Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

The ‘climate election’ we need to have

 https://www.foe.org.au/the_climate_election_we_need_to_have 9 May 22, As pre polling opens for the 2022 federal election, climate change and the environment have been largely missing from the mainstream debate.

Yet what happens at this election will impact climate and environment, in a time where science makes it abundantly clear that we don’t have time to waste if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Context

Why does climate and environment matter when there are so many pressing immediate issues, like the cost of living, health and employment?

  • Global monthly average carbon dioxide (CO2) levels have reached above 420 parts per million (ppm) for the first time on record.
  • Global temperatures have risen about 1C since 1900, overwhelmingly due to greenhouse gas emissions. In Australia, the average increase has been 1.4C. It has been linked to unprecedented bushfires, rainfall events that have caused catastrophic flooding and four mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef since 2016.
  • There is scientific consensus about the risk of irreversible climate impacts if 1.5C of warming is passed for even a short period of time.
  • Since colonisation, more than 100 native species have been made extinct and more than 1,900 Australian animals, plants and ecological communities are at risk of extinction.
  • According to the Vote Compass surveys, climate change is the top issue for voters.

How do the parties rate on climate?

A key issue to look for in judging how seriously political parties take climate change is to look for their promised emission reduction targets.

The emission cuts the four major parties promise for 2030 are:

  • Greens:  75%
  • Labor:  43%
  • Coalition (Liberal/ National):  26-28%

Recent research by Climate Analytics found neither major party had emissions reduction goals that lived up to the commitment that was made in the landmark 2015 Paris agreement, and strengthened in last year’s Glasgow climate pact, to aim to limit heating to as close as possible to 1.5C.

For reference, the Climate Analytics analysis found that Australia should cut its emissions by 57% by 2030 to be compatible with a 1.5C heating goal.

LIBERAL NATIONAL COALITION

According to analysis by Climate Analytics, the Morrison government’s climate change commitments are consistent with more than 3C of global heating, bordering on 4C, a level that would lead to catastrophic damage across the planet.

The Liberal’s environment and energy policies can be found here.

The Nationals don’t have a specific policy covering climate change. Climate change is not one of the Nationals top five priorities. You can find their policies here.

THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

The ALP has reaffirmed its plans to cut Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 45% on 2005 levels by 2030, and ensure 50% of the nation’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2030. Additionally, it has announced a long term target of net zero greenhouse gas pollution by 2050.

Labor’s climate target was found to be consistent with about 2C of heating above pre-industrial levels. Both would be expected to lead to the loss of tropical coral reefs, including the Great Barrier Reef, and a significant rise in the number of extreme heat events in Australia, assuming other countries took equivalent action.

The ALP’s climate platform can be found here.

The ALP’s environment policies can be found here.

THE AUSTRALIAN GREENS

The Greens say Australia should be cutting by 75% by 2030.

The Greens climate platform is available here.

THE CLIMATE INDEPENDENTS

The ‘teal’ independents largely support a climate bill proposed by Zali Steggall that includes a 60% target.

There are more than 22 candidates covered under the Climate 200 umbrella. They are self described as being ‘pro-climate, pro-integrity and pro-gender-equity Independent candidates’.  

You can details on them, and their individual policies, here.

THE MICRO PARTIES

Be aware that many of the micro parties are deeply anti environment and opposed to government taking meaningful action on climate change. These include


  • Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
     (PHON is a climate change denialist party)
  • Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party
  • The Liberal Democrats (who advocate for the deployment of nuclear power)
  • Far right independents like those associated with ‘Australia One’ who have been focusing on harvesting anti-vaccine-mandate and anti-lockdown sentiment. The Australian Federation Party is conservative, anti-public health, and has no formal climate, energy, environment policies. There are many candidates running on a ‘Freedom platform’ against public health orders and vaccination mandates. Most of them have no climate or environment policies. This is a good (Melbourne focused) assessment of the policies of many micro parties.

Most of these groups hold climate denier/ anti environment positions. If you are considering voting for them, we urge you to check their policies on climate, energy and environment.

Scorecards

Friends of the Earth has not produced a scorecard for this election. Here are some links to other groups assessments.

Vote Climate. Available here.

Climate and Health Alliance. Available here.

Australian Religious Response to Climate Change. Available here.

May 9, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Future of Antarctica’s Larsen C ice-shelf will have consequences for sea level rise world-wide

 Scientists know the surface of the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica is
melting, making it vulnerable to collapse. For the first time, we can rank
the most important causes of melting over the recent past.

In a new two-part paper in Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, we show how
the amount of energy reaching the ice from the sun is the dominant factor,
followed by warm winds, clouds and weather patterns. These drivers of
melting can interact and overlap to reinforce or counteract each other, so
it is a complex picture.

Understanding what is causing melting over Larsen
C is vital as it will help predict the future of the ice shelf, which will
have knock-on consequences for sea levels worldwide. In 2002, Larsen C’s
neighbouring ice shelf, Larsen B, experienced melting so severe that it
eventually caused the shelf to collapse completely. Larsen C restrains
glaciers that contain enough ice to raise global sea levels by around 22mm. 

Carbon Brief 14th April 2022 https://www.carbonbrief.org/guest-post-ranking-the-reasons-why-the-larsen-c-ice-shelf-is-melting

April 21, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Antarctic heat – a horrifying reminder of the future with global heating

“Shocking,” said the Met Office head; “bonkers,” according to an Antarctic researcher. The heat at both ends of the planet this week has scientists straining for adjectives. 40°C above normal in Antarctica,
30°C hotter than usual in the Arctic.

With temperatures so much above anything on record, scientists had to confirm that, no, it isn’t a typo:
this is really happening.

Last week, the Conger ice shelf, which sits off the East Antarctic coast and is around 1,200 square kilometers across, collapsed completely. Ice sheets hold back the flow of ice into the sea.
“If they collapse, then ice flow from inland accelerates and leads to sea level rise,” said Andrew Mackintosh, a scientist at Monash University in Australia.

A natural reaction to such news is to fear the ice sheets might collapse entirely. If the West Antarctic ice sheet collapsed into theocean, global sea-levels could rise several metres – much faster and
further than expected – swamping coastal cities. That is not likely to happen soon, but the polar heat is a horrifying reminder of the stakes involved.

 Independent 25th March 2022

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/opinion/higher-food-prices-climate-crisis-b2043988.html

March 28, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Gigantic Antarctic ice shelf collapses into the sea

An ice shelf about the size of Rome has completely collapsed in EastnnAntarctica within days of record high temperatures, according to satellite data. The Conger ice shelf, which had an approximate surface area of 1,200 sq km, collapsed around 15 March, scientists said on Friday.

East Antarctica saw unusually high temperatures last week, with Concordia station hitting a record temperature of -11.8C on 18 March, more than 40C warmer than seasonal norms. The record temperatures were the result of an atmospheric river that trapped heat over the continent.

 Guardian 25th March 2022

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/25/satellite-data-shows-entire-conger-ice-shelf-has-collapsed-in-antarctica

March 28, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Temperatures in eastern Antarctica are 28 degrees Celsius warmer than usual


Temperatures in eastern Antarctica are 70 degrees warmer than usual 
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/e2-wire/598842-temperatures-in-eastern-antarctica-are-70-degrees-warmer BY SARAKSHI RAI – 03/18/22  

Eastern Antarctica on Friday recorded temperatures that are 70 degrees higher than normal for this time of the year, The Washington Post reported

Temperatures in the eastern part of the continent have soared 50 to 90 degrees above normal, raising concern from the scientific community.

The Post reported that instead of temperatures being between minus 50 and minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit, they’ve been closer to zero or 10 degrees Fahrenheit, which is considered to be a massive heat wave by Antarctic standards.

BY SARAKSHI RAI – 03/18/22  

TheHill.com

Temperatures in eastern Antarctica are 70 degrees warmer than usual

BY SARAKSHI RAI – 03/18/22 06:28 PM EDT 818

Temperatures in eastern Antarctica are 70 degrees warmer than usual

© istock

Eastern Antarctica on Friday recorded temperatures that are 70 degrees higher than normal for this time of the year, The Washington Post reported

Temperatures in the eastern part of the continent have soared 50 to 90 degrees above normal, raising concern from the scientific community.

The Post reported that instead of temperatures being between minus 50 and minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit, they’ve been closer to zero or 10 degrees Fahrenheit, which is considered to be a massive heat wave by Antarctic standards.

“In about 65 record years in Vostok, between March and October, values above -30°C were never observed,” climate journalist Stefano Di Battista told the news outlet in an email.

A researcher studying polar meteorology at the Université Grenoble Alpes Dr. Jonathan Wille also tweeted that this heatwave was “never supposed to happen.”

March marks the beginning of autumn in Antarctica, when temperatures usually tend to fall, The Post noted. 

Willie tweeted that the warmer than usual conditions over Antarctica were caused by an extreme weather system.

“[T]his is not something we’ve seen before,” he said. “This moisture is the reason why the temperatures have gotten just so high,” he told The Post.

March 21, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Australian government’s bungling incompetence over the record floods in Queensland and New South Wales

Government incompetence and lack of planning: it never rains but it pours

Michael West Media, By Callum Foote|March 9, 2022  The skies opened and the rains fell, hammering communities up and down the east coast. So how good is Australia in another time of tragedy? An FOI reveals that the government was warned about the increased likelihood of floods in November last year, and failed to properly prepare for the disaster, writes Callum Foote.

Better late than never. Two weeks into the floods that have devastated Queensland and NSW, Scott Morrison has announced a state of emergency. If only it was a problem of tardiness. In fact, the government knew for three months that this catastrophe was coming, and failed to act.

The Department of Home Affairs was given a briefing by the Director-General Emergency Management Australia, Joe Buffone, on November 5 warning that widespread flooding, severe storms and tropical cyclones are “more likely” than previous decades.

All the premiers and the PM were given this briefing, yet even today we still have Morrison talking about a once in 500-year event. Deputy PM and Minister for Infrastructure, Barnaby Joyce, has said that this is a “one in 3500 years” event and the New South Wales premier, Dominic Perrottet described the torrential rain in the north of the state as a “one-in-1000-year event”.

The presentation, released by the Department of Home Affairs under a freedom of information request by independent Senator Rex Patrick, also pointed to the effects of the La Nina weather pattern and a negative Indian Ocean Diapol (IOD) which both contribute to a wetter than average northern Australia………….

The report did not forecast regional hazards into autumn, but its mid-late summer predictions were that the eastern seaboard would experience flooding as a result of tropical cycles and widespread rain.

MWM has put questions to the Department of Home Affairs about what steps it took to prepare Australians for these hazards. We have not yet received a reply.

The agency responsible for addressing emergencies such as the current floods is the National Recovery and Resilience Agency. The NRRA’s $4.7 Emergency Response Fund has up to $50 million set aside to spend on disaster preparedness measures every year. Until Labor senator Murray Watt challenged Shane Stone, the co-ordinator general of the NRRA, in Senate estimates last year for not spending a cent of this money set aside, measures had not been taken.

Fifty million dollars was given out to fund flood mitigation infrastructure last May under the National Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Program 20-21. None of the three projects funded in Queensland was in the state’s south.

Applications for the 2021-22 program closed on February 4 and it has not announced any funding.

When did authorities know flooding was occurring?

The NRRA is housed within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and overseen by the Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, currently Bridget McKenzie.

The first reports of severe storms and flooding in South-East Queensland occurred on February 1,  with the first reports of flooding in NSW occurring on February 11. 

Morrison first issued a statement of support to the victims of the Queensland floods on February 27, almost a full month after the floods began. He followed it up the following day to include NSW flood victims also.

McKenzie addressed the floods on February 15, offering “disaster assistance” to Queensland Local Government Areas affected by the ongoing floods. 

What money is on offer now?

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment provides one-off financial assistance to eligible Australians adversely affected by the floods in Queensland and NSW. The rate is $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child…………………….

Shane Stone: disaster fighter

Shane Stone stepped into the role of Coordinator-General of the super-agency after serving as coordinator-general of one of its subordinates, the former National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency.

Labor has called on Stone to resign over comments appearing to blame people who “want to live among the gum trees” for the cost of recovering from catastrophic floods.

Failure to spend

Watt uncovered in Senate Estimates late last month that zero-funding had been allocated to the now $4.7 billion Emergency Response Fund. This was despite the fund being cleared to allocate up to $50 million a year on preventive measures such as flood barriers, cyclone shelters and bushfire prevention works.

It appears from answers given to questions asked by MWM by an NRRA media spokesperson that since then, $50 million has been allocated to build flood mitigation infrastructure.

As coordinator-general. Stone also has considerable influence on the unutilised $4.7 billion Emergency Response Fund as the Ministers funding decisions are made following Stone’s advice. pours  https://www.michaelwest.com.au/government-incompetence-and-lack-of-planning-it-never-rains-but-it-pour

March 10, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Australia ‘in the climate cross-hairs’: new IPCC report outlines dramatic escalation of climate crisis 

THE RELEASE of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report has clearly shown the clock is ticking on climate, with impacts rapidly accelerating around the globe and Australia is squarely in the cross-hairs.

The report, compiled by almost 300 scientists across 67 countries, clearly spells out that climate change is already dramatically altering ecosystems, affecting our physical and mental health, water security and food production, cities and infrastructure, and more.

Serious risks to Australia include irreversible loss of coral reefs, loss of alpine species, collapse of forests in southern Australia, loss of kelp forests, sea-level rise, an increase in severe fire weather days and a dramatic increase in fatal heatwaves. 

The central message of the IPCC report is clear: governments must rally to drastically cut emissions and cease the extraction and burning of fossil fuels this decade. Every fraction of a degree of warming saved, will be counted in lives saved. 

Professor Will Steffen, former IPCC report author, Climate Councillor, climate change expert and ANU Emeritus Professor said: 

“For most Australians, this report is long, technical and at times dry. But its message is anything but. We are being harmed by climate change now, and the future is potentially terrifying.”

”We are seeing climate change play out in real time with unprecedented rainfall and flooding taking a horrible toll on communities in QLD and NSW. These events will only get worse if we don’t act now to reduce emissions.”

Climate Council’s Director of Research Dr Simon Bradshaw said: 

“Australia is one of the most vulnerable developed countries in the world. Right now, communities in Southeast Queensland and Northern NSW are being pummelled by extraordinarily intense rainfall and flooding. These communities have hardly had time to recover from past disasters and again they’re facing profound heartbreak and loss.”

“Increasingly, we see that communities are being hit with one disaster after another, like drought followed by fire, followed by flood. The compounding effect of these disasters is taking a heavy toll.

“The report is very clear: any further delay in global action will miss the brief and closing window to secure a liveable future.” 

Climate Councillor, former IPCC author and Distinguished Professor of Biology at Macquarie University, Professor Lesley Hughes said:

“Right now, inadequate global action means the Earth is heading towards catastrophic warming of over 2°C. Governments must slash emissions this decade and rapidly transition away from burning fossil fuels.

If all countries copied Australia’s dangerously weak response, we would be headed for warming in excess of 3°C – far beyond anything it is possible to adapt to.”

Greg Mullins, Climate Councillor, former Commissioner, Fire and Rescue NSW and founder of Emergency Leaders for Climate Action (ELCA) said: 

“The latest IPCC report spells out a frightening fire future that demands we cut our emissions swiftly and urgently this decade.” 

“It is offensive to me, other firefighters and Australians dealing with climate change, that we are not only the worst climate performer out of all developed countries but we have a federal government that is actively making the problem worse by funding new fossil fuel developments.”

Nicki Hutley, Climate Councillor, leading economist and former Partner at Deloitte Access Economics said: 

“The IPCC report makes it clear that Australia’s economy faces significant and growing economic challenges due to climate change. However, it is also clear that urgent emission reductions through renewable energy and new clean industries could see us avoid the worst financial shocks and bring about incredible economic opportunities, especially for our regions.” 

“Anyone who thinks climate action is “not a race” has obviously not read this report. The first movers in the new industrial revolution will take first, second and third prize. Sadly for Australia, the Morrison Government is moving at a snail’s pace.”

Cheryl Durrant, Climate Councillor and former director of preparedness and mobilisation at the Australian Department of Defence said: 

“Climate change is already undermining the security of Australia and our region. Threats to food and water security, to health, and to critical supply chains, are escalating fast. More and more people are at risk of displacement. If our government cares about the safety and security of our region and beyond, then it must get serious about tackling the climate crisis.”

Dr Kate Charlesworth, Climate Councillor and public health physician said: 

“The IPCC report shows that the climate crisis is a health crisis. What we do in the next decade will be measured in Australian lives. Failing to act will mean many more lives lost from dangerous heat, drought, floods and bushfires.” 

For interviews please contact Brianna Hudson on 0455 238 875 or Jane Gardner on 0438 130 905. 

The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community.

For further information, go to: climatecouncil.org.au

Or follow us on social media: facebook.com/climatecouncil and twitter.com/climatecouncil

March 1, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Australians issued stark warning to change or risk, The Australian way of life could soon be at risk if greater action is not taken to stop one thing, according to a new report.

News.com.au 8 Feb 22, Courtney Gould   Australians may soon be unable to play sports outside if temperatures continue to rise, experts have warned.

It’s just one of the grim scenarios coming out of the release of the latest cycle of reporting from the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The report, released in the shadow of major flooding across Queensland and NSW, said while actions to reduce climate risks had increased worldwide, they fell well short of what was required.

“Successful adaptation requires urgent, more ambitious and accelerated action and, at the same time, rapid and deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions,” the report said.

But as action stalls, many species – including human beings – are reaching their limits in their ability to adapt to climate change.

Report co-author and IPCC vice chair Mark Howden said coral reefs were just one well-documented example.

However, he warned Australians could soon also be reaching their own physiological limits.

“Our bodies can cope with hot, hot temperatures outside up to a point,” Professor Howden said.

“But then we can’t do that without some sort of active cooling. If you get very high temperatures and humidity, you either have to pull back on your exercise or you overheat. 

……….. …… Professor Howden said a major concern was how emissions would track as the world bounced back from Covid.

But he conceded that while the government knew exactly what it needed to do, it was a matter of political will.

“Climate change is here. In Australia it’s mostly negative, and it really matters to pretty much everything we value here in Australia,” Professor Howden said.

“Listen to the people … 90 per cent of Australians want more action on climate change.

“If there was any other issue that had 90 per cent of people wanting more action on it, you’d have the politicians running for the policy development process immediately.

“Yet we don’t see that … climate change should not be a political issue.”

March 1, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

UN warns Australia in danger of increased wildfires

Independent Australia By Sue Arnold | 28 February 2022,

By Sue Arnold | 28 February 2022, Australia can expect an increase in catastrophic wildfires according to a recently released UN report entitled Spreading like wildfire: The rising threat of extraordinary landscape fires.  

Wildfires are now a global issue, with predictions of exponential increases as a result of climate change, poor land-use planning and a lack of focus on mitigation strategies.

The report makes from grim reading. Over 50 experts from research institutions, government agencies and international organisations from around the globe contributed to the report.

No estimate has been made of the economic cost of wildfires by governments. A U.S. study mentioned in the UN report estimates that the annual economic burden of wildfire to be between $71.1 billion–$347.8 billion (AU$98.3 billion–$480.8 billion).

Costs to human lives exposed to wildfire smoke are growing exponentially. The Lancet journal estimates the annual mortality as a result of exposure resulted in 30,000 deaths across 43 countries.

According to the UN study, the extreme weather conditions that were potentially a leading cause of the Australian wildfires in 2019/2020 were shown to be 30 per cent more likely to have occurred because of climate change.

Scientists involved predict that by the end of the century, the probability of wildfires like the 2019/2020 fires will likely increase by 31-59 per cent in a given year……………………………

Australia is very similar to the U.S. in that most of the spending goes on helicopters, firefighters, efforts to put out the fires. It’s often not a good use of resources; other integrated management approaches can be more successful. ………….

IA asked Professor Baker to comment on the many studies which indicate logging of forests raises the risk of more wildfires:

‘When you log, you reduce resilience.’

Plantations are a focus of the report. Victoria and South Australia have significant numbers of eucalypt plantations, many burned incinerating thousands of animals. According to the fire experts, the increased availability of fuel and extensive continuous areas allows fire to spread rapidly and unconstrained. Accumulation of flammable fuels in monoculture plantations, plus extended droughts due to climate change, generate increasingly frequent conditions to high intensity forest fires………………

The International Association of Wildland Fire will hold a Fire and climate: issues and futures conference in Melbourne in June 2022 focused on better preparation and response to ‘this formidable challenge in the new decade’ https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/un-warns-australia-in-danger-of-increased-wildfires,16098

February 28, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Flooding the planned nuclear waste dump area

Kimba-Rusall Rd 22 February 22

Flooding the Dump Michele Madigan, Sunday Mail, 6 Feb 22,

Well surely that has settled the matter- the Kimba region is a totally unsuitable site for where the federal government is proposing to dumping the nation’s highest-level radioactive waste.

 Just out of Kimba, at Buckleboo where the proposed Napandee site actually is, neighbours recorded 185 mm in just the first recent downpour.  Some areas received up to 300mm in two days. The Kimba mayor reported ‘massive damage to our roads and general infrastructure.’

 The federal government is planning to transport this dangerous radioactive waste half way across the country to simply store it above ground for at least 100 years. The storage sheds will be designed with water outlets to leak.

 Despite government assurances, 90% of the waste, measured by radioactivity, is intermediate level waste – toxic for an unimaginable 10,000 years.

 In these times of galloping climate change it is certainly optimistic to be talking about ‘once in 100 years’ downpours. How much safer to keep it where it is manufactured in ANSTO’s solid buildings in Lucas Heights outer Sydney, with its on-site nuclear experts and highest-level security.(added ? )

February 7, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Floods at Kimba: serious doubts that the Australian government has a plan for nuclear waste dump vulnerable to flooding

NUCLEAR WASTE AND FLOODS

Nuclear waste and floods

1. Preventing problems at a nuclear waste dump/store from flooding should be manageable, if and only if project management oversight and regulation is up to the task.

There are serious questions about whether management and regulation of the Australian government’s proposed national nuclear waste dump/store at Kimba in SA would be adequate. The most relevant case study in Australia is the flawed ‘clean up’ of the Maralinga nuclear test site in the late 1990s, overseen by the federal government. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. There has been no honesty or transparency about the failures at Maralinga, no attempt to learn from mistakes. Successive governments have simply lied about the problems and tried to cover them up. Expect the same at Kimba. https://nuclear.foe.org.au/flawed-clean-up-of-maralinga/


2. The proposed Kimba dump will be designed to leak.
 Either barriers prevent leakage, in which case there is a risk of accumulation of infiltrated water resulting in corrosion of waste drums and other such problems. Or, as is the case with the Kimba proposal, there will be water outlets, i.e. it is designed to leak.

3. Even with the expertise and resources available to ANSTO, and the importance of safely managing irradiated/spent nuclear fuel, water infiltration has been a problem at Lucas Heights. In early 1998, it was revealed that “airtight” spent fuel storage canisters had been infiltrated by water – 90 litres in one case – and corrosion had resulted. When canisters were retrieved for closer inspection, three accidents took place (2/3/98, 13/8/98, 1/2/99), all of them involving the dropping of canisters containing spent fuel while trying to transport them from the ‘dry storage’ site to another part of the Lucas Heights site. The public may never have learnt about those accidents if not for the fact that an ANSTO whistleblower told the local press. One of those accidents (1/2/99) subjected four ANSTO staff members to small radiation doses (up to 0.5 mSv).

4. One example of flooding compromising nuclear waste: Flooding at Nine Mile Point. In July 1981, water flooded the Radwaste Processing Building containing highly radioactive waste for Unit 1 at the Nine Mile Point nuclear plant in upstate New York. The flood tipped over 55-gallon metal drums filled with highly radioactive material. The spilled contents contaminated the building’s basement such that workers would receive a lethal radiation dose in about an hour. The Unit 1 reactor had been shut down for over two years and was receiving heightened oversight attention when the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) investigated the matter. But the NRC was reacting to a television news report about the hazardous condition rather than acting upon its own oversight efforts. The media spotlight resulted in this long over-looked hazard finally being remedied. https://allthingsnuclear.org/dlochbaum/flooding-at-nine-mile-point

5. Another example: Federal health officials agree radioactive waste in St. Louis area may be linked to cancer. The US government confirms some people in the St. Louis area may have a higher risk of getting cancer. A recent health report found some residents who grew up in areas contaminated by radioactive waste decades ago may have increased risk for bone and lung cancers, among other types of the disease. The assessment was conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tens of thousands of radioactive waste barrels, many stacked and left open to the elements, contaminated the soil and nearby Coldwater Creek which sometimes flooded the park next to people’s homes. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/radioactive-waste-cancer-federal-health-officials-acknowledge-possible-link/

January 31, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Kimba flooding: Australian government must immediately abort nuclear waste dump project.

Peter Remta 25 Jan 22, Is this where the federal government should be placing its proposed above ground nuclear waste management facility?

There is no doubt that the sever flooding caused by the heavy rains in South Australia which included the Kimba district is a serious and essential reason for immediately aborting the proposed nuclear
waste management facility at Napandee farm.

From expert advice it is quite clear that Kimba as a whole – and not just Napandee – is far too dangerous to be an installation for theholding of nuclear waste particularly as the results of the present flooding may take up to ten years to overcome without any further flooding

This is especially the case as nuclear isotopes are dispersed and travel freely in water which can affect and contaminate all the surrounding land for many centuries making it completely unusable.

The federal government as the proponent of the Kimba nuclear waste facility cannot deny knowledge of floods and fires as risks for the purposes of the safety requirements for nuclear waste in Australia

As a result of advice by overseas experts that these two major risks are far more pertinent to Australia than other countries with nuclear waste the regulatory bodies should or must include these risks
within the Australian Radioactive Waste Management Framework and other applicable prescriptions and and standards for the longterm management of Australia’s radioactive waste including the storage or disposal of this waste at suitably sited facilities

I informed the officer at ARPANSA in charge of the Kimba facility development about formal inclusion of these risk and the requirement for the long overdue start of the safety case and her response was:

‘I think that it is not necessary at this stage however will take you up on the offer when we feel is the right time’

In view of the drastic situation that has now developed it is it is imperative that the federal government provides immediate funding to the Kimba community for an independent assessment and review of the government’s proposals



January 25, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Massive flooding in Kimba district, – the Agricultural (no it’s now the Nuclear Waste) Town of the Year.

Flooding in Kimba district causes a decade’s worth of damage and communities are ‘completely shut off’

ABC North and West SA / By Declan GoochBrooke Neindorf, and Marcus Wilson, 23 Jan 22, V

Flooding on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula has caused “massive, massive damage” to roads and infrastructure and left communities completely isolated.

Key points:

  • Some parts of the Kimba district received 300mm of rain over the weekend
  • The mayor says there has been “massive” damage to infrastructure
  • A local farmer says his property looks like “channel country”

The Kimba district was among the hardest hit by the weekend’s destructive rain, which battered most of regional South Australia.

Mayor Dean Johnson said some areas received up to 300mm throughout Friday and Saturday.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the 160mm officially recorded in the 24 hours to 9am on Saturday was the most rain in a day ever documented there.

“It’s done massive, massive damage to our roads and general infrastructure,” Cr Johnson said.

“It will be some years and perhaps even a decade before we get to repair all of this, I think.”

“There are entire roads and sections of roads that have just been swept away by rivers of water. I can’t paint a much better picture than that. Just cliff edges where there used to be a road.”

He said many of the roads that had been damaged or destroyed were major roads, and the Kimba district was cut off from most directions.

“We’re completely shut off from the rest of the world at the moment. The road to the airport has completely washed away,” Cr Johnson said.

It is one of several regions that have been isolated by floodwater, with authorities scrambling to repair the Olympic Dam Highway that has cut off access to Roxby Downs.

‘You can mistake us for being in channel country at the moment’

Buckleboo, about 30 kilometres from Kimba, was another of the hardest-hit areas and also received its most rain ever recorded in a day.

Local farmer Tristan Baldock said his property had been transformed.

“You can mistake us for being in channel country at the moment, so we’ve got a historic watercourse that’s probably extending 20 kilometres through our property with a series of lagoons,” Mr Baldock said. ……

Will get through’

Cr Johnson said he was confident the region would recover. “The Agricultural Town of the Year is set up for a pretty good growing season next year, I think.”
more https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-24/kimba-floods-eyre-peninsula-damage-isolated-roads-closed/100777084#:~:text=%22It’s%20done%20massive%2C%20massive%20damage,infrastructure%2C%22%20Cr%20Johnson%20said.&text=He%20said%20many%20of%20the,the%20world%20at%20the%20moment.

January 25, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Flooding in South Australia includes Kimba- what about the nuclear dump sit? and what impact on uranium tailings dams?

This Channel 7 video report mentions Kimba as having had record rain. The ABC report mentions several towns with record rain, but does not mention Kimba

I wonder how this obviously flood-prone area could be selected a the nation’s nuclear waste dump site.

I also wonder how Olympic Dam’s huge dams of radioactive tailings are faring in this flood situation.

This Channel 7 video report mentions Kimba as having had record rain. The ABC report mentions several towns with record rain, but does not mention Kimba

I wonder how this obviously flood-prone area could be selected a the nation’s nuclear waste dump site.

Roads destroyed and homes flooded as rain cuts off towns in South Australia’s north | 7NEWS, 23 Jan 22,

Floodwaters submerge parts of outback SA as rain washes away highway and cars,  ABC 23 Jan 22, 

Key points:

  • Emergency crews have rescued people trapped by floodwaters
  • A section of the Olympic Dam Highway was washed away, blocking access between Roxby Downs and Woomera
  • The bureau said several spots had recorded “all-time” highest rainfall totals over 24 hours

Entire towns in the state’s Far North are cut off after record-breaking rain. The SES has been flat out responding to hundreds of calls for help, as the heavens opened, destroying roads and inundating homes.

Rescue crews have been kept busy by outback floodwaters and record-breaking rains, which have continued to cause havoc in South Australia’s north and west, washing away roads as well as cars.

The weather bureau said some locations had set “all-time records” in terms of rainfall, while social media is awash with photos and videos of inundated highways. 

Several people were rescued by the State Emergency Service (SES) after becoming trapped by floodwaters — including one who was swept 80 metres downstream and waited on top of his semi-submerged car for “at least four hours” as crews travelled to his remote location.

An entire section of the Olympic Dam Highway was also eroded between Pimba and Woomera, cutting off access from Roxby Downs………………………………………….  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-23/sa-rain-and-floods-wash-away-outback-roads/100776030

January 24, 2022 Posted by | climate change - global warming, safety, South Australia, uranium | Leave a comment

‘Everything about the Gulf of St. Lawrence was warmer in 2021’: federal scientist


‘Everything about the Gulf of St. Lawrence was warmer in 2021’: federal scientist
Warming ocean temperatures — especially in deep water — set more records in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2021, according to climate data released Tuesday by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

January 22, 2022 Posted by | climate change - global warming, South Australia | Leave a comment