Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Is Minister Canavan lying about nuclear wastes, or is he just uninformed?

Susan Craig, Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 1 Aug 18,   Mr. Canavan stated on ABC radio this morning that the radioactive waste dump proposed for South Australia was safe for both low level waste above ground storage and intermediate level waste above ground temporary storage.
However, the extract below from ARPANSA and ANSTO safety report clearly suggests otherwise and are at odds with the Federal Government’s proposal and needs urgent investigation by our State Government. The Federal Government is being dishonest in their pitch for this dump. 

The ANSTO & ARPANSA report states that the low level waste be stored below the surface, however, the Federal Governments proposal is for above ground.
The report also states that the intermediate level waste stored at a national facility will be for the long term above ground – 100 years.
Mr. Canavan stated it would only be temporary. 100 years is not temporary. Intermediate waste has a half-life of tens of thousands of years and should be safely stored between 300 – 500 mtrs below surface.

However, the intermediate level waste for South Australia will be stored in ZWILAG TN81 container, above ground which only lasts 40 years.

EXTRACT FROM INTERIM WASTE STORE OPERATING LICENCE SUMMARY SAFETY CASE FOR THE INTERIM WASTE STORE AT LHSTC
ARPANSA AND ANSTO DOCUMENT

“The Government is currently assessing the siting and construction of the NRWMF, a co-located near surface disposal repository for Low Level Waste (LLW) and an above-ground store for Intermediate Level Waste (ILW).

The NRWMF will cater for the long term above-ground storage (approximately 100 years) of Intermediate Level Waste including the waste reprocessed in France and the United Kingdom.
Joy Engelman Unfortunately, nuclear waste is not safe which is exactly why the government is not keeping it at Lucas Heights but wanting to put it as far from major urban areas as possible. It will never be safe. There are so many nuclear waste facilities around the world now with huge problems, leaking canisters, isotopes becoming active in the biosphere etc etc.
It is also not possible to store canisters containijng the waste above ground in the temperatures experienced in the outback nor with the possibility of flooding. Not only that, the waste does contain high level waste from Australia’s propensity to try to develop weapons grade waste over the late 20th Century.
Canavan needs to be properly educated about the nuclear industry before he opens his mouth and not just be another puppet. https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

Joy Engelman Unfortunately Susan, nuclear waste is not safe which is exactly why the government is not keeping it at Lucas Heights but wanting to put it as far from major urban areas as possible. It will never be safe. There are so many nuclear waste facilities around the world now with huge problems, leaking canisters, isotopes becoming active in the biosphere etc etc. It is also not possible to store canisters containg the waste above ground in the temperatures experienced in the outback nor with the possibility of flooding. Not only that, the waste does contain high level waste from Australia’s propensity to try to develop weapons grade waste over the late 20th Century. Canavan needs to be properly educated about the nuclear industry before he opens his mouth and not just be another puppet.

Advertisements

August 1, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Here we go again: nuclear lobby wants more submissions, but it’s worth doing.

Jim Green Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 1 August 18, The Department is calling for submissions and says this is “one of the factors the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia may take into account when determining broad community support for the Facility. “
A blatant attempt to undermine the community ballot in the event that the Minister doesn’t get the ballot result he wants.
The webpage says absolutely nothing about what issues submissions should address!

I think it’s important that people in and around Hawker and Kimba put in a submission, however brief. Option to recycle your Senate submission.
Making a submission
30 JULY 2018
http://radioactivewaste.gov.au/news/making-submission

Making a submission

Submissions will be one of the factors the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia may take into account when determining broad community support for the Facility.

Submissions can be made by:
Email: radioactivewaste@industry.gov.au
Post: The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
National Radioactive Waste Section
GPO Box 2013, Canberra ACT 2601

The department will be accepting submissions between 1 August and 24 September 2018.

“If as submission has been made prior to 1 August 2018 you can write to us and let us know that you wish that to be taken as your view, rather than providing a further submission. Submissions to the department will only be made public where permission is provided. Quantitative, non-identifiable data will be collected and may be published.”

August 1, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

France, USA, UK, Japan call it High Level Waste: Australia calls it Intermediate Level Waste

Steve Dale  Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia, July 29 

Funny. Spent fuel rods (which the USA and other countries would call High Level Waste (HLW)) leaves this country. Vitrified waste remnants will return one day (which the French, USA, UK, Japan would call HLW) – but at no time in Australia will this be honestly called High Level Waste.

“‘The spent fuel rods at Lucas Heights can only sensibly be treated as high level waste The pretence that spent fuel rods constitute an asset must stop” from the Research Reactor Review, Future Reactions: Report of the Research Reactor Review, 1993
Seems like the pretense at ANSTO has a longer half life than some of the isotopes they produce. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021186047913052/

August 1, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Catholic Religious Australia: temporary nuclear waste dump will cause serious future problems

Catholic Religious Australia  1 August 2018

Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) comprises representatives of religious congregations of women and men throughout the nation. As a group historically involved with the education of generations of young Australians, CRA is concerned that short term proposals for the storage of Australia’s nuclear waste will leave insoluble problems for present and future generations.

Three sites, all in South Australia, have been shortlisted by the Federal Government for a nuclear waste facility that will permanently hold low-level nuclear waste and temporarily hold intermediate level waste, toxic for up to 10,000 years. Two are close to the international grain farming area near Kimba and one near Hawker in the iconic Flinders Ranges. All three sites are strongly contested.

‘Our members’, said CRA President, Sr Monica Cavanagh, ‘question the sense, the expense and the risks of transporting long lived intermediate nuclear waste from where it is temporarily housed at Lucas Heights, 1700 kilometres across the country to be temporarily stored in a regional, yet to be built, facility.’ ‘It is disturbing,’ she went on, ‘that it is not clear how long the intermediate level waste will be simply stored at this temporary site as there is no plan for its permanent disposal.’

CRA warns that acknowledging ‘Aboriginal peoples’ strong relationship to the land’ must be more than words. We are uneasy that acknowledgement and the promise of ready, substantial money to under-funded communities/regions both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, has exerted unfair pressure to expose their lands and community members to such risks now and for countless generations.

CRA points out that the unknown dangers of groundwater contamination have not been sufficiently examined and that transport accidents are a real possibility. Moreover, the Barndioota site, and the entire Flinders Ranges, is considered seismically active. Understandably, the Kimba international grain farming markets are also at risk by association.

The submissions to the Senate inquiry make sobering reading. This process makes communities feel powerless – no support is given to those with opposing views, it is a process that is heavily favoured towards those pro-nuclear and when the rules keep changing to suit those in favour it really gives people a sense of hopelessness. Kimba resident (Submission No. 61)

Given that most of Australia’s intermediate level nuclear waste comes from Lucas Heights many believe that it should be kept there, at least until a final disposal solution is established.

‘Surely care of Earth and reverence for our land should be our underlying principles’, concluded Sr Monica.

August 1, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Spent nuclear fuel moved by road from ANSTO to Port Kembla in late-night operation

Bega District News, Murray Trembath  30 July 18, “……..

August 1, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Processing of radioactive wastes at Woomera to take 5 to 10 years

Woomera’s 10,000 nuclear waste barrels have ‘low levels’ of radiation, says CSIRO, ABC News 30 July18  Ten thousand barrels of radioactive waste stored at Woomera in South Australia’s far north have no significant levels of radiation, according to the latest assessment from Australia’s leading scientific research agency.

August 1, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Climate change: heat waves affecting Europe’s nuclear power stations

The heatwave across Europe in late July required some nuclear plants to
reduce electricity after cooling water was affected by high temperatures.
Plants in Finland, Sweden, Germany, France and Switzerland have been
affected.

While air temperatures have been above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32
degrees Celsius) in many parts, water temperatures have reached 75 degrees
Fahrenheit (23.8 degrees Celsius) or more. The Loviisa nuclear plant, which
produced 10% of Finland’s power in 2017, began reducing its output on 25
July, according to chief of operations, Timo Eurasto. He said customers
were not affected, because other power plants were satisfying electricity
demand. Loviisa previously reduced output in 2010 and 2011, due to warm
water, but Eurasto said the current heatwave has been more severe.

Reactorsin Sweden and Germany also reduced production because of cooling problems,Reuters reported. A spokesperson for Sweden’s nuclear energy regulator saidthe Forsmark had cut energy production “by a few percentage points”.
http://www.neimagazine.com/news/newseuropes-heatwave-affects-npps-6271432

August 1, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Most governments, energy companies, investors, now realise that climate change is real

FT 31st July 2018, Environmentalists have won the battle of a generation: after years of campaigning, they have largely persuaded the world that man-made climate change is real and that fossil fuels are to blame. Remaining sceptics -chief among them US president Donald Trump – are outnumbered even in their own countries.

Instead, most governments, energy companies, investors and
others are beginning the pivot towards supporting low-carbon energy
sources. That poses a fresh challenge for environmentalists: though
transition is under way, scientists say only more action than is planned
will avoid the catastrophic effects of unabated global warming.

Campaigners are divided on the tactics to achieve this. At one end are grassroots groups such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, which are well known for protests that aim to obstruct polluters and mobilise public opinion. They have no plans to abandon such tactics, even as one-time foes including oil majors slowly begin to address their contribution to climate change.

This month, Greenpeace protesters dangled from a Canadian bridge for 38 hours to block an oil sands tanker. “Those bold statements are needed more than ever,” says Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace
International, “because we’re in a climate crisis and it’s very clear that
the pace of change is not adequate enough.”

There is also a new breed of campaigners who prefer to exert pressure inside boardrooms. These groups, including activist shareholders, investors and analysts, say there is a pragmatic case against continued investment in coal, oil and gas. Among them is Carbon Tracker Initiative, an early pioneer in arguing the risks and rewards for investors. Founded nine years ago by sustainable investment analyst Mark Campanale with philanthropic funding, the think-tank spent several years telling investors that many of their fossil fuel assets would become “unburnable” in a low-carbon economy.
https://www.ft.com/content/94ca31f0-7ac4-11e8-af48-190d103e32a4

August 1, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Investigative journalism greatly threatened by Nine-Fairfax merger

Nine-Fairfax merger rings warning bells for investigative journalism – and Australian democracy  https://theconversation.com/nine-fairfax-merger-rings-warning-bells-for-investigative-journalism-and-australian-democracy-100747?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20August%201%202018%20-%20107769581&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20August%201%202018%20-%20107769581+CID_13595e5e9a6e76046365f409b090bf10&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Nine-Fairfax%20merger%20rings%20warning%20bells%20for%20investigative%20journalism%20%20and%20Australian%20democracy 

Andrea Carson  Incoming Associate Professor at LaTrobe University. Former Lecturer, Political Science, School of Social and Political Sciences; Honorary Research Fellow, Centre for Advancing Journalism, University of Melbourne

If you value the media’s watchdog role in democracy, then the opening words in the deal enabling Channel Nine to acquire Fairfax Media, the biggest single shake-up of the Australian media in more than 30 years, ring alarm bells.

The opening gambit is an appeal to advertisers, not readers. It promises to enhance “brand” and “scale” and to deliver “data solutions” combined with “premium content”. Exciting stuff for a media business in the digital age. But for a news organisation what is missing are key words like “news”, “journalism” and “public interest”.

Those behind the deal, its political architects who scrapped the cross-media ownership laws last year, and its corporate men, Fairfax’s and Nine’s CEOs, proffer a commercial rather than public interest argument for the merger. They contend that for two legacy media companies to survive into the 21st century, this acquisition is vital.

Perhaps so. But Australia’s democratic health relies on more than a A$4 billion media merger that delivers video streaming services like Stan, a lucrative real estate advertising website like Domain, and a high-rating television program like Love Island.

The news media isn’t just any business. It does more than entertain us and sell us things. Through its journalism, it provides important public interest functions.

Ideally, news should accurately inform Australians. A healthy democracy is predicated on the widest possible participation of an informed citizenry. According to liberal democratic theorists, the news media facilitate informed participation by offering a diverse range of views so that we can make considered choices, especially during election campaigns when we decide who will govern us.

Journalists have other roles too, providing a check on the power of governments and the excesses of the market, to expose abuses that hurt ordinary Australians.

This watchdog role is why I am concerned about Nine merging with Fairfax. To be clear, until last week, I was cautiously optimistic about the future of investigative journalism in Australia.

Newspapers like The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the Newcastle Herald and the Financial Review have a strong record of using their commercial activities to subsidise expensive investigative journalism to strengthen democratic accountability by exposing wrongdoing. Channel Nine does not.

Since the formation of The Age’s Insight team in 1967, Fairfax investigations have had many important public outcomes after exposing transgressions including: judicial inquiries, criminal charges, high-profile political and bureaucratic sackings, and law reforms. Recent examples include the dogged work of Fairfax and ABC journalists to expose systemic child sex abuse in the Catholic Church and elsewhere, leading to a royal commission and National Redress Scheme for victims. Another was the exposure of dodgy lending practices that cost thousands of Australians their life savings and homes, which also triggered a royal commission.

The problem with Nine’s proposed takeover of Fairfax (if it goes ahead) is that it is unlikely to be “business as usual” for investigative journalism in the new Nine entity. First, there is a cultural misalignment and, with Nine in charge, theirs is likely to dominate.

With notable exceptions such as some 60 Minutes reporting, Nine is better known for its foot-in-the-door muckraking and chequebook journalism than its investigative journalism. In comparison, seven decades of award-winning investigative journalism data reveal Fairfax mastheads have produced more Walkley award-winning watchdog reporting than any other commercial outlet.

Second, even as the financial fortunes of Fairfax have waned in the digital age, it has maintained its award-winning investigative journalism through clever adaptations including cross-media collaborations, mainly with the ABC. This has worked well for both outlets, sharing costs and increasing a story’s reach and impact across print, radio, online and television.

How will this partnership be regarded when Fairfax is Nine’s newlywed? Will the ABC be able to go it alone with the same degree of investigative reporting in light of its successive federal government budget cuts?

Third, my latest research (see graph, on original) ) has shown that in Australia, as in Britain and the United States, investigative stories and their targets have changed this decade to accommodate newsroom cost-cutting.

Investigations are more likely to focus on stories that are cheaper and easier to pursue. This means some areas such as local politics and industrial relations have fallen off the investigative journalist’s radar. Here and abroad, this reflects cost-cutting and a loss of specialist reporters.

Echoing this, The Boston Globe’s Spotlight editor, Walter Robinson, warned:

There are so many important junctures in life where there is no journalistic surveillance going on. There are too many journalistic communities in the United States now where the newspaper doesn’t have the reporter to cover the city council, the school committee, the mayor’s office … we have about half the number of reporters that we had in the late 1990s. You can’t possibly contend that you are doing the same level or depth of reporting. Too much stuff is just slipping through too many cracks.

Of concern, Australian award-winning investigations already cover a smaller breadth of topics compared to larger international media markets. The merger of Fairfax mastheads with Channel Nine further consolidates Australia’s newsrooms. If investigative journalism continues, story targets are likely to be narrow.

Finally, investigative journalism is expensive. It requires time, resources and, because it challenges power, an institutional commitment to fight hefty lawsuits. Fairfax has a history of defending its investigative reporters in the courts, at great expense.

Will Nine show the same commitment to defending its newly adopted watchdog reporters using earnings from its focus on “brand”, “scale” and “data solutions”? For the sake of democratic accountability, I hope so.

 

August 1, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

These Russians aren’t going away — Beyond Nuclear International

At great personal risk, pair sounds warning about radiation dangers

via These Russians aren’t going away — Beyond Nuclear International

August 1, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Poisoning more than pigeons in the park — Beyond Nuclear International

Uranium mine poses threat to elephants, other wildlife

via Poisoning more than pigeons in the park — Beyond Nuclear International

August 1, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ditch the Dump Demo in Bowness —

Ditch the Nuke Dump! Demo -19th Jan at Bowness Bay Today despite the freezing cold conditions campaigners from Bowness, Keswick and Silloth in Cumbria to Bridgwater in Somerset will ramp up opposition to the government plan for a nuke dump under Cumbria. In Bowness this morning over 100 people turned up to show their support…

via Ditch the Dump Demo in Bowness —

August 1, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 31 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Nuclear power is ‘ridiculously expensive’ compared to solar, says longtime nuclear advocate” • A longtime nuclear industry advocate and former head of the International Energy Agency now says nuclear is too expensive compared to solar. Meanwhile, Bloomberg has repeatedly shown existing US nuclear power plants are “bleeding cash.” [ThinkProgress] ¶ “Australia renewables boom […]

via July 31 Energy News — geoharvey

August 1, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Carnegie inks $1.6m deal to boost CETO wave power technology — RenewEconomy

Enel Green Power to invest €1 million in R&D for Carnegie’s CETO wave power technology, and collaborate in its deployment “across a number of milestones.”

via Carnegie inks $1.6m deal to boost CETO wave power technology — RenewEconomy

August 1, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Open letter to energy ministers: Release NEG modelling in full — RenewEconomy

A group of 23 energy researchers from 11 institutions have called for the full release of National Energy Guarantee modelling.

via Open letter to energy ministers: Release NEG modelling in full — RenewEconomy

August 1, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment