Renewable manifesto sets out blueprint for next government http://blueandgreentomorrow.com/2014/09/14/renewable-manifesto-sets-out-blueprint-for-next-government/ Sunday, September 14th, 2014 By Charlotte Malone Ahead of next year’s general election, the Renewable Energy Association (REA) has published a blueprint for the next government, outlining plans to create jobs, investment and growth whilst helping the UK catch up in the global energy race.
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The UK currently gets 5% of its energy from a renewable industry that supports over 100,000 jobs and has received over £30 billion of private investment since 2010.
In order to meet a legally binding target of having 15% of the national energy demand met by renewables by 2020, the UK must more than double the share of renewable electricity, more than double the share of renewable transport fuels and more than quadruple the share of renewable heat.
REA states, “The next government will be responsible for the UK succeeding – or failing – in meeting its 2020 renewable energy targets. It could also be the government that turns the government that turns the budding renewable energy industry into the main economic engine for creating jobs and growth in the energy sector and reducing the UK’s reliance on imported fossil fuels.”
Currently the UK is 26th in the EU renewables league tables, but by REA argues that with forward-thinking policies the UK can move up the rankings and benefit as a result. Nina Skorupska, REA chief executive, said, “From clean power infrastructure to Zero Carbon Homes and from heat networks to sustainable transport, this is the most comprehensive guide a government could wish for if they’re seeking to maximise the value of this young, vibrant and innovative industry.
“Looking out to 2020, this manifesto sets out how the government can keep up the progress on renewable electricity, and accelerate the roll-out of renewable heating technologies and transport fuels.”
in the face of such opposition from Scotland — even in the possible wake of a decided No vote — it will remain difficult for the UK government to continue its absurd and costly pursuit of renewing the Trident nuclear weapons system against the backdrop of international negotiations to ban nuclear weapons.
Britain’s wee nuclear problem, IFP.com Erika Simpson and Bill Kidd, Special to QMI Agency Friday, September 12, 2014″…..The SNP pledges it will negotiate the removal of the UK’s Trident nuclear weapon system from the Faslane naval base, 40 km from Glasgow. The UK’s four Vanguard submarines are stationed on the Firth of Clyde, a series of rivers, estuaries and sea lochs.
A Yes vote would mean Britain’s 20-billion-pound replacement of the four Trident submarines during the next decade could not go ahead.
It also could mean the UK’s commitment to nuclear weapons would need to be rethought.
The UK government has assumed since 1968 that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty gives it some kind of right to possess nuclear weapons.
If an independent Scotland fulfills its policy to remove the submarine-based Trident nuclear weapons system from its territory, the UK will need, within four years, to find another stationing location for all its sea-based nuclear warheads, since it costs too much to deploy them at sea for months at a time.
This will be a difficult task, almost as tough as it would be for Vladimir Putin to find another home for Russia’s Black Sea fleet stationed in the Crimean Peninsula.
If the UK wants to maintain its nuclear-armed submarines, it would need to find another deep-water port, preferably on British turf and not on another colony’s territory….. The UK government says other potential locations in England are unacceptable due to their proximity to population centres, although the UK has housed nuclear submarines and loaded nuclear weapons onto them not far from Glasgow since 1969. If Westminster does decide to relocate the weapons, cost estimates vary enormously.
Some argue building a new base would cost merely 2.5 billion to 3.5 billion pounds ($4.47 billion to $6.26 billion), while others say moving the Tridents will cost closer to 50 billion pounds. Certainly, it would be a lot extra for English and Welsh taxpayers to pay for in the wake of their country’s partition and probable economic decline……..
if an independent Scotland decided to join the alliance, it could follow the example of other NATO states such as Canada, Norway and Lithuania, which do not allow nuclear weapons on their soil. Furthermore, if an independent Scotland spearheaded initiatives to establish more international treaties to prohibit nuclear weapons, its approach could have a major impact on other NATO members, despite the inclination to erect a new central front in Europe to protect the Baltic states.
Even if not enough Scots vote Yes to win independence, their voting patterns could provide an opportunity for Britons as a whole to rethink their approach to nuclear weapons. The very high costs of replacing the submarines, coupled with the logistical challenges of relocating the weapons, means there is a strong opportunity to reject the nuclear option, should a Westminster political party adopt such a policy.
For their part, representatives of the SNP are prepared to participate actively in the humanitarian initiative on nuclear weapons and support negotiations on an international treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, even without the participation of the nuclear-armed states. Such a treaty would make the possession of nuclear weapons unambiguously illegal for all, putting them on the same footing as biological and chemical weapons.
In the face of such opposition from Scotland — even in the possible wake of a decided No vote — it will remain difficult for the UK government to continue its absurd and costly pursuit of renewing the Trident nuclear weapons system against the backdrop of international negotiations to ban nuclear weapons. Scotland’s vote this Thursday could go either way, but it is already sure to push Mother England to overcome her Cold War thinking about security by undermining traditional arguments in favour of maintaining these weapons of mass destruction.
— Bill Kidd is the Scottish Member of Parliament for Glasgow Anniesland and a member of the Scottish National Party, which supports an independent and non-nuclear Scotland.
— Erika Simpson is an associate professor of international relations in the politics department of Western University. http://www.lfpress.com/2014/09/12/britains-wee-nuclear-problem
Friends of the Earth denies dropping nuclear power opposition. The Guardian 10 Sept 14 Green group refutes BBC report saying it has not shifted its stance on nuclear Friends of the Earth has denied dropping its opposition to nuclear power after the BBC reported that the green group had made a “huge and controversial shift” in its stance…….
But the green group’s executive director, Andy Atkins, released a statement saying the group had made no changes to its stance on nuclear
Atkins said: “Friends of the Earth has not changed its position on nuclear power. We remain firmly opposed to it and continue to strongly promote a transition to an energy system based on energy efficiency and our abundant resource of renewable energy, which is getting cheaper to exploit by the day.
“We have always been an evidence-based organisation and we commission independent reports to ensure our policy positions are robust, and we will continue to do so in the future.
Craig Bennett, the group’s director of policy and campaigns, and the spokesman whose comments the BBC had based its report on, said the BBC’s news reporting had been “misleading” and asked the broadcaster to make a correction.
Bennett had appeared on a package on energy security earlier in the Today programme, and was asked by journalist Justin Rowlatt whether Friends of the Earth was no longer worried about the risk from radiation.
Bennett said: “Of course there are real concerns about radiation particularly around nuclear waste and it’s right we are concerned about that. But it’s important the debate has shifted down the years – the real concern now is how we get on fast with decarbonising our electricity supply, if you look at the models, it shows nuclear cannot be delivered fast.”…
….Tweets from the official Friends of the Earth account responded that there was no shift in position: “Safety including waste still big intractable issue, new evidence on cost makes arguments against even stronger.”…http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/10/friends-of-the-earth-nuclear-power-bbc-report
Russia successfully tests nuclear missile, more planned: navy chief MOSCOW Wed Sep 10, 2014 (Reuters) - Russia carried out a successful test of its new Bulava intercontinental nuclear missile on Wednesday and will perform two more test launches in October and November, the head of its naval forces said.
The armed forces have boosted their military training and test drills since the start of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which Russia considers in its traditional sphere of influence…….http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/10/us-russia-nuclear-idUSKBN0H519C20140910
Ukraine joining NATO will lead to nuclear war: US expert http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/09/08/378045/ukraine-joining-nato-means-nuclear-war/American scholar of Russian studies Stephen Cohen has said that if Ukraine joins NATO, it will lead to a “nuclear war.”
“First of all, by NATO’s own rules, Ukraine cannot join NATO, a country that does not control its own territory. In this case, Kiev controls less and less by the day. It’s lost Crimea. It’s losing the Donbas—I just described why—to the war,” he said.
“Secondly, you have to meet certain economic, political and military criteria to join NATO. Ukraine meets none of them.”
“Thirdly, and most importantly, Ukraine is linked to Russia not only in terms of being Russia’s essential security zone, but it’s linked conjugally, so to speak, intermarriage. There are millions, if not tens of millions, of Russian and Ukrainians married together. Put it in NATO, and you’re going to put a barricade through millions of families. Russia will react militarily,” the scholar explained.
Cohen also noted that the West is mainly to blame for the crisis in Ukraine, Washington’s Blog reported.
“This is a horrific, tragic, completely unnecessary war in eastern Ukraine,” one of America’s top experts on Russia said.
“In my own judgment, we have contributed mightily to this tragedy. I would say that historians one day will look back and say that America has blood on its hands. Three thousand people have died, most of them civilians who couldn’t move quickly. That’s women with small children, older women. A million refugees,” Cohen added.
“If they go ahead with this NATO decision, right plunk on Russia’s borders. Russia will then leave the historic nuclear agreement that Reagan and Gorbachev signed in 1987 to abolish short-range nuclear missiles.”
Tensions between Washington and Moscow have escalated over the crisis in Ukraine.
President Barack Obama on Friday warned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that the United States will not tolerate an attack on any NATO member state, although Ukraine is not a NATO state.
Note: USA already has a pre-emptive nuclear strike policy
Russian General Seeks Nuclear First-Strike Option Against US NEWSMAX,, 04 Sep 2014 By Sean Piccoli A Russian defense minister wants his country’s official military doctrine rewritten to allow for a pre-emptive nuclear attack against the United States and NATO, the Russian-language news agency Interfax reports.
Russia categorizes its nuclear arsenal as a defensive measure to be used in the event of an imminent attack that threatens the country’s existence, Interfax reported.
Nuclear war talk has crept back into official Russian discourse amid the fighting in Ukraine, where pro-Russia separatists are being armed by Moscow and supported with Russian ground troops.
The United States and the European Union have jointly condemned Russia’s actions in Ukraine and imposed successively harsher economic sanctions. The rhetoric from Moscow has followed suit…….The Russian general’s remarks came ahead of joint military exercises between NATO and Ukrainian forces that are scheduled to begin on Sept. 16 and “likely to further fuel suspicions between Moscow and the West,” the Toronto Globe and Mail reported. http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Russian-pre-emptive-nuclear-strike/2014/09/04/id/592739/
The ongoing problems at Heysham 1 and Hartlepool reactors, taken offline last month, forced Centrica, a 20% owner of the atomic fleet with EDF, to issue a profit warning………The power outages following the discovery of a fault on a boiler “spine” at Heysham 1 have already led the National Grid to fast-forward an emergency plan to obtain more electricity from other providers to meet a possible shortfall…….http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/04/nuclear-power-stations-out-december-edf
A worrying factor in Ukraine’s chaos: 15 nuclear reactors WP By Rick Noack September 3 As Ukraine looks like a country teetering on the edge of war, there’s an important factor to keep an eye on: The country’s 15 nuclear reactors.
“There haven’t been many conflicts in states with nuclear power facilities in the past, so we’re really entering unknown territory here,” said Jeffrey Mankoff, Deputy Director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Russia and Eurasia Program. NATO has already shown its concern, sending a small team of civilian experts to Ukraine in April to advise the government on the safety of its infrastructure.
There is a historical component to the anxiety: In April 1986, a reactor of the Ukrainian nuclear power plant at Chernobyl exploded, causing the worst nuclear disaster in history, and a high rate of cancer among emergency workers and people living in the affected areas even today. Chernobyl happened in a time of peace: Today, Ukraine’s reactors operate near a war zone.
Closest to the fighting is Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Station, which houses six separate reactors: There are doubts about the safety mechanisms in place in these power plants. German public broadcaster ARD has warned that “a second Chernobyl disaster will be inevitable if the fighting in Ukraine cannot be stopped.” Sergej Boschko, who heads Ukraine’s nuclear regulatory agency,told ARD that “no nuclear power plant is protected against military attacks. They are not made for war, they are made for peace.”
Nuclear material also presents a problem: ARD reports that 100 containers of burned nuclear fuels were found in the open air 120 miles away from the front line. This waste product is radioactive and dangerous if stored incorrectly. Hans-Josef Allelein, the chairman of Germany’s Institute for Reactor Safety and Reactor Technology, said in an interview that these reports would indicate a “real danger” if true. “Such containers could theoretically be used as dirty bombs,” Allelein explained. “In the end, the area around a nuclear power plant needs to be secured with a reliable air-defense system …….http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/09/03/a-worrying-factor-in-ukraines-chaos-15-nuclear-reactors/
Radioactive Boars From Chernobyl Are Still Wandering Around Germany, Sarah Zhang, http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/radioactive-boars-from-chernobyl-are-still-wandering-around-germany/4 Sept 14 Nearly 30 years later, radiation from Chernobyl still scars the landscape. Perhaps most remarkably, some of that radiation travelled hundreds of kilometres downwind, settled into the soil, and moved up through the food chain. So now we have radioactive wild boars, still roaming around Germany causing trouble.
Since 2012, according to the Telegraph, the state government of Saxony has required that boars hunted for food be tested for radiation. One in three regularly exceeds the safety limit. How did wild boars born decades after the Chernobyl disaster become radioactive? The Telegraph explains:
Even though Saxony lies some 700 miles from Chernobyl, wind and rain carried the radioactivity across western Europe, and soil contamination was found even further away, in France.
Wild boar are thought to be particularly affected because they root through the soil for food, and feed on mushrooms and underground truffles that store radiation. Many mushrooms from the affected areas are also believed to be unfit for human consumption.
Wild radioactive boars may be dangerous to eat, but wild boars in general are a menace across Germany. They’re digging up gardens, shutting down the Autobahn, and even attacking the occasional poor soul. Read more about the boars at the Telegraph.
> 03 Sep 2014 European military assistance to Ukraine could lead to a nuclear conflict between Russia and NATO, according to Poland’s iconic cold warrior and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Lech Walesa. KRYNICA, Poland: European military assistance to Ukraine could lead to a nuclear conflict between Russia and NATO, according to Poland’s iconic cold warrior and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Lech Walesa.”It could lead to a nuclear war,” the anti-Communist legend told reporters when asked whether the EU should send weapons to Ukraine to help it fights off separatist rebels and Russian aggression.
“The EU is well aware that Russia has nuclear weapons. NATO has them too. Must we then destroy each other?” said the former Solidarity trade union leader famous for negotiating a bloodless end to communism in Poland in 1989.
“This is why the EU keeps on repeating: stop being silly (…) This is why it isn’t getting involved too much!” he added, at an annual regional economic in Krynica, southern Poland.
The EU on Saturday agreed to impose fresh sanctions on Russia should Moscow failed to change its behaviour in Ukraine, after Kiev said Russian soldiers were fighting along side pro-Moscow rebels.
Ukrainian nuclear plant vulnerable to Kiev’s artillery strikes – Greenpeace expert Rt.com August 31, 2014 Europe’s largest nuclear power plant is vulnerable to ‘direct bombardment’ in Ukraine if caught in the conflict, a Greenpeace nuclear energy expert told a German newspaper, claiming that its nuclear reactors are not protected from armor-piercing weapons.
Greenpeace nuclear expert Tobias Münchmeyer revealed his concerns over the six-reactor Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant in eastern Ukraine to Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung. He said the plant was insufficiently protected against a direct bombardment and that 1.2-meter thick reinforced concrete shells surrounding each reactor are strong enough to withstand only a small aircraft crash.
“There are many armor-piercing weapons in the region, which could penetrate these protective covers,”Münchmeyer said, as cited by Deutsche Welle on Saturday.
The Soviet design reactors at Zaporizhia are largely dependent on Russian expertise and spare parts, the expert also said.
Zaporizhia is the largest nuclear power plant (NPP) not only in Ukraine, but also in Europe and also the fifth largest NPP in the world. It is situated on the bank of the Kakhovka water reservoir on the Dnieper River. This is some 200 kilometers from the warzone in Donetsk region……..http://rt.com/news/184004-greenpeace-zaporizhia-npp-danger/
The West’s Collective Angst About Ukraine’s Crisis-Zone Nuclear Reactors http://www.worldcrunch.com/ukraine-winter/the-west-039-s-collective-angst-about-ukraine-039-s-crisis-zone-nuclear-reactors/nuclear-risks-chernobyl-crimea-zaporizhia-malaysia-airlines/c20s16883/#.VAQSlNddUnk Markus Balser (2014-08-30) BERLIN — For many in Ukraine the city of Enerhodar is known simply as “Atomic City.” It was founded a couple of decades ago to accommodate a power station, and the city with its 50,000 inhabitants in southeastern Ukraine is known today as one of the country’s main energy suppliers. The six reactor blocks of the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Station spread out over many hundreds of meters along the banks of the Kakhovka Reservoir on the Dnieper River. The power station is not just responsible for most of Ukraine’s electricity, but it is also the city’s biggest employer and Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
Atomic City’s dimensions were always suspect to critics of atomic energy, but these days even professionals in the nuclear sector are a bit uneasy about Zaporizhia. That’s because the power station is located just 124 miles from the part of Ukraine occupied by separatists, meaning the reactors are located in one of Europe’s most dangerous regions. Continue reading
I have a dream: A world free of nuclear weapons Aljazeera, Karipbek Kuyukov 28 Aug 2014 China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the US are still to sign the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
OSCE shares Moscow’s concerns over Ukraine’s nuclear deal with US Rt August 28, 2014 The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe shares Moscow’s concern on world nuclear safety and the potential threat that possible US atomic fuel supplies to Ukraine might cause as the country remains in crisis.
The head of the OSCE and Swiss president Didier Burkhalter says he is concerned about nuclear safety in connection with the US intention to supply the country with nuclear fuel, according to a reply letter to Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Industry Vladimir Gutenev.
Switzerland “shares the view concerning nuclear safety,” Burkhalter wrote, as cited by Itar-Tass,……..
In early June, Gutenev sent a letter to Burkhalter warning of security threats that European nations will face in case of a potential industrial nuclear disaster at one of Ukraine’s power plants, as Kiev is planning to sign a contract with American Westinghouse Electric Company. He highlighted the fact that Soviet made nuclear plants are not compatible with fuel assembly type TBC-W offered by the Americans, as previous trials have shown.
“The nuclear reactors in Ukraine are of Russian (Soviet) design, which are only designed for fuel that has passed a special certification. Therefore, further attempts to use non-adapted fuel assemblies of American production without a corresponding adjustment increase the risk of failure of the Ukrainian reactors and dramatically increase the likelihood of man-made disasters,” Gutenev wrote in June, calling on the OSCE to consider the issue.
In 2005, six experimental Westinghouse fuel assemblies, adopted for use in USSR-developed reactors, were tried at the South Ukraine plant in one reactor together with Russian fuel rods. By 2008 Ukraine signed a contract with Westinghouse on fuel rod supply. However, the experiment showed that Westinghouse assemblies deformed during exploitation and got stuck in the core. The reason is simple – Russian nuclear fuel rods are hexagonal in section, while Americans produce fuel assemblies of square section.
By 2012, after the failed test, exploitation of US nuclear fuel was banned in Ukraine and the fuel rods were returned to the producer “to get fixed” while Russian scientists came to the rescue. The Energoatom Company of Ukraine lost an estimated $175 million in this trial.
Now the Kiev regime has renewed the 2008 nuclear fuel deal till 2020, to replace 25 percent of the Russian-made fuel rods with an option to “provide more if needed.”…….http://rt.com/news/183248-nuclear-ukraine-threat-osce/
Johnson’s Russia List, jackmatlock.com – Jack Matlock – August 26, 2014 “……Neither Russia nor the United States has any right, under what is generally accepted as international law, to be involved in selecting a government in Ukraine. Russia, however, has an infinitely greater stake in that government’s orientation than has the United States and a much greater ability to affect what happens on the ground…….
We are not in a new cold war, but the participation of our political leaders in public accusations, demands, and threats has helped recreate much of that atmosphere. This acrimonious public dialogue, at times descending to little more than name calling, set off destabilizing vibrations that become amplified by feedback at each exchange……..
The spate of official name-calling seems to be abating, and that is encouraging, for only quiet, realistic diplomacy is going to steer the warring parties in Ukraine away from the disastrous course they have chosen………
The planned meetings this week by Russian and Ukrainian representatives with European and, in some instances, American diplomats provide opportunities to nudge the warring parties to end the violence and to negotiate their differences………http://russialist.org/ukraine-cool-the-rhetoric-focus-on-the-outcome/
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