Australian news, and some related international items

New South Wales National Party Leader John Barilaro in USA, touting Small Modular Nuclear Reactors for Australia

Steve Dale Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia, 2 April 18  Larry Anthony is the president of the National Party, but is also the founding director of the SASGROUP, a lobbying firm. SASGROUP clients include Delta Electricity and St Baker Energy Innovation Fund. Both involve Trevor St Baker who is director of SMR Nuclear Technology company. Even Tony Abbott has concerns about the unhealthy mixture of lobbying and politics.

‘We need to have a discussion’ about nuclear energy: MP, Northern Star, by JASMINE BURKE, 31st Mar 2018   ………NSW Labor Opposition has called on the Premier to intervene and put an end to the investigation by her Deputy, National Party Leader John Barilaro, into the potential establishment of a nuclear power industry in NSW.

April 2, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | 1 Comment

Senate Inquiry on nuclear waste dump sit is still not publishing any anti-nuclear submissions

Gary See   Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 1 April 18 
The Senate inquiry selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia said that there would be a committee meeting at the end of March that would discuss certain submissions and whether or not they were acceptable to be considered in the inquiry. This doesn’t include the 5 submissions supporting the selection process already accepted.

March is now over and the deadline for submissions is April 3rd. I’ve not heard anything about my submission.

If I get a chance to resubmit a rejected submission I’d include the submission process for this inquiry in my evidence that the selection process isn’t being done well.

April 2, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Will Kimba area communities suffer the radioactive illness fate of St Louis, (Missouri) residents?

Paul Waldon Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA  March 31 

Four North county graduates from St Louis who lived near the nuclear waste dump that neighbours Cold-water Creek, started documenting how many of their peers were suffering serious illnesses after two friends were diagnosed with a “one in a million” rare cancer within months of each other. Their research first showed 30 cases, but two months later data they compiled showed 200 cases, then that grew to be 700 cases in a area of 7 square kilometers, some illnesses were,
62 Brain cancers.
27 Leukemia.
26 Lung cancers.
24 Multiple Sclerosis.
15 Lymphoma.
10 Pancreatic cancers.
3 Conjoined twins.
There have also been reports of the children of these peers less than 10 years of age having their thyroids removed.
A professor of statistics at North Western University has crunched the numbers and reported the likely-hood of this number of people having cancers, many which are rare in a clean environment this size is .00000001% which has been said to be a statistical improbability.
Will Hawker, Kimba and its neighbouring communities suffer from nuclear waste health issues which can be heightened by the lack of funding outside of Australia’s only High Grade Nuclear waste dump at Lucas Heights, the same installation that has had ongoing accidents on site and off site with transportation of radioactive material.

April 2, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Canada’s Chalk River “medical” nuclear research reactor closes, leaving costly radioactive waste legacy

CBC 31st March 2018  A relic of Canada’s atom age, the NRU reactor is shutting down for good On March 31, a little-known part of Canada’s nuclear history will go dark for the last time.

The National Research Universal Reactor — or NRU — at Chalk River, Ontario will be turned off for good Saturday evening. It first came online in 1957…….

​When ZEEP went online in September 1945, it was the first operational nuclear reactor outside of the United States.

A small, prototype reactor, it was built to demonstrate that uranium and heavy water could be used for nuclear fission and that plutonium could be produced and extracted from the process for military applications……

The NRU was once responsible for producing about 40 per cent of the world’s supply of the medical isotopes used for diagnosis and cancer therapy — starting with cobalt-60 and later extending to other isotopes, such as molybdenum-99. …..

More than 60 years of nuclear research at Chalk River have left behind a legacy of low-level radioactive waste that now has to be contained at a near-surface facility.

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited estimates the cost of dealing with waste at all of its federally regulated sites, including Chalk River, could be as high as $7.6 billion.

April 2, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cumbrians not happy with “community consultation”regarding nuclear waste dump site

CT responds to the BEIS consultation: “Working With Communities” March 31, 2018  

After repeated attempts to find a site to bury the UK’s nuclear waste, the last of which ended in 2013 when Cumbria County Council voted to halt the process, the Government are about to restart the search process. Ahead of this launch, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have released a consultation document, Working With Communities.Cumbria Trust has examined the proposal in detail and we have some very serious concerns about this consultation and its implications for areas which volunteer.

BEIS are proposing to open the search process to allow anyone to volunteer, even a member of the public, a farmer or a business. They can do this behind closed doors, with no requirement to make public their expression of interest during the first few months. A process being presented as ‘open and transparent’ appears to fall a long way short.

In stark contrast to the flexible approach by which areas can enter the process, if they later wish to withdraw, they are obliged to follow a much more complex and convoluted procedure in order to be allowed to leave.

However the most alarming aspect of the proposal is that the first and only test of public support does not happen until some 20 years after the process starts. During this time the community will have to endure a programme of borehole drilling and other intrusive investigations lasting a decade or more. The last time this borehole programme happened was in the 1990s with Nirex, and that led Jamie Reed, MP at the time and prominent nuclear advocate, to declare in 2006

“The experience of Nirex endured by my community in the mid-1990s was so wretched that I was minded to entitle this debate fear and loathing”.

He continued

“As long as I have anything to do with it Nirex will never dig another sod of turf in West Cumbria”.

What BEIS are proposing will again potentially expose a community to this experience, and with no mechanism for the public to halt the process. Instead any right of withdrawal rests with a defined Community Partnership. Without regular tests of public support, the Community Partnership appears not to be answerable to the public.

For all the talk of an ‘open and transparent’ process, what BEIS are actually proposing is nothing of the sort, and seems likely to create an early breakdown of public trust. Cumbria Trust has responded to the consultation and would urge our members to read this and consider making their own submissions. The deadline is 19th April and we hope to publish some guidance notes to assist with this within the next few days.

Download the Cumbria Trust response here

April 2, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Concern over UK’s secret transport of nuclear wastes

“Transporting nuclear waste is a risky business”. “It is disturbing to discover we are now using an extra airbase in heavily populated areas for a stop-off to transport nuclear waste”. “There is no truly safe way to move this nuclear waste from A to B”.

Top secret flights carrying NUCLEAR WASTE from Britain to US ‘to run until late next year’, Mirror UK, By JIM LAWSON 1 APR 2018

Four US Air Force flights carrying highly enriched uranium from Dounreay power station in the Scottish Highlands are said to have left Wick John O’Groats airport bound for South Carolina.  Top secret fights taking nuclear waste between Britain and the US will reportedly continue until late next year.

Four US Air Force flights carrying highly enriched uranium from Dounreay power station in the Scottish Highlands are said to have left Wick John O’Groats airport bound for South Carolina.

 Yet authorities have never confirmed any of the deliveries.

Dounreay, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Police Scotland, the Civil Nuclear Constabulary and Wick Airport all refused to comment when asked.

Details of the flights apparently became public when Highland Council informed residents about road closures surrounding the airport – as it is legally obliged to do so. An order published last week was said to be code for “nuclear waste on the move”, suggesting the next consignment could be imminent.

The authority’s notice, published in two local newspapers, said: “The order has been made by reason that the council, as highway authority , is satisfied that traffic on the road should be restricted due to the likelihood of danger to the public.” It adds: “The purpose of the order is to enable abnormal load movements”.

The order will run from yesterday to September 30, 2019 with up to seven more flights expected during the period, it was reported.

A deal to transport highly enriched uranium – the basic building block for making a nuclear bomb – to be flown from Wick to the US was trumpeted by then Prime Minister David Cameron in 2016.

……..Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie said: “Transporting nuclear waste is a risky business. By using two airports you are doubling the take-offs and landing in this country, which doubles the risk.

“It is disturbing to discover we are now using an extra airbase in heavily populated areas for a stop-off to transport nuclear waste”.

…….. Dr. Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth, said flatly: “There is no truly safe way to move this nuclear waste from A to B”.

A spokesman for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority said: “Our priority is to comply with the regulations governing the safety and security of nuclear material.  Compliance with the regulations includes protecting information about the routes, times, dates and location”.

Flights left Britain on September 17, 2016, June 3, 2017, September 16, 2017 and December 9, 2017, it was reported. Wick John O’Groats airport is closed to civilian aircraft on Saturdays.

April 2, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Evacuation of American island residents, due to rising sea

America’s first climate change refugees are preparing to leave an island that will disappear under the sea in the next few years, Business Insider David Usborne, The Independent, 1 Apr 18

April 2, 2018 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

“Peaceful” nuclear power now accepted as essential for nuclear weapons

Should Nuclear Energy Be a U.S. National Security Concern? Inside Sources  March 29, 2018 by Erin Mundahl    Sixty years ago, nuclear power was the energy of the future, promising a nearly limitless supply of clean, cheaper power. That future has yet to arrive. In fact, today, utilities are increasingly transitioning out of nuclear generation, shuttering aging reactors and shelving plans to reinvest in new technology. This is more than just a shift from one fuel to another, says David Gattie, an associate professor of environmental engineering at the University of Georgia. The decline in interest in nuclear energy has significant impacts on America’s national security.

April 2, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment