Australian news, and some related international items

Don’t let Australia follow America’s radioactive path

Ken, 1 May 18 I hope australia will not allow itself to be turned into a huge radioactive waste zone, like the United States.

The teratogenic, gentoxic, mutagenic potential, of even some of the weaker radiation emitting radionuclides, is a billion times more potent than comparable genotoxic, teratogenic, mutagenic chemicals like agent orange.

All of murica is plagued by radioactive nuclear and radioactive medical waste. 1000 bombs exploded above ground. Many more underground.

100 crappy, old leaky reactors that constantly belch tritium dioxide into the atmosphere. Some of them clustered, like the 5 around chicago, that dump tritium other radionuclides into rivers and lakes.
There are Depleted uranium munitions set off on military bases aall over the United States.

There is Nuclear waste in municipal dumps, like st lewis, that is on fire. 170 millionn murican drink water, that is heavily contaminated with radium.

The colorado river and its drainage, is heavily contaminated with alpha emiiters from old uranium mines and mills in utah, wyoming, colorado, and new mexico.

All the thorium from welding rods in dumps. , Radium in water and gasoline from fracking, Americium in landfills from smoke.detectors. The plutonium from plants in oklahoma, washington, new mexico, tennesse, s carolina, livermore california, colorado, texas.

The shallow grave hi level and low level nuclear waste all over murica.

The large amount of hi level waste at every reactor, including those shut like san onofre. The outrage and insanity goes on and on. Americans are truly stupid bastards

I have t laugh , when I see a story about living in a radioactive zone like Fukushima or, the Ukraine, that do not include america as being a radioactive zone. It reminds me of how brain- washed and, what kind of propaganda bullshit muricans, allow themselves to be immersed in.

April 30, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Two years of community resistance

Sunday 29th April 2018 marked two years since then Minister Frydenberg selected Barndioota in the Flinders Ranges as a possible site to dump and store Australia’s radioactive waste.

Members of the Flinders Local Action Group, No Dump Alliance and Don’t Dump on SA spent the weekend at the Adnyamathanha-run Wilpena Pound and in Hawker to raise awareness of the issue with locals and tourists alike.

Overseas visitors were surprised and horrified to learn about the federal government’s proposal to put a radioactive waste facility in the area and were happy to sign postcards being collected to send to Minister Matt Canavan to show their opposition to a nuclear waste dump in SA.

The cited employment and economic opportunities are modest: some short-term fencing and  construction work and just 12 to 15 longer term security and maintenance jobs. In contrast, the South Australian Tourism Commission states that visitor expenditure in the Flinders Ranges is $415 million p.a. with 1,400 jobs directly in the tourism industry and 1,300 indirect jobs – a total employment impact of 2,700 people.

Current federal Minister Matt Canavan recently announced that an AEC community vote for a planned waste dump and store would begin on August 20th. This is despite the fact that there is currently a Senate Inquiry examining the flawed and divisive site selection process and exhibits no regard for recommendations which may arise from the inquiry that will not report to parliament until mid-August. The Minister has not clarified what constitutes ‘broad community support’ despite repeated community requests.

Minister Canavan recently visited the area but failed to consult with the Adnyamathanha people.  In response, the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association (ATLA) released a short video message to the Minister.

Regina McKenzie, Adnyamathanha woman who lives next door to the proposed site, said “it’s been two years of the government not listening, they turn deaf ears towards the whole Adnyamathanha Nation who say no to the waste dump. We say no waste dump in our country”.

Greg Bannon, chair of the Flinders Local Action Group, said “this fight has been going since the site was shortlisted. For two years, the government has had a continual presence in district. The process has dragged on, but the government needs to know that we are committed to stopping this proposal. They have using a site selection model that has been tried and failed for years: forcing a radioactive waste dump on a remote community.”

Leading civil society organisations including environment, public health, Indigenous, trade union and faith groups all support an expert, open and independent inquiry into the full range of radioactive waste management options.

April 30, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, Opposition to nuclear | 1 Comment

Anica Niepraschk calls on the government to dismiss the Hawker and Kimba site nominations for nuclear dumping

I hereby call onto the Minister to dismiss the Hawker and Kimba site nominations and reconsider all options available, including co-hosting the radioactive waste management facility at an already existing nuclear site. 

Submission :  Anica Niepraschk Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia Submission 29  In this  submission, I wish to point out the inappropriateness of the site selection process for a national  radioactive waste management facility at Kimba and Hawker in South Australia.

In 2015, when the current voluntarist approach to the National Radioactive Waste Management Project (NRWMP) was in its early phase calling for land nominations to site Australia’s low and intermediate level radioactive waste management facility, I conducted a study on international best practices for such siting processes. Please thoroughly consider my research findings in the attached  report. In my research, I found that a number of characteristics have internationally proven to be crucial for the success and integrity of a voluntarist approach. The NRWMP is lacking in most of these. Interestingly, in the cases I looked into, siting has only been successful in communities where repository can be co-hosted with other nuclear facilities. These are communities with a nuclear history of some sort, such as hosting a nuclear reactor or intermediate storage facilities for radioactive waste.

Even when other communities had shown initial interest in hosting a radioactive waste facility, they ended their engagement in the siting process quite early on. This shows that it is much more likely for a repository to be hosted by a ‘nuclear community’, which partly roots in it already being familiar with the risks and benefits involved and thereby being much more comfortable to make an informed  decision. An already existing positive relationship with the respective nuclear operator can furthermore contribute to a community showing interest.

Australia currently has a limited number of nuclear activities and stores its radioactive waste materials in numerous intermediate storage places, most of them very small. Only the site of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s nuclear reactor and larger radioactive waste storage facility at Lucas Heights would reflect this experience. This is also where the majority of Australia’s radioactive waste is already stored. It would therefore provide the opportunity of simply improving on the current facilities and not having to transport the existing waste to a remote facility, thereby reducing risky and unnecessary transport of dangerous materials.

To be a truly voluntary process, community and public opinion has to be effectively taken into account by the respective decision making institutions and reflected in decisions. This means thatcommitments to not impose a repository on any community have to be observed. Showing respect towards informed decision-making necessitates providing local communities and the wider public with the necessary time and information. This is an essential factor to build trust towards the implementing agency.

Furthermore, a truly voluntary process acknowledges the role of the communities by engaging with them throughout the whole duration of the repository project. This should not be limited to the siting process but extend to the construction, operation and closure phases of the project. As the case of Belgium shows, communities can engage on issues such as the facility design and wider community implications e.g. facility monitoring and socio-economic projects. The early provision of information is essential, providing the community and wider public with the possibility to commission studies, reports and expert opinions. This encompasses an extensive assessment of environmental impacts and of alternative methods and siting options as major references to base a meaningful siting decision on for both the implementing agency and the community. These provisions enhance transparency and accountability and help build a more trusting relationship with the community. They raise the chance of a successful siting process as it is based on an informed decision and allows communities to feel more confident. Indigenous communities and Traditional Landowners play a central role in the siting process in some countries. Their consent and close engagement is critical in Australia where Traditional Owners are directly affected by the sites currently progressed. Furthermore, community engagement should also encompass neighbouring communities, which might be affected by the project.

non-restrictive timeframe should be applied in siting processes, providing all stakeholders with sufficient time to make informed decisions. In the international case studies this has shown to require years. When the community feels comfortable to make a decision on the matter, a test of community support should be taken to establish its position. Similarly, the right-to-veto the government’s or operator’s siting decision should also provide the community with the final say on hosting a facility or not. In generala community should be able to leave the siting process at any time if wished. As the UK example shows, this was one of the main factors communities wanted ensured when consulted on how to improve the siting process and has further proven to be a key feature of all the siting processes, making engagement really voluntary.

All the international examples enabled community engagement through providing funding to use according to their own needs to engage effectively on the issue. Additionally, some countries provide benefit packages for communities participating in the process and/or hosting the planned facility as a way to compensate for the efforts and risks associated and further drive local development, apart from the economic benefits already associated with the project such as employment, improved infrastructure and know-how. In case of any provisions in this respect, it is important that communication on funding or contributions is very clear from the beginning and that it does not compromise the position of the community on the issue and can be handled independently from nuclear operators or facility proponents.

In the case of Australia community engagement is completely carried out and funded by the National Radioactive Waste Management Project (NRWMP) and aimed at supporting the understanding of the project, instead of providing room for engaging on the issue. This transactional approach does not allow for the community to engage in ways it finds meaningful.

The main concern regarding the continuation of the site selection process, however, is the community opposition, which has been apparent for both the Barndioota site near Hawker as well as Kimba.

In the case of Barndioota, the local Adnyamathanha community at Yappala station, just kilometres away from the site, has been very vocal in its opposition to the siting from the beginning. With this site, the government chose, after pursuing Coober Pedy from 1998 to 2004 and Muckaty in the NT from 2005 to 2014, to not only once again target an Aboriginal community but also a culturally highly significant site. The proposed property is part of a songline and hosts many cultural sites, including the beautiful Hookina springs, a sacred women’s site for the Adnyamathanha. The local community remains actively connected to the maintenance and preservation of the land and is documenting and preserving their culture and history through recording traditional heritage sites and artefacts and mapping storylines in the area. The proposal is seen as an attack on their cultural beliefs, history and heritage.

The terms of reference of this inquiry clearly note the Government’s statement that it will not impose such a radioactive waste facility on an unwilling community. If the government is serious about its voluntary intentions and wants to be successful in the siting of the facility, it is paramount not to proceed with the shortlisted sites at Hawker and Kimba as they very clearly do not fulfill the essential criteria of community support. Attempts to ‘convince’ the local community of potential benefits of hosting the facility should be avoided under all circumstances, and the informed decision, which communities have taken, respected.

I hereby call onto the Minister to dismiss the Hawker and Kimba site nominations and reconsider all options available, including co-hosting the radioactive waste management facility at an already existing nuclear site.

April 30, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Australia’s radioactive trash, and the history of failed attempts to set up a nuclear waste dump

Submission Appendix Anna Niepraschk   Wasting Time?  International lessons for managing Australia’s radioactive waste, Anica Niepraschk Discussion Paper July 2015 from

In her paper Wasting time? International lessons for managing Australia’s radioactive waste, researcher Anica Niepraschk looks at how other countries  have approached this challenge and what lessons might help Australia move away from a search for an ‘out of sight –out of mind’ dump site in favour of a responsible and effective management regime

Overview: For over two decades successive Australian governments have floundered when faced with how best to handle Australia’s radioactive waste.  They consistently tried – and consistently failed to impose a!national dump site on unwilling communities in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Now the federal government has a revised approached based on a foundation principle of volunteerism. Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane has called for  nominations from around the country and is soon to release a short=list of  possible sites where Australia’s low level waste can be buried and longer=lived  material stored above ground.

1 Introduction

Finding technically, geologically and socially accepted sites for the storage or disposal of all forms of radioactive wastes has proven an international challenge for decades. Many countries have chosen to engage in various voluntary siting processes after having failed to site facilities on solely technical and/or political grounds due to community opposition and public contest. Australia is the most recent country to develop a voluntary approach after the failure of earlier approaches to realise a site.

For two decades Australia has been trying to find a solution to the disposal and storage of its low and intermediate-level radioactive waste (LILW). Attempts to impose a national repository on communities in South Australia (from 1998 to 2004) and subsequently the Northern Territory (2005 to 2014) have failed amid Federal Court trials, leaving the Australian government needing to engage in a different approach to the challenge of siting a repository. Continue reading

April 30, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment