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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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Thirty years opposing nukes

Posted at 11:16am Friday 09 Jun, 2017 | By Ryan Wood

It’s been 30 years since New Zealand forged its own path and proclaimed itself nuclear-free.

In 1987 Labour passed the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act, enshrining our nuclear-free status in law.

However, it also riled the United States, which downgraded our status from ‘ally’ to merely ‘friend’.

Tauranga women Mary Rose and Joy Rising are self-proclaimed ‘elderly peaceniks’ who will be marking the occasion this Sunday with placards. They hope to get out and about and remind people to be committed to peace.

Mary says in 1987, she didn’t realise how important the nuclear-free legislation was.

“I was living on a farm in Opotiki at the time. I wasn’t yet politically aware.”

In 1995 she joined the Quakers, however, and embraced their ideas around promoting peace.

“I found they were a faith community that worked on a cooperative basis,” says Mary. “Each person has ministry and responsibility. There’s no dogma or creed – each person has their own experience of God.”

Since then she has actively promoted peace, including going up to Auckland to protest the recent arms conference, as well as an oil conference in New Plymouth. She considers both nuclear weapons and climate change to be equally dangerous threats to human survival.

And both of them are influenced by big business.

“It’s almost terrifying when you realise the influence these industries have on governments, too.”

She and Joy have come up with the idea to get out and be a presence in places such as parks or intersections this Sunday, to let people know both what we have achieved, but also how much further we have to go.

Anyone interested in helping out or taking part can contact Mary via



Posted on 19-06-2017 17:40 | By Papamoaner

An even more interesting post! I’m as happy not to be involved in that stuff as I am to work with analogue that can still do stuff digital switching can’t and never will when low level sinusoidal variations are an essential pre requisite to the task. As to moving beyond 3 times ten to the 8 M/S, my head hasn’t yet coped with it, so QP is ahead of my time. I see you’ve been around the traps alright. I guess it was a compliment, even from the village idiot, by accusing me of being you in drag. Back to Topic;- I am thinking if we build fusion power plants into solid greywacke basement rock, it’s not going to go anywhere in a big seismic event. I notice when hydro dams breach, it’s not the basement rock that fails, being highly homogeneou
@little to fear but fear itself

Posted on 19-06-2017 12:37 | By morepork

An interesting post but there is far more here than can be covered in this forum. The radiation produced by nuclear reactions (soup of accelerated particles) is a lot different from the electromagnetic energy which passes harmlessly (we think - no definite conclusions yet) through us. Quantum Physics shows that sometimes things can be waves and sometimes the same thing can be particles (the term used is "wavicles") and some experiments show that the act of observing it changes its nature. it is all very confusing and defies logic. Two excellent books to help here are "In search of Schroedinger’s cat" by John Gribbin and "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene. The bottom line is that we DO need to be very careful (afraid?) when dealing with nuclear radiation, but that doesn’t mean we should not consider it as a viable alternative energy source.
Little to fear but fear itself

Posted on 18-06-2017 23:21 | By Papamoaner

Arguments are not so much about weaponry, but radiation itself. Stigma has made radiation a dirty word, when in fact we are all subject to various forms of radiation on a daily basis, but because we don’t know it, we don’t get afraid. For example, those little flashes of light we see when we close our eyes, are not imagined. They are cosmic rays (particles actually) striking our retina as they pass through our bodies. Radio signals all around us are electromagnetic radiation, as is daylight . An oncology radiation machine accelerates particles into human tissue. We call it radiation, but despite containing some electromagnetic radiation, it is mostly accelerated particles that destroy tissue. I was once present during recalibration of an oncology radiation machine and managed to get a pretty good explanation of the mysteries of their workings.

Posted on 17-06-2017 13:57 | By Papamoaner

Kind words - thanks. I too only have one profile, and have disagreed with Morepork on some issues, but we don’t throw the toys out of the cot and get personal. I never said my opponents are psychopaths. I have only ever made that observation about one commenter (ask not for whom the bell tolls, Maildrop). I never claimed to be a nuclear physicist or anything like it. but I did once mention on another thread that I had specialised in upper atmosphere physics. I never claimed to be a psychologist. These are all inventions of an unhappy mind with confused thoughts and low self-esteem. However, I and my workmates have been subjected to quite a few psychological tests before team deployment to remote stations too far north of Chernobyl to feel the heat of vodka or maildrop’s breath,

Posted on 17-06-2017 13:56 | By R. Bell

You have managed to kill a good, informative thread. I have been " debating" with morepork for years papamoaner not so long. Your forensic observations leave a lot to be desired. They are not the same person I’m as sure as I can be, given the secret world you all inhabit. As for me, Mom and Dad gave me a name to use that’s what I do, come hell or high water, as they say. Robin Bell.
@Robin Bell

Posted on 16-06-2017 12:19 | By morepork

Thanks for your comment, Robin. I can assure you I only have ONE identity on Sun Live (I see no point in having more; I only have ONE opinion at any given moment. ) As always, I respect differences of opinion and am happy to debate them without rancour or personal attack (although I may change this rule for Dropkick who is quite beyond the pale... :-))

Posted on 15-06-2017 15:42 | By maildrop

You do realise they are same person? Or perhaps you think there are two people who write in exactly the same style, using very similar phrasing, who keep coming back to this story, who have both been mixing it with Russians?! Get real. Eh, maybe you’re another alias too? And I think if you read it through I merely point out the drivel, and then I get insulted. Because I run rings around the garbage.
@Objective debaters etc.

Posted on 15-06-2017 12:14 | By morepork

I believe this forum serves a useful purpose and I take it seriously. (Not always too seriously, but you catch my drift...) The LAST thing I would want to do here is go and look at the postings of a stupid, vitriolic idiot, for their "entertainment value". If I cared about his posts (which I don’t, because they add nothing to the thread) I would simply find it sad. Best ignored, in my opinion. This thread is descending into stupid ad hominem attacks so it looks as though there is not much more to say about the actual topic. It is unlikely that anyone will have changed their minds but, hopefully, some thought has been provoked... No more from me unless somebody posts something sensible.
In defense of papamoaner and morepork,

Posted on 15-06-2017 09:52 | By R. Bell

Maildrop I have found both to be honest and informative. My memory of 30yrs ago tells me the main objection to " things nuclear" was prompted by the arrogance of the French. First in testing half a world away, in our back yard so to speak, this was quickly followed by more arrogance in violating our sovereignty. We all have our disagreements and each their own style. I have often disagreed with morepork particularly on his version of equality, but abuse is for the weak. Sometimes stating an opposing view forcefully can be mistaken for insult, and of course some have "thinner skins" than others. Be patient you may learn something. Robin Bell.
Objective debaters and subjective stone throwers

Posted on 14-06-2017 19:37 | By Papamoaner

You get a few like that, and I have a faint suspicion, via several pointers, that he’s on here under two separate identities. But I hasten to add that it’s purely anecdotal. If you want to see him quick-firing from the hip, and enjoy the entertainment, take a look at news item "Tauranga to host marine convention"
Whatever pap/pork-looks like same person 2me

Posted on 14-06-2017 17:51 | By maildrop

No point acting high and mighty and quoting friends and languages on 4 continents, or claiming to have been anywhere near Chernobyl. Proves nothing and doesn’t impress one bit. Can’t take anyone seriously who bases their opinion of anyone based on "unofficial accounts". Not much of an open minded investigation is it, especially for someone supposedly so learned. You were both (same) caught out and just can’t handle someone pointing out your absurd inconsistencies. As always when your drivel is pointed out you claim everyone is a psycho. Don’t tell me, you’re clinical psychologists as well as nuclear physicists and marine biologists et al. I don’t know how you find time for Sunlive if you’re such experts on everything.
Just for the record...

Posted on 14-06-2017 13:39 | By morepork

As a world traveller for over 30 years, living and working in many different cultures I ended up speaking 4 major languages and making friends on 4 continents. I do NOT judge people and neither do I preconceive my reaction to them based on race, colour, religion, gender, or culture. I embrace diversity for NZ and believe we can be an example to the world of a successful multi-cultural society, provided we keep it fair and do not favour any particular sector. I have nothing against the Russians (or any other people) and never said they are a drunken race; I merely reported what I found when investigating the Chernobyl disaster, having had first hand exposure to it. What possible reason anyone would have for twisting, spinning and perverting what I said is beyond me, but you may draw your own conclusions.

Posted on 14-06-2017 09:13 | By maybelle

Maybe we should start building more eco homes using solar emissions, no waste, no need for nukes!
@morepork - the man is a psychopath!

Posted on 13-06-2017 19:42 | By Papamoaner

You taught me something. Nuclear physics is outside my discipline and I was a bit unsure about fusion waste. My original reference to historical protesters was not intended to be looking down on them as asserted by Maildrop. They WERE confused, especially with regard to, in many cases, confusing generation with weaponry, more so than fission with fusion. I guess there was widespread confusion at the beginning. As to those pesky Ruskies, they were good to socialise with, but seemed to have a weird ability to drink everybody else under the table. They would turn up at our station armed to the teeth with salmon (always salmon) sandwiches and Vodka. We soon learned we must NEVER bring our glasses back down not completely empty, and NO SIPPING ALLOWED. Socially dominant, but affable. Certainly different.

Posted on 13-06-2017 19:01 | By maildrop

I couldn’t care less what you call Russians so I wasn’t looking for offence. The drunken Russian is a stereotype that Is fuelled by western propaganda and narrow minds. Interesting that you quote "unofficial accounts". It can also be found under myths of Chernobyl. They weren’t drunk. They have highly qualified scientists. They have people in space. Are they pissheads too? I can’t take anybody seriously who thinks, and believes, such rubbish, not that I take anything anybody writes on here seriously, unlike you two. As for pot kettle black - I think reading between the lines that is exactly what I was saying to Cap Mannering. It’s funny watching two people think they are seriously debating nuclear power when their starting point is that everyone else is confused and uninformed, yet they think all Russians are drunks.
Pots and kettles and nuclear waste

Posted on 13-06-2017 16:59 | By morepork

I can’t take Maildrop’s non-contribution to this thread seriously so won’t respond with the underhand venom he seems to enjoy. I will just note in passing that there is much in his latest response to Papamoaner which could be filed under "Pot calling the kettle black". One serious point I’d like to make is that Fusion reactors DO produce waste. I said it was not "problematic waste" because it decays very rapidly (hours or days, rather than hundreds or thousands of years), and can then be disposed of safely. I am realistic enough to know that few minds will have been changed by this thread, but even if it leads to someone questioning why they believe what they believe, or even realizing that they may be uninformed and resolving to do something about that, then the time isn’t wasted.

Posted on 13-06-2017 16:36 | By morepork

I understand your point of view and, to some extent agree with it. At the moment, renewable energy is fine, but increasing population increases the pressure for energy and eventually we need a more powerful solution. My point is that a nuclear option won’t even be considered because of the preconceptions that people have. Those preconceptions date back to a Political decision that was, in my opinion, shameful, and which has never been reviewed. You say it united the country; if it did, then it bought unity at the price of removing a valuable energy option for the future. It’s time to take another look. The nuclear industry has moved on and maybe we should too...Union is a very good thing, usually. But it does require discussions to work out sticking points and compromises are required.

Posted on 13-06-2017 16:15 | By morepork

"drunken Russians" is NO racial slur (maybe you are looking for offense?). IAEA reports document the "bad decisions made by the Operators" and unofficial accounts from people who worked there report a "culture" where vodka was routinely drunk while on duty. This was a tragedy that had a number of causes, but alcohol looks like having been one of them. A major change in the "Operational culture" for nuclear installations has been implemented since the disaster.

Posted on 13-06-2017 16:08 | By maildrop

Oh and I have no delusions of being taken seriously on a "forum" such as Sunlive. If you think you are taken seriously, you are seriously mistaken. More fool you.

Posted on 13-06-2017 10:50 | By maildrop

Couple of home truths to point out. It is patently obvious that you think you are an authority on everything and look down on others - your first comment on this story nicely demonstrates it. You, from your chair and unqualified background, call the anti nuclear brigade, many of whom are scientists and highly educated people, "confused". How much more condescending can you get? I’m not interested in debates one bit. I am the antithesis to the rubbish that jumped up people come up with. If you don’t agree or like it, tough. If you choose to respond and try to bait me, great. I like that. You have tried to go toe to toe with but lose every time. It winds you up, obvious from having to have comment on EVERY single story. Next.

Posted on 13-06-2017 10:50 | By Papamoaner

I partially agree with you, but if our population continues to expand, that also means more CO2 and eventually less water and the whole place covered in ugly wind turbines whose infrasonic emissions can also make nearby folks feel sick. Used properly, fusion generation is actually just as clean and green as hydro and possibly just as safe. A good eye-opener is to goggle "failed dams" then click images. My understanding is that with fusion, there is evidently no waste radioactive material to get rid of afterwards, unlike fission which is in current use. Perhaps there’s little to fear but fear itself. In Australia, power generation is one third coal-fired. Not good, especially when they don’t have local rainforest to absorb the CO2.
kiwis unite!

Posted on 13-06-2017 08:45 | By maybelle

We are but a small country, and I feel we have enough water and wind power to supply our needs without resorting to nukes. I am proud to be a kiwi, and was even prouder when I saw the whole of our country unite to ban the nukes...This was something that the majority felt most passionate about and hence brought in our anti-nuclear stance. Amazing what can be accomplished when we unite....United we stand, divided we fall.

Posted on 12-06-2017 18:57 | By Papamoaner

Hey, this is not meant to be a boxing ring! The very last line of your last post is being economical with the truth. It is patently obvious that your posts are often deliberately designed to offend. Especially your debating opponents or anyone else who disagrees with you on any topic. You don’t need to be sarcastic or look down on people just because they have wide ranges of opinions and have been around the traps for a while. Relax - Nobody is a threat to you. Try to respond on topic without getting vindictive if you want to be taken seriously. We are here to discuss nuclear energy, not to vent our dislike for people as you often seem to.
Cultural attaché

Posted on 12-06-2017 16:00 | By maildrop

Wow, an expert on Russians now and what offends them, and what makes them laugh. Move over Putin, this guy speaks for millions. No end to your expertise. There are no Russians roaring with laughter as much as I am reading your drivel. Lada cars are rubbish. Hope I haven’t offended anybody by saying that.

Posted on 11-06-2017 10:32 | By Papamoaner

You evidently have not mixed much with either of those cultures. Russians would never be offended by a comment of that sort. They would more likely roar with laughter and have another Vodka. What does offend them, is if you criticise their equipment, their research, or their technology. On the other hand, your response to morepork will be deeply offensive to Japanese, and their resentment, once triggered, seems to be permanent. You thought you were mocking Morepork, but any Japanese reading it will instantly take it as mockery upon them. And in a faintly oblique way, you were.

Posted on 11-06-2017 10:10 | By Papamoaner

I didn’t follow those two disasters in any great detail, but a bit of reading suggests you are correct in what you say. A possible cause scenario for Chernobyl based upon your drunk reactor drivers;- It’s a cold night Vladimir - how about a bit of fun - We shove all the rods in and freeze those Cossack bastard’s balls to the Steppes all the way to Omsk? I have a better idea Hans - we pull all the rods and turn the water off and watch their Vodka bottles melt into their beards.

Posted on 10-06-2017 20:44 | By maildrop

Wow. "Drunken Russians"! Bit of a racial slur that. I suppose the Fukushima workers couldn’t see the controls through shanty eyes eh? Dearie me.

Posted on 10-06-2017 17:33 | By Papamoaner

Your quaint drunken Russian analogy got me thinking. All the spillway and bypass tunnel gates in all our hydro dams are remote controlled by SCADA (supervisory control and data access) and can be done from any vehicle in the fleet. I chuckled at your concept of a drunken operator opening all the gates at once. And no Maildrop, that is not off the internet, it is in my head. But if I quote a statistic on here, it will invariably be off the internet. Australia is planning Nuclear generation as we speak. Presently, a third of their generation is coal-powered. They also have huge uranium mining resources. Handy for us when we move to nuclear power plants - which we will, but probably not in our time. It is important for us to think of future generations (sic-I mean people)

Posted on 10-06-2017 13:54 | By morepork

I agree that banning nuclear "anything" here has served us quite well for a long time. But it is time it was reviewed and with a less emotional preconception. Fusion reactors, although much more expensive to build and run than the fission reactors that were involved in Chernobyl and Fukushima, don’t produce problematic nuclear waste, so there is no disposal problem. Of course, nuclear can never be as "safe" as hydrothermal or hydro, but it produces many times the output and 2 fusion reactors would ensure energy sufficiency for NZ long into the future. The point of this discussion is that nuclear energy will not get a "fair go" in any considerations for the future because of the popular uninformed reaction to it. I believe that needs to change. If we continue to reject it, it should be after informed consideration.

Posted on 10-06-2017 13:33 | By morepork

There are NO two headed children in Japan or Russia. However, I agree a great deal of damage was done by radiation from both the events you mention. I was less than 400 miles from Chernobyl when the famous event occurred, so I made a point of researching possible outcomes and effects. The lesson to be learned from it is NOT "Don’t use nuclear power"; rather, don’t neglect maintenance on your nuclear power stations and don’t let drunken Russians control them...
@Captain Sensible.

Posted on 10-06-2017 13:27 | By morepork

While I will not insult you, I would like to respond to your post. The American position was NOT one of "arrogance". It is Standard Military Operating Procedure, NOT to divulge what weaponry is available to capital ships. EVERY NAVY in the world does this. The fact that they set this procedure aside to allow the recent visit shows goodwill on their part. I do not speak for the general understanding and connotations of the word "nuclear", but it is observable that in most conversations where this word is used, someone will mention the words "meltdown", "Chernobyl" or such, even f they don’t voice the use of atomic energy in weapons. My point is that most people don’t investigate the safe use of nuclear energy and that nuclear power technology has been progressing for a long time now, since the advent of Calder Hall in 1956.
Another thing

Posted on 10-06-2017 08:22 | By maildrop

A lot of the anti nuclear people were ACTUAL scientists as opposed to someone who googles a few terms whilst in their lazy boy. They based their view on science and facts that were around at the TIME, as opposed to someone who looks back, with the benefit of hindsight and advancements in science, to lambast others. There may well be safe nuclear power in the future but it doesn’t mean those people back then were wrong or confused. If anything, Fukushima confirmed they were correct.
Safe as Hydro?

Posted on 10-06-2017 07:12 | By maildrop

Tell that to the people around Chernobyl and Fukushima, whose kids have two heads.

Posted on 09-06-2017 16:56 | By morepork

I agree with your spectacularly unpopular view on nuclear power for NZ. The technology has advanced, fusion reactors don’t make waste, and we have enough offshore islands and remote places which could house a reactor. (Populated areas do not have to be at risk) Instead of unsightly windmills all over our beautiful landscape, we could have 2 nuclear reactors that would provide our needs for at least the next hundred years. The only realistic risk is earthquake, but even that is containable. France has been running on nuclear power and selling their surplus, for over twenty years now and they have reactors in actual cities. Never a problem. It is the uninformed knee-jerk reaction that people have to the word "nuclear" that is holding us back, exactly as you say.
Shameful political posturing.

Posted on 09-06-2017 16:48 | By morepork

While nobody in their right mind would approve of nuclear weapons or condone their use, except as a last resort, the fact is that we renegged on our contractual obligations to our allies under the ANZUS Treaty, so that David Lange could make some political capital. I was overseas when this happened and I remember that it was the first time in my life I was ever ashamed to be a Kiwi. A lot of young Americans died at the Battle of the Coral Sea to ensure our freedom, and there were far too many Kiwis and Australians who died with the Americans in Viet Nam, honouring a Treaty that guaranteed our protection Whatever the moral rights or wrongs of these conflicts, we signed an agreement and it was sealed in blood. Politicians should be first to be sent to the front lines, whenever they require a War.
Nuclear Free NZ

Posted on 09-06-2017 16:19 | By BennyBenson

is a good thing and certainly hope NZ sticks to it but while I agree to countries promoting peace, it is naive to think we should be totally unarmed, that just makes us an easy target. I also wouldn’t think nuclear power generation would be worth the risk in NZ, especially in a country that suffers continual earthquakes. The US has been burying nuclear waste in the desert for years, where would we ditch ours?
How do you know what anti nuclear people think?

Posted on 09-06-2017 16:03 | By Captain Sensible

"embrace nuclear power" ? Ermm, no thanks. Bet the Japanese and their neighbours wish they never heard of it after the tsunami. Everyone is told how safe it is ...until something happens. I don’t quite understand how you know that the anti nuclear brigade thinks "nuclear" always means "nuke war", because I don’t, but when US ships were denied access it was because the arrogant Americans would not advise the hosts what type of weapons they had on board. Standing by for incoming insults.
Confused people

Posted on 09-06-2017 12:11 | By Papamoaner

These people have been confused for decades, a result of the actions of David Lange, the architect of "tomorrow’s schools" that produced many adults who today can neither read nor write coherently. The difference between nuclear fusion and nuclear fission is gobbledegook to the anti nuclear brigade because they think "nuclear" always means "nuke war" It doesn’t! We need to embrace nuclear power generation while we continue our exponential population explosion and want to keep our planet clean and green. Nobody, perhaps apart from maniacs like Kim Jung Il really wants nuclear weapons, but we do need nuclear power generation, and once fusion is achieved, currently under development, but still experimental, it will be almost equally as safe to use as hydro electric generation. I hope people will eventually see that instead of blindly protesting against a perception of unknown technology.

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