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Is nuclear power worth the risks? Is it really a response to global w arming

Dissecting Trump: Is Nuclear Energy The Best Response To Global Warming?, Paste, By Tom Burson  |  January 27, 2017   The nuclear energy debate has long been a bane of politicians. Some energy experts consider nuclear power as the great alternative energy source next to fossil fuels; whereas, environmentalists, though they embrace the green footprint, remain wary about the practice’s overall safety. Even global leaders are split. President Donald Trump hopes to expand nuclear power and the nation’s energy supply—though this expansion certainly curtails some of nuclear power’s benefits when he also hopes to expand fracking and oil drilling. Contrarily, in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel completely halted the production of nuclear energy and instituted the Energiewende, which will close all nuclear plants………

January 28, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

The world’s 14,900 nuclear weapons, and the countries that have them

14,900 nukes: All the nations armed with atomic weapons and how many they have Business Insider  SKYE GOULDDAVE MOSHER JAN 28, 2017 The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has advanced its symbolic Doomsday Clock by 30 seconds, suggesting humanity is an alarming 2 minutes and 30 seconds away from the brink of an apocalypse.

January 28, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Anti nuclear protestors found guilty after blockading nuclear bomb factory

justiceflag-UKFive anti-Trident protesters found guilty after blockading nuclear bomb factory   The group argued they were putting their religious beliefs into action BY blockading the AWE Burghfield The Independent  Jon Stone Political Correspondent @joncstone 27 Jan 17, Five anti-Trident protesters have been found guilty of blockading a nuclear weapons manufacturing facility – days after new concerns were raised about the safety of Britain’s Trident nuclear missiles.
The protesters, who barred the entrance to Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire in June of last year, were from the Christian group Put Down the Sword / Trident Ploughshares.

Trident mounted nuclear warheads are assembled at Burghfield, which has been the site of repeated demonstrations for a number of years. The MoD said work on the missile system was disrupted by the protests……

The activists’ defence team argued that they were acting in accordance with their religious beliefs, which they said were protected by the Human Rights Act.However district judge Khan said that he did not agree that “that the actions of the defendants were a manifestation of a religious belief” and in any case that “these rights have to yield to the primary right of passing and re-passing the highway” outside the base…….

A joint statement from the defendants said: “We stand by what we said in court: Trident is an illegal and immoral waste of money, a crime against humanity and God.

“The prosecution said we could just have joined in a prayer vigil to the side of the road, instead of lying in it; we said our consciences wouldn’t allow that. We believe prayer is important but sometimes our faith compels us to put our whole bodies in the way of injustice and violence.“The Bible says religious acts are meaningless unless we also stand up for the poor and needy; we are called to bring a just peace with hope for all. We will continue to seek peace, and to take the consequences of doing so. It’s a small price to pay for the chance to challenge an evil like nuclear weapons.”http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/trident-burghfield-reading-nuclear-missiles-bomb-factory-base-protests-guilty-a7549261.html 

 

January 28, 2017 Posted by | Legal, opposition to nuclear, Religion and ethics, UK | Leave a comment

Hinkley Point nuclear prject will be delayed because of Btitain’s exit from EU atomic treaty

text Hinkley cancelledBrexit will delay new British nuclear power stations, warn experts
Analysts say exit from EU atomic treaty is ‘lose-lose’ that will raise costs and safety questions at plants such as Hinkley Point C,
Guardian, , 27 Jan 17, Britain’s first nuclear power station in two decades will be delayed by a government decision to quit Europe’s atomic power treaty, experts have warned.

Ministers revealed on Thursday that Brexit would involve the UK leaving Euratom, which promotes research into nuclear power and uniform safety standards.

The news poses problems for the Hinkley Point C station in Somerset, while raising questions over safety inspection regimes and the UK’s future participation in nuclear fusion research.

Referring to Hinkley and other nuclear projects in the pipeline, he said: “The UK nuclear industry is critically dependent on European goods and services in the nuclear supply chain and their specialist nuclear skills. Leaving Euratom will inevitably increase nuclear costs and will mean further delays.”

EDF, which is building the Hinkley project and hopes to construct other plants, has told MPs that “ideally” the UK would stay in the treaty, as it provided a framework for complying with international standards for handling nuclear material.

Without mentioning Hinkley, the French state-owned company also warned that restrictions on the movement of people because of Brexit could delay delivery of new energy infrastructure.

Antony Froggatt, a research fellow at the Chatham House thinktank, said: “Outside of Euratom and the single market, the movement of nuclear fuel, equipment and trained staff will be more complicated.”

He noted that because the UK was a supporter of nuclear power, Brexit would affect the balance of nuclear policies in the EU, where Germany, Italy and even strongly pro-nuclear France had taken steps in recent years to reduce their reliance on atomic power.

Vince Zabielski, a nuclear energy specialist at the law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, said: “If the UK leaves Euratom before new standalone nuclear cooperation treaties are negotiated with France and the US, current new build projects will be placed on hold while those standalone treaties are negotiated.”

Other lawyers questioned why the government had decided to quit Euratom and in the manner it had done so, in the explanatory notes accompany the article 50 bill.

“There doesn’t seem to have been any real explanation as to why, because we are going towards the unknown at great speed. Legally we don’t have to [leave Euratom because the UK is leaving the EU],” said Jonathan Leech, a senior lawyer and nuclear expert at Prospect Law.

“At the moment, the UK standing on the world nuclear stage is predicated on a series of cooperation agreements, and those we have the benefit of from being a member of Euratom, and the few bilateral agreements are based on Euratom, too. Take that away and you have no basis for international nuclear cooperation.”

He said quitting Euratom would create unnecessary uncertainty for new nuclear power and research into fusion power, a cleaner alternative to nuclear fission in which the UK has been a world leader for decades……. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/27/uk-exit-eu-atomic-treaty-brexit-euratom-hinkley-point-c

January 28, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Britain quits European nuclear body

New power stations in doubt after Brexit change, THE TIMES, The new wave of British nuclear power stations was in jeopardy after the government announced it would pull out of a Europe-wide nuclear co-operation organisation.

Ministers sneaked out the news that the UK would leave the European Atomic Energy Community, known as Euratom, within the notes accompanying the bill published yesterday to trigger Article 50, the process for leaving the European Union.

Euratom was established through a 1957 treaty and plays a crucial role in ensuring compliance with international nuclear safeguards as well as establishing a European market for nuclear goods and services.

The decision to announce Britain’s planned exit from Euratom yesterday caught the nuclear industry by surprise and caused concern in parts of government. Some ministers wanted to delay the announcement because of…http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/britain-quits-european-nuclear-body-pgmq9m9fc

January 28, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

China Mutes Nuclear Rhetoric as War of Words with Trump Switches to Trade.  Deeds over words

 Reported by Gao Shan for RFA’s Mandarin Service, and by Goh Fung for the Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.Ran Bogong, former politics professor at Toledo University, agreed.

“We should judge them by their deeds rather than their words,” Ran said. “The most important thing is what will Trump actually do.”

“I believe there will be some changes in the U.S.-China relationship, but I don’t think there will be war, at least not in the short term,” he said.

Meanwhile, Claude Barfield, an expert on international trade at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a former U.S. think-tank adviser to the US Trade Representative’s Office, said in a recent report that China’s tight controls over online content have negatively affected overseas suppliers.

Eight of the world’s top 25 traffic sites are banned in China, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, Barfield wrote, saying the complex system of blocks, filters and human censorship known as the Great Firewall breaks international trade rules on market access.

He said such practices could be seen as discriminatory protectionism under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

Sang Young, information security expert at the Hong Kong Internet Society, said the Great Firewall definitely inconveniences foreign businesses operating in China.

“The ‘discrimination’ refers to not allowing people to see overseas content, but allowing people to access content provided by China,” Yeung told RFA.

“The failure to allow suppliers to provide services to the Chinese mainland would seem to contravene WTO rules and the concept of free trade,” he said.

China’s 730 million netizens must currently use virtual private networks (VPNs) to access Facebook, Twitter and most foreign news sites, according to rights activist Jia Pin.

“You see, activists here in China often need to access these foreign sites; any political content is generally prohibited browsing, which means that you must use a VPN to get ‘over the Wall’,” Jia.

But China has said that it will crack down in 2017 on the use of VPNs to get around the Great Firewall with new rules requiring service providers to obtain government approval before they can operate.

Jia said such a comprehensive obstacle to the flow of information in China would be a “major hindrance” to rights activists there.
Continue reading

January 28, 2017 Posted by | China, politics international | Leave a comment

Anti nuclear campaigners condemn meeting “invitees only” to discuss design for Angelsey new reactor

flag-UKcivil-liberty-2smAnglesey nuclear reactor consultation attacked  BBC News, 27 Jan 17  Anti-nuclear campaigners have accused Natural Resources Wales of carrying out an “insulting” consultation over designs for a new reactor on Anglesey.

Hitachi-GE wants to build a new type of reactor at Wylfa, with a UK stakeholder meeting over the design held in Birmingham last month.

Wylfa opponents say a similar meeting run by NRW is not public – and only open to invited guests.

But NRW said it is holding a series of public drop-in sessions on the island.

However, the campaign group People Against Wylfa B (Pawb) described the individual meeting “for a small number of invitees” being held at the old Wylfa power plant site next Monday as “an affront to democracy”.

“This is totally unacceptable. On a matter as important as this, it is an insult to the people of Ynys Môn (Anglesey) and north Wales,” said Dylan Morgan, from Pawb.

“To add insult to injury, it is intended to hold the meeting in a room on the Wylfa Magnox site which is far from being a neutral venue and reinforces the perception that Natural Resources Wales and the Welsh Government are dancing to the nuclear industry’s tune.”

The environmental agency described the meeting in question as a “technical” briefing for those unable to attend the Birmingham event, with about 100 invited to attend.

The UK Government is currently carrying out consultations on what is known as the generic design assessment for the type of nuclear reactor that could be built at a new Wylfa power plant.

A UK first

The Japanese-American nuclear partners want to bring a new advanced boiling water reactor to the site and to the site at Oldbury in Gloucestershire.

It would be the first of its kind in the UK. A decision on the design is expected to be taken by UK ministers in December this year.

Pawb has now written to the Welsh Government’s Environment Secretary Leslie Griffiths, asking her to intervene as the minister responsible for overseeing the work of NRW.

“We call on you to instruct Natural Resources Wales to rearrange a public meeting in a neutral, convenient and central location in Ynys Môn,” stated Pawb.

“A meeting held to discuss the generic design assessment of the Hitachi ABWR has to be advertised openly and widely and not ‘to a small number of invitees’.”…….. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-38760203

January 28, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Iran, Russia to jointly produce nuclear fuel

Iran and Russia have developed a roadmap to jointly produce nuclear fuel, Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI), said on Friday.

Kamalvandi said that the agreement, signed during his recent visit to Russia, was an important accord “given that what we seek from (uranium) enrichment is to become able to generate fuel,” Press TV reported.

He also talked about singing another bilateral agreement during his Russia visit featuring cooperation in the field of producing stable isotopes, which have applications in medical and industrial fields.

The deal will be implemented at Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility, making Iran the forth place in the world where such isotopes are produced alongside Russia, the United States, and France.

During his trip, he also discussed the construction of two power plants in Iran with the help of Russia, Kamalvandi was quoted as saying

http://www.thestatesman.com/world/iran-russia-to-jointly-nuclear-fuel-1485537678.html

January 28, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CIA papers reveal China and USA helped make the bomb for Pakistan – Indrani Bagchi

pakistanchart2011

Image source ; http://gentleseas.blogspot.ie/2013/08/pakistans-growing-nuclear-capabilities.html

CIA papers reveal China’s nuclear free pass to Pakistan

| TNN | Updated: Jan 28, 2017, 10.14 AM IST

Highlights

  • Recently declassified CIA files testify to the depth of the Pak-China military relationship built over decades
  • US suspected that China gave Pakistan the design of N-bomb and enriched uranium
  • US notes that China did not ask Pak to open its nuclear installations to IAEA inspections

Representative image.Representative image.

NEW DELHI: Recently declassified CIA files+ testify to the depth of the Pakistan-China military relationship built over decades and also highlights how Beijing was willing to risk its own nuclear cooperation with US to boost the nuclear ambitions of ‘all weather friend’ Pakistan.

In the files, the US notes that China did not ask Pakistan to open its nuclear installations to IAEA inspections, after inking a nuclear agreement with the latter. The text of the agreement is pretty anodyne, focusing on non-military nuclear technology, radio-isotopes, medical research and civilian power technology. By this, the US notes, China wanted to develop a nuclear export market in Pakistan in “nonsensitive” areas. This would “reassure” countries like US which were apprehensive about Pakistan’s nuclear designs.

“We cannot rule out the possibility that China may feel it will be easier to cooperate clandestinely with Pakistan behind the smokescreen of IAEA-safe guarded cooperation activity in non-sensitive areas.”

By 1983-84, it had become alarmingly clear to the US that the China-Pakistan nuclear cooperation went much deeper. In February 1983, a US congressional committee was informed by the CIA that the US had proof China and Pakistan were talking nuclear weapons manufacture. CIA also stated they knew China had handed over the design of a nuclear bomb tested by China in Lop Nor, which incidentally was its fourth nuclear test and during which, US believed, a “senior Pakistani official” was present.
The US suspected China had handed over enriched uranium to Pakistan as well. Basically it meant that China had not only handed over the design of the bomb to Pakistan, it had also given the necessary material.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/cia-papers-reveal-chinas-nuclear-free-pass-to-pakistan/articleshow/56823259.cms

January 28, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Toshiba scales back nuclear ambitions with resignation sell offs and write-downs because of nuclear business!

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Links here to “Toshiba scales back nuclear ambitions” article with various recent stories; http://breaking100news.com/sg/business/toshiba-scales-back-nuclear-ambitions/

And to the next article this;

UPDATE 1-Toshiba chair ready to resign over Westinghouse writedowns – Nikkei (6502)

Reuters

Jan. 27, 2017, 11:52 PM

(Adds Toshiba comment, context)

TOKYO, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Toshiba Corp Chairman Shigenori Shiga is ready to step down to take responsibility for the huge writedowns looming over the Japanese group’s U.S. nuclear power unit Westinghouse Electric Co LLC, the Nikkei business daily reported.

Shiga was chairman of Westinghouse when the unit booked charges of $930 million in fiscal 2012 and $390 million in fiscal 2013, which Toshiba failed to flag at the time in violation of the Tokyo bourse’s disclosure rules.

The Japanese conglomerate’s nomination committee will decide on the matter of Shiga’s resignation and an announcement could come as soon as Feb. 14, the Nikkei reported earlier. (http://s.nikkei.com/2kBzwn3)

Westinghouse Chairman Danny Roderick is also expected to resign as president of Toshiba’s in-house energy systems and solutions company, the Japanese business daily reported.

Toshiba said Saturday that nothing had been decided in regards to Shiga and Roderick’s positions.

On Friday, the company said it would sell a minority stake in its memory chip business as it urgently seeks funds to offset an imminent multi-billion dollar writedown, adding that its overseas nuclear division – the cause of its woes – was now under review.

The drastic measures are set to be just some of the tough choices the Japanese conglomerate will have to take as proceeds from the sale are likely to only cover part of charges that domestic media have put at $6 billion.

Still battered by a 2015 accounting scandal, Toshiba was plunged back into crisis when it emerged late last year that it had to account for huge cost overruns at a U.S. power plant construction business recently acquired by its Westinghouse division.

Describing the nuclear division as no longer a central business focus for the firm, Chief Executive Satoshi Tsunakawa said Toshiba will review Westinghouse’s role in new projects and whether it will embark on new power plant construction.

Executives on Friday declined to comment on the size of the writedown, which will be announced on Feb. 14 when Toshiba reports third-quarter results.

Shares in Toshiba have lost almost a third of their value in the past three months. (Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki and Osamu Tsukimori in TOKYO and Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Lincoln Feast)

http://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/r-update-1-toshiba-chair-ready-to-resign-over-westinghouse-writedowns—nikkei-2017-1-1001702720

January 28, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Update: Lawmakers in Ten States Have Proposed Legislation Criminalizing Peaceful Protest

Over the weekend, millions of demonstrators took to streets across the country to mobilize against the new president and his agenda, assembling in a national turnout that organizers call the beginning of a reinvigorated protest movement. But in states home to dozens of Saturday’s demonstrations, Republican lawmakers are moving to criminalize and increase penalties on peaceful protesting.

Last week, I reported that such efforts were afoot in five states: In Minnesota, Washington state, Michigan, and Iowa, Republican lawmakers have proposed an array of anti-protesting laws that center on stiffening penalties for demonstrators who block traffic; in North Dakota, conservatives are even pushing a bill that would allow motorists to run over and kill protesters so long as the collision was accidental. Similarly, Republicans in Indiana last week prompted uproar over a proposed law that would instruct police to use “any means necessary” to clear protesters off a roadway.

Over the weekend, readers alerted me to two additional anti-protesting bills, both introduced by Republicans, that are pending in Virginia and Colorado. This brings the number of states that have in recent weeks floated such proposals to at least eight.

In Colorado, Republican state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg has introduced a bill that would greatly increase penalties for environmental protesters. Under the proposed law, obstructing or tampering with oil and gas equipment would be reclassified from a misdemeanor to a “class 6” felony, a category of crime that reportedly can be punished by up to 18 months behind bars and a fine of up to $100,000.

A state with a fierce debate over oil and gas extraction, Colorado has seen a number of demonstrations in recent years against fossil fuel industries, and a town in the state recently floated a proposal to support the civil disobedience actions against environmentally harmful drilling methods. (Republican sponsors of North Dakota’s current bill cited activists’ successful actions against the Dakota Access Pipeline as a primary motivation for their current attempt to crack down on protest.)

CANNON BALL, ND - DECEMBER 04:  Native American and other activists celebrate after learning an easement had been denied for the Dakota Access Pipeline at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 4, 2016 outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The US Army Corps of Engineers announced today that it will not grant an easement to the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under a lake on the Sioux Tribes Standing Rock reservation, ending a  months-long standoff.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Native American and other activists celebrate after learning an easement had been denied for the Dakota Access Pipeline at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on Dec. 4, 2016, outside Cannon Ball, N.D.

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Although Sonnenberg’s bill touts itself largely as a public safety measure and makes no mention of protesters, its language broadly includes anyone who “attempts to alter, obstruct, interrupt, or interfere with the action of any equipment used or associated with oil or gas gathering operations.” In addition to imposing potentially significant terms of imprisonment and fines on anyone engaging in such activity, the bill also includes a clause appearing to buttress the ability of oil and gas firms to pursue their own separate claims against a protester who is also being prosecuted by the state.

With control of Colorado’s legislature split between parties and a Democrat in the governor’s office, the future of Sonnenberg’s bill is uncertain.

In Virginia, state lawmakers are considering an anti-protesting law that is apparently broader in scope. A bill pending in the state’s Senate would dramatically increase penalties for people who engage in an “unlawful assembly” after “having been lawfully warned to disperse.” Currently, this law is classified as a class 3 misdemeanor, which according to Virginia statute carries only a maximum $500 fine. Yet the bill proposed by Republican state Sen. Richard H. Stuart elevates such infraction to a class 1 misdemeanor, which means protesters would expect up to a year of incarceration and a fine of up to $2,500.

State Sen. Jennifer McClellan says there is a possibility that the bill will pass both chambers of the Virginia state legislature and says the state Senate could vote on it as early as Monday afternoon. However, McClellan expects that, if successful in the General Assembly, the bill would likely receive a veto from Virginia’s Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe.

Nonetheless, the legislation has troubled Democratic lawmakers. McClellan says she is alarmed by the move because of the law’s applicability to an enormous range of situations.

“As someone who is a direct beneficiary of the civil rights movement and all the gains that were the direct result of civil disobedience, I strongly oppose this effort to further criminalize dissent,” McClellan said. “The way the bill is worded is very broad: Take the student sit-in leaders — you could put those protesters in jail for up to a year.”

Update: Jan. 25, 2017

This story will be updated as we learn of more anti-protest legislation.

In Missouri, a bill is pending that would make it a crime for anyone participating in an “unlawful assembly” to intentionally conceal “his or her identity by the means of a robe, mask, or other disguise.” Sponsored by Republican lawmaker Don Phillips, the bill would classify such crimes as a Class A misdemeanor, meaning that anyone caught concealing their identity at such a protest could face up to a year behind bars. The bill contains a section that would exempt identity-concealing coverings for the purposes of religion, safety, or medical needs. The Missouri legislature’s website states that wearing a “hood” would also be included in criminalized coverings, although this language does not appear in the current wording of the bill. The bill does not yet have a hearing date scheduled, according to the state legislature’s website.

In North Carolina, a Republican lawmaker has pledged to introduce legislation to criminalize protestors heckling politicians in the state after an incident over inaugural weekend in Washington, D.C. in which demonstrators persistently shouted at the state’s former governor Pat McCrory.

January 28, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tommy Rock – Exposing Years of Uranium Water Contamination in a Navajo Community

Janurary 9, 2017

https://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/translational/peph/grantee-highlights/2017/tommy_rock_exposing_years_of_uranium_water_contamination_in_a_navajo_community.cfm#.WIo1DJYYNKk.facebook

Tommy Rock, a doctoral student at Northern Arizona University, grew up in a small community on the Navajo reservation, where he saw firsthand the effects of uranium mining on his relatives. Navajo lands were mined heavily for uranium from 1944 to 1986, leaving more than 500 abandoned uranium mine sites and elevated levels of radiation in homes and drinking water sources.

“My grandfather was a former uranium mine worker who died from cancer about ten years ago,” said Rock. “I wanted to do something about this problem of uranium contamination, and as I learned more and became involved in research, I realized more communities across the Navajo Nation were also affected.”

After completing a master’s degree in sustainable communities from Northern Arizona University in 2008, Rock worked as a research scientist at the University of New Mexico and then as an environmental specialist with the Navajo Nation EPA. He is now pursuing a doctorate in Earth Science and Environmental Sustainability at Northern Arizona University.

Last year, Rock helped discover more than a decade of uranium contamination in the drinking water of the small community of Sanders in eastern Arizona. Sanders lies just outside of the Navajo reservation, and about 80 percent of the community is Navajo.

Uranium in the water supply

Through his work with the Northern Arizona University Center for American Indian Resilience (CAIR), Rock shows community members from Cameron, Arizona, how environmental samples are processed in the lab

Through his work with the Northern Arizona University Center for American Indian Resilience (CAIR), Rock shows community members from Cameron, Arizona, how environmental samples are processed in the lab.
(Photo courtesy of CAIR)

Rock discovered the contamination while working on a project funded by an EPA Environmental Justice Grant. The project involved testing unregulated wells along the Puerco River, a tributary of the Little Colorado River that flows through Sanders. Rock and his colleagues organized a two-day training for the community and hired community workers to conduct the water testing.

“When conducting this training, one of the community members asked us to sample the public water supply,” said Rock. “We did this, and found elevated levels of uranium in the wells along the river as well as in the pubic water sources.”

The results, which came back in June of 2015, showed uranium levels at 43 parts per billion, well above the EPA limit of 30 parts per billion. Exposure to uranium in drinking water can lead to bone cancer and impaired kidney function. When Rock and his colleagues looked deeper to figure out how long the contamination had been taking place, they found records indicating elevated levels of uranium as far back as 2003. All the tests from 2009 to 2015 showed elevated levels of uranium in the public water.

“The sad thing was that the community members were not notified about the contamination by the state or the Arizona Windsong Water Company, which supplied the water,” said Rock. “The water company violated the federal Safe Water Drinking Act by not giving reports to their customers.”

The researchers presented their findings at several community meetings, and while people stopped using the public water, they were not seeing any movement by the state or water company to fix the contamination. During one of these meetings, community members asked the researchers to test the well that supplies water to the elementary and middle schools. “We found elevated uranium in this water supply as well,” said Rock. “The school district shut off water fountains in the schools and started hauling in water from another town.”

Igniting Change

Rock worked with Karletta Chief, Ph.D., from the University of Arizona to gather water and sediment samples after the Gold King Mine Spill, which affected many Navajo communities.

Rock worked with Karletta Chief, Ph.D., from the University of Arizona to gather water and sediment samples after the Gold King Mine Spill, which affected many Navajo communities.
(Photo courtesy of Karletta Chief)

It was not until after media coverage of the contamination in April 2016 that the people of Sanders finally saw actions aimed at fixing the problem. After Windsong’s license was not renewed, the new company handling the Sander’s public water system replaced the well that supplies the public water. While some people are using the new water, the entire water system still needs to be upgraded since the water infrastructure is old in the community of Sanders and cannot handle the full pressure from the new waterline.

Although the state isn’t required to notify people of contamination, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has changed its policy and will now issue public notices for drinking water violations if the public water system neglects to do so. “I like to think that we helped change this policy,” said Rock. “I am also glad to know I played a part in helping the community of Sanders have better water now than they did before.”

Rock continues to work on his dissertation research, which is examining uranium exposure and bioaccumulation in sheep living around mining sites on Navajo land. By understanding how this traditional indigenous food source accumulates uranium, Rock hopes to develop safe consumption recommendations for tribal members in mining-affected areas. This research project is led by Jani Ingram, Ph.D., of Northern Arizona University, who is funded by the NIEHS through the Native American Research Centers for Health.

After completing his doctoral degree, Rock would like to use his knowledge and experience to help people in other parts of the world. “One day I would like to work for the World Health Organization, so I could help indigenous populations throughout the world find solutions to their contamination problems.”

Read More

 

An earlier study by Emily Eaton shows the full impact of the pollution here]

Here is a map of all the OIL wells in Saskatchewan. Jessica Vanstone produced it with data I obtained from the Ministry of Economy. Over 65,000 wells (this does not include gas wells or decommissioned wells)

 

January 28, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NRC inspection verifies Richland nuclear plant security concerns

Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/hanford/article129059079.html#storylink=cpy

January 28, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Energy Wars in Europe post Trump, renewables winning despite NATO, nuclear and fossil fuel lobbying!

What would be the impact on the global energy market (from post Trump USA protectionism), given that the EU needs to import most of its energy?

“…We are one of the biggest energy importers. We will follow all the developments very carefully. Now we are in a lucky period. We have an abundance of energy, of oil and gas. We are also increasing our energy efficiency, and reducing our dependence by incorporating more and more renewal energy. We need to continue progressing in our interconnectors. But we should not worry about protectionism in the energy market because currently there are a lot of sellers who are looking for solid clients like Europe…27 Jan 2017 EU Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič ” Source for qoute; http://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/interview/sefcovic-everybody-wants-to-be-in-good-terms-with-us/

RvsN.jpg

“….Cities and nations are rapidly installing small and large-scale renewable power sources and new storage technologies. Even China, currently the most aggressive country with respect to nuclear power, is adding more capacity with wind and solar compared to nuclear — and it’s not just nameplate capacity — it’s actual generated power. Last year alone, China added 20.72 GW of wind (4.8 GW output as their capacity factor is only 23 percent) and 28 GW of solar (10.6 GW output), with around 90 percent of their solar installations coming from utilities. New capacity from wind and solar were more than the 5 nuclear plants added in the same year (5.7 GW output). China is just one example of how wind and solar can be built faster while generating more power. By the time (and if) China completes their 28 nuclear plants (many are already behind schedule), with an added capacity of 34 GW, they will have added more power from wind and solar in the same timeframe — again, taking capacity factors into account….”April 28, 2015

Text and image source ; http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/ugc/articles/2015/04/renewables-vs-nuclear-do-we-need-more-nuclear-power.html

EU countries oppose duty extension on Chinese solar panels

A majority of EU countries yesterday (26 January) opposed a European Commission plan to extend anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar panels for two years, according to EU diplomats, putting pressure on the EU executive to review its proposal.

The duties in question will not necessarily end because the 18 countries that voted against them do not represent a majority of the EU’s population, falling short of the blocking “qualified majority”.

The case will now go to an appeal committee, also including representatives from the EU’s 28 member states. The majority view could also pressure the Commission to review its proposal.

The EU governments did back a two-year extension of tariffs designed to counter trade subsidies. These tariffs are capped at 11.5%.

400 companies, NGOs demand immediate end of trade measures on Chinese solar

More than 400 companies from across the European Union, and leading environmental NGOS, have demanded the immediate end of punitive trade measures on solar panels and cells imported from China.

EurActiv.com

The European Union and China came close to a trade war in 2013 over EU allegations of solar panel dumping by China. But this was averted by an agreement to allow a limited amount of tariff-free panels at a minimum €0.56 per watt.

The Commission reviewed that agreement and also import duties as high as 64.9% for those outside the agreement all of which ended in December 2015.

The EU executive said in a paper sent to EU members that ending the measures would likely lead to a continuation of Chinese subsidies for the solar sector and a significant increase in dumped imports of solar cells and modules.

China starts trade battle over Market Economy Status

Beijing on Monday (12 December) filed a dispute with the World Trade Organisation over the approach used by the European Union and the United States to calculate anti-dumping measures against Chinese exports.

EurActiv.com

It also said the measures would only have a limited effect on demand and that comparisons between the 50,000 people working in importing and installation and the 5,000 to 10,000 in manufacturing were not appropriate. Job gains in the former could be outweighed by losses in the latter, it said.

A separate document said the minimum panel price would be cut to €0.46 per watt.

EU ProSun, a group of manufacturers including Germany’s SolarWorld, had welcomed the Commission’s findings and said it was convinced an extension of anti-dumping measures would be settled within weeks.

But SolarPower Europe, which represents those in the solar industry opposed to duties, said it was pleased with the majority view and hoped the Commission would review its proposal.

The case is due to be settled by 3 March.

Article source; http://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/eu-countries-oppose-duty-extension-on-chinese-solar-panels/

 

January 28, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sense About Science aka UK Science Media Centre lobbies for the pesticide companies in the European Union despite Brexit

ttip-eu-komission-infografiken_englisch_722px_5_0

Corporate funded lobby group Sense About Science aka the Science Media Centre is trying to get Europe to control pesticide lobbies agricultural science view now after its moderately successful campaign controlling the nuclear sciences (post Leveson Inquiry). Going to the Science Media Centre Website you can see all the corporations that donate to this lobbyist “charity” including big Agro, nuclear energy etc

Here is the latest in UK lobbying for corporate interests that gives a link to the Sense About Science “Charity” web site

http://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/opinion/trusting-science-in-an-age-of-truthiness/

More info on the Science Media Centre controlling the perception of health and environmental effects here with the help of the BBC amongst others;

https://nuclear-news.net/?s=Science+Media+Centre

And an article discusing some of the arguments about industries claims of “sound science”or Fiona Fox MD of the Science Media Centre`s claim of “the right science”

SNIP

“…

How sound is ‘sound science’?

While in itself far from perfect, the EU has a ‘farm to fork’ policy where each part of the food chain is monitored and – at least in some areas – applies the precautionary principle. The US system in contrast focuses only on the end product, which can only be regulated or banned when there is a scientific consensus on its danger or toxicity. Meanwhile, Europe’s precautionary principle enables intervention without waiting for the end of the scientific debate.

From tobacco to climate change, there is a long history of industry tactics to create doubt over the scientific evidence, paying studies to maintain this doubt alive in the media and attacking any unwanted evidence as ‘junk science’ as opposed to ‘sound science’. In a hard hitting column published in Nature, science writer Colin Macilwain says: “The term ‘sound science’ has become Orwellian double-speak for various forms of pro-business spin.”9

This is just as true in food regulation. With TTIP, industry is taking its fake notion of ‘sound science’ to stage an ongoing attack on the EU food safety system, implying that it is not science-based. ECPA and CropLife for instance attack the EU pesticide risk assessment, demanding “the inclusion of science-based risk assessment as the unified basis for pesticide regulation”.10 Indeed, US-negotiators are already pushing strongly for a separate article on “science-based risk assessment” in TTIP.11

In fact, while industry claims that current EU risk assessments are more demanding than is scientifically legitimate, environmental and public health organisations are saying the opposite: science is showing that risk assessments and safety studies – notably for pesticides and GMOs – should be strengthened also in Europe.12 …”

END SNIP

https://corporateeurope.org/international-trade/2014/07/ttip-lose-lose-deal-food-and-farming

January 28, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment