Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

ANSTO nuclear waste will compromise safety and security in South Australia

ANSTO nuclear waste to compromise safety and security in SA, https://www.foe.org.au/ansto_nuclear_waste_to_compromise_safety_and_security_in_sDavid Noonan, 17 Jan 19  The federal government intends shipments of irradiated nuclear fuel waste to be imposed through Whyalla or Port Pirie to go onto indefinite above-ground storage at a nuclear dump site at either Kimba or Hawker ‒ all of which is illegal under state law in South Australia.

Two shipments of reprocessed nuclear waste ‒ arising from the reprocessing of fuel irradiated in research reactors operated by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) ‒ are intended in the first two years of nuclear store operations in SA. A shipment is due from Sellafield in UK in the early 2020s, and ANSTO plans a shipment of nuclear waste that was reprocessed in France then shipped to ANSTO’s Lucas Heights site (south of Sydney) in 2015.

Some 100 B-Double truckloads of federal government Intermediate Level Wastes (ILW) ‒ predominantly ANSTO waste from Lucas Heights ‒ are also to be trucked into SA in the first four years of nuclear store operations in SA.

SA communities face decades of potential accident and terrorist risks and impacts from ongoing ANSTO nuclear waste transports, with all of the next 40 years of ANSTO reactor waste also to be shipped and trucked to SA for indefinite above-ground storage.

The federal nuclear regulator, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), states that nuclear fuel wastes and other ILW require radiation shielding and require isolation from the environment for over 10,000 years. Yet the current plan is to store this waste in SA in a fancy shed for indefinite storage described as “interim” and as “long term above-ground storage (approximately 100 years)”.

After 60 years, ANSTO still has no nuclear waste disposal capacity, while ANSTO’s nuclear waste production is set to increase to more than double waste stockpiles over the next 40 years.

The government’s April 2018 ‘Australian Radioactive Waste Management Framework’1 reports total ILW at 1,770 cubic metres (m3), with 95% by volume arising as federal government wastes.

The federal government plans to produce a further 1,960 m3 of ILW over next 40 years, with 95% (1,850 m3) arising from ANSTO’s reactor operations – all to be trucked into SA for indefinite above-ground storage at either Kimba or Hawker.

All of these federal government nuclear waste plans face serious obstacles and community opposition. They are illegal under state law in SA; are in breach of formal advice of the Nuclear Safety Committee to the federal regulator ARPANSA2; and do not represent International Best Practice.

The import, transport, storage and disposal of ANSTO nuclear fuel wastes were prohibited by the SA Liberal government in 2000; then in 2002‒03 the incoming SA Labor government extended the legislation to cover other radioactive wastes. Yet the federal Coalition government intends to override state law to impose nuclear wastes onto SA.

Advice provided to the CEO of ARPANSA by ARPANSA’s ‘Nuclear Safety Committee’ in Nov. 2013 states that:

“International best practice points to the need to have in place a policy and infrastructure for final management and ultimate disposal of waste before activities generating waste commence.”

“[T]he dual handling and transport process associated with interim storage does not represent international best practice”

“Dual handling also has implications for security.”

More recently, in Nov. 2016, the Nuclear Safety Committee advised the CEO of ARPANSA on the “ongoing requirement to clearly and effectively engage all stakeholders, including those along transport routes” and the Committee said that such engagement is “essential”.3

However, in an arrogant, flawed process, the federal government named port cities in SA as required ports to take shipments of nuclear waste in a report4 posted on the internet but failed to even inform the targeted communities and their local councils.

The story broke on Southern Cross TV on Aug. 6. The next day the ABC quoted Port Pirie’s Mayor saying Council was “blind-sided” by the federal government position to potentially require Port Pirie as a nuclear waste port. On Aug. 9 the story ran on p.1 of the Whyalla News, with the Whyalla Mayor saying Council won’t accept this.

Communities in Whyalla or Port Pirie ‒ and in Port Augusta which was named on a number of potential required nuclear waste transport routes ‒ face “complete shutdown” in transport of nuclear wastes through their cities but have been excluded from having a say by this federal government.

The federal Coalition government must stop this untenable nuclear waste threat to compromise safety and security in SA and accept extended storage of ANSTO nuclear fuel waste and ILW at Lucas Heights.

As the alternate federal government, the ALP is yet to say what they may do if elected in 2019.

More information: www.nuclear.foe.org.au/noonan

References:….

  1. www.radioactivewaste.gov.au/sites/prod.radioactivewaste/files/files/Australian%20Radioactive%20Waste%20Management%20Framework.pdf
  2. www.arpansa.gov.au/sites/default/files/legacy/pubs/nsc/nsc_iwsadvice.pdf
  3. www.arpansa.gov.au/sites/default/files/legacy/pubs/nsc/nrwmf-stakeholder-engagement.rtf
  4. https://prod-radioactivewaste.industry.slicedtech.com.au/sites/prod.radioactivewaste/files/60565376_NRWMF%20Site%20Characterisation%20Technical%20Report_Wallerberdina_20.07.2018_FINAL_Optimized.pdf

Published in Chain Reaction #134, December 2018. National magazine of Friends of the Earth Australia. www.foe.org.au/chain_reaction

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January 17, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, reference | Leave a comment

The choice of Maralinga as nuclear bomb site – and the effects on Aboriginal people

Aboriginal people were still living close to the test sites and were told nothing about radiation. 

‘High rates of cancer were eventually documented in the 16,000 test workers, but no studies were done on Aboriginal people and others living in areas of fallout. It’s been called the cancer capital of Australia.’

Although many Aboriginal people were forcibly removed from their land, more than a thousand were directly affected by the bombs.

Vomiting, skin rashes, diarrhoea, fevers and, later, blood diseases and cancer were among the common conditions caused by the testing.

December 10, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Aboriginal Rights: Michael Anderson: No treaty or contract valid if the parties are at war

Ghillar, Michael Anderson, Convenor of Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia, and Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic www.sovereignunion.mobi Under international law and domestic contractual law–no treaty or contract can be classified as legal if we are under the ‘rules and disciplines of war’. If our First Nations Peoples are not fully aware of these facts, then any contract entered into, treaty or otherwise, can be argued to be invalid.

Ghillar, Michael Anderson, Convener of the Sovereign Union, last surviving member of the founding four of the Aboriginal Embassy and Leader of the Euahlayi Nation said from Goodooga today:

The upcoming Sovereign Union Gathering of Nations sponsored by the Yorta Yorta Nation will focus on key rights that we have as First Nations Peoples of this continent. These rights are now supported by international laws and developing international customary legal norms, for example, as collated inHuman Rights at Your Fingertips published by the Federal Attorney-General’s department: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/hrayf_2012.pdf

One international legal norm is the progressive recognition of redress for past wrongdoings perpetrated by ambitious French, Portuguese, English, Dutch, Spanish and German colonialists.

What is interesting, however, is understanding that the Pope in Rome was instrumental in instigating invasions of other countries. In order to settle the Spanish, Portuguese, French and English wars across the English Channel/La Manche, the key warring parties had to find a third party to mediate an end to their violent clashes against each other in the 1400s and 1500s. History shows that they turned to God’s representative on earth, the Pope, seen as the ‘divine ruler’.

It should be remembered that during the internal wars over land titles in England, the key players also turned to God’s representative, the Pope (Innocent III) and his ‘disciples’, and that to break the tyranny of King John of England, it was a Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton, who drafted the Magna Carta that King John agreed to on 15 June 1215.

Having mediated European struggles over land and resources, the Pope then issued new decrees which divided the world up for the warring parties to rape, pillage and plunder in order to end the wars in Europe. Thus began the flow of Papal Bulls (seals) whereby an order of the Pope, supposedly representing the biblical Judeo-Christian God on earth, divided the world up for kingdoms such as Portugal, Spain, England and France to invade under the Doctrine of Discovery, which became deeply entrenched. This alleged Christian right to usurp the lands and the usufructuary rights of the native inhabitants, ‘pagans’ and ‘infidels’ was decreed in The Bull Romanus Pontifex (Nicholas V), January 8, 1455 and The Bull Inter Caetera (Alexander VI), May 4, 1493 which instructed the invaders to ‘overthrow’ and ‘vanquish’ ‘barbarous’ nations, ‘and all other infidels whatsoever’ and ‘enemies of Christ wheresoever placed’ and ‘subdue certain gentile or pagan peoples living between, who are entirely free from infection by the sect of the most impious Mahomet and to preach and cause to be preached to them the unknown most sacred name of Christ’. In order ‘more zealously to pursue … this most pious and noble work’ ‘to conserve their right and possession’ it is ‘supported by … the Apostolic See with favors and graces’. The ‘Christian rule’ acquired ‘by the right of conquest’ ‘from the lands of infidels or pagans’ ‘all those provinces, islands, harbours, and seas whatsoever’. First Nations Peoples were also decreed to remain unarmed by preventing trade in ‘iron instruments, wood to be used for construction, cordage, ships and any kinds of armor’.[1]

The Doctrine of Discovery had its origin in the biblical text, which was articulated by the Papacy in Rome and circulated as supreme authority by the Papal Bulls. These Judeo-Christian decrees were the basis for the right of ‘First Discoverers’ to plunder and enslave, and in so doing asserted that the word of God had superior force over pre-existing claims and right of occupation.

Therefore, the zealous taking of lands during the imperial colonial expansion was promoted as a God-given right. The justification was that lands would be classified as terra nullius (nobody’s land)and uncivilised, if populated by those who did not believe in Jesus Christ or an equivalent.

Then comes the Mabo High Court case in 1992Limited though the questions were, the High Court took a giant step to firstly overturn existing legal precedents and to recognise the continuing proprietary interests and usufruct rights of the First Nations Peoples in Australia. But the conviction of those who made the decision was counteracted by their cowardice in refusing to recognise the decision of Chief Justice Willis in the NSW Supreme Court caseR v Bonjon 1841, in which Willis held that the colonists are the intruders and Aboriginal Peoples are the ‘sovereigns of the soil’. Willis CJ is also reported as ruling:

But the frequent conflicts that have occurred between the colonists and the Aborigines within the limits of the colony of New South Wales make it, I think, sufficiently manifest that the Aboriginal tribes are neither a conquered people, nor have tacitly acquiesced in the supremacy of the settlers. …

I repeat that I am not aware of any express enactment or treaty subjecting the Aborigines of this colony to the English colonial law, and I have shown that the Aborigines cannot be considered as Foreigners in a Kingdom which is their own.

This cowardice of the High Court judges that I speak of, is where the High Court realised that they were between a rock and a hard place with the Mabo case. At paragraph 29 they lamented:

… It is not possible, a priori, to distinguish between cases that express a skeletal principle and those which do not …

In other words, had the High Court known where this case would lead, they may not have agreed to hear the case in the first place.

So the judges in Mabo had to stretch a very long bow when they ruled that Australia was ‘settled’ on an ancient English legal foundation, which was the feudal land system. The irony of this decision falls into two categories:

·      the concept of terra nullius (or land belonging to no-one)

·      the law of feudalism and its legal impacts which are null and void, because feudalism disappeared from the English legal system in 1660.

In order to justify the alleged Crown Land ownership in Australia, the High Court resurrected a non-existent ancient land law system belonging to Britain, while feudalism has no legal authority in common law anywhere in the world, except in Australia.

The end of feudalism in England, permitted private ownership of land throughout the United Kingdom and destroyed the King’s or Queen’s right to own all the land. But by the High Court ruling that land tenure in Australia is based on feudalism, the judges could find that the king came and claimed all the land as his. This ties in with Governor Darling denouncing the Batman Treaty in Victoria, because no other person but the king could sign away land.

The related legal question is: Does ‘feudalism’ have any legal validity today?

Like the justices of the High Court, lawyers who are committed to the Bar and the Bar Association of Australia, are just big cowards and fear challenging what needs to be challenged and what is justly correct. This cowardice is represented by the lawyers following black letter law, e.g. in the Native Title Act. Don’t rock the boat!

The question that we, as First Nations People, must ask next is: Are we happy with the current situation and, if not, what is our next move?

Having asked this question, I put it to all our First Nations Peoples, who are proposing to come to our Gathering of Nations to give thought to the following:

In Native Title applications, the question that the lawyers ask the applicant group is: ‘Do you have the ability to prove your connection to Country under your Law and customs at the time of ‘British Sovereignty’. (N.B. should state alleged British Sovereignty). If we are to prove our connection to Country at the time of alleged ‘British Sovereignty’, we need to go back to Justice Willis’s New South Wales Supreme Court decision in R v Bonjon 1841, which has never been overturned. The High Court in Mabo indirectly observed R v Bonjon 1841 (without it being mentioned) by ruling that our proprietary law rights have their authoritative origins in our own pre-existing and continuing Law and customs. As the Mabo decision ruled at paragraph 65, these rights under our Law and custom are inalienable and no foreign parliament, such as Australia and its federated States and its two mainland Territories, have the legal capacity to take them from us:

65. … Native title, though recognized by the common law, is not an institution of the common law and is not alienable by the common law..

In other words, the High Court in Mabo ruled that they are inalienable rights and that the Commonwealth Parliament and its State and Territory counterparts cannot legislate to take them away, because they are inherent sovereign rights that belong to another authoritative jurisdiction, independent of the colonial occupying power. This is why the expert on the Australian Constitution, Professor George Williams, says Aboriginal people need not ask for sovereignty, they should simply assert it under their Law and customs.

So, the next question is: How does the Australian authority maintain its power over us? The answer is very simple. What gives this answer its fluency and authority comes from the Orders issued to Governor Phillip, in which the Colonial Secretary’s Office and the British Admiralty, now known as the War Office, instructed him on 12 August 1786 to apply the ‘rules and disciplines of war’ when establishing the colony of New South Wales:

… you are to observe and follow such orders and directions from time to time as you shall receive from us, or any other of your superior officers according to the Rules and Disciplines of War … [2]

There is no evidence that this lawful instruction from England was ever repealed and the history of Australia thereafter clearly demonstrates that the State police are used as their military wing to crush Aboriginal resistance, which is made to look like acts of civil disobedience that is dealt with under the criminal law. Conversely, the Howard government did use the military to enforce the Northern Territory Intervention.

Politicians, through their propaganda and electioneering, argue for and on behalf of the public that ‘law and order’ is a key policy objective, but the electorate does not realise that the act of war is being perpetrated against our First Nations Peoples and is written into these pretended ‘law and order’ control mechanisms. This is evidenced by the fact that First Nations people sit in jails around this country in large numbers, including our youth and children, for alleged offences that non-First Nations People would never go to jail for. The colonial administrators argue this when they use the term ‘recidivism’ (the tendency of a convicted person to reoffend) and they catch our people in these nets of incarceration with the three-strike rule principle and ‘paperless arrests’, but these only apply to First Nations people, because this is who they are targeting.

The Native Title Act is in itself a law that attacks our inherent rights and, in fact, diminishes these rights to a point where they no longer exist. In short, this is yet again another act of war against First Nations Peoples.

It therefore follows under international law and domestic contractual law–no treaty or contract can be classified as legal if we are under the ‘rules and disciplines of war’.

It further follows that, if our First Nations Peoples are not fully aware of these facts, then any contract entered into, treaty or otherwise, can be argued to be invalid.

These and other issues must be addressed if we are to get the justice due to us.

It is imperative that we as First Nations People know all the wrongdoings, so as to ensure that we have a clear understanding of our legal rights now and going forward. To act in a knee-jerk reaction will cause us all to be in the same boat as the Noongar people in south-west Western Australia now find themselves.

We will be making the call, not the colonists.

Our rights, our future–never forget it.

SovereignUnionSourcewww.nationalunitygovernment.org/content/no-treaty-or-contract-valid-if-parties-are-war

November 15, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, legal, reference | Leave a comment

Labor must keep to its strong nuclear-free policy

Uranium

  1. The production of uranium and its use in the nuclear fuel cycle present unique and unprecedented hazards and risks, including:
  • Threats to human health and the local environment in the mining and milling of uranium and management of radioactive materials, which demand the enforcement of strict safety procedures;
  • The generation of products that are usable as the raw materials for nuclear weapons manufacture, which demands the enforcement of effective controls against diversion; and
  • The generation of highly toxic radioactive waste by-products that demand permanently safe disposal methods.
  1. Labor accordingly will allow the mining and export of uranium only under the most stringent conditions.
  1. In relation to mining and milling, Labor will:
  • Ensure the safety of workers in the uranium industry is given priority. Labor has established acompulsory register for workers in the uranium industry that includes regular health checks and ongoing monitoring. The register is held by an independent agency and will be subject to privacy provisions;
  • Ensure Australian uranium mining, milling and rehabilitation is based on world best practice standards, extensive continuing research on environmental impacts and the health and safety of employees and affected communities, particularly Indigenous communities;
  • Ensure the Australian public is informed about the quality of the environmental performance of uranium mines through public accountability mechanisms;
  • Foster a constructive relationship between mining companies and Indigenous communities affected by uranium mining; and
  • Prohibit the mining of uranium within national parks under International Union for Conservation of Nature protected area category 1A, category 1B, and category 2, and listed world heritage areas.
  1. In relation to exports other than to India, Labor will allow the export of uranium only to those countries that observe the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), are committed to nonproliferation policies, and have ratified international and bilateral nuclear safeguards agreements.

Labor will export uranium only to countries that maintain strict safeguards and security controls over their nuclear power industries.

CHAPTER 3: BUILDING AUSTRALIA’S FUTURE 57

  1. In relation to India, an important strategic partner for Australia, commitments and responsible actions in support of nuclear non-proliferation, consistent with international guidelines on nuclear supply, will provide an acceptable basis for peaceful nuclear cooperation, including the export of uranium, subject to the application of strong safeguards.
  1. In addition, Labor will work towards:
  • Strengthening export control regimes and the rights and authority of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA);
  • Appropriate international responses to violations of existing safeguard commitments;
  • Limiting the processing of weapon usable material (separation of plutonium and high

enriched uranium in civilian programs);

  • Tightening controls over the export of nuclear material and technology;
  • Universalising of the IAEA additional protocol making it mandatory for all states and

members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group to adhere to the additional protocol as a condition

of supply to all their transfers;

  • Criminalising actions of individuals and companies that assist in nuclear proliferation;
  • The development of an international guarantee of nuclear fuel supply to states foregoing

sensitive nuclear technologies;

  • Revising the NPT to prevent countries from withdrawing from the NPT and passing a new resolution in the United Nations Security Council addressing the penalties for withdrawal from the NPT;
  • Encouraging all nuclear states to join the NPT;
  • Reserving the right to withhold supplies of uranium permanently, indefinitely or for a specified period from any country that ceases to observe the non-proliferation safeguards and security conditions applied to Australian uranium exports to that country, or which adopts nuclear practices or policies that do not further advance the cause of nuclear nonproliferation;
  • Supporting the maintenance and enhancement of international and Australian safeguards to ensure that uranium mined in Australia, and nuclear products derived from it, are used only for civil purposes by approved instrumentalities in approved countries that are signatories to the NPT (with the exception of India) and with whom Australia has safeguard arrangements; and
  • Seeking adequate international resourcing of the IAEA to ensure its effectiveness in undertaking its charter.
  1. Labor will progress these commitments through diplomatic means including the re-establishment of the Canberra Commission to re-invigorate Australia’s tradition of middle power, multilateral diplomacy. In doing so, Labor believes that as a non-nuclear armed nation and a good international citizen, Australia can make a significant contribution to promoting disarmament, the reduction of nuclear stockpiles, and the responsible use of nuclear technology.
  1. Labor will:
  • Vigorously and totally oppose the ocean dumping of radioactive waste;

CHAPTER 3: BUILDING AUSTRALIA’S FUTURE 58

  •  Prohibit the establishment of nuclear power plants and all other stages of the nuclear fuel cycle in Australia;

  • Fully meet all Australia’s obligations as a party to the NPT; and
  • Remain strongly opposed to the importation and storage of nuclear waste that is sourced from overseas in Australia.

November 3, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, reference | Leave a comment

Toxic effects of Maralinga nuclear bomb testing continue

Menzies “immediately agreed to the proposal,” without consulting any of his cabinet colleagues or the Australian parliament. Indeed, until weeks before the first test was carried out, only three government ministers knew about it.

The most devastating effects were suffered by two groups: Australian and British soldiers working on the tests themselves, and the Indigenous populations local to Emu Field and the later testing site of Maralinga.

One prominent member of the testing team, Sir Ernest Titterton, later said that if Indigenous people had a problem with the government, they should vote it out, ignoring that Indigenous Australians did not have full political rights until 1967.

an Australian defense ministry report was leaked to the press, warning that large amounts of plutonium left at Maralinga could potentially be a target of terrorists.

those wrongs have not been fully addressed. Health problems stemming from the tests continue for those still living, and while the veracity of Lester and other victims’ stories has been acknowledged, what exactly happened to them remains unclear, the details of the nuclear test still kept top secret.
“To this day we don’t know what Totem I did, those records are still classified by the British,

October 15, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, reference | Leave a comment

Busting Barry Brook’s uninformed propaganda about Fukushima nuclear disaster

Prof. Brook is probably, in my opinion, clearly very inadequate when he researches things such as nuclear industry. He claims academic privilege when he communicates his mere opinions related to a field he possesses no training or little training or qualifications in. He can’t have it both ways. The privilege which springs from his actual qualifications may give him status in other things on campus. Away from the lecture theatre though, his opinions of the nature of nuclear industry have zero academic weight….“I’m an academic and therefore I am right” does not wash with me

2003 saw Prof. Shimazaki speak at the first meeting of the government’s Disaster Management Council. This council formed government disaster policy. He urged the council to study the Jogan earthquake of 869 and warned the Japanese Trench could generate earthquakes anywhere along Japan’s Pacific coast.

since 2008 TEPCO management had been busy suppressing THE SAME CONCLUSION of grave risk of 15 metre tsunamis hitting the Fukushima coast, made by TEPCO’s own engineers using simulations and mathematics. 

Expert fore warning of the 2011 Tsunami Ignored and Suppressed by Nuclear Authorities. Nuclear Exhaust 12 Oct 18 

this post is in progress. Not finished.

I am again going to contrast the statements made by Barry Brook in regard to the tsunami defences at Fukushima Daiichi with the facts as presented by Mark Willacy. These facts are published in Willacy’s book, “Fukushima – Japan’s tsunami and the inside story of the nuclear meltdowns”, Willacy, M., Pan Macmillan, copyright 2013, Mark Willacy.

An interesting aspect of the work of Barry Brook is this: The views expressed by Barry are very frequently attributed by Barry to people who are, according to Barry, experts in nuclear industry. I have heard Barry’s public broadcasts in which Barry makes this attribution. I have not heard Barry give the names of his advisors and friends in the nuclear industry. However it is extremely likely Barry is correct in his attributions. Barry’s statements of opinions and claimed facts can reasonably be assumed to have been provided to Barry by unnamed – as far as I am aware – experts in the nuclear industry. The credibility of Barry statements ride therefore upon the credibility of the nuclear industry.

Of course it is no surprise to hear Barry Brook mirror the statements of nuclear experts from around the world in 2011. The narrative of the global nuclear industry as broadcast by the mass media and the narrative provided by Barry Brook were, as I recall, mutually re-affirming.

Here again is a selected, partial transcript of Barry Brook’s Australian ABC TV interview (please watch the complete interview at the youtube link  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFs_-8DtZvo

“Prof. Brook: “I think they (events) show the vulnerability of any human infrastructure to the forces of nature. Especially when they are unleashed with such fury as they were with that massive earthquake, the largest one to hit Japan in recorded times, and a 10 metre tsunami. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect any infrastructure along a coastline like that to survive an event like that. But what it does highlight is that decisions were made back in the ‘60s, when that nuclear power plant was planned and built, they did not anticipate the scale of the natural disaster that occurred here.”

Prof. Brook: “They predicted up to a 6.5 metres tsunami and protected against that. But of course, as events turned out, the tsunami was even bigger than that………

In a previous post I pointed out that Willacy had found that Dr.Yukinobu Okamura, the director of Japan’s Active Fault and Earthquake Research Centre, had, in 2007, found evidence in the geologic record that the Fukushima coast had been hit by massive tsunamis in its past. (Fukushima, page 26)

I also pointed out that in 2008 TEPCO engineers using simulations and calculations discovered that tsunamis as high as 15.7 metres were possible at the site of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. (Fukushima, page 29)

This discovery by TEPCO engineers was suppressed by TEPCO management from the Japanese people and Japanese government until 7 March 2011, or 4 days before the 3/11 quake and tsunami disaster. (Fukushima, page 29) Continue reading

October 15, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Annabel Crabb outlines the demise of Australia’s climate policy in 7 killings

Australia’s recent climate change policy: A brief history of seven killings http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-23/climate-change-policy-a-brief-history-of-seven-killings/10152616, By Annabel Crabb  

The story starts in 1997, when the brand-new Howard government (sweating through a brief and cock-up-infested first term during which it lost a series of ministers and most of the margin with which it had wrested power from Paul Keating) sends its environment minister, Robert Hill, to Japan for the seminal Kyoto Climate Summit.

At the summit, Senator Hill negotiates generous terms for his country in the global deal; Australia emerged with large concessions for its agricultural activities and is one of only three countries permitted to increase its emissions under the deal.

Senator Hill is welcomed home as a conquering hero.

However, over the years enthusiasm for the compact is replaced within the government by scepticism.

First casualty Continue reading

August 24, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, reference | Leave a comment

Scotland could help Australia deal with its nuclear waste

As Gary Cushway points out, under current arrangements, the waste produced in the reprocessing of spent Australian nuclear fuel which was sent to Dounreay in the 1990s will stay at Dounreay; the vitrified waste produced at Sellafield is only being sent to Australia to fulfil a contractual agreement. If the transfer from Sellafield was halted, and the waste currently stored at different locations in Australia was kept where it is, the case for a national radioactive waste management facility in Australia would be drastically eroded.

Cushway believes that the Scottish Government could cancel the 2012 joint waste substitution policy and come to an arrangement with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) regarding management of the reprocessed Australian waste at Dounreay.

At the very least, more pressure should be put on the UK Government to stop the transfer of waste until its final destination is known.

Can Scotland help stop nuclear waste being dumped on Aboriginal land? At the very least, more pressure should be put on the UK Government to stop the transfer of waste until its final destination is known. Scots are yet to fully reckonwith the role that we played in the brutal colonisation of Aboriginal Australia, but the Scottish Government now has an opportunity to offer meaningful solidarity to Aboriginal communities who are still fighting to protect their land and culture.

  Linda Pearson     Linda Pearson, anti-nukes activist and Common Weal policy officer, explains how nuclear waste due to be transferred from the UK to Australia could be dumped on Aboriginal land, and what role the Scottish Government could play in preventing another act of racist disregard of Australia’s indigenous population in what is a long and brutal history of discrimination

APPROXIMATELY 10,000 miles from Scotland in South Australia, Aboriginal traditional owners are fighting against plans to build a nuclear waste dump on their land. It is the latest phase in a struggle to protect land and culture which has lasted over 20 years. Continue reading

July 25, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics international, reference | Leave a comment

Australia’s nuclear testing before the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne should be a red flag for Fukushima in 2020

 Part time tutor in Medical Education, University of Dundee

The scheduling of Tokyo 2020 Olympic events at Fukushima is being seen as a public relations exercise to dampen fears over continuing radioactivity from the reactor explosion that followed the massive earthquake six years ago.

It brings to mind the British atomic bomb tests in Australia that continued until a month before the opening of the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne – despite the known dangers of fallout travelling from the testing site at Maralinga to cities in the east. And it reminds us of the collusion between scientists and politicians – British and Australian – to cover up the flawed decision-making that led to continued testing until the eve of the Games.

Australia’s prime minister Robert Menzies agreed to atomic testing in December 1949. Ten months earlier, Melbourne had secured the 1956 Olympics even though the equestrian events would have to be held in Stockholm because of Australia’s strict horse quarantine regimes.

The equestrians were well out of it. Large areas of grazing land – and therefore the food supplies of major cities such as Melbourne – were covered with a light layer of radiation fallout from the six atomic bombs detonated by Britain during the six months prior to the November 1956 opening of the Games. Four of these were conducted in the eight weeks running up to the big event, 1,000 miles due west of Melbourne at Maralinga.

Bombs and games

In the 25 years I have been researching the British atomic tests in Australia, I have found only two mentions of the proximity of the Games to the atomic tests. Not even the Royal Commission into the tests in 1985 addressed the known hazards of radioactive fallout for the athletes and spectators or those who lived in the wide corridor of the radioactive plumes travelling east.

At the time, the approaching Olympics were referred to only once in the Melbourne press in relation to the atomic tests, in August 1956. It is known that D-notices from the government “requesting” editors to refrain from publishing information about certain defence and security matters were issued.

The official history of the tests by British nuclear historian Lorna Arnold, published by the UK government in 1987 and no longer in print, reports tests director William Penney signalling concern only once, in late September 1956:

Am studying arrangements firings but not easy. Have Olympic Games in mind but still believe weather will not continue bad.

This official history doesn’t comment on the implications. And nowhere in the 1985 Royal Commission report is there any reference to the opening of the Olympics, just one month and a day after the fourth test took place 1,000 miles away.

The 1984 report of the Expert Committee on the review of Data on Atmospheric Fallout Arising from British Nuclear Tests in Australia found that the methodology used to estimate the numbers of people who might have been harmed by this fallout at fewer than 10 was inappropriate. And it concluded that if the dose calculations were confined to the communities in the path of the fallout and not merged with the total Australian population “such an exercise would generate results several orders of magnitude higher than those based on conventional philosophy”. There was no mention of the Olympic Games.

Neither Prime Minister Menzies nor his cabinet ever referred publicly to what had been known from the outset – that the British atomic tests in Australia would almost coincide with the Melbourne Olympics. The tests and the Games were planned simultaneously through the first half of the 1950s.

In May 1955, 18 months before the Olympics were due to start, Howard Beale, the Australian minister for supply, announced the building of “the Los Alamos of the British Commonwealth” (a nuclear test site in New Mexico) at Maralinga, promising that “tests would only take place in meteorological conditions which would carry radioactive clouds harmlessly away into the desert”.

An Atomic Weapons Tests Safety Committee was formed by the Australians but was closely controlled by physicist Professor Ernest Titterton, the only Englishman on the panel. The 1985 Royal Commission stated explicitly that the AWTSC was complicit in the firing of atomic detonations in weather conditions that they knew could carry radioactive fallout a thousand miles from Maralinga to eastern cities such as Melbourne.

Hazards of radioactivity

Professor Titterton, who had recently been appointed to a chair in nuclear physics at the Australian National University after working on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, and at Aldermaston in England, explained why the atomic devices were being tested in Australia:

Because of the hazards from the radioactivity which follows atomic weapons explosions, the tests are best carried out in isolated regions – usually a desert area … Most of the radioactivity produced in the explosion is carried up in the mushroom cloud and drifts downward under atmospheric airstreams. But particular material in this cloud slowly settles to the ground and may render an area dangerously radioactive out to distances ranging between 50 and several hundred miles … It would therefore be hazardous to explode even the smallest weapons in the UK, and it was natural for the mother country to seek test sites elsewhere in the Commonwealth.

The AWTSC published two scientific papers in 1957 and 1958 which flat out denied that any dangerous levels of radioactivity reached the eastern states. But their measurements relied on a very sparse scattering of sticky paper monitors – rolls of gummed film set out to catch particles of fallout – even though these could be washed off by rain.

Despite their clear denials in these papers, meteorological records show that prior to the Games there was rain in Melbourne which could have deposited radioactivity on the ground.

The AWTSC papers included maps purporting to show the plumes of radioactive fallout travelling north and west from Maralinga in the South Australian desert. The Royal Commission published expanded maps (see page 292) based on the AWTSC’s own data and found the fallout pattern to be much wider and more complex. The Australian scientist Hedley Marston’s study of radioactivity uptake in animals showed a far more significant covering of fallout on a wide swathe of Australian grazing land than indicated by the sticky paper samples of the AWTSC.

The 1985 Royal Commission report into British Nuclear Tests in Australia discussed many of these issues, but never in relation to the proximity and timing of the 1956 Olympic Games. Sixty years later, are we seeing the same denial of known hazards six years after the reactor explosion at Fukushima?

 

July 18, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Advancing responsible radioactive waste management in Australia.

Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF Briefing note: March 2018

Overview:

Radioactive waste management in Australia has been a contested, divisive and ultimately non-productive area of public policy for decades. The timing and circumstances are now conducive for adopting a revised approach that is more likely to advance responsible national radioactive waste management and agreed and lasting outcomes.

This approach to responsible radioactive waste management in Australia is founded on not imposing any federal facility on an unwilling community, acting in a manner consistent with both existing state and territory laws and leading international industry practise and ensuring high standards of extended federal interim storage at the two secured sites where the majority of the waste is sited pending an inclusive and robust examination of the range of long term future management options.

Scale and current context:

Australia holds around 4250 cubic metres of low level radioactive waste and 655 cubic metres of longlived intermediate level waste. Around 95% of this material is currently stored at two secured Federal sites. Nearly all of Australia’s intermediate level waste is held where it was created at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s (ANSTO) Lucas Heights nuclear reactor facility in southern Sydney. This material is Australia’s highest level radioactive waste and is the most significant management challenge. Most of the low-level waste is at the Defence Department’s Woomera site in South Australia.

The National Radioactive Waste Management Project:

The current preferred federal plan involves the emplacement and covering of containerised low-level radioactive wastes and the above ground storage of long lived higher level waste at a single regional or remote site. There is no intention to recover the low-level material – it would be disposed of in-situ.

There are plans to remove the higher-level waste for deep geological disposal at a location yet to be determined after a period of between 20 to 100 years. The current approach to intermediate level waste management is not best international practice. Instead it is based on unnecessary transport and doublehandling and replacing above ground interim storage at ANSTO for above ground interim storage at a far less resourced regional facility.

Since April 2016 South Australia has been the only region under active consideration as a site for a federal radioactive waste facility. Three sites, one at Barndioota in the Flinders Ranges and two near Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula, are under consideration. All sites are contested and there is considerable Aboriginal and wider community concern, opposition and division. Existing SA legislation, the Nuclear Waste Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000, makes the federal plan unlawful in SA. While the federal government could override any state legislative road-blocks doing so would be inconsistent with leading practise for facility siting and open to clear procedural and legal challenge.

The employment and economic opportunities provided by the federal radioactive waste plan are modest. There would be some short-term fencing and construction work and there are plans for twelve to fifteen (fte) security and maintenance jobs, an interim ‘disruption’ payment of two million dollars for community programs in the affected regions and a ‘community benefit fund’ of no more than ten million dollars (with no clear guidance on where, when or how the federal government would allocate this money).

Previous federal attempts over many years to impose a radioactive waste dump on multiple sites in regional South Australia and the Northern Territory have all failed.

The case for a revised approach: Extended interim storage and option assessment:

Leading civil society organisations including environment, public health, Indigenous and trade union groups all support an expert, open and independent Inquiry into the full range of radioactive waste management options.

Radioactive waste remains a concern for thousands of years and its management demands the highest quality decision making and information. Enhanced and extended interim storage at current federal facilities offers a policy circuit-breaker and, coupled with an options review, is the best way to identify and advance lasting and responsible radioactive waste management.

Extended interim storage, particularly at Lucas Heights given this site is already home to the most problematic wastes, is prudent and credible as:

ANSTO is already both the continuing producer of and home to virtually all of Australia’s higher level radioactive waste

 ANSTO has certainty of tenure, a secure perimeter and is monitored 24/7 by Australian federal police

 Storing the waste at ANSTO means the waste will be actively managed as operations at the site are licensed for a further three decades. It also keeps waste management on the radar of the facility/people with the highest level of nuclear expertise and radiation response capacity in Australia

 After community opposition and Federal Court action ended an earlier proposed waste site at Muckaty (NT) ANSTO constructed and commissioned a new purpose built on site store dedicated to housing reprocessed spent nuclear fuel waste which returned from France in late 2015. This Interim Waste Store has a conservative design life of forty years, its license is not time limited and it has (if required) regulatory approval to store these reprocessed wastes ‘until the availability of a final disposal option’.

 Extended interim storage at ANSTO helps reduce any political pressure to rush to find a ‘remote’ out of sight, out of mind dump site and increases the chances of advancing responsible management

 Storage at ANSTO has been previously identified as a credible and feasible option by ANSTO, nuclear industry lobby group the Australian Nuclear Association and, most importantly, the federal nuclear regulator, the Australian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA).

There is no regulatory or radiological impediment to extended interim storage at Lucas Heights. ANSTO’s facility is prohibited from becoming a permanent disposal site, however there are no comparable constraints on it as a site for extended storage.

Importantly, this approach also provides the ability to have a circuit breaker in this long running issue in the form of an evidence based and open review of the best long-term management options.

Nothing about the nuclear industry, especially nuclear waste, is clean or uncomplicated but extended interim federal storage – coupled with a wider robust public review of the full range of longer term management options – is the approach that is most likely to advance and realise lasting and responsible radioactive waste management in Australia.

July 13, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, reference | Leave a comment

Paul Waldon on the unreliability of manufactured news from the Department of Industry Innovation and Science (DIIS)

Paul Waldon Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA July 4 

Where are all of these alleged proponents of a nuclear waste dump that the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has claimed support the risk of contaminating their own environment of Hawker for a few jobs.

Only one, yes 1, that’s less than two, nearly zero, zip, squat, zilch, butt kiss, and it was only that one elderly local that got up and spoke in support of a risky program at the Hawker community meeting on the 6th of May 2016. A man with No conscience, and willing to burden the young with the contamination of Hawker and the Flinders,

the same meeting that had over 100 concerned people decrying the abandonment of radioactive waste, yet the DIIS claim this one man was the majority. The augury of the DIIS’s factoids needs to raised so people are adroit to the dangers of their manufactured figures.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

July 6, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, reference | Leave a comment

Geologists warn that the Barndioota region is a dangerous site for nuclear waste dumping

Barb Walker to Quorn – Out & About Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA June 25

From: Professor Chris von der Borch
For distribution: The Advertiser, The Transcontinental, The Town Crier, Quorn Out and About, The Mercury and Get About – Hawker.
Received: Sunday, June 24th 2018

Subject: Proposed nuclear waste dump near Hawker.

“A site on the western slopes of the Flinders Range west of Hawker is one of the key areas currently under consideration for storage of low level, and the much more dangerous intermediate level, nuclear waste. A number of distinguished geological colleagues and myself, who collectively share many decades of geological research in the proposed area, are very concerned that the one of the suggested storage sites, in the Barndioota region, ticks “all the wrong boxes” as a fail-safe option.

Such nuclear waste, which would have a radioactive half-life of tens of thousands of years, needs a careful consideration of the geological parameters of a proposed responsible storage site, rather than what appears to be “political expediency”! And the site under consideration would certainly not satisfy these geological considerations.

It lies in one of the most seismically active regions of Australia. It lies in a zone which is subject to catastrophic flash-flooding and mudflow activity. The area is adjacent to a major saline lake, Lake Torrens, which is a “terminal drainage area”, meaning that all surface and underground run-off from the ranges ends up in the periodically drying surface lake sediments. So the bottom line is that, were such a storage site were to break down within the next several thousand years, radioactive material would end up in the surface sediments of Lake Torrens. Dry desert winds would then have the potential to disperse radioactive dust over large areas which may well be occupied by humans in the future.”  https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=Fight%20To%20Stop%20Nuclear%20Waste%20Dump%20In%20Flinders%20Ranges%20SA

June 27, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, reference, South Australia | Leave a comment

Response to ‘Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems’

   Science Direct 18 May 18 

May 19, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Scientists refute Ben Heard’s paper opposing reneweable energy

Can we get 100 percent of our energy from renewable sources? https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/luot-cwg051718.php New article gathers the evidence to address the sceptics LAPPEENRANTA UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY 

Is there enough space for all the wind turbines and solar panels to provide all our energy needs? What happens when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow? Won’t renewables destabilise the grid and cause blackouts?

In a review paper last year in the high-ranking journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Master of Science Benjamin Heard (at left) and colleagues presented their case against 100% renewable electricity systems. They doubted the feasibility of many of the recent scenarios for high shares of renewable energy, questioning everything from whether renewables-based systems can survive extreme weather events with low sun and low wind, to the ability to keep the grid stable with so much variable generation.

Now scientists have hit back with their response to the points raised by Heard and colleagues.The researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Delft University of Technology and Aalborg University have analysed hundreds of studies from across the scientific literature to answer each of the apparent issues. They demonstrate that there are no roadblocks on the way to a 100% renewable future. Continue reading

May 19, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Maralinga Britain’s guinea pig land for toxic nuclear bomb testing

Australia’s Least Likely Tourist Spot: A Test Site for Atom Bombs, NYT, 

April 18, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, personal stories, reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment