Australian news, and some related international items

Concerns in outback SA grow as federal government plans to store defence waste at planned Kimba nuclear dump

ABC By Sara Tomevska, 18 Oct 22,

The federal government is facing questions over how it will dispose of highly-radioactive waste produced by Australia’s future nuclear-powered submarine fleet, as concerns about a controversial nuclear dump in outback South Australia grow.

Key points:

  • The federal government chose a site near Kimba for its nuclear waste site in 2021
  • Locals are now concerned high-level nuclear defence waste could be stored at the site
  • There are two legal challenges underway to block the site from going ahead

After 40 years of searching, the federal government last year announced it had chosen Napandee, a 211-hectare property near the town of Kimba, to consolidate Australia’s low-and-intermediate nuclear waste……….

 last June, the federal parliament passed a range of amendments to the National Radioactive Waste Management Act.

One of the changes allows defence waste to be stored at the site too.

Fourth generation wheat farmer Terry Schmucker has long opposed the dump, fearing the site could lead to contamination.

“As a farmer have become connected to the land and I’ve come to realise how precious topsoil and agricultural land are,” he said.

He said the changes to legislation had added to his anxiety. “I always expected that the dump was the thin end of the wedge … but it’s disappointing that the government hasn’t come straight out and said ‘this is how it is’,” he said. 

A Department of Defence spokesperson said Australia’s defence programs already generated a “range of low-level radioactive waste” which was currently stored in two temporary facilities.

In September 2021, three months after the amendment bill passed through parliament, former Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Australia would acquire nuclear-powered submarines as part of the AUKUS defence pact.

Mr Schmucker said the deal raised “serious questions” about how and where the federal government would dispose of high-level radioactive waste generated by the submarines.

“I think it’s going to come here, that’s just the way it is,” he said.

“If the waste site is set up at Kimba, there’s nothing to stop [the government] from bringing even worse stuff than what’s going to come out of the submarines and putting it here in agricultural land.”

Could submarine waste really end up in Kimba?

The legislation explicitly prevents high-level radioactive waste or spent nuclear fuel — which is what the submarines would produce — from being dumped at the Napandee site.

Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation (BDAC) chairman Jason Bilney said he was concerned that could be changed with the stroke of a pen.

“We all know what the government is like, the government can change that at any given time and try and slip it through,” he said.

Former senator and submariner Rex Patrick was part of the parliament that passed the legislation, and said he believed it was unlikely that protection would ever be removed.

“The parliament that passed the facility were of the clear understanding that high-level material would not be stored at the site,” he said.

“Now, of course, [legislation] can be changed by a future parliament. And so, there is a risk there.

October 18, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The previous Liberal government lied about its Kimba nuclear waste dump plan, but be wary of the new Labor government, too.

I strongly suggest that particularly the Barngarla but the general Kimba community should be extremely cautious of the so- called support by Malinauskas and Maher for the opposition to the waste facility at Kimba as their demands for the nuclear powered submarine fleet to be built or just based in South Australia will generate significant volumes of nuclear waste which will need Kimba its storage and disposal.

Peter Remta, 17 October, While Minister Madeleine King began with great promise as a knowledgable and realistic minister for resources unlike her ministerial predecessor I have been singularly disappointed by her comments in various media outlets including in particular the Saturday’s edition of The Guardian

To say that she is allowing the Barngarla litigation to run its course is ludicrous and none of what she says can in any way justify the continued planning for the facility at Kimba

In view of this I have arranged for the ARTEMIS peer review service of IAEA to undertake a comparative study of the Kimba proposal to other suggested facilities.

What is more they will undoubtedly embarrass the government by showing up its ignorance and incompetence in the realm of nuclear waste which has previously been disguised by a barrage of
disingenuous comments and information.

I am aware that one person of interest in this review is to be Pitt as the former minister since he has shown to have little if any real knowledge of nuclear issues but was happy to disseminate incorrect and even untrue information for presumably his self importance.

However in the meantime it is necessary to ensure that the federal government will grant unfettered entry to Australia for both the ARTEMIS team and the UNHRC special rapporteurs since they have already been stopped on two occasions

Finally I strongly suggest that particularly the Barngarla but the general Kimba community should be extremely cautious of the so- called support by Malinauskas and Maher for the opposition to the waste facility at Kimba as their demands for the nuclear powered submarine fleet to be built or just based in South Australia will generate significant volumes of nuclear waste which will need Kimba its storage and disposal.

Perhaps someone should question him and Maher about their reluctance for an intervention by the State in such a significant national and international issue.

October 18, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Racist statements by mining magnate Lang Hancock, and claims that he had Aboriginal children

Lest we forget – the great mining magnates have not been so great on human rights.

This becomes an issue now, when their names can be attached to Australian sports teams. Surely an embarrassing whitewash of despicable public persons.

THE families of people claiming to be children born out of wedlock to Lang Hancock work in his mines, it was claimed yesterday. Gemma Jones  From:Herald Sun  February 15, 2012 

Aboriginal elder Hilda Kickett, 68, who has been accepted as Mr Hancock’s love child by his widow, Rose Porteous, said some of the relatives of seven other suspected part-Aboriginal children of the late mining magnate were even paid royalties from mines opened on their traditional land.

Many of Mr Hancock’s suspected grandchildren have taken jobs in family mines and others in the vast northwest of Western Australia, which was opened up by the businessman……

Mr Hancock, who discovered iron ore in the Pilbara, once called for part-Aboriginals to be sterilised.

He also dismissed indigenous land claims, saying: “The question of Aboriginal land rights and things of this nature shouldn’t exist.”

He referred to part-Aboriginal people as “no-good half-castes” and said to deal with those who were unemployed he would “dope the water up so that they were sterile and would breed themselves out in the future”. ….

October 18, 2022 Posted by | people, Western Australia | 1 Comment

The Ukraine war: the Europeans have been nicely played by the Americans

The Crimean Bridge attack of October 8 is much more serious. Zelenskyy has crossed a red line that Moscow had repeatedly warned him against

The Americans are cocooned in a surreal world of their self-serving narrative that Russia ‘lost’ the war.

Washington has not yet thrown in the towel and the Biden administration remains obsessed with exhausting the Russian military — even at the cost of Ukraine’s destruction.

A war Russia set to win – The Europeans have been nicely played by the Americans. MK Bhadrakumar, 17 Oct 22,

Former Ambassador

Two massive terrorist strikes misfired spectacularly and a terrible beauty is born in the Ukraine war. These two carefully planned attacks in quick succession — on Nord Stream gas pipelines and Crimean Bridge — were intended as a knockout blow to Russia. According to President Vladimir Putin, people ‘who want to finally sever ties between Russia and the EU, weaken Europe’ are behind the Nord Stream blasts. He named the US, Ukraine and Poland as ‘beneficiaries’.

Last Wednesday, Russia’s domestic intelligence service FSB identified Ukraine’s military intelligence chief, Kyrylo Budanov, as the mastermind behind the Crimean attack. The New York Times and Washington Post also pointed fingers at Kiev, quoting ‘sources’. While Nord Stream-1 has been crippled, one of the strings of Nord Stream-2 remains intact. Putin said last week that the pipeline could be restored and Russia could deliver about 27 billion cubic metres of gas. ‘The ball is on the side of the European Union, if they want — let’s turn on the tap,’ he said.

But mum’s the word from Brussels. It is a profoundly embarrassing moment for the EU. The triumphalism has vanished as Europe is threatened by years of recession caused by the blowback from sanctions against Russia, where the US insisted on the cut off of energy ties with Moscow.

The EU has now become a captive market for Big Oil and is left to buy LNG from the US at the asking price, which is six to seven times higher than the domestic price in the US. (Contracted price for long-term Russian supply for Germany used to be about $280 per 1,000 cubic metres as against the current market price hovering around $2,000.)

Plainly put, the Europeans have been nicely played by the Americans. India should take note of the US’ sense of entitlement. Basically, the Biden administration created a contrived energy crisis whose real aim is war profiteering.

The Crimean Bridge attack of October 8 is much more serious. Zelenskyy has crossed a red line that Moscow had repeatedly warned him against. Putin has disclosed that there have also been three terrorist attacks against the Kursk NPP. Russians will settle for nothing less than the ouster of the Zelenskyy regime.

Russia’s retaliation against Ukraine’s ‘critical infrastructure’, something Moscow refrained from so far, has serious implications. Since October 9, Russia has begun systematically targeting Ukraine’s power system and railways. Noted Russian military expert Vladislav Shurygin told Izvestia that if this tempo was kept up for a week or so, it ‘will disrupt the entire logistics of the Ukrainian military — system for transporting personnel, military equipment, ammunition, related cargo, as well as the functioning of military and repair plants.’

The Americans are cocooned in a surreal world of their self-serving narrative that Russia ‘lost’ the war. In the real world, though, Ivan Tertel, KGB chief in Belarus, who has an insider view of Moscow, said last Tuesday that with Russia boosting its troop strength in the war zone — 3 lakh troops who have been mobilised plus 70,000 volunteers — and the deployment of advanced weaponry, ‘the military operation will enter a key phase. According to our estimates, a turning point will come in the period from November of this year to February of next year.’

Policy-makers and strategists in Delhi should make a careful note of the timeline. The bottom line is, Russia is looking for an all-out victory and will not settle for anything less than a friendly government in Kiev. Western politicians, including Biden, understand that there is nothing stopping the Russians now. The US’ weapon kitty is running dry as Kiev keeps asking for more.

When asked whether he’d meet Biden at the G20 in Bali, Putin derisively remarked on Friday, ‘He (Biden) should be asked whether he is ready to hold such negotiations with me or not. To be honest, I don’t see any need, by and large. There is no platform for any negotiations for the time being.’

However, Washington has not yet thrown in the towel and the Biden administration remains obsessed with exhausting the Russian military — even at the cost of Ukraine’s destruction. And, for the Russians too, there is still much to be worked out on the battlefield: the oppressed Russian populations in Odessa (which suffered unspeakable atrocities from the neo-Nazis), Mykolaiv, Zaporizhya, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkov are expecting ‘liberation’. It’s a highly emotive issue for Russia. Again, the overarching agenda of ‘demilitarisation’ and ‘denazification’ of Ukraine must be taken to its logical conclusion.

When all that is over, Putin knows Biden will not even want to meet him. Hungarian PM Viktor Orban said last week, ‘Anyone who seriously believes that the war can be ended through Russian-Ukrainian negotiations lives in another world. Reality looks different. In reality, such issues can only be discussed between Washington and Moscow. Today, Ukraine is able to fight only because it receives military assistance from the United States…

‘At the same time, I do not see President Biden as the person who would really be suitable for such serious negotiations. President Biden has gone too far. Suffice it to recall his statements to Russian President Putin.’

India should expect the defeat of the US and NATO, which completes the transition to a multipolar world order. Sadly, Indian elites are yet to purge their ‘unipolar predicament’. Europe, including Britain, is devastated and there is palpable discontent over the US’s ‘transatlantic leadership’. Indo-Pacific strategy is hopelessly adrift. New power centres are emerging in India’s extended neighbourhood, as the OPEC’s rebuff to Washington shows. A profound adjustment is needed in the Indian strategic calculus.

October 18, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Elon Musk supports Russia keeping Crimea—because he’s worried about nuclear escalation and World War III

Fortune, BY TRISTAN BOVE, October 18, 2022

The world’s richest man wants the West to more seriously consider the risk of nuclear conflict and World War III breaking out over Ukraine, as Russia’s hold over Crimea—illegally annexed by Russia in 2014—is thrown into question.

“If Russia is faced with the choice of losing Crimea or using battlefield nukes, they will choose the latter,” Elon Musk wrote in a tweet on Monday.

He continued: “We’ve already sanctioned/cutoff Russia in every possible way, so what more do they have left to lose? If we nuke Russia back, they will nuke us and then we have WW3.”…………………………….

Musk and Ukraine

Earlier this month, Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, made waves when he suggested that the two sides reach a compromise before the use of nuclear weapons escalates the conflict into World War III. 

He did so by sharing his view on what a peaceful resolution in Ukraine would look like, including Ukraine remaining neutral and permanently ceding control of Crimea to Russia. 

In his proposal, Musk wrote that this outcome was “highly likely,” and the only question was “how many die before then.” He noted at the time that a nuclear escalation was a “possible, albeit unlikely” outcome……………

In his tweet on Monday predicting World War III, Musk emphasized the strategic and symbolic importance of Crimea to Russia, equating its potential loss to the “USA losing Hawaii and Pearl Harbor.”

Global war threats

If Putin was holding back on nuclear threats in the first few months of the war, he certainly isn’t now. At the end of September, Putin announced he would employ “all means available to us” to defend the four eastern Ukrainian regions Russia had recently annexed, a threat many took to be nuclear in nature. …………………………………………………. more

October 18, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear is Not a Climate Solution – Dr. Arjun Makhijani

Nuclear is Not a Climate Solution -7 Dr. Arjun Makhijani. This is a part
of the recording of “Nuclear is Not a Climate Solution: The devastating
impacts of Pacific nuclear testing, the Fukushima disaster, and radioactive
waste from U.S. nuclear reactors,” a webinar that was hosted by the
Affected Communities and Allies Working Group on March 9, 2022. The webinar
explains why nuclear energy is not a climate solution and shed light on the
underreported impacts of the ongoing nuclear crises in communities impacted
by nuclear testing, nuclear energy, and radioactive waste.

 Affected Communities and Allies Working Group 16th Oct 2022

October 18, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Marshall Islanders unwilling to sign economic agreement with USA – want redress first of their harmful nuclear legacy

Haunted By 67 Nuclear Tests, US Facing Severe Roadblocks To Renew COFA Pact With Marshall Islands By Ashish Dangwal, October 18, 2022

The United States appears to be facing a severe roadblock in renewing a binding treaty with the Marshall Islands, which have long sought compensation for the dozens of US nuclear tests conducted there between the 1940s and 1950s.

The provisions of a Compact of Free Association (COFA), signed between the Pacific island group and the US in 1986, will be reviewed by the Marshall Islands and the United States later this year.

The COFA’s key components include US immigration benefits for Marshallese citizens, direct economic support, and exclusive American defense and security access to the islands and their territorial waters. 

The Marshall Islands leaders have repeatedly highlighted that the long-term repercussions of the 67 US nuclear tests conducted between 1946 and 1958 on health, the environment, and the economy must be adequately addressed before they consent to a new economic agreement with the US.

October 18, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Inhabitants of French Polynesian atolls call for support and compensation for the health and environmental harm from nuclear testing.

French Polynesian atolls still wary decades after nuclear tests, RNZ, 17 Oct 22,

The new French High Commissioner to French Polynesia has heard calls for support and compensation for atolls close to the test sites of France’s nuclear weapons tests.

Eric Spitz has been on his first tour of the outer islands since arriving from France last month to discuss France’s efforts to overcome the test legacy in line with an undertaking of President Emmanuel Macron to ‘turn the page’ on the tests.

Spitz has been visiting Mangareva and Tureia, which are among the inhabited atolls closest to the former test sites of Moruroa and Fangataufa, used for more than 190 tests between 1966 and 1996.

The High Commissioner is travelling with the project manager for the French prime minister on the consequences of nuclear tests, Michel Marquer, and the head physician of the monitoring department of the nuclear test centres of the general defence directorate, Marie-Pascale Petit.

The government delegation has been updating the atolls’ residents on the latest findings about residual radiation and the risks emanating from the test sites, weakened by dozens of underground detonations.

The mayor of Tureia, Tevahine Brander, said she would like to have support from France because some locals had given their lives for France getting its nuclear deterrent.

“Perhaps the French state has taken a big step today on the nuclear issue, but my people will always remain vigilant on this subject. Our elders have endured a lot of suffering”, she said.

The mayor of Rikitea on Mangareva Vai Gooding also called for compensation, with locals telling the visitors of ongoing concerns.

Jerry Gooding, who is with the anti-nuclear organisation, Association 193, told Tahiti-infos that “in Rikitea, there are victims who have died, and their children have cancer too, although they were born after the nuclear tests. This is why the Association is asking for a transgenerational study into the genetic impact of the tests.”

“Macron went to ask forgiveness in Algeria but did not ask forgiveness from the Polynesians. He must come and apologise to the Polynesians”, he added.

A resident, Benoit Urarii, said “everyone knows that Hiroshima was catastrophic, and everyone knew that it was dangerous for the population. General De Gaulle was aware and chose Moruroa because there were fewer people. But it is close to us, so we are the first victims. The first test in 1966 was catastrophic for us Mangarevans. And we got infected. Nobody can deny that. We were not asked for our opinion, and we knew exactly how dangerous nuclear tests were.”…………………………

Doubt persists as residents point to the complex and expensive technology in use to monitor the area around Moruroa, which is still a military no-go zone.

Until 2009, France claimed that its tests were clean and caused no harm, but in 2010, under the stewardship of defence minister Herve Morin, a compensation law was passed.

Plans are afoot to build a memorial site in Papeete, but a resident in Tureia said it should be on his atoll.

“The centre should be here, it’s more honest. But not a memorial for those who have taken advantage of all these years of nuclear testing to enrich themselves and stuff their bank accounts”, he said.

October 18, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Doomsday Greenland glacier on the brink as scientist sounds alarm.

 Scientists have issued a dire warning as the Greenland ice sheet, one of
the largest in the world, is far more vulnerable than previously thought.

The enormous body of ice has been critical to global sea level rise and
climate change, and new research suggests that it could be in greater
danger than previously believed.

The climate crisis, triggered by human
activity like burning fossil fuels, has resulted in average global
temperatures rising to dangerous levels, and is beginning to cause, or
aggravate major natural disasters around the world. Scientists now warn
that the rising air temperatures has amplified the effects of melting
caused by the ocean warming, which has led to greater loss of ice from the
Greenland ice sheet.

 Express 16th Oct 2022

October 18, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment