Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

To promote mining (especially uranium) Australian government trashed the reputation of Aboriginal people

Government had made it clear that it wished to re-engage itself more directly in the control of community land through leasing options as well as to open up Aboriginal land for development and mining purposes.

The plan was to empty the homelands, and this has not changed. However, it was recognised that achieving this would be politically fraught – it would need to be accomplished in a manner that would not off-side mainstream Australia. Removing Aboriginal people from their land and taking control over their communities would need to be presented in a way that Australians would believe it to be to Aboriginal advantage, whatever the tactics.

So began the campaign to discredit the people and to publicly stigmatise Aboriginal men of the Northern Territory

And even in 2009 when the CEO of the Australian Crime Commission, John Lawler, reported that his investigation had shown there were no organised paedophile rings operating in the NT, no formal apology was ever made to the Aboriginal men and their families who were brutally shamed by the false claims.

text-from-the-archivesSixth Anniversary of the Northern Territory Intervention – Striking the Wrong Note Lateral Love Australia‘concerned Australians’ Michele Harris, 21 June 13 Aboriginal advocate Olga Havnen, in her Lowitja O’Donoghue oration has asked a critical question. She asks what has been the psychological impact of the Intervention on Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory. It is surprising that so little attention has been given to this critical, yet in some ways tenuous, link before now.

Even before the Intervention began in June 2007, government had long planned a new approach to the ‘management’ of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory. It was no longer part of government thinking that self-determination and Aboriginal control over land could be allowed to continue. These were the Whitlam notions of 1975 and they were no longer acceptable.

Early inklings of change occurred in 2004 with the management of grants being transferred from communities to Government’s newly established Indigenous Co-ordination Centres. More ominous were the Amendments of 2006 to the Aboriginal Land Rights Act and the memoranda of agreements that followed. Government had made it clear that it wished to re-engage itself more directly in the control of community land through leasing options as well as to open up Aboriginal land for development and mining purposes.

The plan was to empty the homelands, and this has not changed. However, it was recognised that achieving this would be politically fraught – it would need to be accomplished in a manner that would not off-side mainstream Australia. Removing Aboriginal people from their land and taking control over their communities would need to be presented in a way that Australians would believe it to be to Aboriginal advantage, whatever the tactics.

So began the campaign to discredit the people and to publicly stigmatise Aboriginal men of the Northern Territory. Continue reading

December 2, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, history | Leave a comment

United Nations uphold their ruling in favour of Julian Assange

flag-UN.UN rejects UK appeal on Assange, Justice for Assange On 30 November 2016, the United Nations rejected the United Kingdom’s attempt to appeal the UN’s February ruling in favour of Julian Assange.

The decision therefore stands and the UK and Sweden are once again required to immediately put an end to Mr. Assange’s arbitrary detention and afford him monetary compensation.

Earlier this year the United Nations concluded the 16 month long case to which the UK was a party. The UK lost, appealed, and today – lost again. The UN instructed the UK and Sweden to take immediate steps to ensure Mr. Assange’s liberty, protection, and enjoyment of fundamental human rights. No steps have been taken, jeopardising Mr. Assange’s life, health and physical integrity, and undermining the UN system of human rights protection.

Now, the United Nations has found that the United Kingdom’s request for review of this decision (filed on March 24) was inadmissible; the United Kingdom has now reached the end of the road in its attempt to overturn the ruling. As a member of the Security Council and the United Nations Human Rights Council, the United Kingdom must respect its commitment to the United Nations, and release Mr. Assange immediately. Now, more than ever, moral leadership is required; maintaining Mr. Assange’s effective detention (which stands at six years as of 7 December, 2016) will only serve to green light future abuses against defenders of free speech and human rights.

Mr. Assange stated “Now that all appeals are exhausted I expect that the UK and Sweden will comply with their international obligations and set me free. It is an obvious and grotesque injustice to detain someone for six years who hasn’t even been charged with an offence.”….. https://justice4assange.com/?rejects

December 2, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, politics international | Leave a comment

Yingiya Mark Guyula is Confirmed as the Member for Nhulunbuy

text politicsCourt of Disputed Returns Dismissed, Yingiya Mark Guyula  is Confirmed as  the Member for Nhulunbuy
http://www.yingiya.net/news/court-of-disputed-returns-dismissed-yingiya-mark-guyula-is-confirmed-as-the-member-for-nhulunbuy  1 December 2016:

MLA for Nhulunbuy Yingiya Guyula has expressed relief and satisfaction at the dismissal of the Electoral Commissioner’s challenge to his election to the NT Legislative Assembly
by consent orders sought by both parties and made by Justice Southwood today in the Court of Disputed Returns.

““From the moment it was suggested that I might be disqualified from nominating for Parliament
because of my claimed membership of a local government advisory body called the Milingimbi Local Authority,
I have said that I was never a member of that body,” Mr Guyula explained.
“I did not nominate to be a member, I did not consent to being appointed to the Authority by the East Arnhem Regional Council (“EARC”), and I did not even know it had passed a resolution to appoint me.
In fact when I was asked whether I wanted to be nominated and appointed I said no because I was too busy working in remote homeland schools and would not be able to attend regular meetings.”

Mr Guyula’s lawyer Ken Parish explained that his evidence was not disputed, and
was corroborated by evidence from other Milingimbi community members.
Moreover, the Electoral Commission accepted in submissions to Justice Southwood that Mr Guyula had attended a handful of Authority meetings not as a member of that body but as a djirrikaymirri or senior elder of the Guyula Djambarrbuyngu tribe. …

“Mr Guyula said that the most pleasing aspect of today’s result was that he would now be
free to focus completely on providing effective representation for the people of Nhulunbuy
and North East Arnhem Land in Parliament over the next 4 years.
“I stood for Parliament with the aim of helping to create harmony, understanding and mutual respect between Yolngu and Balanda people, laws and institutions.
Today’s Court decision is one small but important step on the road to achieving that aim,” Mr Guyula said.”

December 2, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Northern Territory, politics | Leave a comment

Need to examine Australia’s electricity system – Victorian network fault

Parkinson-Report-Vic network fault causes outages in South Australia, conservatives blame renewables, REneweconomy By  on 1 December 2016 A major fault on the Victorian transmission network overnight caused power outages in South Australia for up to an hour, and forced the Portland smelter in Victoria to also go offline.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) said that at 01:33 AEDT on December 1, the South Australian power system separated from Victoria, due to an unknown issue on the  Victorian transmission network

“The root cause still under investigation,” AEMO said, but added “it is important to note that this event was not related to the Black System event in South Australia on September 28.”

It is believed that the fault lay in an Ausnet feeder line to the Heywood Interconnector in Western Victoria, when a transmission line conductor “hit the ground.”…….

questions have been raised about the decisions by the market operator, which chose to take no preventative measures, and for many underlined the fragility of a centralised grid, and the risks of storms, bushfires and other outages on an elongated network.

It has led to calls for a think about the design of electricity markets, and a push to localised grid and local renewable generation. AGL CEO Andrew Vesey, and many others, said the best security could be offered by more localised generation, and that meant renewable energy, and more storage. http://reneweconomy.com.au/vic-network-fault-causes-outages-in-south-australia-conservatives-blame-renewables-84808/

December 1, 2016 Posted by | energy, Victoria | 1 Comment

Smart planning now will enable reliable renewable electricity

Reliable renewable electricity is possible if we make smart decisions now, The Conversation, December 1, 2016 The Australian government is reviewing our electricity market to make sure it can provide secure and reliable power in a rapidly changing world. Faced with the rise of renewable energy and limits on carbon pollution, The Conversation has asked experts what kind of future awaits the grid…….

Findings from research overseas and in Australia show people are more likely to die during power outages. This is because of the increased risk of accidents, extreme cold or heat, food poisoning and communications breakdowns that can delay emergency responders.

So whatever our electricity grid looks like in the future, it will need to be reliable………

The cost of reliability

Our recent research took a highly conservative approach to testing the cost question.

We assumed that there would be no future improvements in technology from what is currently viable and no future decrease in electricity demand. We also used renewable resource supply (sunshine and wind) from 2010 because this was one of the most challenging years for renewables.

Our findings indeed showed that strategies to manage the variability of renewable resources were effective in a 100% renewable energy mix of rooftop solar, wind, large-scale solar, hydro and biofuels.

In one scenario, for instance, current demand could be matched with supply at a cost of producing electricity around 20c per kilowatt hour (the current levelised cost of coal-fired electricity is 7.8-9.1c per kWh), with overall installed capacity of 162 gigawatts (2.5 to 3 times what is installed today), relatively low transmission losses and with less than 20% wasted electricity.

The interconnected eastern Australian transmission grid would need to be 2.5 times the current size, and would need to be linked to the grids in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Recent developments look positive for renewables

But recent developments mean that the costs and constraints for reliable renewable energy are not likely to be as conservative as our scenario.

Battery storage has benefited from rapid improvements in technology even in the short period since our research in 2015. Significant battery storage could even mean a restructuring of our largely centralised (big power stations) network to a more decentralised one that includes rooftop solar panels and battery storage.

Decentralisation of power generation opens up the possibility of using waste heat from power generation in buildings to reduce power demand (such as tri-generation).

Our research also indicates that investing in more dispatchable technologies can reduce wasted energy, the cost of energy, the grid expansion required, and overall generation capacity.

With the price of renewables decreasing, the transition to renewables may have benefits for power producers and power consumers.

Future constraints and opportunities for renewable energy are uncertain, but we can’t wait for perfect certainty before we plan and act. In Australia we have some of the world’s leading experts in the field with a range of sophisticated modelling capabilities at hand. These assets could be the foundation of collaboration with policymakers to transition to reliable renewable energy.   https://theconversation.com/reliable-renewable-electricity-is-possible-if-we-make-smart-decisions-now-68585

December 1, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Initiative to cope with climate refugees – Platform on Disaster Displacement.

How do we deal with the prospect of increased climate migration? The Conversation, December 1, 2016 On average, one person is displaced each second by a disaster-related hazard. In global terms, that’s about 26 million people a year.

Most move within their own countries, but some are forced across international borders. As climate change continues, more frequent and extreme weather events are expected to put more people in harm’s way.

In the Pacific region alone, this year’s Cyclone Winston was the strongest ever to hit Fiji, destroying whole villages. Last year, Cyclone Pamdisplaced thousands of people in Vanuatu and Tuvalu – more than 70% of Vanuatu’s population were left seeking shelter in the storm’s immediate aftermath.

However, future human catastrophes are not inevitable. The action – or inaction – of governments today will determine whether we see even greater suffering, or whether people movements can be effectively managed.

Human impact

International law does not generally regard people displaced by disasters as refugees, and national responses are ad hoc and unpredictable, resulting in protection gaps.

However, on July 1, a landmark new intergovernmental initiative kicked off: the Platform on Disaster Displacement. Led by the governments of Germany and Bangladesh, and with Australia as a founding member, it addresses how to protect and help people displaced by the impacts of disasters and climate change, one of the biggest humanitarian challenges of the 21st century.

The Platform does not merely envisage responses after disasters strike, but also policy options that governments can implement now to prevent future displacements………

Governments also need to develop more predictable humanitarian and temporary stay arrangements to assist those displaced across a border after a disaster. They also need to ensure that those displaced internally have their needs addressed and rights respected.

Facilitating migration away from at-risk areas can open up opportunities for new livelihoods, skills, knowledge and remittances, at the same time as relieving demographic and resource pressures.

Planned response

Indeed, in this context, the Australian government has acknowledged that the promotion of safe and well-managed migration schemes is a key part of building resilience.

The Kiribati–Australia Nursing Initiative is a good example. Kiribati is a Pacific Island nation that is very vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and which lacks extensive educational and employment opportunities.

The Initiative enabled around 90 young people from Kiribati to train in Australia as nurses, providing them with an opportunity to secure a job in the healthcare sector either in Australia, overseas or back home.

On a larger scale, planned relocations can also help people to move out of harm’s way before disaster strikes, or to relocate to safer locations in the aftermath of a disaster if it’s not safe for them to go home. This requires careful consultation with those affected, ensuring that their rights and interests are safeguarded.

The Platform on Disaster Displacement will implement the Nansen Initiative’s Protection Agenda by building strong partnerships between policymakers, practitioners and experts………  https://theconversation.com/how-do-we-deal-with-the-prospect-of-increased-climate-migration-69614

December 1, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Kimba, South Australia, may rejoin the discussion on hosting a federal nuclear waste dump

poster-flinders-rangesFight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 30 Nov 16  TheNational Radioactive Waste Management Facility project team was invited to Kimba, South Australia, last week by the local group Working for Kimba’s Future.
The team discussed with locals the possibility of Kimba rejoining the process to nominate a site to host the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.
The team will visit Kimba again on December 6, 7 and 8.

Paul Waldon There always a politician behind something like this, you just have to look and you will find.
Steve Dale Kimba is close to the proposed Iron Road project. I’ve seen Jacobs name associated with that project. Cape Hardy port could be used for exporting ore and importing waste. Maybe the Flinders location was used as a distraction for the Federal election to take some of the heat off the local member.
Charlotte Alyce Jane Markwick Wouldn’t surprise me, they’re so calculating and dishonest 
Annette Ellen Skipworth Port hardy is located 60 kilometre north of port lincoln and there is a proposed rail line to the mine about 40 kilometres from the proposed nuclear dump site
 Steve Dale Any national dump in South Australia will be pushed into becoming an international dump – no nuclear dumps in South Australia.
Noel Wauchope Steve Dale The federal dump doesn’t have to be expanded to an international one. It would work to get the idea psychologically accepted that South Australia is THE PLACE for another dump, a global nuclear dump – heck a global nuclear hub – nuclear submarines the full nuclear chain etc.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/#

November 30, 2016 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Liberal and Labor quietly pass law to protect uranium industry from legal challenges

Tweedle-NuclearMajor parties push a losing uranium sector to India at great risk http://www.smh.com.au/comment/major-parties-push-a-losing-uranium-sector-to-india-at-great-risk-20161128-gszld4.html  Dave Sweeney , 29 Nov 16 

With little fuss or fanfare, Australia’s two major parties have this week agreed to fly under the radioactive radar and pass an innocuous enough sounding law with some very far reaching implications.

The Indian Civil Nuclear Transfers Act exists to provide “certainty to Australian uranium producers” who want to sell the controversial product to India.

In 2015 a detailed investigation by Parliament’s treaties committee found there were serious and unresolved nuclear safety, security and governance issues with the proposed sales plan. It also found a high level of legal uncertainty. Continue reading

November 30, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, politics, uranium | Leave a comment

Tiny outback town divided over plan for federal nuclear waste dump

a-cat-CANOne misapprehension in this otherwise excellent article.

The writer assumes that the nuclear waste intended for this  Federal waste dump is “low level”  “medical waste”.  But that is not the real purpose of the dump.  “Medical radioactive waste?” – a  ridiculous idea! The vast majority of medical wastes are very short-lived – radioactivity having decayed in  a matter of hours or  few days. So these wastes are best disposed of near the point of use. (in fact, they are best produced near the point of use, in  anon nuclear cyclotron). No point in trucking them thousands of miles across the continent.
The real purpose of the Hawker area waste dump is to dispose of the nuclear reactor waste that was generated by the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, sent to France and UK for processing, and contracted to return to Australia. The Australian government classes it as “intermediate level”, but France classes it as high level.
The Australian government is lying about the nuclear waste dump – using the false medical argument to make it look healthy and respectable. But that is a fig leaf on the toxic nuclear industry.

Residents of Hawker say it has been incredibly confusing that the proposed intermediate-level facility in their community is being discussed at the same time as plans for future high-level nuclear storage elsewhere.

Despite the government saying that many of the jobs and development opportunities near Hawker will benefit the indigenous people at Yappala, McKenzie says they will continue fighting the proposal to the end.

poster-flinders-rangesAustralian nuclear waste dump divides tiny outback town
“This land is our past, present and future and we don’t want a nuclear waste dump on it.”,
Aljazeera, by , 29 Nov 16 
 Hawker, South Australia – The towering mountains of the Flinders Ranges stand imposingly against the hundreds-of-kilometres-long stretch of flat, desolate country.

While the mountains are named after the British explorer who trekked them in the early 19th century, the indigenous Adnyamathanha people have lived in the region for tens of thousands of years.

This arid and remote part of South Australia has become the unlikely centre of a heated public debate after it was named the preferred site for the country’s first nuclear waste dump. Continue reading

November 30, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

No real action from Federal govt in its new “response plan” on the Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef: Australia’s ‘response plan’ draft contains no new action or funding
‘Confidential’ draft acknowledges coral bleaching but does not make any attempt to address climate change, Guardian, 
 30 Nov 16 The Australian government’s official “response plan” to the worst ever bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef commits it to no new action, pledges no new money and does not make any attempt to address climate change, according to a draft seen by the Guardian.

The Northern Great Barrier Reef Response Plan, marked “draft” and “confidential”, begins by describing the bleaching event as “the worst ever coral bleaching” and attributes its cause to climate change.

It says: “In the aftermath of the bleaching event it is more important than ever to building [sic] the resilience of the reef.” But the recommendations appear to contain no new money for action to help build resilience.

It says the plan will be “nested under the Reef 2050 plan”, which is a document the federal and Queensland governments created to convince Unesco not to include the Great Barrier Reef on its “world heritage in danger” list.

On Thursday the government needs to report to the Unesco world heritage committee on the implementation of the Reef 2050 plan, as well as how it has been funded.

But, in June, the Guardian revealed Australia would also need to report on how it is responding to this year’s bleaching event.

At the time, Tim Badman, the director of the IUCN’s world heritage program, which advises the committee on the state of its natural world heritage properties, told the Guardian: “We would expect that that report from Australia is going to cover all the significant things that have happened since June 2015 and whether there are changes in the picture of the management or the response that is needed … The bleaching event is a new issue to be considered.”

It is not known whether this plan is what the government intends to present to Unesco in response to that requirement.

It was revealed this week the bleaching appeared to kill about 67% of coral in the northern third of the reef. Across the entire reef, early estimates suggested about 22% of coral had died but scientists now say that figure is likely to be higher.

But the government’s plan for dealing with the bleaching, at least in its draft from October, appeared unable to point to any significant new action……..https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/30/great-barrier-reef-australias-response-plan-draft-contains-no-new-action-or-funding

November 30, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Australian solar power technology sold to China, by CSIRO

Solar-Farm-CanberraCSIRO sells concentrated solar power technology to China, The Age, Marcus Strom , 28 Nov 16  The CSIRO on Tuesday will sign a technology licensing agreement with a Chinese solar company that could reap millions of dollars in royalties for the national science and industry organisation. The deal with Beijing-based Thermal Focus will allow the company to bid for business in the burgeoning Chinese market for concentrated solar power using Australian-designed technology.

China aims to build infrastructure that produces 1.4 gigawatts of concentrated solar power by 2018, increasing this to 5GW by 2020.

“To put that into perspective, Australia has 50GW capacity in all its power stations,” said Wes Stein, CSIRO’s chief energy research scientist. John Grimes, of the Australian Solar Council, said: “This is a significant commercial opportunity, perhaps worth hundreds of millions.” CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall said: “This partnership takes our climate mitigation focus to a global stage.”

Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Greg Hunt said: “Australia is a leader in clean energy technology and this partnership is an important step in realising this advantage.”

The partnership will be signed at the Asia-Pacific Solar Research Conference at the Australian National University.  Phil Hearne

Concentrated solar power, or solar thermal, uses mirrors to focus the sun’s energy into a collector. At collected temperatures of 560 degrees, that energy is then stored in molten nitrate salts in large thermal tanks. This can then generate superheated steam to drive turbines for electricity generation for weeks.

CSIRO’s patented technology uses smaller mirrors of about five square metres, known as heliostats, and field-control software to direct the solar energy. The technology was pioneered at the CSIRO’s energy centre in Newcastle. The solar thermal team has grown to more than 30 scientists and engineers.

Mr Stein said: “The big difference with photovoltaic cells is that our technology has storage embedded at a lower cost than batteries.”

A CSIRO spokesman said the licensing agreement covered a technology transfer payment with recurring royalties for the number of heliostats installed……

John Grimes at the Australian Solar Council said: “CSP with storage is the missing link in China’s renewable energy market.” Mr Grimes said what gave this deal credibility was that the Chinese had delivered on their plans in renewables. “Already China has installed 120GW of solar photovoltaic cells,” he said. “It really is a world leader in this field.” Its commitment was partly due to a combination of environmental concerns, cost effectiveness and air-quality pressures in cities, Mr Grimes said.

There are no commercial plants operating concentrated solar thermal technology in Australia. He said this was because government leadership in Australia had been lacking.

However, there are some companies working towards this: Vast SolarSolarReserve and SolarStor, which is backed by former Liberal leader John Hewson.

SolarStor plans to build a concentrated thermal plant near Port Augusta, South Australia, as does US firm SolarReserve.

The solar deal comes a day after an interim report by a Senate committee recommended all Australian coal mines close by 2030.

The retirement of coal-fired power stations report committee is chaired by Greens senator Larissa Waters. Its final report will be handed down on February 1.  http://www.theage.com.au/technology/sci-tech/csiro-sells-concentrated-solar-power-technology-to-china-20161128-gsz8gh.html

November 30, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, solar | Leave a comment

Western Australian town to host large renewable energy grid

solar-wind-hybrid-windlab-qldKalbarri to host what could be Australia’s largest renewable energy grid http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/kalbarri-to-host-what-could-be-australias-largest-renewable-energy-grid-20161128-gsz4n5.html A $10 million renewable energy-powered microgrid which has the potential to be the largest in the country will be developed in Western Australia’s Midwest.

The coastal town of Kalbarri is currently supplied by a 140 kilometre long rural feeder line, which experiences outages due to environmental factors.

The microgrid will combine wind and solar power with a large-scale battery and Energy Minister Mike Nahan said the project will be closely looked at to see how the technology could benefit other towns in WA.

“This is a game changer for regional communities who rely on power from a long feeder line, which is subject to environmental factors that can cause outages,” Dr Nahan said.

“The project, which has the potential to be Australia’s biggest renewable microgrid, will consider all generation options and take into account the community’s desire for a renewable solution.””

Western Power will seek expressions of interest from next month with construction expected to begin in 2017.

November 30, 2016 Posted by | solar, Western Australia, wind | Leave a comment

“Medical” uses do not justify Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, nor a Flinders Ranges nuclear dump

Solid forms of low-level waste include materials that have been contaminated – at Lucas Heights or in hospitals using isotopes, or in industrial firms using isotopes, and so on. Waste of this kind has accumulated at scores of places throughout Australia, but it amounts to only a tenth of all radioactive waste, the rest coming from Lucas Heights

A NEW REACTOR?  It’s the worst possible option! Nuclear Study Group  Sutherland Shire Environment Centre  1998 By R.D. (Bob) Walshe, OAM

Chairman, Sutherland Shire Environment Centre

  • Medical isotopes can be produced by non- reactor technology, such as cyclotrons, which are much cheaper and safer and are powered by electricity. 
  • Claims that a reactor serves Australia’s ‘national interest’ do not withstand scrutiny……

 

‘Medical uses’ don’t justify a new Reactor

Medical isotope production

Life-saving? In fact reactor-produced medicine won’t save many lives, if only because over 98% of it is used in diagnosis, not in life-saving therapy.

The Minister should have spoken more moderately. Reactor-based nuclear medicine is only one among many medical technologies used in diagnosis. The Minister didn’t explain why he was favouring it over all other diagnostic technologies by heavily subsidisingit through a new hugely expensive reactor. Nor, indeed, why a new reactor is needed when the bulk of nuclear medicine consists in the supplying of medical isotopes that can be obtained much less expensively from sources other than a Lucas
Heights reactor? Consider…

  • Most importantly, cyclotrons increasingly produce isotopes and so render a reactor unnecessary (see cyclotrons, p.13); they are cheaper and safer and produce only small quantities of low-level radioactive waste.
  • Nearly all countries in the world import the isotopes they need.
  • ANSTO, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, itself imports them when it shuts the reactor for maintenance.
  • ANSTO’s isotope operations are indeed heavily subsidised, and thus are not really competing economically with those of large overseas suppliers.
  • While ANSTO argues that its most-used isotope technetium-99m can’t be
    imported because it has a currency (technically, a ‘half-life’) of only six
    hours, ANSTO neglects to say that an equally effective, longer-lived
    isotope, molybdenum-99, is widely transported all around the world.

So, by using two cheaper alternatives – importation of some isotopes and production of others in cyclotrons – Australia would save itself the huge expense of this new reactor. It’s as simple as that. And safer too……

ANSTO has been stockpiling such waste for 40 years, and there it sits at Lucas Heights….

Not that ANSTO and the Federal Government haven’t tried to get rid of all this embarrassing waste. They have continually invited any and every state government to set up a dump-site (a ‘repository’) for it. But until 1998, no government would have it.

Only in February of 1998 did one government, that of economically troubled South Australia, hesitantly indicate it might accept it, at a site it considers to be ‘remote’ – but Aboriginal communities have expressed opposition. If established, such a dump would soon become ANSTO’s dump for all levels of its waste.

The long failure of the Federal Government to find a remote dump-site for radioactive waste is conclusive proof – though proof is surely not needed – of the dangerous nature of nuclear waste. So why go on creating such waste? No community wants to be saddled with the burden Sutherland Shire has carried for 40 years.

Three ‘levels’ of waste – and all dangerous

There are three general categories of radioactive waste. First, the high-level kind, chiefly the highly radioactive spent fuel rods; second, intermediate-level waste, such as results from reprocessing of spent fuel rods; third, low-level waste, such as the continual gaseous and liquid discharges from nuclear plants, and contaminated materials like gloves and instruments.

But ANSTO chooses not to follow this high-intermediate-low classification, arguing that high-level waste comes only from nuclear power-generating reactors, and since Australia’s reactor is the ‘research’ kind, its operation results only in intermediate-level and low-level waste. This is a semantic quibble which puts ANSTO at odds with US and Canadian terminology.

More than 1600 of the spent fuel rods, high – level waste, have accumulated at Lucas Heights in the past 40 years. ….. the resulting waste will be  returned to Australia as ‘intermediate-level waste’, which will again constitute a problem here. Such shipments are never trouble-free: they involve safety, health and environment risks; they spark anti-nuclear protest along the route, resistance from residents around the destinations, and charges of unethical behaviour for dumping what should be one’s own responsibility onto others…. Continue reading

November 28, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Why dump nuclear reactor waste in Flinders Ranges? Lucas Heights is the best place.

poster-flinders-ranges

Regina McKenzie to Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA November 26 

If any thing does go wrong, which they say won’t, they have all the expert in one place …… why then do they want to put it in remote area if its so safe ? why is it such a no no for the urban sprawl? if it is so safe let Sydney keep it, Lucas Heights makes the waste, then they can keep it, don’t go destroying my cultural landscape, don’t mentally abuse my region with “oh its hospital waste and its so safe, you or a relative have needed cancer treatment and you should take it” NO is a very simple word ….. please some one translate to the feds NO
Steve Dale Jacobs wrote the waste plan for the Federal government. They want the government to create a dump that could potentially take the vitrified waste from Sellafield as well – if they could do this, Jacobs and their “partners” would save billions. If Australia does have a nuclear dump, it needs to well away from railway lines and ports to ensure some future government doesn’t turn it into an international high level waste dump. Lucas Heights is still the best choice. How far is Wallerberdina from the railway line?

November 27, 2016 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Cyclotrons for medical isotopes needed in other States, not monopolised by ANSTO in Sydney

Medical isotope productionTrisha Dee  Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 28 Nov 16 ANSTO want to pick up where Canada has stepped off. Canada used to provide a significant part of the world’s radioactive isotopes. Now Australia wants to get in on this dying industry. They need to make room at Lucas Heights to do so. Hence their push to bury their toxic waste in the outback. There is no strong case for co-location.
 Noel Wauchope . The Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission recommended expanding a cyclotron industry in South Australia, to develop medical radioisotopes.
  Steve Dale   I heard that our Cyclotron at SAHMRI could produce even more of the diagnostic products locally – but are prevented from doing so by ANSTO. When Lucas Heights new reactor breaks down for an extended time, Australia will be wishing we put our money into a nationwide network of Cyclotrons https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/permalink/383529301991886/?comment_id=383790921965724

November 27, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, South Australia | Leave a comment