Archive for the ‘media’ Category

Australian Senate Inquiry into ANSTO’s process for a nuclear waste dump

February 8, 2018

The Adelaide Advertiser published this in the PRINT version only.  Is this because, like ANSTO , they really don’t want the rest of Australia to know about it?

Senate in push for state nuke dump voteThe Advertiser, Peter Jean , Political Reporter 7 Feb 18  All South Australians would vote on whether a radioactive waste dump should be built in the state, under options to be considered by  a federal parliamentary  committee.

The Senate yesterday voted to establish a committee inquiry into the process being used to assess whether the national centre for low level radioactive waste should be built at Hawker or at one of two sites outside Kimba. A majority of Kimba district residents last year voted in favour of the project.
Nick Xenophon  Team Senator Rex Patrick successfully moved for an inquiry into the appropriateness and thoroughness of the site selection process.
The Terms of Reference for the inquiry include consideration of whether the views of the entire Eyre Peninsula or SA communities on the waste dump should be considered.
The inquiry was backed by Labor, The Greens, and cross-bench senators including Derryn Hinch.
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister James McGrath, said the inquiry was unnecessary because information on the assessment process was freely available.
“The Government’s focus is on local communities  and the, traditional owners,  but also includes the broader community.” Senator McGrath said.
Federal Cabinet is expected to make a decision this year, on where to site the dump.
Senator Patrick said he was not necessarily opposed to a waste dump, but local communities should be given a say.
Parliament is also considering a treaty that would allow high-level Australian nuclear waste to be reprocessed in France.
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Why is mainstream media ignoring the plight of Julian Assange?

February 1, 2018

Wikileaks specifically noted Reuters’ coverage of these latest developments: “Depo Akande, an international law professor at Oxford University, said that Ecuador could argue that Britain had no right under international law to reject its declaration that Assange had diplomatic status.”

Additional press reports indicate that if the UK were ordered by the International Court to accept Ecuador’s decision to treat Assange as a diplomat, and were then to “declare him persona non grata, it would then ‘have to give him facilities to leave’ the country unhindered.” One hopes that the current Ecuadorian President, Lenín Moreno, will not bow to pressure from the United States to withdraw support from Assange. Ecuador’s former President, Rafael Correa, has indicated that this is a real possibility.

So far, legacy press has not taken the UK to task for attempting to “ignore” Assange’s new diplomatic role. Now more than ever, the media’s silence is important in informing or misinforming the public regarding Assange’s situation. The legal implications of Ecuador’s decision to confer Assange diplomatic status are potentially massive, but many outlets have been atrociously silent on the matter when they are not outright lying regarding Assange’s circumstances.

In light of the precariousness of recent events, human rights activist, journalist and Wikileaks supporter Randy Credico recently issued a call for Wikileaks supporters to ‘mobilize‘ in his support. This is a statement which should be taken seriously by the public and by independent media, which has increasingly been tasked with filling the void left by mainstream outlets that no longer function in the interest of honest reporting.

Telesur recently reported that former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa had warned: “It will only take pressure from the United States to withdraw protection for Assange.” He added: “Surely it’s already being done, and maybe they await the results of the Feb. 4 (referendum) to make a decision.” Correa also referred to Ecuador’s current president as a “traitor.”

Over the last twelve months, Disobedient Media has reported extensively on the hypocrisy of legacy press, including The Washington Post. The outlet’s recent coverage of Assange’s circumstances serves as an emblem of the overall problem of intelligence agency narratives being pushed by a corporate press with which they are entangled.

The Washington Post exemplified the issue when it published an article erroneously titled: “Ecuador’s president calls Julian Assange ‘more than a nuisance.” The article in question incorrectly referenced Assange in the following incorrect terms: “the WikiLeaks founder was wanted in Sweden on sexual assault charges. Those have since been dropped. ” Assange was never charged with sexual assault, and Sweden ended their investigation into the subject.

Although false narratives around Wikileaks are nothing new for establishment press, the latest smear attempts are particularly important due to the precarious nature of Assange’s current position.

The Washington Post’s allusion to non-existent sexual assault charges dishonestly paints Assange and the reasons for his exile in the Ecuadorian embassy in a light that not only is factually untrue, but conveniently distracts from the manifold ways in which Assange and Wikileaks employees have been directly targeted as a result of their journalistic endeavors. As this author previously reported, there have been a plethora of calls to assassinate Assange from media pundits, as well as individuals associated with the Democratic Party establishment.

In light of all this, it is absurd to discuss Assange’s predicament without also addressing the intelligence community and plutocratic establishment that has fundamentally driven the situation from the beginning.

UN rulings on the matter of Assange’s detention have stated: “Assange has been arbitrarily detained by Sweden and the United Kingdom since his arrest in London on 7 December 2010, as a result of the legal action against him by both Governments, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said today.” In essence, even the UN has recognized that Assange’s longstanding exile in the Ecuadorian embassy is due to governments who feel threatened by the content of Wikileaks publications.

At this juncture, it bears reminding that Jeff Bezos, the current owner of the Washington Post, has a $600 million contract with the CIA in relation to his monolithic company Amazon. The Nation wrote in 2013:

“Amazon, under the Post’s new owner, Jeff Bezos, recently secured a $600 million contract from the CIA. That’s at least twice what Bezos paid for the Post this year. Bezos recently disclosed that the company’s Web-services business is building a “private cloud” for the CIA to use for its data needs. Critics charge that, at a minimum, the Post needs to disclose its CIA link whenever it reports on the agency. Over 15,000 have signed the petition this week hosted by RootsAction.”

The Nation’s coverage of the CIA’s contract with Amazon has since been removed from their web page for unknown reasons, but is available through archive services.

When discussing The Washington Post’s exercise in gaslighting, it is important to keep the outlet’s well-documented financial connection with the CIA through Bezos in mind. In so doing, it is also pertinent to note that the CIA has made its hatred for Assange very clear, especially over the course of the last year. CIA Director Mike Pompeo put the agency’s hatred for Wikileaks were on full display as recently as yesterday, when the CIA Director lambasted the journalistic organization as a threat on par with Al Qaeda. Pompeo said of Al Qaeda and Wikileaks: “They don’t have a flag at the UN, but they represent real threats to the United States of America.”

That a group who publishes information that is inconvenient for the CIA would be likened to a terrorist network speaks to the threat which Wikileaks represents not to the safety of the American public, but to the plutocratic class and the American deep state.

Pompeo is well known for his previous reference to Wikileaks as a “non-state hostile intelligence service.” The Hill wrote of the incident: “In his first major public appearance since taking the top intelligence post in the Trump administration, Pompeo took aim at WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden…” The Hill also cited Pompeo’s characterization of Assange as a: “fraud, a coward hiding behind a screen.”

Pompeo’s vitriolic characterization of Wikileaks is helpful, because it demonstrates that the CIA’s response to Wikileaks is on par with the force with which terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda are pursued. In that light, the magnitude of the threat faced by Assange and Wikileaks associates cannot be over-estimated. Pompeo’s words are not only absurd in light of Wikileaks being an extremely accurate journalistic organization, but also depict the real impetus behind Assange having been trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy for years.

The CIA Director’s statements, even taken at face value, completely undercut the manipulative coverage of Wikileaks and Assange by outlets like the Washington Post. That providing evidence of corruption is considered an existential threat by the establishment is indicative of the value of Wikileaks to the public. The publisher is only a threat to those whose lies are exposed by their publications. The same plutocracy that has aggressively targeted Assange and Wikileaks has progressively strangled free press and freedom of thought in the United States and the world for decades.

The anger of intelligence agencies towards Assange and Wikileaks may seem superficially unrelated to the disgracefully inaccurate treatment of the publisher in American press. However, it is necessary to view mainstream outlet’s coverage of Assange, including both their misinformation and their resounding silence on his having been targeted by the intelligence community, as an expression of aggression from the American ‘deep state.’ This is especially noteworthy given the close ties of the intelligence community to legacy media, as encapsulated by The Washington Post.

Disobedient Media previously reported on the unanimous echo chamber of establishment political think-tanks and apparently left-wing news organizations when it comes to issues pushed by the intelligence community, including the reauthorization of deeply flawed FISA legislation. In the case of Assange, the litany of lies and gaps in coverage over the years are too numerous to recount in full, but represent a concerted effort to silence truth through deflection and manipulation.

Alternative media must refuse to be silenced by the American deep state’s fanatical crusade against Wikileaks and its supporters. If it were not for Wikileaks, the growing niche of independent journalism would have virtually zero factual standing when attempting to counter disinformation by press outlets that have completely abandoned their role as a watchdog against government abuses.

If there was ever a time to support Wikileaks and its Editor in Chief, that time is now. To abandon Assange at this critical moment would be more profound than its deleterious effect on the life of an individual: it would represent a complete forfeiture of integrity across the entire spectrum of journalistic endeavors.

See link for associated tweets; https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/01/op-ed-washington-post-legacy-press-betray-assange-as-his-freedom-hangs-in-the-balance/

China- Bill Gates nuclear propaganda faithfully regurgitated by Australian media

November 8, 2017
This isn’t the first time that Cole Latimer has regurgitated nuclear propaganda –  this time from China, (though Latimer also regurgitates some good stuff, and even writes some of his own)
Of course – they didn’t say that the reasons for Bill Gates’ doing this in China:
1. Because China does not have the strict safety regulations that USA has – so Gates can’t do this in USA
2. Because China’s nukes are tax-payer funded – so no worries about getting funding – (in USA there’s quite an outcry about the govt funding nukes)
3. The article made a virtue out of the reactor using ‘waste fuel’ from conventional reactors –  ignoring all the transport safety problems etc.
4 The article brushed over the fact that even this new reactor leaves long-lasting radioactive trash –   smaller in volume, yes, but so toxic that it need equal space to safely store
The article glosses over the fuel “waste uranium”  “depleted uranium” as if that’s fine.
There’s an area that I find ambiguous:
This joint venture aims to design and construct multiple nuclear power plants generating around 1150 megawatts over the next two decades which utilise this fourth generation nuclear technology. ….”    “the reactor would only need eight tonnes of this material to power 2.5 million homes for a year.”
Do they mean that ONE reactor would provide all this power?  They might. But as I understand it, the Travelling Wave Reactor is a small model, that would need to be set up as  a bunch of multiples –  (further making it difficult to market, as a country would have to order them en masse.  I say a country, because apart from Gates and a few mates, private enterprise is unwilling to take this huge financial risk)

Bill Gates and China partner on world-first nuclear technology , Cole Latimer SMH, The Age, and global media outlets, 8 November 17 

Bill Gates’ nuclear firm TerraPower and the China National Nuclear Corporation have signed an agreement to develop a world-first nuclear reactor, using other nuclear reactors’ waste

TerraPower chairman Bill Gates and Chinese premier Li Keqiang signed a joint venture agreement to create the Global Innovation Nuclear Energy Technology company, which will build a Travelling Wave Reactor and commercialise the technology……   http://www.smh.com.au/business/energy/bill-gates-and-china-partner-on-worldfirst-nuclear-technology-20171106-gzfrf0.html

Shellenberger in Australia: one sad interview, one happy one with radio shock jock

November 7, 2017

The pro nuclear Twittersphere was alive with angry comments about the ABC’s interview with nuclear propagandist Michael Shellenberger.

I missed that interview, but apparently the ABC interviewer asked some hard questions.

Shellenberger commented: “fighting to survive a brutal interview by a tough young reporter in Oz On ABC (the Aussie BBC)”

Australia’s own nuclear propagandist, Ben Heard,  commented:  “Shabby interview. Host evidently unfamiliar with topic”

However, those pro nuclear spinners were happy with shock jock Alan Jones on 2GB Alan Jones Breakfast Show.  Jones said:

“Michael has turned on wind and solar with a passion: he’s now advocating for an all-atomic energy future, simply because the latter provides reliable power, whereas the former are a childish nonsense…..

the Finkel review totally ignored nuclear power as an option and pushed harder for more and more renewable energy. So Victoria’s looking at 25% renewables by 2025, South Australia 50%, the ACT 100%, Queensland 50%……

one of the world’s leading new-generation environmental thinkers has said the renewable energy experiment with wind and solar has failed. Michael Shellenberger is a former renewables advocate and adviser to Barack Obama when he was President. [ed. not true. Shellenberger sent an unsolicited  submission to President Obama]  He is now global champion for nuclear energy, which he said was the only option to replace coal and gas on a global scale. ……”

Shellenberger  said:

every major study for the last 40 years finds that nuclear power is the safest way to make reliable electricity. You don’t have the risks that come with coal and fossil fuels, both in terms of mine collapses and air pollution, and the accidents themselves that everyone worries so much about hardly have any impact on people’s lives…

Wind and solar – They’re the worst. Really, all renewables are. The reason is easy to understand, in the sense that the fuels are very dilute, they’re very diffuse, and so you have to cover a huge amount of land with wind and solar……. solar produces huge quantities of toxic waste…… They produce two to three hundred times more toxic waste than nuclear plants, which are the only way of producing electricity that contain all of their potentially harmful waste. Of course it’s been contained so well that nobody has ever been harmed by the radiation from nuclear power waste, ever……

The other problem is that you just end up getting too much wind energy when you don’t need it, like the middle of the night. Solar and wind, it’s like they’re almost set up to destroy cheap, clean, reliable energy.

What happened was that there was a smaller group of anti-human so-called environmentalists that opposed nuclear precisely because it allowed for so much cheap and abundant power, and they thought, “Well, if we’re going to stop the human cancer, we have to cut off its energy supplies.” …..

You’ve got some really crazy anti-nuclear people down there…..

Alan Jones: “I’ll tell you something, when you arrive in this country, Michael we’ll have you on again. We can’t hear enough of you. It’s time we had a good healthy dose of common sense”

Adelaide Advertiser, mouthpiece of the nuclear lobby, excels itself in sycophancy

September 25, 2016
News-Limited1
I knew that The Advertiser was the mouthpiece of the nuclear lobby, anyway, but their latest effort wasreally sick-making. A rave which portrays Premier Weatherill as some kind of democratic champion, and which is pushing the soft sell that the decision on nuclear waste importing will not happen soon, but be dragged on for years.  (They  don’t say this, but in the interim, the nuke lobby has time to get secret arrangements made – and money lent to South Australia, so that ultimately, it might all be just too committed to turn back.)
A Premier with any spine might make a decision, a soon decision, and a wise one, to say no to the whole noxious scheme, – send home the business lobbyists and the propaganda spruikers like Geraldine Thomas, put the lid on the shonky Nuclear Royal Commission’s biased report, stop the silly nuke spinning Forums, and get on with running South Australia properly.   Such an opportunity that State has, as a world leader in renewable energy!
 
Lack of trust more toxic than nuclear dump notion: Daniel Wills, The Advertiser September 23, 2016   “South Australia is still at the stage where it needs reassurance about the science, as well as the competency and motivations of a government that would oversee its administration.

No site has been selected to house the world’s high-level international waste for profit, should the state choose to build one, nor any explanation of how one would be picked. The State Government is yet to overturn laws that ban public money being spent on investigating the establishment of a nuclear dump or even to pick up the phone to ask places like Japan what they would pay…….
The Finnish operators say they would jump at the chance to form an alliance with SA to build a dump here…..

Mr Weatherill is likely to confirm before Christmas that the Government will begin the serious work of developing a robust business case…….

Expect the Government to seek money from overseas to undertake a major geological survey that rules out places too unsafe for disposal to occur. At a cost of up to $1 billion, this is too expensive for SA to fund itself, but could have the benefit of doubling as a discovery tool for new mining deposits.

From there, it is likely the offer will be thrown open to communities to show an interest, and estimates made of what they could receive. Even on the most extremely rapid timeline, that point is unlikely to have been reached by the time voters head to the polls in March 2018.

This project is multi-generational, with a point of no return years away. But it is a doubtful and open question as to whether our politics are up to the job…….Mr Weatherill has framed this as a great test of our democracy’s ability to consider difficult questions and come to wise solutions. … http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/lack-of-trust-more-toxic-than-nuclear-dump-notion-daniel-wills/news-story/e927e455e6f244f35a8b6743bc791adb

An independent review clears the Australian ABC of bias

July 28, 2016

ABC cleared of ‘anti-business’ bias in independent review http://www.theage.com.au/business/media-and-marketing/abc-cleared-of-antibusiness-bias-in-independent-review-20160722-gqbp68.html Matthew KnottThe ABC has been cleared of systemic “anti-business” bias in a major review of its coverage, with former ANZ boss Mike Smith confessing he has rethought his negative perceptions of the broadcaster.

The independent editorial review, for which Mr Smith was a key adviser, has been one of the broadcaster’s most comprehensive yet. As well as analysing a week’s worth of ABC programming, the review included interviews with ABC business staff and submissions from business groups, think-tanks and unions.

Fairfax Media understands the review, which has not been released publicly, is overwhelmingly positive about the ABC’s coverage overall while making some criticisms.

Sources familiar with the review, led by longtime BBC adviser Kerry Blackburn, said they were relieved and surprised by its positive tone.  In his submission, Mr Smith writes that when he began the review, he shared the widespread view in corporate Australia that the ABC was hostile to business and that its coverage of business issues was poor.

But after examining the broadcaster’s output in detail, he came to be impressed by the rigour and balance of most of the ABC’s business reporting.

Australia’s uranium lobby’s social media campaign a flop

April 25, 2016

 

text-uranium-hypePro-uranium social media campaign’s #epicfail  Why are some still championing nuclear power when renewable energy generation has doubled worldwide over the past decade? Jim Green, SBS, 25 Apr 2016 www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/04/25/comment-pro-uranium-social-media-campaigns-epicfail

The Minerals Council of Australia launched a pro-uranium social media campaign on Wednesday. By that afternoon the twitter hashtag #untappedpotential was trending but ‒ as an AAP piece picked up by SBS and others noted ‒ contributors were overwhelmingly critical.

Nearly all contributors offered thoughts such as these: “A week away from the #Chernobyl 30-year anniversary and Minerals Council begins propaganda trip on the #untappedpotential of uranium. Huh?!” said Twitter user Jemila Rushton.

“We need to better harness the #untappedpotential of solar power”, tweeted Upulie Divisekera.

“#untappedpotential to put more communities at risk of nuclear waste dumps,” Ace Collective said.

“We concur that uranium has much #untappedpotential … for disaster, cost and time blowouts and proliferation,” Anglesea After Coal said.

No doubt the Minerals Council anticipated the negative publicity and is working on the basis that all publicity is good publicity. But what the MCA didn’t anticipate is that in recent days the uranium price has fallen to an 11-year low. Mining.com noted in an April 20 article that the current low price hasn’t been seen since May 2005. The current price, under US26/lb, is well under half the price just before the 2011 Fukushima disaster, and under one-fifth of the 2007 peak of a bubble.

Mining.com quotes a Haywood Securities research note which points out that the spot uranium price “saw three years of back-to-back double-digit percentage losses from 2011-13, but none worse than what we’ve seen thus far in 2016, and at no point since Fukushima, did the average weekly spot price dip below $28 a pound.”

Mining.com notes that five years after the Fukushima disaster only two of Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors are back on line, and that in other developed markets nuclear power is also in retreat. The last reactor start-up in the U.S. was 20 years ago. The French Parliament legislated last year to reduce the country’s reliance on nuclear power by one-third. Germany is phasing out nuclear power. The European Commission recently released a report predicting that the EU’s nuclear power retreat ‒ down 14% over the past decade ‒ will continue.

China is a growth market but has amassed a “staggering” stockpile of yellowcake according to Macquarie Bank. India’s nuclear power program is in a “deep freeze” according to the Hindustan Times (unfortunately the same cannot be said about its nuclear weapons program), while India’s energy minister Piyush Goyal said on April 20 that India is not in a “tearing hurry” to expand nuclear power since there are unresolved questions about pricing, safety and liability waivers sought by foreign companies.

Even if all of Japan’s 50 reactors are included in the count, the number of power reactors operating worldwide is the same now as it was a decade ago. Zero growth despite the endless rhetoric about a nuclear renaissance.

A decision on two planned reactors in the UK could be announced in the next fortnight and the price-tag for the reactors explains why nuclear power is stagnant worldwide and why the Minerals Council is talking about uranium’s ‘potential’ rather than its current contribution to export revenue and employment. The total price-tag for the two planned reactors is A$45 billion. If the project proceeds, the industry will be hoping it doesn’t go three times over budget, as reactor projects in France and Finland have.

South Australian academic Richard Leaver has neatly summed up the uranium industry’s tiresome rhetoric: “‘Potential’ is one of the most powerful chemicals available to the political alchemist. Any individual, firm or sector deemed to have potential is relieved of a massive and perpetual burden − the need to account for past and present achievements (or, more probably, the lack of them). The history of Australian involvement in the civil uranium industry offers an excellent example of this alchemy at work.”

Whatever the future potential of the uranium industry, it contributes next to nothing to the economy at the moment: <0.2 percent of national export revenue and <0.01 percent of all jobs in Australia. And those figures will fade further into irrelevance with the end of mining and the gradual winding down of processing at the Ranger uranium mine in the NT.

The stagnation and cost escalation of nuclear power contrast sharply with the trajectory of renewables. Driven by sharp cost reductions, renewable energy generation has doubled worldwide over the past decade and renewables now produce more than twice the amount of electricity as nuclear power. The gap is widening every day. Dr Jim Green is the national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth, Australia.

Australia media keeps silent about Aboriginal opposition to nuclear waste dumping

December 24, 2015

heartland-2Dennis Matthews 24 Dec 15 In response to Dave Sweeney’s “good  nuclear news” – on the leadership of indigenous Australians in opposing the nuclear industry and nuclear waste dumping in South Australia

It’s correct, in December Karina and Rose Lester shared the Conservation Council of SA (Conservation SA) 2015, $1000, Jill Hudson Award for environmental protection for their opposition to the nuclear industry, but, apart from a small column in The Advertiser which didn’t mention the nuclear industry I’ve seen no mention of this important event.

I looked for a media release on the Conservation SA website but couldn’t find anything.

Perhaps someone could put the media release on this website?

PS. The first winners of the Jill Hudson award were Adnyamathanha activist Dr Jillian Marsh and ABC journalist Rose Crane. I understand that Jillian is involved in fighting attempts to put the proposed national nuclear waste dump on Adnyamathanha land.

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

Murdoch news publicises South Australian pro nuclear Senator – won’t publish Dr Helen Caldicott

April 10, 2015

News-Limited1Isn’t it interesting that when a Liberal politician, with a background in auctioneering and estate agency, produces his particular pro nuclear argument, it gets coverage from THE AUSTRALIAN?  But when Dr Helen Caldicott, an internationally regarded expert on matters nuclear offers an informed insight into the South Australian nuclear proposals – then there’s no room for that, in the same newspaper.

Liberal Senator Sean Edwards is repeating a story that sounds remarkably familiar: “We could end up with zero or low-cost power” … “The more you reprocess, the more electricity you have to get rid of.”

too-cheap-to-meter

Senator Edwards is “briefing”  Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane and Trade Minister Andrew Robb on the (non existent)Integral Fast Reactor