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Scotland’s renewable energy success

About 35% of Scotland’s electricity needs would have come from renewables last year – assuming consumption levels were similar to 2010. This would exceed the Scottish Government’s interim target of 31%….. ”particularly encouraging when you consider that 2011 saw the highest output from renewable energy to date”.

The sector also already employs 11,000 people in Scotland

Renewable energy production doubles Jun 28 2012 Scotland produced a record amount of renewable energy last year, almost double the total from five years ago, according to UK Government figures. Continue reading


June 29, 2012 Posted by | renewable | Leave a comment

Group for Zero Nuclear Power – a new force in Japan’s Parliament

(Group for Zero Nuclear Power), made up of nine politicians from seven political parties

The lawmakers’ group plans to campaign for a phased scrapping of nuclear reactors, similar to the policy adopted by Germany.

Experts warn against restarting nuclear reactors in Japan, Times of India, Subodh Varma, TNN | Jun 28, 2012, NEW DELHI: Japan is in ferment as the date for restarting two of its nuclear reactors draws close after over an year’s shutdown. Hundreds have participated in protests at several places. Local councils are confused and divided. Two seismic experts publicly warned that the government is under-estimating the threat to these reactors which are located very near a seismic fault.

And a group of lawmakers cutting across political parties released a danger ranking of 50 nuclear reactors in Japan calling for their phased decommissioning. …. Continue reading

June 29, 2012 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Malaysian govt insists that Lynas might have to take its radioactive wastes back to Australia

The  Temporary Operating License  will only be issued after Lynas  fulfils two new conditions imposed 

AELB: Lynas committed to returning radioactive waste to AustraliaThe Malaysian Insider By Lisa J. Ariffin June 28, DENGKIL, June 28 — Lynas is committed to return all potentially harmful waste from its rare earths plant here to Australia despite its government’s firm refusal to take it in, Malaysia’s radiation regulator said today.

The Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB)  told reporters today the Australian miner would have to send home all residue that could not be turned into commercial products or if a location for a permanent disposal facility (PDF) here could not be determined or approved.

“Lynas will have 10 months to come up with a permanent disposal facility plan for its radioactive residue upon receiving its temporary operating license (TOL),”  said Dr Noor Hasnah Mohamed Khairullah who is special adviser to the AELB director-general.

“If they fail to find a location for the PDF, or if the plan is not approved, then Lynas has to return the residues back to Australia.  Continue reading

June 29, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Malaysia, politics international, Uranium, wastes | Leave a comment

To save TEPCO Corporation, Japan’s govt plans a big restart of nuclear energy

Tepco’s Plans Restart of World’s Biggest Nuclear Plant, Bloomberg News By Tsuyoshi Inajima and Yuji Okada June 28, 2012   Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501), owner of the crippled Fukushima reactors, is committed to restarting another nuclear plant next year that is the world’s largest and itself was damaged in a 2007 earthquake.

Bringing the Kashiwazaki Kariwa power station online, even though it sets up the state-controlled utility for further conflicts with a nuclear-weary public, is part of “Plan A,” President Naomi Hirose, 59, said in an interview. The plan refers to a 10-year business reconstruction that handed control of the power company known as Tepco to Japan’s government. “We have no choice right now but to do our bestto carry out Plan A,” Hirose said on June 18. “We don’t have a Plan B.”

Tepco’s decision runs counter to polls showing the majority of Japanese want less reliance on atomic power after meltdowns at its Fukushima Dai-Ichi reactors last year. The radiation release and cost to the public of as much as $138 billion sparked anti-nuclear sentiment across the world. In Japan, all 50 reactors, including the seven at Kashiwazaki Kariwa, have been required to pass so-called stress tests introduced to improve safety after the Fukushima
disaster. Only two near the western city of Osaka have won permission
to resume operations, leaving 48 offline.

“Tepco’s plan is only wishful thinking” because no more reactors are likely to be approved this year, said Tomoko Murakami, a Tokyo-based nuclear analyst at the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan. “Without the restart, there is not much hope to revive the company.”……

June 29, 2012 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

France’s nuclear company EDF must meet deadline and spend $12 billion on safety measures

EDF Gets Six Years to Carry Out $12 Billion Safety Measures, Bloomberg News By Tara Patel on June 28, 2012   Electricite de France SA, operator of the country’s 58 nuclear reactors, has six years to complete about 10 billion euros ($12 billion) of measures to boost safety after Japan’s Fukushima disaster, the regulator said.

Autorite de Surete Nucleaire today published deadlines for employing equipment such as diesel generators, bunkered control rooms, and guards against flooding.

An estimate by state-owned EDF that the measures will cost about 10 billion euros “is not improbable,” Andre-Claude Lacoste, head of the watchdog, told reporters today.,,,, EDF was told today to install “core” safety equipment and procedures at every plant to cope with extreme situations. Emergency diesel generators for backup power have to be deployed between 2016 and the end of 2018 and rapid response teams with specialized equipment by the end of 2014. EDF also has to have bunker-like control rooms…..

June 29, 2012 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

Southern California’s electrical grid might not need nuclear power – ever!

San Onofre: Do we really need it?   UT San Diego, 28 June 12, This summer may be just a test run for operating Southern California’s electrical grid without a nuclear plant.

The latest report on the outage at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station shows the replacement of four massive steam generators was accompanied by serious design flaws, with no clear solution in sight.

Both stakeholders in San Onofre and critics of nuclear power say the start of a summer without the twin-reactor plant has forced a new accounting for its costs and benefits.

The utility industry and the state’s main grid operator are “considering a range of existing and new alternatives for mitigating the impacts of a long-term or permanent shutdown at San Onofre,” said Stephanie McCorkle, a spokeswoman for the California Independent System Operator….. the grid operator foresees only the remote chance of rolling outages during hot weather in the next three months — when San Onofre is needed the most.

That assessment alone has changed perceptions of the plant as indispensable, said Dan Sullivan, president of San Diego-based Sullivan Solar Power, which employs 65 workers designing and installing solar arrays.

The plant shutdown — along with California’s aggressive renewable-energy policies and a newly completed transmission line into San Diego — have shifted the conversation about nuclear power. The day is coming, Sullivan said, when “we can just say, ‘We’re done.
We don’t need it anymore.’ ”….

June 29, 2012 Posted by | business and costs, renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Shock horror for the nuclear lobby, Southern California can get by without San Onofre nuclear energy

Officials urge conservation as California prepares for summer sans San Onofre nuclear plant 89.3 KPCC, By Ed Joyce | Jun 27, 2012 Utility officials in Southern California say conservation is more important than ever as the San Onofre nuclear plant sits dormant, but anti-nuclear activists are insisting that the plant’s energy isn’t needed…… anti-nuclear activists say the summer will show the region can get by without San Onofre.

Gene Stone, with a San Clemente-based anti-nuclear group, says conservation can meet energy demand even with a permanent shutdown of the plant. He says Edison should use the “half-billion dollars” it’s collected from customers for energy conservation to create a useful

“That money should be divided up between the appropriate county and city agencies and do some real effective conservation,” said Stone.

The agency which manages the state’s power grid says that, even without the nuclear plant’s energy (enough for 1.4 million homes), Southern California will get by this summer without major blackouts.

June 29, 2012 Posted by | ENERGY, USA | Leave a comment

No protection for whistleblowers at San Onofre nuclear power station

Paul Diaz is not protected by California’s whistle-blower laws – among the strongest in the nation — because San Onofre sits on federal land ceded to Southern California Edison back in the 1960s. “What’s unusual here is that if Mr. Diaz was working off the actual four corners of the San Onofre property and reported the same acts, he would be protected,” Seversen said. “But because he happens to set foot on the federal enclave, those protections are not available.”

San Onofre Workers Lack State Whistleblower Protections Safety Complaints High At Crippled Plant June 28, 2012 KPBS, By Amita Sharma  For the past four years, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has had the highest number of safety complaints of any nuclear plant in the country.

“That’s not the list you want to be on top of,” said nuclear power expert David Lockbaum of theUnion of Concerned Scientists.

“I don’t think there is any doubt whatsoever that right now the workforce at San Onofre doesn’t trust management and when they have safety concerns they’re either not raising them at all or they’re raising them to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as the only option they have available,” he added. “That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. The workers are basically the canaries in the coal mine. They’re the first ones who see the problems. Their voices need to be heard, not ignored.” Continue reading

June 29, 2012 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Public participation eliminated, as Nuclear Regulatory Commission ‘streamlines’ nuclear licensing

David Lochbaum, director of the Union of Concerned Scientis’s  said “The old Soviet system was efficient, too,”  arguing that the streamlining sets up a system that approves an entire plan’s construction and operation upfront, a step that happens entirely based on blueprints and that offers fewer opportunities to contest a new project.

“It’s a paper battle – you’re looking at things that are done in cyberspace, and there’s no real evidence to point at,” Lochbaum said. “It has the effect of eliminating public participation.”

Streamlining Nuclear Regs, Energy Biz 28 June 12, AGENCY SEEKS TO
REMOVE IMPEDIMENTS  FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been in the process of implementing new, streamlined licensing procedures, and this spring the first new nuclear projects in decades were approved – two new reactors at the SCANA-owned V.C. Summer Plant, and two others at the Southern Company-owned Plant Vogtle. Continue reading

June 29, 2012 Posted by | Legal, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

French company GDF Suez moving away from nuclear industry

Ambitions to own and operate new nuclear plants by 2020 and play a role in countries like Brazil and the United States have so far come to nothing. Challenges on GDF Suez’s two home fronts, France and Belgium, are making it even harder.

GDF Suez’s nuclear business seen moving backstage by Caroline Jacobs and Benjamin Mallet PARIS, June 26 (Reuters) – GDF Suez is expected to significantly trim its 47-year old nuclear business now that its only showroom, Belgium, is gradually wrapping up its reliance on the energy form and with nuclear prospects in the French utility’s home market dimming. Continue reading

June 29, 2012 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

France’s 3 nuclear agencies must present safety plans by June 30

French Nuclear Safety Body Imposes Security Works On Industry Fox News By Hugo Passarello June 28, 2012 Nuclear energy industry players in France will have to carry out “considerable” work to strengthen security at nuclear facilities, including sizeable investments in human resources and technical skills, said a report by France’s independent nuclearsafety regulator Thursday.
In a statement, the Autorite de Surete Nucleaire, or ASN, announced 32 decisions, including measures relating to Electricite de France’s SA (EDF.FR) nuclear power stations, French nuclear engineering company Areva’s SA (AREVA.FR) installations, and reactors of the French atomic agency, known as the CEA.
As part of the measures, all nuclear sites will have to have “hard-core” compounds which provide robust premises to be used in event of an serious incident.
The three nuclear players are required to present on June 30 the details of materials needed and deadlines for the compounds, said the ASN.

June 29, 2012 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

NRC keeping mum about their investigations into Palisades nuclear power plant

Nuclear cops snoop around Palisades, NRC team began investigation this week, Wood 8 TV , 28 Jun 2012, By Henry Erb GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – When something goes wrong at the Palisades nuclear facility, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission does a technical review. Now, a team of nuclear cops is investigating the nuke plant in Covert Township.

Many of the people in the NRCs Office of Investigations are former agents of the FBI, Secret Service, Drug Enforcement Agency or have backgrounds with other law enforcement agencies. They’re not looking for things that have just gone wrong.
Their job is to look for deliberate wrongdoing, things that could result in criminal prosecution.

In the 2011 annual report from the NRC, the agents investigated 227 cases and turned 77 over to the Justice Department. It’s unclear how many actually ended up in prosecution. ….. This week, the nuclear cops began looking into the year-long leak from an emergency water tank that shut down Palisades on June 12. NRC inspectors at the plant knew about the slow leak since May 2011, and their spokesman said it wasn’t them who turned the case over for special investigation.

The Office of Investigations began the probe on its own this week, but a spokesman at their Chicago office said the agents are not saying why.

June 29, 2012 Posted by | safety, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment