Australian news, and some related international items

1.This month

 For international news go to

 ‘Sweden acted as vassal state to US’ in Assange case – journalist

Nuke Program for Sale: Hackers offer top secret data to interested buyers

Nuclear Weapons and ‘Generation IV’ Reactors – theme for May 2017 

Jim Green  All nuclear power concepts (including ‘fourth generation’ concepts) fail to address the single greatest problem with nuclear power − its repeatedly-demonstrated connection to the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Not just any old WMDs but nuclear weapons − the most destructive, indiscriminate and immoral of all weapons.

Integral Fast Reactors (IFRs)  George Stanford, who worked on an IFR R&D program in the US, notes that proliferators “could do [with IFRs] what they could do with any other reactor − operate it on a special cycle to produce good quality weapons material.”

As with conventional reactors, IFRs can be used to produce weapon grade plutonium in the fuel (using a shorter-than-usual irradiation time) or by irradiating a uranium or depleted uranium ‘blanket’ or targets. Conventional PUREX reprocessing can be used to separate the plutonium. Another option is to separate reactor grade plutonium from IFR fuel and to use that in weapons instead of weapon grade plutonium.

IFR advocate Tom Blees notes that: “IFRs are certainly not the panacea that removes all threat of proliferation, and extracting plutonium from it would require the same sort of techniques as extracting it from spent fuel from light water reactors.”

Conventional reprocessing with the use of separated plutonium as fuel (in breeders or MOX reactors) has the same potential to drawn down fissile material stockpiles, but has increased rather than decreased proliferation risks. Very little plutonium has been used as reactor fuel in breeders or MOX reactors. But the separation of plutonium from spent fuel continues and stockpiles of separated ‘civil’ plutonium − which can be used directly in weapons − are increasing by about five tonnes annually and amount to over 270 tonnes, enough for 27,000 nuclear weapons.

Whatever benefits arise from the potential consumption of outside sources of fissile material must be weighed against the problem that IFRs could themselves be used to produce fissile material for weapons. WMD proliferators won’t use IFRs to draw down stockpiles of their own fissile material let alone anyone else’s − they are more likely to use them to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons.

Other ‘fourth generation’ reactor types

IFRs and other plutonium-based nuclear power concepts fail the WMD proliferation test, i.e. they can too easily be used to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons.

Thorium reactors The use of thorium as a nuclear fuel doesn’t solve the WMD proliferation problem. Irradiation of thorium (indirectly) produces uranium-233, a fissile material which can be used in nuclear weapons.

Some proponents of nuclear fusion power falsely claim that it would pose no risk of contributing to weapons proliferation. In fact, there are several risks, the most important of which is the use of fusion reactors to irradiate uranium to produce plutonium or to irradiate thorium-232 to produce uranium-233.

Amory Lovins says: “In short, the notion that different or smaller reactors plus wholly new fuel cycles (and, usually, new competitive conditions and political systems) could overcome nuclear energy’s inherent problems is not just decades too late, but fundamentally a fantasy. Fantasies are all right, but people should pay for their own. Investors in and advocates of small-reactor innovations will be disappointed. But in due course, the aging advocates of the half-century-old reactor concepts that never made it to market will retire and die, their credulous young devotees will relearn painful lessons lately forgotten, and the whole nuclear business will complete its slow death of an incurable attack of market forces.”


More information at Action Australia 

31 May – Adelaide Ben Heard and the Breakthrough Insititute will be spruiking for the nuclear industry 


6 – 7 June – Adelaide – Uranium Threat – No Means NO 

8 June –  Fremantle – Film ‘The Man Who Saved the World’ – with Federal MP Josh Wilson and Mayors for Peace

17 June National day of Action to support UN negotiations to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons

Actions are listed below, in alphabetical order. The details for all events in Australia are available here. To be clear; many of the events are led by women, but inclusive of all!

17 June  – BRISBANE – Global Women’s March to Ban the Bomb!
17 June  – CANBERRA –Rally to Ban the Bomb… finally!

17 June – DARWIN Planning in progressTo be announced

17 June – HOBART – Women Ban the Bomb Vigil

 17 June – MELBOURNE – Women’s March to Ban the Bomb
16 – 18 June PERTH  – Tour of US bases

17 June – Sydney –  Women’s March to Ban the Bomb




Demand the Queensland Government Holds Adani to Account!
Stop the Mine Before it Starts!

                       Say no to Jay’s high-level waste dump

sign-thisLand Rights not Mining Rights. Tell the government to stop attacking land rights

text TreatyDonate to Justice for South Australian First People – Treaty Now

sign-thisPETITION No Nuclear Waste Dump for South Australia

PETITION. Citizens of Australia demand action to enforce South Australian Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000



  1. Imagine a planet where our families were very moderate in size – we wouldn’t be using as much energy in total and could leave some energy for the next generation.

    Comment by L Hunter | September 28, 2009 | Reply

  2. Thank you, L. Hunter.
    I totally agree with you – the goal would be moderation in human numbers, as well as moderation in the way we live, and consume the Earth’s resources.
    I read recently of someone’s suggestion that “the best tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the condom”

    Comment by Christina MacPherson | September 29, 2009 | Reply

  3. I’d have to admit that my views have been influenced by the information put out by the ‘independent’ radio and television broadcasters and by the institutes you have mentioned.
    I feel that I have made a conscious effort to become better educated on the issue of nuclear power but if our public broadcasters and institutes are not providing unbiased information on the issue then where else do I go?
    I personally think the case for nuclear power is strong but I am now wary that I may not have been presented with all the relevant information.

    Comment by MattSmith | January 20, 2010 | Reply

    • Australia’s public broadcasters are not doing such a bad job, by world standards. Of course they find trivia, sensationalism, and overly sentimental topics are more popular than serious matters. And of course, they find it easier to just use the media releases that pour out from industry and government.

      Still, one can find very fair and informative stuff in Australia’s mainstream media – (eg. The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Courier Mail), just that it’s likely to be on about page 7 of the newspaper, or on TV or radio at an unfriendly time (e.g ABC’s Lateline). Also, journalists aren’t always resourced (or inclined) to spend time at the “coal-face” or rather, the “uranium-face” – some topics just not covered.

      All coupled with Australians, (including journalists’) extraordinary reverence for the opinions of “hard” scientists, (nuclear physicists, like Ziggy Switkowski,) compared to their scepticism about “soft” scientists, ( ecologists, environmental scientists like Mark Diesendorf, or Prof Ian Lowe)

      Comment by Christina MacPherson | January 21, 2010 | Reply

  4. A message we get from the media is that Nuclear power is the only way to provide full-scale baseload power.

    Rarely do Nuclear power proponents mention REDUCING or ELIMINATING the gargantuan full-scale waste of power.


    millions of burning electric lights on bright sunny days, eccentric eclectic electric doors opening for any people/objects passing by and often not coming in, almost countless numbers of devices chewing up electricity in standby power-buy mode, dinosaur toasters and dinosaur ovens run on days that a solar oven could do the job, shop “background” subliminal propaganda programming music and video feeds, hair dryers when extreme water wasteful cotton for towels is unused or discarded in frantic frenzy, “boom box” speaker earthshakers human-attempted earthquakers, electric air conditioning to cool those already overflowing with excessive cold-weather-survival calories, grid iron heaters instead of exercise + no-restrictive-nicotine + no-depressive-alcohol + comfortable clothes in winter.

    The True Cost on my electric bill at home is ONE KILOWATT $0.25 per day, but outside of home, and due to waste society, is probably an order of magnitude (10 times) greater at a minimum.


    “To Waste is a Crime.”

    Comment by NoNukes Australia | March 3, 2010 | Reply

  5. I have a query regarding using some material on your website, and getting permission from you to do so. Could you please contact me by email, and I will send you the details?

    Comment by Debbie Gallagher | July 23, 2012 | Reply

  6. Scientists must dump toxic nuclear waste in their own backyard FIRST for many, many centuries to PROVE that it is safe, before pedalling their evil lies and deceit onto human beings, who have a heart and a soul and are of sound mind !
    Why don’t the world’s scientists buy an island or landsite somewhere in the world and use it as a toxic nuclear waste dumping ground as they are clearly so obsessed with nuclear power ? Most of them are multimillionaires after the nuclear deals they have made, some even with our enemies and also all of the evil lies they have preached to human beings. Perhaps the countries that create nuclear waste, could also contribute to the cost of this toxic nuclear waste dump island or landsite. I propose that humanity demands that all the world’s nuclear scientists go an live on such an island together with the world’s toxic nuclear waste as an EXPERIMENT before spreading their EVIL ERRORS and LIES and DECEIT onto human beings. We need to DEMAND PROOF !

    Comment by Esther | February 21, 2016 | Reply

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