling, rod construction and the reactor outcomes, including decommissioning reactors.

February 21, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

A public watchdog wants USA govt to demand stronger nuclear waste canisters

NRC Petitioned To Require Stronger Canisters To Store Nuclear Waste Indefinitely February 19, 2018   By Alison St John 

February 21, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Is the promis of “jobs” worth the contamination of a community’s agricultural land ?

Paul Waldon  Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, An irresponsible, nuclear ignorant proponent of nuclear waste with no business acumen or idea of economics, once said to me “If one person gets a job, its worth it.” So would one job that cost the taxpayer millions, that creates a tourist void, promotes the impact of the forever atomic stigma, divides families and friends, enhances the risks of contaminating the environment, and invites death, to name but just a few issues, have a greater value?. If so, the people that are espousing a nuclear waste dump in Hawker of Kimba, don’t seen perturbed about the future of these communities.

February 21, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

The pretense that Lucas Heights nuclear spent fuel rods are an “asset”. No, they are wastes

Steve Dale  Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia   If France and others stop reprocessing our spent nuclear reactor fuel, some organisations will no longer be able to call it “an asset”.

“‘The spent fuel rods at Lucas Heights can only sensibly be treated as high level waste. The pretence that spent fuel rods constitute an asset must stop” from the Research Reactor Review, Future Reactions: Report of the Research Reactor Review, 1993

February 21, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Australia’s shocking cruelty to Aboriginal people with disabilities: Solitary confinement

‘The abuse of Aboriginal prisoners with disabilities in Australian jails is confronting, and ongoing.

‘In Part 3 of this special series for New Matilda, Michael Brull looks at the use of 
solitary confinement against disabled Aboriginal prisoners,
exposed in a report written by Human Rights Watch

‘Human Rights Watch (HRW) observes that under international law, solitary confinement means
confining a prisoner for 22 hours or more per day “without meaningful human contact”.
Prolonged solitary confinement occurs when solitary confinement is extended past 15 consecutive days.

‘HRW documents in its report that various specialists on international law
from various United Nations human rights organisations have found that under international law,
it is unacceptable to impose solitary confinement on people with disabilities
under any circumstances. … ‘

Read Part 3 of MichaelBrull‘s interesting, thought-provoking, comprehensive, compassionate & concerned article
focusing on the SolitaryConfinement of AboriginalPeopleWithDisabilities:

February 21, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | 1 Comment

Britain’s Local Governments support deep disposal of higher-level radioactive waste

GDF Watch (accessed) 19th Feb 2018, The Local Government Association’s special interest group on radioactivewaste, NuLeAF, explain why the UK’s Local Authorities support geological
disposal, and set out their expectations of Government policy. Guided by a
government White Paper published in 2014, the Geological Disposal Facility
(GDF) will be the repository for the UK’s higher-level radioactive waste.

It will involve the construction of a highly-engineered facility many
hundreds of metres below the surface and spreading out over several
kilometres. Once all the waste has been placed in the site it will be
permanently sealed.

Given the nature of the material being disposed of, and
the scale of the repository, this is clearly a huge technical challenge.
However an even greater challenge is political. The Government is clear –
the GDF will not be imposed on a community; instead a consenting host area
will have to be found. As such, local government is central to the GDF
siting process, and NuLeAF, as the Local Government Association’s
representative body on nuclear decommissioning, has been active in shaping
the government’s approach.

NuLeAF’s view is that a deep geological
repository represents the best current solution for disposing of our
high-level radioactive wastes. In line with CoRWM, the UK Government’s
expert independent advisory group, we believe that we must dismantle and
make safe our ‘high hazard’ legacy nuclear sites. Such material will
pose risks to people and the environment for hundreds of thousands of
years, and locking it away underground will remove it from human contact
and the risk of accidents. Such ‘deep disposal’ is agreed
internationally as the best solution and similar facilities are already
under development in France, Switzerland, Sweden and Finland.

February 21, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Eleven members of the Turnbull Government openly support nuclear power for Australia

In March 2017, eleven members of the Turnbull Government were listed as openly supporting the prospect of nuclear power in Australia. Listed politicians were: Andrew BroadJames PatersonTony PasinTim WilsonChris BackCraig KellyEric AbetzAndrew HastieWarren EntschBridget McKenzie and Rowan Ramsey.[34]

  Put nuclear in the energy mix, Coalition MPs tell Malcolm Turnbull. Massola. James. 15 March 2017. The Sydney Morning Herald. 3 September 2017. Gartrell. Adam. en-US.

February 21, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

S.A. Labor shoots for 75 per cent renewables by 2025 — RenewEconomy

South Australia Labor government says it will lift 2025 renewable energy target to 75% if re-elected at next month’s poll, the most ambitious target for any major grid in the world.

via S.A. Labor shoots for 75 per cent renewables by 2025 — RenewEconomy

February 21, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

S.A. Labor commits to 750MW “renewable storage” target — RenewEconomy

South Australia government commits to 750MW energy storage target to go with its enhanced 75 per cent renewable energy target.

via S.A. Labor commits to 750MW “renewable storage” target — RenewEconomy

February 21, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is China Really Threatening America with Nuclear Weapons?

  National Interest, Asia Times, 20 Feb 18

China, according to the Federation of American Scientists, has 270 warheads in its nuclear arsenal.

The Washington-based research group’s estimate has never been challenged by the Pentagon. It compares with an official tally of 4,480 nuclear warheads for the US. Unlike the American side, China also renounces “first use” of nuclear weapons and holds that its ability to retaliate is sufficient to deter attack.

 Why, then, is Beijing’s modernization of its nuclear arsenal — something that Washington is also doing — considered a major security threat requiring a sharp turn in US policy regarding the use of nuclear weapons?

That’s part of the reasoning behind the Pentagon’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review(NPR) issued on February 2. The document is a benchmark US statement on nuclear policy and is drawn up by new presidents. The Trump administration’s first policy position on the issue focuses on creating new nuclear deterrents to Russia and China, while addressing North Korean and Iranian nuclear ambitions.

……..  critics contend the latest NPR reverses years of bipartisan consensus on the use of US nuclear weapons. The review also gives the go-ahead to develop low-yield tactical nukes and sub-launched cruise missiles in the first roll-out of new US nuclear weapons since the end of the Cold War. It also expands the circumstances under which the US would consider using nukes to include “non-nuclear strategic attacks” such as cyberattacks.

……….Chinese not on nuclear ‘alert’ Gregory Kulacki, the China project manager for the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a Washington-based science advocacy group, argues that Trump’s NPR is surfacing at a time when China isn’t preparing to fight a nuclear war with the US. He says his talks with Chinese nuclear strategists indicate they don’t believe such an attack from the US is possible because the Americans know a sufficient number of Chinese missiles would survive to launch a nuclear counter-strike.

……… China, for its part, has urged the US to drop its “Cold War mentality” and not misread its intentions in modernizing its nuclear forces following the NPR’s release.

Miscalculation leading to war  Kulacki notes in his article that Chinese strategists have one worry: they fear the US might miscalculate by thinking it could escape full nuclear retaliation by using a massive first strike along with an anti-missile shield that can down any Chinese missiles that a pre-emptive attack would miss.

US negotiators, he says, are exacerbating such fears by declining to assure their Chinese counterparts that a US first strike is “off the table.”

 China’s relatively modest nuclear modernization efforts, according to Kulacki, are designed to ensure that enough of its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) can survive a pre-emptive US attack and penetrate US missile defenses.

“In the absence of a no first-use commitment from the United States, these improvements are needed to assure China’s leaders their US counterparts won’t take the risk of attacking China with nuclear weapons,” Kulacki says in his piece………


February 21, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Japan task force echoes foreign minister calls to back renewables over coal, nuclear

Channel News Asias, 20 Feb 18, An energy task force advising Japan’s foreign minister has proposed boosting renewable energy and shifting away from coal-fired and nuclear power at home, arguing the country’s energy policies are outdated and undermine its global competitiveness

The advice comes in a report commissioned by minister Taro Kono, a maverick lawmaker with prime ministerial ambitions, and echoes his own convictions, pitting him against Japan’s powerful Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). METI urges using coal at home and financing coal-powered projects abroad.

The task force report, presented to Kono on Monday, argues nuclear power has lost economic competitiveness and says the world’s third-biggest economy should cut reliance on atomic energy to as little as possible, and instead boost use of renewables.

“If Japan focuses on renewable energy rooted in its abundant natural resources and reduces dependence on imported fossil fuels and uranium, this will contribute to its energy security and make possible a new domestic economy,” the task force said in the report. “It is obvious that Japan is lagging.”

The report comes as METI, also a proponent of nuclear power, is reviewing the country’s energy policy. METI said it had no immediate response to the task force report……….


February 21, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment