Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Spikes in radiation monitored during bushfires near Lucas Heights nuclear site

15th April 2018 – Residents told to “Shelter in place”, Peter Daley
technologypals.com.au, 20 Nov 18

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5617263/Sydney-bushfire-spreads-nuclear-reactor-army-base-residents-nearby-evacuated.html

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) local radiation monitor station shows significant spikes in radiation during the fire event.

Below are screen shots from the ANSTO radiation monitoring station at Endagine. Endagine is located East of the Lucas Heights reactor.

What caused this spike in local radiation?

Did the fire release local radioactive contamination?

Reactor venting?

Fault in equipment?

Their rainfall monitor shows it definitely was not raining at the time of these detections, so these detections can’t be explained away as Radon wash out events.

Radiation Spike plus rainfall chart 15th to 16th April

http://sccc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Australia-Sydney-ANSTO-Monitoring-site-15th-to-16th-April-2018.png

More Radiation detection spikes showing on the live Engadine ANSTO monitor station chart, 19th April.

http://sccc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Australia-Sydney-Engadine-ANSTO-live-Monitoring-Station-19th-April-2018.png

ANSTO live monitoring site,

http://www.ansto.gov.au/Resources/Localenvironment/Atmosphericmonitoring/Radiationmonitoring/index.htm

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November 20, 2018 Posted by | - incidents, New South Wales | Leave a comment

Edward Snowden Condemns US Justice Department for Targeting Assange 

Sputnik News, 18 Nov 18 The former NSA contractor, who faces capital punishment in the US for leaking classified information on numerous US secret surveillance programmes, voiced his support for the WikiLeaks founder after it came to light that US authorities are apparently poised to indict Julian Assange.

Edward Snowden, who has been granted political asylum in Russia, has voiced his concern about the dangerous precedent for stifling press freedom which could emerge from the US Justice Department’s alleged plans to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The Freedom of the Press Foundation, where Snowden is a board member, also issued a statement condemning the possible indictment of Julian Assange, whose website published a classified Iraqi dossier revealing that the US killed civilians during the country’s 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation. Trevor Timm, executive director of Freedom of the Press Foundation, cited a profound threat to press freedom if any charges are brought against WikiLeaks for their publishing activities.

“Whether you like Assange or hate him, the theories used in a potential Espionage Act prosecution would threaten countless reporters at the New York Times, Washington Post, and the many other news outlets that report on government secrets all the time. While everyone will have to wait and see what the charges detail, it’s quite possible core First Amendment principles will be at stake in this case,” his statement reads.

Earlier this week, it came to light through what is believed to be an accident that there’s a sealed complaint against Assange, as the US Department of Justice is gearing up to prosecute the whistleblower. It is now “optimistic” about the prospect of securing his release to US authorities, a new report suggests. According to the Wall Street Journal, prosecutors have weighed several types of charges against the journalist, who has resided in self-imposed exile at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012……….https://sputniknews.com/us/201811171069890725-snowden-assange-whistleblower-prosecution/

November 20, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties | Leave a comment

In Australia, when they can’t control fires releasing nuclear radioactive ash, they control the media

Paul Waldon Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 19 Nov 18

News of fires in the radioactive contaminated red forest of Chernobyl get a mention. News of fires on the radioactive ground of California get a mention. Yet this year the media has suppressed the news of two separate fires on land contaminated with radioactive materials released from Lucas Heights. Is this the typical case of when they can’t control nuclear they try to control the media.?  https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

November 19, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | 1 Comment

UK’s nuclear reprocessing plant closes -the one that was sending wastes to Australia

15th Nov 2018 On the morning after the Financial Times has called on the UK Government to reassess its long-term energy plans following the demise of Toshiba’sMoorside nuclear project, the Stop Hinkley Campaign has published a  briefing about lessons we can learn from the Sellafield Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant which is in the process of closing after only 24 years of operation and a very chequered performance.

The “Lessons for Hinkley from Sellafield” briefing says: The cost of building THORP increased from
£300m in 1977 to £1.8bn on completion in 1992. With the additional cost of associated facilities this figure rose to £2.8bn. Originally expected to reprocess 7,000 tonnes of spent fuel in its first ten years, it has managed only around 9,300 in 24 years.

The original rationale for THORP ended with the closure of the UK’s fast reactor programme in 1994. The new rationale – to produce plutonium fuel for ordinary reactors – was a disaster costing the taxpayer £2.2bn.

Stop Hinkley Spokesperson Roy Pumfrey said: “The rationale for building the THORP plant at Sellafield had disappeared before it even opened. The lesson for 2018 is that we should scrap Hinkley C now before costs escalate. The cancellation costs are small relative to the £50billion extra we’ll have to pay for Hinkley’s electricity, if it ever generates any. If we wait any longer to scrap it,
we risk heading for another Sellafield-scale financial disaster.”  http://www.stophinkley.org/PressReleases/pr181115.pdf

November 19, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, wastes | Leave a comment

Labor’s Environment Action Network (Lean) determined that a Shorten Labor government must overhaul federal environment laws

Labor to face pressure on environment policies after embarrassing stuff-up, Guardian, Katharine Murphy Political editor@murpharoo, 19 Nov 2018   Party members vow to step up push for national environment protection authority at ALP conference Labor’s Environment Action Network (Lean) has warned the ALP it will not give up on securing a significant overhaul of federal environment laws in the first term of a Shorten government, and a national environment protection authority to police the framework, despite an embarrassing process stuff-up with the draft policy platform.

draft policy platform signed off by the ALP national executive and circulated to conference delegates last month suggested both policy commitments and a national environment commission would be adopted by the party’s national conference in December – but the shadow environment minister, Tony Burke, has now put the brakes on.

Burke has written to the party’s national secretary, Noah Carroll, arguing the initiatives were not signed off by the national policy forum in September, and the specific commitments were included in the draft platform in error.

Labor’s Environment Action Network (Lean) has warned the ALP it will not give up on securing a significant overhaul of federal environment laws in the first term of a Shorten government, and a national environment protection authority to police the framework, despite an embarrassing process stuff-up with the draft policy platform…….https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/19/labor-to-face-pressure-on-environment-policies-after-embarrassing-stuff-up

November 19, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, politics | Leave a comment

Chifley Research Centre calls for a new and independent Australian environmental protection framework

Labor to face pressure on environment policies after embarrassing stuff-up, Guardian, Katharine Murphy Political editor, 19 Nov 2018    “………Environmental approvals are always a sensitive and divisive political issue, but the internal pressure to strengthen the framework from grassroots ALP members in the run-up to the national conference will be fuelled by a new report from the Labor thinktank, the Chifley Research Centre, to be published on Monday.

The new report, prepared in conjunction with Lean, calls for a new legislative framework to replace the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act “in order to enshrine federal government leadership in issues of national and international environmental importance”.

The Chifley report also calls for the creation of a national environment commission. Chifley’s executive director, Brett Gale, said the commission would have an independent institutional structure and be “responsible for a new development approvals process that would get rid of the current system with its long delays and lack of clarity around development approvals”.

“It would provide open and transparent approvals to set guidelines, thus delivering better outcomes for the environment, communities and business,” Gale says.

He says the commission would have a policy focus, conduct Productivity Commission-style inquiries into major environmental issues, and be an advocate for the environment in the national debate.

The Chifley report says community confidence in the environmental protection framework will be enhanced if an independent regulatory agency led commonwealth development approvals “aided by greater clarity of expectations and design of the approvals process at the outset”……….https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/19/labor-to-face-pressure-on-environment-policies-after-embarrassing-stuff-up

November 19, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment | Leave a comment

Edward Snowden Condemns US Justice Department for Targeting Julian Assange 

 

What IS criminal is the failure of the Australian government do do a damn thing to help Julian Assange

Sputnik News, 18 Nov 18The former NSA contractor, who faces capital punishment in the US for leaking classified information on numerous US secret surveillance programmes, voiced his support for the WikiLeaks founder after it came to light that US authorities are apparently poised to indict Julian Assange.

Edward Snowden, who has been granted political asylum in Russia, has voiced his concern about the dangerous precedent for stifling press freedom which could emerge from the US Justice Department’s alleged plans to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The Freedom of the Press Foundation, where Snowden is a board member, also issued a statement condemning the possible indictment of Julian Assange, whose website published a classified Iraqi dossier revealing that the US killed civilians during the country’s 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation. Trevor Timm, executive director of Freedom of the Press Foundation, cited a profound threat to press freedom if any charges are brought against WikiLeaks for their publishing activities.

“Whether you like Assange or hate him, the theories used in a potential Espionage Act prosecution would threaten countless reporters at the New York Times, Washington Post, and the many other news outlets that report on government secrets all the time. While everyone will have to wait and see what the charges detail, it’s quite possible core First Amendment principles will be at stake in this case,” his statement reads.

Earlier this week, it came to light through what is believed to be an accident that there’s a sealed complaint against Assange, as the US Department of Justice is gearing up to prosecute the whistleblower. It is now “optimistic” about the prospect of securing his release to US authorities, a new report suggests. According to the Wall Street Journal, prosecutors have weighed several types of charges against the journalist, who has resided in self-imposed exile at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012……….https://sputniknews.com/us/201811171069890725-snowden-assange-whistleblower-prosecution/

November 19, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, politics international | Leave a comment

The spent nuclear fuel rods at Lucas Heights can only sensibly be treated as high level waste

Steve Dale  Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 17 Nov 18 , “ANSTO like to say that Australia doesn’t generate High Level Waste” . The Emperor’s new clothes, the reactor’s spent fuel asset – are similar fairy tales

“‘The spent fuel rods at Lucas Heights can only sensibly be treated as high level waste. The pretence that spent fuel rods constitute an asset must stop” from the Research Reactor Review, Future Reactions: Report of the Research Reactor Review, 1993
   “ANSTO like to say that Australia doesn’t generate High Level Waste” . The Emperor’s new clothes, the reactor’s spent fuel asset – are similar fairy tales

“‘The spent fuel rods at Lucas Heights can only sensibly be treated as high level waste. The pretence that spent fuel rods constitute an asset must stop” from the Research Reactor Review, Future Reactions: Report of the Research Reactor Review, 1993  https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

November 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Britain’s Sellafield nuclear reprocessing ends (but where will Australia’s toxic used fuel rods go?)

Commercial nuclear reprocessing ends at Sellafield site , BBC 14 November 2018   Reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel from around the world has ended at Sellafield.

The last batch of waste has gone through its Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (Thorp), which opened in 1994.

It has generated an estimated £9bn by extracting new nuclear fuel from 9,000 tonnes of used rods from 30 customers in countries as far afield as Japan.

Thorp will operate until the 2070s as a storehouse for spent fuel as the site around it in Cumbria is cleaned up.

Sellafield Ltd said there would be no redundancies as a result of the closure, with all employees in roles no longer required offered alternative jobs in the business.

The decision to wind it down was taken in 2012, as a result of the majority of its customers opting to store rather than reprocess their fuel…….https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cumbria-46206495

November 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, wastes | Leave a comment

Federal govt on nuclear waste dump: Minister has “absolute discretion”, dismisses Greens’ concerns

The Minister’s ability to exercise judgement to determine whether there is broad community support, based on the circumstances relevant to each nomination, is consistent with his absolute discretion under the Act.

The Government does not support the recommendations proposed in the dissenting statements by the Australian Greens or Centre Alliance

Federal government’s response to the Senate Economic References Committee report into the site selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility.  Senate Thursday 15 November 2018  Economics References Committee

Government Response to Report

INTRODUCTION

The Australian Government welcomes the opportunity to respond to the findings and recommendations of the Senate Economic References Committee report into the site selection process for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (the Facility), and agrees to the Committee’s recommendations, either in full or in-principle. Continue reading

November 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

IAEA sees ‘Areas for Enhancement’ in Australia’s Nuclear and Radiation Safety

IAEA Mission Says Australia Committed to Strengthening Nuclear and Radiation Safety, Sees Areas for Enhancement, IAEA, 52/2018, Melbourne, Australia An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts said Australia is committed to strengthening its regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety. The team also noted areas for further enhancements, including implementation of the framework in a more consistent manner across the country.

The Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) team on 16 November concluded a 12-day mission to Australia. The mission was conducted at the request of the Government of Australia and hosted by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), the Commonwealth Government regulator. Under Australia’s federal system of government, ARPANSA regulates Commonwealth entities and other entities are regulated within the six states and two territories. The majority of licenced activities in Australia are carried out within states and territories. This was the third IRRS mission to Australia since 2007 and the first to include all nine jurisdictions.

……..The IRRS team commended the hosts for inviting a comprehensive review involving all jurisdictions in Australia, adding that it was the first such IRRS mission. The team identified this as a good practice and a model that other federal countries may want to consider when planning for future IRRS missions. Regarding the national framework, the team noted ongoing activities to address consistency in the country’s radiation safety programmes, but said further efforts were warranted in several areas……

The team provided recommendations and suggestions for further enhancements, including:

  • All relevant authorities should consider formalizing the existing elements of the framework for safety into a comprehensive national policy and strategy for safety.
  • The Commonwealth Government should make a firm commitment and take actions with specific milestones to address decommissioning of facilities and radioactive waste management.
  • The Governments of all jurisdictions should ensure that all parties responsible for the safety of facilities and regulatory activities have the necessary capabilities and human resources to carry out their responsibilities.
  • ARPANSA should establish criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of licensees’ emergency exercises and assign roles and responsibilities for its staff during emergency situations.
The final mission report will be provided to the Government of Australia in about three months. The Government of Australia plans to make the report public. https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/pressreleases/iaea-mission-says-australia-committed-to-strengthening-nuclear-and-radiation-safety-sees-areas-for-enhancement

November 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, safety | Leave a comment

Australia-UK agreement on nuclear co-operation and development after UK leaves European Union

This agreement allows the strong links between the UK and Australia in the civil nuclear sector to continue following the UK’s withdrawal from Euratom and provides the basis for future  collaboration.

International treaty Gov UK

[CS Australia No.1/2018] UK/Australia: Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy     Presented to Parliament 12 November 2018

November 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

British scientists secretly used Australian population to test for radiation contamination after nuclear tests at Maralinga

November 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, secrets and lies, weapons and war | Leave a comment

“Project Sunshine” tested dead babies for radioactive fallout

Only baby bones used in nuke tests https://www.news24.com/xArchive/Archive/Only-baby-bones-used-in-nuke-tests-20010607 2001-06-0 Sydney, Australia – Bone samples from dead babies were shipped to the United States and Britain to be tested for radioactive fallout as part of an Australian government programme, officials said on Thursday.

The government’s Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) said from 1957 to 1978 Australia operated a programme to measure levels of “strontium 90” radioactive fallout in humans by testing corpses. Nuclear weapons tests were conducted in Australia and there was concern about radioactive fallout building up in the atmosphere.

In the early years of the study, known as Project Sunshine, hundreds of human bone samples from corpses of babies, children and adults aged up to 40 years were reduced to ash and sent to the United States and Britain for tests on radioactivity levels. Facilities were later constructed for the tests to be carried out in Australia.

ARPANSA chief executive officer Dr. John Loy said on Thursday that it was unlikely scientists sought consent to do the tests from relatives of the deceased.

Loy said the studies were “part of an overall programme to measure the impact on Australians of atmospheric nuclear testing throughout the world.”

“In the 1950s and 60s there were hundreds of nuclear explosions throughout the world and this led to contamination,” Loy told The Associated Press. “There were measurements of activity in water, air, food and … bone tissue,” he said.

Loy said human bone absorbs strontium 90 from the atmosphere. “So it was important to get a handle on what sort of exposure was resulting from these tests,” he added.

Project Sunshine was not kept secret by the government and reports on the study were published in scientific journals, Loy said.

Interest in the project was renewed this month by media reports that the bodies of stillborn babies from Britain and Australia were also used in the research.

The reports quoted documents from a meeting of the project’s scientists in 1955, during which project leader Dr Willard Libby said the supply of stillborn babies had been “cut off”.

“If anyone knows how to do a good job of body snatching, they will really be serving their country,” said Libby, a Nobel Prize laureate, according to The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

State governments across Australia have announced that they will hold inquiries into the reported export of stillborn babies for nuclear testing.

Loy said on Thursday that ARPANSA has “no evidence whatsoever” that stillborn babies’ bodies were used in tests, but only of bones.

“Conceivably it happened in some other way, I have no idea, but certainly we have no indication that it did happen,” he said.

Loy welcomed the inquiries as a chance to set standards for future nuclear testing. Currently, nuclear tests in Australia focus on radioactivity in plants, food and air only, he said.

“It’s a legacy of a bad time of nuclear testing in the atmosphere and I guess we’ve got to learn from that and the need to make sure that if these programmes are needed they are done with people’s proper consent,” Loy said.

November 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Victorian Labor’s policies on Aboriginal issues

November 17, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, politics, Victoria | Leave a comment