Australian news, and some related international items

Australian government’s nuclear waste plans unacceptable – Dr Margaret Beavis

February 25, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, health | Leave a comment

Why did ANSTO shut down National Medical Cyclotron, that made medical isotopes without nuclear waste?

Greg Phillips.  Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch, 13 Jan 2021,
Why did the “National Medical Cyclotron” (30MeV) get snuffed out after only 20 years? It was our only way of making Iodine123 here in Australia. Canada has been keeping its giant cyclotron (520MeV) going for over 40 years – and going strong.
Our National Medical Cyclotron was commissioned in 1990 and decommissioned in 2010 (the Opal reactor was officially opened in 2007 – perhaps that’s a clue). During this pandemic we have had to import Iodine123 at great expense from Japan. I get the feeling that ANSTOs management has been more interested in supporting “nuclear reactor partners” (eg. South Africa, China, UK..) than supporting a clean, resilient isotope supply for Australia.
I wonder how many of these new advanced Cyclotrons we could have bought instead of going down the Moly99 waste factory path. This cyclotron can make many medical isotopes, including Iodine123 and Technetium99. Also.. “The TR-24 cyclotron is designed to operate for more than 30 years and can be readily upgraded on-site.”  .

January 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

ANSTO gets a blank cheque for its nuclear waste production at Lucas Heights?

Greg Phillips,  No nuclear waste dump anywhere in South Australia , 13 Jan 2021, Congratulations Canada! “Cyclotron-produced technetium-99m approved by Health Canada”. Why rely on a global network of aging, unreliable, toxic spewing nuclear reactors when you can have a local network of clean, reliable cyclotrons? Especially when pandemics hobble global freight networks. From the article: “The process is safe and precise, employing stable targets and producing little to no long-lived radioactive waste. And, with the right target and extraction systems, these cyclotrons can be used to reliably create technetium-99m regionally and without the need for reactor-based materials.”
… I should explain further for those who might be unaware… ANSTO has plenty of room its reactor waste (for many decades). It is their plans to try and supply Technetium to the world that will produce large amounts of extra nuclear waste.
Unlike cyclotrons, ANSTO’s method produces lots of waste – it involves irradiating enriched Uranium plates and then dissolving them in a strong caustic solution. Imagine the complexities (and potential risks) of handling radioactive+caustic waste liquids. Australian tax payers are subsidising the production of isotopes for other countries, and also having to fully fund the waste disposal. It is madness that can only happen when government hands blank cheques to an organisation…

January 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, politics, secrets and lies, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Because ANSTO shut down cyclotron, Australia has the problem of importing a short-lived medical isotope

January 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, technology | Leave a comment

A reminder of the danger of ionising radiation, after theft of a nuclear device

December 22, 2020 Posted by | health, secrets and lies, South Australia | Leave a comment

Corporate vested interests win as Australian Government weakens Environmental Laws

This Bill is fundamentally flawed in the core untenable proposal to divest national environmental responsibilities to States & Territories. State Approvals of major resource, mining and development projects are mired in ‘conflict of interest’, corporate influence and vested – not public – interests.

David Noonan, Full Submission to the Federal Environment Inquiry, 18 Nov 20, To: The Inquiry Chairperson Senator the Hon David Fawcett, ,   Senate Environment and Communications Legislative Committee , By email:

Concern regards this rushed Inquiry into the flawed Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Streamlining Environmental Approvals) Bill 2020

Dear Secretary

This Inquiry is an unacceptably rushed process, and the Bill takes a pre-emptive and flawed approach to the EPBC Act. The public and the Parliament have a right to see and consider the Samuels Final Report, and the full suite of proposed EPBC Act Reform, National Standards and Amendments.

This Bill is fundamentally flawed in the core untenable proposal to divest national environmental responsibilities to States & Territories. State Approvals of major resource, mining and development projects are mired in ‘conflict of interest’, corporate influence and vested – not public – interests.

Due process and the national interest responsibility to the Protection of Matters of National Environmental Significance (NES) are compromised by this deeply flawed Bill and rushed Inquiry.

State control of EPBC Approvals is proposed through use of unenforceable “Bilateral Approval Agreement” instruments that are not fit for purpose, with little or no State law in place across Australia to even reflect the Objects, obligations and requirements of the EPBC Act.

The Bill unacceptably provides for ‘National Standards’ to be added to Bilateral Agreements with States, rather than legislated in the national interest in the EPBC Act and subject to national consultation and enforcement, with required national resourcing – rather than State paucity. The proposed accreditation process for States to take up federal EPBC powers is not even transparent.

It appears reckless that a core pre-requisite audit of State resourcing and capacity to undertake EPBC Approvals and enforcement roles has not been carried out at this late stage of events.

The Federal government is trying to expedite relinquishing national roles to Protect the Environment while declining to fund States to do so. This is a disrespectful indifference to Matters of NES.

Existing Cth-State Bilateral Assessment Agreements are not enforceable instruments and are not fit for purpose. For instance, no legislative or other mandated changes having been made in South Australia since taking up EPBC Act Assessment roles and responsibilities some years ago.

The non-statutory “EPBC Act Condition-setting Policy” further aligns the Commonwealth to defer to State Conditions of Approval and not set warranted Federal Conditions to properly protect MNES.

I have made a submission to the Independent Review of the EPBC Act, focusing on operation of the Act in protection of MNES under the “nuclear actions” trigger, and Discussion Paper Q.14 on failings of State roles through a case study on BHP Olympic Dam copper-uranium mine public interest issues.


In the case of EPBC “nuclear actions”, including EPBC Act Section 21 & 22 controlled actions in uranium mining and milling, the EPBC Act protected Matter of NES is “the environment” – requiring “whole of environment” scope of impact assessments, and Protection of the Environment such that authorized actions do not have unacceptable or unsustainable impacts.


The Samuel Review, Box 12 Nuclear activities (p.52) states: “To be able to ensure community confidence in these ‘nuclear’ activities, the Commonwealth should maintain the capacity to intervene. To achieve this, the key reform directions proposed by the Review are:

The National Environmental Standards for MNES should include one for nuclear actions. To provide community confidence, the Standard should reflect the regulatory guidelines and protocols of all relevant national laws and requirements.”


However, the Samuel Review (p.110) specifies inadequate ARPANSA Codes as a ‘National Standard’ for nuclear action assessments; OR use of State frameworks judged compliant with these Codes.


In addition, “graded” (limited) assessments as set out in ARPANSA Codes are to replace the scope of “whole of environment” impact Assessments for ‘nuclear actions’ – including for uranium mining.


ARPANSA Codes can reflect vested nuclear industry practices rather than best scientific evidentiary standards. For instance, applying outdated 1991 era ionising radiation occupational exposure limits.


Australia already has a failing record in regulation of uranium mining, in environmental protection and mine rehabilitation issues. Transferring Approvals to States and use of ARPANSA Codes in graded assessments will further compromise environmental protection standards and practise.


By January 2021 South Australia will be the only Australian jurisdiction conducting uranium mining. A case study of BHP Olympic Dam provides a cogent context to evaluate this Bill & Samuel proposals.


Importantly, “whole of environment” scope of uranium mining impact assessment encompasses social, economic, cultural and spiritual impacts, and not just environmental & radiological impacts.


Outdated BHP Olympic Dam legal privileges that override Indigenous Heritage are now under scrutiny before Parliament’s Juukan Caves Inquiry, see Submission No.73 and 73.1 by David Noonan.


It is typical that uranium mining disproportionately affects Indigenous People. ARPANSA Codes do not provide an appropriate basis to assess or respect Indigenous and Cultural Heritage issues.


State governments in SA have failed to revoke BHP’s untenable Olympic Dam legal privileges.


It is a travesty that BHP has deliberately retained 1982 era over-rides of Aboriginal Heritage across the 12,000 km2 “Stuart Shelf Area” around the Olympic Dam mine, and retains outdated legal rights to take excessive volumes of GAB waters affecting the integrity and very survival of GAB Springs.


BHP’s influence in excessive mining of Great Artesian Basin water for Olympic Dam mine shows a State’s inability,

and given real ‘conflict of interest’, a State’s unwillingness to reform such issues.

This scope is necessary to respect Indigenous rights and interests to protect their country & culture.


It is a warning to this Inquiry that the State of SA has failed to protect the unique and fragile Mound Springs. The integrity of Springs relies on continued natural flows and pressure of GAB waters.

These Springs are a protected Matter of NES under the EPBC Act as a listed Endangered Ecological Community and are of significant ongoing cultural and spiritual importance to Aboriginal traditional owners, the Arabana People, who have called for real effective Federal protection of the Springs.

I commend the strong Arabana Aboriginal Corporation Submission No.92 (11 August) to the federal Juukan Caves Inquiry and the Arabana Chairperson’s call for protection of their GAB Springs: ……


Unfortunately, our springs are disappearing. … The cause of the disappearance of our springs, is water that is being taken from the Great Artesian Basin by BHP’s mine at Roxby Downs. … Unless something is done by the Commonwealth, our springs will disappear… It is unsustainable, destructive of nature, and destructive of our culture to allow the springs to die. Will you please enact laws that ensure our mound springs and culture are recognised, respected and protected?”

This Inquiry must not condemn the GAB Springs to State control of EPBC Act Approval powers.

Pre-conditions to protect GAB Springs from BHP water extraction were set by the Labor Federal government in 2011 but were not applied as BHP abandoned a proposed open pit mine expansion.

If this Bill were to go ahead, the State of SA’s ‘conflict of interest’ role and BHP’s influence in mining GAB waters will combine to continue the exploitation of underground water reserves and the decline in the integrity and very survival of the unique and fragile GAB Springs.

Community confidence requires the EPBC Act to retain Approval powers at a Federal level, and to retain the “whole of environment” scope of Assessments and Protection of the Environment in ‘nuclear actions’ as has been required in our national EPBC Act laws since 1999.

The Inquiry should take up the Arabana People’s call for Federal protection of their GAB Springs.

This brief summary of input is based on my experience: Including some sixteen years as an Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) Environment Campaigner 1996-2011; as lead author consultant on Joint ENGO submissions (ACF, Conservation SA, and Friends of the Earth Australia) to three BHP EPBC Act Olympic Dam Referrals in 2019; and with 25 years involvement across public interest issues in Olympic Dam mine operations and in matters of environment protection legislation.

Please feel free for the Secretary, Members of the Committee and any of their staff, to contact on any aspect of these issues, for further information, clarification or discussion.

November 17, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, politics | 1 Comment

Australian doctors accuse government of failing on climate change

Australian doctors accuse government of failing on climate change,  SMH, By Nick O’Malley, November 2, 2020 A group of more than 700 Australian doctors has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison to accuse Energy and Emissions Reductions Minister Angus Taylor of failing in his duties by not acting to protect Australians from the impacts of climate change.“We are health professionals and organisations bearing witness to the harm Mr Taylor’s failure to reduce emissions is causing to the health of Australians,” says the letter, whose signatories include Professor Nick Talley, the editor-in-chief of the Medical Journal of AustraliaDr Clare Skinner, who is the incoming president of the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine and Professor Peter Sainsbury of the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health.

“We are also united by our concern about the climate crisis and the impact it is having on the safety and wellbeing of Australians and our neighbours. Public health is inextricably linked to climate health. Climate damage is here now – and it is killing people.”

The doctors accuse Mr Taylor of failing in his ministerial duties by directing public money to fossil fuel projects, failing to adequately reduce Australia’s emissions obligations and by not committing Australia to a 2050 net zero emissions target…….

In the letter the doctors said there is already a noticeable health impact from increased frequency and intensity of bushfires, floods, dust storms, drought and extreme heat in Australia.

“As a result, Australians are already seeing higher rates of respiratory illness, diarrhoea and morbidity requiring hospital admission during hot days, and higher rates of suicide in rural areas during drought years.

“The burning of fossil fuels such as coal and gas that drives global warming is also a major contributor to air pollution – this silent killer is linked to the premature deaths of 3000 Australians each year. Higher levels of air pollution are also associated with increasing illness and death related to ischaemic heart disease, chronic obstructive airways disease, lung cancer and asthma.” …..

November 3, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, health | Leave a comment

As coronavirus cases plummet, it’s time to ask: Is Australia ready for the third wave?

“They are so beaten up by the lockdowns and by the fear messages that they are saying “I don’t want to do anything”.”

Yet notwithstanding the testing, the tracing, the social distancing, masking, mathematical modelling, quarantining and investment in public health, Australians will continue to live with COVID-19 for the foreseeable future.

As coronavirus cases plummet, it’s time to ask: Is Australia ready for the third wave? By Catherine Taylor

An uncomfortable question looms over Australia’s steady exit from its second major outbreak of coronavirus: are we ready for the third wave?

Health experts say it’s a question with an equally uncomfortable answer: a third wave remains a real threat and without a tested vaccine all we have is our self-control, and luck, standing between us and a fresh outbreak.

“We should not expect that we can beat this wave, and then it’s done. It’s the beginning of the next phase,” says Professor Jodie McVernon, an expert in epidemiology, vaccinology and public health at the Doherty Institute, who has been working in isolation for months “like a princess in a castle” from the front room of her Melbourne home.

Professor Raina MacIntyre — head of the Kirby Institute’s biosecurity program — goes further: “The only really feasible exit strategy at this stage is vaccination otherwise we’ll continue to face the risk of third, fourth, fifth and sixth waves.

There is a recipe for reducing risk

Continue reading

October 25, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste dump – a Federal abuse of a small rural town

Regina McKenzie   Fight To Stop a Nuclear Waste Dump in South Australia, 6 Oct 20
To watch the horror of a rural town, being torn apart , the tremendous amount of stress the people of Kimba are facing, wether it be the yes or no camp, no one deserves this.
I know that heavy weight of having this nuclear waste dump like a dark foreboding shadow hanging over your once secure close knit community, watching family, friends and acquaintance being ripped apart , the helplessness ones feels watching everything disintegrate around you.
DIIS have a lot to answer for the emotional and mental abuse this waste dump as caused on these small rural towns, separated from the rest of South Australia to bear such a large responsibility and to leave the rest of South Australia to watch in horror these little town tear each other apart, the mental anguish that will forever scar us, the rifts in family, and friends , what a pitiful federal government to do this to us, its abuse on a grand scale

October 6, 2020 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Federal nuclear waste dump, health, South Australia | Leave a comment

Medical groups are urging Greg Hunt to include climate change in 10-year health strategy

Medical groups are astonished climate change isn’t mentioned in the consultation paper to develop a 10-year national preventative health strategy.
SBS, 22  Sept 20

A national preventative health strategy is useless if it doesn’t address the risks of climate change, experts have told the responsible minister.

Numerous health groups from across the country have signed a joint statement to Health Minister Greg Hunt calling for climate change to be a key part of the national preventative health strategy.

The strategy is currently being developed, with public feedback on its consultation paper open until the end of the month.

Climate change isn’t mentioned in the paper despite health groups telling the government about the risks it poses to health……….

September 24, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, health | Leave a comment

Killing the virus comes at enormous cost — doing nothing will cost more. 

Killing the virus comes at enormous cost — doing nothing will cost more. 

A recent study by McKinsey, the New York based global management consultant group, found that it’s not lockdowns that have caused a global recession — it’s the pandemic.

September 21, 2020 Posted by | business, health, Victoria | Leave a comment

Australia’s doctors call for a climate-focused COVID-19 recovery plan

August 11, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, health | Leave a comment

Australia seen as successful in Covid-19 response, deplorable in climate response

July 6, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, health | Leave a comment

Kimba community unaware that Australia’s medicine does not need nuclear reactor

even ANSTO is using cyclotrons for generating imaging isotopes! And we actually have imaging/cyclotron partnerships set up in almost every major city in Australia….do not produce nuclear wastes.……..(expanding nuclear production) so that ANSTO can become one of the major players in the global export market. Where was this information in the glossy handouts given to Hawker and Kimba?

Name withheld. to Senate Committee on  National Radioactive WasteManagement Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 [Provisions] Submission 39  Excerpt

“States and territories are responsible for managing a range of radioactive waste holdings, accounting for about one per cent of total radioactive waste holdings in Australia.”…according to the DIIS – “Australian Radioactive Waste Management Framework April 2018”page 7

And what about the requirement of the diagnostic isotope for Australians? It is afterall in our best interests to maintain this? This is an interesting question. In Senate Estimates Adi Paterson in 2017 stated…. ”As we submitted to the question on notice, currently approximately 28 per cent of molybdenum-99 produced by ANSTO is used domestically. Approximately 72 per cent of Mo-99 produced by ANSTO is exported, meeting a global need for access to life-saving nuclear medicines.”;db=COMMITTEES;id=committees%
2Festimate%2F0493150c-8738-423c-a856- 9cb37d9e9073%2F0009;query=Id%3A%22committees%2Festimate%2F0493150c-8738-423c-a856- 9cb37d9e9073%2F0000%22

He then goes on to say later at the Senate Estimates, “The research use of isotopes predominantly takes place in our Camperdown facility, where we produce flourine-18, carbon-15 and oxygen-11.
These are cyclotron-based isotopes which are used for different types of clinical development of new imaging techniques, for developing new drugs and understanding the biological function of human living systems. That is a research cost for the production of those isotopes. There are small
amounts of isotopes whose inclusion into clinical trials we support. We do that under a very careful set of rules that ensures that should those clinical trials be successful we will be able to sell into the market the isotopes we produce that have supported the clinical trials. We have very good protocols on that which are very clear. We also sometimes undertake trials with stable isotopes, which are sourced from different jurisdictions. These are not radioactive isotopes, but with our careful tracing capabilities we can make use of those isotopes as well.”

So, even ANSTO is using cyclotrons for generating imaging isotopes! And we actually have imaging/cyclotron partnerships set up in almost every major city in Australia. For example Adelaide has one set up in the SAHMRI building. The thing about cyclotrons is that the isotopes are generatedon site, and do not have a distance factor involved and do not produce nuclear reactor quantities of nuclear waste!

And just for those interested, there are now advancements being made in immunotherapy and nanotechnology which means that patients can now receive treatment in a way which does not disrupt normal cells as a consequence. Immunotherapy is genetically modifying your own cells and
then reinjecting them into you to fight the cancer cells specifically. And nanotechnology is a way of specifically directing chemotherapy drugs specifically to cancer cells. Scott Morrison has injected almost half a billion dollars into Victoria to aid in this cutting edge technology. And neither involve nuclear reactors.

But getting back to the quantities of Molybenum-99 produced by ANSTO. Only 28% is used by Australians. This is for 550,000 doses produced per annum. And 72% is exported. Now, ANSTO has a brand new ANM building which they are intending to use to generate 10 MILLION DOSES PER
ANNUM, so that ANSTO can become one of the major players in the global export market. Where was this information in the glossy handouts given to Hawker and Kimba?
With higher production of course comes higher levels of nuclear waste. It is one of the reasons why Canada exited the global
market scene because it was too expensive for their own taxpayers to continue to subsidize. 

“Scheduled to be turned on just next year, once the ANM Project is fully operational, Australia will go from producing 550,000 doses of medicine a year to more than 10 million doses a year.“Our medicine production will increase exponentially. We’ll be producing enough medicine to meet more than a quarter of world demand,” said ANSTO CEO Dr Adi Paterson.” https://anstoprod.

The ANM Project received operational licence by ARPANSA in late 2018.So for people like our MP’s to say that we all as Australians use the medical isotopes and therefore are responsible for the nuclear waste generated runs a bit hollow when we are actually propping up a major player in an export market!…..”

June 18, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, health | Leave a comment

Australia must not forget – the plutonium abuse of an Australian child, by Argonne National Laboratory

Paul Langley,, 14 Aug 17, 5 yr-old Simon Shaw and his mum. Simon was flown from Australia to the US on the pretext of medical treatment for his bone cancer. Instead, he was secretly injected with plutonium to see what would happen. His urine was measured, and he was flown back to Australia.

Though his bodily fluids remained radioactive, Australian medical staff were not informed. No benefit was imparted to Simon by this alleged “medical treatment” and he died of his disease after suffering a trip across the world and back at the behest of the USA despite his painful condition. The USA merely wanted a plutonium test subject. They called him CAL-2. And did their deed under the cover of phony medicine.

“Congress of the United States, House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515-2107, Edward J. Markey, 7th District, Massachusetts Committees, [word deleted] and Commerce, Chairman Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Finance, Natural Resources, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe] MEMORANDUM To: Congressman Edward J. Markey From: Staff Subject: The Plutonium Papers Date: 4/20/94

Staff Memo on Plutonium Papers

The medical file for Cal-2 also contains correspondence seeking follow-up from Argonne National Laboratory in the 1980s. Cal-2 was an Australian boy, not quite five years old, who was flown to the U.S. in 1946 for treatment of bone cancer. During his hospitalization in San Francisco, he was chosen as a subject for plutonium injection. He returned to Australia, where he died less than one year later.

Document 700474 is a letter from Dr. Stebbings to an official at the Institute of Public Health in Sydney, Australia, in an attempt to reach the family of Cal-2. This letter reports that the child was “injected with a long-lived alpha-emitting radionuclide.” Document 700471 is a letter from Dr. Stebbings to New South Wales, Australia (names and town deleted), inquiring about recollections of the boy’s hospitalization in 1946. The letter notes that, “those events have become rather important in some official circles here,” but provides few details to the family.

A hand-written note on the letter reports no response through October 8, 1987. Considering the history on the lack of informed consent with these experiments, it is surprising that the letters to Australia failed to mention the word “plutonium.”

The Australian news media has since identified Cal-2 as Simeon Shaw, the son of a wool buyer in New South Wales, and information on the injection created an international incident. The information in the medical file does indicate that at a time when Secretary Herrington told you that no follow-up would be conducted on living subjects, the Department of Energy was desperately interested in conducting follow-up on a deceased Australian patient.

In an effort to determine the full extent of follow-up by the Department after 1986, your staff has requested, through the Department’s office of congressional affairs, the opportunity to speak with Dr. Stebbings, Dr. Robertson, and any other officials who may have been involved in the follow-up. So far, that request has been unsuccessful. It remains an open question as to what was the full extent of follow-up performed in the 1980s, and whether the efforts then would facilitate any further follow-up on subjects now. It seems appropriate for the Interagency Working Group to address these questions as its efforts continue.”

Source: National Security Archives, George Washington University…/…/mstreet/commeet/meet1/brief1/br1n.txt

See also ACHRE Final Report.


Mr. President, you are wrong if you think you can do the same again re hormesis funding in Australia as the USA did with CAL-2. We have not forgotten and do not trust you or your paid agents in Australian universities such as Flinders.

May 29, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, history, reference, secrets and lies | 1 Comment