Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Why some people want a nuclear waste dump in Kimba or Hawker, South Australia

As I’ve been going through 98 submissions to The Senate Inquiry  on Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia , I’ve been able to learn some of the reasons why people support  the idea of the nuclear waste dump .   Almost every one of the the 40 supporting  submissions come from local residents,  several explaining that they have been very thoroughly informed by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, including tours of the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor.  4 submissions spent time praising DIIS and ANSTO  (Ashworth, P No. 52 , and Baldock B No 72 , Baldock H No 64 and ANSTO itself, No 58)

These are some points that came up as they answered the Term of Reference, especially  (f) Any related matters.

Survival of the town as reason to have the dump:  (submissions from Carpenter I No 3, Carpenter D No 1, Clements No 35 , Joyce, J, McInnis, J, Name Withheld, no 91, Stewart)

Opposition to misleading information from anti-nuclear activists (Joyce, J No 33, Koch, D No 75, McInnis, J No 4) 

Need for dump for nuclear medicine (DIIS No 40, SA ARPS No 41)

Dump will have no negative impact (Lienert, M and M No 53, Schmidt, D No 13)

Dump good for local business (Kemp No 88, SACOME No 69)

Dump important for necessary expansion of Lucas Heights, (Heard,B No 15)

Dump as beneficial to Australia,( Koch, K No 28)

Very opposed to outsiders having a say (Hennessy, J No 7)

Need detail on important financial benefits (Kimba District Council No 19)

Needless to say, these pro nuclear submissions were almost unanimously in favour of the 5 Terms of reference – i.e that the financial compensation was OK,  the project has “broad community support”. indigenous people satisfactorily consulted, Community Benefit Program is fine, and community support should not be sought beyond the local area.

The few pro nuclear submissions that did not address those TORs are from – ANSTO No 58, ORIMA No 108, Orman, M No 77, RDA Far North No 41, SACOME No 69) 

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July 18, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Lavene Ngatokorua Lifetime Achievement Award winner spoke out against nuclear waste dump plan

Tim Bickmore No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia, 18 July 18

Lavene has spoken strongly against the nuke dump. Here is part of what she told the Senate Committee in Hawker earlier this month:

“When they had those cultural monitors out there—I will talk really quickly of the cultural monitors that went out there—I wouldn’t participate in it, but I was out there when the ground shook four times in that one week that we were there. I watched two of my cousins. They were at that meeting of the 20th saying, ‘Yeah, go for it,’ but, when they came back after the ground shook, they were singing out to their great-grandparents for help because they thought that they had done something wrong, that they shouldn’t have been out there, that the land was speaking to them. It’s really hard to understand. People might think that’s a whole lot of rubbish, but they were mentally and physically distraught because of what had taken place. That sound out there was like a road train coming through, and they felt that they had messed up just by being present there in looking at the land.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929/

Lavene Ngatokorua wins Lifetime Achievement Award, Transcontinental Marco Balsamo 17 July 18 Because of her, we can!

July 18, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australia’s nuclear testing before the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne should be a red flag for Fukushima in 2020

 Part time tutor in Medical Education, University of Dundee

The scheduling of Tokyo 2020 Olympic events at Fukushima is being seen as a public relations exercise to dampen fears over continuing radioactivity from the reactor explosion that followed the massive earthquake six years ago.

It brings to mind the British atomic bomb tests in Australia that continued until a month before the opening of the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne – despite the known dangers of fallout travelling from the testing site at Maralinga to cities in the east. And it reminds us of the collusion between scientists and politicians – British and Australian – to cover up the flawed decision-making that led to continued testing until the eve of the Games.

Australia’s prime minister Robert Menzies agreed to atomic testing in December 1949. Ten months earlier, Melbourne had secured the 1956 Olympics even though the equestrian events would have to be held in Stockholm because of Australia’s strict horse quarantine regimes.

The equestrians were well out of it. Large areas of grazing land – and therefore the food supplies of major cities such as Melbourne – were covered with a light layer of radiation fallout from the six atomic bombs detonated by Britain during the six months prior to the November 1956 opening of the Games. Four of these were conducted in the eight weeks running up to the big event, 1,000 miles due west of Melbourne at Maralinga.

Bombs and games

In the 25 years I have been researching the British atomic tests in Australia, I have found only two mentions of the proximity of the Games to the atomic tests. Not even the Royal Commission into the tests in 1985 addressed the known hazards of radioactive fallout for the athletes and spectators or those who lived in the wide corridor of the radioactive plumes travelling east.

At the time, the approaching Olympics were referred to only once in the Melbourne press in relation to the atomic tests, in August 1956. It is known that D-notices from the government “requesting” editors to refrain from publishing information about certain defence and security matters were issued.

The official history of the tests by British nuclear historian Lorna Arnold, published by the UK government in 1987 and no longer in print, reports tests director William Penney signalling concern only once, in late September 1956:

Am studying arrangements firings but not easy. Have Olympic Games in mind but still believe weather will not continue bad.

This official history doesn’t comment on the implications. And nowhere in the 1985 Royal Commission report is there any reference to the opening of the Olympics, just one month and a day after the fourth test took place 1,000 miles away.

The 1984 report of the Expert Committee on the review of Data on Atmospheric Fallout Arising from British Nuclear Tests in Australia found that the methodology used to estimate the numbers of people who might have been harmed by this fallout at fewer than 10 was inappropriate. And it concluded that if the dose calculations were confined to the communities in the path of the fallout and not merged with the total Australian population “such an exercise would generate results several orders of magnitude higher than those based on conventional philosophy”. There was no mention of the Olympic Games.

Neither Prime Minister Menzies nor his cabinet ever referred publicly to what had been known from the outset – that the British atomic tests in Australia would almost coincide with the Melbourne Olympics. The tests and the Games were planned simultaneously through the first half of the 1950s.

In May 1955, 18 months before the Olympics were due to start, Howard Beale, the Australian minister for supply, announced the building of “the Los Alamos of the British Commonwealth” (a nuclear test site in New Mexico) at Maralinga, promising that “tests would only take place in meteorological conditions which would carry radioactive clouds harmlessly away into the desert”.

An Atomic Weapons Tests Safety Committee was formed by the Australians but was closely controlled by physicist Professor Ernest Titterton, the only Englishman on the panel. The 1985 Royal Commission stated explicitly that the AWTSC was complicit in the firing of atomic detonations in weather conditions that they knew could carry radioactive fallout a thousand miles from Maralinga to eastern cities such as Melbourne.

Hazards of radioactivity

Professor Titterton, who had recently been appointed to a chair in nuclear physics at the Australian National University after working on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, and at Aldermaston in England, explained why the atomic devices were being tested in Australia:

Because of the hazards from the radioactivity which follows atomic weapons explosions, the tests are best carried out in isolated regions – usually a desert area … Most of the radioactivity produced in the explosion is carried up in the mushroom cloud and drifts downward under atmospheric airstreams. But particular material in this cloud slowly settles to the ground and may render an area dangerously radioactive out to distances ranging between 50 and several hundred miles … It would therefore be hazardous to explode even the smallest weapons in the UK, and it was natural for the mother country to seek test sites elsewhere in the Commonwealth.

The AWTSC published two scientific papers in 1957 and 1958 which flat out denied that any dangerous levels of radioactivity reached the eastern states. But their measurements relied on a very sparse scattering of sticky paper monitors – rolls of gummed film set out to catch particles of fallout – even though these could be washed off by rain.

Despite their clear denials in these papers, meteorological records show that prior to the Games there was rain in Melbourne which could have deposited radioactivity on the ground.

The AWTSC papers included maps purporting to show the plumes of radioactive fallout travelling north and west from Maralinga in the South Australian desert. The Royal Commission published expanded maps (see page 292) based on the AWTSC’s own data and found the fallout pattern to be much wider and more complex. The Australian scientist Hedley Marston’s study of radioactivity uptake in animals showed a far more significant covering of fallout on a wide swathe of Australian grazing land than indicated by the sticky paper samples of the AWTSC.

The 1985 Royal Commission report into British Nuclear Tests in Australia discussed many of these issues, but never in relation to the proximity and timing of the 1956 Olympic Games. Sixty years later, are we seeing the same denial of known hazards six years after the reactor explosion at Fukushima?

 

July 18, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Advance in medical diagnosis without need of nuclear reactors

NO RADIATION NEEDED: 3D TOOL CREATES MAPS OF PATIENTS’ HEARTS BEFORE PROCEDURES

by Danielle Prieur (WMFE)

A new mapping technology is helping doctors determine where to place life-saving catheters in patients with irregular heartbeats without the use of radiation. It’s being used at Florida Hospital. One of these patients is 14-year-old Grayson Abraham who has a heart condition that can cause sudden cardiac death in young athletes. He credits the procedure with helping him get back on the field.

“I could play sports again and my heart wouldn’t do anything wrong anymore. It was just a week of not doing heavy lifting, it was an easy recovery.”

Mayo Clinic says estimates young athletes account for 1 in every 50,000 sudden cardiac deaths a year.

To listen to the full story, please click on the clip above. (AUDIO on original) http://www.wmfe.org/no-radiation-needed-3d-tool-creates-maps-of-patients-hearts-before-procedures/89334

July 18, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment