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New York’s subsidy gift to the nuclear industry – the prelude for other States?

climate and nuclear“Nuclear power is not carbon-free,” wrote Michel Lee, head of the Council on Intelligent Energy & Conservation Policy based in Scarsdale. “If one stage,” reactors operation itself, “produces minimal carbon…every other stage produces prodigious amounts.” Thus the nuclear “industry is a big climate change polluter…Nuclear power is actually a chain of highly energy-intensive industrial processes which­combined­consume large amounts of fossil fuels and generate potent warming gasses. These include: uranium mining, milling enrichment, fuel fabrication, transport” and her list went on.

Reuters has reported that the nuclear “industry hopes that if New York succeeds, it could pressure other states to adopt similar subsides” for nuclear plants.

New York’s Woeful $7.6 Billion Nuclear Bailout Package by Karl Grossman

The New York State Public Service Commission—in the face of strong opposition—this week approved a $7.6 billion bail-out of aging nuclear power plants in upstate New York which their owners have said are uneconomic to run without government support.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo—who appoints the members of the PSC—has called for the continued operation of the nuclear plants in order to, he says, save jobs at them. The bail-out would be part of a “Clean Energy Standard” advanced by Cuomo. Under it, 50 percent of electricity used in New York by 2030 would come from “clean and renewable energy sources”­with nuclear power considered clean and renewable.

“Nuclear energy is neither clean nor renewable,” testified Pauline Salotti, vice chair of the Green Party of Suffolk County, Long Island at a recent hearing on the plan.

taxpayer bailout

“Without these subsidies, nuclear plants cannot compete with renewable energy and will close. But under the guise of ‘clean energy,’ the nuclear industry is about to get its hands on our money in order to save its own profits, at the expense of public health and safety,”declared a statement by Jessica Azulay, program director of Alliance for a Green Economy, based in upstate Syracuse with a chapter in New York City. Moreover, she emphasized, “Every dollar spent on nuclear subsidies is a dollar out of the pocket of New York’s electricity consumers­residents, businesses and municipalities” that should “instead” go towards backing “energy efficiency, renewable energy and a transition to a clean energy economy.”

The “Clean Energy Standard” earmarks twice as much money for the nuclear power subsidy than it does for renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

Continue reading

August 3, 2016 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

China not happy with Theresa May’s ‘unwanted accusations’ over Hinkley Point nuclear project

Buy-China-nukes-1China warns UK against ‘unwanted accusations’ over Hinkley Point Downing Street’s suspicions endanger ‘hard-won mutual trust’ between two countries, Beijing says. By , IBT,  August 2, 2016 China says it will not tolerate “unwanted accusations” over its investments in the UK after Theresa May’s government decided to review a controversial nuclear power project at the last minute.

A commentary published by the state-run Xinhua news agency on 1 August said Downing Street’s stance on Hinkley Point C risked damaging the “hard-won mutual trust” between the two countries fostered by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Britain last year…

Xinhua warned that the “suspicious approach” towards China could deter other investors from investing in post-Brexit UK……..

August 3, 2016 Posted by | China, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

What happens next, with Hinkley Point C nuclear project?

protest-Hinkley-CThe nuclear option: Where next for Hinkley Point?, business Green, Madeleine Cuff, 2 Aug 16, Last week was quite a rollercoaster for those involved in low carbon energy policy. French utility EDF spent the first part of the week drumming up media excitement for a final investment decision on its Hinkley Point C development, briefing heavily that the project would likely be green lit by the board on Thursday – a decision widely viewed as the final hurdle for the UK’s first new nuclear power plant in a generation.

But in a surprise twist of events, just hours after EDF approved the investment – losing a board member and angering its own unions in the process – the government launched a review into the project’s “component parts”, pushing the contract signing back into the autumn, assuming it happens at all.

So what now for the beleaguered energy project? Is this review really just a chance to double check the finer details? Or could this be the start of a major shake up of the UK’s clean energy policy? BusinessGreen spoke to a range of experts to get their views on where next for Hinkley Point.

Tom Burke, chairman of E3G……..really, the government should drop the project. It’s now taken most of the political damage for abandoning it anyway. All of the people opposed to it – financial analysts, credit rating agencies, environmentalists, even members of the EDF board – have been encouraged to redouble their efforts to stop what is now I think pretty widely recognised by everybody outside of government and nuclear theologians as a very bad deal indeed. You now have huge momentum behind the calls for the government to enact a Plan B.

There are so many things that you could do that would be faster, cheaper, cleaner and more reliable than Hinkley. There’s no shortage of alternative plans that would actually keep bills down for people and be low carbon, such as a new energy efficiency programme, a new fleet of offshore wind farms with power two-thirds the price of Hinkley’s, and more interconnectors to bring clean energy for the continent.

The big obstacle to this is that there is still a vast illusion among the commentariat that you need baseload power which only nuclear can supply – but that’s coming from people who haven’t caught up with where electricity grid technology has got to. This is really all about letting go of bad ideas………..

August 3, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Biggest Nuclear Weapons Stockpile in the World- Puget Sound

Puget Sound

text-relevantPuget Sound Is Home to the Biggest Nuclear Stockpile in the World, Truth Out, , 01 August 2016 By Martha BaskinCrosscut The ad pierces your consciousness and catches you by surprise. Plastered on the side of Seattle’s King County Metro it hurls you momentarily back in time, to a time when nuclear weapons were an imminent threat to our survival. Or did the era never end?

The ad — sponsored by activists from the Poulsbo-based Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action — reads: “20 miles west of Seattle is the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the US.”

Behind this text is a map, depicting the proximity of Seattle to Naval Base Kitsap, located on the eastern shore of Hood Canal, one of the four main basins in Washington state’s Puget Sound. The base is home port for eight of the US Navy’s 14 Trident ballistic missile submarines as well as an underground nuclear weapons storage complex. Together, they’re believed to store more than 1,300 nuclear warheads, according to Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists.

This is arguably the biggest single concentration of nuclear warheads not only in the US, but in the world.

King County Metro was initially hesitant to run the ad, until Kristensen confirmed its accuracy. The combined explosive power contained in the base is equivalent to more than 14,000 Hiroshima bombs, he says.

But the most surprising thing to him about the underground nuclear weapons storage complex — known as the Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWF-PAC), and completed in 2012 — is the extent to which a $294 million bunker has largely escaped public debate, except for a few industry-related articles.

The small non-profit behind the ad shares a land border with the naval base. It launched when Robert Aldridge, an engineer for Lockheed Martin in California — the arms manufacturer has a facility at the base but only to ensure that Trident ballistic D5 missiles are ready for deployment on the subs — quit his job directing their development when he saw they could be used in a preemptive first strike against the Soviet Union.

According to Glen Milner, an active member of the Center, Aldridge then contacted two peace activists in the area — Catholic theologian Jim Douglas and his wife Shelley — and the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action was formed……..

The US Navy has presented a plan to spend over a trillion dollars during the next 30 years upgrading and maintaining the entire triad of US based nuclear weapons, according to Martin Fleck of Physicians for Social Responsibility, a group that advocates for nuclear disarmament. This includes over $100 billion to replace the base’s nuclear submarines.

The plan was approved by Obama in 2010.

“We and our allies,” says Fleck, “are arguing for sanity with nuclear weapons given that we have enough already to end the world several times over. Why on earth would we invest another trillion dollars in them at this late date?”……

August 3, 2016 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear companies NuGen and Horizon keen for projects in UK, despite the Hinkley nuclear fiasco

UK new nuclear programme not dependent on Hinkley, say rivals, Telegraph,    Emily Gosden, energy editor 2 AUGUST 2016  Nuclear developers NuGen and Horizon have played down fears that scrapping Hinkley Point would derail the wider UK new-build programme, insisting their projects are not dependent on EDF’s getting the go-ahead.

Industry experts have warned that confidence across the sector would be damaged if Theresa May pulls the plug on the £18bn project, especially given the French energy giant has already invested £2.4bn in Hinkley with unstinting Government support until now.

But NuGen, which is jointly owned by Japan’s Toshiba and France’s Engie, said it would continue developing its project at Moorside in Cumbria “irrespective of the status of other developers’ plans”.

Moorside NuGen plan Cumbria

Hitachi’s Horizon project, which plans reactors on Anglesey,also distanced itself from the worries over Hinkley, saying its “sole focus remains, as it always has been, on making strong progress with our own flagship Wylfa Newydd power station project”.

Despite Mrs May’s surprise review of Hinkleya Horizon spokesman said it had “no qualms about the continued commitment of the Government to UK nuclear new build”.

Reports in recent days have suggested the UK Government could face compensation demands from EDF if it pulled out of Hinkley.

Peter Atherton, an associate at consultants Cornwall Energy, said EDF had been operating under “an implicit guarantee from the Government that, provided you can get your technology through the approval process, and we can reach a satisfactory contractual arrangement, the project will go ahead”.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on Tuesday reiterated that there would be no liabilities for the UK taxpayer or consumer if Hinkley were cancelled, as no contracts had been signed.

However, Mr Atherton said that if Hinkley were cancelled without any reimbursement for EDF, this would “significantly undermine” other developers’ confidence and might prompt them to seek some sort of financial guarantee.

“If I was them I would say to the Government, OK, if want us to carry on developing this project, we need you to fund it or to guarantee that if you pull the plug on us you pay those development costs,” he said.

Both Horizon and NuGen are privately keen to emphasise the differences between their projects and EDF’s.
Neither project has Chinese involvement, understood to be one of the key causes of concern for Mrs May over Hinkley, which would be one-third funded by Chinese state companies.

Both have also long been working to meet the Government’s expectation that they will be cheaper than Hinkley…..

August 3, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

The increasing danger as USA revs up its nuclear arsenal

apocalypseWall Street, the Military-Industrial Complex, corporations and the politicians are willing to lead the world into an Armageddon-type scenario. Washington is confident that they can defeat its adversaries with their military power but the U.S. has never faced countries like Russia, China or Iran. Russia has more advanced military technologies including its air and missile defense systems known as the S-500 which can counter any US-NATO missile or fighter jet at a moment’s notice. Irrational decisions made by Washington’s establishment means two things, first, they must be really politically and historically ignorant on Russia’s stance when it comes to its sovereignty and they must really despise humanity, but one thing is certain; they want the U.S. to remain as the world’s standing superpower.
The American Empire is Playing a Dangerous Game with its Nuclear Weapons Arsenal The Day After Nuclear Armageddon: Armchair Warriors, Chicken Hawks and the Colonization of Mars? By Timothy Alexander Guzman Global Research, August 01, 2016
Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it. – John Lennon

The American Empire is playing a dangerous game with its nuclear weapons arsenal. The US-NATO and Israel alliance has declared directly and indirectly that Russia, China, North Korea and Iran are a threat to world peace and security.

Let’s be clear on who is the real threat to world peace and it is not the countries I just mentioned, it is Washington’s geopolitical ambitions to bring its enemies under their sphere of control. Washington’s geopolitical moves are antagonizing its enemies which can ignite a catastrophic world war that can go to nuclear at a moment’s notice. The threat of a nuclear war is at almost the same level of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, but if you listen to the main-stream media (MSM) you may never know what is really going on concerning world events.

The first woman and U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has threatened Iran with nuclear strikes while Israel maintains its own nuclear weapons arsenal which is also a threat to its neighbors in the Middle East, especially Iran.

Washington is placing NATO troops and Missile Defense Systems close to Russia’s borders and giving the U.S. Navy the green light to a possible confrontation with China’s naval fleet in the South China Sea. Washington’s bellicose actions are indeed provocative. Continue reading

August 3, 2016 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

World Powers Must Fulfill Nuclear Deal with Iran

diplomacy-not-bombsflag-IranIranian President Says World Powers Must Fulfill Nuclear Deal Radio Free Europe, August 02, 2016

Iranian President Hassan Rohani has criticized world powers for not fulfilling all of their commitments under a historic nuclear deal signed last year.

Rohani said on state television on August 2 that the failure to lift all sanctions against Iran had harmed the country’s economic growth.

He said that “if the other party had acted properly we would be in a better [economic] situation today.”

Rohani added that Iran still cannot access all of its assets held abroad and that the U.S. Congress, Israel, and some other unnamed regional countries had prevented the nuclear deal from being fully implemented.

He admitted, however, that Iran had been able to export much more oil after sanctions limiting exports were lifted and had regained access to the international banking system…..

August 3, 2016 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

O’Neill a victim of nuclear fallout

, alistair osborne , 2 Aug 15 clear conflicts usually create shocking casualties. So Britain should count itself lucky if the fallout from blowing up Hinkley Point C can be confined to Lord O’Neill of Gatley.

Apparently, the commercial secretary to the Treasury could quit the government over Theresa May’s attitude to China: one exposed by her laudable decision to review the £18 billion Franco-Sino nuke, in which Beijing is poised to take a one-third stake. His lordship’s a bit miffed, what with having been brought into government by ex-chancellor George Osborne to drum up Chinese investment, and then having had the new PM’s Hinkley delay sprung…(subscribers only)

August 3, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment