Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

2019 – For a clean nuclear-free climate – theme for January

It would be nice to just wish everyone a happy New Year. We can do that. And for the Earth, we can wish that the human species would stop polluting it.  We can say, along with Dr Pangloss  – “Everything for the best, in the best of all possible worlds”.

But, I’m afraid that we’re kidding ourselves, if we think that we can do any more than to slow the onset of climate change. “Disruptive impacts from climate change are now inevitable”. Jem Bendell, A British Professor of Sustainability now says that nothing in our civilization is sustainable.  The emphasis must now also be on adaptation to climate change. Elizabeth May, Leader of Canada’s Green Party, has recently stressed, on Radio Ecoshock,   that not only grandchildren, and later generations will be affected, but today’s children will experience the social, and health disruptions of climate change.

The Power of One Green – Elizabeth May in 2018

As for the nuclear threat – it’s no wonder that the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock stays now at 2 minutes to midnight, with aggressive leaders like Trump and Putin, with weapons’ companies and military brass salivating about new, advanced weapons, even space warfare.

Still, nations continue to sign up to the U.N. Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty. It’s a start.

For the “peaceful” nuclear industry – the good news is that it’s becoming  a failing economic disaster. It would die a faster death, if it were not so valuable to the nuclear weapons industry.   Colossal waste problems in USA, Japan, UK, are stalling plans for new reactors . Russia and China are not publicly divulging information on their wastes, but both are keen to export nuclear technology, rather than develop it at home.

The nuclear industry continues its lies about nuclear solving climate change -lies that are mindlessly regurgitated by the mainstream media. Media also faithfully parrot the promises of “new nukes” – the “Generation IV” nuclear designs that do not yet exist, and would be prohibitively expensive, requiring huge tax-payer subsidies..

Anyway, I promise to include some good news, some positive stories, in 2019, because, after all, good people continue to do good things. And, we just can’t afford to give up hope – as Greta Thunberg tells us “Look for action – then the hope will come”

 

Advertisements

December 29, 2018 Posted by | Christina reviews, Christina themes | Leave a comment

Australia -the continent especially threatened by climate change, (and nuclear development) – theme for December 18

Australia is especially vulnerable to climate change, because it is so dry, and has very limited fresh water. Its prevailing eucalypt forests are particularly flammable.

Australia’s periodically  occurring bushfires are now changing, and becoming superfires, more extreme, and harder to control.

At the same time the Australian government and the nuclear lobby are pushing to expand the Lucas Heights nuclear facility -despite the very real bushfire hazard near the site.

And – this week, bushfires near Kimba, fire threats to Flinders area –  the very places where the government plans to put a nuclear waste dump.

And – it’s not just the dump itself. It’s the danger along 1700 km of transport route for the nuclear wastes from Lucas Heights to the dump site. Climate change brings ever-increasing bushfire danger along the way – to add to the risks of terrorism, accident etc.

Far from taking seriously these threats, and the other climate threats – of drought, water shortage, and also floods and cyclones – the Australian government is virtually in denial of climate change. They are busy promoting coal and nuclear.

 

December 8, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, climate change - global warming | 1 Comment

Bushfires, Climate Change, and Nuclear Sites – theme for December 2018

Bushfires in Queensland have ushered in the “new normal”  of superfires in Australia. California has already experienced this new normal. It means that these fires are now catastrophic. They encroach on human habitation. Fire behaviour has changed.  Their intensity is greater. Their severity is greater: their flames are higher. Fires last longer, and come with increasing frequency. They spread at higher rates, and jump gaps such as roads, rivers and fire breaks. .

These fires now do long -term damage to the ecosystem. The earth underneath is affected, habitat destroyed, killing all the normal bacteria and inhabitants of the soil. Many are fires that are impossible to put out.

The background to these new superfires is climate change. Climate change has brought higher temperatures and  drought – resulting in drier trees and other vegetation – meaning that tinder-dry fuel is ready for ignition.

Australia is uniquely vulnerable, as the driest continent, with its prevailing eucalypt forests.

In California, the authorities are trying hard to cover up the reality that the wildfires started at an abandoned and still radioactively contaminated, nuclear facility . The fire would undoubtedly have caused radioactive ash to be blown about. (The fact that it’s not measured doesn’t mean that it is non existent) 

Australia is vulnerable to a similar radioactive threat. Last year, bushfires went uncomfortably close to the  Lucas Heights nuclear reactor. Plans to transport Lucas Height nuclear waste 1700 km across Australia to Flinders Ranges area mean that this radioactive trash would be at risk of accident, and one of the worst risks would be bushfires.

Australia must face up to the climate change threats – floods (as more water vapour, due to heat, will come down as flooding) , sea level rise, and super bushfires. Lucas Heights nuclear reactor should be closed, and ANSTO’s nuclear dream prevented from becoming Australia’s climate-nuclear nightmare.

The Age of Super Fires

November 29, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Media mindlessly parrot nuclear lobby ‘low carbon” nonsense – theme for November 18

The nuclear fuel chain emits carbon all the way through, and I find it extraordinary that journalists mindlessly parrot these lies from the nuclear lobby. Makes you wonder – do the mainstream journalists actually compose the stuff that they write, about nuclear power, or do they just copy the handouts from the industry?

Quite simply, nuclear industry leaders want to get financial help – subsidies, tax credits, from governments that have been duped into believing that nuclear power is “low” or even “zero” carbon.

The also want the “respectability”, public approval,  that comes from being seen as combatting climate change. (even though most were previously in the denying climate change camp).

Anyway – it’s common sense to see that nuclear power is quite a strong emitter of greenhouse gases.  Any thinking non-expert can see that. However, experts see it too. Only one step in that uranium-nuclear chain is low emission – though all nuclear lobbyists claim that this step is “no emission” – the reactor’s operation.

November 10, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes, media | Leave a comment

Solar and wind fuels emit no carbon, but “low carbon” nuclear fuel- it’s a lie! theme for November 18

Solar and wind energy both flow directly to the generating system.

Not only are these fuels carbon-free, but, unlike nuclear, they leave no wastes

Only one step in that uranium-nuclear chain is low emission – though all nuclear lobbyists claim that this step is “no emission” – the reactor’s operation.  BUT – Carbon-14 is produced in coolant at boiling water reactors (BWRs) and pressurized water reactors (PWRs). It is typically released to the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide at BWRs, and methane at PWRs.

October 25, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes | 5 Comments

Clean energy, not nuclear, is Australia’s future – theme for October 18

Australia is in some ways, a world leader in renewable energy. And this is in spite of its Liberal Coalition government’s drive to suppress renewable energy!

Small scale solar power is revolutionising electricity supply in Australia, with households and small businesses benefiting from affordable rooftop solar systems, while grid prices are too high. Community energy continues to go ahead, without government support. Battery storage systems now accelerate Australia’s transition to clean energy, with almost half of large businesses shifting to renewables.

The States, and Australian cities and towns, are showing the way ahead.

  • South Australia powers ahead towards a target of 50% renewables by 2050,  with large scale solar systems, as well as rooftop.  Wind power booms in South Australia – it s variable, at times exporting electricity to Victoria.

While South Australia heads to becoming a global renewable energy success story, in other States and Territories renewable energy is booming, too.

Australia, with its abundant sunshine, and wind is the nation best suited to renewable energy. It can, combines with energy efficiency, meet Australia’s electricity needs, and also export renewable energy, and innovative clean power and water conservation systems.

We have that opportunity.  We must not let it be derailed by the greed and idealogy of a few powerful Australian individuals in the nuclear cult.

 

September 30, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, energy | 1 Comment

Small scale solar power for economy and democracy – theme for October 18

Solar power is now cheaper than retail electricity for millions of households. In the developed world, it can save countless homeowners tens of thousands of dollars.

Meanwhile, all across the developing world, solar power is actually cheaper than power generated from fossil fuels. Just as many people in the developing world leapfrogged from no phones to cell phones, these populations will leapfrog from no electricity to electricity from solar panels.

Democratizing the Energy System One of the major implications of solar power growth, electric vehicle growth and wind power growth to some extent (wind turbines are great additions to farms and small communities) is that they are essentially democratizing our energy system. They decentralize ownership and provide more societal power and more money to common citizens and small businesses. They create more energy independence and security for families, cities and nations, which I believe will ultimately contribute to greater peace in the world.

solar-decentralised

Also, there has got to be some positive psychological effect from people realizing that they are no longer burning the bones of dinosaurs (amongst other fossils!) for their energy needs, but are instead using renewable sources of energy such as sunlight and wind. http://cleantechnica.com/2014/04/27/communicating-renewable-energy-revolution/

September 30, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes | 1 Comment

The Global Nuclear Waste Crisis – theme for September 18

It’s a crisis NOW. Already there are many hundreds of thousands of metric tones of radioactive trash piled up in the nuclear countries.  A crisis that rivals climate change. A crisis that means more sickness, more danger, more terrorism risks, more secrecy and security – heading to police states.

It’s time that the world faced up to it

It’s a massive and pressing problem in USA – because America was the first to develop nuclear power and nuclear weapons in a big way, – and because there is freedom of speech in USA so people know about the problem.

Anxiety about the nuclear waste problem is growing in Britain and France, and some European countries.

Russia undoubtedly has a massive radioactive waste problem, but you don’t get to hear about it in a totalitarian state.

And China? China has huge pollution problems from industry – but little public acknowledgment of its nuclear waste. Still there are protests –  nobody wants the waste in their backyard.

And smaller “non-nuclear” countries like Australia still face the radioactive horrors from uranium mining, and the threat of nuclear waste dumping.

September 8, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes | 1 Comment

The World, including Australia, Must Stop Making Radioactive Trash – theme for September 18

It’s such a simple idea  – so simple that our clever experts, politicians, academics, media  – can’t grasp it.

With religious fervour, the nuclear lobby tells us there’s nothing to worry about, as with the help of God, our descendants will cope with the toxic radioactive mess that nuclear activities are building up around the world, and that Australia is building up at Lucas Heights.

Simple people think – “It would be best to bury deeply the toxic wastes that now exist, and to stop making any more”.

And they are right.

 

Fools think  – “Australia can import nuclear wastes, and we personally can make a lot of money, and our own children and grand-children will thank us” (just as they will thank us for climate change.)

August 29, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes | 1 Comment

Why the Australian government’s desperate frenzy to set up a nuclear waste dump on agricultural land? – theme for August 18

With breathtaking hypocrisy, the Australian government, fronted by its not terribly bright Resources Minister Matt Canavan, [ well he was until 24 August] is pouring $$$ and huge effort, into conning a small rural community into hosting a nuclear waste dump.

This is of course, a world-wide problem, wherever the nuclear industry exists. However, Australians, especially country Australians, are especially poorly informed on matters nuclear.

The government has taken advantage of that fact, and brainwashed the farming and pastoral communities of Kimba and Hawker into the belief that they’d be doing  a noble thing by their children, grandchildren and beyond, and of course –  saving Australia’s health system at the same time.

This nonsense is persuasive –  particularly so in this time of drought, when the prospect of tax-payer $millions, is dangled in front of the community.  especially nice for those “noble” souls, like pro-nuclear ex-politician Grant Chapman who offered their land.

Of course the Aboriginal people, custodians of this land for 40,000 years, don’t want the dump. But apparently Australia doesn’t really care about them, and the National Radioactive Waste Management Act overrides Aboriginal Heritage legislation.

The Senate received 112 submissions about this. The majority opposed the plan. We await the Senate’s report on 14 August.  The local communities will be voting on this later than  20 August. Now the Human Rights Commission is considering the rights of Aboriginal communities left out of the vote.  Then what?

And what goes on behind the scenes, with lobbying by the nuclear industry and the military?

August 10, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes | 2 Comments

Exposing the lies about planned Kimba or Hawker nuclear waste dump – theme for August 18

Kimba and Hawker are being conned by the unethical Australian nuclear lobby –  Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), the Department Of Industry Innovation and Science (DIIS) and all their political and media hangers-on. 1 the planned waste dump is not a “medical necessity” for Australia.  Nuclear medicine will continue if there is no centralised dump.

  1. Medical radioisotopes –  the vast majority decay so fast that they are best disposed of close to where they are used,: they do not need to be transported 1700 km across Australia.
  2. Contrary to the propaganda fed to the farming and pastoral communities of Kimba and Hawker, the purpose of the dump is not just for Low Level Wastes (LLW). It is for Intermediate Level Wastes (ILW), which by the way, are classed in France as High Level Wastes (HLW)
  3. The communities are told that the  waste dump is  “temporary”, but as there is no plan for permanent disposal, in reality, it will be a case of stranded nuclear wastes for hundreds of years.
  4. The communities are told that overseas, nuclear waste dumps are happily accepted, but in reality, there is fierce public opposition in UK, France and USA.
  5. There is no real evidence that this will be an economic bonanza for the towns.  There is every likelihood that this plan, already divisive for the communities, will be a blight on South Australia’s agriculture, tourism, and reputation.

 

July 31, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

The Australian Government’s frenzied plan for a nuclear “sacrifice zone” in Kimba or Hawker, South Australia- theme for July 18

Resources Minister Matt Canavan announced that on 20 August, there will be  a ballot to gauge community support for a nuclear waste dump near one of the small towns of Kimba and Hawker, about 450km north of Adelaide. The vote will be confined to the residents in the immediate local area.

“The decision will be made in the second half of this year” said Canavan ““We do not want this overlapping with a federal election”.

Indeed they don’t!  Heck! This nuclear garbage dump idea is a National matter. But Canavan, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, ANSTO, ARPANSA, and the rest of the nuclear lobby, are pitching it ONLY to the small farming communities of Kimba and Hawker, and resolutely keeping the rest of us in blissful ignorance.

Trekking Lucas Heights’ highly radioactive nuclear reactor wastes for 1700 km across Australia – to become a “temporary , i.e. stranded waste dump, is a dangerous idea. And unnecessary – Lucas Heights has the necessary space, technology, and expertise.

Nuclear medicine itself,  short-lived hospital radioactive wastes, do not need this. Hypocritically, the government  tells the Kimba and Hawker people that it’s a “medical necessity”  they’ll be Australia’s heroes. AT WHAT PRICE – now and for future generations?

A Senate Inquiry will report on this on 14 August. Too late to make a difference.  Read many brilliant submissions to this Inquiry, posted on this website. Summaries of these, with links to full submissions are at SUBMISSIONS TO SENATE INQUIRY 18.

July 14, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

ANSTO is lying to South Australians: nuclear medicine does NOT need a nuclear waste dump in Flinders Ranges

As health organisations, we are appalled that access to nuclear medical procedures is being used to justify the proposed nuclear waste dump. Most waste from these procedures break down quickly and can be safely disposed of either on site or locally.”   Dr Bill Williams, Medical Association for the Prevention of War

“Linking the need for a centralized radioactive waste storage facility with the production of isotopes for nuclear medicine is misleading. The production of radioactive isotopes for nuclear medicine comprises a small percentage of the output of research reactors. The majority of the waste that is produced in these facilities occurs regardless of the nuclear medicine isotope production.”  Nuclear Radiologist Dr Peter Karamoskos.

“If the plan for a [South Australian] dump is defeated, medical waste will continue to be stored at the Lucas Heights reactor site operated by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and, in much smaller volumes, at hospitals. That is no problem since ANSTO and hospitals continue to produce radioactive waste and thus they have an ongoing need for on-site waste stores and waste management expertise regardless of the options for periodic off-site disposal.” – Dr Jim Green

May 11, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes, Federal nuclear waste dump | 1 Comment

“Nuclear Medicine” – the fig leaf on the toxic nuclear industry – theme for May 2018

Small rural communities in South Australia are being told that it’s their patriotic duty to save Australia’s nuclear medicine –  by allowing a nuclear waste dump in their area.

This is the patently lying propaganda of the Australian Government ‘s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science  now busily involve spending tax-payers’ money on pro nuclear spin.

The real purpose of the radioactive trash dump is to host nuclear waste – euphemistically called “intermediate level” waste – currently stored in of 9,8000 leaking rusty barrels  at Woomera, and also the wastes produced by the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor. These also so-called “intermediate ” wastes are the reprocessed wastes returned from France, with more to come in the future.

The Australian nation is being conned by the government and its well-funded nuclear promotion organisation Australian National Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), with the furphy that the whole purpose of the reactor is medical.

(a) the “medical isotope” function was tacked on  – the original purpose was to lead to nuclear weapons. The current purpose is just a foot in the door for the whole nuclear fuel chain.

(b) Nuclear reactors are now going out of fashion, as the cheaper, more flexible, local, cyclotrons can produce medical isotopes safely – with no radioactive waste created.

April 27, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Nuclear scientists have lower awareness of risks, compared to “life”scientists

Research has found disturbing differences in the attitudes of scientists in different areas, to health and environmental risks of the nuclear industry.

It is even more disturbing that policy-makers and politicians prefer to support  and value the opinions and work of the very scientists who are least informed and least interested in those risks.

Politics and Scientific Expertise: Scientists, Risk Perception, and Nuclear Waste Policy, Richard P. Barke Hank C. Jenkins‐Smith.   – To study the homogeneity and influences on scientists’perspectives of environmental risks, we have examined similarities and differences in risk perceptions, particularly regarding nuclear wastes, and policy preferences among 1011 scientists and engineers. We found significant differences (p0.05)in the patterns of beliefs among scientists from different fields of research. In contrast to physicists, chemists, and engineers, life scientists tend to: (a)perceive the greatest risks from nuclear energy and nuclear waste management; (b)perceive higher levels of overall environmental risk; (c)strongly oppose imposing risks on unconsenting individuals; and (d)prefer stronger requirements for environmental management.

On some issues related to priorities among public problems and calls for government action, there are significant variations among life scientists or physical scientists. We also found that–independently of field of research–perceptions of risk and its correlates are significantly associated with the type of institution in which the scientist is employed. Scientists in universities or state and local governments tend to see the risks of nuclear energy and wastes as greater than scientists who work as business consultants, for federal organizations, or for private research laboratories. Significant differences also are found in priority given to environmental risks, the perceived proximity of environmental disaster, willingness to impose risks on an unconsenting population, and the necessity of accepting risks and sacrifices. more https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1539-6924.1993.tb00743.x

April 25, 2018 Posted by | art and culture, Christina themes, safety | Leave a comment