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Expanding EnergyFuels Uranium Mine Impact by 41.8 Acres Is Unnecessary Degradation of US Public Lands; Health-Environmental Hazard, Comment to BLM Deadline Monday

Mining Awareness +

On US Public Land: to be destroyed by a Canadian uranium mining company, probably to fuel South Korean Nuclear Reactors. The Swedish Lundin family seems also involved. The US government doesn’t get royalties under the 1872 mining law. This is the same company trying to mine near the Grand Canyon.
BLM Att L Daneros uranium mine site
https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/projects/nepa/54345/75288/83021/Att_L_-_Biological_Survey_Information.pdf
Energy Fuels is a Canadian Mining Company. Its largest purchaser of uranium has been South Korea: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/attempt-by-canadian-miner-to-expand-uranium-mine-on-us-public-land-near-natural-bridges-national-monument-comment-deadline-monday-1st-august/
Comment here: https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=dispatchToPatternPage&currentPageId=71596 or here: http://grandcanyontrust.nonprofitsoapbox.com/daneros

The 2009 MPO provided for a total of 4.5 acres of surface disturbance,… The additional disturbance proposed by this MPOM is 41.8 acres, which would bring the total disturbance to 46.3 acres.” (US BLM-EA-May 2016)

This Daneros proposal for uranium mining expansion is for a low grade ore. Approximately 99.76% IS WASTE-WASTE ROCK. The ore has an average grade of 0.28% U3O8 and approximately 0.24% uranium: http://www.wise-uranium.org/upusaut.html Compare to Cigar Lake uranium…

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July 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Turkey: Media Shut Down, Journalists Detained – State of Emergency Crackdown Accelerates

Mining Awareness +

By Human Rights Watch:
“JULY 28, 2016 10:36AM EDT
Turkey: Media Shut Down, Journalists Detained
State of Emergency Crackdown Accelerates

(Istanbul) – The Turkish government’s news media shutdown shows how the State of Emergency law is being used to deny the right to free speech beyond any legitimate aim of upholding public order today. The government ordered 131 newspapers, news agencies, publishers, television, and radio stations to close down.

The decree (no. 668) ordering the closures, published in the Official Gazette on July 27, 2016, comes after prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 89 journalists, media workers, and executives over two days. The closures and detentions demonstrate an accelerated campaign against media the government identifies as supportive of the Fethullah Gülen movement, which it blames for the violent coup attempt in Turkey on July 15.

“The government crackdown is on media outlets and journalists it accuses of being linked to the…

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July 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hothouse 2090: Category 6 Hurricane A Grey Swansong For Tampa

robertscribbler

Tampa. 2090. Late September.

The stiff wind running off the Gulf of Mexico felt like a blast furnace. Ocean surface temperatures near 100 degrees Fahrenheit; air temperatures of 113 F, high humidity, and a smell like rotten eggs added to the overall insufferability. Unpleasant was a better word from a better time. Mere unpleasantness had long since fallen away before the new deadly edge that Nature had adopted.

Tampa’s streets were packed with vehicles but featured only the rare transient foot and bike traffic. Just 15 minutes’ exposure to the brutal four p.m. heat and humidity could swiftly result in heat stroke as a body’s natural cooling systems were overwhelmed by conditions no human physiology could for long endure. The city had long since grown accustomed to the warnings. Anyone wanting to stay healthy remained indoors, huddling close to the blessed vents blasting machine-cooled, filtered air.

In the heat-scorched streets, elevated many times over…

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July 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TEPCO to seek gov’t assistance in decommissioning Fukushima nuke plant

2016nuclear_article_main_image.jpg

 

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) Holdings, Inc. is set to ask the national government for financial assistance in decommissioning the disaster-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, company officials said.

The company will also seek consultations with the government over how it should foot the costs of paying compensation to those affected by the nuclear crisis and decontaminating areas affected by radioactive substances from the power station.

TEPCO Holdings has deemed that it cannot secure enough funds to fully cover these costs through its own efforts alone since the expenses are increasingly likely to surpass its estimates.

The utility has secured approximately 1 trillion yen to cover the expenses of decommissioning the crippled power plant and planned to raise another 1 trillion yen. However, it is expected to take the company 30 to 40 years to decommission the plant and deal with the aftermath of the crisis. Moreover, it has been pointed out that the actual decommissioning costs will far surpass 2 trillion yen.

At a news conference on July 28, Fumio Sudo, chairman of TEPCO Holdings, expressed fear that the company will face increased costs of shutting down the plant, pointing out that the decommission project is “work that nobody in the world has experienced.”

The utility currently pays compensation and covers the costs of decontamination work by borrowing money from the state through the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decontamination Facilitation Corp.

However, the amount of compensation that the utility has so far paid has already reached 6 trillion yen, surpassing the 5.4 trillion yen initial plan. Moreover, decontamination costs are also expected to surpass 2.5 trillion yen as originally planned.

There are no prospects that operations at TEPCO’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant in Niigata Prefecture, which would help increase the company’s profits, will be resumed in the foreseeable future. Moreover, TEPCO has faced intensifying competition in the electric power market as the retailing of power was fully liberalized in April. Under these circumstances, TEPCO Holdings is expected to ask the government to provide the firm with an infusion of public funds among other financial aid.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160729/p2a/00m/0na/012000c

July 29, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Unit 2 Muon Scan Inconclusive

u2_muon_7_2016_3.jpg

 

TEPCO and IRID released a set of reports on the muon scan of unit 2, as a follow up report to the June preliminary scan results.

Tepco makes an assertion in the new report that the majority of the melted fuel is present in the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel but that assertion is quite questionable upon further review of the reports.

To justify the assertion that most of the fuel is in the bottom of the RPV, Tepco uses a close view of the actual scan output. Viewed without the wider view it seems there must be some fuel in the bottom of the RPV and there probably is.

When you look at the same image with the entire scan view, the black area inside the RPV becomes less conclusive. This black band reaches far beyond containment and matches an area of interference documented on the earlier reviews of the scans.

TEPCO also goes on to make an estimate of fuel volume in the lower portion of the RPV based on these questionable images. They do not provide any justification for how they take the black spots in the image of the lower RPV and translate that to tons of melted materials and fuel.

Existing meltdown literature and findings expect some amount of fuel residue to exist in the bottom of the RPV even if the bottom of the RPV fails.

Both scans of unit 2′s vessel showed little remaining in the core region.

At this point the scans are inconclusive either way on the question of fuel in the bottom of the RPV.

Sources:

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160729/p2g/00m/0dm/022000c

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201607290050.html

http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=15637

https://youtu.be/tswvsQ8Zc7M

July 29, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

New Kagoshima governor to seek suspension of Sendai reactors

n-kagoshima-a-20160729.jpg

KAGOSHIMA – Newly elected Kagoshima Gov. Satoshi Mitazono said Thursday he will seek a temporary halt on active nuclear reactors in the prefecture, currently the only ones working nationwide.

“There are concerns over nuclear power plants following the Kumamoto earthquakes,” Mitazono said of the April disaster.

He was speaking in his first news conference since becoming governor. He was elected on an anti-nuclear ticket.

Mitazono added that Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai plant should be “halted once, to conduct checks and reviews again.”

The No. 1 reactor at the Sendai plant is scheduled to go offline for routine checks on Oct. 6, but Mitazono may submit his request for a suspension as early as August.

The No. 1 and No. 2 units at the plant resumed operation last year in August and October, respectively, becoming the first two reactors to be brought back online under stricter safety rules imposed after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

No other reactors are currently online in Japan amid lingering public fears over safety. Some are subject to court injunctions, but others are gearing up for a restart.

The governor is not authorized to stop the operation of reactors, but a safety accord reached between the prefectural government and the plant operator allows local government officials to enter the plant to confirm whether safety steps are being taken.

Kyushu Electric Power is likely to insist that Sendai is safe.

In the July 10 gubernatorial election, 58-year-old Mitazono, a former TV Asahi Corp. commentator, defeated previous Gov. Yuichiro Ito, 68, who was seeking his fourth four-year term with the support of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner, Komeito.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/07/28/national/new-kagoshima-governor-seek-suspension-sendai-reactors/

July 29, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

This week’s nuclear news

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

CLIMATE. Accuracy of climate modelling in predicting ocean and atmospheric warming. Hottest year on record – 2016 shaping up to be that. Climate Change, Drought Fan Massive Sand Fire, Forcing 20,000 Californians to Flee. USA’s African Methodist Episcopal church speaks out on climate change. Heatwave deaths linked to climate change. World’s climate endangered by Russia’s wildfires.

 Climate change will drive voter turnout in America. Climate change a focus for the USA Democrats election policy.

Costs of European wind energy dropped.: wind in Europe now cheaper than nuclear power. Solar energy on track to become the cheapest power globally.

NUCLEAR

Record 11 year low for uranium price.

USA.

UK.  EDF approved UK Hinkley nuclear project, but now there’s a new delay.   Like Brexit, UK’s Hinkley nuclear plan is based on shaky politics, not on economic reality.  UK proposal to offer subsidy contracts to Russia, China and South Korea to build nuclear power stations!

Future of UK’s Bradwell and Sizewell nuclear projects now in doubt as government to review Hinkley plan. Report questions value of new nuclear projects in Wales compared with renewables.  Cost of Hitachi nuclear plant for North Wales is far too high.

 Rail transport of nuclear wastes across North Wales is opposed by residents.  Despite Brexit, Swedish energy company Vattenfall commits to £300m UK offshore windfarm.

TURKEY. B61 thermonuclear warheads in Turkey – a worry in the light of coup attempt.

JAPAN. Radioactive cesium stays for 3 years in bodies of Fukushima nuclear clean-up workers. TEPCO admits that ice wall will not stop groundwater from entering crippled Fukushima Daiichi reactor buildings.  Japan Atomic Energy Agency again fails to do safety tests at Monju fast-breeder nuclear reactorCitizen science takes on Japan’s nuclear establishment. Japan business lobby says Abe govt can’t rely on nuclear energy.

FRANCE. EDF board member resigns, attacking Hinkley Point nuclear project as financially ‘risky’. French government propping up nuclear company EDF with a cash boost.

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa’s nuclear company Eskom urging government to freeze renewable energy program.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. South Korea in charge of nuclear power system in United Arab Emirates.

POLAND‘s restrictive new law hampers wind energy development.

NORTH KOREA‘s nuclear weapons not able to reach Britain

July 29, 2016 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on nuclear weapons

atomic-bomb-lUSA election 2016How Close Are We to Nuclear War? By William Boardman Global Research, July 28, 2016 And what might we expect from the next American President?

“……….Republican Donald Trump seems to have published no formal policy on nuclear weapons or foreign policy. In interviews, Trump has indicated a dislike of nuclear proliferation, but has also said it’s probably “going to happen anyway,” and maybe the U.S. “may very well be better off” if countries like Saudi Arabia, Japan, and South Korea had their own nuclear weapons. He implied a willingness to use nuclear weapons against the Islamic State, or even in Europe under undefined circumstances: “I’m not going to take it off the table.” He also told the New York Times on July 20 that if Russia, for no particular reason, attacked one of the Baltic states, he’d want to make sure that they “have fulfilled their obligations to us” before coming to their defense. He did not address the U.S. treaty obligations under NATO. He has called for re-negotiating treaties that he says are too expensive for the U.S. But, in an odd and perhaps inadvertent way, his answer on the Baltic states speaks indirectly to the 20-year madness of putting Russia’s neighboring countries into the hostile NATO alliance. Trump has also spoken of pulling back forward deployments of American forces around the world, including elements of nuclear deterrence.

Democrat Hillary Clinton has called Trump’s positions “truly scary.” Clinton has indicated her willingness to use nuclear weapons – “massive retaliation” – against Iran in defense of Israel. She has expressed but limited support and limited opposition to the Obama administration plan to spend $1 trillion upgrading the U.S. nuclear arsenal. In an ad falsely claiming she was responsible for “securing a massive reduction in nuclear weapons,” Clinton has over-stated the impact of the new START treaty, which has been minimal in reducing nuclear weapons. As Secretary of State, Clinton appointed an utterly unqualified political donor to the International Security Advisory Board dealing with nuclear weapons. Clinton, like Trump, seems to have published no formal foreign policy on nuclear weapons of foreign policy. She has opposed the idea of Japan having its own nuclear arsenal, while at the same time falsely saying Trump “encouraged” the idea.

Where is the candidate who speaks truthfully of reality?………..

Those who don’t speak up are complicit in silence

In 1996, Secretary of Defense William J. Perry was the only member of President Clinton’s cabinet who got it right, including the President himself. Perry was the only cabinet member who opposed enlarging NATO with former Soviet bloc countries. Perry was the only cabinet member then, and perhaps since, to object to the American policy of steady, stealthy, soft aggression against Russia (including the Ukraine coup) that would lead inevitably to direct confrontation between the world’s largest nuclear weapons states. Perry has called for radical change in the U.S. nuclear force structure consistent with actual deterrence, actual defense, not aggressive war. He would reduce the nuclear triad (about which Trump apparently knew nothing last October), keeping only the sea-based missiles in nuclear submarines and eliminating nuclear bombers and nuclear missiles. This would save millions of dollars and reduce the risk of accidental nuclear war. But it is heresy among the believers in faith-based nuclear policy.

And yet, in an election year, “no one is discussing the major issues that trouble Perry,” as Jerry Brown wrote: “And why does most all of official Washington disagree with him and live in nuclear denial?” In January 2016, while promoting his book, Perry wrote:

What I am really advocating is not so much a particular force structure, but a serious national discussion on this issue, the outcome of which has hugely important security and financial consequences — for the U.S. and for the world. Considering the huge costs entailed, and, even more importantly, the transcendental security issues at stake, we must not simply drift into a decision….

And yet the country drifts on, blissfully unaware, and it’s a mystery why a man as accomplished and respected as Perry has not done more to wake the country out of its sleepwalking incomprehension. But it may be a tragedy that we have neither a President nor a would-be President who would or could confront our potentially fatal collective denial.

William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. http://www.globalresearch.ca/how-close-are-we-to-nuclear-war/5538453

July 29, 2016 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Climate change will drive voter turnout in America

climate-changeUSA election 2016DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION: Steyer: Climate change will drive voter turnout EE News Evan Lehmann, E&E reporter ClimateWire: Tuesday, July 26, 2016 PHILADELPHIA — Billionaire climate advocate Tom Steyer believes young Americans will cast more votes this year based on rising temperatures than in past presidential elections.

In an interview with ClimateWire last night, the founder of NextGen Climate also downplayed the idea of placing a price on carbon dioxide and dismissed the notion of swapping the Clean Power Plan for a carbon tax.

That’s a huge wedge issue,” Steyer said of young voters’ concern about climate change. “I think it’s a critical issue as to whether they turn out.”

NextGen is spending more than $25 million to encourage millennials to vote in November. Young adults currently account for the largest and most diverse population in the United States, and Steyer believes that could help Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump on Nov. 8.

Separately, Steyer’s group is partnering with five different unions to canvass working-class and minority neighborhoods, where the issue of climate change could help compel young voters to turn out this fall. Large percentages of African Americans and Latinos believe that global warming is occurring, and Steyer’s group is trying to turn those concerns into electoral action.

We’re spending a lot of time trying to do voter-to-voter contact in the swing states, trying to make sure they are aware of the facts, know the difference between the candidates and know how important their vote is,” Steyer said.

Inside the Wells Fargo Center last night, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and other speakers raised their own concerns about climbing temperatures on the first day of the Democratic National Convention.

“This election is about climate change, the greatest environmental crisis facing our planet,” Sanders told the audience packing the basketball arena.

“Hillary Clinton is listening to the scientists who tell us that — unless we act boldly and transform our energy system in the very near future — there will be more drought, more floods, more acidification of the oceans, more rising sea levels. She understands that when we do that, we can create hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs,” he said. “Donald Trump? Well, like most Republicans, he chooses to reject science. He believes that climate change is a ‘hoax,’ no need to address it.”

Trump aims for Bernie supporters

Last night’s program also included a short video on climate change and its impact on the Everglades.

“The effects of climate change can no longer be ignored,” the narrator in the video said, noting that warming threatens seagrass and mangroves in the Everglades, which absorb carbon. It touted the Obama administration’s $2.2 billion funding for restoration of the Everglades, which among other things will help improve the local drinking water supply.

The video was followed by a speech from Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), the lone senator to endorse Sanders during the presidential primary campaign. He said Sanders “emboldened us” to push for 100 percent renewables but added, “We need to fight together with Bernie and Hillary.”…..Reporters Josh Kurtz, George Cahlink and Mike Soraghan contributed. http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060040774

July 29, 2016 Posted by | USA elections 2016 | Leave a comment

New York Times continues to ignore the renewable energy revolution, and talk up nuclear

you’d never know any of this big picture once-in-a-century transformation from reading the New York Times, which just continues to write article after article that misses the forest for the trees.

the clean energy revolution means other low-carbon or zero-carbon technologies that haven’t reached the point of exponential growth — and that are not experiencing learning curve improvements in cost and performance — are very likely to fall further and further behind. That is where nuclear power finds itself. As do hydrogen fuel cell cars.

It also means that the electric grid in particular will go through some growing pains as it starts to integrate renewables at a faster pace than anybody thought possible just a few years ago. The Times, bizarrely, has chosen to publish article after article over-emphasizing and indeed exaggerating those growing pains, while projecting a future for nuclear power that currently doesn’t exist

media-propagandaNuclear Power Advocates Claim Cheap Renewable Energy Is A Bad Thing, Climate Progress BY JOE ROMM JUL 28, 2016 Nuclear power advocates are trying a new line of attack on solar and wind energy — it’s too darn cheap!

In the real world, however, the unexpectedly rapid drop in the price of cleantech, especially renewable power and batteries, is a doubly miraculous game-changer that is already cutting greenhouse gas emissions globally and dramatically increasing the chances we can avoid catastrophic climate change.

As I detailed on Monday, the New York Times in particular keeps running slanted articles talking up nuclear and talking down renewables — articles that totally miss the forest for the trees. That culminated in a truly absurd piece last week, “How Renewable Energy Is Blowing Climate Change Efforts Off Course,” which is the exact opposite of reality, as Goldman Sachs has detailed in its recent reports on “The Low Carbon Economy.”

This post will focus primarily on the big picture, the forest. I will deal in later posts with a few of the more interesting trees, such as whether, the U.S. should consider give existing nukes some sort of short-term carbon credit so they are not shut down prematurely and replaced by natural gas.

The big picture reality of the clean energy revolution

The big picture reality is this: The world is finally starting to take some serious action to avoid catastrophic climate change, which means first the electric grid will decarbonize, and then the transportation system. That means global coal use peaks or plateaus first — and then oil does. Continue reading

July 29, 2016 Posted by | media, USA | Leave a comment

Future of UK’s Bradwell and Sizewell nuclear projects now in doubt as government to review Hinkley plan

questionflag-UKBradwell & Sizewell futures unclear after delayed Hinkley decision http://www.itv.com/news/anglia/story/2016-07-28/bradwell-sizewell-futures-unclear-after-delayed-hinkley-decision/

A late move by the government to review all of the component parts of the proposed nuclear power deal in the region has cast doubt that it will go ahead in its current form.

The French Energy giant EDF has agreed to fund a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset which was expected to pave the way for new plants to be constructed at Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex.

In a dramatic twist though, the Government says it now won’t decide whether to proceed with the projects until the autumn.

The £18 billion Hinkley project is “on ice” to allow the prime minister Theresa May to “make up her mind”, ITV News understands.

July 29, 2016 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

EDF approved UK Hinkley nuclear project, but now there’s a new delay

text Hinkley cancelledflag-UKHinkley nuclear plant faces fresh delay after EDF approves investment, Ft.com 28 July 16
Ministers announce new review immediately after EDF gives green light to £18bn project  
The plan to build an £18bn nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point was hit with a last-gasp delay on Thursday night as the government decided to hold a new review hours after EDF, the project’s French developer, gave it the go-ahead.

Greg Clark, the business and energy secretary, announced that ministers would once more review the project almost immediately after the EDF board had narrowly voted to approve the scheme.

He said: “The UK needs a reliable and secure energy supply and the government believes that nuclear energy is an important part of the mix. The government will now consider carefully all the component parts of this project and make its decision in the early autumn.”

 Successive British governments have supported the scheme but Theresa May, the new prime minister, has never given it her personal backing. Mrs May met François Hollande, the French president, last week, and the pair discussed the project.

One person said the scheme was expected to proceed after the review but the fresh delay had been a surprise.

The news came after EDF had given the go-ahead for the UK’s first nuclear power plant in 20 years, approving the Hinkley Point scheme at a board meeting on Thursday.

Directors approved the long-delayed project during a meeting in Paris. But opposition from within the company was underlined by the resignation in protest of a board member as the meeting started. The board was more divided than had been expected…….

critics say the project could also risk the financial future of EDF, the highly indebted French utility, whose chief financial officer Thomas Piquemal quit in March, warning that its future was being put in danger by Hinkley Point.

The scheme has been subject to multiple delays and budget revisions since first being proposed in the mid-2000s as part of what Tony Blair’s government promised would be a “nuclear renaissance” for the UK.

New reactors are also being planned in north Wales and in Cumbria, while EDF wants to help develop two sites after Hinkley Point — at Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex.

EDF had hoped to take the final investment decision earlier this year but it was postponed amid growing opposition from board members and executives.

That opposition persisted until the end, despite the company’s decision to push ahead with the scheme. As the meeting got under way, Gérard Magnin quit as a state representative on EDF’s board, calling the company’s nuclear strategy “highly risky”.

In the end, the vote was carried by 10 to 7. It was closer than expected, with all six union representatives and one shareholder representative voting against the measure.

Ministers in the UK must now give their final sign-off to the scheme, having already agreed to pay £92.50 — double the current wholesale price — for each megawatt hour of electricity it produces for 35 years………https://next.ft.com/content/181077e2-54dc-11e6-befd-2fc0c26b3c60

July 29, 2016 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

EDF board member resigns, attacking Hinkley Point nuclear project as financially ‘risky’

Telegraph.co.uk -26 July 16

A board member of EDF has quit ahead of its meeting to approve the Hinkley Point nuclear plant, calling the project “very risky” and suggesting it could drag the French utility giant into an “abyss”. The resignation of Gerard Magnin, who was proposed (subscribers only) 

July 29, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Like Brexit, UK’s Hinkley nuclear plan is based on shaky politics, not on economic reality

Areva, the French state-owned company which makes the reactors, is being taken over by EDF but it is being investigated by France’s Nuclear Safety Authority over “irregularities” in 400 parts. Areva also faces a state aid investigation.

white_elephant_LondonEven many of the staff inside EDF think Hinkley is a colossal white elephant. The company’s unions, who are represented on the board, fear the project will sink the company and have started legal action to delay the decision, while its finance director resigned in March.

For Hinkley, as with Brexit itself, political chicanery has triumphed over economic reality.


Hinkley’s nuclear plant fails all tests – bar the politics
 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2016/jul/28/hinkley-point-c-nuclear-plant-fails-all-tests-bar-the-politics

Huge, expensive and difficult to build, Hinkley is a throwback to the last century, just as the world is embracing the smart energy systems of the future, Guardian, , 29 July 16  The new nuclear reactors now given the go-ahead at Hinkley Point have failed every test bar the one that finally mattered – political expediency.

The plant, to be paid for by UK energy customers, could cost them £37bn and is a leading contender for the most expensive object ever built on the face of the Earth. A former Conservative energy secretary calls it “one of the worst deals ever” for Britain.

It faces formidable commercial, technical and legal obstacles to getting built remotely on time or budget, or indeed at all. And while the rest of the world is accelerating ahead with the smart energy systems of the 21st century, Hinkley is a throwback to the nuclear age of the 20th.

Hinkley plan

But the French government, which majority-owns Hinkley’s builders EDF, wants to preserve its national nuclear industry. The UK government, blinded by the dazzle of a mega-project, is happy to let its citizens pick up the bill.

It has taken almost a decade to get to this point. In 2007, EDF said British Christmas turkeys would be being roasted with its nuclear electricity in 2017. The earliest possible switch-on now is 2026, another decade away.

What is scary is that reaching the final decision to go ahead was the easy bit. Now they have to deliver a giant and fiendishly complex construction project, described by one nuclear engineer as like “building a cathedral within a cathedral”, that is, “unconstructable”.

EDF has never managed to build the types of reactors intended for Hinkley. Its two attempts so far, in France and Finland, remain many years behind schedule and many billions over budget. Perhaps they are hoping for third time lucky.

UK nuclear power generation is £27.5 more expensive per MWh than that generated by gas power plants

Yet the commercial foundations for this engineering miracle are incredibly shaky. EDF is on the ropes financially and had to be given a €3bn bailout in April by the French government. That may well be challenged under EU state aid rules, which would join an ongoing state aid legal case brought by Austria against UK subsidies for Hinkley.

It gets worse. The French Financial Markets Authority raided EDF this month, investigating allegations that it misrepresented the cost of Hinkley and other projects. Banks and other financial institutions already loathed the Hinkley plan, with EDF warned of further credit rating downgrades if it goes ahead, making its huge debt more expensive to maintain.

Areva, the French state-owned company which makes the reactors, is being taken over by EDF but it is being investigated by France’s Nuclear Safety Authority over “irregularities” in 400 parts. Areva also faces a state aid investigation.

Even many of the staff inside EDF think Hinkley is a colossal white elephant. The company’s unions, who are represented on the board, fear the project will sink the company and have started legal action to delay the decision, while its finance director resigned in March.

With foundations this unsound, you would think the UK could get out of the deal easily if it turns sour. But think again. The deal to be signed with EDF contains a “poison pill” which could leave taxpayers with a £22bn bill if a future UK government shuts the plant down.

The government is adamant that Hinkley, which could provide 7% of the UK’s electricity, is a vital part of a secure low-carbon future. But a barrage of recent reports from serious players say the opposite. The future is not gigantic centralised energy plants, but widespread networks of renewable energy and storage, interconnected across the continent, bolstered by energy efficiency measures and the smart management of demand.

Hinkley Point C will provide 7% of UK electricity when it starts to produce electricity in 2025

Bodies including the government’s own National Infrastructure Commission(NIC), the National Grid, industry group Energy UK, all point to a smart system that is more secure, cheaper and faster to build. They all use the same word – “revolution” – for the fast changes now happening in energy, while theInternational Energy Agency talks of a rapid “transition”.

Hinkley’s reactors are a revolution only in the sense that they overturn all logic. Energy efficiency could deliver six Hinkley’s worth of electricity by 2030, interconnector cables to Norway, Denmark and France could add another two or three Hinkleys to the grid by 2025 and four Hinkleys’ worth of electricity could be saved by 2030 by increasing the ability to store electricity and making the grid smarter, with the latter alone saving bill payers £8bn a year. Solar and wind power are also cheaper than Hinkley’s nuclear power.

EDF had said its decision on Hinkley would be made in September at the earliest. So why the sudden rush, after so many years of delay? The company’s announcement that the decision was being brought forward came on the evening after Theresa May, keen to signal post-Brexit Britain remains open for business, had met Francois Hollande for talks. For Hinkley, as with Brexit itself, political chicanery has triumphed over economic reality.

July 29, 2016 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Accuracy of climate modelling in predicting ocean and atmospheric warming

since 1992, the models have been within 3 % of the measurements. In my mind, this agreement is the strongest vindication of the models ever found, and in fact, in our study we suggest that matches between climate models and ocean warming should be a major test of the models

climate-changeClimate models are accurately predicting ocean and global warming, Skeptical Science  27 July 2016 by John Abraham

For those of us who are concerned about global warming, two of the most critical questions we ask are, “how fast is the Earth warming?” and “how much will it warm in the future?

The first question can be answered in a number of ways. For instance, we can actually measure the rate of energy increase in the Earth’s system (primarily through measuring changing ocean temperatures). Alternatively, we can measure changes in the net inflow ofheat at the top of the atmosphere using satellites. We can also measure the rate of sea-level rise to get an estimate of the warming rate.

Since much of sea-level rise is caused by thermal expansion of water, knowledge of the water-level rise allows us to deduce the warming rate. We can also use climate models (which are sophisticated computer calculations of the Earth’s climate) or our knowledge from Earth’s past (paleoclimatology).

Many studies use combinations of these study methods to attain estimates and typically the estimates are that the planet is warming at a rate of perhaps 0.5 to 1 Watt per square meter of Earth’s surface area. However, there is some discrepancy among the actual numbers.

So assuming we know how much heat is being accumulated by the Earth, how can we predict what the future climate will be? The main tool for this is climate models (although there are other independent ways we can study the future). With climate models, we can play “what-if scenarios” and input either current conditions or hypothetical conditions and watch the Earth’s climate evolve within the simulation.

Two incorrect but nevertheless consistent denial arguments are that the Earth isn’t warming and that climate models are inaccurate. A new study, published by Kevin Trenberth, Lijing Cheng, and others (I was also an author) answers these questions.

The study was just published in the journal Ocean Sciences; a draft of it is available here. In this study, we did a few new things. First, we presented a new estimate of oceanheating throughout its full depth (most studies only consider the top portion of the ocean). Second, we used a new technique to learn about ocean temperature changes in areas where there are very few measurements. Finally, we used a large group of computer models to predict warming rates, and we found excellent agreement between the predictions and the measurements.

According to the measurements, the Earth has gained 0.46 Watts per square meter between 1970 and 2005. Since, 1992 the rate is higher (0.75 Watts per square meter) and therefore shows an acceleration of the warming. To put this in perspective, this is the equivalent of 5,400,000,000,000 (or 5,400 billion) 60-watt light bulbs running continuously day and night. In my view, these numbers are the most accurate measurements of the rate at which the Earth is warming.

What about the next question – how did the models do? Amazingly well. From 1970 through 2005, the models on average showed a warming of 0.41 Watts per square meter and from 1992-2005 the models gave 0.77 Watts per meter squared. This means that since 1992, the models have been within 3 % of the measurements. In my mind, this agreement is the strongest vindication of the models ever found, and in fact, in our study we suggest that matches between climate models and ocean warming should be a major test of the models……..http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models-accurately-predicting-ocean-global-warming.html

 

July 29, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | 1 Comment