The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Absolute NO to tax-payer funded nuclear power

text-my-money-2flag-EUGermany says using tax money for nuclear power ‘out of the question’ BY BARBARA LEWIS AND TOM KOERKEMEIER BRUSSELS Thu Mar 5, 2015 (Reuters) – Using taxpayers’ money to fund nuclear power is “absolutely out of the question”, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Thursday, in an apparent swipe at British plans to finance new atomic generation.

Gabriel was arriving for talks in Brussels on the European Commission’s proposal for an energy union, which would deepen cross-border cooperation on energy across the 28-member EU…….

“There are countries in the EU that want to support nuclear power with tax money. We think that is absolutely out of the question,” Gabriel said.

“We will not agree by any means that nuclear energy be supported by public money. Nuclear energy is the most expensive kind of generation. It has now been around for 50 years, it is not new and it is dangerous.”

Gabriel did not directly mention Britain’s plans to finance new nuclear generation to be built by French utility EDF at Hinkley Point in southwest England.

The European Commission last year approved state aid for the 16 billion pound ($25 billion) plan, drawing fierce criticism and legal action from those who say the subsidy distorts competition.

On Wednesday, a German energy cooperative announced it would take legal action against Britain’s plan to pay a guaranteed price for power produced at Hinkley Point…..

March 6, 2015 Posted by | EUROPE, Germany, politics international | Leave a comment

Theatrics by Israel’s Netanyahu highlight the need for a nuclear agreement with Iran

For now, they remain stuck in limbo, with neither side ready to make the last big concession, but neither able to walk away. Netanyahu’s theatrics in Washington have reminded them of the price of failure.
Iran nuclear deal ‘very close’ as diplomacy-not-bombs brings negotiators together, Guardian, ,  American and Iranian diplomats find common ground rejecting Israeli leader’s combative approach to negotiations, but also agree serious hurdles remain to meeting March deadline. The long and convoluted negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme adjourned on Wednesday amid talk of continuing progress towards a comprehensive deal but of tough political decisions still to be made.

The talks will resume on March 15, probably in Geneva, as the latest deadline for agreement looms at the end of the month.

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif said a deal was “very close”,telling NBC that he and his team were prepared to carry on working through the Persian New Year celebration of Nowruz starting on March 21. Continue reading

March 6, 2015 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Lawsuit over European Commission’s approval of Hinkley will expose full costs of nuclear

scrutiny-on-costsjusticeEnergy firm sues EU over Brit nuclear plant 05 Mar 2015  Renewable energy provider Greenpeace Energy plans to sue the European Commission over its decision last year to allow the UK to build a new nuclear reactor. The Hamburg company says that the huge subsidies involved in the UK project will upset German energy markets and harm small renewable energy providers, and argues that the  the European Commission (EC) should not have given the project the go ahead because the subsidies would distort competition.

Silvia Brugger, director of the Climate and Energy Programme at the Heinrich-Böll Foundation – closely linked to Germany’s Green party – told The Local that the lawsuit is “justified” and an “important signal,” and denied that a favourable ruling would threaten Germany’s subsidy programme for renewable energy.

“[This process] should expose the full costs of nuclear energy and conversely highlight the competitive advantages of renewable energy,” said Brugger. Continue reading

March 6, 2015 Posted by | EUROPE, Legal | Leave a comment

Nuclear power nightmare unfolding in Karachi?

exclamation-Smflag-pakistanOutcry and fear as Pakistan builds new nuclear reactors in dangerous Karachi WP, By Tim Craig March 5 KARACHI, Pakistan — World leaders have fretted for years that terrorists may try to steal one of Pakistan’s nuclear bombs and detonate it in a foreign country. But some Karachi residents say the real nuclear nightmare is unfolding here in Pakistan’s largest and most volatile city. Continue reading

March 6, 2015 Posted by | Pakistan, safety | Leave a comment

Nuclear restarts in Japan could be years away, due to legal battles

justiceflag-japanJapan court battles could delay nuclear restarts further 

*Injunctions could delay nuclear restarts by years

* Activist lawyers to contest every unit that passes safety checks

* Judge in Takahama case same that ruled against Ohi restart

By Mari Saito and Kentaro Hamada TOKYO, March 5 (Reuters) - The fight over restarting Japan’s nuclear industry is moving to the courts, where power companies face the risk of further delays in firing up idled reactors if judges side with local residents worried about nuclear safety.

Four reactors owned by two utilities cleared regulatory safety checks in recent months, potentially soon ending more than a year without atomic power in Japan, the first such spell in the four decades the nation has been using nuclear energy.

And while ruling politicians and Japan’s bureaucracy are pushing the restarts, the judiciary – which typically sided with power companies before the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster – may be shifting its attitude.

Judges are now considering injunctions that could halt the restarts and indefinitely extend the countrywide shutdown of Japan’s 48 reactors that followed Fukushima, posing a threat to power companies already surviving on government support.

“Japan’s courts have always been hesitant to properly check the state and its legislative process,” but the shift in public opinion against nuclear power may have turned some judges in favour of residents, said Hiroshi Segi, a former judge turned critic of Japan’s judicial system.

The court decisions, which might come this month – four years after the earthquake and tsunami that knocked out the Fukushima reactors – could mean months, even years of delays and hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for Kansai Electric Power and Kyushu Electric Power…..

The plaintiffs contend the utilities are underestimating the earthquake risks at Sendai and Takahama and not meeting tougher post-Fukushima standards. Residents also say the government has not set credible evacuation plans in case of a nuclear accident.

Kaido’s team of anti-nuclear lawyers are planning to seek injunctions on every plant that wins regulatory approval.

“Judges must know that their decision could stop the next nuclear accident,” Kaido said…….


The lead judge in the Takahama case, Hideaki Higuchi, ruled against restarting Kansai Electric’s Ohi plant in May last year, a rare victory for activists.

“I think residents could win the (Takahama) shutdown in Fukui District Court,” said Akihiro Sawa, a former official with the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry, which oversees electric power companies.

Sawa, now a research director at the 21st Century Public Policy Institute, affiliated with Japan’s biggest business lobby, said he has been warning utility executives to take the lawsuits seriously…….

In the Ohi decision last May, the Fukui court judge said protecting residents’ health from a potential nuclear accident was more important than any financial gains the country may get from restarting stalled plants.

“I am hopeful that the Sendai judge will feel the same,” Kaido said.

March 6, 2015 Posted by | Japan, Legal | Leave a comment

USA nuclear power companies feeling the financial pain- future very dubious

financial-disaster-1Nuclear Power Firms Feel Squeeze Cost overruns, delays plague current projects, clouding development of future reactors WSJ, By  REBECCA SMITH
March 5, 2015 

Future nuclear power plant development in the U.S. looks dismal as cost overruns and multiyear delays plague four new reactors under construction in Georgia and South Carolina.

Southern Co. , the Atlanta-based power utility that dominates much of the Southeastern U.S., recently told Georgia regulators that costs have ballooned by $1.4 billion for its minority stake in the Vogtle nuclear power plant expansion in Waynesboro, Ga. The company’s Georgia Power utility is now on the hook to spend $7.5 billion for its 46% share, while municipal utilities own the rest.

Southern is trying to recoup some of the cost from its vendors, but the company recently notified the state utility commission that it may try to pass on much of the expense to customers, protecting its shareholders from the hit.

The company’s disclosure shines a light on a persistent industry problem. What was once seen as a major strength of new nuclear reactor designs—a streamlined construction method —is now proving to be an Achilles’ heel……

March 6, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

£53bn cost now – the ever more expensive Sellafield nuclear clean-up

sellafield-2011Sellafield clean-up costs rise to £53bn, says NAO BBC News 4 Mar 15 The cost of decommissioning and cleaning up the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria has increased by £5bn to £53bn, says the National Audit Office.

Margaret Hodge MP, chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which commissioned the report, said the cost hike was “astonishing.”

A year ago, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the body responsible for the clean up, said the cost would be £48bn.

The work is also behind schedule, the report said.

The Authority gave the £9bn Sellafield clean-up contract to Nuclear Management Partners (NMP), but following criticism of NMP’s competence, decided in January to cancel the contract.

“It is galling that breaking the contract will cost the public purse £430,000,” said Mrs Hodge, whose committee recommended the Authority consider doing this a year ago.


The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the Department of Energy and Climate Change, NMP, and Sellafield Ltd. are due to appear before the Committee on 11 March.

Mrs Hodge said she expected them to “tell me how the escalation in cost of cleaning up Sellafield will be stopped and performance put back on track.”

Chris Jukes, regional officer of the GMB union, said: “GMB has been absolutely clear all along that the NMP model did not work at Sellafield…….

The total cost of cleaning up the UK’s 17 nuclear sites is “around £70bn”, the NAO says.

Sellafield is the “UK’s largest and most hazardous nuclear site”, including two nuclear fuel reprocessing plants, waste management and storage plants, as well as storage ponds and silos containing waste from the UK’s first nuclear plants.

The Authority aims to clear the site by 2120.

March 6, 2015 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Legal action against European Commission’s approval of Hinkley nuclear power station

justiceflag-EUHinkley C nuclear power station faces legal challenge BBC News 5 Mar 15The planned Hinkley C nuclear power station in Somerset is the subject of a new legal challenge. A German energy co-operative founded by environmental lobby group Greenpeace is to launch a legal action against the European Commission.

It accuses the Commission of wrongly approving the nuclear reactor project in October following a lengthy state aid inquiry…….Unfair state aid?

Soenke Tangermann, managing director of Greenpeace Energy, said the “highly subsidised” electricity produced by the plant would “noticeably distort European competitiveness.”

The energy cooperative was founded by Greenpeace 15 years ago and now operates as an independent company.

“This effect will have economic disadvantages for committed green [energy] providers like us and that’s why we are going to court,” Mr Tangermann said.

Greenpeace Energy says the subsidies planned for the controversial scheme are far higher than those for wind and solar power in Germany.

Austria – which opposes nuclear power – has also signalled it will launch its own legal challenge against the project, arguing that subsidies ought to be restricted to renewable energy sources.

Greenpeace Energy is also calling on the German government to take action against what it calls “the unfair state aid approval.”…….

March 6, 2015 Posted by | EUROPE, Legal | Leave a comment

Radionuclides from Fukushima found in fish at long distances

radiation-in-sea--food-chaiReport: Fukushima fallout detected in U.S. fish — Dose equal to samples caught 100 miles from plant — Persistently high levels detected in marine life offshore “not anticipated… orders of magnitude” more than expected — “Measurements needed… along predicted plume trajectory”

Excerpts from Radiological Dose Rates to Marine Fish from the Fukushima Daiichi Accident: The First Three Years Across the North Pacific’, includes authors from Japan’s National Institute of Radiological Sciences and Oregon St. Univ., 2015 (emphasis added):

  • A more complete record is emerging of radionuclide measurements in fish [from]across the Pacific… Fish 100–200 km east of [Fukushima], coastal fish in the Aleutian Islands… and trans-Pacific migratory species, all had increased dose rates as a consequence of the FDNPP accident.
  • FDNPP produced the largest single-event influx of radioactive cesium isotopes into the Pacific [137Cs up to 90 PBqChernobyl total: 70-85 PBq].
  • Dose rates to the most impacted fish species near the FDNPP have remained above benchmark levels for potential dose effects at least three years longer than was indicated by previous, data-limited, evaluations.
  • [Strontium-90] was estimated to contribute up to approximately one-half of the total 2013 dose rate to fish near the FDNPP.
  • Evaluations… suggested that the dose rates to fish near the FDNPP… only briefly remained above the benchmark levels for potential harmful effects… However, subsequent data have indicated highly elevated and persistent accumulation of Cs.
  • Maximally exposed fish near the FDNPP [had] an increase of more than six orders of magnitude… The elevated activity concentrations were not isolated to one sample, or one species. In 2013, activity concentrations of 134,137Cs exceeding [100,000 Bq] kg were measured in more than 100 fish from ten species sampled from FDNPP port… concentrations in [some species] are orders of magnitude higher than predicted.
  • Some of the released radionuclides are being carried long distances
  • At Amchitka Island [in Alaska] the 134,137Cs dose rates to [greenling and rockfish] were only slightly higher than pre-event levels… The increase… appears to be due to atmospheric transport from Fukushima as 134Cs was measured… in freshwater fish[11 Bq/kg in trout].
  • Detections of 134Cs in California water samples gathered in August 2014… suggest incremental dose rate increases to resident fish.
  • Fish at 100–200 km east of the FDNPP, coastal fish in the Aleutian Islands, and trans-Pacific migratory species all had increased dose rates.
  • Persistence of the radionuclides in fish was not anticipated by existing models…ongoing measurements are needed at locations near the FDNPP and further along the predicted plume trajectory… Some areas that have experienced air deposition in 2011 (e.g. Aleutian Islands), should continue monitoring as they may experience a second arrival of 134,137Cs in subsequent years via an oceanic plume.
  • This study was in collaboration with the… IAEA

See also: Gov’t: Alaska island “appears to show impacts from Fukushima” — “Significant cesium signature” — Scientists anticipate further impact as ocean plume arrives (VIDEO)

March 6, 2015 Posted by | oceans, Reference | Leave a comment

US secretary of state reassuring Gulf States on Iran nuclear deal

Kerry in Riyadh to calm Gulf fears on Iran nuclear deal US secretary of state to brief Saudi king and GCC foreign ministers on latest talks and also discuss crisis in Yemen. Aljazeera, 05 Mar 2015 US Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Saudi Arabia in a bid to ease Gulf Arab concerns about an emerging nuclear deal with Iran and discuss ways to calm instability in troubled Yemen and other Mideast nations.

US officials said Kerry will reassure regional officials that a deal with Tehran will not allow Iran to produce a nuclear bomb and will not mean US complacency on broader security matters.

Kerry will see the new Saudi monarch, King Salman, and meet separately with the foreign ministers of the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates…………..

Kerry will also discuss the deteriorating conditions in Syria and the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group there and in Iraq.

US officials said Kerry would stress that Washington does not see a military solution to the conflict in Syria, but also does not think a political solution is possible while Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remains in power.

March 6, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Areas in Creighton, Saskatchewan and Schreiber assessed, not likley to be suitable for nuclear wastes



they should stop making radioactive trash – with nowhere to put it


NWMO Concludes Studies in Creighton, Saskatchewan and Schreiber, Ontario TORONTO, March 3, 2015 – The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is concluding preliminary assessment work in two communities engaged in learning about Adaptive Phased Management (APM), Canada’s plan for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel.

New geological studies in the vicinity of  Ontario revealed that areas assessed near both communities have geological complexities that reduce the likelihood of finding a suitable site for either area to safely host a used nuclear fuel repository…..
It will take several more years of detailed technical, scientific and social study and assessments, and much more engagement with interested communities, First Nation and Métis communities and their neighbours before a preferred safe site for the project can be confirmed.

March 6, 2015 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment

Two new big solar projects for Japan

Eurus Energy brings two Japan projects online in Fukushima and Miyagi regions  By Liam Stoker – 04 March 2015 Operations at two new large-scale solar projects in the earthquake-affected Japanese prefectures of Miyagi and Fukushima have been started by Eurus Energy Group.

The new mega-solar projects – the Eurus Tenmyo Solar Park in Miyagi and the Eurus Yabukinakajima Solar Park in Fukushima – will have a total output of 14 MW and 8MW respectively, making them the largest solar plants in their respective prefectures.

The projects have both been eligible for subsidies under the Projects for Developing and Implementing Measures for Promotion of Power Generation Facilities Based on Renewable Energies, a plan prompted by the region’s earthquake and subsequent nuclear disaster in April 2011.

The feed-in tariff introduced in July 2012 to trigger more PV development has resulted in Japan establishing a significant solar pipeline, with these two projects the latest to contribute towards the country’s PV boom that has placed it in the top three solar nations in the world in terms of deployment.

Canadian Solar, which has significantly stepped up its interest in various segments of the Japanese PV market, has supplied modules for the Miyagi-based solar park while Japan’s Kyocera Corporation has supplied modules for the Fukushima-based project, a development that comes despite last month’s news that the electronics firm’s solar module sales revenues in Q4 2014 had been weaker than expected.

Power generated from the two projects is to be sold to Tohoku Electric Power Company while their completion has taken Eurus’ solar capacity in the country to 84 MW.

March 6, 2015 Posted by | Japan, renewable | Leave a comment

Investigation needed into Entergy Nuclear’s finances

nukes-hungryVermont AG and DPS join request for NRC investigation of Entergy Nuclear finances Rutland Herald By Susan Smallheer Staff Writer | March 05,2015 MONTPELIER — The attorney general’s office and the Shumlin administration have joined Massachusetts, New York and some anti-nuclear groups in asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to investigate Entergy Nuclear’s finances.

Vermont joined the petition to the NRC almost two years after it was filed by a consortium of anti-nuclear groups, including the Citizens Awareness Network.

Scot Kline, an assistant Vermont attorney general, said Wednesday the state had been “monitoring” the petition before the NRC, and decided in January to file a formal request with the NRC.

“We have had consultations with the New York attorney general and the Massachusetts attorney general,” Kline said. “This was an appropriate time for us to join.”

In a two-page letter dated Jan. 27, William Griffin, the chief assistant attorney general, and Christopher Recchia, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service, said they were concerned about Entergy’s finances and its corporate parent’s ability to cover the costs of decommissioning the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

In particular, Vermont said it was concerned that Entergy wanted to raid the $650 million decommissioning trust fund to cover the costs of handling Yankee’s thousands of tons of highly radioactive nuclear fuel.
Vermont Yankee’s decommissioning trust fund is at about half the amount that current calculations put at what is necessary to dismantle and clean up the Vernon reactor, which shut down last Dec. 29.

Entergy’s latest estimates put the full cost of decommissioning at $1.2 billion in 2014 costs……..

March 6, 2015 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

An expensive waste of time – Thorium Nuclear Reactors

Thorium-dreamWhy are we not using Thorium instead of Uranium for power? “I have followed this technology for some years with interest. It has merits and one great demerit – it is very costly – at least twice the cost of most renewables. So why go this route? The so called renaissance of uranium reactors has become a fiasco. The Finnish project with Areva was to cost $2500 per Mwe for the first prototype,with $1200 per Mwe in the following standardized units.The reality is 3 years behind schedule, 77% over budget with no hope of completion at less than a 100% overrun, and standardized successors now priced at $5000 per Mwe, four times the hoped for cost.

There is no reason whatever to claim thorium based reactors will be any cheaper. We cannot afford to waste precious time and money on nuclear, but should have a crash implementation of commercializing renewables like wind and solar thermal electric.”

March 6, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

New study to begin on Fukushima radiation effects

Colorado State to team up with Japan to study Fukushima nuclear accident By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author  FORT COLLINS, Colo., March 5 (UPI) — Colorado State University, in conjunction with Fukushima University in Japan, are funding a study of the effects of a nuclear accident in the Japanese city following a 2011 earthquake.

The two schools are combining to hire an authority on nuclear and radiation risks, CSU alumnus Thomas Hinton, to how radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident has affected wildlife and the environment……

March 6, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | Leave a comment


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 942 other followers