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Nuclear news this week

Things appear to be  quiet on the global nuclear news scene. Lulled by the present stalemate in USA-North Korea nuclear tensions, the world’s media complacently reports on the nuclear weapons build-up going on in USA, Russia,  India, Pakistan , and China to a much lesser degree.

The main focus of media about things nuclear is the hype about “new nuclear” – Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, (SMRs). So many news items in praise of SMRs – all sounding suspiciously as if copied from industry handout sheets, and all claiming that nuclear is the cure for climate change. Do these journalists ever bother to check on the facts about this claim?

The world’s many pollution problems are at last being recognised as a global malaise, with the horror stories of epidemic plastic rubbish in oceans and on beaches. Climate change is manifested in various ways: it’s affecting migration patterns, changes in Arctic seas, wildfires, bees, water, hotspots in South Asia.

Russia’s Putin has all the advantages in the coming summit with Trump.

World Nuclear Market is Shrinking – preview of 2018 World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR),

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors are NOT going to save the nuclear industry.

High cancer rates in flight attendants – effect of ionising radiation.

International nuclear decommissioning market will be worth £250bn by 2030.

NORTH KOREA. North Korea has little incentive to “denuclearize”. Trump’s incoherent strategy leaves the world in danger.North Korea carrying out improvements at Yongbyon Nuclear Research Facility. A nuclear North Korea seen not as a threat, but as an ideal stabilizer.

ARCTIC. Arctic climate change: The northern Barents Sea has warmed 1.5 degrees Celsius in just 18 years.

ISRAEL. The dangers in Israel’s and USA’s policy of deception about Israels’ nuclear weapons. Israel is sure that nuclear power for Saudi Arabia will not lead to Saudi nuclear weapons.

RUSSIA.Russia’s environmental groups demand an end to secrecy about Russia’s nuclear wastes.

JAPAN. Delay in removing spent nuclear fuel from Fukushima’s crippled nuclear reactor. Japanese firms shift to clean energy despite state’s cling to nuclear power.  Despite everything, Japan’s power companies are still loyal to nuclear power.

USA.

CANADA. Toronto schools want anti-radiation pills in case of nuclear incident at Pickering plant. Protesters rally in Pickering to decommission nuclear power plant.

FRANCE. France’s anti nuclear activists not imprisoned. EDF aims to be the key corporation in nuclear station decommissioning. French nuclear corporation EDF hedges its bets: now starting 2 renewable energy programmes.

UK. 

NORWAY. Halden nuclear reactor shut down not just for safety reasons, more because it lost so much money.

AUSTRALIA. A critical time, as Govt rather secretively tries to set up a nuclear waste dump in a small rural community.

INDIA. India – the global nuclear weapons threat that is being ignored. India’s space dream – to develop nuclear fuel from helium on the moon.  USA’s General Electric and France’s EDF getting together to market to India huge and costly nuclear station.

SOUTH AFRICA. In South Africa, there’s confusion about the new government’s policy on matters nuclear.

JORDAN. Jordan gives up on big nuclear power station, but might be sucked in by “Small Nukes” propaganda.

GERMANY. Germany’s successful development towards nuclear fusion.

FINLAND. Finland’s nuclear waste dump will still be in the trial stage for years.

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June 30, 2018 Posted by | Christina's notes | 4 Comments

Russia’s Putin has all the advantages in the coming summit with Trump

In Trump’s Russia Summit, Putin Holds All the Cards By New York Magazine, 30 June 18scheduled summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on July 15 is being billed by the White House as an opportunity to reduce diplomatic tensions, begin repairing relations, and address a number of international issues of concern to both the U.S. and Russia, such as Iran, Syria, and Ukraine. Moscow is already managing expectations, saying they hope the meeting will rekindle a dialogue between the two governments but not to expect any “breakthroughs.”

Then again, Putin doesn’t need any breakthroughs; he’s already getting most of what he wants out of Trump, and given our president’s oft-expressed admiration for authoritarian strongmen in general and for his Russian counterpart in particular, Putin surely aims to cross a few more items off his wish list in Helsinki.

American-Russian relations at this moment are somewhat schizophrenic. On paper, Trump’s government is continuing and even going above and beyond many of the tough policies pursued by the Obama administration, including sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, the sale of weapons to Ukraine to combat the ongoing Russian-backed insurgency, and the expulsion of Russian agents.

Yet no world leader has been so much a beneficiary of Trump’s “dictator envy” as Putin. The president has publicly flattered him and even congratulated him (against the advice of literally everyone) on his victory in a transparently rigged election in March. The two men’s previous contacts have been friendly and often advantageous to Putin; they even spent an hour alone together, with no other U.S. advisers or officials and only Putin’s translator present, on the sidelines of last year’s G20 meeting. Trump takes Putin at his word when he says Russia did not meddle in the 2016 election, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, and even as Russian state TV gloats about it.

With Trump, all business is personal, and deals are made or broken on the basis of his feelings about the people he is making them with. Earlier this month, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un — whose crimes against human rights include forced labor, torture, and murder — made such a good impression on Trump at a summit in Singapore that the president gifted him a unilateral halt to joint U.S.–South Korean war games, blindsiding both Seoul and the Pentagon. Calculated measures are for eggheads and losers; Trump’s gut trumps all. ……..

he is actively working to destabilize the European Union, encouraging key members to quit the organization and saying at a rally this week that the E.U. “was set up to take advantage of the United States, to attack our piggy bank” — an absolutely bonkers statement even if it were not based on an exaggeration of the U.S-E.U. trade deficit. Considering that Russia meddled in the Brexit referendum just as it did in our elections, it’s clear that weakening or dismantling that union is high on the Kremlin’s agenda.

Trump’s bootlickers like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may lamely spin Trump’s antagonism toward our allies as some kind of “disruptive” “reset” in service of U.S. interests, but no administration official has made a remotely persuasive case for why chipping away at these institutions is good for America. For a revanchist Russia, on the other hand, the upsides are crystal clear. With his bad relationships with European allies fresh in his mind, it’s easy to imagine Trump letting Putin talk him into taking more steps to undercut these alliances.

Whether Putin has some kind of kompromat or other form of personal leverage over Trump (a terrifying possibility that becomes more believable the more we learn about the depth of Russia’s machinations in the 2016 campaign), or whether the two men just so happen to agree that the transatlantic liberal order is better off discarded, Putin is already getting what he paid for from this president.

Any agreement that comes out of next month’s summit, meanwhile, is overwhelmingly likely to favor Russia’s interests, if only because Putin knows exactly what he wants from Trump, whereas Trump does not seem to want anything more than for the man he admires so much to like him back.  http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/06/in-trumps-russia-summit-putin-holds-all-the-cards.html

June 30, 2018 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA | Leave a comment

The dangers in Israel’s and USA’s policy of deception about Israels’ nuclear weapons

In early May, as the world held its breath in anticipation of the nuclear disarmament discussions between US President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and struggled to digest Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal, an international meeting on the subject was winding up in Geneva. Over several days, representatives of dozens of states discussed preparations for the fifth review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) scheduled to take place in 2020.

As always, the Egyptian representative attacked Israel for refusing to sign the treaty. The Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Raza Najafi, took the opportunity to take a dig at the United States for its nuclear cooperation with the “Zionist regime.” The Iranian news agency reported that Najafi stressed his country’s full commitment to the treaty.

Also as always, Israel observed the scene from the sidelines, just as it did last July when 122 states signed a treaty banning a series of nuclear weapons-related activity such as attempts to develop, test, produce, spread and stockpile such weapons. Obviously, the world’s nine nuclear states did not append their signatures to the document. Israel, which is not a member of this club, was also absent from the list of signatories. Iran signed.

For over five decades, Israel has been playing both sides. Despite numerous and persistent indications that not all of its nuclear reactors are designed for peaceful use, Israel does not admit to having a bomb. In fact, for years, it has maintained a policy of ambiguity, neither denying nor admitting possession of a nuclear bomb. Last week, The New Yorker reported that shortly after assuming office, Trump agreed to a request by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to sign a letter promising not to press Israel to give up its nuclear weapons. According to the report, three previous residents of the White House had signed similar commitments.

The presidential commitment has a caveat. According to The New Yorker, there is an unwritten understanding on Israel maintaining its longstanding nuclear policy. In other words, Israel cannot admit to having nuclear weapons. This ambiguity enables the United States to provide Israel with a diplomatic umbrella and to repel pressure on it to join the NPT. It also requires Israel to keep IAEA inspectors away from its reactors. As a result, Israelis know nothing about the condition of the aging nuclear reactor in the southern town of Dimona and the extent of its compliance with international safety standards.

In order to maintain its policy, Israel’s military censors prohibit Israeli journalists from referring directly to Israel’s nuclear capability. They are obliged to hide behind the absurd phrasing “according to foreign sources” when referring to the matter. Over time, the policy of ambiguity has turned into a policy of deception. In 1976, former defense minister and then-Knesset member Moshe Dayan admitted in an interview with a French TV station that Israel had the capacity to manufacture a nuclear bomb. If the Arabs introduce a nuclear bomb into the Middle East at some point in the future, argued Dayan, it is incumbent on Israel to have a bomb first — but not in order to use it first, of course. In 1996, Prime Minister Shimon Peres said in an interview with the Israeli Maariv newspaper, “Give me peace and I will give up the nuclear [program].”

Talking to journalists in 1998, Peres boasted that Israel “built a nuclear option, not in order to have Hiroshima, but an Oslo,” a reference to the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement known as the Oslo Accord. In 2006, incoming US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the former CIA director under President H. W. George Bush, told a Senate confirmation hearing that Iran was “surrounded by powers with nuclear weapons — Pakistan to their east, the Russians to the north, the Israelis to the west and us in the Persian Gulf.”

That is how Israel managed both to create nuclear deterrence and to prevent inspection of all its nuclear facilities.

Explaining its support for Israel’s nuclear ambiguity in position papers it presented at the recent Geneva conference, the United States said countries in the region were trying to obtain weapons of mass destruction in violation of their NPT commitments. In order to clarify that it was not pointing at Israel, the United States argued that these states refuse “to recognize and engage Israel as a sovereign state … [and] instead pursue divisive actions to isolate Israel.” More so; since a dig at Trump’s predecessor is always de rigeur, the position papers claim that international discussions on the matter between 2010 and 2015 (during the Barack Obama administration) illustrated the limitations of focusing on nuclear weapons without addressing the underlying political and security issues in the region.

Indeed, the vision of a denuclearized Middle East cannot be realized without addressing the region’s political and security issues. However, these issues cannot be addressed without dealing with the prolonged Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory and breathing life into the long dormant 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which foresees Arab states normalizing ties with Israel in return for its withdrawal from the occupied territories. To avoid background noise that could disrupt the on-again, off-again Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic negotiations over the years, the American partners in what is known as the Middle East Quartet (which also includes Russia, the UN and the European Union) have been ignoring Israel’s refusal to join the NPT. The US withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran as well as the relocation of its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, its boycott of UNESCO and its recently launched trade war are all weakening the Trump administration’s leverage in the international diplomatic arena. The bear hug between Israel and Trump might prove the beginning of the end of Israel’s nuclear ambiguity policy and the opening shot of a wild nuclear weapons race in the Middle East.

June 30, 2018 Posted by | Israel, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia’s environmental groups demand an end to secrecy about Russia’s nuclear wastes

Russian environmentalists demand transparency from the country’s nuclear waste industry http://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2018-06-russian-environmentalists-demand-transparency-from-the-countrys-nuclear-waste-industry

Environmentally significant information about radioactive waste should never be secret and concealing information about the disposition of this waste from those who live closest to it is unacceptable, said a joint statement from three Russian ecological non-profits.   by Bellona

Environmentally significant information about radioactive waste should never be secret and concealing information about the disposition of this waste from those who live closest to it is unacceptable, said a joint statement from three Russian ecological non-profits.

The statement was issued last week by the group Radioactive Waste Safety, Greenpeace and Bellona.

In the 70  years since Russia began applying nuclear technology, millions of tons of radioactive waste have been accumulated. This poses a now and future threat for hundreds and thousands of years. The negligent or thoughtless handling of radioactive waste could lead to accidents and catastrophes, as well as environmental consequences that will impact future generations – all while we are still struggling with past nuclear accidents, such as the Kyshtym disaster at the Mayak Chemical Combine in 1957 to name just one

“We are convinced that information on the total quantity and condition of radioactive waste, as well as on projects and programs related to handling and disposal of radioactive waste is environmentally significant, and that it  is the constitutional right of Russian citizens to have access to that information. This information affects the interests of people living near installations wirer radioactive wastes is handled and stored,” said the three groups.

“Recently, we and other environmental activists have been denied the provision of environmentally relevant information on the disposal of hazardous radioactive wastes, specifically relative to the practice of injecting liquid radioactive waste into deep geological formations in the Krasnoyarsk, Tomsk and Ulyanovsk Regions” said Alexander Kolotov, program director for Radioactive Waste Safety. “This practice is not  permissible an leads to a deepening distrust between local residents and the nuclear industry.”

“As is well known, Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom has a long list of information it considers commercial secrets and classified. This list compulsory across all divisions and subsidiaries of the company, said Alexander Nikitin of Bellona. “Therefore, Rosatom doesn’t permit one or another division within its ranks to disclose information when it is requested by the public.”

“We are certain that enterprises and organizations in Russia, which handle radioactive waste should maintain transparency with the public about the dangers of these activities and their possible impact on the environment and public health,” said Ivan Blokov, program director of Greenpeace.
“Ecologically significant information on radioactive waste should be included in the annual environmental reports of the relevant enterprises and organizations, and should be published on their official websites and be provided by them at the request of citizens and public organizations.”

In addition to presenting environmentally relevant information on radioactive waste, environmentalists call upon Russia’s nuclear waste disposition industries to to immediately inform the public and local residents about any significant incidents or accidents associated with hazardous radioactive waste.

June 30, 2018 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urges China to enforce sanctions on North Korea

Pompeo tells China continued North Korea sanctions enforcement needed  David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) 29 June 18 – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has stressed to China the importance of continued enforcement of sanctions on North Korea to press it to give up its nuclear weapons, after warning of signs of backsliding by Beijing.

The State Department said Pompeo had spoken to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Thursday and discussed efforts “to achieve our shared goal of the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

Pompeo reiterated that North Korea would have a bright future if it denuclearized and emphasized “the continued importance of full enforcement of all relevant UN Security Council resolutions related to North Korea,” the department said in a statement.

It said this was especially important when it came to preventing North Korea’s illegal export of coal and imports of refined petroleum through ship-to-ship transfers prohibited by the United Nations.

……… Pompeo also spoke with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Thursday to discuss the next steps on engagement with North Korea, the State Department said. It said they agreed on the need to maintain pressure until North Korea denuclearizes.

On Thursday, the Financial Times quoted U.S. officials as saying that Pompeo plans to travel to North Korea next week for talks, but the State Department has declined to confirm this…….https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-usa-china/pompeo-tells-china-continued-north-korea-sanctions-enforcement-needed-idUSKBN1JP2OA

June 30, 2018 Posted by | China, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Redress for nuclear industry whistleblowers in USA

Redress for nuclear industry whistleblowers https://safety.blr.com/workplace-safety-news/safety-administration/OSHA-Occupational-Safety-and-Health-Administration/Redress-for-nuclear-industry-whistleblowers/

In a recently published fact sheet, OSHA reminds contractors, subcontractors, and licensees of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and contractors and subcontractors of the Department of Energy (DOE) that their employees are protected from retaliation for reporting potential violations of the Energy Reorganization Act (ERA) or the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) to their employers or to the government.

According to OSHA, retaliation comprises a wide range of actions, including firing or laying off, blacklisting, demoting, denying overtime or promotion, disciplining, denying benefits, failing to hire or rehire, intimidation, reassignment affecting promotion prospects, reducing pay or hours, and making threats.

Affected employers

Under the ERA, employees of the following employers are protected from retaliation for engaging in protected activity:

  • NRC licensees and applicants for licenses, including the Tennessee Valley Authority;
  • NRC contractors and subcontractors;
  • Contractors and subcontractors of NRC licensees and applicants for licenses;
  • Agreement state licensees and applicants for licenses from agreement states, including their contractors and subcontractors; and
  • Certain DOE contractors and subcontractors.

Protected actions

Employees of the above entities may not be discharged or otherwise retaliated against because the employee:


  • Notified the employer of an alleged violation of the ERA or the AEA;
  • Refused to engage in any practice that is unlawful under the ERA or the AEA if the employee has identified the alleged illegality to the employer;
  • Testified before Congress or at any federal or state proceeding regarding any provision (or proposed provision) of the ERA or the AEA;
  • Commenced a proceeding, caused a proceeding to be commenced, or is about to commence or cause to be commenced a proceeding under the ERA or the AEA;
  • Testified, assisted, or participated in or is about to testify, assist, or participate in a proceeding under the ERA or AEA; or
  • Assisted, participated in, or is about to assist or participate in any other action to carry out the purposes of the ERA or the AEA.

Filing requirements


The major burden for an employee seeking redress for alleged illegal retaliation is that the complaint must be filed with OSHA within 180 days after the employee was notified of the action taken against her or him. Otherwise the process is relatively simple. The employee or his or her representative can file an ERA complaint with OSHA by visiting or calling his or her local OSHA office, sending a written complaint to the closest OSHA office, or filing a complaint online. No particular form is required, and complaints may be submitted in any language. Also:

  • Written complaints may be filed by fax, electronic communication, hand delivery during business hours, U.S. mail (confirmation services recommended), or other third-party commercial carrier.
  • The date of the postmark, fax, electronic communication, telephone call, hand delivery, delivery to a third-party commercial carrier, or in-person filing at an OSHA office is considered the date filed.

What OSHA will do

If the complaint is filed on time, OSHA will investigate it according to procedures at 29 CFR Part 24.

“If the evidence supports an employee’s complaint of retaliation, OSHA will issue an order requiring the employer to, as appropriate, put the employee back to work, pay lost wages, restore benefits, and provide other possible relief,” states OSHA. “The exact requirements will depend on the facts of the case. If the evidence does not support the employee’s complaint, OSHA will dismiss the complaint.”

After OSHA issues a decision, the employer and/or the employee may request a full hearing before an administrative law judge of the Department of Labor (DOL). The judge’s decision may be appealed to DOL’s Administrative Review Board. The employee may also file a complaint in federal court if the Department does not issue a final decision within 365 days.

DOE’s program

Also, the DOE has established regulations at 10 CFR Part 708 to protect employees of DOE contractors against reprisal by the employer for specific employee actions that largely mirror OSHA’s protected actions listed above.

Procedures for filing a complaint under Part 708 differ from OSHA’s procedures and are generally considered more difficult to navigate. For example, the complaint must be filed within 90 days of the alleged retaliation; the complaint must be filed in writing; and the complaint may not be filed if it is based on the same facts for which the employee already requested a remedy from OSHA, under Federal Acquisition whistleblower protection regulations for contract employees, or from a state government.

In July 2016, the Government Accountability Office reported on DOE’s Part 708 program and recommended improvements.

OSHA’s fact sheet is available here.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Arctic climate change: The northern Barents Sea has warmed 1.5 degrees Celsius in just 18 years

Huge part of Arctic ocean is shifting to an Atlantic climate, study finds
The northern Barents Sea has warmed 1.5 degrees Celsius in just 18 years,
Independent, Chris Mooney 28 June 1

June 29, 2018 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

Toronto schools want anti-radiation pills in case of nuclear incident at Pickering plant

 https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2018/06/28/toronto-schools-want-anti-radiation-pills-in-case-of-nuclear-incident-at-pickering-plant.html By  June 28, 2018

The boundary would encompass almost all of the city’s schools and goes well beyond the current distribution radius of 10 kilometres, said Trustee Jerry Chadwick, who was part of committee that made the recommendation recently approved by the Toronto District School Board.

“All of our schools east of Morningside Ave. have had the potassium pills for years,” said Chadwick, who represents Ward 22 in the southeast end of Scarborough. “The TDSB did not have to request them, they were provided as part of the range covered by Pickering.

“Now we are asking them to cover schools in the 50-kilometre radius, which covers most of our schools.”

The issue of schools being provided with stockpiles of potassium iodide, or “KI” pills — which protect the thyroid in case of radiation exposure — dominated hearings held on the future of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, said attendee Shawn-Patrick Stensil of Greenpeace.

In Greater Toronto, there are two plants — Pickering, about 30 kilometres from Toronto’s Yonge St., and Darlington, which is about 60 kilometres away.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | Canada, safety | Leave a comment

British govt clings to the old dream of ‘cheap’ nuclear power: UK environmentalists are not buying it!

Business Green 28th June 2018 Green groups expressed scepticism at the industry’s ability to drive down
costs and challenge increasingly cost-competitive renewables. “Promises
that costs of nuclear power will come down have historically been proved
false over the past 50 years,” said Greenpeace UK’s policy director Doug
Parr.

“Fortunately for the nuclear industry, the repeated broken promises
have been met by a stream of new or impressionable UK politicians coming
into power and offering to spend taxpayers’ money on bad investments.

Unfortunately for the nuclear industry, most other developed nations have
realised that nuclear power is being outcompeted by cheap renewables, and
have given nuclear either no role at all, or only a bit part, in their
future energy plans.

Only the UK government is left clinging on to the old
fashioned dream of ‘cheap’ nuclear power, unwilling to admit that more
affordable and reliable power is coming from renewables and smart
technology, and without the risks and liabilities that extortionate new
nuclear builds create.”
https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3034991/nuclear-sector-deal-government-promises-gbp200m-push-to-drive-down-nuclear-costs

June 29, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

A glut of plutonium pits. Oh great! USA can make more nuclear weapons

DOE considering new locations, weapons uses for some SRS plutonium https://www.aikenstandard.com/news/doe-considering-new-locations-weapons-uses-for-some-srs-plutonium/article_8707c68c-7aeb-11e8-be43-ff26df8805d9.html By Colin Demarest cdemarest@aikenstandard.com

Jun 29, 2018

      ,In order to remove 1 metric ton of defense plutonium from South Carolina within two years, as a federal court has required, the U.S. Department of Energy is considering the plutonium’s nuclear weapon uses.

According to a June 13 progress report, the DOE and its National Nuclear Security Administration are re-examining the possibility of repurposing some Savannah River Site plutonium for “future defense programs.”

“Approximately 1 metric ton was identified for possible use by the weapons production program,” the report reads. “The amount of candidate programmatic material at SRS is limited; most of the surplus material is not suitable for weapons program use.”

  • The DOE’s prospective plan would shift the plutonium from SRS to another site, either for interim storage or plutonium pit production.

    Plutonium pits are nuclear weapon cores, often referred to as triggers.

    Potential out-of-state relocation sites for the 1 metric ton of plutonium have been identified, according to the DOE.

    The June report did not specify where. Site studies concluded in April.

    Environmental impact assessments for moving the plutonium, required by the National Environmental Policy Act, are already underway and could be completed by the end of 2018, the report notes.

    In 2017, a U.S. District Court judge ordered the DOE to remove 1 metric ton of plutonium from the state within two years, the result of a lawsuit launched by S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson. At the time, Wilson celebrated the ruling as a major win.

    The DOE has stated disposing 1 ton of plutonium via downblending, also known as dilute-and-dispose, would take until fiscal year 2025 to complete at current funding and operation levels. A court-received declaration made by Henry Allen Gunter, then a plutonium program manager and technical adviser at SRS, reinforced the DOE’s claim.

    More funding and more trained personnel, according to the June report, would speed things up.

  • But planning related to dilute-and-dispose – mixing plutonium with inert material for burial at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico – ceased in June due to another court order that protected the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility.
  • The defense- and weapons-use option, according to the DOE’s report, vastly undercuts the 2025 estimate: “Indeed, the department believes that it is possible that, if successful, this option might allow the department to meet the current two-year timeline imposed by the district court,” the report reads.

    According to the DOE, the plutonium is “safe and secure in its present location.” Moving it costs money and poses radiological, safety and security concerns, all of which are listed at the end of the report.

    Eventually, the plutonium would have to be moved to Los Alamos National Laboratory or back to SRS for pit production.

    On May 10, the DOE and the U.S. Department of Defense recommended a pit production mission for SRS, which muddies the waters a bit. Those plans have not yet been finalized.

    Los Alamos currently does not have enough room for the 1 metric ton, the DOE report states. Holding it at an interim location incurs additional costs.

    More information and detail, including timing, will be made available in December, the June report states.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | - plutonium, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Asia will cop huge climate change effects over the coming decades

Half of South Asia living in vulnerable climate ‘hotspots’: World Bank https://www.reuters.com/article/us-south-asia-climatechange-worldbank/half-of-south-asia-living-in-vulnerable-climate-hotspots-world-bank-idUSKBN1JO2AVMalini Menon– 29 June 18 

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Changes in temperature and rainfall will impact almost half of South Asia in the coming decades, reducing economic growth in one of the world’s poorest regions, the World Bank said.

A World Bank report released on Thursday analyses two scenarios – “climate sensitive”, based on collective action by nations to limit greenhouse gas emissions, and “carbon intensive”, which assumes no action on climate change.

The report combines future changes in temperature and rainfall with household survey data linking living standards to weather conditions for the first time.

More than 800 million people now live in areas predicted to become moderate-to-severe “hotspots”, or affected areas, by 2050 under the carbon intensive scenario, with India accounting for almost three quarters of them, the report said.

Moderate hotspots are areas where projected consumption spending declines by 4-8 percent and severe ones are where the drop exceeds 8 percent.

“There seems to be some kind of correlation between climate hotspots and water stressed areas,” Muthukumara Mani, a World Bank economist, said.

The World Bank’s expectation of about half of India living in moderately or severely-affected areas by 2050 tallies with a federal think tank’s report two weeks ago. This warned that 600 million Indians could suffer high to extreme water stress as the country faces the worst long-term water crisis in its history.

Rising temperature and changing monsoon rainfall patterns from climate change could cost India 2.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and depress the living standards of one in every two Indians by 2050, the World Bank report said.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | ASIA, climate change | Leave a comment

France’s anti nuclear activists not imprisoned

Greenpeace France 28th June 2018 The verdict of the trial of Privas, where Greenpeace France, one of his employees and 22 activists were judged on May 17 following an intrusion into the Cruas-Meysse nuclear power plant, fell. Despite EDF’s will to attack our activists, none of them have been sentenced to imprisonment.

Yannick Rousselet, a nuclear campaigner prosecuted for complicity, was released. EDF’s strategy to demand heavier prison sentences and colossal damages to Greenpeace to dissuade us from denouncing nuclear risk has failed.

The lawsuit against Greenpeace France, his campaign campaigner, Yannick Rousselet, and 22 activists of the organization was held May 17 at the tribunal de grande instance Privas in Ardeche. The verdict was made public six weeks later.
https://www.greenpeace.fr/proces-nucleaire-privas-verdict/

June 29, 2018 Posted by | France, legal | Leave a comment

Public sessions in North Wales on plans for Wylfa nuclear power station

North Wales Chronicle 28th June 2018 , PEOPLE are being asked for their views on Horizon Nuclear Power Wylfa
Ltd’s permit applications by Natural Resources Wales. The applications
are for three environmental permits and a marine licence, required to build
and operate the proposed nuclear power station on Anglesey. The
consultation period has opened and runs until September 6, 2018. NRW is
holding three public drop-in sessions as part of the process and these are
on: Monday. July 16, 1pm-6.30pm at Storiel, Bangor, LL57 1DT.
http://www.northwaleschronicle.co.uk/news/16320628.Consultation_opens_today_on_Wylfa_Newydd_permit_applications/

June 29, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

June 29 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “These Are the Toughest Emissions to Cut, and a Big Chunk of the Climate Problem” • Efforts to tackle climate change typically focus on renewable energy or cleaner cars. Without improving shipping, cement, and steel, however, major greenhouse gas pollution sources will be locked in for generations, new research shows. [InsideClimate News] ¶ […]

via June 29 Energy News — geoharvey

June 29, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UK’s nuclear lobby appears to be winning, but the Tidal Lagoon Energy movement has not given up

BBC 29th June 2018 Developers hoping to pitch new tidal power stations to the UK government
have vowed to carry on with their plans despite the rejection of the
Swansea Bay lagoon.

One called on ministers to set up a competitive
tendering process. Energy Secretary Greg Clark said he was “enthusiastic”
about the technology if it could prove to be value for money. The company
behind the Swansea Bay scheme is considering its next steps.

Tidal Lagoon Power’s (TLP) £1.3bn “pathfinder” project, touted as a world-first, was
turned down by the UK government on Monday. after it was deemed too
expensive. The aim was for it to lead to a fleet of larger, more powerful
lagoons in Cardiff, Newport, Bridgewater Bay, Colwyn Bay and off the coast
of Cumbria. The decision came 18 months after an independent review,
commissioned by the UK government, had urged ministers to plough ahead.

Other developers also looking to build lagoons have been following the
situation closely. Henry Dixon, chair of North Wales Tidal Energy (NWTE)
said the government had made the “wrong decision” but that would not deter
his company from “continuing to develop and promote” its own plans. He
claimed NWTE’s proposal for a £7bn lagoon, stretching from Llandudno
eastwards towards Talacre in Flintshire, would stack up in terms of costs
as it could generate more energy and revenue than the much smaller Swansea
scheme. There were also added benefits in terms of flood prevention, he
claimed. Dale Vince, who founded Ecotricity, one of the UK’s biggest
providers of renewable energy, believes he can build cheaper lagoons in the
Solway Firth. This approach differs to TLP’s as the lagoons would be
entirely offshore, instead of being attached to the coastline. “There is
plenty of time to have a competitive tender and to get this right – as the
government have said this week,” Mr Vince said. “Swansea Bay was too
expensive and it doesn’t make sense to do it, especially when not just
other forms of renewable energy are much cheaper but other approaches to
tidal energy are too.” “We’re hoping that the government now turns round,
on the back of this decision, and creates a proper competitive process for
tidal lagoons.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-44642037

June 29, 2018 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment