Nuclear power: reliably unreliablehttp://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/nuclear-power-reliably-unreliable/blog/50384/
With wind power filling the energy gap left by shutdown nuclear reactors in the UK, and police investigating allegations of sabotage at a reactor in Belgium, the myth of “reliable” nuclear energy is being exposed like never before. The nuclear industry tells us that nuclear power is a reliable energy source, that it offers “energy security“. Tell that to Belgium and the UK who are seeing significant parts of their nuclear fleet shutdown.
It’s been confirmed that the major damage that shut down Belgium’s Doel 4 reactor was caused by sabotage. Meanwhile, cracks found in two other reactors – Tihange 2 and Doel 3 – means they may never reopen. The three reactors make up over half of the country’s nuclear power output.
(Worryingly, there are 22 other reactors around the world that share the same design as Tihange 2 and Doel 3.)
There have previously been issues with nuclear power plants being closed in EU and USA at times of drought because of water shortages.
What fills the energy gap while these “reliable” nuclear reactors are shut down?
Belgium is having to rely on electricity from its neighbours. So much for nuclear power giving the country energy security.
In the UK, things are much more optimistic. Renewable energy has come to the rescue. “Demand is low at this time of year, and a lot of wind power is being generated right now,” said the UK’s National Grid. Electricity supplies have been unaffected.
What lessons can we learn here?
Firstly, the idea that nuclear power is a reliable energy source that offers energy security is a myth, particularly in a world where aging nuclear reactors are coming to the end of their lives. Secondly, we see a reversal of the view that renewables need to be supported by nuclear power. Although nuclear and wind power do not have the same generation characteristics, nuclear reactors now needing to lean on renewables means the nuclear industry has a big problem.
More and more nuclear reactors will be closing in the coming years as they reach retirement age. The nuclear industry simply can’t build replacement reactors quickly or cheaply enough to fill the gap.
That’s a gap that renewables and energy efficiency can exploit safely and reliably. As the recently released 2014 World Nuclear Industry Status Report says…
[B]ig thermal plants running whenever they’re available are replaced by cheaper-to-run portfolios of renewables, mostly variable renewables, that add up to “virtual baseload” supply—collectively providing reliable electricity from a shifting mix of resources. This way of operating the grid is analogous to a symphony orchestra (as Rocky Mountain Institute’s Clay Stranger puts it): no instrument plays all the time, but with a good score and conductor, beautiful music is continuously produced. This approach is unfamiliar to traditional utilities, but it works.
The wind across the UK is playing some beautiful music right now.
Here we have yet more reasons to abandon nuclear power. It’s not reliable and does not guarantee energy security. It’s not your friend and is going to let you down sooner or later.
The nuclear industry today: declining, but not (yet) dying, Ecologist Jonathon Porritt 25th August 2014 The World Nuclear Industry Status Report provides an account of an industry in decline, writes Jonathon Porritt – with rising operating costs and an ever-shrinking share of world energy production, while the sector loses the race for investment and new generating capacity to fast growing renewable energy technologies.
Every year, theWorld Nuclear Industry Status Report reminds me why those in the Green movement who think nuclear has a major role to play in securing a low-carbon world are completely, dangerously off their collective trollies.
The Status Report is not an anti-nuclear polemic. Over the years, its authors (Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt) have assiduously built its reputation for dispassionate reporting on the state of the industry, presented as objectively and non-judgmentally as possible.
It uses a wide range of sources (academic, industry, avowedly pro-nuclear and avowedly anti-nuclear) to maintain longitudinal datasets going back over decades to tell it as it is – in contrast to all the froth of partisan propaganda. On both sides.
Let me just give you a taste from the newly-published 2014 Report:
“The nuclear share of the world’s power generation declined steadily from an historic peak of 17.6% in 1996 to 10.8% in 2013. Nuclear power’s share of global commercial primary energy production declined from the 2012 low of 4.5%, a level last seen in 1984, to a new low of 4.4%.”
“Twenty-eight years after the Chernobyl disaster, none of the next generation reactors (or so-called Generation III or III+) has entered service, with construction projects in Finland and France many years behind schedule.”
Operating cost increases….
Installed capacity – nuclear declining, wind increasing…
Nuclear’s installed capacity at the level of decades ago…..
As I worked my way through all this, page by page, it’s all but impossible for me to understand how any thoughtful, intelligent environmentalist could possibly suppose either that
- a so-called nuclear renaissance is ever going to happen; or
- even in the improbable circumstances that it did, how it could possibly deliver the kind of safe, secure, low-carbon energy the world needs so desperately.
And the longer they hang on to these fantasies, the more damage they do, sowing confusion and doubt, distracting attention from the business of driving forward with the renewables-efficiency-storage alternative.
All I can think is that these people never actually read up on the state of play in the nuclear industry. They should try it: it’s illuminating. http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2529402/the_nuclear_industry_today_declining_but_not_yet_dying.html
Britain’s Trident nuclear program at stake in Scottish independence vote WP, By Griff Witte August 24 HELENSBURGH, Scotland — For decades, Britain’s contribution to the threat of global Armageddon has found a home on the tranquil shores of Gare Loch, where soaring green mountains plunge into murky gray waters plied by sporty kayakers, weekend yachtsmen — and nuclear-armed submarines.
The subs slip past this garrison town as quietly as sea monsters. Their dark hulls breach the water’s surface on their way from base out to the deepest oceans, where British naval crews spend months poised to unleash the doomsday payload…….
Leaders of Scotland’s secessionist movement say their independent nation will be a nuclear-free zone within four years of breaking off from Great Britain. The vow is a popular one among the movement’s left-leaning voters, and the campaign has distributed fliers with instructions for “how to disarm a nuclear bomb” that begin and end with voting for independence……
with a substantial share of voters undecided, U.K. officials remain nervous that Scotland could bolt — and that the nuclear program could be a casualty. The possibility provides an uncomfortable backdrop for the NATO summit that Britain will host in Wales on Sept. 4 and 5.
With Britain’s entire arsenal of 160 deployed Trident missiles now based in Scotland, a “yes” vote would leave the remnants of the United Kingdom to find a new home for both the weapons and the four Vanguard-class submarines that can be used to launch them.
But no such home exists. Building suitable bases to house the missiles and dock the subs in England would take at least a decade, experts say, and cost billions of dollars that the government doesn’t have. O’Brien said it’s likely that Britain would decide to scrap its nuclear program rather than make painful cuts elsewhere……
for a town in which seemingly everyone has a link to the base, there’s a surprisingly large well of support for independence. The “yes” camp has festooned a headquarters in the heart of Helensburgh with its blue-and-white banners, and its volunteers are active in the streets.
For them, the end of Trident could be a new beginning for the town. Helensburgh, they say, has grown steadily apart from Faslane as the base has expanded to include vast residential compounds, soccer fields, meal halls and a shopping center — all wrapped in the multiple cordons of barbed wire and security cameras that one would expect of a nuclear weapons facility.
“The base may be in the community, but it’s not part of the community,” said Graeme McCormick, a white-maned “yes” activist and businessman…….http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/britains-trident-nuclear-program-at-stake-in-scottish-independence-vote/2014/08/24/7a987b40-b41b-4edb-9ae8-064533b143b0_story.html
Joint Review Panel on nuclear waste dump refuses to hear Pavlov’s testimony http://www.voicenews.com/articles/2014/08/14/news/doc53ed1501d6bf8967664942.txt?viewmode=3 By Jim Bloch Voice Reporter Jim Bloch is a freelance writer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pavlov, who represents District 25, which includes St. Clair and Lapeer counties, has been spearheading a movement to derail the plans of Ontario Power Generation to construct a deep underground repository for low and medium nuclear waste near Kincardine, Ontario, within a mile of the Lake Huron.
Many of the wastes to be buried in the dump will remain radioactive for more than 100,000 years, 10 times longer than the lakes have been in existence. To date, every deep underground waste facility in the world has leaked radioactivity into the environment, including the Waste Isolation Pilot Project near Carlsbad, N.M., on Feb. 14, in which 22 workers were poisoned, said Fernandez when she spoke at Pavlov’s July 29 town hall in Port Huron on the dump. OPG cited the operation of WIPP as a sterling example of safe underground storage of nuclear waste.
Pavlov and Sen. Mike Green will host another town hall discussion on the proposed dump at 7 p.m. Aug. 26 in the Port Sanilac Waterside Gazebo, which is located at 7299 Cedar St. in Port Sanilac, in Green’s 31st District.
The Joint Review Panel took testimony on OPG’s environmental assessment for 22 days last fall. The panel meets again for an additional two weeks of testimony beginning Sept. 9 in Kincardine. Within three months of the close of the hearings, the panel will issue a report about the proposed waste dump to the Canadian federal cabinet, which is expected to make a decision about the dump in 2015.
‘The MoD’s nuclear test blinded me’ http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/502624/EXCLUSIVE-Brian-Jones-BLINDED WHEN the bomb dropped Brian Jones was staring right at it, unaware of the danger nuclear weapons could pose to him and his family. By: Jaymi McCann, August 24, 2014 The 19-year-old sapper witnessed nine nuclear bomb tests while serving with the Royal Engineers on Christmas Island between 1957 and 1958. Continue reading
Nuclear weapons do not make us saferhttp://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/nuclear-weapons-do-not-make-us-safer/2014/08/22/185b4644-28ad-11e4-8b10-7db129976abb_story.html David Krieger, Santa Barbara, Calif.Are NATO-based nuclear weapons really an advantage in a dangerous world, as Brent Scowcroft, Stephen J. Hadley and Franklin Miller suggested in their Aug. 18 op-ed, “A dangerous proposition”? They are not. They make the world a far more dangerous place.
Nuclear deterrence is not a guarantee of security. Rather, it is a hypothesis about human behavior, a hypothesis that has come close to failing on many occasions. Additionally, nuclear weapons are not “political weapons,” as the writers asserted. They are weapons of mass extermination.
The United States and the other nuclear-armed countries are obligated under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and/or customary international law to pursue negotiations in good faith for an end to the nuclear arms race and complete nuclear disarmament. This is the substance of the Nuclear Zero lawsuits brought by the Marshall Islands against the nine nuclear-armed countries at the International Court of Justice and in U.S. federal court. The United States continues to evade its obligations. Rather than continuing to posture with its nuclear weapons in Europe, the United States should be leading the way in convening negotiations to eliminate all nuclear weapons for its own security and that of all the world’s inhabitants. The writer is president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.
Once-In-A-Decade Typhoon Heads For Japan Nuclear Plant Earth Changes Media August 22, 2014 Tokyo (AFP) – A typhoon described as the “strongest in 10 years” closed in on Japan on Wednesday, on a path that will take it towards the precarious Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Tokyo and surrounding areas were hit by violent winds and heavy rains in the early hours of Wednesday morning as Typhoon Wipha moved northeast off the coast of central Japan.
Thousands were evacuated from their homes in the neighbouring prefecture Chiba and power outages were reported.
Record rainfall of around 118.5 millimetres (4.7 inches) per hour was recorded on Izu Oshima Island, which lies in the Pacific, 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of central Tokyo, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, according to Kyodo news agency.
Three homes on the island had been washed away by a swollen river, Kyodo reported, citing police.
The weather bureau warned the typhoon could make landfall in the densely populated Kanto region, which includes Tokyo, later in the morning.
Typhoon Wipha, packing winds of nearly 200 kilometres (125 miles) per hour near its centre, was moving northeast at around 55 kilometres per hour in the early hours of the morning, Kyodo said……..TEPCO bracing for impact
Japanese airlines announced the cancellation of 500 flights on Wednesday, while 30 high-speed trains and 100 other trains were cancelled, rail companies said.
Automaker Nissan said it had told employees across Kanto to stay at home for the morning to ride out the storm……
As the weather agency issued warnings of torrential rain and strong winds, the operator of the Fukushima plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), said it was bracing for the storm after a series of leaks of radiation-polluted water.
“We are making preparations for proper management of contaminated water…. We will patrol places that could have inflows of water (from the storm),” a company spokesman said.
Cables and hoses have been bundled together, while ground and off-shore works have been halted, he said……..
The nuclear plant was badly damaged by the tsunami that hit in March 2011. Critics say it remains in a fragile state and at the mercy of extreme weather or other natural hazards…….http://earthchangesmedia.com/once-in-a-decade-typhoon-heads-for-japan-nuclear-plant
Former Japanese PM Naoto Kan urges Australia to wean world off uranium, focus on renewables http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-22/move-towards-renewables-former-japanese-pm-tells-australia/5691118 By Kate Wild and Xavier La Canna
Japan’s prime minister during the Fukushima disaster says Australia should be trying to wean other countries away from nuclear power, not increase exports of uranium.
Naoto Kan, who was prime minister from June 2010 to August 2011 is in Australia to lobby for a greater use of renewable energy sources.
He said the world was moving away from nuclear power, and Australia should not get in the way of that.
“Rather than looking at making contributions through exporting and making it more possible for more countries to be relying on nuclear power, all countries including Australia should be making efforts to do what can be done to reduce such dependence on nuclear power,” Mr Kan said.
“I hope that Australia can be exporting not uranium or coal for example, but electricity created through renewable sources,” he said.
When he was Japanese PM, representing the Democratic party of Japan, a tsunami caused a nuclear incident in which three nuclear reactors melted down at the Fukushima nuclear power plant and forced widespread evacuations.
“We were very close to the scenario of having to evacuate people in a 250 kilometre radius,” he said.
“This would have included also Tokyo, which would mean 40 per cent of the entire Japanese population – close to 50 million people.”
His party initiated policies to see nuclear power phased out in Japan by the 2030s, but this policy was overturned by the Liberal Democratic Power, which regained office in 2012.
Australia is thought to have the world’s largest uranium resources, and mines exist in the Northern Territory and South Australia, while Queensland recently lifted a 30-year ban on uranium mining.
Western Australia is also looking to develop its uranium industry.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott will soon travel to India to finalise a deal for Australia to sell uranium to their energy-hungry economy for the first time.
http://asaablog.tumblr.com/post/94878108901/life-in-a-fukushima-world Asian Currents, By Adam Broinowski, 21 Aug 14 The focus of sovereign intervention in response to the nuclear meltdowns since 3/11 risks long-term consequences for short-term gains.
The meltdowns of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) since the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011 (3/11) have exposed not only the dangers of nuclear power but the visibility of the power structure that supports it.
The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
The focus of sovereign intervention has demonstrated the major priorities of this power structure, while local responses have sought to increase public knowledge of the nuclear industry and the health dangers from radiation exposures. Given the myriad factors in play, it is useful to consider the disaster in terms of immunity.
Three main forms of immunity are applicable to the disaster. Continue reading
Two more elevated radiation readings on Treasure Island SF Gate, August 20 By Marisa Lagos The U.S. Navy has completed its surveys of Treasure Island and found two more locations where higher-than-usual radiation levels were detected — one under an occupied house, a city official said Wednesday……http://blog.sfgate.com/cityinsider/2014/08/20/two-more-elevated-radiation-readings-on-treasure-island/
Uranium mine hearings begin in Rapid City, Argus Leader, Associated Press August 19, 2014 RAPID CITY — A licensing board of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will begin the first of three days of hearings in Rapid City on Tuesday for a proposed uranium mine in western South Dakota.
The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will hold its hearings on challenges to the proposed Dewey-Burdock uranium mine at the Alex Johnson Hotel. The mine is being proposed by Powertech Uranium Corp.
Environmental opponents say the mine could pollute or drain the region’s aquifers. Native American opponents say it could hurt cultural and historical sites in the Black Hills………http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/politics/2014/08/19/uranium-mine-hearings-begin-rapid-city/14274939/
Mr. Putin and Mr. Niinistö – the World is Waiting for a Peaceful Solution for Ukraine, Solar Wind Pronet – linking the renewable thinking 15 Aug 14 “…..According to YLE-news, Finnish president Sauli Niinistö will be meeting the president of Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin tomorrow in Sochi, Russia. ……..
And about the energy issues, Mr. Putin: You know very well as every wise leader on this planet today that oil, gas, coal and nuclear power are each a no option to mankind if we like to survive. We have perhaps five to fifteen years to turn the CO2 -emissions into a sustainable level. And there we need renewable energy, masses of renewable energy. Russia is a great country with massive potential to produce renewable energy and also manufacture means to generate it for others. Russia could be among the leaders in new technology. But for that we need international co-operation. Finland have clean technology know-how, so does Germany and many other European countries. But as well we need China and the U.S.A. to join the common fight against greenhouse effect. And in the future African countries as well as India, Australia and Southern America will be joining the front to fight climate change.
The Ukrainian people including Russian speaking East and South-East Ukraine need an energy change. Being dependent on Russian natural gas is no good for Russia nor for Ukraine in the long run. They need heating and power for winter and it could be organized by international co-operation including Russian efforts.Bio-energy and solar and wind power should be the main power mix of the future Ukraine. Natural gas could be as backup for some decades. Building solar and wind power takes only a few years and it will be boosting local economy greatly giving working opportunities to tens of thousands. Russia could be part of the solution and learn how to make the energy change that is needed also in Russia.Time for oil, coal and gas economy is simply running out, and you know it, Mr. Putin.
The world is creating the energy change to renewables quicker than anybody thought, people around world are more than ready for it:………
But we need to stop fighting in Ukraine first……….
And Mr. Niinistö:
I hope you will have a good meeting with president Putin! I hope that you will appreciate the opinion of Finnish people when according to new opinion polls 2/3 of Finnish people are against the building of Hanhikivi-1 nuclear reactor. People in Finland want to see renewable energy projects – surely in co-operation with Russian companies also. And Finnish people is surely wishing for a peaceful solution to Ukrainian crises – a solution that is acceptable for both Ukraine and Russia.
Good Luck for both Mr. Presidents! http://solarwindpronet.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/mr-putin-and-mr-niinisto-world-is.html
Mendaciousness—Capitalism and the Testimony of Integrity, Through the Flaming sword, August 15, 2014“………..Waste lies. We do the same thing with the true cost of our waste management. Capitalism does not figure into its pricing the real, final cost of disposing of its wastes safely, which ought to be part of its overhead, and never is. And when—or, to be realistic,if—the bill ever comes due for cleanup, capitalists inevitably try to squirm out of paying; it hurts profits and equity value.
This is especially important for wastes that do not biodegrade, but remain toxic and present in the body and bloodstream and organs of Mother Earth more or less permanently. And because Mother Earth is us—because our very bodies come from her—these wastes remain toxic and present in our bodies and bloodstreams and organs, as well.
The great killer disease of the industrial age was tuberculosis, the destruction of human lungs caused by the use of coal as a fuel. The great killer disease of the post-industrial age is cancer, the mutation of cells by toxic foreign substances. Thus some serious percentage of our healthcare costs should be included in the overhead cost of waste management.
Capitalism pretends that the only cost it must bear for managing its prodigious waste stream is the immediate one of getting it some distance away from its producer and providing for some minimal treatment before it gets poured back into Earth’s bloodstream or buried in her soil-flesh.
The superfund put aside for the treatment of “superfund” sites should be the model for the entire economic system. The goal should be zero toxic, non-recyclable waste returning to Mother Earth, zero toxic substances in our own bodies and those of our children—and a massive escrow account fed by some meaningful percentage of every economic transaction set aside to solve these so-far unsolvable problems in the future and to fund research and care for a public health increasingly threatened by capitalist dung.
The true cost of eliminating carbon dioxide, or uranium waste, or the 50,000 or so chemicals that we have never even tested for toxicity, would be staggering. So we just don’t think about it. Let the great-grandchildren deal with it.
In fact, if we really did account properly in our pricing for the destruction of natural capital and the remediation of capitalist waste, the system would collapse. Short-term greed is the main reason we don’t deal with these issues, but the reason we don’t even talk about it is the existential threat to the system itself that transitioning to an honest economic system represents…….http://throughtheflamingsword.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/mendaciousness-capitalism-and-the-testimony-of-integrity/
Nuclear reactor at Indian Point shuts down Capital, ALBANY—One of the two nuclear reactors at the Indian Point Energy Center shut down Wednesday morning after the system tripped for an unknown reason, officials said.
Indian Point Unit 3 shut down automatically at 11:57 a.m., spokesman Jerry Nappi said. The plant remains in “stable hot shutdown” while the cause of the trip is under investigation, he said……..
The aging Westchester County facility has beentargeted by Governor Andrew Cuomo for closure because of its proximity to New York City. The state has been planning alternatives that would help take it offline, and the Department of Environmental Conservation recently proposed shutting it down for up to three months to protect fish in the Hudson River. …http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2014/08/8550729/nuclear-reactor-indian-point-shuts-down
The source of the real fraud against Southside : uranium mining Piedmont Residents in Defense of the Environment Mary Rafferty , February 27, 2011 The real “fraud” in the ongoing debate over lifting Virginia’s uranium mining ban is the false choice posited between healthy communities on the one hand and energy independence and jobs on the other.
The truth is in order to rebuild our local economy, Southside Virginia must embrace clean and healthy solutions for job creation in a way that strengthens our community for this and future generations. We don’t have to choose between a vibrant economy and a healthy environment.
We can rebuild our economy by creating jobs in the energy solutions of today not the disasters of yesterday.
In order to set the record straight, here are a few plain facts about the economic and health consequences of uranium mining in Southside Virginia.
» Uranium mining would harm our health: Uranium mining could put the health of Southside Virginia citizens in significant danger.
Thousands of people in communities out West, where mining and milling operations are currently conducted, are struggling with cancer and diabetes due to their prolonged exposure to uranium mill tailings waste. And while independent researchers continue to determine the full effects exposure to uranium waste has on human health, studies have linked exposure to uranium tailings waste to increased rates of cancer, kidney failure, leukemia and diabetes.
» Uranium mining and milling would endanger our water: Virginia’s wet climate makes the proposed site at Coles Hill a risky experiment. Uranium mining and milling sites are typically operated in dry sparsely populated areas. But in Southside Virginia, severe weather events and flooding can overwhelm uranium operations, flushing uranium mill tailing waste into the bordering Bannister River (which flows into the Dan River) as well as local groundwater…….http://prideva.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/the-source-of-real-fraud-against.html
- 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