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The nuclear industry increases global warming

global warming nuke2Why the Current Nuclear Showdown in California Should Matter to You, Sunset for Nuclear Power?  CounterPunch, by JAMES HEDDLE FEBRUARY 12, 2016

“……..Comparisons are Odious…and Misleading

The contention that nuclear energy is ‘carbon free’ is a piece of disinformation. Yes, relative to those of coal, oil, and gas, the total carbon emissions from the nuclear fuel chain is lowER.

But, by no stretch of the data, are they zero.

When you add together all the fossil fuel-dependent earth-moving machines, transportation, milling and processing operations, security and grappling with transporting and storing tons of radioactive waste lethal for thousands of years, it becomes clear how big the actual carbon footprint of the nuclear energy industry really is.

But, not only does the nuclear fuel chain emit carbon at every stage, it also emits DNA and public health destroying radioactive pollution.

Every day, ‘routine emissions’ from every nuclear reactor in the world contaminate the surrounding environment and population with radiological pollution. It’s all about our genetic heritage, you see.

A Pro-Nuclear Henny Penny

Like denialist counterparts in the asbestos, tobacco, oil and GMO industries, Shallenberger and his coalition colleagues poopoo the risks of their product. But they think the sky will fall if Diablo is shutdown. …..

February 13, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Russia’s aging nuclear reactors, and the Kola station shutdown

Kola nuclear plant shutdown blamed on deteriorated cable, ending silence on the malfunction, Bellona,  February 11, 2016 by , The cause of a surprise reactor shutdown at Russia’s Kola Nuclear Power Plant’s No 4 reactor on Tuesday was finally explained by the station’s press service as “deterioration of the insulation of a power cable in the course of conducting scheduled tests on an auxiliary systems’ pump.

The initial emergency shutdown of the reactor on Tuesday morning at about 9:37 am Moscow time was originally reported without an explanation – something nuclear experts on Russia said is exceedingly rare, and cause for concern.

The reactor’s age and clearances to run above nominal generating capacity near the city of Murmansk added to worries during the day-long silence on why the No 4 unit had been pulled from the grid……..

To what extent the burnt-out cable represents any threats to safety, however, will only be clear after an investigation by a committee to be appointed by Rostekhnadzor, Russia’s Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Oversight.

According to Andrei Ozharovsky, a Moscow-based nuclear adviser with Bellona, such investigations can be protracted for months, and their results aren’t generally made public.

Worries arose about the sudden, and initially unexplained shutdown because of two aspects in the reactor’s operational history.

First, the reactor, which is a VVER- 440 unit, is running on a 25-year engineering lifespan extension, meaning it will not be taken out of service until 2039, when it’s 60 years old….

Second, the reactor since 2012 has been a part of an experiment to run at various intervals at 107 percent its nominal production capacity. The reactor had also been run at expanded capacities in 1986 and 1987 under Soviet rule, but the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 mothballed that for almost a decade and a half.

Alexander Nikitin, chairman of the Environmental Rights Center Bellona said on Thursday by email that, “it’s not important here how long the reactor has worked or will work – what’s important is that they allowed [such extensions] to begin with.”

As to the experiments in boosting No 4’s power output, Nikitin said, “Difficulties can arise when a reactor is operated at any power, even at the minimum controllable level – but the official decision to stretch the power output and all other corresponding parameters to above normal, of course, adds to risks.”……

The Kola Nuclear Plant’s No 3 reactor in 2011 received 25-year operational extension, pushing its closure back to 2036.

The plant is likewise expecting to get the nod to run the No 3 reactor at boosted power outputs of 104 to 107 percent.

The boosted power regimens are not specific to Russia’s Kola nuclear station. Another six of Russia’s 31 reactors are operating above nominal capacity.

All four of the Balakovo nuclear stations periodically operate at 104 percent, and one of the reactors at the Rostov nuclear plant has clearance to run at 107 percent.

February 13, 2016 Posted by | Russia, safety | Leave a comment

South African President’s very problematic nuclear deal with Russia

Five things you should know about Sona 2016, Mail & Guardian 12 FEB 2016  MG REPORTER From nuclear to belt-tightening: If you didn’t last through Jacob Zuma’s speech, we’ve got you covered with these five quick highlights………..3. Zuma may be pressurised into scaling back on his nuclear ambitions

The proposed deal to acquire 9 600MW nuclear power stations will dwarf the controversial arms deal and has already caused concerns with reports that Russia was allegedly the preferred bidder in what appears  to be a very problematic deal. It also seemed to be one of many points of contention between Nene and Zuma, with treasury estimating a cost of R1.4-trillion and  the pro-nuclear cabal putting it at just R600-billion.

A subdued Zuma, who has been chastised by business and his party for axing Nene, reaffirmed that the “nuclear energy expansion programme remains part of the future energy mix” but added that government would “test the market to ascertain the true cost of building modern nuclear plants”’ and emphasised that “we will only procure nuclear on a scale and pace that our country can afford”.

Current finance minister Pravin Gordhan was thought to have had a strong hand in this speech and may well have re-asserted Nene’s cautions around cost. ……..

February 13, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

Greenpeace slams President Jacob Zuma ‘s avoidance of environmental issues

Greenpeace bemoan Zuma’s SONA address. IOL  12 February 2016   By: ANA Reporter Cape Town – Greenpeace Africa has expressed dismay that President Jacob Zuma did not provide sustainable solutions to important environmental matters that threaten South Africa’s resources, when he delivered his State of The Nation Address (SONA) this week.

It is disheartening that the President continues to show a complete lack of leadership in adequately tackling the key environmental issues plaguing South Africa,” the environmental organisation said.

The organisation pointed out that Zuma “failed to provide sustainable solutions to combat the severe drought that is currently decimating our already water scarce country”.

Greenpeace said the fact that nuclear procurement was going ahead was “indicative of the short-sightedness of the current leadership”……… The organisation said it believed that the country needed to steer away from the use of fossil fuels and turn toward renewable energy sources that did not “compromise the country’s scarce water resources”.

February 13, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Arnie Gunderson and Harvey Wasserman knew that shutdown of San Onofre nuclear station was a “seismic event” for the industry

Why the Current Nuclear Showdown in California Should Matter to You, Sunset for Nuclear Power?  CounterPunch, by JAMES HEDDLE FEBRUARY 12, 2016

“………The shutdown of San Onofre in 2012 was hailed as ‘a seismic event’ for the nuclear industry.

The man who said that was in a position to know whereof he spoke, because he had once been an executive in that very industry AND had played an important part as a consultant to

Friends of the Earth in helping to get San Onofre shut down.

That would be Arnie Gundersen. His partner Maggie Gundersen , founded and is president of Fairewinds Energy Education, for which Arnie serves as Chief Nuclear Engineer.

The Fairewinds organization has emerged as a major player in informing the public about the risks of nuclear power and the real potential of what lifelong No Nukes campaigner Harvey

Wasserman calls a solartopian transition to a renewable energy economy.

Since the San Onofre shutdown, and with a renewed sense of risk triggered by being on the frontline of Fukushima fallout, a resurgent Nuclear Free California movement has turned its attention to Diablo Canyon. There, two aging, embrittled reactors sited over 13 (count em) intersecting earthquake faults, in a seismically active state, in a tsunami zone (just like Fukushima), are being operated by a company under state investigation and federal indictment for safety negligence.

Back in 1981, history’s most massive non-violent blockade to that date, with thousands participating, occurred at Diablo in a valiant-but-futile attempt to prevent the plant’s start-up.

Today, the operating licenses for the plant’s two remaining reactors are set to expire in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Now, with its age, precarious location, serious environmental impacts, massive killing of marine life, public safety risks, PG&E negligence, seismic and tsunami vulnerabilities, public safety risks, management incompetence, lax regulatory oversight, economic viability and energy contribution all being called into question, pressure is building for shutdown of the plant’s two remaining reactors.

2015 began with a regional conference organized by a statewide coalition and hosted by Mothers for Peace in the plant’s home county, San Luis Obispo, aimed at mobilizing public awareness and local, regional and national pressure for closure.

Gundersens and Wasserman both closed the year with well-attended speaking tours designed to encourage informed opposition to the plant’s continued operation.

PG&E officials themselves are on record as being unsure whether or not the beleaguered utility – ‘with a lot on its plate right now’ – will seek extension of the licenses.

California’s Lt. Governor, Gavin Newsom – a former San Francisco mayor who chairs the state’s Land Commission, and is already running for Governor in 2018 – recently opined that “I just don’t see that this plant is going to survive beyond 2024, 2025. I just don’t see that… And there is a compelling argument as to why it shouldn’t.”……

February 13, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Civil nuclear agreement between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) not happening

India, UAE civil nuclear deal talks remain inconclusive, THE HINDU, NAYANIMA BASU NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 12:  

A civil nuclear cooperation agreement between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which was widely expected to be inked during the visit of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, could not be concluded even as both the sides agreed to continue the talks.

Both the governments did initiate the discussions to have a deal on civil nuclear cooperation, but the talks did not come to a “meaningful conclusion”, officials told BusinessLine.

The officials said both parties failed to agree on certain “technical aspects” and as a result both have sought some “more time” before announcing it……. Both sides also differed on the quantum of investments that the UAE intends to make from its sovereign wealth funds ….

February 13, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment