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Abe Govt. pushes for nuke restart in Sendai even as volcano pops 151km (94 miles) from there

More than 100 people have been ordered to evacuate after a volcano erupted on the tiny southern Japanese island of Kuchinoerabu on Friday morning.

Spectacular TV footage captured the moment Mount Shindake exploded, sending columns of thick, black smoke high into the air.

Japan’s meteorological agency raised the alert level to five – the highest on its scale – and ordered the island’s 140 residents to evacuate.

The agency said no injuries or damage had been reported following the eruption, which occurred eight months after 57 people died after Mount Ontake in central Japan erupted without warning.

The agency added that pyroclastic flows, dense currents of rock fragments and hot gases from the volcano had reached the island’s north-west shore.

In Tokyo, the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, set up an emergency response team and dispatched a self-defence force to the island. Abe said he had instructed local authorities to do “everything possible” to ensure the islanders’ safety.

Yoshihide Suga, the government’s chief spokesman, said a coastguard vessel had also been sent to help residents evacuate.

A local official said the eruption, which occurred without warning, had forced about 100 people to take shelter at an evacuation centre. “There was a really loud sound of an explosion, and then black smoke rose, darkening the sky,” Nobuaki Hayashi told the national broadcaster NHK. “It smells of sulphur.”

Source: The Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/29/the-moment-japans-mount-shindake-volcano-erupts-in-spectacular-fashion

May 29, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive water leaks at Fukushima Daiichi: a never ending story

 

What a surprise! The operator of the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Tepco, says workers have found a leak of highly radioactive water at the plant’s site. They say the water flowed into the plant’s port. (Ocean)

We are all dumbfounded by such sudden unexpected horrible news, maybe we should start a worldwide crowdfunding project to provide them with sufficient plenty masking tape!

 

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says workers have found a leak of comparatively highly radioactive water at the plant’s site. It says the water flowed into the plant’s port.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says the contaminated water was leaking from a hose connecting a wastewater tank and a building at the plant.
The hose had a crack about 1 centimeter long. The contaminated water was produced in a process to clean up rainwater tainted by radioactive materials at the plant.
Utility officials said the leaked water flowed into a nearby drainage channel and into the port.
They said they detected about 1,200 becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting substances from water taken from the channel on Thursday. That figure was 40 times the level the previous day.
They said the figure rose to a maximum of 1,400 becquerels on Friday. The officials believe the leakage continued over the two days.
The company says concerns were raised about the hoses’ durability. It has been replacing them.
Authorities in Fukushima Prefecture have urged the company to conduct an investigation to identify the cause of the leak. They say the company should take thorough measures to prevent a recurrence. 

Source:  NHK

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20150529_41.html

May 29, 2015 Posted by | Japan | | 1 Comment

Recent Nuclear News

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

The very big gender gap – women don’t like nuclear power.

Cut-throat competition between global nuclear companies to export reactors.

WEAPONS AND WAR. Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference flounders over Middle East nuclear concerns .  Catholic Church wants nuclear disarmament, not deterrence.

No Signs of Russian Nuclear Weapons Deployment – NATO Commander.

North Korea claims that it can make mini nuclear weapons.

USA. USA government effectively stymied Nuclear Nonproliferation Conference.  Immediate release ordered for Sister Megan Rice and her compatriots. High cancer rates in thorium and uranium contaminated sites in Missouri.

Heightened danger of war from appearance of American warships in South China Sea.

JAPAN . Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority gives approval for restart of Sendai reactors. Japan’s spent fuel problem will escalate, casting doubt on nuclear restart plans. Unable to get volunteer locations, Japan will now impose nuclear waste sites. Tokyo hit by 5.6y mag earthquake.  Abe government trampling on press freedoms – concern grows in Japan.  Japan raises the ‘acceptable’ radiation level for nuclear emergency workers. Japan’s Government and TEPCO sued by Ex-Futaba mayor, over Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Fukushima. 

FRANCE. Gloomy financial situation for AREVA in so many ways. Safety problems may mean the end for AREVA’s EPR nuclear reactor.

GERMANY.German nuclear utilities don’t have enough money for decomissioning reactors.

FINLAND    pulls out of building Olkiluoto 4 nuclear reactor.

SWEDEN Investors flee Nordic nuclear company Vattenfall.

UK. Nuclear power link to breast cancer. UK’s hunt for Trident nuclear system whistleblower. Britain outsourcesguarding of its nuclear facilities to private company.

CANADA. Potassium iodate pills for Canadian communities near nuclear facilities. First Nations land would host Ontario nuclear waste, but First Nations don’t get a say.

CHINA Chinese scientist warns on dubious safety of China’s nuclear power programme.

NEW ZEALAND. Distrust in New Zealand about Commission to study effects of Pacific nuclear bombing.

SOUTH AFRICA‘s nuclear company Eskom runs out of money for assessing environmental impact of nuclear energy. Govt is hiding the true costs of nuclear power.

Uranium .Continued down ward trajectory of the global uranium market. A year of losses for Namibia’ Rossing uranium mine. Trying to cut costs, TEPCO to sell uranium stockpile.

Trans Pacific Partnership. Corporate control of government, and the Internet are the goals – Julian Assange.

Climate Change. Big energy firms get privileged access to top EU climate officals. Tipping point for some Antarctic glaciers reached in 2009.

May 29, 2015 Posted by | Christina's notes | 2 Comments

Turbulent activity of the sun – a threat to nuclear power plants

safety-symbol-Sm“Very chilling warning” from Japan expert who foretold Fukushima meltdowns: “The Gods are warning us of something even more serious… incredibly disastrous” — Professor: Suddenly, our sun is doing very strange things… Crisis much worse than Carrington Event possible… Most unstable period since ice age, I’m very concerned about nuclear plants (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/very-chilling-warning-japan-expert-foretold-fukushima-meltdowns-gods-warning-serious-incredibly-disastrous-professor-all-sudden-sun-doing-very-strange-very-unusual-could-stronger-carrington-event-u?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Interview with Dr. Robert SchochBoston Univ. (PhD Geology & Geophysics, Yale Univ.), Dec 2013 (8:15 in, emphasis added) “At the end of the last ice age our sun was incredibly active… all the data points to the fact that this is actually what brought the last ice age to a close, with dramatic climate changes, dramatic changes on the surface the earth [and] incredible geological changes… The sun had this turbulent period about 10,000 BC [and] is going through this turbulence once again. This has been well documented by astrophysicists — that all of a sudden our sun is doing very strange, very unusual things… our sun is now more turbulent, more active, than it’s been since the end of the last ice age.”

Katsuhiko Ishibashi, Seismologist and Emeritus professor at Kobe Univ., Apr 28, 2015 (at 38:00 in): “This really is what I think… The Gods of this huge nature are actually warning the people of the Japanese archipelago in steps… In 2003, there was an earthquake that shook a nuclear plant where the design basis went over the standard seismic motion… Then 2007 at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa… a direct, serious hit — and yet the Japanese people did not listen. Then it gave us Fukushima… The Gods are warning us that something even more serious can happen in this Japanese archipelago. And of course nuclear power plant accidents can result not just by earthquake. It could have an incredible, serious effect. It has been dishing it out step-by-step, warning us toward something that actually could be incredibly disastrous” … Moderator: “Very chilling warning” (Japan Times, May 1, 2015: “In 1997, [Ishibashi] wrote a report… where he coined the term “nuclear earthquake disaster.” The paper was written about 14 years before the Fukushima disaster, yet reads like a post-mortem of what happened: A major quake knocks out external power to the plant’s reactors and unleashes a tsunami… leading to loss of cooling and meltdowns.”)

Dr. Schoch Oct 2014 (55:30 in): “There’s very strong evidence [of] a major solar outburst at the end of the last ice age… Our sun is again going through a period of instability, similar to what we saw 12,000 years ago… We may be due… for some major surprises… The Carrington event of 1859 [largest geomagnetic storm on record] may have just been the start of things to come… I don’t want to be a fear monger… but I think we have to look at the data, I think we have to look at it realistically, and I do think we have to be prepared… We’re incredibly vulnerable with our modern electronics and our dependence on electricity and electrical grid systems… It’s well understood by those people who have studied it, if we had a Carrington event today it would be devastating… we could well have something much stronger than a Carrington event.”

Dr. Schoch, Nov 2013 (12:00 in): “The sun is more active now than it’s been for the last 8,000 or more years… There have been very reputable papers published for instance in the journal ‘Nature’, arguably the most prestigious science journal… that we are going into a period of major solar activity… There’s a saying ‘shot across the bow’… The first real evidence of this increased activity may be the 1859 Carrington event… a major solar outburst.”

Dr. Schoch, Nov 2013 (4:30 in): “I hate to bring it up, but I will because I think it’s serious — the nuclear power plants that we have around the world, we’ve seen what can happen. Fukushima was not that long ago. When you knock out power to a nuclear power plant, the cooling systems don’t necessarily function… If you lose power to a nuclear power plant, we’ve seen what the results can be — and it could be a lot worse than Fukushima.… I don’t want to be alarmist, but on the other hand, I think we have to call it the way we see it. I think we really need to be talking about the evidence — which I believe is very good evidence — of what’s happened in the past, and the ramifications for this in the present and future.”

Dr. Schoch, Dec 2013 (17:00 in): “Something that I’m very concerned about is… we saw a little foreshadowing [at] Fukushima… a nuclear power plant loses electricity… If that happens to hundreds of nuclear power plants… or even just a couple, you’ve got major concerns.”

Ishibashi’s press conference here — Interviews with Dr. Schoch here (1 | 2 | 3 | 4)

May 29, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety | Leave a comment

USA government effectively stymied Nuclear Nonproliferation Conference

atomic-bomb-lObama Administration Sabotages Nuclear Nonproliferation Conference , 27 May 2015 By Joseph Gerson, Truthout “…..So much for President Obama’s commitment to a nuclear-weapons-free world.

With its decision on May 22 to block the adoption of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Review Conference’s consensus statement, the Obama administration gave the human species another hefty push toward nuclear catastrophe, shaking the foundations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

Why the sabotage? Well, for one thing, the draft text had the temerity to call for the convening of a conference within six months to prepare the way for a Middle East nuclear-weapons-and-weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone. It called for all parties to the NPT Review – read especially the United States – to fulfill previous Review Conferences’ promises to begin the process of creating the zone.

Dangers

Though it doesn’t currently garner much media coverage, the danger of nuclear war is anything but an innocuous abstraction. Each of the nuclear powers is currently modernizing its nuclear arsenal and delivery systems. (US plans call for spending $1 trillion over the next 30 years for these nuclear weapons.) With NATO’s expansion to Russia’s borders, and Russia’s responses in Ukraine and across Europe, we have entered a new era of confrontation between nuclear superpowers, which between them possess more than 90 percent of the world’s 16,400 nuclear weapons – weapons that have been exercised in posturing during the Ukraine war.

The situation isn’t much better in Asia and the Pacific. China’s second-leading official newspaper, Global Times, said in a May 25 editorial that “war was inevitable” between China and the United States unless Washington stopped demanding that Beijing halt the building of artificial islands in a disputed waterway (the South China/Western Philippine Sea). Those islands may be designed to host naval bases for China’s nuclear-armed submarines, in order to overcome the possibility of the US and Japan blockading China’s mainland ports. Plus, at a time when the US is deepening its military alliances and deploying first-strike-related “missile defenses” along China’s periphery, China has begun installing multiple warheads on its nuclear missiles……

the near-complete failure of this year’s Review Conference further undermines the credibility of the seminal treaty, leaving the world without even a minimal agreement about how to reduce, let along eliminate, the risk of nuclear annihilation. Continue reading

May 29, 2015 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Inadequate cleaning of Fukushima radioactive water

water-radiationFukushima Daiichi Cleans Most Contaminated Water, Not Really, Simply Info May 28th, 2015 TEPCO announced that they have cleaned most of the contaminated water at Fukushima Daiichi. But thedetails show they are no where near close to being done.

Only cesium 137 & 134 along with strontium 90 have been removed from certain tanks of water. 620,000 tons of water have had these two isotopes removed. 10,000 tons of water currently can not be filtered for an undisclosed reason.

440,000 tons of water have now been run through ALPS with 180,000 tons still needing to be processed. Previous admissions showed that ALPS did not remove cobalt 60, iodine 129 and tritium among possible other isotopes……. http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=14776

May 29, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, Japan, radiation | Leave a comment

High cancer rates in thorium and uranium contaminated sites in Missouri

highly-recommendedThe problem, critics such as McKeel and Kleba said, is that the study’s design diluted the string of infant deaths into regional data, making the amount seem statistically insignificant. Between October 1999 and October 2000, the Riverfront Times reported, seven of the eight deaths were children at Kleba’s church, all of whom lived near Dardenne Creek.

in an unexpected turn, a 2014 Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services study did indeed find higher rates of cancers in ZIP codes near known contaminated sites in St. Louis County, and the state promptly requested help from the Center for Disease Control to conducted further studies in the area.

radiation-warningFlag-USASt. Louis burning: What killed the babies near Weldon Spring? Aljazeera America by Ryan Schuessler @RyanSchuessler1 April 30, 2015

State health studies did little to ease residents’, activists’ concerns about potential radiation exposure in metro area This is part two of a three-part series investigating the effects of radioactive waste from the Manhattan Project on St. Louis and its suburbs. Part one examined the health problems impacting those who lived near Coldwater Creek.

DARDENNE PRAIRIE, Mo. — On a Saturday afternoon in late February at the Immaculate Conception Parish of Dardenne, a fresh snow was falling on the graves of more than a dozen infant-sized tombstones. The church bells tolled, signaling the beginning of Mass as parishioners walked briskly through the cold.

It was at this Roman Catholic parish where, some 15 years ago, the small congregation’s streak of infant deaths caught the attention of locals and media, both of whom drew connections to the area’s atomic history that left groundwater in the area contaminated with uranium.

But the state of Missouri said nothing was out of the ordinary. Continue reading

May 29, 2015 Posted by | children, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

Exploding the nuclear lobby’s hype about all those “planned projects”

All the time that a nuclear plant is getting built someone is footing the bill on the materials that are not generating revenue, it’s usually the state that is building the project.  It also inevitably becomes an open cheque book, whereas in solar the project is totally underwritten by the supplier (in the terms of small domestic and medium to large commercial rooftop) and the technology is generating, earning a return (as a feed-in tariff and/or self consumption) before it is even paid for.

What if we all adopted the nuclear industry’s interpretation of a ‘planned’ project?MATTHEW WRIGHT   ,  HTTP://WWW.BUSINESSSPECTATOR.COM.AU/ARTICLE/2015/5/27/RENEWABLE-ENERGY/WHAT-IF-WE-ALL-ADOPTED-NUCLEAR-INDUSTRYS-INTERPRETATION-PLANNED

 You’d have to wonder how nuclear energy receives such a wave of fandom from some quarters, particularly in the business and conservative press.

text nuclear hypeIf you search the definitive list of reactors on Wikipedia, you’ll find that reactors are being decommissioned globally at a rate of knots, and many more are set to be decommissioned in the not too distant future. This includes the entire fleet in Germany and a significant portion but unspecified number of reactors in Japan.

If you looked further, you’d find that you could count the total number of reactors built in 2014 and 2015 on just one hand.  In that period  there was activity predominately in China  — with its centralised state control avoiding the scrutiny the technology gets everywhere, outside a lone reactor in Argentina being the exception — but you could hardly get excited as that project was started when first of the Generation Ys were still in nappies in 1981.

So you’ve got a few plants getting built at a much slower pace than planned in China, and a bunch of plants ‘planned’ all over the place. But as is the case with almost all nuclear plans in the last 25 years, they’ve gone nowhere. They are plans (if a dream is a plan), but are not likely to be plants.

So why do we hear about these so called plans over and over?

text-uranium-hypeThe answer is the stockmarket: the uranium juniors and the speculative stocks. Get rich quick by backing a speculative exploration license holder, or someone who’s got as far as doing a desktop of some geology somewhere on earth.

It’s these guys who really need the uranium story to continue. Without it they don’t exist; all those pieces of paper that were going to create multi-millionaires are worth nothing. The trick here for them is to keep everyone believing that nuclear and hence the appetite for uranium is rocketing on.

That’s why there are so may projects being ‘planned’ or ‘under construction’ but nothing substantial ever getting built and delivered.

Let’s compare that to renewables.

If we had a list of renewable projects that were planned and under construction, it would look like the renewable sector was 1000 per cent of what it actually is.  That’s because there are a lot of planned wind farms and even more solar farms. Continue reading

May 29, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Nuclear Lobby’s convenient amnesia about the sorry history of Small Modular Reaactors (SMRs)

text-SMRsSmall reactors, in fact, date back to the earliest days of atomic power, and this long history shouldn’t
be overlooked as vendors tout new generations of the technology. As the history makes clear, small nuclear reactors would be neither as cheap nor as easy to build and operate as their modern proponents are claiming they would be.

nothing in the history of small nuclear reactors suggests that they would be more economical than full-size ones. In fact, the record is pretty clear: Without exception, small reactors cost too much for the little electricity they produced, the result of both their low output and their poor performance. 

In the end, as an analyst for General Electric pronounced in 1966, “Nuclear power is a big-plant business: it is most competitive in the large plant sizes.” And if large nuclear reactors are not competitive, it is unlikely that small reactors will do any better. Worse, attempts to make them cheaper might end up exacerbating nuclear power’s other problems: production of long-lived radioactive waste, linkage with nuclear weapons, and the occasional catastrophic accident


The Forgotten History of Small Nuclear Reactors
 Economics killed small nuclear power plants in the past—and probably will keep doing so, The Spectrum,  By M.V. Ramana 27 Apr 2015 A tantalizing proposition has taken hold again in the nuclear industry: that small nuclear reactors have economic and other advantages over the standard-size ones being built today. The idea is that by reducing the substantial financial risk of a full-scale nuclear project, small reactors are the best option for kick-starting a much-discussed revival of nuclear power. Continue reading

May 29, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, technology, thorium | Leave a comment

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority gives approval for restart of Sendai reactors

Abe,-Shinzo-nukeJapan Nuclear Plant Obtains Final Permit Needed To Restart, Huffington Post  By MARI YAMAGUCHI  05/27/2015 TOKYO (AP) — A nuclear plant in southern Japan on Wednesday obtained the final permit needed to restart its reactors, paving the way for it to become the first to go back online under new safety standards introduced after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

All of Japan’s more than 40 reactors are currently offline for repairs or safety inspections. The two units at the Sendai nuclear power plant are among 24 reactors seeking to restart, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pro-business government tries to put as many back online as possible.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority approved the Sendai plant’s operational safety plans, the last step of a three-part screening process. The plant’s safety program includes emergency response plans in case of fire, floods or other natural disasters, or a serious accident…… While local municipalities have already approved the Sendai plant’s restart, many residents oppose the plan, citing potential danger from active volcanos in the region.

Kyushu Electric hopes to restart one reactor at the Sendai plant in late July after on-site tests and training and the other in late September, though there could be some delays………http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/27/japan-nuclear-plant-restart_n_7450350.html

May 29, 2015 Posted by | Japan, politics, safety | Leave a comment

Corporate control of government, and the Internet – the goals of the Trans Pacific Partnership

The largest-ever international economic treaty that has ever been negotiated

Only five of the 29 chapters are about traditional trade. The others are about regulating the Internet and what Internet—Internet service providers have to collect information. They have to hand it over to companies under certain circumstances. It’s about regulating labor, what labor conditions can be applied, regulating, whether you can favor local industry, regulating the hospital healthcare system, privatization of hospitals. So, essentially, every aspect of the modern economy, even banking services, are in the TPP.

Assange,-Julian-1Julian Assange on the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Secretive Deal Isn’t About Trade, But Corporate Control democracynow.org/2015/5/27/julian_assange_on_the_trans_pacific As negotiations continue, WikiLeaks has published leaked chapters of the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership — a global trade deal between the United States and 11 other countries. The TPP would cover 40 percent of the global economy, but details have been concealed from the public. A recently disclosed “Investment Chapter” highlights the intent of U.S.-led negotiators to create a tribunal where corporations can sue governments if their laws interfere with a company’s claimed future profits. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange warns the plan could chill the adoption of health and environmental regulations.

texy-TPP

Watch more from our Julian Assange interview: Part 1 || Part 3 ||Part 4 || Part 5

TRANSCRIPT This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

Continue reading

May 29, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, civil liberties, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

German nuclear utilities don’t have enough money for decomissioning reactors

nuke-reactor-deadGerman utilities have ‘set aside too little’ for nuclear exit  http://www.rechargenews.com/wind/1401381/german-utilities-have-set-aside-too-little-for-nuclear-exit   Andrew Lee  May 28 2015 Provisions set aside by German utilities for nuclear decommissioning aren’t sufficient and should be transferred into a public fund for safe keeping, says a study by the respected DIW Berlin economic think-tank.

Germany’s top four utilities E.ON, RWE, EnBW, Vattenfall have set aside €38bn ($41.4bn) to pay for the decommissioning of the country’s remaining nuclear power stations and the final storage of highly radioactive waste.But preliminary estimates assume the costs for the nuclear decommissioning and waste storage to cost at least €50-70bn, the DIW says.

Also, the provisions aren’t protected from insolvencies, and the utilities could also try to escape their responsibility by restructuring their businesses, claim the authors of the DIW study – energy experts Claudia Kemfert, Christian von Hirschhausen and Cornelia Ziehm.

It is also questionable what value the provisions will have in a couple of years given the declining profitability of large utilities.”Seen these great risks, the provisions of the nuclear corporations should be transferred into a publicly administered fund as soon as possible,” von Hirschhausen proposes.

German utilities have always said their provisions for the nuclear exit are sufficient. But Germany’s largest utility, E.ON, late last year announced its split into a company for renewables, grids and customer solutions that will keep its current brand name, and another one to be named Uniper that will bundle its current nuclear and fossil activities.

Although debt-free at its onset next year, there are doubts whether Uniper can stay profitable over the long run, while the remaining E.ON may be exempt from the nuclear responsibility.

The DIW study also said that Germany’s electricity supply will be safe also after the last nuclear plant has been switched off in 2022 as the country currently is producing far more power than it needs, a situation that isn’t expected to change even with the nuclear phase-out.

E.ON will switch off its 1.3GW Grafenrheinfeld nuclear power plant in Bavaria state in the second half of next month. The 10 terawatt hours it produces per year can be compensated by coal and gas-fired energy, the DIW says. Separately, Vattenfall and E.ON today said they have closed a cooperation agreement for the decommissioning and dismantling process of joint nuclear plants.

May 29, 2015 Posted by | decommission reactor, Germany | Leave a comment

Big energy firms get privileged access to top EU climate officals

Big energy has ‘privileged access’ to top EU climate officals, claim campaigners, Guardian,  28 May 15  A row has broken out over records showing almost all top two climate and energy officials’ lobby meetings were with fossil fuel and heavy industry companies  A row has broken out over claims that the vast majority of lobbyists met by the EU’s top two energy and climate officials have been from the fossil fuel sector, big energy firms and heavy industry, since they took office six months ago.

Calendar records show that 94% of the EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete’s meetings have been with business lobbyists, mostly representing the heavy industry and fossil fuels sectors. For the vice president for energy union, Maroš Šefčovič, the figure was 70%.

Sources close to Cañete say that in practice, he held five group meetings with NGOs – rather than the two listed in the calendar – and gave five group updates to civil society groups at last December’s UN climate summit in Peru, bringing the true figure closer to 83%. They say he has championed climate action in informal dialogues, and improved upon the access record of his predecessor.

But Pascoe Sabido, a campaigner for Corporate Europe Observatory, complained of undue corporate influence.

“These lists of meetings show unrivalled privileged access for the most polluting industries, while public interest groups have barely featured,” he told the Guardian. “How the EU acts over the next few years both internationally and regionally will be key in deciding whether we avoid catastrophic climate change. But on this evidence, Cañete and co are too close to the fossil fuel industry to stop us careering head-first into a climate disaster.”

Cañete has had a mountain to climb in gaining the trust of European environmental groups, after the Guardian revealed that he held hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of shares in two oil companies, shortly before his appointment………

ome environmentalists fear that lop-sided inputs may affect the commission’s output when it comes to crunch policy decisions.

“Access is currency in the lobby game and there is no denying fossil fuel companies have deeper pockets and more influence,” said Brook Riley, a spokesman for Friends of the Earth Europe. “This dangerous imbalance could prevent us from making the urgently needed transition to a safe, clean and fair energy system.” http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/28/big-energy-has-privileged-access-to-top-eu-climate-officals-claim-campaigners

May 29, 2015 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Promises of Small Nuclear Reactor enthusiasts do not ring true

One size doesn’t fit all: Social priorities and technical conflicts for small modular reactors,http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214629614000486 February 2014  M.V. Ramana,  Zia Mian 

Abstract

Small modular reactors (SMRs) have been proposed as a possible way to address the social problems confronting nuclear power, including poor economics, the possibility of catastrophic accidents, radioactive waste production, and linkage to nuclear weapon proliferation. Several SMR designs, with diverse technical characteristics, are being developed around the world and are promoted as addressing one or more of these problems.

This paper examines the basic features of different kinds of SMRs and shows why the technical characteristics of SMRs do not allow them to solve simultaneously all four of the problems identified with nuclear power today. It shows that the leading SMR designs under development involve choices and trade-offs between desired features. Focusing on a single challenge, for example cost reduction, might make other challenges more acute.

SMRs-mirage

The paper then briefly discusses other cultural and political factors that contribute to the widespread enthusiasm for these reactors, despite technical and historical reasons to doubt that the promises offered by SMR technology advocates will be actually realized.

May 29, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Climate Change movement could learn from the Nuclear Freeze campaign

The Nuclear Freeze Campaign Prevented an Apocalypse, So Can the Climate Movement, Common Dreams, by Duncan Meisel , 28 May 16 
2014 was the hottest year in recorded history. 2015 is on track to be even hotter — and yet, before the most important international climate talks of the decade, even the most ambitious promises of action will fall short of what science demands.

At the same time, the movement to stop climate change is also making history — last year the United States saw the biggest climate march in history, as well as the growth of a fossil fuel divestment movement (the fastest growing divestment campaign ever), and a steady drumbeat of local victories against the fossil fuel industry.

In short, the climate movement, and humanity, is up against an existential wall: Find ways to organize for decisive action, or face the end of life as we know it. This is scary stuff, but if you think no movement has ever faced apocalyptic challenges before, and won, then it’s time you learned about the Nuclear Freeze campaign. Continue reading

May 29, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment