nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

To 6 July – nuclear news this week

Today I found an article which, although it’s about America, expressed a dilemma for the whole world.  Tom Engelhardt  of  Tom Dispatch discussed the 3 global horrors of  – the pandemic, climate change, and nuclear weapons. I recommend his article, lucidly explaining how vast sums of money now goes into nuclear weapons, and not into defeating the pandemic, nor saving the world from the slow apocalypse of global heating.


Coronavirus: What’s happening in Canada and around the world.Climate Change Disaster Isn’t a Future Threat — It’s Already Here.


Good news?
  I’m sure there is some, but it’s hard to find.  News is, by  its nature, bad – because most people behave fairly reasonably –   and therefore, reasonable behaviour and normal life are not newsworthy.

Even this conservative journal recognises renewables as the only meaningful future energy source – nuclear is irrelevant.

The world is bequeathing to our descendants the costly nightmare of unsolved nuclear waste disposal,

Canada is a warning: more and more of the world will soon be too hot for humans.

The space tourism plans of Bezos, Musk and Branson are morally reprehensible.

JAPAN. Japan is not being transparent about the radioactive content in Fukushima wastewater. The hybrid boars of Fukushima. Fukushima: Radioactive boars create mutant hybrid species decade after nuclear disaster.

EUROPE. 5 European nations warn the European Commission that nuclear energy must be excluded from the EU’s green finance taxonomy.

MIDDLE EAST. Nuclear Reactor Security Risk: Middle East and Gulf Region.

GERMANY. Protest week beginning July 4 outside Ramstein Air Base, Germany.Germany’s success in phasing out nuclear energy, and remarkable uptake of solar. Germany joins 15 other nations to call for an end to nuclear testing ‘once and for all’.

CHINA. China’s handling of Taishan nuclear plant leak shows need for transparency. How Taishan almost became China’s Chernobyl.  

UK. United Kingdom will not finance any nuclear-energy related expenditures under its Green Financing Framework Dounreay nuclear waste clean-up– an enormous job, for just a temporary solution. Bradwell anti-nuclear campaigners may face fight against nuclear fusion plan. UK’s Ministry of Defence kept ‘devastating’ nuclear accident risks under wraps.

USA. 

CANADA. Five good reasons to support the City of Ottawa’s request for a regional assessment of radioactive waste disposal projects in the Ottawa Valley.  In extreme heat wave, forest fire threatens Sakatchewan uranium mine – another example of global heating hitting nuclear activities. Hundreds dead as record-breaking heat wave hits Canada and United States.

FRANCE

ALGERIA. Buried in the sand of Southern Algeria – the radioactive pollution from French nuclear tests.

IRANUS must guarantee it will not leave nuclear deal again, says Iran. U.N. chief urges U.S. to remove Iran sanctions as agreed in 2015.

RUSSIA. Russia tests giant nuclear submarine equipped with secret weapons.

TAIWAN. Taiwan’s strategy to phaseout nuclear energy and move to renewables. Taiwan on its path toward denuclearization.

SEYCHELLESSeychelles Votes to Ratify the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons,.

AUSTRALIA. Maralinga nuclear bomb tests – British and Australian governments’ callous cruelty to First Nations people

  •   THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper sinks to a new low in pro nuclear propaganda. (A reminder to Australians – Even nuclear executives must be embarrassed at the pro nuke propaganda aimed at young women. and – Exposed! Extinction Rebellion fact checks pro nuclear front, and Zion Lights.)
  • July 6, 2021 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

    The all-American story of the twin horrors climate change and nuclear weapons

    An All-American Horror Story

    SCHEERPOST, BY MODERATOR July 5, 2021, An All-American Horror StoryThree-quarters of a century of nuclear follies — and that’s just for starters. By Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch. Yes, once upon a time I regularly absorbed science fiction and imagined futures of wonder, but mainly of horror.  What else could you think, if you read H.G. Wells’s War of the Worlds under the covers by flashlight while your parents thought you were asleep?  Of course, that novel was a futuristic fantasy, involving as it did Martians arriving in London to take out humanity. Sixty-odd years after secretly reading that book and wondering about the future that would someday be mine, I’m living, it seems, in that very future, however Martian-less it might be.  Still, just in case you hadn’t noticed, our present moment could easily be imagined as straight out of a science-fiction novel that, even at my age, I’d prefer not to read by flashlight in the dark of night. 

    I mean, I was barely one when Hiroshima was obliterated by a single atomic bomb. In the splintering of a moment and the mushroom cloud that followed, a genuinely apocalyptic power that had once rested only in the hands of the gods (and perhaps science-fiction authors) became an everyday part of our all-too-human world.  From that day on, it was possible to imagine that we — not the Martians or the gods — could end it all. It became possible to imagine that we ourselves were the apocalypse. And give us credit. If we haven’t actually done so yet, neither have we done a bad job when it comes to preparing the way for just such a conclusion to human history. 

    Let’s put this in perspective. In the pandemic year 2020, 76 years after two American atomic bombs left the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in ashes, the world’s nuclear powers actually increased spending on nuclear weapons by $1.4 billion more than they had put out the previous year.  And that increase was only a small percentage of the ongoing investment of those nine — yes, nine — countries in their growing nuclear arsenals. Worse yet, if you happen to be an American, more than half of the total 2020 “investment” in weaponry appropriate for world-ending scenarios, $37.4 billion to be exact, was plunked down by our own country. (A staggering $13.3 billion was given to weapons maker Northrop Grumman alone to begin the development of a new intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, the one thing our thoroughly troubled world obviously needs.) In all, those nine nuclear powers spent an estimated $137,000 a minute in 2020 to “improve” their arsenals — the ones that, if ever used, could end history as we know it. 

    In the Dust of the History of Death

    Imagine for a second if all that money had instead been devoted to creating and disseminating vaccines for most of the world’s population, which has yet to receive such shots and so be rescued from the ravages of Covid-19, itself a death-dealing, sci-fi-style nightmare of the first order. But how could I even think such a thing when, in the decades since this country dropped that first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, it’s learned its atomic lessons all too well?  Otherwise, why would its leaders now be planning to devote at least $1.7 trillion over the next three decades to “modernizing” what’s already the most modern nuclear arsenal on the planet?…………

    Consider it an irony of the first order, then, that U.S. leaders have spent years focused on trying to keep the Iranians from making a single nuclear weapon, but not for a day, not for an hour, not for a second on keeping this country from producing ever more of them and the delivery systems that would distribute them anywhere on this planet.  In that light, just consider, for instance, that, in 2021, the U.S. is preparing to invest more than $100 billion in producing a totally new ICBM, whose total cost over its “lifespan” (though perhaps the correct word would be “deathspan”) is already projected at $264 billion — and that’s before the cost overruns even begin. All of this for a future that… well, your guess is as good as mine.  

    Or consider that, only recently, the American and Russian heads of state, the two countries with by far the biggest nuclear arsenals, met in Geneva, Switzerland, and talked for hours, especially about cyberwar, while spending little appreciable time considering how to rein in their most devastating weaponry and head the planet toward a denuclearized future.

    And keep in mind that all of this is happening on a planet where it’s now commonplace scientific knowledge that even a nuclear war between two regional powers, India and Pakistan, could throw so many particulates into the atmosphere as to create a nuclear winter on this planet, one likely to starve to death billions of us.  In other words, just one regional nuclear conflict could leave the chaos and horror of the Covid-19 pandemic in the unimpressive dust of the history of death………….

    While it’s seldom thought of that way, climate change should really be reimagined as the equivalent of a slow-motion nuclear holocaust……….

    there was no mushroom cloud, but rather a “cloud” of greenhouse gases forming over endless years beyond human vision.  Still, let’s face it, on this planet of ours, not in 2031 or 2051 or 2101 but right at this very moment, we’re beginning to experience the equivalent of a slow-motion nuclear war.

    In a sense, we’re already living through a modern slo-mo version of Hiroshima, no matter where we are or where we’ve traveled.  At this moment, with an increasingly fierce megadrought gripping the West and Southwest, the likes of which hasn’t been experienced in at least 1,200 years, among the top candidates for an American Hiroshima would be Phoenix (118 degrees), Las Vegas (114 degrees), the aptly named Death Valley (128 degrees), Palm Springs (123 degrees), and Salt Lake City (107), all record temperatures for this season.  A recent report suggests that temperatures in famed Yellowstone National Park are now as high or higher than at any time in the past 20,000 years (and possibly in the last 800,000 years). And temperatures in Oregon and Washington are already soaring in record fashion with more to come, even as the fire season across the West arrives earlier and more fiercely each year.  As I write this, for instance, California’s Big Sur region is ablaze in a striking fashion, among growing numbers of western fires.  Under the circumstances, ironically enough, one of the only reasons some temperature records might not be set is that sun-blocking smoke from those fires might suppress the heat somewhat.  ………

    In this desperately elongated version of nuclear war, everything being experienced in this country (and in a similar fashion around the world, from Australia’s brutally historic wildfires to a recent heat wave in the Persian Gulf, where temperatures topped 125 degrees) will only grow ever more extreme, even if, by some miracle, those nuclear weapons are kept under wraps.  After all, according to a new NASA study, the planet has been trapping far more heat than imagined in this century so far. In addition, a recently revealed draft of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report suggests that our over-heating future will only grow worse in ways that hadn’t previously been imagined. Tipping points may be reached — from the melting of polar ice sheets and Arctic permafrost (releasing vast amounts of methane into the atmosphere) to the possible transformation of much of the Amazon rain forest into savannah — that could affect the lives of our children and grandchildren disastrously for decades to come. And that would be the case even if greenhouse-gas releases are brought under control relatively quickly.  

    Once upon a time, who could have imagined that humanity would inherit the kinds of apocalyptic powers previously left to the gods or that, when we finally noticed them, we would prove eerily unable to respond? Even if another nuclear weapon is never used, we stand capable, in slow-motion fashion, of making significant parts of our world uninhabitable — or, for that matter, if we were to act soon, keeping it at least reasonably habitable into the distant future.   

    Imagine, just as a modest start, a planet on which every dollar earmarked for nuclear weapons would be invested in a green set of solutions to a world growing by the year ever warmer, ever redder, ever less inhabitable.  https://scheerpost.com/2021/07/05/an-all-american-horror-story/

    July 6, 2021 Posted by | climate change, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

    Several European States urge that nuclear energy be excluded from the EU’s green finance taxonomy.

    EU anti-nuclear states urge excluding nuclear from green taxonomy, Nuclear Engineering, 5 July 2021  A group of five EU member states led by Germany have sent a letter to the European Commission (EC) asking for nuclear energy to be kept out of the EU’s green finance taxonomy.

    “Many savers and investors would lose faith in financial products marketed as ‘sustainable’ if they had to fear that by buying these products they would be financing activities in the area of nuclear power.”

    the JRC report also “disregards the life-cycle approach” to environmental risk assessment when it comes to geological storage of nuclear waste. ”

    The letter, which was signed by the environment or energy ministers from Austria, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, and Spain, notes “shortcomings” in a report by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC).

    Although the letter is undated, Euractiv said it understands it was sent to the EC on 30 June. Signatories include: Svenja Schulze (Germany), Leonore Gewessler (Austria), Dan Jørgensen and Simon Kollerup (Denmark), Carole Dieschbourg (Luxembourg), Teresa Ribera Rodríguez and Nadia Calviño Santamaría (Spain).

    “Nuclear power is incompatible with the Taxonomy Regulation’s ‘do no significant harm’ principle,” the ministers wrote, urging the Commission to keep nuclear out of the EU’s green finance rules. “We are concerned that including nuclear power in the Taxonomy would permanently damage its integrity, credibility and therefore its usefulness,” they warned.

    The letter says the EC’s assessment of the safety of nuclear power installations is flawed. “We were disconcerted to learn that in the opinion of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), there were no indications that the high-risk technology that is nuclear power is more damaging to human health and to the environment than other forms of energy generation, such as wind and solar energy.” The ministers add: “Nuclear power, however, is a high-risk technology – wind energy is not. This essential difference must be taken into account.” They say the JRC report deliberately ignored the possibility of a serious incident.

    The Ministers argue: “Many savers and investors would lose faith in financial products marketed as ‘sustainable’ if they had to fear that by buying these products they would be financing activities in the area of nuclear power.” They allege that the JRC report also “disregards the life-cycle approach” to environmental risk assessment when it comes to geological storage of nuclear waste.,,,,,,,,,,,

    The letter says the EC’s assessment of the safety of nuclear power installations is flawed. “We were disconcerted to learn that in the opinion of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), there were no indications that the high-risk technology that is nuclear power is more damaging to human health and to the environment than other forms of energy generation, such as wind and solar energy.” The ministers add: “Nuclear power, however, is a high-risk technology – wind energy is not. This essential difference must be taken into account.” They say the JRC report deliberately ignored the possibility of a serious incident.

    The Ministers argue: “Many savers and investors would lose faith in financial products marketed as ‘sustainable’ if they had to fear that by buying these products they would be financing activities in the area of nuclear power.” They allege that the JRC report also “disregards the life-cycle approach” to environmental risk assessment when it comes to geological storage of nuclear waste.https://www.neimagazine.com/news/newseu-anti-nuclear-states-urge-excluding-nuclear-from-green-taxonomy-8869307

    July 6, 2021 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment

    Short time left to make a comment on this very dangerous costly USA Hypersonic plan

    Hypersonic flight is defined as flight through the atmosphere at altitudes below 100 kilometres (km) and at speeds above Mach 5 (~3,800 miles per hour, or roughly 5 times the speed of sound).

    MILITARY HYPERSONIC VEHICLE DESIGNS

    Two types of hypersonic vehicle (see below) are being developed to serve military functions. Both can deliver conventional or nuclear payloads at speeds between Mach 5 and Mach 20, offering virtually unlimited global strike range when coordinated with existing weapons delivery systems.

    WHAT IS THE MILITARY VALUE OF HYPERSONIC WEAPONS?

    In theory, the key advantages of hypersonic vehicles are speed, evasiveness, and manoeuvrability. Hypersonic missiles and glide vehicles are designed to combine the manoeuvrability of a cruise missile with the speed of a ballistic missile. Unlike ICBMs, which travel in predictable paths at high altitudes in a parabolic arc toward their target, hypersonic weapons take unpredictable paths at low altitudes with higher speeds. As a result, these weapons have the potential to render modern ballistic missile defence systems obsolete. Able to deliver conventional, nuclear, or biological payloads at high velocities over long ranges, hypersonic weapons, if operational, could strike with little notice, enabling unprecedented global first-strike capabilities.


    Please make a comment – you don’t have to be an expert.


    1) Testing of Hypersonics will dramatically escalate the nuclear arms race/new Cold War2) Our nation can’t afford another arms race – especially one in space3) We need to be spending our national treasury on dealing with our real enemy – climate crisis and growing economic inequality
    4) Toxic rocket fuel exacerbates an already grave climate crisis5) It’s time the warmongers listened to the taxpayers

    Notice of Availability for the Joint Flight Campaign (JFC) Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment/Overseas Environmental Assessment (PEA/OEA). The Proposed Action, Joint Flight Campaign (JFC), is sponsored by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and by the United States Department of the Army (U.S. Army). These agencies have designated the United States Department of the Navy (U.S. Navy) Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) and the U.S. Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) as the lead agencies for the Proposed Action. The U.S. Army RCCTO, the U.S. Navy SSP, and the United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC), as Participating Agencies, along with the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. Air Force 30th Space Wing, and the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing as Cooperating Agencies, have prepared this PEA/OEA in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 United States Code 4321, as amended), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA (Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] Parts 1500-1508, 1978, July 1, 1986), the Department of the Army Procedures for Implementing NEPA (32 CFR Part 651), the Department of the Air Force Procedures for Implementing NEPA (32 CFR Part 989), Chief of Naval Operations Instruction 5090.1E, and Executive Order 12114, Environmental Effects Abroad of Major Federal Actions.

    The Proposed Action entails up to six flight test launches at up to four different launch locations per year, over the next 10 years. Test objectives are expected to dictate range selection from Atlantic and Pacific test ranges. Due consideration will be given to existing launch ranges to avoid any unnecessary changes to the environment. The launch range for each test will be determined based on the test objectives, and the availability and technical suitability of the test range. Test scenarios are planned to include broad ocean area (BOA) impacts of the spent stages and the hypersonic payload, and do not include any land-based impacts. This PEA/OEA is being prepared as a Programmatic EA to provide an analysis of multiple launch locations that will be available to the test directorates over the next 10 years. The launch selection process will utilize this PEA/OEA and will include a check of the relevancy of this document to support specific launch scenarios. It is anticipated that this PEA/OEA will support most future decisions; however, tiered NEPA documents could occur if there are significant changes to the proposed missile or facilities at a proposed launch location.

    The U.S. Army RCCTO and U.S. Navy SSP determined that four launch locations meet the screening criteria/evaluation factors and the test requirements for vehicle performance and data collection. They also considered the No Action Alternative, as required by the CEQ regulations. There is one launch location on the west coast and one in Hawai`i, both with impact sites in the Pacific Ocean, and two launch locations on the east coast, with impact sites in the Atlantic Ocean. The Pacific locations analyzed are the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawai`i; Vandenberg Space Force Base, California; and BOA impact sites in the Pacific Ocean. The east coast locations include the NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia; Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida; and Atlantic BOA impact sites.

    The Draft JFC PEA/OEA and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) are available at http://jfceaoea.govsupport.usPublic comments on the Draft JFC PEA/OEA and Draft FONSI will be accepted from June 11, 2021 to July 10, 2021 and can be provided in either of the following ways: (1) E mail comments by July 10, 2021 to jfceaoea@govsupport.us; (2) Mail comments, postmarked no later than July 10, 2021, to: USASMDC, ATTN: SMDC-EN (D. Fuller), P.O. Box 1500, Huntsville, AL 35807.
    (TGI1329762 6/11/21)
    Please make a comment – you don’t have to be an expert.

    July 6, 2021 Posted by | weapons and war | 3 Comments

    Need for a USA”no first use” of nuclear weapons policy – the concern of regional U.S. allies

    In our lead article this week, Van Jackson makes a compelling case for the United States to establish a no-first use policy on nuclear weapons. This would entail a pledge from Washington that its nuclear arsenal would not be used as a means of warfare except in the event that it was first subject to a nuclear attack by an adversary. While there is already some momentum behind such a policy amongst Democrats, Biden has taken no concrete steps towards implementing it and it has yet to be legislated by Congress.

    No-first use nuclear policy. https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2021/07/05/no-first-use-nuclear-policy/ Author: Editorial Board, ANU, 5 July 21,

    Since the election of Joe Biden in 2020, much of the world has breathed a collective sigh of relief as we have witnessed what appears to be a return to ‘pre-Trump normalcy’ in the United States. One of the greatest foreign policy challenges that faces the Biden administration, however, is recovering US credibility in Asia, which was severely undermined by his predecessor Donald Trump.

    From the standpoint of US allies in the region, a concerning aspect of Trump’s rise to the presidency was his loose talk about nuclear weapons and apparent openness to utilising them against adversaries. While most allies have long emphasised the immense benefits of the US security guarantee and its attendant nuclear umbrella, Trump’s rise to power rendered alliance relationships potential liabilities.

    These concerns among allies in the region were significantly elevated in 2017, when Trump began to entertain the prospect of launching a pre-emptive — albeit non-nuclear — strike against North Korea. He supposedly even went so far as to order an evacuation of US servicemen and their families from Seoul — an injunction that was ultimately not carried out by US officials in South Korea. His apparent willingness to engage in conflict with a nuclear-armed North Korea was reinforced rhetorically as he threatened ‘fire and fury’ against Kim Jong-un’s regime.

    These developments had US allies (and non-allies alike) in the region beleaguered by the prospect of nuclear war in the region. Their concerns were reinforced by Trump’s predilection to appoint family members — with little to no foreign policy expertise — as official advisors. The notion that a US-initiated conflict with North Korea, entailing probable commitment by American allies, might be informed in part by the likes of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner was a severe indictment of alliance management.

    The election of Joe Biden allayed some of the concerns of US allies. But the fact that Trump received over 70 million votes in the election and may run again for president in 2024 means that his tenure cannot be easily viewed as an unfortunate aberration.

    What can Biden do during his presidency to restore confidence among American allies in the region, and restore US credibility in the aftermath of the Trump administration?

    In our lead article this week, Van Jackson makes a compelling case for the United States to establish a no-first use policy on nuclear weapons. This would entail a pledge from Washington that its nuclear arsenal would not be used as a means of warfare except in the event that it was first subject to a nuclear attack by an adversary. While there is already some momentum behind such a policy amongst Democrats, Biden has taken no concrete steps towards implementing it and it has yet to be legislated by Congress.

    Jackson outlines three common arguments that are cited against a non-first use nuclear policy: China, Russia and North Korea would never believe in the veracity of no-first use declarations; it would encourage uncertainty among adversaries as to whether the United States could use nuclear weapons against them; and there would also be concerns among American allies about the implications of a no-first use policy for US extended nuclear deterrence and Washington’s ability to deter threats on their behalf.

    Yet Jackson argues that, ‘ … the world is no longer unipolar. The old bargain — Washington does arms-racing so allies don’t — makes no sense in a world where US politics is depressingly awry. Allied nuclear proliferation poses its own risks, but it may be a better alternative to US nuclear preponderance and presidential first-use launch authority’.

    As the region becomes increasingly volatile, a policy of US restraint on the use of nuclear weapons has acquired new urgency. The advent of the Biden administration has done little to alleviate US–China tensions; Biden’s China policy so far appears to be a continuation of that of the Trump administration. Meanwhile, prospects of a cross-Strait crisis continue to rise and progress on the denuclearisation of North Korea remains elusive. These political tensions have been aggravated by economic destabilisation in the region that has been fuelled by the COVID-19 crisis.

    These developments have spawned new concerns about conflict and the role of US alliances in the region. Some analysts believe that such conflict would have potential to evolve into nuclear war. Given that the US-led alliance network is premised on the maintenance of regional peace and security, it behoves Washington to clarify that it will not employ first use of nuclear weapons.

    This is important for the Biden government. It is also important for the future US administrations that could see the likes of Trump with a finger back on the nuclear button.

    The EAF Editorial Board is located in the Crawford School of Public Policy, College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University.

    July 6, 2021 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

    Maralinga nuclear bomb tests – British and Australian governments’ callous cruelty to First Nations people.

    Australia’s Chernobyl: The British carried out nuclear tests on Indigenous land. It will never heal.   https://www.mamamia.com.au/maralinga-nuclear-testing/ CHELSEA MCLAUGHLIN, JULY 5, 2021  For tens of thousands of years, the Aṉangu people lived on the warm, red earth of their country.

    The land provided them with food, water and shelter as they travelled around an area we now know as outback Far North South Australia.

    But after colonisation, they were moved off their land: forcibly removed, sent into missions across the region and displaced by train lines linking Australia’s east and west that impacted their water supply. 

    Much of the information around the tests was highly classified, and some information remains so.

    For tens of thousands of years, the Aṉangu people lived on the warm, red earth of their country.

    The land provided them with food, water and shelter as they travelled around an area we now know as outback Far North South Australia.

    But after colonisation, they were moved off their land: forcibly removed, sent into missions across the region and displaced by train lines linking Australia’s east and west that impacted their water supply. 

    Much of the information around the tests was highly classified, and some information remains so.

    Thirty per cent of the British and Australian servicemen who were exposed during these tests died of cancer, though a Royal Commission in 1984 was not able to reach a conclusion linking their health issues directly to the blasts. 

    Similarly, many locals died prematurely, went blind and suffered from illness that may have been linked to radiation.

    British nuclear scientists, wanting to determine the long-term effects of the tests on Australia and its citizens, ordered the testing of dead Australian infants and children for radiation contamination.

    Between 1957 and 1978 in hospitals around Australia, bones were secretly removed from 21,830 bodies. They were reduced to ash and sent away to be analysed for the presence of Strontium 90, a radioactive isotope produced by nuclear fission.

    Unsurprisingly, none of the First Nations people of the region were told about the tests and many of the bones were taken without permission.

    Associate professor Liz Tynan, the author of Atomic Thunder: The Maralinga Story, told Mamamia‘s The Quicky First Nations people were still in the area during the periods of testing, and this led to disastrous consequences.

    Tynan said the Milpuddie family – Charlie, Edie, two kids and their dogs – were found by British service personnel in 1957, camped on the crater left by the bomb Marcoo soon after it had been detonated. 

    They were rounded up and most of the family, not Edie, but most of them, were given showers. Edie didn’t wish to have a shower,” Tynan explained.

    “They were tested for radioactivity and the geiger counters did detect radioactivity, particularly on the young boy Henry. Anyway, there were rather insensitively treated I suppose, given showers, had clothes put on them and then take off down south to a mission.”

    Their dogs were shot in front of them. Edie was pregnant at the time, and she later lost her child.

    “It was a tragic story and indicative of the callous approach to Indigenous people that was displayed by both the British government and their officials that were conducting the tests, and by the Australian government as well,” Tynan said.

    Following the testing, many Aṉangu people returned to the area, but the lands that had previously sustained and protected them were now poison.

    We still don’t know the truth impact of the bombs at Maralinga, as well as nearby Emu Fields and the Montebello Islands off the coast of Western Australia.

    “The South Australian Department of Health commissioned a fairly extensive study, [but] that study was hampered by the fact there was no base-line data from which to understand the general health of the population before the tests,” Tynan said.

    The study did show an increase in various cancers, but most of the findings were inconclusive due to a lack of information. Indigenous Australians were not counted in the census at the time and there was very little known about the health of the populations.

    In 1964, a limited cleanup of the Maralinga site, named ‘Operation Hercules’, took place. 

    A year after a 1966 survey into the level of contamination at the site, a second clean-up titled ‘Operation Brumby’ filled 21 pits with contaminated equipment and covered them with 650 tonnes of concrete.

    Tynan said it was later found the survey data was drastically wrong, and the contamination was 10 times worse than thought.

    It wasn’t until decades later, with the help whistleblowers and scientists, that the government began to realise the true, horrifying extent of the damage done to the land at Maralinga.

    Under an agreement between the governments of the United Kingdom and Australia in 1995, another clean-up took place. And while this was more thorough than the previous, it still came with issues.

    Whistleblower Alan Parkinson, who wrote the 2007 book Maralinga: Australia’s Nuclear Waste Cover-up, exposed the unsatisfactory methods.

    The plan had been to treat several thousand tonnes of debris contaminated with plutonium by a process called situ vitrification. Against the advice of Parkinson, the government extended the contract of the project manager, even though that company had no knowledge of the complex process of vitrification.

    Parkinson was let go from the project.

    The government and the project manager then embarked on a hybrid scheme in which some pits would be exhumed and others treated by vitrification. After successfully treating 12 pits, the 13th exploded and severely damaged the equipment. The government then cancelled the vitrification and simply exhumed the remaining pits, placed the debris in a shallow pit and covered it with clean soil.

    Parkinson told The Quicky another, complete clean-up of Maralinga could take place, but it was unlikely because of the cost and the courage it would take to admit the previous attempts were insufficient.

    Around the same time as the 90s clean up was the Australian government push for a nuclear waste dump to be located nearby. 

    Fearing even further poisoning of their country, First Nations woman Eileen Wani Wingfield co-founded the Coober Pedy Women’s Council to campaign against the proposal.

    The plan was eventually abandoned, but has popped up again in many forms over the decades. Currently, the Coalition is amending a bill that could see a site set up near Kimba.

    Glen Wingfield, Eileen’s son, has spent his life working and learning from his parents’ tireless campaign for protection of their country.

    The theme of NAIDOC Week 2021 is Heal Country! but as Wingfield told The Quicky, much of the Aṉangu lands in and around Maralinga are beyond healing.

    “A lot of the Aboriginal communities that live in and around that area, they just will not and do not go back near that country. I think that’s a word, healing, that we can’t use in the same sentence with that area.”

    Tynan agreed, saying there are parts of the area that will be uninhabitable for a quarter of a million years.

    “There are parts of the site that you can’t go to, that are still very dangerous,” she said.

    “The real problem at Maralinga was the plutonium which was detonated in a series of trials… The particular type of plutonium they used, plutonium 239, has a half-life of 21,400 years which takes hundreds of thousands of years for that radioactivity to diminish.”

    Wingfield said the broken connection between these people and their lands is “just downright disgraceful and horrible”.

    “No amount of conversation will ever cover what’s been done for people in and around. The lasting effects of health issues on people have been passed through people who were there to generational abnormalities… I think when you talk compensation and stuff, I don’t think we’ll ever get close.”

    July 6, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, indigenous issues | Leave a comment

    Germany joins 15 other nations to call for an end to nuclear testing ‘once and for all’

    Germany, Spain and Sweden: ‘End nuclear weapons testing’  https://www.dw.com/en/germany-spain-and-sweden-end-nuclear-weapons-testing/a-58158956

    Germany is joining 15 other countries for a nuclear disarmament conference aiming to build momentum after a US-Russia summit renewed hopes for more arms control between the two nuclear powers.

    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said ahead of a nuclear arms control conference on Monday that the threat of a nuclear arms race grows “where tension and mistrust predominate.”

    “More than ever, we need steps that encourage trust through verifiable agreements created between nuclear-weapons states,” Maas said before departing to Madrid for a meeting of the Stockholm Initiative, which brings together 16 countries advocating global nuclear arms reduction.

    The conference follows last month’s summit in Geneva between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged to start talks on arms control.

    A statement after the summit said the US and Russia “seek to lay the groundwork for future arms control and risk reduction measures.” 


    “We need to build on this with clear steps by nuclear weapons states to fulfill their responsibility and obligations on disarmament,” Maas said, adding that the Geneva summit shows how progress is possible.

    An end to nuclear testing ‘once and for all’

    A joint editorial written by Maas, Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya, and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde listed several steps nuclear-weapons countries could take toward disarmament.

    “This could include downgrading the role of nuclear weapons in strategies and doctrines, reducing the risk of conflict and an accidental nuclear weapon deployment, further reducing nuclear stockpiles and laying the foundations for a new generation of arms control agreements,” the foreign ministers wrote Monday in the Rheinische Post newspaper.

    “We must end nuclear weapons testing once and for all by finally bringing the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty into force, restarting negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for military use, and building robust and credible capabilities to verify nuclear disarmament steps,” the editorial added.

    What is the status of global nuclear arms control?

    In February, the US and Russia agreed to extend the New START disarmament treaty. It limits the nuclear arsenals of both countries to 800 launchers and 1,550 ready-to-use nuclear warheads each.

    The New START treaty is the only major arms control treaty in place between the US and Russia after the US withdrew from the Open Skies Treaty in May citing Russian non-compliance.

    At the beginning of 2021, the US, Russia, the UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea possessed a total of 13,080 nuclear warheads, a decrease of 320 from the previous year, according to the Stockholm Peace Research Institute SIPRI annual report published in June.

    July 6, 2021 Posted by | Germany, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

    Seychelles Votes to Ratify the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons,

    Seychelles Votes to Ratify a Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, allAfrica, 5 July 21,

    Seychelles is set to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons after the National Assembly overwhelmingly approved a motion in support of the treaty, which has gained significant support among non-nuclear nations.

    The Leader of Government Business, Bernard Georges, presented the motion last Wednesday and said the aim is to see nuclear weapons completely eliminated in the near future.

    Seychelles has always been vulnerable to nuclear weapons,” Georges said. “Ever since the island of Diego Garcia became a military base, Seychelles has been at the centre of nuclear weapons and with numerous other military bases being set up in the region, we are surrounded by a nuclear presence.”…………………..

    The treaty entered into force on January 22, 2021, after Honduras became the 50th country to ratify it.

    Signatories to the treaty are barred from transferring or receiving nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices, control over such weapons, or any assistance with activities prohibited under the Treaty.

    Member states are also prohibited from using or threatening to use nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices. They also cannot allow the stationing, installation, or deployment of nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices in their territory.

    In addition to the Treaty’s prohibitions, States Parties are obligated to provide victim aid and help with environmental remediation efforts.

    Read the original article on Seychelles News Agencyhttps://allafrica.com/stories/202107050623.html

    July 6, 2021 Posted by | OCEANIA, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

    Taiwan on its path toward denuclearization

    Taiwan on its path toward denuclearization. The Taiwanese government shut
    down the No. 1 generator at its Kuosheng Nuclear Power Plant in Wanli
    District, New Taipei City, on Thursday (July 1) to prepare for the unit’s
    full closure.

    The nuclear generator went online on Dec. 28, 1981. A General
    Electric Boiling Water Reactors Type-6 model, the unit was licensed to run
    for 40 years, which will expire on Dec. 27, 2021. It has produced more than
    270 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity for the past 40 years as
    well as 800 tons of radioactive waste, according to the Environment
    Information Center.

    The generator is being decommissioned early because the
    spent fuel pool is nearly at capacity. If the generator keeps operating,
    there will be not be enough space to store nuclear waste, the Taiwan Power
    Company (TPC) explained.

     Taiwan News 4th July 2021

    https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4239735

    July 6, 2021 Posted by | decommission reactor, Taiwan | Leave a comment

    UK’s Ministry of Defence kept ‘devastating’ nuclear accident risks under wraps


    ‘Devastating’ nuclear accident risks kept under wraps, The Ferret, Rob Edwards, July 4, 2021,

     A ruling allowing the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to keep nuclear safety problems secret has been condemned as a threat to democracy, with “devastating” accident risks.

    An information tribunal in London has rejected a bid to release reports about Trident nuclear bomb and submarine hazards on the Clyde because of fears about leaks to an increasingly “aggressive” Russia.

    But the secrecy has come under fierce fire from a former nuclear submarine commander and campaigners. They criticised the MoD for hiding its nuclear blunders, putting people in danger, and edging the UK towards a “closed and dictatorial state”.

    The Scottish National Party attacked the MoD’s secrecy as “absolutely untenable”. The idea that withholding information would keep the UK safe was “a very dangerous delusion”, the party argued.

    The MoD, however, insisted that nuclear information had to be protected “for reasons of national security”. The defence nuclear programme was “fully accountable” to ministers, it said.

    Annual reports by the MoD’s internal watchdog, the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR), were published for ten years under freedom of information law. But this ceased in 2017.

    The Ferret revealed that the reports for 2005 to 2015 highlighted “regulatory risks” 86 times, including 13 rated as high priority. One issue repeatedly seen as a high risk was a growing shortage of suitably qualified and experienced nuclear engineers. 

    The DNSR report for 2014-15 warned that the lack of skilled staff was “the principal threat to the delivery of nuclear safety”. It also cautioned that “attention is required to ensure maintenance of adequate safety performance” for ageing nuclear submarines at the Faslane naval dockyard near Helensburgh.

    The Ferret reported in 2019 that a belatedly released extract from the 2015-16 report showed that the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator was itself struggling with staff shortages. It could not complete all the “essential tasks” to ensure nuclear safety.

    The MoD’s decision to stop publishing DNSR reports was appealed to the First Tier Tribunal on information rights by researcher and campaigner, Peter Burt. Hearings were held in London in December 2019, but the verdict was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

    The ruling, which has now been made available, dismissed his appeal and endorsed the MoD arguments for secrecy. Key parts of the tribunal proceedings were conducted in private, with Burt banned from taking part……………….. https://theferret.scot/nuclear-accident-risks-under-wraps/

    July 6, 2021 Posted by | safety, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

    Time for US nuclear strategy to embrace no first use

    Time for US nuclear strategy to embrace no first use

    https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2021/07/04/time-for-us-nuclear-strategy-to-embrace-no-first-use/   4 July 2021Author: Van Jackson, Victoria University of Wellington

    It was one of the most potent lessons of the Cold War — nukes are good for deterring others from using nukes, but not much else. Weapons capable only of spasmodic mass violence are too crude as a credible tool of coercion in most circumstances.

    If the United States seeks only deterrence, but not political advantage from nuclear weapons, then adopting a no-first use nuclear policy is not just low-risk — it’s necessary.

    Most of the leading candidates campaigning for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination publicly endorsed a no-first use policy. Legislation requiring it has growing support in the US Congress. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine any scenario where the United States gains from using nuclear weapons before an adversary, especially when Washington’s conventional arsenal has global reach.

    A no-first use nuclear policy would therefore be honest nuclear policy. No sane president would use nuclear weapons before an adversary did, except perhaps out of tragic misperception. But since the Trump presidency, the imperative of a no-first use policy has grown more urgent.

    Only a fool would trust in US strategic competence after the decision-making of the Trump era. Trump was a symptom not an anomaly of US politics today. He has spawned many imitators in the Republican Party, who traffic in conspiracy theories and promote antagonistic, militaristic and racialised foreign policies to score domestic political points.

    Who wants to entrust a candidate of the far right with the authority to launch nuclear weapons? No first use is the most meagre of many measures needed to restrain US presidential authority in the nuclear realm.


    While US President Joe Biden has spoken favourably about a no-first use policy in the past, his administration’s nuclear thinking is so far mostly indistinguishable from that of the Trump era. In the past four years, the United States has withdrawn from most arms control agreements, expanded investments in hypersonic glide vehicles, advanced development of low-yield ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons, threatened nuclear use in the most gratuitous ways, and committed to a US$1.5 trillion nuclear modernisation plan.

    Why, then, would preserving a first-use nuclear option be a good idea, especially when the context is not one of US restraint but rather an uninhibited US arms build-up? Opponents of no first use offer three justifications.

    First, nuclear advocates claim that China, Russia and North Korea won’t believe no-first use declarations. Yet the fact that it sometimes pays to deceive in statecraft does not repudiate a no-first use policy. If adversaries assume the worst about US nuclear planning, what’s the harm in claiming they need not worry about US nukes unless they use theirs?

    If the credibility of a pledge is a priority, Washington can strengthen it through additional changes. Legislation constraining presidential authority is one mechanism, so is eliminating the ICBM component of the nuclear triad, re-entering arms control agreements abandoned during the Trump years, and curbing investments in intermediate-range ground-launched missiles and ‘tactical’ nuclear warheads. When multiple signals are combined with a common message — especially costly and hand-tying signals — the context in which judgments are made changes and declarations become credible.

    Second, an ambiguous policy encourages enemy uncertainty about whether the United States could use nuclear weapons against them. This is supposed to keep adversaries from using nuclear weapons against the United States or its allies. But in what scenarios do Washington’s enemies think it will use nuclear weapons first when the United States has conventional munitions with global reach?


    If a credible threat of nuclear retaliation cannot deter China, Russia or North Korea, why would an ambiguous US nuclear policy? US nuclear threats will not keep aggressors from making land grabs, threat-making or invading neighbouring territory. The notion that the United States should keep enemies guessing about its intentions on nuclear strategy imports battlefield logic into peacetime circumstances.

    If the United States really saw fit to make nuclear first-use threats in conflict, shifting from no-first use to a declaratory policy of ambiguity would be better for ‘keeping the enemy guessing’. There is no peacetime deterrence gained from allowing the fog of war to shroud geopolitics at all times.

    The third argument is that allies reliant on US extended nuclear deterrence would worry about Washington’s ability or willingness to deter threats on their behalf. So, what? No ally is in it just for the nukes. Because allies’ fears of abandonment or entrapment can never be fully mollified, the United States must be cautious about being held hostage to them.

    In extremis, the absence of US extended deterrence for Japan, South Korea or Australia could mean them going nuclear. But the old bargain — Washington does arms-racing so allies don’t — makes no sense in a world where US politics is depressingly awry. Allied nuclear proliferation poses its own risks, but it may be a better alternative to US nuclear preponderance and presidential first-use launch authority.

    While the arguments against a no-first use policy don’t add up on their merits, reasonable people have long debated these points. But circumstances have changed dramatically. Nuclear policy must reconsider giving a potentially unhinged or fascistic president the discretion to launch nuclear weapons before America’s enemies do.

    If the aim is to make US foreign policy less reliant on nuclear weapons over time while minimising risks of nuclear war, adopting no first use is the least the United States can do to make a down payment on a saner world.

    Van Jackson is Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Defence & Strategy Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Studies, Victoria University of Wellington. He is also a Senior Associate Fellow at the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. He was previously a strategist and policy adviser in the Office of the US Secretary of Defense.

    July 6, 2021 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

    Letter from Lakes Against Nuclear Dump Published in Local Press — RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

    From the Westmorland Gazette 1st July 2021 Dear Editor, Under the new and unjust rules of the ongoing nuclear dump game, anyone anywhere can volunteer a place for an above and below ground Geological Disposal Facility for heat generating nuclear wastes. The area of Ghyll Scaur quarry was put forward by Parish Councillor of Bootle, […]

    Letter from Lakes Against Nuclear Dump Published in Local Press — RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

    July 6, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    July 5 Energy News — geoharvey

    Opinion: ¶ “Green Dreams: Managing The Transition From Rust To Renewables” • Five years after the closure of South Australia’s last coal-fired generators, the Port Augusta region finds itself in the middle of a renewable energy boom. South Australia has a world-leading share of wind and solar, and that share is to jump even higher, […]

    July 5 Energy News — geoharvey

    July 6, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment