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Fukushima Daiichi Still Outgassing Radionuclides

It’s still steaming away 5 1/2 years later and with the tent roof removed from Reactor 1 its poison continues to be widely dispersed.

Unit 1 side : 2016.08.14_00.00-03.00

 

Unit 4 side : 2016.08.14_15.00-18.00

 

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August 14, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Hanford Nuclear Site Fires Above Electrical Substation – August 13, 2016

Mining Awareness +

For whatever reasons these fires seem to be going unreported. They are burning above what seems to be the Midway electrical substation on the edge of the Hanford Nuclear site. This substation presumably still provides power for the Hanford Nuclear site.
Hanford area fires August 13 2016  coordinates
Hanford area fires August 13 2016  Midway Substation
Hanford area fires August 13 2016  Midway Substation BPA
Hanford area fires August 13 2016  Midway Substation BPA
Hanford area fires August 13 2016  reactor B
Hanford area fires August 13 2016
Latitude: 46.617, Longitude: -119.754, Detection Date: 13 Aug 2016, Detection Time: 20:38 UTC, Confidence: 89, Sensor: Aqua MODIS, Source: SSEChttp://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/index.php Columbia Generating Station icon and B-Reactor exported from their respective Wikipedia pages: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbia_Generating_Station
Hanford Site Map PNNL for DOE

1945 July 16 B Reactor plutonium used in world’s first nuclear explosion. (Trinity Test Site, New Mexico) 1945 August 9 B Reactor plutonium used in Fat Man bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japanhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B_Reactor

It appears that the fires are burning above BPA’s Midway Power substation. On Sunday, April 14, 1991 The Seattle Times reported in “Town For Sale At Ghostly Midway Station“that “The substation, which furnishes power to…

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August 14, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fire at Y-12 National Security Complex on August 6th?

Mining Awareness +

The US active and recent fire map shows a fire at what seems to be the Y-12 site last Saturday, August 6th.
aug 7, 2016, 1630 UTC fire at Y-12
aug 7, 2016, 1630 UTC fire at Y-12 overview
aug 7, 2016, 1630 UTC fire at Y-12 zoom
Fire map source: http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/index.php The yellow dot is the center or estimated center. Y-12 location icon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-12_National_Security_Complex

The Y-12 National Security Complex is a United States Department of EnergyNational Nuclear Security Administration facility located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, near the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It was built as part of the Manhattan Projectfor the purpose of enriching uranium for the first atomic bombs. In the years after World War II, it has been operated as a manufacturing facility for nuclear weapons components and related defense purposes. Y-12 is managed and operated under contract by Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC (CNS), which is composed of member companies Bechtel National, Inc., Lockheed Martin Services, Inc., ATK Launch Systems, Inc., and SOC LLC, with Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. as a teaming…

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August 14, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton flips back and forth on nuclear power

Clinton two facedHillary Has Flipped On Nuclear Power 8 TIMES While Running For Office ANDREW FOLLETT, Daily Caller, 14 Aug 16 Energy and Environmental Reporter, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has flipped on nuclear power eight times while running for office, according to an analysis of her public statements and policy positions by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Clinton has consistently opposed nuclear power during her campaigns, but supported it once she actually got into office, TheDCNF’s analysis shows.

Clinton’s current energy plans, outlined in her 2016 platform, make no mention of nuclear power, but discuss wind and solar energy in glowing terms.

When Clinton was running for the Democratic nomination in 2008, however, she started off from a pro-nuclear power position, saying “I think nuclear power has to be part of our energy solution”……

As her 2008 race with Obama got tighter, Hillary migrated to an even more vehemently anti-nuclear position, explicitly excluding the industry from her platform.”I don’t include nuclear power in my energy policy, which I think is an appropriate approach given the problems we have with it,” Clinton told SentinelSource.com during an interview in late 2007.

After Clinton lost the Iowa caucus she said that, “I have a comprehensive energy plan that does not rely on nuclear power,” in a January, 2008, debate in Las Vegas.

When she lost the race for the Democratic nomination in 2008, Clinton’s views regarding nuclear power shifted radically. She began representing American nuclear companies to other countries as Obama’s secretary of state. Clinton used her position to support American nuclear companies in bids to construct and operate reactors in other countries, and helped American nuclear companies get contracts in countries like Japanthe Czech Republic and India……

When Clinton again ran for the Democratic nomination in 2016, she rarely directly discussed nuclear energy, though one of her campaign fact sheet claims she favors “advanced nuclear,” which requires, “expand[ing] successful innovation initiatives, like ARPA-e, and cut those that fail to deliver results.”

By the time Clinton pulled ahead of Vermont Sen.  Bernie Sanders in March, her policy director told a local Idaho news source that, “nuclear energy has an important role to play in our clean-energy future.”

After locking down the Democratic nomination, Clinton shifted back to opposing nuclear power.

Clinton’s current platform for 2016 calls for having the nation run “entirely on clean energy by midcentury,” with a goal of “getting 50 percent of our electricity from clean energy sources within a decade.” The platform never defines clean energy, but other sections clearly indicate that it excludes nuclear. The phrases “nuclear energy” or “nuclear power” never appear in the platform……http://dailycaller.com/2016/08/14/hillary-has-flipped-on-nuclear-power-8-times-while-running-for-office/

August 14, 2016 Posted by | USA elections 2016 | Leave a comment

August 14 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “Who owns the wind? We do, Wyoming says, and it’s taxing those who use it” • Four years ago, the Wyoming Legislature began entertaining a lofty question: Who owns all of that wind? They concluded, quickly and conveniently, that Wyoming did. Then they did something no other state has done: They taxed it. [Los Angeles Times]

Mountain Wind Power wind turbines in Uinta County, Wyoming. Photo by CGP Grey. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons. Mountain Wind Power wind turbines in Uinta County, Wyoming.
Photo by CGP Grey. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

World:

¶ The Philippine Department of Energy has issued certificates of endorsements to 49 power projects as of the end of July, government data showed. Of these, 26 are renewable energy projects. Solar farms accounted for 22 projects, including one with a capacity of 100 MW in Subic Freeport Zone. [Philippine Star]

¶ Though it was not reported at the time, on July 10 a new reactor vessel in…

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August 14, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

North Korea claims that it is ready for a nuclear strike on USA

flag-N-KoreaNorth Korea says it is preparing for nuclear strike against United States http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/246711889/north-korea-says-it-is-preparing-for-nuclear-strike-against-united-states   Big News Network.comSunday 14th August, 2016 SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea says it is preparing for a preemptive nuclear strike against the United States.The country says it has switched the status of its military from defense mode to attack mode.

The deployment by the United States of three B-52 stealth bombers to Andersen Air Force Base at Guam earlier this week has unnerved the North Korean regime which said Saturday the deployment was preparation for a planned nuclear strike on North Korea.

The government said if it it sees any sign an invasion underway it will launch a nuclear strike against the U.S.

The Yonhap news agency based in Seoul in South Korea confirmed the Nortth Korean government statement which it picked up from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the North Korean official news agency.

“The U.S. attempt to invade the DPRK (Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea) is getting evermore reckless,” KCNA said in a signed commentary.

The U.S. Air Force says it deployed the 3 B-52 to Guam on Tuesday, largely because of the recent rhetoric coming out of North Korea. Pyongyang however believes the United States is preparing for a pre-emptive nuclear strike. “The U.S. evermore undisguised reinforcement of the nuclear force goes to clearly prove that it is trying to make a preemptive nuclear strike at the DPRK a fait accompli,” said the commentary.

Warning that it could strike first, North Korea said: “The right to make a preemptive nuclear strike is not the monopoly of the U.S.” “The DPRK revolutionary armed forces switched from their existing mode of military counter-action to the mode of a preemptive strike to cope with the enemy’s ridiculous military hysteria to undermine its sovereignty and right to existence,” the KCNA statement said. “All their operational groups are fully ready to deal a merciless and annihilating blow to the enemy if they make even the slightest provocation,” it added.

Saturday’s developments coincide with an acceleration of conscription in North Korea. The government has introduced a new recruitment regulation which requires all men aged up to their mid-30s, who have dodged military service in the past, to now join up. University students, factory workers, and men with families have been exempted in the past. They are now getting call-up notices to report for physical examinations. Source: Big News Network

August 14, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Obama’s climate change accounting is upheld by federal appeals court

judge-1climate-changeCourt backs Obama’s climate change accounting http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/290859-court-backs-obamas-climate-change-accounting  By Timothy Cama – 08/09/16 

A federal appeals court is upholding the Obama administration’s accounting of the costs of greenhouse gas emissions as applied to a Department of Energy (DOE) regulation. In a unanimous decision late Monday, the Chicago-based 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected an industry-backed request to overturn a 2014 rule that set energy efficiency standards for commercial refrigerators.

 In doing so, the court specifically backed the so-called social cost of carbon, President Obama’s administration-wide estimate of the costs per metric ton of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere — currently $36.

The DOE used the carbon cost in its cost-benefit analysis, justifying the rule in part because of the amount of climate change regulators believe it would avoid.

It’s the first time a court has considered the legality of the carbon accounting, according to the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University, which supports the policy and filed a brief backing the DOE in the case. Congressional Republicans, business interests and energy companies have criticized the accounting as bad math and improper forecasts.

The court said the carbon cost is entirely within the DOE’s discretion to use.

“To determine whether an energy conservation measure is appropriate under a cost‐benefit analysis, the expected reduction in environmental costs needs to be taken into account,” the judges wrote. “We have no doubt that Congress intended that DOE have the authority under the [Energy Policy and Conservation Act] to consider the reduction in SCC.”

They went on the say that the industry challengers were incorrect in stating that the carbon cost is “irredeemably flawed,” concluding instead that “DOE’s determination of SCC was neither arbitrary nor capricious.”

The Institute for Policy Integrity said the ruling is significant for including climate change in cost-benefit analyses.

August 14, 2016 Posted by | climate change, Legal, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Climate change – not much to worry about – Donald Trump

USA election 2016Trump: Climate change won’t be ‘devastating’ http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/291231-trump-climate-change-wont-be-devastating Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Thursday “there could be some impact” from a changing climate, “but I don’t believe it’s a devastating impact.”

In an interview with The Miami Herald, Trump reiterated he’s “not a big believer in manmade climate change,” and while he acknowledged problems such as rising sea levels, he attributed them to “a change in weather patterns, and you’ve had it for many years.”

 “I would say it goes up, it goes down, and I think it’s very much like this over the years,” he said. “We’ll see what happens. I mean, we’ll see what happens. … Certainly, climate has changed.”

Trump has long said he doesn’t believe in the science behind climate change, even though there is broad agreement among researchers that human activity has contributed to the phenomenon.

Florida is expected to struggle with rising sea levels induced by climate change, and Miami recently undertook a $500 million push to prepare for it. Asked about that effort, Trump said, “That’s probably not the worst thing I’ve ever heard.” But he said local governments should take the lead in preparing for climate change, not federal officials who have looked to regulate the underlying causes of it.

“[We] have so many environmental regulations that, you go to other countries, where they don’t have that, it puts us at a tremendous disadvantage,” he said.

Trump’s position on climate change is in direct contrast to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. She told a Florida audience this week that “we’ve got to stand against the deniers” and work to prevent climate change in the future.

August 14, 2016 Posted by | USA elections 2016 | Leave a comment

Donald Trump promoting fossil fuel industries, gets it very wrong about energy in Americaq

USA election 2016What Trump gets wrong about energy in America, WP,   By Chris Mooney August 8 In his economic speech in Detroit Monday (transcript here), Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump laid out a series of energy proposals that, in stark contrast to those of Hillary Clinton or the Obama administration, would try to shore up traditional industries centered on coal, oil, natural gas.

The most striking thing about the plan is that it seems premised on a world in which these energy sources don’t have this major environmental drawback called climate change. Trump himself has told The Washington Post he is “not a big believer in man-made climate change,” and the divide between himself and Clinton on this matter is one of the sharpest policy differences of the present campaign, clearly wider than the  split in views between Obama-McCain (2008) or Obama-Romney (2012)…..

although Trump says coal jobs have been lost, he never mentions that vast numbers of clean energy jobs have been gained, and indeed, this has been part of the whole goal of Obama energy policies.

According to the Solar Foundation, for instance, the solar industry has added 115,000 jobs over the past six years. A recent study in Energy Policy similarly found that while coal lost 50,000 jobs between 2008 and 2012, wind and solar added 79,000 and natural gas added over 94,000……https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/08/08/what-trump-gets-wrong-about-energy-in-america/?utm_term=.b5e006a1ec69

August 14, 2016 Posted by | USA elections 2016 | 1 Comment

With Hinkley Big Nuclear in decline, the “Small Nuclear” lobby sees its chance

Don’t worry: British nuclear doesn’t have all its eggs in one basket, Weinberg Foundation August 11th, 2016 by Suzanna Hinson
Small nuclear salesman

Hinkley Point may be taking all the attention at present, but it is not the be all and end all of nuclear power in the UK. There is plenty more in the pipeline so, whatever happens in Somerset, progress can be made elsewhere. The UK’s Office for Nuclear Regulation aims to complete Generic Design Assessments for new reactors, the AP1000 and Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR), during 2017.

NuGen, jointly owned by Japan’s Toshiba and France’s Engie, is progressing with plans to build an AP1000 at Moorside in West Cumbria. At present, they are carrying out site assessment surveys, including geophysical surveys, geological age dating and some borehole drilling work, which must be completed before construction can begin. AP1000 reactors, designed by Westinghouse, are being planned in multiple countries worldwide, with the first plants scheduled to come online in China this year. There have been some delays on these world-first reactors, but not as serious as those in France and Finland for the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) proposed for Hinkley…….

In addition to these planned sites, there is also ongoing research and development into the next generation of advanced nuclear reactors. The Government promised, in Autumn 2015, an investment of £250 million over 5 years to develop the reactors of the future. This includes a competition to decide which small modular reactor or reactors should be demonstrated in the UK. Advanced reactors have the potential to be cheaper, even cleaner and even safer than current designs, and have added benefits such as the potential ability to use up spent fuel and the plutonium stockpile. (Weinberg Next Nuclear will soon be publishing a report on how to manage plutonium)….http://www.the-weinberg-foundation.org/2016/08/11/dont-worry-british-nuclear-doesnt-have-all-its-eggs-in-one-basket/

August 14, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, politics, technology, UK | Leave a comment

Queen Elizabeth’s Estate notes that renewable energy is cheaper than Hinkley nuclear

Crown estate wades into Hinkley Point nuclear debate https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/14/crown-estate-hinkley-point-nuclear-debate

Body says, with government reviewing £18.5bn project, benefits of renewables such as offshore wind should be looked at, Guardian, , 14 Aug 16, The crown estate has waded into the battle over Hinkley Point, pointing out that offshore windfarms are already being built at cheaper prices than the proposed atomic reactors for Somerset.

While not arguing the £18.5bn nuclear project should be scrapped, the organisation – still legally owned by the Queen – said that the government’s current Hinkley review makes it a good time to consider the advantages of other low carbon technologies.

The crown estate said that windfarms at sea will be on course to meet 10% of the country’s electricity by 2020 while Hinkley Point C is not expected to be constructed till the mid 2020s, to produce 7%.

“The [wind] sector has undergone a sea change over the last few years, driven by rapid advances in technology, cost and the industry’s ability to deliver on time and to budget,” said Huub den Rooijen, the director of energy, minerals and infrastructure at the crown estate.

“In the Netherlands, there has been an even bigger step change. In the busy time around the EU referendum, many people will have missed the publication of their most recent offshore wind tender.

“Although there are differences in terms of regulation, most would agree that the Dutch are now going to be paying the equivalent of about £80/MWh for their 700 megawatt windfarm. That is significantly lower than Hinkley Point at £92.50/MWh.”

The comments come after an unpublished report by the energy department shows that it expects onshore wind power and large-scale solar to cost about £50-£75 per megawatt hour of power generated in 2025. New nuclear is anticipated to be around £85-£125/MWh, in line with the guaranteed price of £92.50/MWh that the government has offered Hinkley’s developer, EDF.

Government data published last Thursday showed that renewables generated a quarter of the UK’s electricity in the first quarter of this year. About half of that came from on and offshore wind combined.

The Hinkley project has been hit by controversies since it was first raised as a possibility by EDF more than nine years ago. There have been delays and concerns about the costs of the £18.5bn project. In recent days a new row has blown upabout the wisdom of allowing EDF’s proposed Chinese partner access to the UK energy infrastructure for national security reasons.

Den Rooijen said the government’s committee on climate change has urged ministers to consider alternatives if there are delays to renewing our nuclear fleet. “We should remember our seabed is a powerful energy asset. At present, we have 2,200 wind turbines in operation and under construction taking up less than 1% of our total seabed,” he said.

“National Grid estimates that nearly half of all power could be generated from our seabed by 2030 through offshore wind, combined with tidal power lagoons and strong electrical connections to our neighbouring countries.

“We have an inexhaustible supply of reliable and clean power right on our doorstep, and competitively priced offshore wind now offers a mature part of the solution for the UK’s energy mix.”

August 14, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Doubts that Russia can actually deliver on all its much touted nuclear sales deals

Russian-BearFalse nuclear hope, HIMAL South Asian  BY M V RAMANA AND ZIA MIAN14 AUGUST 2016
“……Can Russia deliver?

The Russian deal for Rooppur has its specific set of challenges. There are at least two reasons to question Russia’s ability to deliver on its commitments. First, Russia has made so many nuclear deals in recent years that it may not be able to deliver on all of them. The Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) claims to have orders for 30 nuclear power plant units in 12 different countries at a total value of over USD 300 billion.

The Russian Parliament’s independent Audit Chamber has documented delays and cost increases in reactors that Rosatom is building within Russia. It is likely that Russian reactor projects abroad will also experience delays and cost escalations. A second reason Russia may not be able to deliver on Rooppur is the collapse of its currency, the ruble. In the case of the reactor for Belarus, the Russians made a fixed price deal that was denominated in dollars. Because the ruble has fallen relative to the dollar, costs to Rosatom have reportedly gone up by 71 percent and Belarus has been asked to provide additional financial support to keep the project going.

Since the Rooppur contract, like most nuclear contracts, is not publicly available, one cannot be sure about the specifics of the deal. However, according to media reports, the contract with Bangladesh is not a “fixed price” but a “cost plus” one where “the vendor has the right to come up with any cost escalation (plus their profit margin) to be incorporated into the contract amount”. Russia seems to have prepared for the possibility that the Rooppur project will cost more than expected and to protect its profits.

Bottom line: the Rooppur reactors may be good for status-seeking project for Bangladeshi politicians; for the bureaucrats and technocrats of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission; and for the Russian nuclear complex and the middlemen who will likely profit from the many subcontracts that would be signed. But it does not look like a good bargain for the people of Bangladesh.

~ M V Ramana is with the Nuclear Futures Laboratory and the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University, and the author of The Power of Promise: Examining Nuclear Energy in Indiahttp://himalmag.com/false-nuclear-hope-bangladesh-russia/

August 14, 2016 Posted by | ASIA, business and costs, politics, Russia | Leave a comment

Taiwan organising to dump its nuclear wastes on Orchid Island

Oscar-wastesflag-TaiwanTsai to visit Orchid Island to discuss nuclear waste storage, Focus Taiwan, Taipei, Aug. 14 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is scheduled to visit Taiwan’s offshore Orchid Island on Monday to discuss the issue of nuclear waste storage with the local people, the Presidential Office said Sunday.

The president will meet with a senior member of the indigenous Tao tribe and visit a kindergarten. She will also attend a forum during which she will address such issues as nuclear waste storage and garbage disposal on the island, the office said……..

Before finding a permanent solution for the nuclear waste, Tsai said her government will provide the Tao tribe with appropriate compensation.

Local residents had received over NT$2.1 billion (US$66.9 million) in payments as of the end of May 2016 from state-run utility Taiwan Power Co. and the Atomic Energy Council since a low-level nuclear waste storage facility was built on Orchard Island in 1982.

During her visit Monday, Tsai will again apologize to the indigenous people, sources said…….http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201608140014.aspx

August 14, 2016 Posted by | Taiwan, wastes | Leave a comment

New Zealand is proud of its anti nuclear stance, with its victory over USA

N.ZealandNew Zealand set to mark anti-nuclear victory over the United States, ABC News 14 Aug 16 By Veronika Meduna in Wellington New Zealand’s anti-nuclear campaigners are claiming victory against a Goliath.

Key points:

  • The NZ public overwhelmingly supports its anti-nuclear stance
  • The US suspended its ANZUS obligations to NZ after its destroyer was denied access in 1985
  • Peace protests expected when non-nuclear ships visit NZ in November

When the NZ Navy celebrates its 75th birthday in November, US warships will be there. It will be the first time any American military ship has entered a New Zealand port since the country’s controversial anti-nuclear legislation was passed in 1987.

“What this means is that any ship that comes here will be coming on New Zealand’s terms,” says investigative journalist Nicky Hager, a key figure in the anti-nuclear movement at the time.

“Our terms were set 30 years ago with the nuclear-free policy.”

Peace campaigner and former Green MP, Keith Locke, agrees. “It is recognition that most of the New Zealand public does not want nuclear ships and the US cannot get around that,” he says.

Anti-nuclear stance strains relationship with US

The stand taken by the comparatively tiny nation caused a rift between the allies which has lasted three decades, and has been likened to a mouse that roared.

New Zealand’s anti-nuclear movement was spurred to action when France tested nuclear weapons at Mururoa Atoll in French Polynesia in the 1960s. More than 80,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling for a nuclear-free Southern Hemisphere.

“It was the biggest petition anywhere since the Suffragettes’ campaign of the 1890s,” Mr Locke says.

The anti-nuclear mood gripped the nation. Visiting US warships powered by small nuclear reactors sparked massive protests in the 1970s and 1980s, drawing thousands onto the streets…….

The nuclear ship ban has been a central pillar of New Zealand’s foreign policy ever since.

Warships from other nuclear-weapons states, such as the UK and China, have docked in New Zealand ports because they were prepared to declare their vessels “nuclear-free”.

However, the US stuck rigidly to its policy of “neither confirming nor denying” if a ship was nuclear-armed or powered. And that has kept American naval vessels out…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-13/new-zealand-celebrates-anti-nuclear-victory-over-united-states/7731644

August 14, 2016 Posted by | New Zealand, opposition to nuclear, politics international | Leave a comment

Russia’s rush to sell nuclear reactors to Bangladesh may not succeed

text nuclear hypeFalse nuclear hope, HIMAL South Asian  BY M V RAMANA AND ZIA MIAN14 AUGUST 2016   Plans to construct Bangladesh’s first nuclear power plant are moving forward fast. On 26 July 2016, Mohammad Mejbahuddin, Senior Secretary of the Economic Relations Department of Bangladesh, and Russia’s deputy finance minister, Sergei Anatolievich Storchak, signed an inter-governmental agreement in Moscow for the construction and commissioning of two 1200 megawatt (MW) VVER-1200 nuclear reactors at Rooppur (also spelt Ruppur) at an estimated cost of USD 12.65 billion, with Russia committing to loan 90 percent of the costs to Bangladesh. Earlier, in December 2015, when the two government Cabinet committees approved the proposal, the Bangladeshi Minister for Science and Technology Yeafesh Osman said, “I believe USD 12.65 billion is a good bargain”. But the question is:  For whom?

Bangladesh’s first nuclear power plant is not a good way to meet its energy needs. A brief history

The idea of building nuclear reactors at Rooppur is very old. It goes back to a 1963 plan by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission to build one reactor in West Pakistan and one in East Pakistan. This fifty-year quest for constructing a reactor is blind to what has been learned over the same period about nuclear energy. This history suggests there are now good reasons to believe the people of Bangladesh will end up waiting a long time for nuclear electricity from Rooppur, be stuck with big bills, and be forced to live with the constant worry of a nuclear plant accident.

The main player in this quest to build a nuclear plant is the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC), which was created in 1973. As spelt out by a senior official in the organisation, “BAEC has, since then, been trying to do the needful so as to make the country embark on NP [Nuclear Power] program”. Successive Bangladeshi governments have been attracted to the idea of a nuclear plant as a modern technological solution to energy shortages in the country, with officials thinking of the possession of a nuclear plant as an exclusive privilege. As Finance Minister Abdul Muhit put it in December 2015, “Now, we are on the verge of entering the elite club of the countries who have nuclear power plants.” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina even termed Rooppur “the nation’s dream”.

Encouraging the BAEC in this quest are the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), whose mandate calls for the agency to “seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world”, and various nuclear reactor vendors who hope to profit from the sales of nuclear power plants. The IAEA began work in Bangladesh a while back. It carried out a planning study in 1974-75 and projected between approximately1200 and 3000 MW of nuclear capacity in Bangladesh by 1995, with nuclear power constituting 47 percent of the country’s electricity capacity; a high projection that emphasised nuclear power as single biggest source to meet energy needs.

Finally, there are countries like the US, Germany, France and China which have, over the decades, supported their nuclear industries’ efforts to sell reactors. France, for example, signed an agreement with Bangladesh for the “peaceful use of nuclear energy” in 1980 and offered to sell 125 and 300 MW reactors in the 1980s. But in the last few years, Russia has taken the lead, edging out other countries that could have sold Bangladesh a reactor.

Misleading promises

What can we expect for the Russian reactors coming to Rooppur? The pace of contract signing and government approvals should not mislead one into thinking that the reactors will be ready anytime soon. At the time of signing of the general contract between the two countries in December 2015, the claim was that the two Rooppur reactors would start generating electricity within five or six years, by 2021 and 2022. Evidence suggests that it could be twice as long before the reactors actually start producing electricity.

Establishing nuclear power plants is a slow process. In developing countries that have just one or two reactors, the average construction time – between the first pouring of concrete and the reactor starting commercial operation – were 19, 16, 8.5, and 38 years respectively in the cases of Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, and Iran, as can be calculated from the dates given in the IAEA’s Power Reactor Information System (PRIS). These time periods do not include the lengthy preparation period before the actual commencement of construction…….

A better alternative

The purported reason for Bangladesh to embark on this project is to meet its increasing energy demand. But a sustainable strategy for meeting the energy demand would prioritise economical sources of electricity generation that can be brought online quickly. Renewable sources such as solar energy meet the twin goals of lower cost and timeliness far better than nuclear power. Globally, there is already little doubt that solar energy and wind energy are more attractive investments than nuclear power plants. As the 2016 World Nuclear Industry Status Report points out, “global investment decisions on new nuclear power plants remained an order of magnitude below investments in renewables.”…….

Finally, unlike nuclear power plants, solar energy installations can be commissioned relatively quickly, in typically one to two years. This means that by choosing to put money into solar power, Bangladesh could start getting electricity many years earlier than if it built the Rooppur plant.  Bangladesh is beginning the process of significant investment in renewables, setting a target of 3168 MW of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2021. The technical potential of solar energy in Bangladesh has been estimated at 50,174 MW…..http://himalmag.com/false-nuclear-hope-bangladesh-russia/

August 14, 2016 Posted by | ASIA, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment