Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Used nuclear fuel is a bit more dangerous than used chewing gum

Steve Dale , 26 Mar 18 I think nuclear lobbyists would like people to think that used nuclear fuel is like used chewing gum, that is, less less potent than when it went into the reactor. It’s quite the opposite in regards to toxicity/radioactivity. “Approximately one year after the fuel has been discharged from the reactor, the dose rate is around 1,000,000 mSv/h. This means that a lethal dose, about 5,000 mSv, is received in about 20 seconds. The dose is dominated completely by the contribution from gamma rays. The radiation declines with time, but the dose rate after 40 years, when the spent fuel is to be emplaced in the deep repository, is still as high as 65,000 mSv/h.” That is, 5 minutes for lethal dose. From the following document http://www.iaea.org/…/NCLCo…/_Public/29/015/29015601.pdf

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March 25, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Strong support for Sydney’s Aboriginal rally against Brewarrina nuclear dump plan

No Nuclear Dump at Brewarrina – Rally John Janson-Moore  http://www.johnjansonmoore.com/journal/2018/3/23/no-nuclear-dump-at-brewarrina-rally 

Photographs from a rally in Sydney, protesting against Federal Government plans to establish a nuclear waste dump at Brewarrina in North Western NSW, on Ngemba land. Traditional custodians of the land, the Ngemba, are opposed to the dump.

Speakers at the rally included organiser Natalie Wasley, Ngemba and Brewarrina representatives, Trish Frail and Natalie Eastwood, Nathan Moran from the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, Dave Sweeney from the Australian Conservation FoundationJim Green from Friends of the Earthand NSW Greens parliamentarians Jamie Parker and David Shoebridge, as well as others. The Wakagetti dance troupe provided dance performances and a smoking.

About 100 people from all around Australia then marched from Bligh Street outside the Commonwealth offices, through Sydney’s CBD to NSW Parliament House, chanting, “No bundabunda (poison) on Ngemba land”.

Three other sites, in South Australia, are also under consideration for the nuclear waste dump.  All are on Aboriginal land

March 25, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Federal nuclear waste dump, New South Wales, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Kimba and Hawker could be stuck with Intermediate Level nuclear wastes for hundreds of years

Are the people of Kimba and Hawker aware that their area could be stuck with what is called “Intermediate Level” wastes for hundreds of years – permanently ruining the area’s agricultural and tourism reputation? 

 

Intermediate Level Waste, generated from reprocessing spent fuel rods, is 100K to 100M times more radioactive than granite and can take more than 100 thousand years to return to natural levels.

The only safe disposal of Intermediate and High Level waste requires geologic and social stability for hundreds of thousands of years.

Another Voice: Nuclear power, part 2, waste http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/article/NP/20180324/LOCAL1/180329966, By Crispin B. Hollinshead 

March 25, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

4 firms on ICAN list ban nuclear arms investment

 https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180324_11/  NHK has learned that at least 4 Japanese financial institutions listed by a nuclear-weapons watchdog as investing in firms involved in the production of nuclear weapons have internal policies forbidding such ties.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN, says 329 banks and asset management firms in 24 countries and regions invested in companies involved in nuclear weapons production over a 3-year period starting in 2014.

NHK contacted 7 Japan-based banks and other institutions listed by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning group. Asked about ICAN’s findings, 3 of the firms said they do not currently deal with such companies. Four institutions did not reply.

At least 4 said their internal regulations restrict them from investing or providing loans to businesses related to nuclear weapons production.

ICAN says 30 non-Japanese companies have suspended such investments following the adoption last year of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Yuki Tanabe, an official at the Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society, says banks and other institutions could be accused of lacking social responsibility by doing business with such companies — even when they have no direct deals with them, or have policies against such investments.

March 25, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Victoria: peat fires near Cobden could continue burning for months

Peat fires burning near Cobden could smoulder for months, cause further evacuationABC South West Vic  By Matt Neal 24 Mar 18 

March 25, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Victoria | Leave a comment

Children especially, need protection from increasing UV radiation

Going to extremes: UV radiation is on the way up, https://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/going-to-extremes-uv-radiation-is-on-the-way-up-20180308-p4z3cp.htmlSMH, Nigel Gladstone 

The combination of a thinning ozone layer and farming practices in India may add up to more days of extreme ultraviolet radiation across Australia.

Sun-Herald analysis of daily UV index readings since 1997 in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane found the number of days when ultraviolet radiation reached or passed extreme levels had risen slightly.

The amount of UV that hits Australia is influenced by fluctuations in cloud cover, ozone levels and the solar cycle.

In Sydney, four of the 10 highest UV index days since 1996 have been recorded since December 2016.  While the ozone layer is recovering over the poles, it is thinning in mid-latitudes from Russia to the Southern Ocean below Australia, a study published last month in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics found.

“Decreases in ozone are less than we saw at the poles before the Montreal Protocol was enacted [in 1987], but UV radiation is more intense in these regions and more people live there,” said report co-author Joanna Haigh, from Imperial College London.

The weather bureau studied UV radiation in Australia between 1959 and 2009 and found an annual increase of 2 to 6 per cent since the 1990s, above a 1970-80 baseline. The bureau found these changes were related to ozone depletion.

Associate Professor Clare Murphy, from the school of chemistry at Wollongong University, said ozone trends were not fully understood.

“The largest factor involved in mid-latitude ozone depletion is the nitrogen cycle, which operates by nitrous oxide turning into reactive nitrogen in the stratosphere,” Dr Murphy said.

Nitrogen fertiliser is converted into nitrous oxide by soil microbes, creating a stable greenhouse gas that can reach the stratosphere, where the ozone layer protects the earth from most of the sun’s UV radiation,” she said. “However, once in the stratosphere, nitrous oxide is broken down by high energy radiation from the sun to become reactive nitrogen, which can deplete ozone.”

Dr Murphy said that last century, concerns about ozone depletion centred on “chlorine chemistry” (CFCs) because of the massive hole over the poles. “Now it’s nitrous oxide, which almost stopped the Concord from flying because they were worried about reactive nitrogen in the stratosphere.”

Nitrous oxide damage to ozone is ubiquitous, whereas damage from CFCs creates a hole during extreme weather years over the Antarctic, Dr Murphy said.

Nitrous oxide was identified as the most damaging substance to the ozone layer in the 21st century by a 2009 study published in Science. That study also suggested one of the best ways to address the problem was to give insurance to Indian farmers.

“In India, particularly, they’re putting in 10 times more nitrogen fertiliser on their crops than they need to because if a crop fails they may starve,” Dr Murphy said. “Insurance could pick up the loss.”

Robin Schofield, director of Melbourne University’s environmental science hub, said UV in Australia should be trending downwards because factors such as surface ozone, which is contained in smog, is on the rise and there is evidence of a recovery of stratospheric ozone.

The UV Index and skin cancer

The UV index relates to the intensity of sunburn-producing UV radiation. Sun protection is recommended when the UV Index is above 3 in clear sky conditions. The higher the number, the more severe.

11+ = Extreme. Avoid sun exposure between 10am and 4pm due to extreme risk of harm.

8-10 = Very High. Unprotected skin and eyes may be damaged and can burn quickly.

6-7 = High. Protection against skin and eye damage is needed. Reduce time in the sun between 10am and 4pm.

3-5 = Moderate. Stay in the shade near midday when the sun is strongest. Moderate risk of harm.

1-2 = Low. There is a low danger from the sun’s UV rays for the average person.

Note: UV intensity can nearly double with reflection from snow or reflective surfaces such as water, sand and concrete.

Heather Walker, Cancer Council Australia’s skin cancer committee chair, said UV is the most common cause of skin cancer but the council has not seen any evidence of a trend of more extreme or high UV days.

“Queensland is the skin cancer capital of Australia and they get more UV all year round,” Ms Walker said. “Skin cancer rates continue to rise but look like they may be stabilising over the next few years in all age groups except for the under 40s.”

The continued high rate of skin cancer in Australia is partly due to the ageing population, because cancer is a disease of ageing, Ms Walker said.

Brisbane average monthly maximum UV index.
Brisbane average monthly maximum UV index.

Photo: Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency

But skin cancer rates are falling for people under 40, she said, because they have had the benefit of Sunsmart messages [slip, slop, slap, seek shade and slide on sunglasses], which started in the 1980s.

“This is a message we need to keep reinforcing, because as it was put to me: ‘you don’t tell your children to brush their teeth once and expect them to do it for the rest of their lives’.”

Because UV and heat are not related, people often get sunburnt when there is no sun.

“The heat will rise and continue to rise in the afternoon, whereas UV is more of a bell curve shape that peaks in the middle of the day. And that’s why the advice is to avoid being outside in the middle of the day.

“Cool and cloudy days when the UV is high, that’s when people are most likely to be caught out because they don’t think they need sun protection.”

March 25, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health | Leave a comment