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Nuclear and climate news – week to 6 November

Some good news this week. A case of positive international co-operation!  – the healing of the ozone layer. The rest of the climate news – not so good. Climate scientists have underestimated the rapid warming of the oceans.  Climate change disruption of the jet stream is causing more extreme weather.     A warning not to forget the message of UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  –  Climate Change: The Real World War.

International nuclear politics muddles along, – closer to the brink? North Korea warns it might return to developing nuclear weapons, if USA does not end sanctions.  Donald Trump ready to reimpose all nuclear sanctions on Iran.  A world on nuclear hair-trigger, if USA withdraws from the  Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia?

Looking for expert information on nuclear matters? Go to the Nuclear Consulting Group.

The global nuclear industry sneaks into international governments’ “clean” energy movement.

Far from fixing climate change – the nuclear power industry is being stalled by climate change.

Pro nuclear expert urges the nuclear industry to drop its “climate change” argument !

Electromagnetic radiation from cell-phones is a cancer causer to rats.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report DOES show that there is scope for positive progress.

IRAN. Iran is not likely to restart its nuclear weapons programme any time soon.

EUROPE.  Europe has set up a mechanism to sidestep U.S. sanctions against Iran.

NORTH KOREA. Preparation for nuclear international inspections – North Korea.

JAPAN. 2020 Olympics as PR for the global nuclear industry? Fukushima to start the events.  Fukushima’s fishing industry threatened by plans to dump radioactive water. Eastern Japan cities sign nuclear accident evacuation accord.  Shikoku Electric restarts Ikata nuclear reactor following failed court challenges.

CANADA.  Canada’s glaciers are retreating – and fast!    “Clean Energy Ministerial”: despite Canada’s Liberal claims, nuclear power will not save the environmentNon nuclear production of medical isotopes .

HUNGARY. Did Hungarian nuclear authorities fudge the measurement of water heating at Paks nuclear plant ?

UK.  NuGen nuclear power project in Moorside, Cumbria, UK, soon to bite the dust?  UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) reprimanded for nuclear safety breaches.    Fylde Fracking Near Nuclear Fuel Site – “No Problem” says Government.   Spiralling costs of Britain’s Sellafield nuclear site.    One veteran’s story of radiation effects of participating in nuclear bomb testing.   UK could be running solely on zero carbon renewables in summer months 2050.

SWEDEN. Swedish Environmental Court has concerns about speed of corrosion of copper nuclear waste canisters.


UKRAINE. Radioactivity induced mutations in the animals of Chernobyl.

INDIA. Prime Minister Modi’s doublespeak on India’s first nuclear submarine.

SOUTH KOREA. South Korean firm KEPCO keen to get $20 billion by selling nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia.

FRANCE. Hackers accessed confidential documents about nuclear. Nuclear company AREVA rebranded itself (Orano, Framatome) – but legal troubles linger.

November 6, 2018 Posted by | Christina's notes | 3 Comments

Pro nuclear expert urges the nuclear industry to drop its “climate change” argument !

Steve Kidd, writing in a pro nuclear essay in Compelo Energy, 5 Nov 18, urges the global nuclear industry to improve its propaganda.  He especially advises them to drop their argument about climate change!

“The climate change argument is where the industry is majoring its efforts. Industry bodies point out that some of the countries with the best records on carbon emissions use a combination of nuclear and renewables, while claiming that nuclear plants have avoided carbon dioxide emissions.

This is, at best, disingenuous. None of the nuclear reactors around the world were built to abate carbon. They were built for other reasons, such as energy security and economics. Admittedly, it was believed that their environmental impact would mainly be benign, but investments are made for what a technology does, rather than what it does not do. ” 

November 6, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

The global nuclear industry sneaks into international governments’ “clean” energy movement

USA – Canada – Japan – the ministerial nuclear suckers came out of the woodwork –  Dan Brouillette, Kim Rudd, Masaki Ogushi, Rick Perry … and also Dr. Matar Al Neyadi, and  Denis Janin, immediate past President of the International Youth Nuclear Congress, and who else – in this secretive nuclear white anting of the global movement?

November 6, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Far from fixing climate change – the nuclear power industry is being stalled by climate change

The Climate’s Already Too Hot for Nuclear Power Quarterly 2018 By John LaForge, Nukewatch

With the summer’s record high temp’s all over the world, Andy Rowell asked this pointed question in Oil Change International: “For the last decade the nuclear industry has been telling us it is the solution to climate change. But if their reactors can’t work in our rapidly warming world, are we just building a whole new generation of expensive white elephants?”

Indeed, Reuters reported Aug. 4 that Electricity de France (EDF) in Paris shut down four nuclear reactors at three sites due to the heat summer wave. EDF, the mostly government-owned utility, ordered the shut downs because the scorching summer heat that slammed Europe drastically raised temperatures in the Rhone and Rhine Rivers. Temperatures reached 98.6°F in the Rhone valley, home to 14 reactors. Highs in Spain and Portugal in early August hovered around 104°F and reached 116.6°F.

The warming of seawater caused by Europe’s heat wave forced Finland’s two Loviisa reactors, about 65 miles outside Helsinki, to reduce power in July, just as it did before, in 2010 and 2011, Reuters reported.

The July 2006 heat wave also forced European reactor operators to reduce or halt production due to dramatic increases in the temperature of river waters. The Guardian reported back then that Spain shut down its reactor on the River Ebro. Reactor operators in Germany also cut output then, and several German and French units were allowed to temporarily violate temperature limits on the hot water the reactors return to rivers.

Nuclear reactors exacerbate global warming In 2003, temperatures in French rivers reached record highs that also forced the temporary powering down of four reactors. France’s nuclear oversight authority then gave some reactor operators permission to return the river water at temperatures not normally allowed, a move that critics said would endanger fish and add to global warming.

Meanwhile, rising sea levels threaten to shutter one-out-of-four of the world’s 460 power reactors currently built on coastlines. John Vidal reports in the Aug. 21 edition of Hakai magazinethat experts have warned that even newly built seawalls may not provide sufficient protection. Vidal interviewed Pete Roche, a former adviser to the UK government and Greenpeace, who pointed out that the seawall at the $25-billion “Hinkley Point C” nuclear station being built in southwest England “does not adequately take into account sea-level rise due to climate change.”

“In fact,” Vidal reports, research by Ensia — a nonprofit environmental magazine published at the University of Minnesota — suggests that “at least 100 US, European, and Asian nuclear power stations built just a few meters above sea level could be threatened by serious flooding caused by accelerating sea-level rise and more frequent storm surges.”

The two St. Lucie reactors in Florida are among the US coastal nuclear sites considered most vulnerable to storm surges. While no US reactors have been “in imminent danger of a meltdown because of a storm surge,” Vidal notes, there have been many close calls. “Three US reactors were temporarily shut down because of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and a fourth, Oyster Creek in New Jersey, was put on alert when water levels rose dramatically, according to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”

But the NRC is not concerned about storm surges. In August 2017, as Hurricane Harvey pummeled east Texas, environmental groups called for the immediate shutdown of the two South Texas Project reactors near Bay City. Instead, the twin, 42-year-old behemoths were kept running at full capacity throughout the disaster, the wettest tropical cyclone on record in the United States.


November 6, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Iran is not likely to restart its nuclear weapons programme any time soon

Despite sanctions, Iran unlikely to restart nuclear program—yet, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, By Kelsey Davenport, November 5, 2018 Iran’s commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal will face another test starting November 5, when US sanctions targeting the country’s oil sector come back into effect. When Tehran concluded the agreement with six world powers—the United States, Russia, China, France, Great Britain, and Germany—it agreed to stringently limit nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief. The government of President Hassan Rouhani, and millions of ordinary Iranians, hoped this would bring major economic benefits by allowing foreign companies to do business with Iran. Despite the fact that Iran was complying with the terms of the deal—as documented by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the US State Department—the Trump administration decided on May 8 that it would reimpose the lifted sanctions, violating the agreement and dealing a harsh blow to Iran’s economy. That left Iran with a decision to make: Continue to comply with the agreement—known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA—which still had the support of the five other parties and the European Union? Or resume and expand nuclear activities the deal had restricted?

Fortunately, Washington’s unilateral decision to withdraw from the deal, and even the cut in oil exports that will kick in November 5, are unlikely to trigger a drastic shift in Iran’s approach to the nuclear agreement. Most likely it will continue to adhere to JCPOA terms—at least in the short term. It has had time to adjust to the expected cut in exports. And, given the tightening in the oil market and Iran’s willingness to sell oil at a discounted rate, it is unlikely that the Trump administration will succeed in pushing Tehran’s oil exports to zero. India and China, Iran’s two largest oil customers, communicated to the United States that a complete cut is unrealistic at this time. Additionally, Iran’s past history with sanctions demonstrates a high tolerance for economic pain, and Tehran appears poised to wait out the Trump administration.

Iran’s decision, though, is not solely dependent on sanctions, and could shift down the road. Recognizing how important it is to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons, the European Union, Russia, and China are trying to find ways to preserve the economic benefits of the deal. Policymakers in the United States, meanwhile, still have a critical role to play. They can help keep the path open for a US return to the JCPOA, and prevent tensions from unnecessarily escalating over Iran’s nuclear rhetoric.

First, do no (more) harm. The Trump administration’s decision to reimpose sanctions—despite acknowledging Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA—dealt a serious blow to US credibility and significantly undermined the deal’s benefits to Iran. But US policymakers can still mitigate further negative impacts. This should start with reclaiming the narrative surrounding the deal and emphasizing its nonproliferation value.

The Trump administration has painted the deal as a failure because it did not “fix” Iran’s policies in areas beyond the nuclear program. But the JCPOA was only ever negotiated to block Iran’s pathways to nuclear weapons, and Tehran is clearly complying with the new restrictions and obligations. Trump’s blatant attempts to characterize the deal as a disaster must not go unchallenged, and policymakers supportive of its goals cannot wait for the next attack to defend it. The JCPOA put in place more intrusive, permanent, inspection provisions, and limits ensuring that for a decade, it would take Iran more than 12 months to produce enough fissile material for one bomb.

Furthermore, Iran may be more willing to continue adhering to the nuclear agreement—even without the full hoped-for economic benefit—if supporters of the deal in the United States continue to assert its security benefits, foreshadowing a return to US compliance under a different administration……..

November 6, 2018 Posted by | Iran, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Europe has set up a mechanism to sidestep U.S. sanctions against Iran

November 6, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

International co-operation works: the healing of the ozone layer

November 6, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Reference | Leave a comment

Canada’s glaciers are retreating – and fast!

November 6, 2018 Posted by | Canada, climate change | Leave a comment

Climate scientists have underestimated the rapid warming of the oceans

Oceans Are Warming Up Much Faster Than Previously Thought The world’s oceans have soaked up much more excess heat in recent decades than scientists previously thought — as much as 60 percent more, according to a new study published in the journal Nature. The new research suggests the global could warm even faster in the coming decades than researchers originally predicted, The Washington Post reported.The researchers, led by geoscientist Laure Resplandy of Princeton University, found that oceans absorbed 13 zettajoules — a joule, the standard unit of energy, followed by 21 zeroes — of heat energy each year between 1991 and 2016. Based on these findings, they argue, nations must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent more than previously estimated if they hope to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.“Imagine if the ocean was only 30 feet deep,” Resplandy said in a statement. “Our data show that it would have warmed by 6.5 degrees C [11.7 degrees Fahrenheit] every decade since 1991. In comparison, the estimate of the last IPCC assessment report would correspond to a warming of only 4 degrees C [7.2 degrees F] every decade.”

Scientists have long struggled to quantify ocean warming before 2007 — the year that a network of robotic sensors known as Argo were deployed into the world’s oceans to track things like temperature and salinity. For pre-2007 data, the new research examined the volume of oxygen and carbon dioxide released from the oceans as they heated up, providing scientists an indicator for ocean temperature change.

“We thought that we got away with not a lot of warming in both the ocean and the atmosphere for the amount of CO2 that we emitted,” Resplandy told The Washington Post. “But we were wrong. The planet warmed more than we thought. It was hidden from us just because we didn’t sample it right. But it was there. It was in the ocean already.”

    November 6, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, oceans | Leave a comment