Australian news, and some related international items

Mierals Council’s Pro Uranium campaign – a fizzer already?

text-uranium-hypePro-uranium campaign backfires on Twitter  A Minerals Council campaign urging people to discuss the ‘untapped potential’ of uranium on social media has been used against it. A resources industry campaign to promote uranium mining has been hijacked by Twitter users keen to voice their opposition to the practice.

The Minerals Council of Australia launched the Uranium: Untapped Potential campaign on Wednesday, using social media content including videos and posters to highlight the benefits of uranium.

“The material is designed to showcase facts on the table about the uranium industry and the benefits it can provide to the Australian community, including the creation of hundreds of jobs,” the council’s executive director Daniel Zavattiero said in a statement.

It also aims to reassure the public on safety, while pointing out opportunities in nuclear medicine and the environmental upside of nuclear energy.

“A lifetime’s use of electricity from nuclear power plants produces the spent fuel equivalent of one soft drink can,” a poster says.

But the hashtag #UntappedPotential, which was trending by Wednesday afternoon, has attracted a large amount of undesired banter by environmentalists who have instead used it to express their concerns around the practice and advocate for alternative energy.

“#UntappedPotential for meltdowns and nuclear disaster?” said Twitter user Jemila Rushton.

“We need to better harness the #untappedpotential of solar power”, tweeted Upulie Divisekera.

“#UntappedPotential to put more communities at risk of nuclear waste dumps,” Ace Collective said on Twitter.

“We concur that uranium has much #untappedpotential – for disaster, cost and time blowouts and proliferation,” Anglesea After Coal said.

The Minerals Council is running the campaign on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

April 22, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster, uranium | Leave a comment

Business Council of Australia firmly in the grip of the nuclear lobby

Business Council of Australia


Today THE AUSTRALIAN  quotes The Business Council of Australia (BCA) spruiking some as yet unpublished research that portrays Australia as needing nuclear power as an “insurance policy” against future surges in gas prices.

The BCA has long been in the grip of the nuclear lobby, and also told the [Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal] commission that  involvement in the nuclear fuel cycle could deliver a “significant contribution to economic growth”, and new regulations for the management, storage and disposal of nuclear waste should be developed.

April 15, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Australian nuclear shill Ben Heard under fire from Canadian nuclear shill Patrick Moore

Climate Science Denier Patrick Moore Under Attack From Fellow Nuclear Energy Advocates, DESMOG,  By Graham Readfearn • Thursday, April 7, 2016 Climate science Moore,Patrick-11denialist Patrick Moore is all about “consensus building.” We know this because it says so on his biography at the think tank Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

And so, fresh from delivering a coal-funded talk in Brussels where he told the audience to “celebrate CO2”, the Canadian has been out doing a bit of that “consensus building” in his own unique way.
In recent days, Moore has accused respected climate scientist Ken Caldeira of “fakery”, called him a “jerk” and then told a fellow nuclear power advocate to “GFY”.

The nuclear advocate in question was Australian energy and climate consultant Ben Heard, who had Heard, Benengaged Moore on social media. He’s written a blog about the exchange.

British environmentalist and author Mark Lynas, who is also pro-nuclear energy, weighed in too, describing Moore as “just a predictable right-wing anti-green contrarian”.

When DeSmog UK gave Moore the chance to respond to a story showing he had been paid by coal lobbyists to deliver a talk, his response was “bugger off”.

Who is Patrick Moore?

For those that don’t know, Patrick Moore is often described as a former senior member of Greenpeace, even though he left that organisation 30 years ago.

Since then, he has spent his time being an advocate for nuclear power, GM crops, forestry and, apparently, burning as much coal as you can get your hands on.

In a French television interview last year, Moore told a journalist that the pesticide glyphosate was not a carcinogen and was so safe, “you could drink a whole quart of it and it won’t hurt you”.

Moore was then immediately offered the chance to drink a glass by the interviewer, which he declined. “I’m not an idiot,” he said.

Moore is a long-time climate science denialist and claims, against all credible scientific institutions, that there is “no proof” that the extra CO2 in the atmosphere (about 40 per cent more than there was before the industrial revolution) is causing any global warming.

Acidification denial ……..

April 13, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Ignorance about radiation, in the self styled “Pro Nuclear Environmentalists (PNEs)”

Australian ‘ecomodernist‘ academic Barry Brook says the Chernobyl death toll is less than 60. Ben Heard, another Australian ‘ecomodernist’ (in fact a uranium and nuclear industry Radiation-Warning1consultant), claims that the death toll was 43.

Evidence of PNE ignorance abounds. For the most part, PNEs had a shaky understanding of the radiation/health debates (and other nuclear issues) before they joined the pro-nuclear club, and they have a shaky understanding now.

the WHO, IAEA and other UN agencies estimated 9,000 deaths in ex-Soviet states in their 2005/06 reports, and more recently UNSCEAR has adopted the position that the long-term death toll is uncertain.

Radiation harm deniers? Pro-nuclear environmentalists and the Chernobyl death toll, Ecologist, Dr Jim Green 7th April 2016 “……….the self-styled pro-nuclear environmentalists (PNEs). We should note in passing that some PNE’s have genuine environmental credentials while others – such as Patrick Moore and Australian Ben Heard – are in the pay of the nuclear industry.

James Hansen and George Monbiot cite UNSCEAR to justify a Chernobyl death toll of 43, without noting that the UNSCEAR report did not attempt to calculate long-term deaths. James Lovelock asserts that “in fact, only 42 people died” from the Chernobyl disaster.

Patrick Moore, citing the UN Chernobyl Forum (which included UN agencies such as the IAEA, UNSCEAR, and WHO), states that Chernobyl resulted in 56 deaths. In fact, the Chernobyl Forum’s 2005 report (p.16) estimated up to 4,000 long-term cancer deaths among the higher-exposed Chernobyl populations, and a follow-up study by the World Health Organisation in 2006 estimated an additional 5,000 deaths among people exposed to lower doses in Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. Continue reading

April 8, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | 1 Comment

South Australian voters will not be taken in by nuclear lobby spin

if South Australia will commit to taking international nuclear waste, it will be easier to sell new nuclear programs to investors, and easier to renegotiate the debts of existing nuclear companies. The nuclear industry will make more sales and pay lower interest rates up front, if South Australia is willing to spend $145 billion and have nuclear waste stored in ‘temporary’ storage for the next hundred years

SA’s media and political elite think it’s a great idea. Fortunately, South Australia’s voters are not quite so easy to spin.

greed copyA Hundred Years Of Ineptitude And A Century Of Nuclear Spin B on March 24, 2016 The numbers around a nuclear waste economy don’t add up, writes Roderick Campbell. And then there’s the history….

The idea of a nuclear waste dump in South Australia is sold as a saviour for South Australia’s economy. SA’s former governor and Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce has joined the chorus:

Financial assessments suggest that [a nuclear waste facility in SA]could generate total revenue of more than $257 billion, with total costs of $145 billion.

Wow, that means we’ll make over $100 billion! Break out the Banrock Station! Have a holiday in Hahndorf! Take trams to Mt Gambier!

But what if this was just a little too good to be true? What if the benefits of this proposal go not to ordinary South Australians, but to the big companies involved in the nuclear industry?

The Royal Commissioner’s numbers are based on a study by Jacobs MCM, a company:

With more than fifty years of experience across the complete nuclear asset lifecycle, we support client delivery and the associated infrastructure requirements at every stage of a project.

The SA Royal Commission unquestioningly repeating the findings of a consultant with a deep interest in the nuclear industry is just the latest in South Australia’s rich tradition of nuclear propaganda.

Guess what year this was written in the Adelaide Advertiser:

It must be seen by any moderate thinking person that the radium mining field of Olary [South Australia] must eventually become the greatest and richest mining centre of the globe, and the sooner news-nukethe Commonwealth Government awake to this fact the sooner will the positive prominence of Australia, be recognised by the nations of the world.

That was written in 1913. A century later, the ‘tizer is still glowing on about nukes:

BILLIONS of dollars from the nuclear industry could deliver free power to all South Australians and the abolition of state taxes, [SA Liberal Senator Sean Edwards] says.

Hardly anyone actually reads economic reports like the one Jacobs wrote, even commentators and ‘experts’ and probably not the Royal Commission. These reports are hundreds of pages long, full of impressive graphs, jargon and econobabble – they’re meant to be hard to read.

But if you can wade through the mud, you find gems/radioactive waste like this: Continue reading

March 25, 2016 Posted by | South Australia, spinbuster | Leave a comment

South Australian Government pro-nuclear waste dump PR campaign set to roll

The Premier’s announcement today that the State Labor Government will move to repeal part of the Weatherill nuclear dreamNuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000, indicates that a taxpayer-funded pro-nuclear waste dump public relations campaign is on its way.

The Government says the repeal is necessary in order to consult with the community over the Nuclear Royal Commission’s findings.

“That’s just not true”, according to SA Greens Leader and environmental lawyer, Mark Parnell MLC.

“The Act only prohibits the use of public money to “encourage or finance any activity associated with the construction or operation of a nuclear waste storage facility in this State”.  It doesn’t preclude genuine public consultation that asks South Australians whether or not they believe SA should host a high-level nuclear waste dump.  Genuine consultation with the South Australian community is allowed, even if it uses Government resources. What isn’t allowed is a biased or one-sided PR campaign that “encourages” the construction or operation of a nuclear waste dump.”

“If the Government’s intentions were honourable, it wouldn’t need to repeal this legislation.”

“What is most galling is that the Premier isn’t even prepared to wait for the Royal Commission’s final report in May before legislating to be able to spruik a nuclear waste dump.  The Government had said it would wait until the end of the year before deciding what to do with the Royal Commission’s findings.  Rushing now to repeal this legislation suggests that it’s mind might already be made up.

“If this legislation is repealed, the Government will be able to legally spend millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money to promote SA as the Nuclear Waste State.   It will also be able to conduct detailed planning and design work for a nuclear waste dump, with only the final consent requiring Parliamentary approval,” concluded Mark Parnell.

March 7, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia, spinbuster | Leave a comment

The myth that a nuclear reactor is needed for medical uses

A very comprehensive 2010 OECD Nuclear Energy Agency report found reactor based isotope production requires significant taxpayer subsidies, as the cost of sale does not cover the cost of production.

The report concludes: “In many cases the full impact of Mo-99/Tc-99m provision was not transparent to or appreciated by governments… The full costs of waste management, reactor operations, fuel consumption, etc were not included in the price structure. This is a subsidisation by one country’s taxpayers of another country’s health care system. Many governments have indicated that they are no longer willing to provide such subsidisation.”

What is needed urgently is a debate about how much waste we make. We have a choice: whether we follow ANSTO’s expensive business model to ramp up reactor manufacture (and the long-lived radioactive waste that goes with it), or collaborate with Canada to develop cyclotron manufacture of isotopes that does not produce long-lived nuclear waste.

Debunking the myths around medicine and a nuclear waste dump

Nuclear Waste In Australia: A Few Home Truths   By  on March 7, 2016 Australia’s hunt for a central nuclear waste dump continues, but we already have more waste than we know what to do with, writes Margaret Beavis.

The Federal government is seeking a location for a nuclear waste facility. But the provision of information to communities has been problematic, with some major flaws.

Claims have been made that provision of nuclear medicine services is a key reason to build it, but existing medical waste makes up a very small proportion of the total waste requiring disposal.

In addition, little has been said about ANSTO’s business plan to greatly ramp up Australia’s reactor based production of isotopes from 1 per cent to over 25 per cent of the world’s market, which will massively increase the amount of long-lived radioactive waste produced in the future.

A new process may reduce the volume of the waste, but the actual quantity of radioactive material to store will be significantly greater, and will become most of the radioactive waste Australia produces.

In Australia nuclear medicine isotopes are indeed useful, but according to Medicare figures represent less than 3 per cent of medical imaging. They are most commonly used for bone scans and some specialised heart scans. They are not needed (as claimed by government) for normal X-rays, most heart scans and the vast majority of cancer treatments (surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy). Continue reading

March 7, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, New South Wales, reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Barry Brook, Pinchy Lobster and Clive Palmer: Three ‘Outstanding Scientists/Intellectuals

Brook,-Barry-glowsJim Green, 19 Feb 16 Tas Uni academic Barry Brook’s university webpage says that in 2005 he was listed as one of the “2000 Outstanding Scientists of the 21st Century” by the International Biographical Centre (IBC). But the IBC is a zero-credibility money making operation.

The WA Government’s Dept of Commerce ‘ScamNet’ website states: “The material promoting the International Biographical Centre creates a false impression about the credentials of the organisation. It also wrongly implies that the receiver of the letter has been picked through a special research process considering their work and qualifications.”

If there was any doubt about the IBC’s illegitimacy, one of Brook’s academic colleagues nominated a squeaky toy lobster and Prof. Lobster was accepted for inclusion as one of the ‘2000 Outstanding Scientists of the 21st Century’. And the IBC has accepted a nomination for Clive Palmer to be listed as one of the ‘2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century’. A ‘Medal of Intellect’ will be sent to Palmer on payment of a $240 fee.

Feel free to test the IBC’s credibility yourself … you’ll have no trouble getting the Wiggles or the Bananas in Pyjamas or Thomas the Tank Engine accepted as Outstanding Scientists or Outstanding Intellectuals.

Given that the illegitimacy of the IBC is beyond doubt, why does the IBC accolade remain on Brook’s university webpage?


February 19, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Independent Australia cracks the mystery of “international award” to (Anti) Environment Minister Greg Hunt

Hunt-direct-actionMystery explained: Hunt’s award handed out by the oil industry, Independent Australia  Lachlan Barker 12 February 2016, MANY THIS week, myself definitely included, were gobsmacked by Greg Hunt receiving an award for – get your sick bags ready everyone – “Best Minister in the World“.

When I first saw this, again like so many of you, I thought it was satire, perhaps done by that excellent SBS site The Backburner. I’ve repeatedly been taken in by this site, so plausible are their funny stories and so appalling is our federal government.

But no, when we all got off the floor, the stories were indeed real and Hunt had, indeed, been given this award.

However, I knew there was something rotten here and so I thought I better find out how this bizarre occurrence came about. So I went to the site of the organisation that gave out the award, the World Government Summit. There on the home page is a link to “Partners“, so I clicked on that and discovered that the intriguingly entitled ‘Entrepreneurship Partner’ is the Abraaj Group.

So I clicked on that and we come to the Abraaj page and discover their portfolio. Among them are such heartwarming industries as Chemicals, Metals and Industrials,PharmaceuticalsConstruction and Manufacturing and of course Energy, Mining and Utilities.

[Author lists the companies, with their logos]

One company, Auro Mira Energy is focussed on renewables; they pursue hydro and biomass power generation in India.

However, the rest is largely fossil fuels……..


So there you have it mystery solved, Greg Hunt’s award was sponsored in large part by the energy industry, most prominently oil.

Once I found this out, it kind of made Hunt’s award make sense.

The award was for “Best Minister in the World” and so if you are going to pick a minister who does more than any other to enable the continued and increased use of fossil fuels, then clearly Greg Hunt is your man………

Greg Hunt is the best at enabling ongoing and increasing use of fossil fuels, against all financial and global ecological sense. So they can give him an award, as long as it’s for “Most Destructive Environment Minister the Earth has ever Known”.

Lachlan Barker blogs at You can follow him on Twitter at@cyclonecharlie8,8672

February 13, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, politics international, spinbuster | 2 Comments

Senator Edwards’ fantasy of free nuclear electricity for South Australia

Free nuclear power is a fantasy: Report new report from The Australia Institute shows that a proposal to establish a global nuclear waste industry in South Australia would fail to secure 90% of the imported waste, leaving an expensive and risky legacy for the state.

The report was commissioned by the Conservation Council of South Australia to analyse the submission to the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission by Liberal Senator Sean Edwards. The Royal Commission is due to release tentative results next week.

“The Edwards plan is deeply flawed. It is a plan funded by taking thousands of tonnes of nuclear waste, but would fail to process over 90% of that waste, leaving it to future generations to deal with,” said report author, The Australia Institute’s Dan Gilchrist.

Senator Edwards is proposing that South Australia imports 60,000 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel from other countries, and then leaves most of it, 56,000 tonnes, in dry cask storage which is designed for temporary use.


Report: The impossible dream: Free electricity sounds too good to be true. It is.

“The plan relies on technology that has never been deployed commercially – not with all the expertise in France or Germany or Japan or the United States.

“Indeed, logically, if a viable solution emerges, other countries will no longer pay Australia billions to hand over the waste.

“The plan fails to consider a basic economic principle: if Australia can generate free electricity – why wouldn’t other countries?

“Nothing in the plan explains what our great-great grandchildren are meant to do with this legacy. Indeed, the plan never mentions the leftover waste, as if it was not worth worrying about. Worse, all the money is spent in the first 50-60 years. Nothing is left to deal with the leftover waste.

“In many ways it is like a vastly complex loan. Australia will ‘borrow’ many billions of dollars, spend the lot, and leave it to future generations to pay it back. Indeed, a loan would be better, since it would not require South Australia to store tens of thousands of tonnes of radioactive material in the meantime.

“It is no wonder that Senator Edwards has been able to promise free electricity and reduced taxes. He is spending someone else’s money. Eventually, however, the piper must be paid.”

February 12, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Sean Edwards proposal for nuclear pot of gold – a myth, says South Australia’s Conservation Council

Nuclear Pot of Gold is a Myth Conservation Council of South Australia, 11 Feb 16  The state’s peak environment body has welcomed today’s release of a new report that questions grandiose claims of an economic bonanza arising from the creation of a global nuclear industry in South Australia.

The report The impossible dream. Free electricity sounds too good to be true – it is was prepared by leading economic think-tank The Australia Institute.  The Conservation Council of South Australia commissioned The Australia Institute to analyse the submission of Senator Sean Edwards to the SA Nuclear Royal Commission.

Conservation SA Chief Executive Craig Wilkins said the analysis presented a much-needed dose of reality.

“There’s been a lot of grandiose claims made about a nuclear waste-led economic boom for our state, including free power and the scrapping of all state taxes,” Mr Wilkins said.

“The reality is there is no magic pot of gold.

“The Edwards proposal manages to ignore basic economic laws of supply and demand while leaving tens of thousands of tonnes of highly radioactive nuclear waste for future generations to deal with.

“Either way you look at it the Edwards proposal contains high risk and fuzzy logic.

“Either South Australia solves the problem of long-term safe storage of toxic nuclear waste – a problem that no other country has yet been able to fix despite decades of research and failed proposals – in which case other countries will simply follow our lead and we quickly lose our monopoly position that underpins the economic case Senator Edwards is making, or we don’t solve it and are left with a social, economic and environmental nightmare for our state.

“This is not a legacy we should be leaving for our children.”

The Royal Commission is due to release tentative results Monday morning at 11am.

The Australia Institute Report can be found here and attached below. The Edwards submission can be found here. The Conservation SA submission to the Royal Commission can be found here. A critique of the Royal Commission can be found here.

February 11, 2016 Posted by | South Australia, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Highly misleading to say that Lucas Heights nuclear reactor is mainly for medical uses

nuclear-medicineit would be highly misleading to attribute this predominantly to medical isotope production given the broad range of uses of the HIFAR and MOATA reactors over the last 60 years.
Radioactive waste in Australia, Medical Association for the Prevention of War (MAPW) 18 Jan 16   “……..How much medical Lucas-wasteswaste will be deposited in the repository? Less than 1% is medical waste (leftover radium and some disused sources). Most states and territories each only have a few cubic metres of low level medical waste.
 There are broadly two areas in which radioactive material is used for medical purposes:
Nuclear scans for investigating disease. These produce the vast bulk of medical nuclear waste. This is short-lived and decays on the medical facilities’ premises until its activity is negligible. It then is disposed of safely and appropriately in the usual manner of most waste (sewers, incineration, landfill tips etc.) according to set standards.
Cancer treatment radiotherapy. Most radiotherapy uses X-rays or electromagnetic radiation which do not produce any waste at all. A very small proportion of cancer treatment actually relies on radioactive materials, which almost all decay rapidly. Longer lived sources must be returned to their (overseas) sources when used up and so do not need local disposal. The provision of nuclear medicine services does not depend on a permanent waste repository.
What about the radioactive waste derived from the production of medical isotopes at Lucas Heights?
 • Firstly, most countries import their medical isotopes and clearly do not store the waste involved in its production. Medical isotope supply is a globalised industry with five reactors supplying over 95% of the world’s supply. Australia’s domestic production of medical isotopes is a policy choice not a medical necessity.
 • Secondly, Canada (the world’s biggest supplier) is switching to non-reactor isotope production, which does not create radioactive waste. This will significantly reduce Canada’s accumulation of waste. In contrast, ANSTO is proposing to dramatically increase reactor isotope production to sell to 30% of the world market. As a result Australia will accumulate much more waste from international isotope sales. Developing cyclotrons instead (like Canada) would eliminate radioactive waste from isotope production. • Thirdly, as outlined above, the majority of waste requiring long term disposal is not medically related at all. ANSTO emphasizes “only 40% of low level radioactive waste” arises from its activities. But ANSTO does not just make medical isotopes; it also produces isotopes for industrial research activities , manufacture of semiconductors and analysis of minerals and samples2 . The contribution to waste production of medical radiopharmaceuticals has been overstated.
Although 61% of Intermediate level waste is ANSTO related, this is only 5.8% of the total waste for the repository. Furthermore, this does not include the returning reprocessed spent fuel, since ANSTO does not classify spent fuel waste. And again it would be highly misleading to attribute this predominantly to medical isotope production given the broad range of uses of the HIFAR and MOATA reactors over the last 60 years………

January 18, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, New South Wales, reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Only a small fraction of Lucas Heights radioactive waste is of medical origin

nuclear-medicineThe incessant references to nuclear medicine to ‘sell’ the proposed radioactive waste repository/store amount to nothing more than emotive propaganda

10-20% of the current stockpile would be the plausible range for medical waste − closer to 10% if measuring by radioactivity (because spent reactor fuel is such a large contributor to total radioactivity) and closer to 20% if measuring by volume.

Nuclear medicine and the proposed national radioactive waste dump Jim Green National nuclear campaigner – Friends of the Earth, Australia December 2015

To download a 2-page paper addressing these issues right-click here.

“As health organisations, we are appalled that access to nuclear medical procedures is being used to justify the proposed nuclear waste dump. Most waste from these procedures break down quickly and can be safely disposed of either on site or locally.” 

− Dr Bill Williams, Medical Association for the Prevention of War

“Linking the need for a centralized radioactive waste storage facility with the production of isotopes for nuclear medicine is misleading. The production of radioactive isotopes for nuclear medicine comprises a small percentage of the output of research reactors. The majority of the waste that is produced in these facilities occurs regardless of the nuclear medicine isotope production.” 

− Nuclear Radiologist Dr Peter Karamoskos


Proponents of a national radioactive waste facility (a repository for lower-level wastes and a co-located store for higher-level wastes) claim or imply that nuclear medicine would be jeopardised if the facility does not proceed. There is no basis to such claims – they amount to dishonest scare-mongering.

Proponents claim that most or all of the waste that the federal government wants to dispose of or store at a national repository/store arises from medicine, specifically the production and use of medical radioisotopes. However, measured by radioactivity, the true figure is just 10-20%. Measured by volume, the figure may be within that range or it may be higher than 20% − but it takes some creative accounting to justify the claim that most or even all of the waste is medical in origin.

In any case, the fact that some waste is of medical origin doesn’t mean that a national repository/store is the best way to manage the waste.

If the plan for a national repository/store does not proceed, medical waste will continue to be stored at the Lucas Heights reactor site operated by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and, in much smaller volumes, at hospitals. Some waste is used in hospitals and then sent back to ANSTO (e.g. molybdenum ‘cows’ that have been ‘milked’ of the daughter radionuclide, technetium-99m − by far the most commonly used medical radioisotope). That is no problem since ANSTO and hospitals continue to produce radioactive waste and thus they have an ongoing need for on-site waste stores and waste management expertise regardless of the options for periodic off-site disposal.

Nuclear medicine is not being adversely affected by the absence of a national radioactive waste repository/store. Nuclear medicine will not benefit from the creation of a national radioactive waste repository/store. Continue reading

January 6, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Bill Gates on the nuclear bandwagon, Australia’s Gareth Evans on board, too.

At the Paris Climate Summit (COP21), the global nuclear lobby is in overdrive.


The centrepiece of today’s global nuclear lobbying is the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, led by Bill Gates, made public at the start of the conference.

Bill Gates announced the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, uniting the efforts of two dozen other billionaire philanthropists such asRichard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, to sponsor research into energy that doesn’t produce carbon.

Gates was present in Paris together with U.S. President Barack Obama   the White House is reported to be supportive of the initiative. Article after article in the U.S. and other media outline the purpose of this group, stressing renewable initiatives, or rather, “clean” energy initiatives. Nuclear power is not mentioned but is tacitly included in that weasel word, “clean”. …..

Eventually, I came upon Tina Caseys article, in Clean Technicathe very first one to notice the Breakthrough Energy Coalition’s focus on the nuclear industry and to question the inclusion of nuclear energy as “clean energy”.

She also notes the group’s co-operation with Mission Innovation, which brings tax-payer funding into the “clean” energy research programs. And Casey reminds us that Bill Gates is co-founder and chair of the innovative nuclear energy company TerraPower.

Only one university has joined the group, the University of California, which runs the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory  known for its nuclear energy research facilities. 

Meanwhile, back in Australia, nuclear enthusiasts are on the bandwagon, too. The latest  and one of my favourites  is Gareth Evans. Evans has long been a voice for the nuclear industry, while simultaneously being Australia’s voice for nuclear disarmament. He sees no connection between nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons.

The Australian, ever a promoter of the nuclear industry, quotes Evans under the headline, ‘Nuclear waste dump a no-brainer. 

At the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission on 3 December 2015, Evans isquoted as being almost ecstatic at the thought of Australia importing the world’s radioactive trash:

“Australia would stand very tall in the international community by repatriating waste made from exported uranium as well as storing waste for other countries. It was disconcerting that European countries had been ­spooked by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant accident.” 

nuke-paranoiaAnd Professor Evans used that notorious nuclear lobby argument to counter critics of nuclear power. He said:

“To me seems a triumph of emotion over reason.’……

Bill Gates himself may be something of a dreamer, with high aims and ideals, along with the commercial motive. His Breakthrough Energy Coalition sounds suspiciously like the Breakthrough Institute, which has a long history of advocating inaction on fossil fuel emissions, with the distracting promise of almost magical, new nuclear reactors that still exist only as blueprints.,8458


December 7, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Minerals Council of Australia’s deceptive video promoting coal industry

clean-coal.The campaign claims that low-emission coal-fired power plants and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology is “now a reality” and are slashing emissions.

However, there is only one CCS-enabled plant operational in the world, in Canada. In Australia, there is just one CCS project aimed at coal emissions in the pipeline, which may arrive at some point in the 2020s.

Coal is a dangerous little black rock. Every climate scientist and almost every politician in the world knows that coal is very polluting and very dangerous. The only people who don’t get that are the Minerals Council and our government.

Mining industry’s new ‘coal is amazing’ TV ad labelled desperate, Guardian,   , @olliemilman,6 Sept 15 

 The Minerals Council of Australia’s new TV ad claims the coalmining industry provides $40bn a year to Australia’s economy. Video: Minerals Council of Australia 

Green groups criticise ‘ludicrous’ Minerals Council of Australia ad which claims coal creates ‘light and jobs’ and ‘can now reduce its emissions by up to 40%’

The Minerals Council of Australia’s new TV ad claims the coalmining industry provides $40bn a year to Australia’s economy.

Australia’s mining industry has launched a new ode to coal in the form of a major advertising campaign that hails the mineral’s ability to “create light and jobs”, as well as claiming that new technology will drastically slash its emissions. The campaign, called Little Black Rock , has been launched by the Minerals Council of Australia. An eye-catching TV ad shows an extreme closeup of the contours of a lump of coal, as if it were the surface of a rugged, distant planet.

A voiceover explains the “endless possibilities” of coal, Continue reading

November 30, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment