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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

New York’s renewable energy sector is poised to take over from Indian Point nuclear power station

Statue-of-Liberty-solartext-relevantRenewables Industry ‘More Than Ready’ For N.Y. Nuclear Plant Closure http://solarindustrymag.com/renewables-industry-more-than-ready-for-n-y-nuclear-plant-closure by Joseph Bebon on January 09, 2017 Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, D-N.Y., has announced the closure of a 2 GW nuclear power plant in New York by April 2021. Renewable energy advocates have applauded the decision and say it provides an opportunity to further bolster solar and wind energy, including offshore wind power, in the state.

According to Cuomo’s announcement, the aging Indian Point Energy Center, located 25 miles north of New York City, has been plagued by numerous safety and operational problems, including faulty bolts and various leaks and fires. After extensive litigation and negotiation, plant operator Entergy Corp. has agreed to end all operations at the facility, with plans to shut down Indian Point Unit 2 as early as April 2020 and Unit 3 in April 2021 – 13 and 14 years earlier than required under the anticipated federal re-licensing terms, respectively.

“For 15 years, I have been deeply concerned by the continuing safety violations at Indian Point, especially given its location in the largest and most densely populated metropolitan region in the country,” says Cuomo in the press release. “I am proud to have secured this agreement with Entergy to responsibly close the facility 14 years ahead of schedule to protect the safety of all New Yorkers. This administration has been aggressively pursuing and incentivizing the development of clean, reliable energy, and the state is fully prepared to replace the power generated by the plant at a negligible cost to ratepayers.”

The release says there will be continued employment at the plant throughout the closure process through 2021, and Entergy has committed to offer plant employees new jobs at other facilities. Furthermore, the state will work with employees to gain access to other job opportunities and worker retraining in the power and utility sectors within New York. Through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the release notes, the state will also offer workers retraining and new skills in renewable technologies, such as solar and wind.

The release says a combination of current and planned resources, including 1 GW of hydropower, will be able to generate more than enough electricity to replace Indian Point’s 2 GW of capacity by 2021. Nonetheless, Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY), emphasizes that the state should avoid relying on more natural gas and instead focus on additional solar and wind power. In a press release, she says the renewables industry is “more than ready” to help fill in the energy gap.

“Governor Cuomo’s 50 percent renewable energy by 2030 mandate has created fertile ground for renewables developers, and they have responded by proposing dozens of projects,” says Reynolds. “There are now 34 wind projects totaling 4,544 MW in the interconnection queue. There are also 27 proposed utility-scale solar projects totaling 583 MW of capacity. This totals to more than twice the current capacity of the two Indian Point reactors.”

“Meanwhile, continuing adoption of rooftop and community solar will also help push New York toward 50 percent, as will development of small hydro and fuel cells,” she says. “These smaller projects add up, providing New Yorkers the opportunity to generate their own power and modernize the grid.”

Reynolds adds, “Offshore wind development is also moving forward. Offshore areas for wind energy development have already been leased by the federal government off Montauk and the Rockaways and off the shores of neighboring states. Development in these areas alone could provide 1,500 to 2,000 MW of capacity to New York. And more offshore areas should be leased in the coming years.”

Liz Gordon, director of the New York Offshore Wind Alliance, comments, “With the Atlantic Ocean off New York featuring some of the best wind resources in the world, offshore wind power is uniquely situated to help meet that downstate demand.”

January 11, 2017 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

A new study shows that State renewable energy policies are paying off in several important ways

poster renewables not nuclearFlag-USAReport: Benefits of state renewable energy policies far outweigh costs http://midwestenergynews.com/2017/01/09/report-benefits-of-state-renewable-energy-policies-far-outweigh-costs/   EnergyWire By David Ferris

A new report from the national laboratories examined states’ renewable energy goals and found that, while renewables add costs, they more than make up for it in avoiding pollution and saving water.

For the first time, researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory took a look at state renewable energy portfolios and projected their costs and benefits decades into the future, as far as 2050.

Today, 29 states and Washington, D.C., have a renewable portfolio standard. They have been an important engine for the spread of renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind farms. More than half of all renewable energy installations since 2000 have been created to satisfy an RPS, according to the paper.

The study analyzed two scenarios: one where RPSs remain unchanged from where they stand today, and another where they expand to every state and have higher targets.

It’s unknown how realistic the scenarios are, since RPSs find themselves in powerful crosscurrents, with some states on a path to strengthen their standards while others face movements to weaken them.

Just since the paper’s research was completed last July, Michigan has strengthened its renewable portfolio standard, while a watering-down of Ohio’s standard was prevented only by a veto from the governor (Energywire, Dec. 16, 2016; Greenwire, Dec. 27, 2016).

Under existing RPSs, the country will count on renewables for 26 percent of electricity generation by 2030 and 40 percent by 2050. Under the high-RPS scenario, renewables would reach 35 percent by 2030 and 49 percent by 2050, the report found.

Satisfying existing portfolio standards will cost about $31 billion, or about three-quarters of a cent per kilowatt-hour of renewable energy in terms of levelized costs. If renewable standards multiply and strengthen, the study said, costs could range widely, from $23 billion to $194 billion, or from about one-quarter of a cent to 1.5 cents more per kWh.

Meanwhile, emissions of common pollutants — sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and small particles — would drop by between 4 and 5 percent under existing standards, prompting $97 billion in health and environmental benefits. A stronger RPS regime would trigger these pollutants to drop much more, 29 percent, with benefits of $558 billion, the study said.

Greenhouse gas emissions will drop by 6 percent under the existing portfolio standards, with $161 billion in benefits. In the high-RPS scenario, they would decrease by 23 percent and provide a value of $599 billion in avoided costs.

Water, which is used in copious quantities to cool fossil fuel power plants, would see a drop in use as more renewables come online. One megawatt-hour of renewable energy avoids the withdrawal of 3,400 gallons from waterways and the consumption of 290 gallons, the report said. The United States would save the water consumption equivalent of 420,000 homes under the existing portfolio standards and 1.9 million homes under a high-RPS scenario.

In terms of employment, the existing state RPSs would cause the creation of 4.7 million hours of job time, while the more optimistic scenario would spur 11.5 million job-hours. But the overall number of jobs would remain the same, as a gain in renewable-related employment would be offset by the loss of jobs in other parts of the energy industry, the study said.

January 11, 2017 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Unresolved safety issues in Britain’s nuclear power plants

hackerflag-UKNuclear Power’s Overlooked Insecurity JAN 2017 Wednesday 11TH   Morning Star DAVID LOWRY questions whether enough is being done to ensure Britain’s nuclear power plants are protected from cyber attacks

JUST after Christmas, the Times’s science correspondent Oliver Moody provided a public and political service in exposing the worrying inadequacies of Britain’s nuclear safety and security regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

But while the article concentrated mainly on safety concerns, there are several security issues unresolved.

In ONR’s latest annual report it records that: “There are areas where the duty holder’s security arrangements did not fully meet regulatory expectations.”

Regarding the Sellafield facility, it continues: “A requirement to improve processes in place for Cyber Security and Information Assurance (CS&IA) was identified. A contributory factor in this area was associated with a lack of resources within CS&IA capability.”

I raised these concerns at a nuclear policy roundtable seminar in the past month at the Politics Department at Cambridge University.

It was here where Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe made her final appearance as energy minister, before being moved to the Treasury two days later, to be replaced by Lord Prior of Brampton.

At a conference on December 6 to the International Conference on Nuclear Security in Vienna, hosted by the UN’s nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Baroness NevilleRolfe made a presentation in which she spent far more time promoting the British nuclear industry than addressing nuclear security…….

A report titled Outpacing Cyber Threats: Priorities for Cybersecurity at Nuclear Facilities, issued by the Washington DC-based Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) at the same IAEA conference, reveals that Britain’s nuclear sector has suffered two significant cyber security failures in the past: one in June 1999 at the Bradwell Nuclear Power Plant — when an employee intentionally “altered/destroyed data” — and in September 1991 at Sellafield — when a software bug led to “unauthorised opening of doors.”

The report asserts worryingly that: “The global community is in the early stages of understanding the magnitude of the cyber threat. In many ways, humans have created systems that are too complex to manage, in most cases, risks cannot even be quantified.”…….http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-9860-Nuclear-powers-overlooked-insecurity#.WHXbfdJ97Gg

January 11, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

17 USA nuclear reactors listed as having possibly flawed parts from AREVA’s Le Creusot forge

The number of reactors was more than the nine the NRC had previously disclosed.

Last month authorities in France opened an investigation into decades of alleged forgery of documents relating to the quality of parts produced at Le Creusot and used in power plants around the world.

 Areva, a nuclear and renewable energy firm, furnished the information to the U.S. regulator last month but had urged the agency to keep it private, saying it was material to the business of nuclear power generators. The NRC told Areva it did not consider the information to be so and released it 10 days after receiving it.

The parts at reactors include a reactor head at Xcel Energy Inc’s Prairie Island reactor in Minnesota, reactor vessel heads at two of Dominion Resources Inc’s reactors at the North Anna plant in Virginia, and another vessel head at Dominion’s reactor in Surry, Virginia. Some of the components were made by other companies but include parts from the Le Creusot…….

David Lochbaum, an expert on nuclear energy at the Union of Concerned scientists, said the Le Creusot issue was “troubling from both trust and public safety perspectives” because to a large degree both the NRC and U.S. nuclear power plants depended on vendors to certify their work. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-france-nuclearpower-idUSKBN14U2T0

January 11, 2017 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

High cost to pay a nuclear expert to oversee Point Lepreau ‘s problems

NB Power pays nuclear boss in U.S. dollars, fights to keep salary a secret Energy and Utilities Board asked to keep financial agreement for U.S. nuclear expert Brett Plummer secret By Robert Jones, CBC News Jan 10, 2017 A U.S. nuclear expert hired to fix problems at the Point Lepreau generating station is being paid differently — and likely substantially more — than other NB Power executives, but the utility is pushing to keep those details secret.”Public disclosure of amounts paid under these contracts would undermine the ability of NB Power to obtain competitive pricing for these services in the future,” the utility wrote in a request to the Energy and Utilities Board last week to keep the pay of Brett Plummer confidential.

Plummer, a U.S. navy-trained nuclear operator who spent several years at New Hampshire’s giant Seabrook nuclear plant, was hired by NB Power as its chief nuclear officer and vice-president nuclear in late 2015.

His job is to oversee attempts to improve Point Lepreau’s disappointing post-refurbishment performance.

Since coming back online in 2012 after a four-year refurbishment, Point Lepreau has encountered various problems and fallen short of its budgeted electricity production targets by more than 4,000 hours, or $200 million.

Paid at U.S. rate  NB Power did reveal Plummer has a deal to be paid at U.S. exchange and tax rates, which forces it to compensate him for Canada’s low dollar and New Brunswick’s high income taxes.

The specific amounts are so far a mystery although the utility has broadly hinted Plummer did not come cheap…….http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/nb-power-brent-plummer-salary-1.3927764

January 11, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

The danger of plutonium being released at United States at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.

plutonium_04Puget Sound’s ticking nuclear time bomb, Crosscut by , 10 Jan 17  “……“Command and Control” shows what can happen when the weapons built to protect us threaten to destroy us, and it speaks directly to Puget Sound citizens: Locally, we face a similar threat in Hood Canal with the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the United States at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.

An accident at Bangor involving nuclear weapons occurred in November 2003 when a ladder penetrated a nuclear nose cone during a routine missile offloading at the Explosives Handling Wharf. All missile-handling operations at the Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC) were stopped for nine weeks until Bangor could be recertified for handling nuclear weapons. Three top commanders were fired but the public was never informed until information was leaked to the media in March 2004.

The Navy never publicly admitted that the 2003 accident occurred. The Navy failed to report the accident at the time to county or state authorities. Public responses from governmental officials were generally in the form of surprise and disappointment.

The result of such an explosion likely would not cause a nuclear detonation. Instead, plutonium from the approximately 108 nuclear warheads on one submarine could be spread by the wind…… http://crosscut.com/2017/01/nuclear-accidents-bangor-accident-command-and-control/

January 11, 2017 Posted by | - plutonium, Reference, safety, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Climate Change is already hurting the Philippines #auspol 

jpratt27

Rescuers ferry stranded residents from their houses due to floods caused by Tropical Storm Ondoy along Ortigas in Cainta Rizal in September 2009. Nearly 60 people were killed, Manila was blacked out and airline flights were suspended as a powerful storm battered the main Philippines island of Luzon on a weekend, disaster officials said. INQUIRER PHOTO/EDWIN BACASMAS
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is the final research paper of the graduate class on humanitarian reporting under Prof. Reynaldo Guioguio of the UP Diliman College of Mass Communication.)
MANILA — Unlike in some parts of the world where the reality of climate change is still being debated upon and sometimes even questioned, in the Philippines, its effects have been felt more profoundly in different parts of the country.
In recent years, deaths and destruction of Tropical Storm Ondoy (Ketsana), Tropical Storm Sendong (Washi), Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) and Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan), have left trails…

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January 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trump Pick Tillerson’s Exxon-Mobil: Too Many Tax Haven Subsidiaries to Count

Mining Awareness +

Offshore tax havens are the perfect way to avoid taxation and evade sanctions, as has been recently pointed out in the news: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/1/9/1618684/-As-Exxon-CEO-Rex-Tillerson-evaded-sanctions-to-do-business-with-Iran-Syria-and-Sudan Is this how Exxon is still involved in the Sakhalin project in Russia, despite sanctions?
Tillerson Exxon Mobile CEO Pres Exxon Neftegaz SEC gov
Exxon Neftegaz is a Russian subsidiary, but registered in the Bahamas, as can be seen in the SEC documents below.

From Institute for Policy Studies:
EXXON-MOBIL: The oil giant uses offshore subsidiaries and other loopholes to avoid paying taxes in the United States. They have 32 subsidiaries in tax haven countries including 18 in the Bahamas and 3 in the Cayman Islands. Although Exxon-Mobil paid $15 billion in taxes to other governments in 2009, not a penny of those taxes went to the U.S. Treasury. So maybe those other countries should defend ExxonMobil’s assets around the world, instead of the men and women of the U.S. armed forces. Next time the…

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January 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Short lived Greenhouse Gases can drive sea level rise for centuries. #auspol 

jpratt27

Climate Change: Even Short-Lived Greenhouse Gases Can Drive Sea-Level Rise For Centuries

Over the past 100 years, the global average sea level has risen by roughly 7 inches. This rise has been fuelled by two key factors — the added water from melting land ice, and the expansion in volume of seawater as it absorbs heat from the atmosphere.
If we examine the trend over the past 20 years alone, world’s oceans have warmed at a rate of 0.12 degrees Celsius per decade — a continuation of the trend that began in the last half of the 20th century, when humans began pumping massive quantities of heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
In such a scenario, there is a question climate activists have often asked — what, if anything, can be done to prevent sea levels from rising to an extent that poses an existential threat to low-lying island nations…

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January 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

John Kerry: Climate drive an urgent “race against time” #Auspol 

jpratt27

John Kerry: Climate drive an urgent “race against time”
Voicing both concern and confidence, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in an address at MIT on Monday that the effort to limit climate change was a dire “race against time,” but one that could be successful due to the economic promise of renewable energy.
Amid record temperatures and rising sea levels that stem in large part from carbon emissions, Kerry stated, we must act quickly “to avoid the catastrophe we will inevitably see if we allow carbon emissions to go up, and up, and up.” Moreover, he added, “We need to speed it up dramatically because we are in a race against time.”
However, speaking before a capacity audience of about 250 people in MIT’s Samberg Conference Center, Kerry talked at greater length about the upsides of a prospective clean-energy revolution, referencing the falling prices of wind and solar…

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January 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Russia & Exxon Need Each Other” and “Trump is their Matchmaker” says Norwegian NGO

Mining Awareness +

1989 Exxon Valdez Spill  Beginning 3 days after the vessel grounded, a storm pushed large quantities of fresh oil onto the rocky shores of many of the beaches in the Knight Island chain. In this photograph, pooled oil is shown stranded in the rocks. [[NOAA]] photo and text.
1989 Exxon Valdez Spill

As Charles Digges of Norwegian NGO Bellona explains, in 2011 US Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson obtained a $500 billion deal with Russia’s state owned Rosneft, which is “run by Putin’s KGB crony Igor Sechin“. The 63.7 million acres “could be worth as much as $8.2 trillion“. Rosneft would get access to Exxon technology.

A few excerpts from the excellent article:
Putin hacks his own election, tarring Paris Accord with ExxonMobil oil“,
Published on January 5, 2017 by Charles Digges

As unholy alliances between US president-elect Donald Trump and the Kremlin go, none are more potentially disastrous for the environment, or critical to Vladimir Putin’s future, than his tapping of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State.

The windfall Putin’s wretched economy would reap as a result of the appointment doesn’t take any dusting for digital fingerprints…

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January 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Say goodbye to polar bears #auspol 

jpratt27

More than two-thirds of the world’s polar bears will be killed off by 2050 — the species completely gone from Alaska — because of thinning sea ice from global warming in the Arctic, government scientists forecast. (Subhankar Banerjee/Associated Press)
As the Arctic warms faster than any other place on the planet and sea ice declines, there is only one sure way to save polar bears from extinction, the government announced Monday: decisive action on climate change.
In a final plan to save an animal that greatly depends on ice to catch prey and survive, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service identified the rapid decline of sea ice as “the primary threat to polar bears” and said “the single most important achievement for polar bear conservation is decisive action to address Arctic warming” driven by the human emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
“Short of action that effectively addresses the…

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January 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We are already in danger! #auspol 

jpratt27

The risks of climate change are not easy to communicate clearly.

Since the atmosphere affects everything, everything will be affected by its warming — there’s no single risk, but a wide and varied array of risks, of different severities and scales, affecting different systems, unfolding on different timelines. It’s difficult to convey to a layperson, at least without droning on and on.
One of the better-known and more controversial attempts to address this problem is a graphic from the reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The so-called “burning embers” graph attempts to render the various risks of climate change — “reasons for concern,” or RFCs — in an easy-to-grasp visual form.
In a new paper in the journal Nature Climate Change, a group of 17 scholars examines the RFC conceptual framework and reviews the latest science. (Because IPCC reports take so long to produce, the science they contain…

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January 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#IAEA Defective French Nuke Parts in 19 US Reactors! – Paul Gunter of Beyond Nuclear, European report and more!

This Week’s Featured Interview:

  • Paul Gunter is Director, Reactor Oversight Project for Beyond Nuclear specializing in all aspects of reactor hazards and security. We discuss France’s Areva Le Creusot forge and the faulty major nuclear reactor parts produced there which are reported to be in use by 19 US nuclear reactors on 11 sites.
  • LINK to Beyond Nuclear’s petition calling for Nuclear Regulatory Commission action will be posted here as soon as it’s up.

Numnutz of the Week (for Nuclear Boneheadedness):

When is a new nuclear bomb NOT a “new” nuclear bomb?  When the government says so, silly!  Not even when it comes with – I kid you not – “Dial-a-yield” technology!  (SEE: Featured Image at top)

Link to full podcast here;

http://nuclearhotseat.com/2017/01/11/nuclear-hotseat-290-omg-defective-french-nuke-parts-in-19-us-reactors-paul-gunter-of-beyond-nuclear/

European Report with Shaun McGee:

  • Belarus, Hungary, France and the UK challenged the European Commission and common sense!
  • Some history and another recent report on Paks 2 in Hungary
  • Tourism campaign to Belarus
  • …and more!  LINK to the full stories here.

January 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japanese Government hides contamination from Fukushima nuclear disaster while sending evacuees home

2017年1月中には、春頃の帰還が決まる冨岡町の市街地。地表面は7μSv/h超え‼
こんなところに帰還、バカじゃないの‼

Oz Yo
In January 2017, the urban district of tomioka-Cho, which was on the end of the spring. The surface of the ground is 7 Μsv / h.
I don’t know what you’re talking about?
On March 25, 2013, the nuclear evacuation zone in Tomioka was lifted by the central government, and the town was re-zoned into three areas according to different levels of radiation. However, the town government elected to keep the evacuation in place for at least another four years due to the need to rebuild damaged infrastructure

Tomioka was severely affected by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. Besides sustaining considerable damage from the earthquake, and the tsunami (which devastated the coastal area), the town was evacuated en masse on the morning of March 12 as it is located well within the 20 kilometer exclusion radius around the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Only one man, 56–57-year-old fifth-generation rice farmer Naoto Matsumura, with his dog, refused to evacuate, and remained behind to feed the pets and livestock left behind in his neighborhood with supplies donated by support groups.[3][4][5]

On March 25, 2013, the nuclear evacuation zone in Tomioka was lifted by the central government, and the town was re-zoned into three areas according to different levels of radiation. However, the town government elected to keep the evacuation in place for at least another four years due to the need to rebuild damaged infrastructure. In the zone with the highest radiation levels residents will not be allowed to return home at least for five years. People other than registered residents are banned from entry. This zone, which covers the northeastern part of the town, had about 4,500 people residents. The central part of the town, which used to have 10,000 residents was designated as a residence restriction zone, in which the residents could return during daytime hours but have to leave at night. The remaining zone, which mainly covers southern Tomioka had about 1,500 residents, and remaining restrictions are expected to be lifted.[6]

However, in a survey taken in 2013, some 40 percent of the town’s residents responded that they had decided never to return, and 43 percent were undecided. Concerns over radiation exposure, and the loss of compensation money from TEPCO should they decide to return, coupled with uncertainty over whether or not they could make a living in Tomioka were major issues.[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomioka,_Fukushima

January 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment