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August 18th 2011
Letter: Coal Seam Gas and Japan's nuclear disaster.

"With the news that Japan has made moves to start replacing its reliance on nuclear power with coal seam gas (LNG) from Queensland, it's a good time to revisit what's actually happening with the stricken nuclear plant at Fukushima, "says Jenny Stirling Queensland Greens spokesperson.

According to this report, workers at Japan's Fukushima plant say the ground under the facility is cracking and radioactive steam is escaping through the fissures. They also say pipes and at least one reactor were seriously damaged before the tsunami hit the area in March.

"Certainly the cooling system failed to stop reactors going into meltdown after it was hit by the 40-metre-high waves. And the plant has been leaking radioactive material ever since, despite efforts to clean it up,"said Ms Stirling.

Meanwhile an Al Jazerra report has Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president saying that: "Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind.The fuels are now a molten blob at the bottom of the reactor. This blob is extremely radioactive and because of the melt though, the plant is generating hundreds of thousands of tonnes of highly radioactive water."

In reference to the 20 nuclear cores exposed, with fuel pools having several cores each, Gundersen calculates: that is 20 times the potential to be released than Chernobyl... "The data I'm seeing shows that we are finding hot spots further away than we had from Chernobyl, and the amount of radiation in many of them was the amount that caused areas to be declared no-man's-land for Chernobyl. We are seeing square kilometres being found 60 to 70 kilometres away from the reactor. You can't clean all this up. We still have radioactive wild boar in Germany, 30 years after Chernobyl."

Because of the plutonium in the melted cores, this material will have to be removed from the environment for hundreds of thousands of years. It is envisaged that robots will be needed to place this material in a container and store it for infinity: a technology that does not exist. At present nobody knows how to pick up the molten core from the floor, there is no solution available now for picking that up from the floor.

In future when people talk about the damage done to Queensland farm and grazing land and its underground aquifers and the Great Barrier Reef from coal seam gas mining and LNG production, remember that it was a nuclear accident that was partly responsible for creating such a huge market for our LNG.

Given that scenario, the Greens focus on renewable energy makes critical sense and would solve so many of these unnecessary problems.

Jenny Stirling
Qld Greens Spokersperson
For further details please contact: 04 244 39 098

Letter: Coal Seam Gas and Japan's nuclear disaster.
Steve Lane
August 27th 2011
LNG is about as far away from Coal Seam mining, as a Greens Spokesperson is from common sense. Quite a gulf really!
August 29th 2011
Steve Lane might need to research the subject a bit more. LNG (liquified natural gas) is what is currently being produced by those enormous projects off the north coast of WA. The natural gas is brought to shore and made into liquid before shipping out to Asia and elsewhere.
CSG (coal seam gas) - now under production in Queensland, can also be liquified and it is the intention of several producers to do just that. I quote a recent Reuters report:
"There are currently three coal seam gas to liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects including Santos' Gladstone LNG, BG Group's Queensland Curtis Island LNG, and Origin and ConocoPhillips' Australia Pacific LNG, all expected to come online around 2015".
I think it would be fair to say that LNG is about as far away from CSG mining as a short pipeline. It's common sense really.

What do you think? Send us your comments.

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