Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

The facts contradict the pro nuclear spin of the Minerals Council of Australia’s report, written by Ben Heard.

“a smaller reactor, at least the water-cooled reactors that are most likely to be built earliest, will produce more, not less, nuclear waste per unit of electricity they generate because of lower efficiencies.”

Due to the loss of economies of scale, the decommissioning and waste management unit costs of SMR will probably be higher than those of a large reactor (some analyses state that between two and three times higher).”

Small nuclear reactors, huge costs   Dr. Jim Green 11 October 2021  Even by the standards of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), the new report published by the country’s most influential coal lobby on the subject of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) is jiggery-pokery of the highest order.

Why would a mining industry body promote SMRs? After mining for some years — or at most decades — no company would want to take on the responsibility of decommissioning a nuclear reactor and managing high-level nuclear waste for millennia. No companies are cited in the report expressing interest in SMRs to power their mining operations.

Perhaps the MCA – which infamously provided the lump of coal for Scott Morrison to wave around in parliament – thinks that promoting nuclear power will slow the transition from fossil fuels to renewables, and believes that it is in the interests of some of its member companies to slow the transition.

If so, the timing of the report isn’t great, coming in the same week as the Business Council of Australia’s report which argues for a rapid, renewables-led decarbonisation, and Fortescue’s announcement that it plans to build the world’s largest green energy hydrogen manufacturing facility in Queensland.

Perhaps the MCA is doing the bidding of the (mostly foreign-owned) uranium mining companies operating in Australia? The MCA’s CEO Tania Constable said: “Australia should take advantage of growing international interest in nuclear energy and look to expand its already significant uranium sector.”

Perhaps … but there’s no evidence that the two companies mining uranium in Australia — BHP (Olympic Dam) and Heathgate Resources (Beverley Four Mile) — are lobbying for nuclear power. And Australia’s “already significant” uranium industry could hardly be more insignificant — it accounts for about 0.2 percent of Australia’s export revenue and about 0.01 percent of all jobs in Australia.

Bob Carr’s atomic bombshell

The MCA report also came in the same week as Bob Carr’s striking about-face on nuclear power. Having previously supported nuclear power, Carr wrote in The Australian: “In 2010 one enthusiast predicted within 10 years fourth-generation reactors and small modular reactors would be commonplace, including in Australia. None exists, here or abroad.”

The MCA report says SMRs are an “ideal fit” for Australia, citing their enhanced safety, lower cost than large-scale nuclear reactors or equivalent energy production methods, and lower waste production than current reactors.

It’s all nonsense. The safety claims don’t stack up. Nor do the claims about waste. Academic M.V. Ramana notes that “a smaller reactor, at least the water-cooled reactors that are most likely to be built earliest, will produce more, not less, nuclear waste per unit of electricity they generate because of lower efficiencies.”

And a 2016 European Commission document states: “Due to the loss of economies of scale, the decommissioning and waste management unit costs of SMR will probably be higher than those of a large reactor (some analyses state that between two and three times higher).”

SMRs have a similar capacity to many existing coal and gas-fired power plants in Australia, the MCA report states, so would make an ideal replacement. Back to Bob Carr:

“Where is the shire council putting up its hand to host a nuclear power plant? Harder to find than a sponsor for a high-temperature toxic waste incinerator.

“Nobody in the Hunter Valley has urged nuclear for the Liddell site, even on the footprint of this coal-fired power plant scheduled to close. And not even invoking the prospect of a small modular reactor that 10 years back was the vanguard of the nuclear renaissance. About to be planted across the Indonesian archipelago and the rest of Asia, we were promised.  Today they exist only on the Rolls-Royce drawing boards they have adorned since the 1970s.”

Economics

The MCA said in June 2020 that SMRs won’t find a market unless they can produce power at a cost of A$60-$80 per megawatt hour (MWh). That’s a big problem for enthusiasts because there’s no chance whatsoever that SMRs will produce power in that cost range.

An analysis by WSP / Parsons Brinckerhoff, prepared for the 2015/16 South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, estimated a cost of A$225 / MWh for a reactor based on the NuScale design, about three times higher than the MCA’s target range.

CSIRO estimates SMR power costs at A$258-338 / MWh in 2020 and A$129-336 / MWh in 2030.

Russia’s floating nuclear plant is said to be the only operational SMR in the world, although it doesn’t fit the ‘modular’ definition of serial factory production.

A 2016 OECD Nuclear Energy Agency report said that electricity produced by the Russian floating plant is expected to cost about US$200 (A$273) / MWh, about four times higher than the target range cited by the MCA and more expensive than power from large reactors (US$129-198 / MWh).

Completion of Russia’s floating plant was nine years behind schedule and construction costs increased six-fold.

Yet, despite a mountain of evidence that SMRs won’t come close to producing power in the A$60-80 / MWh range, the new MCA report asserts that “robust estimates” using “conservative assumptions” suggest that SMRs will produce power at a cost of A$64-77 MWh by 2030.

One wonders who the MCA think they’re kidding.

The MCA report was written by Ben Heard, who recently closed his ‘Bright New World’ nuclear lobby website, just before taking up a full time role with consultancy Frazer-Nash. Heard promotes Canadian SMR-wannabe Terrestrial Energy in the MCA report but does not disclose his role on the company’s advisory board.

Heard also contributed two chapters on nuclear power to a 2020 book titled ‘An Australian nuclear industry: Starting with submarines’.

Dr Jim Green is lead author of a 2019 Nuclear Monitor report on SMRs and national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia.

October 11, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster, technology | Leave a comment

Will all submarines, even nuclear ones, be obsolete and ‘visible’ by 2040?


Will all submarines, even nuclear ones, be obsolete and ‘visible’ by 2040?

Technologies could render the ocean transparent by the time Australia’s new submarines are ready, some experts say, Guardian, Tory Shepherd, 5 Oct 21,
 Australia’s proposed nuclear-powered submarines could be obsolete by the time they hit the water in the 2040s due to new technologies making underwater vessels “visible”, some experts argue.

One of the controversies over the federal government’s decision to ditch the $90bn deal to build conventional submarines in favour of nuclear boats is the timeline for getting them battle-ready.

The navy will have to stretch out the lifespan of the existing Collins-class fleet and possibly hire submarines to fill the gap before the new ones are on the horizon.

But even before the deal to buy 12 submarines from France’s Naval Group was made, military analysts warned that submarines of all types would be rendered obsolete by new technology including submersible drones and new weapons systems.

There are also warnings that different technologies will render the ocean “transparent”, so even the stealthiest submarines could be spotted by an enemy force.

The Australian National University’s National Security College report Transparent Oceans? found that transparency is “likely or “very likely” by the 2050s, a decade after Australia’s new fleet of nuclear-powered subs is due to enter service.

A multidisciplinary team looked at new sensor technology, underwater communications and the possibility of tripwires at choke points. They also examined new ways to detect chemical, biological, acoustic and infra-red signatures, finding that even with improvements in stealth submarines will become visible.

The report found “future technologies will make the oceans broadly transparent and counter-detection technologies will not have the same salience in the decades ahead as they have had previously”.

China has already developed submarine-spotting lasers.

CSIRO is working with a Chinese marine science institute that has separately developed satellite technology that can find submarines at depths of up to 500 metres.

That collaboration is due to end next year. The Australian has reported that Asio warned it could help the Chinese navy to hunt down Australian submarines but CSIRO said making that connection was “alarmist and irresponsible reporting”.

The defence analyst Albert Palazzo, writing for the Lowy Institute, said China’s technology will be advanced enough that “any Australian submarine that attempts to do something in these waters, such as launch a tomahawk missile, will reveal its position and shortly thereafter be destroyed”.

Others say submarines are just a base platform for a range of new and evolving technologies…………….

According to the taskforce set up under Aukus, the new submarines will have “superior characteristics of stealth, speed, manoeuvrability, survivability, and almost limitless endurance”, with better weapons, the ability to deploy drones and “a lower risk of detection”.  https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/oct/05/will-all-submarines-even-nuclear-ones-be-obsolete-and-visible-by-2040

October 5, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster, weapons and war | Leave a comment

When talking about nuclear waste and radioactivity, blurring the figures is a good pro nuclear strategy!


Kazzi Jai
  Fight to stop  nuclear waste dump in  South Australia , 3 Oct 21, · Something which really ticks me off is when percentages are quoted WITHOUT giving the actual figures involved AS WELL!

Case in point – Hef Griffiths is quoted in the latest minutes (August 2021 Kimba City Council) as saying….

Mr Griffiths said that there is a lot of information about ILW remaining radioactive for 10,000 years, however the material that remains from synroc and reprocessing that’s returned from France indicates that after 300 years 99% of the radioactivity will have decayed away. After 600 years, 99.9% will have decayed away.”

Okay – let us assume that the highest upper level of ILW classification is 10^4 TeraBequerels/m3….which is the same as 10^16 Becquerels/m3.

Now it is IAEA and ARPANSA who choose to use Becquerels, so we will stick with those units. Becquerels are the International Unit (SI Unit) for radioactivity activity. It is defined as the number of times each second a nucleus in radioactive material decays and releases radiation. The higher the number of Becquerels, the more radioactive the material is. However, it is a very small unit.
37 billion Becquerels = 1 Curie. It can be written as 3.7 x 10^10 Becquerels or disintergrations per second…… Be mindful that 1 Curie of any radioactivity – alpha, beta or gamma – will fry you.

Okay….so let’s use some easy figures to get my point across.
Let us use hypothetically for example 100 TeraBecquerels as the nuclear waste in question for ease of mathematics. This would technically fall within the category of ILW in Australia, under Australia’s criteria.
It is sitting there, in its shielded cask.

What Hef Griffiths is saying is that in 300 years (approximately 12 generations of future people from us today – or looking back BEFORE European Colonization of Australia – to put it in perspective) that 99% of that waste would have decayed away. I will give him the benefit of the doubt, since AGAIN this information IS NOT REFERENCED, but that means that 1% activity REMAINS! So….that 100 TeraBecquerels of nuclear waste now measures 1 TeraBecquerel!! That is by no means SAFE to handle without shielding EVEN AT THAT STAGE….AND IS NO WHERE NEAR BACKGROUND LEVELS!!

Hopefully that puts this type of PRESENTATION IN CONTEXT!!
Percentages are OFTEN used to HIDE REAL TIME FIGURES!

This is NOT unique to the Nuclear Industry – it is a ploy often used in Politics to HOODWINK people to thinking that the figures ARE NOT IMPORTANT AT ALL – when in fact THEY ARE!!

ALWAYS ASK FOR EXACT FIGURES, WHEN PERCENTAGES ARE QUOTED!!

This was the SAME CASE when it came to the “Community Support” assessment – PERCENTAGES AGAIN ONLY QUOTED!

When they do this – THEY ARE TRYING TO GET AWAY WITH SOMETHING!!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556

October 4, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Expansion of nuclear engineering at University of New South Wales

Australia’s only nuclear engineering program expands, Manufacturers Monthly, September 27, 2021  The Sir William Tyree Foundation has donated $1 million to the University of New South Wales (UNSW) to support expanding nuclear engineering program and foster the skills in Australia for using future technology. 

The program prepares students for careers in high-tech industries including nuclear science, nuclear medicine, mining and resources, energy, manufacturing, aerospace, space exploration and defence……….

This gift builds on the foundations laid down to develop a high-tech nuclear industry in Australia, which will be essential if we choose to adopt nuclear energy …….. Sir William Tyree’s daughter and chair of the foundation board, Robyn Fennell said. 

“To make this a reality, nuclear engineering programs like UNSW’s are critical in ensuring Australia has the home-grown skills to support that choice. My father believed strongly in the benefits of nuclear energy as a safe, clean Ed. [there’s that word again – it’s a lie] power source for Australia and our gift continues to support that vision.” ……..

September 27, 2021 Posted by | Education, New South Wales | Leave a comment

Need to investigate ANSTO’s tax-payer funded, loss-making, unnecessary nuclear medicine production

Australian government watcher, 28 Aug 21, The production of isotopes for medical purposes by nuclear reactors is a declining industry due to its inherently dangerous and risky nature and its extremely high manufacturing costs

These isotopes are being replaced by cyclotron produced isotopes which are practically and completely free of any risk to the patients and can be produced by relatively easier and safer means at a greatly reduced costs

The only reason that isotopes produced by nuclear reactors are used for medical purposes is that their manufacture is highly and unrealistically subsidised by government grants as is the case with ANSTO in Australia

The rapid growth in the international use of cyclotron isotopes for medical therapies is making the production of isotopes by nuclear reactors obsolete

As a result the continued production of isotopes for medical purposes by ANSTO at Lucas Heights could be stopped
immediately with huge savings in government expenditure and no effect on the provision of medical therapies

There were also arguments within ANSTO against the proposed corporatising of the medical isotopes production since this would expose all of its problems including its obsolete and outdated status and the extremely high production costs

In addition there are concerns both externally and within ANSTO internally about the cost and marketing difficulties with the Synroc technology which is far from the initially promoted commercial success and has been overtaken in many countries by their own developed alternatives to reduce the volume of nuclear waste and treat it to make it suitable for long-term storage and eventual disposal

In view of this it is essential for a full and proper independent inquiry and investigation into ANSTO to determine the true situation and make practical and hopefully cost saving recommendations as to its future operations

August 28, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, health, politics, spinbuster | Leave a comment

How War Profiteers Manufacture Consent

How War Profiteers Manufacture Consent, Consortium News, August 13, 2021  Governments and war profiteers fund think tank reports that mass media then pass off as news, writes Caitlin Johnstone.By Caitlin Johnstone

“Think tank” is a good and accurate label, not because a great deal of thought happens in them, but because they’re dedicated to controlling what people think, and because they are artificial enclosures for slimy creatures. Their job, generally speaking, is to concoct and market reasons why it would be good and smart to do something evil and stupid.

And it works. Because of the efforts of warmonger-funded think tanks like the Lowy Institute, Center for a New American Security, and the profoundly odious Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), more and more Australian brains are being turned into soup by ridiculous propaganda narratives about China posing a meaningful threat to them.

CaitlinJohnstone.com One of the weirdest things about the mass media propaganda that manipulates the way people think, act and vote to maintain the status quo is that mainstream news outlets routinely cite the employees of think tanks that are sponsored by war profiteers and government powers as expert sources for their reports. And they just get away with it.

To pick one of nearly infinite possible examples, here in Australia the Murdoch press are currently citing a report generated through the funding of governments and weapons manufacturers to whip up public hysteria about the ridiculous fantasy that China might attack us.

The most egregious of these is a write-up from Sky News with the headline, “Lowy Institute report: China possesses ability to ‘strike Australia’ with long-range missiles, bombers.“

On social media Sky News is sharing this story with the even more incendiary caption “China now has the military arsenal to pose the greatest threat to the Australian mainland since World War II, experts warn.”

The “experts” in question are the Lowy Institute, named after its billionaire founder, which is funded by multiple branches of the Australian government including ASIO and the Department of Defence, by major financial institutions and by weapons manufacturers like Boeing.

The author of the Lowy Institute report  is Thomas Shugart, himself an employee of the notorious Center for a New American Security, a Biden administration-aligned warmongering think tank that receives funding from top war profiteers Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, as well as the U.S. State Department and numerous other governments.

So, in summary, government agencies and war profiteers paid for a report which manufactures consent for their agendas among policymakers and the public, and mass media institutions passed this off as “news.”

And this is exactly what these think tanks exist to do: cook up narratives which benefit their immensely powerful and unfathomably psychopathic sponsors, and insert those narratives at key points of influence.

“Think tank” is a good and accurate label, not because a great deal of thought happens in them, but because they’re dedicated to controlling what people think, and because they are artificial enclosures for slimy creatures. Their job, generally speaking, is to concoct and market reasons why it would be good and smart to do something evil and stupid.

And it works. Because of the efforts of warmonger-funded think tanks like the Lowy Institute, Center for a New American Security, and the profoundly odious Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), more and more Australian brains are being turned into soup by ridiculous propaganda narratives about China posing a meaningful threat to them.

As The Conversation highlighted last month, a poll conducted by that same Lowy Institute claims that “only 16% of surveyed Australians [express] trust in China compared with 52% just three years ago,” that a “similar number of Australians think China will launch an armed attack on Australia (42%) as on Taiwan (49%),” and that “more Australians (13%) than Taiwanese (4%) think a Chinese invasion of Taiwan is likely sometime soon.”

Zombie Outbreak

You can understand why the Lowy Institute would want to show off numbers like that to potential sponsors, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are entirely accurate; I’ve started conversations with complete strangers here in Victoria recently and seen them start babbling about how awful China is within a few minutes, completely out of the blue. It’s like watching a zombie outbreak in real time.

And this is of course entirely by design. Because of its useful geostrategic location in relation to China, Australia has been turned into a functional U.S. military/intelligence asset so crucial that multiple coups have been instituted here to ensure we remain aligned with the Pentagon against Beijing. You can’t have the locals meddling with the gears of your war machine with pesky little nuisances like the democratic process, so you’ve got to keep them aggressively propagandized.

This is why our consciousness is continually pummeled with think tank-manufactured narratives about China. An attention-grabbing headline about the big scary Chinese boogeyman will almost always be authored by a sleazy think tank denizen or be based on the work of one.

A few weeks ago 60 Minutes Australia ran an unbelievably hysterical segment branding New Zealand “New Xi-Land” because its government didn’t perfectly align with Washington on one particular aspect of its Cold War agenda, and it featured an interview with an Australian Strategic Policy Institute spinmeister as well as the actual ASPI office.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute is cited by mass media outlets around the world and is funded by, you guessed it, governments and war profiteers. According to APAC News’ Marcus Reubenstein, ASPI is funded by all the usual weapons manufacturers, by the U.S. State Department and other governments.

“ASPI has received funding from the governments of Britain, Japan and Taiwan as well as NATO,” Reubenstein writes. “Among its corporate supporters are global weapons makers ThalesBAE SystemsRaytheonSAABNorthrop GrummanMDBA Missile Systems and Naval Group. Yet their contribution of over $330,000 last year is dwarfed by that of a handful of government departments and agencies.”

Media citation of warmonger-funded think tanks is common throughout the Western world. Government-sponsored imperialist spin factories like Bellingcat are routinely cited by the mainstream media, and those citations are leant credibility by the fawning puff pieces which those media institutions regularly churn out about the propaganda firm.

The fact that disguising statements by propagandists who are sponsored by governments and war profiteers is journalistic malpractice should be obvious to everyone in the world, and if media and education systems were doing their jobs instead of indoctrinating society into accepting the status quo, it would be. But propaganda only works if you don’t realize you’re being propagandized, and keeping people from realizing this is itself a part of the propaganda…

Make a fortune killing people and selling their bodies and you’d be remembered as the century’s worst monster. Make the same fortune selling the weapons used to kill the same number of people in wars you propagandized into existence and you’re a respected job creator.

Absolutely appalling.  https://consortiumnews.com/2021/08/13/how-war-profiteers-manufacture-consent/

August 16, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, spinbuster, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Let the Australian nuclear spin begin – in earnest

‘until we can have the nuclear [power] discussion then carbon farming will play an important role.’‘ Michael McCormack of the Nationals Party , The Age , 18/7/21

You can bet your boots that Michael Mc Cormack knows about as much about nuclear power as a kindergarten kid does.

He is supposed to be an enemy of Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce, but on nuclear opinion, and nuclear knowledge, they’re in lockstep.

I was meaning to leave until Ausgust, this very NOW story of the renewed nuclear spin in Australia. I just couldn’t let this one pass – as Mc Cormack just slipped this in to a story that purports to be all about supporting agriculture and carbon farming.

July 18, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Australia’s weapons lobby drumming up fear of nuclear attack by China, against all logic

Those in Australia beating the “drums of war” point to Taiwan as the flashpoint for the next major global conflict. To what end does a first strike on Australia achieve China’s goals in relation to Taiwan?

War with China: zero logic yet the weapons lobby has 42% of Australians believing it   Michael West Media, by Marcus Reubenstein | Jul 16, 2021  Incredibly, a survey finds 42% of Australians believe China will attack Australia, this despite exports to China surging 36% over in the last six months, and despite there being no logical rationale for war with China, or an attack by China. Marcus Reubenstein analyses the ludicrous position of Australia’s China hawks and the mainstream media pushing their agendas. 

“Cry ‘Havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of war.”

William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar Act 3, Scene 1

China is a rapidly growing economic power, seeking to exert considerable influence in its region and beyond. And like every great power it is a bully which tries to entice, cajole or intimidate other nations into adopting its view of the world.

How is this such a difficult concept for Australians to embrace?

Since Federation we’ve tied our fortunes to two great powers, the declining British Empire then the rising, and rising even more, US global hegemony……….

Who is threatening whom?

new report from the Australia Institute begins with the following words:

“In April this year, Australians were warned by no less an expert than the former Minister for Defence, Christopher Pyne, that they may need to engage in a ‘kinetic’ war with China in the next five to ten years.”

Perhaps, in the realm of China policy, ‘no lesser expert’ better describes his authority on the subject.

The same Pyne, famously discussed his role as a defence industry consultant with EY whilst he was a sitting member of the Federal Cabinet, a matter which prompted a Senate investigation.

He still works for EY, sits on the board of defence contractor XTEC, is Chair of the Advisory Board of another defence contractor NIOA, and in June last year Arawa Capital announced him as Chair of its Advisory Board and Investment Committee for a fund investing in weapons systems.

In heralding that appointment Arawa specifically referred to the, still unsubstantiated, Scott Morrison announcement of a malicious cyber attack by an unnamed “state-based” actor. Arawa trumpeted Pyne has “unrivalled knowledge of the cyber, intelligence and national security landscape.”    

With Pyne on board, Arawa said it “anticipates closing out the initial $50mil capital raising swiftly.” It transpired there was a swift “closing out”, ASIC records show six months later Arawa Capital Pty Ltd was deregistered as a company.  

According to research from Michael West Media’s “Revolving Doors” series, Pyne’s numerous board memberships and consultancies put him in direct, or indirect, contact with more than a dozen weapons makers and contractors.

Clearly, talking up a war with China is of no financial benefit to these companies.

Why would China attack Australia?

Should Australia go to war with China in defence of Taiwan? is the title of the Australia Institute report and 42% of its six hundred respondents think China is poised to attack Australia.

How and why?

Those in Australia beating the “drums of war” point to Taiwan as the flashpoint for the next major global conflict. To what end does a first strike on Australia achieve China’s goals in relation to Taiwan?


If Australia has something China wants, it is many times cheaper and easier to buy it than to send your army half way around the world to steal it.              

China’s current leadership is presiding over a great deal more diplomatic disasters than triumphs but, if nothing else, the Chinese are pragmatic.

Australia’s rabid China hawks will no doubt dismiss such assessments, saying China doesn’t need to deploy military assets it would simply launch a nuclear strike on a target—which they ignore is home to 1.2 million ethnically Chinese people.

My counter argument?

The policy wonks in Washington, who made you their lapdogs, didn’t throw you a bone because they thought you were smart, they threw you the bone because they knew you were dumb enough to catch it!

This survey’s inconvenient truth

The same number of respondents were polled in Taiwan and only a few more (49 percent) expressed fears of an attack from the mainland. Bear in mind the Taiwanese are of the same Han ethnicity as the majority of Chinese, who moved over from the mainland in the 1680s; the PRC has never given up its claim to what was once part of China; and the island sits just 161 kilometres off the coast of China.

That four in ten Australians should think Beijing—a mere 9,000 kilometres from Canberra—is gearing up for invasion is staggering.

Report author Allan Behm noted, “Given Australia and Taiwan’s historical and geographical differences, it is astounding that Australians could be more fearful than Taiwan in anticipating an attack from China.”

This anticipation is undoubtedly fuelled by Australia’s China hawks, all with close ties to US-funded research groups and patronage from US weapons makers.

However, they should not be too smug in thinking their “drums of war” are resonating.

73 percent of Australians regard the United States as an aggressive nation, while only six in ten Australians believe the US would come to our aid in the event of war with China.

Given Australia has followed the United States into 100 percent of its wars, that Australians would only rate America a 60 percent chance of leaping to our defence is a sobering statistic.

Totally at odds with Prime Minister Morrison and Foreign Minister Maris Payne’s unquestioned support of the US antagonism towards China, 75 percent of Australians think it is in our interests that China and the US “work together towards world peace”. Of concern to the spin merchants inside the government an even higher number of coalition supporters, 79 percent, think peace with China is a good idea.

Despite the US, and Morrison’s, rhetoric of Taiwan being a like-minded democracy of shared values, 76 percent of Taiwanese rate America as an aggressor. Should the US come to Taiwan’s aid in a war with China, only 18 percent of Taiwanese people think they would win.

How reliable are drummers?

By any sensible strategic logic, the dogs of war should remain in their box. Let the drums of war continue to drum up business for the China threat industry and their death-merchant patrons.  …..

 https://www.michaelwest.com.au/war-with-china-zero-logic-yet-the-weapons-lobby-has-42-of-australians-believing-it/  

July 17, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, spinbuster, weapons and war | Leave a comment

THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper sinks to a new low in pro nuclear propaganda.

at left Zion Lights

Today’s THE AUSTRALIAN carries this article ”Savvy activists cast nuclear benefits in a fresh green light”. The article is by Claire Lehmann, who must be a real sucker to fall for such purile pro nuke spin, or , more likely, knows where the money is, in writing for News Corpse.

Claire Lehmann would appear to have swallowed the spin of Zion Lights. Zion Lights is certainly a talented self-propagandist, and is loved by the nuclear industry, because she pitches her pro nuke spin to young people, using popular media – Tok Tok and Instagram etc.

Below, on today’s Antinuclear, I’m republishing 2 articles which give some context to the background of Zion Lights.

July 5, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Australia’s failed nuclear front group bites the dust.

Ben Heard’s lobby group is closing down, June 2021: Heard’s ‘Bright New World’ group — which received secret corporate donations from the Nuclear Industry — is closing down.

Concerted efforts to have state and federal laws banning nuclear power have failed in recent years. At a guess, the corporate donors have given up and will no longer fund Bright New World.

A stocktake on Heard’s 10 years of pro-nuclear, anti-renewables campaigning: renewable capacity grew by an incredible 1500+ gigawatts worldwide and renewables now account for 30% of global electricity generation. Nuclear generation was stagnant and nuclear’s contribution to global electricity generation fell to 10%.In Heard’s home state of South Australia, renewables have grown to 60% of electricity generation and the conservative state government is enthusiastically committed to 100% net renewables by 2030.Heard’s efforts to turn South Australia into the world’s nuclear waste dump were equally unsuccessful.Good riddance to Bright New World.  https://nuclear.foe.org.au/ben-heard-secret-corporate-donations/

June 29, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Portrait of a pro nuclear shill – Ben Heard

Ben Heard and the nuclear lobby group ‘Bright New World’ that accepts secret corporate donations

For factual rebuttals of the misinformation promulgated by other nuclear advocates, please visit: https://nuclear.foe.org.au/propaganda/

Ben Heard founded the South Australia-based  ‘Bright New World’ nuclear advocacy group that accepts secret corporate donations from the nuclear industry.

Like so many other nuclear advocates, Heard very rarely or never says or does anything about the problems of the nuclear industry such as its systemic racism (abundantly evident in his home state, South Australia) or the inadequate nuclear safeguards system and the associated WMD proliferation risks.

A big part of Heard’s schtik is his conversion from a nuclear critic to a supporter. It is a back-story built on slender foundations. A mining industry magazine article said Heard was “once a fervent anti-nuclear campaigner” but in fact he never had any involvement whatsoever in anti-nuclear campaigning. Heard made no effort to correct the error in the magazine article — indeed he put the article, uncorrected, on his own website and only corrected it after the falsehood was publicly exposed. Likewise, Heard made no effort to correct an ABC article which described him as a “former anti-nuclear advocate”.

Heard has a recurring disclosure problem. He rarely disclosed his consulting work for uranium company Heathgate when spruiking for the nuclear industry. He said the reason he rarely disclosed his consulting work with Heathgate was that it was mentioned on his website. So any time you hear anyone speaking about anything in the media, it’s your responsibility to do a web-search to see if they have a financial interest! More recently, he rarely discloses corporate funding — indeed his lobby group has a policy of accepting secret corporate donations. Moreover, Heard rarely if ever discloses his connection to nuclear power company Energy. https://nuclear.foe.org.au/ben-heard-secret-corporate-donations/rrestrial Energy.

June 29, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Samantha Chard, General Manager, Australian Radioactive Waste Management Agency – doubletalk about nuclear waste transport.


Kazzi Jai
  No nuclear waste dump anywhere in South Australia ,11 June 21
.

Ms Chard also noted that aside from the TN81, other intermediate level waste will not look substantially different to the low level waste packages.
It is likely that transportation of intermediate level waste will be discrete to avoid someone potentially doing something they should not; however all trucks need to note if they are transporting a hazardous substance
.”

Short post today – but something I have been meaning to address….

…..”to avoid someone potentially doing something they should not”…..WTF is that???? Are they only NOW ADMITTING how SERIOUS the TRANSPORT of this waste is SECURITY WISE???????

Then….”however all trucks need to note if they are transporting a hazardous substance”….Again – WTF – or are they trying to REWRITE THE AUSTRALIAN DANGEROUS TRANSPORT CODE????

“Mickey Mouse Operation” are the words which spring to mind

Predictably transport of intermediate waste will be done under the cover of darkness, just like the whole process has been. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929

June 12, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, spinbuster | Leave a comment

ANSTO’s desperate and dishonest spin to promote the nuclear industry

Kazzi Jai   No radioactive waste dump anywhere in South Australia 10 June 21 “Desperate times call for desperate measures”….seems to be the apt phrase used to describe the Nuclear Industry more and more these months!

Seems Australian taxpayers are yet again footing the bill for the Nuclear Industry and its associated waste yet again – and our Environment and Future generations will suffer for it!

It is likely that every Australian will need nuclear medicine in their lifetime for diagnosis of a variety of heart, lung and muscular-skeletal conditions, or treatment of specific types of cancers,” Mr Griffiths said.

Where is the reference for this claim? It was NEVER ADDRESSED when it was first claimed that 1 in 2 Australians will need nuclear medicine a number of years ago…..then last year 1 in 3…..then suddenly now EVERY Australian will need nuclear medicine!! Or do we just TRUST Mr Griffiths on his word??

Is this “nuclear medicine” as a generic term…including LINAC Radiotherapy treatment which does not use radioactive isotopes? – Or is this addressing only “nuclear derived isotopes”? Is it only “isotopes” sourced from ANSTO….or cyclotron derived isotopes from private practises using cyclotrons/imaging partnership centres??

Too many questions, not enough answers…..A case of Blurred Lines much!!

Ah, but there’s more!


“….”To support this, ANSTO’s new nuclear medicine facility delivers thousands of doses of nuclear medicine to more than 220 hospitals and nuclear medicine centres each week.”
He said the new facility, which was announced in 2012 and commenced production in 2019, had already become a “critical part of the nuclear medicine supply chain
“.

So….ANM is the ANSTO Nuclear Medicine Facility which comprises of an export scale Mo-99 Manufacturing Facility and Synroc Waste Treatment plant for the liquid component of Mo-99 manufacture waste product. Why do they insist on dropping the “Molydenum-99” term in the name for the facility – when that is what was applied for in 2012 to ARPANSA for licencing……Australian Nuclear Medicine Molydenum-99 Facility (ANM Mo99) ??

.And notice NO MENTION of becoming one of the MAJOR EXPORTERS FOR Mo-99 GLOBALLY – ramping up to 10 million doses per annum…..those paltry POSSIBLE doses of 10,000 available doses for Australian Hospitals per week pales in significance!

“….A by-product of that is the 30 litres of intermediate-level radioactive waste produced at the site each week.
The waste is being held in tanks while the new SyMo facility is constructed, but once it is complete, the waste will be solidified using ANSTO’s Synroc technology.
Mr Griffiths said Synroc was an innovative, cost-effective, low-risk way to reduce waste volume by taking it from liquid form and solidifying it into a synthetic rock so it is suitable for permanent storage.

Now, a “by-product” is a product that is produced as a secondary product of a product in my books. How EXACTLY is this nuclear waste classified in any realm as a “by-product”?? It is nuclear waste!

Again – slippery terms to cover what the reality is!

And finally – Synroc is NOT a cost-effective way to reduce volume – OTHERWISE OTHER COUNTRIES WOULD HAVE ALREADY EMBRACED IT – WHICH THEY HAVEN’T!!

Seems Australian taxpayers are yet again footing the bill for the Nuclear Industry and its associated waste yet again – and our Environment and Future generations will suffer for it! https://www.theleader.com.au/…/radioactive-waste…/…

 https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929

June 12, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

The fake charity AMDA Foundation is exposed by Michael West Media’s Michelle Fahy

Landforces’ brothers in arms: how a weapons peddler qualified for charitable status .  https://www.michaelwest.com.au/landforces-brothers-in-arms-how-a-weapons-peddler-qualified-for-charitable-status/

by Michelle Fahy | Jun 4, 2021  The Coalition is cracking down on charitable organisations. However, the Australian charity promoting arms deals on behalf of weapons makers that profit from humanitarian catastrophes is unlikely to be in the government’s sights. With the weapons expo LandForces wrapping up in Brisbane this week, Michelle Fahy delves into the charity behind LandForces.

The Morrison government has charitable organisations in its sights. It proposes to amend the legislation covering charities so that minor legal misdemeanours by staff or supporters of a charity could be used as a prompt by the regulator for a review of a charity’s privileged status.

St Vincent de Paul told The Saturday Paper that if an activist wearing a Vinnies T-shirt refused to move along when asked by police, Vinnies could risk having its charitable status removed.

Hands Off Our Charities, an alliance of Australian charities, said in a submission to government: “The proposal is a major overreach and the need for further regulation has not been (and in our view cannot be) properly explained.”

Yet consider the activities of a not-for-profit organisation that many Australians will be astounded to discover has gained privileged charitable status – AMDA Foundation Limited (AMDA).

AMDA is the organiser of Land Forces, a biennial military and weapons exhibition running in Brisbane this week showcasing organisations “operating across the full spectrum of land warfare”.

The 600 exhibitors at Land Forces include local and multinational weapons manufacturers and other suppliers to military forces. Event sponsors include global arms corporations such as Boeing, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Rheinmetall, General Dynamics, Saab and Hanwha, along with local companies Electro Optic Systems (EOS), CEA, and NIOA. Representatives from foreign governments and militaries are among the attendees.

Several of AMDA’s arms-maker sponsors have supplied their weaponry to the two countries leading the coalition fighting the war in Yemen – Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The UN has been pleading for years for countries to cease supplying weaponry to these countries.

In late 2018, the New York Times published distressing photographs of emaciated children in Yemen dying as a result of aid blockades during the war. The mass starvation continues. UNICEF has said more than 400,000 Yemeni children under five could die preventable deaths this year.

Promoting arms deals on behalf of corporations that have profited from this unspeakable humanitarian catastrophe is the antithesis of what an Australian registered charity should be doing.

But the political posturing evident in the government’s proposed changes is unlikely to result in any repercussions for the AMDA Foundation. Instead, it is ‘activist’ environmental charities that are being targeted by the changes. Which is precisely the problem with such sweeping broad powers. They can be implemented selectively to silence voices the government does not want heard.

“It is the principle that underpins the change that is wrong, regardless of who it is used to target,” said Matt Rose, Economy & Democracy Program Manager at the Australian Conservation Foundation.

Arms trade promotion a “charitable activity”?

AMDA runs numerous major military and weapons-related trade exhibitions around Australia. Its roster of events includes Avalon, a biennial aerospace military and weapons expo in Victoria, next slated for early December 2021. The Indo Pacific Expo, a maritime warfare exhibition, is scheduled for May 2022 in Sydney.

These and other industry trade shows bring together sellers and buyers of weaponry and other military and security-related equipment. “Doing business is easy at Land Forces,” says its website, noting that Land Forces serves as a “powerful promotional and industry engagement forum”.

AMDA says it exists to help the “general community in Australia”. But the general community is not permitted to attend Land Forces nor AMDA’s other arms exhibitions. (The public can attend the Avalon Air Show, a separate public event run at the same time as the Avalon arms expo.)

AMDA is part of a group of companies registered with ACNC which operates around the country. It had 24 full-time-equivalent employees and a gross income in 2020 of $11.7 million – 32% of which came from government grants and 61% from operating revenue. Its income in 2019 was $26.2 million, mostly from operating revenue.

Revolving doors and conflicted interests

The AMDA board is an all-male affair. Its chair is former chief of the Royal Australian Navy, Christopher Ritchie, who joined the board in May 2017 while concurrently sitting on the boards of Lockheed Martin Australia (until 2020) and German naval shipbuilder Luerssen Australia, both multibillion dollar contractors to the Defence Department.

Former chief of army Kenneth Gillespie sits on the AMDA board while also sitting on the board of Naval Group, the French multinational building Australia’s controversial new submarines. Gillespie is also chair of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) Council, the highly influential and supposedly “independent” think tank tasked with providing strategic advice to the government.

ASPI is sponsored by Naval Group as well as other global arms manufacturers including Lockheed Martin, Thales, Saab and Northrop Grumman. ASPI has been vocal in its anti-China ‘war drums’ rhetoric, stoking regional tensions, along with the Asia Pacific arms race.

June 5, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, spinbuster, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia represented (by Ben Heard) in Moscow in launch of Rosatom’s pro nuclear propaganda campaign.

Thousands Join Launch Of Rosatom’s Atoms For Humanity Nuclear Awareness Campaign, By India Education Diary Bureau Admin  May 3, 2021  Moscow: On April 30, over 3200 people from some 40 countries watched Rosatom’s Atoms for Humanity new nuclear awareness campaign launch event. The project is aimed at demonstrating the importance of nuclear technologies in achieving the UN Sustainable Goals through human-centered stories.

The project launch event Why Humanity Needs Nuclear brought together Polina Lion, Chief Sustainability Officer at Rosatom, Sama Bilbao y León, Director General of the World Nuclear Association, Dr. Maher Aziz, member of the World Energy Council, Ben Heard, founder of the Bright New World and Sergio Orlandi and Head of Central Engineering and Plant Directorate at ITER. Heroes of Atoms for Humanity joined the event to share their experiences participating in the campaign.

The [?] esteemed speakers discussed social, economic and environmental benefits of nuclear technologies and their invaluable contribution to solving the most urgent challenges of today and tomorrow.

May 4, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment