nuclear-news

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

The week that has been in climate and nuclear news

Again, there’s a collision between the twin threats of nuclear power and of climate change, as California’s wildfires ravage the once-secret Santa Susana Field Lab (Rocketdyne), site of a partial nuclear meltdown in 1959, and still radioactively polluted.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVhtygifsuE.   Physicians for Social Responsibility refute media claims that wildfire ash poses no radiation health problem. ( No monitoring , no assessment: the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.)

California Fires Could Be The ‘New Abnormal’ If Climate Change Continues. Scientists have identified 10 ways in which climate change makes wildfires worse.

Investigative journalism. Again, journalists cover the situation of America’s sick and dying nuclear workers. This is a 2018 story, which was covered magnificently by McClatchy News in 2015.

Nuclear reactors “are a bad bet for a climate strategy” – former NRC chairman.

The digital danger to nuclear weapons.

Tell Ft.com that solar air-conditioning is the answer to air-conditioning’s greenhouse gas problem.

Within 50 years, ozone layer hole is predicted to be completely healed.

IRAN. Iran is keeping to the conditions of nuclear deal: latest U.N. report.

NORTH KOREA. North Korea: its nuclear weapons “complete”, but not planning to get rid of them (why should they?)

JAPAN. Tepco to temporarily stop injecting water at Fukushima reactor . Local opposition to restart of Tokai nuclear station, but it is cleared to start by Japan’s nuclear watchdog.

USA.

UK. 

RUSSIA.  Putin claims that Russia is developing an “invincible” nuclear weapon.  Russia now offering to help Norway to deal with the inappropriate storage of  radioactive waste.

TAIWAN. Hundreds of Taiwanese academics urge public to vote for nuclear power shut-down.

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa: leaked report shows Zuma government’s secret plans for nuclear power.

CANADA.  Small Modular Reactors not commercially viable, but nuclear companies want the government handouts.   NuScale and Ontario Power Generation (OPG) trying to make Small Nuclear Reactors happen in Canada. Canada’s nuclear regulator wants Small Nuclear Reactors exempted from full Environmental Assessment.

SAUDI ARABIA. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launches nuclear project in Saudi Arabia.

 

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November 13, 2018 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

The cancer toll on nuclear workers: $15.5 billion in compensation and counting

Nuclear fallout: $15.5 billion in compensation and counting

They built our atomic bombs; now they’re dying of cancer

Nearly 33,500 former nuclear site workers died due to radiation exposure- report

Nuclear Fallout: This story produced in partnership with ProPublica and the Santa Fe New Mexican. (Richly illustrated with photographs, videos, charts, documents interactive map) 
Wave 3, By Jamie Grey and Lee Zurik | November 12, 2018  
LOS ALAMOS, NEW MEXICO (InvestigateTV) – Clear, plastic water bottles, with the caps all slightly twisted open, fill a small refrigerator under Gilbert Mondragon’s kitchen counter. The lids all loosened by his 4- and 6-year old daughters because, at just 38, Mondragon suffers from limited mobility and strength. He blames his conditions on years of exposure to chemicals and radiation at the facility that produced the world’s first atomic bomb: Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Gilbert Mondragon, 38, pulls the cap off a plastic water bottle that had been twisted open by his young daughters. He hasn’t the strength for those simple tasks anymore and blames his 20-year career at the Los Alamos National Lab. He quit this year because of his serious lung issues, which he suspects were caused by exposures at the nuclear facility. (InvestigateTV/Andy Miller)

Mondragon is hardly alone in his thinking; there are thousands more nuclear weapons workers who are sick or dead. The government too recognizes that workers have been harmed; the Department of Labor administers programs to compensate “the men and women who sacrificed so much for our country’s national security.”

But InvestigateTV found workers with medical issues struggling to get compensated from a program that has ballooned ten times original cost estimates. More than 6,000 workers from Los Alamos alone have filed to get money for their medical problems, with around 53 percent of claims approved.

The Los Alamos lab, the top-secret site for bomb design in 1943, has had numerous safety violations and evidence of improper monitoring, federal inspection reports show. Continue reading

November 13, 2018 Posted by | employment, health, PERSONAL STORIES, Reference, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

California fires – the “New Abnormal” if climate change goes on, unchecked

31 Dead In Devastating California Wildfires: Here’s What To Know | TIME

California Fires Could Be The ‘New Abnormal’ If Climate Change Continues A leading climate scientist says a worrying pattern helped light the match for the devastating California fires. 10 daily, 13 Nov 18 

The fires have devastated the state, killing 31 people so far.

It’s not looking likely the blaze will calm any time soon.

One of the reasons for the scale of destruction being visited on the state is a collection of environmental triggers brought about by climate change, according to Doctor Daniel Swain of UCLA…….He said due to rising temperatures and dryness similar fires could affect the state for many years to come.

“This is not the new normal, this is the new abnormal, and this new abnormal will continue, certainly in the next 10 to 15 to 20 years,” he said…..https://tendaily.com.au/news/world/a181112wih/california-fires-could-be-the-new-abnormal-if-climate-change-continues-apace-20181112

November 13, 2018 Posted by | climate change | Leave a comment

Iran is keeping to the conditions of nuclear deal: latest U.N. report

The Latest: Nuclear watchdog: Iran stays within deal limits https://www.kansas.com/news/business/article221528430.html, The Associated Press, November 12, 2018 VIENNA  The Latest on U.N. nuclear watchdog’s new report on Iran :

The U.N. atomic watchdog says Iran continues to stay within the limitations set by the nuclear deal reached in 2015 with major powers, aimed at keeping Tehran from building nuclear weapons in exchange for incentives.

In a confidential quarterly report distributed to member states Monday and seen by The Associated Press, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran has stayed with key limitations set in the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

The issue has grown more complicated since the U.S. withdrew unilaterally in May from the deal and then re-imposed sanctions. Iran’s economy has been struggling ever since and its currency has plummeted in value.

The other signatories to the deal — Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China — are continuing to try and make it work.

The IAEA says the agency had access to all sites in Iran that it needed to visit and that inspectors confirmed Iran has kept within limits of heavy water and low-enriched uranium stockpiles.

November 13, 2018 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Consultant WYG takes £3m loss on business it bought for Moorside nuclear development.

WYG points finger at government for Toshiba nuclear decision, Building UK, By Dave Rogers12 November 2018  Consultant forced to take £3m loss on business it bought for Moorside development. Consultant WYG has criticised the government for not being clear enough in its support to build a nuclear power station in Cumbria.

Publishing its annual results in June, WYG said it was forced to book a £3.2m cost on closing a business that it bought because of the work it expected to be carried out at the Moorside plant.

Land and property firm North Associates was snapped up in 2015 but delays on the plant forced the firm to shut the Carlisle-based business in March.

Last week Toshiba said it would wind-up its NuGen business which had been slated to carry out work building the plant at Moorside……….

Toshiba spent 18 months trying to sell NuGen but failed to find a firm willing to invest in the nuclear project. It said winding up the company would cost it £125m.

Engie walked away from NuGen, leaving Toshiba to try and sell the vehicle after posting a $8.4bn (£6.4bn) loss for the year ending 31 March 2017.

South Korean state-owned Kepco was chosen as preferred bidder over China General Nuclear in December last year but lost its preferred status in August after protracted talks hit delays – including a change of chief executive and a new government in Seoul. https://www.building.co.uk/news/wyg-points-finger-at-government-for-toshiba-nuclear-decision/5096491.article

November 13, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

How climate change is making deadly wildfires worse

Climate change is making wildfires more extreme. Here’s how

November 13, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

North Korea: its nuclear weapons “complete”, but not planning to get rid of them (why should they?)

North Korea not giving up its nuclear weapons any time soon, Chronicle, 12 NOV, 2018 “……..North Korea declared its nuclear force “complete” and halted missile and nuclear bomb testing earlier this year, but U.S. and South Korean negotiators have yet to elicit from Pyongyang a concrete declaration of the size or scope of the weapons programs, or a promise to stop deploying its existing arsenal.

North Korea has said it has closed its Punggye-ri nuclear testing site and the Sohae missile engine test facility. It also raised the possibility of shuttering more sites and allowing international inspections if Washington took “corresponding measures,” of which there has so far been no sign.

Last week, North Korea called off a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York, and state media said on Monday the resumption of some small-scale military drills by South Korea and the United States violated a recent agreement aimed at lowering tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The sites identified in the CSIS report are scattered in remote, mountainous areas across North Korea, and could be used to house ballistic missiles of various ranges, with the largest believed to be capable of striking anywhere in the United States……” https://www.chronicle.co.zw/north-korea-not-giving-up-its-nuclear-weapons-any-time-soon/

November 13, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Tell Ft.com solar air-conditioning is the answer to air-conditioning’s greenhouse gas problem

This article highlights Sir Richard Branson (a nuclear power proponent) and correctly reminds us of the carbon footprint if air-conditioning, if fuelled by fossil power. Important to India, Australia, and many other counties. Why didn’t Ft mention this?  – Solar air conditioning.

BUT – the logical alternative is renewable energy –  either by use of a total renewable energy electrical system, or just a solar air-conditioner.

FT 12th Oct 2018 Air Conditioning   A competition to find a breakthrough in air-conditioning technology has been launched with the backing of Sir Richard Branson and the Indian government, in an effort to avert the climate impact of the huge expected growth in the use of cooling systems.

The prize is intended to encourage inventors to find new ideas for indoor cooling that can be economically competitive against current technologies, while reducing energy consumption and the use of refrigerants such as hydrofluorocarbons that contribute to global warming.

There are about 1.2bn air-conditioning units installed worldwide today, and that number is forecast to rise to 4.5bn by 2050 as incomes rise and living standards improve in hot countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

If today’s technology is used for those units, they would by themselves emit enough greenhouse gases to raise global temperatures by 0.5C, according to Rocky Mountain Institute, an energy think-tank. The International Energy Agency has also sounded the alarm over air-conditioning, describing it as one of the most critical blind spots in international energy policy.
https://www.ft.com/content/1e056bde-e5ef-11e8-8a85-04b8afea6ea3

November 13, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Britain’s Wyfa nuclear power project – one hell of a cost to the taxpayer.

Dave Toke’s Blog 11th Nov 2018 ,Greg Clark looks likely to go down in history as the Minister who signs off
on a nuclear construction deal with Hitachi for the proposed Wylfa power plant that led to a stupendous loss for the taxpayer. That loss might be £20 billion or more.

Clark has apparently put no discernable effort into the objective of securing ‘subsidy’ free contracts for onshore wind and solar. However, he has been spending a lot of time concocting a plan to finance the Wylfa nuclear power plant that will, on the basis of past performance, generate huge losses for the public purse years down the line.

All the talk from BEIS (the energy ministry) is of the new ‘Regulated Asset Base’ (RAB) financing of nuclear power plant. Except that what’s really happening is not really an RAB model at all. It’s a piece of brownwash to obscure the reality of Government blank cheque to cover whatever it costs to build the nuclear plant. That’s because the whole plan hinges on the constructors being able to pass on cost-overruns onto the Government.

And that’s the point. Nuclear power stations being built in the west have almost always tended to have large cost overruns. Recent ones have ALL suffered horrendous cost overruns – in the USA (4), France (1) and Finland (1).

Yet, some otherwise sensible, financial analysts seem to ignore this fact as they extol the virtues of RAB financing. They implicitly assume that Wylfa will proceed precisely on target, in which case, they say the Government will deliver the project at a ‘cheaper’ price than Hinkley C through the provision of Government loans with low interest rates.

Sure, the headline price that will be paid by the electricity consumer, over 35 years, will be a bit cheaper. But that’s likely to be at one hell of a cost to the taxpayer.
http://realfeed-intariffs.blogspot.com/2018/11/how-greg-clarks-hitachi-deal-could-lead.html

November 13, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Doomed Moorside nuclear project might have provided 2% of UK energy needs, NOT 7%

 Times 12th Nov 2018 , David Lowry 12 Nov 18 Alistair Osborne is correct in his acute analysis of the financial failure of new nuclear in the UK (“No surprise Toshiba went cold on idea”,Times, Nov 9), except for one important matter: he conflates energy with electricity.

The planned output capacity for the doomed Moorside nuclear plant would not have provided “7 per cent of our energy needs”, but of the UK’s power generating capacity, which is the equivalent of about only 2 per cent of current national energy demand. Conflating the two inflates the importance of nuclear to UK energy balance, thus distorting its political salience.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/brexit-and-the-value-of-a-second-referendum-dk8fgmw6w

November 13, 2018 Posted by | spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment