You’ve heard of “stranded assets”, for example – things like coal mines that are no longer economic, and the owners can’t sell them.
That’s bad enough. But what about STRANDED WASTES? This is the horrible reality already going on in America – the land that pioneered the (?) great nuclear power industry. They are already stuck with radioactive trash in its various forms – liquid and solid.
They’ve even got legislation to try to unravel who’s responsible for the toxic trash – H.R.5632 – Stranded Nuclear Waste Accountability Act of 2016
The nuclear lobby bravely puts up its latest gimmicky ideas for nuclear reactors that should “eat the wastes” . But even those reactors would still leave highly toxic radioactive trash, and the experiments in nuclear reprocessing are turning out to be super expensive duds, such as Japan’s Monju project.
Why on earth would we keep on making radioactive trash, in view of this pressing problem?
Once again, I have to admit, that however terrible the nuclear industry is, the climate threat is the currently urgent global danger. That’s because the “window of opportunity” to contain it is near to closing. Global warming will accelerate as oceans reach limits of remediation. Climate change action can be stopped by Trans Pacific Partnership.
Another secret and dangerous trade deal – the Trade In Services Agreement.
Risk of another Chernobyl or Fukushima type accident is plausible, experts say.
Practically permanent plunge for the uranium market.
EUROPE. European Court of Auditors see nuclear decommissioning funds shortfall.
UK. A second successful nuclear convoy holdup by intrepid Scottish pensioner. BBC and Science Media Centre (SMC UK) are pro nuclear spruikers. Liberal Democrats oppose Hinkley nuclear plan – ‘very poor value for money’. Theresa May caved in, approving Hinkley nuclear, but the nuclear debate is far from over. Major challenges ahead for Britain’s new nuclear plans – warns EDF chief. Scotttish politicians slam the danger, secrecy, of hazardous air transport of nuclear wastes.
JAPAN. Area not far from Tokyo hit by 6.4 earthquake. Failure of Japan’s 20 year, costly, Monju nuclear reprocessing project Fukushima. Underground Water Now Surfacing in Fukushima Daiichi. Panel to examine options for wrecked Fukushima plant. Fukushima unveils grand plan for alternative energy transmission line networks.
- Hillary Clinton sells out to the nuclear lobby
- Nuclear weapons cuts for USA? Obama tries, but has limited options. USA and South Korea to conduct mock attack on nuclear facility, (with North Korea in mind).
- US taxpayers up for huge costs for accident at Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP).
- Alarm, and lawsuit, over dangers of trucking nuclear waste interstate in America.
- USA could lend $billions to India – anything to sell nuclear reactors!
- New York congressman questions impact of climate change on nuclear facilities.
- Factor climate into national security policy – executive direction by President Obama.
- Wind energy getting popular with USA Republicans.
SOUTH AFRICA. High Court in South Africa to hear case against government’s nuclear power plan. . President Zuma signs secret Russian nuclear deal South Africa’s Energy Minister is asked to release all nuclear-bid information. South Africa has no plan for dealing with nuclear waste.
CHINA. Further nuclear power development in China will require local public consent
CANADA. Canada’s SNC Lavalin marketing nuclear reactors to China.
U.S. intelligence community warns climate change is already destabilizing communities worldwide, Mashable, 23 Sept 16 The U.S. intelligence community on Wednesday released a new report finding that global warming is already acting as a destabilizing force worldwide, with more serious ramifications to come in the next two decades.
The report also states that during the next five years, which will largely fall within the timeframe of the next presidential administration, climate change will cause growing security risks for the U.S. that “will arise primarily from distinct extreme weather events and from the exacerbation of currently strained conditions, like water shortages.”
The new intelligence report starkly warns of climate instability-driven migrations in the next two decades and was released the same week world leaders have been meeting in New York City to consider how to increase support for refugees streaming out of war-torn Syria, Somalia, Libya and other countries.
Over 20 years, the net effects of climate change on the patterns of global human movement and statelessness could be dramatic, perhaps unprecedented. If unanticipated, they could overwhelm government infrastructure and resources, and threaten the social fabric of communities
The report is illustrated with examples of climate-related security developments that have already occurred, such as insurgents’ exploitation of drought-enhanced desertification in a “food for Jihad” movement in northern Mali during 2015.
The report also comes as the White House announced a new policy framework requiring federal agencies to take the impacts of climate change into account when making national security-related policies and plans. President Obama established this framework through a presidential memorandum.
The NIC report provides more detailed information on how climate change will likely pose national security challenges for the U.S. during the next 20 years, raising the possibility that climate change-related impacts could cause entire countries to collapse. ………
The NIC report also considers the possibility of abrupt climate change from unanticipated tipping points in the climate system.
“The national security implications of such changes could be severe.” http://mashable.com/2016/09/21/national-security-climate-change-risk-obama/#Zad7clZR2OqW
U.N. urges U.S., China, others to ratify nuclear test ban treaty , Reuters By Michelle Nichols | UNITED NATIONS, 23 SEPT 16,
The United Nations Security Council urged China, the United States, North Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel and Pakistan to ratify a treaty banning nuclear explosions, which would allow the deal negotiated 20 years ago to come into force.
More than 160 countries have ratified the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Since then India, Pakistan and North Korea have conducted nuclear tests. This month Pyongyang conducted its fifth and largest test.
The 15-member Security Council adopted a U.S.-drafted resolution on Friday with 14 votes in favor and an abstention by Egypt. It does not impose any legal obligations but adds political weight to the push for the treaty to be enacted.
The U.N. resolution calls on all states to refrain from conducting any nuclear explosions……..http://www.reuters.com/article/us-un-nuclear-idUSKCN11T29J
Thousands of Japanese protestors want an end to nuclear power, as well as shutdown of Monju reprocessing plant
Anti-nuclear rally calls for more than just a Monju shutdown http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201609230047.html By RYUJI KUDO/ Staff Writer September 23, 2016 Thousands of anti-nuclear demonstrators gathered in Tokyo on Sept. 22 to demand the government go beyond decommissioning the troubled Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor and abandon its plans to restart other nuclear power plants.
“We definitely don’t need the money-sucking and dangerous Monju,” said Hisae Sawachi, a writer and a member of the organizing committee of the demonstration, which took place under the banner “No nukes, No war.” “Why don’t government officials have the courage to close down all the other nuclear power plants?”
The rally, at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, followed the government’s decision this week to unplug the reactor, which has hardly generated any electricity despite the more than 1 trillion yen ($9.9 billion) spent on it over two decades.
Masaichi Miyashita, who heads the secretariat of an anti-nuclear group in Fukui Prefecture, told the rally that officials in Tsuruga in the prefecture, where the reactor is situated, are opposed to the government decision to decommission the reactor and want to keep it.
“I wonder how local leaders calling for the continuation of the Monju program consider the health and lives of residents,” he said. “I would like you, demonstrators, to continue to demand the decommissioning of Monju by pressuring the government not to waste taxpayers’ money.”
An estimated 9,500 people attended the rally, according to the organizer, which identifies itself as a citizens’ group that is collecting 10 million signatures for a petition to say “sayonara” to nuclear power. Satoshi Kamata, a journalist who has written about the nuclear industry and a member of the committee, said the government should phase out the entire nuclear program.
“Unplugging Monju is just a starting point in ending Japan’s nuclear fuel recycling policy and the restart of nuclear power plants, as well as in changing the course of the nation’s nuclear power policy,” he said.
This is part of a very important article, in which Dr Baverstock thoroughly refutes the claims that Professor Geraldine Thomas’ made in a BBC interview, about Fukushima ionising radiation not being much to worry about. The BBC has since withdrawn her statements.
Thomas’ comments in the video were insulting to the intelligence of the Japanese authorities and their advisors, and extremely ill-judged from a professional radiological point of view. The BBC was right to withdraw her comments as incorrect
‘This was quite clearly scientific misconduct’ by Dr Keith Baverstock, Fissiononline 23 Sept 16 . I will take the BBC interview first. In this interview Thomas questions the whole basis of the Japanese response to the Fukushima accident in terms of its evacuation policy. Is one to imagine that those authorities and the Japanese scientific establishment are so stupid as not to recognise that there is no risk entailing living in those areas?
The internationally agreed public dose limit is 1 mSv per year in addition to approximately 2 mSv per year from natural background radiation. The single measurement made in that television interview indicate 2.8 microsieverts per hour, which is close to 25 mSv per year. That includes the natural background doses o at that point the dose rate is at least 20 times the public dose limit.
Surely Thomas can recognise that this must demand serious consideration by the appropriate authorities as to the safety of those who would live there? However, to determine the safety or otherwise of living there it would be necessary to do a comprehensive survey of the area. My guess is that five years after the deposition of the radioactivity there will be a high degree of variability in measurements: some may be less in the measurement made on the programme, but others more and perhaps considerably more. Furthermore, if one were looking at a situation, for example in the UK, one would have to ensure that the most exposed person could not receive more that 1 mSv per annum. Therefore promises arguments that being indoors for example would reduce the dose rate are not valid in the context of the radiological protection of the public in general.
Whether a special dispensation applies when determining the return of evacuees to their homes is a question that I believe needs to be discussed, because as far as I’m aware the current situation in Japan is unique. Furthermore, we are not talking about a total dose of 20 mSv for someone who returns to live in this village. In many such villages remedial measures to reduce the dose rate are being taken, but only for the main “living areas”. Straying beyond these areas could lead to much higher doses, and eating natural produce, mushrooms etc, to even higher doses.
In the light of these considerations, Thomas’ comments in the video were insulting to the intelligence of the Japanese authorities and their advisors, and extremely ill-judged from a professional radiological point of view. The BBC was right to withdraw her comments as incorrect if that is indeed what they did.
Watching the video I am inclined to believe that Thomas is being disingenuous when she says she made a numeric al error when calculating the dose from the interviewer’s measurement. She made no attempt to do any kind of calculation: the figure she cited was something she clearly had in mond at the outset: she was delivering propaganda for the nuclear industry
That in the context in which the interview took place and the way in which she was introduced to the audience, is clearly scientific misconduct. One must also say here that the ninterviewer must have been, for an experienced journalist, amazingly gullible to have allowed the interview to be broadcast……….. https://issuu.com/fission/docs/fissionline_44
Dr Keith Baverstock led the Radiation Programme at the World Health Organisation’s Regional Office for Europe from 1991 to 2003.
EDF Warns on Profit as Nuclear Plant Outages Increase http://www.wsj.com/articles/edf-warns-on-profit-as-nuclear-plant-outages-increase-1474535674
Standard & Poor’s downgrade of EDF’s debt rating also weighs on share price By INTI LANDAURO and WILLIAM HOROBIN Sept. 22, 2016
PARIS—State-controlled power utility Electricite de France cut its earnings outlook on expectations of lower nuclear output from an increase of plant outages, sending its share price down.
EDF, which last week got the go-ahead from the British government to build the £18 billion ($23.4 billion) Hinkley Point nuclear plant in the U.K., said it expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of between €16.3 billion ($18.3 billion) and €16.6 billion.
It previously had forecast a range of €16.3 billion to €16.8 billion. The company had already lowered its nuclear output forecast in July, but had maintained its earnings target.
The profit warning, which sent EDF’s shares down 1.8% to €10.62, is another blow for shareholders, who have seen the value of the company lose more than 20% this year. The utility, which already suffers from low electricity prices in its home country and losses of market share, has recently embarked on expensive new projects that are deemed a political priority.
The French government, which owns about 85% of EDF, pressured the company to take a majority stake in beleaguered nuclear reactor manufacturer Areva NP. The government also pushed EDF to make the final investment decision to build the Hinkley Project in the U.K.
Some senior EDF officials and labor unions worried about the project’s impact on the company’s net debt which already stood at €37 billion last year. One board member resigned over the issue in July as did Chief Financial Officer Thomas Piquemal in March.
The U.K. government’s approval of the Hinkley Point project prompted Standard & Poor’s to downgrade EDF’s debt rating to A- on Wednesday evening, further pressuring the share price on Thursday morning.
To help utility with such onerous projects, the French government has decided to inject €3 billion in new equity in EDF.
EDF’s revised profitability forecast takes into account a decision by the country’s top administrative court to allow the company to raise the regulated prices it charges to some of its customers, despite the opposition from the government.
Speaking to the General Assembly, Ri Yong-ho said his country will “continue to take measures to strengthen its national nuclear armed forces in both quantity and quality.”
He spoke just two weeks after North Korea’s fifth and most powerful nuclear test provoked worldwide condemnation, prompting the UN Security Council to begin work on a new sanctions resolution.
“Going nuclear armed is the policy of our state,” Ri, who has been foreign minister since May, told the world gathering.
“As long as there exists a nuclear weapon state in hostile relations with the DPRK (North Korea), our national security and the peace on the Korean peninsula can be defended only with reliable nuclear deterrence,” he said……..http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/09/24/north-korea-tells-un-going-nuclear-only-option
JCP reveals risk of contaminated water leakage at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP http://www.japan-press.co.jp/modules/news/index.php?id=9945 September 16, 2016
The JCP investigation team consisting of JCP Dietmembers, Fujino Yasufumi (Lower House) and Takeda Ryosuke (Upper House), on September 15 visited the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP to examine its safety measures.
The group investigated Nos. 6 and 7 reactors, which the Nuclear Regulation Authority is examining TEPCO’s application for restart, and sites of subsidence damage caused by liquefaction due to the 2007 Chuestu Offshore Earthquake.
It has come to light that the amount of groundwater being used at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP is much larger than the amount at other NPPs in Japan. However, TEPCO explained to the JCP group that it has no idea why so much groundwater is being pumped into the nuclear power station. After the investigation, JCP member of the House of Representatives Fujino Yasufumi said to reporters, “The utility has yet to implement measures to control its use of groundwater.” Given the fact that at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, TEPCO is struggling with a serious leakage of radioactively-contaminated water which is caused by groundwater entering the crippled NPP, it is unacceptable for the power company to bring the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power station back online.
Professor Emeritus of Seismology at Niigata University Tateishi Masaaki, who joined the JCP investigation team, pointed out that the NRA should examine the amount of groundwater used at the NPP and asses the seismic capacity of wells pumping up the groundwater.”
Climate change could cross key threshold in a decade: scientists By Laurie Goering 23 Sept 16, OXFORD, England (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The planet could pass a key target on world temperature rise in about a decade, prompting accelerating loss of glaciers, steep declines in water availability, worsening land conflicts and deepening poverty, scientists said this week.
Last December, 195 nations agreed to try to hold world temperature rise to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius, with an aim of 1.5 degrees Celsius.
But the planet is already two-thirds of the way to that lower and safer goal, and could begin to pass it in about a decade, according to Richard Betts, head of climate impacts research at the UK Met Office’s Hadley Centre.
With world emissions unlikely to slow quickly enough to hit that target, it will probably be necessary to remove some carbon pollution from the atmosphere to stabilize the planet, scientists said at a University of Oxford conference on how to achieve the 1.5 degree goal.
That could happen by planting forests or by capturing and then pumping underground emissions from power plants. Or countries could turn to controversial “geoengineering” techniques, such as blocking some of the sunlight arriving on the planet, to hold down temperatures, they said.
“Negative emission technologies are likely to be needed, whether we like them or not,” said Pete Smith, a plant and soil scientist at the University of Aberdeen.
But other changes – such as reducing food waste and creating more sustainable diets, with less beef and fewer imported greenhouse vegetables – could also play a big role in meeting the goal, without so many risks, he said.
“There are lots of behavioral changes required, not just by the government … but by us,” Smith said……..http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-impacts-conference-idUSKCN11S1FE
Eskom’s R150 billion cash-reserves claim is wishful thinking – Natahsa Mazzone http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politics/eskoms-r150-billion-cashreserves-claim-is-wishful- Natasha Mazzone | 23 September 2016
DA says power utility’s profit of R4,6 billion a far cry from the R15 billion need a year to make up amount. The claim by Head of Generation for Eskom, Mr Matshela Koko, that Eskom could pay for the nuclear build programme by using cash-reserves, which he indicated could be R150 billion in 10 years’ time, is wishful thinking.
Eskom recorded a R4.6 billion profit in the 2015/16 financial year, a far cry from the R15 billion in profits it would need to generate consistently for the next 10 years to make up R150 billion.
Considering that by Eskom’s admission electricity demand is down, coupled with economic growth projected at a mere 0.6%, this raises serious questions about the assumptions underlying their projections.
I will therefore be submitting parliamentary questions to Eskom to find out how they intend to generate these massive cash reserves.
The validity of their projections notwithstanding, spending any cash reserves on a nuclear build program would be financially irresponsible. Eskom currently owes its creditors R322 billion underwritten by R350 billion in government guarantees. The entity should rather use excess cash reserves to decrease these liabilities.
Moreover, the fact that Eskom believe they can generate these massive profits whilst pushing for well-above inflation tariff increases on electricity, should be a slap in the face of the majority of poor citizens in our country. Energy and electricity costs are eating into their limited budget and now with these tariff increases, their pockets will be hurting even more.
The big question is why Eskom needs to be building nuclear in the first place when future electricity shortages would be better addressed by cheaper and more sustainable renewable and gas projects. With advancements in storage and battery technologies, these would be the better alternative by 2035.
The Minister is the only person with the prerogative to choose nuclear over any other form of energy, in this vein Mr Koko is overstepping his fiduciary duties to even suggest that Eskom would be investing in Nuclear.
In the context of its massive debt, and repeated requests for above inflation tariff increases, it is irrational to utilise any cash reserves in pursuit of the much maligned nuclear “wonder” programme and once again calls the motivation for the nuke deal into question.
Issued by Natasha Mazzone, DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, 23 September 2016
Economic Calendar, September 23, 2016 Uranium prices remain under pressure, and are currently at an 11-year low, as demand for the commodity remains weak with nuclear power in a hiatus while new plants come online. Even though demand is depressed, miners continue to explore for the commodity, which is adding sentimental pressure over concerns that new uranium supplies will come online before demand takes off
House committee votes to lift 2020 deadline on nuclear power tax credit http://www.utilitydive.com/news/house-committee-votes-to-lift-2020-deadline-on-nuclear-power-tax-credit/426850/ By Peter Maloney | September 23, 2016
- The House Ways and Means Committee has voted 23-9 on a bill to remove a 2020 deadline for a nuclear power plant tax credit, The Hill reports.
- The credit, enacted in 2005, will likely benefit the Vogtle nuclear reactors being built by Southern Co. in Georgia and the Summer reactors being built by SCANA in South Carolina.
- The bill would not change the 6,000-MW cap on the tax credit. Nuclear opponents called the bill a bailout for plant owners who have failed to deliver new reactor projects on time.
Nuclear plants are expensive to build — so expensive that until recently a nuclear plant had not entered construction for nearly 30 years. Notably the nuclear plants now under construction are all being done by regulated utilities, and they benefit from federal loans and tax credits.
That federal support is a key component for the financing of the projects, even if they are otherwise supported, ultimately, by ratepayers.
Both the Vogtle and Summer projects have been plagued by delays and cost overruns. The Vogtle units were originally due online in 2016 and 2017 and are now looking at a 2020 online date. The Summer reactors were originally due online in 2017 and are now slated for operation in 2019 and 2020.
If the revised timelines slip and the 2020 deadline on the tax credits remains, it could prove costly for the plant owners. The bill lifting the tax credit deadline would remove that risk.
“When Congress passed the 2005 act, it could not have contemplated the effort it would take to get a nuclear plant designed and licensed,” Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) told The Hill.
The Economist Sep 24th 2016 | LIANYUNGANG UPON learning (via a terse government statement) that their bustling port city in eastern China had been tipped as the likely site of a plant to recycle used nuclear fuel, residents of Lianyungang took to the streets last month in their thousands. Police, whose warnings against demonstrations were ignored, deployed with riot gear in large numbers but only scuffled with the protesters, who rallied, chanted and waved banners in the city centre for several days. “No one consulted us about this,” says one woman who participated in the protests. “We love our city. We have very little pollution and we don’t want a nuclear-fuel plant anywhere near us. The government says it is totally safe, but how can they be sure? How can we believe them?” she asks.Such scepticism is shared by many in Lianyungang, which already hosts a nuclear-power plant , and elsewhere in China, where the government plans to expand nuclear power massively. ……
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