Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Climate change is the big security issue for Pacific Island nations, – and for Australia?

For Pacific Island nations, rising sea levels are a bigger security concern than rising Chinese influence, The Conversation,  Michael O’Keefe, Head of Department, Politics and Philosophy, La Trobe University, August 31, 2018   When the Pacific Islands Forum is held in Nauru from September 1, one of the main objectives will be signing a wide-ranging security agreementthat covers everything from defence and law and order concerns to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

The key question heading into the forum is: can the agreement find a balance between the security priorities of Australia and New Zealand and the needs of the Pacific Island nations?

Even though new Prime Minister Scott Morrison is not attending the forum, sending Foreign Minister Marise Payne instead, the Biketawa Plus security agreement remains a key aim for Canberra……….

A focus on climate change as a security issue

One key reason for updating Biketawa is to realign Australia’s security interests with those of Pacific Island countries that have grown more aware of their shared interests and confident in expressing them in international relations. This growing confidence is clear in the lobbying of Pacific nations for climate change action at the United Nations and in Fiji’s role as president of the UN’s COP23 climate talks.

In the absence of direct military threats, the Pacific Island nations are most concerned about security of a different kind. Key issues for the region are sustainable growth along a “blue-green” model, climate change (especially the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters and rising sea levels), illegal fishing and over-fishing, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), transnational crime, money laundering and human trafficking. ……..

Climate change adaptation and mitigation must also be elevated to the top of the agenda in Australia’s relations with the region. It is the most pressing problem in the Pacific, but for political and economic reasons, it hasn’t resonated to the same extent with Canberra.

In fact, Australia has recently been identified as the worst-performing country in the world on climate action. This has not gone unnoticed in the Pacific. Fiji’s prime minister, in particular, has been clear in highlighting that Australia’s “selfish” stance on climate change undermines its credibility in the region.

These shifting priorities in the Pacific present a greater challenge for Australia, especially now that there are more players in the region, such as China, Russia and Indonesia. Australia may see these “outsiders” as potential threats, but Pacific nations are just as likely to view them as alternative development partners able to provide opportunities………

there can be no authentic engagement with the region without addressing climate insecurity as well. https://theconversation.com/for-pacific-island-nations-rising-sea-levels-are-a-bigger-security-concern-than-rising-chinese-influence-102403

Advertisements

September 3, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international, safety | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste being shipped to Australia by company with a terrible safety record

Responsibility overboard: the shocking record of the company shipping nuclear waste to Australia http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19892&page=0

By Natalie Wasley -, 14 August 2018In the very early hours of Sunday July 29, the federal government carried out a highly secretive transport of spent nuclear fuel. Helicopters and hundreds of police accompanied trucks from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology’s reactor at Lucas Heights to Port Kembla in Wollongong.

The spent fuel was loaded onto the BBC Austria, owned by Briese Schiffahrt, a shipping line condemned across the world for dangerous and illegal practices. The cargo is heading for the La Hague facility in France to be reprocessed, with a contractual agreement for waste generated from this process to be sent back to Australia.

Any transportation of nuclear materials carries risks, but Briese has a particularly terrible safety record, including leaking oilfrom vessels, losing cargo overboard and failing to follow basic navigation rules. In 2015, French nuclear giant Areva (now Orano) chartered the controversial Briese ship the BBC Shanghai to bring reprocessed spent fuel waste back to Australia. This was despite the ship being recently detained in Australia and Spain, and banned from carrying government cargo in the United States, for failing safety inspections

The transport occurred during a federal Parliamentary Inquiry into Flag of Convenience ships, where it was revealed that the BBC Shanghai was “owned and operated by a web of German companies, registered in the tiny Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda and crewed by a mix of Russian and Ukrainian seafarers.” At the time, independent Senator John Madigan accused the government of “tendering out its national security to the lowest common denominator.”

A complex web of ownership and vessel registration allows Briese to circumvent systematic regulation and accountability. Along with safety breaches, vessels have been caught carrying weapons, allegedly intended for war-ravaged nations. Briese is known to have transported Russian and Ukrainian weapons and has an “important functional role” of “heavy weapons shipments to countries with poor infrastructure” as part of the Odessa Network that has allegedly supplied weapons used in Syria. Briese ships have been stopped and crew detained with weapons cargo and tanks “presumably intended” for Sudan and Singapore.

Amnesty International identified a Briese vessel moving cluster bombs between South Korea and Pakistan in 2010, contravening the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions. The vessel was not sailing under a German flag, and therefore did not need the permit that would usually be required under German law.

Workers’ rights

Briese has a terrible track record on workers’ rights. In 2015, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) argued that the crew of the BBC Shanghai only signed a binding wage agreement en route to Australia after the radioactive waste shipment attracted public scrutiny. International Transport Federation National Coordinator Dean Summers inspected a sister ship at Port Kembla and found the crew was underpaid and working under a “sham” collective agreement.

The MUA has a long held policy of opposition to all aspects of the nuclear industry. The position recognises that handling and transport of radioactive materials is a risk to stevedores, seafarers and other transport and emergency workers. It also expresses support for Traditional Owners and community members resisting imposition of nuclear projects.

When the BBC Shanghai docked in 2015, MUA Southern NSW Branch Secretary Garry Keane reiterated: “Our members do not support the nuclear industry. There is no totally safe way to transport or store waste which remains a danger and threatens communities for thousands of years.”

Community opposition

The reprocessing waste that returned to Australia was categorised as long-lived intermediate level waste (ILW). The intention was for it to be stored at a purpose built national radioactive waste facility, along with other low and intermediate level waste that would be transported from around the country. However, the attempts of successive federal government to construct such a facility have been thwarted by persistent community campaigns and legal actions. Nominated sites in South Australia (1998-2004) and the Northern Territory (2005-2014) were dropped by the federal government after years of hard fought campaigning.

Significant government resources are currently being thrown at advancing the assessment of three shortlisted sites in South Australia- one on Adnyamathanha country in the Flinders Ranges and two in the Kimba region of the Eyre Peninsula. The SA waste dump plan has caused great anxiety and stress for Traditional Owners and local community members near the sites.

Adnyamathanha Traditional Owner Regina McKenzie describes the Flinders Ranges as “arngurla yarta” (spiritual land). Upon receiving the 2016 Peter Rawlinson environment award, Regina said: “The proposed dumpsite contains thousands of Aboriginal artefacts. Our ancestors are buried there. We don’t want a nuclear waste dump here on our country and worry that if the waste comes here it will harm our environment and muda (our lore, creation).”

Communities – including many of Regina’s extended family – have campaigned for decades to stop uranium mining and nuclear waste dumps and to fight for compensation for people affected by nuclear bomb tests conducted in the 1950s and 1960s.

The nuclear chain is toxic from start to finish. As we move, albeit slowly, towards creation of long-term, sustainable and safer jobs in renewable industries there will be ongoing need ‒for many generations ‒to manage the radioactive materials already stockpiled around the world.

Instead of continuing with plans to greatly expand the production and export of radioactive medical isotopes from Lucas Heights, the federal government should start planning to replace the reactor with more benign technologies for scientific and medical applications. A recent conveyor beltbreakdown and two spills of radioactive material that affected workers in the past year highlight the risks and vulnerabilities inherent in this industry. Environment groups, trade union and health organisations have long called for an independent inquiry into the production, transport and management of radioactive waste in Australia that includes all key stakeholders. This is essential to take the discussion around intergenerational management out of the trenches and to the table.

Arthur Rorris from the South Coast Labour Council summarised it well in the lead up to the 2015 transport: “When a shipment of solarpanels comes through the port you don’t see hundreds of cops blocking highways and a national security operation. Communities the world over want to see the back of the nuclear industry so we don’t have to endure these unnecessary risks to public health, the environment and our national security.”


August 15, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, safety | Leave a comment

Earthquakes: another good reason to not establish a nuclear waste dump in the Flinders Ranges

Lyn Blume Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA Here is another good reason to not dump nuclear waste in SA as this is a seismic region in Australia, here is the most recent record. Earthquake Details
NW of Blinman, SA
Summary
Origin (UTC): 06/08/2018 22:35:45 Epicentral Time: 07/08/2018 08:05:45
Longitude: 138.511 Latitude: -31.000
Magnitude: 2.4 (ML) Depth: 10 km

Event Id: ga2018pkbnhd https://earthquakes.ga.gov.au/ Blinman is a town deep in the Flinders Ranges, in the mid-north of South Australia. It is very small but has the claim of being the highest surveyed town in South Australia. It serves as a base for large acre pastoralists and tourism. The town is just north of the Flinders Ranges National Park, is 60 kilometres(km) north of Wilpena Pound and 485 km north of Adelaide. https://www.whereis.com/search-results?query=Blinman%20SA….

   https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/permalink/798296437181835/?comment_id=798549383823207&reply_comment_id=798845953793550&notif_id=1533982264730819&notif_t=group_comment

August 13, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, safety, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australian govt names Whyalla, Port Pirie, South Australian Ports to impose nuclear waste shipments

Federal gov. names SA Ports to impose nuclear waste shipments Nuclear Brief (1st August 2018) by David Noonan, Independent Environment Campaigner

Amidst rising controversy, the Federal Industry Department (DIIS) has named proposed Ports in SA that may have to take shipments of irradiated nuclear fuel wastes to go on to a Federal dump site.

DIIS reports (p.179) two intended shipments of reprocessed nuclear fuel wastes into SA within the first 2 years of operations of a proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF).

A shipment of nuclear waste is due from Sellafield in UK and a shipment out of Port Kembla is planned from the ANSTO Lucas Heights reactor of nuclear waste received from France in 2015.

After years of secrecy over intended nuclear waste shipments to an SA Port, DIIS has now named Whyalla, Port Pirie, a new Eyre Peninsula commodities port (if built) and even Port Lincoln, as potential nuclear waste ports, in three “Site Characterisation, Technical Reports” released in July.

However, all of these ill-considered plans for nuclear waste ports face an array of serious obstacles

These targeted port communities are denied a say in Minister Canavan’s pending decision on siting a Federal dump in SA, they haven’t been consulted on use of their ports, and are excluded from ‘votes’ in the Hawker & Kimba districts over Aug-Sept on whether or not to locate a NRWMF in those areas.

The Federal gov. is in continued breach of advice of the Nuclear Safety Committee (NSC) to the nuclear regulator ARPANSA (Nov 2016) on the NRWMF, on transparency in decisions, and for:

“The ongoing requirement to clearly and effectively engage all stakeholders, including those along transport routes.” With the NSC stating that: “Such engagement is essential…”

Proposed indefinite above ground storage of nuclear fuel wastes compromises safety, is illegal in SA, and must not be allowed now. ARPANSA states these wastes require isolation for 10 000 years.

This was recognised by the previous SA State Liberal gov. that prohibited the import, transport, storage and disposal of nuclear fuel wastes under the Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 2000.

“The Objects of this Act are to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of South Australia and to protect the environment in which they live by prohibiting the establishment of certain nuclear waste storage facilities in this State.”

The new SA State Liberal gov. under the leadership of Premier Marshall has a key responsibility to protect the public interest and to uphold the law in our State. These are fundamentally State issues.

The Howard Federal gov. targeted SA for nuclear dumping over 1998 – 2004 but had to abandon that “National Store Project” & associated shipping and transport of nuclear waste across SA.

This Federal dump plan poses reputational risks and material impacts to the Kimba & Eyre Peninsula agricultural region, to the iconic Flinders Ranges tourism region, and now to targeted Ports in SA.

Nuclear waste can pose serious Accident & Security Risks and Impacts:

“In the event of a major nuclear accident, adverse impacts on the tourism, agriculture and property sectors could potentially be profound.”

SA Nuclear Royal Commission: Tentative Findings, Risks and Challenges, Impacts on other Sectors (Feb 2016, p.28)

Key questions on safety & security in nuclear fuel waste transport and storage remain unanswered (see D Noonan submission to Senate Inquiry, p.10). Nuclear fuel wastes must not be allowed into SA

The UK Nuclear Free Local Authorities “Briefing: Nuclear security concerns – how secure is the UK civil nuclear sector?” (NFLA, May 2016) highlights key security threats including the risks from potential malicious attack on a nuclear waste transport or on a nuclear waste storage site.

NFLA (p.8) cites the views of nuclear engineer Dr John Large on safety as at the heart of its concerns:

“Movement of nuclear materials is inherently risky both in terms of severe accident and terrorist attack. Not all accident scenarios and accident severities can be foreseen; it is only possible to maintain a limited security cordon around the flask and its consignment; … terrorists are able to seek out and exploit vulnerabilities in the transport arrangements and localities on the route; and emergency planning is difficult to maintain over the entire route.”

NFLA Recommendations (p.15) call for real discussion on the aftermath of a nuclear security incident given the major emergency response issues that arise. SA is unprepared for any such consequences.

Any use of SA Ports for nuclear waste poses significant logistical & other constraints:

The DIIS “Site Characterisation, Technical Report – Wallerberdina” for a proposed Federal nuclear dump site near Hawker, Section 4.1 Transport (p.174-186), at “Proximity to Ports” (p.177) states:

“There is potential to have waste shipped from Port Kembla, NSW to key port locations such as Whyalla and Port Pirie. From here waste would either be shipped via road or rail to the site.”

Hundreds of Police were required for security at July nuclear waste shipment out of Port Kembla.

Use of Port Pirie to road would lock down the National Highway to Port Augusta with 130 tonne Nuclear Canisters on over dimension & over-mass special vehicles. To rail would require waste transfer onto national gauge alongside Port Pirie and a second transfer on to State gauge in Port Augusta, with rehabilitation of the disused Cotabena Railway (p.177 & 186), to go on to the Flinders.

Use of the Port of Whyalla to road would require upgrade of Yorkeys Crossing to bypass the Port Augusta Bridge and to try “to avoid occurrences of complete shutdown” (p.181) in Port Augusta.

The Iron Triangle cities of Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Pirie are now openly targeted for nuclear fuel waste transport and should have a right to refuse these untenable Federal gov. nuclear plans.

Influential Port Lincoln may be able to defend itself: other Port communities shouldn’t have to do so.

The Marshall gov must protect all SA regional communities and reject a Federal nuclear dump in SA

August 3, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, safety | Leave a comment

Overnight secret transport of nuclear wastes through Sydney

Radioactive nuclear rods leave Sydney bound for France, ABC 30 July 18 

July 30, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, safety | Leave a comment

Safety problems at Lucas Heights nuclear reactor

 

 

 

Nuclear radiation spills spur Lucas Heights review, THE AUSTRALIAN, SIAN POWELL, Higher Education & Science Writer, Sydney SEAN PARNELL-Health Editor, Brisbane @seanparnell

Australia’s nuclear safety agency has ordered a review of Sydney’s Lucas Heights nuclear medicine facility after two radiation spills, and a separate investigation is under way into a mechanical failure that has caused delays in diagnostic tests across the country.

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation has had four safety breaches in 10 months and in recent weeks has had to call on US…….

Distribution of the replacement nuclear medicine supplies was also disrupted this month after airline delays from the US prevented the medicine reaching clinics and hospitals for some days……….

The supply problems caused by the mechanical failure have come as a review was ordered by the independent regulator, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency and its chief executive Carl-Magnus Larsson, who issued the organisation with a direction under the Aus­tralian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act.

The agency said the independent review it had directed would focus on quality control of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), the radio­active agent used in diagnostic imaging.

After the first safety breach when a staff member’s hands were contaminated on August 22 last year, ARPANSA found ANSTO to be noncompliant with its licence conditions, according to a statement from the safety agency.

“Three further events including the latest event on 7 June, 2018, indicate ongoing safety issues at ANSTO Health,” ARPANSA said………

An internal review is being conducted into the conveyor failure on June 22 while the separate independent safety review into the ageing ANSTO facility is ­undertaken.

ANSTO will appoint an independent reviewer. “This appointment is the next step on a path of continuous improvement.

“Using recommendations from the review, we’ll identify what more can be done to make that facility safer,” a spokesman for ANSTO said.

…….The conveyor has been fixed but compliance checks and a thorough audit will keep the production of nuclear medicine at a standstill for some time.

Repairs were originally delayed because ANSTO staff members were forced to wait until radiation levels in the conveyor room fell to a safe level……..https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/nuclear-radiation-spills-spur-lucas-heights-review/news-story/7c5f0c09e7847d8c0265e86c28d1e796

July 21, 2018 Posted by | - incidents, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Earthquakes happen in the Kimba area – not a good place for a nuclear waste dump.

Michael Skeet Kilowsky Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SAEyre Peninsula, SA, ML 4.5 1998 February 26, 14:13 UT
(Friday, February 27, 12:43 am CDST)
This earthquake occurred north of Cleve and south of Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, about 250km northwest of Adelaide. It was felt over northern Eyre Peninsula, and on Yorke Peninsula at a distance of about 110km from the epicentre. The maximum reported intensity was Modified Mercalli Intensity 4. Located by Sutton Earthquake Centre, PIRSA Adelaide.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/?ref=bookmarks

July 6, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, safety, South Australia | Leave a comment

Delay in production of Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) at Lucas Heights

Fault at Lucas Heights nuclear reactor halts production of medical isotope, Guardian, 28 June 18 
Spokesman says no safety risk but there are fears patients could face delays in cancer diagnosis   “….. 
production of the most commonly used isotope in nuclear medicine was halted at the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in Sydney’s south.

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (Ansto) usually produces about 10,000 doses a week of Technetium-99m (Tc-99m), which is used to diagnose a variety of heart, lung and musculoskeletal conditions, as well as cancers.

An Ansto spokesman said production was temporarily suspended on Friday “after a mechanical fault was identified with a piece of equipment”. There was no safety risk due to the stoppage, he said………https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jun/28/fault-lucas-heights-nuclear-reactor-halts-production-of-medical-isotope

 

June 29, 2018 Posted by | - incidents, New South Wales | Leave a comment

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) agreement with IAEA on enhanced protection for uranium workers

IAEA and Australia’s Regulatory Body Strengthen Cooperation to Enhance Radiation Protection of Uranium Mining and Processing Workers  https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/iaea-and-australias-regulatory-body-strengthen-cooperation-to-enhance-radiation-protection-of-uranium-mining-and-processing-workers  

The IAEA and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) have agreed on a cooperation agreement outlining plans for joint work to strengthen radiation protection of workers in the uranium mining and processing industries.

This cooperation will address potential harm that could be caused by the higher concentrations of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) that can be the result of the processing and handling of raw materials.

The Practical Arrangements, signed on 24 May in Melbourne, Australia, builds on an earlier agreement under which work was conducted to create a publication on occupational radiation protection approaches in uranium mining and processing stages and techniques, as a part of the IAEA Safety Report Series. The report was developed during meetings in Australia, Canada and South Africa involving regulatory body and industry representatives.

The cooperation under the new three-year agreement is expected to provide practical tools for regulators, mine operators and workers through a training package that supports the use of the report’s recommendations.

Also as part of the agreed cooperation, ARPANSA will help the IAEA strengthen its global survey on Information System on Occupational Radiation Protection in Uranium Mining (UMEX), which aims to improve protection and safety through sharing of good practices and other information.

June 15, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, safety, uranium | Leave a comment

‘Safety breaches and lack of management support’ at ANSTO’s Lucas Heights nuclear facility

Second radioactive spill in 10 months at ANSTO’s Lucas Heights facility, SMH, By Peter Hannam 

A staff member at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation facility at Lucas Heights has been involved in a spill of radioactive material, the second such incident in 10 months.

A quality control analyst working in medical production was involved in the spillage of about one millilitre of the radioactive isotope molybdenum-99 early on Thursday morning, an ANSTO spokesman said.

“The staff member was wearing full protective clothing. An occupational health physicist checked the analyst and confirmed no skin contamination,” the spokesman said.

The employee was then cleared to go home and returned to work on Friday.

A source told Fairfax Media, however, that employees at the site “are concerned with the most recent number of safety breaches and lack of management support”.

Medical production at the facility has ceased, pending a thorough investigation into the spill, the spokesman said. “ANSTO is working to minimise impacts on nuclear medicine production.”

ANSTO was keen to stress that Thursday’s incident was “very different” from one last August, when a staffer reportedly spilled a quantity of the MO-99 isotope, causing a “significant radiation dose”.

“Tests show the analyst involved in yesterday’s incident did not receive skin contamination. ANSTO continues to provide support for the employee involved in last year’s incident.”

The site has had other radiation events, such as one reportedly involving four staff in 2012….https://www.smh.com.

 

June 8, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, safety | Leave a comment

ANSTO’s secret transport of spent nuclear fuel assemblies through Sydney’s streets

The Australian 1st June 2018 ,If you look out the window and glimpse a convoy winding through Sydney’s streets guarded by swarms of federal agents and state police, don’t be alarmed.

Any day now a decade’s worth of spent nuclear fuel assemblies weighing 24 tonnes will be moved out of Sydney’s Lucas Heights facility in a highly sensitive transport mission months in the making.

The radioactive cargo is set to be shipped to La Hague, in France, but details about the port, routes and specific timing of the operation remain classified with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) only disclosing it will happen mid-year.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/guarded-nuclear-shipment-to-depart-sydney/news-story/a878a37d7528fa62b7b9e70d7284475a?nk=3adfd2e6af8da25abc149e98fc9467b0-1527847195

June 3, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, safety, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Sydney’s Opal nuclear reactor’s High Level Wastes off to France, later to return to planned Federal Nuclear waste Dump

Guarded nuclear shipment to secretly depart Sydney   SBS News, 1 June 18 Any day now a decade’s worth of heavily guarded nuclear cargo will be secretly transported through Sydney’s streets and sent to France for reprocessing.  ….. Any day now a decade’s worth of spent nuclear fuel assemblies weighing 24 tonnes will be moved out of Sydney’s Lucas Heights facility in a highly sensitive transport mission months in the making.

The radioactive cargo is set to be shipped to La Hague, in France, but details about the port, routes and specific timing of the operation remain classified with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) only disclosing it will happen mid-year.

An ANSTO spokesman has assured the public of the operation’s safety, saying the radioactive materials will be enclosed in specially-designed transport casks reinforced with lead and made to withstand almost anything, including a jet fighter crash.

“There is no credible chance of any accident or incident that could result in the cask being compromised,” an ANSTO spokesman said.

It will be the 10th transport mission of spent nuclear fuel assemblies, with the last shipment sent to the United States in 2009.

The spent fuel has come from Australia’s multi-purpose OPAL reactor…..The reprocessing project will cost $45 million, including the contract with France, equipment, staff and other costs.

Once the uranium and plutonium are extracted, they will be recycled into overseas civil power and research programs, with the remaining materials vitrified into a safer form for waste storage and sent back to Australia…..

The spent fuel assemblies, which would have been considered high-level waste, become transformed into an intermediate level waste, Hef Griffiths, ANSTO’s Chief Nuclear Officer told AAP.

But the question of where it will be stored remains.

The waste from this year’s transport mission will be returned from France in many years’ time and sent to the yet-to-be-built National Radioactive Waste Management Facility where it will be kept in storage for several decades.

Eventually, the waste will need to be moved again to a permanent disposal facility. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/guarded-nuclear-shipment-to-secretly-depart-sydney

June 1, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, safety | Leave a comment

Nuclear scientists have lower awareness of risks, compared to “life”scientists

Research has found disturbing differences in the attitudes of scientists in different areas, to health and environmental risks of the nuclear industry.

It is even more disturbing that policy-makers and politicians prefer to support  and value the opinions and work of the very scientists who are least informed and least interested in those risks.

Politics and Scientific Expertise: Scientists, Risk Perception, and Nuclear Waste Policy, Richard P. Barke Hank C. Jenkins‐Smith.   – To study the homogeneity and influences on scientists’perspectives of environmental risks, we have examined similarities and differences in risk perceptions, particularly regarding nuclear wastes, and policy preferences among 1011 scientists and engineers. We found significant differences (p0.05)in the patterns of beliefs among scientists from different fields of research. In contrast to physicists, chemists, and engineers, life scientists tend to: (a)perceive the greatest risks from nuclear energy and nuclear waste management; (b)perceive higher levels of overall environmental risk; (c)strongly oppose imposing risks on unconsenting individuals; and (d)prefer stronger requirements for environmental management.

On some issues related to priorities among public problems and calls for government action, there are significant variations among life scientists or physical scientists. We also found that–independently of field of research–perceptions of risk and its correlates are significantly associated with the type of institution in which the scientist is employed. Scientists in universities or state and local governments tend to see the risks of nuclear energy and wastes as greater than scientists who work as business consultants, for federal organizations, or for private research laboratories. Significant differences also are found in priority given to environmental risks, the perceived proximity of environmental disaster, willingness to impose risks on an unconsenting population, and the necessity of accepting risks and sacrifices. more https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1539-6924.1993.tb00743.x

April 25, 2018 Posted by | art and culture, Christina themes, safety | Leave a comment

Climate change – unseasonably hot weather made bushfires near Lucas Heights nuclear reactor become “apocalyptic” blazes

Apocalyptic blaze surrounding nuclear reactor sets off emergency

AUSTRALIA is struggling to contain a growing bushfire that is racing towards a nuclear reactor, amid fears that the blaze could expand beyond their control. By OLI SMITH Apr 16, 2018 

More than 500 Australia firefighters are struggling to tackle a massive bushfire, with several residents urged to seek shelters as evacuation is now “too late”.

Scenes of the blaze, which started yesterday, have been described as “apocalyptic” after the fire ripped through nearly 2,500 hectares of land close to the suburbs of Sydney.

Firefighters failed to stop the out-of-control blaze from burning through a major military base – and a nuclear reactor is the next at-risk location.

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) said it was concerned that flying embers could spark even more blazes……

The unseasonably hot Autumn in south-eastern Australia has been blamed for worsening the bushfire after record temperatures for April.

Shane Fitzsimmons, of the RFS, warned that strong 60km per hour winds are expected to push towards residential homes.

He said that the country’s largest army barracks at Holsworthy, where stockpiles of fuel, ammunition and explosive materials are kept, had been hit by the fire.

April 18, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, New South Wales, safety | Leave a comment

Bushfires near Lucas Heights nuclear reactor are still hazardous

 

Firefighters Warn NSW Is “Not Out Of The Woods” On Third Day Of Bushfires, Pedestrian. 16 Apr 18   More than 250 firefighters continue to battle bushfires in NSW’s southwest, which has spread more than 2,400 hectares since Saturday afternoon.

The blaze, which is believed to have originated in the vicinity of Casula, was fanned further by strong winds on Sunday.

More than 500 firefighters from the Rural Fire ServiceFire & Rescue NSW and the Australian Defence Force attempted to contain the blaze over the weekend with help from volunteers and 11 water-bombing helicopters.

The fire tore trough Holsworthy military range, and while approaching suburban areas, has been staved off. Several residents report fighting off embers with hoses and water buckets.

The fire was downgraded from “emergency level” to “watch and act” on 5.30pm Sunday, then again downgraded to “advice” around 2am Monday.

While lower wind conditions are expected to help with containing the fire, RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers warned that the high temperatures remain an issue.

Still quite a difficult day ahead (on Monday),” Rogers told the Nine Network“I think we’ve got a long way to go before we’re out of the woods.”

There’s also a risk that winds could also pick up to 35km/h later today.

The RFS is currently advising residents in Pleasure PointSandy PointAlfords PointBarden Ridge  [ie; Lucas Heights] Voyager PointIllawongMenai & Bangor to “remain vigilant throughout the day and keep themselves up to date by checking the NSW RFS website……..https://www.pedestrian.tv/news/firefighters-warning-nsw-bushfires/

April 18, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, safety | Leave a comment