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Politics and the nuclear industry – theme for May 2019

The species homo sapiens continues to defile its own nest, this beautiful and only known habitable planet. It becomes increasingly clear that world “leaders” have no idea of how to lead us out of the mess.

Climate change, biodiversity loss, threatened water supplies –  these issues are now being widely recognised as global problems –  not just local or national issues.

Strangely, nuclear weapons and the risk of nuclear war seem to be a side issue.

And there is no general awareness of the world-wide confidence trick being played on politicians, (and helped by the mindless mainstream media) by the global nuclear industry. Governments are swallowing the deception that nuclear power can fix climate change!

The costs, the danger, the radioactive pollution –  these factors are largely hidden from people in Russia, China – the totalitarian states.  The nuclear lobby has a harder job in USA, UK, Japan and Europe, where there’s some degree of freedom of information.

So – we have USA, UK, Japan, Europe – agonising over the mounting and insoluble problem of radioactive trash,and over the obscenely huge costs of nuclear power.  These are political problems for governments.

So – what do governments do about this?  They listen to, and accept financial contributions from, the nuclear lobby. They swallow the absurd propaganda that nuclear power is “essential to combat climate change”.  They push the politics of fear to their electorates – the “necessity” for nuclear weapons and nuclear power for “security”.

Is there a way to stop the nuclear-powered march towards global pollution and armageddon?

People power seems the only way –  movements such as Extinction Rebellion may provide the spark that’s needed, to make leaders aware, or to replace them with ones who are.

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April 27, 2019 Posted by | Christina's themes | 6 Comments

Ukraine’s present nuclear reactors – “time bombs” – at risk of another Chernobyl

Chernobyl (2019) S01 | Episode 01 | 1:23:45 | Opening Scene Suicide

One of the main risks stems from the use of ill-fitting US-made fuel rods. Some Ukrainian power plants are fueled by fuel rods produced by the US nuclear contractor Westinghouse. They are shaped differently than those produced in Russia, and incompatibilities have caused problems before.

“Westinghouse fuel was first used in Ukrainian nuclear power plants in 2012, and even before the first fuel cycle was over it became evident they were not compatible, and the fuel assemblies had to be extracted,”

As Chernobyl nuclear disaster feeds TV drama, is Ukraine looking at a real-life re-run? Rt.com 19 May, 2019 This month, HBO has launched its new historical drama ‘Chernobyl’, looking back at one of the worst nuclear disasters in history – but for Ukrainians, it’s also a chilling reminder that history could repeat itself.

US cable giant HBO is reviving the 33-year-old memory of one of the worst – and the most infamous – nuclear incidents in the world. It overlays history with personal drama and intrigue in its fresh mini-series – but what the general viewer might not realize is that it’s too early for Ukraine to consign nuclear problems to history and fiction. The name ‘Chernobyl’ is being brought up again in reference to the woes plaguing Ukrainian atomic energy today.

Ukrainian nuclear power plants have become a “time bomb,” Rada member Sergey Shakhov recently said. Reactors – some of them near densely populated cities – are aging without proper oversight or funding, contracts with Russia are broken, and homegrown nuclear experts are fleeing to find better opportunities abroad.

Emergencies have plagued at least two major Ukrainian nuclear power plants, causing a series of stoppages in operations in the past three years. Some reactors at the Khmelnitsky power plant (located in a city with almost 40,000 inhabitants) had to be halted at least three times since July 2016. A main pump malfunction at the Zaporozhye power plant (close to the regional center and its 750,000+ inhabitants) forced one of its six reactors to stop in September 2018, triggering a local panic. Soon after that, two more reactors were consecutively stopped for planned repairs. They still remain halted, though one of them was supposed to be restarted early in 2019.

Those are just the instances which received attention in the media, revealed either by MPs or by nuclear plant operators.

The situation is an ecological disaster in the making, Shakhov warned in an interview to the TV channel NewsOne. Ukrainian nuclear power plants, he says, have become a “mini-Chernobyl.”

But how did a country that relies on nuclear power for 60 percent of its electricity allow its power plants to degrade so far?

Russia could help, but Kiev doesn’t want it

Ukrainian nuclear facilities were built in the Soviet Union, and for the past decades were maintained in collaboration with Russia. But after the 2014 coup, new Kiev authorities have made every effort to break up links with Moscow, including severing the nuclear cooperation agreement in 2017.

That deprived Ukraine of Russian expertise, something the aging reactors desperately need, says Stanislav Mitrakhovich, an expert on energy policy in the National Energy Security Fund (NESF) and in the Financial University under the government of the Russian Federation.

“Many power blocks are already quite old, their resources were already prolonged according to a special procedure, but this extension cannot be done infinitely. And it is not too easy to do without the help of the Russian specialist who were previously responsible for these tasks.”

Ukraine could come have up with a solution by itself, but “it should have started 10 years ago,” says Ukrainian political scientist Mikhail Pogrebinsky, the director of the Kiev Center of Political Research and Conflict Studies.

“Of course Kiev doesn’t have the money to repair and upgrade the reactors, but there are still ways to solve this. One of the most efficient ones lies in Moscow, in the Kurchatov nuclear research institute. But considering the relations, Ukraine won’t go there for help.”

The problem has fallen victim to Kiev’s politics. “Ukrainian authorities have been doing everything with political gain in mind, and that is one of the reasons things have been malfunctioning and additional risks were created for the reactors… Equipment has to be checked and maintained, and that, again, means cooperating with Russia,” says another Ukrainian political scientist, Aleksandr Dudchak.

The immediate danger

Despite the apocalyptic buzz, predicting a new Chernobyl is taking things too far, Ukrainian experts believe. The danger is no less real, however, even if it’s less dramatic in scale. The reactors might not be about to melt down and send a massive radioactive cloud billowing into the atmosphere, like Chernobyl did – instead, they will simply stop working, plunging large parts of Ukraine into a blackout.

The immediate danger

Despite the apocalyptic buzz, predicting a new Chernobyl is taking things too far, Ukrainian experts believe. The danger is no less real, however, even if it’s less dramatic in scale. The reactors might not be about to melt down and send a massive radioactive cloud billowing into the atmosphere, like Chernobyl did – instead, they will simply stop working, plunging large parts of Ukraine into a blackout.

“There is no money, there are no contracts, the contract with [Russian nuclear energy giant] Rosatom has been broken – this is a dead-end situation that Ukrainian authorities will have to solve, and solve without delay, because under certain conditions we could have energy shortages, within five to seven to 10 years.”

International financial institutions have been supporting Ukraine with funds, but amid the more pressing day-to-day needs and the rampant corruption of the Poroshenko presidency, their effect on the restoration of dilapidated power plants is yet to be seen.

Basic incompatibilities

One of the main risks stems from the use of ill-fitting US-made fuel rods. Some Ukrainian power plants are fueled by fuel rods produced by the US nuclear contractor Westinghouse. They are shaped differently than those produced in Russia, and incompatibilities have caused problems before.

“Westinghouse fuel was first used in Ukrainian nuclear power plants in 2012, and even before the first fuel cycle was over it became evident they were not compatible, and the fuel assemblies had to be extracted,” Boris Martsinkevich, editor-in-chief of the Geoenergetics magazine, told RT.

Westinghouse fuel deliveries were restarted in 2015, and it’s unclear whether it’s been made more compatible with the Soviet-built equipment. If they were not, the fuel is “fully capable of halting the work of the nuclear power plants,” even though it won’t cause any mass hazardous incident.

Ukraine’s ailing economy, apart from directly depriving power plants of necessary maintenance and upgrade funds, has caused a ‘brain drain’ as collateral damage.

“Experts working at Ukrainian nuclear power plants are leaving. The situation in the country is unstable, and it’s been getting worse for five years… a lot of experts have moved out of the country, including to Russia and China, as well as other countries. Soon there’ll be no-one left to maintain the power plants,” Dudchak warns.

Irresponsible waste storage

Back when Ukraine was cooperating with Russia, Rosatom was contracted to take back and recycle spent fuel rods. Westinghouse doesn’t do that, so Kiev partnered with another US-based company – Holtec International – to build a shelter for the waste in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, effectively turning it into a radioactive dump……Westinghouse fuel deliveries were restarted in 2015, and it’s unclear whether it’s been made more compatible with the Soviet-built equipment. If they were not, the fuel is “fully capable of halting the work of the nuclear power plants,” even though it won’t cause any mass hazardous incident.

Ukraine’s ailing economy, apart from directly depriving power plants of necessary maintenance and upgrade funds, has caused a ‘brain drain’ as collateral damage.

“Experts working at Ukrainian nuclear power plants are leaving. The situation in the country is unstable, and it’s been getting worse for five years… a lot of experts have moved out of the country, including to Russia and China, as well as other countries. Soon there’ll be no-one left to maintain the power plants,” Dudchak warns……… https://www.rt.com/news/459661-ukraine-chernobyl-nuclear-blackout/

May 20, 2019 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Iran’s top diplomat presses efforts to save nuclear deal

May 18, 2019, TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s foreign minister traveled Friday to China on his Asian tour aimed at keeping world markets open to Tehran amid an intense sanctions campaign from the U.S. as tensions across the Persian Gulf remain high.

Concerns about a possible conflict have flared since the White House ordered warships and bombers to the region to counter an alleged, unexplained threat from Iran that has seen America order nonessential diplomatic staff out of Iraq……

mposing sanctions while seeking talks is like “pointing a gun at someone and demanding friendship,” said Iranian Gen. Rasool Sanaeirad, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.

That comment was echoed by Majid Takht-e Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations.

“They want to have the stick in their hands, trying to intimidate Iran at the same time calling for a dialogue,” Ravanchi told CBS. “What type of dialogue is this?”…..https://www.apnews.com/04eabdee60dc4a399b22a2c6a5f0c672

May 20, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

$Billions spent on attempt to clean up USA’s most dangerously toxic nuclear sites, but it’s no getting very far

Soaring costs but limited progress in cleanup of “scariest” nuclear sites    https://www.salon.com/2019/05/18/soaring-costs-but-limited-progress-in-cleanup-of-scariest-nuclear-sites_partner/

The progress to clean up nuclear waste sites appears to be slowing down though still devouring billions of dollars,  PHIL ZAHODIAKIN, MAY 18, 2019   THE PROGRESS OF A DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY PROGRAM TO CLEAN UP THE NATION’S MOST DANGEROUS NUCLEAR WASTE SITES APPEARS TO BE SLOWING DOWN EVEN THOUGH IT’S STILL DEVOURING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

That discouraging picture emerges in the latest report by the federal Government Accountability Office on the long-running cleanup effort. Launched in 1989, it was designed to clean up 107 sites engaged in research or production of enriched uranium or plutonium for making nuclear weapons.

Cleanup work at 91 of the Cold War-era sites is finished. But the remaining 16 pose the greatest health risks — especially those with underground storage tanks leaking highly radioactive waste.

Testifying last week before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, a GAO official said that for reasons that are unclear, estimated cleanup costs at the 16 ”biggest and scariest sites” have increased by $214 billion despite the Department of Energy (DOE) spending $48 billion since 2011.

David C. Trimble, the GAO’s director for natural resources and the environment, said the soaring costs ”are getting worse as the growth in cleanup liabilities vastly outpaces [the DOE’s] ability to reduce them.”

DOE officials are trying to pin down the reasons for delays and cost overruns,  Trimble said,  “but they haven’t finished their ‘root cause’ analysis.”

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) asked Trimble and Ann Marie White, director of the DOE’s Office of Environmental Management how they would “explain to the taxpayers this astonishing cost increase when the number of cleanup sites hasn’t changed.” White replied that the 56 million gallons of radioactive liquids and sludge in the underground tanks at the immense Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeastern Washington are driving “much of the increase.”

But the GAO has cited other problems, too,  including DOE providing Congress with inconsistent and misleading information. For example, Trimble said, legislation passed in 2011 required DOE to annually report on its funding needs, but the reports have been submitted in only two of the years since.

“So, what are [the taxpayers] buying for all this money?” Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy (D-Mass.) asked, observing that the latest estimate to complete the work at all 16 sites has reached $377 billion.

Rep. Ann M. Kuster (D-N.H.) pointed out that, besides costs, the risk of accidents or sabotage at the 16 sites  only increases with time. And Trimble drew an analogy to a type of mortgage popular during the housing bubble of the early 2000s.

By spending billions to contain radioactive soil, water, and nuclear materials at their sites of origin without a path to completing cleanups, “There’s a danger that, at some point, the dynamic starts to look like an interest-only loan that doesn’t require you to pay down the principal amount of the loan,” Trimble said.

Trimble said he was encouraged by DOE’s willingness to accept management improvements recommended by GAO

But Ed Lyman, acting director of the nuclear safety project for the Union of Concerned Scientists, told Fair Warning that “GAO issues one report after another about DOE’s mismanagement of the nuclear cleanup program but the reports don’t seem to move the ball.”

Pointing out that the experiments to condense and vitrify (or turn into glass) the liquid wastes at Hanford and Savannah River, S.C., “have not been going well,” Lyman added that the long disposal delays leave the safety of the sites in a nether world of “borrowed time.”

Besides Hanford, where cleanup activities are expected to continue at least until 2070,  and the Savannah River Nuclear Reservation, which will keep producing radioactive tritium during its cleanup, some of the other, major sites among the 16 left to clean up include the World War 2-era facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn.; and the gaseous diffusion plants in Piketon, Ohio and Paducah, Ky.: formerly principal source of enriched uranium.

May 20, 2019 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Ohio’s Nuclear Plant Subsidy Proposal, Should Be Rejected – 5 Reason’s Why

5 Reason’s Why HB 6, Ohio’s Nuclear Plant Subsidy Proposal, Should Be Rejected, Uniion of Concerned Scientists,  STEVE CLEMMER, DIRECTOR OF ENERGY RESEARCH, CLEAN ENERGY | MAY 16, 2019  Last November, UCS released Nuclear Power Dilemma, which found that more than one-third of existing nuclear plants, representing 22 percent of total US nuclear capacity, are uneconomic or slated to close over the next decade. This included the Davis-Besse and Perry plants in Ohio that are owned by Akron-based FirstEnergy Solutions. Replacing these plants with natural gas would cause emissions to rise at a time when we need to achieve deep cuts in emissions to limit the worst impacts of climate change.

When we released our report, my colleague Jeff Deyette described how a proposal backed by FirstEnergy to subsidize its unprofitable nuclear plants in Ohio was deeply flawed and did not meet the conditions recommended in our report. By providing a blatant handout to the nuclear and fossil fuel industries at the expense of renewable energy and energy efficiency, ironically, the latest proposal to create a “Clean Air Program” in Ohio (House Bill 6) is bad for consumers, the economy and the environment.

Here are five reasons why this proposal is flawed and should be rejected:

1. HB 6 doesn’t protect consumers

…………..HB 6 doesn’t require FirstEnergy Solutions to demonstrate need or limit the amount and duration of the subsidies to protect consumers and avoid windfall profits as recommended in our report. It simply sets the starting price at $9.25/MWh and increases that value annually for inflation.  ……… FirstEnergy Solutions nuclear plants would receive approximately $170 million per year in subsidies, or 55% of the total…..

2. HB 6 is a bait and switch tactic to gut Ohio’s clean energy laws

But here’s the rub. HB 6 would effectively gut the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards to pay for the subsidies for Ohio’s existing nuclear, coal and natural gas plants. It would make the standards voluntary by exempting customers from the charges collected from these affordable and successful programs unless they chose to opt-in to the standards. This could result in a net increase in emissions and a net loss of jobs in Ohio over time.

This political hit job is outrageous, but not at all surprising. It is just another attempt in a long series of efforts by clean energy opponents to rollback Ohio’s renewable and efficiency standards over the past five years …….

the cost of wind and solar has fallen by more than 70 percent over the past decade, making them more affordable for consumers and competitive with natural gas power plants in many parts of the country. ……

Energy efficiency programs are especially important for low-income households. By lowering their energy bills, they have more money to spend on food, health care and other necessities.

3. HB6 creates a false sense of competition

While renewable energy technologies are technically eligible to compete for funding under HB 6, several criteria would effectively exclude them:

  • It excludes any projects that have received tax incentives like the federal production tax credit or investment tax credit, which applies to nearly every renewable energy project.
  • Eligible facilities must be larger than 50 MW, which excludes most solar projects, and wind projects have to be between 5 MW and 50 MW, which is smaller than most existing utility scale wind projects in the state.
  • Eligible projects must receive compensation through organized wholesale energy markets, which excludes smaller customer-owned projects like rooftop solar photovoltaic systems.

When combined with the rollback to the renewable standard, this absurdly stringent criteria would create too much uncertainty for renewable developers to obtain financing to build new projects in Ohio.

4. HB 6 will increase Ohio’s reliance on natural gas

While HB 6 could temporarily prevent the replacement of Ohio’s nuclear plants with natural gas, gutting the renewables and efficiency standards would undermine the state’s pathway to achieving a truly low-carbon future by locking in more gas generation as coal plants retire.  …….

5. HB 6 includes no safety criteria or transition plans

HB 6 does not require FirstEnergy’s nuclear plants to meet strong safety standards as a condition for receiving subsidies, as recommended in our report. While Davis-Besse and Perry are currently meeting the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) safety standards–as measured by their reactor oversight process (ROP) action matrix quarterly rating system–both plants have had problems with critical back-up systems during the past two years that put them out of compliance.

The nuclear industry has been trying to weaken the ROP for years………

A better approach

On May 2, House Democrats announced an alternative “Clean Energy Jobs Plan” that would address many of the problems with HB 6. The plan would modify the state’s Alternative Energy Standard (AES) by increasing the contribution from renewable energy from 12.5% by 2027 to 50% by 2050and fix the onerous set-back requirements that have been a major impediment to large scale wind development. It would expand the AES to maintain a 15% baseline for nuclear power. In addition, it would improve the state’s energy efficiency standards, expand weatherization programs for low-income households, and create new clean energy job training programs…….

With more than 112,000 clean energy jobs in 2018, Ohio ranks third in the Midwest and eighth in the country. Ohio added nearly 5,000 new clean energy jobs in 2018.  While most of the clean energy jobs are in the energy efficiency industry, Ohio is also a leading manufacturer of components for the wind and solar industries.

To capitalize on these rapidly growing global industries, lawmakers in Ohio should reject HB 6 and move forward with a real clean air program that ramps-up investments in renewables and efficiency and achieves the deep cuts in emissions that are needed to limit the worst impacts of climate change.  https://blog.ucsusa.org/steve-clemmer/5-reasons-why-hb6-should-be-rejected

May 20, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Advertising industry is urged to use its power for good

Extinction Rebellion urges ad industry to use its power for good, Guardian, Seth Jacobson, 19 May 2019   Letter to senior figures urges them to use their power to influence public opinion on climate change   Environmental activists Extinction Rebellion have turned their fire on the advertising industry in a public letter, encouraging it to use its expertise in manipulating public opinion for good or risk mass public protests against it.

Speaking to the Guardian, one of the authors of the letter, which was written by Extinction Rebellion members with decades of experience of the advertising industry, said the group was not “singling out advertising, as we previously disrupted fashion week and are systematically challenging all industries who have the platform, influence and skills to tackle this epoch-defining crisis but are failing to do so in any meaningful way”.

“Though our letter is addressed to the boardroom, we ask everyone within the industry to ‘Tell the Truth’ about the climate and ecological emergency,” he continued. “This is the first of Extinction Rebellion’s demands, to business and governments; the vital step required to wake everyone up and drive action to deal with this crisis……. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/19/extinction-rebellion-urges-ad-industry-to-use-its-power-for-good

May 20, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, climate change, UK | Leave a comment

UK’s Committee on Climate Change makes an urgent call for action

Sussex Energy Group 17th May 2019 , Another climate report and another urgent call for action, along with a dizzying array of graphs and figures. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), who advise the UK government on policies and planning for a low  carbon economy, have produced their analysis and recommendations on how to stop UK’s contribution to global warming by 2050.

This follows the “Paris Agreement” signed in December 2015 where the UK, along with 196 other countries, agreed to reduce their nation’s greenhouse gas emissions in efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

The CCC’s excellent and thorough report makes for some tough reading; not for its 277 pages and plethora of statistics and figures, but for the scale of collective effort required. The benign-sounding estimate of costs – 1-2% of GDP – disguises the extent of system change and efforts required, not only of government and businesses, but households as well.   http://blogs.sussex.ac.uk/sussexenergygroup/2019/05/17/net-zero/

May 20, 2019 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

Flamanville nuclear reactor – EDF must repair welds or reinforce new reactor – ASN.


Montel News 17th May 2019 EDF must repair welds or reinforce new reactor – ASN. French utility EDF
must repair faulty welds on its new generation European pressurised reactor
(EPR) Flamanville or reinforce the under construction plant, the ASN
nuclear safety authority said.
These were the “two options currently on
the table”, said ASN president Bernard Doroszczuk during a presentation
of the watchdog’s annual safety report to parliamentarians on Thursday.
The ASN would announce a final decision on which course to take next month,
he added, with Montel having reported earlier this week that this would
happen once its group of experts had met on 6 June.
While repairing the
welds was “quite feasible”, reinforcing the 1.6 GW plant could be a
“complex operation” for which the unit was not necessarily conceived,
said Doroszczuk. However, the “French nuclear industry is currently
facing a skills shortage”, which could complicate things, he added.
Repairing the welds could push back the planned start-up of the reactor
early next year by two years to 2022, sources told Montel last month. Last
July, EDF delayed the 1.6 GW EPR launch by yet another year due to the
defective welds. It also raised the total estimated cost of construction by
EUR 400m to EUR 10.9bn.

May 20, 2019 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

UK Lanour’s bold energy policy on nationalising the grid

Ecologist 16th May 2019 The national grid would be nationalised under a Labour government so that
£13 billion would no longer be paid to shareholders each year and more
investment would be targeted at decarbonisation, the Shadow Business
Secretary, Rebecca Long Bailey, announced today. Heat and electricity would
be made a “human right for all” under the radical new policy which has the
personal support of Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour party leader. A Labour party
spokesperson said: “Privatisation of the UK’s energy grid is ripping off
customers. 25 percent of energy bills is paid out to network companies.
This is used to line the pockets of shareholders, with over £13 billion
paid out in dividends over the last five years.”

https://theecologist.org/2019/may/16/labours-green-industrial-revolution

May 20, 2019 Posted by | ENERGY, UK | Leave a comment

Scotland increasing its commitment to act on Climate Emergency

Business Green 17th May 2019 Scotland stepped up its response to the ‘climate emergency’ earlier this
week as Glasgow and Edinburgh adopted zero-carbon targets in swift
succession and the Scottish Parliament provided further details on how it
plans to meet its new target of building a net zero emission economy by
2045.

ScottishPower pledged on Monday to help make Glasgow the first UK
city to reach net-zero carbon emissions, setting a target for meeting the
goal of 2045. In related news, SSE announced this week that the last of 84
offshore wind turbines was commissioned this week at Beatrice, Scotland’s
largest offshore wind farm. The company said the project – which is a joint venture development led by SSE Renewables, Copenhagen InfrastructurePartners and Red Rock Power Limited – has been completed on time and under
budget after three years of construction. The final 7MW Siemens Gamesa
turbine was installed in the Outer Moray Firth, around 13km off the coast
of Caithness, bringing the site’s total installed capacity to 588MW –
enough to provide clean, low carbon energy to over 450,000 homes.

May 20, 2019 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

Warning to U.S. govt to pull U.S. nuclear weapons out of Turkey

Washington must pull U.S. nuclear weapons out of Turkey – analyst   https://ahvalnews.com/us-turkey/washington-must-pull-us-nuclear-weapons-out-turkey-analyst#  19 May 19,

The United States must quickly reconsider storing nuclear weapons in Turkey and giving Ankara a shared finger on the nuclear trigger under the NATO nuclear sharing programme, wrote Harvey M. Sapolsky, Professor Emeritus at MIT and the former Director of the MIT Security Studies Program, for Defense One website.

The NATO nuclear sharing programme keeps American nuclear bombs in five NATO countries, namely Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Turkey, while training host air forces to use them, Sapolsky highlighted.

As tensions continue to rise between Washington and Ankara over an array of issues, including war-torn Syria and Turkey’s planned purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system, the United States must make changes to current arrangements with its NATO ally, it said.

Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, located 100 miles from the Syrian border, stores 20 to 80 B61 U.S. nuclear weapons for delivery by Turkish or American aircraft, the article highlighted, noting that is time for Washington to bring them home.

Nuclear sharing began in the 1960s as a way to assure European members of NATO of America’s commitment to their defense, and to ward off any temptation to acquire nuclear weapons of their own,’’ the article highlighted, adding however that decades later much has changed globally.

Nuclear weapons aren’t the temptation they once were for Europeans, it noted, and sharing of the weapons’ delivery would give these countries a direct role in the nuclear enterprise without requiring them to actually build weapons.

Particularly a Turkey that is flirting with Russia and has list of issues with the United States

May 20, 2019 Posted by | politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

U.S Air Force is not Testing an ‘Earth-Penetrating’ Nuclear Bomb

May 20, 2019 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Judge: TVA Deal for Bellefonte Nuclear Plant Stays in Place

Power, 05/17/2019 | Darrell Proctor   A federal judge this week ruled the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) must continue to honor an agreement to sell the unfinished Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant to a real estate developer who has said he would complete construction of the long-idled project.

U.S. District Court Judge Liles C. Burke, in a 17-page opinion issued after a hearing this week in Huntsville, Alabama, declined to dismiss a lawsuit brought by developer Franklin Haney, who sued TVA in November 2018 for breach of contract after TVA said it could not complete the sale of the Bellefonte site and its assets to Haney’s Nuclear Development LLC.

Haney in 2016 was the winning bidder in an auction for Bellefonte, agreeing to pay $111 million for the twin-reactor nuclear plant. He sued TVA last year after the federally owned utility said it needed approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to authorize the sale.

TVA at the 2016 auction said the winning bidder would have two years to complete the purchase. Haney has argued he was ready to take over Bellefonte last year, though the NRC was still reviewing his application to resume construction at the site. TVA asked the district court to dismiss Haney’s lawsuit, saying federal rules require the sale to be authorized by the NRC, and thus TVA cannot legally sell the plant to Haney.

Nuclear Development filed a license transfer application with the NRC on Nov. 13, 2018, a couple of weeks after the sale’s original closing date, and just more than two weeks before an extended deadline to complete the sale by Nov. 30. TVA told Haney on Nov. 29 that it could not complete the transaction without approval of the license transfer by the NRC. In the sales agreement with Haney, TVA said “federal law at all times govern the validity, interpretation and enforceability” of the sale.

Developer: $30 Million Spent on Project……….

VA has until May 29 to respond to the court ruling. Burke has not ruled out that he could agree with TVA’s arguments if the case goes to trial. TVA, meanwhile, must maintain Bellefonte’s deferred construction permit for a possible transfer to Haney once a decision is reached in the case.

Haney has said his group can finish the nuclear plant, and sell its power for a competitive price. His group has not identified any utility or other customer that would buy Bellefonte’s electricity.

TVA has said that if the deal with Haney falls through, the utility would again put the site Bellefonte up for sale.

https://www.powermag.com/judge-tva-deal-for-bellefonte-nuclear-plant-stays-in-place/

May 20, 2019 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

Accused of “treason,” one man stands up to the nuclear powers and prevails — Beyond Nuclear International

From nuclear disciple to principled dissenter

via Accused of “treason,” one man stands up to the nuclear powers and prevails — Beyond Nuclear International

May 20, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When resistance becomes a duty — Beyond Nuclear International

A latecomer to the anti-nuclear struggle tells his story

via When resistance becomes a duty — Beyond Nuclear International

May 20, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

May 19 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Climate Change: One Man’s Fight To Save A California Tree” • After a huge wildfire killed a forest in San Diego, California, in 2002, Cody Petterson set his heart on replanting the trees. He planted hundreds of Bigcone Douglas-firs, but they are being killed by heat and drought. Their only habitat is California, […]

via May 19 Energy News — geoharvey

May 20, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment