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Green Party calls on Ontario Premier to say no to nuclear Ontario Power Generation raising electricity costs

Ontario Power Generation has applied for permission to increase the price for nuclear power by 180 per cent over the next decade http://www.nugget.ca/2016/10/21/ontario-power-generation-has-applied-for-permission-to-increase-the-price-for-nuclear-power-by-180-per-cent-over-the-next-decade  The following letter is addressed to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Dear Premier:

Many people in Ontario are struggling to pay their electricity bills.

You need to act now to protect us from further price increases.

Ontario Power Generation wants to raise the price for nuclear power in order to operate its nuclear power plant in Pickering and rebuild the one in Darlington.

It has applied for permission to increase the price for nuclear power by 180 per cent over the next decade. And I expect the price will go even higher – as I’m sure you know, no nuclear project in Ontario’s history has delivered on time or on budget. This is unacceptable.

The people of Ontario simply cannot afford to pay for your plans to spend billions of our tax dollars to rebuild outdated nuclear plants. Studies indicate that Ontario can save $600 million to $1.2 billion per year – or $12 to 24 billion over 20 years – by cancelling the rebuild of the Darlington nuclear plant.

Fortunately, we can cancel the Darlington rebuild and still keep Ontario powered up. There is a cleaner, more affordable alternative: We can get the power we need by importing Quebec’s excess clean water power.

This week you are meeting with top cabinet ministers from Quebec. This gives you a great opportunity to sign a deal for a cheaper and cleaner source of electricity.

To make this work, we would have to upgrade transmission lines at an estimated cost of only about $500 million. All told, Ontario would benefit from a return on investment in just a few months. There are few deals in today’s world with such a short ROI.

Moving forward, the province would enjoy $600 million to $1.2 billion in annual savings. We could use this to fund energy efficiency programs that would help people save money by saving energy.

Premier, I know the nuclear lobby is powerful in Ontario. It spends millions on advertising alone. But I implore you to put the people of Ontario first.

In spite of their criticism, neither opposition party with seats at Queen’s Park has a plan to reduce electricity rate increases. Your government has an historic opportunity to change the conversation on electricity rates in Ontario. The question is whether you have the courage to say no to the nuclear lobby and yes to lower cost water power from Quebec.

Premier, I ask you to put the people of Ontario first by signing a power deal with Quebec for low-cost water power.
Mike Schreiner

Leader, Green Party of Ontario

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October 22, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

India not happy with Costs of Nuclear Power Project With France

India Dissatisfied With Costs of Nuclear Power Project With France   / sandeepachetan
BUSINESS 19:11 21.10.2016 India sent a strong message to France that it will not go ahead with the project unless the costs of production for the Jaitapur nuclear power project would be affordable.

New Delhi (Sputnik) —  India’s Atomic Energy Commission has made it clear that Western nuclear reactors will be welcomed only if it generates power at affordable rates.

………India signed Memorandum of Understanding with France for setting up six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur in March this year. Both countries decided to conclude the final agreement by end of 2016. Technical aspects of the deal have been resolved but expected costs of production have become a major hindrance for going ahead with the agreement……
https://sputniknews.com/business/201610211046596608-india-france-nuclear-project/

October 22, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, India | Leave a comment

Germany providing nuclear submarines in secret deal, to Israel

Israel in secret deal with Germany to buy 3 nuclear subsBig News Network.com, Saturday 22nd October, 2016, TEL AVIV, Israel – A deal negotiated in secret will see the Israel Navy take delivery of 3 nuclear-enabled submarines over the next decade.

Germany is to provide the Dolphin-class submarines as a result of secret negotiations which have spanned the last few months.

Israel will pay a substantially discounted price of $1.3 billion for the three submarines.

The deal is expected to be finalised in early November.

According to The Jerusalem Post, quoting foreign reports, the Israel Navy’s Dolphins ‘provide Israel with nuclear second-strike capabilities, as they can travel far from Israel’s territorial waters and are reportedly able to carry long-range cruise missiles tipped with nuclear warheads.’

Israel, which orchestrated the drive against Iran becoming a nuclear power, and has bombed emerging nuclear facilities in Iraq and Syria, has itself been developing nuclear weapons since the 1950s. The Dimona nuclear plant in the Negev desert had its origins in 1954, just six years after the birth of Israel. The late Shimon Peres as Director General of the Israeli Defense Ministry was responsible for the development of the facility. A pact with France was secretly negotiated and hundreds of French scientists were brought in to develop the facility, in absolute secrecy.

To offset the concerns of satellite surveilance, the Jewish state publicly touted the facility as a business park or textile factory. When U.S. President John Kennedy aroused suspicions in 1963, Israel maintained its denials. Kennedy applied so much pressure, David Ben-Gurion resigned as prime minister of Israel just months before Kennedy was assassinated. Some researchers implicate the Israeli inteligence agency Mossad among those considered responsible for the assassination.

Peres himself was asked point blank by Kennedy if Israel was building a nuclear facility. Summoned to the Oval Room in the White House on a 1963 visit to Washington, the young Peres was asked in his words, ’30 rapid-fire questions,’ before Kennedy asked: “Are you building a nuclear option?” Peres said he changed the subject.

To this day Israel has neither confirmed or denied publicly it has a nuclear facility. The only official statement on Dimona was made on December 21 1960 when Ben-Gurion, in response to an aricle in Time magazine which spawned a flurry of media coverage, announced to the Knesset his government was building “a 24 megawatt reactor which will serve the needs of industry, agriculture, health, and science,” and that it “is designed exclusively for peaceful purposes.”

The Israel Navy until last year had a fleet of four Dolphin-class submarines operating out of its naval base at Haifa. A fifth submarine ariived in late December last year after which it was expected to be fitted with Iraeli-built systems which took several months. It is believed it is operational now…….http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/248758981/israel-in-secret-deal-with-germany-to-buy-3-nuclear-subs

October 22, 2016 Posted by | Israel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Plant Vogtle Nuclear Company is now rewarded for bungling and delays

taxpayer bailoutProposed Agreement Would Reward Southern Company for Bungled, Massively Over Budget and 45-Month Delayed Plant Vogtle Reactors http://www.cleanenergy.org/2016/10/21/proposed-agreement-would-reward-southern-company-for-bungled-massively-over-budget-and-45-month-delayed-plant-vogtle-reactors/

Jennifer Rennicks, SACE, 865.235.1448 Atlanta, Ga.   Late Thursday the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) Staff issued a proposed Stipulation Agreement that fails to protect Georgia Power customers for increased costs associated with the now 45-month delayed, over budget nuclear reactors under construction at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro along the Savannah River. The estimated capital cost forecast has increased $1.262 billion for Georgia Power’s share of the project to $5.680 billion from the original $4.418 billion. The PSC press statement identified what appear to be only phantom savings to utility ratepayers while granting the Company guarantee of collection of billions of dollars in increased project costs.

Key items in the proposed Stipulation include:

  • A defacto extension of the construction schedule from the current 39-month delay to 45 months with acknowledgement that it could be even further delayed, with nominal penalty for the Company.
  • Capital costs up to $5.680 billion are considered reasonable and prudent thus no review in the future; despite the fact that $3.68 billion has been spent in capital costs as of the 15th Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) report. This appears to represent approval of $2 billion in advance of those capital costs even being spent.
  • The phantom cost savings to customers over the next four years appears to be due to merely slowing down the collection of financing costs versus actually denying the Company collection of these costs.

Below is a statement from Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s High Risk Energy Choices Program Director Sara Barczak, an intervening party in the Vogtle Supplemental Information Review process, which the clean energy organization has criticized as an expedited, quasi-prudency review:

Halloween came early in Georgia given the clear treats offered to Southern Company (parent Company of Georgia Power) and the tricks doled out to utility customers. The proposed Stipulation is a major disappointment to consumers for many reasons.

Not one penny of construction costs associated with the construction delay was disallowed, including the $700 million in additional financing costs caused by the delay. Georgia Power will collect 100% of its financing costs. Most of the $325 million in phantom cost reduction to customers is only a delay in collecting financing charges. Georgia Power shareholders may see a tiny drop in their earnings but remain largely protected.

While Georgia Power has spent $3.68 billion on the Project to date, the Stipulation certifies $5.680 billion in construction costs as “prudent” and “reasonable” – essentially an advance approval of $2 billion dollars.

Finally, there is no public record to evaluate whether the PSC Staff negotiated a fair deal or rolled over to the utility company demands.

The proposed Stipulation clearly rewards Southern Company for their and their Contractors’ bungling of the troubled Vogtle nuclear construction project, which has been plagued with a plethora of serious design, engineering and construction problems from Day One that were identified by PSC Staff over years of testimony.

Georgia Power customers will realize little benefit should the Georgia Public Service Commissioners approve this proposal. It’s really sad to see yet another big power company receiving essentially a free pass for their mistakes that will cost families and businesses money.

Additional information: Originally Vogtle reactor Unit 3 was scheduled to come online April 1, 2016 and Unit 4 one year later. As of the 15th VCM report, schedule estimates were June 2019 and June 2020 respectively, a 39-month delay, with a cost estimate of $7.862 billion. The current certified cost for Georgia Power’s share of the project is approximately $6.113 billion. Customers are already paying an additional 9.4% on their monthly bills for the Nuclear Construction Cost Recovery (NCCR) costs due to anti-consumer state legislation passed in 2009 to incentivize building new reactors. Over $1.8 billion in pre-collected financing costs have been charged to ratepayers and the financing costs represent the largest share of the project’s cost overruns. The original approximately $14.1 billion Vogtle project is now estimated to cost well over $20 billion. Georgia Power is 45.7% owner in the project (remaining utility partners are Oglethorpe Power (30%), MEAG (22.7%) and the City of Dalton (1.6%)).

Find more information about Plant Vogtle’s expansion here.

October 22, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

South Africa: How Eskom paid for Gupta mine

secret-dealsflag-S.AfricaDaily Maverick AMABHUNGANE  20 OCT 2016  

At a special late-night tender committee meeting, Eskom executives agreed to hand a Gupta company R587-million – money that was used, two days later, to help pay the R2.15-billion purchase price for Optimum Coal. By Susan Comrie for AMABHUNGANE.

Six hours after the banks refused to give the Guptas a R600-million loan for their controversial Optimum Coal deal, Eskom came to their rescue.

amaBhungane can reveal that at a special late-night tender committee meeting, Eskom executives agreed to hand a Gupta company R587-million – money that was then used, two days later, to help pay the R2.15-billion purchase price for Optimum Coal.

The deal, which documents show was clinched via a 21:00 teleconference call, involved extending Tegeta Exploration and Resources’ coal supply contract with Arnot power station by R587-million.

The fact that Eskom also agreed to pay the money up front reinforces the impression of preferential treatment.

Details of these hurried meetings – all held on April 11 this year – are contained in a report by the business rescue practitioners for Optimum Coal and in minutes of Eskom’s 21:00 meeting that were leaked to Carte Blanche in June.

The report by the business rescue practitioners, Piers Marsden and Peter van den Steen, was made to the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) in terms of section 34 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.

amaBhungane understands that the section 34 report, submitted on July 1 this year, also forms part of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s state capture report.

The business rescue practitioners refused to confirm or deny the existence of the report, but amaBhungane has seen a copy, which sets out in detail what happened on April 11:

  • On that morning, Nazeem Howa, the chief executive of Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments, called the business rescue practitioners and asked for a meeting.
  • At 10:00, Howa sat with the practitioners at Tegeta’s office in Sandton and delivered the bad news – Tegeta was R600-million short of the purchase price for Optimum Coal.
  • At Howa’s request, the practitioners called an urgent meeting with Optimum’s three bank creditors – First Rand Bank, Investec and Nedbank – and a representative of Optimum’s then-owner, Glencore. At the meeting, held at about 13:30 at First Rand’s Sandton offices, the practitioners asked whether the consortium of banks would offer Tegeta a R600-million bridging loan.
  • At 15:00, Marsden phoned Howa to tell him the banks had refused the request.

Leaked Eskom minutes, broadcast on Carte Blanche in June, show that about six hours after Howa was informed that the banks would not stump up the funding, Eskom held a “special tender committee meeting” where it decided to hand Tegeta a R587-million prepayment for coal.

Two days later, Tegeta delivered the full purchase price of R2.15-billion for Optimum Coal.

Tegeta’s purchase of Optimum from Glencore has been muddied by allegations of political interference and favouritism, particularly directed at mines minister Mosebenzi Zwane and Eskom.

Tegeta is partly owned by the Gupta family through Oakbay Investments, but smaller stakes are owned by President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane Zuma, Gupta-linked businessman Salim Essa and an opaque offshore company registered in the United Arab Emirates.

Eskom has repeatedly denied showing Tegeta favourable treatment.

Tegeta, through Oakbay Investments, declined to comment on this detailed timeline, saying it was “subject to an apparent ongoing investigation and the provisions of the Public Protector Act”.

Eskom and Oakbay deny that the approach for the R587-million prepayment was made after Tegeta failed to secure financing from the banks, saying that Eskom had been in discussions with Tegeta for some time.

“Following negotiations (of which we have proof and necessary documentation) we agreed that a prepayment be made against onerous provisions,” Oakbay said. “We cannot comment on how Eskom dealt with the transaction on their side save to mention that a formal agreement was reached, signed pursuant whereto an invoice was issued and paid.”……..

In written statements, Eskom and Oakbay Investments denied that the mine was entitled to receive any part of the prepayment.

Belatedly, Eskom is now seeking to characterise the prepayment as a loan, albeit one that would be repaid in coal at a very high price……….This story was produced by the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism  http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2016-10-20-amabhungane-r587m-in-six-hours-how-eskom-paid-for-gupta-mine/#.WAqNwOV97Gg

October 22, 2016 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, South Africa | Leave a comment

UN again to study the effects of depleted uranium contamination

depleted-uraniumUnited Nations highlights cost and difficulty of tackling depleted uranium contamination http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/united-nations-highlights-cost-and-difficulty

Depleted uranium once again on the UN’s agenda as a new resolution is tabled that serves to remind the international community of the absence of rules governing its post-conflict management.
19 October 2016 – ICBUW A resolution submitted to the United Nations General Assembly’s First Committee draws attention to the technical and financial barriers that countries affected by the use of depleted uranium face following conflicts when they seek to clear contamination. The resolution also reminds governments that states, communities, health experts and civil society organisations remain profoundly concerned about the health and environmental risks that the weapons can pose.

The resolution is the sixth on the topic to be tabled at the General Assembly since 2007. Shortly before the last resolution was debated in 2014, Iraq called for assistance from the international community in addressing the legacy of DU use in the country in 1991 and 2003. The 2014 resolution, which was supported by 150 states, called on member states to provide such assistance. Disappointingly, assistance has not been forthcoming in the interim and the appalling security situation in Iraq has hampered efforts to assess and clear sites.

“Managing DU contamination to internationally accepted standards is complex, time-consuming and costly,” said ICBUW Coordinator Doug Weir. “Research has repeatedly shown that most countries recovering from conflict are poorly placed to implement these vital risk reduction measures, which are recommended by UN agencies, and it is civilians who all too often pay the cost of inaction.” Part of the problem lies in the fact that unlike land mines and cluster munitions, there are no formal obligations, on either those countries that use the weapons, or are affected by them, to clear them after conflicts.

Previous resolutions have passed by huge majorities, with just four states consistently voting against and, while it is unlikely that the UK, US, France and Israel will vote in favour this year, overall the number of governments abstaining has been on a downward trend since 2007. As a result, there is increasing focus on the likes of Canada, Denmark and a number of EU governments who refuse to vote yes, often on extremely dubious grounds.

However, it is Germany that many will be watching. In 2014, the German government abstained on the DU resolution for the first time, triggering a backlash from German parliamentarians and civil society. A parliamentary question urging the government to vote yes was tabled in September by the Green Party. “Germany has got to accept that the potential hazards from DU contamination are widely accepted by the UN agencies that recommend remedial measures, and by their own military, who take a precautionary approach to DU in their own guidelines,” said PAX’s Wim Zwijnenburg. “Doubtless the German authorities would take steps to prevent civilian harm if DU were dispersed in Germany, why should it be different for other countries following conflicts?”

What will the resolution achieve?

The resolutions do not seek to ban DU weapons, however they do underscore the fact that the overwhelming majority of governments object to their use. Each resolution is also helping to define soft norms around some of the most problematic issues surrounding DU. One of these, the need for DU users to share data on where they fire the weapons, has featured since 2010, and its importance was highlighted by a recent report from PAX and ICBUW over DU use in the 2003 Iraq War. The report showed that more than half the DU fired by the US is still unaccounted for, and that the refusal of the US to release data to UN agencies hampered their post-conflict assessments.

Voting on the resolution will take place in early November. A second vote will take place in early December. You can follow the debate on social media using #FirstCommittee and by following @ICBUW

October 22, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, depleted uranium, Reference | Leave a comment

South Africa: Cabinet to DISCUSS ESKOM’S ROLE IN NUCLEAR DEAL

text politicsCABINET TO DISCUSS ESKOM’S ROLE IN NUCLEAR DEAL AT NEXT MEETING http://ewn.co.za/2016/10/20/Cabinet-to-discuss-Eskoms-role-in-nuclear-deal-at-next-meeting

Minister Joematt-Pettersson said in October that Eskom was best-placed to drive the procurement process. Gaye Davis | 

CAPE TOWN – Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe says Cabinet will discuss a proposal that Eskom become the procurement agent for thecountry’s nuclear power programme at its next meeting.

Radebe was responding to questions after briefing on the outcomes of yesterday’s Cabinet meeting.

Energy Minister Tina Joematt-Pettersson said earlier this month Eskom was best-placed to drive the procurement process, while the Department of Energy would act as co-ordinator.

The plan to put Eskom in the nuclear driving seat is set to come before Cabinet in two weeks’ time.

Radebe says, “Eskom being the agency is going to be discussed in the next Cabinet (meeting).The minister of energy will be bringing forth those issues for finalisation by Cabinet.”

Joematt-Pettersson told Parliament’s energy committee earlier this month that Eskom will leverage its own balance sheet to raise the money needed.

Eskom says it wants the first of two nuclear reactors operational in 10 years’ time.

But a revised integrated resource plan, which tries to calculate the country’s long-term energy needs and ways of meeting them, has yet to be approved by Cabinet.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)

October 22, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

Need for America to preserve the Iran nuclear deal

How to Ensure the Iran Nuclear Deal Survives the Next President, NYT, OCT. 20, 2016 WASHINGTON — With every presidential debate this year, Americans are reminded that the Iran nuclear deal remains as controversial as ever. Iranians, too, are watching the election, dreading the potential consequences for the deal — and for their country’s future.

With only three months before the Obama administration leaves office, the United States and Iran need to work fast to strengthen the deal’s foundations and ensure that the improvement in relations that took place over the course of President Obama’s tenure survives.

Both presidential nominees will most likely increase pressure on Tehran, but they differ on the nuclear deal. Donald J. Trump has denounced it as “one of the worst deals ever negotiated.” Hillary Clinton, on the other hand,played a role in forging it and has pledged to continue its implementation. But she has also vowed to be tough on Iran for its ballistic missile program and its support for terrorism.

Iran is also preparing for presidential elections, scheduled for May. The contenders haven’t yet announced their candidacies, but President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, is likely to face tough conservative challengers, some of whom opposed negotiations with the Americans and believe he agreed to too many concessions. His opponents say that the deal affords Iran no tangible benefits because, although sanctions have been lifted, the economy has hardly recovered.

Against this backdrop, the nuclear agreement will enter the second year of implementation in early 2017.

But even now, there are many challenges to Iranian-American relations. Iran has tested the United States by arresting American citizens, continuing its ballistic missile program and conducting cyberattacks against American interests. For its part, the United States Congress has placed obstacles in the way of the deal’s implementation, such as trying to stall the sale of civilian aircraft to Iran. And while the State Department has tried to encourage businesses to re-enter the Iranian market, many remain reluctant because the Treasury Department has been slow to provide clarity on sanctions.

But thanks to open channels of communication between Washington and Tehran, nothing yet has derailed the nuclear deal.

Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif of Iran have developed a good working relationship. In January, communication between the two led to the quick release of American sailors who were detained after entering Iranian waters. These channels are one of the greatest achievements of the nuclear talks and key to the deal’s success, allowing two adversaries to finally settle disputes diplomatically. But unless these means of dialogue are sustained, hiccups could turn into bigger crises, ultimately undoing the improvement in relations — and the nuclear deal.

To protect them, the United States and Iran should institutionalize their relationship. The State Department and Iran’s Foreign Ministry should have conversations not just at the highest levels, but across their diplomatic corps. By starting now to move interactions with Iran from top-level political appointees to others within the State Department, the United States can create the building blocks for the next administration……http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/20/opinion/how-to-ensure-the-iran-nuclear-deal-survives-the-next-president.html?_r=0

October 22, 2016 Posted by | USA elections 2016 | Leave a comment

America’s Congressional hawks rev up their anti Russia rhetoric

US Hawks Continue Hysteria Over All Things Russia http://news.antiwar.com/2016/10/19/us-hawks-continue-hysteria-over-all-things-russia/

Amid Rising Tensions, Old Allegations Spark New Panic

by Jason Ditz, October 19, 2016 In 2008, Russia carried out a test of a cruise missile which US officials argued might conceivably violate the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). This was first brought up by US officials in 2014,  during the anti-Russia hysteria surrounding the East Ukraine civil war.

Two and a half years later, tensions with Russia are on the rise again, so officials appear to have decided that the exact same 2008 test is suddenly a huge thing again, with a number of Congressional hawks issuing a letter claiming the Russian test was an “egregious” violation, and demanding that the Obama Administration “impose penalties” on Russia over it.

Russia had threatened to withdraw from the INF over NATO’s expansion into Eastern Europe, saying it changed the balance of power in the region. They were also riled by the Bush Administration’s threats to install missile defense along the Russian frontier.

The missiles in question are a multi-stage system Russia designed which are aimed to technically comply with the letter of the treaty, while expanding intermediate range capabilities in ways that the treaty was meant to forbid. The US has made similar developments over the years since 1987.

With US officials riled at Russia over Aleppo, and presenting the fighting in the city as a “holocaust,” they have also brought up several other grievances they have with Russia, accusing them of everything from treaty violations to supporting Donald Trump.

It’s interesting to note, however, that most of the grievances aren’t particularly new, and didn’t have a lot of meat to them the last time they brought them up. The effort seems to be to just keep Russia’s name out there, and always in a negative light.

October 22, 2016 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA wants meeting with Russia Over Missile Treaty Dispute

U.S. Calls For Meeting With Russia Over Missile Treaty Dispute , Radio Free Europe,  20 Oct 16 WASHINGTON — The United States has called for a special meeting with Russia over alleged violations of a landmark Cold War-era arms-control treaty, a policy reversal that echoes deepening U.S. fears about Moscow’s intentions.

The planned meeting of the Special Verification Commission, scheduled in the near future, focuses new attention on concerns about the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF).

The treaty, which bans testing, producing, and possessing ground-launched cruise missiles with ranges between 500 to 5,500 kilometers, eliminated an entire class of missiles from Europe, and set up an extensive system of verification and compliance. The agreement was considered crucial in the thaw between the Soviet Union and the United States.

Two years ago, the United States first asserted that Russia was in violation of the treaty, by developing a missile system that fell within the INF prohibitions. Moscow denied the allegations, and later charged that U.S.-led efforts to install elements of a missile-defense system in Europe were in fact prohibited by the INF.

Since then, U.S. officials have pressed Russia on the alleged violations; at one point, President Barack Obama raised the issue directly with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin……..http://www.rferl.org/a/us-calls-meeting-with-russia-nuclear-missile-deployment-concern-russian-nuclear-arms-buildup/28064316.html

October 22, 2016 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Korea’s State nuclear company expects to win $billions from marketing nuclear operations to United Arab Emirates

Buy-S-Korea-nukesS.Korea signs on to venture to operate UAE’s 1st nuclear power plant http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFL3N1C32ZG

SEOUL Oct 20 (Reuters) – State-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) agreed to invest $900 million in a company operating the first nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates, South Korea’s energy ministry said on Thursday.

KEPCO expects the deal to boost its revenue by nearly $50 billion over the next 60 years, according to a statement from the ministry.

KEPCO and Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp (ENEC) signed the deal to co-invest in the company managing and operating the UAE’s Barakah nuclear power plant for the next six decades, the ministry statement said.

In 2009, a KEPCO-led consortium won a contract to build the four 1,400 megawatt nuclear reactors that are being constructed at the Barakah plant to meet the UAE’s surging demand for electricity.

South Korea, the world’s fifth-biggest user of nuclear power, constructs and operates its reactors through KEPCO. (Reporting By Jane Chung; Editing by Tom Hogue)

 

October 22, 2016 Posted by | marketing, South Korea, United Arab Emirates | Leave a comment

Impact of the Fukushima Accident on Marine Life, Five Years Later

Five years ago, the largest single release of human-made radioactive discharge to the marine environment resulted from an accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. Approximately 80 percent of the fallout happened over the Pacific Ocean. A new study explores the environmental consequences in the marine environment of the accident. It outlines the status of current research about the impact of the fallout on plant and animal life and what remains to be done as the radioactivity continues to spread.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161018141309.htm

October 22, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016, oceans | Leave a comment

What happens if you stand up to the fossil fuel industry: the Amy Goodman saga

Amy Goodman showed us the perils of standing up to the fossil fuel industry https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/18/amy-goodman-perils-standing-up-fossil-fuel-industry
May Boeve

The rights of activists and journalists are under threat wherever communities challenge Big Oil – in North Dakota and beyond. For far too long, the world had been ignoring the North Dakota anti-pipelines protests. Then the Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman captured private security forces (employed by a fossil fuel company)sicking dogs on Native Americans during a peaceful demonstration against the Dakota Access Pipeline, which encroaches on their sacred lands and waters. For that, she nearly went to jail.

The video made Goodman a target of North Dakota authorities, who brought charges of trespassing and rioting against her and the native leaders on the ground during the dog attack. Yes, a journalist was threatened with punishment for reporting on the horrific attack on indigenous people.

Authorities said Goodman didn’t deserve press protections because her opinions made her an “activist” instead of a journalist. Are we to punish every journalist who calls out state violence as he or she sees it? How could you not have an opinion in the face of such brutality? Should Walter Cronkite have gone to prison for his words about Vietnam?

Clearly not. Organizations defending freedom of the press decried the charges against Goodman. Activists like ourselves rallied behind her cause online because we understand the importance of a free press to social change. And on Monday, a North Dakota judge dropped the charges due to lack of probable cause.

It’s a win for freedom of the press, but intimidation by the fossil fuel industry and its government allies is far from over. Native leaders at the Standing Rock camps know this all too well, as they continue to face arrests by North Dakota police and pressure by Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the pipeline.

There’s no question that Goodman’s fearless reporting helped make this act of brutality a turning point in the fight to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Soon after her broadcast, the Obama administration stepped in and paused the project until there could be “further consultation” of indigenous peoples. Suddenly, TV news and the mainstream media took up the story in a serious way for the first time. Thousands of more people headed out to the camp.

The trampling of our rights as activists, or as journalists, isn’t just a problem in North Dakota. It’s also a fight that’s playing out around the world wherever communities stand up to the fossil fuel industry and other corporate interests destroying our communities and climate.

We see it in the murder of activists like Berta Cáceres in Honduras. We see it in the Philippines, where anti-mining activists are being murdered by paramilitary groups. According to a report by Global Witness, 185 environmental activists in 16 countries were killed last year and the number is just going up.

Despite this violence, the movement to challenge the fossil fuel industry has continued to grow more powerful, and we’re not backing down. As the work to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline continues, I’m honored to stand in solidarity with the incredible Native American leaders at Standing Rock who are putting their bodies on the line to shut this destructive project down. The photos and videos of their brave actions have become lightning rods, channeling tremendous new energy into this movement. This is a historic fight unfolding in real time.

The images of resistance at Standing Rock are a call to action. We cannot let the rights of indigenous peoples be sidelined by the fossil fuel industry, and we can’t afford another pipeline if we want to maintain a livable planet.

We also must fiercely defend the rights of activists and journalists alike to tell stories like these, stories that often unfold in sacrifice zones far from the “halls of power”, and to tell them fairly and honestly. This won’t be the last fight against a pipeline and Amy Goodman won’t be the last journalist brought to court for reporting about the fossil fuel industry. The struggle continues, together.

October 22, 2016 Posted by | civil liberties, Legal, USA | 1 Comment

America moves to silence Wikileaks

Washington moves to silence WikiLeaks, WSW,  19 October 2016

The cutting off of Internet access for Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is one more ugly episode in a US presidential election campaign that has plumbed the depths of political degradation.

Effectively imprisoned in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for over four years, Assange now is faced with a further limitation on his contact with the outside world.

On Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry of Ecuador confirmed WikiLeaks’ charge that Ecuador itself had ordered the severing of Assange’s Internet connection under pressure from the US government. In a statement, the ministry said that WikiLeaks had “published a wealth of documents impacting on the US election campaign,” adding that the government of Ecuador “respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states” and “does not interfere in external electoral processes.” On that grounds, the statement claimed, the Ecuadorian government decided to “restrict access” to the communications network at its London embassy……

WikiLeaks cited reports that Secretary of State John Kerry had demanded that the government of Ecuador carry out the action “on the sidelines of the negotiations” surrounding the abortive Colombian peace accord last month in Bogota. The US government intervened to prevent any further exposures that could damage the campaign of Clinton, who has emerged as the clear favorite of the US military and intelligence complex as well as the Wall Street banks.

Whether the State Department was the only entity placing pressure on Ecuador on behalf of the Clinton campaign, or whether Wall Street also intervened directly, is unclear. The timing of the Internet cutoff, in the immediate aftermath of the release of Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speeches, may be more than coincidental…….http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/10/19/pers-o19.html

October 22, 2016 Posted by | civil liberties, USA, Wikileaks | Leave a comment

The e-waste mountains – in pictures

see-this.wayThe e-waste mountains – in pictures https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/gallery/2016/oct/18/the-e-waste-reduce-waste-old-technology-mountains-in-pictures   Sustainable development goal target 12.5 is to reduce waste. But with a planet increasingly dependent on technology, is that even possible? Kai Loeffelbein’s photographs of e-waste recycling in Guiyu, southern China show what happens to discarded computers   @avleachy  19 October 2016 

October 22, 2016 Posted by | wastes | Leave a comment