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Don’t fall for the Breakthrough Energy Coalition ‘s nuclear boondoggle

text-SMRsBreakthrough Boondoggle   leaders fawn over the Breakthrough Energy Coalition as world saviors promoting so-called  ‘climate solutions’, the reality is that these con artists are setting us up for a global heist that we’ll be paying for long into the future.

Breakthrough Energy Coalition (BEC) is an assemblage of private sector venture capitalists. The BEC agenda is carbon capture and nuclear power, both of which are unsafe, and require enormous public subsidies. http://publicgood.org/
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December 9, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Exposing nuclear lobby’s false claims at Paris Climate Summit

Nuclear energy struggles to find its voice at COP21 conference, France 24, 8 Dec 15 logo Paris climate1

NUCLEAR-LIES1  “………Jan Haverkamp, who authored the Greenpeace briefing, said the claim that nuclear energy was essential for reaching global warming targets was utterly false.

“There are now piles of scenarios that include different options for reaching decarbonisation targets that do not include nuclear energy,” he told FRANCE 24 by telephone from Poland. “To say that it cannot be done is a total PR strategy”.

In regard to the absence of debate about nuclear energy at the COP 21, Haverkamp said only a handful of delegations still believed nuclear had any long-term future in their countries.

He said that even countries that will continue to use nuclear power, like France and China, are broadly shifting resources away from this sector.

“The nuclear energy sector is facing very hard economic times,” the energy consultant said. “They will increasingly struggle to update their fleet, and do not know how to finance new projects”.

Cost curves

While the physicist David disagreed with Haverkamp about the ability to phase out nuclear energy and fossil fuels simultanously, both agreed that the fate of nuclear energy may be determined by market forces in the end.

In the wake of Fukushima disaster and a new global focus on terrorism, nuclear power plants will have to be both safer nuclear-costs1and more secure. This will likely increase the cost of nuclear energy in the short term, according to David. At the same time, a massive ramp-up of green technology is expected to bring down renewable energy costs.

David said that current economic trends demanded a quick return on investment, and that the energy sector was not excempt from such expectations.

Nuclear reactors, which he reminded required very high initial investments and only delivered profits a few decades later, were dangerously out of sync with the economic times.

December 9, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Japan should move nuclear power into terminal phase

text The Way ForwardThe electric utilities would doubtless resist any plan to scrap the remaining reactors and reduce the nation’s dependence on nuclear power to zero, but they could probably be induced to go along if the authorities simultaneously drew up measures to cushion the financial blow. The government will also need to compensate localities for the loss of jobs and subsidies associated with the nuclear power plants by funding programs to foster the growth of other industries. Now is the time to plan for a shift from long-term nursing to end-of-life care for Japan’s unsustainable nuclear power industry.
Time to Stop Nursing the Nuclear Power Industry, nippon.com Yoshioka Hitoshi   
|The resumption of commercial operations at a nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture last September might seem to bode well for the comeback of nuclear energy in Japan after the nationwide shutdown precipitated by the 2011 Fukushima meltdown. But the author argues that the government’s policy of “long-term nursing care” for an unsustainable industry is merely delaying the inevitable while exposing the nation to unacceptable risks.
terminal-nuclear-industry
“…..In addition to Sendai-1 and Sendai-2, the NRA has approved Units 3 and 4 of Kansai Electric’s Takahama plant (on February 12) and Unit 3 of Shikoku Electric’s Ikata plant (on July 15) for operation. But none of these are expected to start up any time this year. The Takahama units are facing lengthy delays following an April 14 injunction by the Fukui District Court, and Ikata-3 has little chance of clearing the NRA’s regulatory hurdles before the year’s end.

Dim Prospects and a Growing Burden

The obstacles to the industry’s revival will scarcely disappear after 2015. Fukushima Prefecture is lobbying to have all its remaining nuclear plants scrapped, and local opposition to resumption of operations predominates in Niigata Prefecture, Shizuoka Prefecture, and the village of Tōkai in Ibaraki Prefecture. Between them, these four locales account for 15 (about a third) of the nation’s nuclear reactors. Four other units (one at Japan Atomic Power’s Tsuruga plant, two at Hokuriku Electric’s Shika plant, and one at Tōhoku Electric’s Higashidōri facility) are facing likely decommissioning owing to earthquake hazards. Kansai Electric is appealing a May 2014 court order against restart of two reactors at its Ōi facility, and more unfavorable rulings are possible in the months ahead.

The electric utilities themselves are expected to scrap a number of older units in consideration of cost factors. Reactors are licensed to operate for no more than 40 years, and the upgrades required to win an extension under the new regulations would be prohibitively expensive in many cases. Five older reactors were officially retired for this reason last April (Kansai Electric’s Mihama-1 and Mihama-2, Japan Atomic Power’s Tsuruga-1, Chūgoku Electric’s Shimane-1, and Kyūshū Electric’s Genkai-1).

Even those facilities that make it back online face a tough road ahead. The Fukushima disaster has drastically altered the Japanese public’s perception of nuclear energy’s risks. Henceforth, every accident, issue, or natural disaster has the potential to cause an extended or permanent shutdown at any given plant. And the construction of new reactors is virtually out of the question.

The goal of returning to pre-Fukushima levels of nuclear power generation is quite simply out of reach. Japan currently has 43 operable nuclear reactors (excluding the five already decommissioned). Realistically, no more than half of these can be expected back online before 2020, and they will be under intense scrutiny as each new problem—both in Japan and overseas—calls their safety and viability into question once again.

Nuclear power imposes heavy cost burdens that can only grow in the years ahead. Thus far the government has borne the brunt of the costs and risks, nurturing the industry with subsidies to the host communities and prefectures, funding for research and development, and guaranteed assistance with compensation and cleanup costs in the event of an accident, while allowing the electric utilities to pass the costs of the nuclear fuel cycle to their customers. In today’s climate, this amounts to long-term nursing care for a terminally ill industry. An end to these lavish supports is the electric power industry’s worst nightmare……….

As noted above, the electric utilities cannot hope to restart more than about 20 of its reactors by 2020 under the best of conditions. It will not be difficult to shut down those 20 reactors by 2030.

The electric utilities would doubtless resist any plan to scrap the remaining reactors and reduce the nation’s dependence on nuclear power to zero, but they could probably be induced to go along if the authorities simultaneously drew up measures to cushion the financial blow. The government will also need to compensate localities for the loss of jobs and subsidies associated with the nuclear power plants by funding programs to foster the growth of other industries. Now is the time to plan for a shift from long-term nursing to end-of-life care for Japan’s unsustainable nuclear power industry.   http://www.nippon.com/en/currents/d00200/

December 9, 2015 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Nuclear materials and the danger of terrorism

flag-UN-SmUN watchdog warns terrorists may seek nuclear material, GMA News,  December 8, 2015 MANILA, Philippines – The head of the UN nuclear watchdog agency, who is in the Philippines for an atomic energy conference, warned Monday of the threat of terrorists getting their hands on radioactive material to make “dirty” bombs.

Yukiya Amano, director general  of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said all countries should secure material which extremists could use to make such a device.

“Nuclear security is a longstanding and real issue. This is a real threat in all countries where nuclear material is available to terrorists,” he said.

elephant-terror-in-room

“If nuclear material falls into the hands of terrorists, that can be used for dirty bombs,” he said, referring to devices that use explosives to spread radioactive material over a wide area to poison people.

Amano said such devices, which are much easier to make than an atomic bomb, could cause widespread panic if unleashed in a city…….

Concern about possible terror attacks has risen sharply worldwide recently following a spate of bombings and mass shootings by supporters of the Islamic State group. — Agence France-Presse – See more at:http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/547108/news/world/un-watchdog-warns-terrorists-may-seek-nuclear-material#sthash.sXDTLJ0b.dpuf

December 9, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety | Leave a comment

The dangers of transporting nuclear waste by sea

ship radiationNuclear waste transport risks ,Tor Justad,  http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2015/12/08/nuclear-waste-transport-risks-tor-justad   “…..I would wish to draw attention to the proposal from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to transport nuclear waste by sea from Scrabster to Barrow – a distance of over 400 miles.

This high level nuclear waste/spent fuel emanates from the Dounreay nuclear site and is intended for Sellafield – described as “the most toxic nuclear site in Europe”.

The campaigning group Highlands Against Nuclear Transport (Hant) has been campaigning since 2013 to stop this plan on the grounds that the risk to the environment, fishing, aquaculture and tourism is unacceptable.

Transporting nuclear waste by sea is opposed by environmental groups throughout the world and Hant is of the view that all nuclear waste should remain on the sites where it is produced which is in line with Scottish government policy. Hant provided an input at a Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) seminar in Lerwick in August 2015 on “Transportation of Dounreay’s nuclear materials by rail or by sea to Sellafield – is it a safe solution for reducing the nuclear legacy in Scotland?” and was pleased to hear from SIC and Kimo representatives at that seminar that they supported Hant’s position.

The need for emergency response vessels stationed around the Northern Isles and Western Isles is important to safeguard these coasts against marine accidents and emergencies  of any kind but the need is increased by the proposal to transport nuclear waste.

As is well known, nuclear radiation knows no land or sea boundaries so this issue is of concern to all coastal communities in the Highlands and Islands.

Hant will continue to campaign on this issue and would urge individuals and interested organisations to support this campaign.

 

December 9, 2015 Posted by | oceans, opposition to nuclear, safety, UK | Leave a comment

Astronauts teaching doctors on the hazards of ionising radiation?

radiation-warningDoctors, astronauts learn radiation dangers from each other Dr. Diethrich developed a brain tumor – one he believes came from years of exposure to radiation KHOU.com 8 Dec 15 HOUSTON — Each year in the Texas Medical Center, hundreds of experts in medicine, energy, aerospace and academia gather to share ideas and collaborate across disciplines, finding ways their industries can learn from each other.

This year at the ninth annual Pumps and Pipesgathering at Houston Methodist, a celebrated surgeon offered his misfortune as a warning to travelers in a seemingly unrelated field: Future astronauts bound for Mars.

Dr. Edward Diethrich is one of the world’s foremost experts on endovascular surgery. He studied under Michael E. DeBakey, M.D. at Houston Methodist Hospital and started the Arizona Heart Institute. But a few years ago he developed a brain tumor – one he believes came from years of exposure to radiation.

“We didn’t know anything about radiation. We were surgeons,” Diethrich said. “I was being radiated from dusk to dawn not even thinking about it. We had to do what we had to do. We wanted to make patients well. Didn’t even think about ourselves.”…..

Diethrich was a pioneer in fluoroscopy – X-ray guided surgical procedures. And, in his presentation Monday, offered his dilemma has a warning and a challenge to NASA scientists designing radiation protection for future Mars-bound astronauts…….

“There is no such thing as good radiation. So that’s really the message that needs to come out of this. Whatever we can do to mitigate it is important,” said Alan B. Lumsden, MD, Medical Director, Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center. “I think that particularly we as surgeons, and I’m sure probably astronauts probably worse than we are in that respect, often tend to think you’re indestructible.”……http://www.khou.com/story/news/health/2015/12/08/doctors-astronauts-learn-radiation-dangers-from-each-other/76965756/

December 9, 2015 Posted by | radiation, USA | Leave a comment

The nuclear industry’s plight – the COSTS OF RADIOACTIVE TRASH DISPOSAL

text-wise-owlThe politics of nuclear waste disposal, The Hill, 8 Dec 15  By Mark R. MaddoxThe closure of nuclear power plants — seven at last count — and the role of nuclear power in a low carbon world has received a fair amount of media coverage, including a piece in The Hill. What hasn’t, however, is what to do about the nuclear waste stored at these plants and which will continue to be stored at these abandoned facilities for many decades to come. While the topic has become a political hot potato, some in Congress, like Illinois Rep. John Shimkus (R), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, recognize its importance and the need to address it in short order.

First, it’s important to understand the reasons for the trend toward closures. The U.S. nuclear fleet is old. While many licenses to operate have been extended, required upgrades are expensive and regulatory oversight is extensive. Compounding the problem is the availability of reliable and cost-effective alternative power sources: shale production in the United States has contributed to a significant drop in gas prices and made natural gas-generated electricity comparatively cheap; also, increased accessibility to lower-cost renewable energy due to declining costs and supportive policies for investment has squeezed the profitability of nuclear generation. Finally, demand for electricity has declined due to a combination of efficiency improvements and manufacturing shifts.

As one analyst described the plight of nuclear energy: You cannot roll back the rules of economics…….

Not surprisingly, the government inactivity has led to a shift in the conversation away from plants producing electricity and creating waste to plants being decommissioned and the waste being stranded on site. If Yucca Mountain is taken off the table as a permanent storage site, every nuclear power plant that has been storing nuclear waste on an interim basis could become its own version of Yucca Mountain. The Maine Yankee Plant, closed in 1997, is still home to 60 nuclear casks and 550 metric tons of waste. As well, the Pilgrim plant in Massachusetts recently announced it is to be closing and is estimated to have 3,000 radioactive rods in storage that will be stored on-site indefinitely.

Utilities owning a nuclear plant are now caught in real bind. According to press reports, every dismantling decision has been accompanied by a request to divert reserved funds to also cover costs for long-term fuel storage. In the case of Vermont Yankee, this is a double-whammy. Not only are its reserve funds insufficient, forcing the utility to mothball the plant for 60 years until the dismantlement fund is adequate, the utility is pursuing an additional line of credit of $145 million to build a storage facility and estimates that it will take an additional $225 million for storage operation and security…….http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/energy-environment/262407-the-politics-of-nuclear-waste-disposal

December 9, 2015 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

166 nations vote to abolish nuclear weapons, but not Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States

flag-UN-largeU.N. passes Japan-led motion to abolish nuclear arms that includes invitation to world-disarmament-1visit A-bomb cities, Japan Times,  KYODO DEC 8, 2015

 NEW YORK – Although it lacked the backing of the United States and other major nuclear powers, a Japan-sponsored draft resolution calling for the abolition of nuclear arms and encouraging people to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki was formally adopted by the U.N. General Assembly.

The majority endorsement in the plenary vote Monday followed approval of the nonbinding motion by the assembly’s First Committee on disarmament and security issues last month.

Japan has introduced resolutions on the same subject for 22 consecutive years, with all of them being adopted by the General Assembly.

However, this was the first time it included the invitation to visit “the cities devastated by nuclear weapons.”

This year’s version, which expresses “deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons” and urges all member states to work toward “a world free of nuclear weapons,” received backing from 166 countries, with 16 abstaining and three voting against it.

None of the five nuclear powers —
— endorsed the document.

Britain, France and the U.S. abstained after having supported the Japan-led initiative last year.

China and Russia, both of which abstained last year, voted against it this year, as did North Korea.

Noting that 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the resolution encourages “every effort to raise awareness of the humanitarian impact of the use of nuclear weapons, including through, among others, visits by leaders, youth and others, to the cities devastated by the use of nuclear weapons, and testimonies of the atomic bomb survivors.”…..http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/12/08/national/politics-diplomacy/u-n-passes-japan-led-motion-to-abolish-nuclear-arms-that-includes-invitation-to-visit-a-bomb-cities/#.VmdLINJ97Gh

December 9, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international | Leave a comment

10 Control Rods accidentally dropped into nuclear reactor core – Indian Point

safety-symbol-SmGov’t: Shutdown at U.S. nuclear plant after 10 control rods accidentally fall into reactor core — Caused by ‘smoldering’ event, Fire Brigade on scene — Incident of this type could lead to overheating, potentially resulting in ‘supercriticality’ — Official: No ‘immediate’ concern (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/govt-shutdown-nuclear-plant-after-rods-accidentally-fall-reactor-core-caused-smoldering-event-fire-brigade-scene-incident-could-lead-overheating-potentially-resulting-supercriticality-officia?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

reactor-Indian-PointU.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Event Notification Reports, Dec 7, 2015 (emphasis added): MANUAL REACTOR TRIP INITIATED DUE TO MULTIPLE DROPPED CONTROL RODS — At 1731 [EST] on December 5, 2015, Indian Point Unit 2 Control Room operators initiated a Manual Reactor Trip due to indications of multiple dropped Control Rods. The initiating event was a smoldering Motor Control Center (MCC) cubicle in the Turbine Building that supplies power to the Rod Control System… The affected cubicle has ceased smoldering and is being monitored by on-site Fire Brigade trained personnel… The cause of the smoldering MCC is being investigated and a post reactor trip evaluation is being conducted by the licensee… The licensee has notified the NRC Resident Inspector and appropriate State and Local authorities.

The Journal News, Dec 7, 2015: One of Indian Point’s two nuclear reactors will remain shut down for the next couple of days following a power loss on Saturday, a company spokesman said Sunday. Unit 2 was powered down around 5:20 p.m. Saturday by operators after about 10 control rods “dropped” into the reactor core, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Committee… Neel Sheehan, a spokesperson for the NRC, said a preliminary investigation indicated the problem stemmed from a sudden power loss to the mechanism holding the rods. The plant’s control rods, made of materials that can absorb neutrons, are used to control the fissioning of atoms that generate power… Government inspectors visited Indian Point on Saturday and Sunday. “No immediate concerns were identified,” Sheehan said in an e-mail, adding that inspectors would return to the site “to follow up on troubleshooting, repair activities and restart planning.”

Gothamist, Dec 6, 2015: In a statement, Gov. Cuomo… said he’s sending a team from the Department of Public Service to investigate the incident and monitor the process of bringing the reactor back online.

Several control rods also appear to have dropped at Virginia’s North Anna nuclear power plant after an earthquake in 2011:

  • U.S. NRC Event Notification, Aug 29, 2011: EMERGENCY DECLARED… North Anna Power Station declared an Alert due to significant seismic activity
  • U.S. NRC email, Sept 2011: RE: North Anna… At this point, it appears that the grippers for several of the control rods deenergized and dropped.
  • Westinghouse patent: A dropped rod… will initially result in a reduction in the total power generated by the core. The reactor will then attempt to meet the load… byincreasing power in the remainder of the core which could lead to local overheatingelsewhere in the core.
  • Satoshi Sato, Nuclear Engineer, April 28, 2015 (emphasis added): “I don’t know if you remember, there was the earthquake in 2011 in Virginia. That was a big one… enough to cause vibration to the North Anna reactor resulting in a big spike of neutron flux — orreactor power… and somehow caused the additional radioactivity into the core. So that’ssomething scary, potentially resulting in a supercriticality.” (IEER: “The neutron spike accompanying a sudden supercriticality can lead to an explosion of the reactor core. It is this sort of event which occurred at the Chernobyl reactor”)

Watch a broadcast on the Indian Point shutdown here

December 9, 2015 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Japan’s new nuclear regulatory regime is inadequate

safety-symbol-Smflag-japanTime to Stop Nursing the Nuclear Power Industry, nippon.com Yoshioka Hitoshi, 7 Dec 15   “……. Failings of the New Safety Standards

Despite the reforms instituted in the wake of the 2011 meltdown, the fundamental safety issues surrounding nuclear power in Japan remain unresolved.

The final report of the government’s Investigation Committee on the Accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations, along with a slew of outside reports, points to the culture of complacency that undermined Japan’s pre-2011 nuclear safety regime and left the country—with its high population density and high risk of natural disasters—vulnerable to a catastrophic accident. It was clear that the government needed to institute a far stronger regulatory regime if it wanted to resurrect Japan’s nuclear power program. In September 2012, it launched the Nuclear Regulation Authority, and in July 2013, the NRA adopted new safety standards for reactors in use at nuclear power stations.

Unfortunately, the new regulatory regime is also inadequate to ensure the safety of Japan’s nuclear power facilities.

The first problem is that the new safety standards on which the screening and inspection of facilities are to be based are simply too lax. While it is true that the new rules are based on international standards, the international standards themselves are predicated on the status quo. They have been set so as to be attainable by most of the reactors already in operation.

In essence, the NRA made sure that all Japan’s existing reactors would be able to meet the new standards with the help of affordable piecemeal modifications—back-fitting, in other words. In practice, they need only to add a new layer of emergency management and some back-up equipment to meet the new standards for emergency preparedness. The estimates for earthquake intensity and tsunami height in each locale have been revised upward, but not to the point where they would necessitate fundamental design changes.

The second basic problem is that the new standards do not cover all the levels of “defense in depth” advocated by the International Atomic Energy Agency in its seven-stage International Nuclear Events Scale. They extend only as far as Level 4 (“control of severe conditions including prevention of accident progression and mitigation of the consequences of a severe accident”), stopping short of Level 5 requirements for responding to accidents that threaten the surrounding area through significant release of radioactive materials.

Under the Act on Special Measures Concerning Nuclear Emergency Preparedness, the prefectural and municipal governments within a 30-kilometer radius of a nuclear power facility are given full responsibility for emergency preparedness and evacuation planning geared to nuclear accidents with wider consequences, whose impact extends beyond the confines of the plant compound. Under the law, the plans must incorporate all items on a mandated checklist, but they are not subject to any outside review. The NRA does not view local preparedness or evacuation plans for a nuclear disaster as part of its regulatory regime.http://www.nippon.com/en/currents/d00200/

December 9, 2015 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

Russia trying to sell to Egypt nuclear reactors with 80 year operation

Russian-BearMoscow, Cairo to Discuss Construction of Nuclear Power Plant on January 31, Sputnik News, 8 Dec 15  Egyptian Ambassador to Russia Mohamed Badri said that Russia and Egypt will discuss the construction of a nuclear power plant within the framework of the Russia-Egypt intergovernmental committee on January 31……

On November 19, Moscow and Cairo signed an intergovernmental deal on the construction of a nuclear power plant in Egypt.

According to the Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, the plant will take around 10 years to build and will be in operation for around 80 years…….. http://sputniknews.com/business/20151208/1031425665/russia-egypt-nuclear-power.html#ixzz3tldVDvoI

December 9, 2015 Posted by | Egypt, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Bill Gates’ nuclear power – Wrong Kind of Green

Nuclear magicianTHE BIG THREE: THE 21ST CENTURY “CLEAN ENERGY” REGIME   Dec 07, 201 5 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

December 7, 2015  The “big three” that comprise the 21st century “clean energy” regime are Mission InnovationBreakthrough Energy Coalition (BEC), and the Global Apollo Programme, with BEC in the driving seat.

What we are witnessing is militarized advertising campaign for pseudo ‘public interest’ purposes. This is an example of ‘gray ops’ in psywar terminology. Promoting it as a patriotic mission sets up the opposition as ‘unpatriotic’. A massive and unspoken con for a pre-orchestrated bailout under the guise of “climate solutions”. A last ditch effort to save an ailing capitalist economic system which has become dangerously stagnant for those in power.

Mission Innovation was announced by Bill Gates at COP21 on 30 November 2015, on stage with President Obama, President Hollande and Prime Minister Modi. [Source] Its link to private sector investment is via the Breakthrough Energy Coalition group of private investors, also spearheaded by Bill Gates and which formed in parallel at COP21.”[Source]

Several example technologies were mentioned at the launch of the initiative: biofuel, carbon capture and storage, airborne wind turbines, nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. [Sourcehttp://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2015/12/07/the-big-three-the-21st-century-clean-energy-regime/

December 9, 2015 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Solar and wind ready and safe for investors, unlike nuclear power

Book Harness the SunSolar or Wind vs. Nuclear http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/08/opinion/solar-
or-wind-vs-nuclear.html?_r=0
  
PHILIP WARBURG The writer, an environmental lawyer, is the author of “Harness the Sun”and “Harvest the Wind.”  DEC. 8, 2015  Re “The New Atomic Age We Need” , by Peter Thiel:In his zeal to portray nuclear power as our post-carbon panacea, Mr. Thiel belittles the devastation caused by past reactor accidents.

He also ignores the vulnerability of nuclear plants to sabotage and terrorism, makes no mention of the unsolved nuclear waste dilemma, and blithely declares that “the most fundamental obstacle to the success of nuclear power” is its “high cost.”

While Mr. Thiel, a venture capitalist, says he stands ready to invest in a next generation of unproven nuclear plants, he sweeps aside the wind and solar industries’ remarkable gains of the last decade. He claims that they are not “growing anywhere near fast enough to replace fossil fuels.”

Is he aware that wind power accounted for 28 percent of all new United States electric generating capacity from 2010 to book Harvest the wind2014? Does he know that 40 percent of all new installed power capacity during the first half of 2015 came from utility-scale solar plants?

Notably, that doesn’t even include rooftop solar, which is growing by leaps and bounds and could supply a fifth of our total power needs using technology that is already in widespread use.

What we need is a vigorous, sustained commitment to developing our most promising renewable energy technologies. The last thing we need is a new atomic age.

 

 

 

December 9, 2015 Posted by | resources - print | Leave a comment

Some renewable energy headlines

Comment: Uruguay powers 95% of its electricity from renewable …SBS-6Dec.,2015 The Guardian reports that renewable energy now powers 95% of electricity in Uruguay. The country relies on a mixture of energy resources …

Uruguay: 94.5% of electricity produced from renewable energy …
International Business Times, India Edition-7Dec.,2015

Explore in depth (20 more articles)
CleanTechnica-9 hours ago
They tackle various myths regarding renewable energy and nuclear energy. Slightly edited from that addendum, below are key notes on …

Paris climate talks, Africa’s renewable energy drive, and reinforcing …The Guardian

You can stay updated with the Guardian’s coverage of the latest news from COP 21, including Africa’s ambitious renewable energydrive …

China’s Bold Plan for Renewable Energy Nasdaq

Eighteen months ago, China, which has been the world’s largest air polluter for nearly a decade, announced that for the first time it would put an …

December 9, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear disaster – still not understood, still not under control

Time to Stop Nursing the Nuclear Power Industry, nippon.com Yoshioka Hitoshi   “….Fukushima’s Ongoing Disaster  The risks attached to nuclear power are of a completely different magnitude from those associated with other civilian technologies. A nuclear accident can cause catastrophic damage extending over a vast area and persisting for many years. As of September 2015, the number of people displaced by the Fukushima accident stood at 107,700. Damages from the accident have already reached ¥11 trillion, and the final tally will doubtless soar to several times that amount. Moreover, the safety problems at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant have yet to be resolved.

The three basic conditions for controlling a nuclear accident are stopping the chain reaction, cooling the fuel, and containing the radioactive material. By these criteria, the Fukushima accident has yet to be brought under control after more than four years. The water-injection system used to cool the molten fuel has been plagued by reliability issues. As for containment, the radioactive materials spewed over a vast area during the accident can never be recovered, nor can the radioactive wastewater that has been discharged into the ocean. Furthermore, workers have been unable to pinpoint the location of the highly radioactive fuel that leaked out of the reactors during the meltdown.

In many respects, the progress and causes of the accident remain unclear to this day. Without knowing these things, how can we institute effective safety measures to ensure that such accidents will not occur in the future?http://www.nippon.com/en/currents/d00200/

December 9, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | 1 Comment