The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Decision on radioactive trash dump near Great Lakes is delayed until March 2016

flag-canadaCanada puts off decision on proposed nuclear waste dump near Lake Huron  , 28 Nopv 15 The Canadian government has announced it needs more time to decide if it will OK permits for a nuclear waste storage facility near the shore of Lake Huron.  Ontario Power Generation wants to bury approximately 200,000 cubic meters of low to medium level nuclear waste 680 meters – just under a half mile – below ground. The utility insists the rock formation in the area, less than a mile from Lake Huron, is geologically stable.

The Trudeau government had faced a December 2nd deadline to decide if it would approve the permits for the facility. But the agency responsible for the review announced today it is delaying the decision until March 1st.

Beverly Fernandez is with the group Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump.  She welcomes today’s decision.

“We are hopeful that the minister will act to protect the Great Lakes and ultimately say ‘no’ to OPG’s plan,” says Fernandez, “This really is a matter that does affect all the people in Canada and the U.S. The Great Lakes are a shared natural resource.”

Bruce NGS Great Lakes Lake Huron

Fernandez hopes the decision to delay is a sign the Trudeau government may will willing to reject the project. The proposed nuclear waste storage facility has been controversial on both sides of the border. Dozens of local governments in Michigan have passed resolutions opposing it. Environmental groups have protested against it.

Michigan’s congressional delegation has raised serious concerns about the potential consequences to the Great Lakes if the facility fails to contain the radioactive waste.

The former Conservative Canadian government appeared friendly to the planned nuclear waste storage facility. But the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper was defeated by the Liberals in recent elections.

November 28, 2015 Posted by | Canada, politics | Leave a comment

France’s new energy law to drastically limit electricity from nuclear power

radiation-sign-sadflag-franceFrance’s nuclear industry on back foot over new energy law, Michael Stothard in Paris ,26 Nov 15  Designed to shift France on to a greener footing ahead of next week’s climate change conference in Paris, the adoption of a new energy law has instead alarmed the country’s powerful nuclear industry and raised fundamental questions about the country’s energy mix.

The long-awaited energy transition law was finally passed with nearly 1,000 amendments and after a gruelling 150 hours of parliamentary debate.

Under the controversial legislation parliamentarians agreed to drastically reduce the country’s output of nuclear energy from 75 per cent of the current total to 50 per cent by 2025. They also committed to sizeable increases in the use of renewable energy to make up for the shortfall in nuclear energy production and targeted a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Overall energy consumption would fall by a fifth by 2030 under the new law……..
The energy debate has raised questions about the future of France’s nuclear industry, long a source of national pride, and comes on the eve of a climate conference in Paris aimed at reaching a new global accord on reducing carbon emissions.“All the world is watching,” said Ségolène Royal, France’s energy minister, at a climate change event this month in Paris. “Changing the way we consume energy is key to our preparation for the climate summit.”……

November 27, 2015 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

California Governor appeased utilities while SanOnofre nuclear station was under scrutiny?

Email Suggests Governor Appeased Utilities During Calls For San Onofre Investigation, KPBS, AMITA SHARMA, Investigative Reporter | Contact, November 24, 2015

San Onofre’s new steam generators were supposed to last 40 years.

But less than one year after they were installed, hundreds of tubes had shown wear, causing a radioactive leak in January 2012. The leak forced the plant’s closure and stuck San Diego and other Southern California ratepayers with a multibillion dollar bill.

By May 2013, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer had in her possession two key documents. They showed that Edison officials knew there was potential for premature tube wear before those steam generators were installed but didn’t allow for fixes. One reason, according to internal documents was that the company wanted to avoid a rigorous government review.

Boxer was incensed.

The California Democrat called on the U.S. Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether Edison had lied to federal regulators about what it knew before the faulty equipment was turned on.

“At that point, it was clear that things had gone very seriously awry,” said John Geesman, an attorney for the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility……….

Meanwhile, a series of bills intended to reform the PUC passed the Legislature this year. One would have compelled the commission to release the sought-after communications between regulators and Brown’s office on San Onofre.

The governor vetoed the reforms, calling them important but technical and conflicting.

November 25, 2015 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Shaky consensus in Britain’s parliament, about Trident nuclear weapons system

Nuclear consensus comes under pressure in Commons vote,  John McDermott, Political Correspondent, 24 Nov 15    The fragility of Britain’s cross-party consensus on nuclear weapons was revealed on Tuesday in a sour debate on the renewal of the Trident deterrent, which Michael Fallon said would cost at least £6bn more than planned.

The defence secretary confirmed that the price tag for four new submarines to replace the Vanguard Class had risen to £31bn from £26bn, not including a £10bn contingency fund. David Cameron, prime minister, acknowledged on Monday that their delivery could take five years longer than planned.

Mr Fallon said there would be a vote on the principle of renewal of the submarines “next year” but that “our allies and adversaries will be watching” the Scottish National party-led debate in the Commons on Tuesday.

The debate was meant to showcase divisions in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party, meaning that concerns about the cost and timing of the government’s new plans were often replaced by squabbles and polemics.

Outside the Commons, however, senior defence figures raised questions about the Strategic Defence and Security Review, which Mr Cameron announced in parliament on Monday………

November 25, 2015 Posted by | politics, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Londan Mayor Boris Johnson scathing about £18bn cost of Hinkley nuclear plan

scrutiny-on-costsflag-UKBoris Johnson attacks ‘disgraceful’ spending on Hinkley – just a month after David Cameron hailed the ‘flagship’ deal, Independent 21 Nov 15
Mayor of London said the estimated £18bn cost of Britain’s first nuclear power station in two decades was an ‘extraordinary amount of money’ 
Boris Johnson has attacked the £18bn cost of Britain’s first nuclear power station in two decades as “a disgrace” – just one month after David Cameron announced the deal and hailed it as a “flagship project of cooperation” between China and the UK.

In a surprisingly scathing criticism of the Government, Mr Johnson – who attends Mr Cameron’s political cabinet meetings and is George Osborne’s main rival to be next Tory leader – said their pledge to underwrite the deal with £2bn of taxpayers’ money was an “extraordinary amount of money to spend”.

Work on the Hinkley Point C in Somerset is set to begin within weeks after Mr Cameron announced that a deal had been struck between French firm EDF and state-owned China General Nuclear Power (CGN) in October.

China pledged £6bn investment – a third of the total cost, with EDF funding the remaining £12bn, while the Government has agreed a “strike price” – a guaranteed price paid for electricity generated by Hinkley Point of £92.50 per megawatt hour for 35 years.

However the huge cost of the plant will ultimately be paid for by consumers through their bills.

Asked by Baroness Jones, a Green party London Assembly member who is fiercely opposed to nuclear power, whether he supported the building of Hinkley Point C despite its cost, Mr Johnson said: “I’m totally with you on that one – it’s a disgrace……

November 23, 2015 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton promises, if elected, renewable energy power enough for all homes

Clinton promises ‘enough clean energy to power every home in America’ The Hill, By Bradford Richardson – 11/21/15 If elected president, Democrat Hillary Clinton says she can create enough green energy to power every home in America by the end of her second term.

“By the end of my first term, we will have installed a half a billion more solar panels, and by the end of my second term, enough clean energy to power every home in America,” Clinton said at the Blue Jamboree in Charleston, S.C., on Saturday.

The Democratic presidential front-runner said her plan to subsidize alternative sources of energy would not entail a middle-class tax hike…….

November 23, 2015 Posted by | USA elections 2016 | Leave a comment

New York State demands NRC not to relicense Indian Point nuclear station

reactor--Indian-PointNew York asks federal regulators not to relicense Indian Point nuclear plant  New York state has asked federal nuclear power regulators not to relicense Entergy’s Indian Point nuclear power plant because the aging facility poses a risk to residents of New York City and the surrounding areas.

“The NRC should, on an expedited basis, deny Entergy’s application for relicensing of the Indian Point Facilities,” the administration of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Monday.

November 18, 2015 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Diablo Canyon nuclear plant – the industry’s last stand in California

If Diablo closes, no nuclear plant will take its place. California law forbids building more until federal officials come up with a permanent way to deal with the waste.
Diablo nuclear power plant
terminal-nuclear-industryNuclear power’s last stand in California: Will Diablo Canyon die?, SF Chronicle,  By David R. Baker
November 14, 2015“……..the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Co., is the last of its kind in the state. And in less than 10 years, it could close, ending nuclear power’s long history in California….

The first of its two operating licenses from the federal government expires in 2024, the second a year later. Federal regulators are weighing whether to renew those licenses and keep Diablo humming through 2045. PG&E, however, appears to be having second thoughts.

 Once eager to extend Diablo’s licenses, company executives now say they aren’t sure. Since the deadly 2010 explosion of a PG&E natural gas pipeline beneath San Bruno, their focus has been on reforming the company and repairing its image, not relicensing Diablo.

And any extension will involve a fight. The plant sits within a maze of earthquake faults, all of them discovered after construction began in 1968. Seismic safety fears have dogged the nuclear industry in California for more than 50 years, forcing PG&E to abandon plans for one of its first reactors…… Continue reading

November 16, 2015 Posted by | politics, USA, water | Leave a comment

Obama Administration enables nuclear industry to pitch itself as climate change solution

globalnukeNOPolitico blasted today’s summit: ”The nuclear crowd is certainly excited for the attention and the summit will also let them feel like part of Team Climate, given the industry’s sense of being the unloved stepchild of the whole enterprise. 

Hopefully Politico is right and today’s event is really just another cheerleading event for a floundering industry that is grasping at any means to stay afloat and not a true commitment of the limited time and financial resources we have to a technology that cannot deliver carbon emission reductions in an expedient and affordable manner.

text-relevantWho’s asking for (and getting) even more taxpayer bailouts? Hint: they’ve done it before November 6th, 2015 Once again the nuclear power industry is the culprit and once again, the Obama Administration, like numerous previous Administrations, is the enabler — obliging an industry to the detriment of U.S. taxpayers by continuing to push an “all of the above” energy policy.

On the heels of the wise rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline today, another polluting player in the energy sector received some significant bolstering. This afternoon the “White House Summit on Nuclear Energy” was held for the flailing nuclear power industry, which has been rocked by several early closures of nuclear plants and major debacles at all the under-construction nuclear projects here in the U.S. (TVA’s Watts Bar 2 in TennesseeSouthern Company’s Vogtle 3 & 4 in Georgia and SCANA’s V.C. Summer 2 & 3 in South Carolina). The industry and its proponents, such as the Nuclear Energy Institute and Third Way, which not surprisingly helped organize and participated in today’s pep rally, misleadingly claim that carbon emission reductions, such as required by the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and being discussed at the upcoming U.N. climate conference in Paris, can only happen if nuclear power is expanded.


Continue reading

November 9, 2015 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Political bias in UK’s defence chief’s criticism of Jeremy Corbyn’s nuclear weapons policy

Corbyn, JeremyCorbyn accuses defence chief of political bias in nuclear row, BBC News, 9 Nov 15 Jeremy Corbyn has accused the chief of the defence staff of political bias after he criticised the Labour leader’s anti-nuclear stance.

Gen Sir Nicholas Houghton told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that refusing to launch nuclear weapons would “seriously undermine” Britain’s “deterrent”.And he said he would be worried if such a view “translated into power”.

Mr Corbyn called on the defence secretary to “take action” against Sir Nicholas over his comments.

In a statement, the Labour leader said: “It is a matter of serious concern that the chief of the defence staff has today intervened directly in issues of political dispute.

“It is essential in a democracy that the military remains politically neutral at all times.

“By publicly taking sides in current political arguments, Sir Nicholas Houghton has clearly breached that constitutional principle. Accordingly, I am writing to the defence secretary to ask him to take action to ensure that the neutrality of the armed forces is upheld.”


November 9, 2015 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Not much real help to nuclear lobby from White House

Obama tweaks $12.5 billion in nuclear power loans, Washington ExaminerBy JOHN SICILIANO  11/6/15 The Obama administration announced Friday that it will supplement its $12.5 billion loan guarantee program to build and license new nuclear reactors, but very little new money is being made available.

The announcement was made during a nuclear energy summit held at the White House Friday to discuss the role of nuclear power in producing zero-emission energy to combat climate change.

text-my-money-2The Energy Department will be “supplementing its existing solicitation that makes up to $12.5 billion in loan guarantees available to support innovative nuclear energy projects,” according to a White House fact sheet.

That means the administration will allow nuclear plant developers to use government loans to cover the costs of more items related to power plant development, including licensing costs, compared with the previous policy that provided loan backing solely for the construction of the plant itself.

“The solicitation states that eligible projects can include construction of advanced nuclear reactors, small modular reactors, uprates and upgrades at existing facilities, and front-end nuclear facilities,” the White House said.

Putting the costs of licensing a new plant in the new plan addresses the new, small modular power plants that the administration has attempted to jumpstart a market for, but with little success…….


The only problem: None are being built, and no licenses have been granted by the federal government to build one.

The administration said it has invested $452 million over six years to help reduce the engineering costs associated with certification and licensing activities for the reactors, and expects a design license won’t be submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission until just before President Obama leaves office.

The Energy Department, also, is establishing what it calls the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear, which is sort of a one-stop shop for pushing new nuclear reactor designs toward commercialization, the White House said.

November 9, 2015 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby convincing USA govt of its climate change credentials ?

One major consideration is convincing investors to back new nuclear…...

The Clean Air Task Force is working with other industry and environmental groups to launch the Nuclear Innovation Alliance, which aims to improve investing for advanced nuclear in the United States. A formal rollout is scheduled for later this month


White House summit boosts industry’s sagging spirits Jean Chemnick and Hannah Northey, E&E reportersE&E Daily: Friday, November 6, 2015 The nuclear industry hopes today’s White House summit is the start of a more proactive effort by the Obama administration to put reactors into the U.S. push to meet its international climate change targets.

The summit comes as the days tick down to the Nov. 30 start of the U.N. climate conference in Paris aimed at producing a post-2020 emissions agreement. President Obama has staked out a large role in helping to broker a Paris deal. Continue reading

November 7, 2015 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear industry sulking because Obama is not doing enough for them

Obama’s Green Push Comes At Expense Of Nuclear Power, Daily Caller 6 Nov 15  The nuclear power industry supports President Barack Obama’s plan to force coal plants to close, but a pending Supreme Court case threatens to cause huge problems for nuclear plants.

Currently the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is embroiled in a Supreme Court battle over a program called demand response, which seeks to cut energy use by compensating retail customers who reduce consumption during peak power grid operation. FERC is forcing energy companies to participate, a move that opponents argue exceeds their legal mandate. According to Utility Dive, demand response keeps wholesale energy prices low, cutting into profits in the nuclear and coal industry……….

The court case puts the coal and nuclear power industries on the same side……..

The nuclear power industry is currently in a crisis as recent plant closures mount and the industry struggles to compete with cheaper energy sources in the market, reports The Hill. Entergy, which operates nuclear power plants in America, announced in October it would be closing the Pilgrim Nuclear Plant in Cape Cod. On November 2, Entergy announced another plant closure, this time the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego New York, reports Atomic Insights.

In the wake of these closures, the industry has been lobbying the administration to increase government assistance to nuclear power, arguing the nuclear industry holds the key to cleaner air………

November 7, 2015 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Pitfalls and huge costs make South Africa’s nuclear programme untenable

The nuclear build is a very risky exercise with numerous potential pitfalls. And there are alternatives. The shortfall in the projected nuclear capacity can be covered by a 50% larger than planned renewable energy investment. Wind and solar energy plants have been operationalised on schedule, and solar panel prices continue falling. The intermittence of renewable energy availability is considered manageable. Finally, energy saving strategies have yet to be fully explored.The Conversation

scrutiny-on-costsflag-S.AfricaWhy SA must abandon nuclear ambitions, The nuclear build is a very risky exercise with numerous potential pitfalls. And there are alternatives. Tech Central,  By Hartmut Winkler, 6 Nov 15  It has been an eventful year in South Africa, characterised by power cutsparliamentary confrontations about wasteful expenditure and student fee protests. There has, however, been an elephant in the room that has impacted all these issues but enjoyed surprisingly scarce attention. The idea, vigorously driven by government, is for the country to build nuclear plants with an expected price tag of R1 trillion.

This equates to 4 000 times the controversial costs to upgrade President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence and 400 times the shortfall the tertiary education sector will experience in 2016 because of the freeze in university fee increases. Continue reading

November 7, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

Virginia nuclear power plant owner Dominium seeks 80 year lifespan for reactors !!

exclamation-Flag-USADominion plans to extend Surry nuclear reactors to 80-year lifespan BY JOHN RAMSEY Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6 Nov 15  Dominion Virginia Power today will formally seek a second license extension for its Surry nuclear power plant, becoming the first utility in the U.S. to try to push the operating range for nuclear reactors to 80 years.

If successful, the utility’s pair of reactors in Surry County would be eligible to operate past 2050.

At a White House summit on nuclear energy this afternoon, Dominion executives will deliver a letter to the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission confirming plans to apply for the extension.

The Surry plant, located on the south bank of the James River in southeastern Virginia, saw its first reactor open in December 1972 and its second in May 1973……

As of today, no nuclear plants in the country have been granted the second 20-year extension Dominion is seeking.

November 7, 2015 Posted by | politics, safety, USA | Leave a comment


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