Obama Increases Allowable Levels of Radiation in Drinking Water “Dramatically”http://www.globalresearch.ca/obama-increases-allowable-levels-of-radiation-in-drinking-water-dramatically/5420787
In Time for Massive New Dumping of Daiichi Radiation
Global Research, December 20, 2014
A Japanese government official has reported, “I was overwhelmed by the amount of contaminated water coming from the reactors, we must dump it in the ocean
.” This isn’t such great news for the US since President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently gave their approval
for “dramatically raising permissible radioactive levels in drinking water and soil following “radiological incidents,” such as nuclear power-plant accidents and dirty bombs.”
The Nuclear Industry calls this their “new normal,” according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).
The EPA has issued radiation guides called Protective Action Guides or PAGs which allows more radiation than any American has ever been exposed to. Within the guides, are instructions for evacuations, shelter-in-place orders, food restrictions and other actions following a wide range of “radiological emergencies.”
Wouldn’t the massive break down of reactor number one at Fukushima be considered a ‘radiological emergency?”
Shunichi Tanaka, the chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, made the comment Dec. 12 about dumping radioactive waste into the ocean.
The US governments PAGs allow long-term public exposure to radiation in amounts as high as 2,000 millirems. This would, in effect, increase a longstanding 1 in 10,000 person cancer rate to a rate of 1 in 23 persons exposed over a 30-year period. Many experts are expecting elevated cancer rates due to these “allowable” levels of radiation exposure.
The PAGs are the work of Gina McCarthy, the assistant administrator for air and radiation whose nomination to serve as EPA Administrator was only approved by the Senate a few months ago.
It is suggested that these PAGs have been in the works for over two years and are just recently available for public view.
PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch said:
“This is a public health policy only Dr. Strangelove could embrace. If this typifies the environmental leadership we can expect from Ms. McCarthy, then [the] EPA is in for a long, dirty slog.”
“No compelling justification is offered for increasing the cancer deaths of Americans innocently exposed to corporate miscalculations several hundred-fold.”
India looks to sway Americans with nuclear power insurance plan BY TOMMY WILKES AND SANJEEV MIGLANI NEW DELHI Fri Dec 19, 2014 (Reuters) - India is offering to set up an insurance pool to indemnify global nuclear suppliers against liability in the case of a nuclear accident, in a bid to unblock billions of dollars in trade held up by concerns over exposure to risk.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is hoping the plan will be enough to convince major U.S. companies such as General Electric to enter the Indian market ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit at the end of next month.
Under a 2010 nuclear liability law, nuclear equipment suppliers are liable for damages from an accident, which companies say is a sharp deviation from international norms that put the onus on the operator to maintain safety.
From the 1950s, when the United States was the only exporter of nuclear reactors, liability has been channeled to plant operators across the world.
India’s national law grew out of the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster, the world’s deadliest industrial accident, at a factory owned by U.S. multinational Union Carbide Corp which Indian families are still pursuing for compensation………..
GE-Hitachi, an alliance between the U.S. and Japanese firms, Toshiba’s Westinghouse Electric Company and France’s Areva received a green light to build two reactors each. They have yet to begin construction several years later, according to India’s Department of Atomic Energy…………..
State-run reinsurer GIC Re is preparing a proposal to build a “nuclear insurance pool” that would indemnify the third-party suppliers against liabilities they would face in the case of an accident.
Under the plan, insurance would be bought by the companies contracted to build the nuclear reactors who would then recoup the cost by charging more for their services. Alternatively, state-run operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) would take out insurance on behalf of these companies………..
Moves to win over the Americans coincide with Russia’s push to build more nuclear reactors in India……..http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/12/19/us-india-nuclear-exclusive-idINKBN0JX1I020141219
DoE Announces $12.5B in Loans for Advanced Nuclear, Energy Collective Katherine Tweed December 17, 2014 The U.S. Department of Energy issued a loan guarantee solicitation for $12.5 billion on Wednesday for innovative nuclear energy projects.
The solicitation comes on top of $8 billion for advanced fossil energy projects last December, $4 billion for renewables issued earlier this year and $6.5 billion for two nuclear reactors in February, the first new nuclear to be built in the U.S. in about 30 years……………
“DOE will look favorably on Eligible Projects that will have a catalytic effect on the commercial deployment of future Advanced Nuclear Energy Projects,” the solicitation states.
The first deadline for Part I applications is March 18, 2015, followed by rolling deadlines approximately every six months.http://theenergycollective.com/katherinetweed/2170051/doe-announces-125b-loans-advanced-nuclear
Japan set for nuclear showdown http://www.power-eng.com/articles/2012/12/japan-set-for-nuclear-showdown.html 12/27/2012 Days after Japan’s pro-nuclear Liberal Democratic Party was swept back to power in a landslide, millions of the country’s citizens have signed an online petition demanding the government phase out nuclear power generation. The petition has received 8 million signatures, while hundreds have taken to the streets to demonstrate against nuclear power, the AFP reports. Meanwhile, on Dec. 27, the LDP set to work dismantling the previous government’s plan to rid the country of nuclear power by 2040. The LDP’s victory on December 16 brought the party back to power after a rare three-year hiatus in its status as the majority party.
£1bn subsidy in energy capacity auction will boost coal and nuclear power, Guardian, Terry Macalister, 19 Dec 14
Government wanted new gas-fired power stations to be built but 68% of the capacity is to be provided by existing power stations. Consumers will need to stump an extra £1bn a year in 2018 to encourage power stations to stay open and keep the lights on, the government confirmed on Friday.
A “capacity market” auction undertaken this week by National Grid has ended with a price of £19.40 per kilowatt (kW) being agreed as a subsidy.
EDF, the owner of the UK’s existing nuclear fleet, is one of the major provisional winners but other “big six” firms such as E.ON, npower and SSE have also succeeded……………….
EDF’s nuclear fleet is also providing 16% of the capacity. This will also be a bonus for Centrica which owns 20% of this EDF-operated business. Centrica has also had two gas stations included. 45% comes from gas fired plants and less than half a percent by those promising demand side reduction………….http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/dec/19/uk-energy-auction-coal-nuclear-generation
50 NGOs in Japan released a declaration to protest the CSC which protects the nuclear power industry http://www.greenaction-japan.org/modules/wordpress0/index.php?p=119
50 non-governmental organizations in Japan released a declaration to protest the “Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage” (CSC) which protects nuclear power technology vendors from responsibility for reparations and does not protect the victims of nuclear power accidents.
To protest The Japanese Diet’s over-hasty approval of the “Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage” (CSC) , which heavily protects the nuclear power industry and encourages nuclear exports
On November 19, the “Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage” (CSC) was ratified by the House of Councilors. We strongly object to today’s vote to approve this treaty, without any discussion of its numerous problems, which was rushed through to accommodate the Abe administration’s schedule for dissolving the Lower House of the Diet.
The treaty promotes the export of nuclear power technology while ignoring the lessons of the Fukushima accident.
Specifically, we raise the following issues:
1) The exemption of nuclear power technology vendors from liability/responsibility for reparations. This will result in increased exports of nuclear power technology.
2) The use of international funds for nuclear accident damage compensation above a fixed amount. This will serve to benefit any nuclear technology vendor who causes an accident.
3) As a result of items 1 and 2, parties involved in the nuclear energy business only profit, without taking any risk – leading to moral hazard and the acceleration of nuclear exports. Continue reading
U.S. Should Save Nuclear Industry From Fracking Peril: IEA, Jeff McMahon, Forbes, 18 Dec 14, The United States needs to develop clear policies to support its ailing nuclear industry—which is prone to seeing old reactors close rather than new reactors open largely because of the impact on energy prices of cheap natural gas from fracking, the International Energy Agency said in a report released today.
“The domestic nuclear industry is therefore at a critical juncture as a consequence of its declining economic competitiveness, and existing market mechanisms do not favour investment in high capital-intensive nuclear technology,” according to the IEA’s comprehensive review of U.S. energy policy for 2014.
“There is a need, therefore, to develop and articulate a clear strategy for nuclear power, including a statement of how the federal government will provide long-term support. Given the long lead times for construction and the declining share of nuclear power in the energy mix, these considerations should be concluded quickly.”……..
The free market is unlikely to revive the U.S. nuclear industry without government intervention, it says……
The IEA report will embolden efforts by nuclear utilities like Exelon that have sought government support for nuclear energy and reduced support for competitors, such as tax subsidies for wind power. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2014/12/18/u-s-should-save-nuclear-industry-from-fracking-peril-iea/
The Government is reportedly so worried that Hinkley will be delayed it has commissioned a “secret review” into the project. The probe, being led by the Treasury, is said to be examining whether the 2023 completion date is likely to be met and is apparently costing “tens of millions of pounds”. The outcome of the investigation is expected at the end of the year, which The Times says is why EDF delayed taking a final investment decision this summer until January or February.
Hinkley Point C – A Review of the Year, nuClear News Dec 14 “………… To many it feels like the project is sleep walking towards disaster. It’s just that no-one is quite sure whether the disaster will be a virtually ‘unconstructable’ power plant struggling to come into operation years late and vastly overbudget or the collapse of the whole project before it even starts.
Cambridge nuclear engineer, Tony Roulstone, recently described the type of reactor planned for Hinkley as ‘unconstructable’, and said Areva, the French company that owns the EPR design, is no longer actively selling power stations of this type. In those countries still looking to expand nuclear power, such as Saudi Arabia, China and Turkey, Areva is now pushing an alternative reactor.
In China, where two EPRs are currently being constructed, the authorities have indicated that they will not use the design for future power plants. In other words, the Hinkley design is already regarded as a failure by those with most knowledge of it. (3)
The European Commissioners decided to approve subsidies reported to be up to £17.6 billion to EDF Energy in October. Doug Parr, Chief Scientist at Greenpeace calculates the subsidies to be closer to £37billion on an undiscounted basis. (4)
The Austrian Government has declared its intention to take the Commission to the European Court of Justice over the decision, (5) In the UK independent energy supplier Ecotricity is also among companies and organisations considering a legal challenge.
There appears to be a groundswell of opinion among renewable energy companies and associations in Britain and
Europe that something should be done. (6) This could leave the project in limbo. Legal action would take at least a year to conclude and EDF Energy would have to decide whether or not to risk proceeding with the project in the meantime in case it has to be abandoned if the legal action is successful.
Shinzo Abe reelection increases chance of Japan relying more on nuclear power and less on LNG Straght.com by CHARLIE SMITH on DEC 14, 2014 “……….The election results have strengthened Abe’s hand as he pushes to restart more nuclear reactors in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that crippled a power plant in Fukushima, spewing radiation across the Pacific Ocean.
The governor of Kagoshima prefecture has already approved firing up two reactors at the Sendai nuclear plant next year, rejecting calls from protesters to keep the facility closed…………….
In 2013, Abe told International Olympic Committee delegates that problems at the Fukushima plant were under control.
This was despite the calculations by Georgia Straight contributor Alex Roslin that about 800 people worldwide would develop cancer from Japanese fish eaten at the time of his article in October 2013.
Meanwhile, Japan News recently reported that a South Korean team will visit the Fukushima power plant and conduct tests on Japanese fish products.
South Korea has maintained a ban on importing fish from eight prefectures, including Fukushima.
The South Korean investigation will occur just as Japan’s nuclear watchdog is calling for the release of contaminated water from the Fukushima plant.
According to an article in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, Nuclear Regulation Authority chairman Shunichi Tanaka said officials will need to gain the consent of local residents.
“I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of tanks (holding water tainted with radioactive substances),” Tanaka told journalists. “We have to dispose of the water.” http://www.straight.com/news/789111/shinzo-abe-reelection-increases-chance-japan-relying-more-nuclear-power-and-less-lng
DOE Opens $12.5B Nuclear Loan Guarantee Solicitation, Power 12/10/2014 | Sonal Patel
The Department of Energy (DOE) today opened a loan guarantee solicitation to make available as much as $12.5 billion to bolster the construction of new nuclear projects.
Issued under Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Advanced Nuclear Energy Projects Solicitation backs four key technology areas: advanced nuclear reactors, small modular reactors (SMRs), uprates and upgrades at existing facilities, and front-end nuclear projects.
According to Peter Davidson, executive director of the DOE’s Loan Programs Office (LPO), “any technology that meets the eligibility requirements is welcome to apply,” but the four areas are of “particular interest.”
“Advanced nuclear reactors” include projects with “evolutionary, state-of-the-art design improvements in the areas of fuel technology, thermal efficiency, modularized construction, safety systems, and standardized design,” he said. The DOE is also seeking SMR projects, typically 300 MW or smaller, and uprate and upgrade projects, which use an “innovative technology to improve an existing reactor by increasing efficiency, increasing capacity or making critical improvements that are integral to current or future facility operations.”
The DOE, meanwhile, specified that $2 billion of the $12.5 billion available under the solicitation will be available exclusively for front-end projects. These include uranium conversion or enrichment, as well as nuclear fuel fabrication…….http://www.powermag.com/doe-opens-12-5b-nuclear-loan-guarantee-solicitation/
Anglesey nuclear plant plans lack detail, council boss says, BBC News 8 December 2014
Concerns about the lack of detail and impact a nuclear power station could have on Anglesey have been raised by the island council’s chief executive.
Richard Parry Jones has sent a 10-page letter to Horizon bosses calling for more detailed information about their Wylfa Newydd power plant proposals.
Horizon – a subsidiary of Hitachi which bought the site in 2012 for about £700m – put its plans on show this autumn.
It said it was disappointed by the concerns raised by Anglesey council……..
Mr Jones said the “lack of detail” within the public consultationinformation is “concerning given the sheer scale of Wylfa Newydd and its potential impacts on Anglesey and its communities”.
Councillors agreed that the chief executive send a “frank, but constructive” letter outlining the concerns, including:A lack of detail surrounding workforce numbers – essential from a skills, training and education perspective
A lack of detail on estimated numbers and profiles of employees from outside Anglesey – to gauge the project’s impact from a social, community and Welsh language perspective
A lack of explicit commitment shown to promoting local employment opportunities and local supply chain
Little or no recognition of potential effects Wylfa Newydd will have on existing jobs, bed spaces, facilities and services
A need for considerable more work to establish the impacts on Anglesey communities, especially those within a 5km radius of the main site, and how to mitigate them http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-30385097
The utility pushback against clean energy accelerates Green World, 9 Dec 14, We have been saying for months that the nuclear and coal industries are on the ropes–that’s true and grows more evident daily. But on the ropes doesn’t mean dead, and, as we have been warning for months, large, wealthy industries like these don’t go down easily.
NIRS’ Tim Judson laid out the industry’s plans in his September paper, Killing the Competition, and the industry is following the script he predicted. Now, in the lull between the comment period of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and its final revision, followed by each state having to develop a State Implementation Plan, the nuclear and fossil fuel industry’s pushback against the clean energy future that threatens to make them extinct is accelerating across the country.
And this is just the beginning.
In Illinois, Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio and elsewhere, the battle lines are forming and nuclear and fossil fuel-dominated utilities are working to end clean energy programs, fight against energy efficiency measures, and stick it to ratepayers every way they can.
Take Kansas. The re-election of far-right governor Sam Brownback and the presence of Wichita-based Koch Industries has emboldened opponents of clean energy, who tried but failed last year to repeal the state’s Renewable Energy Standard. Despite Kansas’ enormous wind power resources–not to mention that wind already has met its RES standard there so repeal would have only a symbolic effect on the standard, but a highly negative effect on additional investment in wind (Kansas remains behind on solar), the dirty energy lobby is planning to again try for repeal. The issue does not break entirely along party lines in Kansas–plenty of Republicans have seen the positive effect investment in wind power has had on the state, but for the dirty utilities and their backers, repeal is a cherished goal–especially as part of a domino effect that could help lead to repeal in other states.
In North Carolina, which has a solar potential nearly as strong as California’s, utility-scale solar power has been growing rapidly, with 700 MW now installed in the state. But growth in the utility-sponsored arena is likely to dwindle in the coming years and the state lags far behind in rooftop solar. There are only 1700 rooftop solar systems in the state, which has a population of 9.85 million. Compare that to Massachusetts, where the climate is much less conducive to solar, but where there are 6,800 rooftop systems in a much smaller population of 6.7 million. That’s nearly six times better than North Carolina’s rate. The reason? Duke Energy and Duke-friendly legislators, which are blocking policies that could encourage rooftop solar. Indeed, the solar potential is so great that two-thirds of the state’s required carbon emission reductions by 2030 under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan could be met with relatively modest changes to state law. But can Duke be beaten?
In Ohio and Pennsylvania, First Energy is taking aim at energy efficiency programs. In fact, it wants demand response programs ended entirely. The utility’s complaint is that energy efficiency programs are so effective that “We feel that it’s going to lead to even more premature closures of power plants,” said Doug Colafella, a spokesman for the firm. Of course, if power plants are not needed, it’s hardly fair to call them “premature closures.” What First Energy really is saying is that it thinks it should have a right to run polluting power plants for as long as it feels like and get as much money out of them as it wants, the public–and the climate and environment–be damned.
But First Energy isn’t the only utility going after energy efficiency. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) warned last week that dirty utilities are increasingly seeking to raise monthly “fixed charges”–or charges utilities impose on ratepayers simply for being hooked up to the grid–because customers are spending less on electricity due to the effectiveness of energy efficiency programs. Raising fixed charges would provide a disincentive for further advances in energy efficiency, which is the cheapest and fastest means of reducing carbon emissions, since, as ACEEE explains, “First, it limits our control as customers over energy costs in our homes and businesses. If a higher portion of your utility bill is fixed, any actions you take to use energy more efficiently will have less impact on your total bill. That makes wasting electricity less expensive.” ACEEE adds, “weakening the incentive to invest in efficiency isn’t just bad news for our individual pocketbooks; it’s also bad for the economy and the environment. Investing in energy efficiency doesn’t just save us money. It creates jobs and lowers pollution.”
Then there’s Illinois, where we have been reporting for months that Exelon wants some $585 million in what it calls “not a bailout” to keep its uneconomic reactors–five of them–open. And the Illinois legislature is likely to take up some of Exelon’s ideas in its next session…….
the New York Times Sunday published a long, groundbreaking article detailing what it calls “a secretive alliance” between many Republican State Attorneys General and big dirty energy companies to push back against clean energy initiatives, both from the White House and in the states. It’s a must-read in the know-your-enemy department.
And, at Washington’s The Hill newspaper, we learn to absolutely no one’s surprise that the nuclear industry is looking forward to the incoming GOP-led Congress, where nuclear safety issues are likely to take a backseat–at least for the next two years, while efforts to adopt foolish radioactive waste policies are likely to jump up front.
In short, we all have our work cut out for us. ………..http://safeenergy.org/2014/12/08/the-utility-pushback-accelerates/
Nuclear power in China – Promethean perils, The Economist Dec 6th 2014 | SHANGHAI
“………forecasts should be taken with a big pinch of salt. It is true that China is the brightest spot in the global nuclear industry, but that is mostly because prospects in other places are bleak. It is also true that China’s need to tackle pollution and desire to curb carbon emissions will give nuclear power a boost, but these factors also favour rival clean-energy technologies. In short, today’s nuclear revival may well not live up to investors’ lofty expectations.
One factor that could slow growth is cost. In the past Chinese governments were happy to throw endless pots of money at favoured state firms in industries deemed “strategic”. Times are changing, however. Economic growth is slowing, and the government must now deal with massive debts left over from previous investment binges. Since the export-oriented and investment-led model of growth is sputtering, officials may soon be keen to boost domestic consumption rather than merely shovel subsidised capital at big investment projects.
And it is not just that China may—and should—be starting to pay attention to the true cost of infrastructure projects. Rapid technological advances are also making low-carbon alternatives to nuclear power appear more attractive. Bloomberg New Energy Finance, an industry publisher, forecasts that onshore wind will be the cheapest way to make electricity in the country by 2030. Though coal will remain China’s leading fuel for some time, Bloomberg’s analysts think that renewables could produce three times as much power as nuclear in the country by that year……..
Another drag on growth could be nagging doubts about safety. Philippe Jamet, a French nuclear safety commissioner, told his country’s parliament earlier this year that Chinese counterparts were “overwhelmed”. Wang Yi of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, an expert body, has warned that there are indeed “uncertainties” in the approach to nuclear safety…….
A word of warning comes from the man who matters most. President Xi Jinping, speaking at a nuclear-security summit in the Netherlands earlier this year, likened the technology to the gift of fire granted by Prometheus to humanity. It can bring great benefits, he said, but without proper safeguards “such a bright future will be overshadowed by dark clouds or even ruined by resulting disasters.”
New Mexico Fines U.S. $54 Million for Nuclear Accidents http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-mexico-fines-u-s-54-million-for-nuclear-accidents-1417898258 Underground Fire, Radiation Leak at Repository Exposed Workers to Contamination By DAN FROSCH Dec. 6, 2014 SANTA FE, N.M.—New Mexico has fined the U.S. Energy Department more than $54 million over accidents at the country’s only underground repository for nuclear waste.
The fines, which state officials announced Saturday morning, stem from an underground fire and a radiation leak earlier this year at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, known as WIPP. Nearly two dozen workers were exposed to contamination at the plant, which handles radioactive waste from the nation’s nuclear-weapons program.
The facility, in southeastern New Mexico near Carlsbad, remains closed.
The fines represent the largest penalties New Mexico has ever levied against the Energy Department, state officials said, noting that their investigation found major procedural problems.
The Energy Department committed 37 violations of state regulations in its handling of radioactive waste, the state said. Drums of the waste were improperly treated and stored at Los Alamos National Laboratory before being shipped to the nuclear repository, according to the state, contributing to the accidents last February. A federal report issued earlier this year traced the radiological accident at WIPP to a drum of waste that contained a mix of material that didn’t meet the facility’s standards for storage. The Energy Department has said it could cost more than $500 million to return WIPP to full operations.
Energy Department officials couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
New Mexico has fined the Energy Department in past years over state violations at Los Alamos and WIPP, according to Don Hancock, director of the nuclear-waste program at the Southwest Research and Information Center, an Albuquerque watchdog group.
Other states, such as Washington and Idaho, have also sued and fined the Energy Department over its handling of nuclear waste, Mr. Hancock said.
Write to Dan Frosch at firstname.lastname@example.org
“PAY MORE WITH NUCLEAR” : REPORT 4 http://earthlife.org.za/2014/12/pay-more-with-nuclear-report-4/ The report, entitled “Russian Nuclear Industry in Review”, is authored by Russian environmental activist and academic Vladimir Slivyak; and provides an insider view into the workings of the Russian nuclear industry. The report is fourth in the series “Pay more with nuclear”, which examines the enormous costs involved in building, operating and decommissioning nuclear power plants.