Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear waste dumping and Australia’s bushfires – the unmentionable connection

In all the propaganda for a nuclear waste dump in Kimba, South Australia, there was no mention of bushfire risks.  An extraordinary omission, don’t you think?

The whole bizarre plan to trek the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor wastes some1700km by land, or even longer by sea, would entail trucking highly radioactive  (they call it intermediate) wastes through forest areas, towns, ports, to what used to be an agricultural area.

The nuclear industry touts itself as the cure for climate change. In reality,it is the other way around. For Australia especially, climate change, bushfires, water shortages –  make every aspect of the nuclear industry ever more dangerous.

The Lucas Heights nuclear reactor itself is uncomfortably close to the bushfires. But nobody’s talking about that. That reactor shoud be shutdown, and no more wastes produced.

January 1, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina reviews

8 Comments »

  1. Hi Christina – I would like to put together a report on the nuclear dangers posed by the horrific fires you have been dealing with for Nuclear Hotseat. Would you be the right person to interview? If not, do you have someone with appropriate knowledge I could interview? This would be via Zoom. I’m in the US, in the Pacific time zone. Thanks. Hope that you are as well as can be expected given the current circumstances. – Libbe.

    Comment by Libbe HaLevy | January 7, 2020 | Reply

    • Thank you Libbe
      I would be happy to be interviewed. However, I’m thinking that Dave Sweeney, Gavin Mudd, or Jim Green might have a better grasp of this issue than I do. I hope it is OK with you if I contact them, and see what they think. One of us will be in touch with you.

      Comment by Christina MacPherson | January 8, 2020 | Reply

    • Having not received a positive response from the experts, I am still happy to do the interview myself. I understand many, though not all, of the complexities of this problem.

      Comment by Christina MacPherson | January 13, 2020 | Reply

  2. I came to the conclusion years ago that the Bushfire risk makes Australia totally unfit for nuclear. I’m glad you are ok, but so sorry for the devastation.

    Comment by miningawareness | January 17, 2020 | Reply

    • miningawareness. Well, you woke to to that danger ahead of anybody. But, would you believe, the nuclear lobby in Australia is now using the bushfires as an argument for nuclear power? Led by Dr Adi Paterosn of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) they are taking the leading part in an Australian government to plan strategies for preventing and/or dealing with future bushfires. They are shameless and ruthless liars, yet somehow have the confidence of Australia’s political and academic “top people””

      Comment by Christina MacPherson | January 18, 2020 | Reply

      • Yes, I believe it. It’s because of you that I learned the problem. Here was some of it, but I think I have older ones: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/07/26/wildfires-and-nuclear-dont-mix-lessons-from-san-onofre-and-chernobyl-to-australia/
        https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/08/02/dangers-of-bushfires-wildfires-nuclear-business/
        Even now, however, I am still in a learning state… meaning it’s hard to stomach and scary that forests can be most at risk. I recently found a study on the risk being higher at what they call the urban wildland interface (or something like that). (Which reminds me, I still have an unposted post about the role of automatic reclosures on the fires in Australia and California.)

        At least in Australia, it’s not just the fires but the way that they come up so quickly, so that a truck could easily get caught during transit and caught up in the blazes. Plus, I know that in the US they keep the stuff above ground before putting it underground and would be at risk from fire. They have had fires at several US nuclear sites (e.g LANL). The troubles in the US west/southwest and Australia reinforced themselves in my mind. You make Australia sound so wonderful by your existence that I was ready to move there, but the fires and the collapsing buildings don’t sound so great. I read about a lady who died (years ago) in her bathtub trying to protect herself from the fires. To me the fires are evidence that neither Australia nor the US should take further immigration. Most of Australia and a large part of the USA is fragile inhabitant that was never meant for full-time habitation. The US Great Plains have the one big aquifer like Australia and they are very arid and the American Indians only occupied them seasonally. Then the US had the idea to import a lot of people — mostly Germans and Scandinavians to homestead and then had the dust-bowl years. During the dust-bowl many moved to California, plus there is all of the new immigration where 1/3rd of California is foreign born. Once these people leave California, the forested parts of USA are already in danger of becoming desert from deforestation for housing. Everyone needs to have right of return to their place of origin. I don’t know if they should be forced yet, but they should at least have that option – and they don’t. The waste needs to go someplace, but it needs to be someplace cool, with not too much rainfall. Most importance, though, is a permanently monitored well-built storage (bunker or underground). To me the best place in the USA is the Idaho National Lab because it is arid but cool, already had at least one major accident, and they could turn the lab away from making more nuclear crap to monitoring it (they do some already). However, Idaho had a smart Senator who got an agreement that it not keep the waste. Idaho also has a very low population. The best reason, though, is that it’s the only US National Lab that is entirely focused on promoting new nuclear, so to give them the new activity of monitoring waste makes more sense. I’m sure that those in Idaho would hate my guts for saying this, as I would if I were from Idaho. They also hide behind a handful of American Indians who roamed around several of those states. They don’t offer to give the states back, but just use it as an excuse. The entire country is American Indian land. Larger tribal groups are endangered by it not being in Idaho. This includes in the non-arid parts. Currently the waste isn’t even fit for transport, so they need to drop concrete bunkers over the waste — if the soil can support it. Due to their nuclear accidents you won’t find me near an Idaho potato, either, organic or not. Fukushima exports “organic” food. A big thing that the US and Australia have in common is that they were BOTH prison colonies. You never hear that admitted for the USA. It was after the American Revolution that they had to start using Australia as a prison colony. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because the UK (and in the USA France) used the US and Australia as a prison colony and shipped people there isn’t a reason to keep bringing in immigrants and huger numbers of immigrants. It used to be hard to travel to and live in both countries. There was actually a women’s prison uprising in the Maisons Alfort prison in France because they did not want to be sent to Louisiana (then a large chunk of the United States). Do you know that Ireland had continued to lose native Irish up until Trump? Recently they got 100 native Irish back. The population growth is almost entirely foreign and only now the population is near the Potato Famine population. You could put every Irish and Scots back home and Ireland and Scotland would have smaller populations than England — last time I checked. It is good that Ireland won its independence or Sellafield would be there. The UK is trying to put/has put some nuclear waste in Northern Ireland, however.

        Anyway, thanks for all that you do. I am happy that you seem to be safe, but sad for the animals, and the many good people who lost their homes. 🐨 I pray that you stay safe.

        Comment by miningawareness | January 18, 2020

      • Wow – so much to think about in your comment! The Australian bushfires are sad for so many reasons. The right-wing climate change denialists are blaming environmentalists for the fires. In one sense, they do have a point. Australia’s national and state parks do have dense growth. Before Europeans invaded this country, the Aboriginals had a fine system of sort of ‘controlled fires’. Under that system, there were large swathes of grassland, and the forests were less cluttered. Aborigines actually farmed, as well as foraging, so with so many clear areas, there was not the density that allowed these huge fires that we’re now getting.

        Moving on to the immigration question – yes, you are so right. Australia is pretty much one vast desert, with a fringe of green around the coastlines. The vast bulk of the population live in that fringe. It is a very arid land, – not enough water to support a big population. But then more people always means more business, more economic growth, more corporate profits etc.
        However, I do believe that Australia has a duty to welcome the climate refugees from submerging Pacific Islands.

        While the human race is addicted to “growth”, there is no hope. We are like one vast organism, consuming and destroying its home.
        Most Australians are safe, thank you. Where I live, in the South of the continent, it is almost like being on another planet, with some cold days, and only the smoky pall to remind us that fires are happening elsewhere.

        Comment by Christina MacPherson | January 18, 2020

      • Thanks for the detailed reply. I hope it’s not too hard to breathe with the smoke. I certainly would agree on the climate refugees from the islands, but this can’t be many. Plus, if Europe would allow more people to return, some might – possibly resulting in zero population growth for Australia. That’s the problem with current US and Australian policy – when you take so many who just feel like immigrating then when people need to be taken in there is less space and more hardened hearts. That’s what happened in the WWII period. The Jews needed to be taken in but their needs occurred in a period of backlash due to previous out of control immigration. I know there is debate in the United States about forest fire control, but wildfires have been started in the US due to controlled burns… it’s very complicated, it seems. Yes, it is hard to see how the growth model will be turned around.

        Comment by miningawareness | January 19, 2020


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