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Turkey to go into big debt to Russia for $20 billion Akkuyu nuclear power plan

Turkey gives Rosatom go ahead to build nuclear plant, Reuters, 15 June 17,  

Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) won approval from Turkey’s energy watchdog on Thursday to go ahead with building its $20 billion Akkuyu nuclear power plant in southern Turkey.

The project to construct four nuclear reactors has repeatedly run into delays, including being briefly halted after Turkey downed a Russian jet near the Syrian border in November 2015. Ties have since normalised between the two countries and work on the plant has resumed……

Rosatom has sold several nuclear reactors to developing countries under a model by which Russia finances, builds and operates the nuclear plant and sells power to its customer – a model that has also raised questions about Russia using energy policy as a means to political ends.

EPDK said it had given Rosatom’s project company Akkuyu Nukleer AS a 49-year production license.

Dependant on imports for almost all of its energy, Turkey has embarked on an ambitious nuclear programme, commissioning Rosatom in 2013 to build the four 1,200 megawatt (MW) reactors…..

June 16, 2017 Posted by | marketing, politics international, Russia, Turkey | Leave a comment

Will production of plutonium pits used in nuclear warheads shift from New Mexico to the Savannah River Site?

Plutonium pits at core of new Savannah River Site debate By Michael Smith Jun 14, 2017, 

Will production of plutonium pits used in nuclear warheads shift from New Mexico to the Savannah River Site?

One nuclear watchdog group fears so, based on remarks made during a recent nuclear symposium in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

But other nuclear observers say discussion of pit production shifting to Aiken County’s SRS is premature……

June 16, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Record drop in global coal production

World Coal Production Just Had Its Biggest Drop on Record, Bloomberg ,by Rakteem Katakey  June 14, 2017,

  • Carbon emissions show little or no growth for third year: BP

It’s the end of an era for coal.

Production of the fossil fuel dropped by a record amount in 2016, according to BP Plc’s annual review of global energy trends. China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, burned the least coal in six years and use dropped in the U.S to a level last seen in the 1970s, the company’s data show.

Coal, the most polluting fuel that was once the world’s fastest growing energy source, has been a target of countries and companies alike as the world begins to work toward the goals of the Paris climate agreement. Consumption is falling as the world’s biggest energy companies promote cleaner-burning natural gas, China’s economy evolves to focus more on services than heavy manufacturing and renewable energy like wind and solar becomes cheaper……

June 16, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Solar power speeding the death of coal-fired power

Solar Power Will Kill Coal Faster Than You Think [excellent graphs]  Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s outlook shows renewables will be cheaper almost everywhere in just a few years. by  Jess Shankleman  and  Hayley Warren June 15, 2017, Solar power, once so costly it only made economic sense in spaceships, is becoming cheap enough that it will push coal and even natural-gas plants out of business faster than previously forecast.

That’s the conclusion of a Bloomberg New Energy Finance outlook for how fuel and electricity markets will evolve by 2040. The research group estimated solar already rivals the cost of new coal power plants in Germany and the U.S. and by 2021 will do so in quick-growing markets such as China and India.

The scenario suggests green energy is taking root more quickly than most experts anticipate. It would mean that global carbon dioxide pollution from fossil fuels may decline after 2026, a contrast with the International Energy Agency’s central forecast, which sees emissions rising steadily for decades to come.

“Costs of new energy technologies are falling in a way that it’s more a matter of when than if,” said Seb Henbest, a researcher at BNEF in London and lead author of the report.

The report also found that through 2040:

  • China and India represent the biggest markets for new power generation, drawing $4 trillion, or about 39 percent all investment in the industry.
  • The cost of offshore wind farms, until recently the most expensive mainstream renewable technology, will slide 71 percent, making turbines based at sea another competitive form of generation.
  • At least $239 billion will be invested in lithium-ion batteries, making energy storage devices a practical way to keep homes and power grids supplied efficiently and spreading the use of electric cars.
  • Natural gas will reap $804 billion, bringing 16 percent more generation capacity and making the fuel central to balancing a grid that’s increasingly dependent on power flowing from intermittent sources, like wind and solar.
  • BNEF’s conclusions about renewables and their impact on fossil fuels are most dramatic. Electricity from photovoltaic panels costs almost a quarter of what it did in 2009 and is likely to fall another 66 percent by 2040. Onshore wind, which has dropped 30 percent in price in the past eight years, will fall another 47 percent by the end of BNEF’s forecast horizon.That means even in places like China and India, which are rapidly installing coal plants, solar will start providing cheaper electricity as soon as the early 2020s.

    “These tipping points are all happening earlier and we just can’t deny that this technology is getting cheaper than we previously thought,” said Henbest.

  • Coal will be the biggest victim, with 369 gigawatts of projects standing to be cancelled, according to BNEF. That’s about the entire generation capacity of Germany and Brazil combined.Capacity of coal will plunge even in the U.S., where President Donald Trump is seeking to stimulate fossil fuels. BNEF expects the nation’s coal-power capacity in 2040 will be about half of what it is now after older plants come offline and are replaced by cheaper and less-polluting sources such as gas and renewables.

    In Europe, capacity will fall by 87 percent as environmental laws boost the cost of burning fossil fuels. BNEF expects the world’s hunger for coal to abate starting around 2026 as governments work to reduce emissions in step with promises under the Paris Agreement on climate change.

  • “Beyond the term of a president, Donald Trump can’t change the structure of the global energy sector single-handedly,” said Henbest.All told, the growth of zero-emission energy technologies means the industry will tackle pollution faster than generally accepted. While that will slow the pace of global warming, another $5.3 trillion of investment would be needed to bring enough generation capacity to keep temperature increases by the end of the century to a manageable 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the report said.

    The data suggest wind and solar are quickly becoming major sources of electricity, brushing aside perceptions that they’re too expensive to rival traditional fuels.

    By 2040, wind and solar will make up almost half of the world’s installed generation capacity, up from just 12 percent now, and account for 34 percent of all the power generated, compared with 5 percent at the moment, BNEF concluded.

June 16, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

In court case, defendant makes claims about neo Nazi plan to hit Miami nuclear plant,

National Guard ‘neo-Nazi’ aimed to hit Miami nuclear plant, roommate says, Tampa Bay Times, Dan Sullivan, Times Staff Writer, 13 June 17 TAMPA — Brandon Russell, a National Guardsman and self-described neo-Nazi, had plans to blow up power lines in the Florida Everglades and launch explosives into a nuclear power plant near Miami, his roommate Devon Arthurs told police.

Prosecutors on Tuesday played portions of a recorded interrogation Arthurs gave in the hours immediately after he was arrested in the killings of Jeremy Himmelman and Andrew Oneschuk. In the video, Arthurs offers a justification for the killings, claiming that Russell, the surviving roommate, was preparing to commit acts of terrorism.

“The things they were planning were horrible,” Arthurs said. “These people were not good people.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office presented the video excerpts in an effort to get U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas B. McCoun III to revoke an order granting Russell bail, arguing that he poses a danger to the community.

Late Tuesday, the judge stayed the order. Russell will remain jailed while the judge reconsiders the issue.

Russell, 21, faces explosives charges after bombmaking materials were found at his Tampa Palms apartment May 19 during the murder investigation. Arthurs, separately, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in state court.

In the video, Arthurs sits beside a table in a white-walled interrogation room, his right leg resting over his left knee. He gestures with both hands as he casually describes Russell’s neo-Nazi beliefs and supposed plans to commit terrorist acts.

He said Russell studied how to build nuclear weapons in school and is “somebody that literally has knowledge of how to build a nuclear bomb.”

When a Tampa police detective asked Arthurs if his friends had any specific terrorist intentions, he said they had a plan to blow up power lines along Alligator Alley, the stretch of Interstate 75 linking Naples with Fort Lauderdale.

He also said they had a plan to fire mortars loaded with nuclear material into the cooling units of a nuclear power plant near Miami.

He said the damage would cause “a massive reactor failure” and spread “irradiated water” throughout the ocean……

Assistant U.S. Attorney Josephine Thomas noted during the hearing that the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station is near Miami. She also noted that when bomb squad members arrived at Russell’s apartment, their pagers alerted them to the presence of “two radiation sources.” The criminal complaint says those were thorium and americium, both radioactive metals.

Russell’s defense attorney, Ian Goldstein, noted that authorities have not charged him with possession of nuclear materials……

June 16, 2017 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

State of Nevada moves to prevent restart of licensing for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site.

Nevada moves to dismiss lawsuit that could restart Yucca Mountain licensing by Matthew Seeman,  CARSON CITY, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) —  The state of Nevada has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit that aims to restart licensing for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site.

June 16, 2017 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

USA Congress Committee narrowly votes to extend tax credit for nuclear power

House panel votes to extend tax credit for nuclear power, The Hill, The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday approved a bipartisan bill that would lift a deadline for the nuclear power production tax credit.

The panel passed the bill by voice vote.

The legislation would lift a requirement that nuclear facilities be placed in service by 2020 to be eligible for the credit. It would also allow public and nonprofit entities to transfer credits to other partners on the facilities, such as the projects’ designers.

The bill, which was introduced by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Tom Rice (R-S.C.), is of particular importance in South Carolina and Georgia, where new nuclear power plants are being constructed.

“We need to give these plants the certainty of the tax credits as Congress originally intended…..

June 16, 2017 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

No planning in UK’s Brexit for the problem of EURATOM and UK’s trade in nuclear materials.

Nation Cymru 14th June 2017 When Theresa May triggered Article 50 a couple of months ago, she also
signalled her intention that the UK leave the obscure EURATOM treaty. The
treaty covers nuclear power, an issue which neither the Remain nor Leave
camps even mentioned during the referendum campaign.

How this decision will affect plans for a new nuclear power station at Wylfa on Ynys Môn does not
appear to have been noticed in Wales at all. But what is interesting is
that EURATOM is central in the UK’s trade in nuclear materials.

The nuclear fuel used in our power stations is actually owned by EURATOM and
its safe handling and storage is overseen by that organisation.

When May took over as PM, the core of her Government’s energy strategy was the
commitment to building new nuclear power stations, starting with Hinkley
Point C in Somerset, just 12 miles from the South Wales coast across the
Bristol Channel.

They don’t think that they have a problem, either because the UK will miraculously renegotiate a highly complex set of
regulations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) within the two-year deadline, somehow arrange an extension of that deadline or perhaps not leave EURATOM after all.

June 16, 2017 Posted by | politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Review of safety of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant will mean along delay in restart

Reuters 14th June 2017, Tokyo Electric Power Co will work with local government to review the
safety of its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, which could mean a later
restart date than planned originally, the company’s incoming CEO said.

The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, the world’s biggest nuclear power plant, has been
completely offline since 2012 while its safety procedures are reviewed.

Ryuichi Yoneyama, the governor of Niigata prefecture in north west Japan
where the plant is located, has said he will not discuss the restart until
the review is completed. This includes a review of the plant’s safety,
evacuation plans, plus the impact on health of the radiation released from
Fukushima, which could take until 2020 at the earliest.

June 16, 2017 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

India joins the renewable energy revolution, accelerates targets

Two days after President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, Modi and Macron pledged to achieve emissions reductions beyond their nations’ commitments.

June 16, 2017 Posted by | India, renewable | Leave a comment

USA Senate under deadline to confirm appointment of Nuclear Regulatory Commission boss

Barrasso: Senate risks closing nuclear energy watchdog, Washington Examiner, by John Siciliano |  The Senate is under a strict deadline to confirm the head of the nation’s top nuclear watchdog or risk closing the agency for lack of members.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, raised the concern Thursday in advancing the nomination of Kristine Svinicki, President Trump’s pick to head the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, by voice vote to the Senate floor.

“Unless Ms. Svinicki is confirmed by June 30th, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will lose its quorum,” Barrasso said. “We must not let that happen.”…..

The Senate is under a strict deadline to confirm the head of the nation’s top nuclear watchdog or risk closing the agency for lack of members.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, raised the concern Thursday in advancing the nomination of Kristine Svinicki, President Trump’s pick to head the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, by voice vote to the Senate floor.

“Unless Ms. Svinicki is confirmed by June 30th, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will lose its quorum,” Barrasso said. “We must not let that happen.”……

June 16, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Kentucky Governor signs measure lifting nuclear moratorium

Bevin signs measure lifting nuclear moratorium. , Lexington Herald Leader, BY DAVID ZOELLER, 15 June 17  Gov. Matt Bevin came to Paducah Wednesday to sign the “Robert J. Leeper Act” lifting Kentucky’s 33-year-old moratorium on nuclear power plant construction.

June 16, 2017 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Concern in UK over cuts to police who guard nuclear weapons

Cuts to police who guard nuclear weapons could be ‘catastrophic’ It is claimed national security could be compromised as fewer firearms officers would be available for an emergency. Further cuts planned for the police force which guards the UK’s nuclear arsenal could be “catastrophic”, according to a leading police officer.

The Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) guards the country’s Trident nuclear deterrent, among other responsibilities.

The force is already understaffed with about 2,300 officers, according to the Defence Police Federation (DPF).

DPF chairman Eamon Keating will use a speech later to warn that plans to “reset” its strength to below that level will “harm national security”.

The MDP’s officers are all trained to use firearms and Mr Keating says cutting numbers means fewer available to help in a national emergency as part of Operation Temperer.

Temperer kicked in after the Manchester terror attack, when the threat risk was deemed critical. In that case, the military were deployed to help police.

“After a decade of budget and personnel cuts, it beggars belief the MoD would demand a further £12.5m from the police force entrusted with guarding Trident,” Mr Keating will tell the DPF’s annual conference.

“This ‘reset’ is an ill-considered decision that prioritises cost over security, and makes no sense given the financial value of the assets we protect,” Mr Keating will say.

Just a year ago the MDP had 2,600 officers – that was already a third down on previous levels after budget cuts in 2010.

The federation will also demand more detail on Conservative manifesto plans for an “Infrastructure Policing Force” by merging the MDP, the Civil Nuclear Constabulary and British Transport Police.

Mr Keating will add: “The Government must urgently rethink this catastrophic decision that further undermines police officers hamstrung by fitness tests inappropriate to the job they do, and a pension age different to the Home Office and Armed Forces.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “We are confident that the strength of our force keeps our people, sites and equipment safe.

“It also enables us to play our part in protecting the public, as we did when we supported the armed police response to the tragic events in Manchester last month.”

June 16, 2017 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear Leaks: The Back Story the NRC Doesn’t Want You to Know about Palo Verde

UCS, DAVE LOCHBAUM, DIRECTOR, NUCLEAR SAFETY PROJECT | JUNE 14, 2017, As described in a recent All Things Nuclear commentary, one of two emergency diesel generators (EDGs) for the Unit 3 reactor at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generation Station in Arizona was severely damaged during a test run on December 15, 2016. The operating license issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) allowed the reactor to continue running for up to 10 days with one EDG out of service. Because the extensive damage required far longer than 10 days to repair, the owner asked the NRC for permission to continue operating Unit 3 for up to 62 days with only one EDG available. The NRC approved that request……..

June 16, 2017 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Energy-efficient solar panel cleaning robot

Energy-efficient cleaning robot, Science Daily 

June 14, 2017
State-of-the-art solar cells are efficient — but are even more so when they are kept clean. A cleaning robot enables solar panels to deliver at full capacity.

State-of-the-art solar cells are efficient — but are even more so when they are kept clean. A cleaning robot developed by Norwegian researchers enables solar panels to deliver at full capacity……

June 16, 2017 Posted by | EUROPE, renewable | Leave a comment