Australian news, and some related international items

Australian nuclear news, and more

Some bits of good news  –   With all the various omnicidal threats to our planet, it’s a temptation to just give up.  But giving up is just not an option. This week, there’ve been two reminders -powerful messages of why we can still hope, and more importantly, still act – in a myriad of ways.   Radio Ecoshock replayed  It’s wrong to wreck the world. In this broadcast,  Kathleen Dean Moore  delivers an artful talk about our attack on Nature, and hope of reviving love instead. Alex Smith comments:  “Morality” sounds boring. This speech surprised and moved me. It will do the same for you.”Then there’s Dr Jane Goodall – still hopeful about the Earth’s future.

CoronavirusNo it hasn’t gone away – a slight drop in cases and deaths  world-wide.

Climate change.  The climate crisis is a hunger crisis.


 Australia and China policy- David Bradbury interviews strategy expert Hugh White – .     Australian government working with pro-nuclear zealot Jonathon Mead to plan US/UK nuclear submarines for Western Australia.   Nuclear bomb tests at Emu Field remain obscured by Maralinga and the mists of time. Terrifying nuclear bomb prediction as world tensions rise. 

  Refuting the nonsense by Sam Usher of the Australian Radioactive Waste Agency in favour of dumping nuclear waste at Kimba, South Australia.    Ranger Mine uranium-contaminated waste trucked to Darwin suburb.

The climate bores.            If we want to replace fossil fuels with renewables, we must cut energy consumption.


The only thing keeping US and China from war is running dangerously thin.

The West’s false narrative about Russia and China.         The blind side to western wars and western war crimes. Civilian casualties in Ukraine-5,000? In Yemen-380,000? But Western Media tells a different story!      Ukraine and the Politics of Permanent War – Permanent war requires permanent censorship.

Are Russia and NATO trying to destroy the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?. Meeting on Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty ends in failure, as Russia blocks final draft.

Commemorate August 29: International Day against Nuclear Tests .

Astronauts Going to Mars Will Receive Many Lifetimes Worth of Radiation.

Busting the absurd pro-nuclear spin of “Ecomodernism”.

Digital damage: Is your online life polluting planet?


  Russia-Ukraine war latest: what we know on day 186 of the invasion.     Imperiled Ukrainian nuclear power plant has the world on edge – a safety expert explains what could go wrongThe cost of Ukraine’s de-Russification. The Hidden Truth about the War in Ukraine, and about Crimea and Donbass – Jacques Baud.   

 Russia-Ukraine war: Ukraine announces mandatory evacuations .     Fears of ‘radiation cloud through Europe’ if Ukraine plant blows.     Fears of a radiation leak mount near Ukrainian nuclear plant’.    Anti-radiation-sickness pills given out amid shelling near Ukrainian nuclear station. UN chief demands halt to “nuclear saber-rattling” at Ukrainian nuke plant.     Russia says it destroyed howitzer used to shell Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. 

Zelensky ‘troubled’ as he questions inner circle’s loyalties – Erdogan.      Zelensky warns “no more peace talks”, if Donetsk People’s Republic prosecutes captured Neo Nazi fighters for war crimes. ‘We should kill as many Russians as we can’ – Ukrainian envoy.     Ukrainian Hit List – targets Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, Daria Dugina, Kissinger and 1000s of journalists. ‘Peacemaker’ of death: This Ukrainian website threatens hundreds of thousands with extrajudicial killings — some are Americans. 

EUROPE.NATO Abandons Diplomacy, Says No Longer ‘At Peace’.

NEW ZEALAND. The world stands on a nuclear precipice – we must avoid catastrophe- Jacinda Ardern.

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange files latest appeal in bid to stop extradition to United States 27 Aug 22

Julian Assange’s legal team has filed an appeal to Britain’s High Court in an effort to thwart his extradition to the United States to face espionage charges.

Key points:

  • The appeal argues that Julian Assange is being prosecuted and punished for his political opinions and for protected speech
  • Assange has been in custody since his was arrested in April 2019 and dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London
  • He is facing 17 espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse in the United States

British Home Secretary Priti Patel approved the extradition of the WikiLeaks founder in June after he was denied an appeal in the Supreme Court appeal back in March.

A public relations firm representing Assange said in a statement that the respondents to the appeal were Ms Patel and the government of the United States.

Lawyers for Assange will argue that he is being prosecuted and punished for his political opinions and for protected speech, and that the extradition request violates the US-UK Extradition Treaty and international law as it relates to what it calls political offences.

His lawyers will also argue that the US Government “misrepresented the core facts of the case” to the British courts and that the extradition request “constitute an abuse of process”.

“The Perfected Grounds of Appeal contain the arguments on which Julian Assange intends to challenge District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s decision of 4 January 2021 and introduces significant new evidence that has developed since that ruling,” the statement read.

That January 2021 ruling saw Judge Baraister refuse the US Government’s extradition request on the basis that of Assange’s mental condition and the risk of suicide if he were held in a maximum-security prison.

But Judge Baraister rejected nearly all of the arguments put forward by Assange’s lawyers at the time, including that the charges against him were politically motivated and that he would not receive a fair trial in the US.

In December 2021 the US Government won an appeal against that decision in the UK’s High Court, with Judge Timothy Holroyde finding that the US had given assurances to the UK about Assange’s detention, including about his treatment in the US prison system and that the US would allow him to be transferred to Australia to serve any prison sentence.

Assange’s latest appeal also argues Ms Patel “erred in her decision to approve the extradition order on grounds of specialty” because the extradition request violated the US-UK Extradition Treaty.

US authorities have accused the 51-year-old of conspiring to hack government computers and of violating an espionage law in connection with the release of confidential cables by WikiLeaks in 2010-2011.

Assange is facing up to 175 years in prison over the 17 espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse over the leaks, but the US government has said that a sentence of between three and six years was more likely.

Stella Assange, Assange’s wife, said the pursuit of her husband was “criminal abuse”.

“Since the last ruling, overwhelming evidence has emerged, proving that the United States prosecution against my husband is a criminal abuse,” she said in a statement.

“The High Court judges will now decide whether Julian is given the opportunity to put the case against the United States before open court, and in full, at the appeal.”

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Russia-Ukraine war latest: what we know on day 186 of the invasion

Radiation fears over Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant linger amid accusations from Moscow and Kyiv of more shelling near the site Nadeem Badshah with agencies, Mon 29 Aug 2022 

  • Concern about the potential for a radiation leak at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is persisting. Ukraine’s state energy operator has warned there are “risks of hydrogen leakage and sputtering of radioactive substances” at the Russian-occupied plant. Authorities were distributing iodine tablets to residents who live near the plant in case of radiation exposure.
  • Russia and Ukraine traded fresh accusations of each other shelling the area around the nuclear plant, Europe’s largest, on Saturday. Moscow’s troops have “repeatedly shelled” the site of the plant over the past day, the Ukrainian state nuclear company, Energoatom, said. Russia’s defence ministry has claimed Ukraine’s troops “shelled the territory of the station three times” in the past day.
  • The UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is trying to negotiate access to the plant for an urgent inspection mission “to help stabilise the nuclear safety and security situation there”. Energoatom head Petro Kotin told the Guardian a visit could come before the end of the month, but Ukrainian energy minister Lana Zerkal told a local radio station she was not convinced Russia was negotiating in good faith.
  • Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has issued a statement marking Ukraine’s Aviation Day, in which he pledged that Kyiv’s troops would “destroy the occupiers’ potential step by step”. The Ukrainian president vowed that the Russian “invaders will die like dew on the sun”.
  • Russia has probably increased the intensity of its attacks in the Donetsk area of eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region over the past five days, according to British intelligence. Pro-Russia separatists have most likely made progress towards the centre of Pisky village, near Donetsk airport, but Russian forces overall have secured few territorial gains, the latest report from the UK Ministry of Defence says.
  • Russia has blocked an agreement at the UN aimed at bolstering the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. The failure to agree to a joint statement, due to Moscow’s objection to a clause about control over the Zaporizhzhia plant, is the latest blow to hopes of maintaining an arms control regime and keeping a lid on a rekindled arms race.
  • Ukrainian sailors will be allowed to leave the country for work, Ukraine’s cabinet of ministers has said. The prime minister, Denys Shmyhal, said men of draft age employed as crew members would be allowed to leave the country so long as they had permission from their local conscription offices to cross the border.
  • Britain’s defence ministry has said it is giving six underwater drones to Ukraine to help clear its coastline of mines and make grain shipments safer. In addition, dozens of Ukrainian navy personnel will be taught to use the drones over the coming months, the ministry said.
  • Kazakhstan, a neighbour and ally of Russia, has suspended all arms exports for a year, its government said, amid the conflict in Ukraine and western sanctions against Moscow.
  • Poland and the Czech Republic have agreed to protect the airspace of their Nato ally Slovakia, as it upgrades its air force from legacy Soviet-made MiG-29 fighters to a new batch of F-16 jets from the US.
  • The EU is set to suspend its visa travel agreement with Russia this week, The Financial Times reports. The plan to freeze a 2007 deal will make it harder and more expensive for Russians to get Schengen-area documents, the FT reports. It comes after some eastern member states threatened to unilaterally close their borders to Russian tourists, with other countries calling for collective action to stop ordinary Russians from travelling to the EU on tourist visas. Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has previously called for a complete ban.
  • Russia claims it has hit workshops at the Motor Sich factory in the Zaporizhzhia region of Ukraine. The facility is where helicopters for the Ukrainian air force are being repaired, the defence ministry said. But Ukrainian officials later said the hit resulted significant civilian damages, damaging nine multi-storey buildings and 40 private homes.
  • A Russian missile has struck military infrastructure in Rivne oblast in northern Ukraine. Reports so far are that there were no casualties, and that the missiles came from just over the border from Belarus.
  • The United States called out Russia’s “cynical obstructionism” after Moscow remained the sole holdout in blocking the adoption of a joint declaration on nuclear non-proliferation following lengthy negotiations at the United Nations. The 191 signatories review the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty every five years, which aims to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and promote cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. But on Friday, Russia prevented the declaration’s adoption, saying it took issue with “political” aspects of the text.
  • It is unclear whether Russia will try to boost its armed forces by recruiting more volunteer “contract” soldiers or by lifting annual targets for conscriptions, British intelligence says. President Vladimir Putin signed a decree this week to increase the size of the armed forces from 1.9 million to 2.04 million in the wake of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, now in its sixth month. The latest UK Ministry of Defence briefing says that under the Russian legislation now in place, the decree is unlikely to make “substantive progress” towards increasing Russia’s combat power.
  • Two people were killed when Russia fired on Bakhmut, the governor of the Donetsk region, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said on Saturday. The eastern city is a significant target for Russian and separatist forces seeking to take control of the parts of Donetsk they don’t hold. Associated Press also reported local government officials as saying that in the Black Sea region of Mykolaiv, one person was killed and another wounded in Russian firing.
  • On the opposite shore from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the towns of Nikopol and Marhanets were hit by shells on Saturday afternoon and evening, Nikopol’s mayor, Yevhen Yevtushenko, said on Telegram.

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The cost of Ukraine’s de-Russification

 the burgeoning de-Russification in Ukraine is one of the issues that needs a cool-headed examination. The process of removing Russian cultural and linguistic influence from the country is not an easy — or necessarily equitable — thing to do, when around a quarter of Ukrainians still identify as Russian speakers.

The country’s insistence on its right to exist as separate from Russia is understandable, but expunging Russian cultural and linguistic influence risks future trouble.

Politico. BY JAMIE DETTMER, AUGUST 29, 2022

Wars transform nations and people — leaving them, whether victorious or vanquished, “all changed, changed utterly,” as Irish writer W.B. Yeats noted.

Yeats was writing about the armed insurrection against British rule in Ireland during April 1916. The uprising had lasted just six days, but Ireland would never be the same.

Ukraine’s ongoing epic defense of its national identity, territorial integrity and sovereignty has already lasted six months, and there is no end in sight. It has left widespread devastation, with towns and buildings wrecked, families traumatized and uprooted, livelihoods upended and lives lost and mourned.

But there’s another transformation underway — and it’s in Ukrainian hearts.

Being told endlessly that they don’t exist has led to the understandable Ukrainian reaction of insisting on their existence, and their right to exist as separate from Russia. This is leading them to try and expunge Russian cultural and linguistic influence on their country. But how they do so, and to what degree, is fraught with future danger.

In a March 2014 speech marking the annexation of Crimea, Russian President Vladimir Putin had declared that Russians and Ukrainians “are one people. Kiev is the mother of Russian cities. Ancient Rus’ is our common source and we cannot live without each other.”

But, although the two nations are ensnared by history, the full-scale war he launched in February has only demonstrated the opposite, and has made it much more difficult for them to live with each other.

Indeed, for a nation that Putin has argued doesn’t exist, Ukraine has been kicking up a storm, and is now taking the fight well behind military frontlines, brazenly crossing the border into Russia and occupied Crimea, disrupting Russian supply lines and logistics, leaving the Kremlin to fall back on preposterous lies to explain explosions witnessed by vacationing Russians…………………

Ukrainians’ firmer sense of nationhood and identity, fueled by fury at what is befalling them, risks becoming less inclusive and more Russian-hating. How could it be otherwise?

…………….  the burgeoning de-Russification in Ukraine is one of the issues that needs a cool-headed examination. The process of removing Russian cultural and linguistic influence from the country is not an easy — or necessarily equitable — thing to do, when around a quarter of Ukrainians still identify as Russian speakers.

……………………………… In January, Human Rights Watch also raised concerns about the lack of protections for Russian speakers in a new state language law that entered into force this year. The law requires print media outlets registered in Ukraine to publish only in the Ukrainian language, or to provide an accompanying Ukrainian version, or equivalent in content, volume and method of print, when publishing in another language. But while exceptions were made for other minority languages, such as English and official European Union languages, there were none provided for Russian.

………………….. in June, the Ukrainian parliament passed a set of new laws banning the distribution of Russian books printed overseas, and the playing or performance of Russian music by post-Soviet era artists, further seeking to distance the country from Russian culture.

But through the often tragic twists and turns of Ukraine’s tangled history, and the cultural imperialism of Russian czars and communist autocrats, Ukrainian and Russian culture are inextricably linked and have contributed to each other’s shaping — for good or ill.

…………………. there are risks in rejecting all things Russian……………..

In his independence day speech this week, Zelenskyy vowed Kyiv’s forces will retake Russian-occupied Crimea. But if that day comes, how will Kyiv approach de-Russification? Will it still insist on the use of the Ukrainian language in most aspects of public life on a peninsula where 65 percent of the population are ethnic Russian?

As Ukraine goes about trying to win this war, it also needs to think about how it will win the peace.

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It is really urgent” to “get out of this dependence on the nuclear fleet – French energy expert

 EDF: “It is really urgent” to “get out of this dependence on the nuclear
fleet which is weakening us more and more”, warns an expert. Yves Marignac
pleads among other things for a diversification of our electrical system
and a control of our electricity consumption, but also the development of
renewable energies.

 France Info 25th Aug 2022

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

China deploys ships and jets near Taiwan — Taipei

The move comes hours after US warships sailed past the self-governed island 28 Aug22,

A sizable group of Chinese military vessels and aircraft has been detected around Taiwan amid heightened tensions in the region, the self-governed island’s Defense Ministry claimed on Sunday.

According to the ministry, eight Chinese Navy vessels and 23 aircraft were detected in Taiwan’s vicinity. Ten planes, it stated, “had flown on the east part of the median line of the Taiwan Strait,” which in practice serves as an unofficial barrier between mainland China and the island.

The Taiwanese military added that local combat air patrol has been given relevant instructions, and that Beijing’s activities are being closely monitored.

The apparent Chinese deployment comes a day after the US sent two warships to the Taiwan Strait, in what the Navy called a “routine” transit mission, meant to “demonstrate the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Beijing responded by putting its military on high alert and signaling its readiness “to stop any provocations in a timely manner.” Earlier, China also castigated the US, branding it “the destroyer of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.” 

Tensions in the region have been running high since the controversial visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei in early August, which sent relations between Washington and Beijing into a tailspin and triggered a flurry of Chinese military activity in the area. At the time, Chinese Defense Ministry said it had conducted drills simulating a “blockade” of the island, as well as amphibious assaults and the striking of ground targets. 

Beijing considers the self-governing island its own territory, and views visits by high-ranking US officials as attacks on its sovereignty and a violation of the ‘One China’ principle. The Taiwan Strait, which separates the self-governed island from mainland China, has been a source of military tension since 1949, when Chinese nationalists fled to the island after losing the Civil War to the Communists.

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The climate bores

The climate bores

Rachel Withers

One of the worst parts of Labor’s climate betrayal is watching them parrot Coalition talking points

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Works begin on Darwin big battery, in first step to rid gas from NT grid — RenewEconomy

Works begin on 35MW grid-forming battery that will bolster the Northern Territory’s main grid as it shifts from gas to solar. The post Works begin on Darwin big battery, in first step to rid gas from NT grid appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Works begin on Darwin big battery, in first step to rid gas from NT grid — RenewEconomy

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Home energy efficiency standards to be raised as Australia plays catch-up — RenewEconomy

Australian governments agree to boost energy efficiency standards for new-build homes, in long overdue move to improve basic living standards, slash energy bills and emissions. The post Home energy efficiency standards to be raised as Australia plays catch-up appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Home energy efficiency standards to be raised as Australia plays catch-up — RenewEconomy

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NSW swamped by offshore wind proposals in new Illawarra renewable zone — RenewEconomy

Offshore wind projects projects dominate proposals for new Illawarra renewable energy zone, as green steel load proposals also emerge. The post NSW swamped by offshore wind proposals in new Illawarra renewable zone appeared first on RenewEconomy.

NSW swamped by offshore wind proposals in new Illawarra renewable zone — RenewEconomy

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

August 28 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Electric Vehicles Don’t Break The Grid, And They Can Help Boost It” • Australia has just come out of an energy crisis. Some people blamed it on the amount of renewable energy in the grid and the number of EVs that were plugged in. But real numbers show that is wrong, and the […]

August 28 Energy News — geoharvey

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Are Russia and NATO trying to destroy the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?

Not only will they not begin negotiations to eliminate their nuclear arsenals, as they promised decades ago; they will not even pledge not to start World War III.

Russia and NATO aren’t afraid to start World War III

Wrecking ball — Beyond Nuclear International By Ira Helfand 28 Aug 22, Since it was adopted more than 50 years ago, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) has been described as the cornerstone of international efforts to limit the danger of nuclear war, its preservation a key, shared policy objective of the P5, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. In the lead-up to this year’s NPT Review Conference, which opened on August 1 in New York, Russia and NATO are putting the treaty at risk.

The NPT was conceived as a grand bargain between nations who did not have nuclear weapons and promised not to develop them and the P5, who did have them in 1968 and promised, in Article VI of the treaty, to undertake good faith negotiations to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

In the five decades since, these five nuclear-armed states have continued to insist that other signatories to the treaty honor their commitment not to build nuclear weapons, but they have never seriously considered meeting their obligations to disarm.

Tension over this blatant failure to uphold their end of the bargain has been growing for years and helped fuel the 2017 adoption by 121 non-nuclear-armed states of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a new treaty consistent with Article VI and intended to pressure the countries that have nuclear weapons to meet their obligations to get rid of them.

The gap between the promises of the P5 and their behavior has grown into a chasm since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia has made repeated threats to use nuclear weapons and NATO — representing France, the United Kingdom and the United States — has replied with nuclear threats of its own.

Responding to this escalating danger of nuclear war, 18 Nobel Peace Laureates issued a statement in April urging Russia and NATO to pledge publicly that they will not use nuclear weapons under any circumstances in the current war. The statement was endorsed by more than 1 million people after it was posted to the Avaaz website. The response from Russia and NATO was a thunderous silence. 

It is now clear: Not only will they not begin negotiations to eliminate their nuclear arsenals, as they promised decades ago; they will not even pledge not to start World War III…………………………….

The current threats by Russia and NATO reveal the truth: Nuclear-armed states possess these weapons to threaten and bully the rest of the world — and they are prepared to use them. As former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara famously observed, we have not avoided nuclear war because of sound doctrine or wise leaders or infallible technology. “We lucked out,” he said. “It was luck that prevented nuclear war.”……….. more

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More data needed before ocean release of Fukushima water

The full extent of the nuclear isotopes in the damaged plant’s tanks requires more study

There is insufficient information to assess the potential impact that releasing into the ocean contaminated water stored at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant will have on the environment and human health.

by Ken Buesseler, Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress, Antony M. Hooker, Arjun Makhijani and Robert H. Richmond

August 26, 2022

The Nuclear Regulatory Authority last month announced its approval for the discharge of more than 1 million tons of contaminated water from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant directly into the ocean.

Japan’s nuclear regulator has stated that this can be done safely and the International Atomic Energy Agency has supported this position. We would argue that there is insufficient information to assess potential impacts on environmental and human health and issuing a permit at this time would be premature at best.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., the plant’s operator, is taking this step as part of the decommissioning and cleanup process of the plant. Every day, more than 150 tons of water accumulates at the site due to groundwater leakage into buildings and the systems used to cool the damaged reactors. The water is currently stored in more than 1,000 tanks at the site and what to do with their ever-increasing number has been a topic of concern for many years.

The justification for ocean discharge focuses largely on the assumed levels of radioactivity from tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen that cannot be easily removed by an advanced liquid processing system, which is used for treating the contaminated water. To reduce tritium to levels that will be 1/40th of the regulatory standards, dilution of the tank water with seawater has been proposed prior to release. However, tritium is only part of the story, and a full assessment of all of the water contaminants stored in tanks at the site has yet to be made and verified by independent parties.

Our specific concerns include the adequacy, accuracy and reliability of the available data. A key measure of safety is a risk factor that combines the activities of more than 60 radioactive contaminants — the so-called sum of ratios approach. However, only a small subset of these radioactive contaminants — seven to 10 of them, including tritium — have been regularly measured. The assumption is that this subset alone will reflect the possible risks and the other contaminants are at constant levels. We disagree with this approach, as the data show wide variability in the contaminant concentrations between tanks, as well as differences in their relative amounts.

For example, some tanks low in tritium are high in strontium-90 and vice versa. Thus, the assumption that concentrations of the other radionuclides are constant is not correct and a full assessment of all 62 radioisotopes is needed to evaluate the true risk factors.

Moreover, only roughly a quarter of the more than 1,000 tanks at the site have been analyzed. This combined with the large variability among tanks, means that final dilution rates for tritium and the cleanup necessary for all contaminants are not well known. By Tepco’s own estimates, almost 70% of the tanks will need additional cleanup but that estimate is uncertain until all of the tanks are assessed.

The bottom line is that it is impossible to engineer and assess the impact of any release plan without first knowing what is in the tanks. The actual cost and duration of the project, as well as the amount of dilution needed, all depend upon the accuracy and thoroughness of the data. For example, the amount of seawater needed, and hence the time to release, will depend directly upon dilution factors.

Tepco stated in its radiological impact assessment that to meet its requirements, dilution will be needed by a factor “greater than 100.” In fact, the dilution rate we calculate is 250 on average and more than 1,000 times for many of the tanks where analyses are available. Scaling to those higher averages and extremes would increase capacity needs, costs and overall duration of the releases. In addition, comparisons against other possible disposal options — such as vapor release, using enhanced tritium removal technologies, geological burial or the storage option we suggest below — cannot be made without a better assessment of the current tank contents.

Even for tritium, its high levels are not adequately addressed, as it is assumed to be present only in inorganic form as tritiated water. However, there are also organically bound forms of tritium (OBT) that undergo a higher degree of binding to organic material. OBT has been found in the environment at other nuclear sites and is known to be more likely stored in marine sediments or bioaccumulated in marine biota. As such, predictions of the fate of tritium in the ocean need to include OBT as well as the more predictable inorganic form in tritiated water. Tepco has yet to do this.

The focus on tritium also neglects the fact that the nontritium radionuclides are generally of greater health concern as evidenced by their much higher dose coefficient — a measure of the dose, or potential human health impacts associated with a given radioactive element, relative to its measured concentration, or radioactivity level. These more dangerous radioactive contaminants have higher affinities for local accumulation after release in seafloor sediments and marine biota. The old (and incorrect) belief that the “solution to pollution is dilution” fails when identifying exposure pathways that include these other bioaccumulation pathways.

Although statements have been made that all radioactivity levels will meet regulatory requirements and be consistent with accepted practices, the responsible parties have not yet adequately demonstrated that they can bring levels below regulatory thresholds. Rebuilding trust would take cleanup of all of the tanks and then independently verifying that nontritium contaminants have been adequately removed, something the operator has not been able to do over the past 11 years. Post-discharge monitoring will not prevent problems from occurring, but simply identify them when they do occur.

As announced, the release of contaminated material from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant would take at least 40 years, and decades longer if you include the anticipated accumulation of new water during the process. This would impact not only the interests and reputation of the Japanese fishing community, among others, but also the people and countries of the entire Pacific region. This needs to be considered as a transboundary and transgenerational issue.

Our oceans provide about half of the oxygen we breathe and store almost one-third of the carbon dioxide we emit. They provide food, jobs, energy, global connectivity, cultural connections, exquisite beauty and biodiversity. Thus, any plan for the deliberate release of potentially harmful materials needs to be carefully evaluated and weighed against these important ocean values. This is especially true when contaminated material is being released that would be widely distributed and accumulated by marine organisms.

The Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster is not the first such incident, nor will it be the last. The challenge presented by this present situation is also an opportunity to improve responses and chart a better way forward than to dump the problem into the sea. Moreover, even accepted practices and guidelines require much more thorough preoperational analysis and preparation than is in evidence so far.

We conclude that the present plan does not provide the assurance of safety needed for people’s health or for sound stewardship of the ocean. We have reached this conclusion as members of an expert panel engaged by the Pacific Island Forum, a regional organization comprising 18 countries. However, we have penned this commentary in our individual capacities and our views may or may not be shared by the forum secretariat or its members.

The recent decision to support the release by the Nuclear Regulation Authority is surprising and concerning. In addition, the International Atomic Energy Agency should withhold its support for the release without these issues being resolved. Once the discharge commences, the opportunity to examine total costs and weigh the ocean discharge option against other alternatives will have been lost.

It has been stated that there is an urgency to release this contaminated water because the plant operator is running out of space on site. We disagree on this point as well, as once the tanks are cleaned up as promised, storage in earthquake-safe tanks within and around the Fukushima facility is an attractive alternative. Given tritium’s 12.3-year half-life for radioactive decay, in 40 to 60 years, more than 90% of the tritium will have disappeared and risks significantly reduced.

This is the moment for scientific rigor. An absence of evidence of harm is not evidence that harm will not occur, it simply demonstrates critical gaps in essential knowledge. Having studied the scientific and ecological aspects of the matter, we have concluded that the decision to release the contaminated water should be indefinitely postponed and other options for the tank water revisited until we have more complete data to evaluate the economic, environmental and human health costs of ocean release.

Ken Buesseler is a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and director of the Center for Marine and Environmental Radioactivity. Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress is scientist-in-residence at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Antony M. Hooker is director of the Center for Radiation Research, Education and Innovation at the University of Adelaide. Arjun Makhijani is president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. Robert H. Richmond is director of the Kewalo Marine Laboratory at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meeting on Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty ends in failure, as Russia blocks final draft

A month-long meeting on nuclear disarmament ended in failure at the United
Nations Friday night when Russia refused to accept the final draft of the
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The treaty is reviewed
every five years as part of an effort to reduce nuclear risks and stop the
expansion of nuclear arsenals around the world. The failure of the
negotiations came amid disagreements over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,
which has entered its sixth month.

 CNN 27th Aug 2022

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pakistan’s desperate plight after monster flooding

 BBC 28th Aug 2022

 Pakistan is appealing for further international assistance after floods
wreaked havoc across the country. The US, UK, United Arab Emirates and
others have contributed to a monsoon disaster appeal but more funds are
needed, an interior ministry official told the BBC. More than 1,000 people
have died and millions have been displaced since June, Salman Sufi said. He
said Pakistan’s government was doing everything in its power to help

 BBC 28th Aug 2022

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment