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Union of Concerned Scientists says USA government was right to end the MOX nuclear reprocessing program

Energy Department Makes the Right Decision to Kill MOX Program https://www.ucsusa.org/press/2018/energy-department-makes-right-decision-kill-mox-program#.Wv35qjSFPGh  Statement by Edwin Lyman, Union of Concerned Scientists WASHINGTON (May 14, 2018)—Late last week, the Department of Energy (DOE) submitted a report to Congress documenting that an alternative method to dispose of U.S. excess weapons plutonium would be less than half the cost of the current plan to use it as mixed oxide (MOX) fuel for nuclear reactors. By certifying that finding, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry will have the legal authority next month to stop construction of the MOX facility at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), which obtained the report and publicly released it, has long called for canceling the MOX program because it would make it easier for terrorists to gain access to fissile material that could be used to make a nuclear weapon.

Instead of finishing the half-built MOX facility, the Trump administration—like the Obama administration before it—proposes to dilute 34 tons of plutonium from retired U.S. nuclear weapons with an inert substance and dispose of it at the deep underground Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico. According to the DOE report, this “dilute and dispose” process would cost at most $19.9 billion, 40 percent of $49.4 billion cost of continuing the MOX program.

Below is a statement by Edwin Lyman, a UCS senior scientist.

“Energy Secretary Perry made the right decision to terminate the misguided MOX program. Ironically, while the program was intended to reduce the risks posed by the large US stockpile of plutonium from dismantled nuclear weapons, it would make this material more vulnerable to theft. The alternative approach—dilute and dispose—will be far safer and more secure than MOX.

“While the MOX program has gone well over-budget, we now know that the dilute and dispose process will be far cheaper. According to DOE’s comprehensive report the cost of diluting and disposing of 34 metric tons of U.S. excess plutonium will be less than half the remaining cost of the MOX program. This finding allows the DOE to waive the wasteful congressional requirement that it must continue to build the MOX plant. As a bonus, the agency can begin the dilute and dispose process much sooner.

“The dilute and dispose approach will not only be cost-effective, it also will provide sustainable employment at the Savannah River Site for decades to come. The DOE report estimates that the project will require more than 400 full-time employees through its completion date in the late 2040s. Secretary Perry’s decision to kill MOX is a victory for US taxpayers, national security, and South Carolina workers.”

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May 18, 2018 Posted by | reprocessing, USA | Leave a comment

The struggle to vitrify radioactive waste

2 gallons of radioactive nuclear waste done. 56M gallons to go, BY ANNETTE CARY acary@tricityherald.com  

May 18, 2018 Posted by | technology, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Global 2 degrees C rise doubles population exposed to multiple climate risks compared to 1.5 degrees C  

INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR APPLIED SYSTEMS ANALYSIS EUREKALERT, 16 MAY 18 

New research identifying climate vulnerability hotspots has found that the number of people affected by multiple climate change risks could double if the global temperature rises by 2°C, compared to a rise of 1.5°C.

The team, led by IIASA Energy Program researcher Edward Byers, investigated the overlap between multiple climate change risks and socioeconomic development to identify the vulnerability hotspots if the global mean temperature should rise by 1.5°C, 2°C and 3°C by 2050, compared to the pre-industrial baseline. Since those in poverty are much more vulnerable to climate change impacts, knowing where and how many vulnerable people are at high risk is therefore important for creating policies to mitigate the situation.

The researchers from IIASA, Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the University of Oxford, and the University of Washington, developed 14 impact indicators in three main sectors – water, energy, and food & environment – using a variety of computer models. The indicators include a water stress index, water supply seasonality, clean cooking access, heat stress events, habitat degradation, and crop yield changes. They compared the potential risks at the three global temperatures and in a range of socioeconomic pathways, to compare more equitable, sustainable development with pathways characterized by development failures and high inequality……..https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/iifa-g2r051518.php

May 18, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Despite costs, safety concerns, waste problem – Japan sets ambitious nuclear energy targets

Business Insider 16th May 2018 , Japan’s government has proposed an energy plan that sets ambitious targets
for nuclear energy use in the coming decade despite challenges after the
2011 Fukushima disaster. The draft, presented Wednesday to a
government-commissioned panel of experts, says that by fiscal 2030 nuclear
energy should account for 20-22 percent of Japan’s total power generation.
The Cabinet is expected to approve the plan within weeks.

The targets appear difficult to achieve given that electric utilities are opting to
scrap aging reactors rather than pay higher costs to meet post-Fukushima
safety standards. Uncertainty over what to do with massive radioactive
waste in the crowded island nation is another big concern.
http://uk.businessinsider.com/ap-japan-draft-plan-sets-ambitious-targets-for-nuclear-energy-2018-5

May 18, 2018 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Low Level Radiation and Health Conference – June 23-24th —

LOW LEVEL RADIATION AND HEALTH CONFERENCE STIRLING COURT HOTEL, STIRLING UNIVERSITY FK9 4A, Scotland JUNE 23-24, 2018 The Low Level Radiation and Health Conference was set up in 1985 by members of the public keen to find out more about these issues and so it is now 30+ years since it started. Since its inception, […]

via Low Level Radiation and Health Conference – June 23-24th —

May 18, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tips for Responding to Climate Change Denial and Anti-Clean Energy Attacks in the Media

robertscribbler

It is becoming more and more obvious that powerful economic interests associated with the harmful fossil fuel industry often spread anti-scientific, anti-factual misinformation relating to climate change and clean energy in the mainstream media. This post will explore some recent examples while providing you with a few simple methods for countering what is essentially a PR industry of lies for profit.

(Day after day we can see The Madhouse Effect in action in the form of major media sources providing a platform for the agents of the fossil fuel industry to cast doubt and aspersions on both science and clean energy.)

Typically, it would fall to a responsible government to reign in bad media actors that spread such fraudulent reports in the press. Reports by paid industry agents that masquerade as news and fact, but are just the opposite. Daily we are inundated with false and misleading attacks on clean…

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May 18, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Iran Deal: US Exit Opening For Russia? Exit Must Make Multiple Trump Friends Happy

Mining Awareness +

By cancelling the Iran nuclear deal, Trump pacifies his mega-donors, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, pleases his longtime friend Israeli PM Netanyahu, and makes Putin look good. Sanctions on Iran and its South Pars/North Dome gas field (shared with Qatar) can but benefit Trump longtime advisor-investor Carl Icahn who owns about 14% of the Cheniere Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) facility, and other friend-donors linked to the oil and gas industry, including Putin. Icahn helped Trump keep control of his Taj Casino, before eventually becoming the owner. It will help keep oil and gas prices up, as well as reducing competition. As discussed in the VOA article, it may help drive Europe further into Putin’s arms. See more details about Icahn and Adelson, after the VOA article.

From VOA news –
Iran Deal: US Exit Opening For Russia?
Russia in Flurry of Diplomatic Activity Over Iran Deal
May 13, 2018 4:00…

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May 18, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

May 17 Energy News

geoharvey

Science and Technology:

¶ Climate change may complicate fishing. Warming seas will force many of North America’s most valuable fish and shellfish stocks north in coming decades, a major new modeling study finds, potentially creating headaches for the fishing industry and government regulators. Some species that do not move could see their ranges shrink by half. [Science Magazine]

Fishing for Atlantic cod (Robert F. Bukaty | AP Photo)

¶ A 14-year NASA mission confirmed that massive redistribution of freshwater is occurring across the Earth. Middle latitudes are drying while the tropics and higher latitudes gain water supplies. The changes are probably effects of a combination of climate change, vast human withdrawals of groundwater, and simple natural changes. [Chicago Tribune]

World:

¶ A network of 20 of ABB’s high-speed 50-kW DC fast chargers for electric vehicles has been installed across Iceland as the island nation looks to electric…

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May 18, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

China marketing nuclear power to Uganda

China to help Uganda build nuclear power plants, Reuters Staff, 17 May 18 KAMPALA (Reuters) – China will help Uganda build and operate nuclear power plants under a deal signed last week.

Uganda has some uranium deposits and President Yoweri Museveni has said his government was keen to exploit them for potential nuclear energy development.

Eight potential sites have been identified in the country’s central, southwest and northern regions that could potentially host nuclear power plants, the government said on Thursday. It signed a deal with Russia last year to cooperate on nuclear power.

China is already a major investor in Ugandan infrastructure projects and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) signed a memorandum of understanding on May 11 to help Uganda build capacity “in the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes”, Uganda’s energy ministry said in a statement issued on Thursday……

Co-operation between CNNC and Uganda will involve the development of nuclear power infrastructure including the design, construction and operation of nuclear power plants.

In June last year Uganda signed a similar memorandum of understanding with Russian State Atomic Energy Cooperation (ROSATOM) to facilitate the two countries’ cooperation on nuclear power.

Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Susan Fenton https://www.reuters.com/article/us-uganda-energy/china-to-help-uganda-build-nuclear-power-plants-idUSKCN1II219

May 18, 2018 Posted by | AFRICA, China, marketing | Leave a comment

Facing the increasing threat of nuclear war

World Gets a Two-Minute Warning on the Risk of Nuclear War http://progressive.org/dispatches/world-gets-a-two-minute-warning-on-the-risk-of-nuclear-war-180514/#.Wvyq7ZC4Omg.twitter, by Roger Kimmel Smith May 14, 2018   Leaders of the international peace movement met in New York City over the weekend to grapple with an increasing threat of nuclear war. Taking a cue from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and its famous Doomsday Clock, a day-long conference, held Saturday, May 12, at Judson Memorial Church, was titled “Two Minutes to Midnight.”

May 18, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The young technology emperors have a miserable opinion of humanity – and so prophesy nuclear doom

The real reason tech billionaires are prepping for doomsday

A misanthropic view of humanity guides the tech aristocracy — and it’s trickled into their vision of the future, Salon, JASON RHODE MAY 12, 2018,

If you pay attention to what Silicon Valley’s best and brightest are up to, you know about tech survivalism. The digital elite are preparing for the Apocalypse, and have been for a while.

As Evan Osnos wrote in his New Yorker feature, “Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich,”

Survivalism, the practice of preparing for a crackup of civilization, tends to evoke a certain picture: the woodsman in the tinfoil hat, the hysteric with the hoard of beans, the religious doomsayer. But in recent years survivalism has expanded to more affluent quarters, taking root in Silicon Valley and New York City, among technology executives, hedge-fund managers, and others in their economic cohort.

The Guardian noted that the end-of-days obsession could be traced back to a single source, a sort of ur-text of rich-guy panic: a 1999 book called “The Sovereign Individual: How to Survive and Thrive during the Collapse of the Welfare State.” It was written by James Dale Davidson, a private investment advisor, and Lord Rees-Moog, a British newspaper editor.

You can probably already guess at what the book says. More or less, it’s a pastiche of extolling the virtues of how the rich are superior, how they’re persecuted by the state, and how digital realms can and will liberate them and make them sovereign individuals. It’s a familiar trope: Ayn Rand had John Galt spewed the same list of self-serving ideas 60 years ago in “Atlas Shrugged.”

That an elite caste of people would find inspiration in these kinds of ideas is unsurprising. But there’s a more obvious reason that rich people are doomsday preppers: because that ideology mirrors their politics and their sociological views of people.

Aristocracy is the faith that a few individuals are better than the herd. Aristocracy justifies great wealth. Aristocracy says that most humans are inherently evil and will turn on each other. The mob needs strong rulers to stay sane. If authority breaks down, the rabid animals will run wild.

And the tech industry is a special subset of rich people. Our society runs on technology. Very few of us understand it, or build it personally; we rely on a select priesthood to handle that necessity. These conditions guarantee an elitist mindset. Even if Silicon Valley wasn’t wealthy, they’d still be stocking up on Krugerrands and beaver pelts. The money just gives them more space to indulge Ahab-like paranoia.

Additionally, the digerati tend to view human beings as automatons: easily exchangeable and swappable data points, resources to be exploited. If I wanted to design a system to deliberately turn out an alienated, distanced elite, I’d build Silicon Valley.

To use the language of philosophy, tech-bro survivalism is overdetermined. Imagine you’re an obscenely wealthy app magnate. Even if you’re skeptical about Armageddon, you probably already believe you’re a separate species from the rest of mankind. Letting everyone else go to hell is second nature.

……..Aristocracy is the faith that a few individuals are better than the herd. Aristocracy justifies great wealth. Aristocracy says that most humans are inherently evil and will turn on each other. The mob needs strong rulers to stay sane. If authority breaks down, the rabid animals will run wild.And the tech industry is a special subset of rich people. Our society runs on technology. Very few of us understand it, or build it personally; we rely on a select priesthood to handle that necessity. These conditions guarantee an elitist mindset. Even if Silicon Valley wasn’t wealthy, they’d still be stocking up on Krugerrands and beaver pelts. The money just gives them more space to indulge Ahab-like paranoia.

Additionally, the digerati tend to view human beings as automatons: easily exchangeable and swappable data points, resources to be exploited. If I wanted to design a system to deliberately turn out an alienated, distanced elite, I’d build Silicon Valley.

To use the language of philosophy, tech-bro survivalism is overdetermined. Imagine you’re an obscenely wealthy app magnate. Even if you’re skeptical about Armageddon, you probably already believe you’re a separate species from the rest of mankind. Letting everyone else go to hell is second nature.

…….. Tech-preppers think Doomsday will mean a war of all against all. But there’s no evidence of this.

………What are the tech-preppers really worried about? Not death by fire, quake, or ice. Not the rising seas, or the zombie plague, not the return of Christ or rogue comets. Seen clearly, the calamity that the wealthy fear is democracy returning to the United States. Every tall tale they tell involves the specter of the mob.

The tech-preppers understand, at a deep level, that their ill-gotten gains are predicated on an unjust system. Deep in the brain, where reptile impulses live, tech-bros know hoarding is wrong. Human beings — even very wealthy human beings — have a bone-deep sense of injustice. We know a freeloader.

Why don’t we give them the world they want? I invite the tech-preppers to fully indulge their fantasies: leave, and never return, never darken our doors again. Instead of frustrating their hobby, we should enable it. To your scattered bunkers go, await the end of days. https://www.salon.com/2018/05/12/the-real-reason-tech-billionaires-are-prepping-for-doomsday/

May 18, 2018 Posted by | culture and arts, USA | Leave a comment

Air conditioning units – electricity guzzlers – a threatening contribution to climate change

FT 15th May 2018 , The spread of air-conditioning in hot countries is set to create a huge
increase in demand for electricity, threatening efforts to curb greenhouse
gas emissions, according to the International Energy Agency, the watchdog
backed by consuming countries. Over the next 30 years, air-conditioning
could increase global demand for electricity by the entire capacity of the
US, the EU and Japan combined, unless there are significant improvements in
the efficiency of the equipment, the IEA warned. In a report released on
Tuesday, the agency urged governments to use regulations and incentives to
improve the efficiency of air-conditioning units, to avoid a surge in
demand that could put strains on energy supplies and increase greenhouse
gas emissions.
https://www.ft.com/content/6c062996-582c-11e8-bdb7-f6677d2e1ce8

May 18, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, ENERGY | Leave a comment

Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom trying to market nuclear power to Chile, China, Cuba, Finland, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Spain and Zambia

World Nuclear News 16th May 2018 Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear corporation, yesterday signed a series of agreements with overseas companies during the Atomexpo conference and exhibition being held this week in Sochi, Russia. The agreements, with Chile, China, Cuba, Finland, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Saudi
Arabia, Serbia, Spain and Zambia, include the engineering and medical
sectors, among others.
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/C-Rosatom-expands-overseas-links-with-new-agreements-16051801.html

May 18, 2018 Posted by | marketing, Russia | Leave a comment