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
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
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!
- in 2015 Pope Francis is to be a formidable force in the battle against climate change.
- Ban Ki Moon – We are the last generation that can fight climate change.
- Only in America! : USA Senate to vote on whether or not Climate Change is real!
- USA Congress and Senate to be dominated by Anti-Science Climate Denialists. Ultra religious climate change denialist to run US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
- Climate Change statements and promises from world leaders – all smoke and mirrors
- USA’s most ambitious renewable energy target proposed by California’s Governor, Jerry Brown
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
- Amec, Areva and URS stripped of £20bn clean-up contract.
- 80 miles from Sellafield nuclear facility, radiation is found in food.
- Sorry history and present danger of Sellafield’s ‘Legacy” radioactive wastes
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Canada. Northern Quebec Cree Nation run a determined campaign against uranium exploration and mining.
Cyber security. Pro nuclear trolls are targeting anti-nuclear activists
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?
Syria. Five nuclear engineers murdered – by Israel?
France. Mysterious drone flights still going on above nuclear power plants.
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
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.
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.
France: numerous mystery flyovers of drone aircraft over nuclear power plants
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.
Japan. Authorities exercise tight control over public meetings held to persuade communities to back nuclear power.
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.
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
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.
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