Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Submission: Sisters of St Joseph South Australia Reconciliation Circle on “ANSTO Intermediate Level Solid Waste Storage Facility Lucas Heights, NSW”

We have noted in the federal budget the allocation of $59.8 million to ANSTO. The PWC Inquiry should consider that proposed indefinite storage of ANSTO nuclear fuel waste and ILW in SA is untenable and compromises safety and security in SA. We respectfully remind the Committee that ANSTO’s premise to transfer ILW into indefinite storage in regional SA is contrary to International Best Practice (IBP) and does not comply with ARPANSA Committee advice.

Submission No. 5: Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works. Michele Madigan, Josephite SA Reconciliation Circle 27th July 2021 Inquiry: “ANSTO Intermediate Level Solid Waste Storage Facility Lucas Heights,NSW” Public Submission by the Josephite SA Reconciliation Circle. The Sisters of St Joseph South Australia (SA) Reconciliation Circle and their AssociateMembers welcome the opportunity to make a Public Submission to the Inquiry: “ANSTO Intermediate Level Solid Waste Storage Facility Lucas Heights, NSW”


In summary: Our members see as key the need for the Public Works Committee to actively encourage ANSTO to modify their storage facility for Intermediate Level Waste to keep the nation’s highest level of radioactive waste – intermediate long lived waste – on site until the final deep geological storage site is ready to receive it.

Our members include those who have been involved since 1998 with the vexed question of the federal government’s determination to store the nation’s highest level radioactive waste – intermediate long lived radioactive waste- in above ground temporary storage, with no planned final site.


Since 2015, these and other more recent members have been concerned and have taken action about the federal government’s latest plan to transport such waste to either the Flinders Ranges SA or the Kimba region SA. In this we have had good cause to stand with boththe Traditional Owners: the Adnyamathanha in the Flinders Ranges and the Barngarla in the
Kimba region.

Of course as South Australians we are also speaking for ourselves and many other South Australians concerned with various worrying aspects of the present federal government’s plans, including the inherent safety issues of such dangerous waste for communities along thetransport routes (yet to be determined or at least yet to be publicly released.)

We have noted in the federal budget the allocation of $59.8 million to ANSTO. The PWC Inquiry should consider that proposed indefinite storage of ANSTO nuclear fuel waste and ILW in SA is untenable and compromises safety and security in SA. We respectfully remind the Committee that ANSTO’s premise to transfer ILW into indefinite storage in regional SA is contrary to International Best Practice (IBP) and does not comply with ARPANSA Committee advice.


It is well known that the Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson former head of the regulator body ARPANSA has stated publicly on June 20th 2020 that ‘there is ample room at ANSTO for decades to come.’

Duty of Care As members of government the Public Works Committee will be well acquainted with the principle of ‘duty of care.’ Department officials seemingly have chosen an arbitrary number of 100 years for the proposed transported highly dangerous material to be left above ground with no definite contingencies to safeguard such.

Burden on Future Generations: Our members put it to the Committee that the present plans are simply ‘kicking the can down the road’ leaving a task for future generations that our present federal government is simply not willing to take on itself. And further that once transported and ‘stored’ there is no guarantee at all that the highly toxic material will not simply remain where it is.


Time frame. Clearly there are few Australians alive today who were born in 1921. One hundred years is beyond the knowledge of most of us. The fact that the ILW and other Lucas Heights material are by ANTSO’S own admission, toxic for an unimaginable 10,000 years, means that it is extremely irresponsible policy to be complicit or even advocating for such material to leave the direct care of ANSTO’s expertise and high security to be simply stored above ground on farming land, half way across the country from the nation’s nuclear experts.

ANSTO’S highly dangerous nuclear fuel wastes as well as their Intermediate Level Nuclear Waste need radiation shielding, safe expert handling and high security – and of course isolation from adults, children, animals and the environment lands and ground waters. This will not happen in the proposed above ground facility – even for 100 years.


Recommendation: We put to members of the Public Works Committee: that the present allocation of funding to ANSTO for safe and secure storage include the capacity to modify their storage facility to enable on site continuous storage of ANSTO’s own nuclear fuel waste and long lived intermediate level radioactive waste until such time as a permanent best practice underground final suitable storage site is found and
completed.
We thank you for receiving and noting oursubmission.  https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Public_Works/ANSTOLucasHeights/Submissions

July 29, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

No need for Kimba interim nuclear waste storage, as Australian Government budgets for increased storage capacity at Lucas Heights.

the present nuclear waste storage site at Lucas Heights is in no danger of running out of room. ARPANSA (Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency) is the nation’s nuclear regulator. In 2020 in parliamentary testimony, Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson clearly stated, ‘Waste can be safely stored at Lucas Heights for decades to come.’ In fact, the recent federal Budget provided $60 million for further decades of extended storage capacity for Intermediate Long-lived Waste at ANSTO Lucas Heights, building onto the operation of existing stores to 2026. There is no emergency.

As nuclear waste storage Bill passes, the fight continues,   https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article/as-nuclear-waste-storage-bill-passes–the-fight-continues?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Eureka%20Street%20Daily%20-%20Tuesday%2027%20July%202021&utm_content=Eureka%20Street%20Daily%20-%20Tuesday%2027%20July%202021+CID_ef6ae62e9543e5b0c91147f8dd3a4683&utm_source=Jescom%20Newsletters&utm_term=READ%20MORE Michele Madigan 26 July 2021   

For several decades, successive federal governments have tried but failed to establish a national nuclear waste repository, primarily to take waste from the nuclear research reactor site operated by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) at Lucas Heights, 30 km south of Sydney. Currently, a site near Kimba on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula is being targeted.

Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt has always had the power to make a ministerial declaration of a particular site for the new national radioactive waste storage facility. But instead of making a selection, for over twelve months he chose to take his NRWMF (National Radioactive Waste Management Facility) Amendment Bill legislation to Parliament. Under his proposed legislation, any group that opposed the site he selected — including the Barngarla Traditional Owners — would not have the power of judicial review.

Last month, the Senate came to a decision approving an amended Bill that would allow Traditional Owners judicial review if the location was disputed. Minister Pitt was forced to admit defeat.

Over the course of the Bill’s passage, the Coalition had the numbers in the House of course, with the legislation passing in 2020 only after informed and strong opposing speeches by Labor, the Greens and Independents. The Senate, however, was a different matter. Labor, the Greens and the majority of the other five Crossbenchers continued for months standing firmly against legislation that denied judicial review to opposition groups.

Minister Pitt, having listed the legislation a number of times, was then forced every time to withdraw his Bill. In regular media statements, Pitt harangued opposing Senators, especially Labor, with increasingly extravagant claims for the necessity of the dump for the future of nuclear medicine.

Government arguments to the contrary, the present nuclear waste storage site at Lucas Heights is in no danger of running out of room. ARPANSA (Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency) is the nation’s nuclear regulator. In 2020 in parliamentary testimony, Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson clearly stated, ‘Waste can be safely stored at Lucas Heights for decades to come.’ In fact, the recent federal Budget provided $60 million for further decades of extended storage capacity for Intermediate Long-lived Waste at ANSTO Lucas Heights, building onto the operation of existing stores to 2026. There is no emergency.

During last month’s Senate debate many salient points were made by the Greens and other Crossbench Senators. During the debate, the previous Minister for Resources Matthew Canavan gave assurances that the invited submissions would be taken into consideration, but 95 per cent of the submissions made were against the proposed new site.

Further, it was pointed out that in the Kimba district, 36 non-residents with property were permitted to vote while the Traditional Owners, and also farmers whose properties were closer to the Napandee site but outside the Kimba Council region, were not.

So where are we up to in this long-running saga?

With the intermediate level waste simply being moved from one part of the nation to be again stored above ground for a cited 100 years, the can is being kicked down the road for future generations to deal with. What is needed is an independent expert inquiry..

And with judicial review allowed in the amended legislation, Labor were able to say they were supporting the Traditional Owners and then voted with the government to ensure the amended Bill became law.

The Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation (BDAC) is finally free to proceed to court. The resources Minister within the coming weeks will formally declare the site, almost certain to be Napandee in the Kimba region in SA. From there, the project will require EPBC (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation) procedure and the regulator ARPANSA licensing, both offering significant public opportunities.

Finally: there are two elections looming: South Australia’s State elections on 19 March, 2022, as well as Federal. Both SA Liberal and Labor past Premiers have initiated successful state legislation ‘prohibiting the establishment of certain nuclear waste facilities’ in this state. Environmentalists are now calling on South Australians to make the federal government’s radioactive waste plan that counters this legislation, an election issue.

At times, in such a long campaign one can ask, is opposition really worth the struggle? 

I received an answer to that question on 18 June, on State Parliament House steps, when a colleague and I conducted a rehearsal for a larger sit-in. In the cold I was in a long dress, gloves, scarf, woollen cap, hoodie jacket. After our shift, my companion went to get the car leaving at my feet our magnificent banner hidden by its worn tarpaulin cover. As a group of high school children rushed past me towards the railway station, a lively-looking student, maybe 15 years old, said something to her teacher. Then she approached and stood in front of me offering an almost-full packet of chips. ‘Do you want them?’ I stared back at her, not understanding. Again: ‘Do you want them?’ Looking down at the old tarpaulin, I realised she was feeding the homeless!

This girl is an example of the beautiful future generations whose well-being we are responsible for. They deserve far better than radioactive waste, toxic for 10,00 years, being stored above ground in their state. The fight continues.

Donate to the Barngarla crowdfunder to fund a legal challenge.

July 29, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

No-one can get finance to build a uranium mine in Australia.

NO-ONE CAN GET FINANCE TO BUILD A URANIUM MINE IN AUSTRALIA   https://www.ccwa.org.au/no_finance_toro?utm_campaign=nuclear_news172&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ccwa
BY K-A GARLICK JULY 26, 2021  
 CCWA nuclear-free campaigner Kerrie-Ann Garlick attended last week’s Toro meeting to raise concerns that the company’s most recent uranium proposal differs from its currently approved plan.

Toro Energy’s general meeting last Friday heard the death toll sounding on WA’s uranium hopefuls.

Toro Chair Richard Homsany told the meeting that no one can get finance to build a uranium mine in Australia. He also acknowledged that Toro’s conditional environmental approval for its stalled Wiluna project expires on January 9, 2022. From this date, Toro will not be able to mine without making project changes that would require further state government scrutiny and approval.

In 2017 the McGowan Labor government introduced a policy ban on uranium mining in WA but inherited four uranium mine proposals with existing approvals granted by the former Barnett government. By the end of January 2022, the current Ministerial approvals for all four of the states proposed uranium mines will expire if they do not commence mining.

Approval for Cameco’s Kintyre expired and was not renewed in March 2020, Vimy Resources Mulga Rock project approval expires in December 2021 and both Yeelirrie (Cameco) and Wiluna (Toro) are set to expire in January 2022. If any of these companies want to mine they will need to seek approval for amendments to Ministerial conditions. This may trigger a new assessment or a suite of other conditions being applied.

CCWA nuclear-free campaigner Kerrie-Ann Garlick attended last week’s Toro meeting to raise concerns that the company’s most recent uranium proposal differs from its currently approved plan. “Toro is now focused on developing a JV uranium project at Lake Maitland. This is completely separate from the existing approval for the Wiluna project and would require a whole new environmental assessment. It is our view that this could not be advanced because of the existing policy ban on uranium mining in WA.”

“The Wiluna uranium mine proposal is uneconomic and they don’t have the funding to develop it. There is almost no scenario in which the Wiluna uranium mine could be developed ahead of the approval expiry in January 2022”

“It is refreshing that the Toro Board are realistic about the current highly negative market conditions for uranium. No one is financing uranium mines and that is unlikely to change by January. It is increasingly likely that we will reach a point in January 2022 where there are no operating mines and no active approvals for uranium mining in WA,” Ms Garlick concluded.

July 29, 2021 Posted by | business, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Australian uranium company developing interest in USA mines, despite USA govt pulling out of them.

Utah uranium mines being eyed by Australian company

Foreign investors consider $75 million in federal funding that was supposed to boost uranium production in the United States, but the Biden administration indicates it won’t renew the program.

Australian interest in uranium mining in San Juan County. By Zak Podmore  Salt Lake Tribune: July 16, 2021

East Canyon • On the flank of a remote mesa in San Juan County, where the abandoned shafts of the None Such uranium mine cut into the hillside amid a yellowing juniper forest, Utah’s uranium boom days seem part of a distant past.

Rusting metal machinery and other trash protrude from eroding, unfenced tailings piles left by operators in the 1970s. Small Bureau of Land Management signs warn passersby — mostly adventurous all-terrain vehicle riders braving washed-out roads — it’s unsafe to enter the mines.

But a few scattered survey stakes along the mesa, located 14 miles north of Monticello, provide a subtle indication that the area’s rich uranium and vanadium deposits may soon be tapped once again.

In May, TNT Mines — an Australian zinc, gold and uranium mining company — acquired dozens of mining claims in the East Canyon uranium-vanadium project area, and according to a recent presentation to investors, the company is currently mapping the geology of the area.

The renewed interest in the region’s uranium deposits, TNT said in the presentation, is being driven by two major factors: East Canyon’s proximity to Energy Fuels’ White Mesa Mill near Blanding (the only conventional uranium mill operating in the United States) and policies implemented by then-President Donald Trump that sought to boost domestic uranium production.

Although there are several fully permitted uranium mines in San Juan County, including Energy Fuels’ Daneros Mine near Bears Ears National Monument, they have remained mostly idle in recent decades due to low global uranium prices………

Trump added uranium to the U.S. “critical minerals list” in 2018, a move that President Joe Biden’s Interior Department recently announced it would reverse this fall.

In December, the massive COVID-19 relief package set aside $75 million to create a stockpile of domestically mined uranium, another Trump administration recommendation that was ostensibly part of the former president’s “American energy dominance” agenda. But the promise of government subsidies and low taxes has drawn the attention of foreign companies such as TNT Mines………..

Congress provided the $75 million in funding to the domestic uranium stockpile this year, and the Trump administration recommended extending the program for 10 years. But under Biden, the Energy Department has reversed course, leaving funding for the uranium reserve out of its 2022 budget requesthttps://www.sltrib.com/news/2021/07/13/trump-era-policies-entice/

July 29, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wind and solar could deliver 65 pct of Australia demand by 2030 if built on time — RenewEconomy

Wind and solar projects are queuing up, but short term factors and high coal prices cause us to lift our wholesale price forecasts. The post Wind and solar could deliver 65 pct of Australia demand by 2030 if built on time appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Wind and solar could deliver 65 pct of Australia demand by 2030 if built on time — RenewEconomy

July 29, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Queensland greenlights $23m renewable energy skills centre — RenewEconomy

Queensland government fast tracks new “state of the art” renewable energy training facility, complete with onsite wind turbine and solar farm. The post Queensland greenlights $23m renewable energy skills centre appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Queensland greenlights $23m renewable energy skills centre — RenewEconomy

July 29, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Renewables overtake coal and nuclear to become 2nd biggest grid source in US — RenewEconomy

Renewables overtake both coal and nuclear for first time to become second biggest source of electricity generation in US in 2020. The post Renewables overtake coal and nuclear to become 2nd biggest grid source in US appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Renewables overtake coal and nuclear to become 2nd biggest grid source in US — RenewEconomy

July 29, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Olympic sports were intended as celebration of Fukushima’s ”recovery” from nuclear disaster, but that didn’t work.

Fukushima, intended to celebrate recovery from nuclear disaster, will have an ‘unfortunate’ lack of fans for Japan’s Olympic baseball game, By Blake Essig, Emiko Jozuka and George Ramsay, CNN July 28, 2021

After a 13-year hiatus, baseball is returning to the Olympics — although no fans will be there to witness it.

It’s a particular disappointment for the city of Fukushima, where the Olympics was supposed to celebrate the region’s recovery from a nuclear disaster more than a decade ago……….

…………  Iwamura adds that staging the Olympics in Japan is “controversial,” but hopes that a successful Games can “spread the possibilities of overcoming difficulties” — a particularly important message for Fukushima and one the city hopes to embody by hosting global sporting events……. https://edition.cnn.com/2021/07/28/sport/fukushima-olympics-baseball-spt-intl/index.html

July 29, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Facebook apologises for blocking access to the website of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), – but does not explain why it happened

 
 The Ferret 27th July 2021, Facebook has issued an apology to the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear
Disarmament (CND) after blocking people from accessing the peace
organisation’s website from its platform. The Ferret reported last week
that Scottish CND was considering a complaint to Ofcom because people
trying to access its website from its Facebook page were advised the URL
breached “community standards”. Facebook has now resolved the issue but
Scottish CND criticised the social media giant for failing to explain why
its site was blocked in the first place. The peace group thinks it may have
been a “malicious complaint” or the word “bomb” in its URL which
proved problematic.

 The Ferret 27th July 2021

July 29, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

American public opinion ignored as NASA prioritises colonising Mars, over research to save the climate

63 percent according to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey—believe that NASA should prioritize monitoring Earth’s climate system. Only a minority—18 percent—said that NASA should prioritize sending humans to Mars.

Is using nuclear materials for space travel dangerous, genius, or a little of both? bulletin of the Atomic Scientists , Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, By Susan D’Agostino | July 28, 2021 

The 1977 Soviet satellite Kosmos 954 was supposed to monitor ocean traffic using radar—a technology that works best at short distances. For this reason, the craft traveled in Earth’s low orbit, where solar panels alone could not provide consistent power. And so, the satellite was equipped with a small, efficient, yet powerful nuclear reactor fueled by approximately 50 kg of weapons-grade uranium 235. Within weeks of its launch, Kosmos 954 veered from its path like a drunkard on a walk. The Soviets tried to eject its radioactive core into a higher orbit by way of a safety system designed for that purpose. But the safety system failed. In January 1978, Kosmos 954 burst into the Western Canada skyline, scattering radioactive dust and debris over a nearly 400-mile path. The cleanup and recovery process, which took nearly eight months and started in the subarctic winter, found that virtually all of the satellite fragments were radioactive, including one that was “sufficient to kill a person or number of persons remaining in contact with that part for a few hours.”

Now that the United States has set a goal of a human mission to Mars by 2039, the words “nuclear” and “space” are again popping up together in newspaper headlines. Nuclear propulsion systems for space exploration—should they materialize—are expected to offer significant advantages, including the possibility of sending spacecraft farther, in less time, and more efficiently than traditional chemical propulsion systems. But extreme physical conditions on the launchpad, in space, and during reentry raise questions about risk-mitigation measures, especially when nuclear materials are present. 

Why not travel to Mars on a chemically propelled spacecraft? Spaceships that use chemical propellants benefit from tremendous thrust to get the job done. However, they also need to carry fuel and oxidizer to power that incredible upward or forward movement………..

Even if a spacecraft were able to refuel with a chemical propellant in space or magically carry enough chemical propellant for the journey to Mars, the long transit time would present a hazard to the crew……..

In theory, nuclear propulsion for space travel will offer two significant advantages over chemical propulsion. First, since nuclear systems are much more efficient, the amount of fuel required for the journey to Mars is practical. Second, without a need to traverse the shortest path, the flight could take off from Earth and Mars anytime—without delay. The latter would reduce the length of the roundtrip journey and the crew’s exposure to radiation.

Still, attaching what amounts to a nuclear reactor to a human-occupied spaceship is not without risks.

Is the idea of sending nuclear materials into space new? The idea of sending nuclear materials into outer space is not new. And unlike Kosmos 954, many instances have been successful. Since 1961, NASA has powered more than 25 space missions with nuclear materials. The only other practical power option—solar power—is often unavailable in dark, dusty, far-off corners of the solar system.

Likewise, the Atomic Energy Commission launched a nuclear-thermal rocket propulsion research and development program in 1955. …….funding and interest in the programs dried up in the 1970s……

What new plans does the United States have for sending nuclear materials to space? The National Academies’ report released earlier this year recommended that NASA “commit within the year to conducting an extensive and objective assessment of the merits and challenges of using different types of space nuclear propulsion systems and to making significant technology investments this decade.” The report offers a roadmap for developing two different kinds of propulsion systems—nuclear electric and nuclear thermal—for human missions to Mars.


nuclear electric propulsion system bears some resemblance to a terrestrial power plant. That is, first a fission reactor generates power for electric thrusters. That power positively charges the ions in the gas propellant, after which electric, magnetic, or electrostatic fields accelerate the ions. The accelerated ions are then pushed out through a thruster, which propels the spacecraft.

Alternatively, in a nuclear thermal propulsion system, the reactor operates more as a heat exchanger in which a fuel such as liquid hydrogen is first heated to very high temperatures—up to 4,600 degrees Fahrenheit—that is then exhausted through a rocket nozzle to produce thrust.

“For nuclear thermal propulsion, the challenge is: temperature, temperature, temperature,” Anthony Calomino, a materials and structure research engineer at NASA’s Langley Research Center, said. “There are not many materials that can survive those kinds of temperatures.” ………..

While nuclear electric propulsion systems do not require extreme temperatures, they face a different hurdle. Nuclear electric systems have six subsystems, including a reactor, shield, power conversion, heat rejection, power management and distribution, and electric propulsion systems. The operating power of all of these subsystems will need to be scaled up by orders of magnitude—and in such a way that they continue to work together—before they are ready for space……………..

Why is the United States planning to send humans to Mars anyway? Some argue that the scientific value of a human-crewed Mars mission could be captured by robots at a much lower cost and risk. Others think that humans, whose role in terrestrial climate change is apparent, should first rehabilitate Earth before colonizing other planets. Still others worry that human microbes could contaminate the Red Planet.

Indeed, a majority of Americans—63 percent according to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey—believe that NASA should prioritize monitoring Earth’s climate system. Only a minority—18 percent—said that NASA should prioritize sending humans to Mars…………….   https://thebulletin.org/2021/07/is-using-nuclear-materials-for-space-travel-dangerous-genius-or-a-little-of-both/


July 29, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Can solar and farming co-exist? Dutch trial hopes to prove a perfect match — RenewEconomy

Vattenfall to trial a solar farm that will be combined with Dutch strip farming practices for organic crops. The post Can solar and farming co-exist? Dutch trial hopes to prove a perfect match appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Can solar and farming co-exist? Dutch trial hopes to prove a perfect match — RenewEconomy

July 29, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Facebook’s disinformation problem is harder than it looks, by Matthew Ingram — Rise Up Times

“finding the right line between disinformation control, public-health awareness, and outright censorship is not an easy task.”

Facebook’s disinformation problem is harder than it looks, by Matthew Ingram — Rise Up Times

July 29, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New report on the UN Security Council’s work on climate security published — The Center for Climate & Security

This is a cross-post from the Planetary Security Initiative In the past 18 months, the emergence of climate security as a mainstreamed and core risk for national governments and IGOs has accelerated. In particular, the UN Security Council (UNSC) is becoming more cognizant of climate change being a core security risk that should be under…

New report on the UN Security Council’s work on climate security published — The Center for Climate & Security

July 29, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment