Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

For Australia “business as usual” on climate change, will cost many $billions

February 18, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Climate change extreme weather making parts of Australia uninsurable

Risks aren’t worth it’: QBE says parts of planet becoming uninsurable due to climate concerns,  SMH, Charlotte Grieve February 17, 2020  Global insurance giant QBE has warned climate change poses a material threat to its business and the entire economy as its chief executive Pat Regan said premiums were at risk of becoming too high in areas exposed to repeated, extreme weather……

Mr Regan said there had always been parts of the world that were difficult to insure. But as floods and fires become have dominated headlines this summer, this risk was increasing across “swathes of Australia” and could potentially price out customers from home and business property insurance.

He said climate change was a “big topic” in the sector, requiring the insurance giant to “up its game on a number of fronts”. QBE boosted its reinsurance program for catastrophic events to $2 billion in a process that would be reassessed each year, he said. …..

“The evidence is there for all to see that the amount of weather events globally, not just in Australia, is consistently rising and most of the worst years on record have happened in the last 10 years.”

“The most prone ones [areas] are the ones we see in the news frequently,” Mr Regan said, referencing the Queensland floods and east coast fires…… https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/qbe-warns-of-climate-risk-as-300m-hit-to-revenue-alongside-unusual-weather-20200217-p541e3.html

February 18, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Australian public unaware of the dangers of small nuclear reactors

Thorium advocates say that thorium reactors produce little radioactive waste, however, they simply produce a different spectrum of waste from traditional reactors, including many dangerous isotopes with extremely long half-lives. Technetium 99 has a half-life of 300,000 years and iodine 129 a half-life of 15.7 million years. 

 

February 17, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, reference, technology | Leave a comment

South Australia’s grain exports could be at risk, if Kimba nuclear waste dump goes ahead

Paul Waldon   Fight To Stop A Nuclear Waste Dump In South Australia, 17 Feb 20,
Guidelines set by ARPANSA may suggest concerns for radioactive waste in an agriculture environment. These concerns are reaffirmed with Dr Yury Bandazhevsky’s study where he reported the health impacts in children around Belarus after 1986, this is where he states that the biomagnification of radioactive food ingested at a rate of 10 becquerels per kilo of contaminated food daily over a period of 500 days will culminate in a reading of 1400 Becquerels per kilo of body weight.

Keeping in mind the safe standard for radioactive contaminated food in Australia is 1200 becquerels, which fails to keep up with the safer standards of Japan at only 100 becquerels per kilo. Not only is Japans standards safer than ours but Australia’s grain export to Japan is about $646 million per year, and that could be in jeopardy if the program to turn Kimba into a radioactive dump proceeds.

Dr Bandazhevsky’s study came with the added problem of finding children of Belarus free of contamination, there was also a health cluster in children now recorded and known as Chernobyl heart, a condition of multiple holes in the heart, due to radioactive exposure.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/941313402573199/

February 17, 2020 Posted by | business, Federal nuclear waste dump, health, South Australia | Leave a comment

NukeMap – what if Australian cities were hit by a nuclear bomb

What Happens If Australia Is Hit By A Nuclear Bomb? lifehacker, Jackson Ryan | Feb 16, 2020, “….NUKEMAP provides a few different readouts for each map with colour coded rings :

  • The yellow ring is the size of the nuclear fireball
  • The red ring denotes the air blast zone where 20 psi of pressure is felt – enough to damage concrete buildings
  • The green ring denotes the radiation diameter – within this ring, you would receive a 500 rem radiation dose. That’s enough to kill 65-90% of all exposed within 30 days.
  • The grey ring denotes the air blast zone where 5 psi of pressure is felt
  • The orange ring is the thermal radiation zone – if you are within this ring you receive third degree burns that extend through the layers of the skin.

The most recent bomb tested by North Korea was reportedly around 50 kilotons. So if we used that as a base, what would the damage from a 50 kiloton nuclear bomb do to:

Sydney

If a nuclear bomb of this size were to drop over the harbour bridge, then the bridge would be completely engulfed by the nuclear fireball. The amount of pressure emanating from the explosion would destroy Luna Park, most of Kirribilli, including the Prime Minister’s residence and the Opera House. Circular Quay would see an extreme amount of damage and radiation. Darling Harbour wouldn’t be subjected to quite the same amount of instantly fatal pressure, but anyone in the area would still be badly injured.

Melbourne

The size of the nuclear fireball would destroy Melbourne’s CBD and the resulting pressure from the explosion would flatten the land around it. Most of the iconic landmarks in Melbourne’s inner city would be gone.

Brisbane

Brisbane City would be engulfed by the fireball and Suncorp Stadium would take a huge hit. Most of the bridges in the area would need to withstand huge pressures and the thermal radiation causing third degree burns would reach out as far as Fortitude Valley, one of the more busy night strips in Brisbane. …..

Adelaide

Adelaide’s CBD would be mostly non-existent, with the fireball engulfing a large portion and the overpressure extending from North to South Terrace. Rundle Mall would be hit hard and you wouldn’t expect Adelaide Oval to remain standing, either. The thermal radiation would extend out as far as the parade in Norwood and almost entirely cover North Adelaide.

Perth

Owing to its place right next to the Swan River, Perth City may not see the same level of immediate fatalities but the destruction would be extensive. The thermal radiation ring would extend from the centre of the CBD out to the Perth Zoo and as far as Lake Monger. The famous Perth Mint would sadly be caught in the 5psi overpressure zone, a space where most buildings collapse.

Canberra

Parliament House as a target, would be completely decimated by the fireball and the 20psi overpressure would flatten everything as far as National Circuit. The National Library, the National Museum and the National Gallery would also likely crumble under the pressure of the air blast. The Australian War Memorial and the Royal Australian Mint would fall just outside the thermal radiation zone.

Hobart

A direct hit on Hobart’s CBD would see a lot of the blast rip across the River Derwent. The fireball would circle most of the city, while the overpressure blast would extend up Elizabeth Street and out to the Salamanca Market. The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens would receive a huge amount of thermal radiation, which would reach across the Tasman Highway bridge and into Rosny.

Darwin

The size of an atomic bomb blast of this size would take out a lot of Darwin’s waterfront, but the thermal radiation wouldn’t extend all the way across Charles Darwin National Park but, provided it hit the CBD, the overpressure air blast would do incredible damage all the way through the city and across to the Gardens…..

…….. https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2020/02/how-much-damage-would-a-nuclear-bomb-do-to-australian-capital-cities/


 

February 17, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

History of Australia’s govt move towards importing nuclear waste

If the “low level” storage facility goes ahead in Kimba, it would only be a matter of time before it became a facility storing medium and high level waste creating untold risks for human life, Indigenous culture and heritage, flora and fauna, and agriculture. It must be stopped.

TERRA NUCLEAR  https://www.cpa.org.au/guardian/2020/1902/05-nuclear.html?fbclid=IwAR0oOmAw7IIbs9dERT6aUM6gKTG4eIIco6iEycpzr58GHwyPomOVyGh2jak  Anna Pha,16 Feb 2, Last week, the then Resources Minister Matt Canavan announced the site for an international nuclear waste dump on farmland in South Australia. The decision comes after two decades or more of wrangling over where to locate the facility.

The land is at Napandee in Kimba, on the Eyre Peninsula and is owned by a farmer who offered it to the government. He is set to receive compensation well above market value.

“The facility has broad community support in Kimba, but I acknowledge there remains opposition, particularly amongst the Barngarla People and their representative group,” Canavan said in a press release.

He omits to mention that the Barngarla People were excluded from a local vote on the question.

In addition, the opposition is not confined to the Barngarla People who fear the pollution of their land and waters, as well as the damage to their culture and sacred sites. Environmental and other groups as well as many individuals have not given up. They are determined to fight it to the end.

Denial of Danger

Just as the government refuses to acknowledge the dangers of inaction over climate change, Canavan plays down the deadly risks associated with radiation; “I am satisfied a facility at Napandee will safely and securely manage radioactive waste and that the local community has shown broad community support for the project and economic benefits it will bring.”

This is a hollow claim, which he cannot back with practice. How can anyone claim such a facility would be safely and securely managed for thousands or possibly hundreds of thousands of years that it would take for the radioactive material to breakdown?

The minister cannot make any guarantees. In particular, as the plan is to hand the facility over to the private sector to manage, the risks and cover-ups become far more likely and serious Continue reading

February 17, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, history, reference | Leave a comment

Australia must learn to mine rare earths responsibly

 We Australians can be so righteous about our environmental credentials, but we don’t seem to notice the problems with renewable energy.

We must jump on to the circular economy.  If the world could RECYCLE rare earths elements –   there’d be so much less need for mining and processing of rare earths, with its problematic creation of radioactive wastes.

What is needed is DESIGN – clever design of all devices that use rare earths, so that these elements can be easily retrieved, to use again in new devices.
While renewable energy technologies are used in the same old way –  dig it up, throw away the wastes, we are locked in the  20th Century thinking – that also includes the aim of endless energy use, endless growth. 

Critical minerals are vital for renewable energy. We must learn to mine them responsibly Bénédicte Cenki-Tok, Associate professor at Montpellier University, EU H2020 MSCA visiting researcher, University of Sydney
https://theconversation.com/critical-minerals-are-vital-for-renewable-energy-we-must-learn-to-mine-them-responsibly-131547,  February 17, 2020 .  As the world shifts away from fossil fuels, we will need to produce enormous numbers of wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles and batteries. Demand for the materials needed to build them will skyrocket.

This includes common industrial metals such as steel and copper, but also less familiar minerals such as the lithium used in rechargeable batteries and the rare earth elements used in the powerful magnets required by wind turbines and electric cars. Production of many of these critical minerals has grown enormously over the past decade with no sign of slowing down.

Australia is well placed to take advantage of this growth – some claim we are on the cusp of a rare earths boom – but unless we learn how to do it in a responsible manner, we will only create a new environmental crisis.

One consequence of a massive transition to renewables will be a drastic increase not only in the consumption of raw materials (including concrete, steel, aluminium, copper and glass) but also in the diversity of materials used.

Three centuries ago, the technologies used by humanity required half a dozen metals. Today we use more than 50, spanning almost the entire periodic table. However, like fossil fuels, minerals are finite.

Can we ‘unlearn’ renewables to make them sustainable?

If we take a traditional approach to mining critical minerals, in a few decades they will run out – and we will face a new environmental crisis. At the same time, it is still unclear how we will secure supply of these minerals as demand surges.

This is further complicated by geopolitics. China is a major producer, accounting for more than 60% of rare earth elements, and significant amounts of tungsten, bismuth and germanium.

This makes other countries, including Australia, dependent on China, and also means the environmental pollution due to mining occurs in China.

The opportunity for Australia is to produce its own minerals, and to do so in a way that minimises environmental harm and is sustainable.

Where to mine?

Australia has well established resources in base metals (such as gold, iron, copper, zinc and lead) and presents an outstanding potential in critical minerals. Australia already produces almost half of lithium worldwide, for example…….

Fuelling the transition

For most western economies, rare earth elements are the most vital. These have electromagnetic properties that make them essential for permanent magnets, rechargeable batteries, catalytic converters, LCD screens and more. Australia shows a great potential in various deposit types across all states.

The Northern Territory is leading with the Nolans Bore mine already in early-stage operations. But many other minerals are vital to economies like ours.

Cobalt and lithium are essential to ion batteries. Gallium is used in photodetectors and photovoltaics systems. Indium is used for its conductive properties in screens.

Critical minerals mining is seen now as an unprecedented economic opportunity for exploration, extraction and exportation.

Recent agreements to secure supply to the US opens new avenues for the Australian mining industry.

How can we make it sustainable?

Beyond the economic opportunity, this is also an environmental one. Australia has the chance to set an example to the world of how to make the supply of critical minerals sustainable. The question is: are we willing to?

Many of the techniques for creating sustainable minerals supply still need to be invented. We must invest in geosciences, create new tools for exploration, extraction, beneficiation and recovery, treat the leftover material from mining as a resource instead of waste, develop urban mining and find substitutes and effective recycling procedures.

In short, we must develop an integrated approach to the circular economy of critical minerals. One potential example to follow here is the European EURARE project initiated a decade ago to secure a future supply of rare earth elements.

More than ever, we need to bridge the gap between disciplines and create new synergies to make a sustainable future. It is essential to act now for a better planet.

 

February 17, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, rare earths | Leave a comment

Greens leader Adam Bandt seeks new deal with “renewable mining and manufacturing” sector

 New Greens leader Adam Bandt will tour Australia’s mining regions to promote his plan to create a “renewable mining and manufacturing” sector and repair his party’s poor relations with ­resources industry workers.    THE AUSTRALIAN , RICHARD FERGUSON FEBRUARY 16, 2020

New Greens leader Adam Bandt will tour Australia’s mining ­regions to promote his plan to create a “renewable mining and manufacturing” sector and repair his party’s poor relations with ­resources industry workers.

Mr Bandt — who started his tenure as leader saying big business was “killing people” — wants to shift the mining sector towards lithium and process materials such as iron ore in Australia to build a domestic “zero-carbon” manufacturing industry…. (subscribers only)

February 17, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics | Leave a comment

Australian government pushes on with nuclear dump, tramples on indigenous rights

February 15, 2020 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste dumping: as the Baldock family sells farming land, is the agricultural market for Kimba now stuffed up?

As the Baldock family anticipates the establishment of a nuclear waste dump on Jeff Baldock’s land,  they now sell a large chunk of their farming land, along with three other farming families that have made the same decision. (Reported in The Advertiser , 14 Feb 2020)

It looks as if they are  getting out fast, before the dirty nuclear waste news is widely known.

And here are some of the many comments on Facebook:

James Shepherdson It is actually about roughly 20ks from the site and has only just been added to the other land for sale. Read into it what you will , but if he’s planning to stay he’s sure sending the wrong message with this move .As far as being approachable, been there done that and got jumped on by council and the gov department and were accused of bullying . this will go down in history as the most undemocratic process in this country

K Bruun I can’t – but at the same time ‘can’ – believe this. I am amazed at how planned this has been. There must be something sociopathic about these people. I still don’t understand how Baldock could spend his nuffield scholarship learning how to keep families on farms together, yet does this. What is the psychology behind people like this? They have effectively harmed their entire community.

Joshua Jaeger Selling it before it becomes worthless.
Zac Eagle Rats didn’t take long to jump the sinking ship
Jillian Marsh As always the business people will pack up and move on because it’s a business venture. The Traditional Owners face another round of dispossession and destruction as their sovereign lands are RE-colonised and further desecrated. Very sad and sorry state of affairs …
Noel Wauchope Perhaps the Baldocks and others look to a “healthy”economic transition for Australia from an agricultural country to the world’s quarry and waste dump.
Paul Waldon How many children will this crumbling community lose from this and future sales of properties.

Kazzi Jai  Paul Waldon “It was sheer elation when I heard,” Baldock says. “I’m very, very excited about what lies ahead for Kimba. It gives me a great feeling of relief. I’m quite excited to have it on my property and see it develop, to have our kids around it and see some opportunities close to home.”
The Saturday Paper February 8th -14th 2020

 
Joanne Borchers Yeah nah! Good luck offloading that with what’s planned by the grubby government for the Eyre Peninsula… soon to be the worlds nuclear waste dumping ground. People be selling up in droves and government will pick it up for a song and make squillions in dirty money … a big F U to the people of SA… hate what’s happening 
Paul Waldon Zac Eagle I wouldn’t know myself, however the Baldock with his property on the market may trying to distance himself in an attempt to elude the stigma and a name that one day maybe synonymous with shame.

  Noel Wauchope Perhaps the Baldocks and others look to a “healthy”economic transition for Australia from an agricultural country to the world’s quarry and waste dump.

Paul Waldon Another casualty of a Radioactive dump, I presume.
Paul Waldon $31 mil not looking so good. 

Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste In The Flinders Range, https://www.facebook.com/groups/941313402573199/

February 15, 2020 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

#WETOOARE PROTESTERS   FREE JULIAN ASSANGE 

https://weetoo.home.blog/We are a group of mothers, fathers, teachers and students from all over the world, and we are extremely worried about the health condition, as well as the violations of the most basic human rights, of journalist and editor Julian Assange.

The award-winning journalist, in fact, has been held for months in isolation in the maximum security of Belmarsh Prison waiting for extradition to the United States where, confirmed by United Nations experts, it will be difficult for him to have a fair trial and where he risks up to 175 years in prison or even the death penalty.

The motive for the indictment was made mainly by his having published military documents confirming corruption and atrocious war crimes; in particular his website Wikileaks documents show how the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that have massacred millions of people were created by governments for economic interests and for the exploitation of resources. In these territories the number of terrorists has  increased exponentially. Not only that, Assange unveiled the conditions of Guantanamo prisoners, abuses of every type, and tens of thousands of civilian homicides in Iraq and Afghanistan by the American army, including the assassination of two Reuters journalists all documented in the chilling video, Collateral Murder. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0&t=59s

In Julian Assange’s long and frightening persecution, we witnessed seven years of systematic violation of his human rights. The right of citizens to question public interests was also completely ignored. Now, we refuse to participate in a further extension of psychological and physical torture perpetrated against the journalist, as reported by Nils Melzer, the special reporter of the United Nations, who found Assange in a condition of extremely troublesome health. Continue reading

February 15, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Media coverage of Kimba nuclear waste dump is found wanting

February 15, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, media | Leave a comment

Controversial legislation for Kimba nuclear waste dump is tabled in Federal parliament

Nuclear legislation on the table, Whyalla News, Louis Mayfield  14 Feb 20  The federal government’s goal of establishing a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) at Napandee, Kimba is a step closer after key legislation was tabled in the Parliament on Thursday.

The controversial National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 will be subject to much scrutiny from the Senate crossbench and other stakeholders.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has already flagged that her party will move to block the legislation, claiming that government does not have broad community support.

“It is wrong to say there is broad community support. Traditional Owners have rejected the proposal. Once again the Morrison Government and Minister Canavan haven’t listened,” she said.

Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick has previously stated that his party would refer the legislation to a Senate Committee ‘where the decision made by the Government can be thoroughly scrutinised’.

“Whilst the decision by 62% of the community to back the facility being built must be respected, so too must the views of those who were under the impression that the facility would not go ahead without ‘broad community support’,” he said.

The bill will also allow the government to establish a $20 million Community Fund for Kimba, promising to support long-term infrastructure and development priorities for the town……. https://www.whyallanewsonline.com.au/story/6629280/nuclear-legislation-on-the-table/?fbclid=IwAR0Q46EnPyGMac0c6shR7o_dhPh5BQBhWwkN1FuCaq6zwJi_6lfc2qjS0SA

February 15, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Shrinking Antarctic ice shelf Pine Island Glacier sheds giant iceberg

Shrinking Antarctic ice shelf Pine Island Glacier sheds giant iceberg, ABC News, Digital Story Innovation Team  By Mark Doman 14 Feb 20,  In one of the fastest-changing areas of the Antarctic ice sheet, satellites have captured the formation of a giant, 300-square-kilometre iceberg.

Researchers monitoring satellite imagery of the Pine Island Glacier (PIG), in west Antarctica, first noticed two large rifts forming in the shelf in 2019.

Over the next few months, as the glacier moved out towards the Amundsen Sea, the rifts expanded, eventually leading to the splitting of the iceberg from the glacier on February 9.

Within a day, the iceberg had broken up into smaller pieces.

Only one of the pieces was large enough to be named (B-49) and tracked by the United States National Ice Centre.

It comes just days after a station on the Antarctic Peninsula logged its hottest day on record, registering a temperature of 18.3 degrees Celsius.

The peninsula, which juts out to the north-east of the Pine Island Glacier, is among the fastest-warming regions on the planet. Temperatures there have increased almost 3C over the last 50 years, according to the World Meteorological Organisation.

Last month, scientists also recorded unusually warm water beneath the Thwaites Glacier, a neighbour to Pine Island.

While the calving of icebergs from shelves such as the Pine Island Glacier is a natural process in the life of a giant glacier, the rate at which this glacier and others in the region have been disintegrating is a cause of concern for scientists.

Previously the ice shelf calved once a decade. By the early 2000s, it started calving once every five years. But since 2013, the glacier has calved five times, according to Stef Lhermitte, a remote sensing scientist from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands……. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-13/antarctic-ice-shelf-pine-island-glacier-sheds-giant-iceberg/11957770

February 15, 2020 Posted by | politics | Leave a comment

Yearly climate costs $29bn for Australia with ‘business as usual’

Australia faces annual $29bn climate bill   The Saturday Paper, Max Opray    15 Feb 20, A “business as usual” response to climate change will cost Australia at least $29 billion a year, according to a new study. The World Wide Fund for Nature report projected that Australia’s economy will be the fifth worst-affected over the next three decades. This was a best-case scenario, and did not factor in the cost of more intense bushfires. “Because so much of Australia’s population, infrastructure and service sector output is concentrated in coastal areas, we are more vulnerable than most to sea-level rise and storm surges,” said WWF-Australia economist Joshua Bishop. The modelling shows that the global price of some key commodities will rise by almost 10 per cent. The report noted that environmentally friendly land-use management techniques alone could halve the hit to national GDP. The news comes as an Australian Conservation Foundation analysis found that the fossil-fuel industry has doubled its donations to the major parties in the past four years.  ….  https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/thebriefing/max-opray/2020/02/13/australia-faces-annual-29bn-climate-bill?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The%20Briefing%20-%20Thursday%2013%20February%202020&utm_content=The%20Briefing%20-%20Thursday%2013%20February%202020+CID_a8e00424e41f86960e9b9

February 15, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment