nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

SNC Lavalin Nuclear and Ontario Power Generation (OPG) in court over costs of Darlington nuclear rebuild

justiceflag-canadaWe’ll see SNC Lavalin Nuclear in court http://www.cleanairalliance.org/bulletins Angela Bischoff 24 Feb 15 In March 2011, the Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) filed a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to obtain details of the contract between Aecon Construction, SNC Lavalin Nuclear and Ontario Power Generation (OPG) for the re-building of four reactors at the Darlington Nuclear Station on Lake Ontario.

Aecon Construction and SNC Lavalin, not surprisingly, are not keen to reveal just how rich this mega contract is and refused to provide the information. However, the the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) ruled that the companies should provide relevant details, a decision Aecon and SNC then appealed to the Superior Court.

secret-dealsThe companies are insisting that they were “confused” by the Freedom of Information request process, which the Privacy Commissioner’s counsel notes is rather odd, considering that these “are multi-billion dollar companies that have access to a wealth of internal and external legal resources [and] have a history of being involved in access to information requests in other Canadian jurisdictions.“

The companies are also trying to use another technicality to shield the details of the deal, including whether it allows cost overruns to be passed onto taxpayers and ratepayers. They are insisting that contracts are not covered by FOI legislation because they represent information provided by one party to another. The Commissioner’s counsel strongly disagrees in her response, citing an explanation from the Government of Canada:

“.. . The intention of Parliament in exempting financial and commercial information from disclosure applies to confidential information submitted to the government, not negotiated amounts for goods or services. Otherwise, every contract amount with the government would be exempt from disclosure, and the public would have no access to this important information …”

Given the long history of secret deals in Ontario’s nuclear power sector that have led to massive cost overruns – and massive debt for Ontario taxpayers and ratepayers – the OCAA believes the public has every right to know more about the deal struck between OPG and these two construction and engineering giants. We would like to thank the Information and Privacy Commissioner for robustly defending our right to see this information.

We’re hoping we won’t have to repeat this difficult and time consuming exercise with another secret nuclear deal – an agreement to rebuild reactors at the Bruce Nuclear Station. Instead of forcing public interest groups to file freedom of information requests after the fact, the government should walk its talk on openness and transparency by sending any proposed Bruce Deal to the Ontario Energy Board for a full public review.

Please join us to observe the proceedings as well as to show your support for greater transparency in government decision making this coming Monday :

  • Monday March 2, 10 a.m.(come at any time during the day)
  • Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen St. West (NE corner of Queen/University), in Courtroom # 3 (on 2ndfloor), entrance off Queen St., Toronto

A little sunshine can keep everyone healthier.

p.s. Our Ontario budget proposal to take a pass on rebuilding the Darlington Nuclear Plant in favour of importing lower-cost water power from Quebec has clearly made some vested interests in the Ontario nuclear industry very nervous. Our proposal on the government’s budget consultation website has suddenly been inundated with “thumbs down” votes. This orchestrated campaign to deep six our idea just shows how the nuclear industry really can’t compete with our highly sensible proposal. Don’t let them get away with it! Give our idea a thumbs up right now.

February 27, 2015 Posted by | ACTION, Canada, Legal | Leave a comment

Federal Court decision could hasten the closure of Diablo Nuclear Power Facility

Diablo nuclear power plantLandmark Federal Court Decision: Will It Speed Diablo Nuke’s Demise? Ecowatch   | February 24, 2015 New revelations about earthquake dangers have shaken the future of California’s Diablo Canyon nukes.

In a rare move, Washington DC’s Federal U.S. Court of Appeals will hear a landmark challenge to their continued operation. The suit says Diablo’s owners illegally conspired with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to weaken seismic standards. “This is a big victory,” says Damon Moglen of Friends of the Earth. “The public has a right to know what the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Pacific Gas & Electric won’t admit—hundreds of thousands of people are put at immediate risk by earthquake danger at Diablo Canyon.”

Diablo is also vulnerable on state and federal water quality regulations, economic concerns and more. Citizen activism has also shut operating reactors at Humboldt, Rancho Seco and San Onofre. Proposed projects have been cancelled at Bodega Bay and Bakersfield.

California’s two remaining reactors are surrounded by more than a dozen seismic fault lines. The Shoreline fault runs within 600-700 yards of the Diablo cores, which also sit just 45 miles from the massive San Andreas fault—half Fukushima’s distance from the epicenter of the quake that destroyed it.

The two 1,100-plus megawatt Diablo nukes overlook a Pacific tsunami zone, nine miles southwest of San Luis Obispo. Since the 1980s they’ve hosted some 10,000 arrests—more than any other U.S. site.

U.S. courts generally treat the nuclear industry as a law unto itself and rarely question NRC proceedings.

But in this case, says Friend of the Earth’s S. David Freeman, “PG&E’s recent study revealed that the earthquake threat at Diablo Canyon, as measured by its original license, could be far greater than that for which the reactors were designed. So PG&E and the NRC secretly amended the license to relax the safety requirements.”

Freeman is former head of the Tennessee Valley Authority, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. Dr. Michael Peck, the NRC’s own chief seismic expert, warned that the Diablo reactors could not meet seismic safety standards. Peck was then transferred to NRC offices in Chattanooga.

The case follows a successful FOE filing showing that the NRC conspired with Southern California Edison to ignore steam generator violations at San Onofre. Amidst a massive grassroots upheaval, San Onofre was officially shut in 2013 (similar violations at Ohio’s Davis-Besse reactor have had little impact).

Safe energy activists staged major January gatherings in San Luis Obispo and San Francisco. A “Don’t Frack/Nuke Our Earth” conference may soon follow in the Bay Area.

Earthquake issues are not the only ones poised to doom Diablo.

The two reactors dump huge quantities of hot wastewater directly into the ocean. They’re out of compliance with state and federal water quality standards. So PG&E might soon be required by state law to build cooling towers, with cost estimates ranging from $2 billion to $14 billion.

The state Water Resources Control Board may meet on the issue this spring. The San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace and others ask the public to write the board and attend its next public hearing.

If required to build those towers, which might take years to do, PG&E would ask the California Public Utilities Commission to make the public pay for them. A vehement grassroots opposition would instantly erupt.

PG&E is much hated. Its negligence caused a 2010 gas explosion that killed eight people in San Bruno. Huge state and federal fines, criminal indictments and visceral public contempt have followed.

The CPUC is also under public fire amidst an astonishing array of scandals and law-breaking. …….http://ecowatch.com/2015/02/24/court-ruling-diablo-nukes-demise/

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Legal, USA | 1 Comment

Murder suspect Andrei Lugovoi’s room had high levels of radiation

Litvinenko inquiry: Highest radiation levels in suspect’s hotel, BBC News, 17 Feb 15 The highest level of radiation found during the investigation into Alexander Litvinenko’s death was recorded in a hotel stayed in by one of his suspected killers, an inquiry has heard.

Andrei Lugovoi stayed alone at London’s Sheraton Park Lane hotel from 25 to 28 October 2006. Mr Litvinenko died the following month.

Mr Lugovoi remains in Russia with Dmitri Kovtun, who is also a suspect.

The pair have always denied poisoning the ex-KGB officer with polonium-210.

Det Insp Craig Mascall told the public inquiry into Mr Litvinenko’s death that traces of radioactivity were found throughout the Sheraton, including on towels, in the laundry chutes and in Mr Lugovoi’s room.

The highest levels in the whole investigation were found on the towels, Mr Mascall told the London hearing……..

The Litvinenko case23 Nov 2006 – Mr Litvinenko dies three weeks after having tea with former agents Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun in London
24 Nov 2006 – His death is attributed to polonium-210
22 May 2007 – Britain’s director of public prosecutions decides Mr Lugovoi should be charged with the murder of Mr Litvinenko
31 May 2007 – Mr Lugovoi denies any involvement in his death but says Mr Litvinenko was a British spy
5 Jul 2007 – Russia officially refuses to extradite Mr Lugovoi, saying its constitution does not allow it
May-June 2013 – Inquest into Mr Litvinenko’s death delayed as coroner decides a public inquiry would be preferable, as it would be able to hear some evidence in secret
July 2013 – Ministers rule out public inquiry
Jan 2014 – Marina Litvinenko in High Court fight to force a public inquiry
11 Feb 2014 – High Court says the Home Office had been wrong to rule out an inquiry before the outcome of an inquest
July 2014 – Public inquiry announced by Home Office http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31507959

February 18, 2015 Posted by | Legal, UK | Leave a comment

Litvinenko murder case- a trail of radiation across London

LitvinenkoDyingLitvinenko killers left radiation trail across London, inquiry told Guardian,   12 Feb 15 Two men accused of poisoning Russian were noticeable because of their jewellery and ‘comical’ dress sense, says London hotel manager. The two Russians who allegedly poisoned Alexander Litvinenko left a massive trail of radiation in “multiple locations” across London, and were immediately noticeable because of their “excessive” jewellery and “comical” dress sense, the inquiry into his murder has heard.

Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun flew from Moscow to London on 16 October 2006. They checked into the Best Western hotel on Shaftesbury Avenue, the inquiry heard. They are accused of trying to poison Litvinenko for the first time later that day – and of succeeding two weeks later when they slipped radioactive polonium into his tea.

Giving evidence, the hotel’s manager, Goran Krgo, said he spotted Lugovoi and Kovtun the moment they arrived. “I remember these guests quite vividly,” he told the inquiry on Wednesday. Asked to elaborate, he said: “We found them to be quite comical on account of how they were dressed and the excessive jewellery they were wearing.”……

Det Insp Craig Mascall of the Metropolitan police said forensic experts later found large quantities of polonium in both Lugovoi and Kovtun’s hotel rooms. In Lugovoi’s room, 107, the highest reading came from the bathroom plughole, leading to the suspicion he may have thrown the polonium away. Polonium was found on a chair and coat-hanger in Kovtun’s room, 308, on a chair and coat-hanger.

 Later that afternoon, the pair met Litvinenko in the fourth-floor boardroom of Erinys, an oil and gas exploration company, in Mayfair. Experts found “substantial contamination” here too, on chairs and a green fabric cover. On one corner of the table there was “full scale deflection” – an off-the-scale reading of alpha radiation.

The inquiry was told that there was no indication Litvinenko had been contaminated before his meeting with Lugovoi and Kovtun. The three men went for a meal at the Itsu sushi bar in Piccadilly, where polonium was also detected. Litvinenko vomited once that evening but survived this first botched assassination attempt, the inquiry heard.

More polonium was found in Pescatori, an Italian restaurant where Lugovoi and Kovtun ate that evening, clocking up a bill of £214.20. They had dinner with Alexander Shadrin, a Russian emigre……..

The following morning, Lugovoi and Kovtun left their hotel a day early and checked into the Parkes Hotel in Knightsbridge. Polonium was found in their new rooms.

The inquiry also heard that the Russian authorities deliberately blocked an attempt by British experts to examine the two aircraft used by Lugovoi and Kovtun to fly to and from London on 16 and 18 October 2006. ………http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/11/litvinenko-killers-radiation-trail-london-inquiry

February 14, 2015 Posted by | Legal, UK | Leave a comment

Radiation poisoning of Litvinenko may have affected others, too

justiceflag-UKLitvinenko inquiry: Russians’ associate ‘had mystery illness’ BBC News 12 Feb 15 A retired British army officer had a “mystery illness” after meeting with two men suspected of poisoning ex-FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko with polonium-210, an inquiry has heard.

Tim Reilly, a director at security firm Erinys, suffered migraines and vomiting after meeting Russians Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun with Mr Litvinenko.

He said Mr Lugovoi called him after Mr Litvinenko’s death to deny involvement.

“Heaving” radiation levels were later found in the London firm’s boardroom.

Mr Litvinenko, a former Russian security service officer who became a vocal critic of the Kremlin and fled to Britain, died of radiation poisoning after drinking tea laced with polonium at a Mayfair hotel in November 2006.

The barrister representing Mr Litvinenko’s family claims he was murdered for trying to “expose the corruption” at the heart of Vladimir Putin’s “mafia state”.

The public inquiry into his death has heard that Mr Litvinenko have been poisoned twice – with one occasion around the time of the security company meeting in October of 2006.

Mr Reilly told the hearing he became “very ill” around the time of the meeting…….Atomic weapons experts later found “heaving” levels of radioactive contamination in the boardroom at Erinys, leading to the offices being closed for four months, the court heard………http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31444820

February 14, 2015 Posted by | Legal, UK | Leave a comment

2,837 Iitate villagers petition Nuclear Damage Compensation Dispute Resolution Center (NDCDRC)

flag-japanResidents of Fukushima’s Iitate Village file petition for nuclear damage compensation to restore home village http://www.cnic.jp/english/newsletter/nit164/nit164articles/03_iitate.html Kaori Yoshioka, CNIC Nearly half of the entire population of Iitate Village, Fukushima Prefecture, filed a petition with the Nuclear Damage Compensation Dispute Resolution Center (NDCDRC) on November 14, 2014, demanding measures to restore the lives of the nuclear disaster victims. The petitioners are 2,837 villagers from 737 households and the petition is addressed to Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) President and CEO, Naomi Hirose.

The petitioners’ group and their lawyers have recently compiled a booklet that contains the text of their petition and part of the accompanying materials. We introduce some of the contents of the booklet in this article.

Main points of the petition seeking NDCDRC arbitration for an out-of-court settlement

The petitioners call on TEPCO to

  1. admit legal responsibility for causing serious radioactive contamination in the village and inflicting massive damage on the villagers, and to sincerely apologize to the villagers for this,
  2. pay 3 million yen to each villager to compensate for mental anguish regarding their health and other psychological stress caused by radiation exposure that could have been prevented,
  3. raise the amount of compensation for the period of evacuation from 100,000 yen per person per month to 350,000 yen,
  4. pay 20 million yen to each of the petitioners as compensation for destroying their livelihoods and causing psychological distress,
  5. pay the maximum amount of compensation (that for the “difficult-to-return zone”) to the residents who need to secure their houses, but without categorizing the locations into “difficult-to-return zone,” “restricted habitation zone,” and “evacuation directive lift preparation zone,” and without forcing them to take complicated procedures for filing applications, and
  6. pay lawyers’ fees for this class action suit.

Purpose of the class action suit

This class action suit was launched by the Iitate residents for the purpose of extracting an apology from TEPCO for forcing all the villagers to evacuate after the utility’s accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in 2011, to seek just compensation for the damage they have suffered in order to regain their pride as Iitate villagers and to restore their home village.

Continue reading

February 14, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, Japan, Legal | Leave a comment

India’s Nuclear Liability Law is a major deterrent to USA Nuclear companies

market-disappointedfor the U.S., the “right to recourse” clause remains a major deterrent.
India will continue to rely on its own law covering nuclear liability, which it blankly refuses to “dilute,” as officials told the U.S. energy dialogue delegation in March.
India’s Nuclear Liability Law: Breakthrough for Russia, Stalemate Endures for U.S. http://www.powermag.com/indias-nuclear-liability-law-breakthrough-for-russia-stalemate-endures-for-u-s/  05/01/2014 | Sonal Patel India and Russia on Apr. 1 said they had devised a significant deal that will allow the first import of nuclear reactors in India, despite India’s 2010-passed nuclear liability law that allows nuclear power plant operators to hold a supplier responsible for an accident if the cause is blamed on equipment defects.

The law has stalled the implementation of deals for new reactors that India signed with the U.S., Russia, and France in 2008, when the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) allowed India to import nuclear fuel technology without being a member of the multinational body concerned with reducing nuclear proliferation. India said the breakthrough deal with Russia reached this April after four years of negotiations takes into account the liability law when pricing four more Russian reactors meant for India’s Kundankulam plant in Tamil Nadu (each of which is valued at $2.5 billion) as well as four or six other VVER-1200 units planned for Haripur, West Bengal. The deal essentially calls for India’s public sector General Insurance Co. to evaluate each component of the Russian reactors and prescribe a 20-year insurance premium it will charge to cover Russia’s liability for an accident.

Russia’s state-owned nuclear firm Rosatom reportedly has indemnity from any liability arising from an accident at the VVER-1000s at Kundankulam Unit 1 (Figure 2), which attained criticality in July 2013 and is expected to come online later this year, and Unit 2, expected to be operational in October 2014. Observers note that contracts for those plants were signed in 1998, before India’s domestic liability legislation had even been contemplated.

Before Indian legislation on civil nuclear liability—The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill—finally passed both houses of parliament in August 2010, exempting suppliers from all liability had been India’s typical practice, starting in 1962, when India signed its first nuclear cooperation agreement with the U.S. to allow General Electric to supply two 200-MW reactors to India’s Tarapur site. The practice of liability exemption was modeled on America’s own 1957-passed nuclear liability law, the Price Anderson Act, and went on to extend indemnity protection to Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. for two reactors in Rajasthan in 1965, and later to Russia. Continue reading

February 13, 2015 Posted by | India, Legal, marketing, USA | Leave a comment

How the USA govt dismissed Nuclear Zero Lawsuit

goliath-&-Marshall-Islestext-relevantBush-Appointed Judge Dismisses Nuclear Zero Lawsuit; Marshall Islands to Appeal http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/28997-bush-appointed-judge-dismisses-nuclear-zero-lawsuit-marshall-islands-to-appeal#  Monday, 09 February 2015 By David Krieger, Truthout 

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), a Pacific Islands country of 70,000, took bold action on April 24, 2014, on nuclear disarmament. It brought lawsuits at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the world’s highest court, against the nine nuclear-armed countries, accusing them of violating their obligations under international law to negotiate in good faith to end the nuclear arms race and for total nuclear disarmament.

Because of the importance of the United States as a nuclear power and the fact that it does not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ, the Marshall Islands at the same time brought a similar lawsuit against the United States in US federal district court in Northern California.

In the United States, rather than engaging in the case in good faith, the government responded by filing a motion to dismiss the case on jurisdictional grounds. Continue reading

February 12, 2015 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

AUDIO: Marshall Islands loses nuclear lawsuit against USA

9 February 2015,

The United States has dismissed a nuclear disarmament lawsuit brought about by Marshall Islands. Last month, the case was tentatively dismissed, but a decision last week has ruled the case had no grounds and any action by the courts would violate the “separation of powers” doctrine.

Meanwhile, the court battle to get a naturalised Marshall Islands citizen onto the ballot for the US elections in November will make its way to the High Court next week.

Editor of the Marshall Islands Journal Giff Johnson says the fight for nuclear disarmament may not be over in the US just yet.

Presenter: Richard Ewart

Speaker: Giff Johnson, Editor, Marshall Islands Journal

February 11, 2015 Posted by | Legal, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership would alloww corporations to sue governments

free-tradeEnergy market madness is the death spasm of the oil age – renewables now! Ecologist  Nafeez Ahmed 4th February 2015 “……..the widely criticized TTIP proposal – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – as being a positive force for economies and the renewable energy sector.

The fundamental problem with TTIP, a so-called free trade agreement being negotiated in secret by US and European governments, is that by aiming to reduce regulatory barriers to trade for big business, the agreement aims to fundamentally erode the power of elected governments to enact legislation on food safety, environmental protection, banking and finance, that would in some way undermine corporations from rampaging across the US and EU without concern for people or planet.

One of the most obvious counter-democratic components of TTIP is its aim to introduceInvestor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS), which would effectively allow corporations to sue governments if their policies cause a loss of profits.http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2741146/energy_market_madness_is_the_death_spasm_of_the_oil_age_renewables_now.html

February 7, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Legal, politics international | Leave a comment

Entergy Corp cannot stop hearings on summer closing of Indian Point nuclear facility – judge rules

reactor--Indian-PointJudge allows hearings on summer closings of New York nuclear plant Planet Ark  05-Feb-15  USA  Scott DiSavino A judge in New York has ruled Entergy Corp cannot stop hearings on the state’s plan to shut the company’s Indian Point nuclear power plant for part of the summer to protect fish in the Hudson River.

In a ruling late Tuesday, an administrative law judge at the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) rejected Entergy’s latest attempt to stop the state from shutting the plant, at least for part of the summer.

The ruling was the latest salvo in an eight-year battle between Entergy, which wants to run Indian Point for another 20 years, and the state, which wants the plant shut……….

The judge, Maria Villa, made the ruling on Entergy’s attempt to quash the DEC’s 2013 proposal that Indian Point shut for at least 42 days each year, between May 10 and Aug. 10, during prime fish migrations……

The hearings are expected to continue through 2015.

Indian Point withdraws up to 2.5 billion gallons of water a day from the Hudson to cool equipment, and then discharges it back into the river a little warmer than before.

Environmental groups and the DEC have long argued Indian Point’s water intake system kills about a billion fish, fish eggs and larvae each year, and that the plant should install cooling towers to reduce the use of river water by recycling it……..http://planetark.org/enviro-news/item/72785

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

Top legal adviser backs German government levy on nuclear fuel

justiceflag-EURWE, EON Fall as Court Aide Backs German Nuclear-Fuel Tax by   
February 3, 2015 (Bloomberg) – EON SE fell the most in a month and RWE AG had its steepest plunge since mid-December after an adviser to the European Union’s top court backed a German levy on nuclear fuel that the country’s biggest utilities have been fighting as illegal.

EON declined 3.92 percent, to 13.375 euros a share at the close in Frankfurt, and RWE fell 4.55 percent to 23.905 euros a share after Advocate General Maciej Szpunar of the EU Court of Justice said in a non-binding opinion that the German nuclear-fuel tax doesn’t violate EU rules. The Luxembourg-based court follows such advice in most cases.

German’s unprecedented switch to renewables has forced traditional utilities to close nuclear reactors and seen power prices slide for a fourth year. Essen-based RWE hasn’t ruled out following EON’s lead in breaking itself up.

 The EU court’s ruling, which is expected within four to six months, will help decide the outcome of pending lawsuits by companies including RWE and EON against the country’s nuclear-fuel tax. German utilities won rulings in Hamburg and Munich, while a Stuttgart court cleared the tax………

Germany’s so-called energy shift has forced utilities to close nuclear reactors and undermined power prices. The nuclear fuel tax also contributed to harming the companies’ profitability from 2011. EON’s plan to break itself up is the most radical response yet to the changes.

Nuclear exit is at the core of other pending litigation in Germany and the country’s top court is reviewing the constitutionality of the nuclear-exit laws and the fuel tax. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-03/german-nuclear-fuel-tax-in-line-with-eu-law-aide-says

February 4, 2015 Posted by | EUROPE, Germany, Legal | Leave a comment

Legal case on the radioactive murder of Alexander Litvinenko – claim of nuclear terrorism

LitvinenkoDyingPoisoning of ex-KGB spy ‘nuclear terrorism,’ U.K. inquiry told The Star.com 27 Jan 15 Evidence suggested Litvinenko had ingested the highly radioactive isotope polonium-210 in mid-October 2006 and again two weeks later. By: Jill Lawless Associated Press, Published on Tue Jan 27 2015

LONDON — Former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned with radioactive polonium not once but twice, a British judge was told Tuesday, as an inquiry opened into the slaying one lawyer called an act of nuclear terrorism ordered by Moscow.

Ben Emmerson, attorney for Litvinenko’s widow, said the KGB spy turned Kremlin critic was the victim of an “assassination by agents of the Russian state.”

He said the 2006 killing “was an act of nuclear terrorism on the streets of a major city which put the lives of numerous other members of the public at risk.” Litvinenko, who had become a Britain-based critic of the Kremlin, fell violently ill on Nov. 1, 2006 after drinking tea with two Russian men at a London hotel. He died three weeks later, aged 43, of “acute radiation syndrome.”

Litvinenko’s extraordinary killing — and his deathbed statement that he was poisoned on orders from President Vladimir Putin — soured Russian-British relations for years. Judge Robert Owen, who is overseeing the inquiry, said the issues raised by the death “are of the utmost gravity.”

No one has ever stood trial for Litvinenko’s killing. Britain and the dead man’s family have accused Russia of involvement. Moscow denies the claim, and has refused to extradite the two men identified by Britain as the prime suspects………http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/01/27/former-russian-spy-alexander-litvinenko-poisoned-twice-inquiry-told.html

January 27, 2015 Posted by | Legal, UK | Leave a comment

Germany’s Constitutional Court will hear nuclear utilities’ complaints about early nuclear shutdowns

justiceGerman court to decide on nuclear exit complaints this year Tuesday, January 27, 2015 CSTDUESSELDORF/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s highest court aims to decide this year on complaints filed by the country’s biggest utilities against a decision to shut down its nuclear plants earlier than initially planned, a court spokesman said on Tuesday.

E.ON , RWE and Vattenfall [VATN.UL] filed complaints with the Constitutional Court after the government imposed a stricter closure timetable in 2011 as a result of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan……..

The court will not decide on individual damages claims – estimated to total at least 15 billion euros ($17 billion) – but its decision could provide the legal basis for such motions should it rule the government’s decision is illegal.

The court spokesman said he could not be more precise about the timing of the ruling, adding it still needed to be decided whether a hearing would take place.

RWE, Germany’s second-biggest utility, said it expects a ruling in the second half of the year.

The complaints are part of a number of legal steps being pursued by RWE and its peers over Germany’s nuclear policy, including a nuclear fuel tax and the immediate three-month shutdown of all of its nuclear power stations following the Fukushima disaster.

($1 = 0.8787 euros)

(Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff and Christoph Steitz; Editing by Maria Sheahan and John Stonestreet) http://kfgo.com/news/articles/2015/jan/27/german-court-to-decide-on-nuclear-exit-complaints-in-2015/

January 27, 2015 Posted by | Germany, Legal | Leave a comment

Under France’s nuclear waste dump – a geothermal energy source!

flag-franceThe Inconvenience of a Geothermic Energy Source Under France’s Nuke Waste Dump http://nf2045.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/the-inconvenience-of-geothermic-energy.html

The French weekly newspaper Le Canard enchaîné provides aggressive and biting coverage of the nuclear establishment in a way that mainstream media refrain from doing. Le Canard has been in print since 1915, except for a period during the German occupation when it was forced to close. The journal had a moment of international fame in September 2013 when it ran satirical cartoons about Tokyo being awarded the 2020 Olympics in spite of Japan’s troubles containing its nuclear catastrophe.

Unfortunately for readers who would like easy access to its reporting,Le Canard has stuck to its policy of being print-only……..

highly-recommendedNuclear Waste on the Aquifer by Professor Canardeau translation of Des déchets (nucléaires) sur la nappeLe Canard enchaîné December 2014

A huge pocket of warm water exists beneath what is supposed to be France’s largest nuclear garbage pit, located near the town Bure. This site is destined to store, for at least 100,000 years, the most dangerous high-level waste that has accumulated since France built its first reactor. 125 meters tall, 30 kilometers wide and dozens of kilometers long, this reserve of warm water could sooner or later be used to produce heat or energy. The water is a comfortable 66 degrees, but it is found at a depth of 1,800 meters, while the nuclear waste is to be buried above it at a depth of 500 meters.

justiceOn January 5, 2015, the agency for the management of radioactive waste (ANDRA) will find itself on trial in high court in Nanterre for having divulged false information concerning the supposed absence of concern about significant underground water tables at the site in Bure. The citizen groups Sortir du nucléaireand Stop Bure 55, and Mirabel Lorraine Nature Environnement have brought the charges.

Some background: Continue reading

January 26, 2015 Posted by | ENERGY, Germany, Legal, Reference | Leave a comment

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