It is extraordinary that some French wine producers are accompanying the Australian and French nuclear promoters spruiking the benefits of nuclear waste dumping to the community in the Barndioota region of South Australia. Not only are many vital questions unanswered as ENuFF SA (Everyone for a Nuclear Free Future SA) has shown, but this propaganda campaign completely ignores both the opposition to nuclear waste dumping, in France and the radioactive danger to France’s Champagne vineyards
“The Champagne producers are facing two nuclear timebombs – one already leaking at Soulaine, and one planned at Bure. The wine producers in the Rhone region stood up to the nuclear state in France and won. The Champagne region needs to act fast before it’s too late,” said Fred Marillier of Greenpeace France. “The French Government must stop this madness. The new facility must not accept any more waste, and an immediate investigation launched into how to stop further contamination of ground water.”
Radioactive waste leaking into Champagne Water Supply, Levels set to rise warns Greenpeace, Greenpeace 30 May, 2006 Greenpeace today revealed that France’s iconic sparkling wine, Champagne, is threatened by radioactive contamination leaking from a nuclear waste dumpsite in the region. Low levels of radioactivity have already been found in underground water less than 10 km from the famous Champagne vineyards.
Problems at the dumpsite, including water migration leading to fissures in the storage cells have been reported to French nuclear safety agency in recent weeks (1). Greenpeace has written to the Comita des Producteur de Champagne to warn them that their production risks contamination, as experienced by dairy farmers in la Hague, Normandy.
The waste dump, Centre Stockage l’Aube (CSA) in Soulaine eastern France, contains mostly waste from Electricite de France (EdF) and AREVA, but also includes foreign nuclear waste disposed of illegally under French law (2). Every week nuclear waste is trucked across France to the Champagne site. Once full, the dumpsite will be one of the world’s largest with over 1 million cubic meters of waste, including plutonium and other radionuclides.
ANDRA, the national nuclear waste agency operating the site, stated that it would not release any radioactivity into the environment when given permission for the dumpsite in the late 1980’s. Greenpeace research released last week showed levels of radioactivity leaking from another dumpsite run by ANDRA in Normandy were up to 90 times above European safety limits in underground water used by farmers, and that the contamination was spreading into the countryside (3). The Champagne site will receive a total of 4 thousand terabequerels of tritium; more than three times the amount of tritium waste as the dumpsite in Normandy.
“We have been told for decades that nuclear dumpsites will not leak and that the best standards are being applied. In reality the dumpsite in Normandy is a disaster, and radioactivity is already leaking from the dumpsite in Champagne,” said Shaun Burnie nuclear campaigner at Greenpeace International. “The authorities know they have a problem in Champagne already, with mistakes in the design. This is only the beginning of the problem, the bigger picture is that France has a nuclear waste crisis out of control that is threatening not only the environment and public health but also the economy of the Champagne region.”
In addition to the problems with the waste stores at the site, Greenpeace has learnt recently that French nuclear safety agency DGSNR has written to AREVA seeking clarification of the type of waste being disposed of at the Champagne site (4).
In addition to the low and intermediate waste site, a new high-level waste dumpsite is being planned in Bure also in the Champagne region, in which the most radioactive material in France would be deposited. Plans to build a high level waste facility in the Rhone Valley were scrapped a few years ago after strong opposition by the wine producers due to the threat to their vines and wine production.
“The Champagne producers are facing two nuclear timebombs – one already leaking at Soulaine, and one planned at Bure. The wine producers in the Rhone region stood up to the nuclear state in France and won. The Champagne region needs to act fast before it’s too late,” said Fred Marillier of Greenpeace France. “The French Government must stop this madness. The new facility must not accept any more waste, and an immediate investigation launched into how to stop further contamination of ground water.”……http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/press/releases/radioactive-waste-leaking-into/
VICTORIA ENGAGING WITH SMES ON RESOURCE EFFICIENCYhttps://www.theclimategroup.org/news/victoria-engaging-smes-resource-efficiency
New case study shows how the Australian state is supporting businesses on energy and materials efficiency by Virginia Bagnoli24 January 2017 LONDON: The Climate Group has published a new case study, showing how the Australian state of Victoria is engaging small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to support them in improving energy and materials efficiency.
The new study demonstrates how SMEs can significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while substantially improving energy efficiency by applying sustainable resource management and energy efficient production processes.
The state of Victoria identified these gaps and designed a new program tailored to SMEs to help them change inefficient practices, save money and increase productivity through energy and materials efficiency measures.
SMEs have historically been difficult to reach and engage with on environmental programs due to company priorities and a traditional focus on shorter-term business requirements. Victoria understood that the program needed to align with fundamental business needs and provide multiple points of entry to make participation accessible.
Victoria’s program is also being viewed as particularly innovative due to its multi-faceted approach to addressing the challenges of information, understanding the business case and accessing capital. This approach was delivered by assessing and understanding the barriers for SMEs, communicating effectively to channel the multiple benefits associated with energy and materials savings, and leveraging existing policies and programs.
The program components targeted businesses at different stages of ‘readiness’ – ranging from businesses at an exploratory stage wanting to determine how they could benefit from energy and/or materials efficiency, through to businesses ready to implement specific projects.
Eligible businesses could apply for a grant to partly cover the cost of a materials efficiency or energy efficiency assessment. A competitive, merit‑based application process provided three rounds of grants of up to A$50,000 to support businesses in managing the costs of implementing materials efficiency projects. Grants of up to A$25,000 were available for energy efficiency projects (with businesses contributing at least half the cost of the project).
MAKING THE BUSINESS CASE FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY
The program ran from 2012 to 2016 and since its launch it has achieved tangible results: three rounds of grants over the past two years have provided A$3.8 million in funding to over 140 projects and these businesses are expected to save a combined A$4.74 million a year.
Recruiting businesses to the program was the greatest challenge encountered. According to the Victorian government, SMEs typically have little time to devote to what is not seen as a strategic priority for them. The key solution to this has been to convince businesses that energy and materials efficiency will help with business-critical issues and to provide financial support in order to create efficiency change and transform business performance.
Through the program, Victoria has implemented an effective method of approaching businesses and making the program attractive to them; a considerable challenge giving that materials efficiency in particular is a new concept to most businesses and service providers.
Using what was learned from the program, Victoria also recently embarked on a new initiative for SMEs, SV Business – Boosting Productivity, which will work with an additional 1,000 SMEs.
Download the Victoria case study here and find all the Policy Innovation program case studies here.
The Climate Group supports state and regional governments in developing effective climate change and clean energy policies through its Policy Innovation program. State and regional governments around the world are developing a new generation of innovative climate and energy policies and our Policy Innovation program showcases and explores these emerging models, working closely with governments for them to scale globally.
US ‘threatens to involve Australia in war with China’: Paul Keating condemns US secretary of state nominee’s comments, The Age, Fergus Hunter, 14 Jan 17
Former prime minister Paul Keating has rounded on President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of state nominee, accusing him of threatening to bring on war with China and making “ludicrous” comments on the tense South China Sea dispute.
In a statement released on Friday, Mr Keating warned the Australian government to reject Rex Tillerson’s declaration this week that a “signal” needed to be sent to Beijing that the construction of artificial islands in the contested region must stop and “access to those islands also is not going to be allowed”. The remarks from the former chief of Exxon Mobil, in which he also called for regional allies “to show backup”, have set the stage for sharply increased tensions between the US and China as the Asian superpower builds up its military presence on the islands to defend against competing territorial claims from neighbouring countries.
According to Mr Keating, Mr Tillerson’s testimony to his US Senate confirmation hearing “threatens to involve Australia in war with China”. And he has urged the Australian people to “take note” and recommended the government tell the Trump administration, which will take over on January 20, “that Australia will not be part of such adventurism, just as we should have done in Iraq 15 years ago”. “That means no naval commitment to joint operations in the South China Sea and no enhanced US military facilitation of such operations,” the former Labor prime minister said.
SMH, 24 Dec 16, Eamon Duff. A security consultant who held a “top secret” government clearance inside Australia’s only nuclear facility has been arrested and charged with the
illegal possession of “official secrets” and an unauthorised weapon.
Until February last year, Anthony Rami Haddad was manager of security and operations at the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, safeguarding the site against theft, diversion and sabotage.
However, following a stint in the Middle easrt where he worked on another nuclear security project, he returned hom eto Sydney, and last month became entangled in an unrelated investigation being run by the Australian Federal Police’s fraud and anti-corruption team.
A fortnight ago, Haddad appeared before Sydney’s Downi8ng Centre Local court, where he pleaded guilty to unauthorised receipt of official secrets under the Commonwealth crimes Act.
He has yet to enter a plea for a second charge, ppossessing an unauthorised prohibited firearm. His barrister, Nikolaos Siafakas, will apply to have the outstanding matter dealt with under section 32 of teh Mental Health Act……..
According to ANSTO documents, Haddad’s many responsibilities at Lucas Heights included the “mamagement of security operations” at the onsite Little Forest radioactive waste dump and its “seamless integration” into the facility’s “wider” protective security systems.
Adani’s Galilee Basin complex corporate web spreads to tax havens, ABC News 21 Dec 16 Stephen Long It is an intriguing corporate web that spreads from North Queensland, across Asia to the Caribbean.
Giant Indian conglomerate Adani, which plans to build one of the world’s largest coal mines in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, has set up a complex network of companies and trusts in Australia which are owned in one of the world’s major tax havens, the Cayman Islands.
The Adani Group is also attempting to shift ownership of the existing Abbot Point coal port — which it bought for $1.8 billion — to a Singaporean company ultimately owned in the Cayman Islands.
An exhaustive search of company filings and documents across the globe has cast light on this opaque structure of ownership and control.
It has alarmed environmental activists and legal experts, who fear it could make it harder to gain compensation from Adani in the event of an environmental disaster from Adani’s planned mine and port expansion on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef.
“I’ve been a businessman for most of my life, as well as an environmental activist, and the risks are great,” said Geoff Cousins, former Optus CEO and chairman of the George Paterson advertising agency, now a board member of the Australian Conservation Foundation.
“With these kinds of approvals of big mining operations or port operations, you always get a set of conditions that the Government puts on.
“But those conditions aren’t worth anything if, when something goes wrong, you try to find the company responsible and either it has no money or if it has money it’s in a tax haven and you can’t reach it.”
It is a view echoed by David Chaikin, a professor of business law at the University of Sydney.
“The advantage of having the money in tax havens is that you are able to conceal the source of money, the use of money, and also to minimise tax,” he said.
Coal infrastructure owned through opaque structures
As well as building Australia’s biggest coal mine in north Queensland, Adani is planning a huge expansion of the existing coal terminal at Abbot Point, near Bowen, to ship coal across the Great Barrier Reef to India — turning it into one of the world’s biggest coal ports.
It also wants to build a new railway linking the mine, about 400 kilometres inland, to the port.
All the planned developments are based on corporate structures involving tax havens.
Control of the railway — which the Federal Government is preparing to support with a $1 billion publicly subsidised loan — ultimately resides in the Cayman Islands, one of the world’s most notorious and secretive tax havens………
Transferring ownership of the critical port infrastructure to a Caymans Islands’ company “means it will be unregulated, unaccountable,” Tim Buckley, director of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analytics told the ABC.
“It will be non-transparent to the Australian Government as to what is going on, who owns it, who are the directors. To me it is a matter of national security.”
Companies and trusts created by Adani for the proposed Carmichael mine are ultimately owned by Adani Enterprises, a publicly-listed company in India, but the control flows via a company registered in the tax haven of Mauritius, Adani Global Ltd.
A $5 billion fund the Federal Government set up for the development of northern Australia, the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility or NAIF, is considering a request from Adani for a $1 billion subsidised loan for its rail development.
Writing on the wall for Paladin Energy Ltd, y Mike King – December 1, 2016 Uranium miner Paladin Energy Ltd(ASX: PDN) faces the prospect of being unable to repay US$212 million due in April 2017 and being forced into liquidation.
The troubled company has seen its share price slump more than 65% this year alone. The planned sale of 24% of its Langer Heinrich Mine (LHM) to CNNC Overseas Uranium Holdings (COUH) for US$175 million appears unlikely to complete before the end of 2016. Now Paladin has been forced to consider other ‘contingencies’ to repay the 2017 convertible bonds.
Not only that but Paladin also needs to raise working capital as it struggles to generate positive cash flow with uranium prices trading under US$20 per pound – the lowest prices in more than 12 years. As Paladin admits, that’s a level that no producer in the world can sustainably break even, and most producers are experiencing negative cash flows.
That’s a long way away from Paladin’s all-in cash expenditure of extracting uranium of US$38.75 per pound (lb). Even the company’s C1 cash costs of US$25.88/lb are well above the spot price of uranium. Paladin is forecasting all-in costs of around US$30/lb for the 2017 financial year, but it’s clear that even at that level, the company is going backwards.
Energy Resources of Australia Limited(ASX: ERA), majority owned by Rio Tinto Limited(ASX: RIO) faces a similar prospect to Paladin and is likely to shut up shop in 2021, once it has finished processing stockpiles at its Ranger uranium mine.
The problem for uranium miners around the world is that since the Fukushima nuclear incident in 2011, uranium prices have steadily fallen from above US$60/lb to its current price under US$20/lb……
Paladin faces the prospect of sinking into administration unless it can find a white knight willing to take a minority stake in its mine – or make an outright bid for the whole company.
So – the Australian public dreams on – preoccupied with the Melbourne Cup and other sporting events. And the global nuclear lobby continues its machinations. It would be such a strong selling point, to be able to tell South Asian countries that they can go ahead with nuclear power, as Australia will take out the radioactive trash.
Australia has been pretty much of a forgotten player in the global nuclear “renaissance”. Not any more. The big nuclear players – USA, Russia, Canada, France, China , Japan South Korea are busily marketing nuclear technology to every other country that they can. Strangely enough little ole non-nuclear Australia, (population 23 million) has a starring role to play in all this.
You see, the global nuclear lobby’s problem is – what to do with the radioactive wastes? I know that the new geewhiz guys and gals are pushing hard for Generation IV reactors that will “eat the wastes”. The trouble is – there is an awful lot of the stuff. World total of high level radioactive wastes was estimated at 250,000 tonnes in 2010 . There must be quite a bit more by now. The other trouble is that even the most geewhiz of the as yet non- existent Gen IV nuclear reactors still would leave a smaller but highly toxic volume of radioactive trash, which would still require disposal.
This leads to a serious marketing issue. If countries such as USA, Japan, Canada, South Korea, are still having trouble dealing with their own domestic accumulation of nuclear waste, how can they persuasively sell nuclear reactors to Asian, Middle Eastern and African countries? The waste problem must be solved!
The wizards of the global nuclear lobby have come up with what they see as the perfect answer. A far away land, with lots of space that’s owned by “unimportant” indigenous people, could import the wastes, and thus remove the problem. It’s a sort of variant on the old “toilet way down the back”. Continue reading →
Ultimately, this dump is about helping the global nuclear industry. The current build-up of site-by-site waste acts as a brake on investment. They want somewhere to dump it forever so they can go on producing more of it.
South Australia to become global nuclear waste capital https://redflag.org.au/node/5521Sixty years ago, Maralinga went up in a mushroom cloud. The British government had been given permission to test atomic weaponry in South Australia.
That is to say, they had been given permission by the right wing Menzies government. The local Maralinga Tjarutja people had no say in it at all. Many of them were not even forewarned of the first blast. Thunderous black clouds condemned them to radiation exposure, illness and death, the survivors being driven from their homeland during the long years of British testing and fallout.
South Australia has a dark history with the nuclear industry. Maralinga remains contaminated, despite cheap clean-up efforts. Uranium tailings have leaked from BHP’s Olympic Dam mine at Roxby Downs. Fukushima’s reactors held South Australian uranium when catastrophe struck in 2011.
Today, Jay Weatherill’s state Labor government is trying to open a new radioactive chapter. He wants South Australia to construct the world’s first international high-level nuclear waste dump. This would mean no fewer than 138,000 tonnes of waste (one-third of the world’s total) being shipped from the world’s reactors into South Australian ports, to be permanently buried in Aboriginal land.
This would be history’s largest nuclear dumping operation, and make South Australia the hazardous waste capital of the world.
Weatherill, aware of most people’s instinctive and rightful mistrust of anything nuclear, has launched a meticulous, expensive PR campaign. He is trying to fit a Hello Kitty mask onto Mr Burns.
The propaganda machine was put into motion by the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, at a cost of $7.2 million. Headed by Kevin Scarce, a former naval officer and South Australian governor, the commission imagines a lip-licking profit to be made by importing and burying the waste. It also recommends expanding uranium mining and laying the groundwork for nuclear power generation.
To soothe concerns, the government is periodically erecting “Know Nuclear” stalls across the state. These stalls spread misinformation. For instance, the government pamphlet “What is Radiation?” boasts that bananas contain potassium-40, a low-level radionuclide found in nature. But they make no comparison to human-made fission products such as strontium-90, which releases almost 20 million times more radiation than your friendly fruity isotope.
In August, more than 150 high school students were whisked to a secretly organised forum about the future of nuclear industry in the state. Secrecy was justified by the suggestion that violent anti-nuclear protesters might endanger the pupils.
Why does the state need to pour such big bucks into this festival of confusing roadshows, misleading science, TV ads and youth re-education sessions? Because most people who know anything about nuclear waste will recognise the danger posed by the proposed dump.
We live in a country in which black lung disease has re-emerged. Mining companies, in a world of competition, refuse to pay for basic safety measures to prevent excessive coal dust inhalation. This logic of cutting costs infuses all business under capitalism; nuclear waste dumps are no exception. As the MUA correctly stated: “Maritime workers – seafarers and wharfies – will be the first exposed to this toxic waste … Nowhere on this planet has a country designed a safe repository for nuclear waste”.
Indeed, the most technologically advanced repositories in the world, no matter how deep underground, have failed. Over many years, German radioactive waste had been disposed of in a deep facility in Lower Saxony. In 2008, it was discovered that some of the 126,000 barrels of waste had been leaking into ground water for decades. In 2014, New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant suffered a burst drum, contaminating the whole facility, including ventilation and surrounding air. Soon after, workers at the plant tested positive for radiation exposure.
This is the most hazardous waste ever produced by industry or the military. The royal commission explains that this stuff “requires isolation from the environment for many hundreds of thousands of years”. That makes the Roman Empire seem like yesterday; it is longer than the human race has existed.
Moreover, previous projects have involved only national waste storage; to transport waste by sea to an international dump has never been attempted and involves multiple dangers of accidental spillage.
Ultimately, this dump is about helping the global nuclear industry. The current build-up of site-by-site waste acts as a brake on investment. They want somewhere to dump it forever so they can go on producing more of it.
Farms that grow food in arid deserts, without groundwater or fossil fuels, could be the future of agriculture. BRYAN NELSON October 10, 2016, No soil, no pesticides, no fossil fuels, and no groundwater. And yet, a thriving farm in the heart of the arid Australian desert. How is this possible?
An international team of scientists has spent the last six years fine-tuning a system that pipes seawater in from the ocean and desalinates it using a state-of-the-art concentrated solar energy plant. The water is then used to irrigate 180,000 tomato plants grown in coconut husks instead of soil, kept in a network of greenhouses.
The result is Sundrop Farms, a commercial-scale facility located just off the Spencer Gulf in South Australia that began construction in 2014. Today it’s producing an estimated 17,000 tons of tomatoes per year to be sold in Australian supermarkets.
Given the increasing demand for fresh water around the world — a problem that’s particularly apparent in the sunburned landscape of South Australia — this might just represent future of large-scale farming, especially in coastal desert regions that have previously been non-arable.
The heart of the farm is the 23,000 mirrors that reflect sunlight towards a 115-meter high receiver tower. All of that concentrated sunlight produces an immense amount of power, up to 39 megawatts. That’s more than enough to cover the desalination needs of the farm and supply all the electricity needs of the greenhouses.
The seawater, too, has other purposes besides just irrigation. During scorching hot summers, seawater-soaked cardboard lines the greenhouses to help keep the plants at optimal temperature. Seawater also has the remarkable effect of sterilizing the air, meaning that chemical pesticides are unnecessary.
All in all, the facility cost around 200 million dollars to get up and running. That might sound excessive, but in the long run the facility should save money compared to the costs of conventional greenhouses that require fossil fuels for power. It’s a self-sustaining, cost-efficient design so long as the initial investment can be provided. Facilities similar to the Australian one are already being planned for Portugal and the U.S., as well as another in Australia. Desert areas like those seen in Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates could be next in line.
“These closed production systems are very clever,” said Robert Park of the University of Sydney, Australia, to New Scientist. “I believe that systems using renewable energy sources will become better and better and increase in the future, contributing even more of some of our foods.”
Stranded nuclear wastes. At the beginning of the nuclear industry’s career, it seems that they never thought about this. For decades the nuclear industry, governments, media were apparently oblivious of the the fact that these wonderful new “peaceful” nuclear reactors excreted toxic and very long lasting droppings.
Now, especially in America, the truth is becoming apparent. In Russia, the government owned industry claims that it has the problem solved, and touts its nuclear technology for sale, with a promise to “look after” the droppings. In China, with its appalling reputation for mismanagement of industrial excreta, the problem is barely, or never mentioned. Japan is in turmoil about it. They’re busy getting ready for the “clean” 2020 Olympic Games, and busy pretending that Fukushima is fine.
How can the Americans compete in marketing nukes to the “developing world” – Asia, Africa and the Middle East?
Well, there’s the distraction of the new young geewhiz guys and gals promoting the as yet non existent LEGO toy nukes, with the deception that these will the wastes problem.
But, the well subsidised and well connected American nuclear lobby has come up with a new idea – send the toxic poo to Australia. It was always a colony anyway. Now Australia can become a Nuclear Colony – radioactive trash toilet to the world. This is being kept pretty much a secret from the Australians – comfortable in their laid-back, beer swilling, footy loving culture. Except in one economically disadvantaged State – South Australia. Here, they are being promised a bonanza, streets paved with gold. (Except of course, for the indigenous people, on whose land the poo will surely be dumped)
Steve Dale Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia, 1 Oct 16In Geraldine Thomas’s recent talk she showed dosimeter data from students in Japan, but she didn’t make it clear that the students were kept out of the “Restricted zone” (funny about that). But if you read the paper, it mentions that a teacher went into the zone for 2 hours (to Okuma) and had readings of 5 microSieverts per hour. Thought I would show how the graph would look with this data included. (Note: Okuma is not the “hottest” area, some areas in the restricted zone are over 20 microSieverts per hour) [relevant graph can be seen on original on Facebook] Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021186047913052/
Twelve high schools in Japan (of which six are in Fukushima Prefecture), four in France, eight in Poland and two in Belarus cooperated in the measurement and comparison of individual external doses in 2014. In total 216 high-school students and teachers participated in the study. Each participant wore an electronic personal dosimeter ‘D-shuttle’ for two weeks, and kept a journal of his/her whereabouts and activities. The distributions of annual external doses estimated for each region overlap with each other, demonstrating that the personal external individual doses in locations where residence is currently allowed in Fukushima Prefecture and in Belarus are well within the range of estimated annual doses due to the terrestrial background radiation level of other regions/countries………..
A large value of 5 μSv h−1 was recorded for one participant from Fukushima high school (figure10 top) [on orioginal]. This was when this person (teacher) visited Okuma town in the restricted zone, close to the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (figure 1) for research purposes. For two hours, 15:00 and 16:00, high hourly doses were recorded, and this coincided with the activity journal entry of this person……..http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0952-4746/36/1/49
This is part of a very important article, in which Dr Baverstock thoroughly refutes the claims that Professor Geraldine Thomas’ made in a BBC interview, about Fukushima ionising radiation not being much to worry about. The BBC has since withdrawn her statements.
But that hasn’t stopped the South Australian government bringing Thomas out here to spin her stuff, in support of Weatherill’s push for SA as the global nuclear waste dump.
Thomas’ comments in the video were insulting to the intelligence of the Japanese authorities and their advisors, and extremely ill-judged from a professional radiological point of view. The BBC was right to withdraw her comments as incorrect
‘This was quite clearly scientific misconduct’by Dr Keith Baverstock, Fissiononline 23 Sept 16 . I will take the BBC interview first. In this interview Thomas questions the whole basis of the Japanese response to the Fukushima accident in terms of its evacuation policy. Is one to imagine that those authorities and the Japanese scientific establishment are so stupid as not to recognise that there is no risk entailing living in those areas?
The internationally agreed public dose limit is 1 mSv per year in addition to approximately 2 mSv per year from natural background radiation. The single measurement made in that television interview indicate 2.8 microsieverts per hour, which is close to 25 mSv per year. That includes the natural background doses o at that point the dose rate is at least 20 times the public dose limit.
Surely Thomas can recognise that this must demand serious consideration by the appropriate authorities as to the safety of those who would live there? However, to determine the safety or otherwise of living there it would be necessary to do a comprehensive survey of the area. My guess is that five years after the deposition of the radioactivity there will be a high degree of variability in measurements: some may be less in the measurement made on the programme, but others more and perhaps considerably more. Furthermore, if one were looking at a situation, for example in the UK, one would have to ensure that the most exposed person could not receive more that 1 mSv per annum. Therefore promises arguments that being indoors for example would reduce the dose rate are not valid in the context of the radiological protection of the public in general.
Whether a special dispensation applies when determining the return of evacuees to their homes is a question that I believe needs to be discussed, because as far as I’m aware the current situation in Japan is unique. Furthermore, we are not talking about a total dose of 20 mSv for someone who returns to live in this village. In many such villages remedial measures to reduce the dose rate are being taken, but only for the main “living areas”. Straying beyond these areas could lead to much higher doses, and eating natural produce, mushrooms etc, to even higher doses.
In the light of these considerations, Thomas’ comments in the video were insulting to the intelligence of the Japanese authorities and their advisors, and extremely ill-judged from a professional radiological point of view. The BBC was right to withdraw her comments as incorrect if that is indeed what they did.
Watching the video I am inclined to believe that Thomas is being disingenuous when she says she made a numeric al error when calculating the dose from the interviewer’s measurement. She made no attempt to do any kind of calculation: the figure she cited was something she clearly had in mond at the outset: she was delivering propaganda for the nuclear industry
That in the context in which the interview took place and the way in which she was introduced to the audience, is clearly scientific misconduct. One must also say here that the ninterviewer must have been, for an experienced journalist, amazingly gullible to have allowed the interview to be broadcast……….. https://issuu.com/fission/docs/fissionline_44
Dr Keith Baverstock led the Radiation Programme at the World Health Organisation’s Regional Office for Europe from 1991 to 2003.
Finland’s Onkalo nuclear waste disposal facility want to export the technology to South Australia, The Advertiser Daniel Wills, Helsinki, Finland, The Advertiser September 21, 2016 OPERATORS of the world’s most advanced nuclear disposal facility want to export the technology to South Australia and form an alliance to help the state develop its own commercial facility to take waste from around the world.
At a briefing with Premier Jay Weatherill at Finland’s Onkalo nuclear waste disposal facility, Posiva Solutions Oy managing director Mika Pohjonen said his company would be willing to licence intellectual property and engineering solutions to SA if it were to proceed with expanding the local nuclear industry.
Posiva is a joint venture owned by two of Finland’s biggest energy companies — Teollisuuden Voima Oyj and Fortum Power and Heat. It is set to become the first organisation in the world to bury a canister of spent nuclear fuel when they begin inserting them into the bedrock from 2020. Mr Pohjonen said SA could hope to move from site selection to burying canisters within about 15 years, less than half the time taken by Finland, because the Scandinavians had already undertaken the slow work of proving the technology………
The Onkalo disposal site is about 10 times smaller than that conceived by SA’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission.……
Mr Weatherill will by the end of the year declare a formal State Government position to Parliament on expansion of the industry………
“The next major step is a threshold question about whether we maintain our prohibition against a facility for spent fuel or whether we take a step to explore it further.”- Mr Weatherill said ….
It devastated the country for miles around, annihilating every bird, tree and animal in its path.
Even today, the effects of our very own Hiroshima are still felt by the families it ripped apart, and those suffering horrific health problems as a result.
The British military detonated seven nuclear bombs in remote Maralinga, around 800km north-west of Adelaide, plus two at Emu Fields and three off the coast near Karratha, Western Australia.
They also staged hundreds of minor trials investigating the impact of non-nuclear explosions on atomic weapons, involving tanks, gun, mannequins in uniforms and even tethered goats. In many ways, these smaller tests were equally dangerous, spraying plutonium in all directions.
Yet most Australians know very little about the blasts that shattered communities, and the dramatic story now buried under layers of dust.
Archie Barton was just a child when the nuclear testing took place between 1956 and 1963, stretching across a huge now uninhabitable 120km of land where he and thousands of others lived.
“He was taken away from his mother,” his stepson Steve Harrison tells news.com.au. “He was part of the Stolen Generations. He grew up in homes around Australia, and led a very rough life.
“Before my mum, he was a full-blown alcoholic. He wanted to go back to his birthplace.
“With his brother, he fought a battle with the British government to come back to clean up the area.
“He came into my life at a very young age. I was 14. I knew him as a strong, proud Aboriginal black man. He ended up getting an OBE.”
‘CHEAP AND NASTY SOLUTION’
Mr Barton’s family was not the only one scattered by the bombs. Many walked for days or even weeks to find new homes, deliberately going barefoot so their relatives could follow behind. British soldiers repeatedly turned them back south when they tried to head north.
Unsurprisingly, many never found each other.
“They were dispersed pretty much to the four points of the compass,” said Paul Brown, creative director of new showcase Nuclear, featuring Mr Harrison’s artwork. “It represented a massive dislocation from the watering holes and places that were important to Aboriginal people.
“If Aboriginal people weren’t caught up in the blast, it was by sheer luck, not design.
“People were very close at the time of the blast, they even had to take people into the decontamination area to scrub them down.”
Decades later, 57-year-old Mr Harrison’s village still isn’t a safe place for humans to live, despite numerous attempts to decontaminate the area, in 1967, 1985 and the late 1990s.
Ian Anderson’s 1993 New Scientist article “Britain’s dirty deeds at Maralinga” exposed negotiations between the UK and Australia to dispose of toxic plutonium that had been lightly covered with soil instead of being buried in concrete bunkers.
And as recently as 2007, nuclear engineer Alan Parkinson claimed the latest $100 million clean-up was a “cheap and nasty solution”.
IT RUINED QUITE A LOT OF LIVES’
The Anandu people fled to Oak Valley, Yalata, Renmark and almost anywhere between Kalgoorlie in WA and Adelaide.
Torn from family members and their homes, indigenous communities saw the consequences travel down the generations. Alcoholism is one of the biggest problems, along with drugs, crime, homelessness and lack of acceptance from new towns where these displaced people live on the fringes.
The Royal Commission found evidence of terrible disabilities caused by likely radiation impacts on both veterans and Aboriginal communities.
Other veterans posted to the Maralinga nuclear test site blamed the British Nuclear Test for an unusually high number of stillbirths and miscarriages among the group.
A 2008 Department of Veterans’ Affairs study reported that the doses to Australians were small, with a spokesman tellingnews.com.au that studies into the descendants of Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombs survivors showed they “do not have an increased frequency of chromosome abnormalities or major birth defects.”
Yet a 1999 study for the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association found that 30 per cent of involved veterans had died from cancer, mainly in their 50s.
Troops flew through mushroom clouds from explosions without protection and marched to ground zero immediately after bomb detonation. Airborne drifts of radioactive material resulted in “radioactive rain” being dropped on Brisbane and Queensland country areas.
“When they created this problem, they didn’t picture it at the end,” says Mr Harrison. “People are fighting for their existence.
“We can go back, but cannot go back and live there. It’s ruined quite a lot of lives.
“I see people who’ve been taken away coming back trying to reconnect with family. Most now live in Yalata on the Nullabor Plains.
“It was so sad, so hard. You need to grow up with family from a young age. Now they’re telling people they’ve got to leave communities in the Northern Territory, they’re closing down a lot of these communities.”
THIS ONE’S BEEN KEPT QUIET’
The Maralinga bombs were set off in a way that officially satisfied safe firing requirements. The detonations were even celebrated as a “great success” in The Advertiser.
But Mr Brown says there is evidence the military was “deliberately misleading the public about the likely impact.”
Britain’s Parliament last year issued a statement of recognition and set up a benevolent fund for veterans who took part in the nuclear tests.
Mr Brown hopes his exhibition, 60 years on from the blasts, will show that these are not simply stories about victims. “Often people have gone on the front foot,” he said. “In Japan, the Hibakusha are world leaders in the peace movement. They’ve taken it upon themselves to campaign for disarmament and world peace.”
Mr Harrison, who has visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors in Japan and presented them with a sculpture, says his main concern is making sure Australians know what happened in their own country.
“The rest of the Aboriginal people in this country need to know the story as well,” he added.
Rex Tillerson On North Korea And THAAD: Military Action Is An ‘option’
This link shows the problems the UK is having concerning the Euratom Treaty obligations post Brexit causing further problems with the UK international agreements for things like the purchase of Fuel rods, University student academic access and nuclear waste disposal;
And finally, also to do with Euratom and the agreement within it to do with health effects that is being challenged by an number of people within the European community area, with the support of Prof Chris Busby. An update on the situation concerning European applications (watch till the end to see the Swedish Euratom representative begin to panic)
Journalism faces an ‘existential crisis’ in Trump era – theme for March 2017
I never in a million years thought I would be up here on stage appealing for the freedom and safety of American journalists at home.
Ladies and gentlemen, I added the bits from candidate Trump as a reminder of the peril we face. I actually hoped that once President-elect, all that that would change, and I still do. But I was chilled when the first tweet after the election was about “professional protesters incited by the media.”
He walked back the part about the protesters but not the part about the media.
We’re not there. But postcard from the world: This is how it goes with authoritarians like Sisi, Erdoğan, Putin, the Ayatollahs, Duterte, et al.
As all the international journalists we honor in this room tonight and every year know only too well: First the media is accused of inciting, then sympathizing, then associating — until they suddenly find themselves accused of being full-fledged terrorists and subversives. Then they end up in handcuffs, in cages, in kangaroo courts, in prison — and then who knows?
Just to say, Erdoğan has just told my Israeli colleague Ilana Dayan that he cannot understand why anyone’s protesting in America, it must mean they don’t accept — or understand — democracy! And he thinks America like all great countries needs a strongman to get things done!
‘An appeal to protect journalism’
A great America requires a great and free and safe press. So this above all is an appeal to protect journalism itself.
Recommit to robust fact-based reporting without fear nor favor — on the issues. Don’t stand for being labeled crooked or lying or failing. Do stand up together — for divided we will all fall.
The historian Simon Schama, in the house tonight, told me early on that this was not just another election, and we cannot treat it as one.
And he says if ever there’s a time to celebrate, honor, protect and mobilize for press freedom and basic good journalism, it’s now.
At the start of this campaign, a network news president said this phenomenon may not be good for America but damn good for us.
During an interview on my program this summer, the filmmaker and historian Ken Burns asked me what would Edward R. Murrow do?
First, like many people watching where I was overseas, I admit I was shocked by the exceptionally high bar put before one candidate and the exceptionally low bar put before the other candidate.
It appeared much of the media got itself into knots trying to differentiate between balance, objectivity, neutrality, and crucially, truth.
We cannot continue the old paradigm — let’s say like over global warming — where 99.9% of the empirical scientific evidence is given equal play with the tiny minority of deniers.
I believe in being truthful, not neutral. And I believe we must stop banalizing the truth.
And we have to be prepared to fight especially hard for the truth in a world where the Oxford English Dictionary just announced its word of 2016: “post-truth.”
We have to accept that we’ve had our lunch handed to us by the very same social media that we’ve so slavishly been devoted to.
The winning candidate did a savvy end run around us and used it to go straight to the people. Combined with the most incredible development ever — the tsunami of fake news sites — aka lies — that somehow people could not, would not, recognize, fact check, or disregard.
Wael Ghonim, one of the fathers of the Arab spring, dubbed the social media revolution, now says:
“The same medium that so effectively transmits a howling message of change also appears to undermine the ability to make it. Social media amplifies the human tendency to bind with one’s own kind. It tends to reduce complex social challenges to mobilizing slogans that reverberate in echo chambers of the like-minded rather than engage in persuasion, dialogue, and the reach for consensus. Hate speech and untruths appear alongside good intentions and truths.”
I feel that we face an existential crisis, a threat to the very relevance and usefulness of our profession.
Now, more than ever, we need to commit to real reporting across a real nation, a real world in which journalism and democracy are in mortal peril, including by foreign powers like Russia paying to churn out and place false news, and hacking into democratic systems here and allegedly in upcoming crucial German and French elections too.
A quick anecdote from out there: In the 1997 Iranian elections, the reform candidate won and the establishment ayatollahs were caught totally off guard. One of them asked me later how I was so sure and when did I know that Khatami was going to win. I told him, as soon as I got on the ground and started talking to people! Just saying.
Fighting against a ‘post-values world’
We must also fight against a post-values world.
And let me hit back at this elitist backlash we’re all bending over backwards to accommodate.
Since when were American values elitist values? They are not left or right values. They are not rich or poor values, not the forgotten-man values.
Like many foreigners I have learned they are universal. They are the values of every American from the humblest to the most exalted. They form the very fundamental foundation of the United States and are the basis of America’s global leadership. They are brand America. They are America’s greatest export and gift to the world.
So yes, like so many around the world, I was shocked — very few ever imagined that so many Americans conducting their sacred duty in the sanctity of the voting booth, with their secret ballot, would be angry enough to ignore the wholesale vulgarity of language, the sexual predatory behavior, the deep misogyny, the bigoted and insulting views.
Gov. Mario Cuomo said you campaign in poetry and govern in prose. Perhaps the opposite will be true this time around.
If not, I will fight as a journalist — as we all must — to defend and protect the unique value system that makes these United States — and with which it seeks to influence the world.
‘We must fight against normalization of the unacceptable’
The conservative radio host who may be the next white house press secretary says mainstream media is hostile to traditional values.
I would say it’s just the opposite. And have you read about the “heil, victory” meeting in Washington, DC this past weekend? Why aren’t there more stories about the dangerous rise of the far right here and in Europe? Since when did anti-Semitism stop being a litmus test in this country?
We must fight against normalization of the unacceptable.
A week before the heated Brexit referendum in the UK, the gorgeous, young, optimistic, idealistic, compassionate MP Jo Cox, a remainer, was shot and stabbed to death by a maniac yelling “Britain first.” She was particularly sensitive to the plight of Syrian war refugees.
At his trial, the court was told the accused had researched information on the SS and the KKK.
Just a few weeks ago, her husband, Brendan, now raising their two tiny toddlers, expanded for me on an op-ed he’d written:
“Political leaders and people generally must embrace the responsibility to speak out against bigotry. Unless the center holds against the insidious creep of extremism, history shows how quickly hatred is normalized. What begins with biting your tongue for political expediency, or out of social awkwardness, soon becomes complicity with something far worse. Before you know it, it’s already too late.”
So now the solutions!!
The media’s role in the world
Somehow, the war of attrition in this country has to end. You’ve all seen the results of this election. It’s very close. The nation is very divided, and angry. Are we in the media going to keep whipping up that war — or are we going to take a deep breath and maybe have a reset?!
It matters to us out there abroad too. For better or for worse, this is the world’s only superpower. Culturally too. The political example, the media example set here, are quickly emulated and rolled out across the world.
We, the media, can either contribute to a more functional system or to deepening the political dysfunction. Which world do we want to leave our children?
In the same way, politics has been driven into poisonous partisan and paralyzing corners, where political differences are criminalized, where the zero sum game means in order for me to win, you have to be destroyed. What happened to compromise and common ground?
That same dynamic has infected powerful segments of the American media.
Like it has in Egypt and Turkey and Russia, where journalists have been pushed into political partisan corners as we see here tonight — delegitimized, accused of being enemies of the state.
Stop journalism from becoming ‘weaponized’
Journalism itself has become weaponized. We have to stop it. We all have a huge amount of work to do, investigating wrongdoing, holding power accountable, enabling decent government, defending basic rights, actually covering the world — Russia, Syria, North Korean nukes.
Can’t we have differences without killing each other off? As a profession, let’s fight for what is right. Let’s fight for our values Bad things do happen when good people do nothing.
In the words of the great civil rights leader, congressman John Lewis: “Young people and people not so young have a moral obligation and a mission and a mandate to get in good trouble.”
So let’s go out and make some. And especially — let’s fight to remain relevant and useful.