Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Upurli Upurli people say no to uranium mining at Mulga Rock, Western Australia

 https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/upurli-upurli-people-say-no-uranium-mining-mulga-rock

Sam Wainwright, Perth, November 28, 2022

Nuclear Free WA protested outside Deep Yellow’s annual general meeting on November 25 against the company’s plans to mine uranium at Mulga Rock, north west of Kalgoorlie. The Upurli Upurli traditional owners absolutely oppose it.

Deep Yellow holds the only uranium deposit in Western Australia. This was the company’s first AGM following its merger in August with Vimy Resources.

Mia Pepper, Nuclear Free Campaigner at the Conservation Council of WA (CCWA), who has been tracking the mine plans for more than 10 years, said it faces more opposition than ever.

Deep Yellow does not have “any agreement with the Native Title claim groups” and “it doesn’t have the finance”, she said.

It has just started a third Definitive Feasibility Study into the beleaguered project, expected to be completed mid-2024. The latest project delay casts further doubt on the future of the site, campaigners said.

“Deep Yellow is the only company beating the uranium drum in Western Australia and even their own executive team has been clear they have no intention to mine at the current uranium price,” Pepper said.

“For a company with a highly speculative business model, no operating mines, many regulatory hurdles still to clear, and a sizeable pricing disincentive, it’s astounding that shareholders would endorse the proposed remuneration package for the Deep Yellow executive team, with the CEO alone receiving over $1 million,” she continued

First Nations communities have been continuing their protests.

WA Greens Legislative Council member Brad Pettitt read a statement in parliament on November 17 on behalf of Upurli Upurli and Spinifex women.

“We are Upurli Upurli and Spinifex women and we are writing because we face the unprecedented threat of uranium mining at Mulga Rock, east of Kalgoorlie … We have been saying no to uranium mining at Mulga Rock for a long time”

Their statement also detailed concerns about Deep Yellow’s executive who held senior roles in companies responsible for the destruction of Juukan Gorge, as well as several incidents of environmental pollution, industrial relations controversies and workplace fatalities at uranium mines in Malawi and Namibia.

The CCWA is delivering a WA Uranium Free Charter to WA MPs. It demands they “review and remove any approval for uranium mining at Mulga Rock” as well as withdraw the approvals of the stalled proposed uranium mines at Kintyre, Yeelirrie and Wiluna.

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November 29, 2022 Posted by | aboriginal issues, opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | 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. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/daughter-claims-lang-hancocks-descendants-work-in-mines/story-fn7x8me2-1226271180226 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”. ….http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/daughter-claims-lang-hancocks-descendants-work-in-mines/story-fn7x8me2-1226271180226

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

Radiation ‘hotspots’: legacy of British nuclear tests lingers on idyllic islands in Western Australia

Tourists warned not spend more than an hour at the Montebello Islands sites – as a new study examines the effect of radioactive sands on marine life.

Guardian, Narelle Towie, @narelletowie 8 Oct 22,

The white ocean sands of Western Australia’s Montebello Islands may appear inviting, but 70 years ago they were the site of Britain’s first nuclear tests.

Now researchers are working to uncover how much and what type of radioactive material persists in sediment on the ocean floor of the archipelago, made up of 265 low-lying islands and islets, 1,200km north of Perth. They hope to get a clearer idea of its effects on the area’s abundant marine life and any lingering dangers to people who visit the islands for tourism or fishing.

The nuclear fallout from atomic blasts in the 1950s have been well studied on land, but little is known about how radioactive sands affect the 60,000-hectare marine park’s ecosystem.

In June 2020 a team led by Madison Hoffman, an environmental radioecologist at Edith Cowan University, collected hundreds of kilograms of sediment from an area near the blast sites, 120km west of Dampier, for analysis.

Hoffman says they detected levels of radioactivity higher than background levels, as expected.

“Those levels are highest in areas around where those three detonations took place, but we also have some areas which have come up with levels a little higher than we expected for where we found them.”

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The 12 nuclear tests carried out between 1952 and 1957 – including three in the Montebellos – were part of a secretive deal between Britain and Australia that was championed by the then prime minister, Robert Menzies. Further “minor trials” were carried out in South Australia until 1963.

The first test, codenamed Operation Hurricane, took place on 4 October 1952 at a lagoon off Trimouille Island in the Montebellos.

A decommissioned warship, HMS Plym, was rigged up with a 7kg plutonium device, sending tonnes of seawater and mud 3,000 metres into the air and impregnating the ocean sand with radioactive isotopes.

On 16 May and 19 June 1956 two more bombs were set off from towers at Trimouille and Alpha islands as part of Operation Mosaic. The bombs were boosted with hydrogen and lithium and were the biggest ever detonated in Australia.

Hoffman says while some radionuclides, or radioactive atoms, are blasted inside sand grains, others attach to the surface of sediment and shift in rough weather, such as during cyclonic activity.

“When we know what radionuclides there are and what ratios they are in, they can act like a fingerprint, kind of like a forensics tool that is distinct to the Montebellos,” Hoffman says.

“When sediment rock gets moved from point A to point B, it is taking those radionuclides with it and potentially moving those hotspots and migrating them around.”

Hoffman wants to know where these hotspots are so she can study how the radiation exposure affects sediment-dwelling marine life. The area is home to a rich variety of marine species including dugongs, turtles, whales, hundreds of fish species and mangroves………………….

 Darren Koppel, a marine contaminant expert with the Australian Institute of Marine Science, says low levels of radiation over long periods can cause chronic toxicity to plants and other organisms.

“We do not have much data on the chronic effects of radiation to marine organisms, so this type of research is critical to fill those data gaps,” Koppel says.

“The most likely effect is that sensitive organisms and plants will have stopped living or growing in the areas with higher radioactivity, leaving only the more tolerant species.”

The Montebello Islands are managed by the WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

It says there are still “slightly elevated radiation levels” at Trimouille and Alpha islands and warns tourists not to camp or spend longer than one hour at those sites.

Tourists travel from the nearby towns of Karratha, Port Hedland, Onslow and Dampier on fishing trips. Despite warning signs , the department has found evidence of campers on the islands in recent years.

In the Great Victoria Desert, in outback South Australia, authorities spent millions trying to clean up radioactive fallout from nuclear testing at Maralinga, where the British detonated seven atomic bombs.

According to researchers at Monash University, residual plutonium and uranium still contaminate the land at Maralinga as tiny radioactive grains in the soil.

Little heed was given to the Anangu Pitjantjatjara people who lived on the land, who lived with the legacy of the explosions for decades afterwards. It wasn’t until 1994 that the Australian government paid $13.5m in compensation for what had been done to the land.

British and Australian servicemen exposed to radiation by the blasts have also fought long campaigns for the effects on their health to be recognised and adequately compensated…………………

Hoffman says that key technical documents about the nuclear testing, which could help with her research, were reclassified by the UK in 2018.

“We have so little documentation or information about what really happened,” Hoffman said.

“Without that information and all the really crucial statistics [about the blasts] it is really difficult to make sense of the answers we have now in relation to what originally happened.” https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/oct/08/radiation-hotspots-legacy-of-british-nuclear-tests-lingers-on-idyllic-islands-in-western-australia

October 8, 2022 Posted by | environment, weapons and war, Western Australia | Leave a comment

‘Radiation risk’: Nuclear threat discovered off the WA coast

perth now Eli Green, NCA NewsWire, October 3, 2022,

Tourists visiting a popular destination in Western Australia have been warned there is still a “radiation risk” 70 years after it was used as a nuclear test site, a study has found.

The Montebello Islands, located 120km off the WA coast, were used by the British in 1952 for Operation Hurricane, which saw three nuclear tests performed.

“More than half a century on, marine scientists have discovered there remains a radiation risk to marine life and tourists,” the four-year study by Edith Cowan University PhD student Madison Hoffman found.

With the islands attracting nature lovers such as fishers, divers and snorkellers to its coral reefs, the study has brought a fresh warning for tourists.

Due to the elevated radiation levels, visitors are currently encouraged to keep their trips to an hour a day.

The exact level of danger that the radiation levels pose to humans is yet to be determined, but Ms Hoffman hopes that is something she can determine soon.

“We don‘t quite have an answer for that yet, but we’re hoping over the next two years that we’ll be able to put a number to the potential risk,” she said.

Operation Hurricane was the first time an atomic bomb was tested by the British, with the site chosen due to its isolated location and Australia’s close ties with the UK.

The study saw more than 100 samples of marine sediment and marine life collected and tested.

“It is really important that we try and understand exactly what type of radionuclides and what levels of radiation remain in the marine ecosystem at the Montebello Islands,” Ms Hoffman said.

Radionuclides are substances that release radiation, with some being harmful to humans as they damage the body’s cells and cause cancer.

“We’re focusing now on mapping out areas where higher levels of radionuclides are found in marine sediment all around the Marine Park.”

The level of radiation also poses a threat to local wildlife, with more than 450 species of fish, 630 types of molluscs like octopi and cuttlefish, and 170 varieties of starfish and sea urchins found in the area……………..  https://www.perthnow.com.au/travel/radiation-risk-nuclear-threat-discovered-off-the-wa-coast-c-8431

October 3, 2022 Posted by | environment, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Groups join together to sign WA Nuclear Free Charter against uranium mining

Neil Watkinson & Stuart McKinnon, Kalgoorlie Miner, Thu, 11 August 2022

Nineteen groups representing thousands of West Australians have signed a joint statement against uranium mining in WA.

Their pledge comes as a $658 million merger of uranium mining companies Deep Yellow and Vimy Resources was confirmed this month, alongside plans to advance their $393m Mulga Rock project 290km east-north-east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

The groups — which include trade unions, faith groups and conservation organisations — have expressed their support for the WA Nuclear Free Charter which calls on the WA Government to remove any outstanding approvals for uranium mining at four sites across the State.

Three of the four sites — Kintyre, Yeelirrie and Wiluna — have missed development deadlines for approvals, but Mulga Rock remains active after Vimy achieved “substantial commencement” from the the State Government in December.

The price for uranium fell into the doldrums following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, but the industry has been making much noise recently about a brighter future.

……………………….. Deep Yellow plans to revise and update a definitive feasibility study for Mulga Rock to include a base metals component, which was a condition of its original approval to develop the project.

The company also hopes to complete a definitive feasibility study for the company’s other project, Tumas in Namibia, by the end of the year.

Mulga Rock is expected to deliver 3.5 million pounds of uranium oxide per annum while Tumas is slated to produce 3Mlb a year.

But anti-uranium mining groups are marshalling themselves to continue fighting against the Mulga Rock project.

Signatories to the WA Nuclear Free Charter include UnionsWA and the WA branches of the Australian Manufacturers Workers Union, Electrical Trades Union, United Workers Union, State School Teachers Union, United Professional Firefighters Union and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, along with faith, health, and national and state environment organisations.

The charter describes uranium mining as “unwanted”, “uneconomic” and a “damaging and underperforming sector that unnecessarily risks our unique environment”.

Mia Pepper from the Conservation Council of WA — one of the many conservation groups to have endorsed the charter — urged the State Government to withdraw “expired and deficient” approvals for the four uranium mine proposals in WA.

“Consistently, the people of WA have said that they do not want uranium mining in their State,” she said.

“The current government, like many Labor governments before them, hold a strong clear position opposed to uranium mining because it puts workers, communities and the environment under threat.

“Now is the time to create lasting protections against uranium mining in WA by withdrawing outdated and deficient approvals.

“Uranium mining is different. It is radioactive, leaving behind long-lasting wastes which pose an ongoing threat to public health and the environment.

“No uranium mine in Australia has ever been successfully and completely rehabilitated.

“The Ranger uranium mine in the NT is undergoing a $2.2 billion clean-up, fortunately by a company with the money and resources to do so.

“In WA the one advancing uranium project — Mulga Rock — is being pushed by Deep Yellow . . . and we have no confidence they can do what bigger better resourced companies are failing to do.

“This government knows the risks, the costs and the legacy of this toxic trade which is why they have a strong anti-uranium policy.

“Along with unions, health, faith and environment groups we’re calling on the government to act now to put an end to uranium mining in WA.” https://www.kalminer.com.au/news/kalgoorlie-miner/groups-join-together-to-sign-wa-nuclear-free-charter-against-uranium-mining-c-7798925

August 11, 2022 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

A big win for Yeelirrie — Beyond Nuclear International

Indigenous community keeps door closed to uranium mining in Australia

A big win for Yeelirrie — Beyond Nuclear International Cameco delays mean uranium mining permit not extended
By Maggie Wood, Acting Executive Director, Conservation Council of Western Australia
On April 6, we celebrated a huge step forward in our sustained campaign to keep the door closed to uranium mining in Yeelirrie. 
The Minister for Environment has rejected an application by the Canadian mining company Cameco to extend their environmental approval for the Yeelirrie uranium mine. 

The approval was controversially granted in 2017 in the dying days of the Barnett government and required Cameco to commence mining within five years. They have failed to do this and now they have failed in their bid to have this time extended.

This is a huge win for the local area, the communities nearby and for life itself. The special and unique lives of the smallest of creatures, endemic subterranean fauna found nowhere else on earth, would have most likely been made extinct had this project gone ahead, according to the WA EPA. 

For over five decades Traditional Custodians from the Yeelirrie area have fought to protect their Country and community from uranium mining. Over this time they have stood up and overcome three major multinational mining companies – WMC, BHP and now Cameco.

We have stood united with communities to say no to uranium mining and this consistent rejection of the nuclear industry in WA has helped secure the sensible decision to not extend the approval.

“It is possible to stand up to multinational companies and stop major mining projects from destroying sacred lands and environments – we do that from a base of strength in unity and purpose, from persistent and consistent actions and most of all perseverance against all odds to stand up for what is right …” – Kado Muir, Tjiwarl Traditional Custodian.

And this couldn’t have happened without you. Hundreds of supporters like you have spent time on country with Traditional Custodians – listening, walking, connecting with country and standing up for a nuclear free future. Traditional Custodians, unions, faith groups, health groups, environmental groups, the WA and Australian Greens and WA Labor – we’ve all had a big part to play. 

Thank you to everyone who has stood up, spoken out, donated, walked, written letters, signed petitions and online actions, bought artwork and t-shirts, volunteered, and organised to say no to uranium mining.

The campaign to protect Yeelirrie is not entirely over. While the approvals can’t be acted on currently, they do still exist, and an amendment could be made by a future government giving Cameco the greenlight to mine.

This is why we are now calling on the State Government to withdraw approvals for Yeelirrie along with expired approvals for Cameco’s Pilbara proposal at Kintyre and Toro Energy’s Wiluna uranium proposal. Doing this would be consistent with WA Labor’s policy and community expectations and – as Vicki Abdullah says – is the next step to a lasting solution.

“We’re really glad to hear the news that Yeelirrie’s approval has not been extended. It was a bad decision in the first place and after years in court and fighting to defend our country this news is a great relief. We will really celebrate properly when this government withdraws approvals altogether and then we can have more confidence the threat is over…” – . – Vicki Abdullah, Tjiwarl Traditional Custodian.  https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/72759838/posts/4098309284

June 27, 2022 Posted by | politics, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Stop Deep Yellow: No uranium mining on Upurli Upurli Nguratja country

 https://www.ccwa.org.au/mulga_rock The Mulga Rock uranium project is the only uranium proposal being advanced in WA. The project is uneconomic, unwanted and unnecessary.

Mulga Rock is on Upurli Upurli Nguratja country in the Yellow Sandplain Priority Ecological community in the Great Victoria Desert (GVD) and home to the endangered Sandhill Dunnart – one of three remaining areas where the species is found in Australia. The area is also home to the endangered Southern Marsupial Mole the vulnerable Crest Tailed Mulgara and Desert Skink, the migratory Rainbow Bee-Eater and many other priority species. 

Vimy Resources are seeking to merge with uranium miner Deep Yellow. Deep Yellow’s leadership is a cause for Deep concern. Their Chairperson Chris Salisbury was the Iron Ore boss at Rio Tinto during the Juukan Gorge destruction. Deep Yellow’s Managing Director John Borshoff was the Director of uranium company Paladin. During his leadership there were ongoing reports of industrial disputes worker fatalities and environmental concerns. 

“I worry about that country and what effect uranium mining would have on it, there is no other area like it. Once that’s destroyed and poisoned well how can you replace all that. It’ll be gone forever.” Janice Scott – Nangaanya-ku 

There is a registered Native Title Claim over the area – Upurli Upurli Nguratja. Vimy have routinely undermined Native Title interests in the area and have failed to meet the claim group. The Spinifex people who are descendants of some of Australia’s first environmental refugees who fled South Australia during the British atomic weapons tests between 1956 and 1963 and settled near Mulga Rock first at Cundallee then Coonana and then Tjutjuntjarra. There are strong connections to the area and a strong history of impact and resistance to the nuclear industry.   

“We don’t want uranium mining. We’ve written to government to let them know we the Traditional Owners have not been consulted. The current clearing at the site is disrespectful and shows a total lack of social value, moral and ethical leadership.” Debbie Carmody – Upurli Upurli Nguratja 

The Proposal: 

  • Four open pits, strip mined and backfilled
  • Licensed to take 15 million litres of water per day
  • Would produce 32 million tonnes of radioactive mine waste
  • Would clear 3,709 ha of native vegetation
  • Located in the Yellow Sandplain Priority Ecological Community, known as one of the most pristine areas in the Great Victoria Desert.
  • Home to the endangered Sandhill Dunnart
  • Upstream from the Queen Victoria A Class Nature Reserve

May 28, 2022 Posted by | aboriginal issues, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Cameco Corp still set on WA uranium mine, despite government knockback, Indigenous opposition

ABC Goldfields /  By Sean Tarek Goodwin, 14 Apr 2022

A multinational mining company says it remains committed to a controversial uranium project in WA, despite the state government declining to extend its environmental approval. 

Key points:

  • The WA Environment Minister has rejected an application to extend approval for a uranium mine near Wiluna
  • Traditional owners and conservationists say the decision is a relief, after half a century of opposition
  • The company says it is still determined to bring the project forward in the future

A multinational mining company says it remains committed to a controversial uranium project in WA, despite the state government declining to extend its environmental approval. 

Canada-based Cameco Corporation spent US$430 million acquiring the Yeelirrie uranium deposit, near Wiluna in the northern Goldfields, in 2012.

It is one of the largest uranium deposits in the country. 

Earlier this year, the project’s approval expired due to a failure to commence work.

Last week, WA Environment Minister Reece Whitby denied the firm’s application to have the approval extended.

Relief for traditional owners and conservationists

The Conservation Council of WA and Tjiwarl traditional owners welcomed that decision, after 50 years of campaigning against the project.

Traditional owner Vicky Abdullah said it meant a “threat” was over. 

It was a bad decision in the first place and after years in court and fighting to defend our country this news is a great relief,” Ms Abdullah said. 

Other conservationists also welcomed the decision.

“This is an important and responsible decision and is a further signal to the uranium sector that they’re not welcome in WA,” Dave Sweeney from the Australian Conservation Foundation said. 

Cameco said it has also had a similar application for its Kintyre project in the Pilbara knocked back. 

Conservation Council Nuclear Free campaigner Mia Pepper said uranium mining had no future in WA. 

“Cameco has clearly shown that there is no economic case to mine uranium in WA, with the 2016 writedown of the Kintyre uranium proposal and the clear decision not to advance Yeelirrie,” Ms Pepper said. 

But one mine, at Mulga Rock, also in the Goldfields region is pushing forward.

“There is a lesson here for Vimy Resources and their investors – who are bucking the trend and are continuing to throw more money at their beleaguered Mulga Rock project – that mining uranium in WA is uneconomic,” Ms Pepper said.

Company not backing away

Cameco Corporation declined an interview with the ABC, but said market conditions had hindered the project. 

“Economic conditions and the state of the uranium market since the project was approved did not support significant expenditure on development activities,” communications director Jeff Hryhoriw said.

But the major mining company said it was committed to the long-term prospect of mining the mineral in WA. ……………………….

Project’s controversial history 

The ABC revealed last year the mine was approved by the former federal environment minister Melissa Price without key protections strongly and repeatedly recommended by the government’s own experts.

The approval occurred on the eve of the 2019 election, which most expected the government to lose.

An email from Cameco chief Simon Williamson to the federal government in the days before the 2019 federal election.(ABC )

Secret emails obtained by the ABC showed the approval occurred following intervention by Cameco and then-resources minister Matt Canavan, both of whom asked for the process to be expedited. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-04-14/wa-uranium-mine-cameco-yeelirre-project-reece-whitby/100991146

April 18, 2022 Posted by | politics, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Conservation Council of Western Australia continue their long fight for the environment, and to stop uranium mining.

This week we are celebrating a huge step forward in our sustained campaign to keep the door closed to uranium mining in Yeelirrie.  We have received word that a request made by the Canadian mining company Cameco to extend the environmental approval for the Yeelirrie uranium project has been rejected by Minister for Environment Reece Whitby. In 2018 and 2019, we challenged this approval in court. Now it has expired and time is running out for the uranium trade in WA.

This is a huge win for the local area, the communities and for life itself. The special and unique lives of the smallest of creatures, endemic subterranean fauna found nowhere else on earth would have most likely been made extinct had this project gone ahead, according to the WA EPA. 

We are now pushing for further protection. Under new provisions in the Environmental Protection Act s47A – Minister Whitby can withdraw approvals where the “commencement” condition has not been met. We are calling on the Minister to withdraw approvals for Yeelirrie, Wiluna and Kintyre – as all three projects have failed to meet these commencement conditions.  For over five decades Traditional Custodians from the Yeelirrie area have fought to protect the site from uranium mining.

Hundreds of supporters have spent time on country with Traditional Custodians, listening, walking, connecting with the country and standing up for a nuclear-free future. Traditional Owners, unions, faith groups, health groups, the WA and Australian Greens and WA Labor, and environment groups, we’ve all had a big part to play. For the full report and to heart what Traditional Owners, Kado Muir and Vicki Abdullah had to say please click here.

We are currently growing our campaign to protect Mulga Rock on Upurli Upurli Nguratja country, east of Kalgoorlie. This is WA’s one uranium project that has so far slipped through the next and last week through a merger this project is now being advanced by a team with links to the destruction at Juukan Gorge and dodgy mining operations in Malawi and Namibia. And we will continue to push for a withdrawal of approvals for Yeelirrie, Kintyre and Wiluna.

April 7, 2022 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Perth could be the first city in the world to be nuclear bombed, in the (unlikely)event of Putin deciding on a show of nuclear strebgth

Frightening graphic reveals the horrific carnage a nuclear bomb would cause in Australia’s biggest cities – as Vladimir Putin’s nuclear sabre-rattling sparks global fears

  • President Putin has put his military on ‘nuclear alert’ over war in Ukraine 
  • Such an attack would cause mass devastation and prove a point to the west
  • However experts say it’s highly unlikely Putin will want to start a nuclear war 

By KEVIN AIRS FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA,  3 Msr 22,  A devastating Russian nuclear missile nicknamed ‘Satan’ could flatten every major Australian city if it’s unleashed in the very unlikely event of all-out nuclear war, experts have warned…………………………….

Curtin University nuclear expert Victor Abramowicz  ….. 

‘Using battlefield nuclear weapons would be an unmitigated disaster for Ukraine, but you’d need multiple steps for that to lead to missiles flying at Washington and Moscow”. ‘

Bizarrely though, Perth in Western Australia could be the first place in the world to be targeted if Putin tries to prove a point and frighten the west into thinking a bigger city could be on the cards next.

NATO generals have war-gamed various situations to pinpoint where Russia may target if it was ever to lash out in a bid to get the West to buckle to its demands.

And bombing Perth – because of its remoteness from nearby civilisation – emerged as a terrifying possibility.

They feared Russia may nuke Perth as a show of power and determination while still avoiding engaging the US in mutually-assured nuclear Armageddon.

Despite potentially killing up to half a million in the nuclear bombing, future effects would be limited, with the radiation fallout confined to the vast desert outback. …………

If Perth was specifically targeted by one of the Satan missiles, the effects would be devastating 

If the Satan warheads explode in a 10MT airburst over Perth, modelling by Nukemap predicts 505,000 fatalities instantly, with another 575,000 injured. 

A surface blast would restrict casualties to 327,000 dead and another 420,000 casualties, but it would taint the land for centuries to come with fallout spreading 1000km inland…………….. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10562917/Russia-Ukraine-war-happen-nuclear-bomb-dropped-Australia.html

March 3, 2022 Posted by | weapons and war, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Traditional Owners welcome expiry of uranium mine approval, but the fight isn’t over

Traditional Owners welcome expiry of uranium mine approval, but the fight isn’t over, NIT by Giovanni Torre 28 Jan 22,- Yeelirrie area Traditional Owners have welcomed the expiry of the environmental approval to mine uranium on their land.

The approval conditions for mining at Yeelirrie, near Wiluna in central Western Australia, required the proponent, Cameco, to substantially begin mining within five years. On 20 January 2022 the approval expired with that condition unmet.

Traditional Owners have fought against mining at Yeelirrie since the 1970s when the uranium deposit was first identified by Western Mining Corporation.

Kado Muir, Tjiwarl native title holder, Ngalia leader of Walkatjurra Walkabout and Chair of the West Australia Nuclear Free Alliance said that over the past five decades “our community got together, stood up strong and has fought off three major multinational corporations”.

“Today we celebrate that Cameco cannot mine at Yeelirrie,” he said.

Shirley Wonyabong, Tjupan elder and senior Tjiwarl native title holder said: “Our community has come together over this issue and we’ve been clear that mining at Yeelirrie will not happen.”

“That area is important and we have a responsibility to protect that country and keep the uranium where it is. When you stay together and united and you don’t let mining companies push you around you can protect country,” she said.

Mr Muir said Traditional Owners were calling on the state government to not extend approvals to mine at Yeelirrie and to withdraw the approvals entirely.

Lizzie Wonyabong, Tjupan elder and senior Tjiwarl native title holder said the community has “campaigned so long” to stop mining at Yeelirrie “because of the Seven Sisters, the importance of that area, because of the dangers of uranium when you dig it up and because of the risk of extinction of the stygofauna”.

“It’s time now to put an end to the mining threat at Yeelirrie. Withdraw the approval.”

…………Federal level approval for the proposed Yeelirrie project was granted in 2019, before the Federal Election, without key protections repeatedly recommended by the Federal Government’s experts.
…….. A spokesperson for Western Australian Minister for the Environment Reece Whitby confirmed on Tuesday that Cameco has applied to the Minister for an extension on the Yeelirrie uranium project and the Minister is waiting to receive a briefing. https://nit.com.au/traditional-owners-welcome-expiry-of-uranium-mine-approval-but-the-fight-isnt-over/

January 29, 2022 Posted by | aboriginal issues, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Environmental protection prevails over uranium in Western Australia, with expiration of a third mining approval


Extinction threat over for Yeelirrie as uranium mine approval expires, 
https://www.miragenews.com/extinction-threat-over-for-yeelirrie-as-uranium-710566/  The controversial Yeelirrie uranium mine in Western Australia is no longer able to proceed after the proponent missed a deadline to commence works at the site in WA’s Goldfields.

The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) and the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) welcomed the news, saying community resistance and environmental protection had prevailed.

Global uranium mining giant Cameco, headquartered in Canada, had five years to demonstrate ‘substantial commencement’ on the Yeelirrie uranium mine before environmental approvals expired on 20 January 2022.

Yeelirrie is the third of four WA uranium projects to have had its approval lapse after Cameco’s Kintyre uranium mine expired in March 2020 and Toro Energy’s Wiluna project expired earlier this month.

The federal environment minister infamously gave the green light to the Yeelirrie project knowing it was likely to send up to 11 species of unique subterranean fauna to extinction and would harm the Malleefowl, Princess parrot and Greater bilby.

Plans to mine uranium at Yeelirrie have been widely opposed by the Indigenous community around the site, which is on Tjiwarl Native Title determined country.

The Cameco proposal threatened an area which forms part of the Seven Sisters Dreaming songline and is referred to as ‘a place of death’. The word Yeelirrie translated to the word Yullala – which means to weep or mourn.

Vicki Abdullah, a Tjiwarl woman who has long campaigned against uranium mining on Tjiwarl country, said “Yeelirrie is an important cultural site, our families and old people have fought against mining at Yeelirrie for 50 years. There is a strong feeling of responsibility to keep the uranium there at Yeelirrie and we’re happy that as of today Cameco cannot mine that place.

“We’ve spoken to the Government many times and we hope they will do the right thing and withdraw the approval all together. Yeelirrie should never be mined and this government can make sure it is safe forever.”

Dave Sweeney from ACF said “There have been no new uranium mines started in Australia for a decade and with only two still operating it is increasingly clear there is no economic case for uranium mining in Western Australia.

“The sector has never made sense, now it doesn’t even make dollars.”

Mia Pepper from CCWA said “After 50 years of tireless campaigning to protect Yeelirrie we are now looking forward to the introduction of lasting protections against uranium mining in WA.”

January 22, 2022 Posted by | environment, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

In Western Australia, first Cameco’s Kintyre uranium project was disallowed, now Toro’s uranium project also rejected

Nuclear Free WA, K-A Garlick. Nuclear Free Community Campaigner

13 Jan 22 On Monday we got confirmation from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation that the  Wiluna uranium mine cannot be developed as their environmental approval expired on 9 January 2022 – having failed to “substantially commence” mining. 

Toro could apply to extend the approval but we are hopeful that any request would be rejected. In March 2020 Cameco’s Kintyre approval expired and their request to extend denied. This is a good precedent. We are also tracking the Yeelirrie project which is due to expire on 20 January 2022. We are looking forward to other opportunities to secure lasting protections against uranium mine proposals in WA. Stay posted. 

January 13, 2022 Posted by | politics, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Traditional Owners and environment groups vow to fight Mulga Rock uranium decision

Traditional Owners and national and state environment groups say a decision
by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation to allow a
controversial uranium mine in WA’s Goldfields to proceed is unjustified and
inconsistent with the evidence.

The Mulga Rock uranium project has been declared to have met an important
‘substantial commencement’ condition that is required to maintain crucial
environmental approvals.

A condition of the Mulga Rock approvals – issued by the former Barnett government
– was that the proponent, Vimy Resources, must “substantially commence” mining
by 16 December 2021. Failure to meet that condition would have prevented the
company from pursuing the mine.

The company has failed to meet with the Upurli Upurli Nguratja registered Native
Title claim group, which is entitled to negotiate on an Area Use Agreement.

The company has continually failed to engage with and respect Traditional Owners
or understand processes and protocols on meeting with the claimant group.

Campaigners say to advance the project without consulting with the group is
disrespectful and out of step with community expectation and best industry practice.
“It’s very clear that as a native title group we don’t want uranium mining on our
country,” said Upurli Upurli Nguratja claimant Debbie Carmody. “This decision has
sidelined our voice and undermined the Native Title process”.

“Any progress to continue to develop this mine is done without consent and without
even having met with our claim group. We have been let down by the company and
now by the Government.

“We will continue to fight this project and stand up for our country and culture.”
Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) Nuclear Free campaigner Mia Pepper said it
was fanciful to say the project has substantially commenced.

“We will continue to fight this project and stand up for our country and culture.”
Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) Nuclear Free campaigner Mia Pepper said it
was fanciful to say the project has substantially commenced.

The Australian Conservation Foundation’s Nuclear Free campaigner Dave Sweeney
said while the company had done some premature and destructive clearing at the
site, it was not substantial

“If this mine proceeds it would cause unacceptable harm to the environment,
including damage to vital habitat for the endangered sandhill dunnart, which is found
in only a handful of locations across Australia.

“Vimy does not have the necessary finance and has not made a Board level decision
to pursue this mine. It still needs a range of approvals, permits, licences and
agreements.”

The Conservation Council of WA and the Australian Conservation Foundation, which
have opposed uranium mining in WA for several decades, are reviewing today’s
decision and exploring all available avenues to stop this mine from proceeding.

December 17, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Environmentalists and Traditional Owners very dissatisfied with Western Australia’s Environment Department ‘s ruling supporting uranium project.

Green groups angry over uranium project milestone, Stuart McKinnonThe West Australian, 16 Dec 21,

Environmentalists are livid after Vimy Resources was deemed to have met a key milestone in its approvals process that allows it to pursue the development of its Mulga Rock uranium project.

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has ruled that the company has begun “substantial commencement” of the project 290km east of Kalgoorlie, an essential component of its approval five years ago.

The former Barnett Government approved the controversial project on December 16, 2016, but ordered that Vimy must have substantially commenced work within five years.

The company had submitted to the DWER that substantial works had begun last month based on the recent clearing of about 143ha, expenditure of more than $20 million over the past five years and a further $8m to be spent on early works before the end of January.

But green groups and Traditional Owners say the decision to allow the project to proceed is unjustified and inconsistent with the evidence.

A statement released jointly by the Upurli Upurli Nguratja claimants and the WA Conservation Council argued the company had failed to meet with the registered Native Title claim group, which is entitled to negotiate a land use agreement.

They say to advance the project without consulting with the group is disrespectful and out of step with community expectation and best industry practice.

Vimy’s works to date have been a clumsy last-minute attempt to hold on to controversial environmental approvals for a toxic commodity that has no social licence.

Upurli Upurli Nguratja claimant Debbie Carmody said the decision had sidelined the group’s voice and undermined the Native Title process.

“We will continue to fight this project and stand up for our country and culture,” she said.

CCWA Nuclear Free campaigner Mia Pepper said it was fanciful to say the project had substantially commenced.

“Vimy’s works to date have been a clumsy last-minute attempt to hold on to controversial environmental approvals for a toxic commodity that has no social licence,” she said.

Ms Pepper said the clearance work completed to date represented just 4.27 per cent of the intended clearing and the company’s expenditure represented just 2.2 per cent of the total estimated capital costs.

The Australian Conservation Foundation’s Nuclear Free campaigner Dave Sweeney said the mine would cause unacceptable harm to the environment, including damage to vital habitat for the endangered sandhill dunnart, which is found in only a handful of locations across Australia.

The CCWA and the ACF, which have opposed uranium mining in WA for decades, said they were reviewing today’s decision and exploring all avenues to stop the mine from proceeding.

Vimy executive director Steven Michael said the confirmation of substantial commencement was testament to careful planning and executive by the company and was consistent with the Mulga Rock Project Implementation Plan.

“Vimy can now advance Mulga Rock to the next stage of development and will continue to work closely with State and Federal departments to secure the remaining approvals required to bring the project into production by 2025,” he said.

However Vimy is yet to make a final investment decision or nail down a funding solution for the $US255m ($355m) project.

Its shares closed up 1.5c, or 8 per cent, at 20.5c on Thursday.

December 17, 2021 Posted by | environment, politics, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment