Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australian government will probably ignore most recommendations in the environmental report

Jim Green and Mia Pepper (WA) 3 Feb 21,  – on the nuclear issues in the final Environmental Protection & Biodiversity Conservation review Samuel report, which finds that the Act is not doing its job and the environment is in big trouble (as we all know).

We expect the recommendations in the report to be mostly ignored by the government as they are focussed on removing the need for federal approval of projects and handing it to the states (who of course will want to approve everything for the money no matter the environmental cost).

February 4, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment | Leave a comment

”Nuclear Actions” in the final report on environment laws in Australia

In this week’s news, the final report on environment laws in Australia has been made and in summary, recommends that “nuclear actions” remain a Matter of National Environmental Significance (MNES). This means all proposals that are a “nuclear action” eg uranium mining, need to be assessed and approved in accordance with national environmental laws (EPBC Act).  Initially “nuclear actions” will have to be assessed and approved based on “the whole of environment” impact – this means they would require a full environmental assessment.

Final Report on environment laws  https://dont-nuke-the-climate.org.au/environment-laws-australian-nuclear/, February 2, 2021 The final report on environment laws in Australia has been made public this week.

In Summary, the Final Report:

  • recommends that “nuclear actions” remain a Matter of National Environmental Significance (MNES) this means all proposals that are a “nuclear action” eg uranium mining, need to be assessed and approved in accordance with national environmental laws (The EPBC Act).
    • recommends that State and Territory Governments be accredited to assess and approve projects in-line with the EPBC Act and with “National Environment Standards.” National Environmental Standards do not yet exist but would be legally enforceable standards. In the case of nuclear it is likely that National Environmental Standards would be derived from national and international standards on the nuclear industry. o Nuclear projects, including uranium mines would then be assessed and approved by state and territory governments, not the federal government.
    • recommends a second phase of reform that “the EPBC Act and the regulatory arrangements of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) should be aligned, to support the implementation of best-practice international approaches based on risk of harm to the environment, including the community.”
      • describes the section 140A prohibition on some nuclear actions (like nuclear power and reprocessing) reflects a policy choice and that to change this would also be a ‘policy’ or political decision – but notes that legislative changes would be required. Important to note that there is emphasis on elected parliamentarians making policy choices, a subtle hint on the lack of a mandate to lift the prohibition.

      Initially “nuclear actions” will have to be assessed and approved based on “the whole of environment” impact – this means they would require a full environmental assessment. It is unclear if this would be retained under the proposal to make ARPANSA the regulator and with National Environmental Standards for nuclear actions or whether assessments and approvals would only be required for aspects of a project that involve radiation.

February 4, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment | Leave a comment

With a nuclear waste dump, will the town of Kimba have to change its name?

Paul Waldon  Fight to stop a nuclear waste dump in South Australia, 2 Feb 21 

The residential area of Lucas Heights was renamed Barden Ridge in 1996 in an attempt to evade the stigma associated with ANSTO. Will this tactic be repeated halfway across Australia at Kimba for the same reason.
If so, what about the name “Centralia.” Sounds like it fits geographically and I believe it’s a good logical choice.
Keep in mind there is already a town in Pennsylvania with the same name that had similar parallels to Kimba and may do so again one day. “Centralia,” a regional town, a town which had a population on par with that of Kimba, but sadly it has been reduced to about 5 residents, it’s a place where road surfaces have reach temperatures of 480 degrees celsius, a place where poisonous toxins are purging from the ground and will continue to do so for many generations.
However I have to mention, the American government did step in and purchased their shit town, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on the Australian government doing the same, even though a farmer come nuclear profiteer has already sold out. https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556

February 4, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australian uranium mining company threatens Spanish government with legal action

Miner threatens Spain over uranium ban, Cosmo Sanderson, 01 February 2021

An Australian company developing a controversial €450 million uranium project has threatened to bring an arbitration against Spain over a proposed law banning mining of the material……  (subscribers only)   https://globalarbitrationreview.com/miner-threatens-spain-over-uranium-ban

February 4, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal | Leave a comment

Why Spain plans to ban uranium mining.

Shock waves: what will a Spanish ban mean for uranium mining in Europe?, Mining Technology, Yoana Cholteeva12 January 2021 ” ………. Reasons behind the proposed ban

The proposed ban has been welcomed by environmental groups and local organisations concerned about the potential damage to ecosystems in the country and overall safety, as argued by the Spanish organisation Stop Uranio (Stop Uranium). The group, which was established in 2013, has since then been trying to prevent the approval and construction of Berkley Energy’s uranium mining project in the Campo Charro area of Salamanca.

For the past seven years, Stop Uranium has organised a number of campaigns and protest rallies over the country, with activists from both Spain and Portugal raising concerns over Salamanca’s agriculture lands, pastures, rural tourism, and the population’s health being at stake.

Stop Uranium member and spokesperson Jose Manuel Barrueco has written in The Free –  blog of the post capitalist transition, that “the majority of the inhabitants of the area oppose the planned mines due to the negative effects that this activity will entail for the region: explosions with release of radioactive dust into the atmosphere, the continuous transfer of trucks and heavy machinery, loss of forest, diversion of water courses, etc.”.

It terms of scientific evidence to support the some of the claims, according to a 2013 peer reviewed article, ‘Uranium mining and health’, published in the Canadian Family Physician journal, the chemical element has the potential to cause a spectrum of adverse health effects to people, ranging from renal failure and diminished bone growth to DNA damage.

The effects of low-level radioactivity include cancer, shortening of life, and subtle changes in fertility or viability of offspring, as determined from bothanimal studies and data on Hiroshima and Chernobyl survivors.

….. MP Juan Lopez de Uralde has in turn voiced his support of a holistic approach, telling the Spanish online newspaper Publico that banning uranium extraction is directly linked to the energy policies of both Spain and the EU. He continued that “since no uranium mine is active in the Old Continent”, “by committing to the closure of nuclear power stations we should complete the circle entirely by banning uranium mining”………. https://www.mining-technology.com/features/shock-waves-what-will-a-spanish-ban-mean-for-uranium-mining-in-europe/

February 4, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Unsafe plan for abandoning nuclear reactors onsite, and developing Small Nuclear Reactors

February 4, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

America’s ”fleet” of dangerously embrittled nuclear reactors

February 4, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Radiation illnesses and COVID-19 in the Navajo Nation

February 4, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Bees may be more susceptible to ionising radiation than previously estimated

Insects Might Be More Sensitive to Radiation than Thought
A study of bumble bees exposed to levels of radiation equivalent to those existing in Chernobyl hotspots shows that the insects’ reproduction takes a hit.   
The Scientist, February 2021 Notebook  Alejandra Manjarrez, Feb 1, 2021   

A few years ago, on one of her first visits to Chernobyl, Katherine Raines went to the Red Forest, a radioactive cemetery of pine trees scorched by the nuclear accident in 1986. She was curious to see if there were bees living in the area. Research on the effect of chronic exposure to ionizing radiation on insects is limited, and some of the findings are controversial, but most experts support the idea that bees and other invertebrates are relatively resilient to radioactive stress.

Raines, a radioecologist at the University of Stirling in Scotland, didn’t spend long in that forest. In one spot there, her personal radiation dosimeter measured an environmental level of ionizing radiation of 200 microsieverts (µSv) per hour; more than a few hours of that exposure could have increased her cancer risk. But even during that brief visit, she did see bees. Whether they were living there or just visiting, Raines says, is hard to tell.

Back in the UK, Raines and colleagues recreated the same levels of radiation in a specialized facility. Boxes each containing a bumble bee colony made up of a queen, workers, and brood were placed at different distances from a radiation source, creating a gradient where bees in each box received a fairly steady dose of between 20 and 3,000 micrograys (µGy) per hour. (The two kinds of units, sieverts and grays, are essentially equivalent measures of the amount of exposure to radiation; sieverts factor in the type of radiation and account for the sensitivity of the exposed tissue. Bees at the site Raines visited in the Red Forest would experience around 200 µGy per hour.) The bees stayed in their artificial homes for four weeks before being moved outdoors into the university gardens for around one month, until the colonies were no longer viable—that is, once the queen had died and only a few workers remained. 

The limited lab studies previously carried out by other groups had suggested that bees and other insects should be safe below 400 µGy per hour. So, Raines says, she was shocked when she found that even those colonies exposed to lower rates showed signs of a negative effect of radiation, especially on reproduction. Bumble bee colonies experiencing just 100 µGy per hour, for example, had reduced their production of queens by almost half, dramatically impairing the chances of successfully founding new colonies. According to the study, the overall effect was stronger than the one-fourth reduction observed in colonies exposed to a popular pesticide

This work “sheds new light on the importance of chronic low-dose radiation exposure in a nonmodel species [with] profound relevance for the natural world,” says Timothy Mousseau, an ecological geneticist at the University of South Carolina who was not involved in this research. But he adds that it is hard to determine how some of these results, based on experimental manipulations in an artificial setting, can translate “to what’s actually going on in Chernobyl” for these important pollinators. 

Mousseau and his colleague Anders Pape Møller (now at CNRS in France) have been doing field studies since 2000 to assess the abundance of wildlife populations living in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ), a 2,600 square-kilometer area surrounding the nuclear power plant. Their results have shown a negative correlation between radiation levels—which vary a great deal within the zone—and wildlife abundance. Insects were no exception: the team observed fewer bumble bees in the most contaminated areas, a relationship that held even within a range of extremely low radiation levels (from 0.01 to 1 µGy per hour)

Those studies have been criticized, partly over the accuracy of their estimations of radiation levels. Mousseau and Møller have collaborated with some of their critics to reanalyze some of their data, and maintain that there has been wildlife reduction in the CEZ due to radiation. ………

Researchers who spoke to The Scientist about the study agree that further work is needed to conclusively demonstrate the effects of radiation on bumble bees. ……. Raines is now gathering more data. The next stage of her research, she says, will be to look at the interaction between parasite load, which reduces longevity, and radiation exposure—both in lab-kept bees and in bees she sampled on one of her visits to deserted agricultural land around Chernobyl. “It would be ideal to directly relate lab and field [data].”       https://www.the-scientist.com/notebook/insects-might-be-more-sensitive-to-radiation-than-thought-68366

February 4, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

February 3 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Mission Possible Partnership: Joining Forces to Decarbonize Heavy Industry” • How should investors with net-zero ambitions evaluate potential investments? What standards can be used to judge decarbonization plans? RMI’s Center for Climate-Aligned Finance was set up to help investors and clients together to solve the decarbonization puzzle. [CleanTechnica] Heavy industry (Ant Rozetsky, Unsplash) […]

February 3 Energy News — geoharvey

February 4, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gross domestic product is destroying nature, says landmark UK government report — RenewEconomy

Dasgupta Review up-ends economic assumptions about biodiversity loss, which is increasingly becoming a mainstream financial concern. The post Gross domestic product is destroying nature, says landmark UK government report appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Gross domestic product is destroying nature, says landmark UK government report — RenewEconomy

February 4, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s path to zero emissions starts with the power grid — RenewEconomy

It’s going to be a year of net zero talk. 2050 is a long time away, but net zero begins with the grid, and it must happen very soon. The post Australia’s path to zero emissions starts with the power grid appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Australia’s path to zero emissions starts with the power grid — RenewEconomy

February 4, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Apprehended bias:” Community group wins High Court appeal against Queensland coal mine — RenewEconomy

High Court supports community group appeal against thermal coal mine expansion, saying previous decisions had been affected by “apprehended bias”, including media coverage. The post “Apprehended bias:” Community group wins High Court appeal against Queensland coal mine appeared first on RenewEconomy.

“Apprehended bias:” Community group wins High Court appeal against Queensland coal mine — RenewEconomy

February 4, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s climate policies rated worst of major developed economies — RenewEconomy

Australia gets poor rating on climate policies from BNEF scoreboard, and even worse rating on clean transport. The post Australia’s climate policies rated worst of major developed economies appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Australia’s climate policies rated worst of major developed economies — RenewEconomy

February 4, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Next three years will be huge for big wind and solar projects in Australia — RenewEconomy

Fully operational wind and solar in Australia’s main grid will almost double from today’s level in three years, adding an average of more than 500MW a month. The post Next three years will be huge for big wind and solar projects in Australia appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Next three years will be huge for big wind and solar projects in Australia — RenewEconomy

February 4, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment