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Alarm in Nordic countries as Russia launches the world’s first floating nuclear power plant

Russia’s ‘nuclear titanic’ sets off for Swedish coast A Russian power plant dubbed a “nuclear Titanic” by environmental campaigners set off on Saturday on its way to Sweden’s Baltic coast.

Akademik Lomonosov, the world’s first floating nuclear power plant, left the Baltic Shipyard in St Petersburg on Saturday morning.
It is expected to reach the Swedish coast next week, before making its way through the narrow Öresund straits, across the Kattegat and into the North Sea.
“We are following this closely through our cooperation with other countries and through our own national agencies,” Johan Friberg, Director of the Swedish Radiation Safety Agency told Sweden’s state broadcaster SVT.
Russia’s development of a floating nuclear power plant has generated alarm among its Nordic neighbours, with Norway’s foreign minister Børge Brende last June warning that the plan to transport it fully fuelled raised “serious questions”.
Karolina Skog, Sweden’s environment minister, argued last June that floating nuclear power stations created “a new type of risk”.

“It is important that Russia makes every effort to fulfil the criteria of international agreements, which should be seen as applying to floating nuclear power stations as well,” she said.
After a meeting in Moscow that July, Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom relented on its plans to drag the reactor through the Baltic fuelled, saying that the plant would instead be fuelled in Murmansk after it had arrived in the Russian Arctic.
“We will carry out the transportation through the Baltic and the Scandinavian region without nuclear fuel on board,” Alexey Likhachev told the Independent Barents Observer.
Jan Haverkamp, nuclear expert for Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe, has attacked the plant as a ‘nuclear Titanic’, and “threat to the Arctic”
“Nuclear reactors bobbing around the Arctic Ocean will pose a shockingly obvious threat to a fragile environment which is already under enormous pressure from climate change,” he said in a press release.
After the plant is fuelled and tested, it will be pulled across to Pevek on the Eastern Siberian Sea, where it will be used to power oil rigs.

April 30, 2018 Posted by | Russia, technology | 1 Comment

USA and France to co-operate on fast neutron sodium-cooled reactors and on artificial intelligence

World Nuclear News 27th April 2018 ,A statement of intent to strengthen cooperation on fast neutron
sodium-cooled reactors has been signed between the US Department of Energy
(DOE) and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission
(CEA). The partners have also a statement of intent to begin cooperation in
the field of artificial intelligence. The documents were signed yesterday
in Washington, DC, by US Energy Secretary Rick Perry and CEA’s new Chairman
François Jacq.

April 30, 2018 Posted by | France, technology, USA | Leave a comment

Cumbria County Council (CCC) notes fundamental flaws in UK’s search for a nuclear dump location

Cumbria County Council (CCC) have recognised the fundamental flaws within the latest process to find a location to bury the nation’s nuclear waste. The CCC response to the government consultation echos many of the points which Cumbria Trust has made.  In particular the failure to address the need for secure interim storage, despite the most dangerous elements within waste being too hot to bury for well over a century.  They also highlight the lack of clarity over the community’s right of withdrawal, something of particular concern to Cumbria Trust.  As we have previously stated this is a process which has been designed to be very simple to enter and very difficult to leave.

Five years ago it was CCC which called a halt to the search process, and their concerns have not gone away.

The News & Star has reported this week:

A NEW search to find a community willing to host an underground nuclear waste storage bunker is based on ‘fundamentally flawed’ government policy, council officials in Cumbria have said.

The nationwide scheme to identify a location for a £12 billion geological disposal facility buried at least 200 metres below the surface was relaunched by the government in January and is expected to take 20 years to secure.

It promises incentives including £1m per year for five years for the five communities that volunteer to be on the shortlist – with £2.5m a year for the two that go forward to the testing stage, which would see deep boreholes dug underground.

But experts within Cumbria County Council have instead called for more clarity on how the high level waste – the majority of which is currently kept in storage vessels in west Cumbria – will be kept safe if a suitable location is not identified within the time frame.

They also state the right of willing communities to withdraw from the process is not clear enough within the proposal, while there is no detail about how the waste could be retrieved at a later date if new technology to dispose of it more efficiently is developed.

Read the full report here

April 30, 2018 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Trump administration’s plan for 2 new types of nuclear weapons: will this increase chances of a nuclear war with Russia?

Washington Examiner 28th April 2018 ,The Trump administration’s plan to add two new varieties of nuclear
weapons into the U.S. arsenal will face one of its first legislative tests
this month. The House Armed Services Committee is teeing up a debate on the
proposed sea-based cruise missiles and lower-yield ballistic missiles
launched from submarines on May 9. The focus: whether these weapons will
make nuclear war with Russia more or less likely.

April 30, 2018 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Belgian nuclear reactor shut down due to a leak

RTBF 28trh April 2018 , The reactor at the Doel 1 nuclear power plant in Beveren was shut down
earlier this week . The reason given at that time was a ” maintenance at
the level of the cooling circuit ” . Engie Electrabel confirmed to local TV
TV Oost that a leak was detected in the nuclear section during this review.
The reactor will be shut down at least until October 1st.

April 30, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, incidents | Leave a comment

The Destruction of an Independent Press 

Chris Hedges With Mark Crispin Miller on the Destruction of an Independent Press  posted by Emily Wells APR 27, 2018 

In a recent episode of “On Contact,” his video series on the RT network, Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges speaks with Mark Crispin Miller, a professor of media studies at New York University, about the destruction of the independent press in the United States.

Hedges calls attention to the algorithms of Facebook, Google and Twitter, and how they steer traffic away from anti-war and progressive websites, while Miller speaks of the frightening historical precedent of the homogenization of the press.

“I think what we have seen over the decades since the mid-’70s, and I’m going to make a provocative comparison here, is something analogous to what the Nazis called gleichschaltung, which means streamlining,” Miller says. “When they came to power, they made it their business to make sure that not only all media outlets but all industries, all sectors of the culture, would be streamlined, which meant getting rid of anyone who was not fully on board with the Nazi program.”

Miller adds that this is “unprecedented in American experience.” He says, “Even ten years ago I would have flinched if someone compared our press to the Nazi press.”

Watch the full conversation in the player above. [on original]

April 30, 2018 Posted by | media, USA | Leave a comment