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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Nuclear industry desperately lobbying for financial help. to be counted as “clean”

It’s all about money.

The “new nuclear” lobby is working hard, to get the tax and other advantages that the industry could get, if it could get nuclear power formally accepted as a clean method of reducing global warming. In the past, the nuclear industry used to deny global warming. But now they see it as a lifeline for their otherwise doomed industry.
Now the modern gurus of “New Nuclear” have written an open letter to the UN, in Trump-like manner, bewailing “UN discrimination” against them.
Their letter does us all a bit of  a favour, clearly listing the current most prominent nuclear lobbyists and “environmental” front groups
The letter, to  Erik Solheim  Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programming, accuses United Nations Environment Program ( UNEP) of “an act of discrimination” against the nuclear industry .
It goes on to the importance of climate change, – claiming that action against it will fail without nuclear power. They quote “Environmental Progress:”  – “intense investment in renewable technology has resulted in virtually no decarbonisation of global energy” They claim that nuclear power is essential to reduce carbon emissions.  They claim that “evidence is undeniable “that nuclear power can achieve rapid decarbonisation.  They attack UNEP as“discarding the scientific process  in favour of ideology”. Colourful condemnation of this United Nations body goes on  – we must “unshackle from the suspicions and hostility of an obsolete era of environmentalism”.
The letter is signed by:
Ben Heard, –  Executive Director, Bright New World

Eric Meyer-  Co-Founder and Director Generation Atomic
Heather Matteson – Co-Founder, Mothers for Nuclear
Kirsty Gogan, – Co-Founder and Director, Energy for Humanity
Kristin Zaitz – Co-Founder, Mothers for Nuclear
Michael Shellenberger – Founder, Environmental ProgressPhil Ord,-  President, Americans for Nuclear Energy

Phumzile J. Oliphant,Chairperson -Thyspunt Nuclear Development Forum, South Africa

Rauli Partanen- Independent Author and Founder,Finnish Ecomodernist Society

Taylor Stevenson-  Co-Founder and Director, Generation Atomic

Followerd by endorsement from a whole heap of nuclear industry supporters
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January 3, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, spinbuster | 2 Comments

Population Oscillations OR Collapsing Ecosystem

From Majia’s Blog :
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The ongoing collapse of King Salmon in Alaska is once again in the news:
Nathaniel Herz (2017, Dec 29). Southeast Alaska’s king salmon are disappearing, and fishermen are grappling with the consequences. Anchorage Daily News. Available https://www.adn.com/business-economy/2017/12/28/southeast-alaskas-king-salmon-are-disappearing-and-fishermen-are-grappling-with-the-consequences/
…There’s some sense that climate change could be causing a “regime shift” and a long-term change in ecosystems, said Peter Hagen, deputy director of a federal fisheries laboratory in Auke Bay, near Juneau.
 
“There’s a whole question: Is this a new normal? And I don’t think we’ve determined that yet,” Hagen said.
 
But Hagen and Adkison, the fisheries professor, both pointed out that salmon have proven to be resilient. Fossil records show that big population changes are typical, Adkison said.
 
“In the salmon business, we’re used to these dramatic fluctuations in productivity,” he said. “If I had to bet, I would favor the short-term fluctuation and I would expect them to eventually rebound. But the current numbers are really low.”
I’ve been following the (reported) acceleration of excess mortality events among animal populations. Here is my 2012 post on the King Salmon that “went missing” that year:
In 2013 I created a compilation of news headlines and links addressing what I called “anomal anomalies,” as documented here in this 2013 post:
 
Polar bears, walruses, salmon, sardines, starfish, etc. These and so many other marine and land animal populations experienced precipitous declines due to “inexplicable” wasting syndromes and odd infections that began being reported in great number in 2012.
 
[when I checked on bee and bat declines I discovered that the Wikipedia article attributes the rapid decline in bats from white fungal disease to 2012 here. In contrast, bee “colony collapse disorder” was named in 2006]
 
Every animal population imperiled has no doubt suffered in complex ways from human engineering and thoughtlessness, including experiences of habitat loss and rapid deterioration of remaining habitats due to the synergistic effects of countless environmental assaults.
 
Still, I find it more than coincidental that the acceleration of mass mortality events became markedly evident in 2012.
 
Fukushima’s ongoing and UNPRECEDENTED RADIOACTIVE CONTAMINATION of the ocean and the general dispersal of industrial pollutants by the Japan’s terrible 2011 tsunami ARE STRANGELY ABSENT from most all news coverage of marine welfare.
 
Yet, ALL THE SCIENTIFIC DATA available, including data generated by the US Geological Survey and the CTBTO, documented widespread fallout contamination in North America.
 
Scientific models on ocean dispersion predicted a plume of radioactive contamination would reach North America and add to the coastal fallout from precipitation by 2013. This prediction was tested and found to be true in San Diego, CA.
 
Fukushima’s ongoing dissemination of radioactive contamination has lessened since 2012 but it has not ceased.
 
I’m sure that Fukushima isn’t the only source of radioactive contamination from artificially engineered radio-isotopes such as Cesium-137 and Strontium-89 but it is the largest known.
 
Might it represent a tipping point in ocean life? That question will probably never be answerable empirically because not enough research is investigating impacts.
 
What is clear however is that the accelerated decimation of animal life on earth will not occur without grave human losses as well. It is my belief that when we destroy the eco-system upon which we depend, we are destroying ourselves.
 
Unfortunately, our capacity to grapple with the spectre of our destruction is impeded by our capacity to rationalize.
 
The idea of “population oscillations” is the rationalization deployed most often to account for the dislocations in ecological life observed by scientists and everyday people in touch with their environments.
 
Populations don’t simply oscillate by chance. Numbers drop and decline in relation to the contingencies of system-environment interactions. Precipitous declines typically result from amplifying feedback loops, often resulting from either over-population or some dramatic change in the environment, such as a sudden and unprecedented onslaught of marine contamination.
 
RELATED POSTS
 
 
 
Bioaccumulation: Cesium is One Among the 1000 Radionuclides Unleashed by Fukushima Bioaccumulation: http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2014/11/bioaccumulation-cesium-is-one-among.html
 
Contaminated Water at Fukushima Daiichi Majia’s Blog: http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2014/02/contaminated-water-at-fukushima-daiichi.html
 
Will Fukushima Daiichi Kill Vast Swathes of Ocean life Majia’s Blog: http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2014/01/will-fukushima-daiichi-kill-vast.html
 
Endless Atmospheric and Ocean Emissions Majia’s Blog: http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2014/08/endless-atmospheric-and-ocean-emissions.html
 
 
 
Humanity’s End Foretold in Destruction of Oceans: Majia’s Blog: Humanity’s End Foretold in Destruction of Oceans
 
Compromised Oceans mean Compromised People: Majia’s Blog: http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/humanitys-end-foretold-in-destruction.html
 
Radiation plumes headed to N. America Majia’s Blog: http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/fukushima-radiation-plumes-in-ocean.html

January 3, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , , | 1 Comment

Exclusive and rare interview with Christina Mac Phearson owner of nuclear-news.net

Shellenberg, Michael Messiah

One of Christina’s many memes 🙂

For all our followers here on nuclear-news.net, I would like to present you with two interviews from our authors.

Firstly, here is a recent and rare audio podcast with Christina MacPhearson (AKA Noel Wauchomp), our blog founder. In the podcast she mentions how she started her activism and progressed onto blogging nuclear information. She also discusses the situation in her home Australia, Fukushima as well as a range of other topics.

Lonnie Clark interiew with Christina Mac Phearson 2 Jan 2017

 

While I am doing this post i thought to add an interview with 2 co authors of the blog for any new subs.  Herve Courtois who has been covering much of the Fukushima news here on nuclear-news.net. I (Shaun McGee aka arclight2011) will add an information packed podcast interview that I did with Herve here;

Published on 2 Aug 2015

In the second part of the show we discuss with Herve Courtois (French activist, blogger and researcher) the issues with Fukushima evacuees, The PR companies methods to smooth over the bad news, The connection between health studies done after Hiroshima and Nagasaki and how health studies are being equaly fudged by the nuclear corporations and Health physicists, How the Japanese government is forcing evacuees back into contaminated areas against their will, How the Japanese blocked the UN petition to evacuate at least the children from more contaminated areas, We discuss also how the nuclear industry world wide is going into overdrive to promote the safety of nuclear energy around the anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the timing of the first Japanese nuclear reactor to be brought back online. This is a fascinating interview packed with information that the main stream media can not report on. We discuss Wikileaks and the report concerning the spying on Japan by the NSA in recent years and the connection to the Okinawa protest.

If you wish to make a small donation to either myself or Herve towards our running costs for the year, please feel free to send a paypal payment via these emails

To make a donation to Herve Courtois (aka Dun Renard) send your payment here; herve.courtois@yahoo.com

To make a donation to Shaun McGee )aka arclight2011) send you payment here;

arclight2011@riseup.net

Many thanks! And we all wish you a productive and peaceful new year! Namaste!

 

January 3, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Governments can use social media to target activists – UK and the Iran protests

Could GCHQ influence Iran protests? They’ve done it before, claims researcher https://www.rt.com/uk/414831-gchq-influence-hack-protest/#.WkwCv_uo99Q.facebook 

January 3, 2018 Posted by | Iran, media, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Britain’s Hinkley nuclear project rife with scandalous conflicts of interest

Times 1st Jan 2018,Consultancy firms working for the government on the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station were advising the project’s Chinese investor and its French builder at the same time, an investigation by The Times has revealed.

KPMG, the professional services group, was paid £4.4 million between 2012 and 2017 as a financial adviser to the energy and business departments, despite telling officials that it was also acting for China General Nuclear Power
Corp on the project.

The apparent conflict of interest has been revealed after the Information Commissioner’s Office intervened to press for
disclosure from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Previously, officials had redacted the information, claiming that it was commercially sensitive.

In a second potential conflict, Lazard, the financial advisory firm, was paid £2.6 million between 2012 and 2015 to
advise the business department on Hinkley Point. Details of its previously redacted tender documents reveal that it was an adviser to EDF, the French developer that is investing in Hinkley Point alongside the Chinese. A source said that Lazard’s advice to EDF was not related to the Somerset project.

Meg Hillier, chairwoman of the Commons public accounts committee, said that Hinkley Point was crucial public infrastructure and therefore it was “vital that auditors get full sight” of the potential conflicts. It “looks cosy”, she said, adding that it was “not really appropriate” for firms to be advising both sides.

The details have been released more than a year and half after The Times complained to the Information Commissioner’s Office, which informally advised the business department to reconsider its position. The department previously had handed over heavily redacted documents in response to a Freedom of Information request.

The Information Commissioner’s Office said that there was a “significant and important public interest”, something that had been strengthened by a report from the National Audit Office in June, which found that the government’s deal had “locked consumers into a risky and expensive project with uncertain strategic and economic benefits”. The project has been riddled with delays and controversy over its spiralling costs.

The National Audit Office also criticised the business department for insufficiently managing the potential conflict of Leigh Fisher, another government adviser. The Times reported in November 2016 that Leigh Fisher, the management consultant, had been awarded contracts worth a combined £1.2 million despite telling officials that the British division of Jacobs Engineering Group, an American firm that owns Leigh Fisher, was working for EDF on Hinkley Point.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/advisers-on-hinkley-point-c-nuclear-power-station-had-cosy-ties-to-both-sides-xftxcl9sz

January 3, 2018 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

GE and its 2017 annus horribilis.

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GE sued for $700M over 401(k) management
https://dailygazette.com/article/2017/09/29/ge-sued-for-700m-over-401-k-management

Shareholder sues GE after ‘unacceptable’ results hurt stock
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ge-lawsuit/shareholder-sues-ge-after-unacceptable-results-hurt-stock-idUSKBN1D22CK

General Electric plans to lay off 12,000 people from its GE Power business unit as part of a broad effort to cut $3.5 billion in costs by the end of 2018
http://fortune.com/2017/12/07/ge-layoff-power-business/

GE faces $500M federal lawsuit over Fukushima nuclear disaster –
https://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2017/11/17/ge-faces-federal-lawsuit-over-fukushima-nuclear.html

January 3, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Brexit effect UK and Euratom. Some good nuclear PR

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Mark Payne  Published: 06:00 Wednesday 03 January 2018
The boss of Hartlepool Power Station says he is confident a replacement to Europe’s nuclear regulator will be secured after Brexit.
The UK is currently part of the European Atomic Energy Community, also known as Euratom, which allows the free movement of nuclear workers and materials between European Union member states.
Minister at the Department for Exiting the European Union, Steve Baker (left) with Craig Dohring station director at Hartlepool Power Station, during the minister’s visit in September Minister at the Department for Exiting the European Union, Steve Baker with Craig Dohring station director at Hartlepool Power Station, during the minister’s visit in September Britain is due to leave Euratom as part of the Brexit process as it comes under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice which Prime Minister Theresa May has committed to removing the United Kingdom from.
Last May, the Commons Energy Committee urged the UK to delay leaving Europe’s nuclear regulator warning power supplies could be threatened if a new regulator was not in place. But Craig Dohring, station manager of Hartlepool’s EDF nuclear power station, is more optimistic. He told the Mail:
“It is clear there is a few things we need to have a replacement for including Euratom. “We need something to essentially cover us to a similar level of our Euratom agreement which allows us access into Europe and third part countries to support the power station around some nuclear specific equipment and fuel. “
I’m confident we will get that. There is a positive feeling around the Government trying to cover that.
“I think our role is to help the Government and provide information and advice, and the Government have certainly been open to that.”
The power station spoke about the issue with MP Steve Baker, one of four Brexit ministers, when he visited Hartlepool in September then said the Government had “some work to do” and its job was to get new legislation through to ensure the success of nuclear power stations across the country.

Read more at: https://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/news/hartlepool-power-station-boss-confident-despite-brexit-nuclear-treaty-withdrawal-1-8936828

For more recent resources on Euratom and Brexit;
https://nuclear-news.net/2017/12/16/british-parliamentarians-worried-that-the-uk-nuclear-industry-will-suffer-as-britain-leaves-euratom-in-brexit-move/
https://nuclear-news.net/2017/12/14/more-on-the-uk-euratom-boondogle-brexit-woes/
https://nuclear-news.net/2017/11/03/britains-brexit-nuclear-headache-leaving-euratom-will-have-to-get-its-own-nuclear-inspectors/
https://nuclear-news.net/2017/10/14/britains-nuclear-industry-in-a-panic-over-brexit-and-departure-from-european-regulator-euratom/
https://nuclear-news.net/2017/08/16/wuth-nuclear-power-fading-in-europe-is-it-time-to-dissolve-euratom/
https://nuclear-news.net/2017/07/28/euratom-uk-is-just-not-ready-to-set-up-its-own-nuclear-safeguarding-arrangements/
https://nuclear-news.net/2017/07/15/uk-governments-issues-paper-on-its-position-regarding-euratom/

January 3, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Another blow further delays China’s nuclear energy programme

CGN Power’s latest project delay deals another blow to China’s nuclear energy ambition http://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/2126529/cgn-powers-latest-project-delay-deals-another-blow-chinas-nuclear, China’s largest nuclear reactor and builder delays commissioning of the first unit to later this yearEric Ng, eric.mpng@scmp.com    Tuesday, 02 January, 2018,  The latest commissioning delay at CGN Power’s nuclear project in Taishan, in Guangdong province – the third in two years – will lead to a further deferral of 5 billion yuan (US$770 million) in annual revenues and potentially more cost overruns, according to ratings agency Moody’s.

The delay is another setback for China’s ambitious development programme, which aims to raise its installed nuclear power capacity to 58 gigawatts by the end of 2020 from 34.73GW last year, and the world’s hopes for a successful launch of third-generation nuclear reactors.

They are touted by their designers to be safer and more efficient than second-generation ones, a key selling point after the global nuclear industry was dealt a blow by Japan’s Fukushima disaster in 2011.

“The delays reflect our concerns over the high execution risk for CGN in rolling out its aggressive expansion target and its adoption of a new generation of nuclear technology,” Ada Li, senior analyst at Moody’s, wrote in a note on Tuesday.

“The delays also imply the deferral of cash flows from the two nuclear units and potential additional capital expenditure, which would further pressure CGN’s financial metrics.”

She estimated the two reactors to initially make 5 billion yuan in annual revenues, amounting to 7 per cent of the firm’s 2016 revenues, adding its repeated delays are “credit negative”.

CGN said on Friday the first two generating reactors of the plant in Taishan – 136 kilometres west of Hong Kong – has been delayed to 2018 and 2019, from the second half of 2017 and the first half of 2018 respectively.

“As no nuclear power generating unit with the EPR [Evolutionary Power Reactor] technology has been put into commercial operation across the world … Taishan Nuclear has to conduct more experimental verifications in respect of design and equipment,” it added.

The firm in early 2015 cited a “comprehensive evaluation” of the construction plan and risks for its first delay. In the second delay early last year, it said it the needed to conduct “more experimental verifications in respect of its design and equipment”.

The project was originally expected to come on line in 2015.

Moody’s said the latest postponement will not affect its A3 issuer credit rating on CGN, which has already incorporated a six to 12-month delay.

Dennis Ip, head of Hong Kong and China utilities equities research at Daiwa Capital Markets, believes CGN will have difficulty meeting the revised target, saying in a note that he expects the first unit to start up in the first half of 2019.

Ip a year ago projected the Taishan plant’s investment cost to rise to between 22 and 23 yuan per watt from his previous forecast of 21 yuan. The company, meanwhile, had budgeted it at 14 yuan. Each unit has 1.75 billion watt of capacity.

January 3, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, China, politics | Leave a comment

Improvement of inter-Korean relations

North and South Korean ties linked to resolving nuclear issue: Moon Jae-in, SBS News 2 Jan 18South Korean President Moon Jae-in says the improvement of inter-Korean relations is linked to resolving North Korea’s nuclear programme, a day after the North offered talks with Seoul but was steadfast on its nuclear ambitions.

“The improvement of relations between North and South Korea cannot go separately with resolving North Korea’s nuclear programme, so the foreign ministry should coordinate closely with allies and the international community regarding this,” Moon said in opening remarks at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Moon’s comments contrasted with those of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who said on Monday that Seoul should stop asking foreign countries for help in improving ties between the two Koreas.

“This shows the Moon administration is looking at the situation from a very realistic, rational point of view,” said Jeong Yeung-tae, head of the Institute of North Korea Studies in Seoul.

“It also shows resolving North Korea’s nuclear issue has a bigger priority (than improving inter-Korean relations).”RELATED

‘The nuclear button is always on my table’: North Korea leader Kim Jong-un’s warning

Moon’s comments came after a New Year’s Day speech by Kim who said he was “open to dialogue” with Seoul, and for North Korean athletes to possibly take part in the Winter Games, but steadfastly declared North Korea a nuclear power.

he South Korean president requested the ministries of unification and sports to swiftly create measures to help North Korea participate in the upcoming Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

As for talks between the two Koreas, Defence Ministry spokeswoman Choi Hyun-soo says Seoul is awaiting a more detailed reply from Pyongyang to already-existing offers for dialogue made back in July last year by Seoul…..https://www.sbs.com.au/news/north-and-south-korean-ties-linked-to-resolving-nuclear-issue-moon-jae-in

January 3, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea | Leave a comment

Stop nuclear power expansion – says Former Chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board

World is Abandoning Nuclear Power

with the whole world receding from setting up nuclear plants, by the time this “major powerhouse” is established in 4-6 years, where are the foreign orders for nuclear plant components going to come from? Or, are we planning to use tax-payers’ money to continually prop up the ailing big manufacturing industries in India by giving them nuclear power orders, whether we want nuclear power or not?

India Should Halt Further Expansion of its Nuclear Power Program The Citizen, –-A. GOPALAKRISHNAN [Dr A.Gopalakrishnan is former Chairman, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board,Governmentof India. He welcomes discussions and comments from readers. They can contact him at his e-mail: agk37@hotmail.com]13 NOVEMBER, 2017

Nuclear safety is in jeopardy An overall evaluation of the status of the Indian civilian nuclear power sector, and the government’s uncertain future plans, do cause a great deal of concern for the welfare of the country and the safety of our people. Therefore, it is best to freeze all plans for the further expansion of this sector until Parliament and the public are provided full details of the government’s intentions and rationale and a national consensus is reached.

Background: The Indian civilian nuclear power program is ultimately administered by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) which reports to the Prime Minister.

The detailed policies, programs, and projects of both the civilian and military aspects of atomic energy are overseen and approved by a supra-powerful body called the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).

 …… Once this group approves a program or gives a decision, no other entity like the Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG), who should be overseeing financial propriety in the Central Government expenditure or the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) which is responsible for project & public safety, will usually dare to question the AEC decision. This top-heavy administration of the nuclear program and the fear that it exudes is at the heart of most of the ailments of the nuclear sector.
Civilian Nuclear Program: In the almost 70 years since the constitution of our AEC in 1948, the total installed capacity of nuclear power in India has reached only 6,780 MWe, comprising 22 nuclear reactors. With a total installed electricity capacity of 315,426 MWe in the country, the nuclear share is thus a minuscule 2.15 % of it.
…….Of the operating reactors, some are very old and partially disabled and others are of dangerously outdated design which DAE is continuing to operate, though recommended by the original supplier to be permanently closed down.
We are still waiting for the very first1000 MWe AP-1000 reactor of Westinghouse and the very first 1650 MWe European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) of Areva to be commissioned anywhere in the world.In the meantime, the Westinghouse Co. has filed for bankruptcy in the US and Areva is in the middle of serious technical &financial difficulties, because of which the company has been sold to the French national electricity utility EDF.However, even before the Indo-US nuclear deal was signed, we had started building two VVER-1000 reactors with Russian collaboration, which have since been commissioned at Kudankulam in South India. The initial performance of the first of these two reactors is still not satisfactory, and the BJP had then agreed that apprehensions of the local population about the plant were genuine and the Centre should address the public’s issues. Notwithstandingthis, thegovernment had entered into an agreement to purchase four (4) more VVER reactors to be set up in the same site at Kudankulam…..

…….As part of the Indo-US nuclear Deal, India agreed in writing to purchase about 10,000 MWe of US power reactors and a similar package of French reactors, in return for the support of US & France at the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG). The NSG ultimately permitted India to retain part of its military nuclear facilities outside of IAEA safeguards, while being allowed to place the rest under safeguards and regular international inspection
……..Preliminary agreements were discussed with Westinghouse Corporation and the General Electric Co. of the US, as well as with Areva of France as early as in 2009-2010, for purchasing their large light-water reactors (LWRs) which were then under development.

We are still waiting for the very first1000 MWe AP-1000 reactor of Westinghouse and the very first 1650 MWe European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) of Areva to be commissioned anywhere in the world.In the meantime, the Westinghouse Co. has filed for bankruptcy in the US and Areva is in the middle of serious technical &financial difficulties, because of which the company has been sold to the French national electricity utility EDF.

However, even before the Indo-US nuclear deal was signed, we had started building two VVER-1000 reactors with Russian collaboration, which have since been commissioned at Kudankulam in South India. The initial performance of the first of these two reactors is still not satisfactory, and the BJP had then agreed that apprehensions of the local population about the plant were genuine and the Centre should address the public’s issues. Notwithstandingthis, thegovernment had entered into an agreement to purchase four (4) more VVER reactors to be set up in the same site at Kudankulam…..

…..Post-Fukushima accident, such realities gave a spurt to shunning nuclear power generation and motivated several countries to seriously consider setting up renewable electricity systems in their countries. At last year’s UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, Indian PM Modi also pledged that by 2022, India would set up 175 GW of renewable electric systems – 100 GW Solar, 60 MW Wind, 10 GW from Biomass and 5 GW from Small Hydro.

It should be noted that the delivered unit costs of electricity from solar, wind and other modes of renewable power generation have been falling rapidly in recent years and the PM’s decision could be timely for India. In India, as on March 31, 2017, the total installed solar electric power is 12,288 MW and the total installed wind power capacity is 32,280 MW. As of today, we seem to be on track to achieve PM Modi’s challenging target of 175 GW renewable powers by 2022. [Note that these MW numbers have to be associated with respective system load factors of — roughly 16-19% for solar, 20-23 % for on-shore wind and 30-41 % for off-shore wind, to obtain real-term busbar electricity one gets].

World is Abandoning Nuclear Power: Some of the countries, presently relying partly on nuclear power, are in the process of lowering or shedding the nuclear power component from their current portfolios.In France, for example, a law enacted in 2015 requires that the country should reduce nuclear power generation from the current figure of 75 % to 50% of the aggregate by 2025. This will mean shutting down 17 of the 58 nuclear reactors which their major utility EDF is presently operating.

It is, however, not finally confirmed that France will adhere to the 2025 deadline.Taiwan, on the other hand, is definite that all nuclear power in that country will be phased out by 2025. Japan has 54 nuclear reactors of which only 4 are operational now after the Fukushima accident. In view of the serious opposition by local governments and the nearby population, and in view of the tightened safety regulations, not more than 8 more reactors are likely to be re-started. In Russia, Rosatom’s Deputy General Director said in June 2017, that the world market for new nuclear plants is shrinking and possibilities for building new large reactors abroad are almost exhausted.

As against the above world trend, India appears to be blindly proceeding in the opposite direction.  On May 17 2017, India’s Union Cabinet approved the construction of 10 more 700 MWe PHWRs, in addition to four of the same kind which are presently approved for construction. The government press release says, “…With likely manufacturing orders of close to Rs. 70,000 crores to the domestic industry…it will be a major step toward strengthening India’s credentials as a major nuclear manufacturing powerhouse”.

But, with the whole world receding from setting up nuclear plants, by the time this “major powerhouse” is established in 4-6 years, where are the foreign orders for nuclear plant components going to come from? Or, are we planning to use tax-payers’ money to continually prop up the ailing big manufacturing industries in India by giving them nuclear power orders, whether we want nuclear power or not?

 Won’t Dump Westinghouse and Areva Reactors? The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), DAE and the government appear to be still entertaining periodic proposals and discussions regarding the purchase of the AP-1000 and the EPR reactors. No reactor of either kind has been started anywhere in the world. Today, China is regretting their foray into setting up two French EPRs and four AP-1000 reactors.
………Similarly, a senior representative told NPCIL and DAE that Westinghouse’s plans to set up six AP-1000 reactors in India are contingent on a change in the Nuclear Liability Law. He also said that Westinghouse will no longer take up the risk of building new nuclear plants and instead specialise in supplying parts and reactor engineering. Dr. Sekhar Basu, Secretary DAE, said last month that the Kovaada project in Andhra can still go ahead with Westinghouse supplying the reactor design and a different company taking up the construction. Everyone in the Indian nuclear establishment brims with confidence that India is capable of executing the detailed engineering, construction and commissioning of the complicated AP-1000 reactors in India without any assistance from abroad!……..
The state of nuclear reactor safety in India today is suboptimal to say the least. The agency which should be overseeing nuclear safety in India, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), has no standing as an independent entity, no direct access to the AEC or to any of the Parliamentary committees. The Chairman of the AERB reports to the AEC Chairman, whose instructions finally dictate the AERB’s actions. In contrast, the French nuclear regulatory body (the ASN) is created under a separate Act of the French Parliament and is answerable only to their Parliament.   http://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/en/NewsDetail/index/2/12239/India-Should-Halt-Further-Expansion-of-its-Nuclear-Power-Program

January 3, 2018 Posted by | India, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

It makes no sense to scrap the Iran nuclear pact: better to improve it

Moderation on Iran: Better to improve than scrap nuclear pact http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2018/01/02/Moderation-on-Iran-Better-to-improve-than-scrap-nuclear-pact/stories/201712300018  THE EDITORIAL BOARD, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette It shouldn’t seem necessary to make an argument to the American people that the United States should not go to war with a nation of 80 million, located far from our shores, with which America once had a fruitful commercial and political relationship and with which, like other parts of the world, it has entered into a nuclear weapons control agreement.

But here we are, and it is useful to suggest that it would be unwise for America to go to war with Iran, whose regime in recent days has been beset by popular political demonstrations.

The Trump administration has criticized the Iran nuclear agreement repeatedly and could scrap it.  However, as far as the agreement having shortcomings, wouldn’t it make more sense to take the agreement — signed not only by Iran and the United States, but also by China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom — as the basis for negotiating changes, as opposed to threatening to pull out of it and, perhaps, to attack Iran?

The first problem with the current U.S. posture is that the other signatories like the agreement. China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the rest of the world have taken it as a green light to improve trade, including major sales, to Iran. America-based companies have considered the continued U.S. sanctions against Iran, and, particularly the continued political objections to it in the United States, including from Israel and American Christian fundamentalists, as a reason not to put the pedal to the metal in terms of pursuing trade and investment opportunities in Iran.

The second major problem in any thought that the United States might attack Iran militarily is that the results would be catastrophic. Of course, the United States would probably win an all-out war against Iran in the long haul — that is, assuming the American people would be prepared to support such a war. That’s a real question, because it would be hard to persuade them that there was any reason for such a war, and it would cost the Earth.

In the short run, a quick glance at the map is worth the trouble in assessing U.S. vulnerabilities in such a conflict.  Iran lies just across the Persian Gulf from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman, in all of which the U.S. has important military installations, including the headquarters of the U.S. 5th Fleet and the regional headquarters of the U.S. Central Command, a short rocket distance away.  Iran also borders on Afghanistan and Iraq, where the U.S. maintains a vulnerable presence as well as long-term investment.

It would be dreamy to imagine that Iran’s first response to a U.S. attack wouldn’t be retaliation against some or all of these key U.S. targets surrounding it. The usual arguments for improving relations with Iran, not worsening them, are otherwise foregone commercial opportunities, the concerns of some of our allies, and regional and world peace in general.  Given that President Donald J. Trump’s principal national security affairs advisers are current or retired military officers, it is also worth looking at the military aspects of U.S. relations with Iran with a cold eye, then determining future U.S. policy, in 2018 and beyond.

January 3, 2018 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Pakistan and India exchange information on their nuclear installations and facilities.

Uneasy neighbors share information on nuclear facilities, http://www.mywabashvalley.com/news/uneasy-neighbors-share-information-on-nuclear-facilities/896851253, 2 Jan 18, ISLAMABAD (AP) — Uneasy neighbors Pakistan and India, who regularly trade gunfire in the disputed Kashmir region, are sticking to a 20-year-old agreement to exchange information on their nuclear installations and facilities.

In a statement Tuesday, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said the 1988 agreement requires each country to hand over the list on Jan. 1 each year, which the representatives of the two countries did on Monday. It has been adhered to every year since 1992, the statement said.

Although neither country is signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), they both became declared nuclear powers after India conducted an underground nuclear weapons test in 1998 and Pakistan followed suit a few weeks later.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since the 1947 creation of Pakistan from a larger India.

January 3, 2018 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

Anxiety over safety of Holtec canisters in San Onofre’s stranded nuclear wastes

The dry-storage plan OK’ed by the Coastal Commission is the Holtec system: cheaper canisters with 1/2 to 5/8-inch thick stainless steel walls, wildly short of the 10 to 20-inch thick-walled ones used in other countries.

At the controversy’s core is the susceptibility of Holtec canisters to cracking, which could leak radiation into the environment.

Holtec canisters have no seismic rating, are not proven safe for transport, and there is no means to even inspect them for cracks or for existing cracks to be repaired in a safe manner. A crack can’t even be detected until after a radiation leak has occurred.

A highly disturbing report from Sandia National Laboratories states that a crack in a hot canister can penetrate the wall in under 5 years.

Mosko: Ticking Time Bomb at San Onofre Nuclear Plant, https://voiceofoc.org/2018/01/mosko-ticking-time-bomb-at-san-onofre-nuclear-plant/  By SARAH “STEVE” MOSKO The seaside nuclear reactors at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in San Clemente were permanently shut down in 2013 following steam generator malfunction. What to do with the 3.6 million pounds of highly radioactive waste remains an epic problem, however, pitting concerned citizens against Southern California Edison, the California Coastal Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Edison operates San Onofre, the Coastal Commission is charged with protecting the coastline, and the NRC is responsible for long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel and protecting the public.The Problem

A reactor’s spent nuclear fuel must be stored safely for 250,000 years to allow the radioactivity to dissipate. San Onofre’s nuclear waste has been stored in containers 20 feet under water in cooling pools for at least five years, the standard procedure for on-site temporary storage. Long-term storage necessitates transfer to fortified dry-storage canisters for eventual transportation to a permanent national storage site which, under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, the federal government is under obligation to construct.
However, the plan to build an underground repository at Yucca Mountain in the Nevadan desert was ditched in 2011 out of concern that deep groundwater could destabilize the canisters, leaving the United States with literally no plan on the horizon for permanent storage of nuclear waste from San Onofre or any other of the country’s nuclear power plants. In fact, under the NRC’s newest plan – the so-called Generic Environmental Impact Statement – nuclear power plant waste might be stored on-site forever.
Given this,   informed southern Californians are up in arms about the 2015 permit by the Coastal Commission allowing Edison to build a dry-storage bunker right at San Onofre – near major metropolitan areas and within a few hundred feet of both the I-5 Freeway and the shoreline in a known earthquake zone – using thin-wall canisters never proven safe for storage or transport (Coastal Development Permit No. 9-15-0228). Most other countries, including Germany, France, Japan, Russia and Australia, utilize thick-wall canisters with time proven safety technology.

The Current Plan
The dry-storage plan OK’ed by the Coastal Commission is the Holtec system: cheaper canisters with 1/2 to 5/8-inch thick stainless steel walls, wildly short of the 10 to 20-inch thick-walled ones used in other countries. Each of 72 remaining canisters slated to be converted from wet to dry storage will contain about 50,000 pounds of nuclear waste and as much radiation as was released from Chernobyl.

At the controversy’s core is the susceptibility of Holtec canisters to cracking, which could leak radiation into the environment, both land and sea. Seawater seepage into canisters can produce explosive substances.

Holtec canisters have no seismic rating, are not proven safe for transport, and there is no means to even inspect them for cracks or for existing cracks to be repaired in a safe manner. A crack can’t even be detected until after a radiation leak has occurred.

The Coastal Commission acknowledges these issues but is allowing Edison 20 years to hopefully come up with a solution.

In the meanwhile, loading into dry-canisters already began in December, 2017 and is scheduled to be completed by 2019. Furthermore, Edison plans to empty the cooling pools once the dry transfer is completed, eliminating the only approved method to replace a defective canister.

A highly disturbing report from Sandia National Laboratories states that a crack in a hot canister can penetrate the wall in under 5 years. Notwithstanding, Holtec’s 25-year warranty of their canisters is an absurdity given that nuclear waste radiation takes thousands of years to reach safe levels.

There is also no community evacuation plan in place in the event of radiation leakage at San Onofre. The fear is that failure of even one canister could leave Orange and San Diego counties an uninhabitable wasteland for eons, with exposed humans suffering permanent genetic damage. And, home and business insurance doesn’t cover losses due to radiation contamination.

The very real specter of radiation havoc from a terrorist bomb attack launched from an offshore boat or a truck on the I-5 Freeway looms as well.

In the minds of many, the reckless plan allowed by the NRC and endorsed by the Coastal Commission and Edison creates imminent risk of a “Fukushima” in South Orange County.

The Solution
A lawsuit filed by the San Diego watchdog organization Citizens Oversight in 2015 asserted that the Coastal Commission failed to adequately consider both the special risks of on-site storage in an earthquake zone next to the ocean and the shortcomings of the Holtec system. In a court settlementjust reached on Aug. 25, 2017, Edison agreed to hire a team of experts in hopes of locating an alternative temporary storage site. Edison also agreed to develop a plan for dealing with cracked canisters, though there is no assurance that such a plan is feasible for Holtec canisters.

Though the settlement plan appears a first step toward a saner solution to San Onofre’s nuclear waste problem, the obligations in the plan are far too vague to assuage the concerns of local residents. Their main points are threefold: There are other safer temporary storage sites inland that can be considered; maintaining the cooling pools is imperative until all nuclear waste has been moved off-site; and Holtec canisters should be abandoned in favor of thick-wall options that already have a 40-year track record of safety during both transport and storage in countries across the globe.

Case in point, the thick-wall canisters in place at Fukushima survived both the earthquake and the tsunami.

Take action to protect yourself and your family by signing on to a petition from PublicWatchdogs.orgto revoke the Coastal Commission’s permit to turn San Onofre into a nuclear waste dump.

January 3, 2018 Posted by | safety, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

New Jersey’s flawed legislation – a gift to the nuclear lobby, and its fan Governor Christie

Will NJ Lawmakers Give Governor Christie a Nuclear Goodbye Gift? NRDC,  The state’s electric customers may be forced to pay a bigger utility bill to keep something they already have. The New Jersey legislature is expected to begin voting this week to give Chris Christie—the governor with the nation’s lowest approval rating—and his buddies at the state’s largest utility a $300 million annual gift: support for two thriving nuclear plants, piled on the backs of all New Jersey taxpayers.

Sound ridiculous? Of course. But by all accounts, the bill flying through Trenton in the waning days of the Christie administration and the lame-duck legislature almost certainly will become law before the new governor, Phil Murphy, takes office on January 16.

Does this make sense anywhere but in the New Jersey legislature?

It’s true that the electricity produced at the Salem and Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Stations in Salem County can’t compete with cheaper options like natural gas and pollution-free alternatives like wind and solar power. Aging nuclear plants are expensive to run everywhere these days. But even the president of the company that owns the plants, PSEG, admits the plants along the Delaware River in the southwestern part of the state aren’t in financial distress—and won’t be for at least two years.

That gives New Jersey plenty of time to decide whether to prop up the plants, and if so, to narrowly tailor such support to a limited time period. The flawed legislation under consideration establishes subsidies for at least three years, with no mechanism to prevent them from continuing forever. What’s more, the plants would qualify for a bailout based on projected—not actual—costs, and if they make money, there’s no requirement to return the profits to customers. There is no need to rush an overly generous bill through to earn Christie’s signature, especially when the incoming governor says he’s going to look closely at the plants as part of his clean energy plan……https://www.nrdc.org/experts/dale-bryk/will-nj-lawmakers-give-governor-christie-nuclear-goodbye-gift

January 3, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Radioactive debris at Fukushima – a huge challenge to Japanese govt and TEPCO

Challenges ahead for debris removal at Fukushima https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180102_05/ This year will mark the 7th anniversary of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant that occurred in March, 2011. The plant’s operator is hoping to eventually remove fuel debris from the damaged reactors.

Fuel debris is a mixture of melted nuclear fuel and broken reactor parts. Removing the debris is considered to be the biggest hurdle to the decommissioning of the reactors.

Last year, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, investigated the inside of the containment vessels of 3 reactors and confirmed, for the first time, the existence of lumps that are believed to be fuel debris in the No.3 reactor.

TEPCO plans to conduct a fresh probe of the No.2 reactor this month to confirm whether a mass on the floor under the reactor, observed last year, is actually fuel debris.

The government and TEPCO aim to begin removing debris in 2021. They are planning to determine which reactor to start with, and how to conduct the procedure, during fiscal 2019.

Workers will try this year to figure out which details need to be considered in order to make the decision.

Removing the debris requires thorough safety measures. For example, radioactive materials must be prevented from spreading and workers must be protected from exposure to radiation.

This autumn, the operator also plans to start removing spent nuclear fuel rods from the storage pool of the No.3 reactor building.

January 3, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment