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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

“Nuclear Matters” the front group for nuclear industry shills

nuke-spruikersSmneither Nuclear Matters or the CASEnergy Coalition are bona fide organizations with staffs and brick and mortar offices. They are nothing more than PR agency-managed websites with high-profile paid spokespeople in tow.

columnists and other commentators  fail to reference Exelon or misrepresent Nuclear Matters to enhance its credibility.

Nuclear Giant Exelon Launches Front Group to Cover Flag-USAIts Assets Elliott Negin HUFFINGTON POST 2 June 14, Nuclear power, which accounts for 19 percent of the nation’s electricity generation, is facing some serious challenges. Not only did its hoped-for renaissance fizzle out, four reactors shut down last year, another is closing this fall, and the nuclear giant Exelon says it will announce plant closings by the end of this year if market conditions don’t improve.

Indeed, market conditions have not been good for Exelon, which owns 23 reactors at 14 plant sites, making it the largest nuclear plant operator in the country. Although the company netted $1.16 billion on revenues of $23.5 billion from all of its energy holdings in 2013, none of the Chicago-based company’s six Illinois nuclear plants turned a profit in the last five years, according to a recent Chicago Tribuneinvestigation. At least three of those plants are reportedly on the chopping block……

To try to stanch the bleeding, Exelon recently launched a front group, Nuclear Matters, to sell the public on the need to keep the remaining U.S. fleet of some 100 reactors running. According to its website, the group rests its argument largely on the fact that nuclear plants run 24/7 and don’t emit carbon or traditional air pollutants, and insists that efforts to address global warming will be foiled if any reactors close. The website also lists some of the commonly cited reasons for the industry’s current plight, but, echoing Exelon, also blames federal and state policies that support wind and solar power, which it claims “distorts” electricity markets. Not only is that a dubious assertion, it’s especially ironic given the nuclear industry would not be economically viable without more than 50 years of federal subsidies, many of which continue to this day.

A New York public relations firm, Sloane & Company, is managing Nuclear Matters for Exelon. Since the group’s launch in March, the agency has placed full-page ads and op-eds in a range of publications and recruited an impressive array of former public officials to plead the company’s case. Former Sens. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) were on board at the beginning as co-chairs. They were soon joined by former Secretary of Commerce and White House Chief of Staff William Daley, former Energy Secretary and Sen. Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.), former Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), and former Clinton Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Carol Browner, who served as the Obama administration’s climate adviser and is board chair of the League of Conservation Voters.

Why start a front group? For the same reason the industry trade association Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) hired the Hill & Knowlton PR agency eight years ago to create the faux grassroots Clean and Safe Energy Coalition and tap former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman to be its primary spokesperson. Who is the public going to believe? A former EPA administrator or NEI CEO Marv Fertel? A former U.S. senator or Exelon CEO Christopher Crane? More than likely the former government officials, especially if they don’t disclose the fact that the nuclear industry is paying them to advance its agenda. Continue reading

June 3, 2014 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Shilling for nuclear industry intensifies, but the industry still stinks in America

bad-smell-nukethe nuclear business stinks in the United States. It’s gotten so bad that French nuclear giant EDF inked a deal last year to gradually dump its U.S. nuclear operations thanks to dwindling profits and dimming prospects that it will get to build new reactors.

There are far better, more sustainable alternatives that will keep the lights on. Among the best is wind power. Believe it or not, wind is quickly gaining market share in Texas. According to government projections, plummeting costs for solar panels could make sun-powered utilities more competitive than natural gas within a single decade,

Sorry Carol Browner, and your new friends in the nuclear industry. In terms of safety and money, building new reactors amounts to a lose-lose proposition.

A gust of nuclear-powered hot air from the industry
http://bristolpress.com/articles/2014/05/31/opinion/doc538a72d3949cd339945913.txt May 31, 2014 By EMILY SCHWARTZ GRECO  and WILLIAM A. COLLINS  
Have you heard how nuclear power is a low-carbon solution that could ratchet down climate change? Even former Environmental Protection Agency chief Carol Browner is touting the industry for its supposed reliability, low-cost and diminutive carbon footprint.

nuke-spruikersSm

For years, including when she served as President Barack Obama’s climate czar, Browner shared the widespread green view best summed up by this slogan: No nukes is good nukes.

Now, she’s shilling for Nuclear Matters. This atomic lobbying outfit, funded by industry giants like Exelon, is trumpeting nuclear reactors as a climate panacea in full-page New York Times ads and any media outlet willing to listen to members of its “leadership council,” which includes a gaggle of senators-turned-lobbyists like Judd Gregg, Evan Bayh, and Blanche Lincoln. As the saying goes, everything has its price. But what’s driving this nuclear-powered media shopping spree? After decades without any new construction, a total of five new reactors are slated to open by 2018 in Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia.

Those projects were supposed to usher in a nuclear construction boom that’s not materializing for several reasons. One is safety. Another is the rise of fracking. A gusher of natural gas offers another dangerous alternative to coal-fired power plants that’s exposing the myth of nuclear energy’s so-called affordability as a flat-out lie.

For more than three years, the global media has tuned in with varying degrees of intensity to the steady drumbeat of fallout (literally) from Japan’s Fukushima catastrophe. After other ideas failed, the government over there is shifting into sci-fi overdrive with a plan to create a mile-long underground frozen wall to contain the destroyed power plant’s radiation.

Hey, if that doesn’t pan out, Japan can order its scientists to genetically engineer a Godzilla creature that guzzles radioactive seawater. The fact is that safety concerns have made Japan go nuclear-free, at least for now, by shuttering the reactors that used to generate 30 percent of the country’s electricity. Continue reading

June 3, 2014 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Exelon and Nuclear Energy Institute set up A Tool to Squelch Renewables

nuke-spruikersSmFlag-USANuclear Giant Exelon Launches Front Group to Cover Its Assets Elliott Negin HUFFINGTON POST 2 June 14, “……Exelon and NEI clearly know their way around Washington. But some arguments sound a lot less self-serving when they appear to come from a disinterested third-party. A case in point is Nuclear Matters’ contention that the United States has to maintain its entire fleet of nuclear power plants to stave off the worst consequences of global warming.

To be sure, nuclear power is the largest source of low-carbon electricity in the country, a major selling point. But Nuclear Matters’ website ominously warns that “the closings of just a handful of nuclear energy plants would have a devastating environmental impact on our country and make it nearly impossible for us to meet our clean energy or carbon reduction goals.”

Is that right? Not quite. As it turns out, ramping up renewables — especially wind and solar — and energy efficiency could replace a significant amount of nuclear generation, and do it in a hurry.

Let’s look at the numbers. What would happen if Exelon closed the five reactors in Illinois that energy analysts have identified as ripe for retirement? The five reactors — one at Clinton and two each at Byron and Quad Cities — have a rated capacity of 5,203 megawatts (MW).

In 2012 alone, the U.S. wind industry installed the functional equivalent. It added 13,131 MW of new capacity, which, at a 35 percent capacity factor — that is, the percentage of time the generator is actually producing power — would produce about the same amount of electricity as Exelon’s five reactors operating at a 90 percent capacity factor. According to the American Wind Energy Association, there is currently 17,200 MW of new wind capacity under construction or with signed power purchase agreements that will be built over the next two to three years. Those wind farms will produce the equivalent output of more than six typical 1,100 MW nuclear reactors.

Now add solar power to the mix. According the Solar Energy Industries Association, the solar industry installed 8,120 MW of new capacity in 2012 and 2013, and is projected to install another 25,000 MW by 2016, which altogether will produce the equivalent output of about seven nuclear reactors. And let’s not forget energy efficiency. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy projects that by 2020, existing energy efficiency resources standards in 26 states will save the equivalent output of more than 27 reactors.

In other words, renewables and efficiency could go a long way to replace nuclear plants — and retiring coal plants–to dramatically reduce U.S. carbon emissions. While more transmission capacity would be needed for wind and utility-scale solar projects, there is progress on this front. In addition to four new transmission projects constructed last year, which could support 10,000 MW of new wind capacity, there are 15 projects in advanced stages of development that could support an additional 60,000 MW of wind in Plains, Midwestern and Western states by 2018. These transmission projects also could open up new markets for nuclear plants.

But you’re not going to hear about the potential of renewables and energy efficiency from Nuclear Matters. Exelon started the front group for the same reason NEI created the CASEnergy Coalition: to prop up the nuclear industry. And not only does Exelon want state and federal authorities to rescue its financially ailing reactors, it also has another goal in mind. A key component of Exelon’s game plan is to hamstring its low-carbon competition, namely the wind and solar industries. More on that in my next blog later this week. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elliott-negin/nuclear-giant-exelon-laun_b_5428994.html

______________

Elliott Negin is the director of news and commentary at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Steve Clemmer, UCS director of energy research and analysis, and Mike Jacobs, a UCS senior energy analyst, contributed to this blog.

June 3, 2014 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

The Energy and Policy Institute (EPI) ‘outs’ the fossil fuel groups behind the attacks on renewable energy

Flag-USANew Report Exposes Fossil Fuel Front Groups Behind Attacks on Renewables http://www.desmogblog.com/2014/05/22/new-report-exposes-fossil-fuel-interest-groups-behind-clean-energy-highly-recommendedattacks Fossil fuel exploitation in the United States has reached a fevered pitch.  Oil production is at a near-record high, and fracking activities have made the U.S.the number one producer of natural gas.  All of this comes at a cost.  In 2013, the oil industry averaged 20 oil spills per day, destroying countless swaths of the environment and leaving toxic chemicals for nearby residents to deal with.  Meanwhile, oil and gas train derailments have totaled at least 11 in the last 11 months. 

During this period of dirty energy dominance, investments in renewable energy continued to fall by 14% in 2013.  The United States is averaging 20 oil spills per day, 1 dirty energy transport train derailment and explosion per month, and yet we’re still doubling down on fossil fuels.

This all seems fairly shocking, until you peel back the curtain on who is behind the efforts to keep renewable energy solutions out of the picture, which is exactly what a new report has done.  The Energy and Policy Institute (EPI) has released a report detailing not only the fossil fuel front groups behind the attacks on clean energy, but also how they are able to use their money and political muscle to prevent a viable market for clean energy, limiting energy choices for consumers.

From the report, Attacks on Renewable Energy Standards and Net Metering Policies By Fossil Fuel Interests & Front Groups 2013-2014:

The fossil fuel lobby aggressively uses lobbying and propaganda to achieve their goals. Self-identified “free market think tanks” are among the most effective advocates for the fossil fuel industry to lobby for policy changes. Dozens of these so-called free market organizations, a majority of which are members of the State Policy Network (SPN), worked to influence state level energy policies and attack the clean energy industry…

Fossil fuel-funded front groups operate in multiple areas to influence the policy-making process in their attempts to eliminate clean energy policies.  Continue reading

May 23, 2014 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear industry’s frantic campaign for Small Modular Reactors as solution to climate chnage

highly-recommended

THE ECONOMIC FAILURE OF NUCLEAR POWER AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF A LOW CARBON  ELECTRICITY FUTURE: 

WHY SMALL MODULAR REACTORS ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM, NOT THE SOLUTION

 Mark Cooper, Ph.D.  Senior Fellow for Economic Analysis  Institute for Energy and the Environment  Vermont Law School  May 2014 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 

The ongoing collapse of nuclear power in the U.S. is readily apparent in the failure to launch 90 percent of “nuclear renaissance” reactors, delays and cost overruns for those that got started, the cancellation of projects to increase the capacity of existing reactors, and the early retirement of aging reactors. To reverse its fate, the U.S. nuclear industry has
• gone in search of a new technology to champion (small modular reactor [SMR]),
• launched an aggressive campaign to sell nuclear power as the primary solution to
climate change, and
• sought to slow the growth of alternatives with vigorous attacks on the policies
that have enabled renewable resources to grow at record levels.
 Thus the collapse has lent greater intensity and significance to the 50-year debate over the economic viability and safety of commercial nuclear power:
• It is not only the fate of nuclear power at stake, but also the fundamental
direction of the policy response to climate change.
This paper examines the fundamental choice policymakers are being asked to make. It
reviews the prospects for nuclear technology in light of the past and present performance of nuclear power (Section I), assesses the economic and safety challenges that SMR technology faces (Section II) when confronting the alternatives that are available today (Section III), and the trends that are
transforming the electricity sector (Section IV).
• The paper shows that nuclear power is among the least attractive climate change
policy options (too costly, too slow, and too uncertain) and is likely to remain so
for the foreseeable.
• The paper demonstrates that, worse still, pursuing nuclear power as a focal point
of climate policy diverts economic resources and policy development from
critically important efforts to accelerate the deployment of solutions that are
much more attractive – less costly, less risky, more environmentally benign……

May 17, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, spinbuster | 1 Comment

2005 Nuclear Lobby cons UK government. Nothing has changed

Kemeny,-Leslie-salesman-Smflag-UKThe nuclear charm offensive  New Statesmanby Jonathan Leake  23 May, 2005 We are all being taken in by a carefully planned public relations strategy. Its mission: to push nuclear power

In the plush surroundings of the Army & Navy Club on London’s Pall Mall, Mike Alexander, chief executive of British Energy, was holding court. Assembled before him were more than a hundred leading figures from the UK’s energy industry – all there at the behest of the Energy Industries Club, an industry body that keeps its membership secret.

The point of the event, held just a few weeks ago on 15 March, was to hear a keynote speech, to be delivered by Alexander, with the title “UK Nuclear Energy: fuel of the future?” It was not, however, a purely private affair. Around the room were a selection of top opinion formers: analysts, corporate traders and members of the media. The journalists could not report the event directly – the invitations were based on so-called Chatham House rules, meaning it was for “background use only”. What they were meant to take home was a message: nuclear power is coming back. Alexander’s speech itself was simple. Within the next 20 years, he said, Britain’s nuclear power stations will come to the end of their operating lives. To meet the country’s climate-change targets, they must be replaced with some form of power generation that does not produce the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. Anywhere else, that line might have prompted some sharp questions. But for Alexander, whose company owns two-thirds of Britain’s nuclear power stations, the audience was an unusually receptive one – and not just because of the fine wines. Continue reading

May 13, 2014 Posted by | history, spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby out to discredit Joe Mangano – but perhaps he is right!

nuclear-lobby-put-downStudy: Nuclear Reactors Are Toxic to Surrounding Areas, Especially With Age 11 March 2014   By Candice BerndTruthout | Report “………The Industry and the Government Hit Back, Predictably

Industry and government regulators claim Mangano’s study, as well as his previous peer-reviewed research studying the health impacts of radiation on local communities, is not credible.

“Given Mr. Mangano’s history of discredited reports due to poor science and that this newer report draws on the previously discredited work, PG&E is not giving this report any consideration,” Blair Jones, a PG&E spokesman, told Truthout in a written statement. “Recent assessments performed by the US nuclear industry’s federal regulator, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), demonstrate Diablo Canyon is being operated safely and in a manner that protects the health and safety of the public. The NRC has found our operations continue to meet all safety and security performance objectives.”

And the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), an industry group, reacted even more aggressively, calling Mangano a “fearmonger” and “scaremonger.” The group regularly cites a statistic from the EPA that nuclear power plants only account for 0.1 percent of the radiation an average American is exposed to in the course of a year and that exposures from common medical procedures such as CT scans and X-Rays account for about 50 percent of this overall level.

But Dr. Hosea questions their claims. “At least with medical radiation you know you’re exposed and you can make a decision whether or not it’s worth the risk of getting a cat scan which is very, very small compared to not knowing [about potential risks from reactors] and finding out later that there’s potentially a problem,” he said. “We keep being reassured there’s not a problem, but there very well may be a problem,” he said.

Strontium-90 is not typically released in the radiation patients are exposed to diagnostically, and different radioactive isotopes can be of different qualities in terms of how much harm they can do to the human body.

“In whose interest is it to discount the study and not pay attention to it? It needs further investigation so we can really know the truth,” Dr. Hosea said.

PG&E and the industry group both point to staffers from eight state departments of health and the NRC who have looked into Mangano’s work and have invalidated it. The NEI claims that most of the Strontium-90 in the environment, which has a half-life of 28 years, is a remainder left over from above-ground atom bomb tests in the 1950s and early ’60s, and that there has been no significant change in background levels of radiation near nuclear reactors.

But Mangano’s research has found an overall statistically significant increase in concentrations of Strontium-90 found in baby teeth near Diablo Canyon over time. His previous research has also found that after the Rancho Seco nuclear power plant in Sacramento was closed, public health indicators in the surrounding areas improved.

“What the industry does in the absence of not doing these studies and not liking the results, is calling names,” Brown said. “This is not fifth grade; you do not get to talk about the health and safety of your customers and your neighbors by pointing fingers, and calling names, and trying to discredit, and trying to shoot the messenger.”

“This is not Joe Mangano’s data, this is data that is put out and publicly available by the Centers for Disease Control, by federal statistics and by the California cancer registry,” Brown said.

An NRC spokesman agreed with the industry that Mangano’s latest study lacked credibility. But more than 20 years after a highly cited study claimed there was no increased cancer risk from proximity to nuclear plants, the NRC is finally looking into the matter. The agency has asked National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to perform its own assessment on cancer risk for populations surrounding nuclear reactors, which is still in the works. The NAS has confirmed there are no safe levels of radiation exposure, in contrast with the EPA’s “permissible limits” approach.

“[The NAS assessment] is essentially the study we asked for 20 years ago,” said nuclear engineer David Lochbaum, who directs the Nuclear Safety Project at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Lochbaum told Truthout that when he asked NRC staffers why they did not address health impacts in a draft environmental impact statement for a nuclear plant seeking a 20-year license extension in 1998, the staffers told him that “human health was outside the scope of their assessments.”

“We applaud the NRC for doing [the health impact study], we just wish it would have been done…” he paused. “I guess better late than never, so we’ll look at the glass as half-full.”

When it comes to the credibility of Mangano’s work, Lochbaum told Truthout more research still needs to be done.

“When I read Joe’s work, it seems plausible,” he said. “When I read industry’s objections, that seems plausible too, and I know they both can’t be right and I don’t know which is. That’s why we advocated … for a health study that included people from the entire spectrum.”…..http://truth-out.org/news/item/22324-study-nuclear-reactors-are-toxic-to-surrounding-areas-especially-as-plants-age?tmpl=component&print=1

May 13, 2014 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | 1 Comment

Pro nuclear shills like James Lovelock have brought about deep general distrust

uranium-enrichmentOur Nuclear Menace – Just as Darwin Would Have Predicted  Andrew McKillop MAY 6, 2014 BY 21WIRE     Revenge of Gaia The Nuclear Lobby can be squarely accused of bringing Hell down on itself. Ambassador Richard H. Jones, the deputy director of the International Energy Agency, for some while before the Fukushima disaster of March 2011, when addressing major conferences, would systematically hand out free copies of books authored by “the co-inventor of Gaia”, Britain’s greenist priest, James Lovelock – who has made a name for himself in recent years as a shameless shill for the nuclear power industry.Before 2011, Lovelock’s nuclear pitch and extreme exaggeration of global warming theory were major money-spinners for himself………The fundamental problem with nuclear is this: when it goes wrong, there is no “fix it” measure, and almost no change of mitigation, other that migrating away from ground zero. Lovelock does not like talking about this elephant in the room at all, and it’s not great for book sales (trust me on that).

The fantasy claim that nuclear power is “cheap” cannot resist these real world facts……..Industry Lobby: ‘Trust us – you know we’re lying’

The Nuclear Lobby – fighting a losing battle and probably its last – has played on themes that ultimately trace to distrust both in people and nature. By repeatedly distorting, and often lying, the Lobby has reinforced distrust of other human beings and intensified the fear-based desire of going through life avoiding all risk, just keeping the status quo alive, defending supposed stability and the Natural Order of Society. Peddling the fear of disaster – for the climate and the economy – the Lobby has made people more fearful of nuclear risk, accident, and radioactive contamination of the environment, the food chain and the atmosphere. Not less fearful………

For the nuclear industry and its paid policy defense forces, it’s a three pronged strategy of misinformation, disinformation and information omission. One direct result of this is that “people simply do not want to know”. They shun any news or data concerning nuclear power – good or bad. Nuclear power is perceived by more and more persons as a somber, yet “undefinable” threat, weighing on their daily lives and their future. Nuclear fear has also washed over to rising fears that the beauty and harmony of nature have been permanently contaminated. After all – they tell us, those birds have more antioxydants in their tail feathers when they live around Chernobyl.

May 12, 2014 Posted by | social effects, spinbuster | Leave a comment

UK climate denial organisation’s plan to avoid having to be accurate

Nigel Lawson’s climate sceptic thinktank to launch campaigning arm http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/09/nigel-lawson-climate-sceptic-thinktank Global Warming Policy Forum will escape scrutiny for accuracy of information by becoming a non-charitable company Fiona Harvey, environment correspondent theguardian.com, Saturday 10 May 2014  The climate sceptic organisation founded by former chancellor Nigel Lawson is to set up a new campaigning arm, which would be free from charity regulations.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation, which is classified as an educational charity and thus covered by strict Charity Commission rules that restrict its ability to conduct political campaigns, said that the new non-charitable company would undertake “activities which do not fall squarely within the educational remit of the charity”.Similar structures are also used by some other non-profit organisations, because it gives them greater freedom in lobbying and in some commercial activities.

The new arm, to be called the Global Warming Policy Forum, will share the same website and initials and publish reports and research papers, as well as organising lectures and debates on science and policy. In particular, it will put out news articles and opinion columns through a section of its website.

If the Charity Commission agrees with the restructuring, the new organisation will start operating by the end of July.

Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics, last yearcomplained to the Charity Commission, over what he saw as the dissemination by the GWPF of “misleading and inaccurate” information. Charity Commission rules require organisations granted charitable status – which allows them, and their donors, to benefit from favourable tax treatment – to ensure that any information they put out is fair and as accurate as possible.

Ward said: “I think it is apparent that this move is designed to get around Charity Commission rules that specify that it must not disseminate inaccurate information. It is a deeply cynical move by the Foundation to avoid any formal requirement that they should stop misleading the public with inaccurate information. However, I hope now that it will be more obvious that when Lord Lawson speaks about climate change, it is as a campaigner rather than as an expert. And at least its secret donors will no longer be able to claim tax relief on funding the Foundation’s political propaganda.”

Greenpeace, which was named by the GWPF as an organisation that operates a campaigning arm as well as its core charity, told the Guardian: “They do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” But he said that if Lord Lawson really wants to emulate Greenpeace’s structure he should be open about where his funding comes from and “root his political campaign in the reality of climate science.”

The GWPF does not disclose the names of organisations or individuals who provide its funding, but says that fossil fuel companies are not among them. It did not respond to requests for comment.

May 10, 2014 Posted by | climate change, spinbuster, UK | 1 Comment

“Bringing Nuclear to Life” – new PR campaign to hit Britain

for the money being thrown at new nuclear you could scrap the bedroom tax, double renewable energy and take every household on Britain out of fuel poverty. 

It would still, of course, be public money. But it’s use would be far more effective in saving lives and cutting carbon than in bailing out a near bankrupt corporation.

So, while other countries are racing into demand reduction or decentralised energy generation, distribution and storage, and while Europe looks at the energy security to be found in increased interconnection, us Brits can expect to be “normalised” into acceptance of clapped-out claims about an energy source that never was and never will be economic.

flag-UKChuggers For Nuclear Take Us For Mugs Tuesday 6TH  by Alan Simpson, Morning Star  In the sleazy world of energy politics, prepare to be groomed – or even ‘normalised,’  AT A high-powered PR summit in London, energy giant EDF’s head of communications proudly reported that sponsoring the Olympics had “added value to the nuclear brand.” 

Flushed with this success, EDF now plans to harness a new team of company volunteers who will “go out into the community and schools to tell the story.” Their Bringing Nuclear to Life initiative will unleash hundreds of volunteer EDF joggers onto the streets, each carrying the torch for new nuclear. Their stated objective will be to “normalise nuclear to consumers.”

nuclear-teacher

So, just when you thought it might be safe to step out a bit more — when double glazing salesmen, charity fundraisers and energy company “swappers” might be taking a breather — a new sort of “chugger” is about to hit the streets. 

You don’t have to fear being Saved for God or tapped for a standing order.

These chuggers will just want to normalise you. ……….. Continue reading

May 7, 2014 Posted by | spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

Failing nuclear industry launches lobbying campaign

Flag-USANuclear lobbying campaign aims to boost industry’s fortunes, philly.com Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer 6 May 14 Last year’s closure of the Kewaunee Power Station in Wisconsin sent shock waves though the American nuclear industry, not because the reactor suffered an accident but because it could not withstand something more potent – market forces.

So two months ago, the industry launched a lobbying campaign called Nuclear Matters, whose aim is to create a greater appreciation of atomic power’s role as a reliable source of carbon-free electricity.

Ziggy-spruiker

“I think most Americans aren’t sensitive to the fact that nuclear energy is going through challenging times,” Evan Bayh, a former Democratic senator from Indiana, told a roundtable discussion Monday at the Constitution Center sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Bayh and former Sen. Judd Gregg, a Republican from New Hampshire, were enlisted as the bipartisan co-chairmen of Nuclear Matters, whose purpose is to start a dialogue that will lead to improvements in the nuclear business climate

Nuclear power accounts for 19 percent of the nation’s electricity generation, but the industry is challenged by a slow-growth market in which electricity prices are depressed by cheap energy from the shale-gas boom and a flood of tax-subsidized wind power……..

The campaign bills itself as “a cross-section of individuals, organizations and businesses.” Monday’s session was attended by U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.), utility officials, labor and business leaders, and nuclear-power academics from Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pittsburgh……..

The campaign already has attracted opposition from anti-nuclear activists. The Nuclear Information and Resource Service has denounced Nuclear Matters as an industry “front group.”

Exelon Corp., the nation’s largest nuclear fleet operator and owner of Peco Energy Co., wrote the initial check to fund the campaign.

Exelon declined to disclose the amount of its funding, but Christopher Crane, the company’s chief executive, and in an interview last week that Exelon was “very supportive” of the effort………

Bayh downplayed the effect of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan as undermining public confidence, citing strong support in areas surrounding reactors.

“You look at polling, scientific polling, and for most people, safety is not a concern,” he said.

But McGowan, the Malvern manufacturer, cautioned the industry about becoming too comfortable with polls. He said his sense is that there is an underlying apprehension with safety that needs to be addressed. http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140506_Nuclear_lobbying_campaign_aims_to_boost_the_industry_s_flagging_business_fortunes.html#cOmXlecVcosu5OUs.99

May 6, 2014 Posted by | marketing, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Rebutting the nuclear spruiker, James Conca


Conc,-James-ur

 

A Rebuttal to the January 11, 2013 Article by James Conca, “Like We’ve Been Saying — Radiation is Not A Big Deal,” Posted on Forbes Website fukushimavoice-eng.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/a-rebuttal-to-january-11-2013-article.html

 

 In the January 11th Forbes article titled “Like We’ve Been Saying–Radiation Is Not A Big Deal,” the author, James Conca, claims that “the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) has finally admitted that we can’t use the LNT (linear no-threshold dose) hypothesis to predict cancer from low doses of radiation.”

Continue reading

May 5, 2014 Posted by | Reference, spinbuster | 3 Comments

Will Australia’s scientifically illiterate government be sucked in to buying Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs)?

In 2014, it was becoming clear that Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) were not likely to become an operational reality for many decades — and perhaps never.

America was the pioneer of small reactor design in the 1970s.  Again recently, Westinghouse and Babcock and Wilcox have been the leaders in designing and developing SMRs.

But in 2014, the bottom has fallen out of these projects………..

It should be noted that nowhere in [the original article about China, does the author]  Chen mention “small” reactors. However, Australian proponents of ‘small’ reactors welcomed this article, as the Thorium Small Nuclear Reactor is the favourite type proposed for Australia from all 15 possible small designs.

So, while we’re being told that China is racing ahead in the scramble to get these wonderful SMRs, in fact, China has been very much encouraged and helped into this by the U.S. Department of Energy.

This is understandable, seeing that for China it is a government project, with no required expectation of being commercially viable.

In their enthusiasm for China’s thorium nuclear project, writers neglected to mention the sobering points that Stephen Chen made in his South China Morning Post article, such as:

  • Researchers working on the project said they were under unprecedented ‘war-like’ pressure to succeed and some of the technical challenges they faced were difficult, if not impossible to solve.’
  • ‘… opposition from sections of the Chinese public.’
  • ‘… technical difficulties – the molten salt produces highly corrosive chemicals  that could damage the reactor.’
  • ‘The power plant would also have to operate at extremely high temperatures, raising concerns about safety. In addition, researchers have limited knowledge of how to use thorium.’
  • ‘… engineering difficulties .…The thorium reactors would need years, if not decades, to overcome the corrosion issue.’
  • ‘These projects are beautiful to scientists, but nightmarish to engineers.’……….

Australia’s SMR enthusiasts discount the known problems of SMRs. Some brief reminders from the September 2013 report, from the United States’ Institute for Energy and Environmental Research:

  • ‘Economics: $90 billion manufacturing order book could be required for mass production of SMRs …the industry’s forecast of relatively inexpensive individual SMRs is predicated on major orders and assembly line production.’
  • ‘SMRs will lose the economies of scale of large reactors.’
  •  ‘SMRs could reduce some safety risks but also create new ones.’
  • ‘It breaks, you bought it: no thought is evident on how to handle SMR recalls.’
  • Not a proliferation solution. ‘The use of enriched uranium or plutonium in thorium fuel has proliferation implications.’
  • Not a waste solution: ‘The fission of thorium creates long-lived fission products like technetium-99 (half-life over 200,000 years).’
  • Ongoing technical problems. ……….http://www.independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/strange-timing-to-suggest-a-lego-nuclear-future-for-australia,6404

April 22, 2014 Posted by | South Africa, spinbuster | 3 Comments

Desperate publicity manipulations by the nuclear industry

text-nuclear-uranium-liesYou know the nuclear industry is desperate when…  Michael Mariotte April 1, 2014 You know the nuclear power industry is getting desperate when it solicits its CEOs to start piling on ghost-written op-eds in publications chosen for their reach to key audiences. And you know the industry is really desperate when it brings out big guns like a couple of paid-for former U.S. Senators to support nuclear power in The Hill newspaper, which, as its name implies, is aimed at current legislators. And you know the industry is super desperate when it pulls out none other than Rudy Giuliani, who continues stuffing his wallet with nuclear-powered green.

Giuliani-Indian-Point

And when it rolls out all three on the same day? That’s when you know that the nuclear industry knows what not enough clean energy activists have yet understood: the nuclear power industry is in real trouble; it’s sensing its near-imminent demise; and like the dinosaur snarling and wagging its tail on its way to extinction, it’s in a dire, and ultimately likely to be unsuccessful, scramble for its very existence.

Yesterday, March 31, the nuclear industry’s march to oblivion was on full display. Two of the op-eds it placed were remarkably similar, so much so that they probably came from the same pen. And their points are so easy to knock down that one wonders if the Nuclear Energy Institute’s public relations A-Team already has jumped ship. Seriously, if these are the best arguments the industry can offer, they’re in bigger trouble than even I thought.

First up is Mike Renchek, the CEO of Areva, who is trying to convince Providence Journal readers that “nuclear energy is crucial to New England.”The crux of his argument seems to be that nuclear reactors kept providing power during the “polar vortex” this winter. Well, so did solar and wind plants, and energy efficiency worked pretty well too we hear. What didn’t work so well was natural gas, which went up in price and down in supply. But gas, although it is typically much cheaper than nuclear and in New England especially has been undercutting the region’s reactors in price, isn’t exactly an ideal provider of electricity, especially in the nuclear-free, carbon-free energy system we’re working to build. Gas is, at this exact moment in time, a genuine competitor to nuclear, but nuclear’s real future problem isn’t gas, it’s renewables and efficiency. And Renchek’s reactors can’t compete with those anymore either and will be even less able to do so as this decade rolls on.

 Former Senators Evan Bayh of Indiana and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire are the figureheads of a new industry-sponsored group called Nuclear Matters, which was created to try to prevent the shutdown of more existing reactors. Creation of such a group is itself a sign of the industry’s desperation–who knew a technology that is so self-evidently advantageous (at least in the minds of the industry itself, if for no one else) would need a new organization not to promote industry growth but to try to postpone its inevitable stumble into oblivion?…….

The nuclear industry’s sense of desperation is palpable. Activists need to understand what the industry obviously knows: it’s in serious trouble. This is our time to really join together, ramp  up our efforts, and kick more of these reactors over the edge; they’re already teetering. They’re dangerous, they can’t provide cost-effective electricity, they don’t have a solution to their radioactive waste and they exist now only because they were built decades ago and the utilities want to milk them for everything they can before they surrender to the inevitable and have to begin spending huge sums of money again–but this time it won’t be to build new reactors, it will be to decommission their dinosaurs. http://tinyurl.com/n3b9myt

 

April 19, 2014 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Breakthrough Institute fraudulently paints the IPCC Report as a pro-nuclear document!

spin-global.nukeIt’s OK to Support Nuclear Power and Still Enjoy a Movie Now and Then Bloomberg, By Eric Roston  Apr 15, 2014  The nuclear power industry received a springtime Christmas present this week. 

The world’s authoritative climate science group Sunday threw its arms around nuclear energy, among others, as a future source for powering economies. The industry’s share of global electricity generation has been falling since 1993.

The report, from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, emboldens proponents of nuclear energy, who tend to talk it up no matter what the issue is at hand.

Take the op-ed in last week’s New York Times, “Global Warming Scare Tactics,” by the founders of the energy and environment research group, the Breakthrough Institute. Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger dress up a pro-nuclear argument as criticism of a new, nine-part documentary series about climate change.

The piece reads as if, say, when someone sneezes, the authors say gesundheit and then make the case for nuclear power…..

April 17, 2014 Posted by | spinbuster | Leave a comment

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