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Is nuclear a green fuel? « Voices from Ghana

globalnukeNOIs nuclear a green fuel?June 1, 2009 · Voices From Ghana “…………….some forecasters predict an uptick in nuclear power.

Yet, for nuclear energy to contribute to a significant degree to greenhouse gas abatement, the rate of construction would need to vastly accelerate. Offsetting even 10 percent of global carbon emissions by 2050 would be an immense undertaking, requiring some 2,200 new plants, or more than one per week in the coming decades.

The nuclear power option faces a set of vexing problems that should temper enthusiasm for an expansion of this scale.

Safety and Cost

Although no plant design can be risk-free, new research has brought claims of a new generation of nuclear reactors with advanced safety features. However, they have yet to be tested at full scale, and all reactors on order now use conventional technology. Moreover, nuclear power plants are now considered plausible targets for terrorist attacks. Whether caused by accident or malice, a sudden dispersal of radioactivity would have severe community impact, perhaps exacerbated by inadequate evacuation plans. If such an event triggered a renewal of anti-nuclear sentiment in the general public and led to demands for a nuclear moratorium, the resilience and sustainability of the energy system would be greatly compromised.

The full economic costs of nuclear energy are difficult to determine. A comprehensive accounting would include accident insurance, safety assurance, decommissioning, and radioactive waste disposal — costs that are often buried in generous public subsidies for the nuclear industry or shifted to future generations. As the experience in the U.S. with the first wave of nuclear plants indicated, projected costs will soar as the full costs of the nuclear-fuel cycle are reflected in the price of electricity. Of course, high costs might not be a key issue if nuclear power were the only option for climate mitigation.  It is not.some forecasters predict an uptick in nuclear power.

Yet, for nuclear energy to contribute to a significant degree to greenhouse gas abatement, the rate of construction would need to vastly accelerate. Offsetting even 10 percent of global carbon emissions by 2050 would be an immense undertaking, requiring some 2,200 new plants, or more than one per week in the coming decades.

The nuclear power option faces a set of vexing problems that should temper enthusiasm for an expansion of this scale.

Safety and Cost

Although no plant design can be risk-free, new research has brought claims of a new generation of nuclear reactors with advanced safety features. However, they have yet to be tested at full scale, and all reactors on order now use conventional technology. Moreover, nuclear power plants are now considered plausible targets for terrorist attacks. Whether caused by accident or malice, a sudden dispersal of radioactivity would have severe community impact, perhaps exacerbated by inadequate evacuation plans. If such an event triggered a renewal of anti-nuclear sentiment in the general public and led to demands for a nuclear moratorium, the resilience and sustainability of the energy system would be greatly compromised.

The full economic costs of nuclear energy are difficult to determine. A comprehensive accounting would include accident insurance, safety assurance, decommissioning, and radioactive waste disposal — costs that are often buried in generous public subsidies for the nuclear industry or shifted to future generations. As the experience in the U.S. with the first wave of nuclear plants indicated, projected costs will soar as the full costs of the nuclear-fuel cycle are reflected in the price of electricity. Of course, high costs might not be a key issue if nuclear power were the only option for climate mitigation.  It is not.

Proliferation and Security

Nuclear power cannot be de-coupled from nuclear weapons. Two paths lead from a nuclear energy program to weapons-grade material; one involves uranium and the other plutonium.

Nuclear Power Deflects Us From the Path to Sustainability……………….With its long-term legacy of heightened risks and toxic burden, nuclear power violates a fundamental principle of sustainability: passing on a resilient world to future generations. At the least, a world laced with nuclear power plants and crisscrossed with commerce of fissionable materials would require a strong international regime of security and control, a world more consonant with an authoritarian Fortress World scenario than a Great Transition.

Is nuclear a green fuel? « Voices from Ghana

June 5, 2009 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, environment | , , , | Leave a comment

Tribes press government to clean up nuclear waste

Tribes press government to clean up nuclear waste News From Indian Country  By Felicia Fonseca
Flagstaff, Arizona (AP)  2/6/09

Two tribes say their pleas to have the federal government remove medical, uranium and other radioactive waste from their land near Tuba City have been ignored, and they want it cleaned up.

Navajo and Hopi officials say the waste is contaminating the land and threatening water supplies.

The Hopi Tribe has put the federal government on notice that it plans to sue over the cleanup. During late May, the Navajo Nation filed a motion to intervene in a 2007 lawsuit that was brought against the federal government by the operator of a uranium mining mill where some of the waste originated.

“I think everybody is starting to come together to accept the conclusion that there are contaminants affecting the shallow groundwater,” said Stephen Etsitty, director of the Navajo Environmental Protection Agency. “But we still have differences in what the tribes believe and what the U.S. government is willing to accept

News From Indian Country – Tribes press government to clean up nuclear waste

June 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Canadian Nuclear plant cost blowout revealed in binder left at TV station –

ANAWA June 4, 2009 by tony serve ’OTTAWA, June 3 (Reuters) – Senior Canadian officials left a binder full of confidential nuclear documents in a television studio and made no attempt to retrieve them, the TV network involved said on Wednesday. The incident is likely to increase pressure on the minority Conservative government, already under fire for its handling of the economic crisis. The main opposition Liberal Party said on Tuesday it would decide next week whether to try to bring down the Conservatives in Parliament. The binder was found in a CTV television studio after a visit by Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt. CTV, which kept the binder for six days before breaking the news, said the documents showed the government would spend far more money on a troubled nuclear reactor than it had acknowledged.’

Canadian Nuclear plant cost blowout revealed in binder left at TV station – don’t trust poliicians with uranium or nukes « No Uranium Mining in West Australia

June 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia taking planet’s nuclear waste

AUSTRALIA CLOSER TO TAKING PLANET’S NUCLEAR WASTE Talking Headlines, by Bill Green June 2nd 2009 07:21A new clue that Australia is to become the nuclear dumping ground for the planet. US energy secretary, Steven Chu, has eliminated funding to build a nuclear waste store. This is strange because their waste storage in Washington State is leaking into the Columbia river and cannot be stopped. They have tried single-skin steel containers, double skin containers, ceramics, removal of the radio pollution from the water flowing into the river, all to no avail.Chu says he will back the building of fast neutron reactors that may burn long-lived waste. He has no idea if it will or not and neither does anyone else. This is all very cavalier when addressing the nuclear waste problem. While here in Australia a former prime minister has advocated that we (Australia) takes the planet’s nuclear waste, as did a former trade union leader who is now the minister for power. It’s most unusual for a a politician to get a cabinet posting that controls the very thing he is promoting.

Australia taking planet’s nuclear waste – Talking Headlines

June 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia needs to do more to stop a nuclear Iran

Australia needs to do more to stop a nuclear Iran: expert

AUSTRALIA can do more to pressure Iran into halting its nuclear weapons program, according to counterterrorism expert Dr Matt Levitt. Australian Jewish news 2 June 09

Dr Levitt, director of The Washington Institute’s Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, was brought to Australia by the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council for a whirlwind tour of Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra.

Speaking in Melbourne last week, he praised the Rudd Government’s sanctions against Iran, but said there was more Australia could do.

He recommended adding Bank Melat to the list of Iranian banks banned from conducting transactions with Australia.

Bank Melat, along with two other banks on the banned list, played a key role in financing Iran’s nuclear program, he said. “Australia could also use its leverage with countries like South Korea, where Bank Melat has its Asian branch,” Dr Levitt said.

It could use its leverage with Malaysia [where] small Malaysian banks are picking up some of the international bank transfer services for some of the Iranian banks.”

Speaking to The AJN the day after Iran had successfully test-fired a medium-range missile, he said it was not too late to give up using diplomacy as a persuasive tool.

Australia needs to do more to stop a nuclear Iran: expert (June 2, 2009)

June 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

BHP in firing line of anti-uranium group

BHP in firing line of anti-uranium group Business News 4-June-09 by Edited announcement A new anti-uranium campaign is due to be launched tomorrow as the Conservation Council of WA today submitted its concerns over BHP Billiton’s proposed Yeelirrie uranium mine to the environmental watchdog.

The Anti-Nuclear Alliance of WA (ANAWA) will launch its BUMP (Ban Uranium Mining Permanently) campaign to coincide with World Environment Day.

The launch is supported by Greens member Giz Watson, the Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) and the Wilderness Society of WA.

Meantime, CCWA submitted its concerns relating to the Yeelirrie mine to BHP and the Environmental Protection Authority.

“BHP Billiton’s plan for an open cut uranium mine at Yeelirrie, around 9kms long, 5kms wide and 7metres deep, will directly impact on 10,000km of well vegetated area which is home to several threatened animal species, migratory birds and a number of rare and priority-listed plant species,” said Natalie Lowrey, uranium-free advocate for CCWA.

“There is also major concern with the management of dealing with the 110 million tonnes of waste that will be produced, waste that will remain radioactive for tens of thousands of years.”
This referral provides scant detail on the wider operation that is being proposed by BHP Billiton including the routing and impacts of the power and water supplies required for this massive mine.

“CCWA also has serious concerns about the failure to properly consider impacts and risks associated with the transport of uranium oxide concentrate through the state.”

“The Barnett government should be investing in clean energy solutions in WA instead of pushing a radioactive donkey cart that will bring huge risks to the environment, health of workers and a toxic legacy that will last for generations.”…………………..”The nuclear industry is being out competed by the renewable energy technology in every market in the world including China. Economically it makes no sense to take WA down this dangerous development path.”

BHP in firing line of anti-uranium group – WA Business News

June 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment