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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

BBC Wrong on Fukushima, Again

Response to: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35…
Expanded upon here:http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35…

Dose-rate conversion:http://www.translatorscafe.com/cafe/E…
” 2.8 microsievert/hour = 24.5448 millisievert/year ”

Study cited @ 1:40 re regional natural background dose rate of 0.05 uSv/y
Malins et al (2016). Evaluation of ambient dose equivalent rates influenced by vertical and horizontal distribution of radioactive cesium in soil in Fukushima Prefecture. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 151 (2016) 38e49 http://pubmed.gov/26408835

Study cited @ 3:58
Mozdarani et al (2002). Chromosomal aberrations in lymphocytes of individuals with chronic exposure to gamma radiation. Arch Irn Med, 5(1): 32-36.http://www.ams.ac.ir/AIM/NEWPUB/13/16…

Study cited @ 4:24
Zakeri & Assaei (2004). Cytogenetic monitoring of personnel working in angiocardiography laboratories in Iran hospitals. Mutat Res. 2004 Aug 8;562(1-2):1-9. http://pubmed.gov/15279825

Study cited @ 4:48
Kendall et al (2013). A record-based case-control study of natural background radiation and the incidence of childhood leukaemia and other cancers in Great Britain during 1980-2006. Leukemia. 27(1): 3–9. http://pubmed.gov/22766784

Study cited @ 5:08
Spycher et al (2015). Background ionizing radiation and the risk of childhood cancer: a census-based nationwide cohort study. Environ Health Perspect, 123(6), 622-8. http://pubmed.com/25707026 Spycher’s graphs are in nSv/h, which is nanosieverts per hour and which I converted for this video to microsieverts per hour by the rule: 100 nSv = 0.1 µSv.

@ 8:04, BBC concedes that 122 Chernobyl deaths estimate is misleading http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/comp-…
BBC: “Two viewers (one of them writing on behalf of 55 co-signatories, most of them academics from a variety of disciplines) complained that the item seriously understated the likely death toll (in relation to both Chernobyl and Fukushima) and, by ignoring scientific opinion which favoured higher estimates.”

Estimate of Chernobyl deaths @ 8:47 from
European Environmental Agency (2013). Late lessons from early warnings: science, precaution, innovation. EEA Report 1/2013, Chap 18, p. 435, European Environmental Agency, Copenhagen.
http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications…

March 13, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima At Five: Reflections on the Crime, the Cover-up and the Future of Nuclear Energy

By Michael Welch and Linda Pentz Gunter

The Fukushima disaster is not over and will never end.

The radioactive fallout which remains toxic for hundreds to thousands of years covers large swaths of Japan will never be ‘cleaned up’ and will contaminate food, humans and animals virtually forever.” -Dr. Helen Caldicott [1]

Click to Download audio (MP3 Format)

Nuclear expert Arnold Gundersen called it, “the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind.”[2]

It’s been five years since a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility resulting in three meltdowns and the release of copious amounts of radioactive debris into the atmosphere and the Pacific Ocean.[3]

Mainstream press reports do not seem to reflect the severity of this ongoing disaster. For example, on the eve of the five year anniversary, Canada’s national broadcaster, the CBC, virtually ignored the radiation concerns. The report stated that there were “zero deaths or cases of radiation sickness as a result of radiation exposure” and attributed this low mortality to “the quick-thinking, preventative actions taken by the Japanese government.” [4]

Such reporting is misleading. As Gundersen explained in a June 2011 interview:

 “One cigarette doesn’t get you, but over time they do. These [hot particles] can cause cancer, but you can’t measure them with a Geiger counter. Clearly people in Fukushima prefecture have breathed in a large amount of these particles. Clearly the upper West Coast of the US has people being affected. That area got hit pretty heavy in April (2011).” [5]

We know that radioactive Plutonium 239 has escaped into the ocean from Fukushima. According to Dr. Helen Caldicott, a single microgram of this toxic substance can cause leukemia and bone cancers. [6]

Not only has the mainstream media failed to address these environmental perils, it has also failed to adequately report on the extent of the cover-up by Japanese, U.S. and international authorities. In a 2014 article for Counterpunch, State University of New York/College of New York journalism professor Karl Grossman detailed the Japanese government’s efforts to defend the nuclear industry at the expense of the welfare of the public. For instance, the Japanese government increased the maximum allowable radiation exposure level from 1 mSv (millisievert) per year to 20 mSv per year, allowing authorities to reduce the number of required evacuations.

In his free internet e-book, independent journalist Patrick Henry has unveiled an even more comprehensive account of multi-agency involvement in a cover-up of the severity of the situation. Among his discoveries were NOAA tracking of major 60 kilometre mile long plumes of radioactive clouds along the Japanese coast and officials statements acknowledging Spent Fuel Pools #3 and #4 “going dry.”

On the occasion of this anniversary, the Global Research News Hour brings listeners two related interviews on the topic of Fukushima and lessons learned.

The first interview is with Linda Pentz Gunter, international specialist for the environmental advocacy group ‘Beyond Nuclear.’ In this conversation, Gunter addresses the question of whether nuclear is being seriously explored as an alternative to the climate-ravaging fossil fuel industry. She also outlines aspects of the Fukushima cover-up, and why international bodies and media are failing to hold nuclear and government agencies to account.

In the final half hour, Portland-based Mimi German, Earth activist and founder of Radcast.org, speaks more about the cover-up, the nuclear situation in the U.S. and the consequences for society and all life on earth.

Notes:

1) http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/03/the-giant-lie-about-fukushima/

2) Dahr Jamail, June 16, 2011, “Fukushima: It’s much worse than you think”, Al Jazeera;http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/06/201161664828302638.html

3) ibid

4) http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/5-years-after-fukushima-by-the-numbers-1.3480914

5)  http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/03/the-giant-lie-about-fukushima/

6) http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-fukushima-endgame/5420188

March 13, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

South Carolina nuclear whistleblower workers punished for speaking out on safety concerns

whistleblowerFlag-USANuclear workers say they were retaliated against for exposing wrongdoing  BY LINDSAY WISE AND SAMMY FRETWELL, The State, 13 Mar 16 lwise@mcclatchydc.comsfretwell@thestate.com WASHINGTON, DC 

In her job at the Savannah River Site nuclear weapons plant in South Carolina, Sandra Black was responsible for looking into concerns raised by employees about everything from health and safety to fraud, abuse, harassment and retaliation.

But in fall 2014, when federal investigators with the Government Accountability Office asked her whether she had the necessary independence to do her job, Black says she answered truthfully: She told them her supervisors had interfered with her work and had tried to intimidate her into changing her findings if they validated employees’ complaints.

Black disclosed her conversation with the GAO investigators to her bosses. A few weeks later, on Jan. 7, 2015, she was fired.

“It is so humiliating and embarrassing,’’ Black said. “It’s hard to come home and tell your family you’ve been terminated after 35 years. It was for no reason other than retaliation for doing my job correctly with integrity.’ ’’

The investigators who questioned Black had been conducting a probe into whistleblower retaliation by the Department of Energy and its contractors at the nation’s nuclear facilities. The GAO is expected to release a report this spring.

Three U.S. senators — Democrats Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Edward Markey of Massachusetts — had asked the GAO in March 2014 to get to the bottom of persistent incidents of retaliation against whistleblowers reported at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington state.

The probe broadened to review other DOE sites, including SRS near Aiken, S.C.

It defies belief that an Energy Department contractor would fire an employee who cooperated with a Government Accountability Office investigation into whistleblower retaliation,” said Wyden, a former chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

“I’m awaiting the GAO’s full report,” Wyden said, “but the firing of Sandra Black under these circumstances demonstrates to me that the culture of retaliation against whistleblowers is regrettably alive and well at DOE.”

Markey said Black’s termination is evidence of a “dangerous culture of disregard for the law” among DOE contractors, including Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, the company Black says let her go.

“Rather than rewarding whistleblowers who bravely put their careers on the line to protect public safety, SRNS and other contractors have acted to retaliate against them, sending a chilling message to all employees who bear witness to wasteful, unsafe, or illegal activity,” Markey said. “DOE has historically done nothing to curb this wholly unacceptable behavior.”……….

Carolina Dust Up

Similar concerns are found nearly 3,000 miles from Hanford at the Savannah River Site, along the South Carolina-Georgia border.

Black, a 59-year-old Martinez, Ga., resident, said she’s worried workers at the 310-square-mile complex won’t come forward with safety complaints now that she has been let go………http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article65707887.html

March 13, 2016 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | 1 Comment

Hanford Nuclear Reservation ordered by federal judge to comply with new deadlines for nuclear waste clean-up

Hanford 2011judge-1Federal judge sets new deadlines for nuclear waste cleanup at Hanford http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/4113014-151/federal-judge-sets-new-deadlines-for-nuclear-waste# The Associated Press /Mar 13, 2016 SPOKANE, Wash. — A federal judge has set new deadlines for cleaning up nuclear waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation after Washington state went to court to prod the U.S. Department of Energy over the flagging efforts.

U.S. District Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson issued the new deadlines in a 102-page order late Friday. Among them: A plant designed to treat low-activity radioactive waste must begin operating by 2022, and a plant to convert the most dangerous waste into glass for burial must be fully operating by 2036.

Washington and Oregon sued the U.S. Energy Department nearly a decade ago over missed cleanup deadlines, and after a settlement, Washington went back to court in 2014, leading to the judge’s order Friday.

Peterson criticized the Energy Department for what she described as a “total lack of transparency” as to the delays. She said that if the department had kept the states better apprised of the status of the cleanup efforts, the states could have sought further funding from Congress to help avert delays.

“The passage of time and the urgency of waste clean-up are inextricablylinked: the longer that DOE takes to satisfy its obligations under the Consent Decree the greater the likelihood of irreversible damage to the environment,” the judge wrote. “No party can ‘win’ this litigation. The public and environment only can ‘lose’ as more time passes without an operational solution to the radioactive waste problems at the Hanford Site.”

The government used the Hanford site during World War II and the Cold War to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons. Hanford’s 586 square miles house over 50 million gallons of nuclear waste in 177 underground tanks, many of which are leaking.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson welcomed the court’s ruling, which they said Saturday will hold federal authorities accountable for the cleanup and which set firmer deadlines than the Energy Department wanted.

“Cleaning up the legacy waste at Hanford is the federal government’s legal and moral responsibility to the Tri-Cities community and the Pacific Northwest,” Inslee said. “I have been repeatedly frustrated by the delays and lack of progress toward meeting key milestones in waste cleanup and treatment. We cannot consider any further delays, and I am pleased that the court clearly agrees.”

March 13, 2016 Posted by | Legal, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

The true scope of Fukushima nuclear radiation is not known, but it’s a nightmare

radation sign dirtyNuclear Expert: Fukushima “like the worst nightmare becoming reality” — Released as much as 1,000 atomic bombs worth of radioactive material — “Everyone on earth has been exposed… an increase in cancer will be the result”http://enenews.com/japan-nuclear-expert-fukushima-like-worse-nightmare-becoming-reality-released-1000-nuclear-bombs-worth-radioactive-material-everyone-earth-exposed-increase-cancer-will-be-result?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Interview with nuclear engineer Hiroaki Koide (translation by Prof. Robert Stolz, transcription by Akiko Anson), published Mar 8, 2016 (emphasis added):

  • As for the scale of the [Fukushima] accident… we simply don’t know… all the measuring equipment was destroyed at the time of the accident…
  • The Japanese government has reported estimates [of] 1.5×10^16 Becquerels of Cs-137, which would make it a release of 168 times more radioactive material than the Hiroshima bombing. And this is only material released into the atmosphere…
  • But I myself think the government’s numbers are an underestimate. Various experts and institutes from around the world have offered several of their own estimates… some two or three times higher than the government’s numbers. According to these other estimatesI think that the release of Cs-137 into the atmosphere could be around 500 times the Hiroshima bombing.
  • What has been washed into the sea… is likely not much different from the levels released into the atmosphere. Even today we are unable to prevent this release. And so if we combine the amount of Cs-137 released in the air and the ocean together, we get an estimate several hundred times the Hiroshima levels. And some estimates suggest the Fukushima accident could be as much as one-thousand Hiroshimas
  • The amount released into the atmosphere from the explosion during the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant was 800 to 1000 times the Hiroshima levels. Put simply, these estimates place Fukushima on par with Chernobyl…
  • [T]he radioactive material released from Fukushima has been dispersed across the globe… everyone on earth has been exposed to additional radiation… An increase in cancer will be the result
  • Not a single nuclear expert or policy maker ever seriously considered the possibility of an accident like this… I had been commenting on the possibility, referring to some results of simulations. But still I would have thought the kind of disaster that happened at Fukushima was some kind of impossible nightmare―yet it actually happened. It was like the worse nightmare becoming a reality… all those pronuclear people surely never gave it a moment’s thought. And so when it actually happened, no one had thought about, let alone built a system to deal with it.

Asia-Pacific Journal, Mar 2016: As we learn in this wide-ranging and important interview [with Hiroaki Koide], the accident often referred to as 3/11 was enormous and in many ways unprecedented. The full scope of the disaster is still unknown, but is clearly on the scale of Chernobyl, placing the amount of radioactive material released… up to 1,000 times the Hiroshima bombing of 1945.

See also: Japan Professor: I believe airborne release of cesium-137 from Fukushima equals 400 to 500 Hiroshima nuclear bombs — Another 400 to 500 bombs worth has already flowed into Pacific Ocean (VIDEO)

March 13, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, environment, Fukushima 2016 | Leave a comment

Despite rain , thousands rally across Taiwan, against nuclear power

Anti-nuclear rallies held across Taiwan http://focustaiwan.tw/news/asoc/201603120019.aspx    Taipei, March 12 (CNA) Thousands of people turned out in wet weather Saturday in Taipei to march against the continued use of nuclear energy in Taiwan, while people in other parts of the country also staged similar events.

Taiwan-140315

The march in Taipei was held under the theme “Scrapping the use of nuclear power, facing the problem of nuclear waste and energy transformation” and called attention to the problem of nuclear waste disposal.

The participants demanded that the government push for a “nuclear free homeland” by 2025, pay attention to the nuclear waste problem, remove the nuclear waste on Taiwan’s Orchid Island, and move to decommission the country’s three operational nuclear power plants.

Before the start of the march at 4 p.m., several anti-nuclear activists gave brief speeches at a rally on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office.

When the march began, it featured a 30-meter long, 1.5-meter wide banner, carried by about 100 people, which bore words “10,000-year nuclear waste.”

As the protesters passed by the Legislative Yuan, they called for bills that would advance the goal of a “nuclear free homeland.” The march ended at the city’s historic North Gate in symbolic move to drive home the message that nuclear waste will outlast historic architecture.

New Power Party Chairman and Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) took part in the march, promising to monitor the government and join the public in taking on the nuclear waste issue.

“The public’s appeals are identical to my party’s campaign platform before the legislative elections,” he said.

The main sponsor of the march, the National Nuclear Abolition Action Platform (NNAAP), said that five years after the 2011 meltdown of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, which was triggered by a powerful earthquake and ensuing tsunami, many of the people who were affected are still homeless.

The NNAAP estimated that 7,000 people took part in the Taipei march. Meanwhile, in Kaohsiung, a similar event was also held Saturday, sponsored by the Southern Taiwan Nuclear Abolition Action Alliance.

The group said that although Taiwan’s fourth nuclear power plant has been mothballed, civic groups have to remain alert during the government’s transitional period.

The alliance also said that since a magnitude-6.4 earthquake on Feb. 6 that killed 117 people in Tainann, people in southern Taiwan have become even more worried about Taiwan’s third nuclear power plant, which sits on an active fault in Hengchun, Pingtung County.

The reactor there cannot withstand a magnitude-7 earthquake, the alliance said.

Anti-nuclear groups also gathered in Tainan on Saturday, giving speeches and performances and displaying pictures to drive home their message.

Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said that with its typically sunny weather, southern Taiwan could play a crucial role in any move toward replacing nuclear power with green energy.

Similar anti-nuclear marches were staged in Taichung, Taitung and other areas throughout Taiwan.

(By Wu Hsin-yun, Chen Chao-fu, Chang Jung-hsiang and Lilian Wu)
Enditem/pc

March 13, 2016 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Radio: Fukushima – Reflections on the Crime, the Cover-up and the Future of Nuclear Energy

Hear-This-wayFukushima At Five: Reflections on the Crime, the Cover-up and the Future of Nuclear Energy http://www.globalresearch.ca/fukushima-at-five-reflections-on-the-crime-the-cover-up-and-future-of-nuclear/5513770

Global Research News Hour Episode 134 By Michael Welch and Linda Pentz Gunter  March 13, 2016  “The Fukushima disaster is not over and will never end.

The radioactive fallout which remains toxic for hundreds to thousands of years covers large swaths of Japan will never be ‘cleaned up’ and will contaminate food, humans and animals virtually forever.” -Dr. Helen Caldicott [1]

LISTEN TO THE SHOW Length (58:59)

Click to Download audio (MP3 Format)

Nuclear expert Arnold Gundersen called it, “the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind.”[2]

It’s been five years since a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility resulting in three meltdowns and the release of copious amounts of radioactive debris into the atmosphere and the Pacific Ocean.[3]

Mainstream press reports do not seem to reflect the severity of this ongoing disaster. For example, on the eve of the five year anniversary, Canada’s national broadcaster, the CBC, virtually ignored the radiation concerns. The report stated that there were “zero deaths or cases of radiation sickness as a result of radiation exposure” and attributed this low mortality to “the quick-thinking, preventative actions taken by the Japanese government.” [4]

Such reporting is misleading. As Gundersen explained in a June 2011 interview:

 “One cigarette doesn’t get you, but over time they do. These [hot particles] can cause cancer, but you can’t measure them with a Geiger counter. Clearly people in Fukushima prefecture have breathed in a large amount of these particles. Clearly the upper West Coast of the US has people being affected. That area got hit pretty heavy in April (2011).” [5]

We know that radioactive Plutonium 239 has escaped into the ocean from Fukushima. According to Dr. Helen Caldicott, a single microgram of this toxic substance can cause leukemia and bone cancers. [6]

Not only has the mainstream media failed to address these environmental perils, it has also failed to adequately report on the extent of the cover-up by Japanese, U.S. and international authorities. In a 2014 article for Counterpunch, State University of New York/College of New York journalism professor Karl Grossman detailed the Japanese government’s efforts to defend the nuclear industry at the expense of the welfare of the public. For instance, the Japanese government increased the maximum allowable radiation exposure level from 1 mSv (millisievert) per year to 20 mSv per year, allowing authorities to reduce the number of required evacuations.

In his free internet e-book, independent journalist Patrick Henry has unveiled an even more comprehensive account of multi-agency involvement in a cover-up of the severity of the situation. Among his discoveries were NOAA tracking of major 60 kilometre mile long plumes of radioactive clouds along the Japanese coast and officials statements acknowledging Spent Fuel Pools #3 and #4 “going dry.”

On the occasion of this anniversary, the Global Research News Hour brings listeners two related interviews on the topic of Fukushima and lessons learned.

The first interview is with Linda Pentz Gunter, international specialist for the environmental advocacy group ‘Beyond Nuclear.’ In this conversation, Gunter addresses the question of whether nuclear is being seriously explored as an alternative to the climate-ravaging fossil fuel industry. She also outlines aspects of the Fukushima cover-up, and why international bodies and media are failing to hold nuclear and government agencies to account.

In the final half hour, Portland-based Mimi German, Earth activist and founder of Radcast.org, speaks more about the cover-up, the nuclear situation in the U.S. and the consequences for society and all life on earth.

For more on Fukushima, please read Global Research’s comprehensive report.

March 13, 2016 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Mark Diesendorf debunks the nuclear “baseload” myth: renewable energy can do it better!

Diesendorf-MarkDispelling the nuclear ‘baseload’ myth: nothing renewables can’t do better! Ecologist   10th March 2016  The main claim used to justify nuclear is that it’s the only low carbon power source that can supply ‘reliable, baseload electricity’, writes Mark Diesendorf – unlike wind and solar. But not only can renewables supply baseload power, they can do something far more valuable: supply power flexibly according to demand. Now nuclear power really is redundant.

We have all heard the claim. We need nuclear power because, along with big hydropower, it’s the only low carbon generation technology that can supply ‘reliable baseload power’ on a large scale……

Underlying this claim are three key assumptions. First, that baseload power is actually a good and necessary thing. In fact, what it really means is too much power when you don’t want it, and not enough when you do. What we need is flexible power (and flexible demand too) so that supply and demand can be matched instant by instant.

The second assumption is that nuclear power is a reliable baseload supplier. In fact it’s no such thing. All nuclear power stations are subject to tripping out for safety reasons or technical faults. That means that a 3.2GW nuclear power station has to be matched by 3.2GW of expensive ‘spinning reserve’ that can be called in at a moments notice.

The third is that the only way to supply baseload power is from baseload power stations, such as nuclear, coal and gas, designed to run flat-out all the time whether their power is actually needed or not. That’s wrong too.

Practical experience and computer simulations show it can be done………

The assumption that baseload power stations are necessary to provide a reliable supply of grid electricity has been disproven by both practical experience in electricity grids with high contributions from renewable energy, and by hourly computer simulations.

In 2014 the state of South Australia had 39% of annual electricity consumption from renewable energy (33% wind + 6% solar) and, as a result, the state’s base-load coal-fired power stations are being shut down as redundant. For several periods the whole state system has operated reliably on a combination of renewables and gas with only small imports from the neighbouring state of Victoria.

The north German states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein are already operating on 100% net renewable energy, mostly wind. The ‘net’ indicates trading with each other and their neighbours. They do not rely on baseload power stations.

A host of studies agree: baseload power stations are not needed…..

For countries that are completely isolated (e.g. Australia) or almost isolated (e.g. the USA) from their neighbours, hourly computer simulations of the operation of the electricity supply-demand system, based on commercially available renewable energy sources scaled up to 80-100% annual contributions, confirm the practical experience.

In the USA a major computer simulation by a large team of scientists and engineers found that 80-90% renewable electricity is technically feasible and reliable (They didn’t examine 100%.) The 2012 report, Renewable Electricity Futures Study. Vol.1. Technical report TP-6A20-A52409-1 was published by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The simulation balances supply and demand each hour.

The report finds that “renewable electricity generation from technologies that are commercially available today, in combination with a more flexible electric system, is more than adequate to supply 80% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2050 while meeting electricity demand on an hourly basis in every region of the United States.”

Similar results have been obtained from hourly simulation modeling of the Australian National Electricity Market with 100% renewable energy (published by Ben Elliston, Iain MacGill and I in 2013 and 2014) based on commercially available technologies and real data on electricity demand, wind and solar energy. There are no baseload power stations in the Australian model and only a relatively small amount of storage. Recent simulations, which have yet to be published, span eight years of hourly data.

These, together with studies from Europe, find that baseload power stations are unnecessary to meet standard reliability criteria for the whole supply-demand system, such as loss-of-load probability or annual energy shortfall.

Furthermore, they find that reliability can be maintained even when variable renewable energy sources, wind and solar PV, provide major contributions to annual electricity generation, up to 70% in Australia. How is this possible?

Fluctuations balanced by flexible power stations………

in all the flexible, renewables-based approaches set out above, conventional baseload power stations are unnecessary. In the words of former Australian Greens’ Senator Christine Milne: “We are now in the midst of a fight between the past and the future”.

The refutation of the baseload fairy tale and other myths falsely denigrating renewable energy are a key part of that struggle.

 


 

Dr Mark Diesendorf is Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies at UNSW Australia. Previously, at various times, he was a Principal Research Scientist in CSIRO, Professor of Environmental Science and Founding Director of the Institute for Sustainable Futures at University of Technology Sydney, and Director of Sustainability Centre Pty Ltd.

Books: Sustainable Energy Solutions for Climate Change and Climate Action: A campaign manual for greenhouse solutions.  http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2987376/dispelling_the_nuclear_baseload_myth_nothing_renewables_cant_do_better.html

 

March 13, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

EDF want French tax-payers’ financial aid for UK Hinkley Point Nuclear Projectr

text-my-money-2flag-franceEDF Asks French Government for Aid for Hinkley Point Nuclear Plant CEO Jean Bernard Levy says EDF won’t engage in project without necessary commitments from state http://www.wsj.com/articles/edf-asks-french-government-for-aid-for-hinkley-point-nuclear-plant-1457797452  By  INTI LANDAURO March 12, 2016

PARIS— Electricité de France SA Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levysaid he is seeking financial support from the French government to develop the Hinkley Point nuclear plant in southern England, as the project faces fierce scrutiny following the resignation of the company’s No. 2.

In a letter sent to company employees on Friday, Mr. Levy said EDF wouldn’t engage in the £18 billion ($25.89 billion) project unless it was able to secure necessary financial commitments from the state, which holds almost 85% of the utility.

Two EDF officials who requested anonymity confirmed Mr. Levy’s comments. The letter was sent four days after Chief Financial Officer Thomas Piquemal quit unexpectedly on concerns that the project would threaten the company’s financial stability.

The Hinkley Point project is the centerpiece of a series of business deals between the U.K. and China announced last year, with China General Nuclear Power Corp. agreeing to take a 33.5% stake in it.

The past week’s letter and CFO resignation are signs that scrutiny over the project has grown, despite support from the French and U.K. governments.

Even though the conditions granted by the U.K. government—with the pledge to buy the electricity generated around three times the current market price—would make it profitable, union representatives on EDF’s board have said Hinkley Point could saddle the company with too much debt.

EDF, which has €37.4 billion ($41.70 billion) in net debt, had its credit rating put on review for a downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service last month. Also last month, EDF said it would reduce its dividend and offer stockholders part payment in shares to bolster its finances, as well as selling assets and reducing capital spending. The utility is separatelyinvolved in the financial rescue of state-controlled Areva SA, which has lost money for the past five years. EDF last year agreed to pay at least €1.25 billion for a majority stake in Areva NP, the unit that manufactures nuclear reactors.

Separately, the risk associated with the construction of EDF’s EPR reactor design also raises uncertainty about the project. To this day, no plants using the technology have been completed. The first two being built, in Finland and in northern France, have run way over budget and are years behind schedule.

Write to Inti Landauro at inti.landauro@wsj.com

March 13, 2016 Posted by | France, politics, UK | Leave a comment

UK needs to turn to plan By -renewable energy, not to the Hinkley nuclear boondoggle

Doubts over EDF’s plan for Hinkley Point nuclear power station, BBC News, 12 March 2016 Fresh doubts have arisen over plans by French Energy firm EDF to build an £18bn nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point, Somerset.

Angus MacNeil, chairman of the House of Commons energy committee, has called for the project to be re-examined.It follows a letter that EDF chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy sent to his staff, saying the project needed more funding from the French government.

The UK government said it was “committed” to Hinkley Point. But Mr MacNeil, an MP for the SNP, said the government needed to urgently rethink its support for the proposal. “It’s something that has to be looked into very carefully and very soon because it is a huge obligation and a lot of eggs in quite small baskets,” he said.

“The Chinese are involved, the French involved, the UK are involved. They need to take a step back because other places have decided not to go ahead with this stuff.”…….

Pressure is mounting as the £18bn cost of the Hinkley project is more than the entire value of the firm.

And there is scepticism as the British government has agreed to pay more than twice the current wholesale price of energy once the plant is producing – £92.50 per megawatt hour for electricity, against £37 per megawatt hour……..

Imagine British Gas owners Centrica were in financial trouble after sinking billions into a French power station. And then imagine that the bill for rescuing it fell on to taxpayers. That is essentially the risk facing EDF and the French government.

The dangers to the company’s financial integrity are great enough to prompt EDF’s chief financial officer to resign in protest, the French equivalent of the National Audit Office to issue stark warnings and French unions to lobby their members to vote against the project.

To make matters worse, EDF’s recent track record in delivering big projects is poor. Reactor construction in France and China have run over time and massively over budget.

The prize for EDF with Hinkley Point is a guarantee to provide electricity for decades at three times the current price. The deal is still on but the stakes are high as a crucial EDF board meeting later this month approaches.


Construction of Hinkley Point C in Somerset, the first new nuclear plant in the UK for 20 years and the most expensive in the world, is due to begin in 2019, two years after it had originally been due to open…….

Allan Jeffrey from the Stop Hinkley campaign group said there were many problems, whether construction, technical or financial.

“Nuclear power is an old fashioned form of energy where you throw away most of your energy, it’s dangerous and risky and open to terrorist attacks,” he said.

“We should be looking at Plan B which should be getting on with sustainable, renewable energy.” The concerns are the latest in a string of problems – last week EDF’s finance director Thomas Piquemal quit reportedly because he feared the project could jeopardise the company’s financial position.

And in February, Chris Bakken, the director of the project, said he was leaving to pursue other opportunities…….http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35793445

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

terrorism-targets-2Threat of nuclear terrorism continuesA lingering nuclear threat https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/beyond-the-nuclear-security-summit/2016/03/12/15d2c952-e0c5-11e5-846c-10191d1fc4ec_story.html By Editorial Board March 12 

WHEN BELGIAN police searched the home of a suspected member of the Islamic State after the Paris terror attacks in November, they found in the suspect’s apartment a curious video. It appeared to be a surveillance recording, made by the suspect, of a senior researcher at a Belgian nuclear center. The authorities speculate that it might have been part of a terrorist plot to capture nuclear materials from the center, perhaps by kidnapping the researcher. The episode has prompted Belgian authorities to deploy armed troops to protect nuclear sites, replacing a private security force.

The potential threat is clear. Much has been done to reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles and materials over the past 25 years, but hazards remain from highly enriched uranium and plutonium spread around the globe. Some 1,800 metric tons of weapons-useable material is stored in hundreds of facilities, including civilian research reactors and military stocks.

Starting in 2010, President Obama cast a spotlight on the problem with international summits at which leaders were pressed to act, including the cleanup of materials that could be used for building a so-called “dirty bomb,” a conventional explosive combined with nuclear materials that, while not a nuclear blast, would nonetheless cause considerable mayhem and disruption. In 2010, when the summits began in Washington, 35 nations had weapons-usable materials; three summits and six years later, it is down to 24.

But now comes the difficult part. Leaders of more than 50 nations will gather in Washington at the end of this month for the fourth and final nuclear security summit. Then what? The summit process has not given rise to an effective global system for securing these nuclear materials. It will take some real imagination and determination to keep up the pressure. We hear the coming summit will produce “action plans,” pledges from the leaders to pursue nuclear security in existing international organizations. It may also set up some kind of smaller, ongoing contact group. But will these be sufficient to sustain the sense of urgency and political drive that the summits generated?

A detailed index published by the Nuclear Threat Initiative shows tangible progress was achieved between 2012 and 2014, but since then efforts havestalled, due to political issues that have diverted attention, bureaucratic inertia, lack of resources and cultural factors. None of these are going away any time soon.

The rapid deterioration of U.S. relations with Moscow has taken a toll, too. Russia has declared it will not attend the summit. Cooperation on nuclear security has all but collapsed under the weight of President Vladimir Putin’s ill-fated adventure in Ukraine. Former senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), who pioneered that cooperation, said recently there is a “corrosive lack of trust”between Washington and Moscow, and channels of communication are “few and far between.” Without in any way easing the pressure on Mr. Putin over Ukraine or Syria, the United States and Russia ought to realize that Islamic State terrorists interested in nuclear materials in Belgium are a threat to all countries, and one worth talking about.

March 13, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety | Leave a comment

Sea levels could rise to mind-boggling levels

This mind-boggling study shows just how massive sea level rise really is, WP.  By Chris Mooney March 10 As our planet continues to warm, coastlines worldwide will retreat inland — in the long run, maybe by a lot. That means some coastal cities, in places like Florida — where Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debated precisely this topic on Wednesday night — stand to lose quite a lot of land where people currently live and own property.

It seems doubtful that we can defend all of the many coastal zones that will be at risk. So is there any other way to head off sea level rise?

It may sound ridiculous to even contemplate. But in a new study just out in the open access journal Earth System Dynamics, scientists have actually published an idea for doing that and provided some calculations regarding the scale of what it would take. That scale turns out to be simply massive, ultimately rendering the idea about as unfathomable as the oceans themselves.

But then, that’s kind of the point.

“This is not a proposition,” said Anders Levermann, a sea-level expert at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and one of the study’s authors. “It’s a discussion. It’s supposed to initiate the discussion on how big the sea level problem really is.” The paper was composed by Levermann and fellow researchers Katja Frieler and Matthias Mengel. …….. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/03/10/this-mindboggling-study-shows-just-how-massive-sea-level-rise-really-is/

March 13, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

March 13 Energy News

#auspol #NuclearCommissionSAust NO #thorium #uranium #nuclear

geoharvey

Science and Technology:

¶ Efforts to increase wind power mean that turbine blades are getting bigger and bigger. But a new design in the works takes the idea to levels most people can barely imagine: Blades up to 656.2 feet long – more than two football fields. Today’s longest blades are 262.5 feet. [Los Angeles Times]

Wind turbine blades in storage. Photo by Glyn Drury. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons. Wind turbine blades in storage. Photo by Glyn Drury.
CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ This year’s winter has been quite strange, with temperatures throughout much of the northern hemisphere being considerably higher than at any other time since high-accuracy records began over a hundred years ago. Now here is a video showing just how fast Arctic ice is declining. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Night-time temperatures are more sensitive to climate change, a study found. The nights have been warming much faster than the days over the last 50 years, worldwide…

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March 13, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Major Leak in India Nuclear Power Station; On-Site Emergency Declared; Swiss-German-French Role in Explosive India Nuclear Tech

Mining Awareness +

Kakrapar Atomic Power Station India
Kakrapur nuclear power station zoom in
[Read about French-Swiss and German built heavy water facilities blowing up and catching fire in India, below this article, as well as the problem of plutonium production for this reactor type. And, yet, Americans are supposed to believe the Obama Administration lie that taking SWISS MADE plutonium from Switzerland, and 99.5%-100% German Made nuclear waste from Germany, is supposed to help with non-proliferation? India’s first heavy water production plant was provided by Germany in 1962, 12 years before India’s first successful nuclear bomb test.]

From Dianuke.org:
A Major Leak in India’s Nuclear Plant On Fukushima’s 5th Anniv. On-Site Emergency Declared, March 11, 2016, by Kumar Sundaram

The Unit-1 of the the Kakrapar nuclear power plant in India’s Gujarat state underwent an accident today morning at 9.00 am.

The operator of the nuclear plant, the govt-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited(NPCIL), has declared an on-site emergency…

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March 13, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kakrapar Nuclear Plant Is Likely Undergoing A Loss-Of-Coolant Accident: Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan

Mining Awareness +

Kakrapar Atomic Power Station India
Via Dianuke.org:
Kakrapar Nuclear Plant Is Likely Undergoing A Loss-Of-Coolant Accident: Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan“, March 12, 2016, by Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan
The Kakrapar Unit-1 PHWR Primary System Leakage Incident on March 11, 2016

The Kakrapar Unit-I nuclear reactor in Gujarat is undergoing a moderately large leakage of heavy water from its Primary Heat Transport (PHT) system since 9.00 AM on March 11, 2016. From the very limited information released by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) of the government , as well as from the conversations I had with press people who have been in touch with nuclear officials, few inferences can be drawn.

Till 7.00 PM on March 12,2016 , the DAE officials have no clue as to where exactly the PHT leak is located and how big is the rate of irradiated heavy water that is leaking…

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March 13, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment