Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear scientists have lower awareness of risks, compared to “life”scientists

Research has found disturbing differences in the attitudes of scientists in different areas, to health and environmental risks of the nuclear industry.

It is even more disturbing that policy-makers and politicians prefer to support  and value the opinions and work of the very scientists who are least informed and least interested in those risks.

Politics and Scientific Expertise: Scientists, Risk Perception, and Nuclear Waste Policy, Richard P. Barke Hank C. Jenkins‐Smith.   – To study the homogeneity and influences on scientists’perspectives of environmental risks, we have examined similarities and differences in risk perceptions, particularly regarding nuclear wastes, and policy preferences among 1011 scientists and engineers. We found significant differences (p0.05)in the patterns of beliefs among scientists from different fields of research. In contrast to physicists, chemists, and engineers, life scientists tend to: (a)perceive the greatest risks from nuclear energy and nuclear waste management; (b)perceive higher levels of overall environmental risk; (c)strongly oppose imposing risks on unconsenting individuals; and (d)prefer stronger requirements for environmental management.

On some issues related to priorities among public problems and calls for government action, there are significant variations among life scientists or physical scientists. We also found that–independently of field of research–perceptions of risk and its correlates are significantly associated with the type of institution in which the scientist is employed. Scientists in universities or state and local governments tend to see the risks of nuclear energy and wastes as greater than scientists who work as business consultants, for federal organizations, or for private research laboratories. Significant differences also are found in priority given to environmental risks, the perceived proximity of environmental disaster, willingness to impose risks on an unconsenting population, and the necessity of accepting risks and sacrifices. more

April 25, 2018 Posted by | art and culture, Christina themes, safety | Leave a comment

Gathering of South Australian groups to stand firm against nuclear waste dumping

No nuclear waste groups stand together,   24 Apr 18

No nuclear waste dump groups from Kimba and the Flinders Ranges came together in Port Augusta last week in response to the recent announcement by federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan that a community vote for a planned national radioactive waste management facility would begin on August 20.

The groups discussed shared concerns and committed to increase their efforts against the plan including through an open debate featuring the federal department, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Traditional Owners and public policy and health professionals.

People at the meeting included Adnyamathanha community members, representatives from Kimba, Hawker, Whyalla and Quorn along with members of the Flinders Local Action Group and No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA.

Peter Woolford from Kimba said the “flawed federal process” was failing the communities.

“Minister Canavan is fast-tracking a plan that does not have broad community support”.

The groups committed to highlight community concern and opposition to the federal plan ahead of the August vote and urged residents in the wider region to stand up and speak out.

Former federal member for Grey Barry Wakelin said it was a national issue, “not something that a regional community should be left to deal with”.

“The current federal plan lacks evidence and poses a threat to our existing industries – we need a better way,” Mr Wakelin said.

“This has been a productive meeting and it is heartening to see regional South Australians stepping up to the challenge, taking action and working together.”


April 25, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Federal nuclear waste dump, opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

Barngarla native title holders do NOT support National Radioactive Waste Management Facility on their land – the nominated sites

Selection Process for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility in South Australia – Submission From: Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation ICN 8603 : 3 April 2018

The Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation (BDAC) is the prescribed body corporate for the Barngarla native title holders as defined in the Barngarla Determination of Native Title made by the Federal Court in Croft’ on behalf of the Bamgar/a Native Title Claim Group v State of South Australia (N0 2) [2016] FCA 724 (SAD 60/11/998) on 23 June 2016.

We attach a map [on original]of the Barngarla Determination Area, as Schedule I. It clearly shows that the Barngarla are the native title holders for the two nominated sites near Kiinba, namely the Lyndhurst and Napandee nominated sites.

BDAC believes that community consultation in relation to the site selection rocess for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) has been patently inadequate, bordering on non-existent.

We hold this view given the lack of contact by the Federal Government and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (the Department) from the outset. The chronology of consultation is contained in our letter to the Department of 21 February 2018 (which is attached [on original] along with all other correspondence as Schedule 2), for the sake of ease of reading we reproduce a version of it below:

On 7 April2017, three months after the Lyndhurst and Napandee sites were nominated, Barngarla made contact with the Department. Prior to this letter, the Department had made no contact with the Aboriginal traditional owners or native title holders of the area.

Notwithstanding this complete lack of contact, the Department was asserting that there were no Aboriginal heritage issues in the area. Therefore, the Barngarla letter of 7 April2017 sought to correct the Department and indicated that Barn aria needed to be engaged with. Barngarla further indicated that the failure to consult to date was unacceptable.

On 4 May 2017, Barngarla received a pro forma letter from Mr. Bruce Wilson (the date April2017 had been crossed out with May inserted). The letter contained three general paragraphs and did not in any way address the Barngarla’s concerns.

On 10 July 2017, Barngarla sent a response to Mr. Wilson, requesting s ecific information on the following:

ll proposed activities, which the Department seeks to undertake for the purposes of the proj’ect, ‘what protocols, if any, the Department intends to apply in respect of Aboriginal Heritage; and Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia Submission any assessment that the Department has undertaken in respect of the impact of the proposal on Aboriginal Heritage in the Bamgar/a Determination Area.

On 14 August 2017 (originally dated 11 August, with the 11 crossed out and replaced with a hand written 14), Barngarla received a particularly uriconstructive letter from Mr. Bruce MCCleary. We do not repeat it here, but a longer description of this letter i contained in our letter of 21 contained in our letter of 21 February 2018.

Barngarla responded to the 14 August 20171etter, on 13 October 2017, providing the Department with all of the information (that the Commonwealth already had) indicating the status of BDAC, and Norman Waterhouse’s role as the Solicitors for Barngarla.

Barngarla did not receive a response to their letter of 13 October 2017. The next item of correspondence we received was a further pro forma letter from Mr. Bruce MCCleary, dated 31 October 2017, confirming the Solicitor for Barn arla’s a arent “nomination” for the Kiinba Consultative Committee (although Mr Llewellyn-Jones himself did not nominate for this Committee). It is obvious from reviewing the correspondence, that this letter was not a response to any of the letters sent by Bamgarla and was just a misaddressed pro forma letter of no substance.

Bamgarla received no further correspondence from the Department in 2017

Barngarla finally received a letter on 20 February 2018, congratulating BDAC for its status as a PBC (somewhat out of date, given that this had occurred approximately one year earlier) and advising that the Department would like to present to the BDAC Board. However, this letter.

Did not address any of the substantive matters raised by Barngarla on 7 A in 2017 or, O July 2017; in particularit does not answer how the Department could assert a lack of any Barngarla Aboriginal heritage given that there had been no discussions or engagement with Barngarla;

Did not answer the express questions put to the Department on 10 July 2017; and ,

Suggested that the first consultation with Barngarla should occur some 14 months after the Lyndhurst and Napandee sites were nominated, even though the Department had been making representations about the Barn aria and Aboriginal heritage during this time.

It is Barngarla’s position that the entire consultation process has been completelyl inappropriate and, in most cases, has involved being copied into pro forma correspondence, which is not relevant to any of the issues raised by Barngarla.

As can be seen above, BDAC has repeatedly contacted the Department to address Barngarla heritage concerns as the traditional owners in the Kiinba area. Correspondence was instigated by BDAC, not by the Department. Again, as indicated above, Barngarla’s most recent letter to the Department on 21 February 2018 provides a chronological outline of BDAC’s communication with the Department. All relevant correspondence is enclosed with this submission.

The correspondence largely speaks for itself, and so forms part of this submission. Most concerning, apart from the Department not having made contact with the Aboriginal traditional owners or native title holders for the area, was the Department’s assertion that there were no Aboriginal heritage issues in the area surrounding Lyndhurst and Napandee. ‘ This assertion was made without any consultation with these traditional owners. Further, Barngarla have repeatedly asked, on three separate occasions, for the Department to provide the basis of this assertion, which the Department has failed to do. It is not the case that there is no Aboriginal heritage in the area. Given the complete inactivity of the Department to engage with Barngarla, BDAC retained out of its own funds, the services of Dr Dee Gorring to conduct a heritage assessment of the area. This took place on 27 February 2018 to 3 March 2018. Preliminary conclusions from Dr Gorring indicated that there are a number of sites that have been identified surrounding the site of Lyndhurst and spanning across to the site of Napandee.

Accordingly, as per terms of reference:

The Department has not even engaged with Barngarla to establish whether there is any relevant Indigenous support for the NRWMF. Therefore, in respect of the Committee’s terms of reference paragraph (c), the need for Indigenous support has so far not played a part in the Department’s site selection process at all in respect of the sites near Kiinba.

The Barngarla are not aware of the Government ‘community benefit program payments referred to in the Committee’s terms of reference paragraph (d). These have therefore had no impact upon the sentiment of the Barngarla Community.

However, irrespective of any community benefit package, Barngarla would not support the NRWMF in the area. This indicates that the Committee’s terms of reference paragraph (b) have not been met; there is no ‘broad community support’ in respect of the NRWMF from Barngarla.

The proposed NRWMF does not have the support of BDAC nor does the NRWMF have the support of the broader Barngarla Community.

As seen above, there has been no appropriate consultation process. The approaches made by BDAC have been rebuffed by a combination of meaningless pro forma correspondence, bureaucratic tangents, and obfuscation, which has resulted in a contrived consultation process completely lacking in transparency.

April 25, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

UK government struggles to get community consent for nuclear waste dumping

GDF Watch 20th April 2018  Ministers have been told to drop their Local Authority ‘veto’ idea, and to focus on doing more to build community confidence and trust. That is the headline conclusion from a review of responses to the Working With Communities (WWC) consultation that have already been published. Although not a statistically representative sample of the responses submitted, the opinions come from all corners of society.

All the expert and public evidence received during the policy development phase said that giving any tier of local government a ‘veto’ over the process would undermine the policy and any concept of ‘community consent’.

Despite that near unanimous opinion, Ministers still decided to include proposals that would give local authorities the power to block the will of the community. There has been a consistent and broad-based push back to those proposals in the published consultation responses. GDFWatch believes a veto power would make a mockery of the Government’s own consent-based policy and mean the siting process would be DOA [dead on arrival]. Community and place-based organisations, while fully recognising the integral role of local authorities, were equally
critical of the proposal

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

USA wants nuclear attack submarines to be based in Perth

Washington report floats US nuclear attack subs and warships in Perth THE AUSTRALIAN, CAMERON STEWART, Washington correspondent@camstewarttheoz, 25 Apr 18

US nuclear attack submarines and navy warships should be based in Perth in response to China’s growing power projection into the Indo-Pacific, a new US report warns.

The report says Australia and its allies must “spotlight and push back” against China’s stepped-up efforts to project power and build military infrastructure in the region.

……..The report also comes a week after it was revealed that three Australian warships were challenged by the Chinese military as they travelled through the disputed South China Sea early this month.

Tensions between Australia and China have risen sharply, with China’s ambassador to Australia warning last week that the relationship between the two countries had been marred by “systematic, irresponsible and negative remarks” about China.

Beijing has not hosted a senior Australian minister for several months and was highly critical of Malcolm Turnbull’s new security laws announced last year to ­protect Australia from foreign ­interference.

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd this week further accused the current Prime Minister of undermining Australia’s relationship with China, saying Mr Turnbull’s public remarks about our largest trading partner were tantamount to “punching the Chinese in the face”……..

 the CSIS calls for a range of measures, including a rotational presence of US warships at HMAS Stirling in Perth.

It also calls on the Turnbull government to “consider the possibility of investing in the nuclear support infrastructure necessary for the basing of (US) attack submarines as well”.

These military options have been considered by the Turnbull and Abbott Coalition governments and by the Gillard and Rudd Labor governments but they have never been acted upon.

But Mr Shearer said the time was now right for a bigger US military presence at HMAS ­Stirling…….


April 25, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

We are getting perilously close, warn First Nations

Mother Earth and the “too late” time 

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

Holtec Refused to Make Costs Available to US Gov; Continues to Suck Taxpayer Money; Wants To Bury High Level Nuclear Waste In New Mexico — Mining Awareness +

Originally posted on Mining Awareness + : As US attorneys noted: “Holtec should not be able to use a highly regulated and publicly funded industry to make profits, but to refuse to provide information about the cask business when the information it possesses about cask costs are an integral part of the damages claimed by the plaintiff…

via Holtec Refused to Make Costs Available to US Gov; Continues to Suck Taxpayer Money; Wants To Bury High Level Nuclear Waste In New Mexico — Mining Awareness +

April 25, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Angry and frustrated, more customers are quitting the grid — RenewEconomy

Industry reports suggest more and more Australian households are choosing to quit the grid, and they’re doing so for a mixed bag of reasons.

via Angry and frustrated, more customers are quitting the grid — RenewEconomy

April 25, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment