Australian news, and some related international items

ANSTO Should store its own nuclear waste at Lucas Heights

requiring ANSTO to store its own waste is the best — and perhaps the only — way of focusing the organisation’s collective mind on the importance of waste minimisation principles.

Ferguson to Dump Nuc lear Waste on Soft Target New Matilda, By Natalie Wasley 24 Feb 2010, Continue reading

February 26, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, uranium | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Muckaty Station likely to be the chosen nuclear waste dump site

NT property could be chosen as nuclear waste dump site ABC Rural News , 19/02/2010 The Australian Conservation Foundation believes a station in the Northern Territory could be the location of Australia’s first nuclear waste dump.The Northern Land Council is handling negotiations with the Commonwealth on behalf of the traditional owners that own Muckaty Station, 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek. Continue reading

February 20, 2010 Posted by | Northern Territory | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Australia: Rudd govt failing on nuclear dump promise

Northern Territory could get nuclear dump next week: ACF  ABC News Alice Springs By Louisa Rebgetz 19 Feb 2010

The Australian Conservation Foundation says it expects the Federal Government to announce as early as next week that a nuclear waste dump will be built in the Northern Territory.

The Government has so far failed to deliver on its election promise to repeal legislation which has the power to force a waste dump on the Territory.

The ACF’s Dave Sweeney says the only sites still under consideration are in the Territory. Continue reading

February 19, 2010 Posted by | 1, Northern Territory, uranium | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Govt secrecy over nuclear waste transported to Woomera

Fears of nuclear waste dump site at Woomera  KIM WHEATLEY, The Advertiser 27 Jan 2010) “The public needs to know and the traditional owners have a right to be aware.”

CONCERN is mounting that a site near Woomera may become the de facto radioactive waste dump for Australia.
This follows criticism the Defence Department failed to notify the public it was moving radioactive waste 450km from Edinburgh RAAF to a new waste dump at Woomera over the Christmas break. Continue reading

January 27, 2010 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Rudd govt cowardly about nuclear waste obligations

a-cat-CANAustralia is contractually obliged to take back from France the reprocessed nuclear waste from ANSTO’s Lucas Heights nuclear reactor.

The Rudd government, like the Howard government is just too cowardly to explain this truth to the Australian people, and then to act sensibly and honorably.

The government could choose Commonwealth land, take back the existing waste, close down Lucas Heights, and finish this problem.

But, no. The Rudd government will con and bribe the citizens least able to resist, – the aborigines, – in the Territory least able to resit, the Northern Territory.

Lucas-wastesIf that were not enough of cowardice and hypocrisy, the Rudd government is then likely to use ANSTO to open the door to the return of radioactive wastes to Australia. A very lucrative industry for a few big players, including the uranium mining companies.

No sensible housewife would even plan a meal in the knowledge that the house would be left with permanent, unfixable, toxic waste. But then what government would ask the opinion of a sensible housewife?

October 31, 2009 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, uranium | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Ziggy Spinowski doesn’t mention radioactive wastes

Ziggy-glowingHave you noticed how nuclear spruikers, such as Ziggy Spinowski, never talk about the “back end” of the uranium and nuclear industries? It’s all about the “front end” – the wonderful “cheap, “clean” “best practice” mining and reactors. But what does everybody do with their wastes, (apart from shutting up about them)?

Well, that’s a mystery. Mountains of radioactive uranium tailings – Polluted towns and areas – Dead reactors – too “hot” to move for decades, perhaps centuries?

Mostly – radioactive wastes just sit there – in cooling ponds, in containers. But then where to? Dumped in some “Third World” country? Or in the ocean- but always in or near the land of some indigenous peoples, who won’t have the financial, legal, media or whatever sort of resources you need to stand up to nuclear corporations.

October 31, 2009 Posted by | Christina reviews, uranium | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Australian govt not upfront about new “temporary” nuke waste dump

wastesAlarm over radioactive waste plan KIM WHEATLEY

Adelaide Now October 23, 2009

ABOUT 80 drums of radioactive waste has been earmarked to be shifted 450km from Edinburgh RAAF base to a new waste dump at Woomera. Continue reading

October 23, 2009 Posted by | 1, South Australia, uranium | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Australian uranium part of global toxic waste problem

Mining uranium fuels a massive toxic problem  Scott Ludlam  6th October 2009, The mining and export of Australian uranium only digs us deeper into the unsolvable conundrum of nuclear waste – while also supporting the growth of nuclear weapons, the Australian Greens say. Continue reading

October 7, 2009 Posted by | 1, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, uranium | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maralinga radioactive fallout buried in shallow trenches

Dr. Dick van Steenis MBBS Wales UK Tel -44 1686 670688 I refer to the dust storm from central Australia that covered much of NSW & Queensland

There will have been large deposits
of radioactive plutonium, caesium, iodine&  strontium on the sand and in
shallow trenches from the pathetic handling some 9 years ago of fallout from
the Maralinga tests in northern South Australia/ NT.

Also the areas around
Alice Springs had 50000 times rise in radioactivity fron fallout from the
Montebello tests. These all have long half lives. I guess much of that nasty
dangerous stuff ended up in your dust cloud in the past few days. Has
anyone tested the dust for radioactivity? I contributed to a story in the
Australian BULLETIN of 1 September 2004 and was in medical school in
Adelaide during the Maralinga tests.

October 6, 2009 Posted by | South Australia | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Maralinga lingers on with radioactivity

Australia, dust storms and the fallout Britain left behind 1 Oct 09 “………What is Maralinga?  How did plutonium get there?

In the 1950s and 1960s, Australia was the host of a handful of U.K.-sponsored atmospheric nuclear tests and related nuclear experiments on the Montel Bello Islands (off the northwest coast) and at Emu Field and Maralinga, both located in the Great Victoria Desert in South Australia. At Maralinga2 between 1957 and 1963, the U.K. conducted several plutonium dispersal experiments, dubbed ‘minor trials’ (very similar to the ones conducted at the Nevada Test Site; see: safety experiments), which scattered radioactivity (tens of pounds of Plutonium 239) far and wide into the bush.

Through the 1990s, the Emu and Maralinga sites were physically blocked off by a 100-mile radius security zone, which might have been a good enough barrier for un-remediated (not cleaned up) nuclear sites but in reality is no match for a dust storm the size of several hurricanes. (If the same sized-radius were blocked off around the Nevada Test Site, it would force the evacuation of Las Vegas.)

Although the ‘Maralinga Rehabilitation Project’ – finished in 2000 – cleaned up some of the ‘minor trial’ plutonium, not all of the plutonium is cleaned up and the waste burial practices have been SERIOUSLY3 called into question mostly because the plutonium was buried only 3 to 4 meters deep.  Australia’s Senator Lyn Allison noted in 2003: “No matter how many reports are produced, the fact of the matter is that 22kg of plutonium is buried in simple, unlined earth trenches, some of it just a couple of metres below the surface.”  The Sunday Age article titled “Agenda – Maralinga’s Afterlife” on May 11, 2003, stated that: ‘The vitrification method was abandoned by MARTAC three-quarters of the way through the project, in favour of the much cheaper trench-method. Most of the waste – including broken-up vitrified material – was then buried in unlined pits covered with just three metres of clean soil. The rest was left on the desert surface. As a result, an area the size of metropolitan London – 300 square kilometres – remains infected with lethal plutonium that will stay active for a quarter of a million years.’   That section of land is dubbed the ‘North West Plume,’ located northwest of Taranaki and contaminated largely from the ‘Vixen B’ trials …………. Australian authorities have denied there is any radiological health problem with the red dust………………………………. Although it is commendable that ARPANSA acknowledged that radioactive material was in the red dust that coated most of the populated areas in Australia and New Zealand, ARPANSA’s Burns is saying more to allay fears than educating Australians about the consequences of their actual radiation exposure to the dust…………… Even if the winds significantly diluted and reduced the concentration of the Maralinga soil-laden plutonium in the red-dusty air, it will still be extremely toxic because it takes just one millionth of a gram of plutonium to deliver a lethal dose and even more minute quantities (billionths of a gram) might induce cancer.   Theoretically, even a single atom (particle) of plutonium has the ability, from its extremely strong alpha radiation (like a very strong, mini X-ray machine), to produce free radicals and alter DNA in our body’s cells – both are precursors to cancerous growth.

Since any population exposure to radiation increases the risk of cancer in a population, the dispersion of plutonium dust from Maralinga over thousands of miles of populated Australia has increased Aussie’s cancer burden………. In the Southern Hemisphere, wherever this red dust is now lingering, if it is brought down to Earth by rain it will contaminate surface areas (shingles, pavement, cars, crops, etc…) and water supplies as long as the radiation’s half-life, which can be hundreds or thousands of years.  Ingesting radiation from contaminated foodstuffs and water constitutes the greatest danger from radiation exposure.

October 2, 2009 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies, uranium | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

70 Million tonnes of radioactive uranium tailings – to blow in the wind?

Radio active dust claims drift in after storms Roxby Downs Sun 30/09/2009 SA Greens MP Mark Parnell has claimed the Olympic Dam mine expansion will create the biggest radioactive waste pile ever seen. Continue reading

September 30, 2009 Posted by | South Australia, uranium, wastes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where to put Australia’s hospital radioactive wastes?

MP attacks nuclear waste ‘indecision’
ABC News 30 Sept 09

The Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey, says the constant relocation of 10,000 barrels of radioactive waste highlights state and Federal Government indecision. Continue reading

September 30, 2009 Posted by | 1, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Radioactivity from uranium to go way beyond Roxby Downs?  By Lynn Stanfield 30 Sept 09 “……..It would not be out of the question to consider this dusty little equation :If a violent dust-storm were to arise in the Woomera – Roxby Downs – Olympic Dam region, then the prevailing ‘Westerly Winds’ which stream across our country at around the 30 – 32 deg (s) latitudes are bound to contain a heap of Uranium 234 particulate matter!. Continue reading

September 30, 2009 Posted by | 1, South Australia, uranium | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Australian govt fails to deal with nuclear waste

Danger in nuclear waste move: ACF
ABC News 29 Sept 09

Nearly 10,000 barrels of nuclear waste will be moved again in the Woomera prohibited area, to a more suitable storage facility. Continue reading

September 29, 2009 Posted by | South Australia, uranium, wastes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive waste’s journey from Melbourne to Sydney, and now to South Australia

Dangerous waste to be moved
The Age MARK DAVIS September 26, 2009 TWENTY years after it was first uncovered at an old CSIRO site in Melbourne’s Fishermans Bend, nearly 10,000 barrels of radioactive waste are on the move again Continue reading

September 26, 2009 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, uranium, wastes | , , , , , , | Leave a comment