nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Pot pourri of the week’s nuclear and climate news

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Climate change adds to nuclear danger, bringing Doomsday Clock closer to midnight.

Nuclear fusion - far too costly, even if they could get it to work

Marshall Islands’ case against nuclear powers unfolds at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

India:Details remain vague on nuclear deal between Obama and Narendra Modi . USA persuades India to weaken its nuclear liability law – double standards here . Nuclear risks now covered by India’s government  and Weapons proliferation standards weakened .

 USA: Efforts to reform its dysfunctional nuclear weapons complex are just not good enough.  Conflicts of intereston Congressional Advisory Panel on the Governance of the Nuclear Security Enterprise.   USA’s nuclear utilities want ratepayers to cough up for uneconomic nuclear power plants.  Florida lawmaker wants repeal of laws allowing  nuclear power companies to get “advance money” from customers.

Cyber warfare now the goal of USA’s National Security Agency (NSA) New Edward Snowden Files Reveal Scope of NSA Plans for Cyberwarfare

Americans embracing rooftop solar : it makes sense economically

UK:    £3bn to be spent on massive Trident nuclear weapons project, without  Parliament being consulted .     tax-payer landed with the astronomic costs of Sellafield nuclear facility. Government secrecy about China’s involvement in the new £24bn Hinkley nuclear power plant.  British tax-payers to buy into the French-led new Hinkley Pointnuclear power plant consortium

In Scotland, renewable energy beats nuclear power

Iran: US Republicans out to destroy nuclear talks. Rouhani’s and Obama’s difficult path to a compromise

France: freedom of speech threatened by AREVA

Japan: Nuclear watchdog approves release into sea of groundwater near Fukushima reactors. Fukushima radioactive water clean-up is 2 months behind schedule .  Fatal accidents cause TEPCO to suspend decommissioning at Fukushima No. 1 power plant. Japanese government for now gives up its plan to begin transporting radioactive wastes tointerim storage sites

Canada’s record breaking wind energy results

January 26, 2015 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

This anti-nuclear website seems to be closed to some viewers, and not to others

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Mysteriouser and mysteriouser

I can’t see this website myself –  I am told by WordPress that it is suspended “due to violation of terms of service” –  but they have not warned me, or told me what this supposed violation actually is!

 

Mystery solved  – Jan 24

It seems that this website was hacked.  Some attention to security , and voila – all works again!

January 23, 2015 Posted by | Christina's notes | 3 Comments

The week in nuclear and climate news

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Climate Change.

Media.  Anti nuclear allies: the terrorist victims  – cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo.    Journalists’ self-censorship – avoiding hard topics for fear of government surveillance

Militarism. Gorbachev Says NATO Expansion Into Ukraine Could Ignite Nuclear War.  The nuclear dangers in Ukraine energy wars - don’t miss the full article!

Japan Nuclear policy: the big divide in Japanese society. Fukushima: Environmental problems remain after the Fukushima nuclear disaster  Pacific Ocean research. Fukushima fallout has a distinctive “fingerprint”

Iran. Rouhani’s and Obama’s difficult path towards a nuclear compromise.

UK: The Sellafield mess

USA Nuclear industry braces for an even tougher year in 2015.  Entergy can’t afford, for decades, to dismantle Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant. USA’s nuclear industry’s future in doubt – as shown in the costs of Exelon’s New York reactor

Renewable energy: New resource for renewable energy information – REsource, from IRENA.  Wind power record set by Denmark as it heads towards fossil-free goal

January 14, 2015 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Renewable energy making the news now, as the nuclear industry stumbles

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

I feel that I should be apologising to readers. This site is supposed to be all about nuclear news. But today I put up no less than 8 news posts about renewable energy. And, believe me, there were plenty more available..

The problem is –  renewable energy is where it is all happening  –  Scotland, Egypt, Pakistan, USA, China – with advancing technologyy, feed-in tariffs, grid connection to decentralised solar power – etc. (Not happening in my country – Australia – but that’s because we have a complete dickhead for a Prime Minister, and he’ll soon be kicked out)

I’d love to put up more news posts about nuclear power, rather than mainly opinion posts.  Especially about those silly little mini reactors they keep hyping about. But they are just not happening, the Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) are all hype, but no action..

As Japan struggles to get the big nuclear restart happening, and as UK goes  a bit silent on its very troubled Hinkley nuclear project, and USA nukes go broke – we wait for the next episode in the world’s sorry nuclear saga – and not very good prospects for the industry in 2015

January 7, 2015 Posted by | Christina's notes | 3 Comments

The year when some real action might happen on climate change

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

However much people can achieve through individual action, in 2015 it’s a critical time for public action. In December, world leaders meet again to make a plan for climate change action.

At the same time, the failing nuclear industry is making its last, and most dangerous stand, as the nuclear lobby portrays itself as the cure for global warming. Sometimes this pitch is subtly put, touting nuclear and renewable energy as both “part of the mix”. Whether subtly or blatantly, the nuclear lobby’s agenda includes stopping the development of renewable energy and of energy efficiency.

Pope Francis has come out loud and strong for climate action. And he’s going to be there at the December Summit. (A bit awkward for that devout Australian Catholic, Tony Abbott?) Sir David Attenborough warned world leaders to stop their ignoring and/or  denial of climate change

USA. The latest shutdown, of the Vermont Yankee nuclear facility, is having its impact across the whole American nuclear industry.  USA is really in  a mess here. Because the government is legally bound to provide a permanent nuclear waste dump, and has not done so, nuclear companies like Vermont Yankee’s Entergy Wholesale Commodities can go ahead andsue the government. As always, in matters nuclear, it’s the tax-payers who cop the bill.

At the same time, this sorry mess, plus the low costs of oil, gas, and renewables makes investors very averse to the nuclear industry.

Diplomacy. USA and Iran make  a tentative agreement on advance of the next round of nuclear talks. Success in these world talks would be a great step forward for global peace. Equally important would be a renewed nuclear arms control agreement between America and Russia. India and Pakistan exchange lists  of their nuclear facilities.

Despite those positive trends – there remains the problem of increasing nuclear weaponry -NATO , USA ,  China , India  ,Russia,

Renewable energy  - going ahead in leaps and bounds – Germany – 25% of its electricity production in Nov 14. Big companies investing in renewables – Norway’s Statkraft  and big multinational corporations

January 3, 2015 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Money is not the only self-seeking motive for promoting nuclear power

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Capt D has pointed out how political leaders can become beholden to the nuclear lobby . So, indeed, can academics who are paid for pro nuclear views and research. So, of course, many writers are already benefiting financially from promoting nuclear power.

But it’s not that simple, especially in Australia.  There are other motivations – such as being seen as important, as  a leader, even if there is not, at present, any financial gain from promoting the nuclear industry.  For example, I’m pretty sure that Barry Brook gains no financial return from the industry, for his extensive pro nuclear lobbying.  But he does gain the importance of being almost certainly the only Australian climate scientist who devotes himself to the nuclear cause. Definitely a leader - of sorts!

Then there are the academic and other sheepies – who note all this pro nuclear stuff, and, without much scrutiny of the full issue, decide to go on the “nuclear fixes climate change” bandwagon.  After all, the trend is for scientists to be concerned about climate change (and rightly so – plenty of evidence there). So they now seem to adopt the (much more dubious) trend that nuclear power is the cure for climate change.

cool-people

 

Then there are the thorium nuclear wannabees – who like to enthusiastically jump on a new bandwagon  – be part of the “latest” gee-whiz thing – again , that’s a motive that need not involve financial gain – but does involve some sort of glory by association with the new thorium nuclear companies.

 

December 27, 2014 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Snippets: Nuclear and Climate News

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Conferences: Vienna Conference on Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.  Lima Climate Summit drags on, with rich countries reluctant to help poor.  USA delegate Adam Scheinman at Vienna used bullying tactics to oppose a nuclear weapons ban treaty

USA. Govt’s Department of Energy to give $12.5 billion Nuclear Loan Guarantee  to get new nuclear power projects going. USA resists tightening international safety rules on nuclear reactors.  No utility executive could propose a nuclear reactor ”in good conscience”says  industry executive

UK . Radioactive waste storage ponds in a shocking state of neglect at the UK’s Sellafield nuclear facility. Anglesey Council worried about lack of information on planned Wylfa Newydd power plant plant

Japan. As election day approaches, Japan’s communities deeply divided over the plan to restart nuclear power.

France. Potential for drones to carry explosive devices over nuclear reactors – not detectable by current security monitoring.

Pacific Ocean is still the sewer for the nuclear industry’s wastes

Renewable energy. Wind power success in UK, especially Scotland.  Malaysia now a world leader in producing solar energy equipment.  1,000 MW of renewable energy contracts for South Africa

Research. Study into effects of chronic exposure to radiation in food: Chernobyl wolves as an example

Nuclear lobbyists. One example of their dodgy statements – Wade Allison. 

December 13, 2014 Posted by | Christina's notes | 1 Comment

The week that was – in climate and nuclear news

 

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Climate Change.  2014 heading to be the hottest year on record.   Climate change brings threat of sea level riseto nuclear power facilities.   Energy efficiency  is claimed to be the most effective method of tackling climate change.

Uranium spot price plummets as buyers exit market.  Nuclear power’s future gets gloomier

Iran.  Nuclear talks with Iran extended for another 7 months

Fire shuts down Belgian nuclear reactor.

British jihadi claims that the Islamic State has a ‘dirty bomb’

USA. Illness and two deaths among sailors exposed to Fukushima radiation.  Deeper problems underlie the serious errors at America’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).   Indian Point Nuclear Complex’s  nuclear spent fuel problem increases.    Nuclear power plant Vogtle in Georgia – more delays

China. Nuclear power investment in China might not be such a good deal.  China’s very rapid renewable energy growth- IRENA reports

UK.  Nuclear power outdone by renewable energy in Scotland.  Spiralling costs of Britain’s Project Pegasus nuclear plant. UK government extends its  Government Security Classifications (GSC), that apply to Sellafield and other nuclear facilities.  Doubts grow in UK government about the future of the Hinkley Point Nuclear Plant, as its costs soar, and as renewable energy spreads across Europe, and becomes cheaper.

France:  IAEA tells France to smarten up on nuclear power safety

Japan.  Nuclear power company Kepco aims to keep reactors going way beyond their present license limit

December 2, 2014 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

The week in nuclear news

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Japan disrupted by a large earthquake.with shocks near Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, with its 7 reactors, now still offline. TEPCO gives up on freezing radioactive water –   fails to halt toxic water inflow at Fukushima No. 1 trenches. Japan passes legislation to remove nuclear waste from Fukushima – but implementation will be very problematic.  Japan’s Nuclear Regulator says earthquake fault under Tsuruga nuclear reactor is active.

UK.  Top atomic energy proponent, Sir David King, calls for  renewable energy and energy storage as priority,suggests these as a better future energy source.  Shareholder crisis brings more doubts about UK’s Hinkley Point C nuclear plant’s future. UK government secretly questioning whether Hinkley Point C nuclear power project will even go ahead at all.  Delay after delay , and soaring coasts, for Britain’s new nuclear build plans. Demonstrations against transport of nuclear fuel   The nuclear weapons establishment buys academia

Iran. The tortuous, but very urgent diplomacy of reaching  a nuclear deal with Iran. 

USA. Legal action by Washington State over Hanford nuclear site vapors.  Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s chief warns that Commission is not geared for needs of decommissioning.  Nuclear power promoter Dept of Energy (DOE)  to run research into health effects of radiation?

France. Drone flights near France’s nuclear reactors raise security problems . In gloomy economic situation nuclear giant AREVA “suspends” its financial outlook for 2015 and 2016.     2015 the deadline  for EDF to start closing nuclear reactors in France. EDF’s nuclear power plants Flamanville and Olkiluoto delayed yet again.

CanadaNorthern Quebec Cree Nation run  a determined campaign against uranium exploration and mining.

Cyber security. Pro nuclear trolls are targeting anti-nuclear activists 

November 24, 2014 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

This week – G20, Climate, Nuclear News

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Legal matters.  Judge rules nuclear reactors causing thyroid cancers    Judge adds General Electric, EBASCO, Toshiba and Hitachi as defendants in nuclear radiation case

Fukushima: Japan has chosen to incinerate tons of radioactive waste.  TEPCO removes second canopy panel covering nuclear reactor.  Fukushima radioactivity detected of West Coast of USA.  New book Fukushima: Dispossession or Denuclearization?

Germany Anti-nuclear activists held up a train carrying uranium for conversion to nuclear fuel, and organise an international  meeting to oppose  uranium transport hosted by SOFA Münster.

Syria. Five nuclear engineers murdered – by Israel?

France. Mysterious drone flights still going on above nuclear power plants.

Iran nuclear talks struggle on – may continue beyond the deadline of November 24 . Meanwhile Russia ramps up its nuclear marketing pitch to Iran.

South Africa.  China joins the throng trying to flog off nuclear reactors to South Africa. South Africa’s nuclear dealskept secret from Cabinet and Treasury!

Bolivia. 56 prominent individuals across the globe write to oppose nuclear energy for Bolivia

USA. weakens environmental radiation safety standards.  Tax-payer money invested in dodgy new nuclear gimmick ,Power Reactor Innovative Small Module (PRISM)   Note how these days they leave out that nasty word “nuclear”.Renewable energy threatened as  Republicans take over in the Senate   Thorium – no prospects as an energy source, but China might use it for weapons

UK. Raised incidence of cancers and birth defects in families of British veterans of nuclear bomb tests

 

November 12, 2014 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Snippets of nuclear news this week

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Radiation – new report on danger to young people in risk of brain tumours and leukemia. Aggressive Thyroid Cancers also linked to Radiation Exposure

Japan. Completion of Rokkasho nuclear fuel reprocessing plant postponed for the 21st time due to safety considerations. radioactive cesium detected in pregnant woman in Matsudo city.  Japanese doctors intimidated about connecting cancers, illnesses to Fukushima radiation.

Fukushima clean-up. Removal of melted fuel from No 1 reactor postponed.  Groundwater level rising around the crippled nuclear reactors.

Taiwan wants ‘radiation-free’ certificates for tea and other foodstuffs from Japan.

China: Financial risks of China’s nuclear power programme are examined.

USA. Decommissioning of San Onofre nuclear power plant – a sobering example of the huge cost and time taken .  Nuclear power gets privileged status in US universities. In the interests of the nuclear industry, both USA and Russia try to block European nuclear  safety standards. 

UK: fears on the safety of Sellafield’s decaying nuclear fuel storage pools.  Nuclear thorium lobby buys its way into UK university.

France: numerous mystery flyovers of drone aircraft over nuclear power plants

November 4, 2014 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

USA’s nuclear lobby buys universities – Cambridge UK is the latest, touting thorium

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

The nuclear industry has a grip on USA’s Department of Energy (DOE) – they work together to promote nuclear power. It’s not hard to find academics who will pretty much advertise nuclear power- especially nuclear physicists and engineers. After all, where else will they get a high-paying prestigious job?

A global tactic of DOE is buying academia. Universities like the funding. We have some of this funding in Australia, at Flinders University, for example.

The latest from the UK is Cambridge University  – very happy indeed to be funded by USA to promote the pipe-dream of thorium nuclear powered reactors – as “safer nuclear power”.  Note that it’s not “safe” nuclear power – just a bit less dangerous than conventional uranium-powered nuclear power. And considerably more dangerous that wind or solar power, of course.

Thorium-pie-in-sky

 

 

http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Cambridge-University-team-fuels-bid-safer-nuclear/story-23659365-detail/story.html#ixzz3HZZfeTUX

October 29, 2014 Posted by | Christina's notes | 1 Comment

The week in nuclear news

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Japan. Authorities exercise tight control over public meetings held to persuade communities to back nuclear power.

Fukushima – Recent typhoon caused big increase in radioactive releases
USA . New nuclear build cannot go ahead without reactor licenses, which must comply with Atomic Energy Act. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s new Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) is not likely to meet the requirements of the Act, in relation to waste disposal. New legal action can be expected, to contest the GEIS.
Federal judge upholds the ban on uranium mining near the Grand Canyon.
New book by Julian Assange  When Google Met WikiLeaks examines Google’s role in USA ‘s surveillance operations.
UK – approval from EU for UK’s Hinkley nuclear project is not well received by economists, as well as by environmentalists. The Hinkley project is by no means a done deal.
Anniversary of Windscale nuclear accident last week. Information on this accident now declassified.
Radioactive waste transport ship catches fire. drifts off course – oil rig crew evacuated.
New book  The Prostitute State – How Britain’s Democracy Has Been Bought describes how the nuclear industry hasbought Britain’s politicians
Canada’s Nuclear Safety Commission orders potassium iodide tablets and emergency instructions to be given to all residents in the range of eight to 16 kilometres of a nuclear power plant, and pills ready for an 80-kilometre zone kept at nuclear plants.
South Africasecret deals with nuclear industries of Russia and France have got the government into a political mess.
South Korea –  City of Samcheok votes NO to nuclear power
Czech Republic US-Japanese company Westinghouse Electric Company pretty desperate to sell nuclear reactors, is adopting thenuke lobby’s new strategy of financing the purchase. Westinghouse pays now, the nation pays up forever afterwards.
Iran. With all that’s going on in the Middle East, the need for reconciliation with Iran is now urgent

October 13, 2014 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

In brief: Nuclear and Climate News

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Climate Change. The People’s Climate March in New York, and in cities world-wide was a huge success. Political leaders also gathered at UN for the climate Change meeting.  BUT – a note of caution. The very powerful nuclear lobbyimmediately  used mainstream media to push nuclear as the climate solution. And – worse – President Obama’s proposed carbon rules count nuclear power as a clean, low-carbon energy option, and include subsidies, incentives and financial backstops for nuclear power.

Big businesses are becoming aware of the need for climate action. Rockefellers are dumping oil and investing in renewables.  Still the Koch brothers use their massive wealth against climate action, and the fossil fuel utilities fight back, with successful lobbying.

Japan. It‘s doubtful that Japan’s nuclear reactors will ever restart.

Fukushima. Secrecy and poor working conditions in the nuclear plant cleanup.  TEPCO dumps their failed plan for an ice wall to contain radiation. The radioactive waste problem in the prefecture persists, clean-up  is slow and very expensive.

USA. Obama raises the permissable levels of radiation in drinking water!  Is USA again using depleted uranium weapons in Middle East?

Russia  – with the Ukraine crisis, things are getting messy in regard to Russia’s nuclear export business in Europe.

Finland. doing a murky deal with Russia’s nuclear corporation Rosatom – secret, full of problems, and may never be completed.

South Africa. Lots of problems in the government’s secret nuclear deal with Russia.

New book. Crisis Without End , Much awaited report  from the 2013 New York Symposium The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe

September 29, 2014 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Nuke news this week

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Japan.  the Nuclear Regulatory Agency is standing firm on the need to close the  Tsuruga nuclear reactor that is sited above an active earthquake fault. They are also pushing to permanently close a quarter of Japan’s 48 ageing nuclear reactors. Meanwhile, Japan is reluctant to sign up a nuclear technology deal with India,as there is no certainty that India will not use this to make weapons.  Another pesky woman speaking up when she shouldn’t? Akie Abe, wife of P.M, has once again politely voiced her opposition to nuclear power.

Russia. In the heat of the Ukraine conflict, one Russian general is pushing for Russia to adopt a pre-emptive nuclear strike policy. (America already has that policy)

Ukraine. Well, at the moment there’s a pause in conflict between separatists and Ukraine government. It is on the cards that peace will break out. For one thing, war is  just too damn dangerous: Ukraine has 15 nuclear reactors, including Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. Imagine the radioactive pollution of Europe that would result if rockets or bombs happened to hit Ukraine’s nukes!

Planet Earth.  I have got tired of concentrating on the nuclear issue. It’s just one symptom, the worst though, of the human specie’s trashing of the planet. Geologists are saying that we are in a new Epoch – the Anthropocene Age. We have indeed changed the planet, and we’d better do something about it, before the human species joins the mass of other extinctions that it has caused.

September 7, 2014 Posted by | Christina's notes | 2 Comments

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