Adelaide FoE Notes

These posts are to appear in the fortnightly newsletter

Nuclear medicine & the National Dump Site

“As health organisations, we are appalled that access to nuclear medical procedures is being used to justify the proposed nuclear waste dump. Most waste from these procedures break down quickly and can be safely disposed of either on site or locally.”
                     — Dr Bill Williams, Medical Association for the Prevention of War

“Linking the need for a centralized radioactive waste storage facility with the production of isotopes for nuclear medicine is misleading. The production of radioactive isotopes for nuclear medicine comprises a small percentage of the output of research reactors. The majority of the waste that is produced in these facilities occurs regardless of the nuclear medicine isotope production.”
                    — Nuclear Radiologist Dr Peter Karamoskos.

Proponents of a national radioactive waste facility (a repository for lower-level wastes and a co-located store for higher-level wastes) claim or imply that nuclear medicine would be jeopardised if the facility does not proceed. There is no basis to such claims – they amount to dishonest scare-mongering.

Proponents claim that most or all of the waste that the federal government wants to dispose of or store at a national repository/store arises from medicine, specifically the production and use of medical radioisotopes. However, measured by radioactivity, the true figure is just 10-20%. Measured by volume, the figure may be within that range or it may be higher than 20% ? but it takes some creative accounting to justify the claim that most or even all of the waste is medical in origin.

In any case, the fact that some waste is of medical origin doesn’t mean that a national repository/store is the best way to manage the waste.

If the plan for a national repository/store does not proceed, medical waste will continue to be stored at the Lucas Heights reactor site operated by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and, in much smaller volumes, at hospitals.… Read more >>

East Gippsland old growth forest blockade enters fourth day

Media Release – 25th January 2018  — Goongerah Environment Centre  (GECO)

Old growth logging operations in far East Gippsland have been stopped again for the fourth day this week, as conservationists continue to blockade the access road to the VicForests logging coupe at Granite Mountain, near the Errinundra National Park.

A person is suspended in a hammock hanging from a tripod structure that is blocking the road and preventing access to the logging site. Logging in the old growth forest has been unable to proceed since the blockade was established on Monday morning.

“Giant trees have thrived here for centuries, trees that were growing well before the British colonised Australia are under threat, thanks to the efforts of the people on the blockade this ancient forest is safe for today. The Victorian government urgently need to formally protect East Gippsland’s forests by extending existing parks and reserves,” said Goongerah Environment Centre spokesperson Ed Hill.

“East Gippsland is the Victorian stronghold for old growth forest, it’s the only place remaining on mainland Australia where forests are continuous from the alps to the coast. The region has been identified by the Victorian government has having the highest biodiversity value in the state, yet the government continue logging at a massive loss to the tax payer,” said Ed Hill.

VicForests internal documents reveal a $5.5 million dollar annual loss on logging in East Gippsland[1].

“There are great economic opportunities in East Gippsland that do no involve trashing our environment. With adequate investment in nature based tourism, environmentally focussed land management programs and carbon sequestration our forests could bring great wealth to the region, instead these valuable natural assets are being destroyed at the expense of the environment and the tax payer,” said Ed Hill

“If the native logging industry was sustainable they’d be logging plantations and re growth only.… Read more >>

Radioactive Exposure Tour 2018

The Radioactive Exposure Tour is a journey through Australia’s nuclear landscape.

Run by Friends of the Earth, this year’s Tour will take place from Friday 30th March to Sunday 8th April, 2018

We will visit communities in Kimba and the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, who are stopping a radioactive waste dump on their land.

We’ll head for Arabunna country, watch the sunset over Lake Eyre and see the Mound Springs — oases which are fed by the underlying Great Artesian Basin and host unique flora and fauna. Sadly, some of the Mound Springs have been adversely effected or destroyed altogether by the massive water intake of the Olympic Dam mine.

The Tour will visit BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam uranium mine at Roxby Downs, the largest uranium deposit in the world. The mine is a longstanding environmental and social disaster.

In Woomera, we’ll hear first-hand accounts of the British nuclear bomb tests at Maralinga and Emu Field from nuclear veteran and whistle-blower Avon Hudson. We’ll also stop by Nurrungar, the desert surveillance base that closed in 1999.

Participants get to experience consensus decision making, desert camping and vegetarian cooking in affinity groups while travelling to some of the most beautiful and ecologically significant environments in Australia. If you’re interested in learning about the industry or anti-nuclear campaigning, the “Rad Tour” is an essential start or refresher.

The costs are: concession $600 / waged $800 / solidarity $1000.
$200 deposit option available. Full payment due by 28th Feb 2018.

The Radioactive Exposure Tour is a drug and alcohol-free event. Kids are welcome. Dogs need to stay at home. Tour vehicles only.

If you would like to register your interest in taking part in the 2018 Radioactive Exposure Tour, please complete the form posted at www.melbournefoe.org.au/radtour2018 and we will be in touch. Please note that completing the form does not guarantee you a place on the tour.… Read more >>

Ban the Bomb!

There was an excellent talk by Professor Thakur, Director of the ANU Centre for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament on the new UN treaty to outlaw nuclear weapons, Building Nuclear Peace. You can hear the whole speech in the Hawke Centre podcast of the event, or get a quick overview in this interview from 3d’s Environment Show.

Also of considerable interest is the acceptance speech last Sunday night, as ICAN was awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. It starts at the 50:51 mark in the ceremony video.… Read more >>