http://gizmodo.com/the-abandoned-communist-reactor-that-could-have-killed-1644415889The Abandoned Communist Nuclear Reactor That Could Have Killed Us All (Great pictures) Gizmodo 10 Oct 14
Ashley Feinberg Just 90 miles off the tip of Florida lies a half-baked, abandoned relic of the Cold War-era arms race—what was once going to be a joint Cuban-Soviet nuclear reactor. And thank god it never panned out. Because not only do we now have these incredible shots from photographer Darmon Richter, but every last aspect of this thing would have been a total and utter disaster………the whole project spent nearly a decade in limbo, until finally, in 2000, Fidel Castro told Vladamir Putin that he was done with the two countries’ former joint-dream. Now, the power plant at Juragua was officially little more than a testament to what could have been—which is a very good thing. Because as it turns out, “what could have been” basically entailed wildly dangerous conditions and potentially a whole mess of destruction.
Chilean geography makes nation the top market for renewable energy, Chicago Tribune
By Matt Craze, Bloomberg News,Bloomberg SANTIAGO, Chile — With the sunniest desert on Earth, a windswept coast and limited fossil fuel supplies, northern Chile has become the world’s top market for renewable energy.
The government of President Michelle Bachelet has approved 76 solar and wind projects since taking power March 11. Renewable energy developers are pursuing contracts to deliver electricity to mines run by by companies including Anglo American and BHP Billiton, which consume a third of the country’s power.
“Chile is the market with the highest level of activity in the world,” Ben Warren, head of Ernst & Young’s renewables team, said in a telephone interview from London………
“Despite being a small market we attracted all of the players because we have significant growth rates,” Finat said. “We have clear economic rules and political stability. And there is a gigantic amount of untapped renewable energy resources.” http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-wp-blm-news-bc-chile07-20141007-story.html
Chile An Emerging Solar PV Powerhouse http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4257 Chile installed 150MW of solar panels in the first quarter of this year and has a further 380MW of PV under construction.
According to GTM Research’s Latin America PV Playbook, Q2 2014; the 150MW tally is triple the amount that any Latin American country has ever installed in a single quarter.
A major contributor to the impressive first quarter total was SunEdison’s 50.7 MW San Andres solar farm; the largest merchant solar plant in Latin America to date. SunEdison recently announced it has sold a majority stake in the facility to a group of investors.
GTM Research forecasts Chile will install 244 megawatts of PV this year; some of which support the nation’s energy-hungry mining industry. Last year, Chile’s renewable energy capacity jumped 40 percent to just over one gigawatt. The nation’s renewable energy target demands utilities source 20 percent of their power from renewable sources – excluding hydro – by 2025.
GTM Research considers Latin America to be the “global frontier” for unsubsidized solar markets.
“With high insolation levels and growing demand, it is positioned to be one of the most attractive regions on the planet for solar development.”
Chile has a population of more than 17 million. According to Wikipedia, its electricity generation sector relies mainly on hydro-electric power (33% of installed capacity as of May, 2012), oil (13%), gas (30%) and coal (20%). Much of its fossil fuel is imported.
The nation’s newly elected president, Michelle Bachelet, this week announced a proposed carbon tax. Under the proposal, thermal power plants with a generation capacity of at least 50 megawatts will pay a tax of $5 per metric tonne of carbon dioxide emitted. The carbon tax would be the first to be implemented in South America.
Falklands a NATO nuclear base: Argentina SMH, April 3, 2014 Buenos Aires: Argentine President Cristina Kirchner has claimed that the Falkland Islands serve as a nuclear base for the NATO alliance in the South Atlantic.
Federal police blocked access Friday to hospital where the six were held
Mexico Police Block Hospital Where 6 May Have Radiation Exposure In Wake Of Theft HUFFINGTON POST, By ADRIANA GOMEZ LICON and E. EDUARDO CASTILLO 12/06/13 06:MEXICO CITY (AP) — Six people being tested for possible radiation exposure in a hospital in central Mexico are suspects in the theft of highly radioactive cobalt-60, a government official said Friday.
The official said the six were arrested Thursday and taken to the general hospital in Pachuca for observation and testing for radiation exposure.Once they are cleared, they will be turned over to federal authorities in connection with the case of a cargo truck stolen Monday at gunpoint that was carrying the extremely dangerous material.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. He did not specify how the six were allegedly involved in the theft.
Hidalgo state Health Minister Pedro Luis Noble said Friday that the six suffered from skin irritations and dizziness, but that none are in grave condition and may be released soon. Only one was vomiting, a sign of radiation poisoning……..
The atomic energy agency said the cobalt has an activity of 3,000 curies, or Category 1, meaning “it would probably be fatal to be close to this amount of unshielded radioactive material for a period in the range of a few minutes to an hour.”
But Mexican officials said that the thieves seemed to have targeted the cargo truck with moveable platform and crane, and likely didn’t know about the dangerous cargo. The government official would not give details or location of Thursday’s arrest nor names or ages of the suspects…….
The material was from obsolete radiation therapy equipment at a hospital in the northern city of Tijuana and was being transported to nuclear waste facility in the state of Mexico, which borders Mexico City.
Authorities maintained a 500-meter (yard) cordon around the site where the cobalt-60 still remains in the state of Mexico and continued to work Friday to extract it safely, said Juan Eibenschutz, director general of Mexico’s National Commission of Nuclear Safety and Safeguards.
“It’s quite an operation and it is in the process of being planned,” he said. “It’s highly radioactive, so you cannot just go over and pick it up. It’s going to take a while to pick it up.”
Federal police blocked access Friday to hospital where the six were held. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/06/mexico-hospital-blocked-radiation_n_4399922.html
Winds of Change: Nicaragua’s renewable energy revolution By Tim Rogers / Nicaragua Dispatch November 3, 2013 Nicaragua remains one of the most attractive countries in Latin America for investment in renewable energies, according to “Climatescope 2013,” an annual report and index measuring the ability of 26 nations to foster low-carbon energy growth.
The report, produced by the Inter-American Development Bank and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, ranks Nicaragua third in the region––and first in Central America––for its “high penetration of renewable energies in the country’s energy matrix and the important influx of investment (in renewable energies) in proportion to the small size of its economy.” Nicaragua, which ranked second to Brazil in last year’s inaugural report, ceded the number two spot to Chile in this year’s index, but continued to show its potential to compete with larger economies in the region.
According to the Climatescope 2013, Nicaragua’s installed capacity for renewable energies reached 36% last year, up from around 30% the year before. Nicaragua’s Ministry of Energy and Mines says that percentage has since grown to around 52% in 2013, meaning most of the country’s energy is now provided by renewable sources (compared to only 20% six years ago). Nicaragua last year attracted $292 million investment in additional renewable energy production, as the country seeks to shift its energy matrix to 92% renewable by 2016…….. http://www.nicaraguadispatch.com/news/2013/11/nicaragua-ranks-third-in-region-for-renewable-energy-market/8309
Sep. 19, 2013 North and South America Renewable Energy Policy Handbook 2013 report presents an in-depth analysis of the renewable energy policies across the major countries in North and South America namely the US, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. The report provides the current and future renewable energy targets and plans along with the present policy framework, giving a fair idea of overall growth potential of their renewable energy industry.
The report also provides major technology specific policies and incentives provided in each of these countries. The report also provides insights to major policy initiatives for the market development of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, biopower and biofuels. The report ( http://www.reportsnreports.com/reports/268267-north-and-south-america-renewable-energy-policy-handbook-2013.html ) is built using data and information sourced from industry associations, government websites and statutory bodies. The information is also sourced through other secondary research sources such as industry and trade magazines.
Table of Contents for the report North and South America Renewable Energy Policy Handbook 2013 include: Continue reading
Brazil will probably scale down its plans for new nuclear plants due to safety concerns following the 2011 radiation leak in Japan and pick up some of the slack with a “revolution” in wind power, the head of the government’s energy planning agency said.
Concrete Crypt for Communist Dreams: Cuba’s Unfinished Nuclear Power Plant http://www.slate.com/blogs/atlas_obscura/2013/09/11/the_unfinished_cuban_nuclear_power_plant_abandoned_when_the_ussr_collapsed.html By Atlas Obscura, Sept. 11, 2013 In 1976, Communist companions Cuba and the Soviet Union signed a deal to build a nuclear power plant in Juraqua. Construction on the first of two nuclear reactors began in 1983 with a target operational date of 1993. But a few years before the reactor’s scheduled completion, the USSR collapsed. The flow of crucial Soviet funds ceased, 300 Russian technicians went home, and Cuba was forced to suspend construction on its badly needed power plant.
Lacking nuclear fuel and without the primary components installed, the plant sat in limbo until December 2000, when Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit to Cuba. Putin offered Fidel Castro a belated $800 million to finish the first reactor. Despite Cuba’s reliance on imported oil for power, Castro declined. Project status: officially abandoned.
The unfinished plant, a huge, domed concrete structure, sits on the Caribbean coast, across the bay from the city of Cienfuegos.
Peru to Provide Free Solar Power to its 2 Million Poorest Citizens http://inhabitat.com/peru-solar-power-program-aims-to-give-electricity-to-the-countrys-2-million-poorest-citizens/ by Timon Singh, 07/16/13 The country of Peru is looking to provide free electricity to over 2 million of its poorest citizens by harvesting energy from the sun. Energy and Mining Minister Jorge Merino said that the National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program will provide electricity to poor households through the installation of photovoltaic panels.
The first part of the program aims to provide solar systems to 500,000 extremely poor households in areas that lack even basic access to the power grid. Unsurprisingly, it is a massive opportunity for domestic solar installers, and Merino has said that bidding for the contract will open later this year to fix the rest of the panels.
The project was first started in Contumaza, a province in the northeastern region of Cajamarca, where 1,601 solar panels were installed. The energy minister has said that when the project is finished, the scheme will allow 95% of Peru to have access to electricity by the end of 2016.
Speaking to the Latin America Herald Tribune, Merino said: “This program is aimed at the poorest people, those who lack access to electric lighting and still use oil lamps, spending their own resources to pay for fuels that harm their health.”
If Peru can do this for its people, it makes you wonder why more prosperous countries can’t do the same. Peru to Provide Free Solar Power to its 2 Million Poorest Citizens | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building
Edward Snowden offered asylum by Venezuelan president Reuters in Caracas guardian.co.uk, 6 July 2013 Nicolás Maduro says whistleblower has ‘told the truth in spirit of rebellion’, while Nicaragua also weighs asylum offer Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro said on Friday he had decided to offer asylum to former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who has petitioned several countries to avoid capture by Washington.
“In the name of America’s dignity … I have decided to offer humanitarian asylum to Edward Snowden,” Maduro told a televised military parade marking Venezuela‘s independence day.
The 30-year-old former National Security Agency contractor is believed to be holed up in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo international airport.
WikiLeaks said on Friday that Snowden had applied to six more nations for asylum, bringing to about 20 the number of countries he has asked for protection from US espionage charges.
Maduro said Venezuela was ready to offer him sanctuary, and that the details Snowden had revealed of a US spy program had exposed the nefarious schemes of the US “empire”.
“He has told the truth, in the spirit of rebellion, about the US spying on the whole world,” Maduro said.
“Who is the guilty one? A young man … who denounces war plans, or the US government which launches bombs and arms the terrorist Syrian opposition against the people and legitimate president Bashar al-Assad?”
“Who is the terrorist? Who is the global delinquent?”…….
Earlier on Friday, Nicaragua said it had received an asylum request from Snowden and could accept the bid “if circumstances permit”, president Daniel Ortega said.
“We are an open country, respectful of the right of asylum, and it’s clear that if circumstances permit, we would gladly receive Snowden and give him asylum in Nicaragua,” Ortega said during a speech in the Nicaraguan capital, Managua…….http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/06/edward-snowden-venezuela-asylum
In Renewable Energy in Rural Markets Project (PERMER)’s proposed scheme, photovoltaic or wind system are installed
for the user, who then pays for its operation and maintenance
dependent on their means.
”People have adapted well to technology and began to ask for solar panels instead of electricity lines,”
there [ the province of Entre Riosall] the rural schools and nearly 2,000 homes have solar panels.The impact is rewarding.
Renewable energy brings power to the rural corners of Argentina
Cooking, heating water, or the house during
winter, reading, listening to the radio, charging your phone, using
the computer, watching TV — most people take these activities for
granted in the 21st century, but for thousands of inhabitants in
Argentina’s remote rural communities without electricity it is a
challenge. Nearly 150,000 homes still do not have this basic service,
most of them in the northern part of the country.
Since 1999, the Renewable Energy in Rural Markets Project (PERMER) has
aimed to put an end to this situation. Supported by the World Bank and
the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the initiative connects homes
and schools to clean energy sources such as solar panels and
So far, around 25,000 residential customers and nearly 2,000 schools
have been reached, and 300 solar thermal stoves, furnaces and water
heaters have been installed. Also 2,000 users in small, isolated
communities have benefited from small power systems (generation and
distribution networks). The project has also included almost 400
public buildings, such as health centers, community centers, as well
as Gendarmerie (Police force) and National Parks Administration’s
stations. Continue reading
Uruguay set to become world leader in wind power
South American nation plans to produce 90 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015
BusinessGreen 07 Jan 2013
Uruguay has set its sights on becoming one of the world’s leading wind power producers as part of plans to produce 90 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015.
Electricity generated from wind is expected to make up 30 per cent of the South American nation’s total mix, with hydropower contributing 45 per cent, and biomass 15 per cent, according to reports from SmartPlanet.
This would put Uruguay ahead of current renewable energy leader Denmark, which gets 26 per cent of its electrical generation from wind.
While Uruguay has a number of hydro power plants, these tend to shut down in dry periods, forcing the country to purchase electricity from Argentina at up to $400per megawatt hour (MWh). The government hopes installing wind farms could provide a more secure source of energy and drop electricity prices to around $64/MWh, well under the current price of $90/MWh…..
Wind farms set record low generation prices, SMH, December 16, 2012 Four energy developers agreed to sell power from 10 proposed wind farms in Brazil at the cheapest rates ever.
Enerfin Sociedad de Energia SA, Renova Energia SA, EGP- Serra Azul and Bioenergy Geradora de Energia Ltda. won contracts to sell electricity to distributors for an average price of 87.94 reais ($41) a megawatt-hour, Brazil’s national energy agency Empresa de Pesquisa Energetica said in an e-mail yesterday. (Australian wholesale prices are about $50 per megawatt-hour, including the $23 carbon tax per tonne.)
“This is definitely the cheapest wind energy in the world,” Maria Gabriela da Rocha Oliveira, a Sao Paulo-based analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in a telephone interview. It’s 12 per cent lower than the August 2011 auction that yielded an average price of 99.58 reais a megawatt-hour. That was the lowest price in the world for wind power then and the least expensive power in Brazil, beating natural gas and hydroelectricity….. http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/wind-farms-set-record-low-generation-prices-20121216-2bh4z.html#ixzz2FLfka1Ga
2004 Study: Two of Brazil’s High Background Radiation Areas Have Higher Cancer Mortality Via : http://ex-skf.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/2004-study-two-of-brazils-high.html quote: APRIL 14, 2012
I have been told numerous times that “People in naturally high background radiation areas in the world suffer no ill effect from the high radiation.” I just stumbled upon one study in 2004 on such areas in Brazil.
Conclusion of this particular study: Cancer mortality in “Poços de Caldas, and Guarapari is higher than would be expected for their respective reference population”, whereas “cancer mortality for the Araxá population is lower than would be expected”.
International Congress Series
Volume 1276, Pages 3-468 (February 2005)
High Levels of Natural Radiation and Radon Areas: Radiation Dose and Health Effects, Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on High Levels of Natural Radiation and Radon Areas, Osaka, Japan
6–10 September 2004… http://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/2004-study-two-of-brazils-high-background-radiation-areas-have-higher-cancer-mortality/
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