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UK Conservatives – inconsistent, incoherent, policy – agreeing to Russia’s involvement in UK’s nuclear power development

Times 18th March 2018, Ed Davey: Vladimir Putin’s ambitions have been evident for some time, but
the Conservatives’ position has long been incoherent and inconsistent.
During the coalition years, the Conservatives seemed torn between the
national security evidence of the country’s wrongdoings and the billions
of roubles it had to invest.

Russian industrial investment plans would
never have stood up to the sort of detailed scrutiny we gave to Chinese
ones. I was particularly astonished when David Cameron agreed to Putin’s
request that the Russian state nuclear power company, Rosatom, be
introduced to the UK’s civil nuclear power market and develop an
international consortium with Rolls-Royce.

It was left to the Lib Dems to insist of downgrading this to a simpler, meaningless memorandum of
understanding. I was gobsmacked that even after Putin’s annexation of
Crimea, the prime minister clung on to the idea — even as we searched
around for sanctions to impose.  https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/former-energy-minister-ed-davey-tories-position-on-russia-is-incoherent-and-inconsistent-fhnvfkmgp

March 21, 2018 Posted by | politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Japan-led Turkish nuclear plant project mired in cost overruns. 

Nikkei Asian Review 18th March 2018   Another
setback looms for Tokyo’s infrastructure export drive. A Japan-led nuclear
power plant project in Turkey looks to cost more than twice as much as
initially projected, highlighting challenges for Tokyo’s push to export
Japanese infrastructure.

The Japanese and Turkish governments agreed on the
public-private project in 2013. The estimated total cost, pegged at around
2 trillion yen ($18.8 billion at current rates) at the time, has since
ballooned to more than 5 trillion yen, according to sources close to the
matter, due largely to the need to meet tougher safety standards
implemented after the March 2011 meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co.
Holdings’ Fukushima Daiichi plant.

The plan is to build four reactors with
a total output of 4,500 megawatts in the Black Sea coastal city of Sinop,
using Atmea1 reactors Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is developing
with France’s Areva.

Though the goal is to put the first reactor into
service in 2023, in time for Turkey’s centennial, the cost problem could
cause that date to slip.

Japan views nuclear power as an integral part of
efforts to export infrastructure around the world. As Mitsubishi Heavy and
the others hash out the Turkish project, a group led by Hitachi is putting
the finishing touches on plans to build two nuclear reactors in the U.K.,
on the Welsh coast.

Yet the Fukushima accident still casts long shadows
over the nuclear industry, and hurdles are growing higher. Vietnam has
cancelled orders for Japanese nuclear facilities amid financial concerns
and local opposition. Partly because of the rising cost of safety measures,
the financial risks of building nuclear plants abroad have grown too large
for companies alone to bear.

So Japan’s government has stepped in with
public financing and other aid, eager to support infrastructure exports,
which it considers a key economic growth strategy. Pursuing projects abroad
is in effect the only way for such companies as Mitsubishi Heavy and
Hitachi to maintain and profit from their nuclear technologies.

All nuclear power plants in Japan halted operations in the years after the Fukushima
disaster, and only a few have been approved to restart. Expanding plants or
building new ones is likewise difficult.
https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Economy/Japan-led-Turkish-nuclear-plant-project-mired-in-cost-overruns

March 21, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Senator wants U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry for details on funding for proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump

Cortez Masto seeks details on Yucca spending since Trump’s election, The Nevada Independent, Humberto Sanchez , March 19th, 2018 , Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto has called on Energy Secretary Rick Perry to provide details on how the White House would spend funds requested for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, as well as how money has been spent since President Donald Trump was elected.

In a letter to Perry dated Monday, Cortez Masto, an opponent of the controversial project, noted that while the president has requested $120 million in both of his fiscal year (FY) 2018 and 2019 budget blueprints, with regard to the Department of Energy (DOE), neither of the budget documents provides a detailed account of how funding will be, or has been, spent.

“The FY 2019 Budget Justification, like the FY 2018 Budget Justification, provides little meaningful information on how DOE would actually spend these funds to participate in U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing activities for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository,” the letter said. “Moreover, neither of these budget documents provide any information on DOE expenditures from the Nuclear Waste Fund for Yucca Mountain activities during FY 2017 and FY2018.”

Cortez Masto wants Perry to disclose what the unobligated balances were in DOE’s Defense Nuclear Waste Disposal and Nuclear Waste Disposal accounts at the beginning of FY 2017, which started on Oct. 1, 2016, as well as for FY 2018.

She also wants to know how much was spent from these accounts during FY 2017 and 2018 for Yucca licensing activities; pension fund and related obligations for retired Yucca Mountain workers; administration of the Nuclear Waste Fund, financial audits; investment guidance; maintenance of records and technical and scientific information, including preservation and security of geologic samples. ……..https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/cortez-masto-seeks-details-on-yucca-spending-since-trumps-election

 

March 21, 2018 Posted by | politics, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Don’t let Idaho become the transportation hub for radioactive material

  http://magicvalley.com/opinion/letters/letter-don-t-let-idaho-become-the-transportation-hub-for/article_69ca6d43-c8bd-52d5-a7c4-1bb00edf7174.html  Donna Pence   What is it that Governors Andrus and Batt knew that current state officials seem to not understand concerning highly radioactive material entering Idaho? Could it be these gentlemen were more concerned about the people of Idaho than the money entering the state through the Department of Energy? I was disturbed, but not surprised, when I read that the DOE now wants our state to become the transportation hub for highly radioactive nuclear waste from all around the country. This will include nearly 50 million gallons from the Hanford site in the state of Washington. This hazardous material will need to be transported by rail or truck through southern Idaho to its destination at the Idaho Nuclear Laboratory (INL) in eastern Idaho. I still remember when Governor Andrus placed a blockade at the Idaho border to stop such shipments because of the risk to the public should an accident occur.

 
The existence of the Magic Valley depends on the viability of its water resources both from the Snake River and the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer (ESPA). An “accidental” spill from waste entering or being stored for processing at the INL could place our way of life at extreme risk. Many people don’t understand the interaction between the river and the aquifer. If one water source is contaminated so is the other. The INL is situated directly above the ESPA, our most valuable resource. Without it, life could not exist in a large part of our region. Once contamination hits the many springs flowing into the Snake River from above and below American Falls Reservoir, much of the irrigation on the north and south sides of the Snake would be unusable, not to mention those waters downstream from Magic Valley. Remember the adage “Trust me, I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

March 21, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Finland’s nuclear power plant’s price tag – at least $11 billion

Costlier Than Pyramids: Finnish NPP Becomes World’s Second-Priciest Building, Sputnik News
EUROPE 19.03.2018 

The Finnish Olkiluoto-3 nuclear reactor has been touted as the “flagship of European nuclear energy,” but has taken more than a decade to complete and cost the Nordic nation an arm and a leg.

When completed, the third reactor at Finland’s Olkiluoto nuclear power plant will have the distinction of being the world’s second most expensive building, higher than that of a number of luxury hotels, sports arenas, skyscrapers and even pyramids, Finnish national broadcaster Yle reported.

With a breathtaking price tag of €8.5 billion ($11 billion), Olkiluoto-3 is expected to be finished in 2019, 14 years after the start of the construction. For the sake of comparison, the Cheops Pyramid, the largest of the pyramids at Giza, took about 20 years to build. However, construction of the 4,500-year-old pyramid turned to be far more efficient, as it was built over roughly the same period of time and without access to modern technology. Also, its cost in today’s money has been estimated at only €4 billion ($4.9), half the Olkiluoto price tag.

To offer a more modern building for comparison, New York’s replacement One World Trade Center cost an estimated $3.8 billion to build. …….https://sputniknews.com/europe/201803191062679754-finland-npp-price/

 

March 21, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Finland | Leave a comment

Nuclearization and the public’s need to know

 The Hill Times By MILAN ILNYCKYJPETER H. RUSSELL      The consequences of any large-scale nuclear attack are also now known. Unlike weapons tested in remote regions those targeted, as Russia’s and the U.S.’s are, on cities will inject masses of soot into the upper atmosphere dimming the sun for years with severe consequences for agriculture. Nuclear winter could result in omnicide: the extinction of most living creatures, including humankind.

TORONTO—For matters states keep secret, history unfolds in onion layers as memoirs are written and documents are declassified. This matter should be remembered when interpreting the world’s cautious relief about possible talks on denuclearization by Donald Trump and Kim Jung Un. These new accounts of possessing nuclear weapons make it nuclear that a nuclear detonation can arise as plausibly from a tool dropped in a silo as from a deliberate act of policy and that nuclear war is…….(subscribers only) https://www.hilltimes.com/2018/03/19/nuclearization-publics-need-know/137667

March 21, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment