Australian news, and some related international items

This week in nuclear news – Australia

Well, it’s been quite a week, with all the Cambridge Analytica stuff showing the power and influence of corporations and political parties in manipulating social media– We should not be so surprised, except for the speed and effectiveness of the Cambridge Analytica’s opinion-influencing campaigns.

Manipulation of public opinion has a long and dishonourable history. Following the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima, America launched a successful pro nuclear power propaganda campaign, resulting in the growth of the ‘peaceful’ nuclear industry, especially in Japan.

Hitler used the 1936 Berlin Games to ‘sell’ Nazi Germany as a fine culture.  Currently, Putin is being accused of using the FIFA World Cup as a glorification of his Russian regime.

We can look forward now to two years of global hype over the 2020 Olympics in Japan as a glowing  (though lying) recommendation of a now healthy Fukushima.

All this in the desperate effort to save the reputation of the global nuclear industry. However not everyone, even conservatives, are buying this, as the situation in Britain shows, with renewables gaining popularity.

Climate:  social science research also shows the way in which conservatives are being won over to accepting climate change, and the need to work actively to slow its progress. Polar Anomaly Flip in an Abnormally Warm World: Arctic to Cool as Antarctica Heats Up.


Global bank HSBC warns that Australia is especially vulnerable to climate change.

The new Trans Pacific Partenership (TPP) just as bad for Australia as the old one.

NUCLEAR WASTE DUMPING.  The Senate is accepting submissions about this, with (narrow Terms of Reference). closing on April 3.  So far only 5 pro nuclear submissions have been published on their site. Yet I know that several anti-nuclear submissions have been sent. I’m working on mine now, and I urge others to send submissions. Ask the Australian Senate to consider this: why was South Australia chosen – to house Lucas Heights’ nuclear waste?   Best way to make submissions to the Senate Inquiry on Nuclear Waste Dumping.

Nuclear waste dump for South Australia? Deafening silence from politicians and journalists.

David Noonan’s Submissions to Senate regarding Reprocessing Nuclear Fuel and Safety of Intermediate Level Wastes.

Group of Montebello nuclear test veterans have no medical insurance, not entitled to gold card.

Minerals Council of Australia wants nuclear technology to be government funded as “clean and green”.

Supreme Court appeal lodged against Yeelirrie uranium mining approval decision.

Neighbours not happy as a man builds his nuclear war bunker in Victoria.

CLIMATE and RENEWABLE ENERGY.   Can Stephen Marshall stop South Australia’s transition to clean energy? Probably not.   South Australian Premier Stephen Marshall carrying out the Liberal agenda – Cuts Access To Solar Batteries For Low Income Households.   South Australia’s new Premier vows to kill the Tesla battery storage plan.   There’s miles and miles of mostly very good news about renewable energy. Find this at

March 23, 2018 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Dumping nuclear waste is illegal in South Australia: South Australians will resist imposition of dump

David Noonan shared a link. Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 24 Mar 18 
ARPANSA have now belatedly released the rest of public submissions to draft Code on radioactive waste disposal, at:…

Including my brief 3 pager, Summary:
To be credible, a finalised ARPANSA Code must mandate the best practice Principal of Non-Imposition of nuclear waste disposal facilities on community.
It is untenable for this Code to countenance Disposal Facility Siting in an area of special cultural heritage significance to Aboriginal people. Proposed NRWMF siting in the iconic Flinders Ranges must stop. A finalised ARPANSA Code must respect Aboriginal people’s rights and interests.
ARPANSA needs to recognise the Storage and Disposal of nuclear wastes affects the rights, interests and safety of all South Australians and is prohibited in our State under the Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 2000.
Any imposition of Disposal Facility Siting in SA will be strongly resisted by community across SA.

March 23, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Anniversary of radiation accident at Lucas Heights – a warning to South Australia

 Paul Waldon No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia, 18 Mar 18 
Today the 18th of March is another red letter day in the nuclear arena with the 31st anniversary of a accident at Lucas Heights.
But first lets jump forward 29 years to the Hawker nuclear community meeting on the 6th of May 2016, where a man named Bruce Wilson from the DIIS who  chaired such meeting, a man who could be a totally inept clairvoyant, a nuclear decision psychopath, a misinformed government payed nuclear spruiker, or just a sad ignorant man, this is a man whom said “We will NOT have accidents” . 
The opposing dichotomy believes in the old dictum “Pray for the best, prepare for the worst” and the such dichotomy keeps giving a resounding NO to a deadly radioactive dump, which keeps falling on deaf ears of the liars who said they would walk away from a community that doesn’t want to accept it.
Now lets return to the anniversary of the 1987 accident where a fire at Lucas Heights nuclear research laboratory resulted in the contamination of two workers and the discharge of radioactive gas into the atmosphere over populated areas.  Yes, Bruce this was a accident, however there was an event two years prior to such accident that may be called a purpose when alleged vandals dodged security patrols and smashed a underground pipe, releasing radioactive effluent into river ways. (What was this pipe made of, maybe brittle 2mm plastic?).
Are we to believe, Bruce, that there wont be anymore accidents, maybe because accidents will be suppressed, or called a planed event, or re-classed as “Technically produced anomalies” just like the erroneous, magniloquent re-classing of high grade waste to intermediate waste in an attempt to try and push through a egregious program while attempting to insult the intelligence of the majority of informed South Australians who don’t want a risky radioactive dump here?

March 23, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, secrets and lies, South Australia | Leave a comment

High Level nuclear waste by the name of Intermediate Level is just as corrosive to “dry cask containers”

Paul Waldon Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA  “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” High Grade waste by any other name would be such a risk.

There has been one, only one successful test of a dry cask to find its safe threshold and that was a recorded drop from 10 meters, all other tests have failed to record the threshold for compromising a dry-cask.

Holtec industries had a reported failure in nine yes 9 different areas of construction of dry-casks, about the time Australia had some nuclear fuel vitrified, so ask yourself did we buy a poor quality dry-cask. Hidry buildup on nuclear fuel and its cladding in the dry-cask is a forever real explosive threat to the integrity of such containment vessels, this has a problem with no current tests able to monitor such issues.

The nuclear industry has acknowledged that stainless steel is susceptible to Chloride induced corrosion with cracking of dry-casks. These minor cracks are likely to develop into truwell cracks that can compromise the dry-casks. The president of one company that produces dry-casks for the nuclear industry whom was present at a Citizens Engagement Panel meeting in Orange County was reported to say “If there was a truwell crack, even a microscopic crack million of curies of radiation would escape through the crack, and it would be impossible to get near the canister or repair it, and he went on to say its not practical to repair these things when they start cracking.”

Transportation of the dry-casks in America is dangerous and illegal if the fuel or cask is damaged. 

March 23, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

An angry response from Eyre Peninsula resident to media coverage of South Australia nuclear dump plan

Rebecca Higgins Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 24 March 18   On the news last night they made it sound like the dump was just a question of WHERE not IF.

This new government is pushing hard and fast. As someone living on the Eyre Pen. I am 100 percent opposed to this and can not understand why a few money hungry farmers in kimba get a vote and we don’t.

This will affect all of us we should all get a vote. Those of us not benefiting from this toxic nightmare would surly oppose it. Anyone with half a brain can see this is both unnecessary and dangerous. Anyone in Kimba who thinks this is a good thing needs a lobotomy and FAST. Greedy bastards. Ranges SA

March 23, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australian clean energy businesses launch power-trading platform using blockchain

Business News 23rd March 2018, A group of small and medium-size South Australian businesses plan to launch a first-of-its-kind power trading platform using blockchain technology in an attempt to save money and buy and sell local clean energy.

Blockchain-based microgrid developer LO3 Energy, of New York, is working on the project with solar and electrical firm Yates Electrical Services, of Paringa, South Australia, a region known for its vineyards, almond and fruit orchards — and incredibly high electricity prices.

The blockchain, perhaps best known as the technology behind the digital currencies Bitcoin
and Etherium, is a decentralized ledger that enables and tracks all transactions across a peer-to-peer network. The technology uses encryption to ensure that transactions and data are secure, and provides verification and validation to users.

March 23, 2018 Posted by | business, energy, South Australia | Leave a comment

Research indicates links between cellphone (electromagnetic) radiation to heart and-brain tumors

Italian study links cellphone radiation to heart and-brain tumors    Alex Formuzis (202) 667-6982, MARCH 22, 2018   WASHINGTON – Laboratory animals exposed to cellphone radiation developed heart and brain tumors similar to the types seen in some studies of human cellphone users, according to an Italian study published today. EWG said the findings reinforce the need for people, especially children, to exercise caution when using cellphones and other radiation-emitting devices.

The study by the Ramazzini Institute, published in the journal Environmental Researchsupports the findings of the federal National Toxicology Program. Last month, the NTP reported that male rats exposed to radio-frequency radiation at levels including those emitted by cellphones had a greater chance of developing malignant brain cancer, and tumors in the heart and other organs.

The Ramazzini Institute’s research found that male rats exposed to the radio-frequency radiation emitted by cellphones using GSM networks had a greater chance of developing heart tumors and hyperplasias affecting Schwann cells, which support the peripheral nervous system. Schwann cell tumors were also observed in human epidemiological studies of tumor incidence in cellphone users, and in the NTP studies of lab animals.

“The Italian study reinforces the need for a precautionary approach when it comes to radiation from phones and other devices, especially for young kids,” said Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., senior science advisor at EWG. “Children’s bodies develop through the teenage years and may be more affected by cellphone use. As new telecom networks are built around the country, in-depth assessment of children’s health risks from cellphone radiation is essential.”

In 2011, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on  Cancer declared the kind of radiation emitted by cellphones a “possible carcinogen” based on human epidemiological studies that found increased gliomas and acoustic neuromas in long-term cellphone users. The data on health effects of cellphone radiation in laboratory animals collected by the NTP and the Ramazzini Institute studies support the earlier evidence from human studies that cellphone radiation increases the risk of cancer.

EWG has been at the forefront of public interest organizations raising concerns about connections between cellphone use and cancer. EWG’s 2009 Science Review on Cancer Risks and Children’s Health summarized comprehensive studies showing a variety of health harms linked to long-term cellphone use. This included increased risk of brain tumors; lower sperm counts, motility and vitality among men; neurological effects; and changes in brain metabolism.

While the public debate on cellphone radiation risks has focused on cancer, which  progresses slowly in response to lifelong exposures, a growing body of research suggests that even shorter exposures could cause harm. In a study published last year, Kaiser Permanente researchers reported that pregnant women exposed to radio-frequency radiation from sources such as wireless devices and cell towers had nearly a threefold greater frequency of miscarriage.

In December 2017, the state of California issued official guidelines advising cellphone users to keep phones away from their bodies. The state Department of Public Health also recommended that parents consider reducing the amount of time their children use cellphones, and encourage kids to turn the devices off at night.

To help concerned consumers, EWG has created tools and tips for reducing exposure to cellphone radiation. This includes EWG’s Guide to Safer Cellphone Use and Six Questions About Cellphone Radiation and Your Health.

For more information about how studies on laboratory animals can help answer the questions about human health risks from radio-frequency radiation, read EWG’s Comments to the National Toxicology Program on the NTP cellphone radiation study.

March 23, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

45 Lawsuits in Fukushima District Courts

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

A group of plaintiffs walk in front of Fukushima District Court in October 2017. The secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority will increase its number of legal staff from this spring to deal with lawsuits.
Japan’s nuclear regulator to hire more legal staff to respond to Fukushima-related lawsuits
Japan’s nuclear regulator will increase its number of legal staff from this spring to deal with lawsuits related to the Fukushima crisis, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.
The secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority will increase the number of staff at an office in charge of litigation to 22 in the fiscal year starting in April from the current 17. In fiscal 2012, when the body was launched, it only had five employees, the source said.
The secretariat said it was handling a total of 45 lawsuits as of March 1, of which 29 had been filed…

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March 23, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

South Australia’s new Liberal Premier Marshall backs nuclear waste dump, despite community discord

SA Government indicates support for nuclear waste dump as communities remain split about proposal

New Premier Steven Marshall made the comments this week after his cabinet was sworn in at Government House.

“That’s a federal issue. We need to be assured the host community is satisfied with that,” Mr Marshall said.

“The Labor Party has held the same position that we have.”

The Federal Government is looking to store low-level nuclear waste and temporarily store intermediate level waste at one of two locations near Kimba, or one at Barndioota, near Hawker, in the Flinders Ranges.

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) held informal community consultations in both towns this week.

ARPANSA is the independent federal agency that would assess any application made by the Federal Government for a nuclear waste repository.

The ABC understands the Federal Government wants to make a decision on the location of the nuclear waste facility before the end of the year.

Kimba community split over proposal

Kimba local Audrey Lienert opposes the facility, but attended the ARPANSA session to gain further information about the process.

“It has split the community terribly,” Mrs Lienert said.

She said there was a common concern among those who did not support the facility at Kimba.

“If the word gets out that we’ve got nuclear here in our farming land, what [will] our market be overseas, and what will that do to our prices?”

But not all locals are against the proposal.

Lifelong Kimba farmer Trevor Cliff said the economic benefits could not be overstated for the small farming community of 600.

“Every country town is struggling with numbers. It’s hard to attract industry,” Mr Cliff said.

“To me, it’s something that can help the town employment-wise.”

He is convinced the facility and the transport of nuclear waste will be safe.

“I’m very happy to accommodate it here. I have no fear of the actual product.

“It’s well-contained, well before it gets to Kimba.”

He admitted the issue had been contentious, but disputed the town had been split.

“One of my best mates, he’s trapped on the no side and we talk about it,” Mr Cliff said.

“He can have his side, and I say my side — that’s democracy for you.”

Hawker locals battle over culture and economic growth 
The Flinders Local Action Group (FLAG) comprises members who are against the facility being built in the Flinders Ranges.

FLAG member Greg Bannon said the group was strongly opposed to the potential Wallerberdina Station site near Hawker.

“That stretch of land between Lake Torrens and the ranges is totally unsuitable for something that will have to be managed for at least 300 years,” Mr Bannon said.

He pointed to further concerns from local traditional owners, the Adnyamathanha people, and regular seismic activity in the region as more evidence the site was poorly suited.

But Barndioota Economic Working Group chairman Malcom McKenzie said the potential for jobs could not be understated.

“If everything’s all safe to do I’m for that facility to go ahead because I want to see jobs for that region,” he said.

“I want to see opportunities for Aboriginal people and for the people of the area. And it’s a great opportunity I think we’re going to proceed with.”

ARPANSA’s role ‘informal’ for the momentARPANSA chief executive Carl-Magnus Larsson said the organisation would assess any application carefully.

“A facility will not go ahead unless we’re convinced it can go ahead and that protection of health and safety of people is taken care of,” Dr Larsson said.

He stressed recent meetings between the communities and ARPANSA had been informal because no official application had been lodged by the Federal Government.

He said if the agency were to receive an application, it could take between six and 12 months to decide whether to grant a licence for the facility.

A federal Senate inquiry into the process of site selection is ongoing, with submissions closing on April 3.

The findings of the inquiry are due in August.

March 23, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

The Cambridge Analytica scandal: are we now ready to choose privacy?

There are intermediate steps we can take right now, as long as we remember that that’s all they are. Bringing political parties under the remit of Australia’s mediocre privacy laws would be a start. Joining and supporting dedicated organisations like Digital Rights Watch and Electronic Frontiers Australia helps extend their reach and yours.

The question is whether we’re ready to exercise our data sovereignty, or whether we’re content to play passive victims while surveillance capitalism extends ever finer threads into every corner of our lives. For better or worse, a window is open in which to have that conversation

Large Man Looking At Co-Worker With A Magnifying Glass — Image by ©

Don’t waste the Cambridge Analytica scandal: it’s a chance to take control of our data @Scottludlam,  23 Mar 2018 

March 23, 2018 Posted by | civil liberties | Leave a comment

A turning point for social media – the Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Aral described Cambridge Analytica as “a nefarious actor with a very skewed understanding of what’s morally right and wrong.” He pointed out that there’s an important line to be drawn between the appropriate uses of technology “to produce social welfare” through platforms like Facebook, and the work that Cambridge Analytica did. “It would be a real shame if the outcome was to, in essence, throw the baby out with the bathwater and say that the only solution to this problem is to pull the plug on Facebook and all of these social technologies because you know there’s no way to tell the difference between a bad actor and a good actor.”

All said, sophisticated data analytics “may also be used for generating a lot of good,” said Nave. “Personalized communication may help people to keep up with their long-term goals [such as] exercise or eating healthier, and get products that better match one’s needs. The technology by itself is not evil.”

Why the Cambridge Analytica Scandal Is a Watershed Moment for Social Media, Wharton University of Pennsylvania, 24 March 18      (MIC LISTEN TO THE PODCAST  – on original)  Jennifer Golbeck from the Univeristy of Maryland and MIT’s Sinan Aral discuss the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Serious concerns have arisen in the past week over how social media firms guard the privacy of their users’ personal data, and how the analytics of such data can influence voter preferences and turnout. Those worries follow a whistleblower’s account to The Observer newspaper in the U.K. about how Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm with offices in London and New York City, had unauthorized access to more than 50 million Facebook profiles as it micro-targeted voters to benefit Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

In the fallout, Facebook faces its toughest test on privacy safeguards, and its founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has been summoned by MPs in the U.K.He faces similar calls from the U.S. Congress and from India, with revelations that Cambridge Analytica worked to influence the 2016 Brexit referendum and elections in India, Nigeria and other countries as well. Continue reading

March 23, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Global bank HSBC warns that Australia is especially vulnerable to climate change

Australia one of the countries most exposed to climate change, bank warns By Cole Latimer, 

A new report by the bank, titled Fragile Planet, has ranked 67 countries for their exposure to climate change risks. Australia scored poorly, with the largest percentage rise in deaths attributable to climate change in the developed world.

Combining data from the World Bank and EM-DAT, the International Disaster Database which calculates economic damage estimates, HSBC said fatalities attributable to climate change-linked events such as stronger storms, floods, or heat-related incidents surged from 0.36 per cent of the population between 1997 and 2006 to 3.41 per cent between 2007 and 2016.

At the same time, the number of people impacted by climate change events surged from 3.25 to 15.25 per 1000 of the population.

Israel and the US were the only developed countries with a bigger share of the population impacted by climate change-related events such as floods, storms, hurricanes, and wildfires.

Globally, the World Health Organisation forecasts that around 250,000 additional deaths annually will be attributable to climate change.

HSBC developed the report as a tool for investors to provide in-depth information on countries’ climate change risk profiles, on their energy issues, risks to business operations, supply and demand and logistics as well as their long-term sustainable development issues.

Australia was ranked as highly sensitive to the physical risks of climate change, with predictions of more storms, floods, rain and bushfires. New Zealand ranked as one the nations least exposed to those risks.

Hurting the economy

Late last year, Deutsche Bank also developed a tool to forecast where its investments across the globe may be impacted by natural disasters brought on by climate change.

The German bank’s economic modelling estimated that if carbon emissions aren’t reduced throughout this century, per capita GDP will be 23 per cent lower than it otherwise would be.

Principal Advisor at The Australia Institute, Mark Ogge, said Australia’s industries and infrastructure, such as coastal based business, roads and rail, and both commercial residential assets, are at significant risk from climate change-related events.

“There’s up to $236 billion of infrastructure at risk from a one-metre sea level rise alone,” Mr Ogge said. Temperature increases also put Australia’s tourism industry at risk, with a rising number of days above 35 degrees celsius in holiday destinations such as Far North Queensland, he added.

Australia is the only developed market that ranked within the top ten in HSBC’s report for energy transition issues due to its high levels of fossil fuel exports – particularly coal – and is one of the few countries that has seen these exports growing as a percentage of their gross domestic product.

HSBC sees risks to the nation’s economy as Australia attempts to shift its energy and economic system, currently underpinned by fossil fuels, to one with a greater mix of renewables.

“Many countries and other actors are at risk of seeing parts of their old energy economy becoming effectively ‘stranded assets’ – or economically non-viable – given the relative economics of alternatives and new breakthrough technologies,” the HSBC report stated.

“Managing the transition to a lower carbon economy is key to mitigating downside risks,” the bank said. “We think achieving diversification is key.”

he good news

However, it is not all bad news. Australia was ranked amongst the top three nations – along with New Zealand and Norway – with the greatest potential to respond to climate change and financially prepare the country for a changing environment.

Despite Australia’s frequent drought conditions, it was seen as a market with adequate water resources availability, while Singapore was the developed market most at risk over water availability.

March 23, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment