The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

New book Green Energy Futures

book Green Energy futuresA clean, green energy future beckons! Ecologist Dave Elliott 5th November 2015 The world could soon be generating all its electricity from renewable sources, writes Dave Elliott, by harnessing diverse technologies for generation, grid balancing and energy storage. Add to that the use of power surpluses to make fuels, and it could even be feasible to make all our energy – not just electricity – renewable. A clean green future beckons…….

Some renewables are now cheaper than conventional sources, even when the cost of providing backup to deal with their variability is included.

When the health costs associated with using conventional energy sources is also included, the comparison is even more favourable: air pollution from burning fossil fuel is a killer.

If the longer term global social, economic and health impacts of climate change are also added in, then most renewables win out across the board, although some may have local impacts, such as visual intrusion, and for some there will be potential land-use conflicts.

We need to decide on priorities, and on issues of scale, although most of these local impacts can be avoided or limited, as I illustrate in my new book Green Energy Futures. That also looks at how the variability of some renewables can be dealt with at low cost, an issue I will focus on here. It often seen as the Achilles heal of renewables.

Harnessing variability Continue reading

November 6, 2015 Posted by | resources - print | Leave a comment

Harrowing account of the survivors of Nagasaki nuclear bombing

book Nagasaki Life After Nuclear War

What made things worse for Japanese doctors who tried to ease the suffering of atom-bomb victims is that information about the bomb and its effects was censored by the American administration occupying Japan

It was bad enough for the Americans to have killed so many people, and then hide the gruesome facts for many years after the war. To forget about the massacre now would be an added insult to the victims. Southard has helped to make sure that this will not happen yet.


‘Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War,’ by Susan Southard, NYT,  By IAN BURUMAJULY 28, 2015 “………..Susan Southard’s harrowing descriptions give us some idea of what it must have been like for people who were unlucky enough not to be killed instantly: “A woman who covered her eyes from the flash lowered her hands to find that the skin of her face had melted into her palms”; “Hundreds of field workers and others staggered by, moaning and crying. Some were missing body parts, and others were so badly burned that even though they were naked, Yoshida couldn’t tell if they were men or women. He saw one person whose eyeballs hung down his face, the sockets empty.”

Gen. Leslie Groves, the director of the Manhattan Project, which had developed the atom bomb, testified before the United States Senate that death from high-dose radiation was “without undue suffering,” and indeed “a very pleasant way to die.”

Many survivors died later, always very unpleasantly, of radiation sickness. Their hair would fall out, they would be covered in purple spots, their skin would rot. And those who survived the first wave of sickness after the war had a much higher than average chance of dying of leukemia or other cancers even decades later.  Continue reading

July 29, 2015 Posted by | history, resources - print | Leave a comment

Three books showing the close risk of nuclear disaster

book-Command-and-ControlThree books show how close nuclear catastrophe is, Green Left, , July 4, 2015 By Phil Shannon In 2003, half the US Air Force units responsible for nuclear weapons failed their safety inspections.

Command & Control
Eric Schlosser
Allen Lane, 2013
632 pages
A Short History Of Nuclear Folly
Rudolph Herzog
Melville House, 2014
252 pages
Atomic Comics: Cartoonists Confront The Nuclear Age
Ferenc Szasz
University of Nevada Press, 2013
179 pages

Atomic bombs have only been used in warfare twice, but they have nearly been detonated, through accident or mistake, many more times, writes Eric Schlosser in his book on nuclear weapons mishaps, Command and Control. Continue reading

July 6, 2015 Posted by | resources - print | 2 Comments

New book on The Privatization of Nuclear War

Book chossudovsky_towards_world_war_3_scenario_The Privatization of Nuclear War    GRTV Report Produced by James Corbett, Featuring Michel Chossuodvsky By James Corbett and Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, June 25, 2015 With tensions growing in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, a new generation of nuclear weapons technology is making nuclear warfare a very real prospect. And with very little fanfare, the US is embarking on the privatization of nuclear war under a first-strike doctrine.

“On August 6, 2003, on Hiroshima Day, commemorating when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima (August 6 1945), a secret meeting was held behind closed doors at Strategic Command Headquarters at the Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. Senior executives from the nuclear industry and the military industrial complex were in attendance. This mingling of defense contractors, scientists and policy-makers was not intended to commemorate Hiroshima. The meeting was intended to set the stage for the development of a new generation of “smaller”, “safer” and “more usable” nuclear weapons, to be used in the “in-theater nuclear wars” of the 21st Century. 

“Nuclear war has become a multibillion dollar undertaking, which fills the pockets of US defense contractors. What is at stake is the outright “privatization of nuclear war”.

US-NATO weapons of mass destruction are portrayed as instruments of peace. Mini-nukes are said to be “harmless to the surrounding civilian population”. Pre-emptive nuclear war is portrayed as a “humanitarian undertaking”. 

US nuclear doctrine is intimately related to “America’s War on Terrorism” and the alleged threat of Al Qaeda, which in a bitter irony is con- sidered as an upcoming nuclear power.

Under the Obama administration, Islamic terrorists are said to be preparing to attack US cities. Proliferation is tacitly equated with “nuclear terrorism”. Obama’s nuclear doctrine puts particular emphasis on “nuclear terrorism” and on the alleged plans by Al Qaeda to develop and use nuclear weapons. 

While one can conceptualize the loss of life and destruction resulting from present-day wars including Iraq and Afghanistan, it is impossible to fully comprehend the devastation which might result from a Third World War, using “new technologies” and advanced weapons, until it occurs and becomes a reality. The international community has endorsed nuclear war in the name of world peace. “Making the world safer” is the justification for launching a military operation which could potentially result in a nuclear holocaust.”  

(Excerpts from Michel Chossudovsky, Towards a World War III Scenario, The Dangers of Nuclear War, Global Research Montreal, 2011\

Order directly from Global Research (also available in pdf and kindle)

June 26, 2015 Posted by | resources - print | Leave a comment

New book: Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster

Book fukushima storyBook: Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster,Truth Dig, Jun 12, 2015 By Louise Rubacky “Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster”  A book by David Lochbaum, Edwin Lyman, Susan Q. Stranahan and the Union of Concerned Scientists

In “Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster,” a team of scientists and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist recount what happens when a catastrophe strikes that no one imagines. No one with the clout to prevent it, that is. It’s a tale of entwined worlds that must cooperate intelligently in order to protect the public. The tensions and cross-purposes among them, however, lead to indecision, inaction and increased calamity. In crisis, these worlds—the nuclear energy industry, two powerful governments, and international regulatory commissions—are about as effective as a machine lubed with super glue.

Early and often comes the warning: HUBRIS AHEAD. Words and phrases like prevailing wisdom, low risk, practically unthinkable, unlikely, government assurances, assumptions, confidence, remote possibility and a situation we had never imaginedappear throughout; they indicate attitudes about potential dangers, and point to why the earthquake and tsunami had such dire effects on Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and Japan.

This chronicle, another in the continuing tragedy of the human gamble against nature, is mostly peopled by players who could be said to represent knowledge, fear, power and money. In standing, the first of these comes last. Corporate captains, regulators and leaders charged with public safety cover up or sidestep facts that, if acknowledged and addressed, could imperil their coffers or careers. As in the U.S., there’s a symbiotic and dangerous relationship between government and industry in Japan. The route from the public to the private sector is known here as the revolving door; there, the delicate name for that greasy highway is “amakudari,” translated as “descent from heaven.”…………..

“Fukushima” makes a fine reference volume for understanding nuclear power production and its still-critical dangers. It’s also a mosaic of determined reconstruction, and serves as a play-by-play guide to What Not to Believe during an industrial accident. As the prescient journalist I.F. Stone warned for decades about governments: They all lie. And so it goes for most large corporations, whose PR shields give “spinning”—formerly known as lying—a shiny sophistication. Eight days into the crisis, Chuck Casto, the NRC rep in Japan working on no sleep and with little cooperation, said, “I’m just trying to figure out who the power player is over here.” This too is a crux of the story, and others about high-stakes arenas. ….

June 13, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, resources - print | Leave a comment

the nuclear history of Port Hope – told in “Blind Faith”

Bok-Blind-FaithBlind Faith: The Nuclear History of Port Hope, Ontario January 15, 2015 by   @DennisRiches “……..hibakusha (the Japanese word for radiation victims) become invisible. When a new group of people become victims, such as in Fukushima in 2011, they feel that they have experienced a unique new kind of horror. For them, for their generation, it is new, but for those who know the historical record, it is a familiar replay of an old story. The people of Fukushima should know by now that they are bit players who have been handed down a tattered script from the past.

A case in point is “Blind Faith,” the superb 1981 book by journalist Penny Sanger, about the small irradiated Canadian town of Port Hope on the shores of Lake Ontario. (See the timeline at the end of this article) [2] In the 1970s it faced (and more often failed to face) the toxic legacy of processing first radium, then uranium for nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants.

In a saner world this book would not be out of print and forgotten. It would be a classic text known by everyone who has ever had to share his town with a dangerous corporate citizen. Then there would be no surprises when a nuclear reactor explodes or a cancer cluster appears somewhere new. It wouldn’t be a shock to see the victims themselves fall over each other in a rush to excuse their abuser, beg for a continuation of jobs and tax revenue, and threaten the minority who try to break the conspiracy of silence.

On the back cover of the 1981 paperback edition of “Blind Faith” there was an endorsement by the late great Canadian writer Farley Mowat, who passed away in the spring of 2014:

Penny Sanger has written a fascinating and fearsome account of the emotional turmoil that engulfs a small town when it discovers that its major industry is a threat to the health of its citizens. This is a classic account of how economic power enables industry to ride roughshod over those who must depend on it for their daily bread.

Although I wrote above that “Blind Faith” illustrates universal truths about what happens to communities contaminated with radiation, there are always unique aspects of the situation that come into play. In this case, we see the extreme complacency and obliviousness of Canadian society to the role that the country played in the development of nuclear weapons and nuclear power.

The uranium refinery in Port Hope was a key element in the Manhattan Project. ………

One stand-out account is that of a widow whose husband, a long-time Eldorado worker, had died of lung cancer at age 50. He had worked at Eldorado for over twenty years, during the era when workplace monitoring and standards were non-existent. Her husband was no longer there to say whether he too was “philosophical” about it and “couldn’t be bitter about it” like his wife and his daughter claimed. The widow said that in spite of her husband’s shortened life, they were grateful for the good jobs and university education that the children were able to get. Thanks to Eldorado, they had come up in the world.

Penny Sanger passed no judgment on this thinking, but I find it to be a rather disturbinging example of working man’s Stockholm Syndrome. The victim has internalized the values of the captor, and lost self-esteem and critical thinking skills in the process. The bereaved family shrugs that they “can’t be bitter about it.” They’ve internalized the value that children have to go to university to live worthwhile lives, and it’s alright if parents have to kill themselves to accomplish this goal.

It seemed to never occur to any of the Port Hope boosters that there were dozens of similar towns in rural Ontario that had found ways to survive without hosting toxic industries. I know a family of Polish immigrants who landed in Port Hope in the 1960s, and they managed to get by without working for Cameco. The children had the sense to leave town after high school when they saw their friends going straight to grim lives working with the yellowcake down at the plant. One of them managed somehow to get a couple of university degrees after he left town.

This lack of imagination among the terminally hopeful applies more widely. Not only do company towns fail to imagine less toxic ways to live, but large nations also fail to imagine new paradigms for energy and economic systems……..

“Blind Faith” is available on a website dedicated to the history of Port Hope. Since it is out of print and over thirty years old, I asked the author if she would allow its free distribution as a pdf file. She gave her permission, but of course the common sense rules apply. If you want to sell the book, ask the author for permission. If you redistribute it free, in whole or in part, do so with proper citation.Read it in a web browser:

Free download (permitted by author):
Penny Sanger, Blind Faith” (pdf) (McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1981), 135 pages.

April 1, 2015 Posted by | resources - print, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

UNPRECEDENTED – new book exposes climate denialism, and shows way to act on climate change

Book UnprededentedEverything you need to know about climate change and what can be done about it   Clarity Press UNPRECEDENTED
Can Civilization Survive the CO2 Crisis?
By David Ray Griffin  


Introduction: The basic issue is whether global warming, besides
leading to a hellish existence for our children and grandchildren,
will destroy civilization. Each chapter in Part I addresses 3
possible responses: Plan B (mobilization), Plan A (business as
usual), and Plan C (wait and see)……..


11 Climate Change Denial: Worst in America, climate-change
denialism has resulted from a concentrated campaign by the
fossil-fuel industry to repudiate the scientific consensus and
promote public uncertainty. This chapter examines techniques
previously used by big business to impact public opinion in
relation to smoking, acid rain, CFCs, and the ozone layer,
showing how they are now being used by the fossil-fuel industry
to dispute the conclusion of virtually all climate scientists that
fossil fuels – coal, oil, and natural gas – are imperiling our planet.
The fossil-fuel industry, which knows its claims to be false, has
deceived many citizens into accepting its propaganda over the
evidence provided by climate scientists. This chapter debunks a
large number of the claims against climate science,

12 Media Failure:   The fossil-fuel industry’s denialist strategy has
been forced upon, if not willingly embraced  by, the major
American corporate media, leading to  their failure to adequately
address either the science or the urgency of climate disruption.
Examined here are various media techniques geared to produce
public uncertainty on the issue:   reduced coverage, inadequate
contextualization of extreme weather events, and false balance
(giving the opinions of propagandists paid by Big Oil as much
attention as the views of renowned climate scientists), and going
even beyond  that to explicit denialism.

13  Political Failure: This chapter documents the historical record
of global failures to successfully address climate change and
explains  reasons why. It demonstrates the extent to which
politicians have overruled the findings of science and analyzes
their motives. The record of US Presidents on climate change is
examined. Charting the Republican stampede toward absolute
climate change denial since 2011, it names  specific malefactors
pursuing their selfish private interests to shed light on what
British journalist George Monbiot terms “the greatest political
failure the world has ever seen.” Continue reading

March 20, 2015 Posted by | climate change, resources - print | Leave a comment

Time for an independent criminal investigation of radiation tragedies – Fukushima, Hanford and beyond

child-anitinuke-posterFukushima victims speak. Will anyone listen? Four years later, Japanese police and prosecutors have yet to conduct a thorough investigation  March 11, 2015  Aljazeera by Trisha Pritikin   @TrishaPritikin…………..a public accounting of the tragedy is just as urgent not only to Fukushima victims but also to the disenfranchised victims of radiation exposure around the world.

Seeking accountability

I feel a personal connection to the downwind victims of Fukushima. I, too, have felt disempowered and invisible, longing to see those responsible for my radiation-induced health damage to finally be brought to justice. Just as Fukushima’s children could have been protected from thyroid cancer, thousands of people, including me, were exposed to radiation discharged decades ago from the (still leaking) Hanford nuclear weapon production facility near my childhood home in Richland, Washington. As in Richland, the children of Fukushima were not given potassium iodide tablets to block the uptake by our developing thyroid glands of radioiodine in contaminated milk and food — a simple protective measure understood since the dawn of the atomic age. Both Hanford and Fukushima communities put their trust in authorities who violated that trust and put their lives in danger.

I don’t want to see anyone else’s lives destroyed by radiation and nuclear catastrophes. A criminal investigation of Fukushima sets a precedent for governments and corporations around the world, declaring, “You are responsible for nuclear safety.”

Any nuclear disaster can have global health implications. This was demonstrated in reports of health damage across Europe after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine in 1986 and now in suspected damage to the marine ecosystem after Fukushima Daiichi, where 300 tons of radiation-contaminated water pours into the Pacific Ocean daily………

Victims speak

To bring global attention to their cause, in April 2015, Fukushima victims will publish an English translation of select statements from their complaint as a book, available to the English-speaking world, “Will You Still Say No Crime Was Committed?” Their goal, according to Ruiko Muto, the chairwoman of the Complainants for Criminal Prosecution of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, is to let the world “know that the Fukushima nuclear disaster has not been brought under control, that it continues to spread harm and that the nation of Japan is choosing to abandon the victims.”

The book’s personal stories are compelling. Their statements offer a rare glimpse into their deep sense of betrayal. They tell of mortgages still being paid on contaminated homes that they can never inhabit. Livelihoods have been lost, families torn apart. They are under constant stress, uncertain whether the food they are eating or the air that they breathe is poisoned, unable to trust the authorities to tell them the truth.

“With no one taking responsibility for the nuclear accident, what we have is a situation of paradise for the perpetrators, hell for the victims. I cannot go to my grave like this,” says complainant No. 48, age 68.

Through the English-language publication of their stories, grief-stricken Fukushima victims are now asking the English-speaking world to join in their battle for justice. These innocent victims of Fukushima Daiichi have reached across the Pacific to raise awareness and obtain our help.

Let’s add our voices to theirs.

Trisha Pritikin is a Hanford Downwinder, an attorney and an internationally recognized advocate on behalf of populations exposed to Hanford’s radiation releases. She blogs at www.trishapritikin.com

March 11, 2015 Posted by | resources - print | Leave a comment

New book: “FUKUSHIMA: Dispossession or Denuclearization?

Book-Fukushima-DispossessioThe Fukushima Syndrome – Diagnosing Nuclear Madness March 6, 2015

The Nuclear Energy Paradigm “Has No Clothes.”

An important new book strips it bare.

By James Heddle

A Review of “FUKUSHIMA: Dispossession or Denuclearization?
The Dispossession Publishing Group, 2014
Edited by Majia Nadesan, Antony Boys, Andrew McKillop and Richard Wilcox
Contributors – Harvey Wasserman, Christopher Busby, Paul Langley, Adam Broinowski, Christian Lystback, The Fukushima Five.

Reviewer’s note:

As Fukushima continues to pour its genotoxic effluent into the planetary biosphere four years on and counting, a recent BBC article tells us that the global proliferation of nuclear reactors is now at an all-time historic high with 70 reactors under construction and 500 on order in countries around the world. We have the spectacle of Nobel laureate and Nuclear-Salesman-in-Chief Obama sealing a new nukes deal with nuclear-armed India, sanctioning non-nuclear Iran for even thinking about developing nuclear energy, risking nuclear war with Russia over Ukraine, and ordering a $30 billion upgrade in the US nuclear arsenal (even as he lays flowers on Gandhi’s grave). Are decision-makers madmen and morons? How to explain this lemming rush to oblivion…or worse: a malformed genetic future distorted by massive global radioactive pollution. This review and the book it treats look at some of the forces and factors shaping the delusional worldview driving this societal madness……

March 11, 2015 Posted by | resources - print | Leave a comment


by Lester R. Brown with Janet Larsen, J. Matthew Roney,
and Emily E. Adams  
“The energy transition will change not only how we view the world but also how we view ourselves,” say the authors of The Great Transition. “With rooftop solar panels to both power homes and recharge car batteries, there will be a personal degree of energy independence not known for generations.”

As fossil fuel reserves shrink, as air pollution worsens, and as concerns about climate instability cast a shadow over the future of coal, oil, and natural gas, a new world energy economy is emerging. The old economy, fueled largely by coal and oil, is being replaced with one powered by solar and wind energy.

We can see the transition unfolding. In the U.S. Midwest, Iowa and South Dakota are generating 26 percent of their electricity from wind farms. Denmark generates 34 percent of its electricity from wind. Portugal and Spain are above 20 percent. In China, electricity from wind farms now exceeds that from nuclear power plants. And in Australia, 15 percent of homes draw energy from the sun. With solar and wind costs falling fast, their spread is accelerating.

In The Great Transition, Lester R. Brown and his colleagues explain the environmental and economic wisdom of moving to solar and wind energy and shows how fast change is coming.

March 4, 2015 Posted by | resources - print | Leave a comment

Book “The Globalization of War” by Michel Chossudovsky

see-this.way“The Globalization of War” by Michel Chossudovsky
Michel Chossudovsky
James Corbett
Michel Chossudovsky joins us to talk about his new book, “The Globalization of War.” We discuss the threat of nuclear warfare, NATO’s use of proxy terrorist armies to destabilise sovereign nations, and how people can fight back against the US-NATO war agenda.

Buy the book here:

From the outset of the post World War II period to the present, America’s s global military design has been one of world conquest. War and globalization are intricately related. Militarization supports powerful economic interests. America’s “Long War” is geared towards worldwide corporate expansion and the conquest of new economic frontiers.

The concept of the “Long War” is an integral part of U.S. military doctrine. Its ideological underpinnings are intended to camouflage the hegemonic project of World conquest. Its implementation relies on a global alliance of 28 NATO member states.

In turn, the U.S. as well as NATO have established beyond the “Atlantic Region” a network of bilateral military alliances with “partner” countries directed against Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. What we are dealing with is a formidable military force, deployed in all major regions of the World.

February 11, 2015 Posted by | resources - print, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

“Blind Faith” – book reveals the toxic nuclear legacy in Port Hope

Book-Blind-faith--Port-Hopeflag-canadaBlind Faith: The Nuclear History of Port Hope, Ontario January 15, 2015 By 

Radiation is invisible, and it has always been imbued with a diverse range of magical powers in science fiction. Ironically, in a very real sense, radiation does make people invisible. Once groups of people have become victims of a radiological contamination, they are, in addition to being poisoned (or being traumatized by the possibility that they have been poisoned), marginalized and forgotten. Their traditions and communities are fragmented, and they are shamed into concealing their trauma. When contamination occurs, there is a strong impulse even among many victims to not admit that they have been harmed, for they know the fate that awaits them if they do.

Thus it is that hibakusha (the Japanese word for radiation victims) become invisible. When a new group of people become victims, such as in Fukushima in 2011, they feel that they have experienced a unique new kind of horror. For them, for their generation, it is new, but for those who know the historical record, it is a familiar replay of an old story. The people of Fukushima should know by now that they are bit players who have been handed down a tattered script from the past.

A case in point is “Blind Faith,” the superb 1981 book by journalist Penny Sanger, about the small irradiated Canadian town of Port Hope on the shores of Lake Ontario. In the 1970s, it faced (and more often failed to face) the toxic legacy of processing first radium, then uranium for nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants.

January 19, 2015 Posted by | Canada, environment, resources - print | Leave a comment

New book – Towards a World War III Scenario

Book-towards-WW-3The Dangers of Nuclear War By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, January 02, 2015 While one can conceptualize the loss of life and destruction resulting from present-day wars including Iraq and Afghanistan, it is impossible to fully comprehend the devastation which might result from a Third World War, using “new technologies” and advanced weapons, until it occurs and becomes a reality.

The international community has endorsed nuclear war in the name of world peace.

“Making the world safer” is the justification for launching a military operation which could potentially result in a nuclear holocaust.

Nuclear war has become a multibillion dollar undertaking, which fills the pockets of US defense contractors. What is at stake is the outright “privatization of nuclear war”.

The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest. The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the world simultaneously.

Central to an understanding of war, is the media campaign which grants it legitimacy in the eyes of public opinion. A good versus evil dichotomy prevails. The perpetrators of war are presented as the victims. Public opinion is misled.

Breaking the “big lie”, which upholds war as a humanitarian undertaking, means breaking a criminal project of global destruction, in which the quest for profit is the overriding force. This profit-driven military agenda destroys human values and transforms people into unconscious zombies.

Book   NEW: Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War

January 3, 2015 Posted by | resources - print, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Naomi Klein on nuclear power

“It isn’t just nuclear, this is the same argument the fracking industry in now using – that it’s a bridge, that it’s lower carbon, etc. This is a line that was developed by the fossil fuel industry in the late 1980’s that was then adopted by some parts of the environmental movement. It’s an argument that is still around, even though the bridge is burning.”

“The thing to stress is that there is really good research out there that shows that we can switch to 100 per cent renewables by 2030 or 2050. There is a great team out of Stanford lead by Mark Jacobson I look at in my book. It is not technology that is holding us back any more. So if we can do it with renewables, why are we doubling down on gas, why are we talking about nuclear – which is way more expensive and obviously massively higher risk.”

“I think it is happening because this is a very profitable model for our elites, and it’s a lot easier for them to wrap their heads around switching from oil to gas, or switching from fossil fuels to nuclear. I mean these are often the same companies. It’s a highly centralized, corporatist industry that also consolidates wealth and power.”


“I think we should be viewing the climate crisis as a message that our economic system is deeply, deeply flawed. We are facing not just a climate crisis but a crisis on so many levels. And it comes back to that extractivist mindset that it’s always required that somebody else eat the risk. That’s one of the biggest issues I have with nuclear – who is going to eat the risk on this? I understand how people like George Monbiot, who I have a huge amount of respect for, are coming to this desperate conclusion. In the absence of the kind of social movement that I’m talking about, that is true. It is only a social movement on a huge scale that can achieve the just kind of transition that we want.”

“I think we can do this without nuclear, it’s just that it’s less challenging to our current political structures to do it that way. This is the society that we’ve created and we’ve got a lot of transformation work to get off that path.”

(From a Guardian webcast from October 2014 discussing her new book This Changes Everything with Owen Jones)

December 15, 2014 Posted by | resources - print, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Book: Analysis of Europe’s nuclear power industry, and alternatives

Book Reort nuclear EuropeExpanded nuclear power capacity in Europe, impact of uranium mining and alternatives October 31st, 2014

Ejolt report 12: Expanded nuclear power capacity in Europe, impact of uranium mining and alternatives

The report can be downloaded here.

The policy briefing is here.


The nuclear industry has recently undergone what the nuclear lobby called a ‘nuclear renaissance’, with several countries planning to construct or constructing new plants or prolonging the life of existing reactors. However, this ‘nuclear renaissance’ has encountered difficulties in Europe: new reactors currently under construction in Finland and France have been delayed and are running over-budget, while in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy nuclear energy expansion has been put on hold in the aftermath of the Fukushima accident. In the present report we explore the situation in Bulgaria and Slovenia. For both countries nuclear energy is an important part of the national energy mix and both have plans for new nuclear power plants (NPPs).

We closely analyse the history and present situation of nuclear energy in these countries and the internal debate that has evolved in relation to the construction of new plants. Despite many particularities, there are common traits that are also shared in the rest of Europe, notably, the debate over whether to maintain and/or increase a powerful and relatively autonomous source of energy in the face of the high costs of construction and environmental and health risks nuclear energy and radiation entail. The report describes the expansion of nuclear energy – two new planned power plants in Bulgaria and the prolongation of one plant and the construction of a second one in Slovenia. First an overview of the energy mix in both countries is offered. Then a chronology of the nuclear projects is outlined, highlighting the main risks and problems, including social and environmental issues. This overview concludes with an analysis of the cost and benefits of the planned power plants. We also look at the often forgotten first stage of nuclear energy production: uranium mining. We describe the current status and main problems of the closed mines of Bulgaria and Slovenia. Then we analyse alternatives to nuclear projects by focusing on different energy scenarios. With the objective of envisioning a sustainable energy future, we analyse the costs and benefits, and thus the potential for Renewable Energy Sources (RES) as an alternative to NPP expansion.

Keywords: Bulgaria, energy mix scenarios, nuclear power, nuclear renaissance, Public participation, Slovenia, uranium mining

Authors: Dragomira Raeva, Todor Slavov, Desislava Stoyanova, Marta Conde, Lidija Živčič, Tomislav Tkalec, Špela Rode

December 1, 2014 Posted by | resources - print | Leave a comment


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