Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

The week that has been in nuclear and climate news – Australia

This week, I’m briefly aberrating, to draw attention to the situation of Julian Assange. No, this is not directly relevant to nuclear or climate issues. But, knowing the corruption and lying ingrained in the nuclear and fossil fuel industries, it’s important to be mindful of the role of whistleblowers. The Australian government, which generously supports Australian convicted murderers and drug dealers in foreign lands, has done nothing to help Australian citizen, Julian Assange.  Assange is in dire danger of extradition to USA, of being locked up, “disappeared” forever, because in 2010 he exposed US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.   The branding of this truth teller as “criminal” should be a warning to the world.

On nuclear issues – India and Pakistan came close to the brink.

And the media is awash with propaganda about nuclear energy being essential to combat climate change. Especially propaganda about “new nukes” – small nuclear reactors (SMRs) . The reality is that it’s desperate hubris about a nonexistent technology without a future. Despite heavy promotion, SMRs are too expensive and there are no buyers.

CLIMATE – Climate change threatens millions of Bangladeshi children, warns UNICEF.     Some good news. Dozens of Countries Have Been Working to Plant ‘Great Green Wall’ – and It’s Holding Back Poverty.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIj764m7bys

AUSTRALIA

NUCLEAR.Port Lincoln the likely thoroughfare for nuclear waste entering South Australia?  Incompetent management of CSIRO’s nuclear waste – used by ARPANSA to promote South Australian Hawker waste dump plan? Where do candidates stand on nuclear waste dumping? Friends of the Earth are finding out.   Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation  (ANSTO) can afford to help China build new reactors, but apparently not to maintain its own building safely.  Australia and Britain’s shameful history of Nuclear Bombing of First Nations Lands .

CLIMATE. March was the hottest month ever recorded in Australia.  Australian voters back Labor to deal with climate change. Coalition signs off with a budget tailored for climate denialLabor’s emissions reduction policy: Does it really add up?  How Sky News and Peter Ridd try to mislead Australians about the Great Barrier Reef. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg passes the buck on Adani coal mine to Minister For Coal , Melissa Price.

Australia gets a very bad environmental report for 2018.

Environment Minister Melissa Price confirms Malaysia’s request for Australia to take back Lynas’ radioactive trash.

Australian Greens Platform for equality for First Nations Peoples .

RENEWABLE ENERGY.  Fate of big solar projects could ride on May election, and carbon credits   The shocking regulatory and cultural fail in Australia’s energy transition.   Australia: 100% renewables could be cheaper, quicker and easier than thought. Bank Australia signs up for 100% renewables, calls on business to lead transition.  Pilbara wind and solar will be cheapest power in Asia. Daintree edges closer to Australia first renewable-only microgrid, with help from green hydrogen.  SolarReserve abandons huge solar tower and storage plant near Port Augusta.  Massive 700MW wind farm proposed for Victoria’s south west.

INTERNATIONAL

Before we enter “a new nuclear age” – learn from the newly declassified Chernobyl health records.

Risk of nuclear weapons use is now at a record high.- Nuclear weapons accidents and losses 1950s – 2000s.

Book – “Deadly Dust – Made in the USA: Depleted Uranium Weapons Contaminating the World”

Challenges in Nuclear Verification– IAEA .

Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and the campaign to criminalise whistleblowing.

Reflective roofs can reduce overheating in cities and save lives during heatwaves.

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April 9, 2019 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Malaysian environmentalists and consumer groups dispute Lynas’ claims about radioactive wastes

Lynas is being unscientific, not SAM or CAP  https://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/471173  SM Mohamed Idris   6 Apr 2019 Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) and the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) refer to the letter by Lynas Malaysia reported in Malaysiakini on 5 April 2019, which says that our recent statements about the plant’s wastes are “false and ignore scientific fact.”

The controversy is over the definition of wastes from the Lynas’ water leach purification (WLP) process, which contains thorium and uranium.

Lynas claims that the wastes are naturally-occurring radioactive material (called NORM), while we claim that the wastes are not naturally-occurring, but have been technologically-enhanced and should be called technologically-enhanced naturally-occurring radioactive material known as TENORM.

Citing “two eminent scientists”, Lynas states as fact that “the small amount of thorium and uranium in the WLP generated are not man-made but naturally occurring radionuclides found in soil, water and in food.”

Lynas is clearly distorting the facts.

First of all, the thorium and uranium containing wastes generated by Lynas are not found to naturally occur in the Gebeng area, where the plant is located. On the contrary, the raw material which is processed by the Lynas plant is lanthanide concentrate that contains the thorium, uranium and the rare-earth.

This raw material is processed and imported from the Mount Weld mine in Australia and is brought to Malaysia. It is then subject to further processing in Gebeng by Lynas.

Therefore, how can it be said that say that the thorium and uranium are naturally occurring in the soil, water and in food when they were not there before in the Gebeng area, if not for the Lynas operations?

Moreover, what is even more significant is that we are talking about the generation of an accumulated amount of more than 450,000 metric tonnes of radioactive wastes from the Lynas operations thus far. To call this naturally-occurring radioactive material is indeed unscientific.

Secondly, the wastes that Lynas has generated from the WLP process clearly falls within the definition of TENORM, as defined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) as: “Naturally occurring radioactive materials that have been concentrated or exposed to the accessible environment as a result of human activities such as manufacturing, mineral extraction, or water processing.”

The USEPA also states that “technologically enhanced” means that the radiological, physical, and chemical properties of the radioactive material have been concentrated or further altered by having been processed, or beneficiated, or disturbed in a way that increases the potential for human and/or environmental exposures.”

Indeed, Lynas seems to have forgotten that its own Radiological Impact Assessment of 2010 refers to the residues from its operations as TENORM.

Moreover, in a study co-authored by, Dr. Sukiman Sarmani (the “eminent scientist” that Lynas refers to in its letter) and three others (published in 2014 on the Lynas plant residue), shows that the WLP residue has a high radioactivity of Thorium 232 compared to the natural background levels of Malaysian soils and therefore comes under the purview of the regulatory authorities.

These facts fortify our position.

Lynas in its letter also refers to us as “unqualified people.”

For the record, SAM and CAP have very deep and detailed knowledge of how rare-earth plants can impact public health and the environment, having had years of considerable experience from being involved in the Asian Rare Earth (ARE) case in Bukit Merah, Ipoh.

We assisted the people of Bukit Merah over many years countering the claims of ARE, the Atomic Energy Licensing Board, the International Atomic Energy Agency and others.

This we did by being engaged and involved with many scientists and public health experts both from Malaysia and abroad, who helped the community battle in the courts, that finally led to its closure. We have over the years documented the serious health impacts suffered by the Bukit Merah community, that continue till today, due to the impacts of low-level radiation.

Surely our rich experience and knowledge cannot simply be dismissed by the likes of Lynas. SM MOHAMED IDRIS is president of both environmental movement Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) and NGO Consumers Association of Penang (CAP).

April 9, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, rare earths, wastes | Leave a comment

Canada has closed its ‘medical’ nuclear reactors, now struggles with their radioactive waste legacy

April 9, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

NY Radiation Specialists Unveils State-of-the-Art Linear Accelerator

NY Radiation Specialists Unveils State-of-the-Art Linear Accelerator at NYCBS  benzinga, 8 Apr 19,   Port Jefferson Station, NY, April 08, 2019 –(PR.com)– On Tuesday, March 25, New York Radiation Specialists unveiled its brand new Varian Halcyon Linear Accelerator, at New York Cancer & Blood Specialists’ Eastchester Center for Cancer Care. The “NYCBS” Eastchester location is a multi-lingual facility located at 2330 Eastchester Road in the Bronx, just minutes from the Pelham Parkway. The Halcyon makes the NYCBS Eastchester Center for Cancer Care the most state-of-the-art radiation site in the region.

This cutting edge machine boasts features and benefits previously considered impossible. The Halcyon uses optimized guided radiotherapy technology to shape radiation beams to precisely match a patient’s tumor. These “beam shapers” deliver pinpoint accuracy of radiation to the areas that need it, protecting surrounding tissue and reducing the risk of side effects. In addition, the sophisticated design drastically reduces a patient’s table time. Since the accelerator is a self-contained unit, it is free to rotate up to four times faster than traditional models. The Halcyon can deliver effective radiation therapy in as little as five minutes. “Having the ability to deliver more effective treatment in less time is a win for the patient and aligns perfectly with New York Cancer & Blood Specialist’s mission to provide the highest quality of care,” said Dr. Reuven Grossman, an NYCBS Radiation Oncologist. “This new technology provides the most targeted and effective radiation treatment available anywhere.” Patients even have the option of checking themselves into the unit using a touchscreen and their I.D.
…….The entire installation process took two weeks which is a marked improvement over the industry standard of three months. This invariably enables patients to receive lifesaving treatment and therapy faster. … https://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/19/04/r13503382/ny-radiation-specialists-unveils-state-of-the-art-linear-accelerator-at-nycbs

April 9, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Morrison, Taylor ‘tied up in knots’ on EVs, says Mike Cannon-Brookes

 Fin Rev 8 Apr 19, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and energy minister Angus Taylor have tied themselves up in knots over electric vehicles since Labor announced a target of 50 per cent electric vehicles by 2030, contradicting their own past advocacy for the technology, software billionaire and clean energy campaigner Mike Cannon-Brookes says.Mr Taylor posted a steady stream of tweets ridiculing Labor’s EV policy, suggesting it would leave campers with electric vehicles reliant on highly …. (subscribers only) https://www.afr.com/news/policy/climate/morrison-taylor-tied-up-in-knots-on-evs-says-mike-cannon-brookes-20190408-p51c3a

April 9, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, election 2019 | Leave a comment

‘Shame’: Anti-Adani protesters storm Morrison speech

 SBS News , 8 Apr 19 Anti-Adani protesters have disrupted a Scott Morrison speech, as Coalition tension mount around the controversial project. Anti-Adani protesters have disrupted Scott Morrison at a Brisbane business lunch, but the prime minister appeared to take in his stride.One woman carrying a Stop Adani protest flag managed to reach Mr Morrison’s side, saying “we care about the climate. This will be a climate election … Shame”.

She was dragged away by security as a second protester stood to yell “stop Adani”………

Australian Youth Climate Coalition organiser, Melanie McAuliffe, said they wanted to highlight LNP government’s inability to react on climate change.

“We just had a summer of unprecedented heatwave, bushfires and floods and yet this government still continues to ignore what we need to do to address the climate crisis.”…….

Several teenagers said they were looking for action to save the planet.

Jo, from Cleveland, told the crowd outside the business lunch that all she wanted was a future.

“I am 17 years old and I want is for our government to do what they need to to save the planet,” she told the crowd.

“This is our home, this is what houses us, we have a responsibility to care for it.”………

Anti-Adani protesters disrupted a business lunch speech by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Brisbane on Monday. ……… https://www.sbs.com.au/news/shame-anti-adani-protesters-storm-morrison-speech

April 9, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment

How last-minute Adani approval could be the final big call of the Morrison Government

ABC News, By political reporter Jackson Gothe-Snape 8 Apr 19, Adani’s controversial mine awaits its final Federal approval this week, days before the election is called.

Key points:

  • Only one significant approval remains for Federal Government to approve Adani mine
  • Securing sign-off before the federal election is called would mean Queensland MPs in marginal seats could campaign on the issue
  • Queensland State Government still has two outstanding approvals

Approval from the Environment Minister, Melissa Price, is one of the final hurdles before the project can commence.

And pressure is growing from some of her colleagues for her to approve the mine so Queensland MPs can talk up the project during the election campaign.

This is the latest on what exactly is needed before the Adani mine can go ahead.

Federal groundwater hurdle

The last major federal environmental approval required is around how the mine will affect the local water system.

It’s formally called the Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Management Plan (GDEMP).

The Federal Government has asked the CSIRO and Geoscience Australia to assess the plan, but the decision to approve or deny the plan rests with the Environment Minister.

It’s not clear what these organisations have concluded, but a spokesperson for the Department of Environment told the ABC the department “has provided its assessment” to the Minister.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday the Government would be “relying on the scientific evidence”.

The ABC has previously reported the CSIRO had found flaws in the plan……… https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-08/adani-approval-last-decision-morrison-government/10980510

April 9, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment

Standing in the Fire With Young Climate Activists

Barbara Cecil, Truthout, 8 Apr 19,  A global student uprising is underway, with youth worldwide demanding that adults face the climate crisis head on. They need a strong foundation in themselves and adult partnership for the challenges ahead.

Sixteen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg became one of the most well-recognized faces of this movement following her speech before world leaders at a UN climate conference in Poland in December 2018, when she said, “Since our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago.”

Youth leaders like Thunberg are rising up across the globe. I had the privilege of working with a group of them from the United World College of the Atlantic in early March this year when I co-led a retreat in the U.K. with 17- and 18-year-olds. There were six adults in the retreat as well as students from 11 countries. All of the students had been on the front lines of the most recent strike; all of them carry deep questions about their futures. A young woman from the Netherlands named Maura Van der Ark — whom I had met in the Amazon Rainforest two summers ago, as Truthout reporter Dahr Jamail and I conducted research for his book, The End of Ice — had organized the retreat to help fellow students find a solid footing in these times.

These young people were exhausted from overwork, highly pressured to succeed by society’s standards, confused about their pathways into the future, and angry at their planetary inheritance. They were harboring a severe need to slow down, be themselves, reflect, and connect deeply with the Earth, with one another and with supportive, understanding adults. My experiences with them left a deep impression on me…….. https://truthout.org/articles/standing-in-the-fire-with-young-climate-activists/

April 9, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Fukushima Eight Years Later: Black Sacks and Lonely Children — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

As usual no mention whatsoever about the incineration of the radioactive waste by the 20 plus incinerators in activity in Fukushima Prefecture…. April 5, 2019 Coastal towns near the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant are filled more with sacks of contaminated soil than with children. There are signs that this may be changing, though, as […]

via Fukushima Eight Years Later: Black Sacks and Lonely Children — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

April 9, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Reality of Fukushima – 2019 — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

A message from Yayoi Hitomi, March 2019 I remember in 2011 or 2012, a deal between a US company and the Japanese government, buying geiger counters, which failed because the Japanese government wanted that US company to under-calibrate its Geiger-counters, which the US company refused to do. So it is quite possible that all those […]

via Reality of Fukushima – 2019 — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

April 9, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Big solar pipeline could come to “grinding halt” under Queensland rule change — RenewEconomy

New Queensland rule demanding only licensed electricians handle PV panels on solar farms slammed by industry as excessive, unnecessary and potentially devastating. The post Big solar pipeline could come to “grinding halt” under Queensland rule change appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Big solar pipeline could come to “grinding halt” under Queensland rule change — RenewEconomy

April 9, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Snowy 2.0 construction costs blow out to more than $5 billion — RenewEconomy

Snowy 2.0 construction costs now put at least $5.1 billion, and its timeline stretches out to 2027. The post Snowy 2.0 construction costs blow out to more than $5 billion appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Snowy 2.0 construction costs blow out to more than $5 billion — RenewEconomy

April 9, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Coalition spends millions on electric vehicles despite claiming Labor push will ‘end the weekend’

 SMH, By Nicole Hasham April 8, 2019 The Morrison government’s derision of Labor’s electric cars policy has been undermined after it emerged that the Coalition has spent millions of dollars encouraging Australians to use the vehicles and its MPs routinely spruik the technology.The government has aggressively criticised Labor’s election pledge that half of all new cars sold in 2030 would be electric, claiming it would “end the weekend” by forcing Australians to stop driving petrol-guzzling 4WDs…….. https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/coalition-spends-millions-on-electric-vehicles-despite-claiming-labor-push-will-end-the-weekend-20190408-p51bz5.html

April 9, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, election 2019 | Leave a comment

April 8 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Air Pollution: How Does London’s New Emissions Zone Compare?” • There are several different ways of describing cities or towns that have restrictions on vehicles, with the goal of tackling air pollution. A CAZ is a clean air zone, a LEZ is a low-emissions zone. Now London has the world’s first ULEZ, or […]

via April 8 Energy News — geoharvey

April 9, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Victorian fruit farmer slashes power costs by $62k a year with solar — RenewEconomy

Goulburn Valley fruit grower cuts grid power consumption by one-third, and annual electricity costs by $62,000 a year, after installing 200kW of solar. The post Victorian fruit farmer slashes power costs by $62k a year with solar appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Victorian fruit farmer slashes power costs by $62k a year with solar — RenewEconomy

April 9, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment