Archive for the ‘National’ Category

Sophisticated pro nuclear spin – Twisting the Truth on Ionising Radiation

August 27, 2015

Muller, Derek

In Muller’s previous presentations on his YouTube show Veritasium, he has consistently confused the banana-spin
naturally occurring radioactive potassium K, with the nuclear fission produced radioactive isotopes…..Muller seems to have no understanding of the way in which bananas are used in the body

What Muller and Thomas are doing is following the script from the tobacco and asbestos industries.

This documentary “Uranium – twisting the Dragon’s Tail” is just Series One. I would love to know who helped to fund Gene Pool Productions for PBS and SBS to produce this. I’m betting that Series Two will follow before long, with a glossy and positive story about Generation IV nuclear reactors.


The half lie of the Dragon’s Tail
. Online opinion,  By Noel Wauchope  Thursday, 27 August 2015 
The documentary “Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail” is the latest glossy and highly sophisticated soft sell for the nuclear industry. It’s also, if you look at it closely, rather confusing.

I will start from the end, because that’s where the main message of this film comes out clearly “Just imagine a world where reactors can produce immense amounts of clean, safe, energy. There is no such thing as a future without uranium.” These final words are said against a background of soaring celestial choirs.

This seems to be the formula now, in nuclear promotion. The 2013 propaganda film “Pandora’s Promise” carried the same positive message – an ever rocketing energy demand to be met by ever increasing, indeed limitless, electrical energy provided by new nuclear reactors.

But, like ‘Pandora’s Promise’, this new documentary devotes the first two thirds of its series to discussing the negative aspects of the nuclear industry. Episode One covers its history, ill effects of radiation, the atomic bomb and its use. Episode Two continues this, with a sympathetic attitude to Australian Aboriginal concerns.

Unlike “Pandora’s Promise” this film does not denigrate anti-nuclear activists, and there is no attempt to ridicule Dr Helen Caldicott, as “Pandora’s Promise” did.

Indeed, the first two episodes are beautifully clear and accurate, as well as entertaining. Really, I couldn’t criticise them.

With the final episode – that’s when the message kicks in, and also when it gets confusing…….

Muller consistently mixes up “natural” radiation with ionising radiation from nuclear fission. He talks about background radiation as “natural”. There’s no mention of the increased ionising radiation in the biosphere as a result of the atomic bomb testing in the 1950s and 60s.

In Muller’s previous presentations on his YouTube show Veritasium, he has consistently confused the naturally occurring radioactive potassium K, with the nuclear fission produced radioactive isotopes, such as caesium 137 and strontium 90. As part of this confusion he constantly uses bananas as a comparison https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRL7o2kPqw0.

Cesium-137 is 12 million times more radioactive than potassium-40. Another highly-radioactive fission product, strontium-90, releases almost 20 million times more radiation per unit mass than does potassium-40. Muller seems to have no understanding of the way in which bananas are used in the body. The human species has had thousands of years of experience with bananas and other foods containing potassium 40 (K40). We have a natural trace level of K40 in our bodies. When we eat bananas, our bodies excrete the extra cesium, so by the natural process of homeostasis, our K40 level remains the same. This is not the case with the very recently created radioactive isotopes from nuclear fission; they remain….., there is absolutely no mention of the effects of internal emitters of radiation – that is, the radioactive isotopes breathed in or ingested, that can sit in a body’s organs for years, decades, emitting high dose gamma radiation..

Moving on to the Fukushima nuclear accident, we are told that the psychological effects are the serious ones. What a great piece of spin this is! Of course the psychological effects are extremely serious. Wouldn’t you be worried, if you were a pregnant woman, or if you feared that your child might later get leukaemia, because you decided to return to a radioactive environment? It is the reality of increased risk of fatal illness that accentuates the other disastrous consequences of that accident.

Prof Thomas assures us “The most important studies will be those on the mental effects”. In the context of this documentary, that just makes me envisage more documentaries like this one – with more spin about how we mustn’t worry about ionising radiation…….

The documentary appeared in Australia at a very convenient time for the South Australian Royal Commission. Dr Muller often covers his back with remarks about nuclear weapons “the most savage thing that man has ever built” and like his “feeling that renewables are going so fast – perhaps we can use alternatives”. But ultimately, his is a message of confidence in nuclear power. He says “Every year uranium saves more lives than it has ever destroyed” Really? Where are the facts to back up these kinds of statements? And all is spoken with guru like solemnity, and the backing of soaring holy choral music……..

What Muller and Thomas are doing is following the script from the tobacco and asbestos industries. They know full well that the toll of cancers, heart conditions, birth defects, from persistent exposure to ionising radiation will not become apparent for decades. They would have us believe that it will be impossible to establish ionising radiation as the cause of this toll of suffering and death…….

We are living in a strange time, where science is valued if it brings a benefit to corporations. Dr Derek Muller and Professor Geraldine Thomas are comfortably ensconced in that world. But there must be some scientists out there who are like Sir Richard Doll, and whose work is motivated by the public good.

And we desperately need those scientists.

This documentary “Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail” is just Series One. I would love to know who helped to fund Gene Pool Productions for PBS and SBS to produce this. I’m betting that Series Two will follow before long, with a glossy and positive story about Generation IV nuclear reactors.  http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=17624

Canning Byelection: Abbott’s solar policies could be Liberals’ undoing

August 26, 2015

The solar council is planning a nationwide marginal seats campaign at the next election.

The government has directed the CEFC – which it unsuccessfully tried to abolish – to stop investments in rooftop solar, but changes to the investment mandate remain under legal uncertainty.

ballot-boxSmCanning byelection: solar industry urges voters to reject Liberals ‘war on solar’, Guardian, , 25 Aug 15

Solar Council letterboxes all electors in Western Australia’s seat of Canning encouraging them to vote for Labor, the Greens or the Palmer United party The solar
industry is letterboxing all electors in the crucial West Australian Canning byelection urging them to logo-australian-solar-councvote against the Liberal party on 19 September in response to the Abbott government’s “war on solar”.

The Solar Council leaflet states: “Installing solar helps Western Australians cut a typical power bill by up to 65%. The federal government is targeting solar by slashing the renewable energy target. We will support any political party with a good solar policy.”

  It advocates a vote against the Liberals and for either Labor, the Greens or the Palmer United party.

The council has invited all party leaders and candidates to a public forum on 13 September

Canning Forum

– a week before the byelection that could affect Tony Abbott’s hold on the Liberal leadership – to explain their solar policies.

The byelection was prompted by the death of Liberal MP Don Randall, who held the seat by a healthy margin of almost 12%, but recent polls show a swing of 10% against the Liberals, taking their two-party-preferred lead to a much narrower 51%-49%.

The council’s chief executive, John Grimes, said his organisation was advocating a vote against the Liberals because “it is precisely people like the householders of Canning who will be hurt if the Liberal party is allowed to fully implement their anti-solar agenda”.

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The flyer organised by the Australian Solar Council urging votes for any party except the Liberals on 19 September. Photograph: Australian Solar Council

“This government commissioned the Warburton review which advocated the closure of the small-scale renewable energy target, which supports rooftop solar, and it has tried to ban the Clean Energy Finance Corporation [CEFC] from investing in rooftop solar projects,” Grimes said.

Almost half the houses in Canning have either rooftop solar or solar hot water, according to official figures, and the electorate has the 12th highest solar uptake in the country, according to calculations by the RenewEconomy website.

The deal eventually struck between the government and the Labor opposition left the small-scale solar scheme untouched, but Grimes said the council’s campaign was based on the government’s clear “intentions”.

“If this government were to get its way it would do whatever it took to close the solar industry altogether,” he said……..

The Liberal candidate for Canning is a former SAS officer, Andrew Hastie, up against a local lawyer, Matt Keogh, for Labor. The Greens candidate is small business owner and university lecturer, Vanessa Rauland. The Palmer United party is running the managing director of Palmer’s Mineralogy resources company, Vimal Sharma.

The solar council is planning a nationwide marginal seats campaign at the next election.

The government has directed the CEFC – which it unsuccessfully tried to abolish – to stop investments in rooftop solar, but changes to the investment mandate remain under legal uncertainty. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/aug/25/canning-byelection-solar-industry-urges-voters-to-reject-liberals-war-on-solar

Remove National and State Environmental law on uranium mining, says BHP’s Submission to Royal Commission

August 24, 2015


BHP-on-Aust-govtBHP cool on hot uranium demand,  The Weekend Australian p.2 REBECCA PUDDY,      22 Aug 2015 
BHP Billiton has warned that the future doubling of global demand for uranium will not necessarily lead to increased investment at its Olympic Dam mine.

The mining company said the commercial return from the Olympic Dam deposit in the north of South Australia was driven primarily by copper production, together with a combination of commodity prices and other market factors.

“Therefore increased demand for uranium may not in and of itself lead to increased investment in the Olympic Dam deposit,” the company said in its submission to South Australia’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission.

BHP Billiton’s warning comes after it announced this month that 380 workers would be sacked as part of an operational review to cut costs.

An expansion plan for Olympic Dam was put on hold three years ago, although South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill hinted this month that a modified plan to expand the mine remains on the cards, with trials of an alternative heap-leaching technology progressing more rapidly and successfully than expected. This comes as demand for uranium is tipped to increase.

The International Energy Agency world energy outlook states that there are currently 437 operating nuclear power reactors in the world with 378 gigawatt capacity.

With a further 68 reactors being built, the agency forecasts nuclear capacity will increase to 624GW by 2040. “In the long run, additional supply of primary uranium will be required to meet the expected demand,” it says.

“With steady demand increases, the market deficit is expected to be filled by a range of potential projects.”

BHP Billiton’s submission to the royal commission focuses its attentions on the regulatory burdens placed on it by state and federal governments. It recommends the removal of uranium mining from the list of Matters of Environmental Significance in the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act.

 

Don’t confuse return of Lucas Heights nuclear wastes with import of foreign wastes

August 21, 2015

radioactive trashWe may now expect Fed govt to await the bi-election in Canning in Perth on Sept 17th before announcing the national nuclear dump site short list across SA & WA – just as South Australian  Premier awaited his bi-elections before announcing the Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission

In any case, the national store & repository are required by law under National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012 as a national dump to be restricted to take waste ‘of domestic origin’.

And so has to be at a different site to proposed International nuclear dump being pushed in South Australia.

Josephite SA Reconciliation Circle says NO to South Australia as a Nuclear State

August 21, 2015

logo Sisters of St Joseph

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINJosephite SA Reconciliation Circle
Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle

SUBMISSION TO ISSUES PAPERS 1 – 4

The Josephite SA Reconciliation Circle is a group of concerned citizens with a deep and
abiding interest in the health and well-being of Aboriginal peoples who have already been particularly impacted by the nuclear industry in Australia. We have seen great suffering in Aboriginal communities in the name of progress. The very fact that State funds are being invested in this Royal Commission is deeply disturbing.
We see investment in the nuclear cycle is a backward step and are alarmed by the prospect of
any form of nuclear proliferation. Like many in our community we are shocked that the South
Australian Government could consider going down the path under consideration by the Royal
Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle. We want to continue to be proud to be South
Australian, not ashamed. We do not want South Australia to become ‘The Nuke State’.
There is a need for continued social and economic development of South Australia. We
welcome positive change and development and are excited by the potential energy
opportunities for our State. Most recently, we have been buoyed by reports that renewables
expert Dr. Mark Diesendorf from the University of NSW has completed a report showing that
South Australia could be run on 100% renewable energy is just 15 years! There is a way
forward.
We offer the following responses to questions posed in the Issues Papers………

No justification for nuclear waste dumping in South Australia – Sisters of St Joseph

August 21, 2015

Why would any reasonable society actually WANT to expose themselves to danger and the
greatest known risk to human kind and for a completely incomprehensible time of at least
100,000 years till the danger of contamination of earth, waters and human beings subsides!!!
For money? For jobs?
What substitute is money and jobs for some at the cost of clean air, uncontaminated water,
uncontaminated land for food growing, a safe environment to bring up children, a healthy
environment to bring up children, a clean environment for every generation?
What extraordinary motivation is driving those who want to risk all this to involve South
Australia our homeland further into the contamination from which there will be no return?

logo Sisters of St Joseph


scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINJosephite SA Reconciliation Circle

Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle
SUBMISSION TO ISSUES PAPER 4 “…Regarding the storage of high level (or nuclear long lived) waste, the Royal Commission must
• accept and
• make perfectly clear to the citizens of South Australia
that there are simply NO World’s Best practice for the storage of high level (or nuclear long lived) waste.
The material is simply too dangerous, will live on dangerously for an outrageous 200,000
years (CCSA 2015) – and despite the fervent hopes ofthe nuclear industryIlobby- there are
no technological solutions to its safe storage – now or likely to be in the foreseeable future
and quite possibly never.

Unfortunately there is no safeguard in the assurances of those who claim that the situation is
safe and weapons proliferation won’t happen ‘because we say it won’t ‘.

As long term South Australian citizens our members are well placed to know that –
in the Ernul Maralinga nuclear explosions and the later even more damaging so called ‘minor
trials’ which contained plutonium there were ready assurances given by those whose vested
interests were served by the nuclear explosions going ahead. (as quoted in 1.8. above)

The effects of the Emu and Maralinga fallouts affected many South Australians particularly
those living in the remote Far West and North West of our state and in the areas around
Coober Pedy. Many were Aboriginal and their life style of ground cooking and other factors
placed them in an extremely vulnerable position. This experience – personal in most cases
and to their families in others – is what galvanised the Senior Women Elders of Coober Pedy,
known as the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta (KPKT) to lead what became the national successful
campaign of 1998-2004 against the Federal Government’s imposition of a national radioactive
dump on their land.

All of us were living when the Government used the country for the bomb…Some were living at
Twelve Mile, just out ofCoober Pedy… Whitefellas and all got sick. When we wereyoung, no
women got breast cancer or any other kind ofcancer. Cancer was unheard of with me either and
no asthma. We were people without sickness.
The Government thought they knew what they were doing then. Now again they are coming
along and telling us poor blackfellas, ‘Oh, there’s nothing that’s going to happen, nothing is going
to killyou.’And that will still happen like that bomb over there. KPKTApril 1998
In 1998 information was leaked about the Pangea consortium’s plan to ride in on the coattails
ofthe Federal Government’s plan to impose the national radio-active dump on what they saw
as the politically weak state of South Australia. At the time throughout SA andWAat least, at
this proposed imposition, there was an absolute uproar that reverberated overseas. For their
part the KPKT published the following: A dump for the whole world – They must really want to
kill us!

They really are aiming to wipe the country out, not just us but all living things in the whole
earth. They might as well come and kill us straight out Kill us like a dog in the days oflong ago
instead ofthis sneaky way ofkilling us. Kill us straight out…. (Dec 1998)
Sixteen years later, with the introduction of a Royal Commission by our own State
government seeking a respectable way of bringing up the same proposal, our )osephite SA
Reconciliation Circle including our Aboriginal members, asks with something of the same kind
of amazement WHY?
That’s the one question that springs to mind. WHY?
Why would any reasonable society actually WANT to expose themselves to danger and the
greatest known risk to human kind and for a completely incomprehensible time of at least
100,000 years till the danger of contamination of earth, waters and human beings subsides!!!
For money? For jobs?
What substitute is money and jobs for some at the cost of clean air, uncontaminated water,
uncontaminated land for food growing, a safe environment to bring up children, a healthy
environment to bring up children, a clean environment for every generation?
What extraordinary motivation is driving those who want to risk all this to involve South
Australia our homeland further into the contamination from which there will be no return?
Ifthe movers of this plan and their government colleagues think that South Australia is a poor
state now, what currency will SA have when known as the radioactive state – the depository
for the world’s nuclear waste?

South Australia nuclear toiletFarewell to the tourism industry, to the wine industry, to the food industry.
What reasonable traveller will want to expose themselves and their families to travel along
roads or train tracks when there is real risk of meeting with trucks or trains travelling 100s of
kilometres to reach a radioactive dump for the world’s waste including high level waste.
What responsibility are the protagonists to bear when a nation jstate with comparatively
clean breathable air, lands and waters is forced by the few who will make a huge profit from
the dispossession of the rights ofthe many to safety and to live in a healthy environment?
There was immediate opposition to the proposal for SA becoming the site for the national
radioactive waste dump when proposed in 1998. When Pangea Resources then appeared on
the scene to raise the stakes to Australia becoming a site for the world’s radio-active waste,
ordinary citizens were outraged at this incredulous scheme. So much so that the WA State
Government refused to allow the company to remain in its state.
86% of South Australians were opposed to our state becoming the dumping ground for the
nation’s radioactive waste. Why should we have to accept what was transparently a political
decision to burden what was seen a politically weak state of the nation?

Bob Day’s pro nuclear amendment fails in the Senate

August 19, 2015
Senator Day didn’t have enough support for the amendment to pass- Greens and ALP voted against it- so the Bill passed unamended. Some great contributions and statements from Senator Scott Ludlam, usually these are posted on his website.

the ARPANS Act 1998 – 1A Section 10 includes :

10 Prohibition on certain nuclear installations

(1) Nothing in this Act is to be taken to authorise the construction or operation of any of the following nuclear installations:

(a) a nuclear fuel fabrication plant; (b) a nuclear power plant;

(c) an enrichment plant;

(d) a reprocessing facility.

(2) The CEO must not issue a licence under section 32 in respect of any of the facilities mentioned in subsection (1).

(2) Clause 12, page 8 (lines 14 to 22), omit the definition of nuclear installation, substitute: nuclear installation means any of the following:

(a) a nuclear reactor for research or production of nuclear materials for industrial or medical use (including critical and sub-critical assemblies);

(b) a plant for preparing or storing fuel for use in a nuclear reactor as described in paragraph (a);

(c) a nuclear waste storage or disposal facility with an activity that is greater than the activity level prescribed by regulations made for the purposes of this section;

(d) a facility for production of radioisotopes with an activity that is greater than the activity level prescribed by regulations made for the purposes of this section

Senator Bob Day’s plan to scrap Australia’s law against nuclear facilities

August 19, 2015

Day,-Bob-nukesPush to scrap nuclear power plant ban in Australia THE AUSTRALIAN AUGUST 18, 2015  A push to scrap federal laws that ban nuclear power plants in Australia is due to be voted on today, amid calls for MPs to support expanding the uranium industry ahead of the findings of a royal commission.

An amendment to the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Bill was tabled in the Senate yesterday by Family First senator Bob Day.

The change would abolish section 10 of the ARPANS Act which bans construction of certain nuclear installations, including nuclear fuel fabrication plants, nuclear power plants, uranium enrichment plants, and reprocessing facilities.

Senator Day said the change was needed to position the country — and his home state of South Australia — to take advantage of a potential nuclear industry.

A royal commission is underway to investigate the state’s role in the nuclear fuel cycle, with industry invited to submit business cases for building a value-added uranium sector…….

 

The federal government has made a submission to the royal commission highlighting the benefits of Australia’s nuclear activities.

“Australia has a strong reputation as a global supplier of uranium for peaceful purposes and we already benefit from our nuclear research and the provision of life saving radiopharmaceuticals that help diagnose and treat serious illnesses,” Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said.

However, the government is not expected to support the change.

The current restriction under the ARPANS Act was established in 1998 after an amendment moved by the Greens, which was supported by both major parties. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/push-to-scrap-nuclear-power-plant-ban-in-australia/story-fn59niix-1227488202358

#NuclearCommissionSAust’s plan would trash South Australia’s tourism and agriculture industries

August 18, 2015
from Submission to Royal Commission on Nuclear Fuel Chain NGGOPPON TOGETHER INC, Michele Madigan“……….A nuclear industry particularly a radioactive storage facility for high or intermediate level waste in South Australia would undermine and even destroy the state’s vital fishing, agricultural, world famous wine and also the tourism sectors. If such a facility is established the State’s largely clean, green image will be impossible to sustain.
South Australia nuclear toilet
Tourist destinations obviously lose appeal when travel arrangements are considered – a possibility of sharing the road or railtrack with highly toxic radioactive waste, whether marked or not: not every SA tourist place is accessible by plane (ANSTO has acknowledged that there are 1-2 accidents or ‘incidents’ every year involving the transportation of radioactive materials to and from the Lucas Heights reactor plant.
The NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into radioactive waste found there “is no doubt that the transportation of radioactive waste increases the risk of accident or incident – including some form of terrorist intervention”.) If South Australia has sometimes been in danger of being known as a ‘cinderella ‘ state, any former such thought will be multiplied enormously. Action – withdrawal, loss of population, loss of industries especially food industries.
The positive alternative is still possible as SA presently is the leading state in renewable energy and has the opportunity if taken by government to go down this positive healthy path to maintain a clean, safe country and waters, safe and healthy employment opportunities and for the safety, health and well being of all of its citizens. ……

Ngoppon reconciliation group makes a fine Submission on #Nuclear Waste

August 18, 2015

The Commission’s whole aim is to further the drive to make South Australia the World’s nuclear toilet. So, the Submissions on this topic of importing nuclear wastes are especially important.

NGOPPON TOGETHER INC sent in  a top Submissions on all 4 Issues papers

Excerpts from NGOPPON TOGETHER INC  – Submission on Issues Paper 4 – Management, Storage and Disposal of Wastes.

Lucas-wastes“…..Ngoppon Together’s answer [to Australia’s Lucas Heights wastes] – leave it where it is, where the expertise is, in Lucas Heights where it won’t be out of sight, out of mind; so that we avoid the hope of the pro-nuclear lobby and the consequent burgeoning of high and intermediate level waste in having finally established a repository, nuclear power will be far more possible (and the pressure to establish a nuclear power reactor thus increase.)

Measured by radioactivity, spent nuclear fuel reprocessing waste from Lucas Heights reactors accounts for over 90% of the waste the Government wants to dump … Although the volume of this waste is relatively small – some tens of cubic metres – it is by far the most radioactive material “ANSTO is capable of handling and storing wastes for long periods of time. There is no difficulty with that.” Dr Ron Cameron, ANSTO.(Lucas Heights (quoted in ‘Nuclear Freeways ‘)…….

Of course other countries would be delighted to know that some other country would be both so foolish and foolhardy to be prepared to accept their radioactive waste – dangerous for 100,000 years or more!
BUT What price could the receivers possibly put on the likely and irreversible damage to their countrynuclear-future-a
and waters, its people, its children? In such a vast country to discount the potential high level dangers of transport? Do we have no responsibility towards the future generations of South Australian and indeed Australian children?
 One can envisage future court cases which will be fought in the future for damages incurred by citizens – similar to those fought regarding asbestos – with the difference being that all the evidence for not going ahead with such a clearly dangerous scheme was indeed well known at the time. And with a far more widespread, serious and totally irreversible situation at stake…….
 
ethics-nuclearNgoppon Together strongly refutes the muddled, quite fallacious so-called ‘ethics’ argument – We export and so are ethically bound to receive waste. This argument fails, as the people do not choose to export uranium but Governments and companies do. Aboriginal people oppose digging up uranium on their land in the first place and then to compound the burden, in the past at least are faced with the waste being imposed on them and their lands, waste that is up to one million times more reactive after enrichment. Our members point out the obvious realityif any government imports uranium then they import the responsibility for dealing with the implications of the purchase. Fewer than 1 in 6 South Australians are inclined towards reactors or waste dumps in S.A. We remind the Commission of their duties – to inform clearly and fully the SA Community of the facts and implications , rather than to persuade and cajole………

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