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Future’s children will blame us for those wrong energy decisions


We are making the wrong energy choices for future generations, Guardian, Andrew Simms, 8 Apr 16 
Our children’s children will not thank us for investing so heavily in technologies like nuclear at the expense of safer, low-carbon options “……
It’s easy to see the superficial political attraction of projects like Hinkley C – they look like big, simple solutions to a problem. They’re technologically shiny, highly visible, seemingly easy to keep an eye on and have large, influential lobbies behind them.

With so much seemingly in its favour, it says a lot about the state of the nuclear industry that Hinkley C is heading south faster than a great snipe in migration. In a new report for theIntergenerational Foundation, co-published with the New Weather Institute, I found the economic case alone for new nuclear to be as leaky as a plastic bag of plutonium.

Discounting the untold extra billions, typically hidden and underwritten by the public, required by nuclear reactors to pay for complex security, disposal of radioactive waste, insurance (and, perversely, liabilities from under-insurance), over the course of its initial 35-year contract period, Britain could save at least £30-£40bn on electricity generated by solar and onshore wind with their costs steadily falling.

The costs for nuclear generation, meanwhile, have been doing exactly the opposite. From a government estimate of £5.6bn in 2008, by the time EU officials signed off the deal to build Hinkley C just six years later, the expected construction cost had risen to over £24bn. As obstacles, the burden of the financial architecture for the deal is only beaten by the problems with the technology itself which was meant to be state-of-the-art and a flagship for its operator EDF.

A range of renewable energy options are readily available that prove to be cheaper, safer, more secure, quicker to deliver and, overall, better value for Britain. Yet, instead of grasping this option, the government seems to have gone out of its way to hamper renewables by slashing support and creating a capricious, unstable policy environment…….

If we really are to have policies for the long term and with future generations in mind, we need to ensure energy choices are made to protect and promote their interests. A rational, evidence-based, intergenerational energy system won’t just emerge from political rhetoric, it needs to be designed and based on clear principles.

Such principles would include having an energy system most likely to preserve a climate convivial for future generations; a system with the least toxic environmental burden and which maximises ancillary economic benefits such as local jobs, manufacturing and services.

As an opening bid, here’s a set of intergenerational design criteria to aid intelligent, future energy planning. They are:

  • Employment and broader economic return on investment – how much value to the broader economy does investment in different technologies bring; in other words, what is its economic multiplier effect?
  • Environmental return on investment – how efficiently does an investment lower carbon emissions and minimise other toxic pollutants and contribute to a healthy environment?
  • Energy return on investment – how much energy is generated for the amount of money invested to produce that energy?
  • Security return on investment – how much does the technology contribute to domestic energy security and what other security risks does it carry?
  • Transition return on investment – how does it contribute, comparatively to the speed and scale of deployment of low carbon energy generating capacity?
  • Conviviality return on investment – the degree to which a technology can be responsive to and supportive of a society’s or a community’s own vision and pathway for its development, and that of future generations.

Paul Massara, is the chief executive of the energy supplier, RWE npower. Reflecting on the prospect of Hinkley C, he commented: “We will look back and think that nuclear was a expensive mistake. It’s one of those deals where my children, and my children’s children, are going to be thinking ‘was that a good deal’?”

It’s easy to imagine what conclusion they will come to, and the bewilderment they will feel at why better options were not more aggressively pursued.

April 8, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, ENERGY, UK | Leave a comment

Threat of Islamic State and al Qaeda getting nuclear weapons is real

nuclear-target-chainIslamic State, al Qaeda and nuclear madness, Reuters By John Lloyd April 8, 2016 “……..Earlier this month, President Barack Obama invoked the need for world leaders to cope with “the danger of a terrorist group obtaining and using a nuclear weapon.” In his speech at the Nuclear Security Summit, he had much success to report: earlier commitments to secure or eliminate nuclear material had been followed by most of the world’s states.

A “but” was coming, and it was large: both al Qaeda and Islamic State actively seek nuclear weaponry, Obama said, and “there is no doubt that if these madmen ever got their hands on a nuclear bomb or nuclear material they most certainly would use it to kill as many innocent people as possible.” That seems likely to be true: both groups have said so, and a member of Islamic State — which has already used chemical weapons — obtained surveillance footage of a manager at a nuclear facility in Belgium, with a view, officials say, of possibly developing a “dirty” bomb (a conventional explosive device packed with radioactive material).

The head of U.S. National Intelligence, James Clapper, told a Senate committee last month that “the threat of WMD is real. Biological and chemical materials and technologies, almost always dual use, move easily in the globalized economy, as do personnel with the scientific expertise to design and use them.” The veteran commentator on terrorism, Bruce Hoffman, wrote in March that Islamic State is moving towards the “final Definitive Victory State… when the caliphate ultimately triumphs over the rest of the world.” For that, it will need nuclear weapons.

Hoffman also believes that the two groups most hungry for global domination — Islamic State and al Qaeda — may merge, in spite of their leaders’ mutual hostility. This possibility, he said, quoting an unnamed senior U.S. official, “would be an absolute and unprecedented disaster for (the United States) and our allies.”

More cheer? Russia didn’t attend the nuclear summit. Moscow had said last November that it thought the United States was trying to “take the role of the main and ‘privileged’ player in this sphere” — so it didn’t show. Russia, Obama said to reporters, had made little, if any, progress on the Security Summit’s goals — because Putin has been pursuing a vision of of “emphasizing military might.”

The United States and Russia are estimated to have between them 95 percent of the world’s 15,000 nuclear warheads: the United States 6,970, Russia, 7300. The United States has been slightly reducing its stock; Russia has not. Obama, in a speech in Prague near the beginning of his first presidency seven years ago, called for a nuclear-free world — as Ronald Reagan had done before him.

By contrast, Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons on Islamic State, on Turkey and as a response to Western protests when Russian forces seized Crimea. In the summer of 2014, in a more veiled threat, he told a youth group that “Let me remind you that Russia is one of the world’s biggest nuclear powers. These are not just words — this is the reality. What’s more, we are strengthening our nuclear deterrent capability and developing our armed forces.”

The United States, like Russia, modernizes and upgrades its nuclear forces continually, and islikely to sell Patriot interceptor missiles to Poland — much to Russia’s fury. But somehow, the widening gulf between the nations has to be bridged, or we face the largest problem of all: a widely-dispersed ability to annihilate much of the world.

The news should not just be “depressing,” but rather a prompt for greater engagement and understanding of its complexity. And with understanding comes the need to support those politicians, officials and organizations seeking compromise and solution. If the 20th was the American century, the 21st must be the world’s, in which the facts of multiple threats prompt a mutual response. Without it, the cocoons we seek to hide from bad news crumble more by the year.

April 8, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety | Leave a comment

USA facing up to the dilemma of mounting nuclear waste

“Don’t fall for an idea that this is unsafe to keep it where it is and now we have to move it. I would say it is unsafe, but it’s not going to be safer somewhere else.”

radioactive trashMeanwhile some attendees questioned whether a true consent-based siting process is possible and argued that no fully-informed communities would consent to hosting nuclear waste.

“It will be very hard to find communities that will be willing,” said Wasserman-Nieto. “We really needto stop the creation of this waste.

“I begged and pleaded with the Blue Ribbon commission, do not target Native American tribes again for these dumps,” . “This is an environmental injustice, this is radioactive racism.”

Energy Department Seeks Public Process for Nuclear Waste Storage, TruthOut, Friday, 08 April 2016 By Kari LydersenMidwest Energy News | Report  Half a century ago when the town of Zion, Illinois agreed to site a nuclear power plant on its Lake Michigan shoreline, civic leaders felt they were helping to secure a clean and dependable energy source through the turn of the century.

They never intended to become a nuclear waste dump.

But since the Zion plant closed in 1998, waste has been stored on-site as it is at working and defunct reactors across the country. And since neither a permanent geologic repository nor proposed interim storage sites for nuclear waste have been created, the waste may remain in Zion for quite some time……..

city leaders decided it was worth it, in part because, “There was an understanding that when the operating license of the plant expired, these 400 acres would be returned to pristine condition,” Hill said. “That was the deal — it was an unwritten deal but that was the deal the people of Zion understood. There was never an understanding that once the plant closed the people of Zion would play host to a radioactive dump.”

The Chicago hearing is part of a new Department of Energy effort aimed at avoiding situations like the debacle surrounding efforts to build a permanent repository at Yucca Mountain and other controversies regarding the storage of nuclear waste. The process will include public comments in the Federal Register, public meetings around the country, webinars and small group meetings, with a summary of the findings to be published in late 2016.

The process builds on a Blue Ribbon Commission launched in 2010 to study the waste issue…….

A Voluminous Problem

There are about 70,000 metric tons of spent fuel from power generation stored at operating and defunct commercial reactors and a small number of sites managed by the Department of Energy nationwide. Waste is usually stored in pools for about five years, and then moved to dry casks.

Illinois has the most reactors and waste sites of any state, with the decommissioning Zion reactor and six operating plants. About 2,200 metric tons of waste are being produced each year, and currently operating reactors will over their lifetime bring the total inventory to about 140,000 metric tons of spent fuel, according to the government.

In remarks delivered by video to the Chicago event, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz stressed that no specific sites for permanent or interim storage are currently being considered; rather the department is seeking input on how to construct a consent-based process to choose sites so waste can be removed from individual reactors…….

Some proposed creating a new entity or agency to carry out the process, since there is a “long history with DOE.”

Some compared the issue to genetically modified foods, worrying that “what people don’t know can hurt them,” as one group put it. They expressed concerns about trains, trucks and barges carrying nuclear waste through communities to storage sites. Some questioned whether new storage sites are necessary, and proposed turning reactor sites where waste is currently stored into interim sites.

“If it’s a safety issue, then why has it been safe to keep the nuclear waste there for as long as we have?” asked Gail Snyder, board president of the anti-nuclear group Nuclear Energy Information Service. “Don’t fall for an idea that this is unsafe to keep it where it is and now we have to move it. I would say it is unsafe, but it’s not going to be safer somewhere else.”

Speaking on a panel before the group discussions, environmental activist Kim Wasserman-Nieto stressed the need for a meaningful consent-based process, not a token one with a predetermined outcome……

John Kotek, DOE acting assistant secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy, said that the department plans to make grants to local governments, states, communities and tribal nations to participate in the consent-based siting process. He said the department has requested $25 million from Congress for such grants.

Meanwhile some attendees questioned whether a true consent-based siting process is possible and argued that no fully-informed communities would consent to hosting nuclear waste.

“It will be very hard to find communities that will be willing,” said Wasserman-Nieto. “We really need to stop the creation of this waste to avoid having these conversations every couple years.”

During the public comment period, Kevin Kamps, radioactive waste watchdog of the anti-nuclear organization Beyond Nuclear, argued that Native American leaders have been offered financial incentives in an effort to coerce them to accept radioactive waste.

“I begged and pleaded with the Blue Ribbon commission, do not target Native American tribes again for these dumps,” said Kamps. “This is an environmental injustice, this is radioactive racism.”

April 8, 2016 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists analyses outcome of The Nuclear Security Summit

The Nuclear Security Summit: Wins, losses, and draws, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Matthew Bunn, 8 APRIL 2016  The just-concluded fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit saw some serious progress, but also some missed opportunities.

On the progress side:

  • Enough states ratified the 2005 amendment to the physical protection convention to finally bring the amendment into force. That will provide a somewhat stronger legal foundation for nuclear security efforts – and will trigger a review conference that some hope could be a key new element of the nuclear security architecture.
  • China joined in the strengthening nuclear security implementation initiative, thereby committing to achieve the objectives of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) nuclear security recommendations and accept peer reviews of its nuclear security arrangements. Just after the summit ended India announced that it too is joining.
  • Japan and the United States removed hundreds of kilograms of weapon-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) from the Fast Critical Assembly in Japan, as promised at the last summit.  Japan also committed to eliminate the HEU at the critical assembly at Kyoto University.
  • States agreed to 18 new group commitments or “gift baskets,” on topics ranging from protecting against insider threats to replacing radiological sources with less dangerous technologies. Probably the most important of these was the commitment to create a “Nuclear Security Contact Group–a set of senior officials who will keep meeting on the margins of the IAEA General Conference, to keep at least moderately high-level attention focused on nuclear security.

On the missed opportunity side:

  • We still have no progress toward building a global commitment that all nuclear weapons and weapons-usable nuclear materials, wherever they may be, need to be secured against the full spectrum of plausible adversary threats. (See discussion inManaging the Atom’s new report.)
  • The communiqué, as expected, offers no firm new commitments (though it does more firmly establish the goal of continuous improvement in nuclear security). More disappointing, the “action plans” for five international institutions offer few steps beyond what those institutions are already doing–certainly less than is needed to fill the gap left by the end of the summit process.
  • Many of the gift baskets have few specifics or deadlines; how much they will actually do to accelerate progress toward their objectives remains unknown.
  • Many key countries – including Pakistan, Russia, and others – are still not participating in the initiative on strengthening nuclear security implementation that China and India joined.

The question now is: where do we go from here? ……….

April 8, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, safety | Leave a comment

European electricity association bemoans lack of competitiveness of nuclear energy

nukes-sad-Organizations call for positive EU leadership on nuclear, World Nuclear News, 08 April 2016  European electricity association Eurelectric has welcomed the European Commission’s recently published Nuclear Illustrative Program (PINC), but expressed regrets at its failure to address the issue of premature reactor closures due to market conditions. European nuclear industry association Foratom also called on the PINC to address the impact of market conditions on nuclear investments……..

 the organization’s secretary general, Hans ten Berge, said yesterday. “We however regret that the PINC document does not address the competitiveness of existing and technically well-functioning nuclear reactors, which, in some countries, are being forced to shut down due to the difficult market situation and distortive national policy measures,” he added.

The EC is mandated by the Euratom Treaty to issue periodically a new PINC report to indicate targets for nuclear production and the investments that will be needed to attain them. The latest report found that investment of between €350 billion ($399 billion) and €450 billion will be required over the next 35 years to maintain EU nuclear generating capacity at between 95 and 105 GWe. It is the first PINC to be published since the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan and includes investments related to post-Fukushima upgrades and the safe operation of existing nuclear facilities as well as new capacity…….

Eurelectric’s policy paper also called for an “improved regulatory framework” to help facilitate investment, and said Europe must find market-based solutions to reduce the investment risks associated with capital-intensive low-carbon energy projects including nuclear………

April 8, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Global nuclear security rules made more strict

Tighter global nuclear security rules to take effect in May More than 100 countries will have to meet higher standards on the protection of nuclear facilities and materials from next month, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Friday.

Nicaragua on Friday formally completed ratification of an amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, meaning enough states have ratified it for it to go into force, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.

“(The amendment) will help reduce the risk of a terrorist attack involving nuclear material, which could have catastrophic consequences,” IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said in a statement.

The convention was adopted by 152 countries a decade ago, and had to be ratified by two thirds of them to go into effect.

The amendment, intended to guarding against threats such as smuggling and sabotage, makes it legally binding for countries to protect nuclear facilities as well as the domestic use, storage and transportation of nuclear material.

It also provides for broader cooperation among countries on finding and recovering stolen or smuggled nuclear material.

The convention and amendment are only binding on countries that have ratified them, an IAEA spokesman said. Amano said last month more work was needed to make the requirement universal.

The United States, Russia, India, Pakistan and former Soviet republics including Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan are among the countries that have ratified the amendment, according to the IAEA. Those that have not include Iran and North Korea.

(Reporting by Francois Murphy; editing by Andrew Roche)

April 8, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety | Leave a comment

Lawyer Hiroyuki Kawai continues his lifelong fight to stop the nuclear industry

Lawyer continues 20-year campaign against nuclear power, Japan Today, By YURI KAGEYAMA and MARI YAMAGUCHI

Lawyer Hiroyuki Kawai stands out in Japan, a nation dominated by somber dark suits: When not in a courtroom, he often wears colorful shirts and crystal-covered animal pins. He is a Noh dancer, a tenor and, of late, a filmmaker. His motorbike is a Harley.

Some of it is just for fun, but much of the flamboyance is meant to draw attention to his cause: shutting down all nuclear plants in Japan. His more than two-decade-long legal battle is gaining momentum after the multiple meltdowns in Fukushima five years ago led to all plants being idled for safety checks.

In March, Kawai helped set up an organization to support Fukushima residents whose children have developed thyroid cancer since the 2011 disaster — 166 among 380,000 people 18 years and under who were tested, including suspected cases. That’s up to 50 times higher than on average, according to Toshihide Tsuda, a professor at Okayama University.

The Japanese government denies any link, saying the increase reflects more rigorous screening. Thyroid cancer, rare among children at two or three in a million, soared after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Also last month, Kawai’s team won a court injunction to stop two nuclear reactors in western Japan that had recently restarted. The district court cited concerns about safety, emergency planning and environmental contamination. One of the reactors was shut down shortly after its restart because of glitches. Both had met stricter standards upgraded after the 2011 disaster.

Kawai’s team is pursuing damage compensation for those evacuated from Fukushima, and criminal charges against former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the Fukushima plant. His ultimate goal is to banish nuclear power.

“If another nuclear accident ever happens in Japan, everything will be destroyed — turning upside down our politics, our economy, our education, our culture, our love, our law,” Kawai told The Associated Press, sitting at a desk overflowing with files and papers in his Tokyo office.

Born in 1944 in Manchuria, northeastern China, Kawaii has built a reputation as a champion of humanitarian causes, helping out Japanese abandoned as children in China after World War II, and Filipinos of Japanese descent in the Philippines. His compassion is driven partly by his own experience: A baby brother died of starvation during his family’s perilous journey back to Japan.

After graduating from prestigious Tokyo University, Kawai represented major corporations as a lawyer during the “bubble era” of the 1980s. In the mid-1990s he began taking on lawsuits against nuclear power.

Until 2011, he was fighting a losing battle………

“I think he is fantastic,” said Yurika Ayukawa, a professor of policy at Chiba University of Commerce. She attended at a recent screening where Kawai spoke and surprised the crowd by breaking into a song on Iitate, one of rural Fukushima’s most radiated areas.

Radiation is a sensitive issue in Japan, the only country to suffer atomic bomb attacks, and the Fukushima thyroid cancer patients and their families mostly have kept silent, fearing a social backlash. They face pressure from the hospital treating their children not to speak to media or to question the official view that the illnesses are unrelated to radiation.

Two of the patients’ families appeared recently with Kawai before reporters, although in a video-call with their faces not shown. They said they felt doubtful, afraid and isolated. Kawai believes they are entitled to compensation, though they have not yet filed a lawsuit.

George Fujita, an attorney who specializes in environmental issues, says Kawai is Japan’s top lawyer on nuclear lawsuits.

“It’s unusual for judges to watch a whole movie entered as evidence. It’s because the people are putting pressure on the courts,” he said.

Kawai admits that at times he been tempted to give up.

“I should never walk away. I must fight it out,” he said………..Online site for Kawai’s movie:

April 8, 2016 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear | 1 Comment

Renewable energy and new technologies undercutting price of nuclear power

Unable To Compete On Price, Nuclear Power On The Decline In The U.S. npr, 8 Apr 16 Renewable energy and new technologies that are making low-carbon power more reliable are growing rapidly in the U.S. Renewables are so cheap in some parts of the country that they’re undercutting the price of older sources of electricity such as nuclear power.

The impact has been significant on the nuclear industry, and a growing number of unprofitable reactors are shutting down……….

right from the start, people in the nuclear industry struggled with a big problem: cost. Making nuclear power cheap was the Holy Grail.

It never panned out. Nuclear plants keep coming in over-budget. And after the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011 — when three nuclear reactors melted down after an earthquake and tsunami hit — companies were forced to spend millions of dollars more on safety equipment to keep older plants operating.

“It would be very difficult for any company to make a decision to try to build a new nuclear plant,” says Mike Twomey, a spokesman for Entergy Nuclear,which runs nuclear power plants.Entergy has already taken one unprofitable reactor offline in Vermont and plans to close two more plants that are losing money in upstate New York and Massachusetts.

In all, 19 nuclear reactors are undergoing decommissioning, of which five have been shut down in the past decade, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The main reason behind the wave of closures is a new generation of cheap, gas-fired power plants that has pushed the wholesale price of electricity into the basement.

But Mycle Schneider, a nuclear industry analyst, says nuclear also faces growing price pressure from wind and solar. Renewable energy is so cheap in some parts of the U.S. that it’s even undercutting coal and natural gas.

“We are seeing really a radical shift in the competitive markets which leave nuclear power pretty much out in the rain,” Schneider says……..

even within the nuclear industry itself, a growing number of experts agree that the U.S. has reached a pivot point, where new nuclear power plants are just too expensive.

“We think that the costs of new nuclear right now are not competitive with other zero-carbon technologies, renewables and storage that we see in the marketplace,” says Joe Dominguez, executive vice president for governmental and regulatory affairs and public policy at Exelon, a nuclear power company that has announced plans to close one of its existing reactors in New Jersey.

Three other plants that are losing money in Illinois and upstate New York are also being reviewed for possible closure, Dominguez says.

“Right now we just don’t have any plans on the board to build any new reactors,” he says.

Companies like Exelon and Entergy hope state governments will agree to subsidize their existing reactors…….

April 8, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear split between Clinton and Sanders

USA election 2016New York nuclear plant’s future further divides Sanders and Clinton
Sanders says Indian Point facility is ‘a catastrophe waiting to happen’, but former New York senator says he’s late to the issue and site simply needs more oversight,
Guardian,  8 Apr 16.  The Indian Point Energy Center, a controversial and ageing nuclear plant near New York City, has split the Democratic presidential candidates .

As campaigning continued before the New York primary on 19 April, Bernie Sanders called the facility “a catastrophe waiting to happen”. Hillary Clinton said only that it needed more oversight.

A senior member of the Union of Concerned Scientists told the Guardian “the whole New York metropolitan area is potentially imperiled by an accident at Indian Point”.

Last week, the company that runs Indian Point revealed that 227 bolts holding the interior of a nuclear reactor at the site have “degraded” or gone missing. In February, the plant reported that a radioactive material, tritium, had leaked into groundwater.

The plant, about 40 miles north of midtown Manhattan on the eastern bank of the Hudson river, has a 40-year history of accidents, fires and complaints. Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered an investigation into February’s “unacceptable” leak. He has called for the plant to close.

“In my view, we cannot sit idly by and hope that the unthinkable will never happen,” Sanders said in a statement. “It makes no sense to me to continue to operate a decaying nuclear reactor within 25 miles of New York City where nearly 10 million people live.”

The Vermont senator elaborated on his stance, calling for the US to phase out nuclear plants along with more polluting resources such as fossil fuels.

“Nuclear power is and always has been a dangerous idea because there is no good way to store nuclear waste,” he said………

The disagreement between Sanders and Clinton mirrors their stances on fracking for natural gas. The senator has called for a ban, citing growing evidence that drilling causes earthquakes. The former secretary of state has called for intense regulation of the industry.

“I want the federal government to regulate much more toughly than we have in the past,” she said on Monday.

In 2014 Cuomo signed a law that banned fracking in New York.

April 8, 2016 Posted by | USA elections 2016 | Leave a comment

Steam generator dropped at French reactor

04 April 2016 A used steam generator was dropped within the reactor building of unit 2 of the Paluel nuclear power plant in France, operator EDF has informed the country’s nuclear regulator. The plant is currently offline for a maintenance outage, including replacement of all four steam generators……..

April 8, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Australian companies BHP Billiton and Wilson Security linked to Panama corruption papers

BHP Billiton And Wilson Security Linked To Panama Papers

04/04/2016. BHP Billiton, Wilson Security and a major electricity company in Australia are now targets of the Australian Tax Office, after leaked documents linked all three companies to a law firm in Panama and the British Virgin Islands.


Panama Papers: Australian companies BHP, Wilson security caught up in tax probe

April 5, 2016.  More than 800 wealthy Australians are being investigated by the Australian Taxation Office over their dealings with a secretive Panama-based law firm used by the rich to hide money.

BHP Billiton and a security firm that guards major government buildings are among hundreds of Australian names linked to a Panama law firm that helps the rich hide money. …

Four Corners claimed that BHP used Mossack Fonseca offices in the British Virgin Islands to register five companies linked to its aluminium, diamonds, steel and finance arms.


Panama Papers Update: Law Firm Mossack Fonseca Listed BHP Billiton’s Two British Virgin Islands Companies As ‘Mandatory High Risk’

April 4, 2016.  Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, which is at the center of a massive leak, assessed BHP Billiton Ltd.’s two companies in British Virgin Islands as “mandatory high risk” after the Anglo-Australian mining giant authorized the businesses to receive huge sums of money, the Guardian reported Monday. The exposé related to Mossack FonsecaSunday revealed widespread international corruption connected to offshore tax shelters.


The Panama Papers: BHP Billiton’s face-off with Mossack Fonseca

April 4, 2016. A financial representative for BHP Billiton threatened to fire notorious Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca if it went ahead with a due diligence investigation.


BHP-owned companies triggered ‘high risk’ alert at Panama law firm

April 4, 2016.  Mossack Fonseca flagged concerns about two of mining giant’s companies in British Virgin Islands because ‘authorised capital is higher than the norm’


Panama Papers: ATO investigating more than 800 Australian clients of Mossack Fonseca

April 4, 2016.  The Australian Taxation Office is investigating more than 800 high net wealth Australian clients of the controversial Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca, which is the focus of an unprecedented leak of tax haven records released globally.

More than 11.5 million documents have been leaked from Mossack Fonseca’s files, revealing the secrets of hundreds of thousands of clients – including several thousand Australians – covering a period over almost 40 years, from 1977 until as recently as last December.

The release of the documents on Monday follows a 12-month investigation by media groups including The Australian Financial Review, led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in Washington.


Australian companies, taxpayers exposed after Panama Papers leak

April 5, 2016. Australian companies BHP Billiton and Wilson Security are among those named in the massive document leak, detailing tax dealings of companies and people from around the world.

The cases are part of a leak of 11.5 million documents from Panama-based firm Mossack Fonseca, which reveals how the rich, including political leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, hide their money.


Australian companies BHP Bilton and Wilson Security among those named in Panama papers leak exposing the use of offshore tax havens

  • Australian Tax Office is investigating dealings of 800 high net individuals
  • It follows massive leak of Panama papers from law firm Mossack Fonseca
  • Secret documents show how law firm allegedly helped clients evade tax
  • Treasurer Scott Morrison says government is cracking on tax avoidance

The Australian Taxation Office is investigating more than 800 Australians after a massive leak of financial data revealed how 12 current or former world leaders, a host of celebrities and the global rich are using offshore tax havens to hide their wealth.

Australian-linked organisations and business leaders named in the huge leaks include BHP Billiton, Wilson Security, Gold Coast based company director Ian Taylor, and Hong Kong’s richest man and Australian energy market owner Li Ka-Shing, ABC’s Four Corners reports.

April 8, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

April 8 Energy News



¶ Britain will have too much electricity this summer due to the growth in wind and solar farms, National Grid has forecast. It could be forced to issue orders to power plants to switch off. Businesses will also be paid to shift their power demand to times when there is surplus electricity. []

National Grid said it was likely to have to pay wind farms to switch off at times of low power demand. Credit: Charlotte Graham/Rex National Grid said it was likely to have to pay wind farms to switch off at times of low power demand. Credit: Charlotte Graham/Rex

¶ Mercom Capital Group reported that corporate funding for the global solar sector has dropped to $2.8 billion in the first quarter of 2016, compared to $6.9 billion in the previous quarter. Residential and commercial solar funds for lease and Power Purchase Agreements remained strong. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Uruguay reduced power generation costs by 52% between 2013 and this year, saving $500 million at a time when demand for…

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April 8, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Panama files



The revelations from the Panama files of the law firmMossack Fonseca have been on the one hand shocking, yet on the other oh so predictable. It is a well known fact that a large chunk of the world’s capital exists in a sort of “dark matter” like state. We know its there, we can see its effects when the rich flaunt their wealth, but nobody can pin down where it is, so its widely assumed to be tied up in tax havens.

gfi - us assets in tax havensNote the data above based on a 2008 estimate, actual numbers may be much higher now.

Details are sketchy, but the estimate is that between $11.5 trillion and $20 trillion dollars is squirrelled away in tax havens, about 15% to 25% of the entire net worth of the global economy. That equals (or exceeds) the annual economic output of China. Its estimated that…

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April 8, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Massive amounts of radiation continue daily to enter Japan’s water and air, and the Pacific Ocean

Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen on Fukushima@5, Mar 7, 2016 (emphasis added): Massive amounts of radiation continue to enter Japan’s water and air, and the Pacific Ocean, daily… Due to its triple meltdowns and the unmitigable radioactive releases, Fukushima Daiichi will continue to bleed radiation into the Pacific Ocean for more than a century… There is no road map to follow with directions to stop the ongoing debacle…

Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen on KPFA, Mar 30, 2016: [Univ. of California] Berkeley’s nuclear program has been in the forefront of the pro-nuclear propaganda for decades, and since Fukushima has been aggressively downplaying the significance of it. So, whatever comes out of Berkeley, I just attribute to a very pro-nuclear faculty… [Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is] measuring 1,000 miles offshore [of the US West Coast] and… picking up 10 becquerels per cubic meter [Bq/m3]. At my point, that’s when my alarm bells go off is 10 [Bq/m3]… That plume is still coming, the Pacific is a huge place and to think that a disaster on the opposite side of the world can be detected and begin to contaminate California, I think that the monumental shattering conclusion [is] radiation knows no borders… So this ‘dilution is the solution to pollution’ is what I think Berkeley believes in. What you can be sure of is that somebody’s going to die from the radiation that’s in the Pacific, but you just won’t know who it is – and they’re counting on that. The nuclear establishment is saying, ‘Well, we can smear that out in a broader epidemiological study.’

Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen on CCTV, Apr 5, 2016: We’re looking at newspaper coverage from the last couple of weeks and it’s clear that the plant continues to hemorrhage.

Fairewinds Japan Speaking Tour Series No. 1, Feb 12, 2016:

  • Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen: [T]he Fukushima power plants… continues to bleed into the Pacific every day. But what no one is paying any attention to is that the entire mountain range that runs 100 miles up and down this coast is also contaminated. And as much radiation is pouring out… into the Pacific from the mountain range because it’s so contaminated, as from the Fukushima site… in fact, they’ve got an entire state pouring radiation into the Pacific. So what’s in the Pacific? Off of California, they’re finding radiation at what I would consider significant levels… in a cubic meter of ocean water, they’re finding 10 radioactive decays every second… So a cubic meter of water, if you’re in a dark room, would have 10 flashes of light every second, and that’s going to go on for 300 years. So we have contaminated the biggest source of water on the planet, and there’s no way to stop it.
  • Maggie Gundersen, founder of Fairewinds: So are you saying that the contaminated water problem is hopeless? Is there nothing we can do to slow it down?
  • Arnie Gundersen: It used to be that scientists believed dilution is the solution to pollution. But I think we’re finding with the biggest body of water on the planet, that you can’t dilute this stuff. And we’re going to begin to see this bio-accumulation, which is all the fish that are in the ocean are going to uptake the cesium and the strontium and become more and more and more radioactive

Interviews: KPFACCTV



April 8, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Radioactivity at buried tank up in Daiichi plant



The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says the level of radioactivity near one underground wastewater tank at the plant is more than 100 times earlier readings.

Tokyo Electric Power Company says the tanks were built 3 years ago to store highly radioactive wastewater produced within the crippled plant. But all of the tanks soon went out of use due to repeated leaks of contaminated water.

The utility pumped most of the water out of them, but has been checking radioactivity levels of groundwater near the tanks.

On Wednesday, equipment detected 8,100 becquerels of beta-ray-emitting radioactive substances per liter of water. On Thursday, it went up to 9,300 becquerels.

A week ago, the level was only 87 becquerels.

TEPCO says it doesn’t know why the sharp rise took place. It says some highly radioactive water remains in the tank, but it is isolated with waterproof measures.

TEPCO says it will continue to analyze groundwater samples around the tank, and also compare them with data on the contaminated water left in part of the tank.


Very pertinent comments and photos from Ray Masalas regarding  the said “buried tank”:

I see the Japanese media is once again lying to protect Tepco. These were not tanks. They were in ground pools with sloped sides that were dug on site, lined with thin poly and filled with highly radioactive water. {See pic below} With a lining as thick as 2 garbage bags they leaked into the ground fast. Whether they transfered these tons of radioactive water to steel tanks or not, I’ll leave up to you to believe or not believe. At the same time they were building enclosed concrete ditches running down the west hill to sea. From the flyover footage I’d guess that there were about a dozen of these pits up on the west hill.


Sept 013. One of the tanks they spoke of..jpg

Sept 013. One of the “tanks” they spoke of.

empty pits magically got lids..jpg

After they said that the transferred the radioactive water to steel tanks these empty pits magically got lids. My guess is that they dumped then refilled.

The enclosed concrete ditches running down to the sea were built at the same time. Dec 013.jpg

The enclosed concrete ditches running down to the sea were built at the same time. Dec 013

April 8, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment