nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Armed transport ships spotted in Panama Canal, headed for secret mission to later transport plutonium

ship radiationUK-Flagged Ships Set to Transport Plutonium from Japan to US Located in Panama Canal  http://www.srswatch.org/uploads/2/7/5/8/27584045/srsw_news_on_plutonim_ships_in_canal_feb_6_2016.pdf Ships on Secret Mission to Carry 331 Kilograms of Plutonium to US DOE’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina as Part of Nuclear Security Summit Preparation; Plutonium to be Stranded at SRS 

Two armed transport vessels on a secret mission to retrieve weapons-grade plutonium in Japan and transport it to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina have been located in the Panama Canal. The spotting of the ships confirms their route to Japan and that their mission is plutonium transport, according to the public interest group Savannah River Site Watch, whose personnel have tracked such ships for more than 20 years.
The specialized nuclear transport ships are slated to carry 331 kilograms of plutonium to the U.S. as part of alleged nuclear non-proliferation efforts in connection to the upcoming Nuclear Security Summit. The ships had vanished from the public eye on their departure on January 19 from the United Kingdom.
The Pacific Egret and Pacific Heron, based in Barrow-in Furness, UK and operated by the private company Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited (PNTL), entered the canal on the afternoon of February 5 and exited into the Pacific Ocean after a 9-hour transit. Webcams operated by the Panama Canal were cut off as the ships approached the canal entrance, an ineffectual and ridiculous effort to hide their passage from the public and that did nothing to enhance the security of the empty ships.
As 236 kilograms of the plutonium originated in the UK, the US has failed to present any justification for its transport to South Carolina, where DOE is struggling to find a “disposition” path for 13 metric tons of plutonium already at SRS. 93 kilograms are of US-origin and 2 kilograms originated in France. The materials were sent as far back as the 1960s to Japan for testing of “fast” nuclear reactors. At the Nuclear Security Summit in March 2014, the US and Japan pledged to remove plutonium and highly enriched uranium from the facility where the material is stored at the Tokai nuclear site.
“We strongly object to foreign-origin plutonium coming into South Carolina when DOE’s program to manage surplus weapons plutonium is in shambles,” said Tom Clements, director of Savannah River Site Watch (SRS Watch). “As DOE’s plutonium fuel (MOX) project has totally failed, it’s time for DOE to live up to its commitment to remove plutonium from South Carolina and not bring in more with no viable disposition path out of the state.”
After an intense 5-day ship-spotting effort led by Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment (CORE), based near the UK’s Sellafield nuclear site, and joined by SRS Watch, the ships were detected upon entering the crowded waters on the approach to the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal. The navigation beacons (Automated Information System – AIS), which had been turned off before the ships departed the UK, were turned on as the vessel neared the entrance of the canal. Both public interest organizations had predicted on the ships’ departure that they were bound for Japan and would travel via the Panama Canal.
The empty vessel are expected to arrive in Japan in about 25 days to pick up the plutonium now stored at the Fast Critical Assembly (FCA) at Tokai. In an environmental document prepared by DOE and released on December 28, 2015, up to 900 kilograms of plutonium in a number of countries is slated to be taken to the Savannah River Site for storage and unknown disposition, an issue which is causing growing concern in South Carolina.
At the Nuclear Security Summit in March 2014, the US and Japan pledged to remove plutonium and highly enriched uranium from the Fast Critical Assembly. The upcoming shipment will not be concluded before the summit in Washington, DC on March 31-April 1.
While some will celebrate this removal of the plutonium from Japan, it will do nothing to address the fact that Japan now has a plutonium stockpile of about 10.5 metric tons, according to SRS Watch. “While officials may declare the plutonium removal a non-proliferation success at the upcoming Nuclear Security Summit, the fact remains that Japan’s plutonium stockpile and efforts to increase that stockpile through operation of a new reprocessing plant pose far greater proliferation risks,” said Clements. “To focus on the real risks of weapon-usable plutonium in Japan, the summit must issue a demand that Japan halt its program to reprocess spent fuel and cease accumulation of more plutonium.”
On the 55-day return voyage to the naval port in Charleston, South Carolina, DOE has said that the ships carrying their plutonium cargo would not utilize the Panama Canal given the security risks associated when passing near land.
To document the passage of the ships through the Panama Canal, numerous screen shots and screen photos were made of a site that tracks vessels – www.marientraffic.com. Many of those images are posted at the bottom of the photo section on the SRS Watch website.

February 10, 2016 Posted by | - plutonium, Japan, safety, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Whistleblower Bob Rowen took on corporate nuclear power in the 1970s

whistleblowerFlag-USAThe Not-So-Peaceful Atom  Bob Rowen accidentally took on corporate nuclear power in the 1970s. Four decades later he remembers what it was like to be Humboldt County’s most infamous whistleblower. North Coast Journal, BY , 20 MARCH 2008  On a summer day in 1969,Bob Rowen, a nuclear control technician at the Humboldt Bay nuclear power plant, realized that for his employer, Pacific Gas and Electric, the bottom line was everything — it was even more important than the community’s safety.

It wasn’t the first time Rowen, a burly former Marine, had witnessed safety violations at the plant, but it was the first time he had the gumption to record the violation in a logbook, which would eventually be reviewed by the nuclear industry’s then government watchdog the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).

As for PG&E management, they were getting pretty fed up. Rowen was proving to be a real pain in the ass. Continue reading

February 10, 2016 Posted by | civil liberties, history, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

The New Dirty War for Africa’s uranium and mineral rights: Wikileaks 

logo-WikileaksToday, Friday 5 February at 08:30 CET, WikiLeaks releases a collection of documents that open up a corrupt multi-billion dollar war by Western and Chinese companies grab uranium and other mining rights in the Central African Republic (CAR) and escape paying for the environmental consequences. Among the hundreds of pages in this publication are detailed maps of mining rights, mining contracts with illegal kickbacks and secret investigative reports. The documents have been long sought by fraud investigators. In December 2015 a case was filed against Areva, alleging corruption related to the €1.8 billion purchase of three uranium mines in 2007.

Effective oversight process by the local authorities is subverted either by duping state officials with deceiving front companies, such as the UN registered World Sports Alliance (WSA), now recycled into a cover for mining companies, or by corrupting them through the payment of ‘cash bonuses’. After a profitable exploitation of resources, companies such as Areva – a French multinational group specialising in nuclear power – abandon the country, leaving behind nuclear contamination without having launched any of the promised investments.  ……… https://wikileaks.org/car-mining/#areva

February 8, 2016 Posted by | AFRICA, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Wikileaks | Leave a comment

Britaion and Sweden rejecting UN panel’s finding on Julian Assange

 Assange,-Julian-1No release in sight despite UN panel decision. Julian Assange: ‘sweet’ victory soured by British and Swedish rejection  Founding WikiLeaks founder is being arbitrarily detained at Ecuador embassy, Guardian, ,, in Gothenberg, and  A UN panel may have found that Julian Assange is subject to “arbitrary detention” and called for him to be allowed to walk free, but the WikiLeaks founder remains exactly where he has been for the past 44 months – inside Ecuador’s London embassy and locked in a three-nation war of words.

Britain and Sweden immediately rejected the UN report, which declared that Assange had been “arbitrarily detained” since his arrest in 2010 and during his lengthy stay in the embassy, where he sought asylum in June 2012. The British foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, described the findings as “ridiculous” and the Australian as a “fugitive from justice”.

However, the panel’s findings, leaked on Thursday and published in full on Friday morning, were a welcome victory for Assange, and a moment he intended to savour fully. At 4.01pm he emerged on to the balcony of the west Londonembassy to greet a crowd of several hundred supporters and journalists, pausing first, just briefly, to glance at the sky he has rarely seen for more than three years.

“How sweet it is,” said Assange, holding aloft a copy of the UN report while supporters shouted: “We love you, Julian!” It had been, he said, “a victory of historical importance”, and a decision reached after a process to which both Britain and Sweden had made submissions. “They lost. UK lost; Sweden lost.”

The Swedish government, however, has insisted the report changes nothing, and that it cannot interfere in an independent prosecutor’s ongoing attempt to extradite Assange for questioning over an allegation of rape dating from 2010, which he denies.

Meanwhile, for Ecuador – the Australian’s (mostly) willing host – the findings meant it was time for the two countries to allow Assange to walk free, and to compensate both him and them for the lengthy period he has been holed up in one of its few rooms……

After exhausting all his legal options in the UK and Sweden some time ago, there is no question that the report represents a boost for Assange’s legal team.

Reaching their conclusion by a three-to-one majority after a fifth member recused herself, the panel called on the Swedish and British authorities to end Assange’s “deprivation of liberty”, respect his physical integrity and freedom of movement, and offer him compensation.

Assange, they found, had been unable “to access the full-intended benefit” of the asylum status granted by Ecuador, and “the continuing and disproportionate denial to him of such access … had become cumulatively harsh and disproportionate”.

In particular, the panel offered an excoriating critique of Sweden’s prosecution process, which they said had been in a state of “indefinite procrastination”. With Quito and Stockholm still unable to agree on arrangements to allow Swedish prosecutors access to the London embassy, Assange has yet to be interviewed over the alleged offences. Britain said on Thursday it was “deeply frustrated” by the deadlock.

But for all Assange’s jubilation, he remains in the embassy, the extradition warrant still stands, and Britain and Sweden remain adamant that the report changes nothing.

Assange also remains fearful of a potential future extradition to the US, where a secret grand jury has been looking into whether to prosecute him over WikiLeak’s publishing activities……..

the former chair of the UN working group, Mads Andenas, defended its finding, saying: “There is no doubt that the normal course of action for the Swedish authorities would have been to interview Assange in London. The extradition request was disproportionate…….http://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/feb/05/julian-assange-sweet-victory-soured-by-british-and-swedish-rejection

February 8, 2016 Posted by | civil liberties, Sweden, UK | Leave a comment

President KENNEDY RESISTED ‘NUCLEAR CULTIST’ – Daniel Ellsberg

text-historyPENTAGON PAPERS WHISTLEBLOWER: KENNEDY RESISTED ‘NUCLEAR CULTIST’ JOINT CHIEFS, Shadow Proof,  Published in partnership with MintPress News., 4 Feb 16 

MINNEAPOLIS — MintPress News is proud to host “Lied to Death,” a 13-part audio conversation between famed whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and social justice activist Arn Menconi.

Menconi wrote that these interviews are a “mixture of historical, political science and Dan’s sixty-year scholarly analysis as a former nuclear planner for Rand Corporation.”

For more information on the interview and Ellsberg, see the introduction to this series.

Chapter 5: Vietnam War a ‘foreign-instigated war,’ ‘not a civil war’

In this chapter of “Lied to Death,” Daniel Ellsberg continues to explore President John F. Kennedy’s involvement with the Vietnam War and other military conflicts in Asia, including his resistance to the use of nuclear weapons and ground troops, a topic also discussed in Chapter 4.

The whistleblower revealed that most of the military leadership advising Kennedy were inherited from President Dwight D. Eisenhower. In general, they strongly encouraged Kennedy to commit to the use of ground troops and sought opportunities to use nuclear weapons. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, in particular, who Ellsberg calls “nuclear cultists,” believed that only the use of nuclear weapons would prevent a defeat similar to the one U.S. forces suffered in Korea.

Ellsberg says Kennedy resisted escalation of both the Vietnam War (which he argues could have expanded if Kennedy had committed ground troops earlier, per the Joint Chiefs’ guidance), and America’s covert war in Laos. However, Kennedy resisted the military due to its mishandling of the “Bay of Pigs invasion,” a failed 1961 mission to overthrow Fidel Castro.

According to Ellsberg, the military also repeatedly urged Kennedy to carry out a massive bombing campaign with the aim of cutting off Vietnamese rebels in South Vietnam from Communist weapons and supplies. Ultimately, Ellsberg argues, this would have been impossible: The guerilla forces occupying South Vietnam at the time depended largely on makeshift weapons, many of which had been stolen from U.S. soldiers or adapted from their unexploded munitions.

Ellsberg compares Kennedy’s resistance to committing ground troops to the current conflict with Daesh (an Arabic acronym for the terrorist group commonly referred to as ISIS or ISIL). He says President Barack Obama is under considerable pressure from the military to commit more ground forces in Iraq and Syria. Similarly, Daesh forces often use makeshift weapons or munitions stolen from the U.S.

The whistleblower emphasizes that Kennedy felt forced to accede to some of the military’s demands because his leadership of the country was quite fragile. Although remembered today as a very popular president, Kennedy won by a tight margin, amid widespread electoral irregularities and possible fraud………

Ellsberg remains a sought-after expert on military and world affairs, and an outspoken supporter of whistleblowers from Edward Snowden to Chelsea Manning. In 2011, he told the Chelsea Manning Support Network that Manning was a “hero,” and added:

I wish I could say that our government has improved its treatment of whistleblowers in the 40 years since the Pentagon Papers. Instead we’re seeing an unprecedented campaign to crack down on public servants who reveal information that Congress and American citizens have a need to know. https://shadowproof.com/2016/02/02/pentagon-papers-whistleblower-kennedy-resisted-nuclear-cultist-joint-chiefs/

February 5, 2016 Posted by | history, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

South Africa: CORRUPTION GOES NUCLEAR – Jacob Zuma, the Guptas and the Russians

13a47-corruptionflag-S.Africa

Zuma’s 9 600MW nuclear procurement programme and its accompanying contracts are tainted with alleged vested interests of the most deplorable kind.
If the country has any hope of having a rational, legal, and transparent evaluation of the need for nuclear energy, the procurement process has to start afresh.
This however can only occur under new leadership, which places the country’s interests ahead of its own.

If this does not occur, the future of South Africa will consist of a dark and discontented nuclear winter.

Zuma, the Guptas and the Russians — the inside story
Part 1: In pursuit of satisfying his insatiable greed — Jacob Zuma will liberate us from our constitutional democracy, and destroy the chance of a ‘better life for all’ 
Zuma, the Guptas and the Russians — the inside story RAND DAILY MAIL LILY GOSAM 02 FEBRUARY 2016

“……..PART 1: CORRUPTION GOES NUCLEAR

I wish to make it clear from the outset that this piece is not about arguing the merits or demerits of nuclear energy. It is whether Zuma’s decision for nuclear energy is based on sound economic principles for the good of the country, or for some other purpose.

Zuma’s (rabid) pet project

On 9 of December 2015 (and hours before Nene was fired), Zuma’s cabinet approved the 9 600 MW nuclear procurement programme (nuclear programme). This paves the way for nuclear vendors to present proposals in March 2016 to build 6 to 8 nuclear reactors, at an estimated cost of between R800-billion and R1.6-trillion ($50-billion to $100 billion)[5] [6] [7.

The nuclear programme, however, glows with controversy. According to Peter Attard Montalto (an emerging market economist at Nomura), the nuclear programme is Zuma’s “pet project”, and is highly interwoven with politics and the succession issue[8]. His analysis is supported by a Mail and Guardian [M&G] source who said that the programme was regarded as one of Zuma’s “presidential legacy projects” [9]. Professor William Gumede, of Democracy Works, added that the programme is being implemented essentially from a purely patronage point of view[10]. While Andrew Feinstein, executive director of Corruption Watch UK (and former ANC MP), said simply, “I fear that the corruption in this deal might dwarf the arms deal” (News24)[11].

A nuclear procurement process in a constitutional democracy should be transparent, logical, considered, legal, participatory, and unbiased.

Yet Zuma has assumed personal control of the nuclear programme, and it has been characterised by: secret meetings; undisclosed documents and classified financial reports; deceit; aggressive campaigning; damage control exercises; illegality; use of apartheid (‘national key-point’) legislation[12]; sidestepping of Eskom’s technical and financial oversight; destruction of oversight organs of state; disregarding of industry experts; refusal of public consultation; ignoring of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) and ANC resolutions; and the removal of any government opponents, the most notable of whom was Nene…………

Below exposes the reasons why Zuma is so hell bent on forcing the Russian 9 600 MW programme through, irrespective of: the evidence against it (from independent and government sources); the laws that stand in his way; the people that advise against it; and the grave concerns of his own party.

Radioactive plant-feed

Nuclear reactors require uranium to function, in particular low-enriched uranium (LEU). But first one must mine the uranium, and for South Africa’s 9 600MW nuclear programme, plus the existing Koeberg Nuclear Plant, the demand for uranium would steadily increase as the nuclear power plants come online. Luckily South Africa is said to have 6% of global identified resources of uranium (or 970 000 tons), the seventh highest share in the world [OECD-NEA, 2013][62].

With a 9 600MW nuclear deal, local uranium reactor demand would grow from the current 290 tons of Uranium (Ut) per year, to eventually 3300 Ut per year, once all the reactors are operational [OECD- Nuclear Energy Agency, 2014][63]. That’s a dramatic 11 times increase in local demand for uranium.

And as it just so happens, in 2010 the Guptas (a family well-known for their backing of Zuma), along with Zuma’s son, Duduzane, emerged as buyers of a South African uranium mine — the Dominion Rietkuil Uranium Project — amid claims that Zuma intervened to ease state funding for the project (according to amaBhungane – M&G’s investigative arm)[64].

[For summaries of the Guptas’ influence with Zuma and his family, read Verashni Pillay’s 2013 M&G article, or Franz Wild’s 2015 Bloomberg article. There are also excellent standalone articles on the Guptas dealings with the state, such as the Sunday Times piece by Sabelo Skiti on how Eskom allegedly went to extraordinary lengths to make sure the Gupta family landed a R4-billion coal deal, or M&G’s amaBhungane articles on a former Gupta associate allegedly involved in R835-million Transnet kickbacks]

All mine

Uranium One Incorporated (Uranium One) — a public company in Canada — owned a number of uranium mines around the world, including a uranium and gold mine in the North West province, South Africa[65] [66]. The local mine was called the Dominion Rietkuil Uranium project, which proved to be a disappointment to the company and so it was mothballed in late 2008.

Uranium One’s global uranium holdings attracted the attention of Rosatom, which from 2009 onwards began buying up the company’s shares through one of its many wholly-owned subsidiaries. (Rosatom would eventually indirectly secure 51% ownership of Uranium One in 2010, and 100% in 2013, after which it was delisted[67])[68].

As Rosatom (through its subsidiary) was buying into Uranium One, the company sold the South African Dominion Rietkuil Uranium project. Reporters picked up on Uranium One’s “low-key announcement” in April 2010 of the sale of the mine to an undisclosed party[69] [70]. The mine was sold for $37.3-million, at a loss to the company of $242-million (based on the company’s interim financial statements)[71]. Thus the mine was sold for about 14% of its reported value.

One month later, in May 2010, the media got wind that the mine — which would come to be known as Shiva Uranium — was bought by Oakbay Resources and Energy Limited (a Gupta-controlled company) together with minority shareholders, which consist of companies within companies (like a Russian nesting doll), including indirectly the ANC’s MK war veterans and its women’s group[72], and the black economic empowerment group Mabengela Investments (Mabengela).

Mabengela is headed by Zuma’s son Duduzane and Rajesh “Tony” Gupta (the youngest of three Gupta brothers). 45% of Mabengela is owned by Duduzane Zuma; 25% by Rajesh “Tony” Gupta (the youngest of the three Gupta brothers); 20% by an array of Gupta employees, former business partners and friends; and the last 10% is owned by an obscure offshore company, with its sole owner a Dubai resident with discernible traces in South Africa[73] [M&G]. The M&G wrote that Mabengela appears to be the vehicle for the Zuma family’s empowerment by the Gupta family[74].

(The North West province — where the mine is situated — is governed by Supra Mahumapelo, the province’s premier, and he is said to be a member of the so-called “premier league”, which consists of premiers loyal to Zuma. The other premier-league provinces are the Free State and Mpumalanga[75]. For the 2014/15 period, the auditor-general found the number of “clean audits” — that is, financial statements that present a fair and accurate picture and comply with accepted accounting principles — for the departments and public entities in Mpumalanga and the North West came to 24% and 4% respectively, while 32% of the Free State’s audits were deemed clean[76] [77]. This excludes financial statements by departments not submitted on time, or at all[78].

amaBhungane and the Sunday Times uncovered that the Guptas had expected the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to facilitate funding for the Uranium mine purchase. (The state-owned PIC is the country’s largest institutional investor, with more than R750-billion — as at 2010 – in civil servants’ pensions under its management[79]).

……….At the time of the purchase of the Dominion Rietkuil Uranium mine, journalist Brendan Ryan [Fin24] pondered, “Who in their right mind would buy one of the most notorious dogs in the entire South African mining sector — the failed Dominion Uranium mine — and do it at a time when uranium prices are still depressed? That’s the $64 000 question following news that the Gupta family — the ultimate controlling shareholder in Shiva Uranium — has bought Dominion for $37.3-million. It’s either the steal of the century — given that developers Uranium One wrote off an investment of $1.8-billion when they shut Dominion down in October 2008 — or it’s a classic case of throwing good money after bad.”[93]

Unbeknownst to Ryan, at the time, was that Zuma and his benefactors had set the course for a large-scale nuclear programme.

Atomic timeline: 2000 to 2010

In the early 2000’s, Zuma — then South African deputy president — met the Guptas for the first time, as a guest at a business function held by a Gupta company, Sahara Computers[94].

In 2005, during the power struggle between Zuma and Thabo Mbeki for the presidency, the Guptas were said to have sided with Zuma, even after he had been fired as deputy president. The Guptas had tried to court Mbeki, but did not get far. (The Guptas claim that they were friends with Mbeki as much as they are friends with Zuma). The Guptas don’t mind telling whoever cares to listen that they were there for Zuma when his days were dark [Business Day][95].

Early in 2007, Eskom approved a plan to expand South Africa’s overall electricity capacity by the year 2025. The plan included the construction of 20 000 MW of new nuclear capacity, consisting of up to 12 nuclear reactors. France’s Areva and the United States’ Westinghouse were contenders[96].

In December 2007, Zuma was elected as ANC president[97].

Six month’s later, in June 2008, Duduzile and Duduzane, Zuma’s daughter and son joined the board of the Gupta-controlled company, Sahara Computers[98] [99]. (Duduzile resigned from the position in 2010[100]. Duduzane and Gupta family members are directors of at least 11 of the same companies, as at December 2015 [Timeslive][101].)

In September 2008, Mbeki resigned as South African president.

In December 2008, Eskom abandoned the 20 000MW nuclear plan for being unaffordable in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis and the renewed appreciation for coal production[102] [103] [104][Professor J. van Wyk of Political Sciences]

Zuma was inaugurated as South African president in May 2009. In November 2009, the Guptas’ formed a new company, which would come to be known as Oakbay Resources and Energy Limited[105](Oakbay).

One month later, in December 2009, Zuma declared at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen that South Africa was going to reduce its carbon emissions by 34% by 2020[106]. His announcement took both local and international commentators by surprise, but it revealed Zuma’s nuclear ambitions.

Four months after that, in April 2010, the Guptas, Duduzane Zuma, and other investors bought the mine — soon to be called Shiva Uranium — with Zuma allegedly ensuring state assistance. The Guptas and Duduzane then jumped into action, refurbishing the uranium and gold plant “very aggressively”[107] to make the plant operational for production. They also possessed due diligence studies and a comprehensive bankable feasibility study (a document required to raise capital)[108] [109]……..

In August 2010, Zuma met with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, during his first official visit to Russia. Zuma was accompanied by 11 cabinet ministers and more than 100 South African business people[112].

During the trip, Zuma concluded a deal with Medvedev for Rosatom to supply 40% of Koeberg’s enriched uranium needs until 2017 to 2018[113] [114]. The Head of Rosatom told reporters that the company hoped to eventually control 45% of the low-enriched uranium (LEU) market in South Africa[115].”Our share of the market in South Africa will rise,” he said…………….

Gupta and Gupta-linked companies involved in mining – including Shiva Uranium – have several times run into trouble with regulatory requirements, as well as those on environmental compliance[226] [227][TimesLive]. Due to changes in environmental and mining legislation, Zwane is in charge of enforcing those regulations[228] [229]………..

South Africa has become one of the leading destinations for renewable energy investment, so said a 2015 research report by the Energy Research Centre UCT. The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Project (REIPPP) is a joint private-public initiative for renewable energy generation, mainly from wind, solar PV and concentrated solar power. Since its inception, the REIPPP has been hailed an unprecedented success. The programme is unique in that for projects to qualify, developers must contribute to the reduction of socio-economic inequity, through community ownership and economic development benefits[237].

As of October 2015, 92 projects had been selected as part of the REIPPP, mobilising private investment of R193-billion, and with a combined capacity of 6 327MW. In addition, 37 out of the 92 projects had been completed by then and they contributed 1 827MW of power to the national electricity grid (this is equivalent to one Koeberg nuclear power station), while also providing social upliftment[238] [239] [240][241]. In June 2015, the energy department issued a determination to procure a further 6 300 MW for the project[242]. The national treasury expected the REIPPP to eventually contribute 17 000 MW of electricity capacity to the grid by 2022[243].

Yet, in October 2015, just when bidding by renewable power producers was set to start for the additional capacity[244], Brian Molefe — now CEO of Eskom — halted the process, with the non-issuance of budget quotes for the programme. He said it was a temporary measure taken to protect the financial sustainability of Eskom. Effectively, he was saying Eskom could not afford to support new REIPPP connections as well as energy purchases. He added that, “very soon a lasting solution will be found to address this matter” [Fin24][245] [246] [247]. (As of writing, no reports on Eskom’s future commitment to the REIPPP could be located.)

On Wednesday, 9 of December 2015, Zuma held a cabinet meeting to discuss key government programmes and decisions. Amongst them was the nuclear procurement programme for 9 600 MW, which was then approved by cabinet (but excluded the then Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs minister Gordhan, who was off sick) [Carol Paton of Business Day uncovered cabinet’s decision][248].

Just hours after the meeting, and to the cabinet’s great consternation and surprise (according to Jeff Radebe, who is a cabinet member, an ANC NEC member, and minister of the presidency)[249], they heard along with the rest of the public that Zuma had fired Nene, and replaced him with a parliamentary backbencher, David van Rooyen. The move was met with shock and disbelief in all sectors at home and abroad[250].

Two days later, on Friday, 11 of December 2015, the post-cabinet media briefing by Radebe and accompanying press statement made no mention of the fact that the 9 600MW nuclear deal had been approved[251] [252] [253]. It was only on Monday, 14 December 2015, after Gordhan had taken the helm of treasury that cabinet’s decision was publically confirmed by him.

Uranium enrichment

“Global uranium demand is predominantly driven by its use in nuclear power generation plants,”[254]declared Oakbay, the majority shareholder in Shiva Uranium. But uranium cannot be used as fuel to run nuclear reactors until it has been converted into low enriched uranium (LEU)[255] [256].

The World Nuclear Organisation states that Eskom procures its conversion, enrichment and fuel fabrication services from world markets, and that nearly half of its enrichment is from Russia. However, historically, South Africa has sought self-sufficiency in its fuel cycle[257].

In the 1970s the Apartheid government established a uranium enrichment company, which later, in 1999, was restructured to become Necsa (currently under the management of Zuma’s “lynchpins” Seekoe and CEO Tshelane). But actual enrichment operations ceased in 1995, and the only two conversion plants were both demolished. Much of the high-enriched uranium (HEU) is still stored away. (Some say there’s a 250kg cache[258]).

With the prospect of 9 600MW of nuclear power, local enrichment operations are again a priority. ………

Uranium is not the only commodity with dubious links to the nuclear programme.

In July 2013, John Helmer (a provocative American journalist who focuses on the Russian business sector) flagged a strange deal with a company Nemascore which had links to Zuma’s associates ……….

Stacked deck 

Overall, the tendering process for the 9 600MW nuclear build programme will include 80%  South African sourced construction companies, engineers, waste management system suppliers, security systems providers, cabling, cement, steel, finance, transport, IT firms, mining, and more[286] [287].
Which on the face of it sounds wonderful, but not when one considers it is for a nuclear programme that has already been declared by government and independent studies to be unnecessary and unaffordable, will ultimately result in 10 to 50 times higher electricity costs than we are paying now, and already exhibits alarming signs of fixed tendering through devious means[288]……..

Zuma is the bomb

Besides LEU, enrichment plants can also produce high enriched uranium (HEU), which is used in nuclear weaponry.

In March 2012, at a Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, Zuma stated on the subject of HEU, “…South Africa has adopted a policy on the benefication of our mineral resources, including uranium.”[293] What Zuma meant by “benefication” was that SA has a policy of enriching Uranium and does not want to limit its options by foreswearing the production or use of HEU [IOL]. Officials further explained that Zuma was not only keeping SA’s options open for producing HEU in the future, but also defended its decision to hold on to its existing stock of HEU from the nuclear weapons programme of the Apartheid government [IOL]………..

Conclusion

Zuma’s 9 600MW nuclear procurement programme and its accompanying contracts are tainted with alleged vested interests of the most deplorable kind.
If the country has any hope of having a rational, legal, and transparent evaluation of the need for nuclear energy, the procurement process has to start afresh.
This however can only occur under new leadership, which places the country’s interests ahead of its own.

If this does not occur, the future of South Africa will consist of a dark and discontented nuclear winter.  http://www.rdm.co.za/politics/2016/02/02/zuma-the-guptas-and-the-russians–the-inside-story

February 3, 2016 Posted by | politics, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, South Africa, Uranium | Leave a comment

Behind the Russia – South Africa nuclear love affair

World Nuclear Association strategist Steve Kidd said that it was highly unlikely that Russia would succeed in carrying out even half of the projects in which it claims to be closely involved.

While a world nuclear report by two independent international energy consultants concludes that, “the lack of realism and overblown market expectations drive nuclear companies and traditional utilities into ruin”.

This may explain why rating agencies consider nuclear investment risky and the abandoning of nuclear projects explicitly ‘credit positive’.

Over and above that, the project as it stands threatens our country’s sovereignty, since our energy supply will be solely in the hands of Russia, which Allister Sparks describes as a country with “one of the world’s nastiest dictatorships”

truthZuma, the Guptas and the Russians — the inside story RAND DAILY MAIL LILY GOSAM 02 FEBRUARY 2016  “………From Russia with love of all things nuclear   Russia is Zuma’s “preferred partner” for the 9 600 MW nuclear build, according to energy experts, analysts and journalists. He has had numerous personal negotiations (some undisclosed) between 2009 and 2014 with his Russian counterparts — Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev[13] — and within that time two agreements were signed (and both concealed from public scrutiny[14] [15] [16]).

Should the nuclear programme go ahead as Zuma and his benefactors have planned, Rosatom — Russia’s state-owned nuclear company — will build the nuclear power plants.

Rosatom consists of 360 companies, with 34 reactors in operation, and 29 under construction, including nine in Russia [M&G][17]. It is a nuclear mass production machine designed and dependent on worldwide nuclear energy expansion and domination[18].

Over the past five years, Rosatom has quietly cornered the market in nuclear energy, systematically seeking out agreements and contracts with roughly 30 nations interested in the installation of nuclear power plants. According to Global Risk Insights, Russian-built nuclear power plants in foreign countries become more akin to embassies — or even military bases — than simple bilateral infrastructure projects. The long-term or permanent presence that accompanies the exportation of Russian nuclear power will afford president Vladimir Putin a notable influence in countries crucial to regional geopolitics[19] [20]. Continue reading

February 3, 2016 Posted by | Reference, Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

South Africa’s Zuma and the get rich plan about uranium

uranium-enrichmentflag-S.Africa Zuma, the Guptas and the Russians — the inside story RAND DAILY MAIL LILY GOSAM 02 FEBRUARY 2016 “……..Below exposes the reasons why Zuma is so hell bent on forcing the Russian 9 600 MW programme through, irrespective of: the evidence against it (from independent and government sources); the laws that stand in his way; the people that advise against it; and the grave concerns of his own party.

Radioactive plant-feed Continue reading

February 3, 2016 Posted by | politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, South Africa, Uranium | Leave a comment

Pierce County, USA not happy with DOE plan for a deep bore feasibility study for nuclear waste

Oscar-wastesRocky road for nuclear waste bore hole study,  http://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/rocky-road-for-nuclear-waste-bore-hole-study/article_7698d465-0316-5031-83e9-bc727d3592b9.html By Lauren Donovan, 29 Jan 16  A plan to explore deep ancient rock in Pierce County for its potential to store nuclear waste hit a bumpy road if not a rock wall in its first introduction to state officials Thursday.

The State Board of University and School Lands heard from the Energy and Environmental Research Center at Grand Forks that its team was awarded $35 million by the federal Department of Energy to drill 16,000 feet down into crystalline rock to learn whether the rock could suitably store spent nuclear fuels.

John Harju, project liaison, said the bore hole is for study purposes only, no waste would be stored there and that such storage isn’t even yet legal under federal rules.

Harju said the bore hole would be an opportunity to analyze rock core that’s rarely ever been looked at for minerals or geothermal properties. The chance to go that deep, into the oldest rock on the planet, “may never present itself again,” Harju said.

The issue was presented to the land board because EERC is proposing to drill on 20 acres of state-owned land about 15 miles south of Rugby.

Pierce County commissioners were at the meeting and said they were startled to read about the project before anyone from EERC even came to the county.

Commissioner Duane Johnston said, if the issue had come up at a local zoning meeting, “half the county would have been there to say no.” Commission chairman Dave Migler said it was tough to take calls from residents and not have much information to share. “It’d be nice to be in the loop,” he said.

While there was no formal application on the table, land board members didn’t hesitate to weigh in with worries that a federal project could become a federal mandate.

In the end, it was far from clear how the EERC would proceed with getting approval to use public land for the project in Pierce County, or perhaps anywhere in the state.

Afterward, Harju said he was a little surprised by his reception. “Plan B? We don’t have one. If the project is not able to proceed, the DOE will have to evaluate” alternatives, he said.

The five-year project was awarded to the Battelle Memorial Institute of Ohio, along with EERC and Schlumberger, a familiar drilling service company in the Bakken. The crystalline rock formation underlies much of the continent.

January 30, 2016 Posted by | politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Japan: secret use of consumer’s money to fund pro nuclear political campaign

Buy politicians

flag-japanUtilities secretly buy tickets for pro-nuclear minister’s fund-raisers http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201401270057 January 27, 2014 THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

Using money paid by consumers, nuclear plant operators have secretly bought tickets worth several million yen a year for fund-raising parties of Akira Amari, a pro-nuclear Cabinet minister, since 2006, The Asahi Shimbun learned.

The utilities have kept each ticket purchase at 200,000 yen ($2,000) or less to prevent their names from appearing in the political fund reports of Amari, the minister in charge of economic revitalization, sources said.

It was already reported that directors of electric power companies have made individual donations to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, but the utilities were found for the first time to have bought fund-raising party tickets with electricity fees paid by consumers.

Amari, an LDP lawmaker with economic and industrial interests, exerts strong influence on energy policy and advocates reactivating idled nuclear reactors.

In July, he sought Niigata Governor Hirohiko Izumida’s approval of Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s application for safety screening in preparation for restarting two reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant.

Amari’s office told The Asahi Shimbun it handles and reports political funds appropriately. It declined to discuss details beyond those entered in reports.

Nine regional utilities that operate nuclear plants bought tickets for Amari’s parties in 2006, when he became minister of economy, trade and industry, according to senior officials of electric power companies. The electric power industry falls under the jurisdiction of that minister.

The companies together spent about 1 million yen for each party. Their share was determined based on the size of company operations, the sources said.

The arrangement was maintained for the following years, and affiliates of the utilities sometimes joined.

TEPCO dropped out of the framewor

January 30, 2016 Posted by | Japan, politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Criminal investigations into Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin, the Department of Labor and more

truthPlease share this ongoing investigation which will re-open the case against the many criminal acts committed by multiple government agencies. Numerous others will be coming forth with similar incidents handled improperly by these same agencies. The cover-up will no longer be tolerated.

Excerpt:
Jeff Walburn, Chick Lawson, Dr. David Manuta and Paul Brogdon share over 3 hours of criminal investigations into the Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin, the Department of Labor, NIOSH, USEC, OSHA, CDC, NRC, EEIOC and numerous other government agencies contributing to an ongoing cover-up at Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon, OH (Nuclear Enrichment).

Records were destroyed and falsified, perjury, racketeering and many other criminal acts have been recorded with the documents to back them up.

Those who have not already lost their lives are either suffering without compensation or have just given up on the system that has infected their bodies and 4 generations to follow. The nuclear radiation the workers were exposed to and took home to their families was not only hidden from their knowledge, but covered up for billions of dollars by greedy corporations and government officials.

https://www.prlog.org/12525562-call-to-actions-interview-department-of-energy-criminal-cover-up-dol-admits-criminal-conspiracy.html

Direct link to article http://www.acalltoactions.com/#!Nuclear-Whistleblowers-Spill-Documented-Proof-of-Criminal-Acts-by-Multiple-Government-Agencies/c7j3/566f73980cf275ddd6e548a1

Direct link to interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CevglCV6qY4

January 28, 2016 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | 1 Comment

Report on errors in nuclear missile incident is classified ‘secret’

see-no-evilFlag-USAUS airmen damage nuclear missile as ‘troubleshooting’ mission goes wrong, Guardian, 23 Jan 16 
The air force stripped the three airmen of their nuclear certification following the incident in 2014 and quietly launched an accident investigation. 
Errors by three airmen troubleshooting a nuclear missile in its launch silo in 2014 triggered a “mishap” that damaged the missile, prompting the Air Force to strip the airmen of their nuclear certification and quietly launch an accident investigation.

In a statement, the Air Force declined to provide details of the incident or a copy of the report produced last November by the Accident Investigation Board, saying the information was classified and too sensitive to be made public.

Under the Air Force’s own regulations, Accident Investigation Board reports are supposed to be made public. The Air Force did release a brief summary to the Associated Press after it repeatedly sought answers for more than a year. The summary said the full report was classified by General Robin Rand, who took over as commander of Air Force Global Strike Command in July 2015……..

The accident follows a period of turmoil inside the nuclear missile corps amid an emerging national debate about the costs and benefits of investing hundreds of billions of dollars to modernize the entire strategic nuclear force at a time when war craft is changing………..

The investigation report summary said the actual cause of the accident, established by “clear and convincing evidence,” is classified. ……http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/23/us-airmen-damage-nuclear-missile-as-troubleshooting-mission-goes-wrong

January 23, 2016 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Inquiry into Litvinenko’s radiation murder points to Putin as instigator

LitvinenkoDyingflag-UKVladimir Putin ‘probably’ ordered KGB defector Alexander Litvinenko’s death by radioactive poisoning: inquiry, SMH, January 22, 2016   London: Russian President Vladimir Putin “probably” ordered the murder of defected KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko in London, an official inquiry in Britain has found.

The finding will put pressure on the British government to take fresh measures against Russia, possibly including targeted sanctions and travel bans. It may also harm potential co-operation in military action against ISIS, and upcoming peace talks on the Syrian conflict.

Litvinenko died in November 2006 after a radioactive poison was slipped into his tea at a London hotel.

 “The FSB operation to kill Mr Litvinenko was probably approved by [then FSB head Nikolai] Patrushev and also by President Putin,” Sir Robert Owen, who led the year-long inquiry, said.

The inquiry examined expert evidence and heard testimony from forensic scientists and family members, as well as secret evidence that was not disclosed in the public report – but believed to be from Western intelligence agencies.

Sir Robert said he was “sure” that Litvinenko was deliberately poisoned with the radioactive element polonium 210, which he ingested on November 1, 2006.

That afternoon Litvinenko had met two men for tea at the Pine Bar of the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair, London.

The men were Andrey Lugovoy and his associate Dmitri Kovtun – former Russian army officers. Lugovoy was a former KGB agent.

Forensic evidence showed the Pine Bar was “heavily contaminated” with polonium 210, the inquiry found………http://www.smh.com.au/world/vladimir-putin-probably-ordered-kgb-defector-alexander-litvinenkos-death-inquiry-20160121-gmba0w

January 22, 2016 Posted by | Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Former nuclear power executive sentenced for fraud

Flag-USAFormer Executive of Nuclear Power Company Sentenced Jennifer R. Ransom to Serve 30 Months in Prison, Clearwater Tribune, 8 jan 16  BOISE – Jennifer R. Ransom, 41, of Meridian, Idaho, was sentenced Jan. 7 in United States District Court to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release—the first six months of which is home confinement–for the crime of securities fraud, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Senior United States District Judge Edward J. Lodge also ordered Ransom to forfeit $580,780 and pay $116,138 in restitution to victim-investors. Ransom pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud on April 21, 2015.

According to the plea agreement, Ransom was the Senior Vice President of Administration of Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (“AEHI”). AEHI was a development stage company headquartered in Eagle, Idaho, that planned to construct and operate a nuclear power plant in Payette County, Idaho.

According to the plea agreement, Ransom joined AEHI in late 2007. Prior to joining AEHI, Ransom took and passed the Series 63 examination, one of the tests required to become a licensed Securities Agent, and knew it was wrongful and unlawful to engage in conduct that was designed to defraud or deceive investors by artificially controlling or fraudulently affecting the price of securities. Notwithstanding, she agreed with her co-defendant, Donald L. Gillispie, the former President and CEO of AEHI, and other “nominees” to a scheme to defraud or deceive AEHI investors……..

n May of 2015, Ms. Ransom’s co-defendant, Donald Gillispie, failed to appear for two scheduled arraignment hearings. He remains a fugitive and is being pursued by the United States Marshals Service.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF), which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes  http://www.clearwatertribune.com/news/online_only_news/former-executive-of-nuclear-power-company-sentenced/article_658d5ea2-b65a-11e5-81af-1b4cc23d91cb.html

January 22, 2016 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Fact sheet on the cover-up of LA’s Nuclear Secret- radioactively polluted Brandeis-Bardin Institute

truthFlag-USALA’s Nuclear Secret: Camp Cover-Up Fact Sheet  NBC4  14 Jan 16     KNBC has received a lot of emails since we aired two reports in November 2015 about contamination found at The Brandeis-Bardin Institute near Simi Valley. Viewers have asked us to summarize our in-depth investigation, the voluminous amount of data we gathered, and to clarify the main questions we have posed to the owners of Brandeis, the American Jewish University, for which we have not yet received answers. So we’ve prepared this fact sheet summarizing our investigation.

KNBC’s investigation concerning The Brandeis-Bardin Institute (BBI) began after we aired a September 2015 report about the history of nuclear accidents at the Santa Susana Field Lab. After that report, KNBC received emails from people with long associations to BBI, urging us to investigate contamination on Brandeis land. Those people included two former BBI directors, three former senior managers, and former board members. They all told us they had asked former BBI Board chairs — Helen Zukin and Judge Joseph Wapner — if they could see the decades of environmental tests that had been conducted, but were told they could not see that data.

The Brandeis-Bardin Institute is next door to the Santa Susana Field Lab, where a partial nuclear meltdown occurred in 1959, as well as other nuclear accidents, and where decades of rocket testing occurred between 1947 and 2006. These activities resulted in contamination of Santa Susana, as documented by the US EPA, the US Department of Energy, and Boeing.

Environmental tests have found radioactive and chemical contamination has migrated from Santa Susana to Brandeis, contaminating its soil and water. Since at least 1991, BBI had its own consultant routinely testing its water, soil and vegetation. AJU has said in recent statements that based on these tests, “Brandeis-Bardin is safe.” AJU has declined to share with KNBC, or the public, many of those tests done by its consultant.

The former BBI associates who contacted KNBC said their concerns began in 1995, when Brandeis filed a federal lawsuit against the owners of Santa Susana, including Rocketdyne — alleging that “harmful” radioactive materials and toxic chemicals from the Field Lab had contaminated Brandeis soil and water. Brandeis settled that suit confidentially in 1997. Read that lawsuit here and the settlement here.

KNBC retrieved records from the lawsuit, and found documents such as a 1997 report prepared for BBI by its longtime environmental consultant, Joel Cehn. In that report, based on years of tests, Cehn wrote: “Brandeis property is contaminated, at both the surface and subsurface, with radiological and chemical contaminants.” “The levels of contamination are highest at the southern end of the property …” “Contaminated ground water is moving toward the center of the Brandeis property.” “Soil on the Brandeis property is contaminated with (radioactive) tritium, strontium-90 and dioxins.” “During rainwater runoff this (contaminated) soil is carried to the central and northern areas of the Brandeis property.” Read Cehn’s full report here.

Scientists from state and federal agencies told KNBC that when those radioactive contaminants land in soil in places like Brandeis, they remain “hot” or radioactive for up to hundreds of thousands of years.

Documents reviewed by KNBC suggest that there may be years of environmental tests done at BBI, conducted by their consultant Joel Cehn, that haven’t been made public by AJU, including:………

Among the questions we want to ask AJU:

  • Has AJU released all tests its consultant has ever done on BBI land and water? If not, why?
  • AJU said on December 2, 2015 it is hiring “additional independent consultants” to do more environmental testing. Who will choose these consultants and what the process will be to select them?
  • Would AJU allow the US EPA to test Brandeis soil, water, and vegetation, anywhere on the property? Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks told NBC she believes the EPA is the only reliable government entity to do testing.
  • Were children or adults at BBI in 1959, and in four decades that followed, ever at risk from radioactive fallout from the ’59 meltdown, from other nuclear accidents, from the burning of radioactive waste at Santa Susana, or from the thousands of rocket tests there that emitted toxic fumes? AJU says on its website “AJU acquired the Brandeis-Bardin property after conducting due diligence.”……….
In addition to the above referenced testing done by Brandeis’ consultant, KNBC suggests/requests that AJU make public all evidence collected by Brandeis’ lawyers for its 1995 lawsuit against the owners of Santa Susana, concerning the claim that the Field Lab was contaminating BBI, including witness depositions, studies, and tests. Finally, KNBC would request AJU respond to questions raised by BBI families and former employees about the safety of the property. http://www.nbclosangeles.com/investigations/LAs-Nuclear-Secret-Camp-Cover-Up-Fact-Sheet-364927091.html

January 15, 2016 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | 2 Comments

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,337 other followers