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Singapore the centre of world-wide Earth Hour action

Earth Hour to take Singapore into world record books By Chitra Kumar,   31 March 2012 SINGAPORE: The world will get a little darker, but much greener on Saturday as nations and landmarks around the globe, from the Sydney Opera House to Taipei 101, and Singapore’s Orchard Road turn off the lights for one hour to mark Earth Hour.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) initiative to raise awareness on environmental issues will centre its Singapore activities at Ngee Ann City’s Civic Plaza with Earth Hour ambassadors coming together to form a “60+ SINGAPORE” symbol.

Organisers have targeted to recruit 3,000 people for the human formation where “60” stands for 60 minutes while the “+” emphasizes the importance of going beyond the single initiative of switching off lights for just an hour.

“We see an encouraging number of signups for Earth Hour ambassadors and we are confident that there will be more than 1,500 participants in the human formation of the 60+ logo,” said Prema V, director of communications, WWF Singapore.

Among the Earth Hour ambassadors is 46-year-old Natarajan Vytheswaran, who is looking forward to a wave of change.

“It is getting too hot, too wet, too cold. The fact is the weather is extreme these days because of climatic change, because of how we are abusing the planet.

“We are the only ones who can solve the problem, it is our responsibility to make a difference, change the direction of where we are taking the planet,” said Vytheswaran.

“Come Earth hour, I look forward to a sense of solidarity, a sense of community, where everyone is pulling toward a common direction. Hopefully at the end of the event, more people will realise they have the power to make a difference.”…

It is the fourth time that Singapore is marking Earth Hour, but this year is extra special with Earth Hour’s global headquarters now in Singapore….. Earth Hour first began in Sydney in 2007 and has since spread around the world, with more than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries taking part in 2011, making it the largest climate change campaign to date.


March 31, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, ENERGY | Leave a comment

The smart money is on energy efficiency and renewables: the dumb money on nuclear

E.on and RWE are huge, blue-chip multinationals, yet see nuclear as too big a gamble and that’s despite the substantial subsidy it would enjoy in the UK,

Contrast all this with energy efficiency and renewables. The former makes sense by definition. The latter is where costs are coming down, even with the relatively limited subsidies they receive. And neither involve the Faustian pacts of nuclear power or oil and gas: they are as safe as the houses they power…..

Nuclear and gas blow outs show where the dumb money is, Guardian UK, Damian Carrington, 30 March 12,  The smart money is on energy efficiency and renewables yet a government terrified of “backing winners” appears happy to back the nuclear, oil and gas losers Follow the money: in the billion-dollar world of the energy business that is good advice. So what do the collapse of a quarter of the UK’s new nuclear power plans and the gas still billowing dangerously from Total’s Elgin rig in the North Sea tell us about keeping the lights on and tackling climate change at a price we can afford?

It tells us first that, despite decades of lavish public subsidy, nuclear power remains uninvestable without heavy state backing. Continue reading

March 31, 2012 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Seoul: agreements on non-nuclear medical isotopes the only bright spot

waste and spent fuel which are stored on an interim basis in pools of water or in casks are of the greatest concern 

agreement between the U.S., France, Belgium, and the Netherlands was made to produce medical isotopes without the use of HEU by 2015.

Korea’s Nuclear Summit a Damp Squib, Asia Sentinel  by Lee Byong-chul, 30 MARCH 2012 Little of significance despite the presence of the world’s most powerful leaders The Nuclear Security Summit held on March 26-27 in Seoul, has turned out to be a half-baked extravaganza that produced little of significance except for proclaiming the lofty goal of a nuclear-free world vision – while one of the world’s nuclear outlaws lurked just 65 km to the north, rattling rockets in the face of the world’s most powerful leaders. Continue reading

March 31, 2012 Posted by | safety, South Korea | Leave a comment

See YouTube on high radiation, little water in Japan reactor   High Radiation, Little Water in Japan Reactor  28 March 12,  Recent investigation found one damaged reactor at Japan’s crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant has extremely high levels of radiation and very little water. Authorities haven’t been able to probe two others that had meltdowns.

March 31, 2012 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Bright employment and economic future for Denmark, as it moves to 100% renewable energy

Denmark Passes Legislation: 100% Renewable Energy by 2050!, News , 30 March 12,  Denmark’s Parliament has passed the most ambitious green economy plan in the world: it will generate 35% of its energy from renewable energy by 2020 and 100% by 2050. Continue reading

March 31, 2012 Posted by | Denmark, renewable | Leave a comment

Cover-up of Fukushima radiation, in Japan and beyond

the core problem is that all of the world’s nuclear agencies are wholly captured by the nuclear industry … as are virtually all of the supposedly independent health agencies.

Fukushima Radiation Plume Hit Southern and Central California, Global Research. 30 March 12,  The Journal Environmental Science and Technology reports in a new study that the Fukushima radiation plume contacted North America at California “with greatest exposure in central and southern California”, and that Southern California had 2,500 Bq/kg of iodine-131 in seaweed … over 500% higher than other tests in the U.S. and Canada:

Projected paths of the radioactive atmospheric plume emanating from the Fukushima reactors, best described as airborne particles or aerosols for 131I, 137Cs, and 35S, and subsequent atmospheric monitoring showed it coming in contact with the North American continent at California, with greatest exposure in central and southern California. Government monitoring sites in Anaheim (southern California) recorded peak airborne concentrations of 131I at 1.9 pCi m−3

Anaheim is where Disneyland is located……. In addition, radioactive debris is starting to wash up on the Pacific Coast. And because the Japanese are burning radioactive materials instead of disposing of them, . Continue reading

March 31, 2012 Posted by | Japan, NORTH AMERICA, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Energy transition in Europe as nuclear power exits

The number of economically competitive non-nuclear options has therefore grown alongside the growing number of non-fossil options.

Europe’s Nuclear Exit Strategy The Market Oracle, Mar 30, 2012   By: Andrew_McKillop“.….NUCLEAR EXIT: THE SYMBOL OF ENERGY TRANSITION Even in France, where decades of state brainwashing on the benefits of nuclear power had created an apparent public-and-political consensus in favour of the Friendly Atom, opinion polls now indicate a straight majority of French want to quit nuclear power.

This opinion shift is powerfully aided by now much better information becoming available on the fantastic subsidies and support that have gone to French civil nuclear power since its very origins in 1957.

Also due to the sheer size of the French nuclear power system and its age, decommissioning will produce impossible to hide impacts on the power bills of all
consumers and users, in a context where new-build reactors to replace retired and dismantled reactors (in a process that can take 30 years for each reactor) are prohibitively costly, at admitted costs as high as 6500 euro per kiloWatt (close to US$ 9000 per kW) for Areva’s “Generation III” EPRs. Continue reading

March 31, 2012 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

Nuclear industry dead at home, but Japan tries to sell it abroad

Japanese May Invest in U.K. Nuclear, WSJ, By SELINA WILLIAMS, 30 March 12 “……-RWE and E.ON are now seeking to sell their U.K. nuclear joint venture vehicle, named Horizon, that has two sites for new atomic power stations–at Wylfa in Wales and Oldbury in Gloucestershire in central England, as well as grid connections and around 130 employees,
including technical specialists, engineers, and project development specialists….

Japanese nuclear companies such as reactor vendors Hitachi and Toshiba Corp. and nuclear developers Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are seen by many in the nuclear industry as the most likely buyers.

Stymied at home following the Fukushima nuclear disaster last March, these companies are actively seeking new markets elsewhere and the U.K. could be a good base for expansion plans in Europe. “You could see a strong Japanese team coming in–there’s not going to
be building in Japan for the forseeable future, so growth for them can only come out of exports,” said George Borovas, a nuclear lawyer and partner at Pillsbury law firm that specializes in the energy sector…..

Stumping up the billions of pounds investment required to build a new reactor, coupled with the long lead times of construction as well as the cost overruns seen at other similar projects pose a huge challenge for any company seeking the finance, especially now in these
credit-strapped times.

March 31, 2012 Posted by | business and costs, Japan, UK | Leave a comment

Solar energy – a money saver for Jamaican homes and businesses

Not only can they use the grid as a back-up, but in times when they are generating more electricity than they need, they can sell power to JPS and get some remuneration, and
that again will help to defray the cost of putting the system on their roof,”

Solar Energy Ideal Option for Many Jamaicans, Jamaica Information Sevice, By Latonya Linton 30 MARCH 2012  With the increase in oil prices and ultimately electricity bills, for many Jamaicans, solar energy can prove to be an ideal source of power for homes and businesses. To this end, the Government has been encouraging Jamaicans to use renewable energy, such as solar energy, as a means of reducing electricity cost.
Continue reading

March 31, 2012 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Costs are killing the USA nuclear industry

 ”nuclear power is neither affordable nor worth the risk….. the very different natures of nuclear disaster versus coal pollution rightly makes people worried.

Expert: Nuclear Power Is On Its Deathbed A new report from a University of Vermont researcher says the cost of the safety measures needed for nuclear energy will eventually make the power source economically unviable USA News, By JASON KOEBLER March 30, 2012   After the Fukushima power plant disaster in Japan last year, the rising costs of nuclear energy could deliver a knockout punch to its future use in the United States, according to a researcher at the Vermont Law School Institute for Energy and the Environment.

“From my point of view, the fundamental nature of [nuclear] technology suggests that the future will be as clouded as the past,” says Mark Cooper, the author of the report.  Continue reading

March 31, 2012 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Terrorist trial. French nuclear physicist in court

French nuclear physicist in terror trial, ANGOP International, 30 March 12, France An Algerian-born former nuclear physicist accused of plotting with al-Qaida’s north African arm to attack a French military base or economic interests went on trial Thursday, insisting he never took any step toward carrying out terrorism — and simply exchanged ideas online.

Adlene Hicheur, 35, who used to work at Europe’s most prestigious particle accelerator, welcomed the chance to make his case: He’s been in prison for 2-1/2 years awaiting trial. But  his allies worry the timing could not be worse: it comes days after France’s biggest terror  attacks in years.

The case centers on about 35 emails between Hicheur and an alleged contact with Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb named Mustapha Debchi, who tried to convince him to carry out a suicide bombing. Hicheur declined, but in one response suggested striking at the barracks of a battalion of elite Alpine troops in the eastern town Cran-Gevrier…..,bc4864d4-15c9-4a41-9e39-1382e5d678b9.html

March 31, 2012 Posted by | France, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

More accurate picture of Fukushima radiation with new camera

New Camera Sees Japan’s Radiation Threats Innovation News Daily   30 March 2012  One year after Japan’s nuclear disaster, the invisible threat of radiation still lurks around homes and businesses near the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant. Now, a new camera based on Japanese space technology has allowed humans to see the radioactive contamination around the nuclear plant’s emergency evacuation zone.

Such camera technology works by detecting radioactive particles that give off gamma rays — the highest-energy form of light in the universe. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) originally developed the technology for an upcoming X-ray observation satellite, called ASTRO-H, but successfully adapted the camera to spot Earthly radiation threats  such as Cesium 137 and Cesium 134.

The camera’s wide 180-degree vision showed radioactive particles spread across the ground and  on rooftops of the village in the Fukushima Prefecture during a field test Feb. 11. Its results proved more accurate and capable of capturing a broader snapshot of the
radioactive zone than existing cameras….

March 31, 2012 Posted by | Japan, Reference, technology | Leave a comment

Xcel cutting back on nuclear electricity production

Xcel Seeks to Reduce Minnesota Nuclear Plan on Low Gas Prices, Bloomberg, 30 March 12,  Xcel Energy Inc. (XEL) (XEL ) is seeking to scale back an expansion of the Prairie Island nuclear plant following a drop in natural gas prices, a filing showed.

Xcel said it is now economical to increase production capacity at the two-reactor, 1,096-megawatt plant by 135 megawatts instead of the 164 proposed in 2008, according to a filing today to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

Natural gas prices “have fallen dramatically” and energy demand will probably grow at a lower rate than projected four years earlier, the Minneapolis-based company said….

March 31, 2012 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

France, Russia, Japan eager to sell nuclear to Czechoslovakia

doubts have been hanging over the financial viability of the plan due to uncertain energy market in Europe. 

 Industry minister Kuba said he would favour aid to nuclear rather than renewable energy….

Czech govt mulls price floors to lure new nuclear * Industry minister hints at possible price guarantees * Says nuclear plants are strategic option * Czechs go against trend in Germany By Jan Korselt TEMELIN, Czech Republic, March 30 (Reuters) – The Czech government sees building new nuclear power plants as a strategic priority and is considering minimum electricity price guarantees to ensure new reactors are built, the country’s industry minister said on Friday. Continue reading

March 31, 2012 Posted by | EUROPE, politics | Leave a comment

Japan’s complicated plan to let some Fukushima residents return home

Even if residents are allowed to eventually return they will continue to live under the shadow of the devastated Daiichi plant, where its a huge and costly cleanup is expected to take several decades.

Japan to lift entry ban on some Fukushima cities TOKYO, (Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; Editing by Daniel Magnowski),  Mar 30, 2012 (Reuters) Japan said on Friday it would lift entry bans on some cities in Fukushima prefecture that had been designated no-go zones due to their proximity to a nuclear power plant crippled by a powerful earthquake and tsunami last March….

… This follows their declaration in December that the Daiichi plant was in cold shutdown and under control after months of cleanup efforts, signalling it was ready to move to a longer-term phase to eventually decommission the plant. Continue reading

March 31, 2012 Posted by | Japan, politics, Reference | Leave a comment