Nuclear Shutdown News, December 2014, Ob Rag by MICHAEL STEINBERG on DECEMBER 19, 2014 by Michael Steinberg / blackrainpress
Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the continuing decline of the US nuclear power industry. As nuclear power reactors approach or surpass their planned operating life of 40 years, they have become less and less reliable and more and more threatening. What to do about this? A complete and immediate shut down of them all! NO NUKES!
Here’s our December report. Continue reading
USA’s representative fails to impress, at Vienna Conference on Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.
Nuclear states face barrage of criticism in Vienna Helsinki Times, 14 Dec 14 SARCASTIC LAUGHTER erupted when a civil society representative expressed his “admiration for the delegate of the United States, who with one insensitive, ill-timed, inappropriate and diplomatically inept intervention” had “managed to dispel the considerable goodwill the US had garnered by its decision to participate” in Vienna Conference on Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.
The speaker was Richard Lennane, who prefers to call himself the “chief inflammatory officer” of Wildfire, a Geneva-based disarmament initiative. He was making a statement at the final session of the conference in the Austrian capital on 8-9 December – the third after the Oslo (Norway) gathering in 2013 and Nayarit (Mexico) earlier this year.
Unlike the previous conferences, the United States and Britain – two of the five members of the nuclear club, along with France, Russia and China – participated in the Vienna conference.
But Washington’s diplomatic jargon was far-removed from the highly emotional impact of statements by survivors of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and of nuclear testing in Australia, Kazakhstan, and the Marshall Islands. They gave powerful testimonies of the horrific effects of nuclear weapons.
Ambassador Adam Scheinman, special representative of the US president for non-proliferation, assured that “underpinning all of our efforts, stretching back decades, has been our clear understanding of the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons use.”
This claim not only left a large number of participants unimpressed but also failed to give reason for hope that the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference next year would bear fruit. All the more so, because as the US-based Arms Control Association, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, Nuclear Information Project of the Federation of American Scientists, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the Union of Concerned Scientist pointed out in a joint statement, “nearly five years after the successful 2010 NPT review conference, follow-through on the consensus action plan – particularly the 22 interrelated disarmament steps – has been very disappointing………Growing ranks of nuclear armed-states do not ensure global stability, but instead undermine it – a view with which also faith organisations gathered in Vienna agreed.http://www.helsinkitimes.fi/world-int/world-news/international-news/13080-nuclear-states-face-barrage-of-criticism-in-vienna.html
December 19, 2014 As 2014 comes to a close, it’s helpful to look back and take Union of Concerned Scientists stock of successes in the clean energy space. Here are 8 ways that it’s been a great year for clean energy (and just a few areas for improvement)………..http://blog.ucsusa.org/renewable-energy-2014-773
Chicago, IL: Zero Carbon AND Zero Nuclear! Zero Carbon Chicago, Just about every day when I open the newspaper, I see a full page ad from an interest group called “Nuclear Matters” suggesting that — Good News! — we have the solution to global warming and it’s good, old nuclear energy!
…………….Does the average person living in Chicago have any idea about the degree to which they are surrounded by nuclear plants here?
In recent days there was a release at a nuclear facility in southern Illinois. (See “Metropolis Radiation Site Emergency — Leak of Toxic Uranium Hexafluoride”)
Chicago people need to know what we’re up against. The company that calls the shots on energy in our neck of the woods, Exelon, has been trumpeting its role as a nuclear energy operator. (See“Exelon, politics and Illinois’ low-carbon future” by Julie Wernau in the Chicago Tribune, August 15, 2014: “‘What Exelon is suggesting here is, put all your eggs in the nuclear basket and just trust Exelon,’ [said] Lee Davis, executive vice president and regional president for NRG Energy’s east region” ) Put that together with the “Nuclear Matters” lobbying effort, and its clear that people in Illinois are going to continue to be exposed to more, not less, nuclear plant risk. Unless we do something about it.http://zerocarbonchicago.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/chicago-il-zero-carbon-and-zero-nuclear.html
Are the British public really ‘fed up with wind farms’?Adam Boult for Metro.co.uk Thursday 18 Dec 2014 Earlier this week David Cameron stated that the British public are ‘fed up’ with onshore wind farms, and called for them to stop receiving state subsidies. Speaking to MPs, the Prime Minister said it was time to ditch funding for new turbines: ‘Let’s get rid of the subsidy, put them into the planning system. If they can make their case, they will make their case.’
We asked Metro readers what they thought of Cameron’s remarks – and here are a selection of responses received so far.
We’re NOT fed up with wind farms
‘Wind farms are better than chimneys and also look better than a smokey sky.’ Mark Ulyatt
‘When me and my daughter are out in the car, we look for them. My daughter likes watching them go round, just as I do. I find them quite relaxing to watch.’ Kirsty Winfield
‘Well we could look at it this way. We could marvel at the ever improving technology using an almost infinite resource to help power our throwaway lifestyles. Or we could go like China and have pollution so bad you have to wear a mask if you go outside. If you ask me? Wind power, all the way.’ Chris Xryzoa Tempest …….
Namibia: Uranium and Zinc Industries Perform Poorly All Africa News, 16 Dec 14 Windhoek — Bank of Namibia Governor, Ipumbu Shiimi says the local uranium and zinc industries performed poorly over the last 10 months, compared to other sectors such as construction, diamond mining, manufacturing and wholesale/retail.
Iran says nuclear talks with U.S. proceed in good atmosphere DUBAI Tue Dec 16, 2014 (Reuters) – Iran said on Tuesday bilateral nuclear talks with the United states were proceeding in a good atmosphere despite lingering gaps over key issues such as Tehran’s uranium enrichment capacity and how fast economic sanctions should be lifted.
U.S. and Iranian diplomats began a two-day meeting in Geneva on Monday to pave the way for resuming broader negotiations involving Iran and six world powers there on Wednesday.
They are aimed at resolving a 12-year stand-off over Iran’s disputed nuclear aspirations that has wrought heavy economicsanctions on the Islamic Republic and fears of a new Middle East war unless the dispute can be settled diplomatically soon…………(Reporting by Mehrdad Balali; Editing by Mark Heinrich) http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/16/us-iran-nuclear-usa-idUSKBN0JU12Q20141216
FUKUSHIMA’S “DUST OF DEATH” IS BLANKETING THE WORLD – PARTICLES FOUND IN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES Ondependence Day, DECEMBER 8, 2014 “………….March 11, 2011, the date that Fukushima blew and started to emit radioactive particles into the airstream and ocean currents surrounding Japan. We have all read the warnings and seen the pictures, but do you really know the extent of the damage and deadly radiation that was released and continues to be emitted to this day?
Those that do know and are trying to educate the public are a very small group of courageous and expert scientists and some advocates for transparency and truth who are trying to get the word out. That knowledge is the very real possibility that mass exterminations are facing the world’s populations no matter the place or distance from Fukushima’s ongoing fountain of death. The latest reports of the deadly plutonium nanoparticles or “Dust of Death,” include Lithuania bordered by Russia, Latvia, Belarus, Poland and the Baltic Sea.
What I am about to share with you is eerily possible yet too horrific to contemplate. We have read that the Japanese authorities, the government and the managers of the Fukushima plant (Tepco), have not been forthcoming with regard to the severity and extent of the damage. After all who wants to admit to have started the world’s largest fire?
There are two scientific and very real theories that describe what is currently happening. The first is Wigner’s Effect (named for its discoverer, E. P. Wigner), ……..http://www.independenceday.pro/?p=8169
Artificial intelligence, asteroids and zombies: how the world could end, news.com.au 14 Dec 14 “…… 1. Climate change
Scientists, including Dr Karl, say you would have to be pretty daft to not acknowledge the effect that humans and our carbon emissions are having on the planet. Recent reports suggest that average temperatures will likely rise 2-4 degrees from where they are today, which will create a dramatic environmental shift.
The author of an Australian climate change report from earlier this year, Professor Will Steffen, has warned that the economic damage will be just as bad as the physical damage.
“We’re talking about the loss of beaches, property, infrastructure and commercial assets worth billions to our economy,” he said.
This probably won’t end humanity, but we will need to learn to focus all our resources on getting through it. Millions of mostly people – most of whom are poor – will lose their homes, and weather shifts will greatly change the agriculture industry.
2. Nuclear war
Movies and video games would certainly like you to believe that a nuclear war is the most plausible way for humanity to end.
While Dr Karl pointed out that we have gone from around 50,000 nuclear weaponsacross the world to about 16,000, he says even one nuke going off in a major city would have a catastrophic effect for the rest of the world.
While a war between Russia and Western countries probably won’t end absolutely everything, it would send us into a nuclear winter. Not just from the immediate damage or radiation – the Earth would get cooler, the ozone layer would be damaged and rainfall would be significantly reduced, meaning the crops we use for food would struggle to grow.
The effect of this would be felt for up to 20 years…….http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/artificial-intelligence-asteroids-and-zombies-how-the-world-could-end/story-fnjwl2dr-1227155744514
Leak found at nuke plant STAFF REPORT December 14, 2014
PPL officials announced Saturday that operators at the Susquehanna nuclear power plant disconnected Unit 1 from the regional electric grid after detecting a small water leak inside the containment structure...http://standardspeaker.com/news/leak-found-at-nuke-plant-1.1802812
‘The water is ours': thousands in march at Lima climate forum SBS World News, 11 Dec 14 Thousands of Peruvians have marched through the streets of Lima in support of policies to limit greenhouse gases as climate talks grind on. Thousands of people have marched in central Lima against the abuse of earth’s resources, urging ministers haggling over a world climate deal to ensure a global switch to 100 per cent clean energy by 2050.
Students, environmentalists, workers, women’s defenders, anti-poverty activists and indigenous groups joined the “People’s Climate March” in the Peruvian capital on Wednesday, chanting “Water yes, gold no!” and “The water is ours!”
The colourful line of festive demonstrators snaked its way through the city, accompanied by rhythmic drumming and brass bands.
Police estimated the crowd at about 1800 people, but AFP witnessed many times that and organisers said about 15,000 turned out……http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/12/11/water-ours-thousands-march-lima-climate-forum
Another Giant Declares Nuclear Dead In Fracking America, Forbes, Jeff McMahon, 9 Dec 14, No utility executive could propose a nuclear reactor ”in good conscience” in the U.S. today, the director emeritus of Argonne National Laboratory said in Chicago Monday.
Alan Schriesheim became the first industry executive to lead a national laboratory when he took the helm of Argonne in 1983, after serving as Exxon’s head of engineering and the director of its research lab, which developed more efficient processes for producing components of gasoline. At Argonne he championed, among other projects, an integral fast reactor and he is credited with fostering a revival at Argonne. …….
“In the United States the price of natural gas is of such a level that I don’t think a CEO of a utility could in good conscience propose a nuclear-power reactor to his or her board of directors,” Schriesheim told about 75 students at UIC’s engineering building.
Nuclear is infeasible for the next 10 or 15 years in this country, he said, with the price of natural gas as it is.
“It’s the up-front cost of nuclear construction that really gets you. It’s a very large up-front cost. ….
The sixth horseman of the apocalypse http://www.thedailystar.net/op-ed/the-sixth-horseman-of-the-apocalypse-53226 Quamrul Haider December 04, 2014 BEFORE a highly complex technology is introduced into the public domain, it is rigorously tested for possible failure. The tests are conducted under real-life conditions without endangering the public and the environment. An exception is a nuclear reactor. The unforeseeable consequences that might arise from the malfunction or accident of a reactor cannot be tested under realistic conditions without jeopardising human lives.
As a substitute for real tests, computer simulations are done to gain more precise ideas about the possibility of reactor accidents and their effects on humans and their surroundings. The fraternity of nuclear scientists who so cheerfully play roulette with nuclear reactors defends the results of the simulations as evidence that reactors are a safe bet. They create the impression in the minds of laymen that their extremely risky projects have been carefully thought out in every detail and are inspired by the spirit of greatest responsibility.
A large section of the scientific community, on the other hand, believes that the predictions spitted out by a computer are “about as reliable as tomorrow’s weather forecast.” They argue that by building nuclear power plants in populated areas, the whole world becomes an experimental laboratory with human beings as guinea pigs.
History shows that even with all the safety features in place, there will be nuclear accidents, and although some may be small in scale, there is always the possibility of a major disaster.
The basic difference between nuclear and other industrial accidents lies in the long-range repercussions. After a foreseeable lapse of time, one could forget about the havoc wrought, for example, by the explosion of a gas pipeline or the breaching of a dam. The wounds and scars from these accidents albeit deep eventually heal in the course of time. But an accident in a nuclear power plant, such as a reactor getting out of control, is capable of doing more than immediate harm.
Examples of the deadly long-term effects of a reactor accident are Chernobyl and Fukushima. At Chernobyl, even 28 years after the accident, people are dying from radiation-related sickness. And almost four years after the disaster, highly radioactive water is leaking from the storage tanks at Fukushima.
Our amorphous fear of a reactor accident contains Hiroshima-like images of extraordinary destruction and grotesque form of collective dying. This fear is heightened by the invisibility of the added lethal component, the ionizing radiation, whose nerve-racking aftereffects will linger on for ages to haunt the future generations. Among the survivors there will be many cases of permanent sterility, increase of genetic mutation in our progenies, and a shortened life span as a result of cancer and other radiogenic diseases. The affected people will also carry a psychological burden that will undermine their creative processes as long as they live.
It is, therefore, irresponsible and misleading to suppress the consequences of radiation escaping from a reactor after an accident. Nevertheless, attempts are made by the roulette players to blind the people by equating nuclear accidents with more familiar hazards, such as an accident at a coal-fired power plant. By doing so, an unlimited risk is falsely portrayed as a limited one and glossed over in a manner that is not only unconscionable, but also unpardonable.
These deceptions are further camouflaged by the way in which they are presented to the public. By appealing to statistics, graphs, charts and diagrams, the far-reaching consequences of lethal radiation are overly simplified. In the post-Chernobyl and post-Fukushima era, these discombobulated data do not hold water.
Critics describe nuclear reactor as one of the most dangerous technological beasts that mankind has devised and nuclear accident as “A Nuclear War without a War.” The consequences of this war can assume dimensions that do not take second place to the consequences of earthquake and pestilence, and in a way actually exceeds them.
In the past, wars, plagues, famines and natural disasters were known as the four horsemen of the apocalypse. In the early twentieth century, they were joined by a fifth — industrial catastrophe. After Chernobyl and Fukushima, nuclear accidents can be added to the list as the sixth horseman of the apocalypse.
The writer is Professor of Physics at Fordham University, New York.
Humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons in focus, Times of Oman, BY SEBASTIAN KURZ | DECEMBER 07, 2014
In 1983, three years before I was born, a chilling television docudrama about the consequences of a nuclear war was broadcast around the world. The Day After, now cited as the highest-rated film in TV history, left then-US President Ronald Reagan “greatly depressed” and caused him to rethink his nuclear strategy. At their summit in Reykjavik in October 1986, he and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev came tantalizingly close to eliminating all nuclear weapons.
My generation has conveniently consigned such fears to history. Indeed, with the Cold War tensions of 1983 far in the past and the international order dramatically changed, many people nowadays ask why these memories should concern us at all.
But the premise of that question is both wrong and dangerous.
This week, Austria is providing the world an opportunity to rethink its complacency. Representatives from the governments of more than 150 countries, international organisations, and civil-society groups will meet in Vienna this week, to consider the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons.
These weapons, which terrified people 30 years ago, still remain in countries’ arsenals and continue to pose a grave risk to human security and safety. Austria’s concern is that as long as nuclear weapons exist, the risk of their use exists, either by accident or design. An overwhelming majority of states share this view.
Consider how many nuclear weapons there are: an estimated 16,300 around the world, with 1,800 on high alert and ready for use on short notice.
Nearly 25 years after the Cold War’s end, we remain stuck with its strategic legacy: Nuclear weapons continue to underpin the international security policy of the world’s most powerful states.
There are too many risks — human error, technical flaws, negligence, cyber-attacks, and more — to believe that these weapons will never be used. Nor is there good reason to believe that adequate fail-safe mechanisms are in place.
The history of nuclear weapons since 1945 is studded with near misses — both before and after the Cuban missile crisis……….
the goal of Vienna conference is to provide the public with new and updated evidence of the impact of using nuclear weapons and the threat they pose.
The picture is even grimmer and the consequences more dire than we believed in 1983.
As long as nuclear weapons exist, it is irresponsible not to confront the implications of their use — implications for which there is no antidote or insurance policy.
They are not some deadly virus or long-term environmental threat.
They are the poisonous fruit of a technology that we created — and that we can and must control.
New nuclear arms race underway, World Socialist Website, By Mark Blackwood and Paul Mitchell 6 December 2014 Nearly five years ago, at the 2010 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference, the nuclear powers restated their commitment to a “diminishing role for nuclear weapons in security policies to minimize the risk that these weapons ever be used and to facilitate the process of their total elimination.”
US President Barack Obama and then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the New START treaty, promising to reduce their stockpiles of nuclear missiles and launchers.
However, this year’s right-wing coup in Ukraine, organised by the US and European Union, followed by a campaign of sanctions and war threats against Russia, combined with the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” aimed at asserting US control over the Asia-Pacific, are provoking a new nuclear arms race.
According to Hugh Chalmers, an analyst at the London-based Royal United Services Institute, “All nuclear states are undergoing some form of nuclear modernization at the moment, or will very soon be going through that process… You can look around the world and see new missiles being developed, new submarines, new cruise missiles…”
Shortly before he was fired last week, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel used two separate Pentagon studies, arising out of the drugs and academic cheating scandal at nuclear bases, to authorise the US Department of Defense to request a further 10 percent increase in funding to upgrade its nuclear infrastructure every year for the next five years.
The nuclear arm of the military will be given a higher profile, with the commander of the US Air Force Global Strike Command promoted from a three-star to a four-star general, and the head of the service’s nuclear integration elevated from two-star to three-star rank………
Any belief that a nuclear war is impossible because modern governments would not risk catastrophe is disproved by the rapid modernisation of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems. Beset by mounting economic and social problems for which they have no progressive solution, the ruling elites are increasingly inclined to see war as a risk worth taking.https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/12/06/nucl-d06.html
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