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Pacific Island of Kiribati faces eventual inundation, as searises

A Remote Pacific Nation,Threatened by Rising Seas

Climate change is threatening the livelihoods of the people of tiny Kiribati, and even the island nation’s existence. The government is making plans for the island’s demise.
Kiribati 15
Text by MIKE IVES Photographs and video by JOSH HANERJULY 2, 2016“…..For years, scientists have been predicting that much of Kiribati may become uninhabitable within decades because of an onslaught of environmental problems linked to climate change. And for just as long, many here have paid little heed. But while scientists are reluctant to attribute any specific weather or tidal event to rising sea levels, the tidal surge last winter, known as a king tide, was a chilling wake-up call.

Pacific island nations are among the world’s most physically and economically vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather events like floods, earthquakes and tropical cyclones, the World Bank said in a 2013 report. While world powers have summit meetings to negotiate treaties on how to reduce and mitigate carbon emissions, residents of tiny Kiribati, a former British colony with 110,000 people, are debating how to respond before it is too late.

Much of Kiribati, a collection of 33 coral atolls and reef islands scattered across a swath of the Pacific Ocean about twice the size of Alaska, lies no higher than six feet above sea level. The latest climate models predict that the world’s oceans could rise five to six feet by 2100. The prospects of rising seas and intensifying storms “threaten the very existence and livelihoods of large segments of the population,” the government told the United Nations in a report last year. Half of the 6,500-person village of Bikenibeu, for instance, could be inundated by 2050 by sea-level rises and storm surges,according to a World Bank study.

The study lays out Kiribati’s future in apocalyptic detail. ……

a 2011 government-commissioned report cast doubt on whether the World Bank project helped Kiribati prepare for climate change. And while the mangroves and water management plans have helped, a 2014 study said the first round of sea walls, made of sandbags, had proved counterproductive and caused more erosion.

“Adaptation is just this long, ugly, hard slog,” said the study’s lead author, Simon Donner, a professor of geography at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. “The idea that an outside organization can just come in with money, expertise and ideas and implement something easily is naïve. What you need is consistent, long-term funding — the type of stuff that’s hard to pull off with development aid.”….

migration may become increasingly important. Mr. Tong said he hoped to prepare his people to move with job-training programs that would meet standards recognized in Australia and New Zealand. “The science of climate change is not 100 percent precise,” he said in the interview. “But we know without any argument that, in time, our people will have to relocate unless there are very, very significant resources committed to maintain the integrity of the land…..”http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/03/world/asia/climate-NYT, change-kiribati.html?

July 4, 2016 Posted by | climate change, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Russia to dominate Arctic with huge ice-breakers

Russia’s Latest Nuclear-Powered Icebreaker Extends Arctic Dominance, NBC News,  by ALEXEY EREMENKO MOSCOW, 3 July 16  — The Cold War may be long over, but there’s still the Arctic chill.

Russia floated its largest and most powerful nuclear-powered icebreaker last month, upping the ante in what is literally the coldest global gold rush.

The ice-smashing ship was Russia’s sixth reactor-driven polar vessel. The United States doesn’t have a single one.

Moscow’s dominance of the northern seas — courtesy of vast investments — has America and the West worried. Here’s why………http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/russia-s-latest-nuclear-powered-icebreaker-extends-arctic-dominance-n602381

July 4, 2016 Posted by | ARCTIC, politics international | Leave a comment

The painful, drawnout death of nuclear power in Illinois

nuke-plant-sadFlag-USAIn Illinois, the nuclear age comes creaking to a halt, St Louis Post Dispatch By the Editorial Board Jul 2, 2016   In the glory days of the late 1960s and early 1970s, when nuclear power generation held the promise of electricity “too cheap to meter,” Illinois jumped in with both feet. Fourteen nuclear generating plants were built at nine sites across the state. The 11 that remain provide half of the state’s electricity.

But now those plants are getting old. Like any piece of complex equipment, the older a nuclear station gets, the more it costs to operate and maintain. Exelon Corp., the multistate holding company based in Chicago that owns 23 reactors among its operations around the country, has announced plans to close three reactors at two sites in Illinois. Unless, of course, the state would like to bail it out.

Here’s a $34.5 billion company that earned $2.2 billion last year, operating monopoly utilities, that for two straight years tried to convince Illinois lawmakers to cover its losses. Exelon wanted permission to pass on an estimated $170 million in costs to taxpayers and ratepayers in each of the next six years. The idea’s not dead, but it’s on life support.

The Legislature and Gov. Bruce Rauner, a year into their staring match over the state’s budget crisis, are too busy to entertain Exelon’s request. The Republican governor generally supports it. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan calls it a bailout and opposes it. But it’s not like the state has a spare $170 million in its budget. If it had a budget.

 So Exelon is moving forward with plans to shut down the two reactors at its Quad Cities plant in Cordova in 2018 and the single reactor at its Clinton plant next year…..

with a worldwide energy glut caused in large part by abundant supplies of natural gas, and alternative energy getting cheaper, nuclear plants can’t compete.

Absent technological breakthroughs, the “nuclear miracle” is on ice. Bailing out Exelon would save those plants and their jobs for just a few more years. Even if Illinois had the money, the numbers just aren’t there to justify a long-term investment.http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/columns/the-platform/editorial-in-illinois-the-nuclear-age-comes-creaking-to-a/article_b8011ab3-baca-5e9b-870d-a3c8b9ec1350.html

July 4, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby strategy – teach the teachers how good nuclear power is

nuclear-teacherTeachers from two states go nuclear at educational summer institute, Augusta Chronicle By Mel Buckner
Guest Columnist Sunday, July 3, 2016 Twenty-nine teachers and guidance counselors saw nuclear technology in action during the Southeastern Summer Nuclear Institute, held June 15-17. They came from as far away as Acworth, Ga., and Greenville, S.C., to spend three days out of their summer vacation to learn more about nuclear energy and technology. And SSNI was just the ticket.
In addition, SSNI included a visit to Augusta University for an overview of nuclear medicine facilities and procedures.

In each case, career opportunities were discussed……In addition, the evening programs included a panel discussion of local educational opportunities, led by Mindy Mets, the nuclear workforce initiative program manager for the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization, and a challenging presentation by Capt. Kevin Byrne, commanding officer of the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command at the Navy Nuclear Power School.

The institute included a series of workshop sessions over the three days to emphasize atomic and nuclear fundamentals; power generation fundamentals; nuclear technology applications; risk (real vs. perceived); and nuclear workforce opportunities ……

Lodging (if needed) and meals were provided at the University of South Carolina Aiken along with free educational resources and teacher guides for classroom presentations. In addition, each participant received two $25 gift cards to help cover travel expenses.

SSNI IS LED BY Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness, a local nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide education and information on nuclear subjects for the public. Other sponsors include the American Nuclear Society – Savannah River and Columbia, AREVA, Atkins, Georgia Power Co./Plant Vogtle, SCE&G, SRSCRO, SUNRISE Universities, USC Aiken and the Aiken Rotary Club.

(The writer – a retired program manager from the Savannah River National Laboratory – is a member of the Citizens for Nuclear Technology  http://chronicle.augusta.com/opinion/opinion-columns/2016-07-03/teachers-two-states-go-nuclear-educational-summer-institute#

July 4, 2016 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research reports on Fukushima and the oceans

Fukushima and the oceans: What do we know, five years on?, Science Daily  June 30, 2016

Source:
Goldschmidt Conference
Summary:
A major international review of the state of the oceans five years after the Fukushima disaster shows that radiation levels are decreasing rapidly except in the harbor area close to the nuclear plant itself where ongoing releases remain a concern. At the same time, the review’s lead author expresses concern at the lack of ongoing support to continue the radiation assessment, which he says is vital to understand how the risks are changing.
These are the conclusions of a major 5 year review, with multi-international authors who are all working together as part of a Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) Working Group. The report is being presented at the Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Japan. The review paper is also published in Annual Review of Marine Science*. The main points made by the report are:…….

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160630214454.htm

 

July 4, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, oceans | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby funding education to promote nuclear power

nuclear-teacherKEPCO school expands education on nuclear power http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20160703000243 By Song Ji-won (jiwon.song@heraldcorp.com) 3 July 16 A graduate school run by the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. is expanding its education on nuclear power to foreign students.

Oh Se-kee, president of KEPCO International Nuclear Graduate School, or KINGS, visited Kenya in May to discuss nuclear issues in both countries and to reaffirm mutual cooperation. Oh also had a meeting with 10 Kenyan KINGS alumni who now work in their home country. KINGS offers a master degree program exclusively focusing on nuclear power studies. Since it opened in 2012, the school has stood as a global educational institution forming a wide ranging network, school officials said. It admits 80 students every year, half of them non-Koreans, from nuclear power-related businesses.

The school also signed a memorandum of understanding with various universities in the United States, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Egypt and Iran to produce nuclear power professionals. It has also made an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency to offer four-week training courses to countries seeking to build nuclear power plants. The Angolan ambassador to Korea recently visited the school in Ulsan to discuss a student exchange program.

“International demand in nuclear power plants will globally increase to reduce greenhouse gas emissions following the Paris Agreement,” Oh said.

“We aim to become the world’s best energy education institute and would like to produce leading professionals armed with expertise in power plants.”

July 4, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment