Australian news, and some related international items

Scrutiny on Hansard reveals the Australian government’s confusion about nuclear wastes


 Australian environmental watchdog activists are studying  the tired old arguments rehashed in Parliament   since the 1950s. Here’s  a sample of their findings on nuclear waste .
Steve Dale  Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia From 2006 – “We need to know what sort of fuel we are talking about, and it is important that we understand this. It is not physically Australian waste material that will be returned.
If you listen to the government, you would say we are getting a neat package of fuel sent back to us after it has been reprocessed. This is simply not the case. What we will get back will be a proportion of the by-product of spent fuel from every country that sends its waste to France for reprocessing, divided between the contributing countries.
Each country of origin of the waste will receive a proportion of different elements from the reprocessing of the fuel. The main elements are vitrified fission product—high-level waste compacted residues, the hulls and end pieces from the metallic casings—and also high-level waste uranium and plutonium.” Mr Snowden, 19 October 2006. Found with search terms “nuclear vitrified high”
  In various places it was mention that radioactive waste would be “safe” after 300 years. Members were obviously being told that by their advisors. The intense Gamma from Cesium-137 would be gone after 300 years, but the Plutonium etc. will be there for hundreds of thousands of years – I really got the impression that the members of Parliament were not being told the complete truth by their advisors/lobbyists.

January 20, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

Flinders Ranges Community survey – 79% do NOT want the Federal nuclear waste dump.

text-NoRobyn Wood   Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste In The Flinders Ranges, 16 Jan 17    So the government claim their survey says that 59% of locals want the national waste dump to be in the Flinders Ranges (The Advertiser 16/1/17). However, they consulted less than 50% of locals – and did not ask the rest of the Flinders Ranges community (especially the tourism industry) and did not ask the whole of SA whose reputation will be damaged by the stigma of being the Nuclear Dump state.

Members of the local community did their own survey of residents within 50km and found 79% do not want the dump.

The government has set up a consultative committee and one of its tasks is to further evaluate whether local people actually do want the dump – I will watch with interest to see if they come up with a better plan to find the true story

January 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australian government’s pro nuclear propaganda to South Australia’s Barndioota residents

buyer-beware-1Federal Government woos residents near proposed South Australian radioactive waste dump with trips to nuclear reactor in Sydney PETER JEAN, POLITICAL REPORTER, The Advertiser, 16 Jan 17 

Cabinet is due to make a final decision by the end of the year on whether to build the national low-level radioactive waste management facility at Barndioota, 35km northwest of Hawker.

No other communities have come forward with rival proposals to host the centre since Barndioota was chosen at the preferred location last year.

As part of a community consultation process, a dozen people from the Barndioota area have visited the Lucas Heights Nuclear reactor in Sydney and another nine are due to visit by the end of January.

The Sydney trips were designed to teach community representatives about how the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s OPAL reactor creates medicine and industrial products.


Participants were also provided with information about the storage of radioactive waste at Lucas Heights and how the waste would be packaged for transport to Barndioota.

If regulatory approvals were granted, trucks would begin delivering low and intermediate-level radioactive waste to the new waste dump in 2020.

canavan-matt-puppetFederal Resources Minister Matt Canavan said the Government wanted to give the community as much information as possible about the production and use of nuclear material and the storage of radioactive waste.

“The waste comes mainly from medical procedures,’’ Senator Canavan said. [ed. Antinuclear  That’s a lie

“Visiting the ANSTO facility takes away the air of mystery about the production of nuclear materials and the size and storage of the waste.”

Senator Canavan said the Barndioota community was approaching the issue in good faith.

“I visited the region late last year and met with local landholders, business operators and traditional owners to talk with them about the next steps and to further explain the importance of the facility,’’ he said.

“The next steps will be to complete a heritage survey of the site, working with traditional owners. That will begin in the coming…weeks.”

 A survey found 59 per cent of local residents had no serious concerns about the radioactive waste dump proposal. But there was still strong opposition from some locals, including traditional landowners.

Indigenous leader Regina McKenzie said she was pleased the Government had agreed to undertake an Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment but remained extremely sceptical about the waste dump proposal.

“We’re very concerned about protecting ecosystems,” she said

January 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Derek Abbott explodes the Royal Commission proposal for a nuclear waste dump

abbott-derekDerek Abbott No High Level International Nuclear Waste Dump in South Australia, 15 Jan 17 

Thought for the day: The Royal Commission proposal for a South Australian dump allowed for 138,000 tonnes of high level waste. But the world produces about 10,000 tonnes every year. Therefore in the time it takes to build the dump, the world has already produced twice the amount waste that the dump can take. Then on top of this there’s the existing 370,000 tonnes of global high level waste to-date with nowhere to go.

So talk of Ben-Hur proportions that a dump will stimulate expansion of the nuclear industry, allowing power for countries in poverty, meeting power needs for growing populations, and that it fills a moral obligation is invalidated by the fact the dump can’t even keep pace with such visions.

So if we peel away all this hollow rhetoric the only real justification for the dump is to make a fast buck, and the ‘noble’ talk of how the dump will save the world is trumped-up sales hype.

And as we know, the goal of making a profit is highly questionable given considerable economic risks and uncertainties involved.

January 16, 2017 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, wastes | Leave a comment

Australian government’s deceptive labelling of nuclear wastes



Steve Dale Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia, 5 Dec 16  What we call “Intermediate” level waste is called “High” level waste (HLW) in the USA, Canada, Japan, France and the UK. This mislabeling is so deceptive, that if it was any other product the ACCC would be sinking their gums into them.

January 6, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Australian government plays dirty tricks with language on High Level nuclear Wastes (HLW)

dirty-tricksSteve Dale Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 27 Dec 16

Consider this – spent fuel, when it comes out of the reactor is both hot and highly radioactive. At this point most countries would call it High Level Waste – Australia calls it an “asset” because a portion of it can be recycled. (So if your dog drops a steamy one on your lounge room floor, don’t call it waste – it’s an asset because you “might” be able to compost part of it. )
We send our HLW overseas to be reprocessed. It cools down over the years. Is it still dangerously radioactive?– bloody oath it is.
But the nuclear lobbyists/scientists/politicians here in Australia had a brainwave and decided to pass a law saying that it can only be called High Level Waste if it is “hot”. WTF. Who cares whether it is hot or not? People deal with hot barbeques/fireplaces all the time – it’s the radioactivity that’s the concern. If they want to deceive us in such a way, how can we ever trust them.
Such a pathetic definition of HLW makes Australia unsafe. It’s like passing a law saying that something is a gun only if it makes a loud “bang” – add a silencer and it is no longer legally a gun. Would such a law make Australia safer? Australia’s dodgy definition of High Level Waste makes us vulnerable to any country wanting to get rid of their “warm” High Level Waste.Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA

December 30, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

UK government avoids the question on nuclear waste going to Aboriginal land

radation-sign-dirtyRadioactive Waste:Written question – 46886

Q. Asked by Stewart Malcolm McDonald (Glasgow South)
Asked on: 07 October 2016
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Radioactive Waste
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will take steps to ensure that storage or disposal of nuclear waste is compliant with the obligations outlined in Article 29 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Margaret Henry Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA
In the UK parliament they were asked if they will take steps to stop the shipment of UK nuclear waste to Andnyamantha homelands in Australia up to 2020.


“There is a very small quantity of Australian owned radioactive waste currently stored in the UK. We anticipate that this will be returned to Australia in due course in line with contractual commitments. The location of any storage and disposal facilities for this waste will be a matter for the Australian authorities.

Any shipment of radioactive material out of the UK will comply with all relevant international laws and use ships which meet national and international requirements.”

December 30, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics international | Leave a comment

British and Australian governments wash their hands of radioactive contamination of Aboriginal lands

radation-sign-dirtyBronwyn Lucas Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 30 Dec 16  I heard that the British did an absolutely appalling job of cleanup at Maralinga … it was hardly worth the effort, as I understand it. I heard stories of hot winds blowing, dust everywhere, a cursory undertaking. One would think we still had Menzies at the helm. The Dark Side is in this together … if we think our government is taking care of us, I’d say to think again.

Margaret Henry Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 30 Dec 16  In the UK parliament in January 2016, they were asked if the Government will issue an apology to the indigenous people of Australia for British nuclear tests carried out on their land in the 1950s and 1960s.

“In 1968, Australia signed an agreement with the UK confirming that the clean-up of all test sites had been completed satisfactorily. As announced to the House on 10 December 1993,(Official Report, column 421), the Government agreed to make an ex gratia payment of £20 million to the Federal Government of Australia as a contribution to the cost of the further clean-up of the Maralinga site. A copy of the note giving effect to this agreement was placed in the Library of the House. The note also records that the Government of Australia indemnified the Government of the UK against claims from Australian nationals or residents. The Government now regards the matter as closed.”


December 30, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics international, wastes | Leave a comment

Australia’s responsibility to face up to its radioactive wastes produced at Lucas Heights

text-from-the-archivesStoring the reprocessed nuclear fuel that is to come back from France at Lucas Heights seems the best of a poor set of alternatives.

We are stuck with highly radioactive material for which we are responsible. Like all countries with nuclear reactors, we should not have produced it in the first place until safe storage technology existed.

Radioactive game of passing the parcel Richard Broinowski May 24, 2012 Reports indicate France is soon to return reprocessed nuclear waste generated at Lucas Heights to Australia. The federal nuclear agency says the waste is ”intermediate level”, small in volume, and to be stored temporarily at Lucas Heights.

These assurances are misleading in all three respects: the volume of the waste, its toxicity, and its future disposal.
Australia’s first research reactor, the high flux Australian reactor, went critical in January 1958. It was fuelled by highly enriched bomb-grade American uranium. Although small compared with power
reactors, it discharged 37 spent fuel rods a year, each containing the same weapons-grade uranium, plutonium and fission products as its big brothers.

By 2002, it had produced 1665 such rods. Some were sent to Britain and the US for reprocessing. But by 2003, four metric tonnes remained in temporary storage at Lucas Heights

When political pressure forced Britain to cease reprocessing in Scotland, Australia’s nuclear agency arranged with the French company COGEMA to reprocess the rods. Australia is legally bound to take the
lot back – plus, one assumes, the separated plutonium and uranium-235. The problem is there is no agreed permanent place in Australia to put it.

In 2007 the old reactor was decommissioned and replaced by one designed by the Argentine company INVAP. Before construction began, the government stipulated a high-level waste site was to be identified
and a feasibility study completed. No site was found and the stipulation was modified to a strategy for disposal.

The situation becomes more complicated. Argentina initially agreed to take back the spent fuel rods from the reactor for reprocessing, returning the waste to Australia and keeping the weapons-grade uranium-235 and plutonium-239 under full-scope international safeguards. But its officials asserted such reprocessing was in violation of Argentina’s constitution. Australian officials appear not to be worried because they say the reactor has a storage pool with capacity for nine years’ worth of spent fuel rods. A solution, they imply, will turn up.

But like the rapidly filling storage ponds at all civil reactors around the world, this is a short-term solution. The problem of ultimate disposal of irradiated fuel continues unresolved. Australia does not even have a designated repository for low-level nuclear waste such as contaminated clothing and discarded radio pharmaceutical equipment from hospitals.

In 2002, three possible low-level sites were identified in South Australia. But the sites were judged too risky because an errant missile could land on the dump, scattering radioactive debris in all
directions. The state’s then premier, Mike Rann, strenuously opposed it. South Australia, he declared, would not become Australia’s ”nuclear waste state”.

Nor, according to their premiers, would any other Australian state. Australians seem complacent about exporting uranium but become unsettled about storing its end products here, even waste generated by
our reactors.

By February 2010, the only site still under consideration as a nuclear waste dump was Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory, where the federal government can overrule the Legislative Assembly in Darwin.

But deciding on Muckaty was controversial. First, although a small group of traditional owners of the land supported the decision, a greater number opposed it. They launched a case in the Federal Court opposing it.

Second, the site is meant to take low- and intermediate-level waste. But intermediate waste is a narrow definition based on calorific output. If heat is dissipated, runs the argument, high-level waste
becomes intermediate. But whatever its temperature, the waste still contains all the fission byproducts and actinides of high-level waste.

Storing the reprocessed nuclear fuel that is to come back from France at Lucas Heights seems the best of a poor set of alternatives. There are at least suitable storage facilities and chemists and physicists
who know how to handle the material.

But what Australia needs urgently is a solution. We are stuck with highly radioactive material for which we are responsible. Like all countries with nuclear reactors, we should not have produced it in the first place until safe storage technology existed.

December 27, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, reference, wastes | Leave a comment

How the Australian Federal Government fakes community consent for radioactive waste dump

text-half-truthEllenor Ziggy Day-Lutz , Fight to Stop Nuclear Waste Dump in Flinders Ranges,  19 Dec 16,  Just shared this info in another group and thought some of you might be interested – it’s about the Australian government’s sample size that they used to make the statement that “The nomination at Barndioota in South Australia demonstrated strong overall support (65 per cent of those surveyed) for moving ahead to Phase 2” (in their Phase 1 Summary Report released earlier this year).

Any people interested in reading the full results of the government’s consultations can find the info here:…/NRWMF%20Community%20Se…

They phoned 228 people, 59 refused to be surveyed and contact couldn’t be made with a further 56. So 113 households were surveyed, and in total 146 responses were received. Yep, 146 survey responses out of the 1702 population of the Flinders Ranges Council area to come up with that statistic of 65% supposedly demonstrating strong support for the waste dump. This included 38 people from Hawker and 106 from Quorn (and 2 from other areas around Barndioota). They also surveyed Neighbours, Indigenous people and Businesses, but these were reported separately and aren’t included in the 65% statistic I’m talking about.

In their own document the government said there is a high margin of error for consultations around the Barndioota site. Even they got confused, because on page 68 they say it was +/-10% and on page 100 they said it was +/-9%.

Brenton Barnes The study was outsourced to Orima research and is nothing special. But what’s important is how the government interprets and uses this information. They cherry picked data excluding Aboriginal and neighbours. One small section of this group 35% opposed therefore 65% didn’t oppose. But to use this small sample size and cherry picked data to then go and promote this as “strong overall general community support” is just simply dishonest and misleading. A few of us did petitions around Hawker and Quorn and got about 40% of these two towns physically signing no, just done by me and a couple of others. This latest survey was hardly supporting the dump. Ramsey offering his land in Kimba was a conflict of interest, yet Chapman* is not?

*Grant Chapman Former Liberal Senator

December 19, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment



Adopted at national conference, 27 November 2016

1.LEAN supports the current ALP national policy on this matter, and sees no evidence or reason to change that policy. The policy states that Labor will:

“Remain strongly opposed to the importation and storage of nuclear waste that is sourced from overseas in Australia.”

2.No State or Commonwealth ALP government should take legislative or executive actions to advance any proposals to store and dispose of nuclear waste from other countries until:

  1. After well-informed, evidence-based, ALP policy platform decisions at the National and State levels allow such actions; and
  2. There is sufficient well-informed community consent for such actions.

December 19, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

25 prominent South Australians sign up to Ben Heard’s Bright New Nuclear Bullshit

12 Dec 16 Australian nuclear lobbyists have had remarkable success in making themselves famous internationally, which is probably their main aim. . Barry Brook set this off, with a thin veil of environmentalism covering his dedication to the nuclear industry, in Brave New Climate. He got a heap of well-meaning environmentalists to sign up to a pro nuclear letter.

logo-bright-new-worldNow Ben Heard has gone a step further, with HIS nuclear front group – Bright New World. He’s got 25 important people to sign up to a pro nuclear campaign for South Australia.  As with Brook’s disciples, some of these people seem quite altruistic and disconnected with the nuclear and mining industries.

Others do not:

Dr Ian Gould:   chairing South Australia Energy and Resources Investment Conference 23-24 May 2017  Adelaide, geologist with  40 years experience in the minerals industry in diverse and senior positions, mainly within the CRA/Rio Tinto Group, current Chancellor of the University of South Australia and was awarded an AM in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to mining.

David Klingberg is a South Australian businessman, civil engineer and former Chancellor of the University of South Australia. director of ASX listed companies E & A Ltd and Centrex Metals Ltd. Klingberg is chair of a technical sub-group working on the Australian Government‘s National Radioactive Waste Management Project. 

Dr Leanna Read is South Australia’s  Chief Scientist, Expert Advisory Committee of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission in South Australia.] Read is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering,[which advocated for nuclear power in Australia in August 2014.. Read is also the Chair of the South Australian Science Council.

Stephen Young  director or Chairman on a number of companies including ,Electricity Trust of South Australia, Australian Submarine Corporation ,The University of Adelaide ,E&A ltd and its Subsidiaries.

Mr Jim McDowell Chancellor of the University of South Australia   Jim McDowell is currently Chair of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation and non-Executive director of a number of private and listed companies. He advises the Federal Government in a number of areas of Defence and Defence Procurement. He is a member of the First Principles Review of the Department of Defence and is currently on the Expert Advisory Panel for the Future Submarine. Formerly CEO OF BAE Systems Australia, the nation’s largest defence contractor.

Michael John Terlet  Primary qualification in Electrical EngineeringNon Executive Chairman of Sandvik Mining and Construction Adelaide Ltd, a Director of Australian Submarine Corporation Pty. Ltd. Served as the Chief Executive Officer at AWA Defence Industries, Chairman of SA Centre for Manufacturing, Defence Manufacturing Council SA (MTIA)

Graham Douglas Walters AM, FCA Mr. Graham Douglas Walters, AM, FCA, serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors at Minelab Electronics Pty Ltd. Mr. Walters serves as Chairman and Director at Minelab International Pty Ltd.

December 12, 2016 Posted by | Christina reviews, politics, reference, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

David Noonan dissects the draft ARPANSA Information for Stakeholders on nuclear radioactive waste facility

Effectively this is the same draconian situation that existed under the earlier Commonwealth Noonan, David
Radioactive Waste Management Act 2005 introduced by the Howard government to override State and Territory interests to protect community health, safety and welfare from the risks and impacts of nuclear wastes and to nullify Federal laws that protect against imposition of nuclear wastes.

highly-recommendedPublic submission to the draft ARPANSA Information for Stakeholders & associated Regulatory Guide to Licensing a Radioactive Waste Storage or Disposal Facility


Revised ARPANSA “Information for Stakeholders” should address the following:

The nuclear fuel waste Store in the Flinders Ranges is intended to operate for approx. 100 years.

The ARPANSA “Information for Stakeholders” fails to be transparent and is not fit for purpose.

ARPANSA must inform the public on the proposed licence period for this nuclear fuel waste Store.

ARPANSA should also publicly acknowledge the Contingency that the proposed nuclear fuel waste Store may be at a different site to the proposed near surface Repository in the Flinders Ranges.

The proposed above ground Store in our iconic Flinders Ranges is unnecessary as the ANSTO’s existing Interim Waste Store (IWS) at the Lucas Heights Technology Centre can manage reprocessed nuclear fuel waste on contract from France and from the United Kingdom over the long term.

The ANSTO application for the Interim Waste Store was conservatively predicated on a 40 year operating life for the IWS, and ANSTO has a contingency to “extend it for a defined period of time”.

ANSTO also has a contingency option for the “Retention of the returned residues at ANSTO until the availability of a final disposal option” – which does not involve a Store in the Flinders Ranges.

The Lucas Heights Technology Centre is by far the best placed Institution and facility to responsibly manage Australia’s existing nuclear fuel waste and proposed waste accruals from the Opal reactor.

The Interim Waste Store (IWS) at the Lucas Heights Technology Centre can conservatively function throughout the proposed operating period of the Opal reactor without a requirement for an alternative above ground nuclear fuel waste Store at a NRWMF in the Flinders Ranges or elsewhere.

It is an inexplicably omission or an unacceptably act of denial for ARPANSA to fail to even identity or to properly explain Australia’s existing nuclear fuel wastes and proposed further decades of Opal reactor nuclear fuel waste production in the “Information for Stakeholders”.

Australia’s nuclear fuel wastes are by far the highest activity and most concentrated and hazardous nuclear wastes under Australian management, and must be distinguished from other waste forms. Continue reading

December 12, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, New South Wales, reference, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australian nuclear waste dump enthusiasts write to politicians

greed copyList of signatories:

Nuclear debate: Businessmen, academics, scientists call on SA politicians to keep discussion alive, ABC News, By political reporter Nick Harmsen, 9 dec 16,  A group of prominent South Australian business people, academics and scientists have signed an open letter to the state’s politicians urging them to keep discussion alive on the merits of an international nuclear waste dump. Continue reading

December 9, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia, wastes | 1 Comment

According to Bob Hawke, Aborigines can get a decent life only if Australia imports nuclear waste?

Hawke,-bob-wastesFormer PM Bob Hawke wants Australia to become nuclear dumping ground ASHLEIGH GLEESON, The Daily Telegraph December 9, 2016  AUSTRALIA should become the storage ground for the world’s nuclear waste and pledge a percentage of the profits to helping the indigenous population, former prime minister Bob Hawke says.

December 9, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment