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South Africa’s govt coy about its secret nuclear deal with Russia

secret-dealsflag-S.Africaflag_RussiaGovt misses deadline to open up alleged Russian nuclear deal By  May 24, 2016 The government must respect the rules and commit to following the timeframes, leading environmentalists said after the state once again failed to submit answering affidavits in the court case regarding its nuclear energy agreement with Russia.

Earthlife SA and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (Safcei) claim that Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson acted unconstitutionally in not submitting the government’s nuclear deal with Russia to Parliament.

Following the Department of Energy (DoE) and Joemat-Pettersson’s failure to meet the original May 13 deadline to submit answering affidavits, the State Attorney on Monday said they could also not meet the 20 May Rule 30A notice deadline, a rule that prohibits further delays.

“Unfortunately the first and the second respondents are still not in a position to file answering affidavits and are still in the process of drafting same,” the State Attorney’s office said in a letter to the environmentalists on Monday.

“As already pointed out the respondents have difficulty in finalising their answering affidavits due inter alia to the bulk of the founding affidavit, as supplemented, the complexity of the application as well as the importance thereof for all parties concerned. The incomplete draft already runs to more than 200 pages.

“The first and the second respondents will endeavour to have their answering affidavits finalised in terms of the provisions of the notice … by Tuesday, 31 May 2016.”

Safcei spokesperson Liz McDaid said on Monday that “it is not unexpected that government once again fails to meet their own deadlines”.

“But what is of concern is that government lawyers are even not committing to the legal rule 30a notice deadline, but only going to ‘endeavour’ to meet it.

“If the country is to function as a democratic state under the rule of law, then the state must respect the rules and commit to following the timeframes, which are set out under the law,” she said.

In October last year, Earthlife Africa JHB and Safcei filed court papers challenging the constitutionality of the intergovernmental framework agreements the DoE signed with Russia, China, South Korea and the USA on the country’s planned nuclear development.

Safcei said it waited for Joemat-Pettersson to provide the records of the decisions that are being challenged. “In that period, Safcei and Earthlife Africa generously allowed the government extensions, which eventually meant that government only provided the requisite documents on February 16 2016.”

Legal documents indicate that South Africa did sign a nuclear deal with Russia, claim the environmentalists in their affidavit.

Here, they said “the Russian agreement was entered into unlawfully, but makes (an) internationally binding commitment to buy a fleet of nuclear reactors from Russia”.

From the state law adviser’s explanatory memorandum that was prepared in November 2013 but only revealed recently to Safcei/ELA, “it is evident that the Russian agreement is to build reactors and an enrichment plant”, the group said.

They said other subsequent agreements would “cover the details of how it is to be financed, not if it would go ahead”. The court case appears to be stalling the country’s bid to launch its request for proposals for the 9.6GW nuclear procurement programme. This was supposed to occur on April 1.

May 25, 2016 Posted by | Legal, South Africa | Leave a comment

Small Modular Nuclear reactor companies keen to sell their wares to UK

nuclear-marketing-craptext-SMRs38 companies express interest in building mini nuclear power station at Trawsfynydd, Wales Online,  24 MAY 2016  BY  , OWEN HUGHES 

The old nuclear power station site in Snowdonia could be the site for a new generation of nuclear power stations

  • A competition to develop a miniature nuclear power station at Trawsfynydd has attracted interest from 38 companies from around the world.

    Small modular reactors (SMRs) are reactors with an electricity output less than 300MW. They have been compared to the nuclear reactors that have been used to power submarines since the 1950s. All the Royal Navy’s submarines are powered by nuclear reactors.

    Last year the UK Government announced £250m funding over the next five years for nuclear research and development, including a competition to identify the best value SMR design for the UK…….

  • It is understood that they will be told in the coming weeks whether they have moved to the next phase.

    The Times has reported that among the companies interested in Trawsfynydd are US firm Bechtel, which has been signed up to build Wylfa Newydd.

    Other firms with a background in this type of reactor and understood to be interested are US firms NuScale and Westinghouse, China’s CNNC and a Korean consortium…….

  • A report by the Energy and Climate Change Committee has identified Trawsfynydd in Gwynedd – which is currently being decommissioned – as a potential site for a mini nuclear power plant……..

May 25, 2016 Posted by | marketing, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear programme could set south Africa back trillions of rand.


Kumi Naidoo explained that South Africa’s nuclear ambitions could set the country back trillions of rand. Natalie Malgas CAPE TOWN – Former Green Peace International Executive Director, Kumi Naidoo, has described government’s investment in nuclear energy as a “gross miscalculation which it can’t afford”.

Speaking at an energy conference in Cape Town yesterday, Naidoo explained South Africa’s nuclear ambitions could set the country back trillions of rand.

Naidoo added nuclear energy is not likely to solve the country’s power crisis.

“So, right now the price has increased to $1.5 trillion. We’re losing a lot of opportunity cost here. It will take us so much longer to actually get the energy that we need because it’s too expensive, compared to other forms of energy.”

May 25, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

USA’s nuclear power plants have experienced 10 perilous near misses

safety-symbol1Flag-USA10 Near Misses at U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Considered Precursors to a Meltdown  | May 24, 2016 Following the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Greenpeace USA released a new report Tuesday on the 166 near misses at U.S. nuclear power plants over the past decade. Of the incidents identified in Nuclear Near Misses: A Decade of Accident Precursors at U.S. Nuclear Plants, 10 are considered by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to be important precursors to a meltdown.

“Contrary to NRC commissioners’ claims, there is nothing safe about the nuclear reactors in the United States,” Greenpeace Nuclear Policy Analyst Jim Riccio said. “Thirty years after Chernobyl and five years after Fukushima, it is clear that these kinds of disasters could absolutely happen here. It is time for the NRC to listen to the whistleblowers within its own ranks and address these longstanding issues and vulnerabilities.”

In addition to the 163 accident precursors or near misses documented by the NRC, Greenpeace identified three significant near misses that NRC risk analysts failed to review under the agency’s Accident Sequence Precursor Program (ASP): the triple meltdown threat to Duke Energy’s Oconee Nuclear Station west of Greenville, South Carolina. According to NRC’s risk analysts, if nearby Jocassee Dam had failed, all three of the nuclear reactors at Oconee were certain to meltdown.

The report identified the following incidents as the top 10 near misses at nuclear plants between 2004-2014:

1. Browns Ferry 1 in Athens, Alabama: Residual heat removal loop unavailable; valve failure.

2. Wolf Creek in Burlington, Kansas: Multiple switchyard faults, reactor trip and loss of offsite power.

3. Robinson in Hartsville, South Carolina: Fire causes partial loss of offsite power & reactor coolant pump seal cooling challenges.

4. Fort Calhoun in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska: Fire in safety-related 480 volt electrical breaker due to deficient design control. 8 other breakers susceptible.

5. River Bend in St. Francisville, Louisiana. Loss of normal service water, circulating water and feedwater caused by electrical fault.

6. Oconee 1 in Seneca, South Carolina: Failure of Jocassee Dam would result in a meltdown.

7. Oconee 2 in Seneca, South Carolina: Failure of Jocassee Dam would result in a meltdown.

8. Oconee 3 in Seneca, South Carolina: Failure of Jocassee Dam would result in a meltdown.

9. North Anna 1 in Mineral, Virginia: Dual loss of offsite power caused by earthquake AFW pump out of service & failure of Unit 2 EDG.

10. Byron 2 in Byron, Illinois: Transformer & breaker failures cause Loss of Off Site Power, reactor trip and de-energizing of safety buses.

“If the NRC can’t even accurately track near meltdowns why should the public have any confidence that they can prevent them? It’s time to retire these dangerous nuclear plants and end the nuclear era once and for all,” Riccio concluded.

May 25, 2016 Posted by | incidents, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

USA desperately wants to market nuclear power to India

nuclear-marketing-crapFlag-USAflag-india U.S. official says India has addressed nuclear concerns, May 24, 2016 Reuters  WASHINGTON | BY PATRICIA ZENGERLE A U.S. State Department official assured lawmakers on Tuesday that India has addressed concerns over liability that had for years kept U.S. corporations from signing nuclear power contracts in the country.

“We believe that the steps that India has taken have addressed by and large the key concerns that have been in place,” Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

She also said the United States supported India joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a 48-member group of nuclear trading nations.

India wants to increase its nuclear energy capacity dramatically………

ndia was shut out of the nuclear trade for decades because of its weapons program. A 2008 agreement with the United States gave it access to foreign suppliers without giving up arms primarily meant as a deterrent against nuclear-armed China.

But hopes that U.S. nuclear reactor manufacturers would get billions of dollars of new business evaporated after India adopted a law in 2010 giving the state-run Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL) the right to seek damages from suppliers in the event of an accident.

Biswal declined to say that all U.S. companies would now be comfortable doing business in India. “Those are going to be individual determinations that companies are going to have to make,” she said.

Some companies are moving into the market. The chief executive of Toshiba Corp’s Westinghouse Electric said in March he expected to sign a deal in June to build six nuclear reactors in India.

Senator Edward Markey questioned Biswal on whether India had met the requirements to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which is dedicated to curbing nuclear arms proliferation by controlling the export and re-transfer of materials that could foster nuclear weapons development.

Diplomats quietly launched a new push last year to induct India into the group, which would carry the risk of antagonizing Pakistan as well as its ally, China. Beijing could veto any application by India.

Biswal said the United States backs India.

May 25, 2016 Posted by | India, marketing, USA | Leave a comment

China wants to market nuclear power to Sudan

nuclear-marketing-crapChina’s CNNC Seeking to Build Sudan’s First Nuclear Reactor    sstapczynski   May 24, 2016 

  • State-owned CNNC signs deal with Sudan’s electricity ministry
  • Sudan said last year it aims to begin building reactor by 2021
  • China National Nuclear Corp. agreed with Sudan to build the African nation’s first atomic reactor, China’s latest effort to expand its nuclear technology footprint abroad.

    A framework agreement between the two countries was signed Monday during a three-day visit to Sudan by Nur Bekri, director of China’s National Energy Administration, according to Xinhua News Agency. CNNC also signed a cooperation agreement with Sudan’s Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity, according to the People’ Daily.

    China is seeking wider acceptance for its atomic technology and expertise amid a global call for cleaner energy. The country plans to export about 30 homegrown nuclear units by 2030, CNNC Chairman Sun Qin said in March, according to China Daily.

     “The agreement is a step forward for China’s grand ‘One Belt, One Road’ plan to export technology, including nuclear power and high-speed railway technologies, to African and European nations,” Shi Yan, a Shanghai-based analyst at UOB-Kay Hian, said by phone. “China can provide both technological and financial support for developing nuclear power projects.”
  • CNNC has plans to build reactors in Argentina and Pakistan, while China General Nuclear Power Corp. is aiming for its own project in Kenya. CGN and Electricite de France SA signed an accord in October to build three reactors in the U.K., including the Hinkley Point plant in southwest England and a Chinese-developed reactor at Bradwell.

    Sudan aims to begin building its first nuclear reactor in 2021 and start commercial operations by 2027, according to a government presentation last year for the International Atomic Energy Agency. The country is seeking to build two 600-megawatt pressurized water reactors, it said in the presentation.

    With its current power capacity of roughly 3,025 megawatts, nuclear power will help it meet demand that is expected to swell to 8,500 megawatts by 2031, it said.

May 25, 2016 Posted by | ASIA, China, marketing | Leave a comment

USA wants to market nuclear power to Vietnam

nuclear-marketing-crapFlag-USAEnhancing U.S.-Vietnam Civil Nuclear Clean Energy Cooperation “…… Earlier this month, the United States and Vietnam signed the Administrative Arrangement under our historic agreement on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy (123 Agreement), which initially opened the door to nuclear trade between our two countries in 2014.

 To further build on this robust cooperation in the civil nuclear field, the United States and Vietnam aim to:

Build Institutional Connections: Continue reading

May 25, 2016 Posted by | marketing, USA, Vietnam | Leave a comment