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Biological Consequences of Nuclear Disasters: From Chernobyl to Fukushima

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Biological Consequences of Nuclear Disasters: From Chernobyl to Fukushima, LOC-Mousseau Chernobyl Major Findings Study of Chernobyl Wildlife
Biological Consequences of Nuclear Disasters: From Chernobyl to Fukushima, LOC-Mousseau Chernobyl Research Initiative A
Biological Consequences of Nuclear Disasters: From Chernobyl to Fukushima, LOC-Mousseau Chernobyl Research Initiative B
Slides from Mousseau’s May 2014 presentation at the US Library of Congress: “Biological Consequences of Nuclear Disasters: From Chernobyl to Fukushima, LOC-Mousseau http://youtu.be/NSO4ZoY7GT0

From the US Library of Congress in Washington, DC (transcript of video):
Biological Consequences of Nuclear Disasters: From Chernobyl to Fukushima, LOC-Mousseau

^M00:00:05
[ Silence ]
^M00:00:24
Today’s event is organized by Science Technology and Business Division of this Library of Congress. I’m Tomoko Steen, research specialist here at the Library of Congress. Today’s speaker, Tim Mousseau, maybe I should say Professor Tim Mousseau, is currently professor at the Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina. He has a Ph.D. from McGill University in Canada. And he has served as the Dean of the Graduate School, Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Education at the University of South Carolina. And he also was in the Washington area. He was a Program Officer at NSF, National Science Foundation. He serves on many editorial boards…

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October 14, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear energy falls from France’s pride and joy, to its expensive source of woe

plants-downTale of woe in French nuclear sector, Ft.com, October 13, 2015,  Michael Stothard    Broken government promises, multibillion-euro delays and a key national champion rescued from the brink of failure: it has been a torrid year for the proud French nuclear industry.

Problems came to a head in August when Areva, the designer and builder of nuclear reactors around the world, was forced to strike a multibillion-euro rescue package deal with rival group EDF and the French government. It had been hit by foreign competition, the downturn in global nuclear demand following the 2011 Fukushima disaster and cost overruns. It had not sold a new reactor since 2007. It urgently needed to be put back on a “sound footing” to keep nuclear a “strength for our country,” said Manuel Valls, French prime minister, before the deal to sell much of the company to EDF………

The country is also a torchbearer for nuclear power as part of the European energy mix when many countries have retrenched following Fukushima. “There’s no doubt the global nuclear industry, including in France, is challenged and it is asking itself some profound questions since Fukushima,” says Jean-Marc Ollagnier, chief executive of Accenture’s resources operating group.

But for French nuclear the past five years have been a tale of technical problems and cost overruns that brought Areva to its knees and called into question the country’s ability to deliver on next generation technology.

……..The final problem came in April when the French nuclear regulator discovered flawed steel in EDF’s reactor in Flamanville, prompting EDF to carry out tests………

These construction problems highlight the complexity of the EPR projects, and have led some to question if there is demand for these larger reactors, given their cost and size. The questions come at the same time as internal political ones, as France attempts to reduce its reliance on nuclear power.

President François Hollande, due to a deal struck between the anti-nuclear Green party and his ruling pro-nuclear Socialist party, has promised to reduce nuclear in the French energy mix from 75 to 50 per cent by 2025…….. Even if no plants are shut down for political reasons in the lead-up to 2025 there are still decisions to be made, all of which are likely to be expensive.

The grand carénage, increasing the life expectancy of the 30-year-old plants from their current 40 years to 50 years, is expected to cost EDF around €55bn, should it ever win political approval. Closing one nuclear plant has already proved difficult. Decommissioning Fessenheim, France’s oldest reactor on the German border, was promised by the government to happen by 2016. This year it was delayed until Flamanville comes online in 2018, leaving the government accused of breaking its promises……..http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/58036178-68f8-11e5-a57f-21b88f7d973f.html#axzz3oU6siWHM

October 14, 2015 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

Film ‘The Martian” gets it really wrong about ionising radiation

text-relevantHere Are The Biggest Health Risks To Humans In Space, Gizmodo MADDIE STONE12 OCTOBER 2015 “…….Radiation  And now we get to my One Big Problem with the science of The Martian. OK, we get it: Mark Watney has an extraordinarily sunny disposition and bowels of steel. (Seriously, who can eat protein squares for two years straight and still, you know, fertilize the potatoes?) But nothing can save Watney from the inconvenient truth that Mars has no ozone layer. That means the surface is awash in ultraviolet radiation — the same stuff we use to sterilize hospital clean rooms. And UV loves to rip, shatter, and mutate DNA. As far as we can tell, all life forms are susceptible to its burn.

text ionisingGiving Mark Watney cancer on Mars probably wouldn’t have made too much sense from a narrative perspective. But radiation is something we worry about on the ISS and it’s certainly something we’ll have to consider if and when we send humans to Mars.

There are a few types of harmful radiation zipping about in outer space. There’s UV, which is several hundred times stronger in orbit than it is beneath Earth’s atmosphere. During Kelly’s year in space, he’s soaking up roughly the same amount of extra radiation (0.16 sieverts) that a regular cigarette smoker does over the course of a year. (For comparison, 1 sievert of radiation is associated with a 5.5 per cent increase in the risk of fatal cancer, and the background daily radiation dose on Earth is on the order of 10 micro-sieverts, or 0.00001 sieverts.)

That’s not great, but it’s also not that bad. The radiation danger gets a lot worse when you leave the protection of Earth’s magnetosphere.

During the trip from Earth to Mars, astronauts will be exposed to other flavours of radiation: namely, high energy subatomic particles from the sun, the Milky Way galaxy and beyond. It’s these solar energetic particles and galactic cosmic rays that we’re most worried about, because they ravage biological tissue very quickly. As an instrument aboard the Curiosity Rover recently revealed, even the shortest round-trip from Earth to Mars could dose our astronauts with 0.66 sieverts of radiation — the equivalent of a whole-body CT scan every five or six days.

Certain materials, including aluminium and polyethylene plastics, can block or slow down radiation, but Shelhamer warns that shielding ourselves could backfire. Slowing down a high-energy cosmic ray could afford it more opportunity to collide with other particles and create dangerous secondary particles. “A particle of galactic radiation might be better off going fast…. if it’s moving slowly, it has the opportunity to create more damage,” he said. “It’s a very tricky situation, and we don’t have a good handle on the extent of the risk and what can we do about it.”

If one thing is clear, it’s that our ability to safely put humans on Mars — no less keep them alive on the radiation-riddled surface — depends very much on whether we can solve this problem.

The Biggest Danger to Humans in Space……“As the Chief Scientist whose job is to oversee this whole thing, the thing that concerns me most is the one danger that we haven’t yet thought of,” Shelhamer said. “What’s the biggest risk? It’s the radiation that causes a mutation in a pathogen when your immune system is compromised, and the medication on board doesn’t work because your metabolism has shifted. It’s the interaction of factors nobody considered.”…..

References

Effects of Prolonged Spaceflight on Human Skeletal Muscle. NASA, 2015.

Gifford, S. Calculated Risk: How Radiation Rules Manned Mars Exploration. Astrobiology Magazine, 2014. http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2015/10/here-are-the-biggest-health-risks-to-humans-in-space/

October 14, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | 1 Comment

Threat of out of control fire to radioactive trash site

text-cat-questionI wonder if, in bushfire prone Australia,  the South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Commission’s fudgy old pro nukers have considered increasing fire risks and the vulnerability of nuclear facilities?

 

‘Catastrophic’: Underground fire creeps towards nuclear waste site, news.com.au,  OCTOBER 12, heat_wave2015 BENEATH the surface of a US landfill lurk two things that should never meet: a slow-burning fire and a cache of Cold War-era nuclear waste, separated by no more than 365 metres.

Government officials in Missouri have quietly adopted an emergency plan in case the smouldering embers ever reach the waste, a potentially “catastrophic event” that could send up a plume of radioactive smoke over a densely populated area near the city’s main airport.

Although the fire at Bridgeton Landfill, near St. Louis has been burning since at least 2010, the plan for a worst-case scenario was developed only a year ago and never publicised until last week, when St. Louis radio station KMOX first obtained a copy……..

Directly next to Bridgeton Landfill is West Lake Landfill, also owned by Republic Services. The West Lake facility was contaminated with radioactive waste from uranium processing by a St. Louis company known as Mallinckrodt Chemical. The waste was illegally dumped in 1973 and includes material that dates back to the Manhattan Project, which created the first atomic bomb in the 1940s.

The Environmental Protection Agency is still deciding how to clean up the waste. The landfill was designated a Superfund site in 1990.

The proximity of the two environmental hazards is what worries residents and environmentalists. At the closest point, they are 1,000 to 1,200 feet apart.

If the underground fire reaches the waste, “there is a potential for radioactive fallout to be released in the smoke plume and spread throughout the region,” according to the disaster plan.

The plan calls for evacuations and development of emergency shelters, both in St. Louis County and neighbouring St. Charles County. Private and volunteer groups, and perhaps the federal government, would be called upon to help, depending on the severity of the emergency…………

Last month, Koster said he was troubled by new reports about the site. One found radiological contamination in trees outside the landfill’s perimeter. Another showed evidence that the fire has moved past two rows of interceptor wells and closer to the nuclear waste.

Koster said the reports were evidence that Republic Services “does not have this site under control.”……..http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/catastrophic-underground-fire-creeps-towards-nuclear-waste-site/story-e6frflp0-1227565910467

October 14, 2015 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

‘New Nuclear” lobby wants to weaken USA’s safety regulations

a-cat-CAN What  a con!

Even if they did get rid of the safety regulations, ‘new nuclear’ wouldn’t be ready in time to affect climate change.

And that’s even if ‘new nuclear’ could affect climate change. Which it can’t.. The Nuke lobby conveniently forgets the entire chain from mining to waste burial – all of which is highly greenhouse gas emitting.

The ‘new nuke’ lobby pretends they’ve solved the radioactive trash problem, which they haven’t.

The sad part is –  all that money going to a dead end technology –  when it could be furthering good design, energy efficiency, and renewable energy development.

Allison Macfarlane sounds like  a person of integrity. I bet that the new nuke, and the old nuke lobbies were glad to have her off the head of the NRC.

Emperor's New Clothes 3

Advanced Nuclear Industry to Regulators: Give Us a Chance, MIT Technology Review, Richard Flag-USAMartin, October 13, 2015 Entrepreneurs argue that reactor technology innovation is limited by regulatory barriers. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has licensed one new nuclear plant in the last 35 years. Yet there are now nearly 50 companies in the U.S. and Canada researching and developing advanced nuclear power technologies, according to Third Way, a Washington, D.C.-based research organization focused on energy, climate change, and national security. These companies are backed by more than $1.3 billion in private capital from individual investors like Bill Gates and from major venture capital funds .

Several of those companies were on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, last week for the Solve Conference , participating in a workshop called “Building a Scalable, Safe New Nuclear Reactor Design.” Among the companies represented were Transatomic Power, TerraPower, Moltex Energy, Tri-Alpha Energy, and Terrestrial Energy.

Several of those companies were on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, last week for the Solve Conference , participating in a workshop called “Building a Scalable, Safe New Nuclear Reactor Design.” Among the companies represented were Transatomic Power, TerraPower, Moltex Energy, Tri-Alpha Energy, and Terrestrial Energy.

Many of these new entrants view the NRC’s prolonged and expensive licensing process as a barrier to innovation. It can take a decade or more, and hundreds of millions of dollars, just to get a license for a prototype reactor from the NRC.

Macfarlane, AllisonThis, says Allison MacFarlane, who was NRC chairman from 2012 to 2015 and is now the director of the Center for International Science and Technology Policy at George Washington University, is the way it should be. The long time lines, safety concerns, and high capital cost of building nuclear plants all require a regulatory process that is thorough, painstaking, and costly. “Nuclear is a different beast,” MacFarlane said at Solve……

The undermanned NRC has indeed embarked on a reform program, but unfortunately it’s not the sort of reform the advanced reactor community is seeking…..a February NRC presentation on Project Aim 2020, the agency’s internal strategic plan, foresees that the number of new reactors seeking licenses will be “down significantly” by 2020.  …

MacFarlane is unmoved. “The problem is not the NRC,” she said at the conference. “It’s the economics” of nuclear power.

She has a point. As long as the price of power from natural gas plants hovers at all-time lows, it will be hard for any form of new nuclear reactors to be built….. http://www.technologyreview.com/news/542411/advanced-nuclear-industry-to-regulators-give-us-a-chance/

October 14, 2015 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear deal approved by Iran Parliament

diplomacy-not-bombsflag-IranIran parliament approves nuclear deal with world powers http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-13/iran-parliament-approves-nuclear-deal-with-world-powers/6851478   Iran’s parliament has approved a historic nuclear deal with world powers, effectively ending debate among politicians over the agreement and paving the way for its formal implementation.

The motion to approve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was passed with 161 votes in favour, 59 against and with 13 abstentions, the official IRNA news agency and other media said.An early tally of the vote said 250 of Iran’s 290 MPs were present, with the numbers suggesting 17 members who attended did not vote at all.

The nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers was struck on July 14 after almost two years of diplomacy but lawmakers in the United States, and Tehran insisted on voting on it. The deal, which will lift nuclear-related sanctions on Iran in return for curbs on its atomic activities — the Islamic republic denies seeking a bomb — received a rocky ride in the US and Iran.

Members of the US Congress failed in September to torpedo the deal. In Tehran ultraconservative lawmakers repeatedly warned of holes in the text of the agreement and criticised president Hassan Rouhani for suggesting MPs were deliberately delaying the deal.

In selling the agreement to sceptics, Mr Rouhani’s government said its negotiators protected the future of Iran’s nuclear programme while ensuring sanctions, that have ravaged its economy, would end. However, as late as Sunday, parliament was the scene of fiery clashes over the deal. Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, went on the attack for the government after he and other officials were accused by lawmakers of having capitulated to the West.

So-called red lines for the talks were laid down by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the Supreme National Security Council that he oversees. Tuesday’s motion, titled Iran’s Plan for Reciprocal and Proper Action in Implementing JCPOA, allows the government to proceed, IRNA reported. Iranian officials have said sanctions should be lifted by the end of the year or January 2016 at the latest.

However Iran also has to satisfy the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, of the exclusively peaceful nature of its atomic program.

The IAEA faces a December 15 reporting deadline to resolve what it had termed “ambiguities” over Iran’s past nuclear activities.

October 14, 2015 Posted by | Iran, politics | Leave a comment

Expansion of South Korea’s massive Kori Nuclear Power Plant near 3.4 million people – an insane plan

exclamation-Smflag-S-KoreaThe insane plan to expand the world’s biggest nuclear plant http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/nuclear-kori-korea-protest-busan/blog/54400/ [excellent photos]  by Daul Jang – 13 October, 2015  Over 3 million people live within 30 km of what is set to become the largest nuclear power plant in South Korea and the world. So why is the government expanding nuclear and locking out safe, clean renewables?

Kori  station Korea

Two inflatables with ten courageous and committed activists from around the world departed this morning to protest the expansion of the Kori Nuclear Power Plant, near Busan. They are taking action to highlight the risk of nuclear power and the urgent need to transition to clean, safe renewables.

The situation at Kori is insane, and it’s only getting worse. Here’s why the need for action is so urgent.

1. When the next unit is expected to go online next month, it will become the world’s largest nuclear power plant in terms of installed capacity (6860MW) with 7 reactors in operation.

2. What is most disturbing is that there are around 3.4 million people living within the 30km zone around the plant. This compares to 160,000 in the case of Fukushima.

3. When the two planned reactors start operation by 2020, it will become the only nuclear power plant with 10 reactors and more than 10,000 MW in the world.

4. More reactors = more risk. One of the critical lessons from the disastrous Fukushima disaster is that multiple reactors means increased risk.

5. Since beginning operation in 1978, the plant has continuously encountered problems including malfunctions, lack of safety regulations and poor maintenance. In February 2012 a complete station blackout was deliberately concealed by the high level decision makers at the Kori plant, only to be reported to the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSCC), South Korea’s regulatory body, a month later.

We aim to expose the intolerable risk of adding two more reactors to the world’s largest nuclear power plant and the threat it poses to the general public and the citizens of Busan. The future is renewables. We’ve already helped convince one big company in South Korea to switch to 100% renewable energy – so what is the South Korean government waiting for? Out with the old, and in with the new!

It’s time to switch on renewables and abandon costly, dangerous nuclear.

Daul Jang is the Project Leader for the Climate and Energy Campaign at Greenpeace East Asia in Seoul.

October 14, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, South Korea | Leave a comment

The fight to preserve pure water in Nebraska from uranium mining contamination

water-radiationFlag-USAWater first! Lakota women and ranchers lead charge to close toxic uranium mine , Ecologist, Suree Towfighnia / Waging NonViolence 13th October 2015 The impending renewal of the license for a uranium mine in Nebraska has ignited a years long resistance among those – most of them women – for whom good health and safe, clean water in the Ogallala aquifer is as important as life itself, writes Suree Towfighnia. But for others, jobs and money come first. Now the Nuclear Regulatory Commission must reach its decision.

With a population of around 1,000 people, the rural town of Crawford, Nebraska was an unlikely setting for a federal hearing.

But it became the site of one in late August thanks to the dogged determination of a group of Lakota and environmental activists, as well as geologists, hydrologists and lawyers – all of whom have been fighting the permit renewal of a uranium mine located in town.

The region is ripe with stories from the brutal Indian wars, when Lakota and neighboring tribes fought over western expansion.

Today, this intersection of frontier America and Native resistance is a battleground in the war between environmental advocates and energy corporations, only this time allies from all sides are joining forces in the effort to protect their water.

The Crow Butte Resources, or CBR, uranium mine is comprised of thousands of wells at the base of Crow Butte, a sacred site located within Lakota treaty territories.

For the past couple of decades CBR has mined uranium using the in situ leach process, which injects water under high pressure into aquifers, extracts uranium ore, and then processes it into yellow cake.

Each year 700,000 pounds of uranium is produced here and shipped to Canada, where it is sold on the open market. CBR has applied for a permit renewal and expansions to three neighboring sites.

Pure water must be protected at all costs Continue reading

October 14, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

Support Jeremy Corbyn’s stand against use of nuclear weapons

Corbyn, JeremyWe would never press the nuclear button – we support Jeremy Corbyn’s decision https://www.change.org/p/shadow-cabinet-we-would-never-press-the-nuclear-button-we-support-jeremy-corbyn-s-decision?recruiter=12083014  Members of Britain’s shadow cabinet have criticised Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for saying he would never press the ‘nuclear button’.

We believe his stance is the only possible option. Giving the order to fire nuclear weapons would cause mass devastation on a global scale, and a global nuclear war could even end humanity altogether.

It is absurd to treat someone who says he won’t use these terrible weapons as some sort of ‘extremist’. Trident makes us less safe, not more.

We would never press the button. We support Jeremy Corbyn’s decision and call on all of Labour’s senior members to do likewise.

October 14, 2015 Posted by | ACTION, general | Leave a comment

Organisational intertia: Civilian Nuclear Facilities Just Begging to Be Hacked

text-cat-questionI wonder if the South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Commission’s fudgy old pro nuke fossils are awake up to this one?

New Report: Civilian Nuclear Facilities Are Just Begging to Be Hacked,Motherboard,  by MICHAEL BYRNE 11 October 2015 Worldwide civilian nuclear infrastructure
is woefully underprepared for the likelihood of a cyberattack, according to a new report from researchers at Chatham cyber-attackHouse, a London-based think-tank. As facilities become more reliant on digital systems and off-the-shelf software, and as top-level awareness of cybersecurity threats stagnates, a serious event seems foretold.

“Recent high-profile cyber attacks, including the deployment of the sophisticated 2010 Stuxnet worm, have raised new concerns about the cyber security vulnerabilities of nuclear facilities,” begins an executive summary of the report. “As cyber criminals, states, and terrorist groups increase their online activities, the fear of a serious cyber attack is ever present.”

“This is of particular concern because of the risk—even if remote—of a release of ionizing radiation as a result of such an attack,” the summary continues. “Moreover, even a small-scale cyber security incident at a nuclear facility would be likely to have a disproportionate effect on public opinion and the future of the civil nuclear industry.”…….

You’re probably not going to get a bomb near a reactor core, but malicious code is another story.

The second part of the problem has to do with off-the-shelf software, according to the report. It’s much cheaper to buy pre-built systems, but this opens up new possibilities for hacker infiltration.

“Hacking is becoming ever easier to conduct, and more widespread: automatic cyber attack packages targeted at known and discovered vulnerabilities are widely available for purchase,” the Chatham researchers write. “Advanced techniques used by Stuxnet are now known and being copied; and search engines can readily identify critical infrastructure components that are connected to the internet.”

The paper highlights several barriers faced in fixing the whole mess. One is a lack of incident reporting—operators at different facilities are not always aware of attacks on other facilities. This is further enabled by a general lack of regulatory requirements regarding cybersecurity. Developing countries may have even fewer requirements on top of being at increased risk due to a lack of resources. Staff at nuclear facilities are, moreover, often ill-prepared for cyber threats due to lack of training, poor communication between nuclear engineers and security personnel, and an executive-level disinterest in or obliviousness to non-physical dangers.

The technical challenges outlined include:…..

Organizational inertia is a hell of a thing though. If history is any guide, it will take more than recommendations to see real change. It will take an actual disaster. http://motherboard.vice.com/en_uk/read/new-report-civilian-nuclear-facilities-are-just-begging-to-be-hacked

October 14, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Britain’s flawed nuclear energy project

Back to the future: Britain’s response to climate change is to go nuclear, Independent Australia, Adnan Al-Daini 7 October 2015, IInstead of embracing renewables to combat climate change, the British Government has decided to slip further into the deathly grip of the nuclear industry, writes Dr Adnan Al-Daini.

SO, the British government’s response to climate change is to go nuclear. The Hinkley Point nuclear power station is to be built jointly by Chinese companies and the French state-owned energy company EDF. The cost of building the plant is estimated to be GB £25 billion (AU $53.1 billion). For the deal to go ahead, the UK has to provide a guarantee worth £2 billion. In addition, the Government has to provide EDF with a guaranteed price of electricity generated at twice today’s price for 35 years.

This project is fundamentally flawed for four main reasons.

Firstly, this station is very expensive and it will take at least eight years for any electricity to be generated. Climate change needs action now, if not yesterday.

Professor Clive Hamilton quotes Lovins and Sheikh in his book, Requiem for a Species, thus:

The more urgent it is to protect the climate, the more vital it is to spend each dollar in ways that will displace the more carbon soonest.’ …..

Second, this approach of providing power from a huge power plant is the old way of thinking. The future belongs to small truly renewable energy power plants supplying local communities or just one building…..

Third, guaranteeing the price at twice today’s electricity price for 35 years makes no economic sense. Renewable energy systems such as solar and wind have a price guarantee for only 15 years. Why this preferential treatment for nuclear power?…..

the decision by the British government to go nuclear is going to end up costing future generations dear in the future, the burden of which will be borne by our children and grandchildren. https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/back-to-the-future-britains-backward-response-to-climate-change-is-to-go-nuclear,8236

October 14, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Today’s renewable energy headlines

Yahoo7 News-21 hours ago
Renewable energy sources could supply nearly a quarter of Africa’s power needs by 2030, more than four times the current levels, according to …
African Renewable Energy Offers Alternative To ExxonMobil
Triple Pundit (registration) (blog)-13 hours ago

Embracing Renewable Energy to Benefit the Bottom Line

Microgrid Knowledge-10 hours ago
Renewable energy has arrived… at the bottom line. A growing number of businesses today are embracing renewable energyprojects like solar …

October 14, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Record low price for solar power to be sold by Indian Government

sunflag-indiaIndian government plans to sell solar power at record low price of $0.07 per unit. News Forage, 13 Oct 15,  India’s strategy of a foreign currency-denominated tariff plan for solar energy is aimed at providing solar power at a new low of Rs.4.75 per unit to the states. Continue reading

October 14, 2015 Posted by | India, renewable | 1 Comment

Move for Grand Canyon Monument that would ban uranium mining

grand-canyonGrand Canyon Monument Would Make Uranium Ban Permanent http://www.fronterasdesk.org/content/10147/grand-canyon-monument-would-make-uranium-ban-permanent By  Laurel Morales October 13, 2015 Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva introduced legislation Monday that would preserve and restore sacred lands, the watershed and the environment north and south of Grand Canyon National Park. The Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument Act would set aside 1.7 million acres of public land.

The area surrounding the Grand Canyon is rich in uranium. In 2012, the Obama administration put a 20-year moratorium on new uranium mining claims. If passed, the law would make that ban permanent.

Eleven tribes connected to the Grand Canyon support the bill. And if passed, they would help manage the monument.

Havasupai council member Carletta Tilousi told a group of reporters her tribe, that lives at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, is at the front lines of groundwater contamination.

“We the Havasupai would like to keep our canyon home clean of no uranium mining,” Tilousi said. “We’d like to see our water remain clean of no uranium mining. We’d like to see our children live in a clean environment, go to our sacred mountains in peace and pray and do our offerings.” This announcement comes at a time when the National Park Service says Energy Fuels has plans to reopen an old mine and extract uranium on Red Butte, what is considered a sacred site by the Havasupai Tribe.

Supporters of the legislation say it will be difficult to get the act through Congress.

October 14, 2015 Posted by | indigenous issues, opposition to nuclear, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

In South Africa, nuclear plans might not proceed: parliament approval is necessary

questionflag-S.AfricaNuclear build plans need Parliament’s approval, MPs told http://www.bdlive.co.za/business/energy/2015/10/13/nuclear-build-plans-need-parliaments-approval-mps-told BY LINDA ENSOR, 13 OCTOBER 2015, IT WAS “HIGHLY IMPROBABLE” THAT GOVERNMENT WOULD PROCEED WITH THE NUCLEAR BUILD PROGRAMME WITHOUT IT FIRST BEING APPROVED BY PARLIAMENT, TREASURY DIRECTOR-GENERAL LUNGISA FUZILE TOLD PARLIAMENT’S FINANCE COMMITTEE ON TUESDAY.

All expenditure had to be reflected in the medium-term expenditure framework, which was subject to parliamentary approval and possible amendment, Mr Fuzile said in reply to questions by Democratic Alliance finance spokesman David Maynier. Mr Maynier was concerned about a comment made by President Jacob Zuma in August that the nuclear procurement would have been completed by the end of the current financial year.

The committee met to discuss the Treasury’s annual report.

Concern over government’s intentions mounted after it signed cooperation agreements with Russia, China, France and the US and seemed to be on the verge of clinching a deal with Russian energy company Rosatom. Energy Minister Tina Joematt-Pettersson has strongly rejected any suggestion that a deal has been concluded. There have also been public demands for greater transparency in the entire procurement process.

Mr Fuzile stressed that the process of finalising plans was still at its “very early stages”. The 2010 integrated resource plan included nuclear energy as one of the sources of power indicating that SA was open to the idea of nuclear. The government had been gearing itself up to understand nuclear better, Mr Fuzile said.

The Treasury had completed some work on the costing and financing models for a nuclear programme but it was classified information that the cabinet had not seen yet. Officials had discussed what elements of the work could be communicated in the public interest but to do this would require that it be declassified.

Mr Maynier has failed in his attempts to get information on the nature of the studies undertaken by the Treasury and their contents. Committee chairman Yunus Carrim emphasised the importance of the issue being discussed. “We have to know what the costs are,” he said and undertook to expedite arrangements to have a joint sitting with the energy committee.

Energy committee chairman Fikile Majola has committed himself to holding public hearings on the nuclear build programme, which opponents say will be too costly, especially given SA’s low growth prospects.

Mr Carrim noted that the African National Congress had decided at its national general council meeting at the weekend that a cost-benefit analysis be undertaken of the nuclear proposals.

October 14, 2015 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment