The G20 Summit has come and gone watched by up to 3,000 domestic and international media representatives. Amnog the 4,000 delegates were US President Barack Obama, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and UK Prime Minster David Cameron
The purpose of this summit ? to foster economic growth. Yes – a bigger world population, greater production of ‘goods’, greater consumption of ‘goods’ and energy. Supposedly all this is good for business. Climate change wasn’t meant to be on the agenda – Australian P.M. Tony Abbott saw to that.
And yet, and yet. TV viewers saw the rapturous reception given by university students to President Obama, as he urged them to promote action on climate change. Obama moved freely and relaxedly amongst the students.
It is ironic that Australia should be hosting this international growthfest, under the leadership of Prime Minster Tony Abbott who has absolutely no idea of environment, nor of sustainable economics.
The nuclear connection is an underlying one. The nuclear industry, as shown by its advertisement film “Pandora’s Promise” . depends on the world accepting the need for endless growth and consumption, with ever increasing energy use – supplied by nuclear power. And – make no mistake, governments have been bought by the polluting industries.
There is a new philosophy emerging – but not from these so-called leaders, – the philosophy of the Conserver Society, as against the Consumer Society . This is well expressed by Frank Rotering in his concept of “Contractionism”
we cannot go on as a species plagueing the planet, trashing it, and thinking that somehow humans can start it all over again on another planet. There must be a radical change in economic thinking, and as Frank Rotering suggests, this could well be led by business – by real leaders, who see that it makes financial sense to be truly conservative -
Nov 26, 2014
IWAKI, FUKUSHIMA PREF. – Tokyo Electric Power Co. started work Tuesday to fill an underground trench at the disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant with cement while pumping up radioactive water inside at the same time.
The power company reported the beginning of the cement-pouring work for the cable trench for reactor 2 at a meeting in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, with government representatives on measures to deal with increasing radioactive water at the power station.
Tepco expects to finish the work by the end of next March. The company will begin next month pouring cement in reactor 3′s trench, hoping to complete the work also by the end of March.
The trenches for the two reactors are estimated to hold 11,000 tons of radioactive water in total. The water is believed to be causing the pollution of groundwater under the seaside section of the power plant.
On Tuesday, Tepco injected 80 cu. meters of cement in the reactor 2 trench in an operation that lasted two and a half hours from around 9:30 a.m. The trench holds radioactive water that has flowed from the reactor’s turbine building.
At first, Tepco planned to stop the flow by freezing water inside the joints between the turbine building and the trench so that it can entirely remove the radioactive water from there.
But Tepco could not fully freeze the water or block the flow. So, the firm switched to the current plan to inject cement in and remove the radioactive water from the trench simultaneously.
Source: Japan Times
November 24, 2014
Plan D of Course!
But first, recall that Plan A was to install freezing pipes at the head of the trench leading from Reactor 2 turbine building to create an ice plug so that the extremely contaminated water that had been sitting in the trench since the very beginning of the nuclear accident could be pumped out. TEPCO started the work in April this year.
That failed. The ice plug didn’t quite form.
Then recall that Plan B was to dump tons (literally) of ice and dry ice in the trench near the freezing pipes to lower the temperature of the water around the freezing pipes so that the ice plug would finally form. Workers dumped ice all day and all night, in the high ambient radiation right at the trench. That was in hot August. Try to freeze the trench with ice in hot August.
That also failed. Dry ice clogged the pipe, and the ice plug didn’t quite form, and TEPCO admitted there was water still coming into the trench from the turbine building. The water sitting in the turbine building comes from the reactor building after it cools the molten core somewhere in the building, and it is warm.
So TEPCO came up with Plan C.
What was Plan C? It was to fill the gap between the incomplete ice plug and the turbine building wall with fillers. TEPCO chose the combination of grout and concrete. A plug of ice, grout and concrete was formed. Sort of.
From TEPCO’s document uploaded at Nuclear Regulation Authority’s site on 11/21/2014, the plug – pink and light green in the diagram is grout (different types), dark green is concrete:
That failed, just as I predicted.
TEPCO finally admitted on November 17 that it was a failure after pumping out some 200 tonnes of this highly contaminated water on November 17 and seeing that the water level in the trench didn’t go down as much as they had calculated. The water was still coming in from the turbine building, and the groundwater was probably seeping in.
But not to worry. TEPCO has Plan D, and it has been already approved by Nuclear Regulation Authority.
So what is Plan D? To fill the trench with cement while pumping out the water that gets displaced (in theory) by the cement.
(Do you want to bet whether that is going to fail?)
An effort to stop contaminated water from flowing into a trench at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant failed to completely halt the flow, announced Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the plant’s operator, on Nov. 17.
A TEPCO representative said, “We believe we have not completely stopped the water. Groundwater may also be entering the trench. We will closely analyze the changes in water level in the trench.”
TEPCO says that when around 200 tons of contaminated water was removed from the trench, the water level in the trench should have fallen by around 80 centimeters if the point of leakage between the plant’s No. 2 reactor turbine building and the trench had been fully sealed. However, the water level only fell by 21 centimeters, so TEPCO determined that the leak must be continuing.
…While the water remains in the trench, TEPCO cannot create a planned underground wall of frozen soil around the No. 1 through 4 reactor buildings to stop water leakages.
And this image from Tokyo Shinbun (11/21/2014):
and reference to Plan D:
(TEPCO) will propose (to Nuclear Regulation Authority) a new method of plugging the trench by pouring in the special cement that spread thin and wide in the water while removing the contaminated water in the trench gradually.
TEPCO says in the document (page 9) they submitted to NRA that it will be a mixture of cement, fly ash and underwater-inseparable admixtures (セメント、フライアッシュおよび水中不分離混和剤などの配合調整). They will use the tremie concrete placement method.
(Do you want to bet whether that is going to fail?)
The NRA meeting on November 21, 2014 was funny without participants intending to be funny, from what I read in the tweets by people watching the meeting.
At one point, Commissioner Fuketa exasperatedly asked TEPCO representatives, “So what was the point of trying to freeze the water? Was freezing even necessary at all?“
The answer was no. TEPCO’s Shirai admitted (according to the tweet by @jaikoman on 11/21/2014) that there was a talk inside TEPCO that the ice plug was not necessary.
So why did they do it, and why did NRA approve it?
No one knows and no one is held accountable, while workers had to set up freezing pipes, then to pour ice, dry ice, grout, concrete, and to pump this highly contaminated water over the past 8 months in high radiation exposure. TEPCO hasn’t disclosed the radiation exposure for the workers.
November 24, 2014
The LDP aims for collective suicide by extending Japan’s nuclear reactors’ life span to 60 years while pushing forward with the Oma nuclear plant, which will purportedly be the world’s first 100 percent MOX facility!
Does everyone remember what Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3 explosion looked like? Unit 3 was running MOX fueld. Its explosion strongly resembled a mushroom cloud and has been interpreted as involving a nuclear criticality. Plutonium from the Daiichi explosions, likely from Unit 3, was found in Lithuania.
MOX fuel is extraordinarily dangerous. Japan’s earthquake activity has been increasing. At least one of Japan’s volcanoes is displaying increased activity. Japan must be intent on self-destruction and will take the Pacific Ocean and North America with it, if the US, Russia, UK, or France, don’t beat them to annihilating humans on Earth:
Gen Kaga, Toshio Kawada, Koji Nishimura and Tomoyoshi Otsu (2014, November 14) Nuclear operators push to open new plant, extend life of aging reactors. The Asahi Shimbun,
The government set the acceptable operational term of nuclear reactors at 40 years, in principle, after the Fukushima disaster, but it allows utilities to extend the period on a one-time basis by a maximum of 20 years….
The Oma plant will be the world’s first 100 percent MOX nuclear facility, where only mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel, consisting of plutonium and uranium, is used at reactor cores for the purpose of consuming plutonium produced in processing spent nuclear fuel.
At conventional plutonium-thermal nuclear plants, MOX fuel is used at just one-fourth to one-third of their reactor cores at most, and conventional uranium fuel is used for the remaining part. Compared with uranium fuel, it is more difficult for control rods to suppress nuclear chain reactions of MOX fuel.
Although countermeasures, such as enhancing the capabilities of control rods and introducing larger tanks for boric acid water to better control atomic reactions, will be taken at the full MOX facility, those efforts are expected to be carefully examined during the safety screening by the NRA to check if they are sufficient…. “No full MOX facility has so far gone online around the world,” NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said at a Nov. 12 news conference. “We will examine extremely carefully (if countermeasures are sufficient).”
Unbelievable. That is all I can think to write.
Meanwhile, emissions at Daiichi look worse this morning than they have the last week or so. Radiation readings in the US have been higher than I’ve seen since winter 2011. The forces of entropy reign.
The effort is aimed at replacing the water with cement. The water is believed to be leaking into the nearby sea after mixing with groundwater.
Workers on Tuesday poured into the tunnels 80 cubic meters of cement that can solidify in water. The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, said the water did not overflow during the work.
The operator says it plans to check the effectiveness of the measure in about a month after suspending the work temporarily. It says if there are no problems, it will resume the work to finish it by March.
The firm initially planned to freeze water at the ends of the tunnels to stop inflow from reactor buildings, and remove the contaminated water. But the plan did not work. By last week, the utility had decided to adopt the new method.
Workers using the method are likely exposed to more radiation than under the original plan.
Japan disrupted by a large earthquake.with shocks near Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, with its 7 reactors, now still offline. TEPCO gives up on freezing radioactive water – fails to halt toxic water inflow at Fukushima No. 1 trenches. Japan passes legislation to remove nuclear waste from Fukushima – but implementation will be very problematic. Japan’s Nuclear Regulator says earthquake fault under Tsuruga nuclear reactor is active.
UK. Top atomic energy proponent, Sir David King, calls for renewable energy and energy storage as priority,suggests these as a better future energy source. Shareholder crisis brings more doubts about UK’s Hinkley Point C nuclear plant’s future. UK government secretly questioning whether Hinkley Point C nuclear power project will even go ahead at all. Delay after delay , and soaring coasts, for Britain’s new nuclear build plans. Demonstrations against transport of nuclear fuel The nuclear weapons establishment buys academia
Iran. The tortuous, but very urgent diplomacy of reaching a nuclear deal with Iran.
USA. Legal action by Washington State over Hanford nuclear site vapors. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s chief warns that Commission is not geared for needs of decommissioning. Nuclear power promoter Dept of Energy (DOE) to run research into health effects of radiation?
France. Drone flights near France’s nuclear reactors raise security problems . In gloomy economic situation nuclear giant AREVA “suspends” its financial outlook for 2015 and 2016. 2015 the deadline for EDF to start closing nuclear reactors in France. EDF’s nuclear power plants Flamanville and Olkiluoto delayed yet again.
Canada. Northern Quebec Cree Nation run a determined campaign against uranium exploration and mining.
Cyber security. Pro nuclear trolls are targeting anti-nuclear activists
Dr Helen Caldicott, 25 Nov 14, As a physician I am trained to assess a patient, taking a detailed medical history then conducting a careful physical examination. This is followed by a series of laboratory tests which guide me to a diagnosis. Appropriate treatment follows after the illness is diagnosed and the cause is defined. It is imperative that the main disease is attended to and the assessor not be distracted by peripheral issues or unrelated complaints.
I look at the world and its ongoing pathology from a similar perspective. There are many serious issues facing the world at the moment but it is necessary to triage the most serious threats, those to our very survival. It is easy to be diverted or distracted by lesser threats. This must be avoided. As a physician, I see the ever-present threat of nuclear war as an ongoing existential risk that threatens almost all planetary life with extinction. The situation is even more acute because most people and politicians have become inured to, or are unaware of, the existential nature of this threat. This is a dangerous form of psychic numbing.
The truth is that Russia and the U.S. possess 94% of the 16,400 nuclear weapons in the global nuclear arsenal. The U.S. maintains its first strike winnable nuclear war policy, and both countries have raised their nuclear arsenals to a higher state of alert because of the trouble in the Ukraine.
Furthermore it has just been announced that the administration has plans to replace every nuclear warhead and their delivery systems via ship, submarine, missile and plane, at a cost of one trillion dollars over the next thirty years. And recently Stephen Hawking and his collaegues have been postulating that there is a real possibility that computers could launch a nuclear war with no human input
This symposium to be held by The Helen Caldicott Foundation – a 501C3 charitable organization – at the NY Academy of Medicine on February 28th-March 1st, 2015 will be structured to address the following issues:
- What are the human and technological factors that could precipitate a nuclear war between Russia and the U.S., how many times have we come close to nuclear war and how long will our luck hold?
- What are the ongoing technological and financial developments relevant to the nuclear weapons arsenals of the US and Russia?
- What problems are associated with lateral proliferation of nuclear weapons via strenuous corporate marketing of nuclear technology?
- What are the medical and environmental consequences of either a small or large nuclear war?
- What are the underlying philosophical, political, and ideological dynamics that have brought life on earth to the brink of extinction?
- How can we assess this situation from an anthropological perspective?
- What is the pathology within the present political situation that could lead us to extinction?
- How can this nuclear pathology be cured?
Speakers for each issue Continue reading
The Atomic Weapons Establishment Funds almost Half of UK Universities http://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/the-atomic-weapons-establishment-funds-almost-half-of-uk-universities/Could this be why it appears virtually impossible to get serious academic work regarding dangers of nuclear, etc.? The buying of academia?
“Atoms For Peace: The Atomic Weapons Establishment and UK Universities
Nuclear Information Service and Medact have undertaken a two-year study to investigate research links between British universities and the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), which is responsible for designing and manufacturing the UK’s nuclear weapons. This report presents the executive summary and key findings from our study.
We found that approaching half of British universities have research links with AWE. Much of the work funded by AWE qualifies as ‘blue skies’ research which is not aimed at any particular application. However, some of the research funded by AWE may have ‘dual use’ potential – the capability to be used for both benign, peaceful purposes and military purposes contributing to the development of weapons of mass destruction.
Our study highlights the need for increased transparency over the nature of university research funded by AWE, and the need to strengthen the framework for considering the ethical implications of such work and its impact upon the research environment.
To help universities and researchers navigate ethical issues arising from participating in research work funded by AWE, Nuclear Information Service and Medact have prepared a set of model ethical guidelines which are presented in the main report for the study.” See summary report here:http://www.medact.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Atoms-For-Peace-Summary-Report-Web-Low-Res.pdf
See also, “Over fifty British universities funded by Atomic Weapons Establishment” http://nuclearinfo.org/article/awe-aldermaston/atoms-peace-investigation-int-links-between-uk-universities-and-atomichttp://nuclearinfo.org/sites/default/files/Atoms%20For%20Peace%20Ethical%20Guidelines.pdfhttp://nuclearinfo.org/sites/default/files/Atoms%20For%20Peace%20Full%20Report.pdf
The twits don’t seem to recognize they might be infecting themselves too!
I wish Arclight would weigh in on this. I recall he was victimized by a “nukular” cyberstalker too. Perhaps he could help identify the apparent criminal involved.
Virus Laden Troll Links at ENENEWS, Trojan Nuke Troll Nuke Pro, November 8, 2014
Be careful of trolls bearing gifts and links. At least make sure you have some real virus and malware running.
Apparently I wasn’t the only one to get hit ……………http://nukeprofessional.blogspot.ca/2014/11/virus-laden-troll-links-at-enenews.html
The Diplomatic Effort, and What a Final Agreement Might Look Like, NYT By DAVID E. SANGERNOV. 21, 2014 VIENNA — Everything about the nuclear negotiations with Iran, now approaching a crucial moment, is complex: the international politics, the implications for the Middle East, and the science of how to prevent a nuclear energy project from turning into a nuclear weapons program. Here are answers to questions about the lead up to the diplomatic effort and what a comprehensive agreement might look like……….
Q. What are the possible outcomes from negotiations?
A. One possibility is no deal at all, a complete collapse of negotiations that have been going on now for more than a year. But that would not be in anyone’s interest. Congress would most likely impose new sanctions and if the current temporary agreement, reached last year to give some time and space for these negotiations, is allowed to expire, Iran could resume producing a type of fuel that could be rapidly converted for weapons use.
So the most likely outcome is either a final agreement, some kind of muddled agreement in principle with the details to be worked out later or another extension in the talks.
Q. What has to happen in order to reach an agreement?
A. For any agreement to work, there needs to be three deals: One between the West and Iran, one between Mr. Obama and a skeptical Congress and one between the Iranian negotiators and Ayatollah Khamenei. The dynamics of the last two are murky. Mr. Obama wants to suspend sanctions bit by bit, as the Iranians deliver on their part of the deal, meaning Congress might not vote on this for years. That angers many Republicans, and even some Democrats, who say they want a vote. An even bigger mystery: Who makes the final decision in Iran? Presumably, it’s Ayatollah Khamenei’s call, but the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the elite of Iran’s military, will most likely have a big voice, too.
Q. What is the calculation for Iran?
A. The Iranians have a fundamental choice to make: Is the nuclear program worth it? Most ordinary Iranians tell pollsters that they support a civilian nuclear program in Iran, and very much want the West to show the kind of respect to the country that it shows to other nations with nuclear technology. And they say Iran has no interest in nuclear weapons, just what Ayatollah Khamenei has said, including a fatwa or legal opinion declaring that the country should never possess them. Iran has a young population, and it yearns for Western travel, Western education and Western respect. An end to sanctions would be a sign of a new era.
But inside the Iranian military, and among the clerics, Iran’s nuclear program is both an insurance policy and a symbol of the nation’s identity as a revolutionary state in a long struggle with the United States and its allies. Iranian leaders have periodically observed that since North Korea tested its nuclear devices, no one has dared push it to the brink. And it did not escape their notice that a decade after Libya gave up its entire nuclear program, its leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, was ousted an then killed by a combination of a national uprising and a European, Arab and American bombing campaign.
In the end, these negotiations are not only about nuclear capability, but also national pride and mutual reassurance. Iran does not want to be treated as an outlier, but rather as a great regional power. The international community needs the confidence that if the Iranians raced for a bomb, it would have plenty of notice and time to react. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/22/world/middleeast/iran-nuclear-difficulties-in-reaching-agreement.html?_r=0
Powerful quake rocks Japan, 6- out of 7 on intensity scale — Officials warn of strong aftershocks, around 50 so far — Helicopters find “more extensive damage than earlier thought” — Major roads collapsed, buildings flattened — Witnesses: “Strongest ever felt… Shaking was enormous” (VIDEOS) http://enenews.com/powerful-quake-rocks-japan-6-7-intensity-scale-officials-warn-landslides-strong-aftershocks-50-helicopters-find-extensive-damage-earlier-thought-major-roads-collapsed-buildings-flattened?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
Reuters: 6.8 [quake] jolted central Japan on Saturday evening… felt in the capital Tokyo 180 km away… an advanced party of Japan’s military had been sent… “the tremor was too strong to stand,” said… an NHK employee.
AP: Helicopter surveys on Sunday showed more extensive damage than earlier thought from an overnight earthquake… footage showed buildings in various states of collapse, some flattened and others leaning… and deep cracks in the roads… The quake was followed by more than 45 aftershocks… [Officials] urged residents to watch out for landslides.
Voice of America: A powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake… halted high-speed train service, caused several major roads to collapse and shut down others because of landslides.
Xinhua: Nagano prefecture government has enforced the disaster relief law… [Officials] warned of possible strong aftershocks… the government has set up a disaster relief office.
AP: One of the strongest ever felt in recent years by residents… Ryo Nishino, a restaurant owner… “never experienced a quake that shook so hard… shaking was enormous.”… The earthquake was felt across much of northern Japan… the Meteorological Agency… warned of further aftershocks.
ABC Australia: 21 aftershocks in the 90 minutes following the quake [and] tremors continued… “an aftershock registering upper 5 could occur in the coming week,” an agency official said… The quake was felt in wide areas from [including] Tohoku in north-eastern Japan… train systems in… Tohoku, Yamagata, Akita, Joetsu and Nagano… temporarily stopped.
AFP: Footage showed flattened wooden houses… “It’s quite a strong earthquake for an inland one,” an official at the Japanese agency told a midnight press conference. “We are worried about the extent of damage to houses and buildings,” he said… police and municipal officials said they were still scrambling to collect information as they were operating in the dark… The meteorological agency warned strong aftershocks could still occur in the coming week.
NHK: Japanese officials warn of quake aftershocks — Officials at Japan’s Meteorological Agency are warning people to be on the alert for aftershocks in the days ahead after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake… The tremor registered intensities of 6-minus on the Japanese scale of 7.
Fox News: Fukushima is about 155 miles northeast of where Saturday’s earthquake occurred.
10 Fukushima Lessons Have yet to Bear on Hinkley Point C Nuclear Contract between UK Government and EDF http://raandreaskraemer.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/10-fukushima-lessons-have-yet-to-bear.html
1 Don’t place nuclear reactors next to one another
2 Don‘t leave spent nuclear fuel near reactors
3 You need (at least) 2 separate access routes
4 You need back-up control-rooms in distant bunkers
5 You need more on-site and off-site back-up power
6 You need better evacuation plan for larger area
7 You need sensors, cameras that work post-accident
8 You need staff willing 2 die 4 families, neighbors
9 You need (massive) reserves to pay compensation
10 You need an honest assessment of costs and risks
Andy Hall, First deputy chief inspector, UK Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), is deluding himself (and others) with this view:
On 7 March 2014, the Franco-German TV station Arte aired a stunning documentary on the Fukushima disaster. You can watch it in French or German:
Northern Quebec Cree start 850 km trek to protest against uranium mining By Caroline Nepton, CBC News Nov 21, 2014 “……this weekend Iserhoff, who is the chair of the Cree Nation Youth Council, will join a group of Crees walking to Montreal to hand deliver a message to the province’s environmental protection agency’s (BAPE) commission on the uranium industry in Quebec.
The group has a message for BAPE: There will be no uranium exploration and exploitation on the Cree territory of Eeyou Istchee.
“We are the stewards of the land, therefore we have this responsibility to protect for the generations to come,” Iserhoff said.
The walkers will be leaving Mistissini this Sunday to travel over 850 kilometers to reach Montreal by Dec. 15, the last day of the BAPE’s public hearings on the uranium industry in Quebec.
They want other nations and other Quebecers to join the walk. “Innu’s are coming, Algonquins are coming and maybe Atikamekw,” Iserhoff said. ‘The Crees are only one voice and so we are seeking allies.’- Matthew Coon Come, grand chief of Cree Grand Council
The trek is one of the many strategies used by the Crees to protest against uranium mining in their territory.
The Cree Nation government firmly opposes all uranium exploration, mining and waste storage in Eeyou Istchee, Cree territory in northern Quebec. A couple of weeks ago the Cree government launched a website and a social campaign: #StandAgainstUranium. They are still asking people to take selfies with the Stand Against Uranium sign.
The government also sponsored The Wolverine: The Fight of the James Bay Cree, which was presented at the Uranium Festival in Germany last September.
“The Crees are only one voice and so we are seeking allies,” saidMatthew Coon Come, the grand chief of the Cree Grand Council.
One of the most advanced uranium projects in the province is the Strateco Resource Matoush project in Otish Mountain, north ofMistissini.
In 2013, Quebec became the third Canadian province, after Nova Scotia and British Columbia, to establish a moratorium on uranium development. In light of that moratorium, Quebec’s environment minister refused to grant Strateco the permits it had requested to go ahead with the project. http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/northern-quebec-cree-start-850-km-trek-to-protest-against-uranium-mining-1.2844050
After nuclear phase-out, Germany debates scrapping coal, Yahoo 7 By Mathilde Richter | AFP – Sun, Nov 23, 2014 After deciding to scrap nuclear power, Germany is pondering saying goodbye to coal, its biggest energy source but also its top polluter and main threat to ambitious climate goals.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is split on the issue, which pits a vocal environmental movement against energy giants and coal mining regions, with only weeks until her cabinet is set to present its next climate action plan.
Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks has said that if Europe’s biggest economy doesn’t reduce coal use, it has no chance of meeting its 2020 target of cutting Earth-warming carbon emissions by 40 percent from three decades earlier. Hendricks’ cabinet colleague in charge of the economy and energy, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, sees things differently and has argued that coal is here to stay, citing energy security, cost and many thousands of jobs.
“We can’t simultaneously get out of nuclear and coal,” Gabriel, the leader of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) who co-govern with Merkel’s conservatives, has said.
Merkel decided after Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster to shutter all atomic reactors by 2022. By mid-century Germany aims to meet 80 percent of its power needs with renewables such as wind, solar and biogas, which now generate around a quarter.
But an unintended consequence of the “Energiewende”, or energy transition has been a rise in the use of coal, which now generates 46 percent of electricity.
The coal boom in Germany is in part an echo of US shale gas boom.
Cheap natural gas in the United States means coal is being exported to Europe where it undercuts expensive Russian gas, making cleaner and more flexible modern gas plants unprofitable, and several have shut down.
Another factor has been the collapse of the European emissions market, a system meant to factor in the environmental cost of burning fossil fuels. As the penalty for carbon emissions has dropped in price, coal plants have become more lucrative.
- Two birds, one stone -
Environmental pressure groups have campaigned to shut down Germany’s coal plants, and the opposition Greens party, deprived of its signature anti-nuclear crusade, has been at the forefront of the fight, backed by some research institutes………https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/nuclear-phase-germany-debates-scrapping-201640616.html
Portugal switching to greener energy with more than 50 per cent from renewable sources http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-20/portugals-rise-in-renewable-energy-market/5906758 By Emily Stewart Portugal has a population of just 11 million people but it is punching above its weight in renewable energy industries.
Almost 60 per cent of its energy needs came from renewable sources last year, a 20 per cent increase from 2012.
Carlos Pimenta is considered the country’s renewable guru. The former Portuguese and European Parliament member was a negotiator for the Kyoto protocol and with Al Gore a founder of the GLOBE organisation.
He said the energy market has changed dramatically since its liberalisation. “If you go back 10 years you have centralised gas, oil and electricity with big utilities on top and consumers on bottom paying the bill,” he said.”Nowadays you have thousands of families that produce part of their own electricity… hundreds of small wind farms, solar farms, small biomass that feed-in to the grid.”
Official Portuguese figures show the annual fossil fuel bill has been slashed by 800 million euros through the rise of renewables.
Former state energy company triples renewable energy output Continue reading
The Atomic Weapons Establishment Funds almost Half of UK Universitieshttp://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/the-atomic-weapons-establishment-funds-almost-half-of-uk-universities/
Oak Ridge National Lab Discusses Relationship Between Molten Thorium Reactor And Weapons:
“By 1954, the Laboratory’s chemical technologists had completed a pilot plant demonstrating the ability of the THOREX process to separate thorium, protactinium, and uranium-233 from fission products and from each other. This process could isolate uranium-233 for weapons development and also for use as fuel in the proposed thorium breeder reactors.
Molten-salt reactor experiments continued at the Laboratory through the 1960s and into the early 1970s. In 1969, Keith Brown, David Crouse, Carlos Bamberger, and colleagues adapted molten-salt technology to the problem of breeding uranium-233 from thorium, which could be extracted from the virtually inexhaustible supply of granite rocks found throughout the earth’s crust. When bombarded by neutrons in the molten-salt reactor, thorium was converted to fissionable uranium-233, another nuclear fuel.
In December 1960, the AEC directed the Oak Ridge Laboratory to “turn its attention to developing a molten-salt reactor and thorium breeder“.
http://web.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/rev25-34/chapter4.shtml (Emphasis Added)
Further, as you can see, there is nothing really “new” about molten salt thorium reactors other than marketing. As in all fashion the same old stuff gets rehashed. We need new energy innovation and investment instead.
More Reading of Interest Regarding Thorium Reactors and Weapons Proliferation: http://wmdjunction.com/121031_thorium_reactors.htmhttps://www.princeton.edu/sgs/publications/sgs/pdf/9_1kang.pdf
- 1 NUCLEAR ISSUES
- business and costs
- climate change
- indigenous issues
- marketing of nuclear
- opposition to nuclear
- politics international
- Religion and ethics
- secrets,lies and civil liberties
- weapons and war
- 2 WORLD
- MIDDLE EAST
- NORTH AMERICA
- SOUTH AMERICA
- Christina's notes
- Christina's themes
- rare earths
- resources – print
- Resources -audiovicual