Confusion is the word. The nuclear lobby is surely very pleased with extremist statements about Fukushima radiation, and supposed explosions, that have been publicised on some alternative media sites.
While governments, corporations and mainstream media praise nuclear power, and omit the bad news, the alternative media tries, and at times fails, to supply the truth. Those of us who run news websites have to be vigilant in doing our best to check stories. In this, the mainstream media has the advantage of employing “fact checkers”.
Let’s not forget. Fukushima nuclear radiation is still dangerous, is still being emitted, and the wrecked reactors are still perilous. And, let’s not forget the very real problems of safety and radioactive wastes.
Japan: New Secrecy Laws cause anxiety about civil liberties and press freedom .Fukushima. Big increase of radiation in groundwater at No reactor. Cancer incidence increasing in Fukushima children. Japanese govt to select places for nuclear waste permanent dump
UK: new Hinkley nuclear reactor to cost around £17bn – more than the plant itself, and govt subsidy now being investigated by European Union as illegal.
France: French nuclear watchdog calls for a halt in work on the gigantic Flamanville nuclear reactor, due to safety problems.
Nuclear industry market - future is not looking too good. The World Bank is investing in renewable energy, but definitely will not invest in nuclear energy. Warren Buffett’s going strongly for renewable energy. Goldman Sachs gets out of the uranium market.
Getting ready for Christmas - trashy useless gifts to help trash the planet.
Fukushima is really the only story this week. Many commentators have expressed anxiety, as TEPCO is now proceeding to remove the 1500 assemblies of nuclear fuel rods from the pool above Reactor No 4. Each worker can stay no longer than 2 hours at the site. Later, the same dangerous removal must be done for the other reactors on site taking some 40 years. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7g-IItX2QM With all the worry and anger about mismanagement at the site, we might spare a thought for these workers. As well as the radiation hazard, there will be the constant risk of any slip that would bring about a nuclear catastrophe of unimaginable proportions.
UK. The saga of Britain’s exorbitantly expensive new nuclear project goes on. Now South Korea, – notorious for the corruption scandals in its nuclear industry – is moving to join China and France in setting up Britain’s nuclear reactors
USA - Kentucky – Tornado hits nuclear facility – Uranium enrichment building damaged — Parts of cooling towers destroyed — Alert declared for ‘emergency condition’
This week the Murdoch Press further glorified nuclear power by publishing a rave review of the filmic nuclear advertisement “Pandora’s Promise”. They used the dishonest argument that “environmentalists really favour nuclear power but are afraid to speak out”. So they imply that there’s some sort of “environmental mafia”?
However – as to that filmic ad – there are indeed many reviews that show Pandora’s Propaganda up in its true light.
Robert Stone and “Pandora’s Promise”http://noelwauchope.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/robert-stone-and-pandoras-promise/
Beyond Nuclear: Pandora’s False Promises Download 38-page report here: http://charlottesierraclub.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/aug23_2013_pandoras-false-promises.pdf Pandora’s Promise, is a new pro-nuclear propaganda documentary released theatrically in the US in July 2013. It is funded in part by individuals with a vested interest in seeing the development of new reactors and is seemingly a vehicle by which to raise the profile of the anti-environmental Oakland think tank, The Breakthrough Institute, whose personnel feature prominently in the film. Despite the film’s premise and early claim that it features “a growing number of leading former anti-nuclear activists” who now support nuclear energy, no one in the film ever led the anti-nuclear movement. Nor was any credible, independent scientific or medical professional with expertise in the areas covered in the film consulted or featured. Beyond Nuclear has bird-dogged the film from the beginning, and has produced numerous critiques. We have also published a definitive report - Pandora’s False Promises: Busting the pro-nuclear propaganda - and a two-page synopsis. These documents address virtually all of the myths, lies and omissions typically found in pro-nuclear rhetoric and are intended to address these long after Pandora’s Promise fades into deserved oblivion.
Download the 2-page synopsis at: http://www.beyondnuclear.org/storage/pandoras-false-promises/Pandora_Two-Pager_Handout_July2013.pdf
Download 38-page report Pandora’s False Promises: Busting the pro-nuclear propaganda at:
Analysis: ‘Pandora’s Promise’ one-sided Anderson Cooper gets reaction to the CNN Films special “Pandora’s Promise” and talks with the director. http://edition.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/bestoftv/2013/11/08/ac-later-pandoras-promise-reaction-one-sided.cnn.html More commentary & film excerpts available here: http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/world/cnn-films-pandoras-promise/index.html?iid=article_sidebar
Scientist: Film hypes the promise of advanced nuclear technology Editor’s note: Edwin Lyman, a physicist, is a senior scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington. For more of his critique of Pandora’s Promise, see his blog post, ”Movie Review: Put Pandora’s Promise Back in the Box.” http://edition.cnn.com/2013/11/07/opinion/lyman-nuclear-pandora/index.html
Sierra Club: Nuclear power irrelevant The director of “Pandora’s Promise,” Robert Stone, debates the merits of nuclear power with The Sierra Club’s Mike Brune. http://edition.cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2013/11/07/newday-pandora-promise-brune-stone-nuclear-debate.cnn&video_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fedition.cnn.com%2FSPECIALS%2Fworld%2Fcnn-films-pandoras-promise%2Findex.html%3Fiid%3Darticle_sidebar
Doncha get a bit sick of the nuclear lobby – bleating away about how renewable energy is not happening ? When in fact IT IS happening - faster, cheaper, cleaner than nuclear power !
Renewable Energy Generation Hits All Time Highs in Denmark andGermany .http://www.permaculture.co.uk/news/1511134008/renewable-energy-generation-hits-all-time-highs-denmark-and-germany
South African solar plant connects to the grid three months ahead of schedule, Renewable Energy Magazine, Robin Whitlock Friday, 15 November 2013 The 75MW Kalkbult solar plant will generate 135 million kilowatt hours per year and displace 115,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions A solar plant built by Scatech Solar in cooperation with local partners has become the first utility-scale renewable energy facility to supply electricity to South African public utility Eskom after connecting to the country’s electricity grid three months ahead of schedule.
Mena solar energy market gears for growth Most of demand expected to originate from Turkey and Saudi Arabia Gulf news, By Sarah Diaa, Staff Reporter November 15, 2013 Dubai: With an expected combined output of 10 gigawatts by 2017, the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) solar energy sector is gearing for significant growth, experts said…… http://gulfnews.com/business/general/mena-solar-energy-market-gears-for-growth-1.1255473
Renewables get big boost as 50MW solar plant to be built Ghana Web 15 Nov 13 . http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=292098
Philippines Typhoon Haiyan wrought havoc throughout the Philippines Philippines lead negotiator Yeb Sano has just addressed the opening session of the UN climate summit, calling for action on climate change, links global warming to typhoons. Luckily, the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was never fully activated.
Fukushima. Much apprehension as the time gets closer to the commencement of removing nuclear fuel rods from the unstable reactor No 4. Latest medical report: Fukushima children - 26 confirmed cases of thyroid cancer, 32 with suspicious biopsy results.
Nuclear industry and government officials focus on “fear” and “stress” as causes of illness among Fukushima residents, not radiation. This is part of the move to get the evacuees returned home. However, that return is becoming increasingly unlikely. Meanwhile the cost of the Fukushima cleanup soars – estimated to be $250 – $500 billion.
Cyberwarning. USA and Israel created the Stuxnet virus to damage Iran’s nuclear programme – but it has also infected Russia’s nuclear computers, and could affect nuclear reactors worldwide
Iran nuclear talks dragged on, but in a warmer diplomatic climate – “ Unfinished, but Alive”
Fukushima. Tepco’s plan was to start. on Friday 8th Nov the perilous removal of 1300 nuclear fuel rods from the cooling pool atop nuclear reactor No 4. Fraught with danger, any slip up could result in catastrophe, the evacuation of Tokyo, the virtually perm anent radioactive contamination of the region, and global consequences.. The building is tipping and sinking, due to the soggy ground from radioactive water leaks. The process will take over year. Highly radioactive – it needs to be done mechanically – too “hot” for human closeness. Should the rods touch each other, or should they crumble into a big enough pile, an explosion is possible.
The start date has now been delayed, as the government-linked Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization has demanded a test procedure be done first. The USA will help, but Japan must first sign an agreement that frees USA vendors from any liability from USA equipment, should an accident occur due to faulty USA equipment.
Nuclear costs – UK shows how they are too great.
European Union to consider mandatory disaster insurance for nuclear power plants.
United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) has just released publicly a statement that Infants and children can be more at risk than adults of developing cancers when exposed to radiation, for example from nuclear accidents, UNSCEAR said children and adults should be considered separately following exposure in order to predict risk more accurately. The full report was presented to the UN General Assembly. This is more important than it might at first sound, as it follows all that publiciity in May 2013, that UNSCEAR supposedly did not expect health harm from the Fukushima nuclear accident.
UK Government has finalised its deal with China, and EDF, for new untested nuclear reactors with a guaranteed price for these providers, of double the market price. The government has also already committed itself to providing financial guarantees of £10bn to cover the building of Hinkley Point, something not available to builders of solar or wind arrays. The European Union is studying this deal in view of the EU’s rules against subsidising new nuclear power. Even pro nuclear George Monbiot condemns the deal as a farce. and says of the nuclear waste problem”No one should commission a mess without a plan for clearing it up”
Japan. The Fukushima radiation leaks continue. All observers anxiously await the operation, planned for November, of removing the spent nuclear fuel rods from their precarious pool above reactor No 4. It will be a very dangerous and difficult task, with the potential for a radiation catastrophe. Meanwhile the Japanese government has drafted a new law about state secrets, which may inhibit press freedom, and allow for the gaoling of whistleblowers for up to 10 years.
Fukushima – record high levels of radiation in one area of a drainage ditch, following Typhoon Wipha 2 days ago.
UK: questions raised as the government approves Chinese investment in its nuclear project, effectively giving China control over UK’s new nuclear program.
World Health Organisation under fire from 3 former UN officials who claim that WHO’s latest, unsigned, very brief interim report on Iraq birth defects is based on inadequate research, and conflicts with previous, more detailed studies, that indicted a link with depleted uranium.
Renewable energy predicted to be the world’s major growth energy investment. Also Norway adds a boost as its new government looks to investing much of the Norwegian sovereign wealth fundinto renewable energy projects across the world.
This week I chanced upon a website that made me think, and reminded me that everything is inter-connected. The nuclear issue is just one part of the web of global social and environmental issues . This website is “Project New World: Let’s co-operate “ I think it originates in Germany – but anyway, it can be read in many languages, and it links up all sorts of issues.
This idea is timely, as now there’s an international group in gaol in Russia, for protesting against oil drilling in the Arctic. (Includes Ana Paula Alminhana Maciel (Brazil), Sini Saarela (Finland), Roman Dolgov (Russia), Tomaz Dziemianscuk (Poland), Faiza Oulahsen (Holland), Anthony Perrett (UK), Alexandra Harris (UK), Philip Ball (UK), Kieron Bryan (UK), Mannes Ubels (Holland), Camila Speziale (Argentina-Italy), Dima Litvinov (US-Sweden), an Australian, a New Zealander, a Ukranian crew member and a Russian crew member.) OK – it’s oil not nuclear. In fact, the Russians have dumped so much radioactive trash in the Arctic, that this drilling may well be very connected to nuclear trash..
In America, 83 year old Sister Megan Rice remains in a prison cell, awaiting what could be a 30 year sentence for her anti nuclear action.
The one bright spot is that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s wheels of process for re-licensing nuclear power plants have ground to a halt, along with much else, due to the USA government shut-down. Also, for Australia and others, it might be just that bit harder for the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership to get signed up, seeing that Obama has had to cancel his Asian visit.
In Australia, Robert Stone is showing his nuclear advertising film “Pandora’s Promise”, and getting mainstream media coverage, of course. In Melbourne, there will be a protest at the launching of the film. Cinema -goers will be handed leaflets explaining what the film carefully leaves out.
The nuclear advertising film ‘ Pandora’s Promise’ will be showing around Australia, and in Edinburgh and London in the next couple of weeks. It is largely funded by people from the pro nuclear Breakthrough Institute, including people like Bill Gates, who has his own nuclear power company Terra Power. It is directed by passionate nuclear enthusiast, Robert Stone, who does Q and A afterwards, and over-talks any critical questioners.
Weaknesses of this film include the way that it:
- mocks anti nuclear opinions as a bunch extremists and zealots. It makes no effort to portray any sensible opposing opinion.
- minimises the health effects of ionising radaiation with downright untruths, for instance, telling us only that Chernobyl killed 56 people. It leaves out that a United Nations World Health Organization agency predicts 16,000 more will die from Chernobyl cancers and that the European Environment Agency estimates 34,000 more. It omits that non-fatal thyroid cancer struck another 6,000, mostly children
- does not mention the crippling economics that is now closing nuclear plants in USA (Florida, Wisconsin and California), nor the imperative for tax-payer subsidy
- does not mention insurance: the nuclear industry, alone among industries is exempt from risk through USA’s Price Anderson Act, as well as every home owner’s insurance policy stating that this policy does not compensate you for any radiation damage from a nuclear power plant.
- avoids the economics of Small Nuclear reactors (SMRs) Even under the best of circumstances, there will be no SMR prototype for as long as a decade or more. There are serious questions over the economics of mass producing these, over their safety, and the huge costs of maintaining security over thousands of little nuclear reactors scattered around the land. None of this is discussed in the film.
- promotes Integral Fast Reactors (IFRs) – fast breeder reactors. but doesn’t mention the past failure of these, in USA , France (Super Phoenix) Japan (Monju), and their enormous cost.
- Dishonestly minimises the nuclear waste problems of IFR’s. Film does not explain that the final wastes, while smaller in volume, are far more radioactive and dangerous than existing nuclear wastes, and therefore require the same amount of storage space and security.
Fukushima news dominates – as always. There is so much information coming out – it’s hard to keep up. I recommend the website http://enenews.com/ for up to date news.
- A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has rocked Japan’s Fukushima prefecture on Thursday – 50 km South West of the crippled nuclear reactors. No harm reported there.
- Workers on Wednesday discovered the cracks and cuts at 8 places in the buttress supporting the 120-meter vertical pipe standing between the number-1 and number-2 reactor buildings about 66 meters above the ground..
- The planned ice wall around and under the plant is likely to increase the sogginess of the ground there, and thus increase risk of reactors collapsing
- Top actress Norika Fujiwara [former Miss Japan] has accused the government of covering up the truth about the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant,
- TEPCO paid for the creation of a blacklist of actors and musicians who are against the nuclear industry. http://enenews.com/report-tepco-paid-creation-blacklist-actors-musicians-against-nuclear-industry
India . Anger as the government tries to do a “sweetheart” deal with American nuclear companies, so that they can get around India’s Nuclear Liability Act . ( This would mean that the Indian tax-payer would cop the costs of a nuclear accident, rather than the nuclear company as the Act stipulates)
Syria. The situation has settled down to the extent that war is not now so likely. Questions arise as to why nuclear weapons of mass destruction are not banned, if chemical ones are. Israel stands out as a nuclear weapons country in the region.
Iran New President Hassan Rouhani making efforts for more diplomacy, and pledging that Iran will never develop nuclear weapons.
Japan is always the top news. This week, it would be funny if it were not so serious. With the Fukushima wrecked nuclear plant in a calamitous state, The Japanese government, aided by the known to be dodgy Olympic Committee, has won the right to host the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. What a great way to renew confidence in Japan, and in its ability to fix the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe! Unfortunately it is far from fixed, The vast expense of setting up the Olympic Games would be better spent in fixing it. And the world should help.
USA’s Syria dilemma. An attack on Syria is likely to bring about nuclear disaster – in several ways – striking Syria’s nuclear reactor, use of depleted uranium weapons, nuclear retaliation from Russia, or even from other nations that hold nuclear devices.
Iran has reduced its nuclear stockpile – but will the West be ready to truly negotiate?
Nuclear weapons industry – a huge bloated and out of control industry, in USA, Russia – and beyond. It’s in their interest to have A war – with Syria, Iran, anybody, really.
California – a ray of common sense – as electricty utilities join in a project for community renewable energy.
The Science Denial Industry exposed. A new book Dealing in Doubt: The Climate Denial Machine Vs Climate Science In the tradition of asbestos denialism, tobacco denialism, now climate denialism is exposed – (radiation denialism is the next)
In 2010 multinational mining companies were behind the push to remove Kevin Rudd, and his Mining Super profits tax. I don’t buy the argument that Kevin Rudd was such a difficult personality that Labor had to kick him out. Anyway, Julia Gillard replaced Rudd’s mining tax with a weak as water mining tax. But the corporate powers still weren’t happy.
How were these foreign owned companies, like BHP, able to prevail? Predominantly by promoting the message of climate change denial. And how did this message prevail in Australia, where in 2007, Kevin Rudd was swept to power on a wave of public enthusiasm for action on climate change?
Despite some well informed coverage on climate change, by the Fairfax media, the ABC and SBS, the denialist message, taken up by the right wing politicians and friends of polluting industries, was steadfastly pushed to the public by Rupert Murdoch’s media, with its 70% ownership of Australian media.
There was an easy puppet waiting there for them. Tony Abbott has but one over-riding value – and that is To Be Topp. There might be a few very right-wing Catholic religious themes in there – (ones which many Catholics would be ashamed of) But as for other trifling subjects like climate change, – well they don’t bother Tony Abbott, as he doesn’t understand them.
Nobody seems to notice the fact that Australia is now President of the United nations Security Council. And the UN has not sanctioned an attack on Syria. But the USA might very well attack Syris unilaterally, with out waiting fir the UN. And what will Australia do?
And how confident do you feel about all this, with the vacuous Tony Abbott at the helm of thegood ship Australia?
- 1 NUCLEAR ISSUES
- business and costs
- climate change
- indigenous issues
- marketing of nuclear
- opposition to nuclear
- politics international
- Religion and ethics
- secrets,lies and civil liberties
- weapons and war
- 2 WORLD
- MIDDLE EAST
- NORTH AMERICA
- SOUTH AMERICA
- Christina's notes
- Christina's themes
- rare earths
- resources – print
- Resources -audiovicual