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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Nuclear lobby steps up the propaganda to improve its image

Stop worrying, and love nuclear power: Officials—  CNBC  @TeflonGeek  28 Aug 14, Domestic energy policy has largely been co-opted by the shale revolution. Meanwhile, renewable alternatives are finding their sea legs in consumer power. Despite modest attempts to garner broader acceptance, however, atomic power continues to languish because of safety and environmental concerns.

On Tuesday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved a plan that allows nuclear waste to be stored on-site at active reactors—a decision mired in controversy, and one that underscores the influence of anti-nuclear arguments.

That sort of opposition has prompted the nuclear industry to go on the offensive, and roll out the big guns in an effort to rehabilitate its image. In recent months, the Nuclear Energy Institute has enlisted organized labor, as well as an array of former elected officials from both sides of the aisle, to tout the virtues of nuclear power……..

Emp-nuke-clothes

“Unfortunately we’re confronting a situation where 20-30 plants are at risk of being shut down prematurely,” out of the existing total of about 100, the New Hampshire Republican said, who sat on the Senate’s Energy Committee during his tenure……

Fuel diversity, a catchphrase among those who argue that U.S. energy supply shouldn’t be dominated solely by oil and gas, is a central theme for nuclear backers………

In spite of centrist think tanks like the Third Way who believe nuclear must be part of the energy story, the environmental lobby is steadfastly opposed to expanding existing capacity.

“We continue to believe nuclear power is not safe, and is an incredibly expensive source of electricity,” said John Coequyt, director of the international climate campaign at the Sierra Club. In an interview, he argued that efforts to expand the U.S’ nuclear footprint “will take way too long to be a solution to climate change.”

Lingering memories of Japan’s harrowing disaster in Fukushima, as well as what Coequyt called a few “near misses” here in the U.S., “pretty much killed the willingness of the core of the environmental movement to consider [nuclear expansion] as a solid political strategy.”

Many nuclear plant opponents cite cost constraints as a real barrier to expansion. They may have a point: Xcel Energy is facing the ire of regulators after a five-year rebuilding project of a Minnesota plant saw its price tag balloon to $665 million, double its initial estimate.

“Nuclear reactors become incredibly unprofitable and have to shut down when they have problems they need to address,” said Coequyt. “Even leaving aside the cost, you don’t have the ability to scale like wind and solar, and both are moving incredibly quickly,” he added.  http://www.cnbc.com/id/101954991#.

August 29, 2014 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Scrutiny on the methods of pro Thorium Twitter trolls

A recent article analysed the illogicality, if not downright dishonesty of the climate sceptic trolls. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/8/20/policy-politics/what-i-learned-debating-science-trolls
I welcomed that article with interest, as it dissected the often quite sophisticated comments, blogs, tweets, etc of the climate denialists, most of them well and truly in the pay of vested interests in the fossil fuel industries.
The nuclear lobby is no doubt just as sophisticated. However, it has a sort of “side arsenal” of tweeters, mainly focusing on the red herring industry of thorium energy, Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs and Small Modular (Nuclear) Reactors. (Note how these new geewhiz lobbyists leave out that tainted word “Nuclear” )
It’s interesting to look at their tactics – particularly on Twitter.
I am constantly the victim of Twitter trollism because I campaign against the nuclear industry. It is ironic that these trolls use climate change as their argument for nuclear power, – and accuse me constantly of being in the pay of the coal and gas companies. That’s despite the fact that I repeatedly write and publish on websites on the critical need for action to address climate change
The pro nuclear trolls use two tactics.
 The main one is to abuse and discredit their targeted person. Thus I am not only “in the pay” of the fossil fuel industries, I am also a “murderer” – as well as being “stupid” “evil” ignorant” and have many other unpleasant attributes.
Their second tactic is to focus on narrowly technical matters - such as the intricacies of new (though not yet existing) Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs). The pretense is that this is the whole argument – the superiority of new nuclear technology. Subjects such as economics, ecology, public health, civil liberties, – these matters are “not relevant” to the discussion on nuclear power.
In fact, only people with technical expertise can have a valid opinion. (Of course if a technically qualified person should oppose nuclear power , then he or she must be “in the pay” of the fossil fuel industries).

Here are today’s samples of pro thorium tweeter tactics against critics – me, in fact. No attempt to answer the factual tweets that I posted about renewable energy versus nuclear power (My full name is Noel Christina Macpherson Wauchope)
Thomas Huxley @thjr19Notice how fossil fuel shill Noel Wauchope only mentions say coal (NEVER mentioning gas) perhaps once in a dozen tweets. $$$$$$ !! #thorium

Thomas Huxley @thjr19

Noel Wauchope: Please! Fossil Fuel Shill Manager: No! NW: Please! FFSM: OK, every 2nd tweet. NO MORE, hear me

Thomas Huxley @thjr19

Noel Wauchope, fossil fuel industry shill, has been told to lay off coal. How long to get permission again?!

 

August 23, 2014 Posted by | Christina's notes, spinbuster | Leave a comment

A nuclear boondoggle exposed – Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)

Report: New Nuclear Power Technology Would Siphon Resources Away From Renewable Energy, PROGRESS ILLINOIS Ellyn Fortino Friday August 8th, 2014, “…….one nuclear financing expert argues in a new report that SMRs, which have yet to be built in the United States, would be no cheaper than their larger counterparts. Mark Cooper, a senior fellow for economic analysis at theInstitute for Energy and the Environment at the Vermont Law School, also warns that SMR development would suck up funding that could otherwise be used for what he says are more attractive energy options like wind and solar.

“Large reactors have never been economically competitive and there is no reason to believe that smaller reactors will fare any better,” Cooper said. “Giving nuclear power a central role in climate change policy would not only drain away resources from the more promising alternatives, it would undermine the effort to create the physical and institutional infrastructure needed to support the emerging electricity systems based on renewables, distributed generation and intensive system and demand management.”………

Although SMRs would be smaller in size, “creating an assembly line for SMR technology would require a massive financial commitment,” Cooper writes in his report, “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.”

text-SMRs

He projects it would cost between $72 billion and $90 billion by 2020 to fund the development of just two SMR designs and assembly lines.

The estimated price tag to invest in SMRs is roughly equivalent to 75 percent of the total projected investment in U.S. electricity generation over the same time period, the report noted. It is also “substantially more” than what is expected to be spent on renewables, Cooper said.

“This massive commitment reinforces the traditional concern that nuclear power will crowd out the alternatives,” he added.

SMRs themselves would also cost more, not less, than larger reactors, according to the report.

“The higher costs result from: lost economies of scale in containment structures, dedicated systems for control, management and emergency response, and the cost of licensing and security; operating costs between one-fifth and one-quarter higher; and decommissioning costs between two and three times as high,” Cooper noted.

SMRs are up against greater challenges than previous technologies because they are “a radical new technology that its advocates would like to have treated in a very different way with respect to safety and licensing,” Cooper explained.

“They would like to deploy lots of reactors close to population centers. That’s the way they can make their economics work,” he continued. “And they need to relax safety … They’ve asked for a number of changes in safety to try to drive down the cost, and even then they cannot compete on costs.”……

the industry’s hype around SMRs is now fizzling, Cooper explained. The “unproven” SMR technology has already experienced setbacks in the marketplace, he said, pointing to recent announcements from Babcock & Wilcox and Westinghouse Electric Co., another small-reactor industry leader developing a 225-megawatt SMR.

Babcock & Wilcox said last month that it is slowing the development of and funding for its mPower technology because the company cannot find major investors for the effort. Westinghouse — after being passed up twice by the DOE for SMR cost-sharing agreements — announced in February that it is shifting its attention away from small-reactor technology because it does not have a customer base for SMRs.

“They are cutting back for simple reasons: They can’t find customers. They can’t find investors,” Cooper said. “In a market economy like ours, that is a death knell, and so they have slashed their commitment to small modular reactors……….”http://progressillinois.com/quick-hits/content/2014/05/18/report-new-nuclear-power-technology-would-siphon-resources-away-renewa

 

August 9, 2014 Posted by | Reference, spinbuster, technology, USA | 1 Comment

Nuclear lobby wants EPA to promote its industry!

cartoon-climate-conEPA rule not such a boon for nuclear after all — utilities Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter Greenwire: Friday, August 8, 2014 U.S. EPA’s greenhouse gas proposal for existing power plants doesn’t do enough to boost nuclear energy, advocates for the industry say.

Two months after EPA unveiled the proposal — and just over two months before the end of the public comment period — companies that have invested billions of dollars in the United States’ primary source of zero-carbon baseload energy say they are still reviewing the draft.

But while the industry has yet to reach a consensus position, some utilities say they are discouraged by the way the June 2 proposal treats new nuclear projects that are coming online or attempts to help existing facilities overcome the economic factors that threaten them with retirement. The agency has proposed tougher state carbon intensity targets for states that host nuclear in the hopes of encouraging them to provide incentives for the industry, but some advocates say it hasn’t rewarded states for past nuclear investment………

“We therefore propose that the emission reductions supported by retaining in operation six percent of each state’s historical nuclear capacity should be factored into the state goals for the respective states,” EPA states in the rule’s preamble. If states do not retain their nuclear fleets, they must make up that 6 percent zero-carbon energy through other measures, like new demand-side efficiency or renewable energy.

But utilities that have invested or are investing in nuclear facilities say that’s not enough……. the nuclear crediting mechanism needs to be improved to achieve EPA’s intended objective,” said Paul Adams, a spokesman for Exelon Corp., which operates the largest nuclear fleet in the nation. He called on EPA to finalize a rule that will “treat zero-carbon resources the same and ensure states do not double-count these resources.”……

But analysts say EPA faced a tough task when it came to deciding how the rule should treat nuclear energy. In contrast to wind and solar facilities, nuclear plants are so large, they say, that giving full credit for facilities that are already slated to come online could mean giving states like South Carolina a way to meet their targets without making any reductions elsewhere….http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060004265

August 9, 2014 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | 6 Comments

Dr Helen Caldicott exposes the fallacies of the push for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

SMRs-mirageSmall Modular Reactors Huffington Post, Dr   08/07/2014   Now that the “nuclear renaissance” is dead following the Fukushima catastrophe, when one sixth of the world’s nuclear reactors closed, the nuclear corporations — Toshiba, Nu-Scale, Babcock and Wilcox, GE Hitachi, General Atomics, and the Tennessee Valley Authority — will not accept defeat.

Their new strategy is to develop small modular reactors (SMRs), allegedly free of the dangers inherent in large reactors: safety issues, high cost, proliferation risks and radioactive waste.

But these claims are fallacious, for the reasons outlined below.

Basically, there are three types of SMRs, which generate less than 300 megawatts of electricity compared with current 1,000-megawatt reactors.

1. Light-water reactors

These will be smaller versions of present-day pressurized water reactors, using water as the moderator and coolant, but with the same attendant problems as Fukushima and Three Mile Island. Built underground, they will be difficult to access in the event of an accident or malfunction.

Because they’re mass-produced (turnkey production), large numbers must be sold yearly to make a profit. This is an unlikely prospect, because major markets — China and India — will not buy U.S. reactors when they can make their own.

If safety problems arise, they all must be shut down, which will interfere substantially with electricity supply.

SMRs will be expensive because the cost per unit capacity increases with a decrease in reactor size. Billions of dollars of government subsidies will be required because Wall Street is allergic to nuclear power. To alleviate costs, it is suggested that safety rules be relaxed, including reducing security requirements, and reducing the 10-mile emergency planning zone to 1,000 feet.

2. Non-light-water designs

These include high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs) or pebble-bed reactors. Five billion tiny fuel kernels consisting of high-enriched uranium or plutonium will be encased in tennis-ball-sized graphite spheres that must be made without cracks or imperfections — or they could lead to an accident. A total of 450,000 such spheres will slowly and continuously be released from a fuel silo, passing through the reactor core, and then recirculated 10 times. These reactors will be cooled by helium gas operating at high very temperatures (900 degrees C).

A reactor complex consisting of four HTGR modules will be located underground, to be run by just two operators in a central control room. Claims are that HTGRs will be so safe that a containment building will be unnecessary and operators can even leave the site (“walk-away-safe” reactors).

However, should temperatures unexpectedly exceed 1,600 degrees C, the carbon coating will release dangerous radioactive isotopes into the helium gas, and at 2,000 degrees C the carbon would ignite, creating a fierce, Chernobyl-type graphite fire.

If a crack develops in the piping or building, radioactive helium would escape, and air would rush in, also igniting the graphite.

Although HTGRs produce small amounts of low-level waste, they create larger volumes of high-level waste than conventional reactors.

Despite these obvious safety problems, and despite the fact that South Africa has abandoned plans for HTGRs, the U.S. Department of Energy has unwisely chosen the HTGR as the “next-generation nuclear plant.”

3. Liquid-metal fast reactors (PRISM)

It is claimed by proponents that fast reactors will be safe, economically competitive, proliferation-resistant, and sustainable.

They are fueled by plutonium or highly enriched uranium and cooled by either liquid sodium or a lead-bismuth molten coolant. Liquid sodium burns or explodes when exposed to air or water, and lead-bismuth is extremely corrosive, producing very volatile radioactive elements when irradiated.

Should a crack occur in the reactor complex, liquid sodium would escape, burning or exploding. Without coolant, the plutonium fuel could reach critical mass, triggering a massive nuclear explosion, scattering plutonium to the four winds. One millionth of a gram of plutonium induces cancer, and it lasts for 500,000 years. Extraordinarily, they claim that fast reactors will be so safe that they will require no emergency sirens, and that emergency planning zones can be decreased from 10 miles to 1,300 feet.

There are two types of fast reactors: a simple, plutonium-fueled reactor and a “breeder,” in which the plutonium-reactor core is surrounded by a blanket of uranium 238, which captures neutrons and converts to plutonium.

The plutonium fuel, obtained from spent reactor fuel, will be fissioned and converted to shorter-lived isotopes, cesium and strontium, which last 600 years instead of 500,000. The industry claims that this process, called “transmutation,” is an excellent way to get rid of plutonium waste. But this is fallacious, because only 10 percent fissions, leaving 90 percent of the plutonium for bomb making, etc.

Nuclear-Wizards

Then there’s construction. Three small plutonium fast reactors will be grouped together to form a module, and three of these modules will be buried underground. All nine reactors will then be connected to a fully automated central control room operated by only three operators. Potentially, then, one operator could face a catastrophic situation triggered by loss of off-site power to one unit at full power, another shut down for refueling and one in startup mode. There are to be no emergency core cooling systems.

Fast reactors require a massive infrastructure, including a reprocessing plant to dissolve radioactive waste fuel rods in nitric acid, chemically removing the plutonium, and a fuel fabrication facility to create new fuel rods. A total of 15 to 25 tons of plutonium are required to operate a fuel cycle at a fast reactor, and just five pounds is fuel for a nuclear weapon.

Thus fast reactors and breeders will provide extraordinary long-term medical dangers and the perfect situation for nuclear-weapons proliferation. Despite this, the industry plans to market them to many countries.

August 8, 2014 Posted by | Reference, reprocessing, spinbuster, technology | Leave a comment

How to Spot Pro Nuclear Pr Firms and Other Boot-licking Mass Murdering Crazy Nuclear Lapdogs

Posted by D`un Renard from http://www.thenuclearproctologist.org/

troll-nuclear
http://fukushimaemergencywhatcanwedo.blogspot.fr/2014/07/how-to-spot-pro-nuclear-pr-firms-and.html

Its simple really ,if your watching or reading main stream media and they use key words while talking nuclear that includes anything containing Potassium 40 like potato chips drinking water or everyday objects its time to switch the program off  before it programs you .  Of course almost everything on earth has potassium 40 in it but why is it in a conversation about man made ionized radiated elements ,is it a accident ? How difficult is it to tell the difference between a banana and ionized radiated 12 ft nuclear fuel rod is anyones guess . Radon is another red herring as it also is normal radiation found at insignificant levels throughout earth and is used to cover up nuclear fallout repeatedly in media . Radon is also used to scare homeowners and inundate the innocent with radiation is everywhere mentality . How many home owners have ever died of Radon gas again, oh that’s right none but according to experts its a epidemic and it is one of the leading cause of lung cancer right .

Wait a second everything on earth is here because it is genetically superior and because it is acclimated to natural radiation ,bananas will not mutate fruit flys k  . But now WHO says its a major contributor to cancer and we are suppose to believe that life on earth didn,t adapt to Radon or natural radiation umm m’kay  . Those assertions are too ridiculous to take serious but a great way to shake down the home building industry and acclimating the trendy’s to radiation is everywhere syndrome and have a radiation boogeyman to convoluted man made radiation with   .

When a nuclear apologist critter spots easy prey or is provided a platform they get strait to work .  Their job as a nuclear lapdog is to throw insignificant terms into the nuclear equation to confuse  and distort normal true background  radiation with killer man made radiation by constantly repeating the same keywords .troll-nuclear

The viewers and readers have all heard for 70 years how man made radiation is like Banana’s from main stream media verbatim . Did you know if you eat a Banana you basically in lay mans terms off gas that potassium 40 like is in banana’s because it is homeostasis . Your body can not hold more potassium 40 nothing on earth can  . Other popular  misdirections by creepy nuclear critters  is ” did you know potatoes have natural radiation in them ” once again this is homeostasis its natural and your body is adapted too easily handle that  .

Go watch any video of the nuclear apologist they usually only do interviews at night  after the sun goes down because sunlight can easily destroy their credibility . Once darkness descends you will hear them say ” your drinking water has 7500 Bq of natural potassium 40 in it so having 1200 Bq/Kg of man made ionized Cs 137  in your food is ok ‘ .

But Potassium 40 is irrelevant its homeostasis you off gas the same amount , Cs 137 accumulates its accumulative and its a man made iodized radioactive particle . These atoms and particle do not exist on the moon and the sun doesn,t make them , the sun creates elements we destroy elements they are completely different in every possible way .

If you ingest man made radiation it causes your body to instantly attack it , it sequesters into your organs and bones . Your body will try to entomb it you call that cancer tumors and as long as its putting out energy your body has a auto immune response to it . That is using up your body’s reserves until that tumor is found and removed or well you know .

You will always hear the good old nuclear apologist say you will get more radiation from a Dental or Chest Ex-rays  or we all live in a natural radiated environment . Or the radiation from japan is less then you would be getting by flying on a plane from Solar Radiation  . If you have ever hear a nuclear expert say any of the above  then you know your listening too or reading a pro nuclear PR spin doctors . The ocean is too big , it can never make its way over here , or it will take 10 years for the ocean to bring anything across when the jet streams deposited radiation over the entire Northern Hemisphere in less than 7 days and it continued unabated for 7 months . If the ocean currents only travel at 1 mile per hour 24 hours a day its here in 229 days , but it coming out of fukushima every day pretending its not pouring into the ocean is not a solution   .

Remember the ocean is not that big when you take into context everyday 300 tons of radioactive water is hemorrhaging into the pacific . Well if it was just one day maybe i could look the other way but its daily for over 1200 days 24 hours a day 1440 minutes a day every day forever . Lets put that into perspective on St Pattys Day some community s pour 25 to 40 pounds of dye into rivers to temporary change the color of the river right . Well what would happen if you poured a 1000 pounds of dye that didn,t lose its color for 100s or 1000s of years in a 5000 mile river every minute of those 1440 minutes in each day for over 1200 days and then got into a plane and flew down that 5000 mile river to see where the dye  went  . How far down that 5000 mile river would you have to go before you do not find that the river all the estuaries and lakes and ponds etc etc  are not effected by doing that every minute for 1200 days . My guess is everything right to the ocean would be a brightly different color .

What you need to do is get some distance between the nuclear creature and yourself . Do not I repeat do not crouch down to the same height of nuclear creatures , make yourself look taller as they can attack without provocation and slowly back away as nuclear critters are notorious known to attack from behind . Under no circumstances should you make direct eye contact with nuclear critters , look just above their hairlines because they can control your mind with their eyes and make you say stupid unsubstantiated gibberish like you will get more radiation from a banana than from radioactive fall out anywhere on earth even if you stood in the middle of the Fukshima military industrial complexes DEW production facility aka nuclear power plants   .

troll-nuclearIt has been said that if you sprinkle holy water on a nuclear scientist they have to tell you the truth for the next 3 minutes , even though it is not recommended you get that close because of nuclear verbal diarrhea  .   According to nuclear critters  7400 Bq/m3 of Cs-137 is EPA standard in drinking water  and after all you get 7500 Bq of potassium 40 in a glass of drinking water so its safe according to nuclear apologist .  Anyone who says anything different is a alarmist and is just fear mongering .  Besides all that ionized man made Uranium 238 will decay is 4.5 billion years so have a bananas because after all nuclear scientist are probably right a banana and a 12 ft nuclear fuel rod are impossible to tell apart .

July 23, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, spinbuster | Leave a comment

“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

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