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Whats up with the Thorium reactor supporting Twitter Heads?

arclight-SmOpEd by Arclight2011

Date-  4 March 2014

Posted to nuclear-news.net

Screenshot from 2014-01-07 20:03:20

A brief description of my tweeting experience – Short and sweet! But here is a little breakdown on the issues discussed/tweet linked.

OK! I am grey haired and get my phone hacked a lot so tweeting came a bit late in the day and my interest was stirred after my boss (The dear sweet little old lady blogger who allows me to create mayhem on her blog) was wearing her fingers out tweeting

The subject of all these tweets concerned possible future of dainty little Thorium reactors replacing the nasty big ogre like uranium reactors.

Of course the reason I believe that the push is for thorium

is that the corporations want to keep the nuclear fuel cycle going even if the uranium based reactors get switched off.

For Thorium arguments click here

https://nuclear-news.net/?s=thorium

I would like to concentrate on the nuclear fuel cycle a bit here to underline a Thorium reactors biggest flaw.

The Halden Thorium reactor in Norway for instance is currently running a paper mill and is running on recycled nuclear waste as well as Thorium.

https://nuclear-news.net/2013/09/12/scandal-norways-ngo-bellona-uncovers-secret-nuclear-deals-at-the-experimental-thorium-reactor-complex-in-norway/

The Oslo Fjord has been polluted from time to time from this reactor with mainly Beta bearing radionucldes according to the EURDEP radiation mapping. But the pollution doesnt begin there for the type of fuel that is actually being burnt.

The nuclear waste that is burnt in this reactor starts out as spent fuel rods as well as “hot” nuclear materials. These spent fuel rods are melted in nitric acid and the useful radionuclides are removed.

This spent fuel processing takes place at limited locations and Sellafield in the UK is one such place as well as La Hague in France. NO2 pollution levels are the highest in the UK with the European Union berating the UK for this pollutant that has been increasing over recent years. This pollution has caused real deaths and is a matter of public record.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/20/air-pollution-european-commission-legal-action-uk-nitrogen-dioxide

Of course, the emissions from Sellafield and La Hague comes to some some 4000 T/Bq (admitted) if memory serves me right. Bottom line, it is a lot of liquid and air emissions.

Whilst in London in 2011 and 2012 I found myself with a Gieger counter and during the course of measuring for radioactivity in the air I happened to notice that the NO2 air pollution increased with the radiation readings that I got.

I was able to track this pollution as well as others during 2012 using pollution maps and EURDEP as well as my trusty gieger counter and looking at other gieger readings throughout Europe. These pollutants seem to travel together.

But how could this be covered up? I hear you ask?

Continue reading

March 4, 2014 Posted by | Arclight's Vision | 1 Comment

Finnish parliament to reconsider Fennovoima nuclear plant downsizing plans goes against 2011 no new nuclear agreement

Minister of Economic Affairs Jan Vapaavuori made the announcement at noon on Tuesday.
http://yle.fi/uutiset/parliament_to_reconsider_fennovoima_nuclear_plan/7118987
4.3.2014

 

The Fennovoima consortium’s application for the planned Hanhikivi nuclear power plant will be reconsidered by Parliament. The municipality of Pyhäjoki will also re-evalute the plan.

Minister of Economic Affairs Jan Vapaavuori announced that the Fennovoima consortium on Tuesday filed revisions to its application for a decision-in-principle. These reflect significant changes to the size and ownership of the project since the legislature originally gave the green light to the project in 2010.

Since then, the German utility E.ON has dropped out, being replaced by the Russian state firm Rosatom. A number of smaller stakeholders have also pulled out. The plan now calls for a smaller facility of a different type than that specified in the original application.

Vapaavuori said he expected the cabinet to take a stand on the issue in June so that MPs can consider it when Parliament reconvenes in September.

The Greens have suggested they could leave the government if it approves the revision, which they consider a fundamentally new project. The government agenda agreed in 2011 stipulates that it will not propose any new nuclear ventures to Parliament.

 

March 4, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

U.S. Seeks Nuclear Waste-Research Revival in light of WIPP nuclear accident

After choosing a site, researchers must study the density, porosity and heat conductance of the rock there, and characterize any fractures and groundwater movement. Modeling and experiments help to determine how the rock will respond to the heat generated by the nuclear waste.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/us-seeks-nuclear-waste-research-revival1/

A radioactive leak at the nationals only deep-waste repository, in New Mexico has brought these facilities back into the spotlight

Credit: Leaflet/Wikimedia Commons

A radiation leak has raised questions about the safety of the United States’ only deep nuclear-waste repository, and has given fresh voice to scientists calling for more research into underground waste storage.

On 14 February, radioactive plutonium and americium leaked out of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico, where thousands of drums of contaminated material from the US nuclear-weapons program are stored in salt beds more than half a kilometer below the surface. The health and environmental impacts seem to be minor, but 13 employees have tested positive for low-level contamination. The Department of Energy (DOE) and its contractors are still working on a plan to re-enter the WIPP and find out what caused the leak.

The incident also brings renewed attention to a problem that policy-makers have been avoiding: what to do with a mounting stockpile of spent fuel from commercial reactors, which is currently stored at reactor sites. In 2010, the DOE mothballed plans to develop Yucca Mountain in Nevada, which since 1987 had been designated as the future site of an underground repository (see Nature 473, 266–267; 2011). Researchers at the DOE and universities want to explore a variety of alternatives. But they say that they have been hobbled by small budgets and the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, which prevents the DOE from investigating any specific site apart from Yucca Mountain.

“Basically, all of the old ideas have come back out of the woodwork,” says Michael Driscoll, a nuclear engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “But the first thing we need is Congress to wrestle with this and revise the Nuclear Waste Policy Act.”

For now, researchers are pursuing generic repository science that does not conflict with the law. In one large proposed experiment, DOE scientists wanted to assess whether salt beds at the WIPP could store radioactive waste that is hotter than the material they currently hold. In 2011, the team began developing a $31-million experiment that would have tested how the salt deforms when it is heated, and how water moves through it.

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March 4, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mikhail Golovko, Svoboda MP, Ukraine -” We made a very grave mistake when we gave up our nuclear arsenal”

Svoboda MP Mikhail Golovko spoke in Kiev Tuesday, about the need to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty, even if that would mean restoring its nuclear arsenal. He admitted that this would not be easy since world powers would have to agree to it.

Video Id:
20140304-048
Title
Ukraine: Country could restore its nuclear arsenal – Svoboda MP
Category
Politics
Location
Kiev, Ukraine
Region
Europe
Duration
0:43
Published
March 4, 2014, 21:31 (GMT)
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Keywords
Ukraine, Kiev, nuclear, Maidan, Svoboda
Video here;
http://ruptly.tv/vod/view/10216/ukraine-country-could-restore-its-nuclear-arsenal-svoboda-mp

March 4, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Setsuko Kuroda: Talks about Women from Fukushima

“There is an invisible pressure and is an oppressive atmosphere which encroaching on freedom of speech. We hardly say here is a very dangerous situation or it is good for children to evacuate. People like me are really the minority.”

Text and Photo by Yoshihiro Kaneda

In June, 2012, I went to the Fukushima Forum at the Iwaki City in Fukushima, Japan where I was born in. I heard victims’ voices which were facing against the power and they were very smart and new. They accumulated their knowledge and experiences from the past experiences of Minamata disease and Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the forum, one guy who had lived near Fukushima Daiichi insisted on the importance of self-decision among people’s distrust of everything including the government, the congress, bureaucrats, industries, and the media.

In late September of 2013, I interviewed Setsuko Kuroda who was a member of Women from Fukushima Against Nukes and appears on the documentary “Women of Fukushima.” I am sorry for a late report and my English skill.

Q: Please tell me about the beginning of the Women from Fukushima Against Nukes?

A: After the accident, everybody evacuated here and there and I also evacuated once. Then, I returned here (the Koriyama City in Fukushima). We wanted something to do by those who lived here. I called Ruiko Mutoh (the representative of The Complainants for Criminal Prosecution of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster) and Seiichi Nakate (the representative and mediator of Citizen’s Conference of the Support Child and Victims Law in The Nuclear Accident) to organize the meeting. At that time, radiation level in front of the Koriyama station was very high. It was the beginning that various movements were starting rapidly. So we did a protest meeting but there were sparse audiences in late April, 2011.

Q: What was the policy of the protest meeting?

A: We were not in dead silence.

Q: Did you already know people were in initial radiation exposure including iodine?

A: Yes. There were no big movement yet so we were in gloom. We wanted to express our anger and sorrow in the appreciable way. We were discussing about a sit-in in front of the prefectural office or Tokyo where more people would see us all over the country. While doing this, members were increasing. At the time, the youth gathered and started the No Nukes Tent in front of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Then, we decided the Three Days Sit-In there. Women who were good at the Internet mailed to spread our event information, women who were good at designing handouts created a handout, and we were discussing what we would do. Women from Fukushima exceeded over a hundred in a twinkling. It was our passionate debut on 28 to 30th October, 2011.

Q: I watched the closed meeting of the Women from Fukushima on YouTube. One member reported the situation of Chernobyl, one member reported the law of compensation for damaged assets, and other members also reported other issues. It looked very meaningful meeting. In the negotiation with bureaucrats of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on YouTube, I was so impressed by and understood clearly Ms. Kazue Morizono’s words “We, Women from Fukushima, have studied entire human history during a year.” I was surprised at the tremendous efforts how your group have accumulated knowledge, information, and experiences.

A: I had a chance to go to Chernobyl and reported it in the meeting. We have two regular meetings in a month. One is for decision making and one is for just a chat which we have known it is rather important. Facing each other with tea is very significant.

Q: How is recent situation?

A: After the event above, Women from Fukushima became famous abruptly among the antinuclear movements in Japan. Each splendid woman has innovated herself promptly. There are many problems such as the Fukushima Collective Evacuation Trial, the Complainants for Criminal Prosecution of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation, information for evacuation, safe food, and so on. So each woman has her own ground to act. It looks a little vague but it is good. Women from Fukushima should be humans to connect each movement like an ameba. The important is women’s flexibility, in other words, sloppiness which connects various movements against nukes. We have a huge annual event on March. Various people, citizens’ groups, and individuals come to the event from throughout the country and bring their plans to act and we organize workshops in two big venues. It will take hold. Women from Fukushima rent venues and schedule the event. It is a hard work for us.

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March 4, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japanese Prosecutors Refuse to Hit TEPCO With Criminal Charges Over Fukushima

Jon Doe from Tokyo

Published on 4 Mar 2014

Over 15,000 people whose lives here totally destroyed due to the meltdowns at Fukushima caused by TEPCO but in the opinion of the Japanese prosecutors no one is at fault.

References:
Hundreds protest dropped charges over Fukushima crisis
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/…

Japan Power Company Admits Failings on Plant Precautions
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/13/wor…

TEPCO: Not all pumped-in water reached overheating Fukushima reactors
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disa…

The 1995 System(The method of `legal` systematic corruption which still exist today just in a slightly different form)
http://www.jpri.org/publications/work…

March 4, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ETHOS, Ethics and Lies – Chernobyl to Fukushima, Nesterenko to Takenouchi and beyond?

Screenshot from 2014-03-04 07:18:42

arclight-SmMari is facing charges stemming from speaking out on radiation in Japan and advocacy for families relocating children out of the areas contaminated by radioactivity from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi reactor site, operated by TEPCO.

The group ETHOS in Japan supports the decision by some to stay and live in contaminated areas. Sadly, some of these families feel they have no choice due to economics and other factors. Certainly young children have no choice. ETHOS advocates monitoring radioactivity, but well established science supports Mari’s views that there is no safe dose of radiation and that children need to be protected. We support open discussion, access to information and free choice. We ask the Prosecutor to agree that writing and speaking about these issues are not a crime.

Please Stand With Mari as she stands for precaution, protection and the rights of children to a healthy future. THANK YOU.

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Office_of_the_Prosecutor_Iwaki_Branch_Fukushima_Japan_Support_Mari_Takenouchi_and_Radiation_Protection/?copy

The late nuclear physicist Vassili B. Nesterenko (2 December 1934–25 August 2008) was hounded and persecuted by the KGB because he published inconvenient truths: research about the consequences of Chernobyl. Here is a short article about his achievements and here is his Wikipedia entry.

Alternate link to his achievements ; http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/death-of-exceptional-resister-vassili-b.html

“….At a lower level, but also dangerous, there is the CEPN with Lochard. His project ETHOS has failed in Chernobyl : the children became more and more ill, and more severely ill. In the final report, they censured the medical report of the paediatrician, because the project was accompanied with the deterioration of health of the children….” (Full article below)

More on ETHOS radiation project here;

This is the official information
Report on Childrens radiation education structure : http://www.icrp.org/docs/dialogue-4E.pdf
THIS INFO IS NEARER THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER INFORMATION
“…..In effect, ETHOS had learned everything from Nesterenko and had collected his data in order to now supplant him. A real case of plagiarism but with one fundamental flaw: the ETHOS mission, as conceived by the French nuclear lobby had an insurmountable statutory limitation, that prevented it from taking any action in the area of health: ETHOS was not qualified to treat the population medically: (4) What was it doing, in that case, at Chernobyl?I began to understand more when a friend, a sociologist, who had some involvement with ETHOS, told me that Jacques Lochard, leader of the ETHOS project, was employed by the CEA and had defined its task in this astonishing phrase. “We need to occupy the territory…”http://independentwho.org/en/2014/02/05/chernobyl-model-fukushima/

Pr. Michel Fernex is a Swiss medical doctor from the Medical Faculty University of Basel. Born in Geneva in 1929. Member of Physicians for Social Responsibility and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). He worked at the World Health Organization (WHO) as member of the Steering Committee on Tropical Diseases Research for 15 years. In 1986, facing the reality of the WHO which attempted to downplay the consequences of the Chernobyl accident instead of helping the population, it compeled him to demand the independence of the WHO from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Since 2007 he has been a leading campaigner of Independent WHO. With Solange Fernex, his wife and member of the French Green Party, Vassily Nesterenko, founder of the Institut Belrad, and film director Wladimir Tchertkoff, he also founded in 2001 the NPO Children of Chernobyl Belarus (Les Enfants de Tchernobyl-Belarus) to support the Institute Belrad as well as the independent recherches of the consequences of Chernobyl accident.

Q1. What were the policy measures undertaken by the IAEA in Chernobyl after the nuclear disaster in 1986?


In Chernobyl, the IAEA arrived soon. Together with Prof Pellerin, delegate from the WHO, they proposed to change the established limits of protection for external irradiation for professional workers in atomic industries and apply them for the population, ignoring that families living in contaminated areas were soon to suffer more from internal irradiation than external. The Soviet Union refused to increase the limits of 5 to 10 or even 20 mSv/year, which would delay the evacuations and would have increased risks for radio-induced diseases. The risks of cancers are only a small part of pathologies occurring, as we learned from Chernobyl.

They did not encourage the distribution of stable iodine to the children, which was recommend by Baverstock, doctor at the WHO. They did not accelerate the evacuation of populations at risk, but waited until the irradiation reached higher doses. They minimized the risk for the population. They financed the Ministry of Health to discourage independent research.

The French lobby arrived later than in Fukushima, with an NGO, the CEPN with M. Lochard, representing Electricité de France with 56 atomic reactors, the CEA which developed the French Bomb, and Areva which builds atomic power plants, stores atomic waste in La Hague, and sells uranium, plutonium and MOX. In the UN hierarchy, the IAEA remains on the top, other agencies have to follow. Even the FAO has to agree, when limits have to be imposed for food.

Their goal is to reduce the costs of the catastrophe and to reduce the impact of Chernobyl on the further sale of atomic power plants.

Continue reading

March 4, 2014 Posted by | Arclight's Vision | 11 Comments

Governments, media. corporations in denial about Fukushima nuclear catastrophe

the desperate drive—in which a largely compliant mainstream media have been complicit—to deny the Fukushima catastrophe, a disaster deeply affecting life on Earth.

text-nuclear-uranium-liesNuclear Denial: The Giant Lie About Fukushima,CounterPunch, MARCH 03, 2014 by KARL GROSSMAN With the third anniversary of the start of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe coming next week, the attempted Giant Lie about the disaster continues—a suppression of information, an effort at dishonesty of historical dimensions.

It involves international entities, especially the International Atomic Energy Agency, national governmental bodies—led in Japan by its current prime minister, the powerful nuclear industry and a “nuclear establishment” of scientists and others with a vested interest in atomic energy.

Deception was integral to the push for nuclear power from its start. Continue reading

March 4, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Very high levels of cesium in Fukushima, and far beyond

Asahi: ‘Mind-boggling’ cesium levels far from Fukushima plant — Japan Times: “Health ministry in denial” — Interview: “They force us to forget everything”; Gov’t radiation levels  http://enenews.com/asahi-mind-boggling-radioactivity-levels-fukushima-evacuation-zone-resident-unable-hide-anger-japan-times-health-ministry-denial-interview-force-forget-everything-govt-radiation-levels-complete

Cesium-137Asahi Shimbun, Feb. 25, 2014: CAPTION: Radioactive cesium of mind-boggling 370,000 becquerels per kilogram of soil has been detected in the mud of the Myotoishi reservoir in Motomiya, Fukushima Prefecture [55 km from Fukushima Daiichi]. The reservoir is ringed by homes and a community center. – Very high levels of accumulated radioactive cesium have been detected in the mud of hundreds of reservoirs used to irrigate farmland in Fukushima Prefecture […] 576 reservoirs [of 1,939 surveyed]. […] many of which are located in residential areas […] and still supplying water to rice paddies and other farmland. […] Environment Ministry says it has no plans to dredge the reservoirs to remove the contaminated mud. […] Kiyoshi Ishii, 71 […] was unable to hide his anger.

Japan Times, Mar. 1, 2014 despite the government and [Tepco’s] claims that things are under control, the disaster continues to threaten the lives and well-being of people […] much of the problem stems from the government’s poor handling of the after-effects of the disaster and Tepco’s continuing inept handling of the cleanup at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. […] the health ministry is in denial about the Full interview with Kuroda hereYoshihiro Kaneda, Feb. 25, 2014: Fukushima seems to be suppressed by the skillful manipulation. They force us to forget everything like the accident never happened. […] they can influence a lot of people […] If the person has a good title or is famous, people want to hear him or her. They give you a solution that you will be safe if you care about radiation. It happens everywhere […] Q: Is a manipulator the national, prefectural, or city government? A: All. There are many ways to do it. For example, they use citizens’ groups and individuals. The public information in the Koriyama City is terrible because their evidences of the radiation levels in the city are complete fictions. They announce it proudly with using tax. Their way to do that is from experiences of Chernobyl and they repeat in Japan. […] The mass media is the biggest criminal. (She stared at me fixedly.) They don’t say truth. No media is good. The media is worse than TEPCO […] exception is Tokyo Shinbun. But we cannot buy a copy in Fukushima. Who can allow this children’s environment and the situation of workers for Fukushima Daiichi? […]

Full interview with Kuroda here Full interview with Kuroda here

 

March 4, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Deceptive fog in information about Fukushima radiation

To stem any such public anxiety, TEPCO and Japanese government officials minimized the damage at Dai-ichi and assured its population that the situation was certainly not another Chernobyl. Untrue. In important ways, the Japan situation is worse: …

The good news is that there is some movement as citizens, news media and public officials are starting to demand answers about Fukushima radiation. The bad news is that it’s difficult to pry out documented facts from TEPCO and/or the Japanese government as both continue to stonewall requests for information. 

it’s way beyond time for a full-court-press approach by the U.S. and global community to challenge what may be a whitewashed cover-up, and with intensified scientific research and accurate figures and diagnosis, to get to the bottom of what’s happening at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant. Doing nothing is not an option.

water-tanks-FukushimaCutting through Fukushima Fog: Radiation in U.S.  Bernard Weiner, Dissident Voice March 3rd, 2014  Governments cite “national security” concerns and “official secrets” as their justification for withholding information from the public. Corporations rationalize their secrecy behind concerns about “patent infringement,” shielding their trademarked “proprietary” secrets from competitors. But most of the time, such obfuscation is really derived from the time-honored villains of systemic corruption and what is politely known as CYA in military and bureaucratic slang.

Which brings us to Fukushima.

From the very beginning of this catastrophic emergency — the earthquake/tsunami off the Japanese coast in March of 2011, when nuclear reactors at a power plant were flooded and then exploded and began their meltdowns — the public in Japan and around the world have not been told the full story of what’s been happening at the Dai-ichi nuclear-power plant in Fukushima province.

The utility that runs the plant, TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company), is notoriously close-mouthed about its operation. To this day, aided by a recently passed “government secrets” act in Japan, we have no confirmable idea of the extent of the damage: how much radiation is really leaking out into the Pacific Ocean and where the currents are taking it, the density and direction of the radioactive plumes carried by the wind, the radioactive effects up and down the marine food-chain. Not only is there precious little data-reporting released to the public — journalists who violate the “state secrets” law can be thrown into prison for 10 years — but what little information that does appear, both in Japan and in the U.S., seems to be hidden inside a different language, with a vocabulary(“bequerelles,” “millisieverts,” “millirems,” the difference between “radiation,” “radioactive” and “radiation dose,” and so on) that is utterly confusing to most non-nuclear scientists. Continue reading

March 4, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

South Carolina stuck with a load of nuclear radioactive trash

Oscar-wastes any-fool-would-know they should stop making the  stuff

SC Left Holding The Nuclear Waste Eric Connor, The Greenville News: March 3, 2014 A radioactive leak that has indefinitely shut down a New Mexico nuclear waste dump has left South Carolina holding a stockpile of weapons waste that had been scheduled to be shipped westward for disposa49 a.m. ESTl by the end of next year.

The plans to ship waste stored at the Savannah River Site are in limbo – and the government isn’t prepared yet to talk about what will happen next if the New Mexico underground dump no longer is an option. The U.S. Department of Energy said Friday it is “evaluating its options” after a mysterious leak two weeks ago at New Mexico’s federal Waste Is olation Pilot Plant exposed workers to radiation and shut down operations.

The department said more information will be presented next week.

Nuclear watchdogs say the government should be prompt in sharing information on the future of SRS waste slated for transport and should heed the unexpected leak as evidence not to allow further storage of nuclear spent fuel at SRS.

“Nuclear waste dumps leak — and they leak sooner than the experts predict,” said Tom Clements, Columbia-based nuclear adviser to the Sierra Club’s chapter in South Carolina. “Obviously this is going to have an impact on operations at Savannah River Site, and they should talk about it.”………

So far, about 12,000 cubic meters from SRS have disposed in the WIPP facility since 2001, according to a DOE report last May. About 700 cubic meters remain to be disposed, the report said.

The report said that the last transuranic waste shipment would occur by the end of 2015 if enough funds were allocated.

The DOE has raised the possibility, also, that New Mexico facility could be a permanent home for higher-level liquid waste from generating sites that have stockpiled since Cold War-era weapons production ceased years ago.

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant outside of Carlsbad, N.M., accepted its first shipment of waste in 1999 after decades of planning. The plant hosts waste half a mile beneath the surface in salt beds formed by an ancient sea……..http://www.wltx.com/story/news/2014/03/03/nm-nuclear-waste-dump-leak-leaves-sc-holding-nuclear-waste/5967663/

March 4, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Global renewable energy market heating up

Tpiggy-ban-renewableshe global outlook for renewable energy , The Interpreter, 3 March 14, My previous article showed that there has been an unprecedented level of investment in renewable energy over the last decade. Let’s consider the drivers for this in more detail and look to the future.

Policy measures introduced in Europe and North America kick-started the market for wind turbines and solar photovoltaic (PV) cells and helped build what are now multi-billion dollar global industries. More recently, China has taken over as the main destination for investment and has also become a major manufacturer.

Policies are often categorised as either ‘push’ or ‘pull’ measures. The former include incentives such as R&D funding and tax breaks, while the latter provide a price signal for deployment via feed-in tariffs (FITs), for example.

It is unclear how long it would have taken the industry to reach critical mass without such policy measures. In the last two and a half years, the global solar PV industry, for example, jumped from 50 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity to just over 100 GW, yet it took decades to add the first 50 GW. Continue reading

March 4, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Britain’s nuclear industry – an expensive folly?

nukes-hungryflag-UKWhere next for the UK nuclear industry?  theguardian.com, 3 March 14. Nuclear power is the most controversial source of energy, but government claims an expansion of the sector is essential Few subjects are as polarising as nuclear power. Supporters claim a new generation of nuclear plants is the most effective means of helping to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, while filling the ‘energy gap’ that will result from the decommissioning of old fossil fuel and nuclear power facilities in the 2020s.

But opponents believe it is an expensive folly, replete with ethical and environmental effects that have repercussions for generations to come, siphoning money and attention away from renewables……….

Hinkley Point C will be the first nuclear power station in the UK since Sizewell B, which started generating electricity in 1995. Along with 11 other new nuclear power stations the government hopes to see built, this would transform what has for some time been a legacy industry into one that would provide 16 GWe of new nuclear capacity by 2030.

Hinkley Point C is projected to provide electricity for 6m homes, meeting approximately 7% of the UK’s demand when running at full capacity. But the proposals are controversial, not least due to the cost involved.

All new nuclear builds involve high capital expenditures. However, many opponents of the Hinkley plan claim the £92.5/MWh strike price, the loan guarantee promised by the Treasury, liability issuance provided to EDFby the Government, and other financial measures actually amount to subsidies by another name – transferring liability onto British electricity customers and taxpayers for at least 35 years…….

n addition, the coalition agreement promised that new nuclear sites would not receive state financial aid. The European Commission has doubts that the estimated £17.6 bn in financial aid for the Hinkley deal can be justified.

Many environmentalists have expressed concerns over how the nuclear waste from these new reactors will be dealt with. Cumbria recently rejected government plans for an underground nuclear waste disposal facility, and the costs of cleaning up the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site in the region have rocketed past £70bn.

“That site is so polluted and so nasty, and they just don’t know what to do with it,” claimed Catherine Mitchell, professor of energy policy at the University of Exeter, “so every time a new government comes in they just keep it going, they don’t deal with it.”…..

Many people still believe the UK is heading down the wrong electricity track, and should emulate Germany and Denmark and invest much more heavily in renewable sources of electricity. The potential for smart meters, increased energy efficiency measures, carbon capture technologies, distributed grids and community energy projects could change the way we consume electricity – and put the nuclear industry out of step with reality. “The whole energy system is changing,” added Mitchell, “and that’s really one of the big issues for nuclear power.”… http://www.theguardian.com/big-energy-debate/uk-nuclear-industry-where-now

March 4, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stop assassinating Iran’s nuclear scientists, Obama tells Israel

Obama pushes Israel to stop assassinations of Iran nuclear scientists – report RT.com March 02, 2014  President Barack Obama is pressuring Israel to stop carrying out assassinations of top nuclear scientists in Iran as the Islamic Republic continues its negotiations with world powers over its uranium enrichment program, according to a new book.

Apart from pressure from Washington that Israel give up the assassination program, sources close to Israel’s intelligence agencies told CBS News’s Dan Raviv that Mossad itself viewed the campaign as too dangerous to continue. Raviv, who was updating a book he co-wrote about the history of Israel’s intelligence agencies, said the pressure form the Obama administration was “more than a hint.”

Mossad itself was apparently undergoing a sea change regarding the program. Fearing their ‘best combatants’ – Israel’s term for its most accomplished spies – could be captured and hanged, the agency is reportedly set to shift its focus to other activities. According to security sources, Netanyahu ordered the intelligence agency to focus its efforts on proving the Islamic Republic is cheating on a landmark preliminary agreement made with six world powers in November to curtail its uranium enrichment program in return for limited sanctions relief.

At least five Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed since 2007, with men on motorcycles sticking magnetically attachable bombs to their victims’ cars. The head of the country’s ballistic missile program was also killed, while in October Mojtaba Ahmadi, who served as commander of the Cyber War Headquarters, was found shot dead. No Israeli national has ever been arrested in collusion with the targeted assassination program, which is reportedly intended to thwart advances in Iran’s nuclear program and dissuade Iran’s best and brightest from working in the sphere.

The killing of Ahmadi was widely viewed as an attempt to derail nuclear negotiations between Tehran and the P5+1 – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.

Israel has never publically claimed responsibility for the attacks… http://iranian.com/posts/view/post/29170

March 4, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Third year of losses for French nuclear power company, AREVA

radiation-sign-sadFrance’s Areva posts 3rd straight annual loss Digital Journal  28 Feb 14 France’s state-controlled nuclear energy conglomerate Areva on Wednesday posted 2013 results showing its third consecutive annual loss and forecast lower revenues this year because of persistent problems in the market.

The company made a net loss of 494 million euros ($675 million). It said that result was worse than the 99-million-euro loss for 2012 because of 425 million euros it had to set aside last year to cover overruns and delays with a European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) it has been building in Olkiluoto, Finland for the past nine years…..http://www.digitaljournal.com/biz/business/france-s-areva-posts-3rd-straight-annual-loss/article/373230

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March 4, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment