Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Federal government nuclear waste compromises Safety and Security in South Australia

 Nuclear Brief (10 Nov 2018) by David Noonan, Independent Environment Campaigner The Federal gov. is compromising Safety and Security in SA with ANSTO irradiated nuclear fuel waste to be shipped through Whyalla or Port Pirie to an indefinite (“for approx. 100 years”) above ground nuclear waste Store to be imposed on to SA at Kimba or at Hawker.

Two shipments of ANSTO nuclear fuel waste are intended in the first 2 years of Store operations.

Some 100 x B-Double truckloads (see p.179) of Intermediate Level Wastes (ILW) are also to be trucked into SA, primarily from Lucas Heights, in the first 4 years of Store operations in SA.

ANSTO nuclear fuel wastes were prohibited by the SA State Liberal gov. in 2000 and ANSTO’s Intermediate Level Wastes (& Low Level wastes) were prohibited by the State ALP gov. in 2003.

Imposed illegal transport and indefinite above ground storage of nuclear wastes is untenable:

The Federal nuclear regulator ARPANSA states that nuclear fuel wastes & Intermediate Level reactor wastes require radiation shielding and require isolation from the environment for over 10,000 years.

However, after 60 years ANSTO has no nuclear waste disposal capacity with none foreseeable for multiple decades while nuclear waste production is set to increase to more than double stockpiles.

ANSTO practice & the intended Store in SA are contrary to Nuclear Safety Committee advice to the CEO of ARPANSA (Nov 2013) “regarding safety implications of waste stored in interim storage”, re:

“International best practice points to the need to have in place a policy and infrastructure for final management and ultimate disposal of waste before activities generating waste commence.”

SA faces decades of nuclear accident and terrorist risks & impacts in ANSTO nuclear waste shipments – first from the UK & from Lucas Heights, with the next 40 years of ANSTO nuclear fuel waste to be shipped to SA as reprocessed nuclear wastes from France and potentially direct from Lucas Heights.

The Australian Radioactive Waste Management Framework (DIIS April 2018, p.4) reports total Intermediate Level Wastes at 1,770 m3 – with 95% (by volume) arising as Federal gov. wastes.

The Federal gov. plans to more than double Intermediate Level Wastes to produce a further 1,960 m 3 over next 40 years, with 1,850 m3 (95%) of that arising from ANSTO Lucas Heights operations.

SA faces a total of approx. 210 x B-Double truckloads of Federal gov. Intermediate Level Wastes in an agenda to more than double ANSTO’s 60 year stockpile of ILW over the next 40 years – all to be trucked or shipped into SA for indefinite above ground storage in regional SA.

 In Contrast: States/Territories hold approx. 105 m3 of largely historical Intermediate Level Wastes (ILW), with a Federal Review in 2014 projecting ‘only minor future ILW arising’. S/T’s ILW are set to fall from currently approx. 5% (by volume) to under 3% of ILW intended to be Stored in SA.

The proposed above ground Store in SA is primarily 95+ % for Federal gov. Nuclear wastes.

  1. See: Nuclear Brief (1/8/18) by David Noonan “Federal gov. names SA Ports to impose nuclear waste Shipments” https://nuclear.foe.org.au/wp-content/uploads/SA-Nuclear-Port-Brief-August-

Nuclear Safety Committee advice against dual handling transport for interim storage:

Nuclear Safety Committee (NSC) advice to the CEO of ARPANSA (Nov 2013) addresses Transport issues a way that clearly predicates against proposed Federal gov. indefinite above ground Storage of ANSTO irradiated nuclear fuel waste and Intermediate Level reactor wastes in regional SA.

 This NSC advice states that dual handling in transport associated with interim storage “does not represent international best practice” and raises “implications for security” and for safety, Noting that: “ANSTO already has comprehensive security arrangements in place” at Lucas Heights.

  1. Transport … The criteria of the Waste Guide “set out international best practice” (pp. 11); this promotes transport of ILW directly to a final storage or disposal facility rather than to interim storage at another facility, as is currently being proposed for the ILW generated from the reprocessing of HIFAR used nuclear fuel.

Thus, while transport of radioactive material has historically proved to have or present very low risks, it would appear that the dual handling and transport process associated with interim storage does not represent international best practice.

The Committee notes that the SAFETY GUIDE: Safe Transport of Radioactive Material 2008 Radiation Protection Series Publication No. 2.1 recommends contact time with the waste should be kept short.

Dual handling also has implications for security, pursuant to RPS 11. Code of Practice for the Security of Radioactive Sources (2007). The Committee notes that ANSTO already has comprehensive security arrangements in place at its LHSTC site. (Emphasis added)

In: “Nuclear Safety Committee advice to CEO of ARPANSA regarding safety implications of waste stored in interim storage” (22 Nov 2013), see: http://www.arpansa.gov.au/pubs/nsc/nsc_iwsadvice.rtf

The Federal gov. must stop compromising Safety & Security in SA with their untenable nuclear waste Storage plan and accept Extended Storage of nuclear fuel waste & ILW at Lucas Heights. ANSTO has to take responsibility for its own nuclear waste and keep it secure at Lucas Heights.

The NRWMF Low Level disposal site is also 95+ % for Federal – primarily ANSTO waste:

Low Level radioactive wastes (LLW) are also to double (p.4) from 4,967 m3 of Federal gov. LLW to add 4.843 m3 over 40 years – with 4,685 m3 ( 97 % ) to arise from ANSTO Lucas Heights operations.

 Many hundreds of truckloads of ANSTO Low Level radioactive wastes are to be dumped in SA. An initial approx. 277 truckloads of existing LLW will come in to SA (reported at 10 m3 of LLW per truckload) with a projected further approx. 468 truckloads over next 40 years of ANSTO operations.

In Total: Toward 1,000 truckloads of ANSTO wastes could be dumped in SA over 40 yrs.

For further Information, see: https://nuclear.foe.org.au/waste & an updated Submission to Minister Canavan, at: https://nuclear.foe.org.au/noonan/by David Noonan B.Sc., M.Env.St.

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November 11, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Doctors slam media claim that California fire is “no problem” regarding radiation

RESPONSE TO LA MAGAZINE ARTICLE: https://www.psr-la.org/woolsey-fire-burns-nuclear-meltdown-site-that-state-toxics-agency-failed-to-clean-up/

On November 10, Los Angeles Magazine ran an article claiming there was no risk related to SSFL contamination from the Woolsey fire that we now know actually began on the SSFL property itself. Below is our response.

Los Angeles Magazine must print a correction – this article is filled with errors and misinformation:

  1. There is no need to put quotes around “significantly contaminated” – SSFL is one of the most contaminated sites in the nation, subject of a promised but long-delayed state and federal cleanup; it is heavily contaminated with well documented nuclear and chemical contamination, from, among other things, a partial nuclear meltdown.
  2. The claim in the first hours of the fire by DTSC, an agency that has no public confidence to the point that the state legislature commissioned an Independent Review Panel to investigate its failings (which include the Exide fiasco in Vernon,) that it didn’t “believe” there was a risk is cover for its failure to live up to its cleanup commitments (it had promised the site would be cleaned up by 2017 and the cleanup hasn’t even begun). It is pure conjecture. DTSC does not have have any scientific data to back up the claim. It based the spurious assertion on its claim that the fire in its first hours was not in areas where contamination could be released, but the state fire department now shows almost all of the contaminated site as within the fire boundary.
  3. DTSC did not release it’s statement in response to the Forbes article, it released it the night before, when virtually nothing was known about the extent of the fire at SSFL
  4. SSFL is NEVER referred to as Area IV – that is simply one area in the site, the area where most of the nuclear activity occurred
  5. Given the extent of contamination in the site’s soil and vegetation, it is indeed possible and likely that contamination from the site was spread further from the fire in smoke, dust, and ash.

The bottom line is it irresponsible to claim that SSFL contamination was not spread further by the fire. Los Angeles Magazine may wish to read its own cover story from 1998: HOT ZONE – Rocketdyne’s Santa Susana Field Laboratory was on the front lines of the Cold War. Now some who lived near “The Hill” say they share two distinctions: chronic illness and the unswerving belief that the lab caused it.

November 11, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

California fire likely to expose residents to radioactive ash, from nuclear polluted site

This secret gave her daughter cancer

Last night, the Woolsey fire burned the contaminated Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), a former nuclear and rocket engine testing site. Footage from local television showed flames surrounding rocket test stands, and the fire’s progress through to Oak Park indicates that much of the toxic site burned.

statement released by the California Dept. of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) said that its staff, “do not believe the fire has caused any releases of hazardous materials that would pose a risk to people exposed to the smoke.” The statement failed to assuage community concerns given DTSC’s longtime pattern of misinformation about SSFL’s contamination and its repeated broken promises to clean it up.

“We can’t trust anything that DTSC says,” said West Hills resident Melissa Bumstead, whose young daughter has twice survived leukemia that she blames on SSFL and who has mapped 50 other cases of rare pediatric cancers near the site. Bumstead organized a group called “Parents vs. SSFL” and launched a Change.org petition demanding full cleanup of SSFL that has been signed by over 410,000 people. “DTSC repeatedly minimizes risk from SSFL and has broken every promise it ever made about the SSFL cleanup. Communities throughout the state have also been failed by DTSC. The public has no confidence in this troubled agency,” said Bumstead.

Nuclear reactor accidents, including a famous partial meltdown, tens of thousands of rocket engine tests, and sloppy environmental practices have left SSFL polluted with widespread radioactive and chemical contamination. Government-funded studies indicate increased cancers for offsite populations associated with proximity to the site, and that contamination migrates offsite over EPA levels of concern. In 2010, DTSC signed agreements with the Department of Energy and NASA that committed them to clean up all detectable contamination in their operational areas by 2017. DTSC also in 2010 committed to require Boeing, which owns most of the site, to cleanup to comparable standards. But the cleanup has not yet begun, and DTSC is currently considering proposals that will leave much, if not all, of SSFL’s contamination on site permanently.

Dr. Robert Dodge, President of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, shares the community’s concerns. “We know what substances are on the site and how hazardous they are. We’re talking about incredibly dangerous radionuclides and toxic chemicals such a trichloroethylene, perchlorate, dioxins and heavy metals. These toxic materials are in SSFL’s soil and vegetation, and when it burns and becomes airborne in smoke and ash, there is real possibility of heightened exposure for area residents.”

Dodge said protective measures recommended during any fire, such as staying indoors and wearing protective face masks, are even more important given the risks associated with SSFL’s contamination. Community members are organizing a campaign on social media to demand that DTSC release a public statement revealing the potential risks of exposure to SSFL contamination related to the fire.

But for residents such as Bumstead, worries will remain until SSFL is fully cleaned up. “When I look at that fire, all I see is other parents’ future heartache,” said Bumstead, “And what I feel is anger that if the DTSC had kept its word, we wouldn’t have these concerns, because the site would be cleaned up by now.”

# # #

Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles (PSR-LA) is the largest chapter of the national organization Physicians for Social Responsibility and has worked for the full cleanup of SSFL for over 30 years.. PSR-LA advocates for policies and practices that protect public health from nuclear and environmental threats and eliminate health disparities.

Parents vs. SSFL is a grassroots group of concerned parents and residents who demand compliance with cleanup agreements signed in 2010 that require a full cleanup of all radioactive and chemical contamination at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory.

November 11, 2018 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

Ozone layer predicted to “totally heal” within 50 Years

Ozone layer hole will ‘totally heal within 50 years’ https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/06/health/ozone-healing-scli-intl/index.html  By Lianne Kolirin,  November 6, 2018 CNN) The hole in the Earth’s ozone layer is expected to fully heal within 50 years, climate change experts predict in a new UN report.

November 11, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Has the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management lost its independence? — Cumbria Trust

The Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) which advises BEIS on dealing with nuclear waste, has recently published a paper which Cumbria Trust believes calls into question their independence. They are supposed to act as an independent body, but some of their recent actions suggest to us that they are too close to BEIS […]

via Has the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management lost its independence? — Cumbria Trust

November 11, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

By definition nuclear weapons are genocidal, xenophobic and racist

Hayley Ramsay-Jones – ICAN 

11.11.2018 – Madrid, Spain – Tony Robinson At the II World Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace, in Madrid from the 5th to the 8th of November, Pressenza took the opportunity to cover activities carried out by the international team of activists from ICAN.

A combined presentation by Dr. Aurora Bilbao from IPPNW and Hayley Ramsay-Jones from Soka Gakkai International covered two very important topics: the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and the intersectional aspects of gender and race discrimination in nuclear disarmament.

We were especially interested to find out more about the gender and race aspects to nuclear disarmament, so after the presentation we caught up with Hayley to ask her a few questions…https://www.pressenza.com/2018/11/by-definition-nuclear-weapons-are-genocidal-xenophobic-and-racist/

November 11, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Concern over New South Wales zurconium mine – also mining uranium and thorium

Kazzi Jai  Kazzi Jai  Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 11 Nov 18, 

when you can’t legally “produce” uranium and thorium BUT inadvertently “mine” it to get the rare earth elements zirconium, hafnium, niobium and yttrium?

That’s what’s happening at the Toongi mine, 25km south of Dubbo in NSW. Called the “Alkane Resource’s Dubbo Zirconia Project” its lease was granted in December 2015. Much closer to Sydney at 380km…. compared to Roxby Downs which is 565 km from Adelaide! And it turns out that the mine has between 10,000 and 100,000 tonnes of uranium according to Geoscience Australia!

And there’s more! Turns out that over the 20-year life of the project around 80,000 tonnes of “radioactive substance” – uranium and thorium – would need to be “diluted”, according to Alkane’s Environmental Impact Statement.

This “dilution” would require up to 50 million tonnes of other, non-radioactive, materials. Around 7 million tonnes of salt, 2.5 billion litres of ‘liquid residue’ and 2 million tonnes of ‘solid waste’ would remain at the mine site forever, alongside a 40-hectare “final void”.

Now, why isn’t this in our local papers do you think?  https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

November 11, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, uranium | 1 Comment

President Trumps nuclear weapons plans will now meet with opposition in Democrat controlled Congress

Divided Congress to clash over Space Force, nuclear arsenal, The Hill, BY REBECCA KHEEL – 11/11/18

Democrats next year will control the gavels for the defense and foreign policy committees in the House for the first time since 2010.

The party has been itching to check President Trump on a host of issues, from his relationship with Saudi Arabia to the ballooning defense budget.

But to get legislation through Congress, House Democrats will need to work with the Senate, which is still in Republican hands. And the chairmen poised to lead the defense and foreign policy panels in the upper chamber are seen as staunch Trump allies.

Here are the top foreign policy and defense fights to watch in a divided Congress:

U.S.-Saudi relations

Lawmakers in both parties have been eyeing ways to punish Saudi Arabia over the killing of U.S.-based journalist and Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi.

House Democrats have said responses should include an end to U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalition in neighboring Yemen’s civil war. Democratic lawmakers were already opposed to U.S. backing because of civilian casualties, but Khashoggi’s murder has given the issue new urgency……….

Space Force

The Trump administration has said it wants the establishment of a “Space Force” included in next year’s defense policy bill. That position has contributed to increasingly diverging opinions between House and Senate lawmakers……….

Defense budget

Smith [Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), who’s poised to be chairman of the House Armed Services Committee] has said this year’s defense budget of $716 billion is “too high,” and in a Thursday letter announcing his run for chairman he vowed to target “inefficiency and waste” at the Pentagon……….

Nuclear weapons

One of Smith’s longtime concerns has been the U.S. nuclear arsenal. He opposed the Obama administration’s modernization plans, arguing they weren’t affordable.

With the Trump administration’s Nuclear Posture Review calling for new capabilities, Smith has stepped up his criticism, vowing to scrutinize the nuclear budget to look for savings in the overall defense budget.

In his Thursday letter, Smith said Democrats must “take substantial steps to reduce America’s overreliance on nuclear weapons.”

Adding to Democrats’ nuclear anxiety is Trump’s intention to withdraw from a Cold War-era arms accord with Russia known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Smith and Engel wrote a letter to the administration last month warning they “will neither support, nor enable, a precipitous course of action that increases the risk of an unconstrained nuclear arms race.”

Congress is limited in its power to prevent Trump from withdrawing from the treaty, but it could block funding for any new missiles that would be out of compliance with the accord……… https://thehill.com/policy/defense/415935-divided-congress-to-clash-over-space-force-nuclear-arsenal

November 11, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

November 11 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “What Changes Will Maine’s New Government Bring to Your Life?” • Swept to sizable majorities in last week’s elections, Maine’s Democrats will be in full control of state government for the first time since 2010. They are likely to look for ways to address a number of pressing issues, one of which is climate […]

via November 11 Energy News — geoharvey

November 11, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Radiation danger in California’s wildfire is downplayed by the media

With the wildfires still raging in the area of the Santa Susana nuclear disaster, the mainstream media does what it always does –   tries to reassure people, make the public comfortable that there is no radiation danger.

The government and nuclear experts can be depended on to do what they always do in such situations –   make sure that no genuine measuring  or assessment of the radiation risk is made.

Then they can say with confidence  “There is no evidence of any danger” –  having made sure to not look for any evidence.

Experts Say Rumors of “Radioactive Ash” from the Woolsey Fire Are Unsubstantiated  LA Magazine 10 Nov 18……. authorities from the California Department of Toxic Substances Control who oversee the site say there is no evidence that smoke from the area around the SSFL is any more dangerous than other wildfire smoke……….“Our scientists and toxicologists have reviewed information about the fire’s location and do not believe the fire has caused any releases of hazardous materials that would pose a risk to people exposed to the smoke,”……

The responding fire agencies from Ventura and Los Angeles Counties also consulted independent hazardous materials coordinators who agreed with the conclusion that toxic material from the site was unlikely to have been spread due to the fire…….”    https://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/santa-susana-woolsey-fire/

 

BUT – readers of this article were not impressed:  below some samples of the comments 

Los Angeles Magazine must print a correction – this article is filled with errors and misinformation:

1) There is no need to put quotes around “significantly contaminated” – SSFL is one of the most contaminated sites in the nation, subject of a promised but long-delayed state and federal cleanup; it is heavily contaminated with well documented nuclear and chemical contamination, from, among other things, a partial nuclear meltdown.

2) The claim in the first hours of the fire by DTSC, an agency that has no public confidence to the point that the state legislature commissioned an Independent Review Panel to investigate its failings (which include the Exide fiasco in Vernon,) that it didn’t “believe” there was a risk is cover for its failure to live up to its cleanup commitments (it had promised the site would be cleaned up by 2017 and the cleanup hasn’t even begun). It is pure conjecture. DTSC does not have have any scientific data to back up the claim. It based the spurious assertion on its claim that the fire in its first hours was not in areas where contamination could be released, but the state fire department now shows almost all of the contaminated site as within the fire boundary.

3) DTSC did not release it’s statement in response to the Forbes article, it released it the night before, when virtually nothing was known about the extent of the fire at SSFL

4) SSFL is NEVER referred to as Area IV – that is simply one area in the site, the area where most of the nuclear activity occurred

5) Given the extent of contamination in the site’s soil and vegetation, it is indeed possible and likely that contamination from the site was spread further from the fire in smoke, dust, and ash. The bottom line is it irresponsible to claim that SSFL contamination was not spread further by the fire.

See our press release here    http://bit.ly/SSFLfire
Also, Los Angeles Magazine may wish to read its own cover story from 1998: “HOT ZONE – Rocketdyne’s Santa Susana Field Laboratory was on the front lines of the Cold War. Now some who lived near ‘The Hill’ say they share two distinctions: chronic illness and the unswerving belief that the lab caused it”  [https://www.enviroreporter.com/hotzone]

Karen Nickel

I don’t see anywhere that they are actually doing real time monitoring for radioactive particles…did I miss it?

Robbin Ellison Dailey

Nope, you didnt miss a thing, Karen Nickel! They’re trusting other’s data…what ever that means.
Do not believe to have spread..unlikely to have spread.
All conjecture, no testing verification

Melissa Bumstead

I spoke with South Coast Air Quality and they said there wasn’t any monitoring done and it would be through the EPA. We spoke with CalEPA and they didn’t even know what areas of the site were burned yet. #DTSClies

Melissa Bumstead

The DTSC has lied to the community for years. You didn’t mention the 60% cancer incident rates for residents within two miles of the site, or the above average pediatric cancers, or invasive breast cancer rates 20% above the rest of CA, or that 9 out of 10 would get cancer if they lived there- and yet DTSC says that site poses no risk to the public. Why did you only interview them for this article. It seems very biased to me when we have experts backing up the claims against the DTSC.    www.SSFLworkgroup.org

…….and there are more

November 11, 2018 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment