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Calder Hall -Truth Hurts!



A photograph not shown on the ITV news bulletin – Calder Hall …. with hundreds of resting (and nesting) herring gulls.

The recent news item on Calder Hall was, in fact, parroted propaganda from a Sellafield press release .  Aimed at the hearts and souls of the Cumbrian public who are being relentlessly softened up for the nuclear “renaissance” including most significantly Moorside and the geological dumping of nuclear wastes.

Here is a letter of complaint to ITV –  please do write a letter of your own to

Dear ITV


Radiation Free Lakeland are a volunteer nuclear safety group in Cumbria. We have become used to the hubris of Sellafield’s statements over the decades but we were shocked to see ITV repeat Sellafield’s puff piece of propaganda on Calder Hall earlier this week.

Your item of the 15th November 2016 stated…

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November 18, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nations reconfirm support of global climate deal at UN summit #auspol #climatechange


Nearly 200 countries have reaffirmed their commitment to a global climate change deal during a conference in Morocco. The UN gathering was overshadowed by Donald Trump’s threats to withdraw the US from the global pact.

The 197 parties to the UN’s climate convention called for the increased political action in order to fight climate change in a proclamation issued on Thursday in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh.

“We call for the highest political commitment to combat climate change, as a matter of urgent priority,” the 196 nations and the European Union bloc said in their “Marrakesh Action Proclamation” issued during the annual UN climate conference.

The document also called for increased financing for projects which will help prevent worst-case-scenario global warming and cope with the upcoming unavoidable effects of climate change.

“Our climate is warming at an alarming and unprecedented rate and we have an urgent duty to respond,” the…

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November 18, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

November 18 Energy News



¶ China’s JinkoSolar lifted its guidance for shipments of PV modules in 2016, anticipating 6.6 GW to 6.7 GW, after third-quarter volumes rose 41.6% year-on-year. The company had previously expected 6 GW to 6.5 GW of PV module shipments for the year. The quarter’s revenue was down by 4.4% due to lower PV prices. [SeeNews Renewables]

Birds on a solar module  (Author: Don McCullough, CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic) Birds on a solar module (Author: Don McCullough, CC BY-SA)

¶ The European Commission has given the go-ahead for Greece’s support mechanism for renewable electricity after saying it aligns with EU state aid rules. The government plans for state aid through a feed-in tariff scheme for small projects and would have a price premium for those with capacities of above 500 kW. [Energy Voice]

¶ Saudi Arabia has reiterated its commitment to working toward mitigating the effects of global climate change at the 22nd UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech…

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November 18, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Optimists hope for a change in Donald Trump’s behaviour, but the signs are not good

Optimists are hoping for a Trump makeover. They cling to his brief victory remarks suggesting that he wants to be the “president of all the people.” In his 60 Minutes interview following the election Trump said that the protestors were out in the streets because “they do not know me.” They recall his statement some months ago that he had to say outlandish things in order to get greater media attention and reach more people than his Republican primary competitors.

Character and personality are not prone to change in most people. Especially in the case of Trump, who sees these campaign tactics as reasons for his “successes.” However, the assumption to exalted, higher offices of public trust and power sometimes brings out the better angels.
So far, though, the signs are foreboding. Trump values loyalty, and people like Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich stuck with him at his lowest points earlier this year. Trump knows very little about the awesome job given him by that dead hand from the past – the Electoral College – which has once again caused a plurality of voters to see their chosen candidate lose (Even Trump acknowledged its unfairness on CBS’s 60 Minutes after the election).

Lack of knowhow coupled with blind loyalty brings Trump to rely heavily on these old hands behind the worsening corporate state and military belligerence.

His transition appointments are delighting the corporatists. The man chosen to oversee the changes in the Environmental Protection Agency denies that climate change is man-made and scowls at regulation of harmful pollutants. Trump has opened the door to the big oil and gas lobbyists to control the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior. Wall Streeters are smacking their lips over Trump cavorting with opponents of regulating that giant gambling casino.

His military advisers do not come from the ranks of prudent retired officials who see perpetual war for what it is – a mechanism for national insecurity, authoritarianism and profits for the military-industrial complex that President Dwight Eisenhower warned us about in his 1961 farewell address. To the contrary, many of Trump’s military advisors have been quick to embrace an Empire mentality and its warfare state.

One can imagine how a major stateless terrorist attack on the U.S. during his administration could provoke Trump into a heavy-handed retaliation with dangerous and unforeseen consequences. This is exactly what these adversaries want him to do in order to further spread their propaganda campaign against the U.S. Meanwhile, our civil liberties, and the domestic necessities of the people are shoved aside.

His first two major assistants – Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon – have called for corporate tax reductions and elimination of the estate tax on the rich (the only ones who pay it). Despite the “small government” façade, they are not likely to challenge the deficit-swelling combination of a larger military budget, decreased revenue and continuation of the bailouts, subsidies and giveaways known as crony capitalism that have enriched Trump and his plutocratic allies over the years.

Intrigue and internal fighting inside the White House and top Cabinet levels are likely if Trump insists on giving powerful roles to his three children and son-in-law (albeit without pay). Nepotism and conflicts of interest are acidic cocktails and undermine the integrity and transparency of public office.

Then there is the explosive crackdown on immigrants – many of whom benefit millions of Americans by working in low-wage jobs – that can produce daily turmoil, not to mention the exorbitant human cost of breaking up families in communities across the country.

In past Republican Party electoral victories, there was always a modicum of checks and balances to slow their plutocratic greed and power grabs. As of January 21, 2017 the Republican Party controls the Executive Branch, the Congress, the Supreme Court and most likely 33 governorships and 32 state legislatures. The anti-democratic Electoral College is the cause this November of giving the GOP control over the White House and, by extension, the Supreme Court (see

Other than an unlikely vigorous and fearless free press, not just in Washington but also back in the localities, or a self-destructive Trump implosion, the redeeming power of the people can only come from the grass roots.

Our country is in an extraordinarily high-risk condition, given who possesses the reins of power. Self-described conservatives and liberals can curb that power if they form alliances back in the Congressional districts around the major initiatives on which they agree (See my book Unstoppable: The Emerging Left/Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State). Such alliances have occurred with success in the past.

With the power brokers employing their divide-and-rule tactics, such potent political alliances will require citizen action and adequate funding in all Congressional districts with focused and sustained intensity on their Senators and Representatives. Congress, with only 535 lawmakers, is the most accessible of the checks and balances reachable by the people back home.

How many enlightened billionaires, serious citizen-patriots and advocates for transforming elections and governance step up?

November 18, 2016 Posted by | USA elections 2016 | Leave a comment

Long term nuclear wastes problem remains unsolved: we should not be producing more of it

Above all, deep disposal should not be upheld as the solution that legitimates new
The existing nuclear legacy is already proving difficult to manage; the uncertainties of time-scale and inventory radioactive trashthat new build would introduce would make the legacy unmanageable.

Why worry about nuclear waste? What has the future ever done for us? Ecologist, Andrew Blowers, 16th November 2016 

The long term problems of what to do with nuclear waste remain entirely unsolved, writes Andrew Blowers. Yet governments and the nuclear industry continue to peddle their untenable ‘bury and forget’ policy of deep geological disposal, which only unloads the toxic legacy of modern day nuclear power and weapons onto uncountable future generations.

In all the recent debate about the future of nuclear energy, one issue, perhaps the most important of all, has been largely ignored.

Yet the problem of dealing with waste and contamination that follows nuclear activity as night follows day afflicts not only those generations that get the dubious benefit of nuclear electricity, but also imposes burdens of effort, risk and cost on generations into the far and unforeseeable future.

That burden will be disproportionately borne by those communities already hosting nuclear facilities as they will be the most likely recipients of any new nuclear development.

There are two primary reasons for neglect of this issue. One is that, in today’s world, there is an emphasis on the short run, on security and jobs and investment for the present and foreseeable future of our children and grandchildren.

Beyond that the future, both environmentally and socially, becomes unimaginable and so a perverse and cavalier disregard of the interests of those bearing the nuclear legacy becomes permissable, even normal.

At worst the needs of the future are subordinated to those of the present (‘what has the future ever done for us?’) while, at best, there is implicitly an assumption that the future will take care of itself, with perhaps a little help…….

All will be well in the best of all possible worlds

Dr Pangloss

This idea that all will be well if only we can bury and forget is the second reason for neglecting the issue of waste in the debate over new build.

The UK Government glibly dismisses the problem of long term management with the casuist assertion that “effective arrangements will exist to manage and dispose of the waste that will be produced from new nuclear power stations.” (DECC, 2011, p.15). Continue reading

November 18, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, wastes | Leave a comment

Radical Bill in Illinois would rewrite the law, in order to save Exelon’s nuclear reactors


Bill to save Exelon nuclear plants proposes vast rewrite of Ill. law Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter EnergyWire: Wednesday, November 16, 2016 The Illinois Legislature’s six-day veto session opened yesterday with the thud of a sprawling 446-page bill that represents the most significant rewrite of state energy law in almost a decade.

The centerpiece of S.B. 2814, as expected, is a New York-style plan to subsidize two Exelon Corp. nuclear plants that will otherwise be shut down over the next two years.

While Exelon’s nuclear emergency provides the impetus for cash-strapped Illinois to cram through a complex energy bill in the span of a few days, the measure would go much further and remake virtually every aspect of the state’s electricity market for years to come………

the most controversial element in the bill remains a provision to subsidize two Exelon nuclear plants.

Exelon announced this spring that the Clinton plant northeast of Springfield and the Quad Cities plant on the Iowa border would be prematurely closed on June 1, 2017, and June 1, 2018, respectively (EnergyWire, June 3). The plants, which have lost a combined $800 million over the last seven years, continue to bleed red ink as cheap natural gas, increasing wind penetration and declining energy demand depress wholesale power prices.

The new bill is the third try to win support for the plants. The company proposed legislation creating a low-carbon portfolio standard in March 2015 that would have benefited all of its six nuclear plants. Earlier this year, Exelon took a bill to Springfield called the “Next Generation Energy Plan,” which would have provided more targeted aid to the Clinton and Quad Cities plants.

The provision in the bill was inspired by Exelon’s success in winning support for its New York nuclear units. The New York Public Service Commission in August approved a plan to provide payments to three upstate nuclear plants based on the federal government’s social cost of carbon (EnergyWire, Aug. 10).

The latest Illinois proposal would require utilities ComEd and Ameren to purchase zero-emission credits from the nuclear plants at a price based on the social cost of carbon. The price would be adjusted for changes in energy markets. Increases on retail electricity rates would be capped at about 2 percent a year…….

rooftop solar companies warned that the measure would kill residential solar in Illinois before the market gets off the ground. There are currently fewer than 1,000 rooftop solar installations in the state. They said the new rate structure authorized in the bill would make residential solar projects economically infeasible. And the group doesn’t see rebates being dangled by ComEd as a good substitute for the state’s net-metering law, which credits solar generators for excess generation put back on the grid.

“This radical rate design would eliminate solar as an option for Illinois residents to help lower and manage their energy bills, and it would put solar installers out of business in the process,” Amy Heart, a Midwest-based public policy manager for Sunrun Inc., an alliance member, said during a news conference yesterday morning in Springfield……..

unpredictability of demand-based rates would stymie rooftop solar growth in Illinois, said Rebecca Stanfield, a Chicago-based vice president of policy and electricity markets for SolarCity.

“It’s a nightmare for anyone in the distributed energy business” if customers can’t easily compute the payback time on an investment, Stanfield said in an interview.

The demand charge proposal is the main source of opposition from AARP, which said the impact of the change would disproportionately fall on low- and fixed-income residents.

“It’s going to have a major impact on the quality of life in Illinois,” said Julie Vahling, associate state director for the group. She said the bill creates an end run around the Illinois Commerce Commission, the state agency tasked with deciding utility rate structure.

November 18, 2016 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

John Kerry – USA is not giving up on Paris climate deal

Flag-USAclimate-changeJohn Kerry: We will fight to keep US in the Paris climate deal
Secretary of state says the outgoing Obama administration is determined to prevent Trump withdrawing the US from the landmark deal,
Guardian,   in Marrakech and , 17 Nov 16,  John Kerry has signalled that the outgoing Obama administration is preparing a fight to ensure that Donald Trump does not withdraw the US from the landmark Paris agreement, to prevent catastrophic climate change.

November 18, 2016 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Exelon behind Illinois massive energy bill to subsidise and save uneconomic nuclear power plants

taxpayer-bailout-exelonExelon’s Illinois energy bill greeted by vociferous opposition, Utility Dive,  Nov. 17, 2016

Dive Brief:
Illinois lawmakers have introduced a massive energy bill backed by Exelon that would implement a sweeping restructuring of utility bills in the state to pay for a variety of incentives and programs, including subsidies to keep two nuclear power plants scheduled for closure operating, media sources report.

The bill also includes capacity charges for coal plants in the south of the state, as well as provisions for utility energy efficiency programs, utility microgrids and community solar projects. It would also institute mandatory residential demand charges while replacing net metering with a one-time rebate.

The bill was introduced into the General Assembly’s shortened “veto session,” which runs for three days this week and three days the week after Thanksgiving, and has attracted vocal criticism from a variety of constituencies.

Dive Insight: The day it was introduced, opponents of the Future Energy Jobs Bill spoke out in opposition to the proposed legislation.

“This is going to be the largest rate hike in U.S. history,” Dave Lundy, head of the BEST Coalition, a  business group opposed to the bill, said at a press conference shortly after the bill was introduced.

Lundy was objecting to the subsidies the bill would provide to not only Exelon nuclear plants, but to southern Illinois coal plants as well. He said that Illinois generates 41% more electricity than the state needs, so payments to the coal and nuclear plants would be subsidizing rates for customers in other states.

Abe Scarr, director of Illinois Public Interest Research Group, called the mandatory demand charges in the bill “an end run around the Illinois Commerce Commission.”

Sheila Garland, with National Nurses United, said the charges would who would harm low-income and minority residents.

Solar advocates spoke out as well, decrying the demand charge and net metering reform they said would kill rooftop solar in the state.

“With the radical demand charges and elimination of net metering, [lawmakers] are also eliminating the options for residents to do anything about the rate hike,” Amy Heart, director of public policy at Sunrun, told Midwest Energy News. …..

November 18, 2016 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Petition accepted by USA, calling for fossil fuel lobbyists to be excluded from Marrakech climate talks

climate-changeMarrakech climate talks: US accepts petition calling for fossil fuel lobbyists to be excluded
Petition supports nations such as Ecuador and Venezuela that tried to initiate a conflict of interests policy,
Guardian, , 16 Nov 16, A petition calling for fossil fuel lobbyists to be excluded from the UN climate change negotiations has been forced into the hands of the US delegation in Morocco, where almost 200 nations are meeting to work out ways to implement the 2015 Paris agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

The US delegation initially said it could not formally receive the petition signed by more than 500,000 people but later contacted Corporate Accountability International, agreeing to receive it on Wednesday.

The development followed a side event on Monday at the meeting in Marrakech, headed by the Ecuadorian delegation, where parties to the Paris agreement and non-government organisations met to discuss why a conflict of interests policy was needed and what it might look like.

The petition, spearheaded by Corporate Accountability International, calls for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to create a policy that would screen non-state participants of meetings for conflicts of interests.

It was written in support of moves by Ecuador, Venezuela and other developing nations representing the majority of the world’s population, who tried to initiate a conflict of interests policy in May.

They argued that groups representing fossil fuel companies, whose net worth can be larger than the GDPs of developing nations, and who have funded climate change denial, should not be allowed in policy negotiations without being screened for conflicts of interest.

That move was blocked by delegations representing rich nations including the EU, the US, UK and Australia, which argued that the negotiations should be “open” and that there was no clear definition of a “conflict of interest”.

“I stand with the governments calling for an end to big polluter conflicts of interest at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,” the petition reads. “In order for the UNFCCC to create strong climate policy that protects people and the planet from climate catastrophe, we need to remove big polluters from the policymaking table.”

In a statement, the lead negotiator for the Ecuadorian delegation said: “Too much is at stake to continue allowing the world’s biggest polluters and their agents to undermine this process.”

He said the responsibility of saving the planet could not be left up to “the industries and their corporate powers that got us here”…..

In May, the Like Minded Group of Developing Countries – a collection of more than 20 countries representing most of the world’s population – pushed for a report to be prepared examining how “the United Nations system and other intergovernmental forums … identify and minimise the risk of conflicts of interest”.

The call was blocked by rich countries but several developing nations rose to speak passionately about the issue, including Venezuela, Ecuador and China.

Besides handing the petition to the US delegation, Corporate Accountability International is planning a protest action on the issue later this week, Bragg said.

November 18, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Consumer and business groups fight Exelon’s huge utility rate hike

taxpayer-bailout-exelonExelon’s nuclear plant posturing includes massive rate hike   The latest opposition to Exelon’s proposal to save its power plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities has little to do with the two nuclear plants. Instead, a number of consumer and business groups are fighting what they call the largest utility rate hike ever proposed.

Exelon’s latest request from Illinois lawmakers is a 450-page proposal the company says will that’d save its the two endangered nuclear plants by classifying nuclear power as “carbon-friendly.” They would then qualify for government funds that they would use to modernize the two stations.

Without it, Exelon says the Clinton Power Station in Clinton, Ill., will close on June 1, 2017, and the Quad Cities Generating Station in Cordova, Ill., will close on June 1, 2018. The two plants have lost $800 million in the last seven years, according to the company.

The proposal would also offer credits for coal-fired power plants as a peace offering to Texas-based Dynegy, which owns coal-fired plants in southern Illinois and opposes the bill, and allow Exelon to increase rates.

Dave Lundy with the BEST Coalition, which represents a number of business and consumer groups, said Exelon’s proposal will cost around a billion dollars a year until 2044. “This is going to be the largest rate hike in U.S. history,” Lundy said. “This legislation is going to cost $24 billion.”

The legislation would allow Exelon to move to “demand rate” pricing.

Demand rates would charge customers based on the peak price of their usage the month before. Julie Volin with AARP said that means if customers use their washing machine in the middle of the day, it could spike their power bill.

“The demand rate structure is going to limit people’s ability to actually live in their homes from 9 a.m. til 9 p.m.,” Volin said.

Volin says the Illinois Commerce Commission, which approves utility rate hikes should decide how much people pay for power, not lawmakers.

Exelon says the legislation is a way to guarantee about 1,500 jobs at the plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities and ensure their own viability into the future.

November 18, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

1983 The world twice at the brink of nuclear war. New book ‘Able Archer 83’

book-able-archer-83How the world reached the brink of nuclear war not once but twice in 1983, The Conversation, November 18, 2016 In the autumn of 1983, at the height of Cold War tensions, the world was only saved from nuclear disaster by the gut feelings of two soldiers during different incidents.

In the first incident, on September 26, a Soviet lieutenant colonel named Stanislav Petrov saw that according to the early-warning system, the Americans had launched numerous missiles against the Russians. He suspected an error and ignored the warnings. His decision to breach protocol and not inform his superiors averted a panicked retaliation.

The second incident is less well known. An American lieutenant general, Leonard Perroots, also chose to ignore warnings – this time that the Soviet Union had gone on high nuclear alert. Like Petrov, he did nothing, and once again may have prevented an accidental nuclear war.

This was the “Able Archer War Scare”, which occurred over ten days in the November of the same year. Recently declassified documents inform Able Archer 83, a new book by the Cold War historian Nate Jones which shows just how close the world came to disaster.

Two tribes

Superpower mutual suspicion was rife in the early 1980s. President Reagan’s notorious “Evil Empire” speech, combined with imminent plans to deploy the Pershing II missile system in Europe, which could destroy Moscow with 15 minutes warning, had made the Kremlin especially paranoid. Was the US preparing a first strike to win the Cold War? The USSR’s ageing and sickly premier, Yuri Andropov, certainly thought Reagan would have no qualms about it. “Reagan is unpredictable. You should expect anything from him,” he told Anatoly Dobrynin, Soviet ambassdor to the US, at the time.

President Ronald Reagan – “Evil Empire” Speech

Another reason the leadership feared a US first strike was Project RYaN, an intricate Soviet intelligence-gathering effort designed to detect preparations for a surprise nuclear attack. It was being kept busy by US aircraft testing Soviet air defence systems by flying towards USSR airspace as part of the PSYOPs (psychological military operations) programme.

The aircraft would deliberately provoke an alert and monitor the Soviet command and control responses, while demonstrating American strength and resolve at the same time. It was an example of the “Peace Through Strength” policy that was seen as vital by Reaganites to help the US emerge from its own perceived era of military weakness under President Carter.

But this US chest-beating led to a resurgence of intense mutual mistrust, with tragic consequences. On September 1 1983, Korean Air Lines flight 007 was shot down by a Russian fighter, killing all 269 passengers and crew. The Kremlin claimed the jet was an American spy plane deep in Russian territory.

In this climate of extreme tension, NATO’s “Autumn Forge” war game season kicked off. NATO war games had been an annual occurrence, but the Soviets feared this particular edition might be cover for a surprise attack.

The final phase of the 1983 series, codenamed Able Archer 83, was different from previous years: dummy nuclear weapons, which looked like the real thing, were loaded on to planes. As many as 19,000 American troops were part of a radio-silent airlift to Europe over 170 flights. Military radio networks broadcast references to “nuclear strikes”.

This sent Project RYaN into overdrive and the Soviets went on high nuclear alert. Warsaw Pact non-essential military flights were cancelled; nuclear-capable aircraft were placed on alert; nuclear weapons were taken to their launch vehicles; and Chief of the General Staff Nikolai Ogarkov descended into a command bunker outside Moscow to coordinate a possible response to a NATO strike……….

Too often, intelligence agencies collect data and fit it into whichever threat hypothesis is in vogue. We should learn from Reagan’s 1983 insight and not wait for the brink of war: in the nuclear age, whatever an adversary’s political goals, we cannot afford to downplay their genuine fears about military posturing.

We have never yet returned to the awful global tensions of 1983, but the rivalries between the world’s three leading powers remain real enough. We need to ensure that we are never again left relying on the gut feelings of one or two soldiers to avoid stumbling into disaster.

November 18, 2016 Posted by | history, resources - print, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Europe’s nuclear waste problem areas – Hanford, Sellafield, Le Hague, Gorleben, Mayak ….

radioactive trashWhy worry about nuclear waste? What has the future ever done for us? Ecologist, Andrew Blowers, 16th November 2016 Places on the periphery “…..Hanford, USA. Located in America’s North West, Hanford was the chosen location for the manufacture of the plutonium for the ‘Fat Man’ nuclear weapon that devastated Nagasaki on 9 August, 1945.

In the subsequent Cold War, Hanford’s nuclear activities expanded with nuclear reactors on the banks of the Columbia river, reprocessing ‘canyons’ in the middle of this vast site and a variety of production and experimental facilities scattered around its fringes.

Production at Hanford has ceased but a vast nuclear legacy remains: in the tank farms containing high-level liquid waste and sludge, some leaking towards the Columbia; in the abandoned reactors and decommissioned reprocessing works; and in waste management facilities and clean-up projects scattered around the site.

Cleaning up this legacy is a long-term, costly ($2bn. federal funding a year), intractable and complex task but it is an inescapable one.

Sellafield, UK. Like Hanford, Sellafield’s nuclear legacy stretches back to the beginning of the UK’s military nuclear programme.

On to its compact site is crammed around two-thirds of all the radioactivity from the UK’s nuclear legacy, all the country’s high-level wastes, most of the spent fuel, a stockpile of around 140 tonnes of plutonium and other complex streams of wastes.

These include often unrecorded mixtures of fuel, skips and other highly radioactive debris tipped into the notorious ponds and silos which, in the words of Margaret Hodge, a former Chair of the Public Accounts Committee pose “intolerable risks” to the public and the environment.

Cleaning up this legacy is a task that stretches decades ahead absorbing around £1.7 bn. from the government a year.

La Hague and Bure, France. In France, where three quarters of the country’s electricity is nuclear, much of the legacy is focused around the reprocessing facilities at La Hague at the tip of the Cotentin peninsula in Normandy.

At this remote location spent fuel is reprocessed for recycling in the form of mixed oxide fuel (MOX) or it is vitrified and stored pending disposal.

After several unsuccessful attempts to find a suitable and acceptable site for deep disposal, an underground laboratory at Bure, a nuclear no-man’s land in eastern France, is being stealthily and steadily developed as an underground laboratory though a fully-fledged disposal facility is still a long way off.

Gorleben, Germany. By contrast, there are other places, Gorleben in Germany being one, where resolute and continuing resistance on the part of local communities has prevailed to prevent, or at least restrain, the imposition of the nuclear industry and its unwanted and dangerous legacy.

But Gorleben’s legendary defence of its identity expresses just how difficult it will be for the nuclear industry to extend its reach and colonise greenfield sites.

Elsewhere there are sites such as the Mayak plutonium facilities at Ozersk in Russia, for long a closed city, scene of a major accident in 1957 (Medvedev,1979) and left with a legacy of high levels of environmental pollution in rivers and lakes from its military reprocessing and waste facilities (Brown, 2013).

And there are many other sites, across the world, where the nuclear legacy imposes risk, blight and environmental degradation on local communities.

November 18, 2016 Posted by | EUROPE, wastes | Leave a comment

Bulgarian prosecutors charge former economy and energy minister over botched nuclear power project

legal costsBulgarian ex-energy minister charged over nuclear project   17 Nov 16, Bulgarian prosecutors charged former economy and energy minister Rumen Ovcharov on Thursday with mismanagement that led to state losses of more than 190 million euros ($200 million) related to a canceled nuclear power project with Russia’s Atomstroyexport.

Bulgaria canceled the 10-billion-euro Belene project on the Danube River in 2012 after failing to find foreign investors and under pressure from Brussels and Washington to limit its energy dependence on Russia.

An arbitration court has ruled Bulgaria needs to pay over 600 million euros in compensation to Atomstroyexport over the project, which analysts and politicians say reflects widespread corruption in the Balkan country.

Prosecutors charged Ovcharov, energy minister from 2005 to 2007 in a Socialist-led government, for failing to exercise sufficient control over the executive directors of state energy company NEK and allowing them to sign a deal with Atomstroyexport for the nuclear power plant at Belene.

The prosecutors said that in November 2006 NEK’s chief executives signed a 193 million euro agreement with the Russian company to start work on the project in breach of public procurement laws and before the plant’s financing was agreed.

Prosecutors have already pressed similar charges against Ovcharov’s successor, former economy and energy minister Petar Dimitrov.

 Last month the former directors of NEK, Lubomir Velkov and Mardik Papazian, were charged with causing financial damage by signing another deal with Atomstroyexport, costing the business more than 77 million euros.

Ovcharov has previously denied any wrongdoing. He was not immediately available for comment.

 Prosecutors are expected to charge Delyan Dobrev, energy minister in the centrist government of Boiko Borisov, for failing to take steps to stop payments to a consultant company engaged with the Belene project after it was canceled. (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Adrian Croft/Ruth Pitchford)

November 18, 2016 Posted by | Bulgaria, Legal | Leave a comment

India made no additional concessions to Japan in nuclear deal. Still-confusion over ‘termination’ clause

Buy-Japan's-nukes-2India made no additional commitments to Japan for nuclear deal: MEA, DNA,  18 Nov 2016 , New Delhi , PTI

Vikas Swarup clarifies that India made no additional concessions. India on Thursday asserted that the termination clause in the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (NCA) with Japan was nothing “new” and that New Delhi had made no additional commitments to clinch the deal other than what it had committed itself to while declaring a unilateral moratorium on testing nuclear weapons in 2008.

He also insisted that all clauses in the NCA were binding on the two parties. However, the circumstances of termination, by their very nature, are not specifiable in the NCA and a comprehensive reading of the entirety of the provision to understand the hypothetical possibilities as well as the mitigating circumstances and consequences was required, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Sawrup said. “India appreciates the special sensitivities of Japan on nuclear issues. It was felt that a note on views expressed by the Japanese side in the above context could be recorded.

Such a record, to be balanced, also needed an accurate depiction of India s position. “The ‘Note on Views and Understanding’ reiterates the commitments that India made in September 2008. No change is envisaged from those commitments and no additional commitments have been made by India,” Swarup added. He was asked about the termination clause in the Indo- Japan NCA and if India had made any exemptions while inking the deal. The NCA was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan last week.

“The NCA, in fact, has a specific article (No. 14) devoted to termination and cessation of cooperation in certain circumstances. This is not new and is similar, in fact almost identical, to the provision in the US Agreement. “Any suggestion that the termination clause in the NCA is not binding on India is factually incorrect. All clauses of the NCA are binding on both parties,” Swarup said…….

November 18, 2016 Posted by | India, Japan, politics international | Leave a comment

Russia keen to stay ahead of Franc e, USA, in marketing nuclear energy to India


Russia Still India’s Main Partner in Nuclear Energy Despite French, US Interest Sputnik News, 18 Nov 116 India struck its thirteenth civil nuclear deal when PM Narendra Modi visited Japan. Despite many suitors ranging from the French to the Americans, Russia is India’s preferred partner and the collaboration is breaking new ground every day. New Delhi (Sputnik) – India has signed 13 civil nuclear agreements to meet its ever increasing energy needs. But India-Russia nuclear cooperation remains the oldest and the most standout partnership because Moscow firmly believed in India’s non-proliferation credentials and helped it set up modern nuclear power plants despite Western opposition because it is not a signatory to the NPT.

Analysts consider India-Japan civil nuclear deal as a landmark even. It will help India access Japan’s nuclear market as also pave the way for US and French companies to set up nuclear reactors in India. Japanese companies such as Hitachi, Toshiba and Mitsubishi have major stakes in US and French companies as GE, Westinghouse and Areva planning to construct reactors in India. Without an India-Japan nuclear deal, it was impossible for them to set up nuclear reactors in India. But the much hyped India-Japan nuclear deal is on fragile ground. According to the terms of the deal, the moment India conducts a nuclear test, Japan will terminate the nuclear deal. This will impact not only the Japanese nuclear reactors but also the US and French reactors. ……

November 18, 2016 Posted by | marketing, Russia | Leave a comment