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Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s “frozen wall of earth” failing at Fukushima

ice-wall-Fukushima By KOHEI TOMITA/ Staff Writer August 19, 2016 Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s “frozen wall of earth” has failed to prevent groundwater from entering the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, and the utility needs a new plan to address the problem, experts said.

An expert panel with the Nuclear Regulation Authority received a report from TEPCO on the current state of the project on Aug. 18. The experts said the ice wall project, almost in its fifth month, has shown little or no success.

“The plan to block groundwater with a frozen wall of earth is failing,” said panel member Yoshinori Kitsutaka, a professor of engineering at Tokyo Metropolitan University. “They need to come up with another solution, even if they keep going forward with the plan.”

One big problem hampering work at the nuclear plant, which was hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in 2011, has been the tons of groundwater entering the buildings housing the No. 1 through No. 4 reactors every day.

The water becomes contaminated with radioactive materials within the reactor buildings.

TEPCO’s plan was to create a frozen wall of earth around the reactor buildings to divert the groundwater away from the plant and into the ocean.

The company started freezing the ground on March 31, and the project’s budget was 34.5 billion yen ($344 million) in taxpayer money as of the end of May.

But the amount of groundwater pumped from the ocean side of the frozen wall has shown little change from when there was no icy earth wall. TEPCO’s report said 99 percent of thermometer readings on the 820-meter-long stretch showed temperatures of freezing or lower, suggesting the underground wall was frozen solid at those points.

However, the remaining 1 percent of the readings above freezing were in areas with high levels of groundwater concentration.

A 99-percent success rate may sound impressive, but much like dams, airlocks and Tupperware, TEPCO’s ice wall is failing if it is not 100-percent watertight.

The utility said the unfrozen sections could be reinforced with an injection of concrete.

The panel asked the utility submit calculations estimating the amount of groundwater that can be blocked if water is pumped before it reaches the frozen wall.

August 19, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | Leave a comment

Foreign companies depend on UK nuclear success for their global marketing drive

marketig-nukesThe major hurdle for Horizon and NuGen is that they must sell their visions to global investors. Both developers say they will build their plants for less than the £18bn it will cost to build Hinkley Point, but they will not say by how much……

For Toshiba and Hitachi, building nuclear reactors in the UK represents a Buy-Japan's-nukes-2chance to boost their reputations — and the image of nuclear power more generally around the world

Energy: Generating criticism Kiran Stacey, Energy Correspondent, 18 Aug 16  The UK’s ambitious plans to build six nuclear plants are raising concerns that it is losing control over critical infrastructure
In a field in a remote part of north-west Wales, a lone farmer cuts the grass, parcelling it up into hay bales which can be sold for a modest profit. His farm, and even the hill on which it sits, will soon be demolished by the Japanese-owned company Horizon — ground zero in an ambitious scheme to build one of a string ofnuclear power stations across the UK.

Wylfa, on the island of Anglesey, is one of several sites designated for the plants, which could cost up to £100bn and, if all goes to plan, will replace the UK’s ageing coal power stations. But despite the billions of pounds about to be poured into nuclear energy in Britain, only some is likely to stay in the UK. Of the six plants being planned, none will be owned by a British company.

For nuclear power groups from France, China, the US and Japan, the UK’s ambitious plans represent a ripe opportunity in an otherwise difficult global market. Following the meltdowns at the Fukushima plant in Japan in 2011, several countries, including Japan and Germany, scaled back or cancelled their nuclear energy plans.

The lack of British participation in such a massive domestic programme has drawn opposition. Critics say the project represents yet another example of the country’s propensity to allow foreign companies and governments to profit from the UK’s most sensitive — and lucrative — infrastructure projects.

That critique appears to be shared by some in the UK government. When Theresa May, the prime minister, unexpectedly delayed the £18bn plant planned for Hinkley Point in south-west England, allies said it was over concerns about the involvement of two Chinese state-backed companies alongside France’s EDF, the state-backed utility. Some officials see the plant as a matter of national security, warning that the Chinese state could have the power to turn off a large chunk of Britain’s electricity supply.

Mrs May’s decision has caused consternation in Beijing, where officials had been reassured by the previous government’s unflagging support for the project. She will travel to China next month to steady bilateral relations, and is expected to make a decision over the project around the time of that trip…….

Made in Japan  At Wylfa, the Hitachi branding on the cranes involved in initial groundworks give a signal of how integral the Japanese company, which owns Horizon, is to every stage of the process. The entire station will be built in Hitachi City in Japan before being shipped over, piece by piece, to north Wales. Horizon has submitted its design to regulators for approval, and will only make the final decision to go ahead after it has funding in place and made the necessary planning applications.

At Moorside, in the northern county of Cumbria, a company called NuGen is developing another site over the road from Sellafield power station. NuGen is a joint venture of Japan’s Toshiba and Engie, the French utility, whose biggest shareholder is the French state. Its reactor has been designed by Westinghouse, the US industrial company, most of which is owned by Toshiba.

If Mrs May is worried about the Chinese being able to shut down Hinkley Point, she might be even more concerned with the plans of EDF, China General Nuclear Power and China National Nuclear Corp in eastern England. After the consortium develops another plant at Sizewell, in Suffolk, the Chinese groups are hoping to design and build the plant at Bradwell in Essex……..

One of the main motivations for EDF’s Chinese partners to invest in the UK is the stamp of quality they would gain as they market their Hualong One design internationally.

“With both the government and public opinion in favour of nuclear power, Britain is a very attractive market for building new nuclear plants,” a spokesman for Hitachi says.

The major hurdle for Horizon and NuGen is that they must sell their visions to global investors. Both developers say they will build their plants for less than the £18bn it will cost to build Hinkley Point, but they will not say by how much……

For Toshiba and Hitachi, building nuclear reactors in the UK represents a chance to boost their reputations — and the image of nuclear power more generally around the world……..

August 19, 2016 Posted by | marketing, UK | Leave a comment

Critical documents missing – secrecy in South Africa’s nuclear negotiations

secret-dealsflag-S.AfricaJoemat-Pettersson to be quizzed on missing nuclear documents, Engineering News, Creamer Media,  
19TH AUGUST 2016 Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Petterssonwill be asked in Parliament next week to account for missing documents in a court case regarding the nuclear energy programme.

That is according to Democratic Alliance (DA) MP and shadow energy minister Gordon Mackay on Thursday, who sits on the energy portfolio committee in Parliament. He was responding to a claim on Thursday that government failed to disclose about ten documents in justifying its decision to enter into an intergovernmental agreement withRussia.

The claim was made by Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (Safcei) and Earthlife AfricaJohannesburg (ELA), who are challenging government in court to prove this nuclear agreement was not in fact a done deal.

Government wants to build about eight nuclear reactors to add 9.6GW of baseload energy in its drive to boost industrialisation in South AfricaHowever, many economists and pro-renewable energy advocates believe it is too expensive and unnecessary for South Africa, with some suggesting it would result in rating agencies downgrading the country to junk status.

“Parliamentary committees recommence next week and the DA will be asking the minister to account for the missing documents,” Mackay told Fin24.

“The DA remains deeply perturbed by the state’s lack of compliance in this case,” he said.

ELA’s Dominque Doyle said government continues to promise a fair and accountable process of nuclearprocurement, but its deeds do not live up to its promises.

“We need answers,” said Doyle. “Parliament should hold government accountable in a transparent manner.”

“Getting information out of government has been like pulling teeth,” said Safcei spokesperson Liz McDaid. “The case has been drawn out since October 2015, with government reluctant to provide the information necessary for a fair hearing.”

No nuclear deal, says minister

However, on Wednesday Joemat-Pettersson emphasised that there is no “nuclear deal”…….

Safcei and ELA said it was picked up that documents were missing while their legal team was reviewing a 700-page responding affidavit from government.

“Detailed analysis reveals the government has failed to disclose at least ten documents to which it refers when justifying its decisions to enter into a nuclear deal withRussia,”  it claimed on Thursday.

On August 4, they sent the department a letter requesting the missing documents, “as they are clearly relevant to the case … and we are still awaiting a response”.

The missing documents include:

1. The proposal to cabinet that the minister signed off for the roll-out of the new nuclear power plants;

2. The Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review by the  International Atomic Energy Agency;

3. The terms of reference for the National Nuclear EnergyExecutive Coordinating Committee;

4. The communication and stakeholder engagement strategy;

5. The phased decision making approach for implementing the nuclear programme ;

6. The designation of Eskom as the owner and operator ofnuclear power plants in South Africa;

7. The 2004 Bilateral International Agreement with the Russian Federation;

8. The May 2013 agreement between Russia and South Africasigned during the Brics summit meeting in Durban;

9. The invitation to attend vendor parade workshops sent to the Republic of Korea, the United States of America, the Russian Federation, the French Republic, the People’s Republic of China, Canada and the Kingdom of Japan; and

10. The list of topics each vendor country was requested to address relating to the invitation referred to in the previous point.

August 19, 2016 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, South Africa | Leave a comment

Canadian nuclear boss ridicules whistledblower

civil-liberty-2smflag-canadaCanadian nuclear boss jokes about whistleblowers and muzzles environmentalistBy Mike De Souza, National Observer August 18th 2016 Shawn-Patrick Stensil shook his head in disbelief as he walked out of a Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission public meeting on Thursday.

 The commission invited Stensil to speak about nuclear safety issues, but wouldn’t let him comment about a remarkable anonymous letter that raised serious engineering and procedural issues questioning whether the agency was doing a bad job overseeing reactors. The commission’s president and chief executive, Michael Binder, led a series of jokes ridiculing the whistleblowers the night before, prompting a public rebuke by the union representing government scientists. Today, Binder cut off Stensil’s microphone.

The commission also declined to review Stensil’s 26-page analysis of the safety issues raised in the anonymous letter.

“I’ve never been shut down before like that by the commission,” said Stensil in an interview withNational Observer after his brief appearance at the meeting.

Stensil is a senior energy strategist at Greenpeace Canada, who has researched nuclear safety policy issues for more than a decade and testifies frequently before federal panels about the issue.

The commission is an independent federal regulator that is responsible for overseeing the Canadian nuclear industry. In other words, it is there to ensure that Canada’s nuclear reactors don’t meltdown and cause a full-scale catastrophe.

“I’ve been intervening before the commission for 15 years,” Stensil said. “They didn’t want to see any outside opposing views. They didn’t want to ask why it happened in the first place and it also shows that the Harper government is still alive and well at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Outside views aren’t welcome. Dissenting views aren’t welcome. And that’s a legacy of Harper that the Trudeau government needs to clean up.”

The letter, released by Stensil, a nuclear campaigner from Greenpeace Canada, to media outlets in July, was addressed to Binder, who was appointed by the government of former prime minister Stephen Harper. Stensil had received a copy of the letter, along with other senior officials at the commission in May. It suggested that commission employees were not doing their job properly, withholding critical information from commissioners, prior to decisions on nuclear safety.

The letter also alleged that some nuclear plants were violating safety rules and had licenses that were approved following inadequate reviews by staff, who then withheld information from commissioners prior to decisions. The author or authors said that the commission, as a result, failed to identify safety risks at nuclear plants and impose conditions to reduce the likelihood of serious accidents.

Stensil has compared these types of failings to the errors which led to the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan that was triggered by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, causing serious damage in its wake.

“It’s very clear from this letter that people (the authors) have inside information about what’s going on at the CNSC,” Stensil said. “I’ve seen some of these issues raised in debates internally that I’ve gotten through access to information (requests). There’s a credibility issue here. And when you start dismissing a dissenter as not having expertise, it really shows why they probably did this in an anonymous fashion.”

But when Stensil began addressing the whistleblowers’ concerns, Binder told him that the commission had discussed the anonymous letter the night before and proceeded to cut off the environmentalist’s microphone.

Whistleblowers targeted by jokes, ridicule

At that previous meeting, the commission heard testimony from several staff, led by Peter Elder, an engineer and strategic advisor at the commission who presented a report that dismissed the concerns raised by the whistleblowers and defended the commission’s oversight and integrity.

Binder and the commission’s senior staff went a bit further, suggesting that the letter’s author or authors were incompetent……After several staff members further ridiculed the letter and commended their boss, Binder, for raising good points, another executive, Ramzi Jammal, the executive vice president and chief regulatory operations officer intervened to echo their comments…….

Stensil described the whole exercise as having appeared to be staged to embarrass and shame the author or authors of the letter and discourage others from coming forward with safety concerns.

Scientists’ union rebukes nuclear boss, vows to defend public interest   Binder’s behaviour prompted a rebuke from the union that represents the commission’s scientists and which has been trying to ensure that its collective agreements with government include protections for scientific integrity to prevent muzzling.

“Our members who are involved in protecting the safety of Canadians do not take their duties or concerns lightly,” said Steve Hindle, vice-president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada. “It is unfortunate that Mr. Binder has chosen to make light of such an important issue. But his reaction will not prevent our members from defending the public interest.”…….

August 19, 2016 Posted by | Canada, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Interactive before and after images of Louisiana floods

see-this.wayDevastating images reveal why US can’t ignore Louisiana floods
Explore these interactive before and after images to see the scale of “the worst natural disaster to strike the US since Superstorm Sandy”. ABC News

By Matt Liddy and Ben Spraggon   Widespread flooding in the southern US state of Louisiana has killed at least 13 people, and more than 80,000 people have registered for emergency assistance.

The American Red Cross called the flooding “the worst natural disaster to strike the US since Superstorm Sandy”.

About 30,000 people had to be rescued, as rainfall hit historic levels.

On Thursday, the Atlantic published an article accusing the national media and presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump of largely ignoring the disaster.

More than 40,000 homes have been flooded.

Authorities are still searching tens of thousands of homes and countless cars for victims and survivors……..

August 19, 2016 Posted by | ENERGY, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Perception that China is not to be trusted is hampering its nuclear marketing ambitions

Buy-China-nukes-1Going Out’ to Hinkley Point? China’s Uncertain Future in International Energy China’s ambition to become a global energy power will have to overcome geopolitical hurdles, The Diplomat By Mykael Goodsell-SooTho August 18, 2016 “…….Recently, China has faced a number of setbacks which demonstrate several countries’ apprehension at the prospect of Chinese involvement in their energy infrastructure. Last week, the Australian government threw a wrench into the plans of China’s State Grid Corporation and Hong Kong’s Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings by preliminarily barring their bids for a controlling stake in Ausgrid, the country’s largest electricity network. This came just weeks after a similar decision by the U.K. government to postpone approval of the Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor project pending a comprehensive review of the plans. In both instances, officials have cited security concerns surrounding Chinese involvement in British and Australian energy infrastructure as primary reasons for the countries’ hesitance to conclude the deals. Whether or not these worries are well-founded, they constitute a significant obstacle to Chinese energy companies’ international ambitions.

While some critics of the Hinkley project—including Nick Timothy, Prime Minister Theresa May’s joint chief of staff—have argued that CGN’s involvement could allow the Chinese to shut down the U.K. power grid at will, others believe that the risks of Chinese participation in Hinkley could be less nefarious, but equally consequential. Such critics argue that, even in the absence of the James Bond-esque tactics touted by Timothy, dependence on China for the financial and technological resources necessary to run the U.K.’s nuclear power program would give China a great deal of control over a vital component of the country’s future. Moreover, quality concerns surrounding “Made in China” products certainly extend to nuclear reactors, and the fact remains that China has not yet established itself as a trustworthy exporter of nuclear-related goods and services. In light of these facts, the May administration has taken a much more cautious approach to the Hinkley project than its predecessor…….
The Chinese ambassador’s call to action highlights the importance of the project in the eyes of the Chinese. It suggests that China’s stake in Hinkley Point and other international energy projects extends beyond the associated financial costs and benefits. If approved, Hinkley Point will be the largest and most expensive nuclear construction venture in the world, and having CGN’s name attached the project would be a major step in establishing China’s credibility in international energy development……..China will face difficulty in further developing its presence in the energy markets outside its borders as long as its motivations for doing so continue to be perceived as dubious.

August 19, 2016 Posted by | China, marketing of nuclear, politics international | Leave a comment

Britain’s nuclear plant delay may see change in energy policy
BY AGENCY STAFF  AUGUST 18 2016 LONDON — Britain’s decision to stall a Franco-Chinese project to build its first nuclear power plant in a generation has fuelled speculation that the new government is reviewing its energy strategy to boost the role of renewables.

Prime Minister Theresa May has given no clear reason for delaying final approval of the Hinkley Point plant, with her spokesman saying only that it was “an extremely important decision that we have to get right”.

Critics cite the enormous cost of the £18bn project, as well as security concerns about the involvement of China’s major energy group CGN.

They also question whether France’s EDF energy giant can deliver on the latest EPR reactors, which have been plagued by delays and cost overruns at projects in France and Finland.

Others have asked if a nuclear plant is the best way to address energy needs during a time of advances in renewables, particularly wind power, a promising source of energy on an island nation.

Peter Williamson, professor of international management at the University of Cambridge, said the reasons for the project’s delay were “multiple and complicated”.”Not only the questions some people have raised about security but also the question of the economics and the high guaranteed price for the electricity.”

France’s EDF would be guaranteed £92.50 per megawatt hour produced by Hinkley Point over 35 years, but that is looking increasingly generous as energy prices fall.

There was also “the question of whether we should opt for a few large nuclear plants or consider new ‘mini-nuclear’ technologies, or other energy alternatives”, Williamson said.

August 19, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Clean energy doesn’t require a nuclear renaissance JOE CORNIBE
August 19, 2016 Edward H. Klevans (“Nuclear Power’s Time Has Come,” Aug. 12 Perspectives) praises New York state for providing clean energy credits to keep its otherwise uncompetitive nuclear plants running and finds “an overwhelming case for […] reliance on, and expansion of, America’s nuclear energy infrastructure.”

Market reality suggests a limited and temporary role for nuclear power. In California, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. announced in June that it will phase out Diablo Canyon’s two nuclear reactors over nine years, because they’re too costly to operate and not necessary. Its output will be replaced entirely by efficiency and renewables, burning no fossil fuels, emitting no carbon  and costing $1 billion less (net present value through 2044) than continuing to run the high-performing plant (estimated savings according to the National Resource Defense Council).

PG&E agrees this will lower cost compared with relicensing Diablo Canyon because of “lower demand, declining costs for renewable power, and the potential for higher renewable integration costs if DCPP is relicensed.”

Reducing carbon is cheaper and more quickly achieved without adding additional nuclear capacity. This is because of opportunity cost: Money spent on expensive nuclear projects is not spent on efficiency and renewables, which, the Rocky Mountain Institute calculates, can displace “two to 20 times more carbon per dollar, 20 to 40 times faster than new nuclear plants.”

The rapidly declining cost of renewables means other nuclear reactors will meet the same fate as Diablo Canyon as the world moves to safe, carbon-free energy. No nuclear renaissance required.

August 19, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Three More Fires at the Savannah River Nuclear Site: August 16, 17, 18 (H-Area, A-Area (SRNL), N-Area)

Mining Awareness +

SRS fires 16, 17, 18 Aug 2016
Locations exported from and
SRS areas having fires Aug. 16, 17, 18 2016 yellow
The last fire which we found at Savannah River Nuclear Site (South Carolina) was in H area on August 7th. Three new fires have appeared on the US government fire map, on August 16th, 17th, and 18th. Having just started monitoring over the last couple of weeks, we are left with the impression that these unreported fires must be frequent at the Savannah River Nuclear Site, at least in the hotter months.

The fires appear to be in the area of the H Tank “Farm” of liquid radioactive waste; at the N-area, probably a shipping container of radioactive waste (a fav way for the UK to store its nuclear waste and perhaps the US uses the same method, or perhaps it is nuclear waste from the UK), and in the A-area which is the Savannah River National Lab (SRNL) itself. The arrival of Canadian…

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August 19, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Times like these remind us…

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

Jayden Jayden, 12, of Rayne, Louisiana, pictured with her mother, Cherri Foytlin.

Obama Administration Ignores Global Warming

“Ironically and sadly, this past weekend, Jayden, a plaintiff asking the federal government to take real action on climate change, experienced first hand what the National Weather Service has called a 1,000 year flood. At least 13 were killed, and an estimated 20,000 had to be rescued as a result of this climate generated catastrophe. Yesterday, Jayden and her family addressed the damage to their own home, pulling up carpet and throwing away their destroyed belongings.

“Unbelievably, next Wednesday, August 24th, the Obama administration will auction off an area the size of Virginia for offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, further exacerbating the climate crisis. Adding insult to injury, the auction will be held in Jayden’s backyard, at the New Orleans Superdome — the site of one of the most visible and tragic…

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August 19, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

August 19 Energy News



¶ “Dirty power games: Coalition steps on the gas” • Yet more evidence has been produced about the dirty power games being played in the South Australian energy market, as the federal government promotes new gas field development. What is needed is new competition in the market, not new gas. [RenewEconomy]

Australian gas pipeline. Australian gas pipeline.

¶ “Clean energy doesn’t require a nuclear renaissance” • Reducing carbon is cheaper and more quickly achieved without adding nuclear capacity. This is because of opportunity cost: Money spent on nuclear projects is not used for efficiency and renewables, which reduce carbon emissions more effectively and less expensively. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Science and Technology:

¶ A tiny device, half the size of a postage stamp, which can rapidly disinfect water with solar energy, has been developed by researchers at Stanford University and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. One scientist said, “We just…

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August 19, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Warm Arctic Storm Tearing Sea Ice to Shreds amidst Big 2016 Heat Spike


Abnormal. Unprecedented. Remarkable. Extreme. These words are supposed to describe unusual events, but in the weird world we’re now entering, the extreme has become commonplace. Some people call this emerging state of affairs ‘the new normal.’ A more direct descriptor is ‘spiraling into climate chaos.’

Chaos is an apt word to describe the scene in the Arctic this week as one of the most powerful summer cyclones ever to form rages in a place that has just experienced a record-shattering influx of atmospheric heat. This storm is hammering the sea ice, pushing it nearly to the second-lowest extent on record. But worse may be still to come as a very weak and diffuse ice pack is predicted to face off against a storm that’s expected to significantly reintensify on both Friday and Tuesday.

Record Arctic Heat

The Arctic. It’s a place we typically associate with frozen things. Due to the…

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August 19, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Climate and nuclear news this week

climate SOSClimate change is an emergency – NOW . While some of us have for decades campaigned against the acute and chronic danger of nuclear weapons and nuclear power, I am having to admit that the climate change issue is urgent, in an even more powerful way.  That’s because climate change has crept up on the world in an insidious way, so that now it is just about at the tipping point, just about irreversible.

One could argue that, short of a global catastrophe – a nuclear war, the world might still stop the nuclear horror “later on”. There is no “later on” for climate change.

We must fight both of these horrendous global threats.

Regions hit by world’s hottest month. Global warming brings worse wildfires – United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. Get used to extreme floods. Climate Change – a serious matter now – will threaten future Olympic Games!

Nuclear reactors, old or new designs, doomed without hefty tax-payer subsidies.


UK.  UK’s Crown Estate recommends UK switching attention from nuclear power to offshore wind.  “Small Nuclear” companies keen to market their wares to UK government.

RUSSIA. International nuclear tensions: Russia builds ‘nuclear bomb proof’ underground bunkers.

JAPAN. Japan’s big ‘nuclear restart’ overtaken by conservation and renewables.   Shikoku Electric fires up Ehime plant MOX reactor amid protests.  Citizen groups organise for legal action to stop Japan’s nuclear restarts.

CANADA. Uranium Miner Cameco’s Tax Avoidance Cost Canada Over $2 Billion in Lost Revenue.

FRENCH POLYNESIA‘s Protestant church takes action against France over nuclear testing.

SOUTH AFRICADrone crash into Koeberg Nuclear Power Station.

August 19, 2016 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Dr Helen Caldicott questions the American belief that a nuclear war is winnable

Caldicott,-Helen-4Anti-Nuclear Advocate Helen Caldicott: “America Still Thinks It Can Win a text-relevant
Nuclear War” 
JILL STILLWATER FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT, 18 Aug 16  I just attended the 31st annual national Veterans for Peace convention here in Berkeley and was truly inspired by the hundreds of vets who attended it, and by their organization’s heroic stand for peace.  As one vet put it, “Been there, done that — war doesn’t work.”

And while wandering around the grounds of the convention center before the festivities began, I ran into Helen Caldicott, an Australian doctor who has bravely spoken out against the use of nuclear weapons ever since the terrible days of America’s Cold War.  I’m not sure what I was expecting that she would look like — perhaps Super Girl in a cape?  But she was just an ordinary-looking person, like someone you would meet on the street.  Until she started speaking to an audience of 300-plus veterans.  And then her eyes flashed, her voice rang out like a warning bell and her passion came alive.

“I am a pediatrician,” she told us, “and if you love this planet, if you love the next generation of babies, you will change the priority of your lives — because right now, America’s top priority seems to be for us to come as close to nuclear war as we possibly can.” ……

as if all those mega-stockpiles of bombs we have now aren’t enough, “the government is currently planning to spend one trillion dollars more on replacing every single bomb, tank and missile we own.” And if that’s not scary enough for ya, America still thinks it can fight and win a nuclear war.  No no no and no!  The powers that be think that dropping 100 nuclear bombs on 100 cities will win the current war-de-jour for us.  “But all that will do is end life on earth.”

And the most scary part of all is that, “It could happentonight.  It could happen right now.  We are closer now to nuclear annihilation than ever, even closer than we were during the Cold War.  North Korea and Iran cannot end the world.  But the sociopaths in charge of our nuclear weapons can.  For instance, Clinton has never seen a war that she doesn’t like.” …….

Every single city in America is targeted by the Russians right now.  “Twelve H-bombs are targeted on New York City alone.  Every city in America is targeted with at least one nuclear missile.  And Russian cities are targeted the same way by America.  And all this insanity is at the mercy of human fallibility too.”

And fighting with Russia is crazy.  Continuing to stock Europe with nuclear weapons pointed at Russia is like waving a red flag at a bull.  It would be as if Russia was arming Canada with nuclear missiles aimed straight at Washington DC.  Not cool at all.  “The Russians will fight to the last person to defend themselves, just like they did against Hitler.  Putin is being set up as the evil one in this scenario, but it is the USA that is the evil one,” by even thinking that they can actually win a nuclear war. …..

August 19, 2016 Posted by | general | 1 Comment

Get used to extreme floods: climate change is becoming urgent

climate SOSExtreme Floods May Be the New Normal Communities should plan defenses and emergency responses based on the climate of the future, not the past, Scientific American By Erika BolstadClimateWire on August 18, 2016 

Over the past year alone, catastrophic rain events characterized as once-in-500-year or even once-in-1,000-year events have flooded West Virginia, Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and now Louisiana, sweeping in billions of dollars of property damage and deaths along with the high waters.

flood Louisiana 16

These extreme weather events are forcing many communities to confront what could signal a new climate change normal. Now many are asking themselves: Are they doing enough to plan for and to adapt to large rain events that climate scientists predict will become more frequent and more intense as global temperatures continue to rise?

The answer in many communities is no, it’s not enough.

They could be doing much, much more to adapt—not just people and how they respond to climate change, but homes, buildings, roads, and levees and other infrastructure, said Gavin Smith, director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence and a research professor at the University of North Carolina’s Department of City and Regional Planning.

One of the first shifts that must happen, many experts in hazard mitigation say, is to stop using the climate of the past to plan for the future.

“One of the great challenges is to recognize that a lot of communities, a lot of cities, a lot of human settlements in general were designed to reflect the climate of the past,” said Smith, who also served as the director of the Mississippi Office of Recovery and Renewal after Hurricane Katrina.

“These issues, they are happening and they’re going to become worse, and the changes are occurring within a context where we’ve designed cities to reflect a previous climate,” he said…….

What climate scientists do know is that the intensity of extreme precipitation events is on the rise. With rising global temperatures, the 2014 National Climate Assessment predicts that many communities will see such extreme precipitation events more frequently.

More frequent events could defy traditional methods of planning for floods, like using 100- and 500-year floodplain maps to plan communities and develop flood insurance rates and who has to have it. It could also radically shift how engineers and architects design buildings. Coupled with sea-level rise in some places, such rain events could also affect how emergency response teams issue storm warnings or prepare people for weather events…….

Climate change could expose vast swaths of U.S. infrastructure to additional natural hazards that are likely to intensify as sea levels rise, temperatures increase and precipitation patterns shift, the report found. Power transmission lines, ports, refineries and wastewater treatment facilities across the country are vulnerable to climate change……

August 19, 2016 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment