nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Dispute in Spain about where to put radioactive trash

Oscar-wastesRow threatens Spain’s first nuclear graveyard, The Local,  Jul 2015 Spain’s conservative government and the central region of Castilla-La Mancha locked horns Thursday over plans to build the nation’s first-ever temporary storage facility for highly radioactive waste. The country’s nuclear security council on Monday approved a report that gives the green light for the facility to be built near the village of Villar de Cañas in Castilla-La Mancha.

Enresa, the state-owned company responsible for Spain’s nuclear facilities, in 2011 chose the site from a list that included eight other communities which bid to house the nuclear dump.

But on Tuesday the new Socialist government of Castilla-La Mancha moved to block the construction of the facility by approving the expansion of a protected area for birds so it includes land earmarked for the radioactive waste site.

“This will protect an area where endangered species live,” regional government spokesman Nacho Hernando told a news conference. The Socialists took power in the region on July 4th following May local elections, ousting the conservative Popular Party which rules at the national level.

Energy Minister Jose Manuel Soria warned on Thursday that Spain would have to abandon nuclear power if the facility is not built………The government wants to store all the spent fuel produced at Spain’s eight nuclear power stations at the site.

Each power station currently stores the spent fuel which they produce in on site storage pools that are starting to fill up.

Spain has since 2008 stored low to medium-grade nuclear waste at a facility at El Cabril in Cordoba province in the southwest……..

environmental groups including Greenpeace accuse the dump’s supporters of putting money before safety and have lobbied to have the project shelved. http://www.thelocal.es/20150731/row-over-plans-for-spains-first-nuclear-graveyard

August 1, 2015 Posted by | Spain, wastes | Leave a comment

Hartlepool, Trawsfynydd & Small Modular Reactors,

text-SMRsMeanwhile the Wall Street Journal reports that using modular construction techniques for the AP1000 reactor hasn’t worked. Building nuclear reactors out of factory-produced modules was supposed to make construction swifter and cheaper, but costly delays have shaken faith in the new construction method at the two US sites. “Modular construction has not worked out to be the solution that the utilities promised”

NuClearNews August 2015  New energy minister Andrea Leadsom has given the strongest signal flag-UKyet that the Government is looking to support a new era of factory-built, nuclear power stations – with a Newcastle company leading the way on their development in the UK. Speaking at the Nuclear Industry Association conference Ms Leadsom said: “Small Modular Reactors are an option we are investigating further. These have the potential to drive down the cost of nuclear energy and make financing easier through shorter construction times and lower initial capital investment requirements, in addition to high value commercial opportunities.” (1)

 

 

Amidst a growing sense of frustration and hand-wringing over the delays in the current nuclear programme, new hope has emerged that support is on the way for a home-grown generation of Small Modular Reactors (SMR). Continue reading

August 1, 2015 Posted by | technology, UK | Leave a comment

UK’s Slow Progress on Plutonium Stockpiles.

flag-UK

No projected cost for a new MOX plant is given by AREVA (the last estimate by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in 2011 was around £6bn) and no mention is made of the French company’s ongoing new-build reactor fiascos in France and Finland, its financial losses that have forced its merger with state controlled EDF, its involvement with the spiralling costs and decades of delay to the AREVA design MOX plant under construction in the USA at Savannah River and – as part of the disgraced Nuclear Management Partners (NMP) consortium at Sellafield – its recent stripping of a multi £billion management contract by the NDA following spiralling budget costs and inept management of crucial projects.

 

highly-recommendedNuClear news August 2015   Since the Government confirmed in December 2011 that its preferred management option for the UK’s plutonium stockpile was to convert the ‘asset of zero value’ into Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel, further progress on the option has been conspicuous by its absence, says Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment (CORE). (1)

Since then the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) appears to have been concentrating its efforts on evaluating alternative projects – the GE Hitachi PRISM reactor and the Candu Energy Canmox project. Both these projects were added to the list of plutonium options as an afterthought in January 2012.

Continue reading

August 1, 2015 Posted by | - plutonium, UK | Leave a comment

Bradwell: Handing Future UK nuclear Infrastructure to the Chinese

flag-UKflag-China NuClear News August 2015 The Government is preparing to hand over future UK nuclear infrastructure to Chinese firms, according to the GMB Union in a “total betrayal” of UK workers. The GMB raised concerns earlier this month about the prospect of the Bradwell, site in Essex, being given “lock, stock and barrel” to the Chinese National Nuclear Corporation.
 Energy Secretary Amber Rudd responded in a letter to the union: “The UK government welcomes overseas investment in the UK’s new nuclear programme. This includes investment and participation from Chinese companies in the Hinkley Point C project and progressive involvement more generally in the UK’s nuclear new build energy programme. In the future, this could include leading the development of a site in the UK and the potential deployment of a Chinese reactor technology in the UK, subject to meeting the stringent requirements of the UK’s independent nuclear regulatory regime.” (1)
 Gary Smith, GMB National Secretary for energy, said “I have studied the letter from Amber Rudd carefully and conclude that it looks that the UK Government is preparing for a hand over of the future UK nuclear infrastructure to the Chinese state. This is a total betrayal of workers in the UK and of the long term interests of the UK economy.”
 (2) Professor Andy Blowers, chairman of the Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG), takes a rather more fundamental objection to the proposals than the union’s. He said “There shouldn’t be investment from anybody, even British investors. The idea of creating more rubbish when we don’t have any way to dispose of what we’ve already got just seems quite frankly immoral.”
(3) 1. Western Morning News 29th June 2015 http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Chinese-Hinkley-Cnuclear-deal-8216-betrayal/story-26797760-detail/story.html
2. GMB 29th June 2015 http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/chinese-state-role-in-new-nuclear
3. Essex Chronicle 18th June 2015 http://www.essexchronicle.co.uk/Nuclear-plan-blight-Bradwell-scommunity-200/story-26715329-detail/story.html      http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo76.pdf

August 1, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Germany sets new record for renewable energy – 78% renewable electricity July 25

Germany Just Got 78 Percent Of Its Electricity From Renewable Sources, Think Progress BY ARI PHILLIPS JUL 29, 2015 ON SATURDAY, JULY 25, GERMANY SET A NEW NATIONAL RECORD FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY BY MEETING 78 PERCENT OF THE DAY’S ELECTRICITY DEMAND WITH RENEWABLES SOURCES, EXCEEDING THE PREVIOUS RECORD OF 74 PERCENT SET IN MAY OF 2014.

solar-rooftops

According to an analysis by German energy expert Craig Morris at the Energiewende blog, a stormy day across northern Europe combined with sunny conditions in southern Germany led to the new record, the exact figures of which are still preliminary. Morris writes that most of Germany’s wind turbines are installed in the north and most of its solar panels are in the south.

If the figures hold, it will turn out that wind and solar generated 40.65 gigawatts (GW) of power on July 25. When this is combined with other forms of renewables, including 4.85 GW from biomass and 2.4 GW from hydropower, the total reaches 47.9 GW of renewable power — occurring at a time when peak power demand was 61.1 GW on Saturday afternoon. To bolster his analysis, Morris points to early figures from Agora Energiewende, a Germany energy policy firm, that have renewables making up 79 percent of domestic power consumption that day.

Renewable sources accounted for 27.8 percent of Germany’s power consumption in 2014, up from 6.2 percent in 2000. The expansion of renewables and another weather phenomenon — a relatively mild winter — led to Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions falling for the first time in three years in 2014, a 4.3 percent year-over-year drop. Greenhouse gas emissions are now down to their lowest level since 1990, according to analysts at Agora Energiewende.

This made 2014 a big year for Germany’s renewable energy transition, known as Energiewende, which requires the phasing out of nuclear energy by 2022 and reducing greenhouse gases at least 80 percent by 2050. The government also wants the at least double the percentage of renewables in the energy mix by 2035………..

As more and more wind turbines and solar panels come online there is a major technology push to create better forecasting software and to increase the efficiency and enhance the location of these forms of power. IBM and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recentlyannounced that they are working on a producing solar and wind forecasting that’s at least 30 percent more accurate than conventional methods.

“There is good reason to believe that with better forecasts, it might be possible to push solar’s energy contribution up to 50 percent [by 2050],” IBM Research Manager Hendrick Hamann recently said about the United States. “As we continue to refine our system in collaboration with the DOE, we hope to double the accuracy of the system in the next year. That could have a huge impact on the energy industry — and on local businesses, the economy and the natural environment.” http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/07/29/3685555/germany-sets-new-renewable-energy-record/

July 31, 2015 Posted by | Germany, renewable | Leave a comment

Media failed to report the death and health toll from Chernobyl

Fukushima Not Even Close To Being Under Control, Oil Price, By Sun, 28 June 2015 “……..As an example of how media fails to deal with disaster blowback, here are some Chernobyl facts that have not received enough widespread news coverage: Over one million (1,000,000) people have already died from Chernobyl’s fallout.

Additionally, the Rechitsa Orphanage in Belarus has been caring for a very large population of deathly sick and deformed children. Children are 10 to 20 times more sensitive to radiation than adults.

Zhuravichi Children’s Home is another institution, among many, for the Chernobyl-stricken: “The home is hidden deep in the countryside and, even today, the majority of people in Belarus are not aware of the existence of such institutions” (Source: Chernobyl Children’s Project-UK).

One million (1,000,000) is a lot of dead people. But, how many more will die? Approximately seven million (7,000,000) people in the Chernobyl vicinity were hit with one of the most potent exposures to radiation in the history of the Atomic Age.

The exclusion zone around Chernobyl is known as “Death Valley.” It has been increased from 30 to 70 square kilometres. No humans will ever be able to live in the zone again. It is a permanent “dead zone.”

Additionally, over 25,000 died and 70,000 disabled because of exposure to extremely dangerous levels of radiation in order to help contain Chernobyl. Twenty percent of those deaths were suicides, as the slow agonizing “death march of radiation exposure” was too much to endure……..http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Fukushima-Not-Even-Close-To-Being-Under-Control.html

 

July 31, 2015 Posted by | children, health, Reference, Ukraine | Leave a comment

The end of the line for AREVA’s model of “birth to grave” nuclear processes

Areva bankruptAs losses mounted, so did Areva’s debt, which reached six billion euros at the end of the first half of 2015.

The sale of the nuclear reactor unit to EDF marks the end of Areva’s formerly profitable full-service model, which offered clients all aspects of development ranging from conception and construction to fuel procurement and waste treatment.

France sells major nuclear stake   http://www.iol.co.za/business/international/france-sells-major-nuclear-stake-1.1893029#.VbqVMvOqpHw July 30 2015 Paris – Atomic energy giant Areva on Thursday agreed to sell a majority stake of its nuclear reactor unit to electricity group EDF as part of a shake-up of the French sector. Continue reading

July 31, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

€7bn needed to keep loss-making nuclear company AREVA alive

scrutiny-on-costsLossmaking Areva needs €7bn capital injection, Ft.com Michael Stothard in Paris, 30 July 15  Struggling French nuclear group Areva on Thursday disclosed it needed a bigger than expected capital injection worth €7bn as the company also unveiled a far-reaching agreement with EDF on asset disposals and other projects.

The two companies — both state-controlled — agreed in principle that EDF will pay €2bn for a 75 per cent stake in Areva’s reactor unit, called Areva NP, in a radical reshaping of the French nuclear industry that has come after months of tense negotiations……..

Following the deal, Areva, which reported a €4.8bn net loss last year, will be reduced to a nuclear fuel company that mines, enriches and then disposes of uranium. The heart of the company — designing, building and servicing nuclear reactors — is being sold off.

Areva said that overall it would need €7bn in capital over the next two years, however, meaning that as much as €5bn will be required from sources other than EDF, the French utility group. Much of these additional funds are likely to come from a government-backed capital raising.

The French government may have to contribute between €4bn and €5bn, far more than the €2bn to €3bn that ministers had hoped for just a few months ago, according to people familiar with the situation, although the exact level of the capital raising was not announced on Thursday.

Areva said it could secure €0.4bn from selling some other assets including Canberra, its nuclear measurements subsidiary, and as much as €1.2bn from other sources of equity financing. This suggested a government-backed capital raising that might be closer to €4bn.

On Thursday the two companies also said they would set up a dedicated company to be 80 per cent owned by EDF and 20 per cent by Areva NP, aimed at improving the design and management of brand new reactors projects.

One of the problems that has weighed on Areva in recent years has been cost overruns at key projects, particularly the Olkiluoto 3 reactor in Finland, which is 10 years behind schedule and prompted the company to take €3.9bn in impairment charges………..http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/110c0476-368c-11e5-b05b-b01debd57852.html#axzz3hPaCUU5g

July 31, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics | Leave a comment

France moves towards renewable energy, while government still shelling out $billions to save AREVA

France‘s decision to reduce dependence on nuclear power will not go down well with the already struggling nuclear industry, which includes French players like Areva, EDF and GDF Suez. Areva, the world’s largest nuclear company, reported a loss of $4.8 billion in 2014 after it started facing a dip in demand following the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Areva is one of the most prominent companies in France, so the French government has been trying hard to save the company through a proposed deal with EDF, which involves selling off its reactor and fuel treatment business. According to recent reports, the French government could end up shelling out $5.5 billion to rescue Areva, far more than anticipated.

Is France Ready To Move Away From Nuclear Energy? http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/Is-France-Ready-To-Move-Away-From-Nuclear-Energy.html By  30 July 2015 | 0

   France is the world’s most nuclear dependent country. With 58 nuclear reactors in 19 power stations having a total capacity of 63.2 gigawatts, France is the second largest producer of nuclear energy in the world, second only to the United States.

But unlike the U.S., nuclear energy represents France’s largest source of electricity generation, accounting for around 77 percent of the country’s energy generation in 2014. However, in the last few years, France has witnessed growing public support in favor of developing newer technologies that can reduce carbon emissions and replace nuclear power.

In the year 2012, France’s newly elected President Francois Hollande pledged to reduce his country’s dependence on nuclear power to 50 percent by 2025. This triggered a ‘national debate for energy transition’ in France which lasted for eight months. The National Assembly of France then passed an Energy Transition for Green Growth bill in 2014 which would put a cap on the country’s nuclear power capacity at the current level of 63.2 gigawatts.

Last week saw French Lawmakers finally pass this bill which seeks to cut the country’s growing dependence on nuclear power. With the move, France is following Germany, which decided to significantly reduce its dependence on nuclear energy after the infamous 2011- Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

In order to meet this tough new target, Electricite De France or EDF (which is 85 percent government-owned) would have no other option but to close some of its nuclear power capacity in order to accommodate its new European Pressurized Reactor (EPR), which is currently under construction in Normandy.

The new law further requires France to increase the contribution of renewables in its total energy consumption to 32 percent by 2030. This is in addition to reducing the C02 emissions by 40 percent by 2030 when compared to 1990 levels and also reduce conventional fossil fuel consumption by 30 percent by 2030 from 2012 levels.

Although the law has made it quite clear that France now has to reduce its dependence on nuclear power, there are still several loopholes. as it hasn’t provided a clear manner in which the set target is supposed to be met and there is no specific implementation strategy put in place yet. “This law sets goals, which is interesting, but it doesn’t explain how to reach them, postponement of the detailed implementation plans is not a good sign,” said Yannick Rousselet of Greenpeace.

“I want France to become a nation of environmental excellence,” said French environmental minister Segolene Royal. She further said that recent steps taken by the French government could create close to 100,000 jobs in the renewable sector.

As the new law has also set a goal of increasing overall renewable energy consumption while also curtailing nuclear power, we can expect some major foreign investments in the French clean energy sector in the coming few years. French energy giant Total has in fact been investing a substantial amount in the solar sector. With its partnership with U.S. based Sunpower, Total might just ramp up its investments in the French solar sector.

It is interesting to note that wind energy also enjoys local public support in France as a 2014-CSA survey revealed that around 64 percent of local people see wind energy as a worthy replacement for nuclear power. According to the European Wind Energy Association, France increased its target for energy generation from wind to 19 gigawatts by 2020 from 8.2 gigawatts in 2014.

France is also the second largest producer of biofuels in Europe after Germany, mostly producing biodiesel. France has already set a goal of blending 10 percent of biofuels with its conventional fuels by 2020. So, with the current push towards renewables one can reasonably expect a surge in biofuel investments as well.

However, the same cannot be said for natural gas, as France is one of the four countries that have banned hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Experts predict that the French natural gas demand might even fall by the year 2020.

What does this mean for the suppliers of nuclear fuel and companies like AREVA?

France‘s decision to reduce dependence on nuclear power will not go down well with the already struggling nuclear industry, which includes French players like Areva, EDF and GDF Suez. Areva, the world’s largest nuclear company, reported a loss of $4.8 billion in 2014 after it started facing a dip in demand following the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Areva is one of the most prominent companies in France, so the French government has been trying hard to save the company through a proposed deal with EDF, which involves selling off its reactor and fuel treatment business. According to recent reports, the French government could end up shelling out $5.5 billion to rescue Areva, far more than anticipated.

With its desire to shift away from nuclear energy, France is slowly and steadily preparing itself to adapt newer technologies and eventually move towards renewables. However, this transition requires a clear road map with a clear plan on the systematic closure of its nuclear capacity. Without these, it might take several years (beyond the target dates) for the Energy Transition law to get implemented.

By Gaurav Agnihotri for Oilprice.com

July 31, 2015 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

Subsidies for UK’s Hinkley nuclear plant – appealed in court by 10 companies

justice10 Companies Appealing €100 Billion In Subsidies For UK’s Hinkley Nuclear Project http://cleantechnica.com/2015/07/23/10-companies-appealing-e100-billion-subsidies-uks-hinkley-nuclear-project/ by  

The relatively recent decision by the European Commission to approve roughly €100 billion in subsidies for the Hinkley Point C nuclear energy project in the UK is already being legally challenged, according to recent reports. The legal challenge is coming via an alliance of 10 companies — which includes various renewable energy suppliers and municipal utility companies, as well as Greenpeace Energy. The plea for an annulment of the approval is being made via the European Union Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Reportedly, according to the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the chances that the challenge will be successful are low. Based on recent events, one could argue that Germany is essentially the de facto head of the Commission, so that doesn’t seem to bode well for the legal challenge.

The challenge is being handled by Dörte Fouquet, of the Becker Büttner Held law firm. He commented on the situation thusly: “(The European Commission used) an incorrect evaluation benchmark because these British subsidies are an unlawful State Aid and not an investment aid. Moreover … there is no general failure of the energy market which could justify these proposed subsidies.”

For some background here, the subsidies call for the European Commission to provide £92.5/megawatt-hour (MWh) in support for 35 years to the 3.2 gigawatt (GW) nuclear project.

Figures provided by Greenpeace show that subsidies for the Hinkley Point C project will total some €108.6 billion over that period if inflation is taken into account (€53.7 billion without taking inflation into account). These subsidies are in addition to more than €20 billion in credit guarantees made by the UK.

That’s certainly quite a lot of state support for nuclear energy, is it not? And people are still claiming that it’s economically viable?

“This high level of subsidization means that Hinkley Point C can generate power at negative prices without suffering financial losses. Hinkley Point C lowers the wholesale price of power in the UK. Lower prices lead to an increased import of electricity from the UK to Germany. These imports lower the price of power in Germany, reducing the profits of its conventional and renewable power plants. This effect can lower the price of electricity in Germany by as much as 20 euro cents per megawatt-hour,” as Greenpeace put it in a recent statement.

The companies involved in the legal challenge are oekostrom AG, Greenpeace Energy, and Energieversorgung Filstal. The municipal utilities involved in the appeal are Bochum, Mainz, Schwäbisch Hall, Tübingen, Mühlacker, Aalen, and Bietigheim-Bissingen.

July 29, 2015 Posted by | Legal, UK | Leave a comment

Thorough analysis of Switzerland’s plan for exit from nuclear power

It is a simple statement of fact that Germany today produces more solar and wind power than the entire projected electricity demand for Switzerland in 2050. What is possible in Germany should be manageable in Switzerland too. ………Conservation, greater efficiencies, alternative energy sources, the smart grid, and the introduction of new technologies mean that Switzerland should be readily able to find ways to replace the energy  lost by the closing of its existing nuclear power plants. 


flag-SwitzerlandSmall country, big challenge: Switzerland’s upcoming transition to sustainable energy,
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 25 July 15 Dominic A. Notter

Abstract

highly-recommendedSwitzerland has long met a good portion of its energy needs by using nuclear power. But in the wake of the accident at Fukushima, the country will have to turn elsewhere—while still remaining true to its history of self-sufficiency and energy independence. This effort is made more complicated by fears that one of its traditional energy sources, hydropower, may no longer be as reliable as in the past. But with a combination of energy conservation, greater efficiencies, alternative energy sources, the “smart grid,” and the introduction of new technologies currently on the drawing board, the country may readily be able to replace the energy lost by the closing of its existing nuclear power plants. And the loss of the snowpack and glaciers (due to climate change) may not be as dire for Switzerland’s hydropower as first anticipated……. Continue reading

July 27, 2015 Posted by | politics, Reference, Switzerland | 3 Comments

Ukraine chaos spiralling further out of control: the role of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland

Now, the Ukraine chaos threatens to spiral even further out of control with the neo-Nazis and other right-wing militias – supplied with a bounty of weapons to kill ethnic Russians in the east – turning on the political leadership in Kiev.

Nuland, VictoriaThus, it seems unlikely that Nuland, regarded by some in Washington as the new “star” in U.S. foreign policy, will be fired for her dangerous incompetence, just as most neocons who authored the Iraq disaster remain “respected” experts employed by major think tanks, given prized space on op-ed pages, and consulted at the highest levels of the U.S. government.


highly-recommendedThe Mess That Nuland Made,
Reader Supportede News By Robert Parry, Consortium News 22 July 15
Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland engineered Ukraine’s “regime change” in early 2014 without weighing the likely chaos and consequences. Now, as neo-Nazis turn their guns on the government, it’s hard to see how anyone can clean up the mess that Nuland made, writes Robert Parry. 

s the Ukrainian army squares off against ultra-right and neo-Nazi militias in the west and violence against ethnic Russians continues in the east, the obvious folly of the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy has come into focus even for many who tried to ignore the facts, or what you might call “the mess that Victoria Nuland made.”

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs “Toria” Nuland was the “mastermind” behind the Feb. 22, 2014 “regime change” in Ukraine, plotting the overthrow of the democratically elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych while convincing the ever-gullible U.S. mainstream media that the coup wasn’t really a coup but a victory for “democracy.”

To sell this latest neocon-driven “regime change” to the American people, the ugliness of the coup-makers had to be systematically airbrushed, particularly the key role of neo-Nazis and other ultra-nationalists from the Right Sektor. For the U.S.-organized propaganda campaign to work, the coup-makers had to wear white hats, not brown shirts.

So, for nearly a year and a half, the West’s mainstream media, especially The New York Times and The Washington Post, twisted their reporting into all kinds of contortions to avoid telling their readers that the new regime in Kiev was permeated by and dependent on neo-Nazi fighters and Ukrainian ultra-nationalists who wanted a pure-blood Ukraine, without ethnic Russians.

Any mention of that sordid reality was deemed “Russian propaganda” and anyone who spoke this inconvenient truth was a “stooge of Moscow.” It wasn’t until July 7 that the Times admitted the importance of the neo-Nazis and other ultra-nationalists in waging war against ethnic Russian rebels in the east. The Times also reported that these far-right forces had been joined by Islamic militants. Some of those jihadists have been called “brothers” of the hyper-brutal Islamic State. Continue reading

July 25, 2015 Posted by | politics international, Reference, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Terrorists planned an attack on nuclear weapons base

terrorism-targets-2US Nuclear Weapons Base In Italy Eyed By Alleged Terrorists http://fas.org/blogs/security/2015/07/ghedi-terror/ by   Two suspected terrorists arrested by the Italian police allegedly were planning an attack against the nuclear weapons base at Ghedi.

The base stores 20 US B61 nuclear bombs earmarked for delivery by Italian PA-200 Tornado fighter-bombers in war. Nuclear security and strike exercises were conducted at the base in 2014. During peacetime the bombs are under the custody of the US Air Force 704th Munitions Support Squadron (MUNSS), a 130-personnel strong units at Ghedi Air Base.

The Italian police said at a press conference today that the two men in their conversations “were referring to several targets, particularly the Ghedi military base” near Brescia in northern Italy.

Ghedi Air Base is one of several national air bases in Europe that a US Air Force investigation in 2008 concludeddid not meet US security standards for nuclear weapons storage. Since then, the Pentagon and NATO have spent tens of millions of dollars and are planning to spend more to improve security at the nuclear weapons bases in Europe.

There are currently approximately 180 US B61 bombs deployed in Europe at six bases in five NATO countries: Belgium (Kleine Brogel AB), Germany (Buchel AB), Italy (Aviano AB and Ghedi AB), the Netherlands (Volkel AB), and Turkey (Incirlik AB).

Over the next decade, the B61s in Europe will be modernized and, when delivered by the new F-35A fighter-bomber, turned into a guided nuclear bomb (B61-12) with greater accuracy than the B61s currently deployed in Europe. Aircraft integration of the B61-12 has already started.

July 25, 2015 Posted by | incidents, Italy, safety | Leave a comment

Russia to supply credit to sell untested nuclear reactors to Bangladesh

Russian-BearRosatom eager to sign three more accords with BAEC http://www.observerbd.com/2015/07/22/100629.php#sthash.jdS4D1ks.USjrUblf.dpuf Shahnaj Begum, 22 July, 2015,  The Russian state-owned nuclear power agency, Rosatom, is eager to sign three separate deals with Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) before signing the general contract to install the country’s first nuclear power plant at Rooppur on the north-west part of the country.

“Two separate deals will be sign to dispose of the “spent fuel” and another one will be sign for the maintenance of the power plant,” a senior official of the BAEC told the Daily Observer on Tuesday.
According to the official one deal will be signed to arrange the fuel to run the plant and another one for the “back end” for taking away the waste of the plant, and another one is for the operational purpose (maintenance), he added.
“One technical team had flown to Moscow on July 21 and another one is set to fly on July 25 to discuss the separate issues,” Minister for Science and Technology Yeafesh Osman said.
Bangladesh formed three separate teams to discuss the issue.
It may be mentioned here that Bangladesh kicked off the negotiation with Russia in November last year but failed to draw a credit line and select the technology to be applied in the plant.
“We are yet to know about the technology, but we want to procure a reactor which will have SSE (safe shut acceleration) and capacity to handle minimum peak ground acceleration value of 0.38g (which means it would be all right against earthquake of 9 on the Richter scale),” a BAEC official said.
Although Bangladesh is yet to finalise any model and technology but it was learnt that it is going to procure TOI version which is still a new one and an experimental one.
“The capacity of TOI is around 1,255 MW, however, there is no difference between VVR 1,300 and TOI rather it is all most the same,” a senior scientist of BEAC said. He claimed that the same one is installed in India and is going to be installed in Russia.
“And still we don’t know anything about the price of the general contract, before that we have to sign these three deals,” according to the ICT Ministry. In June last the Prime Minister’s Economic Affairs Adviser Dr Mashiur Rahman visited Moscow to frame a credit line but failed to achieve a US$10 to $12 billion dollars for installing the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) in Pabna district on the north-west of the country.
This is a follow-up to another visit by a high-powered technical committee to Russia last month.
This visit is necessary for selecting the right thing for Bangladesh and ensure a block allocation from the Russian Federation to implement the dream project, first of its kind in the country,” Yeafesh Osman said.
According to the BAEC ROSATOM will start designing the reactor for RNPP that requires money. Under the contract with the Russian Federation, it will provide the credit and agree to manage the “spent-fuel.”
Moscow financed the technical study of the RNPP. Under the deal Bangladesh would borrow an amount of $569 million with an interest rate of not less than 5 per cent from Russia.
Under the agreement, the Russian government will provide all necessary supports and infrastructure development to build the plant and supply necessary fuel to run the plant and also take back the spent fuel.
The government is going to build two nuclear plants with the capacity of 1,000 MW each at Rooppur with the latest ‘third generation’ technology from Russia where five-layer security measures would be installed, according to officials.
Following the signing of the first deal between Bangladesh and Russia, the Public Relations Director of ROSATOM, in a press conference in Dhaka, declared that ‘about $1.5 billion to $2 billion dollars will be needed to set up 1000 MW power plant depending on security features and technology standards,’ but now ROSATOM is saying it needs around $10 to $12 billion.

July 25, 2015 Posted by | ASIA, business and costs, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

France quadruples carbon price, will move towards renewable energy

France Passes New Energy Law Quadruples Carbon Price, Bloomberg by  23 July 15, French lawmakers adopted a long-delayed energy law that will reduce the country’s reliance on nuclear reactors and raise carbon prices almost fourfold.

Lawmakers late Wednesday passed legislation that included a last-minute amendment initially rejected by the government to increase the target price of carbon to 56 euros ($61.48) a ton in 2020 and 100 euros a ton in 2030, according to the National Assemblywebsite. The rate, now 14.50 euros a ton, climbs to 22 euros a ton in 2016 and is integrated in a levy on fossil fuels.

The rise provides “visibility” to the business community on how carbon prices will evolve, Environment Minister Segolene Royal said. Higher taxes on fossil fuels will be offset by lower levies on other products, she also said.

 The new energy transition law, passed by a show of hands with no count to be published, reflects a campaign pledge three years ago by President Francois Hollande to cut France’s nuclear-energy reliance in favor of renewables………http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-23/france-passes-new-energy-law-quadruples-carbon-price

July 25, 2015 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,022 other followers