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African countries being sucked in by risky nuclear dream from Russia

Africa buys into nuclear dream, Mail and Guardian, Lynley Donnelly   

 

Risky: Nigeria has oil but infrastructure maintenance is poor. It is considering the nuclear option. (Akintunde Akinleye, Reuters)

 

While questions swirl around the progress of South Africa’s nuclear plans, Russia’s state nuclear agency Rosatom is losing no time in selling the atomic dream to other African countries.

Last week the company signed project-development agreements with the Nigerian government for the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant and research centre housing a multipurpose research reactor.

Nigeria has extensive oil and gas reserves but suffers from chronic electricity shortages.

Media reports suggest the deal could cost about $20-billion, but Rosatom said the costs have yet to be determined.

The agreements were signed in order to adopt the appropriate approach and establish the project’s implementation details, a Rosatum official said. “Cost estimations and project specifications will be evaluated in accordance to this agreement,” the official said.

In Egypt, plans for the construction of a nuclear plant at El Dabaa are at an advanced stage…… (subscribers only) https://mg.co.za/article/2017-11-10-00-africa-buys-into-nuclear-dream

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November 9, 2017 Posted by | marketing, Nigeria, Russia | Leave a comment

Toshiba logs $436 mil. loss in 1st half

Struggling Toshiba logs $436 mil. loss in 1st half, Japan News, 8 Nov 17 After the announcement, Toshiba shares dropped 2.49 percent to ¥313 after spending most of the day hovering near the previous day’s close.

In its earnings statement, Toshiba also continued to warn the market about its “ability to continue as a going concern,” following the disastrous acquisition of U.S. nuclear energy firm Westinghouse, which racked up billions of dollars in losses before being placed in bankruptcy protection.

Those losses came to light as the group was still reeling from revelations that top executives had pressured underlings to cover up weak results for years after the 2008 global financial meltdown…..

After the announcement, Toshiba shares dropped 2.49 percent to ¥313 after spending most of the day hovering near the previous day’s close.

In its earnings statement, Toshiba also continued to warn the market about its “ability to continue as a going concern,” following the disastrous acquisition of U.S. nuclear energy firm Westinghouse, which racked up billions of dollars in losses before being placed in bankruptcy protection.

Those losses came to light as the group was still reeling from revelations that top executives had pressured underlings to cover up weak results for years after the 2008 global financial meltdown…..http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004057312

November 9, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, Japan | Leave a comment

Frozen soil wall nearly complete; NRA still doubts effect

ice wall 7 nov 2017.jpg
A construction project to create frozen soil walls that encircle the ground beneath Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s disaster-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is nearly finished.
Although TEPCO insists that the inflow of groundwater beneath the reactor buildings has been reduced, some members of the Nuclear Regulation Authority are skeptical about the project’s effectiveness. With ¥34.5 billion of public funds being spent on this project, the centerpeice of countermeasures for contaminated water, its cost-effectiveness is being carefully watched.
The project entails building a 1.5-kilometer-long frozen soil wall encircling the Nos. 1 to 4 reactors, with 1,568 pipes buried to a depth of about 30 meters below ground and coolant running through the pipes at minus 30 C to chill the soil.
The process is expected to prevent groundwater from flowing into the contaminated, highly radioactive underground water at such sites as the reactor buildings, and to avoid an increase of contaminated water.
The project began in March last year, and operations to freeze the final section, about seven meters wide, on the mountain side began in August this year.
The temperature of the underground soil has remained below zero, except for a part close the surface that is affected by outdoor air, meaning the project to create the 30-meter-deep walls is almost complete.
According to TEPCO’s assessment, before the project started, about 400 tons of groundwater was flowing into the ground underneath the reactor buildings and other sites daily.
TEPCO had initially calculated that the daily inflow of groundwater could decrease to dozens of tons once the walls were installed. However, between April and September the inflow per day was between 120 tons and 140 tons, and in October it was around 100 tons. That the amount of inflow has decreased in stages as the soil freezing progressed seems to prove that the project has been effective to a certain extent. However, it is unclear if the inflow will decrease further in the future.
In parallel with the frozen soil wall project, TEPCO dug about 40 subdrain wells to pump up groundwater before it flows into the reactor buildings. It also reinforced measures to prevent rainwater from soaking into the ground by paving 1.33 million square meters of surface.
In the NRA view, those measures must also contribute greatly to reducing the inflow, casting doubt on the frozen soil walls project by saying the effect of them alone may be limited. The agency has become distrustful of TEPCO and urged the company to verify the effects.
Hiroshi Miyano, visiting professor at Hosei University specializing in system safety, said: “There is sure to be a part that doesn’t freeze completely, and it’s impossible to reduce the inflow to zero. TEPCO must continue applying this measure in tandem with draining the nearby wells for a while.”

November 9, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

Energy economics: there is no way that the nuclear lobby can stop wind power becoming ever cheaper

Cost of wind keeps dropping, and there’s little coal, nuclear can do to stop it, An annual look at the costs of generating power. Ars Technica MEGAN GEUSS – Though a lot has changed since 2016, not much has changed for energy economics in the US. The cost of wind generation continues to fall, solar costs are falling, too, and the cost of coal-power energy has seen no movement, while the cost of building and maintaining nuclear plants has gone up. And none of those conclusions reflect subsidies and tax credits applied by the federal government.

November 9, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, renewable, USA | Leave a comment