Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Clean-up plan for Ranger uranium mine is ”woefully inadequate”

Gundjeihmi and ERA enter negotiations to extend Ranger Uranium Mine rehabilitation

By https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-09/gundjeihmi-era-negotiate-ranger-uranium-mine-rehabilitation/13043076 Matt Garrick

An Aboriginal group in Kakadu National Park says the rehabilitation plan for a decommissioned uranium mine is “woefully inadequate”, and is calling for a 26-year extension to the process.

Key points:

  • Mining at the Ranger Uranium Mine wound up yesterday after more than 40 years
  • Traditional owners in Kakadu are now calling for an extension of the project’s rehabilitation phase
  • The company that runs the mine has signalled its support for the move

Production at the Ranger Uranium Mine, on the outskirts of the national park, drew to a close yesterday after more than 40 years of operation.

Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation, which represents Mirarr traditional owners, has used the closure to demand owner Energy Resources Australia (ERA) rehabilitate the site beyond its current lease expiry in 2026.

Within that timeframe, the company is required to restore the site to its previous pristine state.

“That’s not long enough,” the corporation’s CEO, Justin O’Brien, said.

“We are now awaiting a drafting from the Commonwealth Government for amendments to the Atomic Energy Act such that you can actually put in place an extension to the rehabilitation period.”

Mr O’Brien said traditional owners were pushing for the rehabilitation period to be extended by an additional 26 years, which would carry the process through until 2052.

He said ERA and its parent company, Rio Tinto, had signalled their support for an extended term of rehabilitation — but the timeframe and details of that extension are still being negotiated.

In a statement, the company said it was committed to “achieving all documented rehabilitation outcomes in its Mine Closure Plan (MCP) by January 2026”.

It confirmed negotiations were underway with traditional owners to “determine an appropriate mechanism” to extend the company’s tenure at the Ranger site, which would allow it to continue rehabilitation beyond 2026.

Environmental group the Australian Conservation Foundation yesterday welcomed the end of production at the site, the last active uranium mine in the Northern Territory.

The foundation’s Dave Sweeney, who is an anti-nuclear campaigner, said he was supportive of the push to extend the rehabilitation period.

“The company should not be approaching clean-up asking itself what it can do in five years,” he said.

“It should be approaching clean-up asking ‘What is the best possible way to reduce and address the damage that has happened?’

“What’s the best outcome — not the best outcome we can do in five years.”

The wind-down of production at the mine is expected to prompt an exodus from the nearby town of Jabiru, where ERA holds the lease for about 300 houses.

One hundred and twenty-five ERA staff were made redundant this week.

January 10, 2021 Posted by | aboriginal issues, environment, Northern Territory, uranium, wastes | Leave a comment

Could Trump start a nuclear war?- a satchel, a biscuit and a football

A satchel, a biscuit and a football,     https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/72759838/posts/3119714732   , Could Trump start a nuclear war?  By Linda Pentz Gunter, 10 Jan 21, 

All that’s involved is a satchel, a biscuit, and a football.

It sounds so benign, doesn’t it? Like schoolboy games. It’s anything but. If the President of the United States opens that satchel with his biscuit to access the football, that simple action could propel us into Armageddon.

The satchel, which goes everywhere the president does, contains the nuclear “football.” Only the president can open the satchel, using an ID card known as the “biscuit”.

As Time magazine explained it — the first time alarm bells rang around the possibility that an unhinged Donald Trump might “press the nuclear button” — the “biscuit enables him to identify himself to officials at the Pentagon with unique codes letting them know he is authorizing a nuclear strike. He would also need to specify the type of attack he wanted to carry out; the different options are delineated in the nuclear football.

“Once Trump has successfully conveyed his orders, Strategic Command, which has operational control over U.S. nuclear forces, would implement them.”

So while there is no actual nuclear button — Trump’s boasts to North Korea about his big one notwithstanding — it would be all too easy for a petulant madman to start a nuclear war. And we have one in the White House.

No one here needs to be reminded of the eye-stretching scenes of mob violence that unfolded at the Capitol on January 6, egged on by Trump on the day itself, and fueled by the reckless rhetoric and actions of the White House and its Republican lackeys over the past four years.

The events of January 6 in part prompted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to speak to the “Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike.

“The situation of this unhinged President could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy,” Politico reported Pelosi as saying on Friday.

In a statement issued on January 7, Physicians for Social Responsibility wrote that the scenes of mayhem at the Capitol, brought on by Trump’s “increasingly irresponsible and reckless behavior” should finally “put to rest any doubt about the danger posed by giving any president sole authority for the decision to launch a nuclear weapon. While the incident yesterday did not directly involve that power, President Trump’s alarming conduct demonstrated incontrovertibly why providing a president with the sole authority to launch a nuclear weapon needs to be changed—right now.”

How easy would it be for Trump to launch a nuclear strike? Global Zero explains it, chillingly, in this video, which suggests that starting a nuclear war would be “as easy as ordering a pizza.”

In a January 24, 2018 article in The Straits Times, Mark Fitzpatrick, a nuclear non-proliferation expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Washington, was quoted in an interview he gave to the BBC.

“There are no checks and balances on the president’s authority to launch a nuclear strike,” he said. “But between the time he authorizes one and the time it’s carried out there are other people involved.”

We’ve been saved more than once from nuclear disaster, most notably by Stanislav Petrov, a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Union’s Air Defense Forces who, on the night of September 26, 1983 just happened to be in charge of monitoring his country’s satellite system that watched for a potential launch of nuclear weapons by the United States. In the early hours, such a launch appeared to have happened.

Petrov had only minutes to decide if the launch was genuine. He was supposed to report the alert up the chain of command. Doing so would almost certainly have led to a counterstrike, triggering a full-on nuclear exchange between the Soviet Union and the U.S. Instead, Petrov decided to check if there was a computer malfunction, later discovered to have been the case. Petrov became known as “the man who saved the world.”

But back at the White House, with only conspiracy-theory believing acolytes left around a man who doesn’t in any case listen to anyone’s advice, we cannot count on there being any Petrovs to save us this time.

Of course, as the PSR statement concluded: “the best way to protect ourselves and the rest of the world from the danger posed by the dysfunctional leadership of a nuclear-armed nation is to eliminate nuclear weapons altogether.

“The incoming Biden administration should embrace the principles of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and lead negotiations that move us toward a nuclear-weapons free world.”

That Treaty will become international law on January 22. Not a moment too soon.

January 10, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Biden urged to give up sole power to launch nuclear weapons

January 10, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Deceitful nuclear propaganda exposed in ”The Wretched Atom”

The Wretched Atom  https://jacobdarwinhamblin.com/books/the-wretched-atom/

Coming in June 2021 from Oxford University Press

A groundbreaking narrative of how the United States offered the promise of nuclear technology to the developing world and its gamble that other nations would use it for peaceful purposes.

After the Second World War, the United States offered a new kind of atom that differed from the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This atom would cure diseases, produce new foods, make deserts bloom, and provide abundant energy for all. It was an atom destined for the formerly colonized, recently occupied, and mostly non-white parts of the world that were dubbed the “wretched of the earth” by Frantz Fanon.

The “peaceful atom” had so much propaganda potential that President Dwight Eisenhower used it to distract the world from his plan to test even bigger thermonuclear weapons. His scientists said the peaceful atom would quicken the pulse of nature, speeding nations along the path of economic development and helping them to escape the clutches of disease, famine, and energy shortfalls. That promise became one of the most misunderstood political weapons of the twentieth century. It was adopted by every subsequent US president to exert leverage over other nations’ weapons programs, to corner world markets of uranium and thorium, and to secure petroleum supplies. Other countries embraced it, building reactors and training experts. Atomic promises were embedded in Japan’s postwar recovery, Ghana’s pan-Africanism, Israel’s quest for survival, Pakistan’s brinksmanship with India, and Iran’s pursuit of nuclear independence.

As The Wretched Atom shows, promoting civilian atomic energy was an immense gamble, and it was never truly peaceful. American promises ended up exporting violence and peace in equal measure. While the United States promised peace and plenty, it planted the seeds of dependency and set in motion the creation of today’s expanded nuclear club.

January 10, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

An act of love — Beyond Nuclear International

Courts threaten freedom of Russian nature protector

An act of love — Beyond Nuclear International

January 10, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

January 10 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Why I Would Buy A Used Tesla Model 3 Instead Of A New One – Free Full Self Driving!” • The author noticed that Tesla is enabling the $10,000 Full Self Driving capability on every Model 3 that it is selling used. He spoke to a couple of salespeople and verified that is […]

January 10 Energy News — geoharvey

January 10, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment