1. Gloom overlies the nuclear lobby, fear of this question: the next nuclear catastrophe. Not IF it will happen, but WHEN and WHERE?
2. Aging, dangerous nuclear reactors that are too costly to make safe. .
3. “New nuclear” is a joke. The nuclear lobby will boast of so many “planned”, “proposed” reactors. But new ones actually being built? – just two and a half duds.
4 Discord and dissension in the nuclear camp. Nuclear countries cannot afford new reactors, so desperately compete to sell them to other countries.
Meanwhile nuclear companies battle it out to market their particular new gee-whiz nuclear reactor version.
5. Climate change affects nuclear reactors.
6. Nuclear weapons now out-dated. 21st Century conflict is all about smaller, targeted
weapons, like the USA’s assassination drones. Pride and status are now the only motives for having nuclear weapons.
7. Decline in electricity use
8 Renewable energy, both centralised and small scale, is fast being developed, and widely popular (unlike nuclear).
9. Danger – whatever kind of nuclear facility – there is always the danger of accident or terrorism – they are a target for terrorists.
10 Public opinion. Worldwide – people just don’t like nuclear power.
A Morning Consult survey finds that a plurality of female voters, 42 percent, oppose increasing the use of nuclear power to generate electricity in the United States; 38 percent support it. A strong majority of men, 70 percent, support using more nuclear power, while 23 percent oppose.
The male-female gap is uniquely wide on this issue.
Previous Morning Consult polling has found much smaller differences between men and women on energy issues. In one poll from Jan. 2015, the gender split on approval for other energy source was 7 percent for natural gas, 10 percent for coal, 3 percent for wind, and 1 percent for solar. For nuclear, the split was 27 percentage points.
“It’s tough to speculate on what makes women more averse to nuclear power than men,” said Sheril Kirshenbaum, director of The Energy Poll at the University of Texas at Austin. “Across issues, women are both less engaged on energy topics, and far less likely to express concern.”……..
A separate survey question reveals three possible explanations as to what’s driving female voter’s concerns over building more nuclear facilities: trepidations over storing nuclear waste, the risk for a disaster or meltdown, and the availability of “better” energy alternatives.
“It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure that one out,” said Linda Mayrand, a survey participant from Melbourne, Florida, “there are better alternatives.” Mayrand said she would never live within the Nuclear Regulatory Commission designated evacuation zones, areas that span a 10-mile radius from a nuclear power plant……..
Nicky Davies, a campaigns director for Greenpeace USA, an environmental advocacy group, said the nuclear industry has two Achilles heels. “It is a fact that there’s no safe way to expose of nuclear power,” and secondly “it’s incredibly expensive.”……….
The Morning Consult poll was conducted from April 5 and 7, 2014, among a nationwide sample of 2,047 registered voters. Results from the survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. http://morningconsult.com/2015/05/men-and-women-divided-on-nuclear-power/
Nuclear power not cheap, being phased out: expert http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2015/05/24/2003619043 By Sean Lin / Staff reporter Former US Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman Gregory Jaczko yesterday said that nuclear energy is playing an increasingly insignificant role in electricity generation worldwide, and that, contrary to popular belief, it is actually more expensive than a range of methods of energy generation.
At a news conference in Taipei, Jaczko said that the future for nuclear power generation in the US and
worldwide is one of “decreasing use and eventual phase-out.”
Referencing data generated by the US commission, Jaczko said that even if all US nuclear power plants were able to renew their operational licenses, the use of the energy source in the nation would come to an end by about 2055.
Diminishing use of nuclear power is a global trend, with just about 70 reactors under construction worldwide — a small fraction of operational reactors worldwide, he said, adding that the majority being built are in China.
The number of new plants is much lower than the number of facilities scheduled to be decommissioned, he said. “The countries that have nuclear power plants are not building anywhere close to the amount of plants they need to replace existing plants,” Jaczko said. “Given the long lead time to build the plants, the cost and other factors, it is unlikely that nuclear energy will play a significant role in electricity generation in the next several decades.”
There is more than enough time for governments to look into alternative technologies without compromising their carbon reduction goals, he said, adding that global energy use is expected to grow significantly over the next 30 years.
He said that energy from nuclear power plants is not as inexpensive as advocates claim.
Referring to a chart compiled by the US Energy Information Administration in 2013, Jaczko said that the “total system levelized cost” for power plants utilizing advanced nuclear energy stood at US$108.40 per megawatt-hour (mWh), while for plants generating power from natural gas with carbon sequestration technology or from geothermal sources, costs were US$93.40 and US$89.60 per mWh.
The estimates skip the money required for nuclear waste disposal and site decommissioning, which constitute the most expensive part of such plants, he added.
Asked to comment on a plan by the state-run Taiwan Power Co to ship nuclear waste to France to be reprocessed, which has been proposed based on an agreement for cooperation between Taiwan and the US, Jaczko said that nuclear waste of US origin must gain US approval before it can be exported.
“Just because it is in the agreement does not mean it has to be done,” he said, adding that Taipower’s plan “does not make any sense.”
Nuclear testing victims dubious about commission http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/274486/nuclear-testing-victims-dubious-about-commission The head of an organisation representing victims of nuclear testing in French Polynesia says a commission set up to assess the aftermath of the testing could just be a charade.
It was set up by France’s defence minister, and will be made up of 24 members and chaired by the French High Commissioner in Papeete.
The director of Moruroa e Tatou, which represents victims of testing on the atolls of Mururoa and Fangataufa, says 80-percent of the members suffer serious health conditions, including cancer.
Roland Oldham is questioning why more more evidence is needed.
“Why more more and more commissions…isn’t there enough proof now that it had a bad impact on the environment, and a bad impact on the health of polynesian people – itsn’t it enough proof?”
He says they will make themselves heard.
“As far as we’re concerned, we will be speaking with a very loud voice, because we have had enough of all these lies, of 40 years of lying, and if this commission’s just for another lie, then it’s just a waste of money and a waste of time.”
Mr Oldham says the first meeting will be held in two days.
South Africa’s nuclear company Eskom runs out of money for assessing environmental impact of nuclear energy
Eskom runs out of money for assessing environmental impact of nuclear energy SOUTH AFRICA enca.com 23 May 2015 JOHANNESBURG – Government says nuclear power in South Africa is going ahead. Earlier this week Energy Minister Tina Joematt-Peterson said that procurement deals would be signed with prospective partners by the end of 2015.
In the next ten years, government plans to introduce 9600MWs of nuclear energy.
But signing procurement deals is one half of the process. The other half of the process has stalled.
The second version of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the site proposed for Nuclear 1, at Thyspunt in the Eastern Cape is not complete.
During a question and answer session in Parliament in March Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown in a written reply said that Eskom had run out of money to complete the report.
“It was put on hold during 2013/14 due to funding constraints in Eskom. In 2014, additional funds were approved and the finalisation of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (revision 2) was initiated,” noted the reply.
Eskom said this version of the report is due to be released to the public in May 2015 for comment but the Minister of Public Works says this has been put on hold due to the limited funding.
In the Nuclear Energy Policy of 2008, Eskom was designated as owner operator for nuclear plants in South Africa. The Department of Energy says this means that Eskom is responsible for applying and obtaining various permits including EIA and nuclear licenses.
Eskom has already spent R35 million on the report, which was funded by the income generated from tariffs.
“Eskom, in terms of the electricity regulations, is allowed to budget for and spend money on activities that are deemed prudent for the development of generation project,” noted the power utility in a statement.
However, in 2014 Eskom had to reprioritise its expenditure, “The funding of the EIA was cut in favour of other projects and activities deemed more essential in nature
Costs for the EIA’s specialist studies are now being managed on an individual study and activity level. Still outstanding is the biodiversity offset study, public participation meetings and some still need to go through the independent phase review.
Eskom says this final stage is vital, “This phase of independent review is necessary to ensure that all issues raised have been addressed in an independent and transparent manner.”
The Department Energy says even though it’s not directly involved in the EIA process it is watching Eskom’s progress on the issue……
- Others watching the process are the Thyspunt Alliance, a group opposing the development in the Eastern Cape.
Trudi Malan said they are working with their own experts to verify the findings of Eskom’s report, “The problem with the Eskom EIA is that their experts only spend three of four days on the site, when we actually need more information,” she said.
The first draft of the EIA was thrown out because incorrect methodology was used to do the assessment……..http://www.enca.com/south-africa/eskom-has-no-money-complete-environment-impact-assessment-nuclear-energy-project-site
Government hiding nuclear power plant costs: Earthlife Africa http://mybroadband.co.za/news/energy/127160-government-hiding-nuclear-power-plant-costs-earthlife-africa.html
Nuclear critic Earthlife Africa argues that South Africa’s new power plants are another arms deal scandal waiting to happen By Staff Writer – May 24, 2015 The South African government has done studies on what it would cost to build the planned 6 or 8 nuclear power stations, but it is not releasing the information (Also see: ANC wants to use people’s retirement savings to bail out Eskom).
This is according to nuclear critic and Earthlife Africa project co-ordinator Tristen Taylor, the Sunday Times reported.
Taylor was responding to comments from deputy director general of the Department of Energy, Zizamele Mbambo, who said that it would be premature for government to release figures at this stage, as prices were still being negotiated.
Mbambo’s comments were surprising, Taylor said, adding that government is not releasing the studies because it knows the nuclear power plants are going to cost a lot of money. Continue reading
The online magazine Business Journal recently explained the matter in bookkeeping terms. Kansai Electric and other power companies plan to decommission at least five superannuated reactors rather than apply for extensions because their respective output isn’t enough to pay for the government’s new safety measures, which cost about ¥10 billion per reactor. The problem is that once a reactor is shut down permanently, in addition to the cost of decommissioning, the company’s revenue for that plant drops to zero, thus hurting its bottom line even more and making it difficult to borrow money or issue bonds. Consequently, METI is thinking of changing the accounting system so that companies can spread this loss over 10 years, during which they can add a surcharge to every customer’s bill for decommissioning.
Obviously, when METI says nuclear is the cheapest form of energy, they’re not thinking about the user.
Lowball nuclear pitch is fooling no one http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/23/national/media-national/lowball-nuclear-pitch-fooling-one/#.VWJCRtKqpHx BY PHILIP BRASOR Earlier this month, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) announced the results of a review of energy production costs, which concluded that nuclear will remain the cheapest alternative for Japan over the next 15 years while pointing out that the calculations took into consideration the government’s new safety measures. By 2030, the cost of producing a kilowatt hour of electricity in a nuclear plant is expected to increase from ¥8.9 to ¥10.1. This estimate also incorporates the presumed savings resulting from those new safety measures, which, METI assumes, will reduce the “frequency” of reactor accidents.
In comparison, energy derived from coal will cost ¥12.9 per kilowatt hour and from LNG ¥13.4, though these figures are based on price increases predicted in 2011. More significantly, the cost of solar will rise from ¥12.4 to ¥16, and wind from ¥13.9 to ¥33.1. Geothermal comes in at ¥19.2. METI said these high costs will “affect development” of renewables, implying that there isn’t much of a future for them.
A few days later, Shukan Asahi ran an article assessing these calculations, pointing out that the figure of ¥10.1 per kW/hour for nuclear is, in the ministry’s statement, followed by the word ijō, meaning “at least,” while figures for other energy sources are not.
The Asahi suggests that METI is trying to assure deniability because it’s almost certain that nuclear-related costs will increase in the future. According to Kenichi Oshima, professor of environmental economics at Ritsumeikan University, the ¥9.1 trillion needed to clean up the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and pay compensation to locals affected by the accident was not factored into the estimate; nor was the cost of decommissioning not only Fukushima No. 1 but other reactors scheduled to go out of service in the next 15 years, and Tokyo Electric Power Co. hasn’t even set a budget for decommissioning Fukushima, a separate procedure from the cleanup. To put matters into perspective, the estimated amount of radioactive material at Fukushima that needs to be processed is equivalent to the amount of radioactive material that would need to be processed from the normal decommissioning of 54 nuclear reactors. Continue reading
A thermometer of Reactor 2 indicates 89℃ / Reaching 100℃ in 4.7 days at this rate Cs-134/137 measured from 92 of 92 swallow nests in Fukushima / Highest density was 90,000 Bq/kg
On 5/22/2015, Yamashina Institute for Ornithology reported that they detected Cesium-134/137 from 92 of 92 swallow nests in Fukushima.
Overall, Cs-134/137 was measured from 150 of 182 swallow nests collected in 12 prefectures and Tokyo to include all the prefectures in Kanto, North East, North West coast and Mid Japan area except Tochigi.
The highest reading was 90,000 Bq/Kg in Fukushima. They measured Cs-134/137 even from the sample collected in Shizuoka prefecture.
This research was implemented by Yamashina Institute for Ornithology and National Institute for Environmental Studies. The samples were collected from 2011 to 2012.
It is stated in the report that the Cs-134/137 density of a nest is in proportion to the soil contamination level of the surrounding area, the reproductive performance needs to be reviewed. However, they concluded that the Cs-134/137 density of the swallow nests is not high enough to give an immediate effect to human health.
Source : Fukushima Diary
By Justin McCurry, Correspondent MAY 21, 2015 TOKYO — Is Japan’s commitment to free speech foundering?
A growing chorus of critics accuses the Abe administration of trampling on press freedoms, moving the issue beyond a coterie of academics and journalists……http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2015/0521/In-Japan-anger-at-Shinzo-Abe-s-heavy-hand-on-press-turns-mainstream-video
KI pill distribution coming near Pickering, Darlington nuclear stations OPG developing extensive awareness campaign prior to fall distribution Ajax News Advertiser By Keith Gilligan DURHAM 24 May 15 — Ontario Power Generation is planning an extensive public relations campaign prior to distributing potassium iodide (KI) pills near the Pickering and Darlington nuclear stations.
Last year, OPG’s federal regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, mandated that KI pills be distributed to all homes and businesses within a 10-kilometre radius of nuclear stations.
Kevin Powers, the director of corporate relations and communications for OPG, told the Pickering Community Advisory Council on Tuesday, May 19 that distributing the pills is “quite a change in what our normal operations are.”
To better understand public knowledge of the pills, OPG has been doing research, Mr. Powers noted.“We did research to understand attitudes on KI pills. We wanted a better understanding of what their understanding was,” he said.
He noted only seven per cent of residents currently have the pills in their homes……… Distribution of pills has been done in New Brunswick and Quebec. It’s being done around the Pickering, Darlington and Bruce stations this year.
Pills are currently in some pharmacies within the 10-kilometre radius, “but not many people know. This change is in how we distribute them,” Mr. Powers noted…… The pills will continue to be available at pharmacies, he said. That’s because people might not get enough pills at their home or have moved and don’t have the pills.
“The CNSC mandated that pharmacies within 50 kilometres have the pills,” Mr. Powers said. http://www.durhamregion.com/news-story/5636397-ki-pill-distribution-coming-near-pickering-darlington-nuclear-stations/
Frozen in time: Cold war nuclear bunker built by panicking council chiefs revealed after 50 years, [good pictures] Mirror 24 MAY 2015 BY PAUL BRITTON The never-before-seen images of the safe room cast an eerie light on the tensions of the times….It was designed to act as a safe room to protect the town’s decision-makers and civic leaders from any nuclear attack or fall-out, reports the Manchester Evening News .
Thankfully it was never used, but many thousands of people have walked into the 200ft-high tower ever since without knowing what lies beneath their feet. Today the bunker, made up of subterranean corridors and rooms, is used for storage.
The different chambers, reinforced by concrete and brick, were part of the centre’s overall design. It opened in 1977 but the bunker wasn’t publicised.
The fascinating images reveal boxes of binary code tape, which would have been used to send messages to the government, still on the floor.
Abandoned telephones and an old exchange system also give a glimpse of how the post-apocalypse survivors would have kept in contact with the world.
Spare fuses and light bulbs are revealed and abandoned sinks, desks and chairs also give a glimpse of how office equipment has changed over 40 years.
The council said only a select few people would have gained entry should the sirens have sounded – senior councillors and officers, police chiefs, engineers, doctors and communications experts……..It’s understood that the government ordered the construction of thousands of underground complexes during the Cold War.
Most have been decommissioned. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/frozen-time-cold-war-nuclear-5752252
The bill passed by a vote of 225 to 188, largely along party lines. Four Republicans voted against it, and five Democrats voted for it.
Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), the bill’s sponsor, called the legislation “common-sense revisions of existing rules and regulations.” But others were quick to criticize the bill, saying it weakens environmental protections.
The environmental group Earthjustice has said the bill would “gut” the Superfund program, which was created in 1980 to ensure that polluting industries pay to clean up hazardous sites. There are currently more than 1,300 sites around the countrylisted as priority Superfund cleanup sites. Opponents say the changes in the House bill would delay those efforts and put taxpayers on the hook for future cleanups. A group of 129 environmental and local citizens groups have written to Congress urging the defeat of the bill.
Scott Slesinger, legislative director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, called the bill a “New Year’s gift to corporate interests” in a statement. “This bill could delay cleaning up toxic federal facilities, free companies to pass their hazardous cleanup costs onto taxpayers, and strangle health safeguards intended to limit harmful ash drifting from steam boilers,” said Slesinger.
The bill is not expected to pass in the Senate, and the White House has already issued a veto threat. “The bill’s requirements could result in significant site cleanup delays, endangering public health and the environment,” President Obama’s advisers wrote in a statement of administration policy.
New climate deal faces hurdles
Originally broadcast on Thursday 21 May 2015 7:30PM, repeated Sunday 24 May 2015 10:00AM
With six months to go until the next global climate treaty talks in Paris, environmentalist and former US vice president Al Gore has declared that “the future of the world depends” on their outcome. Lord Nigel Lawson, former energy secretary in Margaret Thatcher’s government, delivers his assessment of the prospects of the world reaching a new climate deal.
(Background information about Lord Nigel Lawson and the Global Warming Policy Foundation is available on the DeSmogBlog website at: http://www.desmogblog.com/nigel-lawson and
http://www.desmogblog.com/global-warming-policy-foundation – and on the SourceWatch website at:http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Nigel_Lawson and http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Global_Warming_Policy_Foundation. The program presenter, Tom Switzer, is an Adjunct Fellow of the Institute of Public Affairs –his profile is available at: https://www.ipa.org.au/people/tom-switzer)
Wahhabis Go Nuclear — Literally. Saudi Arabia’s Bomb? By Pepe Escobar Global Research, May 24, 2015 Asia Times T he serious possibility of a nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 is only a few weeks away – on June 30.
So guess what the terminally paranoid House of Saud is up to: Lay their hands on a nuclear bomb to counteract the non-existent “Iranian bomb”, which Tehran, via Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, has consistently abhorred as un-Islamic, and wouldn’t have it anyway because of stringent inspections bound to be part of the final nuclear deal.
The proverbial “former Pentagon official” has leaked to a Rupert Murdoch paper that the House of Saud is bound to buy a ready-made nuclear bomb from Pakistan. The choice of media already offers a clue; Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is one of News Corporation’s leading shareholders.
The “why now?” concerning the leak is pretty obvious. Yet the whodunit is hazier territory.
Meanwhile, adding fuel to the jihadi fire, as the Wahhabis in Riyadh dream of going — literally — nuclear their faith brothers across “Syraq” are going figuratively nuclear, adding victory after victory on the ground; from the assault on Palmyra, the Silk Road-era jewel of the desert in Syria, to the fall of Ramadi in the former “triangle of death” in Iraq.
The “Iranian bomb” was never really an issue for successive U.S. administrations; only a convenient pretext to box in, harass, sanction and “isolate” the Islamic Republic, the former “gendarme” of the Gulf in the Shah era. The U.S. government always knew nuclear bombs can be bought on the black market; so whether Tehran could develop a nuclear weapon was irrelevant.
The House of Saud, for its part, may — and the operative concept is “may” — already have a bomb, for a long time now, to offset Israel. And they “may” have paid Islamabad for it. There is no conclusive proof.
What’s certain is that the — non-existent — “Iranian bomb” is where the House of Saud, other GCC minions and, crucially, Bibi Netanyahu’s extremist, fundamentalist Israeli government converge; they all consider it an “existential threat” to their survival………http://www.globalresearch.ca/wahhabis-go-nuclear-literally-saudi-arabias-bomb/5451435
More than 20,000 people affected by the 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima have set up an association to demand an apology and full compensation from Tokyo Electric Power Company and the national government.
They include members of the 12 organizations suing the utility and the government as well as people who had been acting individually.
About 300 of them met on Sunday in Nihonmatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture.
The group aims to join forces, saying that the government is moving towards lifting evacuation orders and cutting compensation while local residents continue to worry about the ongoing decommissioning of the reactors.
The rally adopted a declaration of organization, which says it will aim to win an apology and full compensation from Tokyo Electric Power Company and the government, and to pursue their criminal responsibility.
Each participant raised a piece of paper on which the words “hold hands” were written, and chanted “We will not give up”.
The group’s joint representative, Ruiko Muto, said those who suffered from the accident have not been fully compensated. She says they want to make their voices bigger by getting organizations to connect with each other.
Tepco released documents on Friday detailing in depth the analysis of the stored HIC (high impact container) containers at the disaster site. Radioactive water had been found puddling up in the lip of the plastic and steel containers a few months ago. The end result is that the highly radioactive sludge in the containers is generating hydrogen gas. The sludge in these containers can be as high as 3 Sv/hour – 9 Sv.hour just for a single type of isotope. Container W6 was found to have concentrations high enough to cause an explosion of it encountered a spark or flame.
It said no radioactive water was found to have escaped outside the concrete structures that encase the containers.
According to TEPCO, there were about 1,300 such containers at the plant as of May 20.
They store waste water from the ALPS (advanced liquid processing system) equipment that removes radioactive substances from contaminated water.
The containers, which are made of polyethylene, are 1.8 meters high and have diameters of 1.5 meters.
The first leak was discovered in a lid on April 2.
TEPCO began inspecting others to see if they had similar problems. Of the 278 it had examined by May 20, it found 26 had some sort of leak or were bleeding from their lids.
The operator said the leaks and bleeding were likely caused by hydrogen and other types of gases that resulted from the water’s exposure to high levels of radiation.
Such gases appear to have accumulated in sediment at the bottom of the containers, expanding the volume of the liquid.
An NRA official said the accumulating hydrogen poses a potential danger.
“If the concentration level is high, a spark caused by static electricity could cause a container to explode,” the official said.
Although all the lids of the containers were supposed to be fitted with pressure-release valves to allow gasses to escape, TEPCO’s survey found that one did not have the mechanism.
Further review of the delivery records for the containers showed there may be as many as 333 that are also defective, a TEPCO official said.
NHK : http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20150522_27.html
Asahi Shimbun : http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201505230059
Fukuleaks : http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=14772
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