Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Donald Trump alienates America’s allies, raising the question “Should Australia get its own nuclear weapon?”

“The irony of the North Korean denuclearisation deal could be that everybody else decides to go nuclear. If it fails and Kim remains in power and countries doubt our commitment, then what’s to stop Japan or South Korea or Australia going nuclear?”

Trump triggers talk of Australia going nuclear, SMH, By Peter Hartcher 

Should Australia develop its own nuclear weapons? It seems an outlandishly radical thought for such a safe country to consider. But a former adviser to Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop thinks it’s an idea whose time is fast approaching.

In his book Why Australia Slept, launched this week, Peter Hendy says that Australia needs to consider nuclear weapons because “if we could financially afford them, [they] would secure an even more independent foreign policy” for the country.

Hendy, a former Liberal federal MP, former head of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and now a consultant, is not the first to raise this delicate subject. The way things are going he won’t be the last.

Three former deputy secretaries of Australia’s Defence Department – strategists Hugh White, Paul Dibb and Richard Brabin-Smith – have mooted the idea in the past year. Till these most recent months, it’s been something of a taboo topic in respectable circles.

One big reason? Australia already has the protection of the United States nuclear umbrella. Under this system, the US pledges that if anyone should launch a nuclear strike on one of its allies, Washington would retaliate against the aggressor.

So to suggest that Australia now needs its own atomic arsenal is to suggest that there has been a fundamental breakdown in trust. In short, that the US alliance is dead. Continue reading

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June 15, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Philip Fels: a farming family saddened at community disruption, due to unwise Barndioota nuclear waste dump site selection

Philip Fels   Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia Submission 84

To the Senate standing committee on Economics, Regarding the proposed nuclear waste facility at Barndioota near Hawker S.A.

As a family which has lived and worked the land very near to the proposed nuclear waste facility for more than 130 yrs we are very strongly against this facility going ahead for some of the reasons which we will try and point out in the text following.

The site in question shouldn’t have been allowed to be nominated by a person or persons with out any consultation with people whom this may directly effect considering they have only owned the property for a short time and have never lived or worked on the property or are ever likely to.

The land in question is one of the most unstable areas in Australia and we have earth tremors weekly if not daily and the Wilkatana Fault runs right up through this area.

As the soil structure is very porous and their is no granite bedrock in this area seepage or leakage into the local underground water table and then ultimately Lake Torrens is a very real risk.

As well as sustainably farming Merino Sheep and beef cattle for a very long time we also have a successful tourism business which we have been running on the property for 50 yrs which we fear will be severely impacted.

Our biggest worry of this process is the detrimental effect it will have and is already having on the local community as a whole.

Along with my family we have never seen an event in this area cause so much angst and division in a once very proud close knit community which was the envy of many other communities.

 It saddens us greatly that somebody or bodies can come into a community for such a short time and cause such social stress which will only compound if this facility goes ahead.

Thank you if you took the time to read this and act on any of the concerns we have because they are real !!

June 15, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) agreement with IAEA on enhanced protection for uranium workers

IAEA and Australia’s Regulatory Body Strengthen Cooperation to Enhance Radiation Protection of Uranium Mining and Processing Workers  https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/iaea-and-australias-regulatory-body-strengthen-cooperation-to-enhance-radiation-protection-of-uranium-mining-and-processing-workers  

The IAEA and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) have agreed on a cooperation agreement outlining plans for joint work to strengthen radiation protection of workers in the uranium mining and processing industries.

This cooperation will address potential harm that could be caused by the higher concentrations of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) that can be the result of the processing and handling of raw materials.

The Practical Arrangements, signed on 24 May in Melbourne, Australia, builds on an earlier agreement under which work was conducted to create a publication on occupational radiation protection approaches in uranium mining and processing stages and techniques, as a part of the IAEA Safety Report Series. The report was developed during meetings in Australia, Canada and South Africa involving regulatory body and industry representatives.

The cooperation under the new three-year agreement is expected to provide practical tools for regulators, mine operators and workers through a training package that supports the use of the report’s recommendations.

Also as part of the agreed cooperation, ARPANSA will help the IAEA strengthen its global survey on Information System on Occupational Radiation Protection in Uranium Mining (UMEX), which aims to improve protection and safety through sharing of good practices and other information.

June 15, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, safety, uranium | Leave a comment

Kim and Trump can continue to hold the world hostage under threat of nuclear annihilation

The scary truths about Trump’s nuclear summit https://www.engadget.com/2018/06/15/the-scary-truths-about-trump-s-nuclear-summit/ In which Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un compared the size of their nuclear buttons. Violet Blue@violetblue   

In the first summit meeting between the leaders of the United States and North Korea, Donald Trump met with Kim Jong-un, on June 12, 2018, in Singapore. The two leaders smiled warmly, posed for cameras as friends, shook hands, and Trump spoke in glowing terms of admiration about Kim at the news conference.

The summit came after a year and a half of both men terrorizing the world with open threats of thermonuclear annihilation and childish public insults. Trump derisively nicknamed the North Korean dictator “Rocket Man” and called him “fat and short,” while Kim Jong-un called Trump “a mentally deranged U.S. dotard.” This week’s historic meeting was nearly scrapped by Trump in a threatening, yet passive-aggressive letter to Jong-un that tried to make the cancellation look like it was North Korea’s idea.

On behalf of the United States, Trump conceded to Kim the discontinuation of joint military exercises with South Korea and to withdraw troops stationed there; he also gave Jong-un international standing and lavished him with compliments. He echoed North Korean rhetoric, which characterizes the military exercises as “very provocative.”

In response to accusations about giving away the farm for a handful of rocks and rusty Nuka Cola bottle caps, USA Today reported that other than agreeing to a meeting, Trump said “I gave up nothing.”

In return, we got a crazy-vague joint statement wrapped in a PR stunt. All North Korea gave us was a meeting. The signed agreement had no specificsabout denuclearization. The 1 1/2 page document ignored North Korea’s existing stockpile of nuclear weapons, had no verification provisions whatsoever, and failed to address ongoing issues of its attacks, kidnappings, and physical threats on Japan and South Korea.

North Korea has historically avoided true nuclear disarmament, preferring to qualify any agreements instead as denuclearization of the peninsula. “That has always been interpreted as a call for the United States to remove its “nuclear umbrella” protecting South Korea and Japan,” wrote Reuters. The country has promised denuclearization since the 1990s and has repeatedly ignored that promise as a rule.

Emerging from the summit as a victorious bringer of peace on Earth, Trump tweeted that “everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”

It was a stunning concession when Trump announced, “We will stop the war games which will save us a tremendous amount of money.” It shocked and baffled South Korea and other allies, the Pentagon, US military officials, and members of the Republican Party. This came hot on the heels of Trump saying it would be better if South Korea and Japan protect themselves.

South Korea and Japan are not feeling the same love in the air as Trump and Jong-un. “His announcement was a surprise even to President Moon Jae-in’s government in Seoul,” wrote Reuters. “One South Korean official said he initially thought Trump had misspoken.” South Korea’s largest newspaper Chosun Ilbo openly worried that the North will keep its nuclear weapons program permanently as a result of Trump’s concessions, describing the summit as “dumbfounding and nonsensical.”

You see, we’ve allied ourselves to help protect South Korea for some pretty big reasons. If, like Trump, you’re encountering a North Korea-US summit with no prep whatsoever, here’s a quick bit of background.

North and South Korea have been divided since 1945; for a short period Russia occupied the North while the US occupied the south; during the war, China aided the north and the US aided the south (we lost 54,246 lives and 7,704 American soldiers are still unaccounted for). The Korean War ended with an armistice agreement but no peace settlement, so technically the war has never ended. American military remains in the South as part of a mutual defense treaty.

Fast forward to 1963 and the world finds out that the North has begun building a nuclear reactor. Then a nuclear weapons program in the 1980s. The first time North Korea committed to denuclearization was 1992’s Joint Declaration of the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula — though historically, nuclear inspectors have been barred from surveying North Korean facilities.

Earlier this year, a team of Stanford University experts — one who visited North Korean nuclear facilities multiple times — formulated a detailed planfor the dismantlement of the North Korean program with a 10- to 15-year estimate. In statements surrounding the summit, Trump — who has no science advisor — said “I think whoever wrote that [estimate] is wrong.”

Before going into the summit Trump bragged about his lack of preparation and said that he “will know, just [by] my touch, my feel” how to assess Kim Jong-un’s nuclear plan.
Trump, who coasted into the White House on his sole qualification as a dealmaker, came straight to the North Korean denuclearization summit after failing to make a deal about milk with Canada. That was at the G-7 summit in Quebec, to which he arrived late and left early and wholly tanked by withdrawing the US from the signed trade declaration, all while somehow managing to piss off the one country known as the world’s friendliest. He spent the weekend petulantly talking smack about the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, whom he called “very dishonest and weak.”

He ran from G-7 straight into the arms of Kim Jong-un, with whom he seemed genuinely pleased. As a token, Trump commissioned a gift for North Korea’s leader in the form of a fake Hollywood movie trailer about the two of them, starring together, bringing peace and happiness to the world. It included lines like “featuring President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un … in a meeting to remake history.” He played it on an iPad for the dictator in their private meeting. Washington Post reported that when it aired in the press room, journalists assumed the video was North Korean propaganda.

Reuters explained that prior to Trump’s elevation of Kim, he “was an international pariah accused of ordering the killing of his uncle, a half-brother and hundreds of officials suspected of disloyalty.” They added, “The North Korean leader had been isolated, his country accused by rights groups of widespread human rights abuses and under U.N. sanctions for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”

The Washington Post noted the UN’s report “described the country as a ruthless police state where as many as 120,000 people are kept in political gulags under horrific conditions; other prisons, effectively labor camps, hold people for ordinary crimes. Telephone calls are monitored and citizens are punished for watching or listening to foreign broadcasts.”

Now put that in the context of nuclearization. According to U.S. military intelligence, defense experts and North “watchers” (cited in Newsweek), in 2017 it was estimated that North Korea has “enough plutonium stored up to create a minimum of six nuclear weapons, but other estimates were as high as 10 to 16 nuclear weapons.”

So if Kim is a dictator with nukes and very aggressive hackers, there’s no reason to doubt that both Kim and Trump are fine with holding the world hostage under threat of nuclear annihilation for whatever their real endgames really are. Last August Trump warned that any North Korean attack “will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which the world has never seen before.”

For North Korea’s grand finale to its founder’s 105th birthday party in April 2017, it celebrated with a propaganda video showing missiles being launched.

“Eventually the nukes found their target, San Francisco, and exploded in massive fiery eruptions, engulfing the city in flames. The audience appeared to applaud San Francisco’s destruction,” wrote nervous Bay Area press. “The image of flickering flames overlaid shots of an American flag and a military cemetery.”

Let’s just hope they stick to comparing the size of their buttons.

June 15, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

World is on track to exceed 1.5C of warming – leaked UN draft report

Guardian 15th June 2018 The world is on track to exceed 1.5C of warming unless countries rapidly implement “far-reaching” actions to reduce carbon emissions, according to a draft UN report leaked to Reuters. The final draft report from the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) was due for publication in
October. It is the guiding scientific document for what countries must do to combat climate change.

Human-induced warming would exceed 1.5C by about 2040 if emissions continued at their present rate, the report found, but countries could keep warming below that level if they made “rapid and far reaching” changes.

Under the 2015 Paris climate agreement, almost 200 countries signed up to limit global temperature rises to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5C. Climate scientist and Climate Analytics director Bill Hare said the draft report showed with greater clarity how much faster countries needed to move towards decarbonisation under various temperature situations and that the impacts of climate change greatly increased between 1.5C and 2C of warming.

Necessary actions include making the transition to renewable energy, powering the transport sector with zero carbon electricity, improving agricultural management and stopping deforestation.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/15/leaked-un-draft-report-warns-of-urgent-need-to-cut-global-warming

June 15, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Accelerating Sea Level Rise is Being Driven by Rapidly Increasing Melt From Greenland and Antarctica — robertscribbler

From 1993 to the present day, global sea level rise has accelerated by 50 percent. And the primary cause, according to recent research, is that land glaciers such as the massive ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are melting far faster than they have in the past. (Assessment of factors involved in the presently increasing […]

via Accelerating Sea Level Rise is Being Driven by Rapidly Increasing Melt From Greenland and Antarctica — robertscribbler

June 15, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June 15 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “NRDC, 19 Other Groups Challenge EU’s Mistaken Climate Decision” • EU policymakers agreed on a new Renewable Energy Directive that failed to fix Europe’s broken bioenergy policies. The decision to continue to label the indiscriminate burning of wood as “carbon neutral” undercuts the EU’s climate targets. [Natural Resources Defense Council] ¶ “Nuclear Power […]

via June 15 Energy News — geoharvey

June 15, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Here’s what went down at the Trump-Kim summit — The Pantsuit

Basically, they took some plandids and didn’t make a lot of progress

via Here’s what went down at the Trump-Kim summit — The Pantsuit

June 15, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Solar and wind could provide 60% of UK power without jeopardising reliability, study finds | Solar Power Portal — Renewable Energy Tariff UK

https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/solar_and_wind_could_provide_60_of_uk_power_without_jeopardising_reliabilit Solar and wind could provide 60% of UK power without jeopardising reliability, study finds Liam Stoker Solar could play a pivotal role in a future energy system without jeopardising security of supply, a new report has revealed. The report, produced by consultancy Vivid Economics in partnership with Imperial College academic Marko Aunedi, has analysed […]

via Solar and wind could provide 60% of UK power without jeopardising reliability, study finds | Solar Power Portal — Renewable Energy Tariff UK

June 15, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sunny days ahead in Mayo with investment in community solar — RenewEconomy

A Men’s Shed group, sporting clubs and a local radio station are among organisations in Mayo benefitting from the Turnbull Government’s $5 million Solar Communities Program.

via Sunny days ahead in Mayo with investment in community solar — RenewEconomy

June 15, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Anna Taylor: Lucas Heights is the appropriate place, with the technology and expertise, for temporary storage of nuclear wastes

Anna Taylor Submission to Senate on Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia Submission No 82

Introduction I live on the Eyre Peninsula and have deep concerns about this plan, including site selection, community consent, and the consultation process which lacks transparency and is fundamentally flawed. I do not support this current plan and welcome this opportunity to formally convey my concerns and opposition to the inquiry.

The Government has stated that it will not impose such a facility on an unwilling community. Myself and many locals believe the storage of intermediate level nuclear waste will affect tourism and primary industries. The issue continues to cause deep division and stress in the affected communities. Many Traditional Owners do not want cultural heritage sites and their spiritual connection to country put at risk.

After 70 years of the nuclear industry the federal government has no plans for a permanent solution of the long-lived intermediate-level waste. ‘Interim’ aboveground storage in SA could stretch to 100 years or more, this is not acceptable. The current project has not considered the full range of options to best advance responsible radioactive waste management in Australia

The federal government has not made a clear or compelling case that we need a national nuclear waste dump in SA. Australia must take responsibility for this waste; we must minimize future waste production and have a transparent approach to the future safety of intermediate level waste.

SITE SELECTION

I believe that

a) the process of site selection should be based on finding a permanent solution that is best suited to the safe management of this most Hazardous waste, with minimal transportation.Without expansion Lucas Heights has the knowledge and expertise to manage this waste for decades to come until a permanent (not a temporary storage facility) solution is found. Operations at the Lucas Heights site are licensed for a further three decades, which has the highest concentration of people with nuclear expertise and radiation response capacity in Australia. ANSTO and ARPANSA have publicly identified storage at ANSTO as a credible and feasible option

b) A single individual or property owner should not be allowed to nominate a site for a nuclear waste dump. .

COMMUNITY CONSENT Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia

Finding a solution rather than a location should begin with the government up holding its commitment to State community consent. I believe that the definition of broad community consent is extremely important and does not just belong to the people of one town adjacent to the proposed site but to a “broad” area as the term implies. The safe management of Australia’s nuclear waste is not only relevant to all of the Eyre peninsula / Flinders ranges population but too all South Australians and all populations along transportation routes. So far broad community consultation to the broader community has been non-existent. Consent within the communities is marginal but the site selection process has continued to the next stage regardless. This is extremely questionable, how can the community trust a process that does not listen to its results? I think its fair to say 57% community support in Kimba is not broad and should not have progressed further. We must clarify what percentage is acceptable for such a hazardous waste and this must not be the main factor in advancements of stages. This issue is an issue for all Australians and singling out a small community to deal with waste of this magnitude is ridiculous.

The South Australian community have already said no and raised enough concern back in 2002 when our state government passed the “ Nuclear Waste Prohibition act 2000” legislating protection to Sa from: A) The storage of nuclear waste (other than South Australia’s waste) B) A ban on the transportation of nuclear waste from interstate or overseas for the purpose of sending it to a national waste dump in this state.

I believe a failure of the National Waste Management Project has been to fully inform local communities about the facts of the intermediate level waste; where it is, how much of it there is and how radioactive it is. The public information campaign has been dishonest scare mongering, misleading to say the least. Linking the need for centralized radioactive waste storage facility with the production of isotopes for nuclear medicine is misleading. It is vital to provide accurate information to communities if you are genuinely looking for informed consent. Proponents claim that most of the waste planned to be stored in a national repository is from medicine, specifically medical radio isotopes, however measured by radio activity the figure is just 10-20%.*(1). The absence of a dump hasn’t harmed nuclear medicines and the establishment of a national dump won’t help nuclear medicine. There are new technologies to embrace,superseding nuclear medicine, such as making isotopes using cyclotrons that produce no long-term waste

I live near but outside the boundary for community consent and my conversations at the local community liaison office in Kimba have been unprofessional, misleading and not formally acknowledged.

COMMUNITY BENEFIT PROGRAMME The community benefit programme is questionable, verging on bribery creating further division in small communities .Its is an appalling approach to offer money (instead of transparent information) in return for a product that is poisonous to life for greater than your lifetime let alone hundreds of generations. I believe there should be no more taxpayer’s money spent on a site selection process that is flawed.

TRADITIONAL OWNERS

Traditional Owners have flagged concerns over cultural heritage issues. This must be recognized and acted on. The Barndioota site near Hawker has significant cultural values to the Adnyamathana peoples, this must be acknowledged and respected and ruled out of any more consideration.

ADVANCEMENTS OF STAGES Any advancements of stages of these site selections seems inappropriate whilst the proposal is for a “interim” solution that could stretch to a hundred years. This approach is not the safest management of Australia’s most long lived waste. The government needs to review future nuclear waste production with a commitment to reduce and phase out the creation of more nuclear waste.

Traditional Owners have flagged concerns over cultural heritage issues. This must be recognized and acted on. The Barndioota site near Hawker has significant cultural values to the Adnyamathana peoples, this must be acknowledged and respected and ruled out of any more consideration.

SUMMARY

The current project has not considered the full range of options to best advance responsible radioactive waste management in Australia. The waste can and should remain secured and monitored at Lucas Heights until a dedicated public review of the full range of options for waste management is carried out. I believe we need an expert open and independent inquiry into the full range of options. Nuclear waste management requires the highest quality decision-making and information. We must start afresh on planning and establishing the best way to deal with this highly toxic waste.

References:

*(1) Nuclear Medicine and the National Dump Site, Jim Green Med Sci. (Hons) PhD, Jan 2018 10 more questions about Australia’s nuclear waste. Nov 2017.

Dr Margaret Beavis and Dr Peter Karanoskos, Medical Association for Prevention Of War-Health professionals promoting peace.

The case for a revised approach: Extended interim storage and option assessment, Dave Sweeny

June 15, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Kimba farmers Darren and Kellie Hunt deplore the Australian government’s flawed process for selection of nuclear waste dump site

Darren and Kellie Hunt  SUBMISSION TO THE SENATE INQUIRY INTO THE SELECTION PROCESS FOR A NATIONAL RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA. (Submission No 80)

We are farmers in the Buckleboo district of Kimba, where we live with our three young children. We are both active members of the Kimba community and have been dismayed at the ongoing division and stress this proposal had caused amongst community members.

We feel the process that has brought us to this situation has been flawed and unfair, and we thank the Senate for their willingness to consider this issue.

Concerns we have include the lack of definition of what constitutes Broad Community Support, the use of financial incentive to coerce the community and the lack of consideration given to the potential implications to our agricultural industry.

a) The financial compensation offered to applicants for the acquisition of land under the Nominations of Land Guidelines;

Clearly, the landholders who have volunteered their land are the only persons to directly and personally benefit from this proposal. We understand that they will receive 4 time the value of their land for the section that is acquired, however it has not been made clear exactly how this value will be determined. Also, we understand that the nominators are receiving compensation for access to their land during the site evaluation phase, however information on the value of these payments have been kept from the public. If this process is to be ‘fair and transparent’ as the Department have insisted it is, we believe that this information should be available to the community.

b) How the need for ‘broad community support’ has played and will continue to play a part in the process, including: i) The definition of broad community support and ii) How broad community support has been or will be determined for each process advancement stage

  1. One of our greatest concerns regarding this process has been Ministers refusal to clearly define the term “broad community support’. As arguably the most important aspect in finding a suitable site, and certainly the biggest hurdle the Government have faced in their bids to date to do so, the unwillingness to clearly explain what they consider both ‘Broad’ and “Community” has created confusion and caused an escalating lack of trust towards the Minister and the process. It is very apparent that the reasoning behind the lack of clear definition is to allow the Minister to effectively ‘move the goal posts’, as was clearly evident when Kimba was accepted to phase two following our June 2017 vote.
  2. Having stated in the senate that he would require a number in the vicinity of 65% of the community voting to progress with the proposal, Minister Canavan chose to push Kimba into phase two of the process with a supporting vote of 57%. This result is subjective to the number of people who chose to participate in the vote, in actual fact those in support represented 49.94% of those within the community eligible to vote.One of the reasons the Minister given for his refusal to quantify broad community support is to enable him to accept opinions given from those who are ineligible to vote, via submissions. Prior to the June vote, 396 submissions were received both from the community and outside. The phase 1 summary report states that of the 112 local submission 86% were opposed. The remaining 294 submission were not given consideration in the report. Despite these results, Minister Canavan determined that broad community support existed in Kimba to progress the proposal to phase 2

We do not feel that Kimba should have continued to phase two after the vote as there was no clear indication of broad community support, merely proof that our community so divided in opinion on this issue. We believe strong consideration should be given to who has the right to vote, and if we are to continue to a further ballot, a definitive number must be provided prior as to what percentage of the overall community must be supportive for the proposal to progress. We believe this should be at least an absolute majority of 67% (of all eligible voters)

  1. How any need for indigenous support has played and will continue to play a part in the process, including how indigenous support has been or will be determined for each process advancement stage;We feel that the traditional land owners must be consulted and heard in this decision making process. We have not been aware of any consideration given to the Bungala people in the Kimba process at this stage.
  1. Whether and/or how the Governments community benefit program payment affect broad community and Indigenous community sentiment;The community benefits program was not a part of the initial package, and was announced prior to the 2017 Kimba vote, labelled ‘disruption money’. Clearly, the Minister was aware that this process has caused stress and division within communities, and felt that additional financial incentive would help to garner support. Unfortunately, no amount of ‘compensation’ can repair the damage that has been done and the division that we are forced to face on a daily basis.

f) Any other related matters.

We strongly believe that the facility is not suitable for Agricultural land. The storage of nuclear waste in a food growing region in a country which had as much un-arable land as ours makes no sense. The perception of the proximity of the nations nuclear waste to our productive land has the potential to adversely impact our commodity prices and land values and these are unacceptable risks to our business.

Clearly consideration has been given to potential impacts on agriculture as the draft ARPANSA’s Code for Disposal of Solid Radioactive Waste selection criteria includes ‘The immediate vicinity of the facility has no known significant resources, including potentially valuable mineral deposits, and which has little or no potential for agriculture or outdoor recreational use’.

This process has caused immeasurable contention and division within our town. The Department has upheld that they are running a fair and transparent process, and that everyone’s opinions are valid and will be respected. However, they have clearly put much effort into convincing those opposed to change their views. On a recent trip to Lucas Heights Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia Submission 80 (fully taxpayer funded and clearly orchestrated to demonstrate the safety of the facility) I was asked by our Community Liaison Officer if “we have managed to change your mind yet, now that you know there is nothing to fear”. This clearly sums up the objective of the department’s current presence in Kimba and the interest they are taking in our concern

June 15, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Leon Ashton lays bare Australian govt hypocrisy, double-talk, lies , in its process for selecting nuclear waste dump site

I am not against having a LLW facility in Australia. I am against the way in which DIIS have gone about finding a quick fix for something that will affect all South Australians for centuries to come.  It should not be up to a small council area to overrule our Prohibition Act 2000, if we are to vote for something of such national importance. I would have thought that after having had something like 35 attempts over some 25 years to find a suitable location, that DIIS would have been able to involve public consultation a lot more honestly
 
It is a fine line between informing a community and bribing a community. And to what end ,? I strongly suggest that before any community has to endure what Hawker, Quorn and Kimba twice now is going thru, that a much higher percentage of community support be obtained. IE 80 -85% and this would include all traditional custodians and neighbours.
My problem is a complete lack of trust with DIIS in the way in which they have treated ordinary people from Quorn, Hawker and Kimba (both the first and the second time around). The proven “flawed” survey results, the terrible anguish that has been placed on the traditional custodians of this land, the countless unpaid hours of research to try to establish the actual volumes of legacy low-level waste at hospitals around the country compared to the volumes of intermediate level waste to be “temporarily “ stored at the chosen site.
Leon Ashton Submission to STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS
SENATE ENQUIRY SUBMISSION FOR THE SELECTION PROCESS FOR A NATIONAL RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA. (Submission No. 79)
My name is Leon Ashton I live at Quorn with my wife on a small 12 acre holding we bought in 2009, intending to have a peaceful life in between doing contract work on the Nullarbor Plain and up to Alice Springs.
In December 2015 I first received knowledge that Wallerberdina Station had been put up for consideration for a nuclear waste dump to be built there.
I attended an information gathering meeting in the Quorn council chambers and was told by the people who came over from Canberra that this would be a low level only facility. This was also told to the people at Hawker. See attachment A. extract by political reporter Jane Norman, and was shown photos of similar facilities, both in France and in England, however, they said these two facilities housed an amount of intermediate level waste (ILW) as well as low level waste (LLW).
The next meeting was in the Quorn Town Hall in February 2016. It was then announced, because a member of the public raised the question, that there could possibly be a small amount of ILW stored there, but only on a temporary basis. It wasn’t until much later, when the LLW and more dangerous ILW temporarily stored at Woomera, started leaching out into the surrounding area, that DIIS employees said this will all be, once safely packaged up (29 million dollars’ worth) sent to the new waste facility. Our low-level facility is fast becoming a temporary intermediate waste facility.
MR GRANT CHAPMAN
I also struggle with the fact that an ex-Senator from South Australia, Mr Grant Chapman, also ex deputy chairman of the Board of Directors at Lucas Heights and co-owner of Wallerberdina Station, could put up his property as a protentional nuclear waste dump site, with no consultation whatsoever with anyone in the surrounding area. He was also quoted as saying, in a newspaper, that it is okay also if they want to put a high-level waste dump there as well. (See Attachment B  – on original) To this day he has not appeared anywhere in a public meeting to explain his actions to his neighbours or the traditional custodians. He has never lived on this property. He is the absent landlord. Is this in keeping with “world’s best practice”? In the many meetings I had with DIIS staff at Quorn in 2016, I was told yes, this part of the process could have been done much better and they would do it differently now Kimba has nominated two more potential sites. This is the second time Kimba has been divided as a community. The process that is being carried out competing one community against another in a bid to “host the facility” is causing irreparable damage to the people who are both for the dump and against it.

THE NEED TO DETERMINE BROAD COMMUNITY SUPPORT

In April 2016, a community sentiment survey was completed by DIIS through a company called ORIMA Research. This 205-page detailed report can be accessed on line. I attended another information gathering meeting at Quorn council chambers in April 2016, along with several other residents, to voice our concern. A member of our group voiced their concern at how the community survey was conducted and the methodology behind it. We all then heard a senior DIIS member tell us, yes, the community survey was flawed in some places, however we will still be going ahead with the next stage, into Phase 2, i.e. more information giving sessions to the public and looking at cultural and geological site compatibility.

I had, in April 2016, during my regular information gathering, monthly meetings, with DIIS staff, obtained a copy of the community survey conducted by Orima Research and spent the next 9 months trying to understand it. No one I approached could understand it either. I was trying to determine how 65% of the community were accepting of finding more information on the proposed facility, when almost all people I spoke to were totally against putting a dump in the Flinders Ranges.
I finally found a person who is a Registered Psychologist and has studied university level statistics along with survey research during her 40-year career who, after three days studying the Orima Survey book, gave me the results of her findings. (See Attachment C – Informal Comments on the ORIMA Research Findings  – on original ). As you can see, these comments identifies serious flaws and cast significant doubts on the validity of the survey.
In October 2016, our now formed group, Flinders Local Action Group, conducted our own survey by mail, to residents in Hawker and Quorn, asking people if they would want a national radioactive waste facility built on Wallerberdina station. The results obtained were that 87% of forms returned were against a dump. We ensured that the survey forms returned were opened and scrutineered in front of a J.P. I might add that the survey that FLAG conducted was at no cost to the tax payer what so ever and none of us had done anything like this before. (See Attachment D – Survey from Flag – on original).
DISUNITY WITHIN THE COMMUNITIES
I have written many letters to The Minister for The Environment and Northern Territory, outlining the fact that there definitely is a lot of disunity, both here and in Kimba. Most of the traditional custodians are united in their stand against this facility, however, the ones who are in favour are causing huge disruptions to their own families where 1/ Stress and harassment has caused people to be flown by RFDS to Adelaide with life threatening ailments and 2/ Threats have been made to other family members at one or two o’clock in the morning advising them to change their attitude and support the waste dump. 3/ There have also been phone calls to these people saying that if they change their mind and vote for the dump, then houses and vehicles could be bought for them.
When the May newsletter from DIIS was distributed around Quorn ,Hawker and Kimba, it was said by the Viliwarinah Yura Aboriginal Community chair how the community views the project ( see attachment E extract from May 2017 DIIS newsletter ) It says the majority of our community would like the facility to go ahead and at a recent special meeting VYAC held a ballot for the project and 85% of members who voted were in favour .This information sent to the public to boost public support was grossly misleading. Out of the total of one hundred and one eligible VYAC members who could vote,only 28 voting members attended a meeting at Port Augusta. Out of the 28 people who attended, 13 members left leaving 10 people to vote in favour, three to say no and two to abstain. This does not make 85% of the Viliwarinha Yura people who are in favour. I also advised the Minister that in Quorn, Hawker and Kimba, people who were once mates, now would cross the streets rather than talk to one another.
Please find below the response I received back from Matt Canavan dated 27 May 2017.

