Despite pre-Christmas excitement, the climate/nuclear news is gloomy

December 16, 2017

I know. It’s just not what you need to hear in the week before Christmas.  Unfortunately, I am reminded by the wonderful Katharine Hayhoe  that even if you ignore, or even disbelieve in scientific findings –  they are still there, still real.

My two big influences this week come from Radio Ecoshock. Firstly – we’ve underestimated global warming. Our current path heads to worst 5 degree warming. And, there’s suppression of climate facts, and some disinformation on global warming.  My second – it’ s the same as last week’s – Future Earth may be home to grass, bugs, and maybe, – maybe – a few humans. It’s a hot radioactive world.

Well – on with the dance –

AUSTRALIA

NUCLEAR.Significant radiation dose” received by Lucas Heights worker in nuclear accident.

Unrealistic call for rural Australians to host Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs).

Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN. “My people are still suffering from Australia’s secret nuclear testing” – Australia resists efforts to ban nuclear weapons, and Australian Prime Minister snubs ICAN Nobel Peace Prize win.

Federal nuclear waste dump plans. AUSTRALIA’S RADIOACTIVE WASTE: WHAT TO DO WITH IT? WHERE TO PUT IT? WHERE DOES IT COME FROM? WHY KEEP PRODUCING IT?  Call For Senate Inquiry Into South Australia’s Proposed Nuclear Dump Sites  Aboriginal custodians ‘in dark’ over nuclear waste dump plans.

CLIMATE. For Australia’s cities, climate change is already here.  Despite the Turnbull government, Australia quietly waking up to the existential threat of climate change. Australia’s top companies ignore climate change, and we let them . AGL resists govt pressure, goes for gas, wind, solar – not coal.

Adani coal megamine plan. Traditional Owners Want To Delay The Government Removing Their Rights Over Land  Adani Wants To Mine.   Having won the Queensland election, Annastacia Palaszczuk will be vetoing the Adani coal megamine.    Queensland Premier’s first act will be to veto Adani railway line loan. The Greens will not stop “until this mine is stopped’. Traditional Owners fighting Adani make demands of new Queeensland Labor Govt.

Audit office slams Australia’s dud investments in “clean coal”.

ENERGY. Any integrity Turnbull ever had is now blown as he kowtows to the Right on energy.

Clean Energy Finance Corporation passes 1GW big solar milestone, after backing two new projects. Tesla big battery goes the full discharge – 100MW – for first time . Byron bay’s world-first solar train gets ready to trundle. How Sydney could become a zero-carbon city. lots more at reneweconomy.com.au

INTERNATIONAL

The Arctic is melting with no turning back. We have been underestimating the amounts of sea level rise due to global warming. For the first time, scientists identify human-driven climate change as the cause of global heat waves in 2016. Explaining Extreme Events from a Climate Perspective – American Meteorological Society

10 December: Nobel Peace Prize awarded to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson changes his mind: now will not talk with North Korea without “conditions”.  U.N.’s Guterres warns against ‘sleepwalking’ into war over North Korea.

USA. 

FRANCE. EDF keen to market nuclear to Asia, demands tax-payer support to build new nuclear reactors.

UK.

JAPAN. Government and utilities shaken by high court challenge to public trust in Japan’s nuclear authority. One Fukushima Tepco employee’s Leukemia certified, how many of the subcontracted employees ignored? Intensifying the Fukushima denial campaign. Many children diagnosed with thyroid cancer after 3.11 disasters, families still worried.

FRANCE. New defects detected in AREVA’s European Pressurised Nuclear Reactor (EPR). France faces a decade-long struggle to upgrade its nuclear power plants. France’s nuclear corporation EDF to make a massive push into solar energy.

RUSSIA. Russian nuclear plant says it finally emits nuclear isotope #Ruthenium106. Donor nations to pay up for trying to fix Russia’s devilish nuclear waste problem at Andreeva Bay. The unsolved hazard of damaged spent nuclear fuel rods – Andreeva Bay.

NORTH KOREA. The danger of the unsafety of North Korea’s nuclear facilities.

EGYPT. Russia disburses El Dabaa nuclear power plant loan/bribe to Egypt. Egypt to go into big debt to buy Russian nuclear reactors that it doesn’t need.

SAUDI ARABIA. It looks as if Saudi Arabia wants uranium enrichment etc as prelude to nuclear weapons development.

MIDDLE EAST. In Middle East – a heightened risk of attacks on nuclear facilities.

CHINA. Tests reveal crack in key component of Chinese nuclear power plant, 130km west of Hong Kong. China builds refugee camps – prepared for influx should Kim Jong-un’s regime collapse.

NIGERIA. Nigeria: Nuclear Agency Spent N367 Million Illegally – Senate Panel.

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AUSTRALIA’S RADIOACTIVE WASTE: WHAT TO DO WITH IT? WHERE TO PUT IT? WHERE DOES IT COME FROM? WHY KEEP PRODUCING IT?

December 16, 2017

 

by ENuFF(Everyone for a Nuclear Free Future SA) enuff.sa@gmail.com November 2017.In 2015 the SA Weatherill government established the SA NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE ROYAL COMMISSION (RC). The following year, the government adopted 9 out of 12 of the RC’s recommendations including to expand uranium mining and to collaborate with the federal government on nuclear power developments. A proposal to remove the state’s Nuclear Waste Storage Prohibition Act and, thereby, allow the state to pursue an international highlevel radioactive waste (HLW) dump was not adopted.

Less publicised, the RC’s Report also recommended that the government pursue the disposal of Australia’s own radioactive waste in SA; hardly a novel idea! (Previous attempts have been made, and failed.) And, this recommendation was adopted.

Running in parallel with the RC; confusing many people, the federal government was, again, doing just that: seeking a ‘suitable site’ for shallow burial of decades of Australia’s accumulated low-level waste(LLW) and indefinite storage (co-location) of long-lived and highly hazardous intermediate-level waste (ILW).

A short list of three sites was selected; all in SA: one at Barndioota in the Flinders Ranges – traditional land of the Adnyamathanha people – and two sites at Kimba.

A decision about a final site in SA for the nation’s waste is imminent. State politicians are surprisingly mute about such an important decision. Clearly they do not want this issue raised in the forthcoming (March 2018) state election.

So where has Australia’s radioactive waste come from? Australia has been accumulating nuclear waste since the Cold War era of the late 1940’s. Initially, it is mostly this legacy waste that would be destined for a national waste dump.

During the post-World War 11 and Cold War decades,  Australia mined and milled uranium for US and UK bomb projects; provided sites at Monte Bello, Emu Fields and Maralinga for British atomic bomb tests; established a research reactor at Lucas Heights and developed the Woomera Rocket Range. The forerunner to the CSIRO and a number of nuclear physics research laboratories at universities, especially at the ANU, were also conducting nuclear-related research. The facilities mentioned above were developed in close collaboration with the UK’s quest to develop and test atomic weapons, and the means to deploy them. They all produced and/or stored radioactive waste. There was no thought about what to do with the waste.

Following the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many in military and government circles considered that the next war would be fought with nuclear weapons.

Some influential Australian politicians and scientists considered that Australia, too, should eventually produce its own bombs and nuclear power reactors. For example secret work on centrifuge uranium enrichment technology, ostensibly, to reduce the ‘lead-time’ required to develop weapons, was being conducted by the Australian Atomic Energy Commission (AAEC) in the 1960s. However, until now, apart from research reactors, such nuclear dreams have not yet come to fruition.

Since the 1970s after much controversy, a new era of uranium mining creating millions of tonnes of radioactive tailings has commenced; the oldest reactor at Lucas Heights(HIFAR) has been de-commissioned, the Moata reactor is due for decommissioning and a third reactor – the OPAL – has been built; all with no long-term plans for the waste.

A group of nuclear enthusiasts, undeterred by the intractable nature of nuclear waste and catastrophic nuclear accidents, is determined to take Australia further down the nuclear road. They wish for Australia to build nuclear power stations and nuclear submarines.

According to ANSTO (formerly AAEC), the organisation responsible for operating the Lucas Height’s OPAL research reactor, the nuclear isotopes currently being produced are for nuclear medicine; engineering; making our food more nutritious and undefined research. No reference is made about defence-related research, from either the past or present (ENuFF considers that at least 50% of Australia’s radioactive waste could have been created by defence activities. However, it is difficult to verify this.)

In spite of a backlog of decades of waste, no federal government has succeeded in persuading any community to willingly host either the LLW or the much more hazardous and long-lived ILW. Yet ANSTO is in the process of significantly expanding OPAL’s production of medical isotopes for export, thereby, increasing future highly hazardous spent fuel and reprocessed spent fuel waste.

Where is Australia’s waste currently located? It is estimated that there are around 100 sites; many of them in hospitals, universities and engineering businesses, generally holding very small amounts. Such wastes are the responsibility of the state in which they were used. But, the majority of the waste, both in terms of its quantity and level of radioactivity, is held at a number of federally controlled sites including Lucas Heights, Woomera, Radium Hill, Maralinga, St Mary’s in suburban Sydney and Amberley Air Force Base. Waste from these sites is a federal responsibility.

Like a dirty old can being kicked down the road, Australia’s radioactive waste has been moved from one temporary site to the next: for example, waste stored at Derrimut near Melbourne was shifted to St Mary’s in suburban Sydney. From St Mary’s it was moved to Woomera. CSIRO waste from Fisherman’s Bend was moved to Lucas Heights and, after three years, moved again to Woomera, where it has been ‘temporarily’ stored for the past 23 years.

And how is the waste being managed? Records for some of it are lost. Aircraft washings, following the atomic bomb tests, ended up in the Pacific Ocean. Waste from the first decade of Lucas Height’s operation was buried on site. Radioactive valves were buried in old paint tins at Derrimut. At Hunters Hill it was simply forgotten, until rediscovered when building work on a new development commenced there. The Fisherman’s Bend waste is currently stored in 10.000 corroding metal drums housed in a tin shed at Woomera, where the Defence Department doesn’t want it, and where it is leaking Radium-226. Uranium tailings exist in massive and growing quantities; they are stored in ‘dams’ which leak into surrounding soils and ground water when wet, or are blown away when dry and powdery. Uranium tailings, like higher levels of waste, remain radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years.

Meanwhile, the English routinely release waste into the Irish Sea and wanted to wash their hands of the Maralinga site. The Americans have polluted many sites: the Colorado River, Hanford, swathes of Nevada and the Marshall Islands to name just a few. The Russians, too, have a long history of radioactive pollution, most infamously the poisoning of Belarus and Ukraine from the Chernobyl disaster, and the Mayak region from their bomb programme. The Japanese do not know what to do with waste from their nuclear reactors, let alone from the Fukushima multiple melt-downs, that is, apart from releasing it into the Pacific Ocean.

Would a permanent dump for Australia’s LLW waste at Barndioota or Kimba be any better managed? Who Knows? But the highly hazardous waste, including reprocessed spent fuel classified by ANSTO as ILW but by France as HLW, would be kicked further down the road and stored ‘temporarily’ at the proposed national dump. There it would remain, until a permanent repository for hundreds of thousands of years is planned and built hundreds of metres below the ground.

The federal government insists that many other countries have successfully resolved their radioactive waste issues. But, they have not. Why else is there ongoing interest in the establishment of an international waste dump in Australia as recommended by the RC? A national radioactive dump could well become an opportunity to leapfrog into just such an international waste project, as proposed by state Liberal Party adviser Richard Yeeles.

STOP PRODUCING THE WASTE, ONLY THEN WILL WE TALK ABOUT WHAT TO DO WITH IT

 

Pushing the fantasy of Small Modular NUCLEAR Reactors (SMRs) to rural Australia

December 11, 2017

Volunteers wanted – to house small modular nuclear reactors in Australia,Online Opinion,  Noel Wauchope , 11 Dec 17, 

We knew that the Australian government was looking for volunteers in outback South Australia, to take the radioactive trash from Lucas Heights and some other sites, (and not having an easy time of it). But oh dear– we had no idea that the search for hosting new (untested) nuclear reactors was on too!

Well, The Australian newspaper has just revealed this extraordinary news, in its article “Want a nuclear reactor in your backyard? Step this way” (28/11/17). Yes, it turns out that a Sydney-based company, SMR Nuclear Technology, plans to secure volunteers and a definite site within three years. If all goes well, Australia’s Small Modular Reactors will be in operation by 2030.

Only, there are obstacles. Even this enthusiastic article does acknowledge one or two of them. One is the need to get public acceptance of these so far non-existent new nuclear reactors. SMR director Robert Pritchard is quoted as saying that interest in these reactors is widespread. He gives no evidence for this.

The other is that the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant in Australia is prohibited by both commonwealth and state laws.

But there are issues, and other obstacles that are not addressed on this article. A vital question is: does SMR Nuclear Technology intend to actually build the small reactors in Australia, or more likely, merely assemble them from imported modular parts – a sort of nuclear Lego style operation?

If it is to be the latter, there will surely be a delay of probably decades. Development of SMRs is stalled, in USA due to strict safety regulations, and in UK, due to uncertainties, especially the need for public subsidy. That leaves China, where the nuclear industry is government funded, and even there, development of SMRs is still in its infancy.

As to the former, it is highly improbable that an Australian company would have the necessary expertise, resources, and funding, to design and manufacture nuclear reactors of any size. The overseas companies now planning small reactors are basing their whole enterprise on the export market. Indeed, the whole plan for “modular” nuclear reactors is about mass production and mass marketing of SMRs -to be assembled in overseas countries. That is accepted as the only way for the SMR industry to be commercially successful. Australia looks like a desirable customer for the Chinese industry, the only one that looks as if it might go ahead, at present,

If, somehow, the SMR Technologies’ plan is to go ahead, the other obstacles remain.

The critical one is of course economics. …….

Other issues of costs and safety concern the transport of radioactive fuels to the reactors, and of radioactive waste management. The nuclear industry is very fond of proclaiming that wastes from small thorium reactors would need safe disposal and guarding for “only 300 years”. Just the bare 300!

The Australian Senate is currently debating a Bill introduced by Cory Bernardi, to remove Australia’s laws prohibiting nuclear power development. The case put by SMR Technologies, as presented in The Australian newspaper is completely inadequate. The public deserves a better examination of this plan for Small Modular Reactors SMRS. And why do they leave out the operative word “Nuclear” -because it is so on the nose with the public? http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19460&page=2

To December 8th – nuclear and climate news

December 8, 2017

Can Humans Survive? Nuclear weapons and climate change both threaten our existence, but with different time scales and probability.

Closer to the nuclear brink: American air drills begin over the Korean peninsula. The human consequences of nuclear war: a new medical plea against war.

Nuclear news in America is getting more intriguing – with more being revealed about the shady nuclear deals done by Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.  It’s enough for Trump’s lawyers to be concerned, as Flynn is now co-operating with the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia.

On the climate front – when it comes to climate predictions –  the most accurate ones are turning out to be the worst case scenarios. Even in rich countries, climate change is already costing us all financially, and it’s going to get worse.

AUSTRALIA

Turnbull govt might still try to restrict environmental groups.

NUCLEAR. 

CLIMATE.  Banks warned of ‘regulatory action’ as climate change bites global economy. Climate change preoccupies the mind of Kevin Rudd.

Adani. Adani coal project in a financial pickle, as Australian and Chinese banks refuse funding. Greens Members of Parliament arrested at anti Adani coal mine protest. Greens MP to tour Queensland region to campaign against Adani coal plan. Adani referred to the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) over its misleading job promises.  Traditional owners aiming to block native title ruling on mine site. Wangan and Jagalingou Aboriginal claim that Adani paid people to stack meeting.

ENERGYAustralia’s first offshore wind farm  in Victoria, wins international funding. Lots of renewable energy news at http://reneweconomy.com.au/

INTERNATIONAL

The illegality of  a plan for a nuclear attack.

Hanford, USA and Mayak, Russia – their hidden radioactive megapollution.

Media to blame for focussing on Trump trivia, minimising climate change.

ANTARCTICA. Antarctica – so remote, but so significant in climate science.– An immense glacier is melting, in Antarctica.

NORTH KOREA.  United Nations’ political chief makes rare visit to North Korea.   North Korea says nuclear war on Korean Peninsula inevitable. U.S. ex-envoy Robert Gallucci urges Washington and Pyongyang to consider China’s ‘freeze to freeze’ compromiseEnvironmental dangers from North Korea’s nuclear bomb tests. North Korean nuclear tests sickening residents with ‘ghost disease,’ defectors say.

UK. Electricity from Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) would be much more expensive than from ‘conventional’ reactors. Small Modular Nuclear Reactors not economically viable, but UK govt is funding them anyway. Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit calls for windfarms: wind energy now cheapest form of electricity.

USA.

JAPAN. Tokyo 2020 Olympics costs skyrocket because of Fukushima nuclear reconstruction.  Tokyo 2020 to feed IOC food from disaster-hit regions.   The Japanese Government Is Lying to the International Community: the Radiological Situation in and around Fukushima is NOT Safe.

Failure of Monju fast-breeder nuclear reactor leaves Japan with a huge spent fuel problem. UN General Assembly endorses a Japanese anti-nuclear resolution.   Proposal for Japan to ‘rent’ nuclear weapons from USA.

Fukushima dome roof takes shape, but radiation remains high.   Tepco officials warned workers and journalists not to stand too long next to Fukushima nuclear reactor storage pool. Japan struck by two earthquakes.

RUSSIA. Incident at Russia’s Mayak nuclear reprocessing plant may have caused radiation cloud over Europe.   Fundamental problems with the Russian nuclear industry.    Russia’s deception, denial and propaganda over the nuclear event at Mayak. Russia slams North Korea’s nuclear gambling and US’ provocative conduct.

CANADA. Search narrowed for place to store used nuclear fuel. Just say no to a nuclear waste dump anywhere near the Great Lakes: the message from many officials and residents. Candu nuclear reactor to be buried.

UKRAINE. Risk of Chernobyl sarcophagus collapsing – radiation danger to workers now sealing it    Solar power to take over, on Chernobyl’s nuclear wasteland.

FRANCE. Drones still buzz around France’s nuclear power plants!  France to reduce its use of nuclear power as soon as possible, and discredit the myth of “cheap” nuclear energy. European citizens lodge a complaint against EDF and French govt on nuclear unsafety.

ARMENIA. Armenia considers plan to abandon nuclear power and go for renewables.

 

The past week, in nuclear and climate news

December 1, 2017

The Kim Jong Un – Donald Trump warlike bombast continues, when what is needed is restraint and diplomacy. North Korea unveils a ‘monster’ new intercontinental ballistic missile. Trump administration considers a‘preventive strike ‘ against North Korea – the very worst option.

Always a silver lining, though. Businessmen in Britain and South Korea are enthusiastically marketing new underground bunkers. Their Chumdan Bunker System chief executive officer Go Wan Hyeok  said  “I’m wishing that he presses the button and shoots the bomb! ” “I want to then open up showrooms in Europe and in the UK”

The twin threats of climate change and nuclear pollution join together, as rising seas caused by climate change are seeping inside a remote island nuclear waste dump.

University research indicates that global warming will accelerate as CO2 levels rise.

AUSTRALIA

Lidia Thorpe, Victoria’s first Aboriginal woman Member of Parliament speaks out.

Minerals Council pulls previous support for policies limiting advocacy by environmental charities.

NUCLEARYami Lester’s daughters continue his fight against the nuclear industry. Aboriginal grandmother, survivor of Maralinga nuclear bomb tests, to Norway for Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.

News Corpse writers and politicians mindlessly parrot spin about Small Modular (Nuclear) Reactors (SMRs.)  (I am preparing refutation of the quite extraordinary claims in The Australian’s recent article)

South Australia. South Australian law: government now prohibited from spending money to promote nuclear waste importing.   Proposed Federal nuclear waste dump threatens South Australia’s environment and economy.   Despite the hype, BHP’s Olympic Dan copper-uranium mine is not all that much of a money-spinner.

CLIMATE. Heating oceans make South East Australian hot spots.  Centre for Policy Development urges companies to tell shareholders of climate change risks.

Adani coal mine ‘fundamentally not in Australia’s interests’ – could be a financial disaster. Queensland election result – an ill omen for the Adani coal megamine project.  Support for Adani coal mine damaged Liberal-Nationals in Queensland election.   Report finds that Aboriginal landowners would get little benefit from Adani’s coal mine expansion. Chinese Government denies receiving application to fund Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.

ENERGY.  Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) – Australia has enough electricity for summer . Hot weather in South Australia: Tesla battery turned on a day ahead of schedule. Why South Australia must, and will, lead world on renewables.   Rooftop solar set for record year. Australia can meet its 2030 greenhouse emissions target at zero net cost.

INTERNATIONAL

Western nuclear nations snub Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.

How could the Agung volcano in Bali affect global temperatures?

USA. Trump administration, Michael Flynn, and dodgy nuclear deals with Saudi Arabia.  Michael Flynn’s nuclear role complicates the federal investigation into Russian interference in 2016 USA election. New Study: Over a Trillion becquerels of Fukushima radiocesium fell on Hawaii.  NASA’s new toy – a nuclear reactor on Mars.

FRANCE. Another corruption investigation of French nuclear company AREVA. France joins the rush to market nuclear power to Saudi ArabiaMushrooms contaminated with radioactive cesium 137 stopped by France, – shipment from Belarus.  EDF says individuals detained after breaking into Cruas nuclear plant.

NORTH KOREA.  North Korea moving fast to complete its nuclear weapons program – could be done within a year.  Daily Mail reports North Korean defectors’ claim of damage caused by Kim Jong-un’s powerful nuclear missile test

JAPAN. Japan’s Kyushu Elec likely to delay nuclear plant restart due to Kobe Steel checks.  Kobe Steel scandal: ‘look the other way’ culture of corporate Japan, faked data for over a decade.  Japan is poised to release into the Pacific one million tons of radioactive water contaminated by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.  Fukushima ‘ice wall’ linchpin not living up to high hopes.  11,800 homes to be destroyed in areas evacuated from the nuclear disaster.   Testimony of a mother who evacuated from Tokyo. Fukushima Cover-Up and Denial.

UK. Looks as if UK nuclear power is coming to the end of the line.   South Korea looks to market nuclear technology to Britain,  in  UK’s Moorside Nuclear Power Station.

CANADA. Strong civic movement opposes Canadian proposal for nuclear waste dump close to Lake Huron.

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa’s anti nuclear movement ready for President Zuma’s next pro nuclear move.

AFRICA – GABON Gabon’s uranium miners’ long wait for compensation for radiation-caused illness.

RUSSIA.  Russia: a new nuclear accident on the anniversary of the secret Mayak accident 60 years ago?   Scientist confirms potential source of Ru-106 as Mayak’s vitrification unit.      Damning report from Greenpeace on Rosatom and the Ruthinium 106 incident!

Now illegal for South Australian govt to spend money to promote nuclear waste importing

November 29, 2017

29 Nov 17, Today the Lower House of the SA Parliament passed my Greens Private Members Bill to remove the clause in the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000 that allowed the Government to spend public money on spruiking the benefits of an international high-level nuclear waste dump in SA.

That means that this will now become South Australian law as it has passed both Houses of the SA Parliament.

The Government will no longer be able to spend public money on pursuing an international nuclear waste dump.

With the focus now on fighting the Turnbull Federal Government’s plans for an intermediate-level nuclear waste dump in Kimba or the Flinders Ranges, it’s important to show your opposition to these plans. Come along to the “Don’t Dump on SA Rally” at 11am this Saturday, 2 December 2017 on the steps of Parliament House.

I will be speaking at the rally, outlining the Greens position on this important issue.

The Greens stand with the people of South Australia who choose a nuclear-free future for our State.

Australian Christians activists face 7 years’ gaol for protest against secret USA spy base Pine Gap

November 25, 2017

An American Spy Base Hidden in Australia’s Outback, NYT   The trials — and the Australian government’s uncompromising prosecution of the protesters — has put a spotlight on a facility that the United States would prefer remain in the shadows.

— Margaret Pestorius arrived at court last week in her wedding dress, a bright orange-and-cream creation painted with doves, peace signs and suns with faces. “It’s the colors of Easter, so I always think of it as being a resurrection dress,” said Ms. Pestorius, a 53-year-old antiwar activist and devout Catholic, who on Friday was convicted of trespassing at a top-secret military base operated by the United States and hidden in the Australian outback.

Western Australian offer to host radioactive trash – unaware that it’s nuclear waste.

November 25, 2017

Is Mr Baker ignorant, or disingenuous?

In his enthusiasm Mr Baker seems unaware that the processed nuclear waste returning from France is classified there as high level waste. The proposed dump for radioactive wastes in outback Australia is obviously intended to store those long-lasting toxic wastes. Australia’s nuclear reactor in Lucas Heights, Sydney produces these dangerous wastes, just the same as any other nuclear reactor.

The Leonora man behind plan for a radioactive waste dump in outback WA, ABC Goldfields ,By Jarrod Lucas, 23 Nov 17,  A mining entrepreneur who came to WA’s northern Goldfields during the 1960s nickel boom is behind a new bid to develop an outback repository to store the nation’s radioactive waste.

The Shire of Leonora this week voted 5-2 in favour of joining forces with a private company, headed by former councillor Glenn Baker, to make a bid for Commonwealth funding to fast-track the project.

The council sought legal advice and waited until after last month’s local government elections before voting on the proposal to store medical, industrial and scientific waste underground.

The proposed site is on Clover Downs pastoral station, about 20 kilometres north-west of Leonora……..

Conflict of interest was a deal breaker for council

Mr Baker is a director of Azark Project Proprietary Limited alongside his business partner, Perth-based corporate lawyer and mining executive Peter Remta, with whom he has developed several gold mining projects since the 1980s.

The 79-year-old was behind a previous proposal for a waste storage site that failed to progress in 2015, and he quit the council last month after more than 30 years because of the conflict of interest.

“Now there is no conflict of interest, but it did come up a few times and I left the meetings on those occasions,” he said………

Residents could be offered shares in waste company

Mr Baker flagged the possibility of Leonora residents eventually being given the opportunity to invest in the company.

He described as “mind-boggling” the funds being dangled by the Federal Government, which has been searching for a site to establish a national radioactive waste management facility for more than a decade……

Sites in South Australia and the Northern Territory have been considered, but lengthy environmental assessments and community consultation mean a final decision is not expected until next year…….

Sites in South Australia and the Northern Territory have been considered, but lengthy environmental assessments and community consultation mean a final decision is not expected until next year……..

Traditional landowner Vicky Abdullah said she had previously organised a petition with 500 signatures opposing the project.

“From my point of view, they can do it somewhere else, not in Leonora,” she said.

Ms Abdullah said the local Indigenous community was yet to be effectively consulted about the revived proposal.

Environmentalists opposed to facility in outback WA

Australian Conservation Foundation nuclear campaigner Dave Sweeney said it was a long way from a “bad council decision” to a national radioactive waste dump in outback WA.

“It is pretty much radioactive groundhog day,” he said.

“It’s come up before in Leonora, and there was a strong and negative response from many there in the community.

“I’m obviously disappointed Leonora has put itself back in this frame, because it’s a divisive place to be.”

Mr Sweeney suggested it would not just be for low-level radioactive material.

“This has nothing to do with nuclear medicine, and everything to do with the operations of the Lucas Heights reactor,” he said.

Mr Baker disputed that point, saying it was one of the misconceptions about what was being proposed.

“People are confused when we talk about radiation … this is not a nuclear waste disposal facility,” he said.

“Australia does not have a nuclear industry, so has no nuclear waste to bury. That’s uranium 235 which is used in atomic bombs, powerhouses etc.

“This is another isotope of uranium and has a much shorter decay life, some of it only a matter of months, and it’s not to be confused with nuclear-powered radiation like Chernobyl and Fukushima.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-23/leonora-man-behind-plan-for-radioactive-waste-dump-in-outback-wa/9184020?pfmredir=sm&amp%3Bsf174104777=1

The week in climate/nuclear news

November 25, 2017

It’s that crazy time of the year coming on again. so you will be relieved to find this newsletter relatively short.  Climate news is just as scary as always, but I haven’t had time to keep up with it.

The most interesting nuclear story is about the radioactive cloud across Europe. First described as a harmless wafting of radioactive isotopes “over recent weeks”, this news seemed to become  a bit of a worry, first of all, to air travellers. Then the realisation that even if this airborne plume of radioactive ruthenium 106  is supposed to be harmless, it’s not harmless to those close to the source. Now the source is identified, after weeks of contradictory Russian reports, to be the Mayak Nuclear Production Facility, with Russia still claiming that it is harmless. The locals are not so sure.

New research reveals that space travel permanently changes the human brain.

AUSTRALIA

6 Australian religious anti-war protesters may face 7 years gaol for peaceful Pine Gap protest. Only the ABC News, (and New York Times)  covered this.

The Federal parliament is shutting down for a week –  seems the best idea for a government in chaos.

Meanwhile the State of Queensland is having its election as we live and breathe.  From the climate point of view, this is a pretty important election. It is is critical for solar energy, and for electricity consumers.  Also important is the issue of the Adani mega coal mine project. The Liberal National party is all for it, of course. And nobody’s quite sure what the Labor government would do.

Australia needs special laws to protect its independent broadcaster – the ABC.

Australians fear nuclear attacks.

CLIMATE and ENVIRONMENT. Canberra stood out at Bonn climate talks as a progressive city, adopting renewable energy   Australian Government’s White Paper warns on climate change dangers in our region.

Adani coal project. Australian government lending to Adani coal megamine? A bad look internationally!  Wangan and Jagalingou  Aboriginal land – ruthlessly pursued by Indian coal corporation Adani Adani. Farmers and graziers in Norther Queensland worried about environmental impacts of Adani coal mine project.

ENERGY. Turnbull govt’s National Energy Guarantee is inadequate and confusing.  Chief Scientist Alan Finkel [that wild left-wing hippie?] says that Renewables could reliably contribute 50% to power grid.

NUCLEAR.  Western Australia nuclear waste enthusiast Glenn Baker shows his ignorance of the real purpose of the planned nuclear dump, (to store Lucas Heights very radioactive spent fuel returning from France and UK). Australia’s nuclear propagandist Ben Heard, and “Generation Atomic” , fail at Bonn, so fall back on the “banana” argument.

INTERNATIONAL

A new arms race underway, as USA, then Russia, modernise their nuclear weapons.

USA. 

UK. UK made ‘grave strategic errors’ in Hinkley Point nuclear project.  The consensus is clear: there is no upside to a nuclear Brexit.

JAPAN.  TEPCO and Japanese govt hope to portray Fukushima nuclear clean-up as a success, as robots find molten fuel.   Call for Japan’s aging Tokai No. 2 nuclear plant to be shut down. Fukushima Darkness.

INDIA. Not in the Name of Climate, Not in Our Name! India’s Poor Resist Nuclear Power. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IspLpQXv_1I

SOUTH AFRICA. World Bank to fund nuclear power in South Africa?

Australia’s nuclear propagandist Ben Heard, and others, fail at Bonn, so fall back on the “banana” argument

November 18, 2017

Above: Ben Heard at Bonn, 16 November

Ben Heard and the pro nuclear lobby group “Generation Atomic” were not very successful at the Bonn climate talks. A member of the group ‘marraskuu’ explains:

“we ran around Bonn, trying to secure a permission for a side event that our group would like to organize on Monday, when the UNEP [ United Nations Environment Programme ] Sustainable innovations forum, from which the nuclear industry was kicked out from, starts. They eventually ended up denying us the permission.
The evening was spent in one of the weirdest way I have ever spent an evening: By sticking up stickers on Bananas”

So – the nuclear lobby at the climate talks was reduced to pushing one of their most dishonest and silliest propaganda spins – the “banana argument”.  Because our bodies contain a small amount of (mildly) radioactive Potassium 40 –  and because there’s potassium 40 in bananas – then we are told not to worry about the nuclear fission produced highly radioactive ions like Cesium , Strontium, Iodine,

BUT – IN REALITY :  When you eat a banana, your body’s level of Potassium-40 doesn’t increase. You just get rid of some excess Potassium-40. The net dose of a banana is zero.