Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear news Australia and overseas – to 2nd January

Some bits of good news.      What went right in 2022: the top 25 good news stories of the year  – Climate action – Return of threatened species –   The rights of nature were strengthened  – Land was returned to nature – and indigenous people – and more.

Coronavirus. Three years since coronavirus was detected in China, and how it changed the world.

Climate.  Environmental review of 2022: another mile on the ‘highway to climate hell’.

Nuclear.  In reality – not much is happening. The corporate media is still banging on about nuclear fusion ,  a complete distraction from anything that is really happening in energy and climate issues. In fact, the most interesting thing that is happening is the Europe-wide cutting down on energy use – “demand reduction” – the most unsexy but effective way to address global heating.  The other thing that the corporate media is banging on about is –   small nuclear reactors (SMRs). They faithfully regurgitate nuclear industry handouts – even though these SMRs actually don’t exist, and investors hold back – waiting for governments to pour even more tax-payer money into SMRs.

However, lurking all the time, is the risk of nuclear accident, especially in Ukraine.  And as USA and NATO promise more advanced weapons for the Ukrainians, and Putin flexes his “unrivalled” nuclear-powered missile cruisers, the world could be now teetering on the brink of nuclear war.



CLIMATE. Growing climate, nuclear risks spark doomsday fears. Growing urgency and intensity — Weather extremes won’t be solved by nuclear power.

CULTURE and ART. MIND OF THE MACHINE Chilling AI predicts what nuclear war would look like with attacks on London, Moscow and Washington .

ECONOMICS. How did the US nuclear industry fare in 2022?

ENERGY. As France’s nuclear energy sector falters, Britain’s wind and solar power booms. France’s nuclear headache – Macron on the brink of rationing electricity. Europe shows how to cut demand for energy use.

ENVIRONMENT. Hot water — radiation in drinking water.

MEDIA. US spies pushed Twitter to censor ‘anti-Ukraine narratives’ – media.

NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGYNuclear Fusion:  Don’t Believe the Hype!. Small modular reactors will not save the day. The US can get to 100% clean power without new nuclear. Japan’s Rokkasho nuclear reprocessing project delayed again – for the 26th time.

OPPOSITION to NUCLEARCivil society groups urge feds to ban reprocessing used nuclear fuel. No new nuclear weapons in Europe

POLITICSCanada’s first new nuclear power reactor in 30 years has embarked on a crucial review. Can it pass quickly?

POLITICS INTERNATIONAL and DIPLOMACY. The 2022 nuclear year in review: A global nuclear order in shambles.     Tucker “Gets It” – Putin Doesn’t Want American Missiles on His Border.  Ukraine became de facto member of NATO in 2022: DM .     What the Pentagon Doesn’t Want You to Know About China.  Europe’s nuclear industry heavily dependent on Russian fuel and technology – no sanctions there.

RADIATION. Marie Curie’s Belongings Will Be Radioactive For Another 1,500 Years.

SAFETY. German residents told to prepare for nuclear emergencies.

SECRETS and LIESThis Year’s Nobel Peace Prize winners are deeply connected to the CIA. Every social media firm censors for US government – Musk.

SPACE. EXPLORATION, WEAPONS. Military satellites add to Earth’s orbit, which is already crowded with satellites.

SPINBUSTERCalling nuclear fusion a potential ‘climate solution’ may undermine actual solutions.

WASTES. In the Pacific, Outcry Over Japan’s Plan to Release FukushimaWastewater.

WAR and CONFLICT. 3,000 civilians dead in Mariupol – Russian officials investigating – and claim that Ukrainian troops are responsible.        Germany assumes command of NATO’s 12,000-troop strike force EU.               Britain to train 15,000 Ukrainian “warfighters” in Lithuania.                100,000 U.S. troops, 20,000 new, to stay in Europe, train Ukrainian counterparts . Historic Golden Rule Peace Boat On Its Way to Cuba.

WEAPONS and WEAPONS SALESMore weapons to Ukraine “to bring peace” – says NATO chief.                 Under pressure from Washington, Japan rearms.             Increasing kill chain speed: Pentagon augments HIMARS for Ukraine, Latvia, Taiwan .             North Korea says it will boost nuclear warhead production ‘exponentially‘, as another missile fired.            Russia Adds ‘Unrivaled’ Nuclear-Powered Missile Cruisers To Its Arsenal; Putin Says Has No Analogs In The World.

January 2, 2023 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Howard ministers considered extinguishing native title over South Australia site earmarked for nuclear waste dump.

Cabinet papers 2002: documents shed light on strategy amid decades-long battle to create national storage centre  Tory Shepherd, Sun 1 Jan 2023 

John Howard’s government considered extinguishing native title over a South Australian site earmarked for a nuclear waste dump “by agreement or by compulsory acquisition”, the 2002 cabinet papers reveal.

The records, released on Sunday by the National Archives of Australia, shed light on the Howard government’s part in the decades-long battle to create a national storage site for Australia’s low- and medium-level nuclear waste.

The Keating government began searching for a site to store the nation’s nuclear waste as early as 1992.

In 2012 the Gillard government passed a controversial bill to create the nation’s first nuclear waste dump – saying it hadn’t yet decided on a location, although many believed it was destined for remote Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory.

Now preliminary works have started on a site at Napandee, near Kimba in South Australia, after the Morrison government resources minister Keith Pitt declared native title had been extinguished there.

The legal and political obstacles were apparent in 2002 when the finance minister, Nick Minchin, and science minister, Peter McGauran, brought their submission to cabinet.

They proposed that federal laws should be used to override SA laws that would ban the establishment of a dump, and that Indigenous land use agreements could be used to override native title.

If native title parties had not “agreed to the surrender of their native title through an ILUA”, the government should consider compulsory acquisition, they said.

Cabinet noted that “the extinguishing of native title, whether by agreement or by compulsory acquisition, is likely to raise difficult issues”.

The cabinet submission noted there were “strong imperatives” for “the safe keeping of hazardous radioactive waste materials” that arise from medicine, industry and research. The waste is now stored at Lucas Heights outside Sydney, and more than 100 institutions across the country.

“Given the sensitivity of the project and the need for certainty of tenure that provides exclusive use of the site for the duration of the project, there appears to be no practical alternative to the extinguishment of native title,” the submission said.

But the government would need to provide “benefits” in return, and be prepared for legal challenges. The submission also suggested a media strategy, saying that ruling out having intermediate waste (leaving just low-level waste) would “deprive the SA government of the argument the national repository was the thin end of the wedge, and that the government has a hidden agenda to site the national intermediate waste store in the state”.

The current government plan is to use the Napandee site as permanent storage for low-level waste, and temporary storage for intermediate-level waste (the long-term plan for the intermediate waste is not clear).

The prime minister’s department agreed with the 2002 plan, while the Attorney General’s Department supported it,, but said there was not enough information to work out whether “security measures will be sufficient to prevent access to the repository for the purpose of terrorist or other criminal activity”.

The Department of Foreign Affairs warned of the “distinct” possibility of “dirty bombs”, in the wake of the September 11 attacks. A dirty bomb is where an explosive is used to scatter radioactive dust.

The Department of Defence had “serious concerns” about the initial proposal to use Woomera for storage.

“A principal concern is the risk of a weapon impact on the national repository as well as the negative publicity that would result,” the department said.

The traditional owners of the Napandee site, the Barngarla people, are still fighting the federal government in court. The SA premier, Peter Malinauskas, has said he supports their cause.

The federal resources minister, Madeleine King, has said the waste “cannot continue to build up”, and has committed to working with the Barngarla people to protect the site’s cultural heritage.

January 2, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment