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The Global Climate Leadership Review 2015

New Climate Institute report: The Global Climate Leadership Review 2015: What the Paris negotiations mean for Australia and our economy September 18, 2015. The Global Climate Leadership Review 2015: What the Paris negotiations mean for Australia and our economy summarises global climate developments in the lead up to the Paris climate negotiations in late 2015. It explores what success in Paris would look like and also the impact of the agreement on the global and Australian economies.

The report is accompanied by a short video animation addressing the same issues.

The report is also part of the broader project, Focus on Paris & Beyond, that The Climate Institute has conducted throughout 2015. Reports, factsheets, infographics and other content can be accessed here on the project page.

Download the 5-page report at:

(And check out other recent Climate Institute reports and projects, media releases and briefs and multimedia available at:

September 21, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Pilgrim nuclear plant just too costly to keep running

nuclear-costs3Costs cited in possible closure of Pilgrim nuclear plant, Cape Cod Times, Christine Legere  @chrislegereCCT  20 Sep 15  Entergy Corp. will announce some time this winter whether it will move forward with costly repairs and upgrades to the beleaguered Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station or simply decide the 43-year-old plant is no longer a moneymaker and close it down.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission downgraded Pilgrim to the bottom of the performance list for the nation’s 99 operating reactors two weeks ago, based on the frequency of forced shutdowns and equipment failures there since 2013.

The so-called Column 4 category is just one step above mandatory shutdown by federal regulators. Only two other reactors in the country are in that performance category, both at Arkansas Nuclear I and both owned by Entergy.

Spokeswoman Lauren Burm said Entergy is now faced with a big decision. “If the corporation finds the cost of making improvements exceeds the value of the plant, it may consider shutting Pilgrim down,” Burm said.

Burm also noted the challenges of the current energy market. “The wholesale market has dropped and natural gas is hard to compete with,” she said.

Entergy must produce a performance improvement plan for federal regulators within six months, but a decision on Entergy’s future should be made long before then.

David Noyes, Pilgrim’s director of regulatory and performance improvement, said the scope of required work — along with cost figures he anticipates will be in the millions — is nearly ready for review by Entergy’s corporate leaders.

“They will work out the business models in terms of profitability,” Noyes said. Whether the plant continues to be financially viable will then be determined.

Costs will include necessary equipment, experts to monitor and analyze plant data, and workers to make required changes and upgrades, since the 600 current employees of the plant are needed for day-to-day operation.

Entergy just recently spent $70 million on Pilgrim, on equipment and additional staff, during its April refueling, yet the plant has been forced to power down twice since then.

Entergy must also pay the NRC for inspections, which have been frequent due to the plant’s performance.

Neil Sheehan, spokesman for the NRC, said last year’s inspections cost the company $1.8 million. Inspectors spent 6,500 hours at the plant, at a rate of $279 per hour.

The frequency of inspections will increase, Sheehan said, now that Pilgrim has been downgraded.

Meanwhile state Sen. Daniel Wolf, a Democrat from Harwich and longtime Pilgrim critic, has filed two bills that would add about $58 million to Entergy’s yearly expenses. The bills are expected to be considered this fall, Wolf said.

The first would impose a $10,000 annual charge for each spent fuel bundle that remains in pools at nuclear plants. Pilgrim has more than 3,000 bundles in its pool, making the charge $33 million. Wolf’s second bill would institute a requirement that $25 million be paid annually by nuclear plants into a decommissioning fund, so enough money would be available to cover closure.

“If those bills were to pass, that would be part of our evaluation of future viability,” Noyes said.

Wolf said he would like to see Pilgrim shut down. “This is a nuclear plant that federal officials have designated as a Category 4, a low to moderate safety risk; that’s just not acceptable,” Wolf said…….

Entergy closed Vermont Yankee, a boiling-water reactor similar to Pilgrim, in 2014, saying it was no longer economically viable. The corporation has secured federal approval to keep the Vermont plant in SafStor, which means fuel is removed from the reactor and stored in the spent fuel pools, but the reactor itself and all its components can remain onsite for 60 years.

Earlier this month, Entergy informed its investors that it will decide before the end of this calendar year whether to close the New York-based FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant, also similar to Pilgrim in size and type. “The decision will be based on the market,” Burm said……


September 21, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

USA’s Republicans now pretend to support action on climate change

Republicans go from embracing junk science to junk policy on climate change  By Editorial Board September 17

WHAT’S A larger lapse in leadership, refusing to admit that the country has a problem, or acknowledging the problem and refusing to tackle it? That question emerges from Wednesday’s GOP debate, in which Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) took offense at the notion that he is a climate “denier” but nevertheless led his fellow Republicans in condemning “left-wing” plans to address climate change.

“We’re not going to destroy our economy the way the left-wing government that we are under now wants to do,” Mr. Rubio declared. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie piled on, warning against the “wild left-wing idea that somehow us by ourselves is going to fix the climate.” Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker attacked the Environmental Protection Agency for allegedly endangering tens of thousands of jobs in its quest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Not everyone on stage followed this script. Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) tried to break into the conversation: “If you want a skeptic, Jake, I will happily jump into that briar patch.” Thankfully, the moderators shut him down for speaking out of turn, and others on stage who might have attacked scientists weren’t called on.

But the resulting conversation wasn’t much better. The message of the evening was: Climate change may be happening, but shame on those trying to address it.

In fact, the EPA estimates its carbon dioxide rules would cost $5.1 billion to $8.4 billion in 2030. Even if they are off somewhat, numbers of that size do not threaten a $17 trillion national economy. Mr. Rubio also argued that the country will reap no benefits from acting because the United States can’t solve climate change by itself. But the United States isn’t acting alone; its leadership is prompting action from other countries, which will meet in Paristhis year to pledge specific carbon-reduction goals. As with free trade, the way to coax other nations to move is for the United States to show willingness to move. Mr. Rubio condemns U.S. politicians who would fail to lead other nations, but he excuses himself from that responsibility on this issue.

If the candidates had any good alternatives to President Obama’s climate agenda, they didn’t let on. Mr. Christie bragged about one of his worst decisions as governor of New Jersey, pulling the state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a market-based agreement among states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. He claimed that his state still kept emissions down by using nuclear power and burning natural gas. But nuclear power is expensive and the nuclear fleet is aging. Natural gas, meanwhile, has been a success story but still produces significant greenhouse emissions and can be only a bridge to newer and cleaner energy technologies.

True conservatives would recoil from picking winners and losers in the energy debate and instead embrace the policies Mr. Christie attacked — market-based, technology-neutral plans that cut emissions while maximizing individual choice and minimizing costs.

Should we be grateful that some Republicans have moved from junk science to junk policy? Sadly, they remain on the reckless fringes of the debate, which is not where any credible candidate for president can be.

September 21, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Unexpected shutdown at Pickering nuclear plant

System ‘trip’ at Pickering nuclear plant prompts scramble for energy Staff  September 19, 2015 

A “trip” in the system at the Pickering Power Plant caused an unexpected shutdown earlier this week, leaving the province scrambling to find alternative sources of energy, CTV News has learned.

The shutdown, caused by a “trip” in the system that is designed to ensure safe operations, forced Ontario to import power to keep electricity flowing in the province. The “trip” was caused by a turbine valve problem in the non-nuclear side of the reactor.

The sudden shutdown had a serious impact on the Ontario power grid. At the time, four reactors at the facility in Darlington, Ont. were already down for planned maintenance, along with two units at another nuclear facility.

Combined with the unexpected outage, the province was short 40 per cent of the nuclear supply.

The reactor in Pickering has since come back online and has been reconnected with the power grid.

With a report from CTV’s Paul Bliss. 

September 21, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Japan Crushes Resistance to Restart Nuclear Power Plants

Mining Awareness +

Japan Crushes Resistance to Restart Nuclear Power Plants
The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 13, Issue. 38, No. 1, September 21, 2015,
by Thierry Ribault

Summary: This article reviews the Abe administration’s moves to crush opposition to nuclear power and restart the first nuclear reactors since the closure of all 54 nuclear power plants following the triple meltdown of March 11, 2011. The author punctures official claims of an economic crisis resulting from post-3.11 import of fossil fuels, the basis for the Abe restart program. Likewise, claims that preserving a share of the energy mix to nuclear power is essential and inescapable in order to avert or alleviate climate crisis. Finally, the author considers the implications of government policies for the possible creation of a Japanese nuclear weapons arsenal.

On August 11, 2015, the n°1 reactor at Sendai nuclear power plant, located in Kagoshima Prefecture in south-west Japan…

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September 21, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

California Governor Warns of Coming Climate Refugee Crisis


Governor Brown of California states the obvious. A climate refugee crisis is waiting to happen in North America. Joe Romm at Climate Progress: The Syria conflict has triggered the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II,” explains the European Commission. As Climate Progress has been reporting for years, and as a major 2015 study confirmed, […]

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September 21, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 20 Energy News



¶ “Governor Shumlin: A model for getting energy right” Powerful fossil fuel interests and their climate-denier allies in Congress prevent meaningful action and work to preserve the status quo. Here in Vermont, however, we are showing that progress can be made and that there is a model for energy that is good for our economy and our environment. [Vermont Biz]

A solar array at the Vermont Law School. Photo by SayCheeeeeese. Public domain, CC0. A solar array at the Vermont Law School. Photo by SayCheeeeeese. Public domain, CC0.

¶ “Recent hearings were the last gasps of the Yucca Mountain road show” The federal government’s long-winded campaign to mollify the nuclear power industry by adopting Yucca Mountain as the burial grounds for spent, highly radioactive fuel rods is running on fumes. The NRC conducted hearings, but only because of a court order. [Las Vegas Sun]

Science and Technology:

¶ It is not clear where the idea of a “global warming…

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September 21, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Migrant Crisis: ‘If We Don’t Stop Climate Change…What We See Right Now Is Just the Beginning’


A Q&A with Frank Biermann, a Dutch researcher who led a controversial 2010 study on climate refugees, who fears crises like Europe’s will only get worse.

By Phil McKenna

Sep 14, 2015

The surge of people fleeing to Europe from the Middle East highlights how quickly mass migrations can occur. It may also offer a glimpse of what’s to come as climate change makes some regions around the world unlivable, according to a leading researcher on the human effects of climate change.

Frank Biermann, a professor of political science and environmental policy sciences at VU University Amsterdam, led researchers in the Netherlands five years ago in a study that warned there may be as many as 200 million climate refugees by 2050. That staggering number first arose out of research in 1995, and it has always been controversial. The study Biermann led in 2010 recommended the creation of an international…

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September 21, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stand With Pope Francis#Auspol Be part of the #Climate solution.


Ahead of Pope Francis’s first visit to the U.S., NextGen Climate today launched a national campaign calling on our leaders to stand with Pope Francis and embrace clean energy solutions that protect our common home and secure our children’s future.

In the coming weeks, NextGen Climate will run TV, print and digital ads highlighting the diverse coalition of Americans who are answering the Pope’s moral call to action on climate change. NextGen Climate will also partner with Nuns on the Bus, a campaign of NETWORK, a National Catholic School Social Justice Lobby, to host rallies and events in Columbus, Ohio and Washington, DC urging our leaders to join the fight to build a clean energy future.
“Pope Francis’ visit to the United States has the power to shift the conversation about climate change in a very real way,” said NextGen Climate President Tom Steyer. “His may be the most important…

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September 21, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Philippine Biodiversity Documentary by The Suicide Squad (ENVN01A- Clip #1)

GarryRogers Nature Conservation through from:

Most of us would be delighted to see more efforts such as this.

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September 21, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment