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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Thorough analysis of Switzerland’s plan for exit from nuclear power

It is a simple statement of fact that Germany today produces more solar and wind power than the entire projected electricity demand for Switzerland in 2050. What is possible in Germany should be manageable in Switzerland too. ………Conservation, greater efficiencies, alternative energy sources, the smart grid, and the introduction of new technologies mean that Switzerland should be readily able to find ways to replace the energy  lost by the closing of its existing nuclear power plants. 


flag-SwitzerlandSmall country, big challenge: Switzerland’s upcoming transition to sustainable energy,
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 25 July 15 Dominic A. Notter

Abstract

highly-recommendedSwitzerland has long met a good portion of its energy needs by using nuclear power. But in the wake of the accident at Fukushima, the country will have to turn elsewhere—while still remaining true to its history of self-sufficiency and energy independence. This effort is made more complicated by fears that one of its traditional energy sources, hydropower, may no longer be as reliable as in the past. But with a combination of energy conservation, greater efficiencies, alternative energy sources, the “smart grid,” and the introduction of new technologies currently on the drawing board, the country may readily be able to replace the energy lost by the closing of its existing nuclear power plants. And the loss of the snowpack and glaciers (due to climate change) may not be as dire for Switzerland’s hydropower as first anticipated……. Continue reading

July 27, 2015 Posted by | politics, Reference, Switzerland | 2 Comments

Environmental factors, not genes, cause cancer, as history shows

cancer_cellsScientists suggest that cancer is purely man-made http://phys.org/news/2010-10-scientists-cancer-purely-man-made.html#jCp October 14, 2010 (PhysOrg.com) –– Cancer is a modern, man-made disease caused by environmental factors such as pollution and diet, a study by University of Manchester scientists has strongly suggested.

The study of remains and literature from ancient Egypt and  and earlier periods – carried out at Manchester’s KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology and published in Nature Reviews Cancer – includes the first histological diagnosis of cancer in an Egyptian mummy.

Finding only one case of the disease in the investigation of hundreds of Egyptian mummies, with few references to cancer in literary evidence, proves that cancer was extremely rare in antiquity. The disease rate has risen massively since the Industrial Revolution, in particular childhood cancer – proving that the rise is not simply due to people living longer. Continue reading

July 27, 2015 Posted by | environment, health, Reference | Leave a comment

Ukraine chaos spiralling further out of control: the role of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland

Now, the Ukraine chaos threatens to spiral even further out of control with the neo-Nazis and other right-wing militias – supplied with a bounty of weapons to kill ethnic Russians in the east – turning on the political leadership in Kiev.

Nuland, VictoriaThus, it seems unlikely that Nuland, regarded by some in Washington as the new “star” in U.S. foreign policy, will be fired for her dangerous incompetence, just as most neocons who authored the Iraq disaster remain “respected” experts employed by major think tanks, given prized space on op-ed pages, and consulted at the highest levels of the U.S. government.


highly-recommendedThe Mess That Nuland Made,
Reader Supportede News By Robert Parry, Consortium News 22 July 15
Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland engineered Ukraine’s “regime change” in early 2014 without weighing the likely chaos and consequences. Now, as neo-Nazis turn their guns on the government, it’s hard to see how anyone can clean up the mess that Nuland made, writes Robert Parry. 

s the Ukrainian army squares off against ultra-right and neo-Nazi militias in the west and violence against ethnic Russians continues in the east, the obvious folly of the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy has come into focus even for many who tried to ignore the facts, or what you might call “the mess that Victoria Nuland made.”

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs “Toria” Nuland was the “mastermind” behind the Feb. 22, 2014 “regime change” in Ukraine, plotting the overthrow of the democratically elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych while convincing the ever-gullible U.S. mainstream media that the coup wasn’t really a coup but a victory for “democracy.”

To sell this latest neocon-driven “regime change” to the American people, the ugliness of the coup-makers had to be systematically airbrushed, particularly the key role of neo-Nazis and other ultra-nationalists from the Right Sektor. For the U.S.-organized propaganda campaign to work, the coup-makers had to wear white hats, not brown shirts.

So, for nearly a year and a half, the West’s mainstream media, especially The New York Times and The Washington Post, twisted their reporting into all kinds of contortions to avoid telling their readers that the new regime in Kiev was permeated by and dependent on neo-Nazi fighters and Ukrainian ultra-nationalists who wanted a pure-blood Ukraine, without ethnic Russians.

Any mention of that sordid reality was deemed “Russian propaganda” and anyone who spoke this inconvenient truth was a “stooge of Moscow.” It wasn’t until July 7 that the Times admitted the importance of the neo-Nazis and other ultra-nationalists in waging war against ethnic Russian rebels in the east. The Times also reported that these far-right forces had been joined by Islamic militants. Some of those jihadists have been called “brothers” of the hyper-brutal Islamic State. Continue reading

July 25, 2015 Posted by | politics international, Reference, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

France’s nuclear corporation AREVA going down the financial gurgler

As Areva Goes Belly Up, Modi’s French Nuclear Plans May Start Unravelling, DiaNuke.org, 24 July 15 “………..The signs of Areva’s irreparable decline if not imminent death have been on the horizon these past years. With its single product catalogue, Areva has struggled to complete two identical EPR reactors, the first at Olkiluoto for TVO in Finland (still not operational despite a nine-year delay and a trebling of costs) and the second in Flamanville, France, plagued by equally serious construction and security flaws, delays and outrageous cost over-runs. …….

Areva bankrupt

Reactor woes continue

The estimated price of the reactor continues to go up and up – it has nearly trebled from 3.3 billion euros eight years ago to around 9 billion euros at current estimates and could go higher if the EPR’s technical problems persist. The company has run up a deficit estimated at 4.8 billion euros for a turnover of 8.3 billion. Its recapitalisation requirements stand at 7 billion euros. The French government has stepped in to impose draconian solutions on the company that will see its design, construction and operations arm hacked off and handed over to its arch enemy, EDF. When the negotiations with EDF are completed – the haggling over price is currently underway – Areva, a company that has built and operated some 64 nuclear reactors will be reduced to a dwarf.

The French nuclear security watchdog, ASN, has issued a number of severe warnings to Areva on major security issues and manufacturing and construction flaws in the reactor being built in Flamanville, France, one of four EPRs under construction in the world. One of the latest warnings concerns the weakness of the reinforced steel core at the heart of the reactor where nuclear fission takes place. French papers have described fissures in the reactor’s innermost core as measuring as much as 42 centimetres. If the ASN’s suspicions about the poor quality of the forging done by Areva are proved right (the final test results will be available in October), the reactor dome will have to be removed. This can only mean one thing: the total abandonment of the EPR in France. A decision is not expected until 2016.

Several reports published in France on the woes of the EPR describe it as a product of “French technological hubris”. It is a gigantic reactor that looks good on paper. But as the adage goes, the proof of the pudding lies in the eating and India did not wait long enough to see the reactor’s performance before rushing in to buy an untried product.

“The EPR reactor whose problems are at the heart of the current crisis is an expensive failure,” writes energy analyst Nick Butler. “It has to be written off and replaced by a new generation of smaller, less complex reactors that can be built on time and on budget. The EPR was designed at a time when it was believed that energy costs would rise inexorably. That is no longer the case.”…………There is also the question of Areva’s massive debt.

Uncertain future

The Finnish nuclear operator TVO is suing Areva for billions of dollars for the delays, cost over-runs (estimated at 7 billion euros instead of the 3.3 billion originally projected) and technical flaws related to the EPR in Olkiluoto. The failure of the Finnish EPR has contributed vastly to Areva’s troubles.

Once hailed as the harbinger of a nuclear renaissance, the EPR is fast becoming one of the world’s most criticised and by far the most expensive nuclear white elephants. In France work began in 2007 and the reactor was to have gone on stream in 2012. This date has now been pushed forward to 2017 at three times the initial cost.

Leaving aside the problems linked to cost, safety and technological know-how, it is at this stage totally unclear if EDF would like to pursue the EPR programme at all. Last year the European Commission gave the go ahead for building another EPR reactor at Hinkley Point in Britain. But British authorities, which were to have signed in March 2015, now appear reluctant to go ahead. The Financial Times reported that the project might be completely abandoned. In the US, plans to build the EPR have currently been suspended. as World Nuclear News reported in March, Areva “has asked the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to suspend work on the design certification of the US EPR until further notice, prompting Unistar Nuclear Energy to request the suspension of the review of its construction and operation licence (COL) application for Calvert Cliffs 3.” http://www.dianuke.org/why-is-india-bent-on-joining-the-sinking-french-nuclear-ship/

July 25, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France, Reference | Leave a comment

Control of electricity at the local level, with batteries for renewable energy

In the end, the solution might lie on a smaller scale: giving everyone the power to store their own power. Tesla is one company of several in this game: it recently announced a device called the Powerwall, designed for homes and businesses. It uses the same batteries as electric cars to store energy, either from renewables or cheap night-time electricity, ready to be used during the day.

If such systems become commonplace, we might all become a little more aware of where our energy is coming from, and how our own behaviour affects its use and production

batteries Terence Eduarte

The battery revolution that will let us all be power brokers, New Scientist 22 July 15 
Companies are racing to find better ways to store electricity – and so provide us with cheaper energy when and where we want it “……..
. Although they are still dwarfed in most respects by the bulky lead-acid batteries found in almost every car on the road today, in 2015, lithium-ion batteries will account for around a third of the money spent on rechargeable batteries globally (see “Turn it on”), and just under a sixth of the total energy stored, according to French research firm Avicenne.

At the same time, their performance has improved immensely: design tweaks have tripled the energy stored in a given volume since the technology was commercialised in 1991. Success has bred success, and lithium-ion batteries have found new and bigger applications, such as electric vehicles (see “Powered by Lithium”). For example, the Model S electric car designed by Tesla Motors, a company owned by serial entrepreneur Elon Musk, is powered by thousands of small lithium-ion batteries arrayed between the car’s axles. It can go from zero to 95 kilometres an hour in 3.1 seconds, and can travel about 430 kilometres on a single charge, although charging it can take many hours.
Tesla has no plans to stop there. Lithium-ion batteries are so important to the company that it has taken manufacturing into its own hands, building a “Gigafactory” just outside Reno, Nevada. By 2020, the company plans to produce as many lithium-ion batteries annually as the entire world produced in 2013 – enough for a fleet of 500,000 electric cars – and with a 30 per cent reduction in production cost per battery………

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July 25, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, decentralised, energy storage, Reference | Leave a comment

Effects of Fukushima radiation on pale grass blue butterfly

The biological impacts of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the pale grass blue butterfly / 福島原子力発電所事故のヤマトシジミへの生物学的影響 http://csrp.jp/posts/654

Atsuki Hiyama, Chiyo Nohara, Seira Kinjo, Wataru Taira, Shinichi Gima, Akira Tanahara & Joji M. Otaki
AffiliationsContributionsCorresponding author
Scientific Reports 2, Article number: 570 doi:10.1038/srep00570
Received 06 June 2012 Accepted 24 July 2012 Published 09 August 2012 Updated online 06 August 2013
Corrigendum (August, 2013)

The collapse of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant caused a massive release of radioactive materials to the environment. A prompt and reliable system for evaluating the biological impacts of this accident on animals has not been available. Here we show that the accident caused physiological and genetic damage to the pale grass blue Zizeeria maha, a common lycaenid butterfly in Japan. We collected the first-voltine adults in the Fukushima area in May 2011, some of which showed relatively mild abnormalities. The F1 offspring from the first-voltine females showed more severe abnormalities, which were inherited by the F2 generation. Adult butterflies collected in September 2011 showed more severe abnormalities than those collected in May. Similar abnormalities were experimentally reproduced in individuals from a non-contaminated area by external and internal low-dose exposures. We conclude that artificial radionuclides from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant caused physiological and genetic damage to this species.

http://www.nature.com/srep/2012/120809/srep00570/full/srep00570.html
Hiyama A, Nohara C, Kinjo S, Taira W, Gima S, Tanahara A, Otaki JM. (2012)
The biological impacts of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the pale grass blue
butterfly. Scientific Reports 2: 570. DOI: 10.1038/srep00570
Published on 9 August 2012


要旨

福島第一原子力発電所の崩壊は環境への放射性物質の大規模な放出を引き起こした。この事故の動物への生物学的影響を評価する迅速で信頼に足る実験系は現在のところ報告されていない。我々はここに、この事故が日本で普通に見られる鱗翅目シジミチョウ科ヤマトシジミへの生理的・遺伝的損傷の原因となっていることを示した。第一化の成虫を福島地域で 2011 年 5 月に採集したところ、そのうちいくつかは比較的軽度の異常を示した。第一化の雌から産まれた F1 には親世代より高い異常が観察された。この異常は次世代 F2 に遺伝した。2011 年 9 月に採集した成虫の蝶には 5 月に採集されたものに比べ、より過酷な異常が観察された。同様の異常は、非汚染地域の個体において、外部および内部の低線量被曝により、実験的に再現された。我々は、福島原子力発電所由来の人工放射性核種がこの生物種に生理的・遺伝的損傷を引き起こしたと結論する。

http://w3.u-ryukyu.ac.jp/bcphunit/Hiyama_et_al_2012_verJP.pdf

July 25, 2015 Posted by | environment, Japan, Reference | Leave a comment

Danger for China, in planning inland nuclear facilities

Climate kills nuclearDrought and earthquakes pose “enormous risk” to China’s nuclear plans, China Dialogue Wang Yi’nan 27.02.2013

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China’s nuclear industry is shifting inland, away from the crowded coast. It’s a risky move, argues Wang Yi’nan When the Fukushima nuclear disaster struck, China was building new nuclear power capacity at a rate unprecedented in world history: 40% of all reactors planned or under construction were in China. Targets for installed nuclear generation capacity by 2020 were raised repeatedly – from 40 gigawatts in 2007 to 80 gigawatts in 2010.

Preparations were also under way for more than 20 inland nuclear power plants. The 41-plus gigawatts of capacity already completed or under construction lies along China’s seaboard. Space is running out.

But Fukushima sent shockwaves through the nuclear industry. In China, focus shifted from the speed and scale of expansion to questions of safety and quality. The government placed a moratorium on approvals for new nuclear plants, which lasted for more than a year, a period during which debate on what to do raged – over safety, scale of expansion, technology, site locations and, most crucially, whether or not the process of considering applications to build new inland nuclear power plants should be restarted.

China’s nuclear moratorium may have been lifted, but those arguments continue today……..China’s realities warn against inland nuclear development.

Figures from the China Earthquake Administration’s Institute of Geology show that, since 1900, China has been hit by almost 800 earthquakes of magnitude six or above, causing destruction in all regions except Guizhou, Zhejiang and Hong Kong. Despite having only 7% of the world’s landmass, China – where three tectonic plates meet – gets more than a third of all strong continental earthquakes.

Moreover, China’s per-head freshwater resources are only one quarter of the global average. Inland nuclear power plants require a failsafe, 100% reliable and never-ending supply of water for cooling. Even if a reactor stops operating it still requires water to carry off heat. If the water dries up, we could see a Fukushima-style disaster, with terrible consequences: radioactive pollutants released into nearby rivers and lakes, affecting the safety of water on which hundreds of millions rely.

In June last year, Reuters covered a report by European and US scientists on the vulnerabilities of nuclear and thermal power to climate change. According to the report, “under climate change, a lack of water for cooling is severely restricting generating capacity at nuclear power plants in the EU and US. In the summer seasons of 2003 to 2009, many inland nuclear power plants were forced to shut down due to a lack of cooling water.”

The authors predicted that “due to a lack of water for cooling, between 2030 and 2060 nuclear and thermal generating capacity will drop 4-16% in the US, and 6-19% in the EU,” and went on to stress that “opting to build nuclear and other thermal power plants by the sea is an effective and important strategy to cope with climate change.”
China is densely populated and prone to both drought and earthquakes, making the development of inland nuclear power inadvisable. It has also long sought to emulate the EU and US, regions which have now realised the outlook for inland nuclear power is bleak. China should not make the same mistake………
Safety standards still not being met

Moreover, there are still limits to China’s ability to run nuclear power plants.

During the State Council’s safety audit of 41 reactors in operation or under construction, some plants and fuel recycling facilities were found not to meet new safety standards for flood and earthquake resilience, while some plants did not have procedures for preventing or mitigating major accidents. Others had not evaluated tsunami risks and responses.

The Taishan Nuclear Power Plant has no guidelines for managing a major accident, for example. The Taishan No.2 reactor, Ling’Ao and Tianwan Nuclear Power Plants have procedures only for certain types of major accident……..
China has better and more realistic options to relieve energy shortages and cut emissions. These include more efficient use of resources including coal; the promotion of energy-saving techniques such as the use of energy performance contracting(where energy savings from new buildings systems pay for the cost of a building renewal project) a tool which, if used in China as it is in the EU, would save the equivalent of several Three Gorges Dams’ worth of energy.

Comprehensive clean-energy solutions, incorporating solar power, wind power, bioenergy, pumped-storage hydropower and natural gas peak power plants, can provide China with the clean, reliable and efficient energy it needs for a new type of industrialisation.

China’s development must be built on genuinely safe, reliable, clean and efficient energy. Blindly opting for nuclear power in response to energy shortages and emissions pressures is to drink from a poisoned chalice. https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/5746-Drought-and-earthquakes-pose-enormous-risk-to-China-s-nuclear-plans

July 19, 2015 Posted by | China, climate change, Reference, safety | Leave a comment

21 years after shutdown, USA’s Experimental Breeder Nuclear Reactor-II (EBR-II) is entombed

USA’s Experimental Breeder Reactor-II now permanently entombed, World Nuclear News
01 July 2015 
The main clean-up contractor at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Idaho Site, has entombed an historic nuclear reactor in place and treated the reactor’s remaining sodium coolant….CH2M-WG, Idaho, LLC (CWI) said yesterday that crews with the Decontamination and Decommissioning (D&D) Program recently completed pouring more than 3400 cubic yards of concrete grout into the basement of the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II (EBR-II) building to fill in any remaining void spaces and effectively entomb the reactor.

Workers also removed and treated the last of the sodium coolant from the reactor’s nine heat exchangers. The exchangers were used to cool the liquid metal and direct the steam to a generating turbine to produce electricity when the reactor was operating.

The EBR-II was the basis of the US Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) program…….. The reactor was shut down in 1994 and its fuel was removed and transported to another site facility for safe storage.

The DOE grouted the reactor in place instead of removing it to protect workers from industrial hazards and radiological risks, CWI said. Crews filled the reactor vessel with grout over two years ago and recently completed the remainder of grouting at the facility under CWI’s contract.

July 18, 2015 Posted by | decommission reactor, Reference, reprocessing, USA | Leave a comment

The Ugly Australians, And Other Miners, Leaving Health and Environmental Damage in Namibia

[Paladin’s] Langer Heinrich Uranium mine[Namibia] … 

Craton Mining and Exploration [copper] is a subsidiary of Australian-based International Base Metals…..

Rio Tinto owns Rössing Uranium Mine…

[Australian] Deep Yellow Limited (DYL)  the Aussinanis uranium project.

Aussies in toxic trail By Shinovene Immanuel, Ndanki Kahiurika 10 July 15  http://www.namibian.com.na/indexx.php?id=28936&page_type=story_detail&category_id=1#sthash.TJSxEgQV.P3bN2nwk.uxfs&st_refDomain=blogs.icerocket.com&st_refQuery=/search?tab=buzz&fr=h&q=uranium+Australia      NAMIBIA, a mining frontier for decades, continues to struggle with mining companies which subject workers to dangerous working conditions.

Among the alleged culprits are Australian multinationals. Well-established Australian companies face allegations of treating Namibian workers differently by subjecting workers to health risks which would be deemed unacceptable back home.An International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ (ICIJ) investigation, in collaboration with The Namibian, found that Australian mining companies have been implicated in instances of death, disfigurement, and the displacement of people across Africa. They have also been responsible for environmental destruction.That mining in Africa provokes controversy, even violence, is not new. Chinese companies receive regular criticism. Canada, too, has been forced to confront allegations of violence and even slavery linked to its mining companies.The ICIJ investigation looked at Australia’s increasing role in exploring and developing mining projects on the African continent because it has been less examined.

TROUBLING

What ICIJ uncovered and pieced together suggests a troubling track record on the part of Australian companies in the rush for Africa’s minerals, including practices that would be impermissible, even unthinkable, in Australia and other parts of the developed world. 

ICIJ found that, at the end of 2014, there were more than 150 Australian-listed active mining companies with recorded properties in Africa. Other estimates, using different criteria, put the number even higher.

Australian companies have 49 mining licences in Namibia; two of those companies are operational.

Even though Australian firms run successful mining companies which contribute to Namibia’s economy and workplace conditions have improved compared to two decades ago, there are still questions about the safety of workers.

Thousands of people, including village chiefs, former employees, human rights defenders and government agencies across Africa have taken Australian companies, their subsidiaries and their contractors to court for alleged negligence, unfair dismissal and eviction or pollution, according to court submissions and judgements unearthed from more than a dozen countries.

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July 11, 2015 Posted by | environment, Namibia, Reference | 2 Comments

Grim future for France’s nuclear companies AREVA and EDF

Burdened by losses, EDF’s foreign activities are currently unable to finance the increasing requirements at home, where the production costs of nuclear plants are rising by around 5% each year and investment needs are increasing.

The international trend is not for a nuclear renaissance but for a boom in renewable energy, and France will not be able to export significantly more reactors, or to develop new reprocessing contracts abroad under profitable conditions.

To understand just how far the French nuclear industry has fallen in recent years, look no further than the value of EDF and Areva. Since 2007, EDF’s stock price has fallen more than 70%; Areva’s by more than 85%. If Areva weren’t 83% government-owned, it almost certainly would have declared bankruptcy by now.


plants-downnuClear News July 15
 http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo75.pdf The deep crisis which the French nuclear industry is experiencing is not new, although it seems to have shocked some commentators. It actually represents the outcome of a strategy launched at the end of the 1990s which was always flawed. The project involved an aggressive export policy which it was hoped would disguise predictable difficulties at home, according to a report by WISE Paris for Greenpeace. (1)

 

 Faced with declining overseas markets and increasing expenditure at a domestic level, EDF and Areva appear to be heading for a terminal decline. The recent industrial restructuring will not save the industry. Only a genuine reorientation can prevent further disaster for the French economy.
Areva has now suffered four years of losses, including a record figure of €4.8 billion in 2014 and debts of €5.8 billion against a turnover of €8.3 billion. The group is facing bankruptcy and cannot sidestep a far-reaching redistribution of its business operations. Despite less worrying results, the EDF group, whose fifty-eight nuclear reactors operated in France provide more than 75% of the country’s electricity, is also experiencing difficulties. Boosted by its turnover of €72.9 billion, the electricity company recorded net profits of €3.7 billion in 2014. But its debt situation – now at €34.2 billion – is increasingly a matter of concern.
In the era of the energy transition, in which France has set itself the objective of lowering the share of nuclear power in its electricity generation to 50% by 2025, the future looks grim for the two companies.

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July 6, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France, Reference | Leave a comment

When France shuts its nuclear reactors, it will be left with a monumental radioactive trash problem

flag-franceFrench nuclear waste will triple after decommissioning: agency http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/01/us-france-nuclear-waste-idUSKCN0PB4TM20150701
PARIS The amount of nuclear waste stored in France will triple once all its nuclear installations have been decommissioned, which will boost the need for storage facilities, French nuclear waste agency Andra said.

In a report released on Wednesday, Andra estimated that final nuclear waste volumes will eventually reach 4.3 million cubic meters, up from 1.46 million at the end of 2013 and an estimated 2.5 million in 2030.

That is based on an average lifespan of 50 years for utility EDF’s 58 nuclear reactors and including a new reactor under construction in Flamanville. Most of that waste will be only slightly radioactive, such as building rubble and clothing used during decommissioning, but because of its bulk, it requires increasing amounts of space.

Decommissioning

Andra, which publishes a nuclear waste inventory every three years, expects its low-level waste facility in Morvilliers, in the Aube region, would fill up between 2020 and 2025.

“We want to warn that the storage centers are filling up and that we need to optimize waste management because storage facilities are a rare resource,” Andra executive Michele Tallec told Reuters.

Volumes of highly radioactive, long-life waste – which represent just 0.2 percent of the volume but 98 percent of the radioactivity – should rise from 3,200 cubic meters at the end of 2013 to about 10,000 cubic meters when all France’s nuclear plants reach their end of life.

This waste is scheduled to be buried in the controversial deep-storage site in Bure, in eastern France, which already has a test facility but has not received any nuclear waste.

his year, Andra plans to present the French government and nuclear regulator ASN a technical dossier on Bure, which aims to bury nuclear waste 500 meters underground in thick layers of argillite rock, which Andra says will prevent most radioactive particles from traveling more than a few meters over hundreds of thousands of years.

Andra plans to put in a formal request to build the 35 billion euro facility – which faces resistance from environmental groups and local residents – in 2017 and hopes to start construction in 2020 with a view to open it for first testing in 2025.(Reporting by Benjamin Mallet and Michel Rose, writing by Geert De Clercq, editing by David Evans)

July 6, 2015 Posted by | decommission reactor, France, Reference | Leave a comment

Game Over for UK’s Hinkley Point Nuclear power project?

The UK Government is now said to be deeply concerned about the future of the Hinkley project following revelations about problems at the similar reactor being built at Flamanville

Nuclear needs a blank cheque Now that it is plain that nuclear power has failed miserably to compete with renewable energy even on the somewhat skewed playing field represented by the (proposed) Hinkley C deal, nuclear supporters are trying to engineer a ‘blank cheque’ to be given to nuclear developers

nuClear News, July 15 http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo75.pdf  There is a growing chorus of critics calling for Hinkley Point C to be scrapped altogether, according to the Sunday Times.

It would be one of the most expensive man-made objects ever built in the world. At a cost of £24.5bn it would tie British households into paying for astonishingly expensive electricity subsidies until 2060. The world has changed since 2010 when Hinkley was first named as a site for new reactors. The price of renewables has plummeted.

 protest-Hinkley-C
 Peter Atherton, an analyst at Jefferies and long-time critic is unequivocal: “This project is an abomination,” he said. “It’s going to cost £16bn to build, plus another £6bn in financing costs. Either of those numbers alone should have made this unthinkable. We’re building a power station, not the pyramids.”
 Since 2010 the cost of solar power panels has plummeted by 67%, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The price of onshore wind turbines has shrunk by 5%, though the government’s decision to slash subsidies will curtail new developments.

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July 6, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, politics, Reference, UK | Leave a comment

Sorry, but Nuclear Power just won’t help against climate change – new campaign

globalnukeNOhighly-recommendednuClear News, July edition, http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo75.pdf    “…. Don’t Nuke the Climate On June 16, seven international clean energy organizations launched a major new campaign aimed at keeping nuclear power out of all negotiations at the upcoming UN climate talks in Paris. The UN Climate Change Conference (‘COP-21’) will be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11.

The seven initiating groups are the two organisations behind the Nuclear Monitor − the World Information Service on Energy (WISE-Amsterdam) and the Nuclear Information & Resource Service (NIRS) − along with Sortir du Nucleaire (France), Ecodefense (Russia), Global 2000 (Austria), Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF), and Burgerinitiative Umweltschutz (Germany).
Some of the same groups were critical to a similar effort at the UN negotiations in The Hague in 2000, which succeeded in barring nuclear power from the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism. And some of the groups also organized the large Nuclear-Free, Carbon-Free contingent to last year’s People’s Climate March in New York City.
Peer de Rijk of WISE-Amsterdam said: “We are calling on 1,000 civil society organisations to join us for a campaign to block the nuclear industry’s lobby activities at COP-21 and instead ensure the world chooses clean energy.” 
  • Nuclear Power is Not a Silver Bullet: Nuclear power could at most make a modest contribution to climate change abatement. The main limitation is that it is used almost exclusively for electricity generation, which accounts for less than 25% of global greenhouse emissions. Even tripling nuclear power generation would reduce emissions by less than 10% − and then only if the assumption is that it displaces coal. 
  • Greenhouse Emissions from the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Claims that nuclear power is ‘greenhouse free’ are false. Nuclear power is more greenhouse intensive than most renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures. Life-cycle greenhouse emissions from nuclear power will increase as relatively high-grade uranium ores are mined out. 
  • Nuclear Power – A Slow Response to an Urgent Problem: The nuclear industry does not have the capacity to rapidly expand production as a result of 20 years of stagnation. Limitations include bottlenecks in the reactor manufacturing sector, dwindling and ageing workforces, and the considerable time it takes to build a reactor and to pay back the energy debt from construction. 
  • Nuclear Power and Climate Change Countries and regions with a high reliance on nuclear power also tend to have high greenhouse gas emissions. Some countries are planning to replace fossil fuel-fired power plants with nuclear power in order to increase fossil fuel exports − in such cases any potential climate change mitigation benefits of nuclear power are lost. 
  • Climate Change and Nuclear Hazards Nuclear power plants are vulnerable to threats which are being exacerbated by climate change. These include dwindling and warming No2NuclearPower nuClear news No.75, July 2015 22 water sources, sea-level rise, storm damage, drought, and jelly-fish swarms. ‘Water wars’ − in particular, disputes over the allocation of increasingly scarce water resources between power generation and agriculture − are becoming increasingly common and are being exacerbated by climate change.  
  • Weapons Proliferation and Nuclear Winter Civil nuclear programs have provided cover for numerous covert weapons programs and an expansion of nuclear power would exacerbate the problem. Nuclear warfare − even a limited nuclear war involving a tiny fraction of the global arsenal − has the potential to cause catastrophic climate change. 
  • Renewables and Energy Efficiency: Global renewable power capacity more than doubled from 2004 to 2014 (and non-hydro renewables grew 8-fold). Over that decade, and the one before it, nuclear power flatlined. Global renewable capacity (including hydro) is 4.6 times greater than nuclear capacity, and renewable electricity generation more than doubles nuclear generation. A growing body of research demonstrates the potential for renewables to largely supplant fossil fuels for power supply globally. Energy efficiency and renewables are the Twin Pillars of a clean energy future. A University of Cambridge study concluded that 73% of global energy use could be saved by energy efficiency and conservation measures − making it far easier to achieve a lowcarbon, nonnuclear future.
Sign the Petition http://www.nirs.org/cop21/dontnuketheclimate.htm Ten Reasons Not to Nuke the Climatehttp://www.nirs.org/factsheets/nukesclimatefact614.pdf

July 6, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment | Edit

July 6, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Reference | Leave a comment

Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCI) to work with Romania to market nuclear reactors

nuclear-marketing-crapMOU promotes stronger ties among Canadian and Romanian nuclear suppliers Market Watch, BUCHAREST, Romania, Jul 2, 2015 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) — The Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCI) is proud to announce the signing today of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Romanian Atomic Forum Association (ROMATOM)……..

The Partnering Workshop included an update on the planned Cernavoda 3/4 CANDU project as well as presentations by Canadian and Romanian nuclear suppliers on their nuclear capabilities and experience along with discussions on their mutual interest in collaborating on the Cernavoda 3/4 CANDU Project.

This MOU outlines several ways that OCI and ROMATOM will work together including identifying opportunities at nuclear projects in Romania, Canada, and other countries on which OCI and ROMATOM companies can cooperate. The OCI-ROMATOM MOU will also encourage and facilitate cooperation among Canadian and Romanian nuclear research institutes and universities on nuclear research, development, and nuclear education……..

The Canada-Romania Cernavoda 3/4 Supply Chain Partnering Workshop was the focal point of a three day 12 company OCI-led Trade Mission to Romania that kicked off with a July 1 Canada Day Celebration hosted by the Canadian Embassy …… The Trade Mission to Romania was supported by co-funding from Global Opportunities for Associations (GOA) program through which the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) encourages and supports trade associations in taking member companies into promising export markets.

Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCI) is an association of 180 leading Canadian suppliers to the nuclear industry in Canada and foreign markets. OCI…provides……engineering services and support to CANDU nuclear power plants in Canada as well as to CANDU and Light Water Reactor (LWR) plants in offshore markets. OCI promotes the continued and expanded use of nuclear energy in Canada and supports member companies in both domestic and international nuclear markets………http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mou-promotes-stronger-ties-among-canadian-and-romanian-nuclear-suppliers-2015-07-02

July 4, 2015 Posted by | Canada, EUROPE, marketing, Reference | Leave a comment

Depleted uranium especially hazardous – gradually becomes more radioactive – a problem for Utah

depleted-uraniumFederal regulators hear Utah testimony on depleted uranium By , Deseret News, June 25 2015 “…………The NRC is proposing to adopt a rule that for the first time specifically addresses the disposal of the material, which is a waste stream generated from the enrichment process of uranium in the nuclear fuel cycle.

Depleted uranium poses unique disposal challenges because it does not hit its peak radioactivity until 2.1 million years, and actually grows more radioactive over time. In its disposal stage, however, depleted uranium contains radioactivity that falls under the lowest level classified by the federal government — that of class A — and is legally within limits on what can be buried in Utah at EnergySolutions’ Clive facility.

Matt Pacenza, executive director of the radioactive waste watchdog organization called HEAL Utah, believes that the NRC is making a huge mistake by classifying depleted uranium as class A.

“Right now, a regulatory loophole could allow waste that does not reach a peak hazard for 2.1 million years to be treated just like waste which loses 90 percent of its hazard in less than 200,” his presentation asserted.

Pacenza, who spoke at the briefing Thursday, said the safety of the public and the environment cannot be assured given the complex nature of depleted uranium and its long-lived radioactivity.

HEAL Utah has lobbied hard against any depleted uranium being disposed of at EnergySolutions’ commercial facility in Tooele County ever since the Salt Lake-based company inked a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009 to begin accepting stockpiles of the waste — with the initial shipments reaching 10,500 tons.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert intervened, successfully getting some of those shipments turned around after he launched objections with the federal agency over the uncertainties associated with the material’s disposal.

State regulators then convened multiple hearings and crafted their own rules governing the disposal of any significant amounts of depleted uranium, including the requirement that EnergySolutions develop a site-specific performance assessment designed to specifically contemplate depleted uranium’s unique character……….

The NRC’s proposed rule on depleted uranium would affect commercial facilities in Utah and Texas, as well as Washington and South Carolina.

Mike Garner, executive director of the Northwest Interstate Compact — a regional alliance with oversight of low-level radioactive waste management — argued before the commission that the proposed rule should not be hoisted on states that aren’t planning to take depleted uranium, a concern echoed by the Nuclear Energy Institute that argued the proposal would be unnecessarily costly and burdensome.

Pacenza, too, added that the proposal is undergoing significant modifications that show how much industry — particularly EnergySolutions — is influencing the potential regulation of depleted uranium……

Comments on the rule can be submitted atwww.regulations.gov

Email: amyjoi@deseretnews.com, Twitter: amyjoi16    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865631459/Federal-regulators-hear-Utah-testimony-on-depleted-uranium.html?pg=all

June 27, 2015 Posted by | depleted uranium, Reference, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

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