Australian news, and some related international items

The absolutely UNAFFORDABLE NUCLEAR industry – theme for June 2020

How many $trillions is the American government putting into the nuclear industry, especially nuclear weapons?  With the USA essentially bankrupt, and the pandemic ushering it into an even more dire financial state –  it’s a joke!   Or, it would be a joke, if not for the hardship, suffering, poverty, brought upon its people, by this foolish financial extravaganza on behalf of a corrupt, dangerous and useless industry.

Russia, China, UK France, and soon Middle Eastern nations mindlessly follow this suicidal nuclear path.

The banking industry and other financial institutions join in the frenzy to feed this rapacious evil of the nuclear industry.

Sadly so many jobs and community “benefits” are attached to it.  It is going to take an enormous effort of brains, integrity, some sacrifice – to unravel the nuclear financial mess,.

But the world had better start unravelling it.  Even without the worst outcome –  nuclear war, this foul nuclear industry is going to devastate the finances of nations. and prevent action  to stall global heating.

In this Covid-19 pandemic era, it is absolutely time to phase nuclear out, and help populations to transition to a cleaner world, where public money is spent on the things that people really need.

June 6, 2020 Posted by | business, Christina themes | Leave a comment

Radioactive Waste Management Amendment Bill – a drastic attack on Aboriginal rights, heritage and environment

This inquiry if successful will enable Native Title to be extinguished, whether it is admitted or not.
3 Section 4 (a) seeks to repeal the definition of Aboriginal land,
9 Section 4 (b) seeks to repeal the definition of traditional Aboriginal owners

34 GA (1) (c) seeks to override the archaeological and heritage values of the land, the significance of the
land in the traditions of the Indigenous owners, by overriding existing state and territory legal protections.

34 GB (1) (a) seeks to override the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984.

34 GB (b) seeks to override the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Stephanie Ingerson  to Sente Committee on National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 [Provisions] Submission 28 

South Australia’s north-west desert lands were laid waste by nuclear tests conducted by the British in the
1950s and 1960s at Maralinga on the country of Aboriginal traditional owners. Despite this existing nuclear wasteland, more lands belonging to traditional owners near Kimba on Eyre Peninsula are destined for more nuclear waste. Ninety per cent of the waste will be transported from the Lucas Heights reactor in Sydney, overland and around the coastline of New South Wales, posing a potential risk for humans and the environment given the history of radioactive spills and accidents at the Lucas Heights reactor site. The waste will not just be gloves and gowns. The government does not talk about spent nuclear fuel rods and other hazardous radioactive high level waste, active for thousands of years,that may be destined for a radioactive waste site on Eyre Peninsula.

The Barngarla Aboriginal people have their traditional lands on Eyre Peninsula. They did not give their consent for a radioactive waste site, having been excluded from voting in a restricted ballot in Kimba conducted to secure the land for this purpose. Continue reading

June 6, 2020 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Greg Phillips- Australia’s nuclear management amendment bill – a dishonest, manipulative process.

Greg Phillips to Senate Committee on  National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 [Provisions] Submission 27 

The location of a nuclear dump at Kimba (in the vicinity of valuable farmland, fishing grounds and tourism area) should be rejected. The whole process has been the result of a dishonest, manipulative process.  The seat of Grey has been targeted and groomed for many years. The location of a nuclear dump at Kimba (in the vicinity of valuable farmland, fishing grounds and tourism area) should be rejected. The whole process has been the result of a dishonest, manipulative process. The seat of Grey has been targeted and groomed for many years.

The first and major dishonesty relates to Australia’s definition of Intermediate waste. The “intermediate level” waste destined for Kimba would be called “High Level Waste” (HLW) in the USA[1], Canada[2], UK[3], Japan[4], South Africa[5], Taiwan[6], Switzerland[7], South Korea[8]. Even France classified it as High Level Waste when they shipped it to us. The vitrified residue from processing spent nuclear fuel is almost universally called “High Level Waste“. Even  Australia once called it High Level Waste[9]. So why do we call it “Intermediate”? Because Australia has a dishonestly slack and misleading definition of “High Level” waste that is purely based on how thermally hot it is ie. “high level radioactive material means material which has a thermal energy output of at least 2 kilowatts per cubic metre.”. The definition doesn’t even mention the radioactivity of the waste! No other country does this. It’s like passing a law that says “manure is only manure if it is hotter than 30 degrees C“. If the “intermediate” waste inner containers were taken out of their massive transport container (the “TN81” container, with 10- inch thick solid steel walls), standing next to it would give a person a fatal radiation dose in seconds. The sole purpose of this definition seems to be to make the importation of High Level
Waste invisible to the public.

The dishonesty of the definition should be enough to stop this process now. It puts Australia at risk because it means that other countries could send their High Level Waste to us and it will be magically redefined as “Intermediate” by our laws. (Note: don’t be tricked by misleading statements from nuclear experts/lobbyists such as “reprocessing removes the bulk of the radioactive material” – the vitrified residues left over from reprocessing are almost as radioactive as the original spent fuel, the “bulky” Uranium and Plutonium removed are relatively low radioactivity[10]. Also, spent fuel from research reactors (whether HEU or LEU types) is still considered HLW[2])

Nuclear medicine (the production of nuclear isotopes) is often used to justify the existence of this dump. But many countries are moving to methods that produce isotopes that don’t produce wastes. Cyclotrons and accelerators can produce isotopes with no reactor waste[11, 12]. The medical isotopes used for the superior imaging of PET scans are produced with a cyclotron. These isotopes decay so quickly that they can be thrown out in normal trash after a few weeks
[13] – no radioactive dump required. ANSTO decided to gamble taxpayer’s money to try and dominate the world medical isotope market with a complex, messy isotope manufacturing technique that produces a lot of problematic waste – waste that the taxpayer (and workers) will have to pay dearly to manage[14]. Canada is moving to a network of Cyclotrons to produce isotopes – it is safer, cleaner and more reliable than relying on a single nuclear reactor (probably cheaper too). Some even predict that the superior imaging of PET will make Technetium-99m/Mo-99 imaging begin to disappear over the next 10 years[15].

The nuclear power/arms/mining pushers see the Kimba dump as a foot in the door for an international dump. It is located near several ports that could be used to directly import nuclear waste. If Australia is going to continue to generate dangerous nuclear waste, it should be stored where there is already high security to protect it ie. Lucas Heights. There is plenty of room for the reactor waste there. Meanwhile Lucas Heights needs to work hard at reducing the waste produced from its production of medical isotopes. Accelerators are the way of the future, but ANSTO has a conflict in interest in that it knows that pushing cyclotrons/accelerators will undermine its reactor/isotope business. ANSTO’s dream of shipping taxpayer funded isotopes to the world (while taxpayers also fund the waste disposal) should be given up. If Australia
concentrated on producing isotopes for its own uses only, then the volume of radioactive wastes  ANSTO produces would be reduced dramatically.

Here in South Australia we have been bombarded with lobbyists over the last few years trying to create an International nuclear waste dump in our state. One of the main pushers for a nuclear dump seems to be the Uranium miners (who want to increase their international Uranium sales by giving other countries an easy place for them to abandon their problematic, highly toxic, nuclear waste). It is worth remembering at this point that spent nuclear fuel (and reprocessed spent fuel) is millions of times more radioactive than the Uranium ore we dig up.
Shipping and handling nuclear waste would put our workers and our fisheries, farmers, tourism,
security etc. at risk.

Nuclear lobbyists are often deceptive about the risks of radioactive contamination. They try to make people think that inhaling or ingesting radioactive particles/contamination is the same as the non-contaminating radiation you get from an X-ray (or the increased Cosmic rays when traveling in an airplane). Ingesting or inhaling radioactive contamination is much more dangerous, it is more like inhaling Asbestos. It could sit in your lungs, muscles, bones for years/decades, increasing the risk of cancer. Because illnesses from such contamination take years to develop, the lobbyists dishonestly dismiss any consequences from the Chernobyl and Fukushima catastrophes. The young and the pregnant are most vulnerable to such
contamination. If someone covered a group of people (or land) with Asbestos dust, you wouldn’t say “no harm was done” – unfortunately that is what nuclear lobbyists try to do. No one dies immediately from inhaling Asbestos dust, but we know that the deadly effects can take years/decades to appear. The Cesium-137 that contaminates large areas of Japan will take hundreds of years to decay away, meanwhile the young and pregnant are at risk of disturbing it and breathing this slow-acting poison into their system.

The whole process of selecting a site has been so flawed and dishonest that it should be started again. 


Continue reading

June 6, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

60 years ago, Aborginal people’s land desecrated by nuclear bombs. Now a new desecration – nuclear wastes?

Even I know off by heart the supercilious tones of the Chief Scientist of the British nuclear tests, Ernest Titterton’s on-screen completely false declaration: ‘No Aboriginal people were harmed.’  The discovery of Edie Milpuddie and family as they camped on the edge of the Marcoo bomb crater was dramatic exposure of that cruel fiction. It is extraordinary to see the actual footage of this moment in the film; and so sobering to hear again the terrible repercussions among her descendants.

‘No Aboriginal people were harmed.’ Add into that mix, English and Australian servicemen and the various pastoral landholders; and from the strong desert winds including across the APY Lands, we will never know the results of the further fallout across the state and nation.

Wind forward another 30 years again and the well being of another almost neighbouring group of Aboriginal people is threatened with nuclear repercussions: this time by the plan for the nation’s nuclear waste ‘stored’ (dumped) on their Country. Again as Traditional Owners, the Barngarla denied a say on their own Country, while a few white ‘latecomers’ were given theirs.

The nuclear fight: then and now,  Eureka Street  Michele Madigan, 04 June 2020 heeded?–then-and-now?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Eureka%20Street%20Daily%20-%20Thursday%204%20June%202020&utm_content=Eureka%20Street%20Daily%20-%20Thursday%204%20June%202020+CID_d497ae8df79099faf8643a0a84a8536d&utm_source=Jescom%20Newsletters&utm_term=READ%20MORE  On Sunday 24th May, the ABC showed the documentary Maralinga Tjarutja produced and directed by lawyer, academic, filmmaker and Eualeyai/Kamillaroi woman Larissa Berendt. It was wonderful to see the Traditional Owners including the women given a current national voice as survivors of the British nuclear tests on their lands. Mima Smart OAM former long-term chairperson of Yalata Community was co-presenter with the chair of Maralinga Tjarutja, Jeremy Lebois; Mima’s Maralinga art, painted in collaboration with other Yalata minyma tjuta — women artists, becoming an integral background story — sometimes even in animation.

In the early 80s, after a monumental effort by the Aboriginal peoples of South Australia’s Far North West and their supporters, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunyjatjara Anangu gained their Land title. The Yalata people to the south at the time, I remember, had been discouraged by their then Community Advisor to take part. As a result, when the Yalata people’s will finally had their way, it meant that they had to make their own path Continue reading

June 6, 2020 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, history, reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

New Zealand puts Australia to shame – with its environment – pandemic recovery programme

Australia’s destructive COVID-19 recovery

In contrast, the Australian federal and some state governments have resorted to environmentally destructive projects and policies to stimulate economic activity and support employment.
For example, the New South Wales government in March granted approval to extend coalmining under Sydney’s Woronora reservoir and in May approved the controversial Snowy Hydro 2.0 project……

An opportunity for Australia

Economic stimulus through conservation and land management is not yet recognised as a way for Australia to respond to both the COVID-19 crisis and long-standing conservation needs.

Australian governments, if they invested similarly to New Zealand, could create jobs in the short term in any desired target region, based on economic and environmental need….

June 6, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, politics | Leave a comment

Challenge in USA to nuclear wastes going to another state for ?permanent “Interim storage”

June 6, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Nuclear missile submarines in the Indo-Pacific

Increasing Indo-Pacific nuclear boats and the impact on strategic stability  Defence Connect, Stephen Kuper, 5 June 20, As the Indo-Pacific continues to evolve economically and strategically, one of the traditional measures of great power status – nuclear attack and missile submarines – will become more prominent. For ASPI academic Stephan Fruehling, this will have a dramatic impact on the strategic stability and calculus Australia depends upon.

Much like the submarine competition between the US and Soviet Union, this new arms race is resulting in fleets of hunter-killers and strategic missile submarines stalking the depths, however the US and China are far from the only emerging and established Indo-Pacific nations seeking to leverage the power of nuclear submarines.

The growing proliferation of advanced nuclear weapons systems, including the relatively crude, yet still capable submarine launch ballistic missiles recently tested by North Korea, and the increasingly capable nuclear-powered submarine fleets introduced by China and Russia, South Korea has moved to address a tactical and strategic shortfall: a lack of nuclear-powered submarines.

While seemingly a shock move, the South Korean strategic policy institute, the Korea Defense Network (KDN), commissioned a research review into the feasibility of developing an indigenous nuclear-powered attack submarine.

It is reported that the results suggested that South Korea consider building a nuclear-powered attack submarine modelled after the French 5,300-tonne Barracuda Class submarine, the design model for Australia’s own fleet of $50 billion Attack Class submarines.

India also fields a growing array of domestic and foreign nuclear submarine designs in both the attack and ballistic missile variants providing an already tense regional balance of power with yet another platform to complicate the tactical and strategic decision making processes for many nations, including Australia……..

For Australia, this raises the question, can the nation depend on the nuclear umbrella provided by the US or, for that matter, the UK at a stretch? If not, what is the solution for Australia? ……..

June 6, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia must plan for future disasters, bushfires, floods – NSW Resilience Commissioner

NSW Resilience Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons is urging Australians to start planning now for future disasters. SBS, 5 June 20, Resilience NSW Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons says Australia’s disaster recovery will be “quite significant” and that people should start planning for future disasters.

The former NSW Rural Fire Service boss says the country has faced unprecedented damage and destruction during the bushfire season, which was compounded by storms and floods and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There are communities that have been so profoundly impacted and affected, and whilst there’s a tremendous focus on the rebuilding of infrastructure, on people’s homes, it’s a massive undertaking,” he said in an online webinar on Friday.

The commissioner is urging individuals, families, businesses, industries, and governments to begin having conversations about how they might respond to disruptions caused by disasters in the future to build resilience……..

June 6, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Australian media watchdog found Andrew Bolt breached press standards by vilifying Greta Thunberg

Andrew Bolt breached media standards calling Greta Thunberg ‘deeply disturbed’, watchdog rules, SBS,  The Australian media watchdog has found Andrew Bolt breached press standards by attempting to “diminish the credibility” of Greta Thunberg on the basis of her disability.

BY MAANI TRUU, 5 June 20 A column by News Corp writer Andrew Bolt mocking teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg breached standards by attempting to “diminish the credibility” of her opinions on the basis of her disability, the Australian media watchdog has found.

The column, published online in August last year, referred to the 17-year-old as “freakishly influential”, “deeply disturbed”, and a “strange girl”.

“I have never seen a girl so young, with so many mental disorders, treated by so many adults as a guru,” Bolt wrote.

The Australian Press Council found the article breached General Principle 6 of its standards of practice, which requires media organisations to avoid causing offence, distress, prejudice, or a substantial risk to the health and safety of an individual, unless publishing the story is in the public interest.  …..

“[The column] attempts to diminish the credibility of Ms Thunberg’s opinions on the basis of her disabilities and by pillorying her supporters on the basis of her disabilities,” the watchdog’s findings, published on Thursday, read. …….

June 6, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Russia’s anti nuclear movement – and government reprisals against it

Anti–nuclear resistance in Russia: problems, protests, reprisals [Full Report 2020]    Report “Anti–nuclear resistance in Russia: problems, protests, reprisals” Produced by RSEU’s program “Against nuclear and radioaсtive threats”
Published: Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2020
nd radioaсtive threats”   Report “Anti–nuclear resistance in Russia: problems, protests, reprisals” Produced by RSEU’s program “Against nuclear and radioaсtive threats”
Published: Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2020
“………The Mayak plant: Rosatom’s dirty face
The Mayak plant in the Chelyabinsk region is a nuclear waste reprocessing facility, arguably one of the places most negatively affected by the Russian nuclear industry. Firstly, radioactive waste was dumped into the Techa river from 1949 to 2004, which has been admitted by the company. According to subsequent reports by the local organisation For Nature however, the dumping has since been ongoing. (37)
 As a result, 35 villages around the river were evacuated and destroyed. Secondly, the explosion at the plant in 1957, known as the Kyshtym tragedy, is among the 20th century’s worst nuclear accidents. (38)
• One of the first organisations that raised the problem of radiation pollution in the Ural region was the Movement for Nuclear Safety , formed in 1989. During its work, the Movement was engaged in raising awareness, social protection of the affected population, and publishing dozens of reports. (39)
After unprecedented pressure and persecution, the organisation’s leader, Natalia Mironova, was forced to emigrate to the United States in 2013.
• Since 2000, another non–governmental organisation, Planet of Hope, has held thousands of consultations with affected citizens. Nadezhda Kutepova, a lawyer and head of the organisation, won more than 70 cases in defence of Mayak victims, including 2 cases in the European Court of Human Rights (40). However, some important cases have still not been resolved. These include 2nd generation victims, cases involving pregnant women who were affected during liquidation, as well as the many schoolchildren of Tatarskaya Karabolka village who were sent to harvest the contaminated crop after the accident. (41)
The state and Rosatom have reacted against the actions of Nadezhda Kutepova, persecuting both her and Planet of Hope. The organisation survived arbitrary inspections in 2004 and 2009, but was labelled a Foreign Agent in 2015 and closed in 2018. /42)
After being accused of ‘industrial espionage’ under the threat of criminal prosecution, Nadezhda was forced to flee the country with her children. She nevertheless continues her struggle to bring justice for the victims of Mayak
.• Since 2002, the public foundation For Nature has been disputing nuclear activity in the region. The organisation appealed to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation on the import of spent nuclear fuel from the Paks nuclear power plant in Hungary. The court declared the Governmental Decree to be invalid, thus preventing the import of 370 tons of Hungarian radioactive waste. (43)
In March 2015, For Nature was also listed as a Foreign Agent and fined. (44)
In 2016, the court shut down the organisation. (45)
In its place, a social movement of the same name was formed, and continues to help the South Ural communities. (46)
11Struggle against nuclear repository

In the city of Krasnoyarsk, Rosatom plans to build a national repository for high–level radioactive waste. A site has been selected on the banks of Siberia’s largest river, the Yenisei, only 40 km from the city. Environmental activists consider this project, if implemented,to be a crime against future generations and violates numerous Russian laws. Activists are also concerned that waste from Ukraine,Hungary, Bulgaria (and in the future from Belarus, Turkey, Bangladesh, and other countries) could be transported there as well. (47)

The community is understandably outraged, as no one wants to live in the world’s nuclear dump.Since 2013, for more than 7 years, the people of Krasnoyarsk have been protesting. To date, more than 146,000 people have signed the petition tothe President of the Russian Federation protesting against the construction of this federal nuclear repository. (48)
Most of the producing nuclear power plants are located in the European part of Russia, but the waste is going to be sent for ‘the rest of its lifetime’to Siberia. Local activists refer to this, with good reason, as Rosatom’s “nuclear colonisation” of Siberia. (49)
• In 2016, Fedor Maryasov, an independent journalist and leader of the protest, was accused of inciting hatred against ‘nuclear industry workers’as a social group. A criminal case was initiated under the article on extremism. (50)
The basis for thisaccusation was 125 publications on social networksand the press about nuclear topics. The activist’s apartment was searched and his computer seized,along with a printed report on Rosatom’s activities in the Krasnoyarsk region. (51)
The federal security service also issued Maryasovan official warning for treason. Only wide publicity in the media and the active support of human rights lawyers has thus far prevented further criminal prosecution of the activist. ……….

June 6, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment