Archive for the ‘National’ Category

Australia’s bushfires, climate change, and nuclear site risk

December 1, 2018

Bushfires in Queensland have ushered in the “new normal”  of superfires in Australia. California has already experienced this new normal. It means that these fires are now catastrophic. They encroach on human habitation. Fire behaviour has changed.  Their intensity is greater. Their severity is greater: their flames are higher. Fires last longer, and come with increasing frequency. They spread at higher rates, and jump gaps such as roads, rivers and fire breaks. .

These fires now do long -term damage to the ecosystem. The earth underneath is affected, habitat destroyed, killing all the normal bacteria and inhabitants of the soil. Many are fires that are impossible to put out.

The background to these new superfires is climate change. Climate change has brought higher temperatures and  drought – resulting in drier trees and other vegetation – meaning that tinder-dry fuel is ready for ignition.

Australia is uniquely vulnerable, as the driest continent, with its prevailing eucalypt forests.

In California, the authorities are trying hard to cover up the reality that the wildfires started at an abandoned and still radioactively contaminated, nuclear facility . The fire would undoubtedly have caused radioactive ash to be blown about. (The fact that it’s not measured doesn’t mean that it is non existent) 

Australia is vulnerable to a similar radioactive threat. Last year, bushfires went uncomfortably close to the  Lucas Heights nuclear reactor. Plans to transport Lucas Height nuclear waste 1700 km across Australia to Flinders Ranges area mean that this radioactive trash would be at risk of accident, and one of the worst risks would be bushfires.

Australia must face up to the climate change threats – floods (as more water vapour, due to heat, will come down as flooding) , sea level rise, and super bushfires. Lucas Heights nuclear reactor should be closed, and ANSTO’s nuclear dream prevented from becoming Australia’s climate-nuclear nightmare.

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A very dodgy nuclear waste dump meeting to be held in Quorn, South Australia – today

November 26, 2018

The most recent information on the BCC meeting in Quorn Tue 27/11-
I believe the time frame is 2-2 30 until 4-4 30.
Held in The Function room at Emily’s Bistro, First St.
Entry may involve signing a non disclosure agreement. 
If you disagree with signing this agreement, and are denied entry, then a silent protest may occur.

There’s a lot more about this.  I hardly know where to start.

Supposedly a COMMUNITY CONSULTATION meeting –  it is in fact designed to deter all bed supporters of the dump plan from attending.

If they do manage to get in – well, they’d better mind their Ps and Qs.  They will surely be thrown out if they make any noises suggesting dissent.  The police will probably be there.

Attendees have to sign a “non disclosure” agreement.  There will be no “minutes” taken –  only “notes’ which will not be published for several months.

There’s  a lot more about this at    No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia   https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929/

 

Aussie schoolkids on strike to save the environment from climate change

November 26, 2018

Why aren’t they doing anything?: Students strike to give climate lesson, https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/climate-change/why-aren-t-they-doing-anything-students-strike-to-give-climate-lesson-20181123-p50hvu.htmlBy Peter Hannam,  24 November 2018 This Friday, November 30, thousands of Australian students will go on strike, demanding their politicians start taking serious action on climate change.The movement, School Strike 4 Climate Action, has been inspired by a 15-year-old Swedish student, Greta Thunberg, who started boycotting classes before parliamentary elections in her nation on September 9, and continues to skip school every Friday. She also has a particular message for Australia.

Students in each state capital and across 20 regional Australian centres will walk out of their classrooms this week to tell politicians that more of the same climate inaction is not good enough.

Here are some of the lessons they hope to teach.

‘If we really want a better planet Earth’

Lucie Atkin-Bolton, 11, who will soon graduate as school captain at Sydney’s Forest Lodge Public School, says Australia should be sourcing 100 per cent of its electricity from solar power: “I can’t understand why it hasn’t been done yet.”

“Right now the political leaders aren’t doing very much at all,” Lucie says. “They’re more promoting coal-sourced energy when, if we really want to have a better planet Earth, we need renewable energy.”

Climate change “is a crisis”, she says. “It’s not going to happen in two or three decades – it’s happening now.”

Lucie says “whole islands will disappear” as warming lifts sea levels, and the time for thinking is running out.

“We can’t just talk about it, we have to act,” she says. “We have to make a change.”

While Lucie hopes to attend the main strike event at NSW Parliament, school principal Stephen Reed has been supportive, she says. Students remaining behind are expected to be involved in school-wide activities.

Fear’ is a motivator

Vivienne Paduch isn’t waiting for Friday’s gathering – where the Manly Selective school student will also be a speaker  – to get active. This Sunday, she’ll be busy at a “Crafternoon”, creating banners and honing her speech.

The 14-year-old says Australia needs to cut its carbon footprint “dramatically” and soon. The run of “crazy, extreme weather events” – from the NSW drought to destruction of the Great Barrier Reef and recent unusual fires within the Arctic Circle – are part of her motivation.

“Firstly it’s fear,” Vivienne says. “I’m really scared for me and for my generation and the generations that are going to come after me from the implications of what climate change will mean.

“It’s only going to get worse if we don’t take action now.

“Striking for climate action is more important [to me] than missing a day of school.

“With all the support we’ve got this year, I can see it happening again next year,” Vivienne says. “It’s very important to keep pressure on the politicians.”

‘Young people have to step up’

For Aisheeya Huq, a year 10 student at Auburn Girls High School, the School Strike is a natural extension of her volunteer work for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.

The 16-year-old says her generation can’t ignore climate change and environmental destruction and the justice issues that flow from them.

“We’re going to have to face the consequences [from the work of] a lot of the policymakers and politicians … due to their lack of understanding and perhaps care for the future,” Aisheeya says.

“Young people have realised that because we are going to be affected, we have to step up, and we have to do something about it.”

Politicians talk about the importance of education and shouldn’t be surprised when students join the climate dots. “If you care so much about our education and what you’re teaching us, why aren’t you doing anything about it?” she says.

‘Massive emergency’

Students from Castlemaine, a town in the Victorian goldfields north-west of Melbourne, were the originators of the School Strike movement in Australia after reading about Greta Thunberg and also the special Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 1.5 degree report.

Tully Boyle, a 15-year-old at Castlemaine Secondary College, has already taken part in several school boycotts, and this week took a train into Melbourne with other students to deliver demands to politicians.

“It’s a massive emergency,” Tully says. “We want all governments to take it seriously.”

She says heatwaves, flooding and worsening bushfires are a portent of much worse to come if temperature rises reach 4-5 degrees – the course they are now on.

Tully would like to see support for renewable energy and greater promotion of electric vehicles given priority.

“Climate change matters more for us,” she says. “We need to fight for our future.”

Callum Neilson-Bridgefoot, an 11-year-old student at Castlemaine Primary School, has also taken part in four strike activities already.

“Sacrificing a little bit of my education will help in the long term,” Callum said. “I work really hard when I’m at school.

“Any political leader can really make a difference – they have much more power than we do,” he says. “Right now what they are doing is not enough.”

Greta’s actions were a key inspiration. “I was really moved,” Callum says. “It was really brave and very powerful.”

It was so easy’

Greta Thunberg has seen her Friday vigils for action on climate change copied in many parts of the world, including Finland, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Canada and Britain. “And Australia of course!” she says.

“The thing I think surprised me the most was that it was so easy,” she tells Fairfax Media, via email.

“I remember thinking before I started ‘why has no one ever done this before?’”

The solution, she says, is to keep climate change in front of the public’s attention.

“All we need to do is treat it like a crisis with headlines and news reporting all the time. And I mean A L L the time,” she writes. “As if there was a war going on.”

Greta wants her Australian acolytes to know she is aware of their actions: “I would tell them that they are making a huge difference. I read about them in newspapers up here in Europe and it’s hopeful beyond my imagination.

“And Australia is a huge climate villain, I am sorry to say. Your carbon footprint is way bigger than Sweden and we are among the worst in the world.”

Greta says leading by example is important, as is “saying the things that are too uncomfortable to say”.

“We may not like that we have to change some of our habits, like flying or eating meat and dairy. But we do have to. Because our carbon budget has been spent and there is nothing left for future generations or the ecosystems we rely on,” she says.

This week – Nuclear and Climate News – Australia and Beyond

November 6, 2018

Some good news this week. A case of positive international co-operation!  – the healing of the ozone layer. The rest of the climate news – not so good. Climate scientists have underestimated the rapid warming of the oceans.  Climate change disruption of the jet stream is causing more extreme weather.     A warning not to forget the message of UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  –  Climate Change: The Real World War.

International nuclear politics muddles along, – closer to the brink? North Korea warns it might return to developing nuclear weapons, if USA does not end sanctions.  Donald Trump ready to reimpose all nuclear sanctions on Iran.  A world on nuclear hair-trigger, if USA withdraws from the  Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia?

Looking for expert information on nuclear matters? Go to the Nuclear Consulting Group.

AUSTRALIA

NUCLEAR.  Australia’s Liberal Coalition government is frightened that nuclear waste dump would become an election issue.   Labor must keep to its strong nuclear-free policy.   A warning about the privatisation of the Federal government’s planned nuclear waste dump for South Australia. Despite South Australia’s renewable energy success, are the Liberals targetting S.A. again for an international nuclear trash dump?   City of Sydney calls on Australian govt to sign up to the UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty.

CLIMATE.   Kerryn Phelps confirmed as new independent MP: makes climate change action her first priority.  Australian Conservation Foundation encourages all voters to recognise the coming CLIMATE ELECTION.    Is this the Coalition swansong? Just one more coal plant for the road.   The Adani coal mine doesn’t stack up environmentally, economically, or politically. The world does not need Australia’s ‘toxic’ coal –Christiana Figueres.  Severe fire danger as heat hits New South Wales East coast.

RENEWABLE ENERGY.  Nuclear and Coal Lobbyists be warned – Fair Dinkum Power is here!    Clean Energy Finance Corporation marks year of record investment, as industry embraces clean energy.  New South Wales government is preparing for a surge in renewable energy. NSW launches $20m battery round, to shift hospitals and schools to solar and storageQueensland solar is booming and pushing down daytime electricity prices.   Crookwell 2 wind farm opens, in win for local farmers and ACT power prices .

Aboriginal National Congress Criticises Indigenous Affairs Minister,  Seeks Answers For Redirecting Funds.

INTERNATIONAL

The global nuclear industry sneaks into international governments’ “clean” energy movement.

Far from fixing climate change – the nuclear power industry is being stalled by climate change.

Pro nuclear expert urges the nuclear industry to drop its “climate change” argument !

Electromagnetic radiation from cell-phones is a cancer causer to rats.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report DOES show that there is scope for positive progress.

IRAN. Iran is not likely to restart its nuclear weapons programme any time soon.

EUROPE.  Europe has set up a mechanism to sidestep U.S. sanctions against Iran.

NORTH KOREA. Preparation for nuclear international inspections – North Korea.

JAPAN. 2020 Olympics as PR for the global nuclear industry? Fukushima to start the events.  Fukushima’s fishing industry threatened by plans to dump radioactive water. Eastern Japan cities sign nuclear accident evacuation accord.  Shikoku Electric restarts Ikata nuclear reactor following failed court challenges.

CANADA.  Canada’s glaciers are retreating – and fast!    “Clean Energy Ministerial”: despite Canada’s Liberal claims, nuclear power will not save the environmentNon nuclear production of medical isotopes .

HUNGARY. Did Hungarian nuclear authorities fudge the measurement of water heating at Paks nuclear plant ?

UK.  NuGen nuclear power project in Moorside, Cumbria, UK, soon to bite the dust?  UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) reprimanded for nuclear safety breaches.    Fylde Fracking Near Nuclear Fuel Site – “No Problem” says Government.   Spiralling costs of Britain’s Sellafield nuclear site.    One veteran’s story of radiation effects of participating in nuclear bomb testing.   UK could be running solely on zero carbon renewables in summer months 2050.

SWEDEN. Swedish Environmental Court has concerns about speed of corrosion of copper nuclear waste canisters.

USA.

UKRAINE. Radioactivity induced mutations in the animals of Chernobyl.

INDIA. Prime Minister Modi’s doublespeak on India’s first nuclear submarine.

SOUTH KOREA. South Korean firm KEPCO keen to get $20 billion by selling nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia.

FRANCE. Hackers accessed confidential documents about nuclear. Nuclear company AREVA rebranded itself (Orano, Framatome) – but legal troubles linger.

Australia’s 60 Minutes programme – sucked in by the nuclear lobby

October 25, 2018

The 60 Minutes Fukushima nuclear infomercial, Independent Australia, Noel Wauchope 23 October 2018  A FEW YEARS AGO, Channel 9’s 60 Minutes did an excellent investigation of the Fukushima nuclear accident.

This Fukushima investigation was compered by Liz Hayes. I recall that, at the time, the program was a much more thorough, serious and well-resourced presentation than anything put forward by even the ABC or SBS.

However, I was pretty appalled at the latest 60 Minutes coverage of the Fukushima issue, which screened on Sunday (21 October) titled, Is nuclear power the solution to our energy crisis?  

The main message of this program is a call to scrap Australia’s legislation against establishing the nuclear industry. The argument given is that we need nuclear power because it is supposedly cheap and dependable. We also need it because it is supposedly essential to combat climate change.

This time, the reporter is not Liz Hayes. It’s Tom Steinfort, who is described as a “seasoned Channel 9 star”. Does a seasoned Channel 9 star just accept without question the claims made in this episode?

Among claims made:

If Mr Steinfort really is a star reporter, I would expect him to have done his homework before swallowing these claims hook line and sinker. ………

So, what do we make of this latest offering about Fukushima, from 60 Minutes? It must have taken a lot of money and a lot of negotiation to get a 60 Minutes camera team inside the Fukushima nuclear station. I assume that the negotiations were largely arranged by Ben Heard, who has influential nuclear contacts overseas — particularly in Russia and South Africa, where he has been a prominent nuclear spokesperson. In Russia, Heard launched Rosatom National Geographic — a nuclear soft sell environmental program.

I think that we can be sure of one thing. As Japan plans for the 2020 Olympics – some sections of which are to take place in Fukushima Prefecture – the Japanese Government is not likely to permit a team with any anti-nuclear perspective access to the crippled nuclear power plant.

The 60 Minutes media team would have had to have the Japanese authorities on side. I would bet, some companies keen to set up the nuclear industry in Australia would also be on side and keen to assist.

There have been rumblings, too, of yet another resurgence for nuclear energy in Australia, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison declaring that he is ‘open to the idea of nuclear power’ and that ‘the source of Australia’s energy doesn’t bother him and he isn’t interested in an ideological debate’.

Is it too much to hope that Channel 9 might do something to correct this nuclear infomercial and give us a different, more comprehensive view, rather than one blessed by Japanese authorities and the nuclear power lobby? https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/the-60-minutes-fukushima-nuclear-infomercial,12023

South Australia radio talkback reveals the opposition to nuclear waste dumping in that State

October 7, 2018

I am always struck by the fact that opponents of the nuclear industry are very many unpaid people. Just people who care. Some are highly educated academically. Many are not – but then they take the trouble to find out, and speak with the authority of both their local knowledge and wider information.

As for nuclear proponents they’re a small number of paid individuals, with another small number of hangers on who expect financial benefits from the nuclear industry.

Barb Walker shared a post. on  Flinders Local Action Group– more  – https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=flinders%20local%20action%20group
ABC Radio Adelaide Evenings with Peter Goer. Talkback 4 Oct 18. This show was inundated with hundreds of South Australians phoning in and texting about the proposed nuclear waste dump. ALL SAID NO!  Are you listening DIIS and ANSTO !!!??….  IT’S A BIG NO FROM SOUTH AUSTRALIA!!! http://www.abc.net.au/…/adelaide/programs/evenings/evenings…

– (This part is the last half hour of a 3 hour program. To hear it you need to slide the button along to last sixth of the program)

Transcript:Noel Wauchope . Not a perfect transcript, but a good account of what each caller said 

Australia: Scott Morrison’s new Cabinet: a Miserable Bunch pro Coal and Nuclear

August 27, 2018

Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance, Special Minister of State, Leader of the Government in the Senate:   WA senator pushes benefits of nuclear energy 
A WA Liberal Senator, Mathias Cormann, is pushing the merits of Australia developing nuclear energy …….But, Mr Cormann was unable to say where waste would be buried.
“Longer term, very clearly we do have to find ways to store or to dispose of it in deep geological disposal arrangements but we have time for that“….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-12-04/wa-senator-pushes-benefits-of-nuclear-energy/1168286

Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.  “
“….Energy issues, including removing subsidies for renewables, committing to build a new coal-fired power station in the north, and investigating a nuclear power future in the uranium rich state ” https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jul/07/nationals-leader-pushes-queensland-lnp-to-back-coalitions-energy-policy

Josh Frydenberg, Treasurer  Six sites for nuclear dump revealed by Josh Frydenberg   https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/six-sites-for-nuclear-dump-revealed-by-josh-frydenberg/news-story/beb13af3f67278e688f7cf115eabf618

Steve Ciobo, Minister for Defence Industry  Steve Ciobo overturned mining loan ban without consulting department The minister for trade, Steve Ciobo, overturned a ban on government-backed loans to domestic miners last year without consulting his department.

The controversial decision meant the federal government could start funding coalmining projects at a time when Australia’s major banks are increasingly distancing themselves from investing in coal.

Matthew Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia 

Resources Minister Matt Canavan is deceptive in his statements about “Low Level “nuclear waste https://antinuclear.net/2018/08/17/resources-minister-matt-canavan-is-deceptive-in-his-statements-about-low-level-nuclear-waste/

Matt Canavan’s optimistic coal forecast contradicts his own department https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jul/02/matt-canavans-optimistic-coal-forecast-contradicts-his-own-department

 

Melissa Price, Minister for the Environment. This one is a bit of an unknown quantity. Unlike the rest of them, she actually knows something about the environment.  Expect the rest of them to bully her into shape

Angus Taylor, Minister for Energy   Angus Taylor lobbied against wind farms and was favourite of the Wind Farm Syndrome lobby   https://www.reddit.com/r/australia/comments/9ae1rq/angus_taylor_lobbied_against_wind_farms_and_was/
 David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources He is pushing energy company CS Energy to double the size of Australia’s newest coal-fired power station, Kogan Creek, on Queensland’s Darling Downs.  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-06/nationals-to-ramp-up-support-for-coal/8875574

 David Fawcett, Assistant Minister for Defence  was noted as a climate  change denier, on the    Liberals don’t want sustainable energy list    http://ramblingsdc.net/Australia/Liberal.htm

Report shows that the “benefits” of a nuclear waste dump for rural South Australia are greatly exaggerated

August 20, 2018

20 August 2018  A new report into the claimed economic benefits to regional communities of the Federal Government nuclear waste facility has found the government has exaggerated the benefits, and not properly factored in insurance costs and other risks.

The report’s release comes as the Federal Government scrambles to fix up a controversial community ballot process in the wake of a Supreme Court injunction.  The ballot was due

to begin today (Monday) in the two affected communities of Kimba and Hawker.

“This whole process has been poorly conducted and horribly divisive from day one,” said Craig Wilkins, Chief Executive of the state’s peak environment body, Conservation SA.
“Knowing how reluctant many people in Kimba and the Flinders Ranges are to having a nuclear waste dump in their backyard, the Federal Government has greatly over-sold the economic benefits to try and buy community support.
“This report is a reality check for a community sick of the spin from the Federal Government,” he said.
Conservation SA commissioned economic think tank The Australia Institute to examine more closely Federal Government’s claims of an economic windfall for the affected communities.

The “Down in the Dumps” report compared the current Australian National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) plans with similar facilities overseas, and found a raft of exaggerated jobs and economic return claims.  For example, a proposed facility in Canada which is more than one hundred times larger with more functions and features, will cost only half as much to construct and operate.

As the report’s author, Dr Cameron Murray, states: ‘Either the waste facility is orders of magnitude larger than need for Australia’s nuclear waste, or the government has exaggerated the economic returns to the local community of the NRWMF facility’.

It also questioned the true value of the promised $31 million in local grants and infrastructure promises, as some of this appears to be double-counting, re-labelling of other programs or matched by cuts to other funding streams.

Adjusting the economic impact assessment to account for the exaggerated claims reduces the number of net full time jobs down to just 6.

“At the end of the day, the case for shifting waste across from Sydney to South Australia simply doesn’t stack up,” said Mr Wilkins.

“Why is the Federal Government pushing so hard to move Australia’s highest risk radioactive waste from Lucas Heights where it is safely and securely stored, to park it in SA in temporary sheds while they work out what to do with it?

“Wouldn’t it be better to work out the final disposal plan first, including the true cost and benefit to the local community, and then move it once when everything is sorted?
“Double handling is incredibly wasteful, is not international best practice, and makes no sense in terms of public health or radiation safety.

“It is time for the Federal Government to apologise, walk away and put in place a credible pathway for a long term, permanent solution to nuclear waste stored at Lucas Heights,” he said.
The full report can be found her
For comment:
Dr Cameron Murray, The Australia Institute, 0422 144 674
Craig Wilkins, Conservation SA, 0417 879 439

Australia’s nuclear top gun Adi Paterson has free rein and unlimited funds to promote the industry?

August 6, 2018

Dr Adi Paterson is the man behind the nuclear push by secretive taxpayer-funded agency Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

Australians are not privy to information on how much ANSTO spends, particularly on this latest frenzy to convince rural South Australians  that they have a moral duty to public health to host radioactive trash, – further encouraged by generous bribes.

Adi Paterson seems to have not only an open cheque to spend on this, but also carte blanche to do whatever he likes regarding nuclear decisions.

In 2016, he signed Australia up, all on his own, to the Framework Agreement for Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems, committing Australia to work towards the establishment of new nuclear reactors. The government was informed of this afterwards. A month later, a Senate Committee simply ratified Adi Paterson’s action. No Parliamentary discussion, no public discussion.  How long will Australians let this man make nuclear decisions for us, and pull the wool over the eyes of poorly informed farmers?

ANSTO CEO, Dr Adi Paterson, is part of a delegation who are visiting the communities of Kimba, Hawker and Quorn on 6 and 7 August, for Community Information Sessions being led by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

Three sites in South Australia, two in Kimba and one at Wallerberdina Station near Quorn and Hawker, are considering whether to host Australia’s National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

The Community Information Sessions are an opportunity for those communities to ask any remaining questions ahead of a five-week community ballot that begins on 20 August.

Dr Paterson will join the CEO of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson, and representatives from the Department.

“In particular, I will be focused on talking about the partnerships that are possible between nuclear organisations and their neighbouring communities.

Australian government prepared to impose nuclear waste shipments on Whyalla and Port Pirie, South Australia

August 3, 2018

Federal gov. names SA Ports to impose nuclear waste shipments Nuclear Brief (1st August 2018) by David Noonan, Independent Environment Campaigner

Amidst rising controversy, the Federal Industry Department (DIIS) has named proposed Ports in SA that may have to take shipments of irradiated nuclear fuel wastes to go on to a Federal dump site.

DIIS reports (p.179) two intended shipments of reprocessed nuclear fuel wastes into SA within the first 2 years of operations of a proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF).

A shipment of nuclear waste is due from Sellafield in UK and a shipment out of Port Kembla is planned from the ANSTO Lucas Heights reactor of nuclear waste received from France in 2015.

After years of secrecy over intended nuclear waste shipments to an SA Port, DIIS has now named Whyalla, Port Pirie, a new Eyre Peninsula commodities port (if built) and even Port Lincoln, as potential nuclear waste ports, in three “Site Characterisation, Technical Reports” released in July.

However, all of these ill-considered plans for nuclear waste ports face an array of serious obstacles

These targeted port communities are denied a say in Minister Canavan’s pending decision on siting a Federal dump in SA, they haven’t been consulted on use of their ports, and are excluded from ‘votes’ in the Hawker & Kimba districts over Aug-Sept on whether or not to locate a NRWMF in those areas.

The Federal gov. is in continued breach of advice of the Nuclear Safety Committee (NSC) to the nuclear regulator ARPANSA (Nov 2016) on the NRWMF, on transparency in decisions, and for:

“The ongoing requirement to clearly and effectively engage all stakeholders, including those along transport routes.” With the NSC stating that: “Such engagement is essential…”

Proposed indefinite above ground storage of nuclear fuel wastes compromises safety, is illegal in SA, and must not be allowed now. ARPANSA states these wastes require isolation for 10 000 years.

This was recognised by the previous SA State Liberal gov. that prohibited the import, transport, storage and disposal of nuclear fuel wastes under the Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 2000.

“The Objects of this Act are to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of South Australia and to protect the environment in which they live by prohibiting the establishment of certain nuclear waste storage facilities in this State.”

The new SA State Liberal gov. under the leadership of Premier Marshall has a key responsibility to protect the public interest and to uphold the law in our State. These are fundamentally State issues.

The Howard Federal gov. targeted SA for nuclear dumping over 1998 – 2004 but had to abandon that “National Store Project” & associated shipping and transport of nuclear waste across SA.

This Federal dump plan poses reputational risks and material impacts to the Kimba & Eyre Peninsula agricultural region, to the iconic Flinders Ranges tourism region, and now to targeted Ports in SA.

Nuclear waste can pose serious Accident & Security Risks and Impacts:

“In the event of a major nuclear accident, adverse impacts on the tourism, agriculture and property sectors could potentially be profound.”

SA Nuclear Royal Commission: Tentative Findings, Risks and Challenges, Impacts on other Sectors (Feb 2016, p.28)

Key questions on safety & security in nuclear fuel waste transport and storage remain unanswered (see D Noonan submission to Senate Inquiry, p.10). Nuclear fuel wastes must not be allowed into SA

The UK Nuclear Free Local Authorities “Briefing: Nuclear security concerns – how secure is the UK civil nuclear sector?” (NFLA, May 2016) highlights key security threats including the risks from potential malicious attack on a nuclear waste transport or on a nuclear waste storage site.

NFLA (p.8) cites the views of nuclear engineer Dr John Large on safety as at the heart of its concerns:

“Movement of nuclear materials is inherently risky both in terms of severe accident and terrorist attack. Not all accident scenarios and accident severities can be foreseen; it is only possible to maintain a limited security cordon around the flask and its consignment; … terrorists are able to seek out and exploit vulnerabilities in the transport arrangements and localities on the route; and emergency planning is difficult to maintain over the entire route.”

NFLA Recommendations (p.15) call for real discussion on the aftermath of a nuclear security incident given the major emergency response issues that arise. SA is unprepared for any such consequences.

Any use of SA Ports for nuclear waste poses significant logistical & other constraints:

The DIIS “Site Characterisation, Technical Report – Wallerberdina” for a proposed Federal nuclear dump site near Hawker, Section 4.1 Transport (p.174-186), at “Proximity to Ports” (p.177) states:

“There is potential to have waste shipped from Port Kembla, NSW to key port locations such as Whyalla and Port Pirie. From here waste would either be shipped via road or rail to the site.”

Hundreds of Police were required for security at July nuclear waste shipment out of Port Kembla.

Use of Port Pirie to road would lock down the National Highway to Port Augusta with 130 tonne Nuclear Canisters on over dimension & over-mass special vehicles. To rail would require waste transfer onto national gauge alongside Port Pirie and a second transfer on to State gauge in Port Augusta, with rehabilitation of the disused Cotabena Railway (p.177 & 186), to go on to the Flinders.

Use of the Port of Whyalla to road would require upgrade of Yorkeys Crossing to bypass the Port Augusta Bridge and to try “to avoid occurrences of complete shutdown” (p.181) in Port Augusta.

The Iron Triangle cities of Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Pirie are now openly targeted for nuclear fuel waste transport and should have a right to refuse these untenable Federal gov. nuclear plans.

Influential Port Lincoln may be able to defend itself: other Port communities shouldn’t have to do so.

The Marshall gov must protect all SA regional communities and reject a Federal nuclear dump in SA