Australian news, and some related international items

According to Senator Canavan, Kimba and Hawker locals asked for a bigger bribe, to become a nuclear sacrifice zone

Multimillion-dollar incentive put on the table for town that takes on nuclear waste facility  ABC RADIO ADELAIDE, 23 JULY 18   As debate rages over where Australia’s first permanent nuclear waste dump should be placed, the Federal Government has announced it will offer a $31 million package to the community which takes it on.

Two sites near Kimba and one near Hawker have been shortlisted to permanently hold low-level nuclear waste and temporarily hold intermediate-level waste.

However some concerned community members have likened the funding increase to “dangling a carrot” in front of the communities.

The new offer would include a $20 million community development package, $8 million to provide training and up to $3 million over three years for Indigenous skills training and culture heritage protection.

The Government had previously promised $10 million………

Funding likened to ‘dangling a carrot’

Aboriginal elder Regina McKenzie is a custodian of the Barndioota site — west of Hawker — and is a traditional owner of the land.

She said the proposal lacked cultural respect and believed the Government was trying to bribe the communities.

“It’s not a good spot, it’s very seismically active,” she told ABC Radio Adelaide.

“The culture issues are bad as well, they wouldn’t put a waste dump on the Vatican… the respect for Aboriginal beliefs and customs should come into it.  “They’re dangling a carrot in front of the Hawker community, in front of the Kimba community.”

Senator Canavan said that after consultations with both the Kimba and Hawker communities, locals thought more incentive would be needed to get long-term support.

He said the hope would be that the $8 million would be a package of $2 million over four years as the facility was built.

Senator Canavan said the community vote in Hawker and Kimba on August 20 would be important in the Government’s decision, but it wouldn’t be the deciding figure.

“Can I just stress, this has been a grassroots process, it will not proceed without that community’s support,” he said.

“The views that matter now are not the Government’s or mine, it’s the views of the people on the ground there in Kimba and Hawker.

“Obviously we’d love to have support from both communities.”

July 23, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | 1 Comment

Radioactive Waste Facility: Communities can’t be bought

 23 July 18 This morning federal resources Minister Matt Canavan revealed his increasing desperation to find a site for Australia’s radioactive waste before the next election by announcing an increase in the incentive package for the chosen community from $10 million to $31 million.

The Minister has repeatedly stated that “broad community support” is needed in order to select a site for the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF).. However the Minister continues to refuse to detail what this means. Talking on ABC North and West radio with Paul Culliver today, Minister Canavan continued to avoid answering how this support would be measured.

Hawker GP and member of the Flinders Local Action Group Susi Andersson said “for many in the community it has never been about money. Tourists are stopping people in the street to say they won’t come back if Hawker hosts a dump. A 2% drop in tourism numbers would lose the region $8.5 million every year. A one off federal payment is not worthwhile”.

Peter Woolford, a farmer from Kimba and chair of No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA said “Minister Canavan’s announcement this morning of a new community benefits package has no influence on our opposition to the proposed Kimba sites. We have always maintained that the NRWMF does not belong on agricultural land, and no amount of money changes that. Our federal government has a responsibility to find the right site, not just any site for this facility, and our support for siting it in Kimba cannot be bought”.

Nuclear Waste Campaigner at Conservation SA Mara Bonacci said “since Minister Canavan announced a community ballot on the federal waste plan the promises of jobs and dollars have tripled. We are concerned that much of this increase in funding would benefit the project rather than the community.  $20 million has been allocated for infrastructure that communities should have regardless of whether they accept the NRWMF or not.”

Given that today’s announcement about tripling the economic incentive to the community comes just weeks before the community ballot to gauge community sentiment and after an increase in the purported employment benefits of the facility from 15 to 45 with no change to the actual proposal, it is clear that Minister Canavan’s desperation to find a site is driven by politics, not responsible radioactive waste management.

For comment:   Kimba: Peter Woolford 0447 001 493  Conservation SA: Mara Bonacci 0422 229 970

July 23, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Nuclear sacrifice bribe – no guarantee that it will all go to the towns hosting nuclear waste dump

Katrina Bohr No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia, 23 July 18

Media breakdown is that an extra 20 million is going to whoever hosts the dump, on top of the 10 million already promised.
The 20 million is to deliver long-term infrastructure projects.
In my opinion this amount was already allocated.
In the Federal government’s Business Case for the waste dump, these numbers are already part of their estimations.
There is no doubt the promise of infrastructure is to sustain their facility. 
This is manipulation by the government due to the pending postal vote.

Annette Ellen Skipworth The 10 million is going to go to the state government not the local government …and they dont have to spend it in the local area 

July 23, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies, wastes | Leave a comment

Australian government ‘s $31 million bribe to Kimba or Hawker, South Australia to host nuclear waste dump

$31 million in incentives offered to SA community that hosts national radioactive waste repository Adelaide Now, 23 July 18 THE Federal Government wants to lock in support for a radioactive waste facility in rural South Australia by tripling the incentive package for the community that hosts the repository to $31 million.

As two SA communities prepare to vote on August 20 whether to support the radioactive waste management site going ahead, Resources Minister Matt Canavan will on Monday announce an increased community development package.

Two sites near Kimba and one at Barndioota, near Hawker, have been shortlisted for the facility to host low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste.

The Government had promised to spend in excess of $10 million on job-boosting projects in the district where the facility is built.

Senator Canavan said the Government was now willing to provide:

$20 MILLION to deliver long-term infrastructure projects.

$8 MILLION to train locals and businesses to benefit from the construction and operation of the facility.

UP TO $3 million over three years for indigenous skills training and cultural heritage protection.

“As well as a brand new industry with around 45 new jobs, this enhanced package will ensure the successful community is ready and able to take advantage of the benefits of hosting this facility both during construction and the lifetime of its operation,” he said.

Senator Canavan said the new package had been developed after consultation with the local communities on how best to support people and industries near the waste management dump.

Funds could be used to support agriculture, tourism or other industries the community wanted to prioritise.

The proposal for the radioactive waste dump has divided neighbours and families in the short-listed districts.

The Government wants to choose a preferred site before the end of the year.

The two shortlisted communities have already been rewarded with Government development grants worth a combined $4 million.

Senator Canavan said the host town would become a key part of the Australian “science ecosystem” providing new career pathways for young people.

He said it would have similar employment impact to defence centres elsewhere.

“What shipbuilding or aircraft bases do for some communities … the national radioactive waste management facility will do for its host town,” he said.

July 23, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

PUBLIC HEARING 2 August on National Radioactive Waste Dump Selection , Canberra

ECONOMICS REFERENCES COMMITTEE Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia PUBLIC HEARING Thursday 2 August 2018 Committee Room 2S1 Parliament House, Canberra Time Witness The program for this hearing has not yet been released

July 23, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Farmers and ranchers across the State of New Mexico rallying against “temporary” nuclear waste dump

Opposition rallies ahead of public hearing on Holtec site  Adrian C Hedden, Carlsbad Current-Argus . MT July 17, 2018 

July 23, 2018 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

Nuclear wastes: Hardened On-Site Storage (HOSS) safer than transporting wastes to “temporary” storage

(Transport dangers) Any mainline rail can be used. The condition of the rails in the U.S. is not good. Think of recent train derailments – as NIRS has often asked, “What if nuclear waste had been aboard?” The irradiated nuclear fuel casks aboard trains bound for Holtec/ELEA, NM, combined with the rail cars, would weigh around 180 tons. These would be among the heaviest loads on the rails, and would risk further damaging them.

(Waste container contamination) sometimes the exterior of shipping casks are contaminated, sometimes severely so. Above, 49 such incidents of external contamination were documented in the U.S. from 1949-1996. As revealed by Mycle Schneider of WISE-Paris in the mid- to late 1990s, Areva (now called Orano in the U.S., as at the WCS, TX CISF) experienced a very large number of externally contaminated HLRW shipments.

Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants: What Congress, Federal Agencies and Communites Need to Know Highly Radioactive Irradiated Nuclear Fuel: Need for Hardened On-Site Storage; Risks of Off-Site Transport Kevin Kamps, Radioactive Waste Specialist, Beyond Nuclear , July 16, 2018

 Because pools are outside radiological containment structures that surround reactors (which can themselves fail, as shown at Fukushima Daiichi), the first step in the direction of Hardened On-Site Storage (HOSS) is to “expedite transfer” of irradiated nuclear fuel from indoor “wet” pools to outdoor dry storage. However, there must be significant upgrades to safety, security, health- and environmental protection associated with dry cask storage – that is, Hardened On-Site Storage (HOSS).

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July 23, 2018 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

‘Nukey Poo’ the Antarctic nuclear reactor was cleaned up properly, thanks to the Antarctic Treaty

Remembering Antarctica’s nuclear past with ‘Nukey Poo’  Hanne E.F. Nielsen  PhD Candidate in Antarctic Representations, University of Tasmania  July 23, 2018

We think of Antarctica as a place to protect. It’s “pristine”, “remote” and “untouched”. (Although a recent discovery reveals it’s less isolated from the world than previously thought.)

But it wasn’t always this way. Between 1961 and 1972 McMurdo Station was home to Antarctica’s first and only portable nuclear reactor, known as PM-3A, or “Nukey Poo.” The little-known story of Nukey Poo offers a useful lens through which to examine two ways of valuing the far south: as a place to develop, or a place to protect.

The story of Nukey Poo

By the late 1950s nuclear power was viewed with optimism, as an exciting new solution to both the world’s energy and social problems. The Antarctic Treaty was signed in 1959, designating Antarctica as a place for international scientific cooperation. Both the USA and USSR were original signatories, and both were concerned about the possible use of nuclear weapons in the far south.

The Antarctic Treaty therefore included freedom of inspection of all facilities, and stipulated “any nuclear explosions in Antarctica and the disposal there of radioactive waste material shall be prohibited”.

When Nukey Poo was built by the US Navy it was described by Admiral George Dufek as “a dramatic new era in man’s conquest of the remotest continent.”

While the early explorers set out with flags, pitting their bodies against the elements to claim new territory, nuclear technology represented a modern way for man to triumph over the hostile environment. PM-3A was seen as a trailblazer, and – if all went well – it was planned to be first of many installed in Antarctica.

Dufek also envisaged nuclear energy making possible a wide range of human activities in the far south. His imagined version of “Antarctica in the Year 2000” included nuclear-driven greenhouse crop production, geoengineering of the world’s weather, and mining ventures that helped broker world peace.

While geoengineering in the forms of slowing the melt of glacial icesolar geoengineering, and marine geoengineering continue to be discussed, mining is prohibited by the 1991 Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. Contemporary visions of Antarctic futures tend to focus on environmental change and reducing human impacts, rather than enhancing the human presence.

Nuclear optimism fades

“Nukey Poo” began producing power for the McMurdo station in 1962, and was refuelled for the first time in 1964. A decade later, the optimism around the plant had faded. The 25-man team required to run the plant was expensive, while concerns over possible chloride stress corrosion emerged after the discovery of wet insulation during a routine inspection. Both costs and environmental impacts conspired to close the plant in September 1972.

This precipitated a major clean up that saw 12,000 tonnes of contaminated rock removed and shipped back to the USA through nuclear-free New Zealand. The clean up pre-dated Antarctica’s modern environmental protection regime by two decades, and required the development of new standards for soil contamination levels.

This elaborate process ensured that the US did not violate the Antarctic Treaty by disposing of nuclear waste on the continent. It also foreshadowed a shift in environmental attitudes away from development and use, towards protection; the removal of so much as one pebble from the Antarctic without requisite permits is now prohibited.

Today, all that physically remains at the site of the PM-3A reactor is a missing hillside and a plaque. Nuclear power is no longer viewed with the optimism of the 1960s, thanks to disasters such as Chernobyl and Fukushima.

The site where Nukey Poo once stood has been designated as a Historic Site and Monument under the Antarctic Treaty System, putting it in the same category as the huts of early explorers such as Mawson and Shackleton.

However, a site with a past of nuclear contamination does not sit well within modern narratives of Antarctica as a place to protect, so this episode in the continent’s history is not often told.

When Admiral Dufek wrote in 1960 “Antarctica will be a fantastic land in the future” he had a very different vision in mind to the Antarctica we see today. Today, the far south is not a place to be improved upon with human innovation, so much as a place to be protected from our influence – including climate change.

The episode of Nukey Poo reveals the modern association between science and the Antarctic environment has not always been so. In demonstrating how Antarctica went from being seen as territory to conquer to a fragile environment, we are reminded that its protection cannot be taken for granted

July 23, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment