nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

The NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY MESS – theme for July 2012

Take heart – all who seek clean energy –  the nuclear industry is in a right mess!

Apart from the chaotic state of nuclear economics, and of security, weapons proliferation, public opposition, desperate marketing, frantic agonising over waste disposal , as well as  the drive for public amnesia about Chernobyl and Fukushima –   apart from all that – the nuclear lobby are all wrangling among themselves.

(The Spin graphic within picture is adapted from http://spinoriginal.blogspot.)com.au/ )

There’s an unseemly public frenzy from all the different reactor corporations to market their respective products. This includes marketing the existing old reactors – to continue running them for many decades, despite their deterioration,- because  this is much more profitable than getting new ones.  And – also – postpones for future generations the massive costs of dealing with the reactors’ radioactive corpses.

Then there’s the drive to sell little reactors, and Thorium reactors –   an absolute nightmare of security concerns in these. And of course, the uranium industry won’t like this.

It’s quite likely that in trying to outdo each other, the nuclear industry will kill off itself faster than any anti nuclear campaigns. AREVA is already offering reactors for sale below their cost price.

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Christina's themes | Leave a comment

Indian Country communities to strengthen economies by hosting solar energy project

Tribal lands hold great renewable energy potential, and smart development of these resources has the power to strengthen tribal economies, create jobs and generate clean electricity for communities across Indian Country,” 

Solar energy project approved on tribal land near Las Vegas, Las Vegas Sun, By Conor Shine , June 21, 2012  The federal government on Thursday approved a massive 350-megawatt solar energy project to be built on land in Clark County belonging to the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians Tribe.

It would be the first utility-scale solar project on tribal lands. The project, covering about 2,000 acres, would be located 30 miles north of Las Vegas and occupy about 3 percent of the tribe’s land, which is held in trust by the U.S. government.
The operation would generate enough electricity to power 100,000 homes, the Department of the Interior said in a statement. Continue reading

June 22, 2012 Posted by | indigenous issues, renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear power to be replaced by big solar energy plant

Mixed Greens: Big solar to replace Fukushima nuclear, REneweconomy, By Sophie Vorrath  21 June 2012, Toshiba Corp has announced that it will begin building solar plants with a total generating capacity of 100MW on its northeastern coastline – the region that last year was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami, which then triggered a nuclear disaster – making it the biggest solar project in Japan.

Reuters reports that the Japanese electronics conglomerate will spend around ¥30 billion ($379.6 million) to build several large-scale solar plants in Minami Soma – located around 25km from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. Continue reading

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Japan, renewable | Leave a comment

USA: Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s “Waste Confidence Rule” – a matter of faith, not science

the NRC is now contending that the spent fuel can be stored safely “until a depository was needed” or “realized.”

the June 8 Appeals Court decision  said that “the commission’s evaluation of the risks of spent nuclear fuel is deficient in two ways:

First, in concluding that permanent storage will be available when necessary, the commission did not calculate the environmental effects of failing to secure permanent storage — a possibility that cannot be ignored.

Second, in determining that spent fuel can safely be stored on site for 60 years after the expiration of a plant’s license, the commission failed to properly examine future dangers and key consequences.”

Nuclear plant relicensing opponents challenge NRC, SeaCoastonline By Shir Haberman, June 21, 2012 SEABROOK — For the second time in two months nuclear safety groups have filed a federal action against the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for allegedly failing to appropriately fulfill its role as the protector of public health and safety. Continue reading

June 22, 2012 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Hawkish American want preparation for military attack on Iran’s nukes

As nuclear talks fail, U.S. experts urge Obama to weigh military option on Iran http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/focus-u-s-a/as-nuclear-talks-fail-u-s-experts-urge-obama-to-weigh-military-option-on-iran.premium-1.440077 Senators send letter to U.S. President, advising cut of diplomatic push to end standoff; American ex-official: We need the third track, a visible preparations for a military option. By Natasha Mozgovaya      21.06.12

American officials and experts urged U.S. President Barack Obama this week to take a tougher stance on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, with some advising the administration to provide Israel with the arms needed for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. -……..subscription only

June 22, 2012 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Suspend nuclear talks until sanctions against Iran are lifted

Iran to suspend nuclear talks until sanctions are lifted: website http://www.iranwpd.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=3735:iran-to-suspend-nuclear-talks-until-sanctions-are-lifted-website&Itemid=65 June 21 – An Iranian website close to moderate circles of the ruling establishment in Iran suggests suspending negotiations with the major world powers over country’s nuclear program until the sanctions are
lifted.
The website baztab.net which for its critical stance against the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is filtered, suggests that the West would continue talks with Iran to the very end and would use it to “persuade the public opinion of its peaceful intentions, saying it has been trying to settle its dispute with Iran through diplomatic ways however it remained no other alternative but attacking Iran.”
Baztab believes there would be no benefit to Iran to negotiate but also suffer from sanctions, “especially when it is also downgraded to experts’ meeting.”
“We have to change the game,” proposes the website adding: “Iran has to tell 5+1 and Catherine Ashton that in case of implementation of the sanctions against the central bank and seizing of oil purchase by EU, talks would be suspended.”

On June 28, the US will instate sanctions on companies working with Iran’s central bank; days later, on July 1, the European Union will launch an embargo on Iranian oil, which could knock out a third of the country’s revenue.

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Malaysia sets special radiation standards for rare earths plant to get Lynas off the hook

 the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) has arbitrarily set its own safety standards for radiation exposure, which is not in accordance with international standards.

The AELB standards would be used to exempt and clear Lynas’ radioactive wastes for reuse and recycle. The exposure to radioactive waste was one of the causes that led to high levels of lead poisoning and other severe health complications of the people in Bukit Merah.

TOL sell-out by PSC: The final smirk from Lynas , Malaysia Chronicle,  by  Charles Santiago, 19 June 2012 “…….Health over investment?  The PSC has outlined a guideline to look into health measures for the people, wording it to say that this was undertaken to arrest the fears of the public. Severe birth defects, eight leukemia cases over five years in a community of 11,000, tears and anguish of the poor people from a largely shoe-making community – these are not news headlines. Neither is it the plot of a movie.

These are the consequences of carelessly allowing the Asian Rare Earth factory to be built in Bukit Merah, Perak in 1982. When Mitsubishi Chemical started operating its rare earth factory, the villagers complained of choking sensation, pungent smell, coughs and colds.

The community also saw a sharp rise in the cases of infant deaths, congenital disease, leukemia and lead poisoning. Thirty years later, it has not wiped out the memories and heartache of the villagers who lost their children and loved ones. Only the government is feigning ignorance. Continue reading

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Malaysia, politics | Leave a comment

Investigation of San Onofre nuclear plant – decision about this to be delayed

 

Calif. regulators delay decision on possible probe at troubled San Onofre nuclear plant, WP,  By Associated Press,   June 20 LOS ANGELES — State utility regulators are postponing a decision on whether to launch an investigation into the troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant, an agency spokesman said Wednesday. Continue reading

June 22, 2012 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

EBay’s revolutionary new renewable energy powered data centre

eBay Commits to Renewable Energy for Next Data Center PC Magazine, By Stephanie Mlot June 21, 2012  EBay is continuing its green business initiatives by building the next phase of the company’s data center primarily using renewable energy.
In partnership with Bloom Energy, eBay will build the country’s largest non-utility fuel cell installation. Though renewable energy typically supplements an electric grid, eBay is building the energy source into its core, incorporating 30 Bloom Energy servers into the
new center’s architecture.
“We believe the future of commerce can be greener,” eBay president and CEO John Donahoe said in a statement. The six-megawatt Bloom installation is being designed and engineered
as part of eBay’s expanded data center in Utah, and will be installed a few hundred feet from the building. Expected to be fully functional by mid-2013, each of the 30 energy servers will generate 1.75 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, a press release said….. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2406136,00.asp

June 22, 2012 Posted by | decentralised, USA | Leave a comment

Japan’s new “national security” amendment could pave way for nuclear weapons development

 “Is this intended to pave the way for (Japan’s) nuclear armament?”..

‘National security’ amendment to nuclear law raises fears of military use   June 21, 2012 THE ASAHI SHIMBUN Supporters of an amendment quietly slipped into Japan’s nuclear power law saying it should contribute to “national security” are denying it could provide cover for military use of nuclear technology.

The provision, which says nuclear safety should be guaranteed not only to defend lives, people’s health and the environment but also to “contribute to Japan’s national security,” became part of the Atomic Energy Basic Law on June 20.

Critics say the change to the 1955 basic law, known as the “constitution” of nuclear energy use in Japan, was made without proper debate on the sidelines of political maneuvering in the Diet.

However, it could have far-reaching consequences for Japan’s nuclear stance and heighten international concern about the nation’s nuclear recycling program of extracting plutonium from spent nuclear fuel. Continue reading

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

USA and Israel launch ‘cyberwar’ against Iran’s nukes

Iran Says U.S., Allies Launched ‘Massive Cyber Attack’ Against Nuclear Facilities, NPR 21 June 12,  Iran’s intelligence minister says his country has uncovered a “massive cyber attack” he says was launched by the United States, England and Israel to coincide with nuclear negotiations that happened in Moscow. Continue reading

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Iran, weapons and war | Leave a comment

“Contracts For Difference” – the UK’s sneaky way to publicly subsidise nuclear power

‘Contracts for Difference’ are intended to provide support to low carbon technologies to aid their development and market viability. However, any subsidies that go towards nuclear energy from this source will lead to a corresponding reduction in the funds available for
developing new renewables technologies.

“It would be pure sophistry to try and claim that because the funds go directly from the customer to energy companies without entering the Treasury bank account, it is not a public subsidy. 

Committee must be recalled over nuclear subsidies, 20/06/2012  Following evidence from Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey MP, SNP members of the Scottish Parliament Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee have written to the rest of the committee calling for it to be recalled.

New nuclear power stations planned by the UK Government could cost Scottish consumers billions of pounds. Concern has been expressed by industry figures such as in evidence to the House of Commons Energy & Climate Change Committee from Ian Marchant of SSE. Renewables industry representatives have expressed concern that the Department for Energy and Climate Change intends to use ‘contracts for difference’ to subsidise a new generation of nuclear energy. Continue reading

June 22, 2012 Posted by | politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Ionising radiation – the big cancer hazard for space travellers

Mission to Mars: The Radiation Problem. Smithsonian.com, 20 June 12,  Would you go on a mission to Mars? The Dutch startup company Mars One is planning to establish the first Mars colony in 2023, starting with four individuals and adding more people every two years, funded by turning the whole endeavor into a reality TV show.

It’s just the latest plan to colonize the Red Planet, but I’m doubtful it will happen. There’s the expense, for sure, and the trials of trying to convince anyone to go on a one-way journey with just a few other strangers (what if you don’t get along? It’s not like you can leave). And then there’s the radiation problem.

Out in space, there are gamma rays from black holes, high-energy protons from the Sun, and cosmic rays from exploding stars. Earth’s atmosphere largely protects us from these types of radiation, but that wouldn’t help anyone traveling to Mars. They would be exposed to dangers that include neurological problems, loss of fertility and an increased risk of cancer…..  A 2005 study found even more to worry about—the radiation would be high enough to cause cancer in 10 percent of men and 17 percent of women aged 25 to 34 if they were to go to Mars and back.

The easy solution would seem to be to shield the vessel that carries the humans to Mars, but no one has figured out how to do that. When the thin aluminum currently used to build spacecraft is hit with cosmic rays, it generates secondary radiation that is even more deadly. … http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2012/06/mission-to-mars-the-radiation-problem/

June 22, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, technology | Leave a comment

UK Labor not all welcoming nuclear submarines for Wales

Labour split on nuclear policy for Wales? Wales Online, By David Williamson   Jun 21, 12   Labour MPs Martin Caton (Gower) and Paul Flynn (Newport West) have signed a Plaid Cymru-sponsored Early Day Motion attacking First Minister Carwyn Jones’ statement that nuclear submarines would be “more than welcome” in Wales….
http://blogs.walesonline.co.uk/devolution/2012/06/labour-split-on-nuclear-policy.html

June 22, 2012 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Possible sabotage, police investigate explosives at Swedish nuclear power plant

Explosives found at nuclear plant, Herald Sun,  AP June 22, 2012 SWEDEN’S nuclear power plants were on alert after a truck with explosives was discovered at one plant. Sweden raised the security alert for the country’s three nuclear power plants after explosives were found on a truck at the southwestern Ringhals atomic power station. Police said they were investigating possible sabotage. Continue reading

June 22, 2012 Posted by | incidents, Sweden | Leave a comment

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