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#1 2016-09-27 05:15:35

Clawhammer
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From: Gone Fishin'
Registered: 2010-02-26
Posts: 9,494
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Maralinga 60 years on

179_5865238-3x2-460x307.jpg

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the 1st atomic bomb detonation on mainland Australia. (Monte Bello Island off North-West W.A. was the site of the 1st few bomb detonations but the British wanted a mainland site).

At a desolate part of north-western South Australia near a lake that had a few emu scratchings... later called Emu Field. Found to be too remote and lacking in water for a permenant facility... a site further south was identified and later named "Maralinga". Within a few months the site was home to over 30,000 personnel. 25,000 british and the remainder American Australian New Zealand and Canadian.

Britain carried out a total of 12 major weapons tests in Australia: three at Monte Bello, two at Emu Field and seven at Maralinga. The British also conducted hundreds of so-called "minor trials", including the highly damaging Vixen B radiological experiments, which scattered long-lived plutonium over a large area at Maralinga.

While the Americans used Plutonium 238 in their early bombs with a half-life of 87yrs... these were good old fashioned British atomic weapons that used Plutonium 239. A particularly nasty isotope in its own right with the added problem of a half-life of 24,000 years.

The British carried out two clean-up operations — Operation Hercules in 1964 and Operation Brumby in 1967 — both of which made the contamination problems worse. Operation Brumby was more of a cover-up, removing the exclusion fences and warning signs and even diggong up previously buried waste and spreading it around.

Now, no one is really sure precisely where the bomb tests were conducted.

And this is the region of my next job.

I don't see it as a coincidence that the very week I "won" the job happened to the week of such a notable anniversary. I'm not suggesting divine providence but it sure 'feels' like the planets have aligned on this one.

I've been warned you can't find a more remote and inhospitable part of the planet to go to. 4wd access only, carrying all the food and fuel needed for a 10week hitch. Limited telecommunications. Radiation monitoring. Scorching days, freezing nights. Short of going to Mars, it doesn't get much more challenging.

The  things we do in life for a $

Last edited by Clawhammer (2016-09-27 06:48:28)


Specialisation is for insects

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#2 2016-09-27 05:49:51

BuggedOut
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From: New South Wales
Registered: 2015-07-21
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Re: Maralinga 60 years on

Take a Geiger counter with you and your own bottled water.

Good luck.

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#3 2016-09-27 06:28:24

ozcopper
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From: Australia
Registered: 2009-07-16
Posts: 13,834
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Re: Maralinga 60 years on

This is a fantastic movie loosely based on the tests, I have it on DVD.

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#4 2016-09-27 06:33:15

Clawhammer
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From: Gone Fishin'
Registered: 2010-02-26
Posts: 9,494
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Re: Maralinga 60 years on

BuggedOut wrote:

Take a Geiger counter with you and your own bottled water.

Good luck.

Cheers. I've got a lot to learn on this one.
I've held a radiation source license for years for material density testing which uses film badges... but this is something all together new.

We've got a mini reverse osmosis plant (which is new to me) so we can use local water and not have to carry our own and a serious solar set-up to minimise fuel usage.


Specialisation is for insects

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#5 2016-09-27 14:08:44

Old Codger
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Registered: 2011-05-13
Posts: 5,128

Re: Maralinga 60 years on

Yet people are living OK in Hiroshima and Nagasaki!

OC


"The Australian Labor Party is a democratic socialist party and has the objective of the democratic socialisation of industry, production, distribution and exchange, to the extent necessary to eliminate exploitation and other anti-social features in these fields."   -  ALP Constitution.

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#6 2016-09-27 14:41:36

Topherclaus
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From: Central Coast, NSW
Registered: 2015-11-15
Posts: 478
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Re: Maralinga 60 years on

Do you mind saying what you do? Interested to know what calls for you to be so far out.


An addiction to drugs would be cheaper.
- silver and gold anon. member -

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#7 2016-09-27 15:44:31

raven
Silver Stacker
From: Victoria
Registered: 2014-04-27
Posts: 1,205

Re: Maralinga 60 years on

The things we do in life for a $ !
sounds dangerous, count me in.
need a hand ?
wink

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#8 2016-09-27 15:58:06

Clawhammer
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From: Gone Fishin'
Registered: 2010-02-26
Posts: 9,494
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Re: Maralinga 60 years on

Topherclaus wrote:

Do you mind saying what you do? Interested to know what calls for you to be so far out.

Just geology. Its commercial in confidence. Nothing too exciting... but nothing boring like gold or base metals. And after all that....there may be nothing out there worthwhile at all.

Last edited by Clawhammer (2016-09-27 16:00:26)


Specialisation is for insects

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#9 2016-09-27 16:07:45

Silver bullitt
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Registered: 2013-04-29
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Re: Maralinga 60 years on

^^^ Uranium exploration?

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#10 2016-09-27 19:53:28

ParanoidAndroid
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From: S.E.Q
Registered: 2015-12-02
Posts: 319
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Re: Maralinga 60 years on

Clawhammer wrote:
Topherclaus wrote:

Do you mind saying what you do? Interested to know what calls for you to be so far out.

Just geology. Its commercial in confidence. Nothing too exciting... but nothing boring like gold or base metals. And after all that....there may be nothing out there worthwhile at all.

A mate was out there 7 or so years ago scratching around with some geoligists for a company. Don'trecall what they were looking for, taking samples? Good news is he's still alive and seems to be functioning fine.   

Get ready to call Ceduna the big smoke. At least you can get some of the  biggest oysters you've ever seen thete for about $5 a dozen.

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#11 2016-09-27 20:00:27

Naphthalene Man
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From: Hunter Valley, NSW
Registered: 2010-02-25
Posts: 5,365
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Re: Maralinga 60 years on

ParanoidAndroid wrote:
Clawhammer wrote:
Topherclaus wrote:

Do you mind saying what you do? Interested to know what calls for you to be so far out.

Just geology. Its commercial in confidence. Nothing too exciting... but nothing boring like gold or base metals. And after all that....there may be nothing out there worthwhile at all.

A mate was out there 7 or so years ago scratching around with some geoligists for a company. Don'trecall what they were looking for, taking samples? Good news is he's still alive and seems to be functioning fine.   

Get ready to call Ceduna the big smoke. At least you can get some of the  biggest oysters you've ever seen thete for about $5 a dozen.

And the biggest chunk of flake you can imagine. The Great whites get rather large down that way...


''Up ahead they's a thousand' lives we might live, but when it comes, it'll only be one''
- Ma in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.

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#12 2016-09-27 20:27:49

betterlatethannever
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From: Boganstan
Registered: 2016-09-13
Posts: 503

Re: Maralinga 60 years on

Naphthalene Man wrote:
ParanoidAndroid wrote:
Clawhammer wrote:

Just geology. Its commercial in confidence. Nothing too exciting... but nothing boring like gold or base metals. And after all that....there may be nothing out there worthwhile at all.

A mate was out there 7 or so years ago scratching around with some geoligists for a company. Don'trecall what they were looking for, taking samples? Good news is he's still alive and seems to be functioning fine.   

Get ready to call Ceduna the big smoke. At least you can get some of the  biggest oysters you've ever seen thete for about $5 a dozen.

And the biggest chunk of flake you can imagine. The Great whites get rather large down that way...

roll


SPECIAL NOTE - Supporting The Nation Of Israel 100% Of The Time 100% - Shalom.

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#13 2016-09-28 03:48:54

ParanoidAndroid
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From: S.E.Q
Registered: 2015-12-02
Posts: 319
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Re: Maralinga 60 years on

Timely news article..

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment … ro9wj.html

Last edited by ParanoidAndroid (2016-09-28 03:49:44)

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#14 2017-01-10 05:43:51

Clawhammer
Silver Stacker
From: Gone Fishin'
Registered: 2010-02-26
Posts: 9,494
Trades :   

Re: Maralinga 60 years on

Geez... I step off the grid for a few months and return to find everything's gone to pot.
Trump got elected, a butt load of celebrities have died & we still have Turnbull in Kirabilly.... the stable thing seems to be these low gold and silver prices :-)

Hope you're all well and had a great Christmas & New Year.

Last edited by Clawhammer (2017-01-10 07:16:12)


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#15 2017-01-10 05:50:51

southerncross
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Registered: 2012-07-26
Posts: 3,364

Re: Maralinga 60 years on

Arrive at the locked gates at Maralinga on the evening before your tour begins. Your tour host will rendezvous on a pre-arranged, permitted entry schedule. It is just a few minutes' drive from the gates up to the Maralinga Village campground. There are hot showers, time to use the laundry facilities, to check emails, to recharge phones and laptops and to settle in for the evening.

http://www.maralingatours.com.au/tour/

Last edited by southerncross (2017-01-10 05:52:16)

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#16 2017-01-10 07:15:21

tolly_67
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Registered: 2010-05-17
Posts: 1,693
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Re: Maralinga 60 years on

Just an observation from caravan touring with my wife.,
Outback South Australia is one of several fascinating places in this country. I can drive through the 'nothing' and not get bored.
I find it leaves a mark on me such that I look forward to getting back up there whenever I can.
One thing that becomes very apparent when you camp in this part of Australia is how big the sky really is and how incredibly insignificant we are on this planet. I am always grateful for my water and food when I look out at the desert terrain with its complete lack of trees and only ankle to knee high shrubs giving the only immediate visible signs of life in such an arid place. I love the salt lakes.

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#17 2017-01-10 10:08:24

southerncross
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Registered: 2012-07-26
Posts: 3,364

Re: Maralinga 60 years on

tolly_67 wrote:

Just an observation from caravan touring with my wife.,
Outback South Australia is one of several fascinating places in this country. I can drive through the 'nothing' and not get bored.
I find it leaves a mark on me such that I look forward to getting back up there whenever I can.
One thing that becomes very apparent when you camp in this part of Australia is how big the sky really is and how incredibly insignificant we are on this planet. I am always grateful for my water and food when I look out at the desert terrain with its complete lack of trees and only ankle to knee high shrubs giving the only immediate visible signs of life in such an arid place. I love the salt lakes.


Something there at least we that have in common tolly, you'd probably also like the spaces in between laverton W.A and Uluru N.T along the great Central Road. A completely alien landscape both day but especially so at night, with a canopy of stars and silence that needs to be physically seen and heard to be believed.

Lasseter's Cave is a specially poignant reminder of the desolation of the country out that way, I spent a fair bit of time at Docker river as a youngster with family and friends and first visited the cave and remember the time when the memorial plaque was first erected there on the track as it was back then.   

Central Australia is a place not many Australians actually visit or experience, and you are right to place a lot of value on the water and food that you take into these places, one of my first memory's from that area is eating raw embryos out of a freshly killed rabbit during a winter as an 8 or 9 year old and also eating freshly roasted Emu from the fire after watching all the feathers on the separate parts burnt off first ( can still smell the stink, but it tasted alright). But water holes were the main game and had the most importance put on them, food was there if you knew where to look for it but wasn't much use without water in that part of the country.

You are right about feeling insignificant out there in those big wide spaces under that huge massive sky, but I personally would rather be out there feeling that emotion any day of the week compared to the mundane feeling of semi existence that I get from the so called 'Real world'. I find that nature like that gives me a real recharge that I can't get anywhere else.

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