[ “I understand there are a range of views within the community and the government encourages respect for all opinions. In my visit to the region and thru feedback from my department, I do not share your view that there is disunity in the area, or a need for assistance to support the community because of division.“ ] Mr Canavan could not possibly share my view because the people who were opposed to putting the waste dump in this area were told they could not have any time with him at all to discuss concerns face to face as he was too busy.?

Does this appear to be in keeping with “world’s best practice”.

TOURISM IN THE REGION

The information which is being given by DIIS almost makes us feel obligated as citizens, that it is our duty to accept a waste facility in our backyard. We are informed constantly that we have had or will have at some point in the future, a procedure involving nuclear medicine.
The problem I’ve struggled with is why put it here in South Australia when SA in 2016 was cited as the 5th best place to visit for tourism in the world and then four weeks later, the Flinders Ranges (the area where the site is proposed) was acclaimed as No. 10 most popular tourist destination in the world. These references came from The Times newspaper and The Lonely Planet Tourist Guide. Why would we jeopardise a 300 million dollar annually, tourist industry in the Flinders Ranges and Outback ( Quoted from Tourism SA 2015 ) by “hosting” a nuclear waste dump almost in the heart of it? Does this sound as if it is “world’s best practice”? When these questions are raised with DIIS, the response is always, we believe it will make the Flinders Ranges more of a tourist attraction and if tourist numbers do decline in years to come, then we will start an advertising campaign. Really !!
I have responded by saying once it is put there, it is too late. Tourists DO NOT come to the Flinders Ranges other than to see the “untouched” beauty of this iconic, ancient, natural landscape. The people of Kimba are also struggling as the Eyre Peninsula is trying to promote the region as a clean green environment for agriculture, tourism and aquaculture. From 2010, RDAWEP Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula have endorsed this policy .

FUTURE EMPLOYMENT

We are informed by DIIS that there will be at least 15 full time job equivalents at the waste facility and yet when we look at every other industry, they are so tightly regulated, especially in areas of danger, it is only a matter of time before robotics also take over positions in this facility. This is the way of the future, so why would we trust people who are verbally telling us that we have nothing to worry about, the jobswill be there. I might add, that since January 2016, there have been at least five, possibly six key staff members from DIIS who have either left the Department or moved onto other positions. This does not allow continuity to the people they speak with and does not inspire confidence in what they are telling us. For example, I asked an employee of DIIS when they came to Quorn for the monthly gathering, what would DIIS do if the SA government citizens jury won the vote against having a HLW (high level waste) dump in South Australia. The employee told me DIIS would honour the SA Prohibition Act and walk away from it all. The next month I was told this would never happen and the Federal Government would overrule the Prohibition Act and carry straight on, as they have done. The employee who told me they would walk away, no longer works in that department.

We are now hearing news that changes could be made to the voting area. If the voting area could be reduced in size, it may increase the chances of a more favourable decision for the facility to go ahead. DIIS has said since 2016, a facility would not proceed unless it had “Broad Community Support”. We are now informed this will not necessarily be the deciding factor. Does this appear to be in keeping with “world’s best practice”?

ARPANSA have a guideline for prospective nuclear waste dump sites in Australia. The first three pre-requisites are 1. No seismic activity 2. Not flood prone and 3. Must have broad community support. Wallerberdina ticks all the boxes for where NOT to put it. I have stated before in writing that ANSTO are possibly the best people in the world to manage the waste storage at Lucas Heights.

My problem is a complete lack of trust with DIIS in the way in which they have treated ordinary people from Quorn, Hawker and Kimba (both the first and the second time around). The proven “flawed” survey results, the terrible anguish that has been placed on the traditional custodians of this land, the countless unpaid hours of research to try to establish the actual volumes of legacy low-level waste at hospitals around the country compared to the volumes of intermediate level waste to be “temporarily “ stored at the chosen site. Also, other creditable proven facts on the geology, seismic and flood plain area. See attachment F ( Geological and Environmental Implications of a nuclear waste disposal site in the Barndioota area ) We now know that the facility will be one to temporarily store ILW, not what I was told back in January 2016. We also know that this ILW will be temporarily stored above ground until a HLW facility is chosen either in Australia or overseas sometime into the millennia. We have been told that the cost to permanently find a site for ILW to be buried deep below ground would be massive and to do this by itself would be cost prohibitive. If no HLW site is chosen by us, as we don’t have HLW in Australia, then we will be leaving a hell of a mess for our future children to sort out.

OUTCOMES TO DATE AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE

I am not against having a LLW facility in Australia. I am against the way in which DIIS have gone about finding a quick fix for something that will affect all South Australians for centuries to come. It should not be up to a small council area to overrule our Prohibition Act 2000, if we are to vote for something of such national importance. I would have thought that after having had something like 35 attempts over some 25 years to find a suitable location, that DIIS would have been able to involve public consultation a lot more honestly. The massive cost to the taxpayer to find a “ willing community to host a waste facility ”.It is a fine line between informing a community and bribing a community. And to what end ,? I strongly suggest that before any community has to endure what Hawker, Quorn and Kimba twice now is going thru, that a much higher percentage of community support be obtained. IE 80 -85% and this would include all traditional custodians and neighbours. I don’t feel that there will ever be a 100 % of community support for such a contentious issue however, if there was genuine feeling to have a” low level waste “ facility , [ no bullying .no bribes. No lies or manipulation.] then if the region as a whole felt it was a good thing to have, then I too would support it. There will never be a harmonious spirit within a community when 65% is used as a percentage of people who want the dump. Even if it was a genuine 65% The people of Quorn, Hawker and Kimba have seen first-hand how a marginal percentage can ruin lives and friendships forever.

It is for the above reasons that I believe DIIS need to scrap their prospective low-level waste dump locations and have a complete rethink in conjunction with other associations to try and rebuild a level of trust for what they are putting to the public before entering into public consultation.

 

June 15, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Why is nuclear industry puppet – Matt Canavan not considering Leonora , Western Australia, as nuclear waste dump?

Nuclear site selection process questioned https://www.eyretribune.com.au/story/5467944/nuclear-site-selection-process-questioned/ Kathrine Catanzariti  14 June 18 

June 15, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists not optimistic about the future of USA- North Korea nuclear negotiations

Now, it’s time to deliver https://thebulletin.org/now-its-time-deliver11916?utm_source=Bulletin%20Newsletter&utm_medium=iContact%20email&utm_campaign=June15

A Bulletin editorial  The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists favors all dialogue aimed at reducing nuclear risks, and it therefore supports US President Donald Trump’s decision to engage with North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

But media pomp and video symbolism cannot substitute for arms control substance. The high-level goals listed in the joint statement Trump and Kim issued after their meeting are extremely vague, but concrete steps are required, if the nuclear risk that North Korea poses to the United States and the international community is to be reduced. The vagueness of the joint statement creates a distinct possibility that it will quickly evaporate, with regrettable—and possibly catastrophic—results for the region and the world.

The Bulletin is deeply concerned the United States has already committed to cease large-scale military exercises in Northeast Asia without, apparently, first consulting its South Korean allies. This move is part of a deeply problematic pattern, in which the Trump administration aligns with dictators at the expense of longtime US allies and important multinational agreements. It is a pattern that must end, if negotiations with North Korea are to have any chance of succeeding.

As a next step, the United States and North Korea need to agree in specific terms on the characteristics of a “freeze” in activities that would continue during negotiations that could well take years to complete. The United States should insist that the North formally agree to cease all nuclear weapons tests, missile launches, and fissile material production while talks continue. Without such an agreement, talks could drag on fruitlessly for years, perhaps even acting as a cover for continued development of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities.

The Bulletin encourages the United States and North Korea to seek assistance from a wider range of scientific and policy experts, within and outside their governments, during negotiations. Such technical advice is absolutely necessary, if North Korea’s nuclear program is to be dismantled in a verifiable way that serves the security interests of both countries and, just as important, the interests of South Korea and Japan, longstanding US allies who are vital to securing peace in Northeast Asia.

Notwithstanding the gauzy verbiage of the Singapore joint statement, we think it unlikely that negotiations will soon achieve the complete denuclearization of North Korea (if that goal is ever reached). But the nuclear risk that North Korea poses to the world can be reduced and managed, if negotiations follow a concrete, verifiable, step-by-step roadmap. Frankly, that roadmap should have been drawn long before the Singapore meeting occurred. It should be drawn now.

We are hopeful that yesterday’s meeting in Singapore was a first step toward a safer Korean Peninsula, but we remain doubtful about prospects for progress in this regard, given the Trump administration’s erratic approach to international affairs. When top-level scientific experts from the US national laboratories and elsewhere are brought into the North Korean talks—as they were for the Iran nuclear deal that President Trump has tried so hard to sabotage—we will know his administration is as serious about the substance of addressing North Korea’s nuclear program as it is about the styling of grand public relations events.

June 15, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment