Australian news, and some related international items

Sick-making propaganda spin, as ANSTO pays rural South Australians to visit Lucas Heights nuclear reactor

ANSTO Media Release, 23 Oct 17Hawker and Quorn locals visit ANSTO to find out more about the types of jobs involved in managing radioactive waste,  …….“One of the great things I saw was a lot of school children going through the site and being taught about nuclear medicine and science. It was a real eye opener,” Mr McKenzie said.

“Our group will capture what we have learned about what goes on at ANSTO, and feed that into our development plans.

“What I saw was that my group had the opportunity to talk to people who knew what they were talking about, listen and ask questions, and then walk away happy.

“They spoke to the experts about the process and how they manage and look after the site safety, and I am sure we could do something similar up at Wallerberdina Station.

“With the proper training, we could do the types of jobs they do here. There is a great opportunity to contribute.”


October 25, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, South Australia, spinbuster | Leave a comment

ANSTO calls High Level Nuclear Waste – “Intermediate Level” – fooling the public

Steve Dale Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia  21 Oct 17 Lest we forget. The ore we dig up from Roxby has a radioactivity of about 80 Becquerels per gram. The vitrified waste we received back from France has a radioactivity over one Billion Becquerels per gram (one GigaBq/gr). France considers this High Level Waste – but our political system has allowed this to be defined as “Intermediate” – incompetence? corrupt? I will let you decide. (image from…/2006_summar…/files/docs/all.pdf)

October 20, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

“The Advertiser’s” nuclear advertising article drew strong responses

Jim Green, 18 Oct 17 Dean Jaensch makes two comments about nuclear power ‒ both of them false (‘Nuclear power could be the solution for Australia’s energry crisis‘, The Advertiser, yesterday). He claims that 19 of the G20 utilise nuclear energy in their power production. But in fact, Indonesia Turkey, and Saudi Arabia have no reactors.

And in most of the G20 countries that operate reactors, nuclear power is either negligible or in a world of trouble. In Japan, for example, less than one-tenth of the pre-Fukushima reactor fleet is operating. Estimated clean-up and compensation costs for the 2011 Fukushima disaster have doubled and doubled again and now stand at $245 billion.

Could the state economy cope with a $245 billion hit if Fukushima happened in SA? Of course not.
Jaensch’s claim that nuclear power “emits absolutely no carbon” is also false as a cursory review of the relevant literature demonstrates.

Robyn Wood, 19 Oct 17  Regarding nuclear power, Dean Jaensch is very mistaken when he claims that nuclear power emits no carbon (Advertiser 17/10/17).  He forgets to include the fossil fuel burned during uranium mining, transport of uranium by truck, train or sea, plus the construction of a waste facility along with associated transport of waste.

He also forgets that last year’s nuclear Royal Commission found that nuclear power is currently uneconomic compared to other sources of power.  Costs for the construction of new nuclear power plants around the world are skyrocketing while the costs of renewables are rapidly falling.  If our government is wise enough to also invest in constructing pumped hydro dams which act as energy storage, then renewable energy can be stabilised to provide continuous electricity for the benefit of all Australians.


October 18, 2017 Posted by | South Australia, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Ben Heard misinforms the Saudi Arabians on radiation from spent nuclear fuels

Nuclear energy is green, it’s safe, Heard asserts, Saudi Gazette

This guy should know better than this – “There is a hazard, particularly freshly used fuel is hazardous for the first 5 years and then it comes down very fast and is not so dangerous any more, but we manage it very effectively. ”

Compare this with what Hedin says “Approximately one year after the fuel has been discharged from the reactor, the dose rate is around 1,000,000 mSv/h. This means that a lethal dose, about 5,000 mSv, is received in about 20 seconds. The dose is dominated completely by the contribution from gamma rays. The radiation declines with time, but the dose rate after 40 years, when the spent fuel is to be emplaced in the deep repository, is still as high as 65,000 mSv/h.” From Allan Hedin 1997, “Spent Nuclear Fuel – How Dangerous is it”

October 11, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Australia’s Ben Heard – fake environmentalist and pro nuclear shill

Jim Green  Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch– 9 October 17 Ben Heard is a fake environmentalist ‒ Australia’s version of Patrick Moore. Heard’s last gig was for the COAL MINING funded Minerals Council of Australia!
Before that, he took money from General Atomics ‒ which is up to its neck in drone warfare. And he’s possibly the first and hopefully the last person to ask for speaking fees from small, unfunded community groups.
Corporations can donate to Heard’s fake environment group and he “will respect the company’s right to privacy if desired”. Since he openly takes money from coal miners and murderous military corporations, I shudder to think who he’ll accept secret donations from.
This is what the stridently pro-nuclear South Australian Royal Commission said about Heard’s Gen 4 nuclear plans: “[A]dvanced fast reactors and other innovative reactor designs are unlikely to be feasible or viable in the foreseeable future. The development of such a first-of-a-kind project in South Australia would have high commercial and technical risk. Although prototype and demonstration reactors are operating, there is no licensed, commercially proven design. Development to that point would require substantial capital investment.”
Heard got a $55,000 government grant to come up with his lunatic Gen 4 proposal and, needless to say, he refused to repay one cent of the money.

October 9, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Professor Brian Cox – subtle spinner for nuclear power, will tour Australia in November

Brian Cox is  a very personable and knowledgeable TV star and particle physics expert. He is also a promoter of the nuclear industry. He is a big fan of plutonium -powered space travel.

Currently, Cox is in Cumbria, UK, addressing schoolchildren groups, and revving up enthusiasm for science and technology. All good, yes. He enthuses about the opportunity for top jobs in high tech in Cumbria.  Good? Yes, but – where are these future jobs? Well – in the nuclear industry, which is desperately trying to get a new nuclear power station built.

Whitehaven News 29th Sept 2017, Television star Professor Brian Cox says Cumbria has a world-leading industry which warrants talent – but there’s a shortage of scientists and engineers. But he hopes to change that by helping to bring the prestigious Infinity Festival to the area and inspiring hundreds of teenagers to follow their dreams. Professor Cox was the star speaker at today’s festival which was held at West Lakes Academy in Egremont. More than 200 schoolchildren, aged 13 and 14, attended the event from schools across the whole of the county.

Professor Brian Cox welcomes Cumbria’s nuclear history and future

The scientist, Professor Brian Cox, has told guests at the opening of a new exhibition in Whitehaven that nuclear power should be an important source of energy in the UK.

Famous scientist argues for ‘stable’ forms of energy, The famous scientist Professor Brian Cox has told guests at the opening of a new exhibition in Whitehaven that nuclear power should be an important source of energy in the UK.

He argues that education is important for accepting nuclear energy:

October 2, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | 1 Comment

Nuclear connections in Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering

Dan Monceaux, Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia shared a link. September 29 

There are quite a few Fellows of ATSE with direct associations with uranium mining or nuclear fuel cycle projects. They include:

– Paul Heithersay (Olympic Dam task force, SA Gov)
– Malcolm Kinnaird (Olympic Dam task force, SA Gov)
– Ian Gould (Rio Tinto/Toro Energy)
– Vanessa Guthrie (Toro Energy)
– Hugh Morgan (WMC/Olympic Dam)
– David Klingberg (Nat. Radioactive Waste project)
– Marius Kloppers (BHP during ODX)
– Adi Paterson (ANSTO)
– Arvi Parbo (WMC/Olympic Dam)
– Erica Smyth (Toro Energy)
– Ziggy Switkowski (author of UMPNER Review circa 2006)

The ATSE is the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. There are over 800 Fellows of the ATSE (FTSE).[1] They include the following people:

October 2, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Six international academics refute the attack on renewable energy by Ben Heard and others

Response to ‘Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems’ AUTHORS W. Browna,(a) , T. Bischof-Niemz (b)  , K. Blok(c) , C. Breyerc(d) , H. Lund (e) , B.V. Mathiesen (f  )  (Their  university positions are listed at the end of this post) September 2017

Abstract A recent article ‘Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems [by Ben Heard, Barry Brook, Tom Wigley and Corey Bradshaw] claims that many studies of 100% renewable electricity systems do not demonstrate sufficient technical feasibility, according to the authors’ criteria.

Here we analyse the authors’ methodology and find it problematic. The feasibility criteria chosen by the authors are important, but are also easily addressed at low cost, while not affecting the main conclusions of the reviewed studies and certainly not affecting their technical feasibility.

A more thorough review reveals that all of the issues have already been addressed in the engineering and modelling literature. Nuclear power, as advocated by some of the authors, faces other, genuine feasibility problems, such as the finiteness of uranium resources and a reliance on unproven technologies in the medium- to long-term. Energy systems based on renewables, on the other hand, are not only feasible, but already economically viable and getting cheaper every day.

Contents Continue reading

September 25, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby bringing top USA nuclear spruiker Michael Shellenberger to Australia

‘Michael Shellenberger  will visit Australia in Nov­ember to promote a rethink on nuclear at a minerals industry conference.

A radioactive wolf in green clothing: Dissecting the latest pro-nuclear spin,10735

 Noel Wauchope Michael Shellenberger is a nuclear salesman posing as a new generation environmentalist with unsubstantiated energy “solutions”, writes Noel Wauchope.

LAST WEEK, The Australian excelled itself in uncritically regurgitating nuclear lobby propaganda in the article‘Nuclear the “only option” to replace coal and gas: Michael Shellenberger’. 

To start with, they describe Shellenberger as ‘one of the world’s leading new-generation environmental thinkers‘. Well, that is sort of, a bit, right. Shellenberger is well known as the founder in 2003, with Ted Nordhaus, of The Breakthrough Institute — a nuclear front group dedicated to promoting “new generation” nuclear reactors. He is not a new generation environmentalist, as his focus is solely on the nuclear industry.

In the same opening paragraph, Shellenberger is described as ‘a former renewables advocate to Barack Obama‘. Well, Shellenberger’s advocacy consisted of lobbying Obama to promote not renewables but nuclear power. He is described as ‘now a global champion for nuclear energy’, as if he had only recently become a convert from renewables.

The Australian goes on to quote Shellenberger’s statements against renewable energy, uncritically, despite the fact that he provides no evidence for them:

“[Wind and solar] are doubling the cost of electricity and they have big environmental impacts. All existing renewable technologies do is make the electricity system chaotic and provide greenwash for fossil fuels.”


“[Opposition to nuclear] is like a superstitious religious belief.”

Shellenberger was a one of Time Magazine’s ’30 Heroes of the Environment’ in 2008. True. However, he was chosen and discussed in Time by Bryan Walsh, a nuclear proponent and a member of The Breakthrough Institute. That choice was strongly disputed by genuine leading environmentalists Bill McKibben and Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club. 

Having thus established Shellenberger’s very shaky credentials as an environmentalist, The Australian gets to the gist of the story:

‘Michael Shellenberger  will visit Australia in Nov­ember to promote a rethink on nuclear at a minerals industry conference.’

We are told that Germany’s renewable energy transition is not successful and that Shellenberger believes better education about nuclear power is needed as well as ‘a leap forward in scientific literacy about radiation’.

He says:

“The reality is the death toll from Chernobyl in 1986, after 20 years, is less than 200 people.”

As we have come to expect from The Australian and from Michael Shellenberger, no references are given to back up these statements.

Also unsurprisingly, The Australian quotes Shellenberger’s conclusion without comment:

“Nuclear is the only technology that can lift everyone out of poverty and reverse human ­impact.”

As often happens, this article is followed by numerous positive comments, often glowing with praise, if somewhat lacking in information or insight. There were no negative comments. But then, only registered readers of The Australian are allowed to make comments. It is tiring but necessary to refute bald claims made by very manipulative nuclear spruikers.

Where to start?

Here are some links to thoughtful articles which address claims made in this article:

  • The cost or electricity from renewables?

Renewable energy versus nuclear: dispelling the myths about costs‘, by Mark Diesendorf, Associate Professor in Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New South Wales.

  • Death toll from Chernobyl accident?

‘Radiation harm deniers? Pro-nuclear environmentalists and the Chernobyl death toll’, by Dr Jim Green, National Nuclear Campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia and Editor of the Nuclear Monitor.

  • Nuclear lifting the world out of poverty?  

‘Nuclear Power Cost’, from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

September 20, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

John Quiggan demolishes foolish Minerals Council of Australia’s nuclear spin

The Minerals Council of Australia pushing zombie ideas, September 4th, 2017, John Quiggin,

Fighting zombies is a tiresome business. Even when you think you’ve finally killed them, they bounce back as often as not. But it has to be done, and there are some benefits. When you see a supposedly serious person or organization pushing zombie ideas, it’s an indication that nothing they put out should be presumed to be serious.

There can be few zombies more thoroughly undead than nuclear power in general, except for the idea that nuclear power is a sensible option for Australia. The strongly pro-nuclear SA Royal Commission demolished this zombie so thoroughly that it should have taken a decade at least to regenerate.

But here’s the Minerals Council of Australia, which has taken a break from promoting coal to push the idea thatAustralia needs a nuclear power industry and that the biggest obstacle is a legal prohibition imposed in 1998. The supporting “analysis” is riddled with absurdities, some of which have already been pointed out. I’ll give my own (incomplete) list over the fold

Most obviously, there’s the statement that 58 nuclear reactors are currently under construction. As anyone who’s been paying attention could tell them, that number was 66 not long ago. The decline reflects the abandonment of half-built projects like the VC Summer plant in North Carolina and the fact that some long overdue projects like Watts Bar, started back in 1973, have been completed, while new starts have slowed to a crawl.

That’s only going to accelerate. China currently has 23 plants under construction, but they haven’t approved a new one in eighteen months. Other countries with projects under construction, but no recent approvals include the US and France. Unless something changes, the completion of current projects will cut the number under construction in half within a few years.

Then there’s the claim that nuclear power is affordable. There’s no reference to the dismal record of the existing industry. Instead, the MCA is relying on vaporware

Small modular reactors (SMRs) are close to commercialisation in the US. A Nu-scale 50MWe SMR, for example, is projected to cost around US$250 million.10 Three of these would cost and produce around the same amount of power as the largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere – and it would be reliable, synchronous, on-demand power

The reality is that the NuScale SMR doesn’t exist even as a prototype. Any estimate of the costs of such a reactor is purely speculative. The SA Royal Commission looked hard at SMRs and concluded they weren’t a viable option now or in the foreseeable future.

Showing patent bad faith, the MCA quotes the Royal Commission’s claims about the potential for a nuclear waste dump (an idea that has been abandoned) but ignores the more significant finding that nuclear power, including SMRs is hopelessly uneconomic for Australia.

Even more startling is the suggestion that we should follow the example of Canada which supposedly has a thriving nuclear industry. The reality is that nuclear power in Canada has been a failure, with massive cost overruns and frequent breakdowns. After spending at least a billion in subsidies, the Canadian government sold its nuclear energy business for a mere $15 million in 2011. It’s highly unlikely that Canada will ever build another nuclear plant.

Then there’s a reference to some real vaporware, notably including Transatomic a startup backed by Peter Theil. Google reveals that Transatomic had to back away from its inflated claims by a factor of more than 30. An honest mistake, apparently, but not promising as a basis for Australian energy policy.

Regardless of whether the prohibition on nuclear energy is lifted, it’s not going to happen in Australia, or most other countries. The real lesson from this episode is that any analysis coming out of the MCA should be treated with extreme scepticism. In particular, the next time an MCA spokesperson pops up to say that we need coal-fired power indefinitely into the future, remember their similar, and patently false, claims about nuclear power.

September 6, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Australian media mindlessly regurgitates nuclear lobby spin about medical wastes

Misconceptions about radioactive medical isotopes, , By Noel Wauchope -29 August 2017

Australians get their information about medical isotopes straight from The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation(ANSTO) via handouts faithfully retailed via the mainstream media. Some recent examples of media coverage:

The message is straightforward and goes like this:

The purpose of the Opal nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights is to make medical radioisotopes to treat cancer. Australia needs a national radioactive waste dump in rural South Australia, thousands of miles away from Lucas Heights, to dispose of the low-level medical radioactive wastes produced. And this will be a bonanza for the lucky rural community of Kimba.

Is this story true?

No. It is misleading on a number of counts.

First of all, a nuclear reactor is not essential for making medical isotopes. The IAEA lists 39 countries that use cyclotrons to produce them. That includes Australia, which has them not only at Lucas Heights itself, but also at hospitals in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia.

From the invention of the cyclotron (1931) , and discovery of artificial radioactivity (1934), non nuclear particle accelerators were used to produce them. Globally, particle accelerators produced the vast majority of radioisotopes with medical applications until the 1950s. Radioisotopes of medical interest began to be produced as a byproduct of nuclear weapons reactors during World War II. After the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the USA Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)’s main mission was promoting the military use of nuclear material, but “giving atomic energy a peaceful, civilian image” was also part of it. In1948 the AEC took over, and isotopes for biomedical research, cancer diagnostics and therapy were made in nuclear reactors and even became free of charge.

Australia was a bit slow to jump on the medical isotopes bandwagon. The Lucas Heights nuclear reactor began its life in 1958 as the start of a plan for nuclear weapons for Australia.Then it was promoted as research for nuclear power, and later as for making medical radiopharmaceuticals. Lucas Heights and ANSTO itself are very much part of the nuclear lobby’s plan to promote the entire nuclear industry in Australia.

Australia does not need a national radioactive waste dump for medical wastes. Nearly all medical radioactive wastes are very short-lived – a matter of days, or even hours. There is no need to transport them across the continent. Australia does have a problem with higher level wastes: Spent reactor fuel sent to France, USA and UK for processing must be returned. This is the type of waste that needs deep and very secure disposal. That is sure to be the underlying purpose of the South Australian waste dump plan.

The planned national radioactive waste dump will not benefit the local community. Yes, there will be bribes – so far, not much – a $2 million Community Benefit Package to fund local projects, but I’m sure that the Feds will come with better than that. Jobs, no doubt. However, the underlying problem remains. The community is being asked to accept a temporary nuclear waste dump, which is to be set up long before any permanent dump is set up, if it ever is. Kimba, the proposed dump site, is likely to suffer the fate of so many sad sites in America –stuck with “stranded wastes” of radioactive trash. Think what that would do to Kimba’s environment and reputation as an agricultural area.The nuclear lobby has argued persuasively that the Lucas Heights area has held nuclear wastes for decades. However, the Lucas Heights residents did not grasp the implications when the nuclear reactor was set up. They do now – that’s why they want the wastes sent far away.

The global nuclear lobby is fighting a losing battle. The industry has always struggled to win over public opinion. In Australia, the industry’s “foot in the door” is the Opal reactor at Lucas Heights. Following the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission’s failed attempt last year, to introduce radioactive waste importing, the next sortie is to use Lucas Heights to get a national nuclear waste dump happening. To justify this, the argument put forward is the medical argument.

In the slick salesmanship from ANSTO and the nuclear lobby in general, they don’t mind a few lies and half truths,. For example, they’ll say ” The most important isotope technetium-99m can be made only with nuclear reactors” – conveniently forgetting that Canadian researchers achieved this with a cyclotron in 2015.

They’ll say that cyclotrons are too expensive to set up, conveniently forgetting that the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor was set up at  tax-payer expense, and that tax-payer will have to fund its waste management virtually for eternity.

They’ll ignore the facts that cyclotrons produce negligible wastes.  As most medical radioisotopes have very short half lives – it makes sense to produce them in a decentralised way – in cyclotrons close to the hospitals where they will be used.  The transport of isotopes from cyclotrons is much less of a problem, than from the centralised nuclear reactor.

The nuclear reactor produces radioactive wastes suitable for use as nuclear weapons fuel –  and present a safety problem, with the reactor itself also a target for terrorism.  Cyclotrons do not have these risks, and this need for huge, and expensive security measures.

Canada, having abandoned nuclear reactor production of medical isotopes, is now leading the way in their production and export without use of a nuclear reactor.  ANSTO’s boast of a future thriving export industry in isotopes is sounding hollow.

We should bear in mind that medical radioisotopes are used 80% for diagnosis, and only 20% for actual treatment of cancer. They are an additional means of diagnosis, but not the only means.

We should also be mindful that radioactive isotopes in medicine carry a small increased risk of cancer for the patient, staff, and sometimes the patient’s family.

Therefore our enthusiasm for nuclear medicine should be tempered with an understanding of its limitations and risks, both at the individual patient level, and in the broader context of nuclear fission and its health and environmental dangers.

August 30, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, spinbuster, technology | Leave a comment

The ABC swallows the nuclear lobby line on medicine – hook line and sinker

The post below this is an extract from the ABC article “Nuclear medicine production in Australia at risk if dump site can’t be found, industry head says”.  I  left out the bits where ANSTO officials orgasmically discussed how much Australia needs the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor for medical reasons.

Anyone would think that this humanitarian motive is the sole raison d’etre for this nuclear reactor. The ABC apparently buys that story.

BUT, Medical radioisotopes have been made without need of a nuclear reactor. They are made in a linear accelerator
or by a cyclotron
ANSTO at Lucas Heights I believe already has a cyclotron. . The Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission recommended expanding a cyclotron industry in South Australia, to develop medical radioisotopes.
Reactor at Lucas Heights was initially intended as prelude to nuclear weapons production. The medical use was tacked on to make it look more respectable. It remains a fig leaf on the nuclear industry.

August 19, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina reviews, media, spinbuster | 5 Comments

Australia’s nuclear lobby hoping for nuclear submarines as a ‘foot in the door’

Steve Dale     No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia 3 JUNE 17  The nuclear submarine push seems to have become the preferred “foot in the door” for nuclear. If we had nuclear submarines, refueling and the disposal of waste would still be in South Australia (according to Abbott) – out of mind of the Sydney/Melbourne populations.

Politicians talking about small nuclear reactors backfires for them because that implies the reactors will need to be near Sydney and Melbourne and that will stir up a lot of nuclear push back. So despite the questionable benefits of Australia having nuclear submarines, the nuclear lobby thinks it will get us “hooked” into the nuclear waste cycle.

The Cape Hardy port development and the large purchases of land around the port are probably already earmarked as the nuclear submarine maintenance location. The Abbott/lobbyists are even talking about “leasing” nuclear subs – they are so desperate to suck us in.

July 3, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Australia’s nuclear lobby ramps up its propaganda

Surely it is no coincidence that, as the federal government – Resources Minister Matt Canavan –  touts a further stage in the plan to park radioactive trash in rural South Australia, and the Liberals introduce a Bill to expand Australian Nuclear Science and Technology’s activities –   our favourite pro nuclear shill, Ben Heard, joins others to promote the nu clear industry  – in Adelaide Thurs 29 June 

  • Ben Heard, Founder & Executive Director, Bright New World  Ben is recognised as a leading voice for the use of nuclear technologies to address our most pressing global challenges
  • Nick Byrne, Chief Financial Officer, Heathgate Resources, – Uranium mining company, owned by USA weapons maker General Atomics
  • Kyra Reznikov, Special Council, Finlaysons Lawyers,  part in a study tour in the footsteps of the Royal Commission to visit nuclear sites in Finland, France and the UK

June 28, 2017 Posted by | South Australia, spinbuster | Leave a comment


Note – from MAPW  While cyclotron production of technetium is commercially  licensed in Canada and undergoing clinical trials, it is still a while (?2years???) before it is a viable option for this particular isotope . And there are issues with the potentially limited and costly supply of the precursor materials. IN addition the heavily subsidised Australian isotopes will probably undercut the market (Similar to subsidising coal against the early phases of renewables-sigh).

But we can urge the government to partner in cyclotron  research. And stop ramping up massively subsidised exports of Molybdenum which is used to make technetium isotopes.

Technetium 99 is the principal radioactive diagnostic isotope used in Australian medical procedures (80% IN 2015-16). This is currently supplied by ANSTO through production of Molybdenum 99 at the Lucas heights OPAL reactor – but Te-99 can also be produced by particle accelerators or cyclotrons which ANSTO is also capable of conducting – in fact it does so for other radioactive isotopes such as Fluorine 18, Carbon 15 & Oxygen 11.

Of the Mo 99 produced by the ANSTO OPAL reactor, currently only 28% is used in Australia whilst 72% is exported internationally. With the expansion of the Mo 99 production by a factor of at least 400% by the end of 2018 & Australia’s demand remaining static thru more efficient use of Te 99.

This means that whilst the nuclear waste will quadruple, the percentage of waste resulting from Australian consumption will drop to about 8%.

Proponents of the dump proclaim loudly that the Wallerberdina/Kimba dumps are needed to store Australian medical waste.


ANSTO barely breaks even with it’s exports, & they are ramping up production whilst global demand is static & new overseas production facilities are about to come on-line.

June 1, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment