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Catholic Church urges countries to sign and ratify the UN Nuclear Weapons Ban

October 25, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Further setback to building Bellefonte Nuclear Plant

Plan to complete Bellefonte Nuclear Plant takes another step backward Al  Alabama, 24 Oct 18 By Paul Gattis |   Developers of Bellefonte Nuclear Plant got their strongest public indication Tuesday that its much-needed potential customer in Memphis isn’t interested.

And that rebuke appears to make it more likely that the mothballed plant in northeast Alabama will continue to sit unfinished while again facing a bleak and uncertain future.

Memphis Gas, Light & Water signed a non-binding letter of intent in January to purchase power when Nuclear Development LLC completes the plant in about 2024. But now under new leadership, Memphis Light is pushing away from Bellefonte.

“Since (Memphis Light) has not completed its due diligence with respect to the Bellefonte proposal and has not yet received independent feedback on a multitude of concerns, management believes that it is premature to negotiate and commit to the terms of a (power purchase agreement),” the document said.

Without a customer, Nuclear Development has said it throws an $8.6 billion loan application with the U.S. Department of Energy into jeopardy. And given that jeopardy, Nuclear Development may decline to complete the purchase from TVA of the plant in Jackson County – which is scheduled to close by Nov. 14.

In short, the deal to purchase and complete Bellefonte appears to hinge on the agreement with Memphis. Nuclear Development said in July it had a customer but declined to identify the client.

Nuclear Development has not responded to a request for comment from concerning its talks with Memphis.

At the Memphis city council meeting Monday, Memphis Light released a four-page document outlining its concerns for going into business with an unfinished plant as its power source and made its case for why it should walk away from the proposed deal………

· The fact that Bellefonte would be about 50 years old by completion is cause for concern……..

October 25, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Slow explanation about Pantex nuclear station lockdown

The Pantex nuclear weapons facility in Texas was just locked down … it took a while for them to explain why    Jamie Seidel, News Corp Australia Network, October 24, 2018 NOTHING invokes such fear as the threat of a nuclear accident. So when a leading US manufacturer of nuclear weapons declares an ‘operations emergency’, the world sits up and pays attention. Problem is, they’re not telling us anything.

All we were told is what is contained in a simple tweet:

Pantex Plant@PantexPlan  
The Pantex Plant is experiencing an operational emergency. The Emergency Response Organization has been activated. 3:59 AM – Oct 24, 2018

Mollified much?

Not when it comes to the amount of explosive radioactive material held at the plant, near Carson County, Texas.

Pantex is where the US nuclear arsenal is both constructed and disassembled.

New devices are built.

Old devices are broken down for safe disposal.

Naturally, it’s a high security site. And safety precautions are well established.

Local media reported “an unexpected event at the plant”.

But not what that unexpected event was.

“At this time, there appears to be no offsite impact and no need for the public to take any action.”

Those are calming words. To a point.

“The Pantex onsite response effort is being conducted by the Emergency Response Organization, a highly-trained group of employees with detailed knowledge of plant operations and emergency response procedures. These employees represent plant functions such as security, logistics, safety, medical response, radiological assessment, firefighting, operations and public information.”

That’s not so calming.

Security? Medical response? Radiological assessment?

The local sheriff closed local roads close to the eastern edge of the extensive facility.

Then, out of nowhere, it was all over. Perhaps.

Pantex Plant@PantexPlant Replying to @PantexPlant

The security event at Pantex has ended without incident. Thanks to the Carson County Sheriff and @AmarilloPD for their quick response.

4:47 AM – Oct 24, 201

Only later was an official explanation given.

A ‘routine’ inspection had sparked a bomb scare.

Security guard dogs had ‘sniffed out’ something suspicious.

“Pantex identified a potential concern with a vehicle in the … administrative building parking lot,” a statement reads. “As a precaution, all employees were sheltered in place.”

Interestingly, while employees were told to seek safety, surrounding inhabitants — equally at risk from nuclear fallout — were not.

“The vehicle was inspected for any prohibited items. After searching the vehicle, it was determined there were no prohibited items or explosives, and the emergency event was resolved without incident.”

Lucky for the locals.

The Carson County, Texas, plant has a history of problems. In 2015, it was reported ‘hundreds’ of employees had fallen ill with radiation related sicknesses since it was established in the 1950s.


October 25, 2018 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

“Burning plasma” – a problem to overcome before nuclear fusion could ever work

Nuclear fusion: wrestling with burning questions on the control of ‘burning plasmas’ EurekAlert, 24 Oct 18, 

Lehigh professor Eugenio Schuster has recently been named ITER Scientist Fellow in the area of Plasma Control; the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), promises to be the first nuclear-fusion reactor to produce net energy


Fission and fusion are very different nuclear reactions, according to Eugenio Schuster, Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics at Lehigh University. Fission, which produces the type of nuclear energy created by reactors here on Earth since the 1950s, involves splitting the nuclei of very heavy elements, such as uranium and plutonium, which starts a chain reaction that is difficult to slow–among the reasons it can be dangerous.

Nuclear fusion, on the other hand, is a very difficult reaction to spur and maintain. The sun creates energy–in the form of light and heat–by fusing atoms of hydrogen, the lightest gas, using its massive gravitational force to confine the hydrogenic gas long enough for the nuclear reaction to take place.

On Earth, many scientists believe the most promising path to creating energy through nuclear fusion is one that uses heat to spur a similar reaction. This method combines two isotopes of hydrogen, deuterium and tritium, by heating them up to 100 million Kelvin–approximately six times hotter than the sun’s core. The kinetic energy of these isotopes is increased by heating, which allows them to overcome the repulsion force due to the positive charges (protons) in the nuclei and to fuse. Scientists use magnetic fields to confine the resulting substance, which is no longer a gas, but a plasma. The “burning plasma,” as it is known, is confined in a toroidal-shaped apparatus: the tokamak, which is a Russian-language acronym that translates to “toroidal chamber with magnetic coils.”

Schuster, a nuclear-fusion plasma control expert, works on ways to control and stabilize the heated plasma………

October 25, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, technology | 1 Comment