Australian news, and some related international items

The spent nuclear fuel rods at Lucas Heights can only sensibly be treated as high level waste

Steve Dale  Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 17 Nov 18 , “ANSTO like to say that Australia doesn’t generate High Level Waste” . The Emperor’s new clothes, the reactor’s spent fuel asset – are similar fairy tales

“‘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
   “ANSTO like to say that Australia doesn’t generate High Level Waste” . The Emperor’s new clothes, the reactor’s spent fuel asset – are similar fairy tales

“‘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

November 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Britain’s Sellafield nuclear reprocessing ends (but where will Australia’s toxic used fuel rods go?)

Commercial nuclear reprocessing ends at Sellafield site , BBC 14 November 2018   Reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel from around the world has ended at Sellafield.

The last batch of waste has gone through its Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (Thorp), which opened in 1994.

It has generated an estimated £9bn by extracting new nuclear fuel from 9,000 tonnes of used rods from 30 customers in countries as far afield as Japan.

Thorp will operate until the 2070s as a storehouse for spent fuel as the site around it in Cumbria is cleaned up.

Sellafield Ltd said there would be no redundancies as a result of the closure, with all employees in roles no longer required offered alternative jobs in the business.

The decision to wind it down was taken in 2012, as a result of the majority of its customers opting to store rather than reprocess their fuel…….

November 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, wastes | Leave a comment

Federal govt on nuclear waste dump: Minister has “absolute discretion”, dismisses Greens’ concerns

The Minister’s ability to exercise judgement to determine whether there is broad community support, based on the circumstances relevant to each nomination, is consistent with his absolute discretion under the Act.

The Government does not support the recommendations proposed in the dissenting statements by the Australian Greens or Centre Alliance

Federal government’s response to the Senate Economic References Committee report into the site selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility.  Senate Thursday 15 November 2018  Economics References Committee

Government Response to Report


The Australian Government welcomes the opportunity to respond to the findings and recommendations of the Senate Economic References Committee report into the site selection process for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (the Facility), and agrees to the Committee’s recommendations, either in full or in-principle. Continue reading

November 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

IAEA sees ‘Areas for Enhancement’ in Australia’s Nuclear and Radiation Safety

IAEA Mission Says Australia Committed to Strengthening Nuclear and Radiation Safety, Sees Areas for Enhancement, IAEA, 52/2018, Melbourne, Australia An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts said Australia is committed to strengthening its regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety. The team also noted areas for further enhancements, including implementation of the framework in a more consistent manner across the country.

The Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) team on 16 November concluded a 12-day mission to Australia. The mission was conducted at the request of the Government of Australia and hosted by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), the Commonwealth Government regulator. Under Australia’s federal system of government, ARPANSA regulates Commonwealth entities and other entities are regulated within the six states and two territories. The majority of licenced activities in Australia are carried out within states and territories. This was the third IRRS mission to Australia since 2007 and the first to include all nine jurisdictions.

……..The IRRS team commended the hosts for inviting a comprehensive review involving all jurisdictions in Australia, adding that it was the first such IRRS mission. The team identified this as a good practice and a model that other federal countries may want to consider when planning for future IRRS missions. Regarding the national framework, the team noted ongoing activities to address consistency in the country’s radiation safety programmes, but said further efforts were warranted in several areas……

The team provided recommendations and suggestions for further enhancements, including:

  • All relevant authorities should consider formalizing the existing elements of the framework for safety into a comprehensive national policy and strategy for safety.
  • The Commonwealth Government should make a firm commitment and take actions with specific milestones to address decommissioning of facilities and radioactive waste management.
  • The Governments of all jurisdictions should ensure that all parties responsible for the safety of facilities and regulatory activities have the necessary capabilities and human resources to carry out their responsibilities.
  • ARPANSA should establish criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of licensees’ emergency exercises and assign roles and responsibilities for its staff during emergency situations.
The final mission report will be provided to the Government of Australia in about three months. The Government of Australia plans to make the report public.

November 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, safety | Leave a comment

Australia-UK agreement on nuclear co-operation and development after UK leaves European Union

This agreement allows the strong links between the UK and Australia in the civil nuclear sector to continue following the UK’s withdrawal from Euratom and provides the basis for future  collaboration.

International treaty Gov UK

[CS Australia No.1/2018] UK/Australia: Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy     Presented to Parliament 12 November 2018

November 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Did the Woolsey fire disturb a nuclear waste site? California says no, and a group of doctors say yes

Is the California Fire Spreading Nuclear Toxins?

 Zero Hedge, By Zoë Schlanger & Daniel Wolfe, November 13, 2018 As the Woolsey fire tore through more than 90,000 acres of Southern California over the weekend, it scorched land at a closed-down lab where the US government and private companies tested nuclear weapons and rocket engines for decades beginning in the 1940s.

The Santa Susana Field Lab (SSFL), in the Simi Hills right on the border of Ventura and Los Angeles counties, is now a federal Superfund site. It was the site of several nuclear accidents, including the worst nuclear meltdown in US history when, in 1959, facility operators intentionally vented nuclear material from the site’s  “Sodium Reactor Experiment” to prevent it from overheating and exploding. By the time the leaks were closed, the site had released 459 times more radiation than was leaked during the better-known 1979 meltdown at Three Mile Island.

The lab property, now owned by airplane manufacturer Boeing, stretches for 2,800 acres in the Simi Hills, and remains contaminated with toxic materials. Thousands of people live within two miles of the site, and roughly half a million live within 10 miles, according to an investigation by NBC 4 Los Angeles.

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control said that, as of Friday (Nov. 9), they believed there was nothing to worry about at the Santa Susana site in relation to the Woolsey fire. “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 department said in a statement.

But some physicians disagree.

“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,” Robert Dodge, a physician and the president of Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles, said in a statement. “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.” ……….

The Santa Susana Field Lab has never been completely cleaned up, and residents believe cancer occurs at higher than normal rates in the area. People who worked at the lab in the 1950s and who developed cancer are part of a designated US Centers for Disease Control “special exposure cohort” and may be eligible for compensation for their nuclear materials exposure……

November 17, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

The leaders of France’s colonial Pacific islands deceived their people about the “safety”of nuclear tests

French Polynesian president acknowledges nuclear test lies, Thomas Adamson / The Associated Press, NOVEMBER 16, 2018 PARIS —French Polynesian President Edouard Fritch has said the leaders of the French collectivity of islands in the South Pacific lied to the population for three decades over the dangers of nuclear testing.

November 17, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

British scientists secretly used Australian population to test for radiation contamination after nuclear tests at Maralinga

November 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, secrets and lies, weapons and war | Leave a comment

A Fukushima waiting to happen? Huge stockpile of nuclear waste on California fault line threatens US 

Ticking time bomb giant stockpile of nuclear waste endangers USA

The San Onofre nuclear plant, located just 108 feet from a popular beach, was shut down in 2015 after a leak was discovered. Now, the Southern California Edison energy company is burying the nuclear waste at the failed site — a move which has been approved by federal regulator

Charles Langley, the executive director of Public Watchdogs, told RT that the situation at San Onofre is of “grave concern” because spent nuclear fuel and water “don’t mix.”

Langley claimed that research carried out by experts which highlighted the extreme risks of storing the waste at the facility was “suppressed” by the very government agency responsible for protecting public health and safety.

“There are actually fault lines that run underneath the facility. We’ve documented this in geological reports that were suppressed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It’s in a Tsunami zone and it’s also extremely vulnerable to terrorist attacks.”

So far, 29 of 73 canisters of waste are below the surface of the ground. Langley warns, however, that the canisters are unequipped to store the toxic nuclear waste. The warranty for the containment system is only for 10 years “and the canisters themselves are only guaranteed to last 25 years,” he said.

Nina Babiarz, a board member at Public Watchdogs, told RT that “there should have been a requirement for an underground monitoring system before one can even went in the ground.”

Babiarz believes the San Onofre plant is a ticking time bomb.

“It’s still very prevalent to me that this not only could happen, but it has happened at Three Mile Island, of course it has happened at Chernobyl, it’s happened at Fukushima — and lest we forget, it could happen at San Onofre,” she said.

Edison refused to answer any of RT’s questions. On its website, however, the company says they are “being proactive in seeking out options for the relocation of the fuel, including an off-site facility.”

But San Onofre is not the only nuclear site causing concern to scientists and environmentalists in California.

The Santa Susana Field Laboratory —  a highly classified former nuclear testing site, which was the location of the worst nuclear meltdown in nuclear history —  was scorched in the California wildfires. During the 1959 disaster, 459 times more radiation was leaked there than during the infamous 1979 Three Mile Island meltdown in Pennsylvania.

Physicians for Social Responsibility say that the toxic materials in the soil and vegetation could become airborne in smoke and ash. More than half a million people live within 10 miles of the area.

Investigative journalist Paul DeRienzo told RT that given the site’s classified status, it’s no surprise that Americans don’t know much about the place.

“It was a tremendous accident [in 1959] that gave off more radiation than Three Mile Island did — and other than that, very little is known. It’s a highly classified site and whatever we learn about it, we learn in dribs and drabs over a long period of time,” DeRienzo said.

Asked whether government assurances that the site is safe could be believed, DeRienzo warned against trusting official guarantees.

“You can’t, because it’s classified, because a lot of the things that happened at Santa Susana were classified and therefore there are things that they’re just never going to tell you and only accidentally does it come out,” he said.

November 17, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Indictment Against Assange Mistakenly Revealed By Prosecutors? Or Mueller Shaking The Tree? — Mining Awareness +

Why does the NY Times, as well as WaPo and others, assume that it was mistakenly? It could be clerical error but appears intentional, either by Mueller to flush out someone or something, or to warn Assange. Shake the tree and watch the monkeys jump out. It’s almost certain that Assange is working with Mueller, […]

via Indictment Against Assange Mistakenly Revealed By Prosecutors? Or Mueller Shaking The Tree? — Mining Awareness +

November 17, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

November 16 Energy News — geoharvey

Science and Technology: ¶ “A Warmer Planet Means Hurricanes Will Drop More Rain and Have Higher Winds” • A report published in the journal Nature, suggests that future hurricanes could drop up to 30% more rain and have winds as much as 33 miles per hour stronger than current storms if global warming reaches 2°C […]

via November 16 Energy News — geoharvey

November 17, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Four key steps to take Australia towards 100 per cent renewable electricity — RenewEconomy

Here are the four key policy initiatives we must take to propel Australia towards 100 per cent renewable electricity. The post Four key steps to take Australia towards 100 per cent renewable electricity appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Four key steps to take Australia towards 100 per cent renewable electricity — RenewEconomy

November 17, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Project Sunshine” tested dead babies for radioactive fallout

Only baby bones used in nuke tests 2001-06-0 Sydney, Australia – Bone samples from dead babies were shipped to the United States and Britain to be tested for radioactive fallout as part of an Australian government programme, officials said on Thursday.

The government’s Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) said from 1957 to 1978 Australia operated a programme to measure levels of “strontium 90” radioactive fallout in humans by testing corpses. Nuclear weapons tests were conducted in Australia and there was concern about radioactive fallout building up in the atmosphere.

In the early years of the study, known as Project Sunshine, hundreds of human bone samples from corpses of babies, children and adults aged up to 40 years were reduced to ash and sent to the United States and Britain for tests on radioactivity levels. Facilities were later constructed for the tests to be carried out in Australia.

ARPANSA chief executive officer Dr. John Loy said on Thursday that it was unlikely scientists sought consent to do the tests from relatives of the deceased.

Loy said the studies were “part of an overall programme to measure the impact on Australians of atmospheric nuclear testing throughout the world.”

“In the 1950s and 60s there were hundreds of nuclear explosions throughout the world and this led to contamination,” Loy told The Associated Press. “There were measurements of activity in water, air, food and … bone tissue,” he said.

Loy said human bone absorbs strontium 90 from the atmosphere. “So it was important to get a handle on what sort of exposure was resulting from these tests,” he added.

Project Sunshine was not kept secret by the government and reports on the study were published in scientific journals, Loy said.

Interest in the project was renewed this month by media reports that the bodies of stillborn babies from Britain and Australia were also used in the research.

The reports quoted documents from a meeting of the project’s scientists in 1955, during which project leader Dr Willard Libby said the supply of stillborn babies had been “cut off”.

“If anyone knows how to do a good job of body snatching, they will really be serving their country,” said Libby, a Nobel Prize laureate, according to The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

State governments across Australia have announced that they will hold inquiries into the reported export of stillborn babies for nuclear testing.

Loy said on Thursday that ARPANSA has “no evidence whatsoever” that stillborn babies’ bodies were used in tests, but only of bones.

“Conceivably it happened in some other way, I have no idea, but certainly we have no indication that it did happen,” he said.

Loy welcomed the inquiries as a chance to set standards for future nuclear testing. Currently, nuclear tests in Australia focus on radioactivity in plants, food and air only, he said.

“It’s a legacy of a bad time of nuclear testing in the atmosphere and I guess we’ve got to learn from that and the need to make sure that if these programmes are needed they are done with people’s proper consent,” Loy said.

November 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Victorian Labor’s policies on Aboriginal issues

November 17, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, politics, Victoria | Leave a comment

Soon to be ADANI’s railway blocked by 18 year old climate activist, stopping all coal entering the ADANI owned Abbot Point.

November 17, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | 1 Comment