Australian news, and some related international items

Australian govt has quiet nuclear deal with China, but condemns Victoria-China medical research

Double standards on research cooperation with China, Independent Australia 4 January 2021,   The Government is hypocritical in its approval of Australia’s nuclear research body to work with China on the development of nuclear reactors, writes Noel Wauchope.

PRIME MINISTER Scott Morrison’s Liberal Coalition Government seems to remain in silent approval of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s (ANSTOpartnership with a Chinese company to develop Generation IV nuclear technologies such as small nuclear reactors.

But it’s a different story when it comes to the Morrison Government’s concern to put a stop to the Victorian Labor Government’s cooperation with China in developing agricultural, communications and medical research.

We hear very little about the Australian Government’s research connections with China, managed under the Australia-China Science and Research Fund (ACSRF), which has the aim of ‘supporting strategic science, technology and innovation collaboration of mutual benefit to Australia and China’.

One remarkable collaboration between Australia and China is in the strategic partnership between ANSTO and the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP) to develop the Thorium Molten Salt Nuclear Reactor (TMSR) and other Generation IV nuclear reactor designs.

In March 2019, Dr Adi Paterson, then CEO of ANSTO, welcomed renewal of this agreement and was reported as stating that it was “consistent with ANSTO and Australia’s interest in and support of Generation IV reactor systems”. This statement was made at a time when Australia’s federal and state laws clearly prohibited the development of nuclear reactors.

The Age quoted anonymous senior Federal Government sources who reveal that the Australian Government may use its powers to tear up a research agreement between the Victorian Government and China’s Jiangsu province. This agreement was signed in 2012 and renewed in 2019……….

The USA partly funds the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, which strongly advises against cooperative research with China. And, of course, Victorian Liberal Opposition leader Michael O’Brien was quick to join in the chorus, condemning the Labor Government for having the deal with China.

All this makes it all the more inexplicable as to why the Australian Government should have an agreement with China to develop nuclear reactors. Under federal law, Australia prohibits establishing nuclear installations.  ……..

There has been virtually no media coverage of Dr Adi Paterson’s deal with China, which goes back to 2015. I have previously written about this and the secrecy under which it was conducted.

Indeed, ANSTO’s operations and its funding have been conducted in secrecy, under the comfortable shroud of national security.

Right now, there is a move to corporatise the nuclear medicine facility at Lucas Heights as a separate entity to ANSTO. At the same time, the Government is in an unseemly rush to set up a nuclear waste dump near Kimba in South Australia. In the midst of all this came the sudden unexplained resignation of the CEO, Dr Adi Paterson.

The silence on all this is disturbing. It must be especially so for the small rural community of Kimba and for the Indigenous Title Holders as they wait in limbo for the vexed question of the nuclear waste dump to be solved. For the rest of South Australia, that is a concern, too. Victorians may well wonder why their medical research cooperation with China is seen as so dangerous. Meanwhile, is it okay for Australia’s nuclear research body, ANSTO, to work with China on the development of small nuclear reactors?,14664

January 7, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, secrets and lies, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Scott Morrison should change his mind and call Trump to end bizarre Assange saga

January 7, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cyclotron-produced technetium-99m approved by Health Canada

these cyclotrons can be used to reliably create technetium-99m regionally and without the need for reactor-based materials.

Cyclotron-produced technetium-99m approved by Health Canada, TRIUMF, 

17 December 2020  Over the last 50 years, technetium-99m has driven unparalleled advances in the development of non-invasive imaging techniques and, in turn, our understanding of disease.

Now, a new cyclotron-based approach to producing this critical diagnostic tool has received Health Canada approval, greenlighting the made-in-Canada technology for national implementation and opening the door to a greener, more reliable way to make technetium-99m. 

The approval represents a critical milestone for the TRIUMF-led Cyclomed99 consortium, which spearheaded the innovative research effort. The consortium, including partners BC Cancer, the University of British Columbia (UBC), the Lawson Health Research Institute, and the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization, is the first in the world to obtain full regulatory approval for cyclotron-based production.

It also a turning point for the consortiums licensee ARTMS Inc., the TRIUMF spin-off company bringing this technology to market. ARTMS’ technology makes technetium-99m production possible on many of the world’s most common medical cyclotrons, enabling regional production of this critical isotope within local communities. 

“Medical isotopes help so many people every day. It’s critical to have a stable, multi-faceted supply chain to avoid unexpected disruptions to their availability,” said Paul Schaffer, Associate Laboratory Director, Life Sciences at TRIUMF and Associate Professor at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine. “The approval of cyclotron-produced technetium-99m by Health Canada is an important milestone for this Canadian innovation that will ultimately deliver direct benefit for Canadian patients.”

While the Health Canada approval brings new promise for patients and researchers, it also highlights an important chapter in Canadian innovation, one which saw a focused national research effort produce an effective solution to a global problem.

The path towards cyclotron-produced technetium-99m ……

In 2009, following unplanned disruptions at NRU (which historically provided up to half of the world’s technetium-99m via molybdenum-99 generators), the Government of Canada initiated the Non-reactor-based Isotope Supply Contribution Program (NISP) which challenged researchers to find a new way to produce critical medical isotopes—in particular, technetium-99m.

Led by Schaffer and TRIUMFs Dr. Tom Ruth, scientists and engineers from TRIUMF joined partners at BC Cancer, the Centre for Probe Development Commercialization (CPDC), the Lawson Health Research Institute, and the University of British Columbia to launch a national collaboration to answer the NISP call:  the CycloMed99 consortium.

A new way to produce technetium-99m

The consortium’s proposal detailed a new and innovative technology to enable the production of technetium-99m using medical cyclotrons. These compact particle accelerators already operate in regional healthcare centres worldwide, producing isotopes by bombarding a target material with a proton beam and extracting the desired species. The process is safe and precise, employing stable targets and producing little to no long-lived radioactive waste. And, with the right target and extraction systems, these cyclotrons can be used to reliably create technetium-99m regionally and without the need for reactor-based materials.

“Cyclotron centres across Canada can produce these isotopes locally and on-demand, and we have shown the path that can be used to achieve regulatory approval,” said Francois Bénard, senior executive director of research at BC Cancer, professor of radiology and associate dean of research at UBC’s faculty of medicine. “The same approach can be followed at other sites in Canada and internationally. This has been a shared vision of many researchers across the country, and we have to recognize the many collaborators who worked for years to make this announcement possible.”  

This bright future will first take shape at TRIUMFInstitute for Advanced Medical Isotopes (IAMI), where a state-of-the-art TR-24 medical cyclotron will offer production capacity for the Lower Mainlands technetium-99 needsIn additionIAMI will serve as a hub for radiopharmaceutical research, providing access to leading-edge facilities and expertise in accelerator technology and isotope science. The Institute will further catalyze the Vancouver region’s diverse nuclear medicine sector by convening researchers, students, academic collaborators, not-for-profits, government, and industry partners.

With support from the Canadian government and our partners, we have developed an effective solution to the medical isotope crisis, one that will improve health outcomes and reaffirm Canada’s role as a global leader in isotope production and research. … …

January 7, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Treaty – a step on the long path towards nuclear disarmament.

January 7, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Phone mayors, government leaders, to promote end to nuclear weapons,

Phone mayors, government leaders to promote end to nuclear weapons, VIC HUMMERT, 3 Jan

One hundred twenty-two countries in the United Nations voted July 7, 2017 to abolish nuclear weapons in a historic agreement (Treaty for Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons) that was hoped for by Adm. Noel Gayler (1914-2010) when he spoke on Aug. 6, 1980, at Hiroshima Memorial Day (1945) at Haverford College in Philadelphia.With 45 years experience in the Navy, Gayler said, “The day we dropped an atomic bomb on Japan we made ourselves entirely defenseless. The day we detonated a hydrogen bomb we made ourselves 1,000 times more defenseless.  The day we detonated a hydrogen bomb we made ourselves 1,000 times more defenseless. The only defense against nuclear weapons is to stop building them!” Three hundred of us rose for five minutes in a standing ovation.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Lee Butler said with authority, “We must destroy nuclear weapons before they destroy us.”

Fifty countries ratified the TPNW in October 2020.

Regardless of who occupies the White House, the Treaty to Prevent Nuclear Weapons will go into effect by Jan. 22.

Seven thousand mayors in 170 countries have joined

Millions of children plead with all of us to phone the mayors and other officials to abolish nuclear weapons. There are nearly 14,000 in the world of 2020. Bulletin of Atomic Scientists editors are convinced 2020 is the most dangerous moment in history. We cannot outlaw a virus, but we can legally forbid building more weapons of mass destruction.

For the future of all, please phone your mayors and government servants to act.


retired chaplain


January 7, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Chris Hedges: The Empire is Not Done with Julian Assange — Rise Up Times

“WikiLeaks and you personally are facing a battle that is both legal and political,” Weinglass told Assange. “As we learned in the Pentagon Papers case, the U.S. government doesn’t like the truth coming out….”

Chris Hedges: The Empire is Not Done with Julian Assange — Rise Up Times

January 7, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

January 6 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Congress Continues To Affirm That Climate Security Is National Security” • When the US Congress voted to override the president’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2021, it marked the fourth year in a row in which both sides of the aisle have come together to pass the climate […]

January 6 Energy News — geoharvey

January 7, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment