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South Korea’s President Moon hopes to break nuclear deadlock, in third meeting with Kim Jong Un

Moon seeks to break nuclear deadlock at Pyongyang summit, Yahoo News,  Sunghee Hwang, AFPSeptember 16, 2018 

South Korea’s Moon Jae-in will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the third time in Pyongyang this week

South Korea’s Moon Jae-in will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the third time in Pyongyang this week (AFP Photo/Jung Yeon-je)

Seoul (AFP) – South Korean President Moon Jae-in travels to Pyongyang this week for his third summit with Kim Jong Un, looking to break the deadlock in nuclear talks between North Korea and the United States.

Moon — whose own parents fled the North during the 1950-53 Korean War — flies north on Tuesday for a three-day trip, following in the footsteps of his predecessors Kim Dae-jung in 2000 and mentor Roh Moo-hyun in 2007.

No details of the programme have been announced but Pyongyang is likely to pull out all the stops to create a good impression, with tens of thousands of people lining the streets to welcome him.

The visit comes after the North staged its “Mass Games” propaganda display for the first time in five years……….

Despite the deadlock in denuclearisation talks, since the Panmunjom summit the two Koreas have sought to pursue joint projects in multiple fields.

But North Korea is under several different sets of sanctions for its nuclear and missile programmes, complicating Moon’s desire to promote cross-border economic schemes.

The dovish South Korean president is taking several South Korean business tycoons with him to the North, including Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong and the vice chairman of the Hyundai Motor Group, whose founder was a wartime refugee from the North………

special advisor Moon Chung-in added that the South Korean president could look to persuade Kim to come up with a “somewhat radical and bold initiative”, such as dismantling some nuclear bombs, and press the US for reciprocal measures.

“And the United States should be willing to come up with major economic easing of economic sanctions,” he said. https://www.yahoo.com/news/moon-seeks-break-nuclear-deadlock-pyongyang-summit-041619994.html

September 17, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea | Leave a comment

EDF misrepresents Greenpeace – Greenpeace DOES see the Hinkley mud as radioactive and toxic

Glamorgan Gem 13th Sept 2018 , Greenpeace has complained that EDF Energy, which owns the power station at Hinkley Point, has misrepresented the Greenpeace position on the dredging of mud from the Hinkley site and its disposal off the south Wales coast.

EDF says the mud poses no risk and Natural Resources Wales says it is safe, but local campaigners are demanding more tests are done. Disposal of the
mud began on Monday, September 10.

On Wednesday this week Greenpeace released a statement demanding that EDF stops stating that Greenpeace accepts the mud isn’t ‘toxic’. A Greenpeace spokesman said: “We request in the strongest terms that EDF ceases from stating that Greenpeace accepts that the mud is not toxic as that is not our current view.
http://www.glamorgan-gem.co.uk/article.cfm?id=122935&headline=Greenpeace%20and%20EDF%20in%20%E2%80%98toxic%E2%80%99%20stand-off%20on%20Hinkley%20mud§ionIs=news&searchyear=2018

September 17, 2018 Posted by | spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

NASA’s on again off again commitment to plutonium powered space travel, nuclear reactors on the moon etc

Why NASA wants to build a nuclear reactor on the Moon, techradar, By Jamie Carter  16 Sept 18,”………“Safe, efficient and plentiful energy will be the key to future robotic and human exploration,” says Jim Reuter, NASA’s acting associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) in Washington. “I expect the Kilopower project to be an essential part of lunar and Mars power architectures as they evolve.”

September 17, 2018 Posted by | technology, USA | Leave a comment

Nevada military base would be endangered by Yucca nuclear waste dump

Yucca nuclear dump a threat to Nevada military bases, Rosen says By Ray Hagar, Nevada Newsmakers, Las Vegas Sun, Sept. 16, 2018

Nevada 3rd Congressional District Rep. Jacky Rosen looks at the controversy over a proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain through the eyes of a member of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee.  The transportation and storage of nuclear waste at the site — less than 100 miles from Las Vegas — would pose a threat to national security because of the U.S. military bases that surround the area, Rosen said Thursday on Nevada Newsmakers.

“We have Nellis Air Force Base, the premier pilot-training (facility) throughout the world. We have the Nevada Test and Training Range where we do all that training — 70 percent of the Air Force’s live munitions lives there,” Rosen said.

“We have Creech Air Force Base, where we have our unmanned aerial system,” she said. “We train those Topgun naval aviators in Fallon. We have a Hawthorne Army Depot, a Nevada Test Site and Area 51.”

“Yucca Mountain sits right in the center of all that,” Rosen said. “Nevada is critical to our national security, our homeland security and safety. And anything that could compromise that, moving nuclear waste through the Nevada Test and Training Range or any of those other routes, could put us at risk.”

Storage of nuclear waste near U.S. military installations is only one problem with Yucca, Rosen said. Another is moving it there through wide swaths of the United States.

“There are 75,000 metric tons of nuclear waste. At three loads a week via trains or trucks on our freeways, going through over 44 states and 300 counties, it will take 50 years to transport it,” Rosen said. “So don’t tell me that within that 50 years, there is not going to be some kind of accident.”………https://lasvegassun.com/news/2018/sep/16/yucca-nuclear-dump-a-threat-to-nevada-military-bas/

September 17, 2018 Posted by | safety, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

New USA legislation on stranded nuclear wastes

Nuclear waste bill that could aid Zion awaiting presidential signature , Chicago Tribune, 15 Sept 18 Legislation to help communities such as Zion with stranded nuclear waste issues has passed both houses of Congress, and now awaits President Donald Trump’s signature to become law, according to a statement released Friday by U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider.

The 10th District Democrat said the measure — included in H.R. 5895, the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act of 2019 — would require a report by the Department of Energy on existing public and private resources and funding available for municipalities in which a nuclear power plant is decommissioned, in the process of decommissioning, or plans to shut down within three years.

“Communities like Zion have been saddled with storing our nation’s stranded nuclear waste while the federal government has failed to meet its legal obligation to find a permanent repository,” Schneider said in a statement. “They deserve compensation, and this new report is a step toward connecting these communities with critically needed federal assistance.”

In May, Schneider said, he introduced a legislative amendment requiring the Secretary of Energy to assemble a task force to work across all federal agencies to identify existing resources and funding opportunities that could assist communities with decommissioned plants where nuclear waste is being stored.

Last October, Schneider introduced the Sensible, Timely Relief for America’s Nuclear Districts’ Economic Development (STRANDED) Act with Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.

“I urge President Trump to sign (H.R. 5895) into law,” Schneider added in Friday’s statement, “and I will continue to work to build on this progress by advancing the STRANDED Act to finally compensate communities like Zion what they deserve.”

In addition to forming a task force, the STRANDED proposal would compensate communities storing waste through economic impact grants and would establish tax credits to encourage development and homeownership in affected communities.

Last year, ZionSolutions, which is part of Utah-based EnergySolutions, said it will finish deconstructing and demolishing the deactivated Zion nuclear power plant and its 20-story containment silos in 2018, according to EnergySolutions Vice-President Mark Walker, but 61 casks full of spent nuclear rods will remain on-site until a repository is found.

H.R. 5895 does not address long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel, but it does require the Department of Energy to “submit to Congress and the State of Nevada a report on the potential of locating a reprocessing or recycling facility for spent nuclear fuel near the Yucca Mountain site.”………http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/lake-county-news-sun/news/ct-lns-schneider-nuke-bill-st-0915-story.html

September 17, 2018 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

European governments handing out €58 billion to support back-up power plants – mainly fossil fuels and nuclear

Euractiv 13th Sept 2018, Figures compiled by the environmental pressure group Greenpeace highlight the lack of transparency about the amount of cash disbursed by national governments to support back-up power plants – mainly fossil fuels and nuclear. €58 billion – this is the total amount of money thrown at so-called “capacity mechanisms” across the EU, according to new research by Greenpeace, published on Thursday (13 September).
If the figure looks big, it’s because it covers both past, existing and planned “capacity mechanisms” – or national support schemes put in place
across the 28-country bloc to remunerate power plants for remaining on standby in case of demand peak. According to Greenpeace, countries handing
out the most capacity mechanisms are Spain and Poland (€17.9 billion and €14.4 billion respectively), followed by Belgium, Ireland and the UK (all
around €6 billion) and Germany (around €3 billion).
https://www.euractiv.com/section/electricity/news/greenpeace-study-throws-light-on-europes-hidden-energy-subsidies/

September 17, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, politics | Leave a comment

Global energy demand could peak in 2030s, meanwhile renrewables grid costs offset by other cost reductions

Energy Post 10th Sept 2018 , The global energy transition will lead to a massive expansion of power
lines at all voltage levels as well as a steep growth in the number of
transformers and substations in the electricity system. This is one of the
major new findings of the second edition of the Energy Transition Outlook,
the annual flagship publication of global technical consultancy DNV GL.

As a result, grid costs will triple, yet this cost explosion is offset by cost
reductions in other areas, such as lower costs in the fossil fuels sector.
“The world can afford the transition”, say project leader Sverre Alvik
and lead author Paul Gardner of DNV GL in an interview with Energy Post.

“That’s the good news. But it’s not clear yet how we will make the
necessary investments. How fast we go may depend more on political will
than technology or economics.” Last year, when DNV GL for the first time
presented its Energy Transition Outlook (ETO), it had a surprising story to
tell.

The report came to the unique conclusion that somewhere in the
mid-2030s, for the first time in recorded history, global energy demand
would reach a peak and even decline thereafter. What is important about
this projection is that it comes from an independent source: DNV GL is a
global, “technology-neutral” consultancy who are active across the
entire energy value chain, both in electricity and renewables and in oil
and gas. http://energypost.eu/dnv-gls-energy-transition-outlook-shows-massive-shift-of-investment-from-oil-and-gas-into-power-lines/

September 17, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, ENERGY | Leave a comment

Workers might recommence on ” less hazardous work” on demolishing Hanford plutonium plant

Work to demolish Hanford plutonium plant could resume next week https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/hanford/work-to-demolish-hanford-plutonium-plant-could-resume-next-week/281-594811180

Demolition work on Hanford’s plutonium finishing plant could resume next week after the U.S. Department of Energy stopped work at the site last December.  September 15, 2018

Work to demolish a former nuclear weapons production plant in Washington state could resume next week, nearly nine months after a spread of radioactive contamination forced a shutdown.

Demolition of the Plutonium Finishing Plant on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation was halted in December after a spread of radioactive particles. In all, 42 workers were found to have inhaled or ingested small amounts of radioactive particles and workers drove contaminated cars off the nuclear site.

Also see | “It was complete chaos” says Hanford worker who inhaled plutonium

The Tri-City Herald reports that the planned restart is limited, focusing on less hazardous work.

The U.S. Department of Energy this week approved the resumption of demolition.

The plant for decades helped make plutonium, a key ingredient in nuclear weapons.

September 17, 2018 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Hundreds of world’s leading investors back initiatives to combat climate change

Independent 14th Sept 2018 A group of almost 400 of the world’s leading investors, controlling over $30tn (£23tn) in assets, have agreed to work together to back initiatives to combat climate change and help meet the objectives of the Paris agreement. The group aims to lobby and put pressure on governments around the world to accelerate action to tackle global greenhouse gas emissions.

Investors including the BBC Pensions Trust, Transport for London pensions fund, Aviva, the Environment Agency pension fund, Legal and General, and
the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust are calling on the companies in their portfolios to reduce their carbon footprint, support clean energy, and
strengthen climate-related financial disclosures. The list of organisations who are part of the newly launched “Investor Agenda” includes 279
investors controlling $31tn who had already signed up to the aims of the Climate Action 100+ in agreement with this statement:

“We, the institutional investors that are signatories to this statement, are aware of the risks climate change presents to our portfolios and asset values in
the short, medium and long term. We therefore support the Paris Agreement and the need for the world to transition to a lower carbon economy
consistent with a goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change-funding-global-warming-investment-company-investor-agenda-a8536286.html

September 17, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, climate change | Leave a comment

Delay in opening of wildlife refuge on former nuclear weapons plant?

Daily Mail 15th Sept 2018 ,A unique wildlife refuge on the site of a former nuclear weapons plant in
Colorado is opening its gates on Saturday, after a confusing day when
officials first said they would not open the refuge and then said they
would.

The opening of Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, where the U.S.
government made plutonium triggers for nuclear bombs, has been in the works
for months, surviving court challenges and protests.

But the plans were upended Friday when Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said he would keep the
refuge closed until he could get more information about public safety.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-6170525/Former-nuclear-site-open-public-wildlife-refuge.html

September 17, 2018 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Yucca Mountain Halted Again as GOP Aims to Retain Senate

Yucca Mountain Halted Again as GOP Aims to Retain Senate

Nevada’s Dean Heller among blockers this time, Roll Call, Jeremy Dillon, 12 Sept 18 ……….

Nevada says ‘no’

“……..Nevada has long opposed hosting the nation’s nuclear waste, especially since it does not have nuclear power plants within its borders. Opponents say the site and the movement of waste there represent significant public health and safety risks that could expose Nevadans and others to deadly radioactivity in the event of accidents or groundwater leakage.

….. Heller wasn’t the only Nevada lawmaker to oppose restarting the Yucca project. His challenger, Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen, was equally eager to show Nevada voters she had what it takes to stop the project. Cortez Masto also mounted opposition on the Hill………http://admin.rollcall.com/news/policy/yucca-mountain-halted-gop-aims-retain-senate

September 17, 2018 Posted by | politics, wastes | Leave a comment

Massive flow of money into Japanese coal and nuclear power

Why Can’t Japan Kick Coal And Nuclear? Oil Price, Energy Finance in Japan 2018: Funding Climate Change and Nuclear Risk was commissioned by a climate change-focused non-government organization (NGO) called 350.org based in the United States. The study found that the Japanese finance industry gave US$80 billion in loans and underwriting services, the majority (50 percent) of which went straight to coal development, with the other half split between nuclear and other fossil fuel resource companies. The other US$12 billion went to bonds and shares in the same industries.

Among the 151 Japanese financial institutions analyzed in the Energy Finance in Japan 2018study, only 38 of them were not involved with coal or nuclear energy projects. A similar 350.org study from last year shows that Japanese insurance companies represent a large proportion of investors in domestic and international coal industries. Japan’s single biggest investor in coal for the five-year period studied was Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), followed by Nippon Life Insurance (NLI) and Nomura Holdings………..

In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, the government responded swiftly and strongly to public outcry and shut down all 54 of Japan’s nuclear reactors as they awaited new, significantly more rigorous safety standards. Now, more than 7 years later, just a fraction of these nuclear power plants have reopened for business. It was at this point that Japanese officials started looking for new avenues to power the country, and they found what they were looking for in coal.

It’s difficult to say, however, how long-lived the Japanese coal renaissance will be. There is a large amount of opposition to the extremely dirty fossil fuel, with critics urging Japan to reverse its course and return to “greener” pastures. Encapsulating the nation’s ambivalence, at the same time that Japanese financial institutions were still funneling money into coal power development and bonds earlier this year, Japanese banks were also creating stricter financing guidelines to include advanced air-pollution technologies.

In fact even MUFG, mentioned above as Japan’s single biggest investor in coal, has significantly tightened their coal-financing policies this year, along with  Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. At the same time NLI, Japan’s biggest insurer in terms of revenue, announced in July that it would no longer grant loans to new coal projects or invest in coal-fired plants, citing environmental reasons, and Dai-Ichi Life Insurance Company announced that it would stop financing overseas coal plants in May.

Some critics, including 350.org, say that these changes, while meaningful, are not nearly significant enough to stem the massive flow of Japanese money into coal, and thereby Japanese pollutants into our atmosphere. It’s still unclear whether these first steps away from coal will have any impact on the many coal projects already underway, and while investment may be now limited to some extent, it’s a far cry from divestment. https://oilprice.com/Energy/Coal/Why-Cant-Japan-Kick-Coal-And-Nuclear.html

September 17, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Japan | Leave a comment

Frazer-Nash, engineering consultants, going for new nuclear power in a big way

World Nuclear News 14th Sept 2018 , Consultants Frazer-Nash, in collaboration with Rolls-Royce, the National
Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), EDF Energy, Jacobsen Analytics, Lancaster
University, University of Bristol and University of York are set to deliver
a nuclear safety and security research contract. Frazer-Nash said yesterday
that, working on behalf of the Department of Business, Energy and
Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the GBP3.6 million (USD4.7 million), two-year
project, aims to deliver a “step change in the UK’s capability as the
country moves toward an era of new nuclear build and new technologies”.
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/UK-companies-to-deliver-safety-and-security-resear

September 17, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment