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The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction – theme for February 2015

The thought is so unpleasant, so confronting, that most of the time, we all avoid that thought.

That avoidance is a mistake. Now there’s an opportunity to learn the facts – not only on what a nuclear catastrophe, a nuclear war would be like,  but also about what positive steps the people of world can take to prevent those global horrors, and remove those threats.

Symposium: The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction – February 28-March 1, 2015 at The New York Academy of Medicine

A unique, two-day symposium at which an international panel of leading experts in disarmament, political science, existential risk, artificial intelligence, anthropology, medicine, nuclear weapons and other nuclear issues will be held at The New York Academy of Medicine on Feb 28- March 1, 2015. The public is welcome.
A project of The Helen Caldicott Foundation  Venue: The New York Academy of Medicine. 1216 Fifth Ave @ 103rd St. NY, NY 10029

The symposium will  be live streamed around the world and the Proceedings will be published in a book by the New Press

apocalypse

January 30, 2015 Posted by | Christina's themes | Leave a comment

David Krieger calls for a true American commitment to nuclear disarmament

peace c Where’s America’s commitment to seek a world without nuclear weapons? http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/231191-wheres-americas-commitment-to-seek-a-world-without-nuclear   By David Krieger  January 30, 2015, Nuclear weapons do not make Americans safer.  Rather, they threaten us all with their uncontrollable and unforgiving power.  They are weapons of mass annihilation, indiscriminate in nature, threatening combatants and civilians alike. They kill and maim.  They cause unnecessary suffering.  They are immoral and their use would violate the humanitarian laws of warfare.  No country should be allowed to possess weaponry that is capable of destroying civilization and ending most life on the planet, including the human species.

Nuclear weapons and human fallibility are a most dangerous mix.  As long as nuclear weapons exist in the world, civilization and the human species are threatened.  Nuclear deterrence is not foolproof, and time is not our friend.  We must approach this task with the urgency it demands.  We must confront nuclear weapons and those countries that possess and rely upon them with what Martin Luther King, Jr. called “the fierce urgency of now.”

There are still more than 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world, most in the arsenals of the United States and Russia.  However, seven other countries also possess these annihilators.  These countries are: the UK, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea.  Even one of these weapons can destroy a city, a few can destroy a country, and an exchange of 100 of them between India and Pakistan on the other side’s cities could trigger a nuclear famine resulting in the deaths of some two billion people globally.  A larger nuclear exchange between the US and Russia could return the planet to an ice age, resulting in nearly universal death.

What is needed today is for the countries of the world to engage in negotiations in good faith to end the nuclear arms race and to achieve total nuclear disarmament.  That is what is required of us and the other countries of the world under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and customary international law.  Unfortunately, rather than negotiating in good faith for these ends, the nuclear-armed countries are engaged in expensive programs to modernize their nuclear arsenals.

The goal of negotiations should be a universal agreement for all the nuclear-armed countries to give up their nuclear arsenals in a phased, verifiable, irreversible and transparent manner.  It will require the participation of all countries, but some country will need to lead in convening these negotiations.  That country should be the United States of America, given its background in developing, using and testing nuclear weapons.  But, if history is a guide, that won’t happen until the people of the United States demand it of their government.

The country that has stepped up to take a leadership role in calling on the nuclear-armed nations to fulfill their obligations for nuclear disarmament is a small, courageous Pacific Island state, the Republic of the Marshall Islands.  It is suing the nine nuclear-armed nations to require them to do what they are obligated to do under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and customary international law; that is, to negotiate in good faith to end the nuclear arms race and for nuclear disarmament.

The Nuclear Zero initiative of the Marshall Islands falls in this 70th anniversary year of the first use of nuclear weapons by the United States.  Enough people have already suffered from nuclear weapons – those in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, those in the Marshall Islands, the Nevada Test Site, Semipalatinsk, Lop Nor and other nuclear weapon test sites around the world.  It is time for humanity to take charge of its own destiny.  In the Nuclear Age, ridding the world of nuclear weapons is an imperative.  Our common future depends upon our shared success.

Of course, the perspective expressed above is my own.  It is tragic, though, that such a perspective did not make it into the President’s 2015 State of the Union Message to the Congress and People of the United States.  It was an opportunity to teach and lead that was missed by the President.  Why, we might ask, is he engaged in modernizing the US nuclear arsenal, a trillion dollar project, instead of negotiating for the elimination of nuclear weapons?  After all, in Prague in 2009, the president expressed boldly, “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”  What has happened to that commitment?

Krieger is president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (www.wagingpeace.org).  He is the author of ZERO: The Case for Nuclear Weapons Abolition.    

January 31, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Indian Citizens’ Statement against Capitulation to the US on Nuclear Liability

india-antinuke http://kashmirwatch.com/news.php/2015/01/30/indian-citizens-statement-against-capitulation-to-the-us-on-nuclear-liability.html Kumar Sundaram

We are deeply disturbed by media reports that the Indian government has capitulated to aggressive U.S. demands and agreed to a deal that indemnifies American nuclear vendors from the consequences of accidents caused by design defects in their reactors.

Preliminary reports suggest that the government has agreed to create an insurance pool, backed by public sector companies, so that any potential American liability can be redirected back to Indian taxpayers. This creates a “moral hazard”, where the Indian people could end up being responsible for mistakes made by a multinational corporation.

The 2010 Indian liability Act is already a weak law heavily biased towards the nuclear industry. It caps the total liability for an accident at a paltry Rs 1,500 crores and takes away the rights of victims to sue the supplier. The much-discussed supplier liability is very limited: the government alone, as the operator, has a right of recourse against the vendor.

So, we fail to understand the Modi government’s motivation for weakening this law even further. The U.S. has nothing attractive to offer in terms of nuclear commerce. The Indian government has agreed to purchase the AP1000 reactors from Westinghouse, and the Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) from General Electric. Both these designs are untested. The ESBWR technology is so immature that the design received certification from the U.S. nuclear regulatory commission—the first step before a reactor can be constructed—only last September. Recent reports suggest that construction of AP1000 units has run into trouble in China.

Independent estimates suggest that the cost of electricity from these reactors may exceed Rs. 15 per unit. This is much higher than the tariff from competing sources of electricity.

Therefore, the reality behind the grandiose proclamations made by the Indian government is rather sobering. India has agreed to pay billions of dollars for immature American technology, and then ensured that American companies will not be held to account for any design defects.

We hope that progressive forces and concerned citizens throughout the country will unite to oppose this disturbing development.

Signatures: Continue reading

January 31, 2015 Posted by | India, opposition to nuclear, politics international | Leave a comment

Real war could result from USA’s pushing Russia into a new Cold War

Flag-USAflag_RussiaGorbachev: US dragging Russia into new Cold War, which might grow into armed conflict Rt.c om  January 29, 2015 Mikhail Gorbachev has accused the US of dragging Russia into a new Cold War. The former Soviet president fears the chill in relations could eventually spur an armed conflict.

Plainly speaking, the US has already dragged us into a new Cold War, trying to openly implement its idea of triumphalism,” Gorbachev said in an interview with Interfax.

The former USSR leader, whose name is associated with the end of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, is worried about the possible consequences.

What’s next? Unfortunately, I cannot be sure that the Cold War will not bring about a ‘hot’ one. I’m afraid they might take the risk,” he said.

READ MORE: ‘America needs a Perestroika’ – Gorbachev to RT

Gorbachev’s criticism of Washington comes as the West is pondering new sanctions against Russia, blaming it for the ongoing military conflict in eastern Ukraine, and alleging Moscow is sending troops to the restive areas. Russia has denied the allegations.

All we hear from the US and the EU now is sanctions against Russia,” Gorbachev said. “Are they completely out of their minds? The US has been totally ‘lost in the jungle’ and is dragging us there as well.”

READ MORE: NATO expansion in E. Europe ‘destroys EU security order’ – Gorbachev………http://rt.com/news/227423-us-russia-cold-war/

January 31, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Danger for India in weakening Liability law, and no benefit to India in USA nuclear deal

The most baffling feature of the current agreement is that it holds no tangible benefits for India. The United States has offered to sell two reactor designs — both of which are expensive and untested.

india-antinukeLast week, the residents of Mithi Virdi wrote an open letter to Mr. Obama and Mr. Modi reminding them that the “gram panchayats of four most-affected villages … [have] passed a resolution declaring the entire … region as [a] nuclear free zone.” The leaders of the “world’s largest democracies” face a clear choice. They can channel billions of dollars into nuclear corporations by sacrificing safety and economic prudence. Or they can heed the democratic voices from Mithi Virdi and cancel these unnecessary deals.

highly-recommendedNuclear deal no cause for celebration  THE HINDU, SUVRAT RAJUM. V. RAMANA 31 Jan 15  Any understanding between Narendra Modi and Barack Obama on circumventing the Indian nuclear liability law to protect American reactor suppliers should be a matter of concern

At their recent meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama discussed methods of circumventing the Indian nuclear liability law to protect American reactor suppliers from the consequences of accidents caused by design defects. Although public details are scarce, if they have indeed reached an understanding on the issue, then this is not a cause for celebration; it should be a matter of deep concern.

The importance of supplier liability is illustrated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. When the reactors were hit by the tsunami that year, the weakness of the General Electric (GE) Mark I design was cruelly exposed. The reactors’ inadequate containment was unable to prevent the spread of radioactivity when the cooling systems failed and pressure built up inside the reactors. Although this design defect was first noted about 40 years ago, just as the Fukushima reactors were commissioned, the industry resisted regulatory changes that could have ameliorated the disaster.

Framework of impunity

The Japan Center for Economic Research estimated that the cost of cleanup at Fukushima may reach $200 billion. A 2013 expert study “Accounting for long-term doses in worldwide health effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident” published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science estimated that the disaster may lead to about a thousand excess deaths due to cancer. However, it is unlikely that GE will ever be held accountable for its poor design choice. Under Japanese law, the supplier is indemnified from liability for an accident. This is the framework of impunity under which nuclear suppliers like to operate.

Legal indemnity for suppliers creates a “moral hazard”— encouraging suppliers to take excessive risks since they don’t have to pay for the consequences. The case of GE not strengthening the Mark I containment is not an exception. Continue reading

January 31, 2015 Posted by | India, politics international | Leave a comment

Diplomatic incident, as Russian nuclear bomber planes fly off west coast of Ireland

Russian nuclear bomber planes fly off west coast of Ireland as British Typhoon fighters scrambled, Irish Independent  Brian O’Reilly and Philip Ryan 30/01/2015 RUSSIAN bomber planes capable of carrying nuclear weapons flew past the west coast of Ireland on Wednesday – forcing Britain to scramble Typhoon fighter jets in response. A diplomatic incident was sparked when Russian Tu-95 ‘Bear’ bomber planes flew past the west coast of Ireland and into the English Channel before turning and going back the same way.

It was reported that the heavily armed aircraft were flying without their transponders – meaning they were invisible to commercial airlines.

Britain scrambled its fighter jets in response – as Ireland is considered to be within its ‘area of interest’ for defence.

The Russian Embassy in Ireland issued a robust defence of the country’s decision to fly bomber jets near Irish airspace.

However the Department of Defence said while the Russian aircraft did not enter Irish sovereign airspace at any time, such non-notified and non-controlled flight activity is not acceptable.

“The Irish authorities will discuss with their UK counterparts how best to seek to resolve this through the International Civil Aviation Organisation,” it said……http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/russian-nuclear-bomber-planes-fly-off-west-coast-of-ireland-as-british-typhoon-fighters-scrambled-30949988.html

January 31, 2015 Posted by | Ireland, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

Sums add up for solar power in India, but NOT for nuclear power

I’m afraid the sums simply don’t add up for nuclear power, purely from an economic point of view. The fully loaded cost (including decommissioning and waste management) of a unit of power would be probably 100 times that of a unit of conventional power today.

On the other hand, it appears as though the time has come for solar power. Plummeting costs of photovoltaic panels, improvements in storage and transmission, and other technological factors now mean that solar lifecycle cost is approaching conventional costs in the West. Given India’s inherent availability of sunlight, I am of the opinion that we would be better off spending the billions needed for nuclear power on a crash program of research into solar power, and maybe even on subsidizing it heavily to kick-start it.

Indo-US nuclear deal: Why is Modi pursuing what looks like a total loss in N-energy? First Post by Rajeev Srinivasan  Jan 26, 2015 On 25 January, the airwaves were filled with self-congratulatory and self-satisfied messages about how “we” had “won” the “nuke deal”. Nobody was clear about what exactly we had won, and how, and why the Americans (superb negotiators) had apparently caved in to Indian demands. As I write this on Republic Day, there is still no concrete data. ……. Continue reading

January 31, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, India, politics | Leave a comment

Poor likelihood that nuclear power can ever be effective against climate change

climate-change-timeNuclear power additions ‘need to quadruple’ to hit climate goals, IEA says, The Carbon Brief  31 Jan 2015, 14:50 Simon Evans  “………Governments can choose whether to support new nuclear or not, the IEA says. They could finance guarantees, as well as reviewing electricity market arrangements. The UK has done both, through its electricity market reforms and fixed-price contracts for nuclear power.

The nuclear industry needs to show it can deliver projects on time and within budget so that these financing costs can be reduced, the IEA says. It says new nuclear plants should cost around £3.8 billion per gigawatt in Europe. The UK’s Hinkley C plant is expected to cost almost that, partly because of the costs of borrowing money to finance the scheme.

Existing nuclear plants will also need to stay open for longer as part of the 2050 roadmap, which depends on further research and investment. The IEA sees plants operating for up to 60 years or more. Nuclear operator EDF recently announced a ten-year life extension at one of its Dungeness B plants, and it hopes to agree similar extensions at its other UK plants.

Small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) could play a “niche” role in future, the IEA says. It points out that just three prototype modular reactors are under construction, that none are yet operating and that the economics of SMRs “have yet to be proven”. Former environment secretary Owen Paterson gave SMRs a starring role in his vision for the UK’s energy future in a speech last year…….”

January 31, 2015 Posted by | ASIA, climate change, spinbuster | Leave a comment

USA gets Europe to water down proposals for tougher nuclear power safety standards

safety-symbol1Flag-USANuclear safety push to be softened after U.S. objections BY SHADIA NASRALLA VIENNA Fri Jan 30, 2015 (Reuters) - The United States looks set to succeed in watering down a proposal for tougher legal standards aimed at boosting global nuclear safety, according to senior diplomats.

Diplomatic wrangling will come to a head at a 77-nation meeting in Vienna next month that threatens to expose divisions over required safety standards and the cost of meeting them, four years after the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

flag-EUSwitzerland has put forward a proposal to amend the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS), arguing stricter standards could help avoid a repeat of Fukushima, where an earthquake and tsunami sparked triple nuclear meltdowns, forced more than 160,000 people to flee nearby towns and contaminated water, food and air.

“If the convention is already perfect, why did Fukushima happen?” said one senior diplomat involved in the matter.

But Russia and the United States have opposed such a change, the diplomats say. A reform of the CNS would increase industry costs, as existing nuclear plants, especially older ones, would have to be refitted. The United Nations atomic watchdog says there are 439 nuclear power reactors currently in operation globally, with 69 under construction.

Mark Hibbs, proliferation expert at the Carnegie Endowment think-tank, said those in favor of the amendment argue their opponents are motivated by protecting the nuclear industry and electric utility companies……..

“I think the United States government is afraid of any principle that would even suggest that current reactors need to be retrofitted to meet modern standards,” said Edwin Lyman of the Washington-based Union of Concerned Scientists.

“We have many plants (that face) hazards far greater than those they were originally designed to withstand decades ago… A declaration… would allow signatories to avoid even the obligation to discuss the matter in their reports.”…….. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/30/us-nuclear-safety-idUSKBN0L31KO20150130

January 31, 2015 Posted by | EUROPE, safety, USA | Leave a comment

USA States consider helping nuclear industry, but it seems to be nuclear’s last dance

Analysis: Last tango for nuclear? Environmental health News, 30 Jan 15, “……..Those new nukes are falling behind schedule and soaring over budget, making an already-jittery Wall Street even more skeptical.  On Thursday, the builders of two new reactors at Georgia’s Plant Vogtle disclosed additional delays and overruns, potentially making the project over a billion dollars in the hole and three years late. The demise of Yucca Mountain means there’s nowhere for the industry to permanently store its waste. And just when you thought it was safe to atomically boil the water, Fukushima provided the first nuclear mega- disaster since Chernobyl a quarter-century earlier, fairly or unfairly reviving public unease about nuclear energy’s safety in the U.S.

And it didn’t help when the longtime CEO of America’s biggest nuclear player stuck the financial fork in shortly after his retirement.

financial-disaster-1

John Rowe, a longtime nuclear booster and former CEO of Exelon, the Chicago-based offspring of mergers between Commonwealth Edison of Illinois, Philadelphia’s PG&E, and Baltimore-based Constellation, oversaw 23 reactors. “I’m the nuclear guy,” Rowe told a gathering at the University of Chicago two weeks after his 2012 retirement. “And you won’t get better results with nuclear. It just isn’t economic, and it’s not economic within a foreseeable time frame.”

Rowe was commenting on plans for newly built reactors. But old ones, including up to six of Exelon’s fleet, may be on the block………. Continue reading

January 31, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Engineers in the dark about the state of Fukushima nuclear molten cores

exclamation-TV: Only ‘some’ of Fukushima melted fuel is now solid — Nuclear Expert: Molten core ‘re-melts’, even with enough cooling water — Japan Engineer: “The Fukushima accident was the first of its kind” (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/tv-only-fukushimas-melted-fuel-solid-nuclear-expert-molten-core-will-melt-enough-cooling-water-japan-engineer-fukushima-accident-first-kind-video?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

NHK, Jan 27, 2015 (emphasis added): Groundwater entering the facility becomes tainted when it mixes with melted fuel inside the reactor containers. Tepco engineers believe some of the fuel has cooled down and turned into solid debris. But they don’t know the exact situation, so they’re hoping to take a look inside… Scientists have figured out a way of using muons to help them see substances hidden from views — like magma… When particles hit a high-density object like magma, they lose energy or are absorbed… it’s like an x-ray. Researchers are hoping to use the technique to get a better idea of what’s inside the reactors… Engineers will… try and determine the state of the melted fuel… Engineers say knowing what’s inside will help them figure out a way to decommission the plant.

Asahi Shimbun, Jan 24, 2015: [TEPCO] will use cosmic rays… to identify sites with melted fuel… They will first study the No. 1 reactor… by the end of this fiscal year, estimating how much fuel remains in the reactor[and] intend to extract the melted fuel after surrounding it with water… the plant operator will need to repair damaged sections of the containers to prevent water leaks… However… nuclear fuel at the base of the container cannot be seen using the muon technique

Dr. Ing. Mazzini, Ph.D. Nuclear & Industrial Safety (pdf): Severe Accident Phenomenology…Milestones of Nuclear Safety: 2011 Fukushima Accident (1st for an External Event)

  • Ex-Vessel Accident Phenomena:
    -> 
    The molten debris falls into the reactor cavity. This produces boiling off of whatever water is there. If sufficient water is present, the core would be cooled and solidify, and would subsequently re-melt.
    -> 
    Steam explosions may also occur at this time as the molten fuel falls onto water in the reactor cavity. This can disperse fuel, create radioactive aerosols, and increase the rate of heat transfer to the containment atmosphere.
    -> 
    Molten corium attacks the concrete basement, which proceeds to penetrate, and creates a cauldron that releases aerosols and gases [and] containment pressure rises.

DPA, Jan 28 2015: More delays expected in Fukushima nuclear plant clean-up… More delays in treating contaminated water from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant are likely, a senior official of a company involved in the clean-up said Wednesday. “Some schedule(s) would be delayed because the contaminated facility did not operate as planned,” ­[said] Yoshiki Ogata, director of the global nuclear project department of Mitsubishi… “The situation in the building is not clear,” he told dpa on the sidelines of a nuclear energy conference. Mitsubishi, along with Toshiba and Hitachi, are the three companies helping… Ogata said that the Fukushima accident was the first of its kind so there were a lot of challenges… “So, first stop the underground water from entering and also leakage to the sea…”

Watch the NHK broadcast here

January 31, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | Leave a comment

Financial problems escalate with delays in Nuclear Plant Vogtle

nukes-hungryFlag-USACost pressure intensifies for Georgia nuclear plant http://www.sltrib.com/home/2121839-155/cost-pressure-intensifies-for-georgia-nuclear By RAY HENRY The Associated Press Atlanta 31 Jan 15,  • The delays and cost overruns are piling up for a new plant in Georgia that was supposed to prove nuclear energy can be built affordably.

Southern Co. announced this week the builders of Plant Vogtle expect construction will be delayed 18 months. That would bring the total project delays to roughly three years.

The firms designing and building the plant, Westinghouse Electric Co. and Chicago Bridge and Iron Co., want Southern Co. and its co-owners to pay roughly $1 billion for previous delays and snags.

Regulatory filings show the latest delay could cost Southern Co. an additional $720 million. The other co-owners have not yet disclosed their potential costs. Similar delays and costs have surfaced at an identical project in South Carolina.

January 31, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Danger in even controlled fires at Rocky Flats where soil is contaminated with plutonium

wildfire-nukePlutonium fears hex planned prescribed fires at Rocky Flats wildlife refuge By Bruce Finley  The Denver Post  29 Jan 15, The prescribed fires to restore overgrown forests and grasslands near homes in Colorado have hit a snag: plutonium and its perception at a former nuclear weapons site upwind of Denver.

West metro leaders are opposing a long-planned federal burn in March on 701 acres at Rocky Flats, once a Cold War bomb trigger factory, where plutonium contamination created an environmental disaster.

After a $7 billion cleanup, completed in 2005, Rocky Flats became a 4,000-acre national wildlife refuge, which still remains closed to the public.

Worried residents contend the controlled burn to improve grasslands for elk and raptors could have a deadly impact on people by releasing plutonium into the air……..http://www.denverpost.com/environment/ci_27415100/plutonium-fears-hex-planned-rx-fire-at-rocky

January 31, 2015 Posted by | environment, USA | Leave a comment

India’s energy future is in renewables: nuclear costly and dirty

renewables-not-nukesflag-indiaNuclear Energy is past its expiry date, renewal energy is the future. ABP Live, Food and trade policy analyst Devinder Sharma Wed, Jan 28, 2015 “……..Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now laying stress on renewal and clean sources of energy, and has promised to generate 100,000 MW from solar power in next few years. This is heartening by all standards.

This brings me to the media excitement that I see all around from the so-called ‘breakthrough’ that has been achieved in Indo-US nuclear deal. With India accepting to shoulder the liability, with the assurance of putting together an insurance pool and thereby allowing the suppliers of nuclear equipment to go Scott free in case of a nuclear mishap, the question that nuclear energy is safe and clean is itself being defeated. Why should nuclear suppliers insist on not being held responsible in case of a nuclear accident if the technology is safe?

I don’t understand why and how nuclear energy is being called safe and clean……….

Let’s look at the cost involved. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists: “Between 2002 and 2008, cost estimates for new nuclear power plant construction rose from between $ 2 billion and $ 4 billion per unit to $9 billion per unit, while experience with new construction has seen costs continue to soar.” With the costs rising, the nuclear suppliers have been seeking government subsidies, including loan guarantees, tax credits.  Interestingly, some estimates point to the huge burden on taxpayers, stating that the plants cost more to taxpayers than the market value of power generated. Nuclear energy today is the most expensive.

With such an expensive source of energy, I don’t think Indian industry can be viable and competitive unless of course massive subsidies are provided to keep the nuclear plants running. If India can provide for massive subsidy support, I wonder why the same investment can’t be made for harnessing solar and wind energy. Let us not forget that way back in 1985 Forbes magazine had categorically termed the US nuclear industry “the largest managerial disaster in business history.” And this also points to the managerial failure to find a safe burial for the nuclear waste generated……..

the huge potential that exists in non-conventional energy resources. In solar alone, India is presently producing only 0.5 per cent of the estimated potential of 750 GW. This estimate is based on the wastelands that can be used for solar power generation. But I see no reason why rooftop solar power generation cannot replace the household (as well as commercial establishments like hotels/hospitals/malls) use of electricity.

In case of wind, Energy Minister Piyush Goyal has already given a green signal for stepping up the existing capacity, by promising to put up 10,000 MW of wind power installations every year. Add to this the massive potential that exists in biogas and biomass, India can easily chart a new pathway in meeting its growing energy needs. Given that the crude oil prices have fallen drastically, and are expected to stay low, the challenge to build up the country’s energy needs from clean, safe and non-conventional resources is immense and untapped. http://www.abplive.in/author/devindersharma/2015/01/28/article487692.ece/Nuclear-Energy-is-past-its-expiry-date-renewal-energy-is-the-future.

 

January 31, 2015 Posted by | India, renewable | Leave a comment

Oyster Creek nuclear power facility deteriorating: urgent safety need to close it

safety-symbol1Flag-USAEDITORIAL: Time isn’t on Oyster Creek’s side  AsburyPark January 29, 2015 To the surprise of no one, the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in Lacey continues to deteriorate and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission continues to document the decline of the oldest nuclear power plant in the country. The NRC released a report this week that indicated the plant, which came online in 1969 and is set to close in 2019, had rectified problems that led to four unplanned shutdowns, or scrams, in a 10-month period between October 2013 and July. Joint failures, metal fatigue and leaks were among the problems causing the shutdowns.

As expected, a spokesperson for power plant owner Exelon said the shutdowns never posed any risk to the safety of the plant, its employees or the public.

What the public should be hearing from Exelon are its specific plans for decommissioning the reactor, its timetable for doing so, and what it intends to do with the property once the plant is shut down. And the industry’s lapdog, the NRC, must come up with specific decommissioning requirements — many of the details are left to the plan operators — and address the questions surrounding the disposal of the spent fuel rods and making the sites suitable for other purposes……..

What is absolutely certain is that the dangers posed by Oyster Creek will not vanish in 2019. It will pose a continuing threat to the environment and public safety well into the future. The sooner that Oyster Creek is dismantled and its spent fuel rods can be safely moved out of overcrowded pools and into dry casks the better.

Oyster Creek has moved into its dotage, when breakdowns become the new normal. It is beyond the stage where duct tape and gauze bandage are going to fix it.

Exelon, the NRC and the state Department of Environmental Protection all need to be forthcoming about the timetables, tasks and costs ahead, and move with all deliberate speed to close Oyster Creek and keep us safe. It is ready for whatever the scrapheap of reactors looks like. Time is not on the side of safety. http://www.app.com/story/opinion/editorials/2015/01/29/editorial-time-oyster-creeks-side/22517265/

January 31, 2015 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Enthusiasm by investors for Indian renewable energy project

Investor commitments received for 1.3 lakh MW renewable energy: Piyush Goyal By PTI | 30 Jan, 2015,MUMBAI: Even before the first-ever meet for attracting investment in renewable energy sector starts, the country has received commitments to create 1.30 lakh MW generation capacity, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said today.

“We have received commitment for investments for nearly 1.3 lakh MW of renewable energy from both the domestic and international players,” Goyal today said, speaking here on sidelines of an event organised by VASVIK………..
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46069893.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cpps

January 31, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, India | Leave a comment

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