Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

The Australian nuclear waste confidence trick – theme for February 2021

The small rural town of Kimba is being conned by the unethical Australian nuclear lobby –  Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), the Department Of Industry Innovation and Science (DIIS) and all their political and media hangers-on. 1 the planned waste dump is not a “medical necessity” for Australia.  Nuclear medicine will continue if there is no centralised dump.

  1. Medical radioisotopes –  the vast majority decay so fast that they are best disposed of close to where they are used,: they do not need to be transported 1700 km across Australia.
  2. Contrary to the propaganda fed to the farming and pastoral communities of Kimba and Hawker, the purpose of the dump is not just for Low Level Wastes (LLW). It is for Intermediate Level Wastes (ILW), which by the way, are classed in France as High Level Wastes (HLW)
  3. The communities are told that the  waste dump is  “temporary”, but as there is no plan for permanent disposal, in reality, it will be a case of stranded nuclear wastes for hundreds of years.
  4. The communities are told that overseas, nuclear waste dumps are happily accepted, but in reality, there is fierce public opposition in UK, France and USA.
  5. There is no real evidence that this will be an economic bonanza for the towns.  There is every likelihood that this plan, already divisive for the communities, will be a blight on South Australia’s agriculture, tourism, and reputation.

 

January 16, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

How will Entry Into Force of the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty impact non weapons states parties, including Australia?

January 16, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The nuclear waste nightmare continues for Kimba, South Australia

Kazzi Jai Fight to stop a nuclear waste dump in South Australia, 15 Jan 21, 
ONE – the money from Community Benefit Program was EARNED from subjecting these communities – Kimba and Hawker/Quorn – to the MOST DIVISIVE FEDERAL PROPOSAL EVER UNDERTAKEN! These two “finalists” out of six deemed “suitable” by the Federal Government MAY NEVER EVER RECOVER FROM THE EXPERIENCE! This was the worst case of divide and conquer of both small country town communities from within, using the promise of “easy money”.
Thankfully it is over for Hawker/Quorn….but the NIGHTMARE continues for Kimba!
TWO – this is the THIRD ROUND of Community Benefit Program money for Hawker/Quorn and the SECOND ROUND for Kimba.
Kimba was taken completely off the list in April 2016 and was only put back on the following year 2017.
Calling it a “New Community Benefit Program” does not mean that people FORGET which ROUND is involved!
This current one was announced by previous minister Matt Canavan JUST BEFORE the community voting occurred in November (Kimba) and December (Hawker/Quorn) 2019. Submissions occurred mid-2020 and lists released to councils December 2020 with public release January 2021. These projects MUST be completed by mid-2022.
THREE – Where’s the article about Kimba and their Community Benefit Program money this round? Surely Mr Mayor would be only too HAPPY to share HIS sudden WINDFALL as a person of office gaining advancement and advantage personally from the Feds on this one!

January 16, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

21 And 22 January NZ Celebrates Global Nuclear Weapons Ban, 2021

January 16, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

2021 is here: what to watch out for in Australian climate and energy politics — RenewEconomy

2021 is well underway and is already on track to be another year of climate policy shenanigans – here’s what to watch out for this year. The post 2021 is here: what to watch out for in Australian climate and energy politics appeared first on RenewEconomy.

2021 is here: what to watch out for in Australian climate and energy politics — RenewEconomy

January 16, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Church leaders call on UK to sign nuclear weapons ban treaty

UK is urged to sign UN nuclear-weapons treaty  https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2021/15-january/news/uk/uk-is-urged-to-sign-un-nuclear-weapons-treaty by PAT ASHWORTH, 15 JANUARY 2021   But there is resistance to change, say peace campaigners.

CAMPAIGNERS are urging the UK to sign the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which will come into effect on 22 January.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, with more than 30 Church of England bishops, called on the Government in November to accept the treaty, which, they said, would “give hope to all people of goodwill who seek a peaceful future” (News, 20 November 2020).

It has been signed by 51 states. They will now be required to stop producing, developing, testing, or stationing nuclear weapons, and will be required to help any victims of their testing and use. Their financial institutions will be expected to stop investing in companies that produce nuclear weapons.

The UK, the United StatesFrance, and Russia have not signed the treaty. Clergy and church leaders were reminded in a briefing by the Network of Christian Peace Organisations (NCPO), on Tuesday, of the overwhelming support given to a Lambeth Conference resolution in 1998, which called on the Government and the UN to press for an international mandate for all member states to prohibit nuclear warfare.

Now was the time to fulfil that, Rebecca Johnson, one of the architects of the treaty and a founder member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), said. Nuclear weapons must be known for what they really were — weapons of mass destruction — and the phrase “nuclear powers” must be replaced with “nuclear-armed states”.

The treaty was a legal one, but it would work by persuasion and not by coercion; it was normative in taking away any status attached to hanging on to nuclear weapons, and in labelling as pariahs those who did. “We all need to think about what we can do to bring this treaty into force in our own countries. There is an important job here for faith leaders to do,” she said.

Although the C of E had a blanket policy of not investing in companies with an interest in nuclear weapons, everyone should examine investment practice in their churches, the policy adviser on international affairs for the ecumenical Joint Public Issues Team, Steve Hucklesby, said.

The treaty brought “a very real possibility of a new norm on nuclear weapons across the whole finance and business sectors; but be clear: there is resistance to change,” he continued. Pressure could be applied to banks and pension providers if individuals saw this as something relating to their own lives. “The issue now becomes compliance with an international treaty, to be applied across the whole of an institution’s business.”

An international meeting to be held in Vienna later this year will establish mechanisms for compliance. It will be open to observers from nuclear-armed states, who will not be able to vote but who should be urged to “attend, listen, and learn,” Ms Johnson said. “It is so important for the UK to join sooner rather than later . . . to be at the table.”

Russell Whiting, who chairs Christian CND, described a world in which President Trump, or even Joe Biden, had their finger on the nuclear button, as “an incredibly dangerous place”. The treaty has been declared dangerous by the Prime Minister, and by the former Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond. These governments had “misrepresented” the treaty wherever they went, saying that it would undermine the existing non-proliferation treaty, Ms Johnson said.

The General Synod called for the elimination of nuclear weapons in July 2018, but it stopped short of urging the Government to sign the treaty. The Government’s refusal to do so was described by the Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Stephen Cotrrell, then Bishop of Chelmsford, as “hugely disappointing” and “a decision that looks like complacency”. He questioned the billions of pounds spent on Trident (News, 13 July 2018).

The general secretary of the Roman Catholic peace movement Pax Christi, Pat Gaffney, said on Tuesday that RC bishops had issued a statement asking the Government to support the treaty — a move that she described as “a huge step forward, because they have habitually said it undermined the existing non-proliferation treaty. Catholics need to write to their bishops affirming what they are doing.”

The NCPO is holding a service online at 11.30 a.m. on 22 January, to mark the treaty. It will conclude with the ringing of the peace bell at Coventry Cathedral.

January 16, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

 Business case for small nuclear reactors ‘doesn’t fly’

Former U.S. regulator questions small nuclear reactor technology,   Business case for small reactors ‘doesn’t fly,’ says expert on nuclear waste, Jacques Poitras · CBC News Jan 15, 2021   A former head of the United States’ nuclear regulator is raising questions about the molten-salt technology that would be used in one model of proposed New Brunswick-made nuclear reactors.

The technology pitched by Saint John’s Moltex Energy is key to its business case because, the company argues, it would reuse some of the nuclear waste from Point Lepreau and lower the long-term cost and radioactivity of storing the remainder.

But Allison Macfarlane, the former chairperson of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and a specialist in the storage of nuclear waste, said no one has yet proven that it’s possible or viable to reprocess nuclear waste and lower the cost and risks of storage.

“Nobody knows what the numbers are, and anybody who gives you numbers is selling you a bridge to nowhere because they don’t know,” said Macfarlane, now the director of the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia.

“Nobody’s really doing this right now. … Nobody has ever set up a molten salt reactor and used it to produce electricity.”

Macfarlane said she couldn’t comment specifically on Moltex, calling information about the company’s technology “very vague.”

But she said the general selling point for molten-salt technology is dubious.

“Nobody’s been able to answer my questions yet on what all these wastes are and how much of them there are, and how heat-producing they are and what their compositions are,” she said.

“My sense is that all of these reactor folks have not really paid a lot of attention to the back end of these fuel cycles,” she said, referring to the long-term risks and costs of securely storing nuclear waste.

Moltex is one of two Saint John-based companies pitching small nuclear reactors as the next step for nuclear power in the province and as a non-carbon-dioxide emitting alternative to fossil fuel electricity generation.

Moltex North America CEO Rory O’Sullivan said the company’s technology will allow it to affordably extract the most radioactive parts of the existing nuclear waste from the Point Lepreau Generating Station.

The waste is now stored in pellet form in silos near the plant and is inspected regularly.

The process would remove less than one per cent of the material to fuel the Moltex reactor and O’Sullivan said that would make the remainder less radioactive for a much shorter amount of time.

Existing plans for nuclear waste in Canada are to store it in an eventual permanent repository deep underground, where it would be secure for the hundreds of thousands of years it remained radioactive………..

Shorter-term radioactivity complicates storage

Macfarlane said a shorter-term radioactivity life for waste would actually complicate its storage underground because it might lead to a facility that has to be funded and secured rather than sealed up and abandoned.

“That means that you believe that the institutions that exist to keep monitoring that … will exist for hundreds of years, and I think that is a ridiculous assumption,” she said.

“I’m looking at the United States, I’m seeing institutions crumbling in a matter of a few years. I have no faith that institutions can last that long and that there will be streams of money to maintain the safety and security of these facilities. That’s why you will need a deep geologic repository for this material.”

And she said that’s assuming the technology will successfully extract all of the most radioactive material.

“They are assuming that they remove one hundred per cent of the difficult, radionuclides, the difficult isotopes, that complicate the waste,” she said.

“My response is: prove it. Because if you leave five per cent, you have high-level waste that you’re going to be dealing with. If you leave one per cent, you’re going to have high-level waste that you’re going to be dealing with. So sorry, that one doesn’t fly with me.”

Macfarlane, a geologist by training, raised doubts about molten-salt technology and waste issues in a 2018 paper she co-authored for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists……….  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/nuclear-waste-reactors-new-brunswick-allison-macfarlane-moltex-arc-1.5873542

January 16, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment