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India going into debt to Russia, for expanded Kudankulam nuclear plant ?

Russia signs deal to expand India’s Kudankulam nuclear plant https://uk.reuters.com/article/russia-economic-forum-india-nuclear-idUKL8N1IY5KR Russia signed an agreement with the Indian government on Thursday to build two new reactors for the Kudankulam nuclear power station in Tamil Nadu and said it would loan India $4.2 billion to help fund construction.

President Vladimir Putin says Russia is ready to build a dozen nuclear reactors in India over the next 20 years to back Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s growth strategy for Asia’s third-largest economy, which continues to suffer chronic power shortages.

The agreement to build reactors 5 and 6 at Kudankulam was signed in St Petersburg during a meeting between Putin and Modi at an economic forum. It should help cement already close ties between the two countries.

Atomstroyexport, a unit of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, will carry out the work, Kremlin documents seen by Reuters showed.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters the Russian government was lending India $4.2 billion from next year for a 10-year period to help cover construction costs.

Separately, in a joint declaration, the two countries said they noted the “wider use of natural gas” which they hailed as an economically efficient and environmentally friendly fuel that would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help them fulfil the terms of the Paris climate change accord. (Reporting by Denis Pinchuk; Writing by Vladimir Soldatkin/Andrew Osborn; Editing by Alexander Winning)

June 2, 2017 Posted by | India, marketing of nuclear, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

Some big business leaders abandoning Donald Trump

Paris climate deal: Donald Trump to lose Elon Musk, Disney boss from advisory council, ABC News, 2 June 17 Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk and Disney chief executive Bob Iger say they will leave President Donald Trump’s advisory councils after he confirmed the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord…..

While the move was welcomed by conservative groups and Republicans, several business leaders — including Mr Musk and Mr Iger, and the heads of companies including Google, Facebook Shell and Amazon — have spoken out against the decision.

“Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world,” Mr Musk said in a Twitter post. Mr Musk, who founded SpaceX and Tesla among other companies, had been a member of Mr Trump’s infrastructure council, manufacturing jobs council and his strategic and policy forum……

A couple of hours after Mr Musk’s announcement, Mr Iger also said he will be stepping down from the advisory council “as a matter of principle”.  Other business leaders, such as Google chief executive Sundar Pichai, Microsoft president Brad Smith and General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt have tweeted that they were “disappointed” with the decision.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said stopping climate change is “something we can only do as a global community”.

Withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement is bad for the environment, bad for the economy, and it puts our children’s future at risk,” he wrote on Facebook.

Other global companies, including Intel, HP, Dell, Amazon and oil giant Shell have released statements expressing support for the Paris agreement.

“We believe that robust clean energy and climate policies can support American competitiveness, innovation, and job growth,” Amazon wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the governors of three US states — New York, California and Washington — announced they would form a “United States Climate Alliance” to convene states “committed to upholding the Paris climate agreement”.

“If the President is going to be AWOL in this profoundly important human endeavour, then California and other states will step up,” a joint statement read…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-02/paris-climate-deal-donald-trump-to-lose-elon-musk-as-adviser/8582560

June 2, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, climate change, USA | Leave a comment

New research on Three Mile Island nuclear accident linked to thyroid cancer

Three Mile Island nuke accident linked to thyroid cancer, USA TODAY NETWORK, Brett Sholtis, York (Pa.) Daily Record May 31, 2017 A new Penn State Medical Center study has found a link between the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident and thyroid cancer cases in south-central Pennsylvania.

June 2, 2017 Posted by | health, USA | Leave a comment

The most likely target areas in USA, in the event of a nuclear war

Here are the cities most likely to get struck in a nuclear attack by Russia, Business Insider ALEX LOCKIE, JUN 1, 2017 Ever since the Cold War, the US and Russia have drawn up plans on how to best wage nuclear war against each other — but while large population centres with huge cultural impact may seem like obvious choices, a smart nuclear attack would focus on countering the enemy’s nuclear forces.

June 2, 2017 Posted by | Reference, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear Missile Defense is far from a perfect solution

This successful nuclear missile defense test doesn’t mean the US is safe from nuclear attacks, Washington Examiner by Tom Rogan |  The U.S. Missile Defense Agency is watching its computer screens carefully, with fingers crossed.

Earlier Tuesday afternoon, the agency successfully tested its Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile midcourse missile-defense system. The test involved an interceptor ”kill vehicle” destroying a pretend ICBM plus warhead nuclear missile in outer space. In this case, over the Pacific Ocean.

That’s a fancy way of saying the system can stop a nuclear missile from hitting its target after the nuke has been fired.

It’s a big moment. Previous tests have had mixed success, and the Pentagon will be very relieved this one succeeded. Still, when it comes to missile defense tests, the devil is in the data. Specialists will be nervously trawling over the data to see how well the interceptor performed. They know the threat posed by North Korea’s ballistic missile program is growing rapidly. To justify their vast budget ($8.2 billion in the 2017 fiscal year), the agency is under huge pressure to deliver results.

That said, Tuesday’s success was expected. For one, the interceptor’s ”exo-atmospheric kill vehicle” (the interceptor element that slams into the enemy missile) employed today is new. As missile expert Laura Grego, explains, this particular kill vehicle has advanced thrusters that allow for very fine-tuned adjustments just before impact. Dealing with missiles flying through space at thousands of miles an hour, kill-vehicle calculations must be precise.

Nevertheless, we need to be careful here. Missile defense is far from a perfect solution.

For a start, interceptor systems remain in their infancy. They have not been tested against the high-end countermeasure technologies with which world powers equip their nuclear missiles. That speaks to a broader issue here. Remember, this test was not simply about the U.S. military’s technology-mission requirements. It was also a public relations opportunity, one the Pentagon needed to pass.

Put simply, we are years away from having interceptors that would offer credible deterrence against advanced Russian ICBMs.

But that’s just one issue. Another challenge? Relative numbers. At present, the U.S. has 36 interceptors on the West Coast. Yet the Russians have thousands of nuclear warheads, and the Chinese have hundreds. Even then, with North Korea likely possessing more than 10 nuclear weapons already, its rapidly advancing missile capabilities are a major threat. Once North Korea acquires the ability to build one ICBM plus warhead capability, it will rapidly be able to build many more…….. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/this-successful-nuclear-missile-defense-test-doesnt-mean-the-us-is-safe-from-nuclear-attacks/article/2624494

June 2, 2017 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Chris Yelland on the disadvantages of nuclear power for South Africa

Is nuclear the best option for SA? Flexibility is key in an unpredictable world. Money Web, Roger Lilley  /  1 June 2017  Eskom appears to be more concerned with building new nuclear power stations than in signing power purchase agreements with independent power producers that use renewable energy sources. Energize caught up with energy analyst and managing director of EE Publishers, Chris Yelland, for his opinion on what generation technologies South Africa should opt for.

…….CHRIS YELLAND:…..I am certainly not opposed to a nuclear new-build in South Africa on ideological or technology grounds. But there are real issues that both nuclear and renewable energy proponents must deal with. ….
Firstly, there are public perceptions of political motives, political interference and corruption associated with mega-project procurements. There are widespread public perceptions that things happen in secret behind closed doors, that due process is not being followed, and that there are some rather sinister motives. Whatever we think of these perceptions, whether they are true or not, they actually need to be dealt with.

The high, upfront capital costs, and associated financing and affordability of such mega-projects, is an issue, and one really has to deal with this issue, because it is one of the big drawbacks of nuclear.

We must also fully understand the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) from nuclear power over the economic lifetime of the plant, taking into account the overnight capital cost, interest during construction, the fixed and variable operating, maintenance and fuel costs, and the costs of decommissioning and waste disposal. The LCOE indicates the overall cost, in R/kWh of the electricity delivered from a nuclear power plant, in order to be able to compare it properly on a similar basis with other technologies.

Nuclear power stations take a long time to build – up to ten to 12 years per reactor – and mega-projects are prone to high cost and time overruns. These realities cannot simply be ignored.South Africa needs flexibility in an uncertain and unpredictable world, where electricity demand is difficult to predict in the years ahead, and disruptive technologies are on the horizon. Technologies such as wind, solar PV and energy storage may change the rules of the game……..

A tipping point was reached as the price of wind and solar PV energy came crashing down. All of a sudden there are now lower-cost alternatives to new nuclear and new coal power. Nuclear is no longer the least-cost option, and a blend of wind, solar PV, gas and pumped storage can deliver reliable, despatchable, baseload power at lower cost than new nuclear and even new coal power…….

there’s the option of wind, solar PV, gas and pumped storage. This is a low carbon option, just as nuclear is a low carbon option. But it is also an option to deliver reliable, despatchable baseload power in a flexible way at lower cost than the nuclear option. This is what is termed “flexible power”…….

CHRIS YELLAND: In my view, the decline of the coal sector is inevitable, as the world moves away from coal to a cleaner, low-carbon future, both locally and globally.

We live in a global village, and South Africa simply cannot continue to burn coal regardless of the consequences to water use, pollution, health and climate change. The world is expecting us to move to cleaner options, and South Africa has made international commitments to do just this. We need to plan ahead and address these matters going forward. ……

The growth of rooftop solar PV in domestic, commercial and industrial applications has not been considered in the Draft IRP 2016 at all, and yet is a growing and inevitable reality, both globally and in South Africa.

The Department of Energy, Eskom and municipal electricity distributors ignore this growing alternative and supplement to conventional grid electricity at their peril. This is potentially a huge disruptor to the traditional business models of power utilities.

Customers are choosing cleaner and cheaper sources of energy to reduce both their costs and dependency on public utilities. Thus I expect very significant growth in this market as solar PV and battery storage prices continue to drop, while the price of grid electricity continues to rise.Utilities have to sit up and take note. Otherwise they may find themselves in a death spiral, where rising costs of grid power drive their customers away to alternatives. As people move to these alternatives in greater numbers, so the costs of the new alternative technologies come down due to increasing economies of scale. At the same time, in a vicious circle, this further pushes up the price of grid power, as utilities try to recover their fixed cost structure from declining kWh sales volumes.

This really needs to be taken seriously. It has happened in other parts of the world, and it’s not unthinkable that it could happen in South Africa. https://www.moneyweb.co.za/news/south-africa/nuclear-energy-the-best-option-for-south-africa/

June 2, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, South Africa | Leave a comment

A victory for Indian farmers, as nuclear power proposal shifted from coastal district of Gujarat

Gujarat’s Mithivirdi nuclear plant to be shifted to AP http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/policy/gujarats-mithivirdi-nuclear-plant-to-be-shifted-to-ap/article9717922.ece RUTAM VORA, Thanks to farmers’ protest, MoEF asks Green Tribunal to shift project site AHMEDABAD, JUNE 1:  

A decade-long legal battle to save their fertile land from being used for the country’s largest nuclear power plant ended in a victory for farmers from Saurashtra’s Bhavnagar district.

The Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) recently informed the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to shift the proposed 6,000 megaWatt (MW) nuclear plant — the first under the Indo-US civil nuclear pact of 2008 — from the coastal district of Gujarat to Kavvada in Andhra Pradesh “on account of delay in land acquisition at Chhaya-Mithivirdi site”.

The plant was to be set up by state-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) with technical support from Toshiba Corp’s Westinghouse Electric Company (WEC), which will build six nuclear reactors at the new site.

On May 18, MoEF said that in view of shifting of the said project the proposal for environment clearance (EC) before it has been delisted.

The villagers had approached NGT on March 3, 2015, challenging the coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) clearance given to NPCIL for the project. NGT’s Western Zone Bench, comprising Justice UD Salvi and Ranjan Chatterjee as expert member, disposed of the petition post the MoEF submission regarding shifting the site for the project.

India has planned to increase its nuclear power generation capacity from the existing 6,780 MW to 63,000 MW by 2032.

It is learnt that farmers in Andhra Pradesh have agreed to give away their lands for Westinghouse Electric’s AP-1000 pressurised water reactors. The project will initially require about 800 hectares of land in the eastern coastal district of Srikakulam.

In Gujarat’s Mithivirdi, however, farmers are celebrating. “A get-together has been planned on June 2 to celebrate the victory. The project would have directly affected about 340 farmer families and about 2,000 people indirectly associated with farm-related activities,” said Shaktisinh Gohi, one of the petitioners.

Gohil stated that NPCIL wanted about 777 hectares of land for the project from three to four villages around Mithivirdi. On March 5, 2013, before the company was granted CRZ clearance for the site, there were about 7,000 villagers who staged a walk-out from the Environmental Public Hearing as a mark of protest. Farmer leaders have been “sensitising” people about the risks of a nuclear reactor in the vicinity by distributing materials and showcasing films of the nuclear disasters in parts of the world.

“Our protests and arguments were backed by academic and scientific facts. We fought a very well-organised battle to get rid of this project. ,” said Rohit Prajapati, another petitioner.

June 2, 2017 Posted by | India, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Nuclear companies’ owners beg for tax-payer subsidies – Three Mile Island begs, as solar opportunities rise

Three Mile Island Nuke Plant Closure Strengthens Call for Renewable Energy Future https://www.ecowatch.com/three-mile-island-closing-2427231400.html   31 May 17 Tuesday’s announcement that the Three Mile Island Unit One nuclear plant will close unless it gets massive subsidies has vastly strengthened the case for a totally renewable energy future.

That future is rising in Buffalo, and comes in the form of Tesla’s massive job-producing solar shingle factory which will create hundreds of jobs and operate for decades to come.

Three Mile Island, by contrast, joins a wave of commercially dead reactors whose owners are begging state legislatures for huge bailouts. Exelon, the nation’s largest nuke owner, recently got nearly $2.5 billion from the Illinois legislature to keep three uncompetitive nukes there on line.

In Ohio, FirstEnergy is begging the legislature for $300 million per year for the money-losing Perry and Davis-Besse reactors, plagued with serious structural problems. That bailout faces an uphill battle in a surprisingly skeptical legislature. FirstEnergy is at the brink of bankruptcy, and says it will sell the reactors anyway.

To make matters worse, Ohio lawmakers have imposed unique spacing restrictions on the state’s wind industry, blocking at least $1.6 billion in investments poised to build eight wind farms now waiting in the wings. Those turbine developments would go far in providing jobs to those who will inevitably lose them at FirstEnergy’s uncompetitive nukes.

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants a staggering $7.6 billion for four uncompetitive upstate reactors. That bailout is being challenged in court by environmental groups and by industrial players angry about unfair competition and soaring rates. Their owners concede these old nukes can’t compete with renewables or gas, and have wanted to shut most or all of them.

Now, Three Mile Island’s owners say without millions more in handouts from Pennsylvania rate payers, the reactor will close in 2019. A battle over the handout will be upcoming in the Pennsylvania legislature. Ironically, the Quad Cities plant in Illinois, which is in line for huge subsidies, could not compete with gas or renewables at a recent power auction, and may have to shut despite the handouts.

Meanwhile, coming on line this year, Tesla’s Buffalo Billion gigafactory has the power to transform our entire national economy.
It’s the core of a plan to fulfill America’s direst needs—a reliable supply of safe, cheap energy, and a base of good long-term employment for the nation’s battered working class.

Costing about $750 million, it will bang out solar roofing shingles by the end of this year. It will directly create at least 500 high-paying, clean, safe jobs that will last for decades and turn our energy economy green. Another 1,440 jobs are slated to come from spin-offs. Still more will be created by lowered electric rates and increased clean energy production.

The Buffalo factory joins Tesla’s new plant outside Sparks, Nevada—housed in the biggest building in the world—now producing a new generation of batteries. They will bridge the green energy gap when “the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.”
These two job-producing powerhouses are at the core of the Solartopian revolution. Solar panels, solar shingles, wind turbines, high-efficiency LED lighting and advanced batteries are key to our global survival and prosperity. Along with the hardware needed for tidal energy, ocean thermal, geothermal, advanced conservation and other renewable industries, gigafactories producing these technologies will be the engine for the 21st century economy.

If Gov. Cuomo’s $7.6 billion bailout ask went instead to build seven gigafactories like the Buffalo Billion, New York would gain thousands of jobs directly and thousands more through the industry powered by lower electric rates. They would be safe, secure, clean, good-paying jobs that could transform the state’s energy and employment situation.

Cuomo’s bailout plan, however, would raise rates on New Yorkers far outside their upstate service area. That even includes Long Island—hundreds of miles away—whose angry citizens rose up decades ago to kill the infamous failed $7 billion Shoreham reactor, which Cuomo’s father Mario helped bury when he was governor.

Ferocious opposition to this bailout has arisen throughout New York. A critical court case will open on June 5. Support for this litigation can be sent to Rockland Environmental Group, LLC 75 North Middletown Road, Nanuet, NY 10954.

New developments at Sempra and other major electric utilities now make it possible for renewables to sustain a central grid 100 percent of the time, without the fluctuations critics claim make a green-powered future difficult to achieve.

So we can bail out Three Mile Island, Perry, Davis-Besse and a rising tide of our 99 obsolete, dangerously decayed atomic dinosaurs at a cost of untold billions? Do we want to escalate the risk of reactor disasters, create tons more radioactive wastes and temporarily preserve a few thousand dead-end jobs?

Or do we want to bang out these Buffalo Billion plants and join GermanySwitzerlandIndia and other major nations soaring to a Solartopian future.

Is there really a choice?

June 2, 2017 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Climate deniers hijacking a climate science conference in Rome

UN, EU Agencies Reject Ties to Conference Hijacked by Climate Science Deniers https://www.desmogblog.com/2017/05/31/wmo-eu-reject-omics-conference-hijacked-climate-science-deniers?utm_source=dsb%20newsletter

The organizers, India-based ConferenceSeries, promise their “4th World Conference on Climate Change” will attract “world class experts” from across the planet.

Anticipating “more than 500 participants,” the event claimed to have an organizing committee with representatives from the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the European Space Agency, and the European Environment Agency (EEA).

But a DeSmog investigation reveals the event is being hijacked by a group of climate science deniers who have previously claimed they want to investigate climate scientists for fraud and have dismissed human-caused climate change as a hoax.

Since being contacted by DeSmog, both the WMO and the EEA have issued statements distancing themselves from the three-day conference, scheduled to start on October 19.

ConferenceSeries, also known as OMICS, promotes hundreds of meetings around the world and is behind the logistics and promotion for the Italy conference. In August 2016 the U.S. government’s Federal Trade Commission launched court action against the company, alleging deceptive marketing practices. The case is ongoing.

Two members of the Italy conference “organizing committee” — Nils-Axel Mörner and Franco Maranzana — were also organizers of a meeting for climate science deniers in London in September 2016.

Both are also founding members of a self-styled Independent Committee on Geoethics (ICG) — a group that, according to another founder Lord Christopher Monckton, was established to investigate climate scientists for fraud.

Seven presenters, including Monckton and Mörner, and one organizer of that London meeting, Maranzana, are also scheduled to speak at the Rome event.  Continue reading

June 2, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

University of Princeton Study Questions U.S. Nuclear Safety

Study Questions U.S. Nuclear Safety http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?o=rn&id=13484&SEO=study-questions-u.s.-nuclear-safety Washington, May 29 (Prensa Latina) The regulatory agency of nuclear energy in the United States underestimates the risk of a catastrophe, a study by the University of Princeton revealed on Monday.
‘The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) used faulty data to estimate potentially ruinous risks of a nuclear-waste fire – one which could occur at any one of dozens of sites across the country,’ the report concluded.

Its main author, Frank von Hippel, cofounder of the Science and Global Security Program at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, noted the economic and political manipulations of that stance by the regulatory agency.

‘The NRC has been pressured by the nuclear industry, directly and through Congress, to low-ball the potential consequences of a fire because of concerns that increased costs could result in shutting down more nuclear power plants,’ Von Hippel charged.

The expert considered that that NRC inaction leaves the public at high risk from fires in spent-nuclear-fuel cooling pools at reactor sites.

Washington, May 29 (Prensa Latina) The regulatory agency of nuclear energy in the United States underestimates the risk of a catastrophe, a study by the University of Princeton revealed on Monday.
‘The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) used faulty data to estimate potentially ruinous risks of a nuclear-waste fire – one which could occur at any one of dozens of sites across the country,’ the report concluded.

Its main author, Frank von Hippel, cofounder of the Science and Global Security Program at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, noted the economic and political manipulations of that stance by the regulatory agency.

‘The NRC has been pressured by the nuclear industry, directly and through Congress, to low-ball the potential consequences of a fire because of concerns that increased costs could result in shutting down more nuclear power plants,’ Von Hippel charged.

The expert considered that that NRC inaction leaves the public at high risk from fires in spent-nuclear-fuel cooling pools at reactor sites.

‘The pools – water-filled basins that store and cool used radioactive fuel rods – are so densely packed with nuclear waste that a fire could release enough radioactive material to contaminate an area twice the size of New Jersey,’ adds the report.

‘On average, radioactivity from such an accident could force approximately 8 million people to relocate and result in $2 trillion in damages,’ he noted.

According to the scientist, those catastrophic consequences might be unleashed by a big earthquake or a terrorist attack.

That potential disaster might be prevented largely with regulatory measures that the NRC refuses to implement, he noted.

‘The agency excluded the possibility of an act of terrorism as well as the potential for damage from a fire beyond 50 miles of a plant,’ the scientist noted.

June 2, 2017 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Long Islanders Frustrated at Plan To Bail Out Aging Nuclear Power Plants

Plan To Bail Out Aging Nuclear Power Plants Fuels Frustrations For Long Islanders, May 31, 2017 NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — All New Yorkers are set to pay to keep three upstate nuclear power plants online.

As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reports, the plan is fueling frustrations for folks on Long Island. One particular group of residents has a message for Albany; scrap the governor’s clean energy plan to bail out the three aging plants.

Cuomo says closing them would boost electrical rates for everyone in the state. State subsidies will cost ratepayers up to $7.6 billion over 12 years

“500 million of it will be paid by Long Islanders,” Blair Horner from the New York Public Interest Research Group says. “Long Islanders who have faced a double whammy.”

The double whammy is a result of the never-opened nuclear reactor at Shoreham.

Some ratepayers complain the plan is particularly unfair to Nassau and Suffolk residents, the only New Yorkers still paying for the Shoreham nuclear plant shuttered in 1989. Long Islanders are collectively paying off Shoreham’s $1.1 billion debt until the year 2033. Now, the state’s “Clean Energy Standard” means another surcharge of two dollars per month added to all utility bills — surcharges to energy guzzlers like the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, local governments, and hospitals will be in the millions of dollars.

“Larger facilities like schools, churches, businesses, their rates are going up and they are just going to pass it right onto us,” Suffolk homeowner Gail Payne said……

On Wednesday, protesters appealed to state lawmakers to put a one year moratorium on the nuclear bailout plan until a better solution is reached.http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/05/31/plan-to-bail-out-aging-nuclear-power-plants-fuels-frustrations-for-long-islanders/

June 2, 2017 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Why Trump is pulling out of the Paris climate deal

 Axios, 1 June 17 “…..The people urging him to withdraw were louder, more influential and more relevant to Trump than the people urging him to stay in, even though there were more of the latter than the former.
 The major players outside the White House:
  1. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt helped orchestrate a campaign along with conservative interest groups that rallied Trump’s most ardent supporters.
  2. Obama administration officials, including John Podesta and Todd Stern, urging Trump to stay in the deal tied the issue to people unpopular with Trump.
  3. Most major fossil-fuel companies supported staying in Paris, but they weren’t as loud and persistent as the conservative interests pulling the other way, such as the 22 Senate Republicans who sent a letter last week to Trump urging him to withdraw.
  4. Backers of the deal, including world leaders, were not united in pushing for the U.S. to stay in the deal but ratchet down the commitment put forth by former President Obama, which muddled the debate at the G-7 meeting last week and didn’t create a convincing argument to Trump.
  5. The warring views inside the White House:

    • Nationalists, as captured by my colleague Jonathan Swan: Paris is the antithesis of America First. It’s a global deal, which other major countries have no interest in abiding by in good faith, that has potentially profound consequences for American workers. Withdrawing from the climate deal is just as if not more significant than withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which Trump began the process of withdrawing from as one of his first acts as president.
    • Globalists: If America withdraws from the deal, it’d be America alone, not America first. Leaving the deal leaves millions of U.S. dollars on the table funneled to the global climate effort by the Obama administration. The U.S. has more leverage and power by remaining at the negotiating table than by leaving. Ivanka has been aggressively arguing for him to stay in, sources told Swan.
    • Not mentioned: The environmental and public health consequences of climate change are not top of mind for either perspective……https://www.axios.com/why-trump-is-pulling-out-of-the-paris-climate-deal-2427900950.html

June 2, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

As solar costs plunge, India rethinks coal projects

Cheaper Solar in India Prompts Rethink for Coal Projects, Bloomberg, by  Anindya Upadhyay and Rajesh Kumar Singh June 1, 2017, 

  • Power from solar panels now half the cost of a new coal plant
  • Shift in electricity economics helps Modi’s goal on pollution

India’s coal-power plant developers are growing more pessimistic about their projects after a plunge in the cost of electricity from solar panels improved the economics of renewable energy.

After a string of federal auctions, solar is suddenly the cheapest source of electricity in India. That’s darkening the outlook for the coal-fired power industry as projects struggle to find customers or face cancellation amid a glut of capacity.

“The crashing solar tariffs are creating a mental block for distribution companies and holding them back from signing long-term purchase agreements with conventional power producers,” said T. Adi Babu, chief operating officer for finance at Lanco Infratech Ltd., an Indian power producer. “A couple of years back, when people talked of solar reaching grid parity, people were skeptical. Now the solar tariffs have gone well below that. It is definitely making conventional players sit up and take notice.”……

evidence of a shift away from coal is gathering by the day.

  • State-run NTPC Ltd., India’s largest power producer, along with RattanIndia Power Ltd. are considering installing solar panels over land initially intended for thermal projects.
  • NTPC said in February it’s aiming to have 30 percent of its capacity come from non-fossil fuel by 2032
  • The Indian subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed CLP Holdings Ltd., which owns both coal and renewable projects, is debating whether to participate in another round of conventional projects. “A transition from coal to solar is a generic direction that all utilities are taking. We are an early mover into the renewables space so our journey continues,” Mahesh Makhija, business-development director for renewables, said in a phone interview.
  • The government of the sunny state of Rajasthan expects more conventional power to be replaced by clean energy as higher renewable purchase targets are fulfilled. “At the rate the renewable power tariffs are decreasing, the time is not far when renewable power will start replacing costlier conventional power,” Sanjay Malhotra, principal secretary for energy in the Rajasthan government, said by phone.

Solar is now as much as 50 percent cheaper than new coal power, according to solar research firm Bridge to India.

“That’s why we have seen many new coal power tenders being suspended or canceled in the last three months,” said Vinay Rustagi, managing director at Bridge to India…….

renewables are expanding quickly in India. Solar capacity has surged fourfold since December 2014 to about 12 gigawatts, while wind farms now provide 32 gigawatts, up from 22.5 gigawatts over the same period. Modi is seeking an additional 88 gigawatts of solar and 28 gigawatts more of wind by 2022. And those projects are crowding coal out of the power market…….https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-01/cheaper-solar-in-india-prompts-rethink-for-more-coal-projects

June 2, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, India, renewable | Leave a comment

Trump’s climate decision harms the planet, and goes against the wishes of the American public.

President Trump’s Decision To Exit Paris Climate Agreement Is A Mistake, Huffington Post, Will Rogers, ContributorPresident of The Trust for Public Land 1 June 17 

The president’s decision not only harms the planet but goes against the wishes of the American public.   President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement is the latest demonstration of his administration’s complete disregard for the health and safety of the American people, the economy on which those families rely, and the future of the planet we all share.

The landmark 2015 climate agreement was negotiated by 197 countries and has been approved by 147 nations, including the United States. It is our best attempt yet to deal with the increasingly negative impacts of climate change.

The president’s decision not only harms the planet but goes against the wishes of the American public, with 70 percent of people saying we should remain in the Paris accords.

The Trump administration has chosen to ignore the fact-based belief of the scientific community that human activity is linked to the increased carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and the climate change that results. But you don’t have to be a scientist to see the impact. Glaciers are rapidly retreating in Glacier National Park, the Florida coastline and low-lying areas of Miami are regularly flooded and the impact of rising seas is being felt in New Jersey and other coastal areas The headlines are full of heat records broken, with a new “hottest year ever” appearing regularly.

While Trump’s decision would have the federal government turn away from the fight against climate change, our organization is working to arm local cities and communities across America with a variety of tools to prepare their residents for the challenges at hand……..http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/president-trumps-decision-to-exit-paris-climate-agreement_us_59306c8fe4b042ffa289e86d

June 2, 2017 Posted by | climate change, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear power not a viable option

http://www.gazettenet.com/Ann-Darling-argues-that-it-s-past-time-to-stop-thinking-of-nuclear-power-as-a-viable-option-10339507 In response to the letter writer promoting nuclear power as safe and clean (“Nuclear energy safest source of power in US,” May 23): I lived a few miles north of Vermont Yankee for decades, and I made a point of educating myself about nuclear power and nuclear waste.

What I learned scared me so much that I left my beloved home and moved as far away from Vermont Yankee as I could and still keep my job.

Nuclear power is not green. Yes, it puts almost no carbon into the atmosphere while the reactor is operating. But since when do we only look at what happens in part of a fuel cycle to determine if something is “green”? Haven’t we learned that extracting, refining, and cleaning up the waste have to be considered, too, with any source of power?

The mining and refining of uranium are extremely energy-intensive and lay waste to areas inhabited mostly by indigenous peoples worldwide. The waste from both ends of the cycle is the most toxic substance on earth, and it is harmful to life for centuries.

These new types of reactors are no magic bullet, either. They still create radioactive waste. And safe? Oh please. Tell the people who lived near Chernobyl and Fukushima who will never be able to go home that nuclear power is safe.

Closer to home, tell the people who live near the nuke in Plymouth that it’s safe. And if there is an emergency, the road off the Cape will be closed. I hope they all have boats.

The more nukes we build, and the older they get, the greater the likelihood of more catastrophes. It’s past time to stop thinking of nuclear as a viable option and put our resources toward bringing truly sustainable power generation to scale.

 

June 2, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment