Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Frank Simpson warns against the pollution of Victoria’s agricultural land by thorium/uranium mining

Risk in contaminating a prime green food producing region of Victoria. (3) This implies all stages of the fuel cycle from exploration to waste repository storage.
The Act should not be amended to permit exploration for or the mining of uranium and thorium (derived from monazite or thorianite). . Such activities need to be prohibited.
Excerpts from Submission to Victorian Nuclear Prohibition Inquiry from Frank Simpson no 24 
“……Water‐related risk management 
In the event of a serious accident, such as an overheated reactor, a nuclear power plant is required by federal regulation to have an emergency supply of water that can continue to cool the plant for at least 30 days. These water sources, called Ultimate Heat Sinks (UHS), are used to cool the reactor, which will continue to produce heat long after it is turned off. During an accident, a UHS may need to supply 10,000 to 30,000 gallons of water per minute for emergency cooling. A UHS can be the same water source used for power plant cooling (lake, river, or ocean) or it can be a separate, dedicated water supply.
When nuclear plants draw water from natural water sources, fish and other wildlife get caught in the cooling system water intake structures. While this is an issue for all power plants with water‐cooled systems, a study completed in 2005 in Southern California indicates that the problem is more acute for nuclear facilities. The study investigated impacts from 11 coastal power plants and estimated that in 2003, a single nuclear plant killed close to 3.5 million fish‐‐32 times more than the combined impact of all of the other plants in the study. …….
  Waste storage  
  There are no Economic, environmental and social benefits for Victoria,in including those related to exploration and mining;of uranium & thorium because : Risks In Mining Uranium http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2017/ph241/longstaff1/ Uranium mining facilities produce tailings that generally are disposed of in near surface impoundments close to the mine. These tailings pose serious environmental and health risks in the form of Randon emission, windblown dust dispersal and leaching of contaminants including heavy metals and arsenic into the water. [5] Historically in many countries around the world these risks have been politicized as they have disproportionately affected low income and minority populations. For example, from 1944‐1986 the United States extracted 4 million tons of Uranium ore from and left 500 abandoned mines in native Navajo territories. In that time the rates of lung cancer and other diseases effecting Navajo living near the mine rose drastically. [5] While the Navajo eventually were able to ban mining on their land these problems still exist within other communities today and should not be overlooked in considering the future of Uranium mines.
  Water Usage https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/water‐nuclear Mining – Uranium mining consumes one to six gallons of water per million Btus of thermal energy output, depending on the mining method.[6] Mining uranium also produces waste that can contaminate local water sources, and which can be especially dangerous given the radioactivity of some of the materials involved. Processing – Uranium processing consumes seven to eight gallons of water for every million Btus of thermal output.[7],[8]
Milling – The milling process uses a mix of liquid chemicals to increase the fuel’s uranium content ; milling leaves behind uranium‐depleted ore that must be placed in settling ponds to evaporate the milling liquids.[9] Enrichment – The next step, enriching the gaseous uranium to make it more effective as a fuel accounts for about half of the water consumed in uranium processing. The conventional enrichment method in the United States is gas diffusion, which uses significantly more water than the gas centrifuge approach popular in Europe[10],[11] Fuel Fabrication – Fabrication involves bundling the enriched uranium into fuel rods in preparation for the nuclear reactor.
  Risk in contaminating a prime green food producing region of Victoria. (3) This implies all stages of the fuel cycle from exploration to waste repository storage. Victoria does not need o participate in the nuclear fuel cycle.for the reasons given in 1 & 2 above plus waste repository storage risks as per https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/nuclear‐waste are: Nuclear fuel remains dangerously radioactive for thousands of years after it is no longer useful in a commercial reactor. The resulting waste disposal problem has become a major challenge for policymakers as the search for a repository site has stalled, with no resolution likely in the near future. The Union Of Concerned Scientists opposes reprocessing because it increases proliferation and terrorism risks while actually adding to the waste problem rather than reducing it. https://greentumble.com/nuclear‐waste‐storage‐and‐disposal‐problems/
in reality there is no such thing as a safe exposure to nuclear waste and the poisonous radiation it produces. Because of its tremendous toxicity, which will make it lethal for tens of thousands of years or longer, high‐level nuclear waste is not fit for conventional disposal. It must be stored in safe, secure locations, in durable containers that won’t crack, leak, or be vulnerable to damage from bombs, earthquakes, or high‐powered weapons used in military or terrorist attacks.
Conclusion   based upon the above facts The Act should not be amended to permit exploration for or the mining of uranium and thorium (derived from monazite or thorianite). . Such activities need to be prohibited.   ……. …https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/epc-lc/article/4348

February 20, 2020 - Posted by | politics, Victoria

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