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Warning from 375 top scientists of ‘real, serious, immediate’ climate threat

climate-change375 top scientists warn of ‘real, serious, immediate’ climate threat http://www.skepticalscience.com/375-nas-warn-climate-threat.html  21 September 2016 by John Abraham

Yesterday, 375 of the world’s top scientists, including 30 Nobel Prize winners, published an open letter regarding climate change. In the letter, the scientists report that the evidence is clear: humans are causing climate change. We are now observing climate change and its affect across the globe. The seas are rising, the oceans are warming, the lower atmosphere is warming, the land is warming, ice is melting, rainfall patterns are changing and the ocean is becoming more acidic.

These facts are incontrovertible. No reputable scientist disputes them. It is the truth.

Despite these facts, the letter reports that the US presidential campaign has seen claims that the earth isn’t warming, or it is only a natural warming, or that climate changeis a hoax. These claims are false. The claims are made by politicians or real estate developers with no scientific experience. These people who deny the reality of climate change are not scientists. 

These claims aren’t new. We see them every election cycle. In fact, for the Republican Party, they are a virtual litmus test for electability. It is terribly sad that the party of Lincoln (the president who initiated the National Academy of Sciences) has been rebuked by the National Academy today. It is sad that the party of Teddy Roosevelt, who created the National Park System, is acting in a way antithetical to his legacy. It is also sad that the party of Nixon, who created the Environmental Protection Agency, now is trying to eliminate that very organization.

What is perhaps most sad is that the party of “fiscal conservatism” is leading us on a path that will result in higher economic and social costs for all of us. What we don’t know is what the future will bring. Will the warming be gradual or sudden? Will ocean rise increase at a faster rate or not? Will we continue to see major ice shelfcollapse? Increased droughts and heat waves? Will we be able to adapt?

A rational decision maker would take action to manage the risks from climate change. This threat is to our health, our communities, and our economies. A changing climate with warming seas and an acidifying ocean will cause real economic losses for our generation and for the future.

In the letter, the scientists venture deeper into politics than scientists are generally willing to tread. They describe the inane Republican platform and the foolish position of the Republican nominee Donald Trump. Basically, Trump wishes to scrap our environmental agreements, which have resulted in reductions to our own emissions as well as very strong agreements to reduce global warming through international agreements.

Despite the excellent work over the past 7 years, we have not seen the increase in energy prices that the denialists claimed would occur. Instead, we’ve seen huge reductions in the cost of wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources.

We were right, they were wrong. We can deliver reliable energy to the USA at a low cost, with less pollution.

We scientists have warned the country and the world about the dangers of climate changefor decades. We are now seeing our predictions come true. There are no longer any reputable scientists who disagree that humans are the major factor changing the climate. Click here to read the rest

September 23, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Failure of Japan’s 20 year, costly, nuclear reprocessing project

en-433551-thumbx300-monjuCostly Japanese prototype nuclear reactor shuts down  http://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2016/09/costly-japanese-prototype-nuclear-reactor-shuts-down/ By Jack Loughran, September 21, 2016

The Monju nuclear reactor in Japan, which has operated for less than a year in more than two decades at a cost of 1tn yen (£7.6bn), is set to be scrapped. The prototype fast-breeder reactor was designed to burn plutonium from spent fuel at conventional reactors to create more fuel than it consumes.

The process is appealing to a country whose limited resources force it to rely on imports for virtually all its oil and gas needs.

But Tokyo believes it would be difficult to gain public support to spend several hundred billion yen to upgrade the Monju facility, which has been plagued by accidents, missteps and falsification of documents.

There is also a strong anti-nuclear sentiment in Japan in reaction to the 2011 Fukushima atomic disaster, and calls to decommission Monju have been growing in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, with scant results from using around 20 billion yen of public money a year for maintenance alone.

Science Minister Hirokazu Matsuno, Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko and others had decided to shift policy away from developing Monju, a fast-breeder nuclear reactor in the west of the country, the government said.

They had also agreed to keep the nuclear fuel cycle intact and would set up a committee to decide a policy for future fast-breeder development by the end of the year.

A formal decision to decommission Monju is likely to be made by the end of the year, government officials said.

The decision would have no impact on Japan’s nuclear recycling policy as Tokyo would continue to co-develop a fast-breeder demonstration reactor that has been proposed in France, while research will continue at another experimental fast-breeder reactor, Joyo, which was a predecessor of Monju.

“The move will not have an impact on nuclear fuel balance or nuclear fuel cycle technology development or Japan’s international cooperation,” said Tomoko Murakami, nuclear energy manager at the country’s Institute of Energy Economics.

Before the Fukushima disaster, Japan had planned to build a commercial fast-breeder before 2050, but according to the International Energy Agency that project may be delayed, given the difficulties at Monju.

The fallout from the Fukushima disaster is continuing. Specialised robots have been developed to retrieve some of the radioactive material from the ill-fated plant but they have been repeatedly unable to complete their task because the high levels of radiation destroys their circuitry.

September 23, 2016 Posted by | Japan, reprocessing | Leave a comment

Another secret and dangerous trade deal – the Trade In Services Agreement

secret-dealsThe new TTIP? Meet TISA, the ‘secret privatisation pact that poses a threat to democracy’ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/ttip-trade-deal-new-what-is-tisa-privatisation-pact-secret-threat-to-democracy-a7216296.html

Government insists ‘public services are under no threat whatsoever from this deal’

  • Ian Johnston
  • Wednesday 31 August 2016An international trade deal being negotiated in secret is a “turbo-charged privatisation pact” that poses a threat to democratic sovereignty and “the very concept of public services”, campaigners have warned.But this is not TTIP – the international agreement it appears campaigners in the European Union have managed to scupper over similar concerns – this is TISA, a deal backed by some of the world’s biggest corporations, such as Microsoft, Google, IBM, Walt Disney, Walmart, Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase.

    Few people may have heard of the Trade In Services Agreement, but campaign group Global Justice Now warns in a new report: “Defeating TTIP may amount to a pyrrhic victory if we allow TISA to pass without challenge.”

    Like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TISA is being negotiated in secret, even though it could have a major impact on countries which sign up.

  • While TTIP is only between the EU and US, those behind TISA have global ambitions as it involves most of the world’s major economies – with the notable exceptions of China and Russia – in a group they call the “Really Good Friends of Services”.

    The Department for International Trade dismissed the idea that public services were at risk from TISA, adding that the UK was committed to securing an “ambitious” deal.

    But according to Global Justice Now’s report, the deal could “lock in privatisation of public services”; allow “casino capitalism” by undermining financial regulations designed to prevent a recurrence of the 2008 recession; threaten online privacy; damage efforts to fight climate change; and prevent developing countries from improving public services.

  • Nick Dearden, director of group, said: “This deal is a threat to the very concept of public services. It is a turbo-charged privatisation pact, based on the idea that rather than serving the public interest, governments must step out of the way and allow corporations to ‘get on with it’.

    “Of particular concern, we fear TISA will include clauses that will prevent governments taking public control of strategic services, and inhibit regulation of the very banks that created the financial crash.”

    He suggested pro-Brexit voters should be concerned at the potential loss of sovereignty.

    “Many people were persuaded to leave the EU on the grounds they would be ‘taking back control’ of our economic policy,” Mr Dearden said.

    “But if we sign up to TISA, our ability to control our economy – to regulate, to protect public services, to fight climate change – is massively reduced. In effect, we would be handing large swathes of policy-making to big business. “

  • The report says the widespread opposition to TTIP, a deal between only the EU and US, had not yet been repeated over TISA.

    “It is vital for elected representatives, campaigners and ordinary citizens to unite against this threat,” it adds.

    “TISA threatens public services. From postal services to the NHS, TISA could lock in privatisation and ensure that big multinationals increasingly call the shots on areas like health, education and basic utilities.”

    A so-called “ratchet” clause in the deal means that after a service – like trains or water or energy – is privatised, this is almost impossible to reverse even if it fails.

  • According to the report, a “standstill” clause also means “no new regulation can be passed that gives foreign companies worse treatment” than when TISA is passed.

    “Taken together, the standstill and ratchet clauses could make it much harder for a future government to renationalise the railways, a move backed by a majority of the British public,” it says.

    “Similarly, it could mean that the creeping privatisation of the NHS becomes more and more irreversible with greater involvement of companies from countries like the US. And forget taking control of the electricity system back from the big six energy firms.”

  • Migrant workers could be classified as “independent service suppliers”, the report says, meaning they would not be eligible for the minimum wage or be allowed to join a union.

    People going to another country may find their visa is tied to their job, so if they were sacked, they would be deported.

    “This sort of system of modern indentured labour is wide open to abuse by unscrupulous employers who may get away with illegal practices safe in the knowledge that they can threaten any employee with deportation if they complain,” the report says.

    “This sort of system is used in countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar and has resulted in working conditions that have been described as being close to slavery.”

    The global economic crash of 2008 was precipitated by the sale of complex financial products linked to unsafe “sub-prime” mortgages. The report says there is a danger the final TISA deal would “undermine efforts to regulate risky financial products” with a proposal that firms should be allowed to offer “any new financial service”.

  • “The danger is that TISA will deter governments from limiting the use of such ‘innovative’ financial products and leave us powerless to stop the next financial crisis,” it says.

    TISA could also potentially prevent governments from favouring renewable energy over fossil fuels – despite the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the health effects of air pollution.

    Private firms would also be allowed to move online data from one country to another under one proposal being considered. While the original country’s privacy laws would have to be respected, the report said it was “not clear how this will be … enforced”.

    While developed countries in Europe have established public services that would not be threatened unless a state’s government decided to open them up to private firms, the same is not true of many developing countries. If they signed up to the deal, it could effectively prevent them from setting up public institutions taken for granted in the West.

  • The TISA negotiations were held behind closed doors for about 18 months until they were publicly revealed by the global trade union group Public Services International (PSI). Information about some of the proposals has been also disclosed through Wikileaks and similar sites.

    Daniel Bertossa, PSI’s director of policy, said: “Anybody who’s interested in maintaining democratic control of national institutions should be very concerned about the Trade in Services Agreement that is being negotiated in secret.

    “It will remove large sections of national sovereignty and the ability of any government, including the UK Government, to regulate important service sectors [on issues] such as energy, such as transport, such as privacy. The Trade in Services Agreement is part of a radical project to limit governments’ sovereign right to regulate and freeze it almost in permanence in the interests of foreign corporations.”

    According to the European Commission, TISA is about “facilitating trade in services”.

    “The EU is the world’s largest exporter of services with tens of millions of jobs throughout Europe in the services sector. Opening up markets for services will mean more growth and jobs,” its website says.

  • The Independent has contacted “Team TISA”, a group of mainly American companies in favour of the deal, asking for a comment. On its website, it says: “Services are the fastest growing sector of the global economy and account for two thirds of global output, one third of global employment and nearly 20 per cent of global trade.

    “The TISA provides an opportunity to expand services trade among over 50 countries, covering nearly 70 per cent of global trade in services.

    “The potential expansion TISA provides will benefit not only global growth, but also US domestic growth.

    “As the world’s largest services exporter, with over $1.3 trillion (about £1 trillion) in annual cross-border and foreign-affiliate sales, the US will benefit tremendously from elimination of services barriers.”

    A Department for International Trade spokesperson said: “Public services are under no threat whatsoever from this deal or any other trade agreement. The UK remains committed to an ambitious Trade in Services Agreement.”

September 23, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, EUROPE, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Factor climate into national security policy – executive direction by President Obama

For the first time, Obama requires U.S. government to factor climate into national security policy,WP By Juliet Eilperin September 21 President Obama signed a presidential memorandum Wednesday establishing that climate-change impacts must be factored into the development of all national security-related doctrine, policies and plans.

The move signals Obama’s determination to exercise his executive authority during his final months in office to elevate the issue of climate in federal decision-making, even though it remains unclear whether his successor will embrace this approach.

Under the directive, 20 federal agencies and offices that work on climate science, intelligence and national security must “collaborate to ensure the best information on climate impacts is available to strengthen our national security” through the new Federal Climate and National Security Working Group. That group must release a climate change and national security action plan in 90 days. All the relevant agencies must then identify steps to implement it.

Speaking to reporters on a conference call, White House officials said this would spur a more specific and focused strategy when it comes to both identifying how different regions of the world would be affected by climate change and how to respond……..https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/09/21/for-the-first-time-obama-requires-u-s-government-to-factor-climate-into-national-security-policy/?utm_term=.a5aae6b8a2bf

September 23, 2016 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Global atmospheric temperature rise already predicted to be above 1.5 °C

climate SOSThe oil and gas we have already tapped will take us past 1.5 °C https://www.newscientist.com/article/2106758-the-oil-and-gas-we-have-already-tapped-will-take-us-past-1-5c/ By Fred Pearce

When you’re in a hole, stop digging. If the world is to have any chance to halt warming below 2 °C, as agreed at the UN’s climate summit in Paris, we cannot develop any more oil wells, coal mines or gas fields.

In fact, we need to go further and start phasing out existing projects, according to the first study of the likely carbon emissions from current fossil fuel extraction.

As more world leaders this week ratify the Paris Agreement at the UN General Assembly in New York, the study finds that “potential carbon emissions from developed reserves – where the wells are already drilled, the pits dug, and the pipelines, processing facilities, railways and export terminals constructed – will take us just beyond the Paris Agreement’s two degrees Celsius warming limit”

Developed reserves of oil and gas alone, even if coal were phased out immediately, would threaten the agreement’s preferred lower target of 1.5 °C, says the study from Oil Change International, a US think tank that opposes fossil fuels.

 The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says capping warming at 2 °C requires total post-2015 emissions to be kept below 843 billion tonnes of CO2 – or 22 years of emissions at current rates.

But the report’s author, Greg Muttitt, used industry data to calculate that developed reserves of coal, oil and gas will deliver emissions of 941 billion tonnes.

 This means countries such as the UK, whose prime minister told the UN assembly this week that her government would ratify the Paris Agreement, should stop all further oil and gas exploration, including fracking.

“There is no room in the atmosphere. No new fossil fuel infrastructure should be built,” says Muttitt. “This means no fracking for gas in the UK or any other new country, and a fairly rapid winding down of existing fracking in the US. All energy development needs to be focused on clean energy from now on.”

Energy analysts say that investment in new fossil fuel resources is already waning in the wake of the Paris Agreement.

Anthony Hobley of the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a think tank set up by former investment analysts, said Muttitt’s hopes of an end to investment in new coal mines could be imminent. Coal burning has been in decline since 2013.  As a result, the industry was stuck with assets worth $200 billion that had “no prospect of paying back their investment cost if the world is serious about the two-degree ceiling”.

Last year, Goldman Sachs said it believed that, led by China, the world reached “peak coal” production in 2013.

September 23, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

France: Public consultation on the draft decree on protection against the dangers of ionizing radiation  

Sean Arclight   Hervé Courtois   CRIIRAD calls to mobilize against the adoption of very high reference levels
to manage nuclear accidents and their consequences.

The French authorities are preparing to establish the zones management criteria contaminated following a nuclear accident (or after an attack affecting a nuclear installation). What level of radiation exposure, and thus risk, will be taken in reference to decide whether or not to hire a particular action to protect the population? Very concretely: to what level of risk you will be condemned to live in contaminated areas? At what level of risk can you expect to be compensated and rehoused in a healthy environment?

The French authorities have retained the levels of effective dose as high as possible: 100 mSv for the accident phase and 20 mSv / year for accidental post phase (while for the public, the maximum dose limit is typically 1 mSv / year and that this value is already at a high level of risk). More limitations are high, lower are the expenses related to the protection and compensation for damage. This choice is unfortunately consistent with the capping of compensation for victims of a major nuclear accident. Nuclear power is exempted from the application of the polluter pays principle: they are the victims who bear the health and economic consequences of the disaster.

This decision does not just happen. It is the fruit of 20 years of efforts of the nuclear lobby, and specifically the French nuclear lobby via the Trojan horse, the FNEC (1). The key idea is to convince people that can be done entirely live in contaminated areas. Just a bit of training and equipment to control their environment, food. These experts have just “forgot” the central problem of the deteriorating health status of people, especially children.

If you are shocked by the image of the Japanese children wear around their necks a dosimeter as a pendant, if it is not the future you want for your children, act!
1. Study Centre on the Protection of the evaluation in the field Nuclear: an association with 4 members (EDF, AREVA, CEA and IRSN) and has widely infiltrated the national and international decision-making and including the ICRP (Jacques Lochard, Director of the FNEC, is now vice chairman of the main committee)

The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Marine has launched a consultation on the draft decree on the Directive 2013/59. Remember that France must transpose the Directive into French law by January 2018. This consultation is an opportunity to denounce the proposals which we find unacceptable and show already our requirements. We later learned of this consultation will end on 30 September.
Take part in the public consultation
and say NO to the obligation to live in contaminated areas!

> Learn more
> How to participate in the public consultation?

The Directive covers many topics which will be discussed further. Other actions will be implemented in the coming weeks. We already rely on your help to relay! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021186047913052/

September 23, 2016 Posted by | France, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

The unsolved problem of high level nuclear wastes

How Nuclear Power Causes Global Warming, The Progressive,   September 21, 2016  Harvey Wasserman“……As for the high-level waste, this remains one of humankind’s most persistent and dangerous problems. Atomic apologists have claimed that the intensely radioactive spent fuel rods can somehow be usable for additional power generation. But after a half-century of efforts, with billions of dollars spent, all attempts to do that have utterly failed. There are zero successful reactors capable of producing more reactor fuel than they use, or able to derive more energy from the tens of thousands of tons of spent fuel rods they create.

Some reactors, like Fukushima, use “mixed-oxide” fuels that have proven to be extremely dirty and expensive. It’s possible some of this “MOX” fuel containing plutonium, actually fissioned at Fukushima Unit Three, raising terrifying questions about the dangers of its use. The mushroom cloud that appears on video as Fukushima Unit Three exploded stands as an epic warning against further use of these impossible-to-manage fuels.

The MOX facility under construction near Aiken, South Carolina, is now projected to require another ten years to build with another ten possible after that to phase into production. U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz said on September 13, 2016, at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace that the mismanaged project was “impossible” to carry out and that it could cost $30 billion to $50 billion. Even the current pro-nuclear Congress won’t fully fund the project and the Department of Energy DOE continues to recommend abandoning it…….

Atomic apologists argue that the disposal of high-level reactor wastes should be a relatively simple problem, lacking only the political will to proceed. The industry touts New Mexico’sWaste Isolation Pilot Project, or WIPP, which has long been the poster child for military attempts to deal with high-level trash from the nuclear weapons program. Accepting its first shipment of waste in 1999, WIPP was touted as the ultimate high-tech, spare-no-expense model that proved radioactive waste disposal “can be done.”

But a series of disastrous events in February,  2014, led WIPP to stop accepting wastes—the sole function for which it was designed. Most significant was the explosion of a single barrel of highly radioactive waste materials (it was mistakenly packed with organic rather than clay-based kitty litter). About a dozen WIPP workers were exposed to potentially harmful radiation. The entire facility remains closed. In a phone interview, facility management told me it may again accept some wastes before the end of this year. But at least part of the cavernous underground labyrinth may never be reopened. The Los Angeles Times estimatedthe cost of this single accident at $2 billion…….Harvey Wasserman wrote SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH. He editsnukefree.org. You can find his GREEN POWER & WELLNESS SHOW at www.prn.fm

September 23, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear power is NOT emissions-free

climate It's a lieMy Turn: Nuclear power isn’t emissions-free  http://www.concordmonitor.com/Nuclear-power-is-a-stew-of-radioactive-poison-4919032  By ROB BLAKENEY For the Monitor, September 23, 2016 I am dismayed at the Monitor for giving readers a second bite of the same radioactive nuclear apple from Vermont Yankee’s Howard Shaffer (Monitor Forum, Aug. 31).

This is Shaffer’s second atomic power promotion to appear in the Monitor this year (MonitorOpinion, June 13), again hyping the industry’s discredited tale that nuclear energy is “emissions-free.”

I am grateful I was able to show (Monitor Forum, June 23) why that claim is blatantly false, when nuclear power’s carbon footprint properly includes emissions from atomic fuel extraction and manufacturing. But now the Monitor has brought back the same industry representative to fly in the face of undisputed facts and disseminate the same misinformation.

In my opinion, that is as bad as Matt Lauer letting Donald Trump get away with his often-repeated lie about having opposed the Iraq War. Better to remember the old adage: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

I repeat: only reactor operation is carbon-free; all the many other stages in the nuclear fuel chain – uranium mining, uranium milling, fuel fabrication, fuel enrichment, reactor construction, reactor decommissioning and waste management – use massive amounts of fossil fuel and emit massive amounts of carbon. As does transportation from each stage of the fuel cycle to the next, via ship, truck or rail. This information has been quantified by independent researchers with ties to no industry.

Among further facts independent researchers have exposed: nuclear carbon emissions are increasing with the industry’s growing reliance on low-grade uranium ore as high-grade supplies are exhausted; and, emissions from the construction and decommissioning of nuclear power plants are so significant that each plant must operate for two or three years just to offset its energy inputs. (By comparison, a wind power plant offsets its sunk energy costs in only three to seven months of operation.)

Growing up in the 1950s – the dawn of the atomic era – I felt the appeal of nuclear power hype – that it would be the “peaceful atom” and “too cheap to meter.” Once those claims were categorically exposed as noxious hype, the world’s most dangerous industry seized on the climate change crisis to contrive a fig leaf to try to counter the inescapable reality – atomic power is poison power. Hopefully people will not get fooled again by nuclear energy’s shiny new “emissions-free” hype.

September 23, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Canada’s SNC Lavalin marketing nuclear reactors to China

nuclear-marketing-crapSNC-Lavalin to build Candu nuclear reactor for China, BERTRAND MAROTTE, MONTREAL — The Globe and Mail, Sep. 22, 2016 SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. is closing in on its goal of becoming a major player in China’s thriving nuclear-energy industry with an agreement for the development in that country of the next generation of Candu reactors.

The Montreal-based global engineering giant said on Thursday it has an agreement in principle for a joint venture with state-owned atomic-power and weapons company China National Nuclear Corp. and manufacturing conglomerate Shanghai Electric Group Co. Ltd. to design, market and build the Advanced Fuel Candu Reactor (AFCR).

SNC signed an initial memorandum of understanding with CNNC to pursue power generation, mining and nuclear-related environmental projects around the world more than two years ago.

 The joint venture to be created – the new company is expected to be registered in China by mid-2017 – is the first between a foreign company and the Chinese nuclear giant involving the development of new technology…….

SNC bought the Candu unit from Ottawa for $15-million in 2011. But Candu has had a poor track record of selling its technology abroad and questions have also been raised over its cost-effectiveness.

China, however, appears to have endorsed the concept of building reactors that run on recycled uranium…….

The proposed joint venture follows the signing of a framework agreement in 2014 and is subject to government and regulatory approvals, SNC said. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/snc-lavalin-strikes-deal-to-build-nuclear-reactors-in-china/article32000350/

September 23, 2016 Posted by | Canada, China, marketing | Leave a comment

Wind energy getting popular with USA Republicans

Why Republicans support wind energy Tom Kiernan, Roberta Combs, Michele Combs,  Desmoines Register September 20, 2016 Did you know that American wind turbines can now produce as much electricity as 17 typical nuclear power plants or 65 coal plants? That’s how much wind power has grown across the U.S.

Iowans may already know, but many Americans don’t realize how much wind power reliably contributes to U.S. energy independence. And any Republican or Democrat running for election this fall should pay attention to wind’s rapid growth. Especially since recent polling data show that as wind power grows, so does U.S. voter support for it.Strong voter support for wind shouldn’t be surprising when you consider that by tripling in size over the last several years, wind now supports a record-high 88,000 jobs across all 50 states. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also recently reported that wind turbine technician is the fastest growing profession in the U.S. Wind farms also pay $222 million in land lease payments to family farmers, many of whom call wind power their new “drought-resistant cash crop.”

A cleaner energy economy built by growing wind energy benefits both our economy and our health.

Wind energy greatly reduces a variety of health-harming air pollutants, including smog-causing sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Cutting these helps reduce asthma rates and other respiratory illnesses, creating $7.3 billion in avoided health costs last year alone.

Conventional wisdom says Democrats are typically consistent supporters of clean energy, while Republicans aren’t. That notion actually doesn’t match up with reality.

Sen. Chuck Grassley has shown visionary leadership in creating and advocating for the Production Tax Credit, a fundamental part of why we have a modern U.S. wind industry today. This performance-based tax incentive is a big reason why Iowa already generates nearly a third of its electricity using wind, with the 40 percent milestone looming in the near-future. It’s also why wind power’s technology has advanced enough to drop costs by two-thirds over just six years, saving American consumers billions of dollars.

It’s also not widely known that wind power supports well-paying jobs and invests in 75 percent of all Republican districts in the U.S.

Republican-represented districts host 86 percent of the total wind farm fleet in America. That means the majority of wind’s economic benefits — including jobs, billions of dollars in private investment, and added tax revenue for improving local infrastructure — go to rural communities with a strong presence of typically Republican voters……..http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/iowa-view/2016/09/20/why-republicans-support-wind-energy/90743862/

September 23, 2016 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

USA could lend $billions to India – anything to sell nuclear reactors!

Toshiba WestinghouseIndia Could Get Billions from the U.S. To Build a Nuclear Reactor, Fortune, by Reuters SEPTEMBER 22, 2016   If a lending freeze doesn’t get in the way.

India is negotiating with U.S. Export-Import Bank for an $8-9 billion loan to finance six Westinghouse Electric nuclear reactors, two sources familiar with the talks said, although a lending freeze at the trade agency threatens progress.

The mega-project, the result of warming U.S.-India ties in recent years, could open up billions of dollars of further investment in India’s nuclear power sector, ……..

The Westinghouse deal, however, is contingent on financing and Ex-Im cannot approve loans of more than $10 million, owing to a row in the U.S. Congress over board appointments stemming from a campaign by conservatives to close the government lender……..

“Financing of the reactors is the critical piece; everything is down to this,” said one source involved in protracted negotiations to build the reactors in the south-eastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

The source, requesting anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks, said Indian negotiators and Ex-Im officials were trying to set the terms of the financial package in the hope that the freeze on the bank, affecting potential sales of several major U.S. companies, would lift soon.

Westinghouse is owned by Japan’s Toshiba Corp but is based in the United States……..

In addition to U.S. Ex-Im, India is also seeking funding from Japan and South Korea for the reactors to be built in Kovvada, two sources familiar with the talks said……..

While negotiators are unlikely to nail down a contract under Obama, who steps down in January, their challenge will be to come up with concessional financing terms that will make Westinghouse’s AP1000 reactors affordable.

Westinghouse did not respond to a request for comment, while a U.S. Ex-Im Bank spokeswoman declined to comment. An NPCIL official said the firm had nothing to say at this stage…….

ndia is also in talks with Russia to build four more reactors on top of the two already completed in Kudankulam in southern Tamil Nadu state, as well as with France’s EDF for the construction of six reactors of 1650 MW each in western India, which would be the world’s biggest nuclear power complex.

But talks with Westinghouse are more advanced than those with the French, with the two sides aiming to sign an early works agreement next month, sources familiar with their progress said.

A delegation from the U.S.-based firm visited New Delhi earlier this month to finalize the pact that would include the timeline and up-front costs such as land acquisition and site preparation, said a source familiar with the matter. http://fortune.com/2016/09/22/india-nuclear-power/

September 23, 2016 Posted by | India, marketing, USA | Leave a comment

Recurring problems cited at Westinghouse nuclear plant

 The State,  BY SAMMY FRETWELL sfretwell@thestate.com COLUMBIA, SC 

An internal review of a Columbia nuclear fuel factory has identified multiple problems with how the site has been managed for atomic safety through the years.

The report, compiled by plant operator Westinghouse, says the company wasn’t always tough-minded enough about safety and it didn’t ensure employees knew enough about nuclear safety while operating some of the factory’s equipment.

Westinghouse’s report cited “long standing deficiencies’’ that led to a buildup of uranium in excess of federal nuclear safety standards in part of the Bluff Road plant……….

Buildups of atomic material are of concern because they can lead to nuclear accidents, although that did not occur in this case. Nuclear safety advocates say Westinghouse needs to redouble its efforts to make sure other, more serious problems don’t arise……..http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article103589917.html

September 23, 2016 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment