Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

ARPANSA admits that no safety assessment exists, for nuclear submarines in Adelaide

Following a search from ARPANSA’s senior scientist, the agency determined that such a planning or safety document “does not exist”.

No safety assessment for nuclear subs in Adelaide  https://indaily.com.au/news/2021/10/22/no-safety-assessment-for-nuclear-subs-in-adelaide/

The federal government has not undertaken a safety assessment or planning study for the prospect of docking nuclear-powered submarines in Adelaide, according to documents obtained by independent senator Rex Patrick.  Thomas Kelsall@Thomas_Kelsall


  The Port Adelaide and Outer Harbour docks are set to be the building spot for at least eight nuclear-powered submarines under the terms of the new “AUKUS” trilateral security pact, announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in September.

But the controversial deal, which saw Australia scrap its $90 billion contract with France to build 12 diesel-powered boats, drew criticism from anti-nuclear activists and local residents concerned about the prospect of nuclear reactors in their suburbs.

No nuclear-powered warship has ever visited Port Adelaide or Outer Harbour.

Patrick, a former submariner and critic of the new subs deal, on September 21 filed a Freedom of Information request to the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) for “any documents that go to the planning or prospects of a nuclear vessel visiting Port Adelaide or Outer Harbour”.

ARPANSA is responsible for providing safety assessment to the Visiting Ships Panel (Nuclear) – an interdepartmental committee overseeing arrangements for visiting nuclear ships and associated safety requirement.

Following a search from ARPANSA’s senior scientist, the agency determined that such a planning or safety document “does not exist”.

“The ARPANSA Senior Scientist, who holds the responsibility for searching ARPANSA records of documents that go to the planning or prospects of a nuclear vessel, … has instructed me that ARPANSA, at this point in time, does not have a document specifically relating to the terms of your request,” ARPANSA FOI Officer John Templeton wrote to Patrick on Thursday.

A spokesperson for the agency confirmed to InDaily it has not been asked by the Defence Department to undertake a safety assessment or planning study of the site.

Patrick said the revelation shows that the Morrison’s Government’s nuclear submarines program is “a huge exercise in filling in the blanks”.

“One might have thought that some work would have been undertaken to consider Adelaide’s suitability for at least nuclear powered warship visits before the Prime Minister’s big announcement last month,” Patrick said.

“That is a task that ARPANSA undertakes on a regular basis in relation to other locations including HMAS Stirling, Fremantle, Darwin and Brisbane.

“While the safety assessments required for nuclear submarine construction and long-term berthing facilities would be a very complex undertaking, a port visit safety assessment of Port Adelaide and Outer Harbour would have been minimum due diligence before the Prime Minister promised his nuclear subs would be built in Adelaide.”

Patrick said the lack of safety assessment means Adelaide’s docks “could not currently host even a single-day visit by any nuclear powered submarine”.

“As is so often the case, Scott Morrison’s Government hasn’t done the basic preliminaries. It’s big on announcements, but fails conspicuously on due diligence and competent project management,” he said.

ARPANSA CEO Carl-Magnus Larsson told a parliamentary last week that the agency was briefed on the plan to shift from diesel to nuclear submarines around the beginning of July.

A spokesperson for ARPANSA said the agency “has not been asked to undertake a safety assessment and/or planning study on docking nuclear submarines in Port Adelaide or Outer Harbour”.

“ARPANSA will only undertake a radiological port assessment if Defence (Navy) determines that a nuclear-powered vessel can visit a specified port,” the spokesperson said.

“Neither Adelaide nor Outer Harbor have been subject to a visit of a nuclear-powered vessel.”

InDaily contacted the Department of Defence for comment.

October 23, 2021 Posted by | safety, South Australia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

IAEA concerned that AUKUS coud weaken non-proliferation system

Nuclear inspection under AUKUS deal ‘very tricky’ – IAEA chief, Sky News, Jonathan Talbot, Deputy Editor, 430 Sep 21,

Nuclear inspections of Australia under the AUKUS deal will be “very tricky” and could lead to a weakened non-proliferation system, says the head of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency.

 The AUKUS deal which sees Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarine technology will make nuclear inspections “very tricky”, according to the head of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“It is a technically very tricky question and it will be the first time that a country that does not have nuclear weapons has a nuclear sub,” IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi told BBC’s HARDtalk.

The IAEA keeps track of all nuclear material in countries – like Australia – that have ratified the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT). 

One of its primary tasks is to ensure nuclear materials are not being siphoned off for use in a nuclear bomb. 

Mr Grossi confirmed NPT signatories can exclude nuclear material from IAEA inspection while that material is fueling a submarine – a rare exception to the agency’s supervision of nuclear materials.

“A country… is taking highly enriched uranium away from inspection for a period of time, which could result in a weakening of the nuclear non-proliferation regime,” he said.

“What this means is that we, with Australia, with the United States and with the United Kingdom, we have to enter into a very complex, technical negotiation to see to it that as a result of this there is no weakening of the nuclear non-proliferation regime.”

One challenge posed by Australia’s purchase of nuclear-powered submarines concerns the fact these vessels are designed to be undetectable and therefore beyond the reach of IAEA inspectors…

“China has taken note of the statements of Director General Grossi” and is “vigilant about AUKUS and the plan for nuclear submarine cooperation,” spokesperson of  the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying, said during the ministry’s daily press conference.

The provision of nuclear materials to a non-nuclear-weapon state will exclude weapons-grade highly-enriched uranium from necessary supervision and pose huge nuclear proliferation risks.”

Ms Hua also said AUKUS displayed a “typical contempt of rules” by the “Anglo-Saxon clique” and will undercut the non-proliferation system and other efforts to create nuclear free zones.   “In brief, this is a malicious exploitation of loopholes in international rules for out-and-out proliferation activities.

“Supervisions on the Australian nuclear submarines will set a precedent, concerns the rights and obligations of all IAEA member states, especially signatories to the NPT, and will have far-reaching impact on the international non-proliferation system.”

China is not alone in its concerns about AUKUS.

Indonesia and Malaysia have come out strongly against Australia’s acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines. 

Singapore – Australia’s most reliable ally among ASEAN member states – has also expressed worry.

Writing in The Conversation, James Chin, Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Tasmania, said this is because “many of them think there is no such thing as acquiring nuclear-powered submarines without the prospect of acquiring nuclear weapons in the future.”……. https://www.skynews.com.au/australia-news/defence-and-foreign-affairs/nuclear-inspection-under-aukus-deal-very-tricky-iaea-chief/news-story/1e5b391af8622cbc9450f181c1a28047

September 30, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, safety, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear-powered submarines a ‘terrible decision’ which will make Australia ‘less safe – Australian Greens

Nuclear-powered submarines a ‘terrible decision’ which will make Australia ‘less safe’

Greens leader Adam Bandt has raised concerns over Australia’s acquisition of technology for nuclear-powered submarines from the US and UK, calling it a “terrible decision” which will make “our country less safe”.

While there have been no serious incidences with the UK and US nuclear-powered submarines in their history, Mr Bandt pointed out New Zealand will not allow the nuclear vessels in their waters.

“Australia will be writing a blank cheque, we will be spending untold billions on a fleet of floating Chernobyls,” Mr Bandt told Sky News Australia.

Mr Bandt said Australia was buying “a nuclear reactor in a box” and noted if the US decides to change the technology or withhold support, “we are at their mercy”.

“It’s really concerning the Prime Minister is calling this ‘a forever partnership’, because it means if another Donald Trump comes back in the United States, we are now … a small arm of their nuclear capacity.”  https://www.skynews.com.au/australia-news/defence-and-foreign-affairs/nuclearpowered-submarines-a-terrible-decision-which-will-make-australia-less-safe/video/bc91f5690c3

September 18, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, safety, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Doubts about the nuclear submarines, do they make Australia less safe? Hugh White wonders.

What the submarine deal means for Morrison’s future, The Age, By David Crowe, SEPTEMBER 18, 2021  ”…………… Morrison has made sweeping decisions in the coronavirus pandemic, shutting borders and spending billions, but none is like the move to bolt Australia to the United States and the United Kingdom and build a new fleet of nuclear submarines……………

The toughest decisions are safely postponed until after the federal election due by May next year. Anxious about his prospects in the shipbuilding states of Western Australia and South Australia, Morrison promises more money for defence and more jobs for workers who lose from the cancellation of the French deal.

What he does not promise is that every submarine will be built in Australia. This is because the government’s immediate political objective is at odds with the country’s strategic imperative to replace today’s Collins-class submarines as soon as possible. Only after the election will voters know if the fastest way to deploy the new fleet is to have the first vessels built by the British or Americans.

So there is a tactical move embedded in the strategic shift.

…….. But there are real concerns the Prime Minister could lead the country into greater danger, or at least leave it exposed.

…… This will be a defining argument for the next 18 months. If this call is so fundamental to Australian security, why is Morrison so comfortable with such a long wait for delivery? The alternatives are to buy US submarines that are already in the water as the US deploys newer vessels over time, or place orders for new submarines built overseas.

…… Is this as significant as ANZUS, as Morrison claims? “It is not,” says John McCarthy, a senior adviser to Asialink at the University of Melbourne and a former ambassador to the US, Indonesia, Japan and India. “I simply cannot see that changing the type of submarine, albeit important, makes a hell of a lot of difference. I don’t buy the hype.”

McCarthy does not take issue with the shift to nuclear or the strengthening of the US and UK alliances, but he worries about the breach with France and the message to Asia. After decades of greater engagement in Asia, the government has chosen to tighten the knot with the Anglosphere, yet France is a greater power in the Pacific than Britain. Only months ago, Morrison sought support from French President Emmanuel Macron to counter China………..

“The easy thing is to assume that what’s worked for us in the past is going to work for us in the future,” says Hugh White, professor emeritus at the Australian National University.“The easy thing is not to recognise that Australia has to look after itself in the new order in Asia. It is to assume that we can rely on America and, God save us, the British to look after us and all we have to do is help them. That’s the way we’ve thought about our security for 150 years…….

White believes a bigger fleet of conventional submarines could be more effective and doubts the nuclear fleet can arrive before 2040, but he also questions whether this is significant for China. “If the Chinese go and push ahead anyway, and we end up in a war, I don’t think it is going to make a very big difference as to who is going to win or lose,……………….. https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/what-the-submarine-deal-means-for-morrison-s-future-20210917-p58sjo.html

September 18, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, safety, technology | Leave a comment

A Day in the Death of British Justice – the case of Julian Assange

 WikiLeaks has given us real news about those who govern us and take us to war, not the preordained, repetitive spin that fills newspapers and television screens. This is real journalism; and for the crime of real journalism, Assange has spent most of the past decade in one form of incarceration or another, including Belmarsh prison, a horrific place.

Diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, he is a gentle, intellectual visionary driven by his belief that a democracy is not a democracy unless it is transparent, and accountable.

JOHN PILGER: A Day in the Death of British Justice, Consortium News, August 12, 2021 The reputation of British justice now rests on the shoulders of the High Court in the life or death case of Julian Assange.

I sat in Court 4 in the Royal Courts of Justice in London Wednesday with Stella Moris, Julian Assange’s partner. I have known Stella for as long as I have known Julian. She, too, is a voice of freedom, coming from a family that fought the fascism of Apartheid. Today, her name was uttered in court by a barrister and a judge, forgettable people were it not for the power of their endowed privilege.

The barrister, Clair Dobbin, is in the pay of the regime in Washington, first Trump’s then Biden’s. She is America’s hired gun, or “silk”, as she would prefer. Her target is Julian Assange, who has committed no crime and has performed an historic public service by exposing the criminal actions and secrets on which governments, especially those claiming to be democracies, base their authority. 

For those who may have forgotten, WikiLeaks, of which Assange is founder and publisher, exposed the secrets and lies that led to the invasion of Iraq, Syria and Yemen, the murderous role of the Pentagon in dozens of countries, the blueprint for the 20-year catastrophe in Afghanistan, the attempts by Washington to overthrow elected governments, such as Venezuela’s, the collusion between nominal political opponents (Bush and Obama) to stifle a torture investigation and the CIA’s Vault 7 campaign that turned your mobile phone, even your TV set, into a spy in your midst.

WikiLeaks released almost a million documents from Russia which allowed Russian citizens to stand up for their rights. It revealed the Australian government had colluded with the U.S. against its own citizen, Assange. It named those Australian politicians who have “informed” for the U.S. It made the connection between the Clinton Foundation and the rise of jihadism in American-armed states in the Gulf.

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August 14, 2021 Posted by | - incidents, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, legal, politics international | Leave a comment

Senator Rex Patrick challenges Scott Morrison’s special arrangement to protect his government from public scrutiny

Senator challenges cabinet secrecy,  The Saturday Paper 33 May 21,  Scott Morrison is using a special arrangement to keep the workings of his government secret, but independent senator Rex Patrick has launched a challenge to its legality. By Karen Middleton  Karen Middleton is The Saturday Paper’s chief political correspondent.

A special policy committee the prime minister uses to keep the workings of his government secret is being called into legal question as part of a challenge to the confidential status of national cabinet.

Independent senator Rex Patrick launched the challenge after the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet refused two freedom of information requests for access to national cabinet documents.

Appearing before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) this week, the Commonwealth argued that national cabinet’s workings must be secret because it is an offshoot of federal cabinet, which is governed by a confidentiality convention.

It argued that deciding how cabinet committees are formed and who joins them is in the prime minister’s “gift” alone.

The national cabinet arrangement relies on the controversial cabinet office policy committee that Morrison created upon becoming prime minister. He is its only permanent member. The one-man construct allows the prime minister to declare almost any gathering he attends to be a cabinet committee meeting, protecting it from public scrutiny.

When the tribunal’s Justice Richard White queried the mechanism purporting to give national cabinet confidential status, the government could provide no information.

“Is there anything else that tells me anything about the cabinet office policy committee?” Justice White asked counsel for the Commonwealth, Andrew Berger, QC, on Wednesday. “I’m not sure there is, Your Honour,” Berger replied.

Last year, Labor’s senate leader, Penny Wong, condemned the one-man committee as “an abuse” of process used to “cover up blatant political decision-making”.

Senator Patrick’s AAT challenge could also have implications for accessing information from other designated cabinet subcommittees and groups advising them.

The one-man construct allows the prime minister to declare almost any gathering he attends to be a cabinet committee meeting, protecting it from public scrutiny…………..

…………………………. After the hearing, Rex Patrick described national cabinet as “a last-minute idea dealt with at short notice, without its implementation or consequences being properly considered”.

“That’s apparent when looking back at the various media statements, the cobbling together of a new cabinet handbook and the evidence before the AAT,” he told The Saturday Paper.

Patrick said the legislated right to access information on intergovernmental communication had existed in Australia for almost 40 years, “subject only to a test of public harm”.

“Last year, Prime Minister Morrison took that right away,” he said. “He did not ask the parliament to change the law.”

Patrick said he was in a fight for transparency and responsible government. “And I’m in a fight to stop a prime minister unilaterally taking away a right that was given to me and all Australians, by the parliament.”

Whether Justice White agrees will be clear soon. He reserved his judgement and promised a quick decision.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on May 22, 2021 as “Cabinet of one”. https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2021/05/22/senator-challenges-cabinet-secrecy/162160560011709

May 22, 2021 Posted by | - incidents, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, politics | Leave a comment

BHP, Rio Tinto given carte blanche to export uranium to global hotspots 

March 17, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, safety, uranium | Leave a comment

Legislation banning nuclear power in Australia should be retained

Jim Green, Online Opinion, 27 Feb 2020https://onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=20758&page=0  

Nuclear power in Australia is prohibited under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999. A review of the EPBC Act is underway and there is a strong push from the nuclear industry to remove the bans. However, federal and state laws banning nuclear power have served Australia well and should be retained.

Too cheap to meter or too expensive to matter? Laws banning nuclear power has saved Australia from the huge costs associated with failed and failing reactor projects in Europe and North America, such as the Westinghouse project in South Carolina that was abandoned after the expenditure of at least A$13.4 billion. The Westinghouse / South Carolina fiasco could so easily have been replicated in any of Australia’s states or territories if not for the legal bans.

There are many other examples of shocking nuclear costs and cost overruns, including:

* The cost of the two reactors under construction in the US state of Georgia has doubled and now stands at A$20.4‒22.6 billion per reactor.

* The cost of the only reactor under construction in France has nearly quadrupled and now stands at A$20.0 billion. It is 10 years behind schedule.

* The cost of the only reactor under construction in Finland has nearly quadrupled and now stands at A$17.7 billion. It is 10 years behind schedule.

* The cost of the four reactors under construction in the United Arab Emirates has increased from A$7.5 billion per reactor to A$10‒12 billion per reactor.

* In the UK, the estimated cost of the only two reactors under construction is A$25.9 billion per reactor. A decade ago, the estimated cost was almost seven times lower. The UK National Audit Office estimates that taxpayer subsidies for the project will amount to A$58 billion, despite earlier government promises that no taxpayer subsidies would be made available.

Nuclear power has clearly priced itself out of the market and will certainly decline over the coming decades. Indeed the nuclear industry is in crisis ‒ as industry insiders and lobbyists freely acknowledge. Westinghouse ‒ the most experienced reactor builder in the world ‒ filed for bankruptcy in 2017 as a result of catastrophic cost overruns on reactor projects. A growing number of countries are phasing out nuclear power, including Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Taiwan and South Korea.

Rising power bills: Laws banning nuclear power should be retained because nuclear power could not possibly pass any reasonable economic test. Nuclear power clearly fails the two economic tests set by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Firstly, nuclear power could not possibly be introduced or maintained without huge taxpayer subsidies. Secondly, nuclear power would undoubtedly result in higher electricity prices.

Nuclear waste streams: Laws banning nuclear power should be retained because no solution exists to for the safe, long-term management of streams of low-, intermediate- and high-level nuclear wastes. No country has an operating repository for high-level nuclear waste. The United States has a deep underground repository for long-lived intermediate-level waste ‒ the only operating deep underground repository worldwide ‒ but it was closed from 2014‒17 following a chemical explosion in an underground waste barrel. Safety standards and regulatory oversight fell away sharply within the first decade of operation of the U.S. repository ‒ a sobering reminder of the challenge of safely managing dangerous nuclear wastes for tens of thousands of years.

Too dangerous: The Fukushima and Chernobyl disasters results in the evacuation of over half a million people and economic costs in the hundreds of billions of dollars. In addition to the danger of nuclear reactor meltdowns and fires and chemical explosions, there are other dangers. Doubling nuclear output by the middle of the century would require the construction of 800−900 reactors. These reactors not only become military targets but they would produce over one million tonnes of high-level nuclear waste containing enough plutonium to build over one million nuclear weapons.

Pre-deployed terrorist targets: Nuclear power plants have been described as pre-deployed terrorist targets and pose a major security threat. This in turn would likely see an increase in policing and security operations and costs and a commensurate impact on civil liberties and public access to information. Other nations in our region may view Australian nuclear aspirations with suspicion and concern given that many aspects of the technology and knowledge-base are the same as those required for nuclear weapons.

Former US Vice President Al Gore summarised the proliferation problem: “For eight years in the White House, every weapons-proliferation problem we dealt with was connected to a civilian reactor program. And if we ever got to the point where we wanted to use nuclear reactors to back out a lot of coal … then we’d have to put them in so many places we’d run that proliferation risk right off the reasonability scale.”

Too slow: Expanding nuclear power is impractical as a short-term response to climate change. An analysis by Australian economist Prof. John Quiggin concludes that it would be “virtually impossible” to get a nuclear power reactor operating in Australia before 2040. More time would elapse before nuclear power has generated as much as energy as was expended in the construction of the reactor: a University of Sydney report concluded that the energy payback time for nuclear reactors is 6.5‒7 years. Taking into account planning and approvals, construction, and the energy payback time, it would be a quarter of a century or more before nuclear power could even begin to reduce greenhouse emissions in Australia (and then only assuming that nuclear power displaced fossil fuels).

Too thirsty: Nuclear power is extraordinarily thirsty. A single nuclear power reactor consumes 35‒65 million litres of water per day for cooling.

Water consumption of different energy sources (litres / kWh):

* Nuclear 2.5

* Coal 1.9

* Combined Cycle Gas 0.95

* Solar PV 0.11

* Wind 0.004

Climate change and nuclear hazards: Nuclear power plants are vulnerable to threats which are being exacerbated by climate change. These include dwindling and warming water sources, sea-level rise, storm damage, drought, and jelly-fish swarms. Nuclear engineer David Lochbaum states. “I’ve heard many nuclear proponents say that nuclear power is part of the solution to global warming. It needs to be reversed: You need to solve global warming for nuclear plants to survive.”

In January 2019, the Climate Council, comprising Australia’s leading climate scientists and other policy experts, issued a policy statement concluding that nuclear power plants “are not appropriate for Australia – and probably never will be”.

By contrast, the REN21 Renewables 2015: Global Status Report states that renewable energy systems “have unique qualities that make them suitable both for reinforcing the resilience of the wider energy infrastructure and for ensuring the provision of energy services under changing climatic conditions.”

First Nations: Laws banning nuclear power should be retained because the pursuit of a nuclear power industry would almost certainly worsen patterns of disempowerment and dispossession that Australia’s First Nations have experienced ‒ and continue to experience ‒ as a result of nuclear and uranium projects.

To give one example (among many), the National Radioactive Waste Management Act dispossesses and disempowers Traditional Owners in many respects: the nomination of a site for a radioactive waste dump is valid even if Aboriginal owners were not consulted and did not give consent; the Act has sections which nullify State or Territory laws that protect archaeological or heritage values, including those which relate to Indigenous traditions; the Act curtails the application of Commonwealth laws including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 and the Native Title Act 1993 in the important site-selection stage; and the Native Title Act 1993 is expressly overridden in relation to land acquisition for a radioactive waste dump.

No social license: Laws banning nuclear power should be retained because there is no social license to introduce nuclear power to Australia. Opinion polls find that Australians are overwhelmingly opposed to a nuclear power reactor being built in their local vicinity (10‒28% support, 55‒73% opposition); and opinion polls find that support for renewable energy sources far exceeds support for nuclear power (for example a 2015 IPSOS poll found 72‒87% support for solar and wind power but just 26% support for nuclear power). As the Clean Energy Council noted in its submission to the 2019 federal nuclear inquiry, it would require “a minor miracle” to win community support for nuclear power in Australia.

The pursuit of nuclear power would also require bipartisan political consensus at state and federal levels for several decades. Good luck with that. Currently, there is a bipartisan consensus at the federal level to retain the legal ban. The noisy, ultra-conservative rump of the Coalition is lobbying for nuclear power but their push has been rejected by, amongst others, the federal Liberal Party leadership, the Queensland Liberal-National Party, the SA Liberal government, the Tasmanian Liberal government, the NSW Liberal Premier and environment minister, and even ultra-conservatives such as Nationals Senator Matt Canavan.

The future is renewable, not radioactive: Laws banning nuclear power should be retained because the introduction of nuclear power would delay and undermine the development of effective, economic energy and climate policies based on renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. A December 2019 report by CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator finds that construction costs for nuclear reactors are 2‒8 times higher than costs for wind or solar. Levelised costs for nuclear are 2‒3 times greater per unit of energy produced compared to wind or solar including either 2 hours of battery storage or 6 hours of pumped hydro energy storage.

Australia can do better than fuel higher carbon emissions and unnecessary radioactive risk. We need to embrace the fastest growing global energy sector and become a driver of clean energy thinking and technology and a world leader in renewable energy technology. We can grow the jobs of the future here today. This will provide a just transition for energy sector workers, their families and communities and the certainty to ensure vibrant regional economies and secure sustainable and skilled jobs into the future. Renewable energy is affordable, low risk, clean and popular. Nuclear is not. Our shared energy future is renewable, not radioactive.

More Information

* Don’t Nuke the Climate Australia, www.dont-nuke-the-climate.org.au

* Climate Council, 2019, ‘Nuclear Power Stations are Not Appropriate for Australia – and Probably Never Will Be’, https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/nuclear-power-stations-are-not-appropriate-for-australia-and-probably-never-will-be/

* WISE Nuclear Monitor, 25 June 2016, ‘Nuclear power: No solution to climate change’, https://www.wiseinternational.org/nuclear-monitor/806/nuclear-power-no-solution-climate-change

Dr. Jim Green is the national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia.

February 27, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming, politics, safety, wastes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Flooding events highlight the danger to proposed uranium mining sites Yeelirrie and Wiluna

K-A Garlick at Nuclear Free WA

6 Feb 20, In an area where two uranium mines are proposed ~ Yeelirrie and Wiluna, there have been massive rain influx, leading to widespread floods across the Goldfields country.

Toro Energy Wiluna uranium project expands over two lake systems and over 100 kms. The project includes four uranium deposits – Lake Way, Centipede, Millipede and Lake Maitland.

The project proposal includes a high risk inappropriate site to attempt disposal of up to 50 million tonnes of radioactive tailings that would be stored in mined out pits on the edge of Lake Way in a floodplain and in the drainage channel of a creek.

The company’s studies of hydrogeology, hydrology and geochemistry were all heavily criticised in Peer Reviews submitted as part of the environmental assessment.  With these floods today, the planned emplacement of 50 million tonnes of long-lived radioactive mine waste in a floodplain poses a very serious risk to the environment and public health.

February 6, 2020 Posted by | climate change - global warming, safety, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

1980 spill of nuclear poisons – a warning note for Kimba area

Potential nuclear spill a cause for concern, Port  Lincoln Times, TY BRUUN  22 Jan 2020,  I hope individuals from all over the Eyre Peninsula attend the protest rally (Kimba, February 2) to demonstrate the nuclear waste proposal affects more communities than just Kimba.

For those who are on the fence, please consider this realistic scenario.

In 1980, a truck transporting nuclear waste along the Old Pacific Highway outside metropolitan Sydney rolled over, spilling 4.5 tons of chemicals including Caesium 137 and Americium 241.

The scene was attended by police officers. They were exposed to the radiation and became violently ill at the scene.

The following events bring doubt as to whether country SA could ever possess the expertise to deal with a nuclear waste accident, given this could not be sourced in the higher skilled population of Sydney.

The officers’ requested for assistance – it was refused on the grounds that no-one with nuclear waste spillage expertise could be sourced to prevent anyone else suffering radiation exposure.

The two officers and a council worker could only bury the waste beside the highway.

The sick officers tried to have the waste spillage formally acknowledged and cleaned up properly and spoke to the media.

It is truly questionable that, given this incident has still not been resolved despite other road workers becoming ill and construction of a new highway through the burial zone, the federal government will actually adequately resource the country town of Kimba (or anywhere else along the nuclear waste transport route) so that we can deal with this sensibly foreseeable emergency situation with radioactive waste.

I urge you all to consider what it would be like to wish your grown child a good day at work as they head off to deal with a radioactive spillage along Eyre Highway.

Is this really the legacy you will leave your children?

Remember, it has happened before; it is not over emotional or fear mongering to consider such scenarios, it’s rather sensible.https://www.portlincolntimes.com.au/story/6587692/potential-nuclear-spill-a-cause-for-concern/?fbclid=IwAR2NWWHE9A_5Uqog5nrcvC_o_3VukGgmUFcEfaxjiPMJ20r6edQVdcAEIsI

Port  Lincoln Times, TY BRUUN 22 Jan 2020,  Potential nuclear spill a cause for concern, I hope individuals from all over the Eyre Peninsula attend the protest rally (Kimba, February 2) to demonstrate the nuclear waste proposal affects more communities than just Kimba.

For those who are on the fence, please consider this realistic scenario.

In 1980, a truck transporting nuclear waste along the Old Pacific Highway outside metropolitan Sydney rolled over, spilling 4.5 tons of chemicals including Caesium 137 and Americium 241.

The scene was attended by police officers. They were exposed to the radiation and became violently ill at the scene.

The following events bring doubt as to whether country SA could ever possess the expertise to deal with a nuclear waste accident, given this could not be sourced in the higher skilled population of Sydney.

The officers’ requested for assistance – it was refused on the grounds that no-one with nuclear waste spillage expertise could be sourced to prevent anyone else suffering radiation exposure.

The two officers and a council worker could only bury the waste beside the highway.

The sick officers tried to have the waste spillage formally acknowledged and cleaned up properly and spoke to the media.

It is truly questionable that, given this incident has still not been resolved despite other road workers becoming ill and construction of a new highway through the burial zone, the federal government will actually adequately resource the country town of Kimba (or anywhere else along the nuclear waste transport route) so that we can deal with this sensibly foreseeable emergency situation with radioactive waste.

I urge you all to consider what it would be like to wish your grown child a good day at work as they head off to deal with a radioactive spillage along Eyre Highway.

Is this really the legacy you will leave your children?

Remember, it has happened before; it is not over emotional or fear mongering to consider such scenarios, it’s rather sensible.https://www.portlincolntimes.com.au/story/6587692/potential-nuclear-spill-a-cause-for-concern/?fbclid=IwAR2NWWHE9A_5Uqog5nrcvC_o_3VukGgmUFcEfaxjiPMJ20r6edQVdcAEIsI

January 23, 2020 Posted by | - incidents, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | 1 Comment

Bushfires – a serious danger to transporting nuclear wastes from Lucas Heights to Kimba

Transporting nuclear wastes across Australia in the age of bushfires, Independent Australia, By Noel Wauchope | IN 2020, the final decision on a site for Australia’s interim National Radioactive Waste Facility will be announced, said Resources Minister Matt Canavan on 13 December.

He added:  I will make a formal announcement early next year on the site-selection process.”

With bushfires raging, it might seem insensitive and non-topical to be worrying now about this coming announcement on a temporary nuclear waste site and the transport of nuclear wastes to it. But this is relevant and all too serious in the light of Australia’s climate crisis.

The U.S. National Academies Press compiled a lengthy and comprehensive report on risks of transporting nuclear wastes — they concluded that among various risks, the most serious and significant is fire:…..

Current bushfire danger areas include much of New South Wales, including the Lucas Heights area, North and coastal East Victoria and in South Australia the lower Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas. If nuclear wastes were to be transported across the continent, whether by land or by sea, from the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in Sydney to Kimba in South Australia, they’d be travelling through much of these areas. Today, they’d be confronting very long duration, fully engulfing fires.

Do we know what route the nuclear wastes would be taking to Kimba, which is now presumed to be the Government’s choice for the waste dump? Does the Department of Industry Innovation and Science know? Does the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) know? Well, they might, but they’re not going to tell us.

We can depend on ANSTO’s consistent line on this :

‘In line with standard operational and security requirements, ANSTO will not comment on the port, routes or timing until after the transport is complete.’

That line is understandable of course, due to security considerations, including the danger of terrorism.

Spent nuclear fuel rods have been transported several times, from Lucas Heights to ports – mainly Port Kembla – in great secrecy and security. The reprocessed wastes are later returned from France or the UK with similar caution. Those secret late-night operations are worrying enough, but their risks seem almost insignificant when compared with the marathon journey envisaged in what is increasingly looking like a crackpot ANSTO scheme for the proposed distant Kimba interim nuclear dump. It is accepted that these temporary dumps are best located as near as practical to the point of production, as in the case of USA’s sites.

Australians, beset by the horror of extreme bushfires, can still perhaps count themselves as lucky in that, compared with wildfire regions in some countries, they do not yet have the compounding horror of radioactive contamination spread along with the ashes and smoke.

Fires in Russia have threatened its secret nuclear areas……

Many in America have long been aware of the transport danger:

The state of Nevada released a report in 2003 concluding that a steel-lead-steel cask would have failed after about six hours in the fire and a solid steel cask would have failed after about 11 to 12.5 hours. There would have been contamination over 32 square miles of the city and the contamination would have killed up to 28,000 people over 50 years.

The State of Wyoming is resisting hosting a nuclear waste dump, largely because of transportation risks as well as economic risks. In the UK, Somerset County Council rejects plans for transport of wastes through Somerset.

In the years 2016–2019, proposals for nuclear waste dumping in South Australia have been discussed by government and media as solely a South Australian concern. The present discussion about Kimba is being portrayed as just a Kimba community concern.

Yet, when the same kind of proposal was put forward in previous years, it was recognised as an issue for other states, too.

Most reporting on Australia’s bushfires has been excellent, with the exception of Murdoch media trying to downplay their seriousness. However, there has been no mention of the proximity of bushfires to Lucas Heights. As happened with the fires in 2018, this seems to be a taboo subject in the Australian media.

While it has never been a good idea to trek the Lucas Heights nuclear waste for thousands of kilometres across the continent – or halfway around it by sea – Australia’s new climate crisis has made it that much more dangerous. Is the bushfire apocalypse just a one-off? Or, more likely, is this nationwide danger the new normal? https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/transporting-nuclear-wastes-across-australia-in-the-age-of-bushfires,13465

January 9, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, Federal nuclear waste dump, safety | Leave a comment

Nuclear Waste Crash COVERUP – Poisoned Police Speak Out

Nuclear Waste Crash COVERUP – Poisoned Police Speak Out  Kim Mavromatis No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia  https://vimeo.com/372781616?fbclid=IwAR0im5Vuz_UbrDAklOuNImdf1RRDuN7Z9pnLDOVO_84JaM9qa6IaVUuNn50

2 policemen, cast aside and abandoned, speak out about the poisoning, trauma and nightmares they faced, after attending a fatal road accident on the Pacific Highway involving nuclear waste from Lucas Heights.

Nuclear Waste from Lucas Heights in NSW that was heading to Brisbane wharf along the Pacific Highway to be shipped to Gulf Nuclear in Texas.

WAKE UP CALL
A wake up call for all South Australians as the federal govnt propose to dump nuclear waste in SA.

THREATS AND COVERUPS
“Shut your mouth, don’t talk to the media, or you’ll get a bullet in the back of your head”.

“It was a cover up from day one”.

“It was disgusting the way we were treated. Really was”.

NUCLEAR WASTE TRANSPORT ACCIDENTS
“The more they transport, the greater the risk”. “It will happen again, one day, somewhere – It will happen”.

SPECIAL THANKS to Bob and Terry for sharing their story.

THERE ARE MANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS CONSIGNMENT?
Why were Bob and Terry (policemen) treated sooo badly, threatened and told to shut up about the accident?

Why was Aust Atomic Energy Commission (AAEC now ANSTO) at Lucas Heights shipping this
highly radioactive material to Gulf Nuclear in Texas?

How many consignments like this were made over the years?

Was it legal?

What was Gulf Nuclear (20 years in operation) doing with it ?

How did AAEC (now ANSTO, Lucas Heights) create Americium 241 and Cesium 137 – did they have authority to do so?https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929/

November 25, 2019 Posted by | - incidents, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies, wastes | 2 Comments

Fuel tanker fire on highway near Kimba – just as well it wasn’t a nuclear waste transport

Highway opened after fuel tanker fire near Kimba   https://www.police.sa.gov.au/sa-police-news-assets/front-page-news/fuel-tanker-fire-near-kimba#.XcX8nzMzbIV 01 Nov 2019 The Eyre Highway has reopened following a fuel tanker fire yesterday near Kimba.

Emergency services responded to reports a fuel tanker rolled and caught alight on the Eyre Highway at Kelly, about 15 kilometres east of Kimba just after 7am on Thursday 31 October.

Fortunately, the tanker driver was not injured in the crash.

The fire caused damage to the road surface and required repairs by Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.

The highway is open, but speeds are currently restricted to 40 km/h at the scene of yesterday’s fire.

November 9, 2019 Posted by | - incidents, South Australia | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste containers in transit to South Australian dump, could be vulnerable to bushfires.

Kazzi Jai    Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste In The Flinders Ranges, 4 Nov 19 In an inquiry tabled with the NSW Parliament in 2004, asserting exactly the same containers for the transport of the Nuclear Waste from Lucas Heights as proposed now….

“The Fire Brigade Union contradicted this view stating that everything burns under the right conditions and that an accident, particularly with a fuel tanker, could generate enough heat to burn concrete and steel containers and vaporise the waste. This would transform the waste into a form in which it presents the greatest risk to human health.

“Concrete burns, it spalls, it expands and it explodes. That is what happens to it if it is subject to fire for long enough. You can put it in concrete and you can have steel mesh holding the whole thing together, but when you apply heat, the granules grow and things start spalling, just throwing out bits of itself everywhere until, in the end, that concrete or the integrity of the structure that encases it is broken.
Steel burns as well. It does not surprise many firefighters but steel burns. Anything burns, distorts, warps, breaks and spalls. Maybe that is why we have a fascination with it, but in our society nothing is safe from fire. There is nothing in this world that is safe from fire” https://www.facebook.com/groups/941313402573199/

November 4, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, safety | Leave a comment

Three ANSTO nuclear workers exposed to radiation

Three workers exposed to radiation,  By SEAN PARNELL Australia’s $200m nuclear medicine facility breached its licence when three staff members were exposed to radiation….. (subscribers only) https://www.theaustralian.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=TAWEB_WRE170_a_GGN&dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theaustralian.com.au%2Fscience%2Fthree-workers-exposed-to-radiation%2Fnews-story%2Fc61467842c331fa0cc811a1fe16d70f1&memtype=anonymous&mode=premium&v21suffix=60-b

October 21, 2019 Posted by | - incidents, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | 1 Comment