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Need for a new legal framework to protect the coming millions of climate refugees

Climate change ‘will create world’s biggest refugee crisis’ https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/02/climate-change-will-create-worlds-biggest-refugee-crisis Experts warn refugees could number tens of millions in the next decade, and call for a new legal framework to protect the most vulnerable, Guardian, Matthew Taylor, 2 Nov 17, Tens of millions of people will be forced from their homes by climate change in the next decade, creating the biggest refugee crisis the world has ever seen, according to a new report.

Senior US military and security experts have told the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) study that the number of climate refugees will dwarf those that have fled the Syrian conflict, bringing huge challenges to Europe.

“If Europe thinks they have a problem with migration today … wait 20 years,” said retired US military corps brigadier general Stephen Cheney. “See what happens when climate change drives people out of Africa – the Sahel [sub-Saharan area] especially – and we’re talking now not just one or two million, but 10 or 20 [million]. They are not going to south Africa, they are going across the Mediterranean.”

The study published on Thursday calls on governments to agree a new legal framework to protect climate refugees and, ahead of next week’s climate summit in Germany, urges leaders to do more to implement the targets set out in the Paris climate agreement.

Sir David King, the former chief scientific adviser to the UK government, told the EJF: “What we are talking about here is an existential threat to our civilisation in the longer term. In the short term, it carries all sorts of risks as well and it requires a human response on a scale that has never been achieved before.”

The report argues that climate change played a part in the build up to the Syrian war, with successive droughts causing 1.5 million people to migrate to the country’s cities between 2006 and 2011. Many of these people then had no reliable access to food, water or jobs.

“Climate change is the the unpredictable ingredient that, when added to existing social, economic and political tensions, has the potential to ignite violence and conflict with disastrous consequences,” said EJF executive director, Steve Trent.

“In our rapidly changing world climate change – and its potential to trigger both violent conflict and mass migration – needs to be considered as an urgent priority for policymakers and business leaders alike.”

Although the report highlights to growing impact of climate change on people in the Middle East and Africa, it says changing weather patterns – like the hurricanes that devastated parts of the US this year – prove richer nations are not immune from climate change.

But Trent said that although climate change undoubtedly posed an “existential threat to our world” it was not to late to take decisive action.

“By taking strong ambitious steps now to phase out greenhouse gas emissions and building an international legal mechanism to protect climate refugees we will protect the poorest and most vulnerable in our global society, build resilience, reap massive economic benefits and build a safe and secure future for our planet. Climate change will not wait. Neither can we. For climate refugees, tomorrow is too late.”

November 3, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Building solar and wind farms a cheaper proposition than running aging coal and nuclear generators

Renewables Are Starting to Crush Aging U.S. Nukes, Coal Plants https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-02/renewables-are-starting-to-crush-aging-u-s-nukes-coal-plants

  • Fluctuations in solar, wind power remain a challenge: Lazard

Building solar and wind farms has started to become a cheaper proposition than running aging coal and nuclear generators in parts of the U.S., according to financial adviser Lazard Ltd.

 Take wind: Building and operating a utility-scale farm costs $30 to $60 a megawatt-hour over its lifetime, and that can drop to as low as $14 when factoring in subsidies, according an annual analysis that Lazard’s been performing for a decade. Meanwhile, just keeping an existing coal plant running can cost $26 to $39 and a nuclear one $25 to $32.

Two years ago, “what was interesting to us was the lifetime cost of renewables on an energy basis reached parity with conventional resources in a bunch of geographies in the U.S.,” said Jonathan Mir, head of the North American power group at Lazard. “Now, what we are seeing is that renewable technologies on a fully loaded basis are beating” existing coal and nuclear plants in some regions.

 The report by Lazard, whose estimates are widely used in the power sector as benchmarks, comes as President Donald Trump’s administration is vowing to stop the “war on coal” and put America’s miners back to work. Hundreds of power plants burning the fuel have shut in recent years amid escalating competition from natural gas, wind and solar. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has proposed rewarding coal and nuclear plants with extra payments for their dependability, touching off a national debate over the country’s future power mix.
“We still need, in a modern grid, fuel diversification and a diverse generation stack,” Mir said.So someone has to think hard about how to organize this transition.”

The sudden swings in generation from wind and solar farms remain a challenge for power grid operators, he said. A modern system can handle renewables supplying about 30 percent of its power — and as much as 50 percent in some cases — but levels beyond that require storage technologies, he said.

Gas has helped, backstopping intermittent solar and wind generation. And their combined decline in costs is rapidly changing the U.S. power mix, Mir said. Globally, renewables are set to almost double from last year to make up 51 percent of the mix by 2040, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The challenge of keeping open older plants has arrived faster than expected and more early retirements may ensue, he said.

These days, the most efficient gas-fired plants now cost about $700 a kilowatt to build, down from $1,000 to $1,100 five years ago, Mir said. Rooftop solar remains expensive in the U.S., costing four to five times as much as a utility-sized solar farm.

The drop in renewable energy costs is already changing how utilities operate, Mir said, using American Electric Power Co. as an example. Once the biggest burner of coal in the U.S., AEP is now planning to invest $4.5 billion in wind power and has said it could stop burning the fossil fuel altogether. “AEP is doing this because it is the cheapest way to provide energy,” he said.

November 3, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, renewable | Leave a comment

The truth concerning nuclear accident induced thyroid cancers. Japan TVreport

Article by Shaun McGee (aka arclight2011)

Article posted to nuclear-news.net

Article posted 2 November 2017

In a recent Japanese television publication (Our Planet TV), a presentation of the effects in Chernobyl was made in Japanese and Belorussian with an English Power Point presentation. The presentation was from Victor Kondradovich from the Minsk Municipal Onocological Centre in Belarus.

The findings of this presentation shows the manipulation of the nuclear industry when it comes to reporting health issues after nuclear accidents. As many nuclear reactor and processing countries are trying to ease the allowable amounts of radioactivity we are allowed whilst playing down reported health effects.

In Japan we see the nuclear industry fight back concerning claims of thyroid cancers using all the tools in their armories. Meanwhile, dedicated health professionals, activist groups and even a Nobel prize winner Professor Masukawa  has challenged the Japanese Governments version of events and consequences.

A picture speaks a thousand words……

 

The source and attribution for this article goes to Our Planet TV in Japan. Link to video channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCek9hwJHFKeQ8RqcnoftPpA

For further investigation of other health and mortality effects see this presentation from an NGO from Ukraine about the high mortality of the evacuated people from near the Chernobyl nuclear plant (Pypriat) who evacuated to Kiev;

https://nuclear-news.net/2013/05/02/chernobyl-london-meeting-27-april-2013-speech-by-tamara-krasitskava-from-zemlyaki/

On Sunday the 27 April 2013 in a little room somewhere off Grays Inn road London, a meeting took place. In this meeting was Ms Tamara Krasitskava of the Ukrainian NGO “Zemlyaki”.

 

In this meeting she quoted that only 40 percent of the evacuees that moved to Kiev after the disaster are alive today! And lets leave the statistics out of it for a moment and we find out of 44,000 evacuated to Kiev only 19,000 are left alive. None made it much passed 40 years old

…..3.2 million with health effects and this includes 1 million children…

T .Kraisitskava

“….I was told to not talk of the results from Belarus as the UK public were not allowed to know the results we were finding!….”

A.Cameron (Belarus health worker from UK)

November 3, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

US officials still talking with North Korea, despite President Trump

U.S. pursues direct diplomacy with North Korea despite Trump rejection Arshad MohammedMatt Spetalnick  WASHINGTON (Reuters) 1 Nov 17, – The United States is quietly pursuing direct diplomacy with North Korea, a senior State Department official said on Tuesday, despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s public assertion that such talks are a waste of time.

Using the so-called “New York channel,” Joseph Yun, U.S. negotiator with North Korea, has been in contact with diplomats at Pyongyang’s United Nations mission, the official said, at a time when an exchange of bellicose insults between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has fueled fears of military conflict.

While U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Oct. 17 said he would continue “diplomatic efforts … until the first bomb drops,” the official’s comments were the clearest sign the United States was directly discussing issues beyond the release of American prisoners, despite Trump having dismissed direct talks as pointless.

There is no sign, however, that the behind-the-scenes communications have improved a relationship vexed by North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, the death of U.S. university student Otto Warmbier days after his release by Pyongyang in June and the detention of three other Americans.

Word of quiet engagement with Pyongyang comes despite Trump’s comments, North Korea’s weapons advances and suggestions by some U.S. and South Korean officials that Yun’s interactions with North Koreans had been reined in.

“It has not been limited at all, both (in) frequency and substance,” said the senior State Department official………

At the start of Trump’s presidency, Yun’s instructions were limited to seeking the release of U.S. prisoners.

“It is (now) a broader mandate than that,” said the State Department official, declining, however, to address whether authority had been given to discuss North Korea’s nuclear and missile program.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China welcomed any dialogue between the United States and North Korea.

“We encourage North Korea and the United States to carry out engagement and dialogue,” Hua told reporters, adding that she hoped talks could help return the issue to a diplomatic track for resolution.

…… Speaking at the United Nations on Sept. 19, Trump vowed to “totally destroy” North Korea if it threatened the United States or its allies, raising anxieties about the possibility of military conflict.

Twelve days later, after Tillerson said Washington was probing for a diplomatic opening, Trump said on Twitter that his chief diplomat was “wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man” – his mocking nickname for the North Korean leader.

Democratic U.S. senators introduced a bill on Tuesday they said would prevent Trump from launching a nuclear first strike on North Korea on his own, highlighting the issue days before the Republican’s first presidential trip to Asia.

…… The New York channel is one of the few conduits the United States has for communicating with North Korea, which has itself made clear it has little interest in serious talks before it develops a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the continental United States.

The last high-level contact between Yun and the North Koreans was when he traveled to North Korea in June to secure the release of Warmbier, who died shortly after he returned home in a coma, the State Department official said.

……. The official said, however, that “the preferred endpoint is not a war but some kind of diplomatic settlement” and suggestions that Washington is setting up a binary choice for Pyongyang to capitulate diplomatically or military action were “misleading.”

Diplomacy, the official said, “has a lot more room to go.”

But Trump’s threats against North Korea are believed to have complicated diplomatic efforts.

Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Matt Spetalnick; additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Yara Bayoumy and Clarence Fernandez  http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-usa-exclusive/exclusive-u-s-pursues-direct-diplomacy-with-north-korea-despite-trump-rejection-idUSKBN1D136I

November 3, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

USA government report says Climate Is Warming And Humans Are The Cause

Massive Government Report Says Climate Is Warming And Humans Are The Caushttp://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/11/02/561608576/massive-government-report-says-climate-is-warming-and-humans-are-the-cause, November 2, 2017,Heard on All Things Considered CHRISTOPHER JOYCE It is “extremely likely” that human activities are the “dominant cause” of global warming, according to the most comprehensive study ever of climate science by U.S. government researchers.

The climate report, obtained by NPR, notes that the past 115 years are “the warmest in the history of modern civilization.” The global average temperature has increased by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit over that period. Greenhouse gases from industry and agriculture are by far the biggest contributor to warming.

The findings contradict statements by President Trump and many of his Cabinet members, who have openly questioned the role humans play in changing the climate.

“I believe that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in an interview earlier this year. “There’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact.”

That is not consistent with the conclusions of the 600-plus-page Climate Science Special Report, which is part of an even larger scientific review known as the fourth National Climate Assessment. The NCA4, as it’s known, is the nation’s most authoritative assessment of climate science. The report’s authors include experts from leading scientific agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA and the Department of Energy, as well as academic scientists.The report states that the global climate will continue to warm. How much, it says, “will depend primarily on the amount of greenhouse gases (especially carbon dioxide) emitted globally.” Without major reductions in emissions, it says, the increase in annual average global temperature could reach 9 degrees Fahrenheit relative to pre-industrial times. Efforts to reduce emissions, it says, would slow the rate of warming.

“This is good, solid climate science,” says Richard Alley, a geoscientist at Penn State University, who says he made minor contributions to the report’s conclusions on sea level rise. “This has been reviewed so many times in so many ways, and it’s taking what we know from … a couple of centuries of climate science and applying it to the U.S.”

The assessments are required by an act of Congress; the last one was published in 2014. Alley says this year’s goes further in attributing changes in weather to the warming climate, especially weather extremes. “More heat waves and fewer cold snaps, this is very clear,” he says. The report also notes that warmer temperatures have contributed to the rise in forest fires in the West and that the incidence of those fires is expected to keep rising.

Some of the clearest effects involve sea level rise. “Coastal flooding, you raise the mean level of the ocean, everything else equal you get more coastal flooding,” Alley says. The report notes that sea level has risen 7 to 8 inches since 1900, and 3 inches of that occurred since 1993. The report says that rate is faster than during any century over the past 2,800 years.

The report also points out that heavy rainfall is increasing in intensity and frequency across the U.S., especially in the Northeast, and that is expected to keep increasing.

Other connections are harder to nail down, Alley says, such as whether a particular hurricane can be attributed to climate change.

“The Climate Science Special Report is like going to a doctor and being given a report on your vital signs,” says environmental scientist Rachel Licker of the Union of Concerned Scientists. She notes that the authors assessed more than 1,500 scientific studies and reports in making their conclusions.

Alley adds that the new report “does a better job of seeing the human fingerprint in what’s happening.” He says that while he hasn’t read all of it yet, he sees no evidence that it has been soft-pedaled or understates the certainty of the science.

Alley notes that “there’s a little rumbling” among climate scientists who are concerned that the Trump administration will ignore this effort. “I think the authors really are interested in seeing [the report] used wisely by policymakers to help the economy as well as the environment.”

The report has been submitted to the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House. Trump has yet to choose anyone to run that office; it remains one of the last unfilled senior positions in the White House staff.

November 3, 2017 Posted by | climate change, politics, USA | Leave a comment

USA nuclear Dry Cask risks not known when design approved by NRC – European design rejected!

Screenshot from 2017-11-02 18:35:11

 

From a meeting on the 19th October 2017 (Video just released)

Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Administrative Judge Dr. Peter Lam discloses that the vulnerabilities of Diablo’s Holtec dry cask nuclear waste storage system to stress corrosion cracking – recently documented by Donna Gilmore – “was not known to decision-makers 20 years ago, when the NRC approved the design.”

Dr. Lam’s disclosure seems to throw into serious question the validity of the design basis of all planned and existing nuclear waste storage systems in California and elsewhere within the USA.

European design casks that are more proven and can that be checked for defects were deemed to not be a solution by the NRA because of the time and expense of licensing and infrastructure requirements.

This is number four of four excerpts, posted as a public service by EON, from the Slo-Span.org video coverage of the Oct. 19, 2017 meeting of the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee.

November 3, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

North Korea denies its nuclear test killed hundreds

http://nypost.com/2017/11/02/north-korea-denies-its-nuclear-test-killed-hundreds/

Seoul — North Korea’s state media on Thursday dismissed as “misinformation” a recent media report that the North’s sixth nuclear test killed many people.

Japanese broadcaster TV Asahi reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the issue, that North Korea’s nuclear test site collapsed after Pyongyang’s sixth atomic test in September, possibly killing more than 200 people.

The North’s official KCNA said it was a “false report” intended to slander the country and its advances in nuclear development.

November 3, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

South Carolina’s relics of an ill-fated nuclear building spree

The South’s legacy of abandoned nuclear reactors, The Slate, BY CAROLINE PEYTON AND SPECIAL TO THE STATE’S EDITORIAL BOARDNOVEMBER 02, 17 COLUMBIA, SC   “……..The cancellation of the V.C. Summer expansion project testifies to innumerable missteps, but our collective amnesia has missed the bigger story: The South’s long, messy nuclear history is a catalog of modest successes and epic failures.

Sadly, the V.C. Summer project shutdown is nothing new for the South. It has happened at least 22 times since the 1970s. Some plants existed merely as blueprints, while others were canceled mid-construction. Across the region, half-finished projects stand as emblems of bungled industry efforts. At its core, this history has been defined by secrecy, miscalculations and decisions made by the few at the expense of ordinary people.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Southern politicians envisioned regional transformation through atomic energy; the South would become an “energy breadbasket.” A network of elected officials, utility companies and industry lobbyists sold these projects as job creators, an endless source of cheap energy and boons to the rural communities located near reactors.

This building spree resulted in more than 40 commercial nuclear reactors operating at 23 sites and earned the South industry admiration for its “nuclear friendly citizenry.” Yet those reactors represent only a fraction of what could have been; approximately 35 additional reactors were proposed for Southern states, including a half-dozen where construction had started and billions of dollars were spent on the nuclear road to nowhere.

So what happened to those ill-fated reactors? By the late 1970s, projections for energy demands declined, construction costs didn’t match initial projections, and the accident at Three Mile Island soured public opinion. Local concerns mattered too.

In South Carolina, the failed nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Barnwell County, along with the staggering influx of radioactive waste, helped spawn the South’s largest anti-nuclear protest. Protestors flocked to Barnwell denouncing South Carolina’s role as the nation’s trash can.

In Mississippi, infuriated ratepayers gathered outside the Grand Gulf nuclear plant and burned their utility bills. Other plants were plagued with serious safety issues and community opposition, like the now-operating Waterford 3 reactor in Louisiana.

The most notorious episode occurred with the Tennessee Valley Authority, where a corporation fought landowners in Hartsville, Tenn., to build the “world’s largest nuclear plant” — only to pull the plug. What remains in this bucolic setting are half-finished remnants and a lone cooling tower, fittingly called a “used beer can” by residents. TVA ultimately canceled seven reactors after spending billions, which tarnished its legacy, permanently marred local landscapes and exacerbated a climate of distrust.

Today, the cavernous structures attract photographers seeking dystopian backdrops. Mostly though, they continue to rust away, a symbol of a beleaguered industry that has never resolved fundamental problems — namely projects mired in secrecy and unrealistic cost estimates.

Despite industry reforms since the 1970s, V.C. Summer’s collapse sounds familiar to those well-acquainted with the region’s nuclear past. Bad legislation, the Base Load Review Act of 2007, placed the cost burden upon the ratepayers and limited SCE&G and SCANA’s accountability. A secret report, along with internal emails between SCE&G and state-owned Santee Cooper, reveal a troubling array of warning signs and uncorrected problems.

While it’s true that there were new problems here, such as the Westinghouse bankruptcy, the broad outlines of the V.C. Summer fiasco could have been ripped from any headline in the late 1970s. In the case of those canceled projects, no genuine attempt at restitution was made. Those abandoned plants offer guidance for today.

Legislators and public service commissions must prioritize ratepayers first, better understand the risks involved in large-scale reactor projects and let history inform their decisions as well. If the industry wants to retain the South’s “nuclear-friendly citizenry,” it, too, must confront the nuclear ghosts of its past, and reject the hubris, secrecy and overblown projections that have doomed so many plans and, in some cases, left Southerners with little more than nuclear ruins.

Dr. Peyton wrote her dissertation at USC on the South’s nuclear history; contact her at cpeyton@cameron.edu http://www.thestate.com/opinion/op-ed/article182242486.html 

November 3, 2017 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Britain’s Brexit nuclear headache -leaving Euratom – will have to get its own nuclear inspectors

The UK’s race to get its own nuclear inspectors BBC News, 3 Nov 17, The government cannot guarantee Britain will have enough nuclear inspectors when it leaves the EU, MPs on the business committee were told.

The Office of Nuclear Regulation has recruited four new safeguards inspectors but says it needs more time to fill the specialised roles.

Nuclear minister Richard Harrington said there was “plenty of time” to recruit the staff needed.

But he stopped short of offering a firm guarantee.

The government has stressed that nuclear safeguards – the processes by which the UK shows its civil nuclear material is not diverted into weapons programmes – are different from nuclear safety – the prevention of nuclear accidents.

Mr Harrington said the UK was committed to leaving Euratom, the agency which has regulated the nuclear industry across Europe since 1957, at the same time as it left the EU in March 2019.

Industry figures have warned about significant disruption to energy production in the UK if there is not a new inspection regime ready to go to, to replace the one currently overseen by Euratom.

The four senior figures who gave evidence to the business committee on Wednesday said there was no benefit to the UK from leaving Euratom………

Mr Harrington was also quizzed by the MPs about feared shortages of less skilled workers needed to build new nuclear plants, such as steel workers and welders.

Ben Russell, of Horizon Nuclear, the Japanese-owned firm planning to build a new nuclear reactor at Wylfa Newydd, on Anglesey, called for a special visa for infrastructure workers post-Brexit so they could continue to be recruited from EU countries.

He said projects like HS2 and the third runway at Heathrow meant the demand for staff would outstrip supply and there was not enough time to train up British workers.

David Wagstaff, the civil servant leading talks for the UK on the withdrawal from Euratom, said it would be up to the British government to decide on a post-Brexit visa regime.

‘No relationship’

There was also concern about the future of the world-leading nuclear fusion laboratory based in Oxfordshire, the Joint European Torus (JET), which is mostly funded by the EU……. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-41836855

November 3, 2017 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Bill in America’s Congress to cut wind and solar tax credits, extend nuclear provision

House Tax Bill Trims Wind Tax Credit, Extends Nuclear Provision, Bloomberg, By Ari Natter, 

  • GOP measure preserves threatened wind and solar tax credits
  • Legislation could change is it winds through Congress

  • Tax credits cherished by the wind and solar industry remain under a rewrite of the tax code revealed by House Republicans, but the measure would trim the wind energy’s production tax credit by more than a third.

     The bill, unveiled by House GOP leaders Thursday, also extends an estimated $6 billion tax credit for the nuclear industry, which would benefit Southern Co. Without the extension, the credit may have gone unused before the 2021 deadline. Southern’s Vogtle project in Georgia faces construction delays and is not on track to be completed before the deadline.
    The bill also adds tax credits for other energy sources, such as geothermal, small-scale wind and fuel cells that were left out of a 2015 budget and spending deal.
     The House tax overhaul cuts the wind industry’s 2.3-cent-per-kilowatt hour tax credit to 1.5 cents. The solar industry’s 30 percent tax credit remains unchanged. Under that 2015 deal the wind credit begins phasing down this year before expiring in 2020 and the solar industry’s credit winds down before expiring in 2022. Those phaseouts continue as planned, but projects would now need to be completed by those dates to qualify…….
  • To qualify for the investment tax credits, developers of wind, solar, geothermal and fuel cell energy properties will need to show continuous activity from the time construction begins until it’s complete. That could introduce uncertainty for some projects. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-02/house-tax-bill-trims-wind-tax-credit-extends-nuclear-provision

November 3, 2017 Posted by | politics, USA | 1 Comment

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to USA in bid to save the Iran nuclear agreement

Boris Johnson to travel to US in bid to save Iran nuclear deal
Foreign secretary will try to convince senators to back deal he has labelled ‘an amazing triumph of diplomacy’, which Donald Trump is threatening to repeal,
Guardian, Patrick Wintour, 2 Nov 17,  Boris Johnson will travel to Washington next week in a bid to persuade US senators not to abandon the Iran nuclear deal or to impose fresh sanctions against Tehran that could jeopardise the deal…….

He said the 80 million Iranians “deserve and need to feel the benefits of both the deal and engagement”, adding that “the International Atomic Energy Authority has found the Iranians in compliance”. The country had a potentially extraordinary future, he said……. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/02/boris-johnson-to-travel-to-us-in-bid-to-save-iran-nuclear-deal

November 3, 2017 Posted by | Iran, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

President Zuma still wants a major expansion of nuclear power, despite its unaffordability

South Africa considering best time for nuclear power expansion: Zuma http://www.reuters.com/article/us-safrica-nuclear/south-africa-considering-best-time-for-nuclear-power-expansion-zuma-idUSKBN1D21W6?il=0, Reuters Staff, 2 Nov 17, CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – South African President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday his government was considering the best time to launch a major expansion of its nuclear power fleet, after the finance minister said the country could not afford it.

Zuma was responding to a question in parliament by opposition leader Mmusi Maimane who asked why finance minister Malusi Gigaba had said the expansion would be delayed while energy minister David Mahlobo said the opposite.

“We have a policy of mixed energy and that includes nuclear,” Zuma said. “We are not saying we have changed policy … Its a question of timing, when do we do it. We have been discussing that issue all the time in the government.”

November 3, 2017 Posted by | politics, South Africa | 1 Comment

India’s nuclear industry problems: repeated shutdowns at Kudankulam nuclear power plant

‘Maintenance shutdown’ at Kudankulam nuclear plant raises questions among activists http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/maintenance-shutdown-kudankulam-nuclear-plant-raises-questions-among-activists-70950, Unit 2 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant began operations in March and was shut down after a few weeks. Pheba Mathew

    , November 02, 2017 Under maintenance for the past three months, Unit 2 of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant has had its restart date postponed multiple times. This has once again raised safety concerns among activists who claim that substandard equipment has been used and are demanding that the expansion of the nuclear plant be stopped.

The second reactor was shut down on August 4 due to hydrogen concentration in the stator. It was originally expected to restart generation on September 4. However, the restart date was postponed to October 7, then to November 3 and now to November 15.

SV Jinna, Site Director at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) has, however, blamed the delay on the overhaul of system.

With the 1000 MW second unit beginning commercial operations in March this year, activists wonder why the nuclear power plant had to be shut down so early on. “It is a very new plant. It has run only for a few weeks and such a plant need to be overhauled,” said G Sundarrajan, coordinator of Poovulagin Nanbargal, an NGO.

  • Arguing that the overall quality of different components and equipment used in the Kudankulam Nuclear Power plant is substandard, Sundarrajan points to the fact that the Russian Federal Prosecutors had in 2007 arrested the procurement director of ZiO-Poldolsk, a subsidiary of Rosatom, the country’s state-owned nuclear energy corporation on accusations of corruption. ZiO-Poldolsk was accused of knowingly selling inferior equipment manufactured for nuclear reactors. The same Russian company had supplied material and reactor parts to the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.

    But it’s not just Unit 2 that has faced maintenance problems.  Since its inception in 2013, the 1000 MW Unit 1 of KNPP has shutdown multiple times.

    The activist alleged that to camouflage the failures of Unit 1 and Unit 2, the project is being expanded further. “Unit 1 and 2 have already been a failure because they have used substandard components and the project was not properly implemented. They are trying to make Unit 3 and 4 a successful project because one and two will definitely die a natural death,” said Sundarrajan.

    Construction for units 3 and 4 is presently going on and is expected to become operational by 2022-23.

    Demanding that the Centre scraps the decision to expand the project, he explained, “The nuclear plant is itself a risky proposition. This is a nuclear park. Nowhere in the country do we have a nuclear park installed with 6000 MW power.”

  • While arguing that the government focus on renewable energy instead, he said, “Unit 1 and 2 has been installed but at least they should stop expanding. Second thing is disposing nuclear waste is becoming an issue in the entire world and there is no place to dispose it. Other countries are reducing use of nuclear power.”

    Meanwhile, NPCIL SK Sharma had justified he maintenance shutdown at Unit 2 stating that “certain uncertainties” could crop up in the initial days of a new reactor.

    Hitting out at the BJP and the previous Congress government, activist SP Udayakumar, who spearheaded the protests against the project in 2011, said, “They claimed it was brand new technology and started it. After five months, they are saying there could be some uncertainties once they start again. What is the real problem? Why can’t they tell us? They are accountable to the nation. The Congress and BJP government have been hiding all the irregularities.”

    Calling the government anti-people, Udayakumar said, “Thousands of people have been protesting against the Unit 1 and 2 for more than two-and-half years if there is any kind of respect for democracy, the central government should hear the people and stop it.”

  •  

November 3, 2017 Posted by | India, politics | Leave a comment

New United Nations report calls for shutting down coal industry, ramping up renewables

To Close Climate Goals Gap: Drop Coal, Ramp Up Renewables — Fast, UN Says

A new UNEP report shows that the gap between the climate promises countries made at Paris and the emissions cuts needed is larger than previously thought. Inside Climate news Georgina Gustin, 2 Nov 17

November 3, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, renewable | Leave a comment

Failing nuclear industry wants a lifeline – to be counted as “clean”

Platts 1st Nov 2017, An International Atomic Energy Agency conference statement Wednesday said nuclear power is not attracting enough investment to limit climate change, and more clarity from policymakers may be needed to support its development.

The statement at the end of the three-day IAEA ministerial
meeting on nuclear energy in the United Arab Emirates represents the views
of the conference president, the UAE’s ambassador to the IAEA, only, and
was not voted on by the delegates to the event.

The statement suggested that one way to spur growth of nuclear power and help meet the goal of limiting global average temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius would be
to include nuclear energy in definitions of clean energy incentives. Fewer
than 10 countries currently do so, IAEA officials said.
https://www.platts.com/latest-news/electric-power/abudhabi/iaea-says-growth-of-nuclear-power-too-low-to-26831634

November 3, 2017 Posted by | climate change | Leave a comment