Thursday 23rd of January 2020

A dump of a place...


A Suppository?

From the ABC

Hawke backs Aust as nuclear waste repository
Former Labor prime minister Bob Hawke says Australia should become a dumping ground for the world's nuclear waste.
Mr Hawke says Australia should abandon the three-mines policy on uranium and promote itself as a safe place for the world's nuclear waste.
He says the money raised could go towards funding environmental problems such as salinity and to the Aboriginal communities affected by the waste grounds.

It's alright... I already glow in the dark for my early days working in that thorium factory...

Are these people nuts or what?
Puppets? Who pulls their little strings?
Ah I see! it's alright to store crap for the rest of the world if you use the money for a good cause...

The Nuke Option?

Tim Flannery wrote his book called “The Future Eaters

energy capers

From the ABC
Scientist urges switch to thorium
By Brett Evans for Lateline

Supporters of an alternative energy source say it has the potential to revolutionise the nuclear power industry and is a safer alternative to uranium.

Thorium oxide, which is three times more abundant than uranium, is also a radioactive material.

But senior research scientist Dr Hashemi-Nezhad, from Sydney University, says it is safe to hold in your hand.

"This is the future of the energy in the world - energy without green, without greenhouse gas production," he said.

Dr Hashemi-Nezhad says thorium has all of the benefits of uranium as a nuclear fuel but none of the drawbacks.

It can generate power without emitting greenhouse gases and it can be used to incinerate the world's stockpiles of plutonium.

Dr Hashemi-Nezhad says thorium waste would only remain radioactive for 500 years, not the tens of thousands that uranium by-products remain active.

Read more at the ABC
Gus says the idea of Thorium as an energy source is not new and Gus already mentioned it on this site early on (Gus worked in factory in Europe that manufactured thorium) ... As the good professor says, it is less dangerous than uranium... Yet although you can hold thorium oxyde in your hand you would not do it with thorium metal without getting a swift overdose of radio-actvity. As mentioned on this site, thorium atomic degradation does not create weapon grade material (this is why uranium was chosen ahead of thorium for energy supply and atomic weapon manufacture)... The half life of thorium by-product is much shorter... But in most of our energy need we need to consume less, produce more from natural sources such as sunlight or natural heat which does not add to the general equation of global warming and pollution, even "shorter" lived radio activity. Read all the line of blogs including the cartoon at the top...

250,000 years

From the BBC

Finland buries its nuclear past
By Richard Black
Environment Correspondent, BBC News website

An inauspicious tunnel entrance set in low forest on the western coast of Finland marks the probable final resting place of the country's most dangerous nuclear waste.
While British authorities agonise over what to do with the legacy of half a century of nuclear power, Finland is one of a handful of countries which has embarked on the journey towards a "final" waste solution.

Enter the 6.5m-high, 5m-wide (20x16ft) Onkalo tunnel, and you would drive down a spiralling track which will eventually stretch 5km (3miles) through solid rock, reaching a depth of 500m (1,600ft).

The first travellers down the tunnel will be investigators aiming to demonstrate that the rock is structurally sound enough to proceed with the disposal of spent fuel rods containing plutonium and other unpleasant materials.

read more at the BBC


The stuff is not safe. The stuff is dangerous... Even if it does not kill you in an instant. it can do it in a few years... and this possibility for a long time to a lot of people... The half-life for uranium is about 250,000 years and that of plutonium about 25,000. There are low grade radoactive materials too, but this can also be dangerous to those more suceptible...

nucular porkies in the wind

From the ABC

'Ideal' east coast nuclear plant sites identified
A new study has identified several areas on Australia's east coast, including Wollongong, where a nuclear power plant could be built if the Federal Government decides that a nuclear industry is the way of the future.

The Australia Institute has consulted experts who say that the plant will need to be located on the coast, near transmission lines and be near a major centre with good rail and port access.

The institute's Dr Clive Hamilton says the area south of Wollongong, the central coast of NSW and Port Stephens along with the Sunshine Coast and other areas in Queensland and Victoria would be ideal.

"You can't have a nuclear industry without specifying where the nuclear power plants are likely to be," he said.

"We're really taking up the Prime Minister's challenge to have a debate about nuclear power in Australia.

"We want to make it an honest debate and to start talking about where you would put the nuclear power plants if they were to be built."

Dr Hamilton says the nuclear debate so far has only touched the surface.

"Wherever a nuclear power plant is built in Australia, some people aren't going to like it, that's just an inevitability," he said.

read more at the ABC


Gus says that it is obvious our Primal grocer's claim that he is "open" to debate on the idea of nuclear power is a lot of baloney... people are already on the case of providing the service that will cost the earth but will be presented as the cheap clean green fuel of the future... No way Jose, no go Pino.... see cartoon at top of this line of blogs...

At the risk of sounding

At the risk of sounding parochial I"d look inland to Moomba or Woomera,  proximity to the grid, access to LNG generated power (pipes rolling in from Timor and New Guinea), and the arguments in favour of placing a repository there all add to create one great location.

Not to mention that now we're using the N.T. as a U.S. practice bombing range, there will be plenty of protective firepower in the neighbouring airspace, and probably more further overhead.

No nuke stuff here...

One of the first targets in a nuclear war would be that particular spot... the first few others before would be cities ... imagine 85 per cent of Australia's population lives in these big towns... Boom. Australia is a sitting duck for this kind of war. The US is a bit more complex but then they are more targeted by the Russians and the Chinese than anybody else... And trust me, nuclear arsenals are not idly pointing at nowhere... It takes a few days to aim, so they are on alert day after day...

We should not have any nuke stuff in this country... exporting yellow cake (uranium oxide) is already a contentious issue...

continental stability?

There is a recent scientific geological theory that in a few thousand years, Australia will start to split in half, in a manner a bit like Africa in the great Rift Valley, but much faster...

Yes there is a great possibility that wherever we store nuke waste in the "vast" centre of this country (if we ever do this crazy stunt), it might just be where things crack up...

This is not fancy stuff. The chart of earthquakes in the world strangely show that the crooked "S" line —that pass through New Zealand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan to the Russian Kamchatka region— is the most active tectonic boundary in the world. Earthquakes of magnitude 4 and over happen in multiples there every day, including a magnitude 4.9 today in the northern part of Sumatra, Indonesia and a 6 in the Banda Sea. A volcano in Indonesia is spewing...

Earthquakes of magnitude 7.2 have been also recorded in the Kimberleys. That no destruction seem to have occurred is due to the fact that the population in that huge region is about zero in most of its part. Recently (May 13) an earthquake magnitude 4.1 was registered in the centre of Australia (north eastern South Australia). The earthquake (9.1) that created the massive tsunami of a year and a half ago was not far from the tip of Indonesia and in line with another crack in the Earth crust that goes between India and Indochina to China and Iran. These two main cracks squarely meet in the Banda sea.

To those who think continent-Australia is stable and will continue to be a stable platform for millions of years... the news in not good. The Australian continental plate is shifting northward at a speed of no less than 7 cm a year and to tell the truth most of the earthquakes north of our region are due to this motion.

From time to time there are other earth tremors along defined lines of activity in the centre of Australia and picking where the safest place to bury nuclear crap is not possible to know within more than 500 years... with an uncertainty factor of less than one per cent. These are my estimate on the subject and I will stick by these.

The "new" fault line (it already exists in the depth of the plate) that could develop is on the Japan-Kamchatka axis continued from the Banda Sea to the south of Macquarie island (near a hot bed of earthquake activity) via that exact spot where the may 13 earthquake happened in South Australia, via Melbourne and Tasmania. Far fetched? Global positioning techniques have told us that some Island have moved by 30 metres in that major Tsunami. The crack in the earth crust had to realign after a few years of northward pressure by the Australian plate. Major cracks like the rift valley in Africa are only recent and the split is geologically noticeable.

Another earthquake line from the Indian ocean floor crack via Shark Bay via Cape York to New Guinea is also noticeable...

Planting nukes rubbish in Australia because of continental stability? Think again....

Swimming in it

From the Independent

Energy: Going nuclear
A new generation of reactors is suddenly likely. But at what cost? And what will happen to the waste?

By Cole Moreton
Published: 21 May 2006
In a pool of cold water in west Cumbria sit hundreds of metal flasks, silently oozing heat. Each contains enriched uranium removed from the reactors of nuclear power stations after use. It remains highly radioactive. Exposure to the contents of one flask would be followed quickly by death.

There are 2,000 cubic metres of high-radiation nuclear waste in Britain, some kept in cooling pools near reactors but most stored at Sellafield. A terrorist attack here would be a disaster to dwarf the meltdown at Chernobyl two decades ago, says the campaign group Greenpeace. Two million people could die.

Some people say this deadly waste should be fired into space. Others say bury it deep underground and wait tens of thousands of years for its radioactive strength to decay. But the people who matter, the ones who stop it from leaking and killing people, are waiting for the Government to tell them what to do.

Or they were, before the rules changed. The Prime Minister surprised the nuclear industry last week by saying that its form of energy - underfunded for years, feared by many - was "back on the agenda with a vengeance". Suddenly it is assumed that a new generation of reactors will be built to replace the existing ones that are being prepared for shutdown. There now seems no need to wait for the energy review due to be published in July. Nuclear enthusiasts are glowing with pleasure.

But more power means more waste. Even if none of the expected 10 new power stations is built, this country will still produce enough highly radioactive nuclear waste to fill 14 Olympic swimming pools.

"For 50 years the UK has been creating radioactive waste without any clear idea of what to do with it," says Professor Gordon MacKerron, chair of the expert Committee on Radioactive Waste Management, which will also report in July. "Whether we like it or not, waste exists and we have to deal with it."

read more at The Independent and visit the cartoon at head of this line of blogs

Stop "Nuclular" Johnnee

The nuke debate is simple
How much does electricity represent of the world total energy expenditure?
ANSWER: around 10 per cent

How much electricity is coming from nuclear power worldwide?
ANSWER: around 5 per cent

What would be the effect on global warming of electricity 50 per cent nuclear supplied?
ANSWER: around 5 per cent reduction of emission
ANSwER 2: around 10 per cent if we all switch to electric cars powered from the grid
(note these figures are based on present consumption. most likely to be less in future due to INCREASE CONSUMPTION)

How much do we need to reduce CO2 emissions by 2040?
ANSWER: more than 70 per cent
(the savage figure is that emissions should have been ZERO from 1996 to SLOW global warming

How much rubbish comes from nuclear power?
ANSWER: a lot of radio-active stuff including plutonium the use of which is limited to making bombs and fast breeder reactors that produce even more plutonium.

What do we do with an increase of a hundred fold (could be thousand fold by then) in nuclear waste?
ANSWER: not a lot. At the moment, the Brits are swimming in it and do not know what to do with it.
Manufacturing and burying it is delaying the problem to future generation for at least 25,000 years up to 250,000 years.

Where is this pressure coming from?
ANSWER: mining lobby who has no qualm in selling the stuff under a "green" label. Hypocrisy is the grease of hard cash.

Solution? Need a reduce expenditure in energy worldwide...
AND the development of renewable energy mostly from absorption and transfer of solar energy

2000-2006: The only country that has done so (become more efficient) is Russia (17 per cent reduction), Europe hovers around 2 per cent plus, and China is coming on line...

Read more stuff on this site already posted with all this ALREADY explained in more details...

And if you don't trust me... go to all the energy supplies and usage in the world, study the pie charts and the diagrams and whatever...

Stop our little man, the drunk on power grocer of Kirribilli, Stop him stuffing it up for a long time.

NO NUKE... see it was not that hard, was itt?

Busting Martin

Aw, c'mon, Gus. The venal little twerp has a broader, but simpler set of goals. He's more interested in busting out another Labor government, and Clare Martin is in the spotlight. Have a look at the glee with which his gutless attack-dog rips into her from the safety of the Big House. Today, I bet, it'll be "Mr Speaker, Clare Martin this... Clare Martin that ...". Isn't it remarkable how the long-standing matter of dysfunctional indigenous communities has been allowed out of the bag, just now?

They don't care about the uranium as such, but getting free access to all resources without being obstructed by Labor.  


Letters editor, The Age

After ten years of the Prime Ministership being based in Sydney, isn't it about time the focus of power returned to Melbourne?

Well, if the editorial ('Australia's next leader must face the issues of the future', 23/5) was supposed to lay the foundation for that case, then you'd better look for another contender. Peter Costello is good at representing narrow self-interest. If that's all it takes, then there is no need to look beyond "The ACNielsen poll also suggests that voters expect action on issues that concern them and their children's future".

Yes, '*their* children'. What about the rights and aspirations of *other* children, who have no hope of a decent future? What has Peter Costello had to say about solutions for remote indigenous communities?

Listen up, Melbourne! Grand urban plans will come and go, but the national problems of indigenous kids will just get bigger, and will keep eating away at the moral fabric of our society. We can determine to address them, with radical thought and action, or pretend they do not exist.

This issue would have been Costello's first priority as Acting Prime Minister, if he had the guts for the top job. He is a bean-counting follower, not a leader, and a mere actor in the theatre of parliament. He has had plenty of chances to show he does not suffer from restricted vision. He has failed, and he is not worthy of our trust. 


I can't figure out why it wasn't published.

Bustin martin (2)

T. G. you are correct stating that our primal grocer is primarily interested in busting the Labor party of which we should say, still can see the rotten bananas coming, under debonaire Beazley... Sad.

But I believe our Johnnee the rotten-con fruiterer wants a glowing in the dark legacy to his name in the history books...

And Ms Martin has inherited a bad lot from a Liberal government. Not all people have 100 per cent fool proof solutions to any problem, but whatever we do we have to do with holding on to proper ethics, not the rotten "values" that Johnnee peddles at every street corner... Like his refugee policy — a monstrosity seemingly coming from a heartless man... And why the indigenous problem with expedient solutions coming to the fore now? Not because of a good heart but the scandal hit the TV screens via Lateline on the ABC a week ago... The Johnnee government knew about it all for a long time and since throwing money at it was "not solving anything", it just decided not to throw money at it anymore... Problem deaded... As mentioned before here, the idea of solving the indigenous problem for many Liberal (most have not even met an Aboriginal person) is absorption, dilution or "minimisation" of the Aboriginal people...

Redneck demography

The demography of NT voters would be enlightening, ie., to what extent does Labor govern due to the indigenous vote? If the current climate, of distaste, disgust, blame-shifting, guilt and shame, is allowed to persist (and/or is cultivated by the tabloids) then the resulting polarisation of public opinion will lay the groundwork for a sustained law'n'order campaign by the Tories.

I reckon the Lateline exposay was more to do with the lawyer having "permission" from Mal Brough, who was ready to run out with his agenda, based on his own knowledge and the raw facts as revealed (again) by an authoritative source. 

A bloke on ABC radio (New Way Forward for Remote Aboriginal Communities) had a lot of good things to say, the bit I recall most vividly is that the major disadvantage of many remote communities is that they exist at the end of a 'long dirt road'. The CAEPR Publications prove there is no shortage of knowledge about the subject of embedded indigenous disadvantage.

One of the NT MPs, Alison Anderson (Luritja woman) would be a valuable addition to the House of Reps.

More to the point, the indigenous 'problems' will be impossible to solve without the active presence of indigenous representatives at the highest level, ie., federal parliament.


Murdoch media empire

An example how a lightning flash of half-truth propagates, and embellishes into opportunities for fascism to nourish itself, from Yellow journalism and chicken hawks:

The newspapers that so far have run the story are similarly identified with a hard line against Tehran. The National Post, which was bought by CanWest Global Communications from Conrad Black, a close associate of Perle's, is controlled by David and Leonard Asper, who have accused the Canadian Broadcasting Corp of being anti-Israel, according to Marsha Cohen of Florida International University, who has closely followed the badges story.

Similarly, the Sun has taken positions consistent with the right-wing Likud Party in Israel on Middle East issues, while Murdoch owns the strongly pro-Israel Weekly Standard and Fox News, in addition to the New York Post. 

Manipulation of the Oz agenda? Chickenfeed!


This could be a clue to government thinking on dissent, from Senator Bill Heffernan:

... And these things, we want to get off our backsides and the people want to move in the streets and yell in protest to make sure this all happens. ...

So, no visible protest, and Howard just keeps moving ahead.

Bush visits Limmerick

Visiting a nuclear plant at Limmerick near Philadelphia today, Bush donned a white hard hat and spoke to employees in the shadow of two enormous cooling towers.

Bush argued that nuclear power was abundant, affordable, safe and clean.

"For the sake of economic security and national security, the United States of America must aggressively move forward with the construction of nuclear power plants," Bush said. "Other countries are."

Some environmentalists have abandoned their opposition to nuclear power, arguing it is needed to address climate change because reactors do not produce "greenhouse" gases as do fossil fuels.

Gus muses below:

T'was the president from hell

Who said nucular powered well

Since the greenies had been trapped

Between climate change and waste-it crap

Until boom! came another Chernobell
Sorry, I could not resist... Gus

Limerick Visits Bush

A fairly odd fellow named Bush
confused his mouth with his tush
whenever uncertain, he asked Halliburton
to "give the situation a push"

Now, Bush has minder named Dick...


Continental instability...

May I draw your attention to the blog above "continental stability?"...
To those who think continent-Australia is stable and will continue to be a stable platform for millions of years... the news in not good. The Australian continental plate is shifting northward at a speed of no less than 7 cm a year and to tell the truth most of the earthquakes north of our region are due to this motion.

Looking daily at the map of earthquakes (IRIS), one can understand the major problem Indonesia is faced with. But the next big rattle may be along the San Andreas fault...

May all those people affected get the support they need and may the dead one be at peace.

Johnnee's full-bloodied "nucular" furphies?

from the ABC

PM reveals plans for 'full-blooded' nuclear debate
The Prime Minister has unveiled details of his inquiry into nuclear power, ahead of formal approval of the review at tomorrow's federal Cabinet meeting.

But critics say it will be a waste of time.

John Howard's "full-blooded debate" will examine the economics of nuclear power, and whether Australia has the skilled workers to sustain it.

It will look at the health and safety implications, and the impact on the environment.

Mr Howard says the review will investigate whether nuclear power can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

He says since an an oil production crisis is approaching, alternative energy sources must be investigated.

His Science Minister Julie Bishop says several experts will conduct the inquiry.

"I would imagine it would take some time, could be a matter of months, could be throughout the course of this year," she said.

But the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) chairman Don Henry says it could be a waste of time and money.

He says the debate must consider the broader issue of climate change.

"Well if the inquiry is just about nuclear power it will be a waste of taxpayers' money because nuclear power is too dangerous, too dirty, and too slow to tackle climate change," he said.

"If the inquiry is going to be fairdinkum, it needs to look at that issue: what can we do right now to tackle climate change in Australia?"

Mr Howard will take his plan to Cabinet tomorrow.

read more at the ABC
One can sense the way our Johnnee is steering the debate about nuclear energy... But we may be wrong. Is it possible that our grocer-in-chief wants to kill the idea of nuclear energy in Australia? If so them we must thank him now for this stand... If he wants to introduce, even a tiny weeny, nuclear energy in this country then he needs to be stopped immediately... He might surprise us like he did with the Snowy... Thank you PM... As some people said to me whether he did for the right reasons or not, John Howard deserves to be called Prime Minister on this issue... on any other issues, like his IR laws, our rodent deserves to be lampooned mercilessly...

Happy lampooning

Glowing in the formal approval

From the ABC

Howard tight-lipped on nuclear inquiry boss
Prime Minister John Howard has declined to reveal details about who will conduct his inquiry into nuclear power.

Tomorrow's federal Cabinet meeting will give formal approval to a debate on the economics of nuclear power.

Mr Howard says the review will investigate whether nuclear power can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

But he says he will not reveal more details until after Cabinet meets.

"I'll be talking to my colleagues about this tomorrow," he said.

read more at the ABC


"Mr Howard says the review will investigate whether nuclear power can reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

That's not the real question... Gus can say that on appearances the nuclear energy can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If this is the only question put in the balance then there is no point going blue in the face here... and forget the "full-blooded" debate...

Now the real question is "reduce greenhouse gas emissions" by how much IN RELATION to the complete expenditure of energy in the world? 5 per cent? 10 per cent? Answer: 0.5 per cent if we take into account the rapid increase in world consumption of energy ... Is this going to arrest greenhouse effect and climate change? answer: NO.
Do most scientist say we need 70 per cent reduction by 2040? Did we not need 100 per cent reduction in 1996 (Gus research)?

The next question is safety...
1) Already, the much tooted India-US nuclear relationship is a bit shaky... The US congress has cold feet about it because they KNOW that bombs will be made out the stuff, no doubt about that...
2) Transport of the stuff, either as fuel or as waste is a major concern and becomes an armed guard/army affair always shrouded in secrecy...

Nuclear wastes are more dangerous than what the industry is prepared to tell...
1) wastes are one of the major problems... Although appearing in "small quantities" their potential for hazard is beyond what we really can deal at the moment — and in the future — including burying them below the surface of the earth and wait for 250,000 for half of the induced radiation to vanish..
2) the nuclear industry in its present form — using uranium — was created with the intent to produce BOMBS first and energy second. The use of thorium would be less dangerous on this level.
3) the use of uranium in nuclear power stations creates plutonium for which the major use is to make bombs... (half a can of beer full of plutonium would "explode" (chain react) and destroy a large city).

At the moment, the UK is forking more than 50 billion pounds to clean up the sites of their aged reactors... I know the technology has improved but the fact remains that radio activity permeates through, ... What we may see as "cheap" enough now, won't be in the future. The cost of dealing with the industry rubbish will sky rocket through the roof... and for those who think that sending the waste in rockets, the stuff is very heavy...

Do the danger outweigh the greenhouse gas emission savings...?
As someone said today: "going nuclear is like giving up smoking to go and shoot heroin instead..."

Yes, you may save your lungs for a bit longer but you're going to stuff up your future for a long time... or a short one mind you, if some donkey presses the little red button...
have a good night...

Dumb "nukoolar" site in Siberia?

From the New York Times

U.S. to Negotiate Russian Storage of Atomic Waste

Published: July 9, 2006
WASHINGTON, July 8 — The Bush administration said Saturday that it would open formal negotiations with Russia on a long-discussed civilian nuclear agreement that would pave the way for Russia to become one of the world's largest repositories of spent nuclear fuel.

President Vladimir V. Putin has been looking to expand the country's role in the multibillion nuclear power business. The United States has traditionally opposed any such arrangement, in part because of concerns about the safety of Russian nuclear facilities, and because the country has helped Iran build its first major nuclear reactor.

But administration officials said that once Mr. Bush endorsed Mr. Putin's proposal last year for Iran to conduct uranium enrichment inside Russia — rather than in Iran, where the administration fears it would be diverted to weapons — it made little sense to bar ordinary civilian nuclear exchanges with Russia.

In announcing the change of course, the White House made it clear that in return, it expected Mr. Putin's cooperation in what promises to be a tense confrontation with Iran on forcing it to give up the enrichment of uranium. Mr. Bush has charged that the enrichment is intended to feed a secret nuclear weapons program. "We have made clear to Russia that for an agreement on peaceful nuke cooperation to go forward, we will need active cooperation in blocking Iran's attempts to obtain nuclear weapons," said Peter Watkins, a White House spokesman.

So far, Russia has backed the United States in its fundamental demands but balked at the imposition of sanctions or the passage of any United Nations Security Council resolution that Mr. Bush could later use as a justification for military action.

The Washington Post first reported the shift on Saturday.

read more at the new York Times


Some people in this country will go up in arms that we did not get the gig and missed out on good hard cash... Gus can only say good riddance although unfortunately Russia, already full of leaky nuke submarines and ships, will carry the radio-active baby... if this deal goes ahead... But as we say in Rustaphia, don't sell the bear skin before you kill it first.

Russia to become a dumb dump...?

I can see it now, the spruiker:

"And the grand prize is... the right to be a dump! We'll dump as much crap on you as you wish and even more!!!. Fan-bloody-tastic..."

See cartoon at head of this line of blogs and read the rest...

Just a reminder

For those keen to bury glow-in-the-dark whatever in the middle of "stable" Australia, Indonesia has suffered nearly 25 earthquakes of magnitude 5.5 and above (some at 6.3) since the 7.7 that has created the recent tsunami... Read the blogs above and you will understand the problem...

One smells a rat...

From the Washington post

Pakistan Expanding Nuclear Program
Plant Underway Could Generate Plutonium for 40 to 50 Bombs a Year, Analysts Say
By Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 24, 2006; Page A01

Pakistan has begun building what independent analysts say is a powerful new reactor for producing plutonium, a move that, if verified, would signal a major expansion of the country's nuclear weapons capabilities and a potential new escalation in the region's arms race.

Satellite photos of Pakistan's Khushab nuclear site show what appears to be a partially completed heavy-water reactor capable of producing enough plutonium for 40 to 50 nuclear weapons a year, a 20-fold increase from Pakistan's current capabilities, according to a technical assessment by Washington-based nuclear experts.


Gus: A lot of that is not new — the report is obviously politically motivated... Pakistan could shift away from its alliance with the US at anytime so it has to be tarnished somewhat — since the nuclear reaction, used to produce electricity with uranium, automatically produces plutonium... The trick is to know how much, how efficiently, etc... The next major problem is what can one do with the plutonium since it increases the reactivity of the reactor and could raise the temperature of the core beyond control?... Thus every so often, uranium rods are taken out and "striped" (difficult and dangerous process) of the plutonium created by the reaction... The uranium thus becomes "depleted" (spent) although there is always a residual of dangerous isotopes in a small proportion of around one percent...

The depleted uranium used in weapons by the US is radio active up to 300 per cent normal levels, but when it bursts it disperses a lot more dangerous radio activity through the dust particles of the hot cloud... up to 6000 times more radio-activity than normal, locally.

To make one nuclear bomb one only needs a bit more that 5.8 kilograms of plutonium (critical mass), and with a density of around 23, this is reached barely filling half a can of beer...

To produce enough for 50 bombs one only needs 280 kilo of the stuff... Not too hard to generate since nuclear power station use many tonnes of uranium...

Of course one cannot keep plutonium or uranium in quantities that can bring in the critical mass at which it gets so so reactive, it explodes... These metals are kept in small units, far away from each other... except in bombs where only a few pieces are kept apart,. These are joined together by a precise detonator system (small cluster of conventional bombs) that "implodes" the pieces together thus initiate critical mass leading to the desired massive nuclear explosion... Very simple...

It is well known that small nuclear bombs can fit in small suitcases...

Good night. sleep well.

NTI: Some people with some clout

From the NTI site...

Bush Administration Knew of Pakistan Nuclear Expansion Plans, Did Not Inform Congress

The Bush administration was aware that Pakistan was building a large new heavy-water nuclear reactor but failed to inform Congress of the activity, the Washington Post reported today.

Critics said the administration should have disclosed intelligence on the facility while Congress is in the middle of a debate over a bilateral nuclear deal with India, Pakistan’s neighbor and nuclear rival.

“If either India or Pakistan starts increasing its nuclear arsenal, the other side will respond in kind,” said Representative Edward Markey (D-Mass.), co-chairman of a House task force on nonproliferation. “The Bush administration’s proposed nuclear deal with India is making that much more likely.”

Henry Sokolski, director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, said he was surprised that the Bush administration did not inform Congress.

“What is baffling is that this information — which was surely information that our own intelligence agencies had — was kept from Congress,” he said.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said yesterday that the administration discourages “military use of the facility” (Joby Warrick, Washington Post, July 25).

However, asked if the administration had pressed Islamabad to guarantee it would not use the reactor to produce plutonium for atomic bombs, Snow said, “Not that I’m aware of,” the Associated Press reported yesterday (Paul Garwood, Associated Press/Baltimore Sun, July 24).

Pakistan did not deny reports about the new reactor, which when finished could produce 200 kilograms or more of weapon-grade plutonium each year.

“This ought to be no revelation to anyone, because Pakistan is a nuclear-weapons state,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said yesterday.

She added that Pakistani officials “do not want an arms race in this region.”

Weapons experts, however, said yesterday that a Pakistani nuclear expansion would push other countries in the region to make similar efforts.

“There are makings of a vigorous competition in fissile material production in South Asia — between India and Pakistan in the first instance but also China as well,” said Robert Einhorn, a senior adviser to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It would be one thing if we were talking just about well-secured nuclear bombs. A larger concern is the greater amounts of fissile material, which create more opportunities for terrorists to get their hands on it.”

“We lack imagination if we think that this is no big deal,” Sokolski said (Warrick, Washington Post, July 25).

Note : mission state emt form NTI

About NTI

Working for a Safer World

Concerned that the threat from nuclear weapons had fallen off most people's radar screens after the end of the Cold War, CNN founder Ted Turner asked former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn in the spring of 2000 to help assess whether a private organization could make a difference. After months of discussions and consultations with some of the world's most respected security experts, Mr. Turner and Senator Nunn founded the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) in January 2001. Initially supported by a pledge from Mr. Turner and other private contributions, NTI is now classified as a 501 (c) 3 public charity.

NTI's mission is to strengthen global security by reducing the risk of use and preventing the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. NTI seeks to raise public awareness, serve as a catalyst for new thinking and take direct action to reduce these threats. In addition to Mr. Turner and Senator Nunn, NTI is guided by an experienced, international Board of Directors who share a common goal of taking action to reduce the gap between the global threats and the global response. The foundation's activities are directed by Senator Nunn and managed by President Charles B. Curtis.

NTI has created this web site to give people access to the facts about these threats. These issues need to be debated beyond a small circle of experts and policy-makers so that closing the gap between the threat and the response becomes a global priority. The terrorists who planned and carried out the attacks on September 11th showed a willingness to take innocent lives, limited only by the capacity of the weapons available to them. The world's security may depend on who moves faster - those trying to get weapons material and know-how or those trying to secure them. The world needs to do everything possible to keep weapons of mass destruction out of terrorist hands.

NTI is an operational organization - actively engaged in developing, shaping and implementing the projects we fund. In addition to building global awareness, NTI is engaged in model programs to inspire private and governmental efforts toward threat reduction.

also from NTI

ElBaradei has been a long-time champion for nuclear disarmament and an outspoken critic of nuclear double standards, which is why his endorsement of the U.S.-Indian deal is so puzzling and upsetting.
—Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, on International Atomic Energy Agency head Mohamed ElBaradei’s backing of the U.S.-Indian nuclear trade agreement.

(sorry about a couple of spelling mistakes in the previous blog: Gus)

dump Dr Flannery's nuclear foolery

From the ABC

Brown slams Flannery's nuclear power suggestions

Greens Senator Bob Brown has [|rejected] scientist Tim Flannery's call for nuclear power to be used to combat climate change.

In a weekend newspaper article Dr Flannery says nuclear power is a clean source of energy.

But Senator Brown says nuclear power should not replace fossil fuels.

"Energy efficiency and solar power and new energy, renewable modes are the answer and that's where we've got to go," he said.

"Nuclear is a 1 per cent answer with a massive hazard price tag attached to it and we shouldn't go there."

Senator Brown says Dr Flannery has also revealed the International Atomic Energy Agency wants to store nuclear waste on the West and South Australian border region in the Officer Basin.

"We are going to with open slather uranium exports see nuclear waste ships coming into Australian ports, transcontinental transport and then the hazard of looking after that waste for unimaginable periods into the future."

Anti-nuclear campaigner Helen Caldicott has also attacked Dr Flannery's article.

"Nukular" tomfollery

From Al Jazeera

Greens dismiss nuclear energy claims

Monday 16 October 2006, 17:07 Makka Time, 14:07 GMT

Environmentalists have [|rejected a claim] by the World Nuclear Association that the world needs 20 times as many nuclear power plants to avoid the disastrous effects of global warming.
Using more nuclear power was not only environmentally damaging but would also risk increasing nuclear proliferation, Steve Shallhorn, the head of Greenpeace Australia said on Monday.
He was responding to suggestions by John Ritch, the director general of the WNA, that using more nuclear power instead of burning fossil fuels would help reduce global warming.
"Scientists now warn, with ever increasing certainty, that greenhouse gas emissions, if continued at the present massive scale, will yield consequences that are, quite literally, apocalyptic," Ritch told the 15th Pacific Basin Nuclear Conference in Sydney, Australia on Monday.
Ritch said at least 8,880 reactors would be needed to cope with voracious power demand from fast-developing countries such as India and China by mid-century.
Greenpeace however said that Rich's proposal not only threatened the environment but also risked contributing to the spread of nuclear weapons.
"The uranium and nuclear power industries pose unacceptable risks of contributing to the proliferation of nuclear weapons," Shallhorn said.

burn the recyclables in foot warmers during winter?...

December 8, 2008

Back at Junk Value, Recyclables Are Piling Up


Trash has crashed.

The economic downturn has decimated the market for recycled materials like cardboard, plastic, newspaper and metals. Across the country, this junk is accumulating by the ton in the yards and warehouses of recycling contractors, which are unable to find buyers or are unwilling to sell at rock-bottom prices.

Ordinarily the material would be turned into products like car parts, book covers and boxes for electronics. But with the slump in the scrap market, a trickle is starting to head for landfills instead of a second life.

“It’s awful,” said Briana Sternberg, education and outreach coordinator for Sedona Recycles, a nonprofit group in Arizona that recently stopped taking certain types of cardboard, like old cereal, rice and pasta boxes. There is no market for these, and the organization’s quarter-acre yard is already packed fence to fence.

“Either it goes to landfill or it begins to cost us money,” Ms. Sternberg said.

In West Virginia, an official of Kanawha County, which includes Charleston, the state capital, has called on residents to stockpile their own plastic and metals, which the county mostly stopped taking on Friday. In eastern Pennsylvania, the small town of Frackville recently suspended its recycling program when it became cheaper to dump than to recycle. In Montana, a recycler near Yellowstone National Park no longer takes anything but cardboard.


see toon at top...

radioactive dump...

The Country Liberals Leader, Terry Mills, says it's clear the Federal Government intends to establish a nuclear waste facility in the Northern Territory.

Labor promised prior to the 2007 election that it would repeal the Radioactive Waste Management Act, which allows the Commonwealth to force a dump on the Territory.

Yesterday, the Government voted down a Greens motion to repeal the act.

Mr Mills says it is a foregone conclusion that the dump will end up in the Territory.


Is there a conspiracy between the former Rattus government and the new federal Labor Government? see toon at top...

not-glowing recycling capers...


A controversial nuclear recycling plant, approved by the Government despite warnings over its economic viability and reliance on unproven technology, has racked up costs of more than £1bn and is still not working properly.

Backers of the plant at Sellafield, which promised to turn toxic waste into a useable fuel that could be sold worldwide, had claimed the plant would make a profit of more than £200m in its lifetime, producing 120 tonnes of recycled fuel a year. But after an investigation by The Independent, the Government admitted technical problems and a dearth in orders has meant it has produced just 6.3 tonnes of fuel since opening in 2001.

With construction and commissioning costs of more than £600m, the facility, known as the Mox plant because of the mixed oxides (Mox) fuel it is designed to produce, has cost more than £1.2bn, confirming its status as the nuclear industry's most embarrassing white elephant and one of the greatest failures in British industrial history, losing the taxpayer £90m a year. Green campaigners and opposition MPs are now calling for the plant to be closed immediately, and a minister who fought its construction at the time has called for a public inquiry into how the plant was ever given the go-ahead.

waste solutions...

Dumping in Abidjan

The report says there is "strong prima facie evidence that the reported deaths and adverse health consequences are related to the dumping of the waste from the cargo ship".

The chemical waste came from a ship called Probo Koala and in August 2006 truckload after truckload of it was illegally fly-tipped at 15 locations around Abidjan, the biggest city in Ivory Coast.

In the weeks that followed the dumping, tens of thousands of people reported a range of similar symptoms, including breathing problems, sickness and diarrhoea.

Refinery by-product

The story began four years ago at an oil refinery in Mexico, owned by the state company Pemex, or PMI.

In its chemical processes the refinery was producing a by-product - coker naptha, a dirty form of gasoline which could not be treated on site.

The e-mails which Newsnight has obtained reveal that Trafigura executives realised they could make a fortune by buying the dirty Mexican oil for next to nothing.

One e-mail says: "This is as cheap as anyone can imagine and should make serious dollars."

However, to sell it on at a profit, Trafigura first had to find a cheap way to clean the coker naptha and lower its sulphur levels.


Trafigura chartered the Probo Koala and while the ship was off the coast of Gibraltar poured tons of caustic soda and a catalyst into the dirty oil to clean it - a rough and ready process known as "caustic washing".

The method is cheap, but it generates such dangerous waste that it is effectively banned in most places around the world.


meanwhile in Italy:

A shipwreck apparently containing toxic waste is being investigated by authorities in Italy amid claims that it was deliberately sunk by the mafia.

An informant from the Calabrian mafia said the ship was one of a number he blew up as part of an illegal operation to bypass laws on toxic waste disposal.

The sunken vessel has been found 30km (18 miles) off the south-west of Italy.

The informant said it contained "nuclear" material. Officials said it would be tested for radioactivity.

Murky pictures taken by a robot camera show the vessel intact and alongside it are a number of yellow barrels.

Labels on them say the contents are toxic.

The informant said the mafia had muscled in on the lucrative business of radioactive waste disposal.

But he said that instead of getting rid of the material safely, he blew up the vessel out at sea, off the Calabrian coast.

He also says he was responsible for sinking two other ships containing toxic waste.

Experts are now examining samples taken from the wreck.

Other vessels

An official said that if the samples proved to be radioactive then a search for up to 30 other sunken vessels believed scuttled by the mafia would begin immediately.

For years there have been rumours that the mafia was sinking ships with nuclear and other waste on board, as part of a money-making racket.


Two hundred years and a bit ago, England used to dump its excess convicts in Australia... See toon at top.


Meanwhile in the Med...

MADRID, SPAIN – One in six Mediterranean mammals is threatened with extinction at the regional level, mainly due to the destruction of their habitat from urbanization, agriculture and climate change, nature body IUCN said Tuesday in a new study.

Of the 320 mammal species assessed by the Geneva-based International Union for the Conservation of Nature, 49 were threatened, including 20 that can be found nowhere else in the world, it said in a statement.

“The number one threat is habitat destruction, which affects 90 percent of the threatened species,” said IUCN expert Annabelle Cuttelod, co-author of the report, in a statement released in Spain.

“We need international action to protect key areas and preserve natural habitats to ensure we don’t lose the rich biodiversity in this area,” she added.

High concentrations of threatened species are found in the mountains of Turkey, northwestern Africa and the Levant, the ancient land now comprising Syria, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.

Large herbivores such as deer and rabbits, and carnivores, are particularly threatened.

Eight species from these groups, including the common hippopotamus and the Mesopotamian fallow deer, have already gone extinct in the Mediterranean region.



Want some rabbits??? These little pest have invaded Australia and no matter what has been thrown at them, they breed like rabbits, wasting this country bare in many places. Yep, the human species is the great waste creator and shifter on this planet. Seriously though, we're cooking the goose... our little planet — and those responsible deny responsibility of course...

aussie volcanoes

Australia is "well overdue" for a significant volcanic eruption, but the risk of explosive action from a new volcano is higher in Queensland, according to the country's leading geologist.

Melbourne-based geologist Associate Professor Bernie Joyce yesterday made public predictions of an impending volcanic eruption in Far North Queensland, where 380 dormant volcanoes rise from the landscape.

Prof Joyce said the possibility "future erupters", causing lava flows lasting 20 years covering more than 60 kilometres in Far North Queensland, south-west of Townsville, was very "real".

"It is much more likely to be a matter of when, rather than if," Prof Joyce said.


One should consider that all the numerous Indonesian/Papuan/New Guinean volcanoes are on the edge of the Australian tectonic plate — including the Krakatoa — all mostly created by the movement of the Australian plate moving north. But beyond this, there has been other volcanoes on Australian mainland, especially on the great dividing range from the Atherton Tableland to Tower Hill in Victoria, via the Warrumbungles in New South Wales. Some geologists have sugested that as the continent moves northwards (about 7 centimetres per year) over millennia some of the surface has drifted over what is called hot spots And the same hot spots might have been responsible for successive now extinct volvanoes that seem to appear in a chain along the great divide down to Tower Hill...

nuke dump...

A Senate inquiry report has endorsed the Federal Government's plan to site a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory.

The Government-dominated Senate committee investigated whether there are legal reasons why the Commonwealth cannot override Northern Territory legislation to build the nuclear dump at Muckaty Station near Tennant Creek.

The committe has decided there are no legal reasons and the bill should be passed.

The report notes the Territory Government's opposition to Muckaty Station being chosen but it places more weight on traditional owners volunteering the site.

However, the report does recognise that there could still be a legal problem for the Commonwealth.

It says the inquiry was not able to establish whether traditional owners had the authority to sign the Muckaty deal, or whether other traditional owners who oppose the dump should be recognised.

It says this should be resolved in court.


Gus: I believe this project is one that is attached to solutions often proposed by the public service honchos... It has been rolling around under the Hawke leadership, was sustained during the Howardian years and now still is propping its ugly head above the red dirt in the NT... Yep, it still is the same silly project... but then who am I to argue... see toon at top. note the date...........

"abbott mad as a cut snake"

From the silver budgie...


He also said there was no way to "stop the boats" as Mr Abbott had promised.

"We’re all bloody boat people," Mr Hawke said.

"That’s how we found the place."

Mr Hawke said he understood the frustration of many voters at "queue jumpers", but said "we have to look at the other side of the coin".

He said the Coalition’s approach to the boat people question was "nonsense".

"We cannot turn the boats back," Mr Hawke said.

"These people have got initiative, guts and courage and Australia needs people like that."

He pushed Indonesia as the location for an asylum seeker processing centre, saying it would be "fair enough, as long as the conditions there are humane".


Yes I agree about "Abbott mad as a cut snake" and the impossiblity to stop the boat as mentioned earlier somewhere on this site... I came on a cruise ship myself, for 10 pounds... See toon at top...

Nuclear waster could be us.

How well I remember that statement by Bob Hawke and how much I dismiss it as a method of endangering the future of our nation.

Back to the future, Nuclear energy was not the intention of the developers for a safe and cheap energy method for the entire world.  Conversely, it was intended to end a war by brute force and to punish the experimental victims in a manner that should never be repeated.

Necessity is the Mother of invention?

Nevertheless, without any justifiable reason, the United States, and their adversaries Russia, decided on a "I can hurt you as much as you can hurt me". And so the race to find more and more horrific methods of killing our fellow citizens became the order of the day.

IMHO, the US was aggressive and the Russians defensive at the beginning.

The situation now as I understand it, is that the UK and US at least have no way of safely destroying their nuclear waste so, they have developed a method of getting rid of depleted uranium (the waste) by making shells out of it and using it in wars of choice in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and any other dumping ground they choose for their profitable wars.

In my mind, I cannot understand how the producers of a product of consumable energy, leaves behind it such a dangerous residue that cannot be safely stored - and still makes the product for profit regardless.

I have no idea what is the logic of what I call the unreasonable attitude of Bob Hawke. I respect the man but I do not think his take is even sensible.

If we all sit down and take a deep breath regarding Nuclear weapons; power; waste and the inevitable destruction by lack of care of our planet – one thing is to be stopped at its beginning – Nuclear reactors.

The suggestion that we Australians can be relied upon to take the depleted nuclear waste of all countries does nothing but encourage the use of Nuclear Power and weapons all over the world.

The world can only survive by stopping any nuclear involvement and substituting it with using the evolved needs to live that Mother Nature has already given us.

Check on Abbott’s Howard policies on nuclear power (without its inevitable consequences) and we find that it will continually, by its very existence, destroy our planet.




Abbott nuclear - Labor not.

Several years ago in a different forum, I wrote several articles on the dangers of Nuclear Reactors and tried to explain that even the massive profits to be made for Howard’s mates – we were in danger of radiation ad infinitum.

Now the down side.  While the world is currently and dishonestly in the supposed process of reducing Nuclear weapons, one should come to the conclusion that that would not be necessary without the original Atomic bomb. The results of which I had the ghastly experience of witnessing when visiting both Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1948, some years after the attack.

OK, it may have saved some lives for the allies but, the flow on has caused immeasurable destruction, ugly deaths, mutant children and the permanent destruction of innocent societies like Falluja by the US.  The latter was part of the US surge to subdue the citizens of that city and the use of depleted uranium (nuclear waste) as weapons will continue to kill those people for perhaps 100 years. The rarely released photos of those children should be posted in every hypocritical church in the US and the UK.

We know that the Howard New Order plan was to build Nuclear Reactors in Australia with the prime need of “plenty of water”.  This would indicate that such constant supply could only come from the ocean and subsequently Howard and his profiteers would need to build near to the sea. 

An elected Abbott government would implement Howard’s nuclear plans and the history of “business” in this world is to cut corners – remember the Gulf of Mexico?  Never mind, they only killed a few citizens and an enormous amount of pesky natural animals. The historic economy of the suffering States has been devastated.

If our nation wants to lead, as Labor has been determined to do, then legislation which forbids– no outlaws - the building of nuclear reactors in our country, should be passed as soon as possible. Alternative supplies of energy are now available and, the Victorian government has already moved in that direction. The Murdoch protected lies of the Liberals and Nationalists that the saving of our future by a planned method is too expensive!!!

In my opinion, Howard was prepared with his “intervention” policies, to override the rights of the indigenous peoples to allow his Minister to work with the nuclear powers of the world, as to where to dump the nuclear waste.

When we do something like inventing the Atomic Bomb, for whatever purpose, it should be shelved in the archives BEFORE it becomes a political football used for “might is right”.

Nuclear power is just one way of producing energy but, it is far, far more destructive for centuries on, than any use of natural resources.

I have always believed that when we evolving humans learned to live in this planet, WE were required to go along with Mother Nature – not the reverse.  And I also believe that any medical problem caused by nature that we may have found in our millions of years of existence that we, at some time must have overcome that problem and conceded to Nature’s requirements with its antidote?  Or at least its method of prevention.

So, Nuclear Power to me is as dangerous as the Irish Scientist who wanted to fly to the Sun at night – when it was cool.  NE OUBLIE.




harvest from ground zero...

Organs and bones were illegally harvested from the bodies of dead nuclear industry workers at Sellafield without their consent over a period of 30 years, an inquiry found yesterday.

The relatives of 64 staff, many of whom only discovered their loved ones had been stripped of livers, tongues and even legs decades after they were buried, said the inquiry's findings proved the existence of an "old boys' club" among pathologists, coroners and scientists around Sellafield prior to 1992 which prioritised the needs of the nuclear industry above those of grieving family members.

In evidence to inquiry chairman Michael Redfern QC, who oversaw the Alder Hey inquiry, representatives of the workers said they felt as if bodies had been "mutilated" and treated as "commodities" to assist in research on behalf of the industry to disprove the link between cancers and radiation.

Some missing bones had been replaced with broomsticks for deceased workers' funerals. Mr Redfern said the families had been "wronged". "In most cases considered by the inquiry, relatives were let down at the time when they were most vulnerable by those in whom they were entitled to place an absolute trust," he said.


Dr Stan Higgins's father, also called Stan, was only 49 when he died.

The former member of the Parachute Regiment and keen rugby player had also been commended as a senior shift supervisor during the 1973 head-end plant incident, in which he had been severely exposed to ruthenium.

"He was the most irradiated man that ever lived," his son said yesterday. "He survived for about five years but he lost his thyroid and started having black outs and died of a heart attack."

Dr Higgins later learned that some of his father's tissue had been taken three years after he died, but he only discovered the true extent of the theft – vertebrae, mediastinum, kidney, liver, heart, spleen, sternum, both lungs and lymph nodes – three years ago.

"I believe there should be some retribution for the families who have had to go through this time and time again," he said.

see toon at top...


At about 10.30am on 17 January 1966, when Jesus Caceido heard a deafening explosion coming from the village of Palomares, the future mayor of the area had no idea he had just witnessed one of the Cold War's most serious nuclear accidents – or that nearly half a century later, the 1,500 villagers would still be battling to have the ensuing contamination removed for good. After all, they live in Europe's most radioactive village.

Today, 45 years after four nuclear bombs fell near the village when a US Air Force B-52 bomber and a refuelling aircraft collided in mid-air, tens of thousands of cubic metres of contaminated soil and an estimated – although never officially confirmed – half a kilogram of plutonium remain. And the radiation is getting potentially more dangerous, not less.

"As this type of plutonium decays, it is converted into another radioactive substance, americium, which is highly carcinogenic and can be released into the atmosphere," says Igor Parra, a specialist for the Ecologistas en Accion pressure group for Palomares.

see toon at top...

needs a new sarcophagus...

Nearly 25 years after the world's worst nuclear disaster, it has emerged that only half the money needed to safely secure the wreckage of the Chernobyl power plant has been raised.

A new shelter is being built to seal the almost 200 tonnes of melted nuclear fuel rods within the remains of the damaged reactor.

But construction may have to be halted if donor nations fail to provide funds.

The shelter will sit over an existing "sarcophagus" encasing the reactor.

I was shown into the control room of Reactor Four. The room is a mess: dusty and unlit, the semi-circular wall of panels stands silent.

bird brains...

Birds living around the site of the Chernobyl nuclear accident have 5% smaller brains, an effect directly linked to lingering background radiation.

The finding comes from a study of 550 birds belonging to 48 different species living in the region, published in the journal PLoS One.

Brain size was significantly smaller in yearlings compared to older birds.

Smaller brain sizes are thought to be linked to reduced cognitive ability.

The discovery was made by a team of researchers from Norway, France and the US led by Professor Timothy Mousseau from the University of South Carolina, US, and Dr Anders Moller from the University of Paris-Sud, France.

“feed and bleed.”...

But all weekend, after a series of intense interchanges between Tokyo and Washington and the arrival of the first American nuclear experts in Japan, officials said they were beginning to get a clearer picture of what went wrong over the past three days. And as one senior official put it, “under the best scenarios, this isn’t going to end anytime soon.”

The essential problem is the definition of “off” in a nuclear reactor. When the nuclear chain reaction is stopped and the reactor shuts down, the fuel is still producing about 6 percent as much heat as it did when it was running, caused by continuing radioactivity, the release of subatomic particles and of gamma rays.

Usually when a reactor is first shut down, an electric pump pulls heated water from the vessel to a heat exchanger, and cool water from a river or ocean is brought in to draw off that heat.

But at the Japanese reactors, after losing electric power, that system could not be used. Instead the operators are dumping seawater into the vessel and letting it cool the fuel by boiling. But as it boils, pressure rises too high to pump in more water, so they have to vent the vessel to the atmosphere, and feed in more water, a procedure known as “feed and bleed.”

When the fuel was intact, the steam they were releasing had only modest amounts of radioactive material, in a nontroublesome form. With damaged fuel, that steam is getting dirtier.

see toon at top...

long history of cover-ups

A documentary filmmaker who has spent much of his career focusing on the Japanese nuclear industry says it has a long history of cover-ups.

All eyes are on the industry after Friday's deadly earthquake and tsunami affected the cooling systems of several Japanese reactors, with two explosions at one plant in Fukushima.

Tony Barrell told PM while it appears authorities are being transparent in this latest crisis, their record is tarnished.

"It's not been good. This recent occasion is an example of the new regime if you like, of actually telling people in a blow-by-blow way of what's going on," he said.

"Well they had to really, because that wave and the earthquake were so obviously threatening nuclear power plants on the east coast of Japan that they couldn't very well pretend they weren't.

"Whereas that has been the case on many occasions, including [by] the company that operates those plants."

He says in 2003 reactors across the country had to be shut down after it emerged the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) had hid accidents.

"They had to shut down 17 plants in 2003 because they'd been falsifying the records about what had been happening at them," he said.

"Now the accidents weren't of a major nature. They weren't anything like what's going on in Fukushima.

"But they were serious in the sense that lives were threatened, systems broke down, there were failures to report and there were cover-ups. People pretended things hadn't happened."

see toon at top...

of the dumping industry...

UN close to ban on West's toxic waste exports

Deal is struck to stop poor nations becoming global dump

By Sarah Morrison and Paul Carsten

One of the most persistent and insidious pollution problems visited by the West on the developing world has taken a huge step towards a permanent solution this weekend.

A UN environmental conference in Cartagena, Colombia, attended by more than 170 countries, has agreed to accelerate a global ban on the export of hazardous waste, including old electronics and discarded computers and mobile phones, from developed to developing countries.

Environmental campaigners, who have been battling to broker a deal on the dumping of toxic waste for more than 20 years, said they were "ecstatic" about this "major breakthrough".


see toon at top...

garbage trade...

Nearly 90 containers, each weighing more than 30 tonnes, have arrived back in the bustling Suffolk dockyard of Felixstowe in the past fortnight. Their journey began last November when they left scrapyards in southern England for Indonesia labelled as "recyclable" material with a value of $500,000 (£318,000).

The shipments were part of a lucrative trade – about 10 million tonnes of waste metal flow out of Europe each year. But when the Indonesian authorities inspected the contents of the British containers, they did not like what they found. The cargo was declared hazardous, resealed and British authorities were ordered to arrange for its immediate return.

Four UK companies are now being investigated by the Environment Agency (EA) to see if they sent contaminated and potentially toxic waste to the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, in contravention of laws designed to combat a global epidemic of cross-border dumping.

how can you?... yes we can...


How can you have a discussion about reducing our carbon emissions and acting on climate change without having nuclear energy on the table, asks Matt Hickey.

Did you know that you're much more likely to die in a taxi on your way to or from an airport than on a plane? Maybe you did, but how many of us have called a loved one from a cab after touching down at our destination to announce our safe arrival, unaware - or perhaps just unconcerned - about the far greater peril we face in the back of that cab?

Airline incidents get a lot of attention, partly because when things go wrong they go really wrong, and partly because these worst-case outcomes happen so infrequently. Oddly, it is this very lack of frequency that makes these events worthy of media coverage, while it is this very media coverage that convinces us that these events aren't actually all that infrequent.

The same characteristics that create this media-fear feedback loop around plane crashes is true of other events such as terrorism attacks and, not least of all, nuclear disasters. Which is partly why there was no argument for a consideration in nuclear energy in the Federal Government's latest energy white paper.


There are still some major unsolved problems with nuclear energy as a provider of electricity.

  • Like coal, nuclear energy wastes a lot of energy (inefficient heat differential) to produce electricity.
  • Unlike coal, AND RENEWABLES, nuclear power is quite expensive. There is not a country in the world where this energy is not subsidised heavily — even if one of the by-products (plutonium) can be sold off to the military.
  • The life-span of a nuclear power station is between 30 to 50 years... By the end of its used-by-date, it costs an enormous of money to decommission the sites. In England, places like Sellafield and other nuclear facilities, the cost of decommissioning is in the vicinity of 73 billion pounds
  • The problem of nuclear waste has not been resolved by any country using nuclear energy. 
  • Spent rods have to be kept for another "who-knows-what many years" in on-site cooled storage facilities. These spent rods were at the cntre of the major problem in Japan's Fukushima reactor.
  • Most of the products used and the wastes have radio-active half-life between 10,000 and 250,000 years.
  • Despite some high safety implementations, there are still some major problems and minor accidents, many of them unreported... 
  • When the atmospheric and the river (water cooling) temperatures are above certain levels, the nuclear power stations have to be shut down.
  • In France, the rate of suicide by some nuclear power stations staff is about 4 times the national average. 
  • Options such as solar, wind and geothermal energy can provide enough power, including base load...
  • Big companies hate options such as personal supply of energy, or back to the grid supply. It's money they don't make. 
  • According to my own calculations, a normal household needs on average about 37 kilowatt/h power supply per day — which on average is 1.6 Kw/h per hour, or 2 Kw/h average per useful hour with peak at 5 Kw/h... A single solar panel installation can provide on average 3 Kw/h per hour maximum. A double system can provide double this supply. A bank of deep cycle batteries can last over ten years minimum and store more than 40 Kw/h per day — if properly manufactured and looked after. Such batteries can be recycled (reconditioned). A small vertical windmill can also provide enough power at times when the sun is not shinning.
  • We should decentralise power supply and bring it to "village" level and household "generation". Big companies do hate this concept because they can't cut in to make money out of this — except be part of an initial quantity of sellers selling the original set ups...
  • Electricity workers would have to be redeployed as monitors/inspectors of small installations (panels, inverters, batteries) to make sure dangers are minimised (the direct current, from a solar panel set-up, can kill)
  • The original set up cost of individual supplies would be quite similar to that of a new coal power station designed for the same number of household. The advantage is that the cost of the energy then becomes free (the sun, the wind) and some of it can be sent back to the grid and/or used to recharge electric cars (batteries) with ranges of up to 150 kms... The averaged travelled by car is about 27 kms per day in city and about 50 in country areas... And no CO2 pollution from most of our activities. Reduction of CO2 would drop significantly possibly by 60 per cent. Another way to minimise CO2 is to reduce our usage of plastics. Some industries, like steel-making, cannot do without coal.
  • The set up of nuclear power station is carbon intensive. The set of individual electric systems is also carbon intensive but less so than the large nuclear option. 
  • We need to free ourselves from big "power supply" and the nuclear option is the biggest, most expensive of them all, with a very limited future...
  • Gus Leonisky





one million years...


Finding a suitable site for nuclear waste poses a huge challenge, since it must be able to contain radiation for a million years. Experts believe deep underground locations in rock salt, clay or granite would be possible.

Salt is well suited for dissipating the heat of radioactive waste and enclosing it. But there is a risk of water seepage. While clay is not soluble in water, it has the disadvantage of lower thermal conductivity and stability. Granit, on the other hand, offers stability, but the waste containers would still also have to shield the radiation.

The aim of the proposed search method is to find particularly suitable storage sites in Germany and predict their shielding quality for more than a million years, based on the latest geological knowledge. So-called scenario analyses should help in estimating possible changes in groundwater, earth movements and erosion. “All of these scenarios must ensure that even with changes, no radiation seeps outside,” Michael Sailer, chairman of the German Waste Commission, told DW.


Not in Australia, thank you... See toon at top...


Maintenance and safety lapses at nuke repository...


Maintenance and safety lapses were at the root of a lorry fire that shut down the only US underground nuclear waste repository in February, a report says.

The report also cited problems with emergency response and oversight at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), outside Carlsbad, New Mexico.

The state's two senators called the findings "deeply concerning".

WIPP, which holds specific kinds of defence nuclear waste, remains closed after a radiation leak last month.

It is still unclear if the fire and the leak, which contaminated 17 workers, are related. A separate report on the leak is expected in the upcoming weeks.

The accidents are the first major incidents at the repository, which began taking radioactive waste from US defence sites 15 years ago.

'Nuclear versus mine'

In a report released on Friday, the energy department's Accident Investigation Board (AIB) found the 5 February fire was preventable.

The root cause, the board wrote, was the failure of the current and previous contractors running the site to "adequately recognise and mitigate the hazard regarding a fire in the underground".

Lorries carrying salt were not maintained or cleaned often enough to prevent the build-up of combustible materials and the onboard automatic fire suppression system had been deactivated.


It was good to see Tim Flannery in Conversation with Anne Summers having become quite cool about the nuke option to solve the issue of global warming... Though nuclear power cannot survive without governmental subsidies, including financing of clean ups and storage of spent fuel, it is thought to be "carbon neutral". But with the cost of renewable having come down by more than half, the nuke option is not profitable (never was anyway except with cash from taxpayers). The coal industry also receives "subsidies" in the form of infrastructure such as ports and rail network. Though the industry pays "rent" on these, the rent is often way below the cost-value.


no dump...

The Northern Land Council (NLC) has abandoned its push to locate a national nuclear waste dump on Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory.

A surprise settlement was offered by lawyers for opponents of the dump and was signed on Wednesday in Melbourne.

It comes halfway through a series of federal court hearings to take evidence from a number of Aboriginal clans from the station, 120km north of Tennant Creek, who said their wishes were overruled by a fifth clan and the NLC, who worked together to nominate the site.

The groups have been battling the dump for seven years since Muckaty was formally nominated in 2007.

The NLC says it settled out of concern for relations among the clans.

"The NLC notes that its acceptance of the offer is done without any admission of liability – that is, without any admission that the nomination was made in error," the council’s chief executive, Joe Morrison, said on Thursday.


See toon at top with Bob Hawke...

no dump...

The Central Land Council has ruled out the possibility of a nuclear waste dump being built over a large part of central Australia due to opposition from some traditional owners.

Traditional owners in the Tanami region were considering nominating land to become a dump, but at a meeting this week delegates heard of opposition to the move from traditional owners and affected communities, the CLC said.

Federal Government Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane has said there has to be unanimous support for the move for a site to be successful.

"The delegates heard that the CLC has received formal correspondence and public statements from the traditional owners and residents of affected communities who are opposed to a nuclear waste dump in the area," the CLC said.

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GOOD! What I mean Is GREAT!... No dump... There should be no dump in the Tanami...

domesday... yes I mean domesday...

Black seabirds circle high above the giant concrete dome that rises from a tangle of green vines just a few paces from the lapping waves of the Pacific. Half buried in the sand, the vast structure looks like a downed UFO.

At the summit, figures carved into the weathered concrete state only the year of construction: 1979. Officially, this vast structure is known as the Runit Dome. Locals call it The Tomb.

Below the 18-inch concrete cap rests the United States’ cold war legacy to this remote corner of the Pacific Ocean: 111,000 cubic yards of radioactive debris left behind after 12 years of nuclear tests.

Brackish water pools around the edge of the dome, where sections of concrete have started to crack away. Underground, radioactive waste has already started to leach out of the crater: according to a 2013 report by the US Department of Energy, soil around the dome is already more contaminated than its contents.

Now locals, scientists and environmental activists fear that a storm surge, typhoon or other cataclysmic event brought on by climate change could tear the concrete mantel wide open, releasing its contents into the Pacific Ocean.

“Runit Dome represents a tragic confluence of nuclear testing and climate change,” said Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, who visited the dome in 2010.

“It resulted from US nuclear testing and the leaving behind of large quantities of plutonium,” he said. “Now it has been gradually submerged as result of sea level rise from greenhouse gas emissions by industrial countries led by the United States.”

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what goes around comes around...

A ship carrying nuclear waste to Australia has left a French port despite warnings from environmentalists that the vessel may be unsafe.

Greenpeace and French environmental campaigners had called for the shipment, sent by France-based nuclear company Areva, to be stopped.

The BBC Shanghai is due to reach Australia by 27 November.

French officials said an inspection had revealed no problems that could prevent the ship from sailing.

The 25 tonnes of nuclear waste comes from Areva's reprocessing plant in Beaumont-Hague, near the port of Cherbourg, from where the ship set sail on Thursday.

Yannick Rousselet, of Greenpeace France, said the BBC Shanghai "should not be used" to transport the nuclear waste.

Nathalie Geismar, of French environmental group Robin des Bois, said that other ports had found a "staggering number of flaws" in the 14-year-old ship.

Shortly before the cargo ship set sail, French Green MP Denis Baupin tweeted (in French) that Areva was "using a dustbin ship to carry waste, without any serious inspection".

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (Ansto) said a full inspection of the ship had been carried out by both French maritime safety authorities and by the French nuclear safety regulator on 14 October.

"The ship's seaworthiness was confirmed and certified," a statement said, adding that the ship had been chosen by Areva.

The waste comes from spent nuclear fuel sent from Australia to France for reprocessing in the 1990s and early 2000s, Ansto said.

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more crap from the pollies...

Australia should “look closely” at expanding its role in the global nuclear energy industry, including leasing fuel rods to other countries and then storing the waste afterwards, Malcolm Turnbull has said.

But the prime minister said he was “sceptical” about whether Australia would ever build its own nuclear power stations to provide electricity to domestic customers, given the country had plentiful access to coal, gas, wind and solar sources.

Turnbull made the observations in a radio interview on Wednesday, a day after he named Dr Alan Finkel, a vocal advocate of nuclear power and the outgoing chancellor of Monash University, as Australia’s next chief scientist.

He was asked to weigh in on the issue during a visit to South Australia, where the state Labor government has launched a royal commission into options for participation in the nuclear fuel cycle. Turnbull praised the premier, Jay Weatherill, for setting up the inquiry.

“I was just talking about this with the cook in the cafe downstairs, when I was having some coffee and breakfast with Steve Marshall [the SA Liberal leader],” he told Adelaide radio station FiveAA.

“As Brett, the chef, was saying, and I think a lot of South Australians feel like this and it’s a perfectly reasonable view: we’ve got the uranium [and] we mine it; why don’t we process it, turn it into the fuel rods, lease them to people overseas; when they’re done, bring them back – and we’ve got very stable geology in remote locations and a stable political environment – and store them?

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A stable political environment?... Storing nuke waste?... Get a life...

no dump...


Globally renowned environmentalist and scientist David Suzuki has taken his messages to WOMADelaide, the four-day world of music, arts and dance festival in Adelaide.

He told the audience at the long-weekend event that South Australians should not build a nuclear waste dump, a venture currently under consideration after the state held a royal commission into the nuclear fuel cycle.

That inquiry recommended construction of a storage facility because of the billions of dollars of revenue it could bring to the state, which is struggling with the nation's highest unemployment rate.

Dr Suzuki said SA should not become the world's nuclear garbage can, as it should be up to countries producing waste to store it.

The scientist told the WOMAD audience that Indigenous people had a valuable perspective on the issue.

"To South Australians, to all Australians, I say if you want to deal seriously with the issue of nuclear waste, let the Kaurna and the other Indigenous groups make the decisions," he said.

"They're the only ones that provide the viewpoint and the perspective to do it."

Suzuki says human ingenuity vital

Dr Suzuki also praised South Australia's ongoing pursuit of renewable energy projects.

He said humans had created the possibility of their own extinction, but he believed they also had the ingenuity to find environmental solutions.

"You're at 40 per cent renewable energy now on the way 50 and possibly 60. South Australians should be boasting to the world about what you are doing here," he said.


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See toon at top (2005)... Bob has been on the hustle for years...


we should dump politicians in a big hole...


Despite plenty of talk about the benefits of the plan, the Turnbull Government has actively and consistently refused to debate critics in an open forum, key project assumptions have never been independently verified or tested and many community members, Aboriginal landowners and wider stakeholders do not trust the process. Further, time is running out with Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan recently announcing a siting decision will be made this year.

Soon registered voters in the Flinders Ranges and Kimba District Council districts will receive a ballot in the mail asking if they support a national radioactive waste facility in their region. The Turnbull Government has been spending big and promising large, with job and community benefit estimates and assurances soaring since the ballot was announced.

The Government is working to localise this issue and present it as an economic opportunity for a small region, but this plan is a national issue with profound and lasting implications.

Around 95 per cent of the material planned to be moved to any new facility is currently managed at two secured Federal sites. Low-level waste that needs to be isolated for 300 years is currently at the Woomera defence lands in South Australia’s north. The more problematic intermediate level waste, that needs isolation for 10,000 years, is stored where it was made at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s (ANSTO) Lucas Heights facility in southern Sydney.

Both sites have the physical, technical and regulatory capacity to continue to store these wastes for many years and the current sense of Federal urgency and pressure is being driven by politics and ANSTO’s corporate preferences, rather than by evidence or need.

In any discussion around radioactive waste management, a lot of airspace is devoted to the question of nuclear medicine. No one disputes either the importance or the need for secure access to nuclear medicine. The planned national radioactive waste facility is not expected to receive nuclear medicine waste from any hospital or medical clinic in Australia.


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the cancer of victory...

“Uranium 238 – Impact of the bombardment of Yugoslavia with depleted uranium in 1999”

2nd International Symposium at the University of Niš from 17. – 19.6.2019

by Dr Barbara Hug

The war against Yugoslavia ended 20 years ago. In the meantime NATO settled down on Serbia’s borders, confident of victory, and the German government is now once again providing advice and financial support for setting-up a second UÇK.1Why the looking back into the past?

Because by now the ever-increasing incidence of cancer in Serbia and Kosovo has reached horrendous dimensions and the bellicosity of the NATO states has not diminished.

NATO applied its weaponry over Yugoslavia in 1999 to demonstrate to the world its “well” working machinery of war. Later, Iraq and Afghanistan were also subjected to the “blessing” of radioactive and chemical-toxic uranium ammunition. 
As early as 2001, the Spiegel journalist Siegesmund von Ilsemann drew attention to the fact that American researchers knew about the DU risk posed by the dust swirled up from the soil. Lieutenant Colonel Ziehmn of the Los Alamos Nuclear Weapons Centre warned in a 1991 letter: “There have been and continue to be concerns about the effects of depleted uranium on the environment. Therefore, there is a danger that DU ammunition may appear politically unacceptable.”

The War Alliance doesn’t like to admit that it left behind long lasting war damages stemming from the war in 1999. The issue of uranium ammunition remained taboo, the population of Serbia and Kosovo remained silent for a long time, but was confronted with the massive and rapidly occurring cases of malignant tumours and leukaemias in the families. Today it is no longer possible to ignore those. Whilst NATO and its think tanks are still trying to sweep the problem under the carpet, a Serbian lawyer from the south of Serbia, Srđjan Aleksić from Niš, started to establish a campaign aimed at obtaining financial compensation for the victims. He advocates for the sick plaintiffs from Vranje and Niš or their families. As already in 2018, he organised an international symposium on 17 – 19 June 2019 at the University of Niš. Legal, political, economic and ecological aspects, health and safety were the topics of the experts. The event was organized by the Srđjan Aleksić Law Office Niš, the Association for the Protection of Critical Infrastructure, Belgrade, and the Orthodox Academy of Science, Arts, Crafts and Innovation of Serbia.

The situation of the mountain area around Vranje, south of Niš, will continue to be a worrying topic. On a hill near the village of Plačkovica NATO bombed a broadcasting tower. The workers ordered to restore the tower all died of cancer after a few years. Today Plačkovica is a ghost village. The current radiation dosis greatly exceeds the threshold of tolerability by far. A citizens’ initiative led by Gradimir Jovanovic was formed in Vranje.

Legal, human rights and legal-ethical aspects, presented by the Greek speakers Janis Rahiotis and Nikolos Progulis, testified the urgent necessity of an internationally supported jurisdictional reappraisal of the war of 1999. There was no doubt that this war of aggression was contrary to international law, and the reinterpretations into a “humanitarian intervention” proved to be an untenable construction even 20 years later, considering the countless victims in the civilian population. Is it a humanitarian act to literally poison the population of a small country? 
More than 300 participants – foreign guests and lecturers – from Greece, Norway, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, Bulgaria, Northern Macedonia, Bosnia including the Republic of Srpska and Malta witnessed the high level of interest that exists at least in civil society in these countries. Serbia has a large diaspora worldwide, whose members are also affected. 

The aim of this committed meeting was to raise public awareness of the link between rising cancer rates and the weapons used by NATO. The WHO has since long taken a clear position: DU is an alpha emitter, a genotoxic substance. If deposited inside the body, e.g. by inhaling dust, it is carcinogenic. DU is classified as group 1 of carcinogenic substances by the International Agency for research on cancer of the WHO. Cancer as occurring in Serbia and Kosovo is extremely aggressive, and humans become cancerous after about 5 years after exposure. To treat this type of cancer, precise chemical-radiological and medical analyses are required to determine the appropriate treatment. The poor population in the Balkans cannot afford such treatments and diagnostic clarifications. So who is responsible for this? If help can be provided at all, adequate compensation must be paid first. It also needs a deep and comprehensive decontamination of the bombed areas – so that at least the farmers can graze their livestock on their meadows again. The water must be continuously tested for uranium and other harmful substances.

As it seems now, the Western “community of values” will not care for such tasks for even a second. Up to now certain groups in Germany are looking at the Serbs despising – as if they had no right to life … Is history repeating again?    •

1     “The tasks of the German ‘Bundeswehr’ include […] in addition to ‘developing a stable, democratic, multi-ethnic and peaceful Kosovo’, also the support to establish the ‘Kosovo Security Force’ and other Kosovo security forces.” As written in Sputnik on 7 June 2019. Do we have to expect that the UÇK will continue wrapped up in fine words, with the help of the “Bundeswehr”?
The presentations will soon be available in English: Srđjan Aleksić Law Office, and


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