Australian news, and some related international items

This week in nuclear news

 Some bits of good news .     Why the latest UN climate report is positive news .    New research shows planting trees and shrubs brings woodland birds back to farms, from superb fairy wrens to spotted pardalotes .    Climate change: greener lifestyles linked to greater happiness – in both rich and poor countries.  Annual bird count in UK gardens raises hopes for greenfinch .

Pandemic. It’s not as if the coronavirus has gone away – new sub-variants etc…

Climate. It’s not as if global heating has gone away.

Nuclear. While the Ukraine warseems to consume nearly all the news, there is a swamping of UK nuclear news at present. The mainstream media can be depended on for its usual regurgitation of handouts from the nuclear lobby, masquerading as news. All the same, there’s a surprising flow of information, even from conservative sources, warning that Boris Johnson”s nuclear energy dream looks like turning into a nightmare  –  useless against climate change, increasing the toxic waste problem, of dubious safety. and – shock horror – unaffordable.


FAST TRACK TO ARMAGEDDON — Declassified AustraliaAUKUS hypersonic announcement will ‘escalate global tensions’, warns CND. AUKUS in the hypersonic missile wonderlandAustralia’s contribution to global nuclear risks. Defence Dept blocks access to advice on location choice for Australia’s nuclear submarines base.       Small nuclear reactors for Australia– a sneaky way to lead to making Australia the world’s nuclear waste dump?

New cyclotron for Australia – to produce medical isotopes, with no need for dangerous nuclear reactor production. Why medical isotopes produced in cyclotrons are so much better than those produced in a nuclear reactor.

Conservation Council of Western Australia continues its long fight for the environment, and to stop uranium mining.

Angus Taylor’s latest intervention – renewables funding could be redirected to fossil fuels and nuclear.

The other half of the climate change debate – adaptation.

Federal budget: $160 million for nature may deliver only pork and a fudge,         Climate reality bursts PM’s election campaign bubbleTime’s up: why Australia has to quit stalling and wean itself off fossil fuels

High school student stands against Environment Minister in federal seatThe Greens: We’re eager to hold the balance of power

Latest IPCC report offers key lessons for Australia but is anyone listening?       Why renewables are key to Australia’s national security 

Stockton residents want solutions as waves whipped up by east coast lows erode their beach

Wittenoom is officially closed, but can it be cleaned up?


The choices: fight to the last Ukrainian, or choose Macron’s dialogue path.    In the midst of war in Ukraine, U.S. and NATO must de-escalate.       Questions Abound About Bucha Massacre.

Pundits Who Advocate Hot War With Russia Are Enemies Of Humanity.  World leaders must look to peaceful solutions, not more weaponsWho speaks for the world? — IPPNW peace and health blogl      Ukraine is ground zero for the expansion of the U.S.-Russia proxy war, (and the war industry is jubilant).   Nuclear missiles, bombs market to surge 73% by 2030, report says, industry worried that international treaties ”might hamper growth”.     ‘Most Dangerous Point in Human History’ Looming, Warns Noam Chomsky.

NATO is punishing China               U.S., NATO push Asia-Pacific bloc against Russia, China, with Ukraine as pretext.
Shortening the kill chain: nuclear-capable U.S. B-52s integrate with NATO Eastern flank states

Protecting the environment to reduce the risk of another pandemic

IPCC ‘s dire warning on climate change is being ignored, amid war and economic turmoil. IPCC new report coming, on limiting global heatingWorld on ‘fast track to climate disaster’, says UN secretary general – video
 We can still avert climate catastrophe – but there is barely time.

Almost everyone now breathing polluted air, warns WHO

Greenpeace maps Ukraine’s nuclear power risks. Zaporizhzhia is a wake-up call demonstrating the vulnerability of nuclear plants to deliberate acts of war.     Why Ukraine’s Nuclear Waste Is A Major Threat:

ANTARCTICA. New research links Antarctic ice loss to greenhouse gas emissions,

UKRAINE. Ending Ukraine’s suffering. The decision to negotiate this is up to Ukraine, not the USA.      Ukraine planning to resume control of Chernobyl nuclear site, as Russians withdraw.

Ukraine: Russian troops took Radioactive ‘souvenirs’ from Chernobyl, says agency Russian soldiers in Chernobyl ‘picked up radioactive material with barehands’ and contaminated inside of plant.  Over 70 Russian soldiers suffering from radiation exposure at Chernobyl nuclear site.

Greenpeace maps Ukraine’s nuclear power risks. Zaporizhzhia is a wake-up call demonstrating the vulnerability of nuclear plants to deliberate acts of war.     Why Ukraine’s Nuclear Waste Is A Major Threat:

Weapons, weapons and more weapons: Ukrainian FM welcomed at NATO headquarters

April 11, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Today: Media mesmerised by the glory of space research, unaware of its militarism and danger

Once again, ABC Radio National’s programme ”God Forbid” has provided a generally positive and approving discussion of space research and rocketry.  Once again, experts potificate , without the slightest mention that the main thrust of all this technology is devoted to military devices, nukes in space etc. (Not a mention of Australia’s latest venture – hypersonic missiles).

Elon Musk, potrayed as such a philanthropist, is very involved in the USA’s space warfare project.  These technocrats have no concept of genuine science, no understanding of the fragility of our ecosphere, including space. Just to give one example, one aspect –   the many thousands of satellites going up will eventuall produce light pollution in our skes, – with damaging effects on birds, bats, insects –   a huge part of the ecology on which we depend for life.  The ecological ignorance of these ”science gurus”, is surpassed only by their total disregard for the danger of nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons in space, and plutonium fuelled rockets. 

April 11, 2022 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Why medical isotopes produced in cyclotrons are so much better than those produced in a nuclear reactor.

This is probably the best explanation of the difference between the use of nuclear reactor produced isotopes in nuclear medicine, and cyclotron produced isotopes in nuclear medicine. It is a quote from TRIUMF Canada – an internationally recognised establishment which has celebrated 50 years in the world as a leading authority on subatomic physics.

This definition was released by them in 2011… “The field of nuclear medicine has evolved into what can be considered its third generation. Generation-I originated in the 1950s, with several reactors producing large enough quantities of simple radioisotope formulations that could be distributed for use globally. This allowed for the launch of the era of modern nuclear medicine, and for the next thirty years the medical community developed and implemented dedicated cameras needed to image patients injected with gamma-emitting isotopes. Generation-I radiopharmaceuticals were simple, perfusion-based compounds that distributed within the body based on simple properties such as molecular shape, size, and charge; and the isotopes injected were typically single photon emitters. The world came to adopt nuclear medicine as a cheap, yet powerful tool for the non-invasive diagnosis of disease.”

Generation-1 radiopharmaceuticals – That’s your nuclear reactor generated nuclear medicine isotopes – predominately the Technitium-99m (Tc-99m) used in diagnostic imaging. This is what the reactor in ANSTO Lucas Heights is predominately used to produce – the Molybednum-99 (Mo-99) which then decays to Tc-99m.

“Generation-II radiopharmaceuticals evolved during the 1980s and involved the development of compounds targeted to specific cellular biomarkers. With a rapid growth in understanding of the molecular basis of physiology and disease, and the expansion of a global cyclotron infrastructure, new and powerful positron-emitting compounds such as [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose, or FDG for short, were discovered and widely implemented for the safe and accurate diagnosis and evaluation of diseases affecting millions of patients. Over the next thirty years, the radiopharmaceutical research community spent an enormous amount of time and effort developing a myriad of targeted radiopharmaceuticals that have continued to feed our understanding of biology and medicine at the molecular level.”

Generation II radiopharmaceuticals – that’s your cyclotron generated nuclear medicine isotopes – predominately FDG amongst many others now – MET, FET, FLT, FCH, FMISO, FDOPA, Ga isotopes, Oxygen isotopes…the list goes on. There are currently 18 cyclotrons in Australia – this current list is from IAEA: They are normally associated with diagnostic imaging partnerships on site.

“Today we are witnessing the evolution of Generation-III compounds, which have come to include both imaging and therapeutic isotopes. In a nearly synonymous way to which we came to appreciate the power and utility of imaging isotopes, therapeutic isotopes are now entering the active conscience of the medical community.”

This was remember published in 2011. The problem with radioisotopes is that you cannot control their emissions. You can certainly use low energy emitters, but regardless the ultimate aim of medicine now in 2022 is to have as little damage done to normal cells as is possible. That is why immunotherapy and nanotechnology are the foregrounds for cancer treatment now.–

April 11, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health | Leave a comment

AUKUS in the hypersonic missile wonderland

Pearls and Irritations By Binoy Kampmark, Apr 9, 2022,

As this idiotic, servile venture proceeds, Australian territory, sites and facilities will become every more attractive for assault in the fulness of time.

If further clues were needed as to why AUKUS, the security pact comprising the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, was created, the latest announcement on weapons would have given the game away.  Australia, just as it became real estate to park British nuclear weapons experiments, is now looking promising as a site for hypersonic missile testing, development, and manufacture.

In a joint statement from US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a commitment was made “to commence new trilateral cooperation on hypersonics and counter-hypersonics, and electronic warfare capabilities, as well as to expand information sharing and to deepen cooperation on defence innovation.”

To this can be added February efforts of officials from all three countries to, according to the ABC, scour Australia for sites best suited for the nascent nuclear-powered submarine program that seems all but pie in the sky. To date, the country has no infrastructure to speak of in this field, no skills that merit mention for the development of any such fleet, and a lack of clarity as to when the vessels might make it to sea. Nor is there any clear sign what model of submarine – UK or US – will be preferred…………………

The Morrison government is trying to leave the impression that this will eventually realise the dream of self-sufficiency, a notion repeatedly fed by such think tanks as the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. It describes this as “a major step in delivering a $1 billion Sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise, officially announcing strategic partners Raytheon Australia and Lockheed Martin Australia.” The Prime Minister also sees such weapons as part of a broader Australia “strategic vision” dealing with long-range strike capabilities.

…………. As this idiotic, servile venture proceeds, Australian territory, sites and facilities will become every more attractive for assault in the fulness of time. That may well be quite a way off and, judging by any military ventures in Australia of this kind, we can hope that this will be more a case of decades rather than years.

April 11, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

A $50 billion (bottomless?) pit? Four public interest groups demand review of production of nuclear weapons ”pits”

DOE’s and NNSA’s pit production plan would involve extensive processing, handling, and transportation of extremely hazardous and radioactive materials, and presents a real and imminent harm to the plaintiffs and to the frontline communities around the production sites.

The government estimates that the cleanup will take until about 2060, Kelley said. “And at Site 300, some contamination will remain there in perpetuity—parts of Site 300 are essentially a sacrifice.” Such contamination is present at all U.S. nuclear weapons sites, “and at some of the big production sites, the contamination is even worse.”

Nuclear weapons monitors demand environmental review of new bomb production plans By Marilyn Bechtel. 10 Apr 22,

Four public interest groups monitoring the nation’s nuclear weapons development sites are demanding the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Agency conduct a thorough environmental review of their plans to produce large quantities of a new type of nuclear bomb core, or plutonium pit, at sites in New Mexico and South Carolina.

The organizations, Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive EnvironmentSavannah River Site WatchNuclear Watch New Mexico, and Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition, filed suit in late June 2021 to compel the agencies to conduct the review as required under the National Environmental Policy Act. They are now fighting an effort by DOE and NNSA to dismiss the suit over the plaintiffs’ alleged lack of standing. The groups are represented by the nonprofit South Carolina Environmental Law Project.

In 2018, during the Trump administration, the federal government called for producing at least 80 of the newly designed pits per year by 2030.

The public interest groups launched their suit after repeated efforts starting in 2019 to assure that DOE and NNSA would carry out their obligations to issue a thorough nationwide programmatic environmental impact statement, or PEIS, to produce the new plutonium pits at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.

The organizations said that in correspondence with NNSA in March, the agency stated that it did not plan to review pit production, relying instead on a decade-old PEIS and a separate review limited to the Savannah River Site.

Although more will be known when the Biden administration completes the Nuclear Posture Review now underway, the administration’s request for $43.2 billion in fiscal 2022 to maintain and modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and individual items to expand U.S. capabilities including pit production, very much follows the Trump administration’s spending patterns. The proposed nuclear weapons spending comes to nearly 6 percent of the $753 billion the current administration is asking for national defense, itself a total marginally higher than under Trump.

Continue reading

April 11, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment