The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Nuclear, climate, news to 29 September

Insightful journalism: Don’t miss this conversation with Dr Gordon Edwards – about Canada’s nuclear wastes

On September 26, 1983, Stanislav Petrov saved the world.

Debunking the claims about generation IV nuclear waste .  Facing up to the reality of nuclear wastes: it requires longterm continuing stewardship.   What to expect from media and politicians when we want action on nuclear wastes. Magical thinking about nuclear waste – but that doesn’t solve the problem.

Extremely high radiation doses threaten the plan to colonise Mars.

Cardiologists and Other Medical Professionals at risk from radiation in nuclear medicine.

Vatican will continue condemning nuclear weapons.  Nations continue to work on nuclear security.

Consumer society, high energy, lifestyle underlies climate change.  Science reporting on climate change: the severity is downplayed for political reasons.

ANTARCTICAntarctic ocean heating up – caused by greenhouse gas emissions and ozone depletion.

NORTH KOREATrump-Kim nuclear summit planned – but there is no real progress towards nuclear agreement. North, South Korean Leaders in Fact Proclaimed End of State of War – Seoul.  USA must declare an end to the Korean war – to bring peace to the peninsula.  Scientists study North Korea’s nuclear tests, and the earthquakes.


UK. Countering the media’s very unfair attacks on Britain’s Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, over nuclear weapons policy. UK media manipulation of Chris Busby.  The UK just jailed these men for over a year for a peaceful protest! Last time was 1932. Despite huge delays and cost overruns Britain’s nuclear weapons consortium paid itself £70m of dividends.  Protest at Faslane, Scotland, against nuclear weapons. Theresa May: Iran continues to uphold commitment to nuclear pact.

JAPAN. Japan vows to cut its nuclear plutonium hoard but neighbours fear the opposite. Poor region of Japan is now very dependent on Rokkasho nuclear recycling project.  Formal restart approval of tsunami-hit Tokai N°2 nuclear plant near Tokyo.

Fukushima’s stored water still contains radioactive iodine, cesium and strontium, as well as tritium.  London and Tokyo declaration to TEPCO on Fukushima nuclear disaster health effects for 28th September 2018.   39th Human Rights Now  Session: Oral Statement on the Hazardous Working Conditions Faced by Fukushima Cleanup Workers.   Japan’s Environment Ministry forced to change its forecast in order to make the nuclear industry look better.

IRAN. In spite of Donald Trump, Iran is keeping its nuclear commitments.

CANADA. The dishonesty in the bribing of “willing host communities” for nuclear wastes. The next big thing: unfeasible small modular nuclear reactors.

RUSSIA. Russia and USA will talk about extending New START nuclear weapons treaty.

EUROPE. Suggestions that Europe may develop its own nuclear weapons.

SAUDI ARABIA. USA, Russia, South Korea and China, salivating at thought of huge Saudi Arabia market for nuclear reactors.

OCEANIA. French government group to Mururoa to meet nuclear test veterans.

KENYA. Kenya postpones its nuclear power plans.

ARGENTINA. Argentina’s nuclear power industry in trouble.

FRANCE. AREVA-ORANO corruption scandal – France’s taxpayers could face € 24.1 billion fine. French film documentary – “Nuclear power – the end of a myth


September 29, 2018 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Countering the media’s very unfair attacks on Britain’s Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn

UpFront – Hans Blix backs Corbyn’s call to scrap UK’s Trident

As the media attacks Labour’s nuclear position, there’s one video we all need to watch SEPTEMBER 28TH, 2018 PETER BOLTON Labour’s position on nuclear weapons has hit the headlines this week, after Piers Morgan and shadow chancellor John McDonnell clashed on air. But one video from 2016 exposes the attacks from the right-wing media for the smears they are.

Keeping Trident

On 24 September, shadow chancellor John McDonnell confirmed that a Labour government would keep the UK’s nuclear arsenal. He said, however, that as prime minister Jeremy Corbyn would only use it in consultation with the cabinet, parliament, and the “wider community”.

Right-wing attacks

In spite of the comments, the right-wing media attacked McDonnell’s statement as too soft. The Sun, for example, said that McDonnell “sparked ridicule” for suggesting that a Corbyn-led government would only launch a nuclear strike after “ask[ing] for the British public’s permission”.

A favourite weapon

Indeed, Corbyn’s former opposition to renewing the UK’s nuclear arsenal, known as Trident, has been one of the right’s favourite weapons with which to attack him. Some right-wing media outlets have called him “loony left” for his life-long commitment to nuclear disarmament.

And some from the Blairite wing of his own party have also piled on the abuse. In 2015, then Labour MP John Woodcock, for instance, called Corbyn’s position on Trident “childish” and “dangerously naïve”.

Expert view

But a scarcely viewed video on YouTube shows that the anti-Trident position is actually supported by one of the world’s leading experts on nuclear weapons. In a 2016 interview on Al-Jazeera with Mehdi Hasan, former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix backed Corbyn’s call to scrap Trident.

Asked by Hasan whether he supports the scrapping of Trident, he replied:

Yes, I think it’s a tremendous cost, and I do not see that it really, perceptively adds to British security

Blix is a Swedish diplomat and served as minister of foreign affairs in the Ola Ullsten administration in the 1970s. He became famous for his role as a senior UN weapons inspector in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. He has also served as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“Sentimental status-seeking”

And for Blix, it’s apparently the pro-Trident people who are being childish and naïve. He said that holding on to Trident is “more a question of sentimental status-seeking”. He added that the UK will keep its permanent seat at the UN Security Council regardless of whether it holds on to nuclear weapons. Interestingly, Blix also says that he does not “see any enthusiasm in Washington for Trident, either.”

The hard-hitting video makes nonsense of the right’s endless fear-mongering, and provides a welcome antidote to the attacks on the Labour leadership.

Fortunately, shadow peace minister Fabian Hamilton is reportedly drawing up a nuclear disarmament proposal for the shadow cabinet’s consideration. And it would be well served to heed Blix’s advice.

September 29, 2018 Posted by | media, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s stored water still contains radioactive iodine, cesium and strontium, as well as tritium

Water stored at Fukushima nuclear plant still radioactive, By MARI YAMAGUCHI, ASSOCIATED PRESS, TOKYO — Sep 28, 2018, The operator of Japan‘s wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant said Friday that much of the radioactive water stored at the plant isn’t clean enough and needs further treatment if it is to be released into the ocean.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the government had said that treatment of the water had removed all radioactive elements except tritium, which experts say is safe in small amounts.

They called it “tritium water,” but it actually wasn’t.

TEPCO said Friday that studies found the water still contains other elements, including radioactive iodine, cesium and strontium. It said more than 80 percent of the 900,000 tons of water stored in large, densely packed tanks contains radioactivity exceeding limits for release into the environment.

TEPCO general manager Junichi Matsumoto said radioactive elements remained, especially earlier in the crisis when plant workers had to deal with large amounts of contaminated water leaking from the wrecked reactors and could not afford time to stop the treatment machines to change filters frequently.

“We had to prioritize processing large amounts of water as quickly as possible to reduce the overall risk,” Matsumoto said.

About 161,000 tons of the treated water has 10 to 100 times the limit for release into the environment, and another 65,200 tons has up to nearly 20,000 times the limit, TEPCO said………

TEPCO only says it has the capacity to store up to 1.37 million tons of water through 2020 and that it cannot stay at the plant forever.

Some experts say the water can be stored for decades, but others say the tanks take up too much space at the plant and could interfere with ongoing decommissioning work, which could take decades.

Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at

Find her work at

September 29, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

AREVA-ORANO corruption scandal – France’s taxpayers could face € 24.1 billion fine

Bad news for the french taxpayer  Because, in the event of a lawsuit for corruption in the United States, the rule is that the amount of the fine covers the totality of the financial loss. Admittedly, the prosecutor could simply claim Areva $ 243 million corresponding to the amount of the acquisition of Ausra. But it can also very well demand the reimbursement of all the federal expenses incurred in the case, namely: the $ 7.7 billion invested in the MOX plant ever built, the $ 19.9 billion that will be swallowed up in the management of unprocessed plutonium and the 243 million of the Ausra acquisition, totaling nearly $ 28 billion, or, if you prefer, € 24.1 billion at the current rate.

Needless to say, since Orano does not have a penny in its pocket, the state should go to the cash register. The only way to avoid such a disaster, argue the jurists, would be that the French justice sanctions itself guilty.

AREVA BUSINESS: THE MONSTROUS FINE THAT THREATENS FRANCE , (translation Noel Wauchope)  THIERRY GADAULT    27/09/2018 The nuclear group could be fined 24 billion euros by the US justice in a corruption case in the United States. A file that could embarrass Anne Lauvergeon but also Edouard Philippe, at Areva at the time of the facts.

·         Forget the scandal Credit Lyonnais 1990s and the 15 billion euros it has cost France. The Areva case is about to break all records. According to our information, the US justice discreetly warned the French authorities in early July  that it could launch a trial for corruption against the former tricolor nuclear star. And that in case of conviction, the fine could go up to … 24 billion euros, the equivalent of one third of income tax revenue.

·         Since then, Areva has been cut in three (since being acquired by EDF) and was renamed Orano, as if to give it a new start. Alas! Now that a possible corruption pact, concluded in 2010 by the company with leaders of the American Democratic Party, threatens to explode for good.

·         A case that could also smirch the Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, director of public affairs of Areva at the time.

“When, at the beginning of the year, I discovered the scale of this affair, I communicated with the director of the FBI all the information that  I had been able to get my hands on”, Marc Eichinger revealed to Capital . This private investigator specializing in the fight against serious international crime and corruption is very aware of the case: it was he who wrote the report submitted in April 2010 to the security department of Areva to denounce the potential fraud related the redemption of Uramin three years earlier.

·         Stunned by this new case of corruption in the United States, he also forwarded the whole file to French justice, causing a heating up of the investigation in a summer, already scorching. According to our information, the financial brigade, in charge of Areva’s sprawling affairs, recommended to the National Financial Office (PNF) to open a new instruction for “bribery of foreign public official and trading in influence”. But at the beginning of September, when we wrote these lines, the PNF had still not followed these recommendations.

At the heart of this new scandal, which has not yet erupted in the United States, the conditions in which Areva acquired, in February 2010, is Ausra, an American startup specializing in solar energy. Continue reading

September 29, 2018 Posted by | France, Legal, secrets,lies and civil liberties | 3 Comments

The hidden danger of internal radiation emitters – dust particles around nuclear weapons sites

Hidden danger: Radioactive dust is found in communities around nuclear weapons sites, LA Times,    By RALPH VARTABEDIAN  SEP 28, 2018 “……….Studies by a Massachusetts scientist say that invisible radioactive particles of plutonium, thorium and uranium are showing up in household dust, automotive air cleaners and along hiking trails outside the factories and laboratories that for half a century contributed to the nation’s stockpile of nuclear weapons.

·         The findings provide troubling new evidence that the federal government is losing control of at least some of the radioactive byproducts of the country’s weapons program.

·         Marco Kaltofen, a nuclear forensics expert and a professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, said he collected samples from communities outside three lab sites across the nation and found a wide variation of particle sizes. He said they could deliver lifelong doses that exceed allowable federal standards if inhaled.

·         “If you inhale two particles, you will exceed your lifetime dose under occupational standards, and there is a low probability of detecting it,” he said.

·         A peer-reviewed study by Kaltofen was published in its final form in May in Environmental Engineering Science. Kaltofen, who also is the principal investigator at the nuclear and chemical forensics consulting firm Boston Chemical Data Corp., released a second study in recent weeks.

·         The Energy Department has long insisted that small particles like those collected by Kaltofen deliver minute doses of radioactivity, well below typical public exposures. One of the nation’s leading experts on radioactivity doses, Bruce Napier, who works in the Energy Department’s lab system, said the doses cited by Kaltofen would not pose a threat to public health.

·         Such assurances have been rejected by nuclear plant workers, their unions and activists who monitor environmental issues at nearly every lab and nuclear weapons site in the nation.

·         Jay Coghlan, executive director of NuclearWatch New Mexico, cited a long history of denial about the claims of “down winders,” the residents of Western states who were exposed to radioactive fallout from atmospheric weapons testing. “We can not trust self-reporting by the Department of Energy,” he said. “I don’t accept that low levels of radioactivity have no risk.”

·         Tom Carpenter, executive director of another watchdog group, the Hanford Challenge in central Washington, said as recently as last year that the Energy Department released an unknown quantity of radioactive particles during demolition of a shuttered weapons factory, the Plutonium Finishing Plant.

·         After a series of three releases during 2017, the Energy Department shut down the demolition and has yet to resume it. Forty two workers were exposed in the incidents.

·         “If you work in a coal mine, you go home with coal dust on you,” Carpenter said. “Same with a textile mill; you go home with cotton dust. These Hanford workers went home with plutonium dust.”

·         The second study by Kaltofen, completed in August, reported that fairly high radioactivity levels were found in 30 samples from the communities around the Hanford nuclear site, near Richland, Wash. The samples found contamination on personal vehicles driven inside the Hanford site that would leave mechanics exposed if they worked around the vehicles, the report said.

·         Kaltofen also reviewed an internal study in March by an Energy Department contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions, that found a calculated potential dose of 95 milliren for workers, roughly 10 times higher than the federal Environmental Protection Agency standard.

·         Kaltofen said a broader independent study should look at residual contamination around Hanford. An Energy Department spokesman at the Hanford site said the office had no comment on the studies.

For his studies, Kaltofen collected samples outside the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the former Rocky Flats weapons plant near Denver and the Hanford site……..

Kaltofen’s sampling found some very high levels of contamination in Los Alamos’ Acid Canyon, a recreational area near a community pool and skate park………

A worker’s exposure to radioactivity, such as walking by a radioactive substance or having particles cling to clothing, is checked by monitors and badges worn by workers at plant sites. Such exposure is like a medical X-ray, which delivers a momentary dose. But inhaling a small particle of plutonium or thorium can go unnoticed by such monitors and deliver a lifetime of alpha radiation right next to lung tissue, Kaltofen said.

“You can walk through a portal monitor without setting it off but you can get a substantial amount of energy from particles in the body,” he said.

September 29, 2018 Posted by | radiation, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Cardiologists and Other Medical Professionals at risk from radiation in nuclear medicine

September 29, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | Leave a comment

The workers of Fukushima

September 29, 2018 Posted by | employment, Japan | Leave a comment

Energy efficiency – an old-fashioned but effective air-conditioning technique – paint

Times 28th Sept 2018 , In lists of history’s most significant inventions air conditioning is regularly cited: a technology that lets us live and work in someof the most inhospitable places on the planet.

But what if we had missed a rather simpler solution: paint. Researchers have designed a paint that reflects 96 per cent of the sun’s heat, meaning it leaves a building’s walls 6C cooler than the surrounding air. They said that the paint, which they described in the journal Science, could greatly reduce the need for air conditioning.

In hot countries cooling buildings accounts for a significant proportion of
electricity consumption – 17 per cent in the US alone.

This means that it is a significant contributor to global warming. Although in several Mediterranean countries there is a tradition of painting buildings white,
conventional white paint reflects about 80 per cent of visible light, and
is bad at reflecting that in the ultraviolet and near-infrared parts of the spectrum.

The new paint was made after physicists at Columbia University in
New York noticed an unusual effect in a polymer. When this polymer turned
from liquid to a thin solid film, they found that under certain conditions
it went from colourless to white. It had formed a spongey consistency, from
which the whiteness was derived – in the same way that colourless water
turns white when it forms snow.

September 29, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, ENERGY | Leave a comment

Britain’s Moorside nuclear power project on the rocks?




Moorside on the rocks? NucClear News October 18

 Plans for a new nuclear power station in Cumbria are on the verge of collapsing after the Toshiba-owned company – NuGen – laid off 60% of its workforce and embarked on a final effort to sell the project. Toshiba was due to sell the NuGen consortium to South Korean state-owned firm Kecpo in early 2018, as the Japanese firm exits international nuclear projects and looks to recoup some of the £400m it has spent on the Moorside plant.

But Kepco has been delaying a final decision, due in part to the UK government signalling a new approach to financing nuclear power stations. That has forced NuGen to cut 60 of its 100-strong workforce after a six-week consultation with staff. (1)

Unions said the project’s problems showed the need for the government to take a stake in Moorside. Justin Bowden, the GMB national secretary, said: “The looming collapse of this vital energy project has been depressingly predictable for months.” The GMB wants the NDA to be scrapped as it currently exists and a Nuclear Development Agency created to make sure Moorside and the accompanying creation of thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships, goes ahead. (2) The skeleton NuGen team is now focused on clinching a deal with Kepco by the end of the year before Toshiba writes the unit off entirely at the end of March 2019. Success will hinge on whether Kepco buys into a new financing approach for nuclear power plants that the government is exploring, known as the regulated asset base (RAB) model. Officials think it could deliver the government’s nuclear ambitions more cheaply for consumers than alternatives.

The RAB approach involves a regulator – in the case of nuclear power stations most likely to be Ofgem – setting a fixed sum for the costs of the scheme, and a fixed return for the project’s backers. Those returns would be funded by energy bill payers. But the model is likely to be ditched if Jeremy Corbyn comes to power. Alan Whitehead, the shadow energy minister, said: “Using customers’ bills to make a bet that construction of such large and complex projects will not overrun in terms of cost or time is a reckless act.” (3)

The Chief Executive of NuGen said he will “fight tooth and nail” to salvage the £15 billion Moorside nuclear power station in an impassioned speech to industry leaders gathered in Cumbria. He says he is fully behind using the RAB model. (4)

 The FT reported that Toshiba had entered talks with Canadian asset manager Brookfield over the potential sale of NuGen. Brookfield bought Westinghouse from Toshiba for $4.6bn in January after the US nuclear business filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2017. (5) But the claims were later rubbished by Toshiba. It added that it was still considering the sale of NuGen to Kepco. (6)

Later NuGen admitted that there are no firm plans to save Moorside. (7)

 Workington Labour MP, Sue Hayman, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Nuclear Energy, wrote to the Secretary of State for Business, Greg Clark MP, at the end of July, when NuGen announced it was consulting on job losses, calling on him to guarantee Government support for the project and 20,000 future Cumbrian jobs. Mr Clark said in June that he “will consider direct Government investment” in the proposed Wylfa nuclear power station in Wales, but he has refused to make any similar commitment to Cumbria. In a response to Sue’s letter, energy minister Richard Harrington MP said: “The Secretary of State and I understand the potential importance of the Moorside project to the local area. However (…) the proposed sale of NuGen is principally a commercial matter for Toshiba and it would not be appropriate for me to comment on those ongoing negotiations.” Sue Hayman said: “This Tory government could not care less about the Cumbrian economy, the Moorside project, or the 20,000 future jobs it will bring.” (8)

but he has refused to make any similar commitment to Cumbria. In a response to Sue’s letter, energy minister Richard Harrington MP said: “The Secretary of State and I understand the potential importance of the Moorside project to the local area. However (…) the proposed sale of NuGen is principally a commercial matter for Toshiba and it would not be appropriate for me to comment on those ongoing negotiations.” Sue Hayman said: “This Tory government could not care less about the Cumbrian economy, the Moorside project, or the 20,000 future jobs it will bring.” (8)

September 29, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

UK Labour has a credible energy plan, unlike the floundering Tory government

Dave Toke’s Blog 27th Sept 2018 Labour’s low cost and practical proposals for expansion of onshore and offshore wind, solar power, energy conservation and increases in renewable heat are the surest sign yet that they are the competent choice for Government.

Their proposals need some elaboration in places and some work on detail, but seem to be in a different dimension compared to the Tory Government who seem increasingly certain to be heading for self-destruction on the anvil of Brexit.

Rebecca Long-Bailey is aiming for 85 per cent of electricity to come from low carbon power by 2030. This is an easily
achievable target, and will be done at low cost if simultaneously Labour cancels the disaster-in-waiting project at Wylfa, and some way can be found to avoid Hinkley C being built.

As I indicated in a recent post, there’s already enough offshore wind in the pipeline to ensure well over 50 per
cent of electricity coming from renewables by 2025.

September 29, 2018 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Update on UK’s Bradwell nuclear project: it may not go ahead

Bradwell Update, NuClear News October 18

 China’s leading nuclear energy company CGN says it would consider pulling back from control of the Bradwell nuclear plant to appease political sensitivities.

 Under a 2016 agreement, CGN would have a 66.5% stake in Bradwell and EDF would have the remainder when it starts generating electricity in the late 2020s or ealry 2030s. However, CGN’s chief executive Zheng Dongshan told the Financial Times (FT) CGN would be willing to consider “not being the majority operator. We understand the political and local sensitivities”. (1)

Should the Bradwell project proceed, it would be the first Hualong HPR1000-type reactor. The Office for Nuclear Regulation is currently assessing the reactor design but a final decision on the Generioc Design Assessment is expected to take at least three years. (2)

BANNG’s Andy Blowers says the project may be doomed anyway as the site is totally unsuitable and is widely opposed by communities all around the Blackwater Estuary. The Chinese withdrawal, should it come, would reflect widespread concerns about the security issues surrounding their investment into a highly sensitive part of the UK’s national infrastructure. Recent manoeuvres off the disputed, Chinese-built, artificial islands in the South China Sea have increased tensions in the area and provoked warnings of Chinese investment withdrawal from the UK. It is possible that the Bradwell project could be an early victim of deteriorating relations between the two countries. In any event the project was already looking doubtful. It is facing considerable challenges in delivering vast quantities of cooling water by pipeline and the need to avoid polluting the Marine Conservation Zone which gives protection to the Colchester Native Oyster and other marine life. Most of the site is vulnerable to flooding and it will be a heroic feat to demonstrate that highly radioactive spent fuel can be safely and securely stored on the site until the end of the next century. (3)

 The Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Colne Estuaries were designated as a Marine Conservation Zone in 2013. As part of the designation native oysters have been legally protected indeed there is the Essex Native Oyster Restoration Initiative to further the aims of the MCZ designation. The MCZ designation is a major change in the site status since Bradwell was selected in 2011 as a potential site for power generation by the Government. Despite the new MCZ status CGN and EDF Energy still confirm their belief that Bradwell is a good site for nuclear development. If you take into account this and all the other environmental protections that run along the proposed site you would have thought it would be the last place to build a nuclear power station!

September 29, 2018 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

High wrangling over Georgia’s Vogtle nuclear plant: costs likely to fly even higher

After wrangling over Georgia nuclear plant, cost concerns remain, By Matt Kempner and Anastaciah Ondieki – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution , September 28, 2018

Not many people can name the plant that their electricity comes from. But in Jefferson, at a gathering sponsored by Jackson EMC, plenty of customers were familiar with the trials and tribulations of expanding Plant Vogtle.

Among the people who gather annually for chicken dinners, gospel music and raffle drawings put on by the electric cooperative, there are worries about the mounting headaches 130 miles away.

Plant Vogtle — the only nuclear power plant under construction in the United States — keeps ending up in the news because of its ever escalating pricetag. And those soaring costs are likely to end up in the monthly bills of customers of Jackson EMC and most other Georgia utilities, which are on the hook to pay for the project.

“I don’t understand why they can’t figure out what it’s going to cost,” said Mike Mize, a retired phone company worker who lives in Commerce and gets power from Jackson EMC. “I want them to hurry up and finish the thing and quit spending money on it.”

But high-stakes events this week suggest that costs will only go higher.

Co-owners of the plant voted Wednesday to continue its expansion, but did little to address the fundamentals of the Vogtle’s troubles.

The owners ditched a proposal for a firm cost cap on the now $27-billion-plus project and avoided addressing calls by state lawmakers to refrain from passing new cost increases along to customers. Meanwhile, electric membership cooperatives and city utilities around the state lost some of their say over whether the project continues in the future.

Georgia Power blasted the idea of a firm cost cap, but agreed to take on a greater share of costs in the event of certain big overruns. The size of the risk shift was limited — if there are $2.1 billion in cost increases, the company would face an extra $180 million penalty, “peanuts in this context,” said one critic.

Georgia Power, the state’s largest utility, was given carte blanche to drop out of the project at its sole discretion.

Morgan Stanley analysts predict a “very good chance” that Vogtle costs could jump more than another $2.1 billion.

“We think there is a significant level of uncertainty around the budget and see a very high likelihood of continued cost overruns,” the analysts wrote.

Add that to the existing pile. Nine years into construction, the Vogtle expansion is billions of dollars over budget, years behind schedule and at least four years away from completion.

Cost projections and assurances from Georgia Power have been consistently wrong.

Then a bankruptcy filing last year by the project’s main contractor, Westinghouse Electric, eliminated a contract that had buffered Vogtle owners from many extra costs. But the costs still continue to rise.

When Georgia Power recently announced $2.3 billion in new increases, it automatically triggered a vote by the co-owners on whether to stick with the project.

Georgia Power, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and Dalton Utilities all gave approval. But Oglethorpe Power, which represents electric membership corporations throughout the state, insisted on a cost cap. It also asked that shareholders of Georgia Power’s parent, Southern Company, eventually cover additional cost increases. (Another Southern subsidiary is overseeing the construction.)

Bitter disagreements among the project’s co-owners bubbled out into the public. It kicked off brinkmanship negotiations over whether and how the project would continue.

The core issue is one that has haunted Vogtle for years: Who should shoulder its ever-ballooning costs?

“We never signed up for a project where we would just be a blank checkbook for Southern Company or anybody else in this project,” said Gary Miller, the chief executive of GreyStone Power Corporation, which serves portions of Fulton, Cobb, Douglas and other counties. “We never said, ‘Build it no matter what the cost.’ ”………

There’s been intense political pressure to continue the work. If the project were to be canceled, its costs likely would end up in customer bills without any energy generation to show for it. Some Jackson EMC members consider that wasteful; others want to stop the bleed. …….

September 29, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Court action over planned shutdown of Savannah River Site’s MOX project.

WJBF 26th Sept 2018 , A Federal Appeals Court is set to discuss, Thursday, the future of Savannah
River Site’s MOX project. In a letter sent to a Texas congressman and
filed in court documents, the National Nuclear Security Agency says it
agrees with the decision made by Energy Secretary Rick Perry to stop the
The State of South Carolina is suing the DOE saying its opinion on
the matter was never considered when Secretary Perry issued the directive
to end MOX earlier this year.
Meanwhile, President Trump signed a new bill
last week that would effectively cut MOX down from over $300-billion to
$220 billon…which is the exact amount of funds it would take to close the
incomplete project safely and in a timely manner.

September 29, 2018 Posted by | Legal, reprocessing, USA | Leave a comment

Delawareans near nuclear plants get potassium iodide tablets   The Associated Press, September 28, 2018 SMYRNA, DEL. 

Delaware residents living within a 10-mile (16-kilometer) radius of two nuclear plants in New Jersey are eligible to receive free potassium iodide tablets from the state.

News outlets report that the Delaware Emergency Management Agency and Delaware Division of Public Health will distribute the tablets next Thursday. The tablets help protect the thyroid gland from radioactive iodine that might be ingested or inhaled during a radiation emergency.

The 10-mile radius around the Salem Nuclear Plant and Hope Creek Generating Station is referred to as the emergency planning zone.

Those who live outside the zone can obtain the tablets over-the-counter at some local pharmacies.

September 29, 2018 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

France not facing up to nuclear problems, as High Commissioner for Atomic Energy leaves the position?

Le Monde 27th Sept 2018, After  the end of Yves Bréchet ‘s term at the end of September, the
position  of High Commissioner for Atomic Energy will be vacant. This is not
surprising. The government has known  since May that Yves Bréchet would not   continue beyond the end of his term.
This deliberate vacancy of the office is therefore a government failing of primary importance. It reveals
that the current political power is not facing up to nuclear
issues, both civilian and military. The High Commissioner, for example, has
a controlling role in the management of plutonium stocks.

September 29, 2018 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment