Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

To 27 July – the week in nuclear news, Australia and more

It has been a funny week in the news, funny not as in ha ha, but as in weird.  The news here prioritised the Olympics. Oh goody, my countrymen and women won lovely medals, for doing sporty things, very fast.- so, extensive coverage of all that. 

You wouldn’t know that the host city, Tokyo, is now daily getting close to 2000 new cases of coronavirus. You wouldn’t know that megafires are torching U.S. Western  States, and North Eastern Siberia. Briefly mentioned – huge floods inEurope and China.  Oh, and by the way, I think that the pandemic is still on, world wide, with the highly infectious delta variant.
The second biggest story, after the glorious Olympics, has been the success of the billionaire space playboys – Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos. The media can’t wait until Elon Musk and Bill Gates do their next thing – missile envy bringing great things for the world,(though we”re not quite sure what things)

AUSTRALIA


Opposition to nuclear waste transport
 through the port of Whyalla, South Australia. Port at Cape Hardy could be the entrance place for radioactive waste transport to Kimba, South Australia. Barngarla native title owners were excluded from decision-making on Kimba nuclear waste plan.  A strong convention on radioactive waste safety means that nuclear’s toxic by-products should be kept as close as possible to the point of production

Western Australian site far more suitable than Kimba, South Australia, for nuclear waste dump. Regional site in Western Australia geologically and geographically suited to nuclear waste repository, unlike the Kimba site in S.A. Resources Minister Keith Pitt and his bald-faced lies about the Leonora nuclear waste proposal.

Submissions to the Federal Public Works Committee: 

INTERNATIONAL.

Moral Intelligence or Nuclear War.

The world’s climate catastrophe – there is little time left to act.  All We Can Save”: As Climate Disasters Wreck Our Planet, Women Leaders Are Key to Solving the Crisis.  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) preparing assessments for COP26.

Climate change, extreme weather, is taking its toll on the nuclear industry. The nuclear industry determined to influence climate talks before COP26.

Racism and the misguided efforts to expand nuclear energy around the world,

After the lab-leak theory, US-Chinese relations head downhill.

Progressive lawmakers join across the world in a Global Alliance For A Green New Deal.

Huge carbon emissions of space tourismSpace tourism: environmental vandalism for the super-rich . Climate change report: Jeff Bezos & the new wild west show. Jeff Bezos and the corporate colonisation of the stars. Perils to austronauts’ health – high radiation and low gravity.

Emerging technologies and nuclear stability. Small Nuclear Power Plants No Use in Climate Crisis. Bill Gates’ fast nuclear reactor ”Natrium’‘ – not so safe and a nuclear weapons proliferation risk.

Why Scientists Plant Sunflowers After Nuclear Disasters.

July 27, 2021 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Submission Noel Wauchope: to Federal Inquiry into nuclear waste storage.

Noel Wauchope 27 July 21, To: Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works Inquiry: “ANSTO Intermediate Level Solid Waste Storage Facility Lucas Heights, NSW” Public Submission.   I do not write as someone who is opposed to Australia having a plan for the permanent disposal of the nuclear wastes that are generated at Lucas Heights. Quite the reverse. Australia must face up to the necessity for such a plan.

However, ANSTO’s proposal for a temporary storage of these long lasting toxic wastes, at Napandee, South Australia, is NOT such  a plan. As the licensing body, ARPANSA, has acknowledged, these highly hazardous nuclear fuel wastes  can be safely and securely stored at Lucas Heights. Indeed ARPANSA has licensed this storage for at least 40 years to come. There is absolutely no need to trek this highly dangerous stuff for 1700 km to a small rural community, in a richly agricultural area –   for so-called ”temporary” storage . At Napandee, they may well become ”stranded wastes”, while the necessity for permanent disposal remains ”a can kicked down the road”.

ARPANSA is still to consider the licensing application for the Napandee nuclear waste facility plan. ANSTO should not be able to continue with its process for the Napandee plan before this; ARPANSA Approval for proposed indefinite duration above ground nuclear fuel waste and Intermediate Level Waste  storage in SA may not be granted.
Therefore, it is up to the Public Works Committee to require and confirm ANSTO public works that will comply with the Contingency  to keep
Intermediate Level Wastes   at Lucas Heights until a final disposal option is available.
It has not been made clear that there are really two separate proposals by the National Radioactive Waste Management for radioactive waste storage in South Australia

  • for Low-Level Waste disposal facility in SA for an indefinite period.
  • above ground nuclear fuel waste and ILW storage

 ARPANSA will expect separate License Applications for these two proposals.

On transparency. ANSTO has been secretive about its plans regarding Intermediate Level Wastes. At least two significant reports to ARPANSA,  required as part of
ARPANSA Licensing Conditions and due to the regulator by 30 June 2020, and ARPANSA’s reply, should be made available to the PWC, and publicly available.

On safety and security. As ARPANSA has noted, the double handling of Intermediate Level Waste in transporting it from one temporary storage to another temporary storage, is not consistent with international best practice.   The safety and security problems of course also involve the communities en route, over such a long distance. Yet the NRWM taskforce has not engaged with these communities, surely that engagement must be a requirement for such a plan

On the undemocratic process. The National Radioactive Waste Management plan for this facility at Napandee rides roughshod over the rights of South Australians, who have had no say in this decision. It is an affront to South Australia, with its clear law prohibiting nuclear activitis.  THe Eyre Peninsula region ‘s communities have had no say. Importantly, the traditional owners of the area.the Barngarla people, were eluded from the local vote, and are clearly against the dump plan.

On the hypocritical claim of ”medical necessity”. The publicity from ANSTO and from MInister Pitt has portrayed this facility as a ”medical necessity”, which it very obviously is not. As this submission primarily concerns the public works at ANSTO, I won’t go into that issue now.  But it is pretty obvious to all but the somewhat brainwashed Kimba supporters of the plan, that the mostly short-lived medical radioactive wastes are dealt with at the local level, with no need for the elaborate centralised plan for Napandee. https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Public_Works/ANSTOLucasHeights/Submissions

July 27, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Victoria’s Bayside Council call on Australian government to support the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty

Bayside Council supports nuclear prohibition,,   https://www.miragenews.com/bayside-council-supports-nuclear-prohibition-601949/ 26 July 21, Bayside City Council has become the 11th Council in Victoria to join the call for the Australian Government to sign and ratify the United Nations (UN) Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

In a unanimous decision at the July 2021 Council Meeting, Bayside Councillors declared their support and are now calling on the Australian Government to sign the Treaty without delay.

Nuclear weapons pose a threat to communities throughout the world, and we believe all people, including our residents, have the right to live in a world free from this threat,” Mayor Cr Laurence Evans said.

“Any use of nuclear weapons, whether deliberate or accidental, would have catastrophic, far-reaching and long lasting consequences for people and the environment.”

Australia has not signed or ratified the Treaty, despite committing to pursue nuclear disarmament under the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

“It’s time for Australia to sign and get on the right side of history,” Cr Evans said.

Part of the Council resolution includes writing to the Foreign Affairs Minister, and the local Federal member of parliament, advising of Council’s support to the Treaty.

t was also resolved that Council will take steps to ensure that funds administered by Bayside City Council are not invested in companies that produce nuclear weapons.

Bayside City Council is the 11th Victoria Council to join the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Cities Appeal- a global call from cities and towns in support of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

(ICAN) is a coalition of non-governmental organisations in 100 countries promoting the implementation of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Founded in Melbourne in 2007, ICAN was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

July 27, 2021 Posted by | politics, Victoria, weapons and war | Leave a comment

”Nuclear Games” expose Japanese government’s spin about the Olympic Games.

In the runup to July 23 opening ceremony, the Olympic torch relay was deliberately routed through Fukushima Prefecture, including the towns where the plant is located, and others nearby that were long abandoned in the wake of the disaster. Olympic baseball and softball competitions are also being held in a stadium in Fukushima Prefecture.

Billions will watch the Olympics and get the carefully crafted message that everything in Fukushima is fine, and that nuclear meltdowns are quickly lived down. But that’s dangerous denialism. We need a global education effort to promote basic literacy about nuclear dangers in order to make future nuclear disasters less likely.”

Games for the young coincides with Tokyo Olympics, Saily News, 26 July 21,

Perhaps it was also a reflection of the longstanding cat-and-mouse game played by the world’s nine nuclear powers – the US, UK, France, China, Russia, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel – violating the Olympic ideals of peace and humanity with a resurgent nuclear arms race.

The coalition says Nuclear Games shines a light on nuclear issues which are deliberately downplayed by governments, including by Japan as it presents the Olympics with a virtually empty stadium because of Coronavirus restrictions.

Japan experienced nuclear bombings in 1945 and also suffered one of the world’s most devastating nuclear power accidents in 2011 and remains deeply affected by them.Tuesday, July 27, 2021 -Coinciding with the opening ceremony, a coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), anti-nuclear activists and youth leaders launched Nuclear Games, an innovative film and online platform addressing nuclear history and the risks and impacts of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy……………..In a press release, the coalition of NGOs said that nuclear dangers and tensions are rising today. According to the Pentagon, the risk of nuclear war is growing. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock advanced this year to 100 seconds to midnight – closer to nuclear war even than during the Cuban Missile Crisis……

Nuclear Games was developed by interactive video books pioneer Docmine, a Swiss-based creative studio, with support from Basel Peace Office, Youth Fusion, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Switzerland and the World Future Council.

It is offered in English and German and aimed at non-usual suspects: people who don’t typically watch political documentaries or engage in anti-nuclear advocacy work, says the coalition.

“It will have particular resonance with younger viewers, many of whom are unfamiliar with the history it conveys of nuclear disasters, near misses, and ongoing threats and impacts.”

Joseph Gerson, President of the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security, and Vice-President of the International Peace Bureau, told IDN: “In addition to appreciating the film’s pointing to the ongoing existential nuclear dangers on the eve of the 76th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki A-bombings, I am glad that the Games’ press release points to the hypocrisy of the Olympics being held midst the pandemic.”

He said the Japanese Government has cynically spent trillions of Yen to prepare for the Olympics and then insisted on holding them against the opposition of most people in Japan.

“With only a quarter of the Japanese population vaccinated against Covid-19, we should reflect on how many more Japanese people would be alive today and next year were those Yen, and others spent on building one of the world’s most advanced militaries, instead been devoted to developing and purchasing vaccines. I hope that Japanese voters will bear this in mind when it is election time this fall,” Gerson declared.

In the runup to July 23 opening ceremony, the Olympic torch relay was deliberately routed through Fukushima Prefecture, including the towns where the plant is located, and others nearby that were long abandoned in the wake of the disaster. Olympic baseball and softball competitions are also being held in a stadium in Fukushima Prefecture.

“This is government spin, deliberately minimizing and normalizing the disaster, and ignoring Fukushima’s ongoing impacts and threats to public safety,” said Dr Andreas Nidecker, MD, Basel Peace Office president and the originator of the Nuclear Games concept.

Billions will watch the Olympics and get the carefully crafted message that everything in Fukushima is fine, and that nuclear meltdowns are quickly lived down. But that’s dangerous denialism. We need a global education effort to promote basic literacy about nuclear dangers in order to make future nuclear disasters less likely,” he declared.  http://www.dailynews.lk/2021/07/27/features/254937/nuclear-games-young-coincides-tokyo-olympics

July 27, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The fantasy of the Olympic Games as ”recovery” from nuclear disaster, and from Covid-19

Before the COVID-19 pandemic engulfed the world, the Japanese government originally painted the 2020 Olympic Games as the “Recovery Olympics,” meant to showcase how the nation rebuilt in the decade following the cataclysmic triple disaster of 2011

“The government is now talking of an Olympics that could be a sign of humanity’s triumph over the pandemic, but vaccines have not yet been put into practical use, and the world has not yet been freed from the risk of infection,” he added. “There is no chance of success by trying to box in reality to meet the labels the government upholds. The idea of a ‘coronavirus Olympics’ may also likely end as a mere fantasy.”

Discontent over Fukushima nuclear disaster response casts shadow over Tokyo Olympics, Yahoo News, CATHERINE THORBECKE and ANTHONY TROTTER, Mon, July 26, 2021, Some 150 miles from Tokyo’s Olympic venues, calendars that line the walls of empty classrooms remain frozen on a date more than a decade in the past: March 11, 2011.

Images from an abandoned elementary school in Futaba, Japan, are an eerie reminder of the uneven recovery efforts 10 years after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake triggered a catastrophic tsunami and caused the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

About 164,000 people were forced to evacuate in the aftermath of the meltdown at the now-infamous Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. Many never returned home.

As the Japanese government doggedly forges ahead with the delayed and beleaguered Olympic Games this year, some advocates say initial promises that the situation in Fukushima is “under control” are false. Some also say the “Recovery Olympics” branding exploits residents who feel forgotten, and cleanup of the Dai-ichi power plant will take decades longer than government estimates.

Japanese officials insist radiation levels in reopened parts of Fukushima prefecture — which is set to host baseball and softball for the Summer Games — are safe for visitors, and many independent monitors agree. But what many say is a lack of transparency has eroded public trust, and a new debate rages over the what to do with the more than 1 million tons of “treated” radioactive wastewater piling up in storage tanks at the damaged nuclear power plant.

Here is how the legacy of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe looms large over the Tokyo Olympics.

A ‘Made in Japan’ disaster

Kiyoshi Kurokawa, the chairman of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (a group mandated by Japanese legislators to examine what went wrong and make recommendations), told ABC News that recovery efforts are far from complete and a permanent plan for how to dispose of contaminated waste is not in place.

It has a long way to go,” Kurokawa told ABC News of Fukushima’s recovery. “It’s a very tragic thing — and there are just certain people that cannot go back.”

The issue is, what is the long-term prospectus of how to contain Fukushima Dai-ichi, and I’m not so sure TEPCO [Tokyo Electric Power Company] has a clear long-term plan of what to do,”

 Kurokawa added. “They’re doing at least their best effort, but I think cleaning up radioactivity is a mess, and particularly with Fukushima Dai-ichi’s issues.”

While the quasi-state-owned power firm that runs the embattled nuclear power plant has suggested a 30- to 40-year timeline for decommissioning, Kurokawa said conflicting research estimates it could take at least “100 years.”

In his team’s scathing report on what went wrong, delivered to Japanese lawmakers in the aftermath of the event, Kurokawa calls the nuclear catastrophe a “profoundly manmade disaster — that could and should have been foreseen and prevented.”

Kurokawa blasted cultural factors in the nation with the world’s third-largest gross domestic product that he says ultimately resulted in more suffering……….

The biggest issue from our point of view has been this historical lack of adequate transparency on the part of TEPCO and also the Japanese government,” Azby Brown, a researcher for the nuclear monitoring nonprofit organization Safecast, told ABC News, “and this is from the beginning and may actually predate the accident.”

“We see some similar things happening regarding the coronavirus response and even among the negotiations or the discussions regarding the Olympics and what measures will be taken to protect the safety of people who come here for that,” Brown added. “So, it’s all part of a similar phenomenon within Japanese institutions and bureaucracies and government.”

Recovery is far from reality’ ahead of so-called ‘Recovery Olympics’

Before the COVID-19 pandemic engulfed the world, the Japanese government originally painted the 2020 Olympic Games as the “Recovery Olympics,” meant to showcase how the nation rebuilt in the decade following the cataclysmic triple disaster of 2011

The global health crisis and mounting costs associated with hosting the international event during a once-in-a-century pandemic has led to dwindling public support for holding the games, but these concerns appear to have largely fallen on deaf ears. Many locals have expressed fears that it could lead to a surge in coronavirus cases as vaccination rates in Japan lag far behind its peers in the developed world.


For some residents or evacuees of Fukushima, however, hosting the Olympics at a cost of some $12.6 billion is a painful reminder of government-spending priorities.

“Some people feel abandoned not only by the government but also by the nation,” Kazuya Hirano, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, told ABC News. “They also feel used for the promotion of the government slogan, the ‘Recovery Olympics.'”

Hirano — whose research has focused on the continued social, political and health effects of the disaster — said that the government terminated financial support for evacuees in 2017, but most have not returned home.

“Reconstruction does not make much sense as most former Fukushima residents who were affected by the disaster have not returned or have no intention to return because they are worried about the radiation for their families as well as themselves,” Hirano said. “Most people have already settled in new places.


……..  ”for them to try to use this as a way to showcase recovery, it was a sketchy idea from the beginning and I think now it’s probably certainly backfired,” he said. “Instead, it will only highlight the problems and the lack of recovery.”……….


With “real, concrete things” still not adequately taken care of in Fukushima, Brown said many residents view the billions of dollars pumped into the Olympics as “just misspent funds.”

In his 2013 speech pitching Tokyo as a host city, then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told members of the International Olympic Committee that the situation in Fukushima is “under control” and “has never done and will never do any damage to Tokyo.”

His words have drawn ire from Fukushima residents for years.

In July 2020, Katsunobu Sakurai — who was mayor of Minamiosama, Fukushima, at the time of the catastrophe — blasted the “Recovery Olympics” branding in an interview with the one of the country’s biggest newspapers.

“No matter how much you tout the games as a sign of recovery, the overall picture of only Tokyo prospering while the recovery of the disaster-hit areas in the Tohoku region remains undone will not change,” he told the Mainichi newspaper, referring to the region that is home to Fukushima. “I’ve been to Tokyo many times, and saw that there were more crane trucks at the construction site of the athletes’ village than in the disaster-hit areas.”

“It was obvious at a glance where the national government was placing its resources,” he added……..

While the government has assured visitors the designated areas in Fukushima are safe, some independent monitoring organizations, including Greenpeace Japan, have reported finding radioactive hotspots with readings that don’t align with figures released by the officials.

Kurokawa and Brown agreed that the risk of dangerous levels of radiation exposure in reopened areas of Fukushima is low, but residents’ trust in official statements also remains low…………………………………

The Japanese government has prepared for the Olympics while upholding the ‘disaster recovery’ label, even though a recovery is far from reality,” Sakurai said to the Mainichi newspaper in July 2020. “It is superficial to declare a recovery with no actual progress.”

“The government is now talking of an Olympics that could be a sign of humanity’s triumph over the pandemic, but vaccines have not yet been put into practical use, and the world has not yet been freed from the risk of infection,” he added. “There is no chance of success by trying to box in reality to meet the labels the government upholds. The idea of a ‘coronavirus Olympics’ may also likely end as a mere fantasy.” https://www.yahoo.com/gma/discontent-over-fukushima-nuclear-disaster-090220990.html


July 27, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Floods threaten nuclear power stations: call for endangered reactors to be shut down.

Nuclear power plants threatened by floods, final shutdown required. In the wake of the devastating floods of recent days, the Munich Environmental Institute has called for endangered nuclear reactors in Europe to be shut down.

Due to the advancing climate crisis, the risk of operating nuclear power plants continues to increase. The flood situation in western Germany and the neighboring countries as a result of heavy rainfall is devastating.
The water levels in the rivers had risen quickly. People lost their livelihoods or their lives, their belongings have been destroyed.

 Sonnenseite 23rd July 2021

July 27, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) preparing assessments for COP26

Against a backdrop of fires and floods, researchers are meeting virtually to finalise a key climate science study. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is preparing the most comprehensive assessment on the
state of global heating since 2013.

Over the next two weeks, the scientists will go through their findings line by line with representatives of 195
governments. Experts say the report will be a “wake-up call” to governments. It is expected that the short, 40-page Summary for Policymakers will play an important role in guiding global leaders who will come to Glasgow in November to deal with critical climate questions.

 BBC 26th July 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-57944015

July 27, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Xi Jinping, Bolsonaro, Putin and Morrison: The four leaders resisting global climate action — RenewEconomy

As countries prepare to return to international negotiations on climate, Australia will find itself lumped in the club of fossil fuelled rogues. The post Xi Jinping, Bolsonaro, Putin and Morrison: The four leaders resisting global climate action appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Xi Jinping, Bolsonaro, Putin and Morrison: The four leaders resisting global climate action — RenewEconomy

July 27, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Old style tech to give major boost to Australia’s shift to wind and solar — RenewEconomy

New spinning machines about to join South Australia’s grid will allow the maximum output of wind and solar farms to be dramatically lifted. The post Old style tech to give major boost to Australia’s shift to wind and solar appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Old style tech to give major boost to Australia’s shift to wind and solar — RenewEconomy

July 27, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 26 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Powering Rural Economic Development With Renewables” • Electric cooperatives loom large in conversations about the US energy system’s past, present, and future, despite the fact that they serve only 13% of US electricity load. Importantly, they may have difficulties replacing their aging coal fleets with less costly wind and solar projects. [CleanTechnica] Transmission […]

July 26 Energy News — geoharvey

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