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Solar and wind fuels emit no carbon, but “low carbon” nuclear fuel- it’s a lie! theme for November 18

Solar and wind energy both flow directly to the generating system.

Not only are these fuels carbon-free, but, unlike nuclear, they leave no wastes

Only one step in that uranium-nuclear chain is low emission – though all nuclear lobbyists claim that this step is “no emission” – the reactor’s operation.  BUT – Carbon-14 is produced in coolant at boiling water reactors (BWRs) and pressurized water reactors (PWRs). It is typically released to the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide at BWRs, and methane at PWRs.

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November 24, 2018 Posted by | Christina's themes, renewable | Leave a comment

Donald Trump in convenient denial over Crown Prince Bin Salman’s role in the murder of Khashoggi

Trump’s Utter Denial About Saudi Arabia and Its Crown Prince, New Yorker, By Robin Wright,November 20, 2018

So much for American justice. In a statement both stunning and coldhearted, President Trump on Tuesday

gave Saudi Arabia a pass on the grisly murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the

name of U.S. national security. He blithely rejected a U.S. intelligence assessment as well as damning

physical evidence provided by Turkey indicating that the kingdom’s de-facto ruler, Crown Prince

Mohammed bin Salman, authorized the Saudi dissident’s execution, in Istanbul, on October 2nd. The President

of the United States sounded more like a defense attorney—or lobbyist—for the oil-rich kingdom than

a protector of American values.

“It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event—maybe he did and maybe

he didn’t!” Trump said in a two-page statement. He condemned the Khashoggi assassination as an

“unacceptable and horrible crime,” but then said Saudi Arabia was too important a purchaser of U.S. weaponry,

an exporter of oil, and an ally in “our very important fight against Iran” to take punitive action. “The United

States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country,” Trump said.

“Very simply,” he concluded, “it is called America First!”

The President’s statement was riddled with falsehoods and contradictions. He embraced the “vigorous” denials

from King Salman and his tempestuous young heir, Prince Mohammed—even though several members of the fifteen-man hit squad that killed Khashoggi worked for the crown prince, who is known by his initials, M.B.S. Trump based his justification on what he claimed was the kingdom’s promise to invest or spend four hundred and fifty billion dollars, including a hundred and ten billion dollars in arms purchases, in the United States. Last month, however, Politifact concluded that Trump’s claim earned a “pants

on fire” rating. “Orders on that scale don’t exist” and are only a “mirage,” it said. “There is no data behind the $450

billion, and the $110 billion is a blend of smaller deals in progress, old offers”—from the Obama era—“that have

not come through, and speculative discussions that have yet to move forward.”

Saudi Arabia, in fact, has only followed through so far on fourteen and a half billion dollars in arms and aircraft,

the State Department acknowledged last month. Other deals are merely vague memorandums of understanding

that cover the next decade, not this year. On Tuesday, a new report by the Center for International Policy also

called Trump’s claims “wildly exaggerated”—and noted that many of the jobs created from the arms sales are

in Saudi Arabia, not the United States.

Washington is also far from dependent on Riyadh’s oil wealth. Rather, the Center for International Policy’s new

report detailed the kingdom’s “extreme dependence” on the United States. With the U.S.-Saudi relationship

under scrutiny after Khashoggi’s murder, “it’s important to remember that the United States has substantial

leverage over Saudi behavior,” William Hartung, the director of the center’s Arms and Security Project, wrote.

“The Saudi military depends on U.S. arms, spare parts and maintenance to carry out its brutal war in Yemen

and could not prosecute that war for long without that support.”

The President’s comments, which flouted a C.I.A. assessment that M.B.S. likely ordered Khashoggi’s death,

provoked scorn, dismay, and outrage from human-rights groups, politicians, and foreign-policy experts.

Joseph Cirincione, the president of the Ploughshares Fund, a global-security foundation, told me, “This is,

without a doubt, the most uninformed, toady, poorly written, categorically untrue statement I have ever seen

a President of the United States make. His statement has provoked such a strong, overwhelmingly negative

reaction for good reason: it raises serious questions about the President’s fitness for office.”

Sarah Leah Whitson, the executive director of the Middle East division of Human Rights Watch, told me that

Trump’s statement “isn’t just immoral, it’s reckless and will come back to haunt and hurt U.S. interests.” She

said the crown prince has proved to be “an impulsive, sadistic, unhinged leader” who has destabilized the

region, most notably by launching the deadly war in Yemen, in 2015. “This only signals to tyrants around

the world that it’s open season on journalists and critics, wherever they are, so long as they’re cozy with Trump.”

The former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her book on efforts to halt

genocide and other war crimes, tweeted that the President’s remarks were “an abomination that will define

the ignorance, corruption, cruelty and recklessness of this presidency for generations to come.” The former

nato Ambassador Nicholas Burns, a career diplomat who is now at Harvard’s Belfer Center, called Trump’s

seven-paragraph statement “beyond embarrassing. It is shameful. He cites uncritically the MBS smear that

Khashoggi was a traitor. He argues the U.S. can’t afford to alienate Riyadh due to oil+Iran. He is silent on

our most important interest—Justice.”…….

Trump, apparently, believes that his policies could be endangered if he spurns Prince Mohammed, who has

amassed authoritarian powers. The Prince is now gaming his own rehabilitation, which Trump’s statement

will help. The Saudi press recently reported that M.B.S. will represent the kingdom at the annual G20

summit of the world’s twenty most important economies, which is next week in Buenos Aires. Trump is

expected to meet with the crown prince there…….https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/trumps-utter-denial-about-saudi-arabia-and-its-crown-prince?mbid=nl_Daily%20112118&CNDID=46508601&utm_source=nl&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20112118&utm_content=&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=Daily%20112118&hasha=c25c4ad8a3e4cbc8faed20a1376eed39&hashb=637cacb29baeeb67e63d66fee2c449133fb8087a&spMailingID=14662796&spUserID=MTcxNTIwODYzMTU2S0&spJobID=1521660067&spReportId=MTUyMTY2MDA2NwS2

November 24, 2018 Posted by | politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman – wanting a nuclear bomb?

November 24, 2018 Posted by | politics international, Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia to give up its policy of ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons

Russia rewrites nuclear rule book to fire first, The Times, 23 Nov 18 President Putin would have the power to launch nuclear first strikes under plans approved by the Russian parliament.

Senators in the Federation Council, the upper house, have recommended tearing up the military doctrine that forbids initial use of weapons of mass destruction. It comes after Mr Putin said that Moscow would retaliate if the United States withdrew from a landmark Cold War missile treaty.
Russia
The revision would allow the president to order nuclear strikes in response to enemy use of conventional weapons, a significant departure from the military doctrine that prohibits first use unless Russia is threatened by weapons of mass destruction or if its “very existence is in jeopardy” ……. (subscribers only) https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/russia-rewrites-nuclear-rule-book-to-fire-first-r9gg2mpqm

November 24, 2018 Posted by | politics international, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Sellafield – a nuclear misuse of public funds – and Hinkley Point C will be the next

November 24, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

UK customers to pay in advance for Hinkley nuclear power, AND cop the financial risk?

EDF’s EDF seeks to charge customers upfront for UK nuclear plants, Ft.com , 23 Nov 18, Financing scheme modelled on London’s ‘super sewer’ aims to cut cost of power from reactors  Jonathan Ford in London NOVEMBER 22, 2018   EDF is pushing a plan to finance nuclear investment in Britain that it claims would cut the cost of power from new reactors to levels competitive with gas and renewable energy. The French state-backed power utility wants to use a technique commonly used in utilities such as water, airports and power distribution. This allows companies to charge customers upfront for new infrastructure. It is being used in the £4.2bn project to build a “super sewer” under London’s river Thames. But the mechanism has never been tried for a project as technically complicated and lengthy as a nuclear power station, which can take a decade to build. This and other challenges mean any gains are not assured.

With capital-intensive, long-life assets such as sewers and power transmission networks, financing represents a substantial chunk of the overall cost that needs to be recovered ………

Why nuclear revival is struggling to take hold EDF’s proposal comes at a time when Britain’s much touted nuclear renaissance is in danger of shorting out. The first deal — which will see the French group and its Chinese partners build a £20bn station at Hinkley Point in Somerset — was struck in 2016 at a guaranteed strike price of £92.50 per megawatt hour (MWh) in 2012 prices, indexed for 35 years and worth about £105 in current terms. Heavily criticised for being excessive, it was at least similar in headline terms to the prices required for renewables, nuclear’s main zero carbon competitor. However, renewable costs have since fallen sharply, with some deals for offshore wind farms being signed for as little as £55-60 per MWh with 15 year contracts. ……….

Observers agree that RAB financing could potentially secure substantial reductions in nuclear power costs. “While it should always be cheaper for the state to finance nuclear construction directly, this would clearly lower the prices from the Hinkley approach,” said Dieter Helm, a professor of energy policy at Oxford university
But it has prompted concerns about the equity of the structure. “What RAB financing does is transfer project risks to customers, who are least well placed to bear them,” said Martin Blaiklock, an infrastructure expert who likens the technique to “being forced to pay for a meal at a restaurant before the restaurant has even been built, let alone served any food”.  
Will consumers benefit? Consumers who paid up front for five to 10 years would run the risk that if the reactor were delayed, over-budget or ultimately not commissioned, the power savings would not materialise and they might suffer a total loss. Nuclear has a poor record for delivering on time and to cost. Two projects in Europe using the same technology, at Olkiluoto in Finland and Flamanville in France, are running 10 and six years late respectively. Both are about three times over budget. EDF has yet to prove that its EPR reactor design can even generate electricity at commercial scale.  
There are also legal question marks over whether the technique would be deemed an illegitimate subsidy under state-aid rules. “A nuclear power station isn’t like a sewer, a monopoly infrastructure asset,” said Peter Atherton, analyst at consultants Cornwall Energy. “It competes with other private sector generators, which means legally it could be shades of grey.” Lower costs may be necessary to get nuclear back on track, but most observers think they are not sufficient. “Ultimately it comes down to whether you strategically think as a nation you should do nuclear,” says Prof Helm. “But if you do think you need it, then clearly it’s right to seek to do it at the lowest cost.”  https://www.ft.com/content/f9a96304-e980-11e8-885c-e64da4c0f981

November 24, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Tourists and U.S. citizens unaware of the contamination and illness history of Hanford nuclear site

Contaminated US nuclear plant Hanford Site     Plutonium supplier for the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Deutschlandfunk Kultur. By Nicole Markwald 21 Nov 18  [machine translation] The nuclear complex Hanford Site in the US state of Washington supplied plutonium since 1943 – also for the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Leaky tanks on the contaminated terrain make headlines. But in the reactor tours tourists learn nothing of it……

Hanford Site – today a national memorial

The site was declared a National Memorial three years ago, along with Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Los Alamos, New Mexico. At these three sites, the atomic bomb was developed during the Second World War – under the code name Manhattan Project.

“We’re gonna start today by giving you the backstory of the Manhattan Project.”………

The shock is to see it: We are on a heavily contaminated terrain with a total of nine reactors, all of which are now switched off. The area is about twice as large as the urban area of Hamburg. The danger lurks underground, radioactive waste is stored in huge underground tanks – sirens, which is clear to every visitor, can not mean anything good. But the situation quickly relaxes – it’s one Thursday, 10:15 am – once a month the emergency systems are tested, the tour guide thinks…….

The production started in September 1944, after a good six weeks the first plutonium could be won. The intended use: Fat Man, the nuclear weapon that was dropped on August 9, 1945 over the Japanese city of Nagasaki.

David Anderson is one of today’s visitors to the B reactor. He seems thoughtful – in the place that has brought so much suffering over Japan.

“We have become numb when it comes to the Second World War. We have been at peace with us for so long. We can no longer understand the violence and much else that was happening back then. It makes me sad to know what happened back then. Why? … Why?”

But that’s not an issue in the B reactor tour. And not that Hanford Site today is an oversized atomic dump.

Scientists estimate that the waste stored here still contains around 190 kilograms of plutonium. That would be enough for 23 bombs like the one that was killing Nagasaki and killing at least 70,000 people at once.

The nuclear danger lurks everywhere

But no one knows how much atomic waste is actually stored on the huge area. Exact records from the early days on introduced quantities and their composition or pumping actions between different tanks does not exist. And outside of Washington State or the neighboring state of Oregon, little or nothing is known about Hanford Site and the dangers lurking in the ground……..

Americans know little about Hanford Site

Holly Barker holds an anthropology lecture at the University of Washington in Seattle. Topic today: Hanford site and the threats to the environment and workers. As a young woman, Barker was involved in the volunteer service Peace Corps. This work led them to the Marshall Islands in Oceania, where the United States performed many atomic bomb tests between 1946 and 1958. No, she says, whoever does not live in Washington State probably knows little about Hanford.

“That’s one reason why I offer this course. I think that as citizens we have a duty to know more about it in order to change anything at all. The problems are so enormous and complex that we need the brilliance of the young people in my lecture, the next generation to set about addressing this complicated inheritance. “

Probably the biggest cleaning action in the world

Over the next two hours, she talks in the storied lecture theater about the secrecy with which the project was driven, how it was advised, what quantities of workers could be exposed, and what kind of health problems some of them were carrying. She also tells about the world’s largest cleaning operation, which has been going on for years in Hanford to dispose of radioactive waste safely. After the lecture, Barker tells in her small office in the basement that Hanford Site rarely makes it into the news:

“At least when, as recently, a tunnel collapses and workers have been exposed to higher radiation levels. There are other tunnels that are unstable – if you hear anything about Hanford, it’s just bad. “

“In another developing story at emergency what declared today at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State, a vast storage facility in the Eastern part of that state, part of a tunnel, used to transport radioactive waste collapsed.”

In 2017, a tunnel collapsed

In May 2017, a storage tunnel collapsed, a six-by-six-meter off-road area had collapsed. At the time there were 5,000 workers on the site, a security alarm was triggered. The Department of Energy explained that there were eight wagons of nuclear waste in the tunnel, and that radioactive material should not have leaked out………

Increased radiation as a cause of cancer?

……..There are several studies that deal with the cancer rates around Hanford. With different results. Only in one, the studies are unanimous: It is really dangerous for the workers in Hanford site, who clean the grounds.

2060 should be completed decontamination

The decontamination and disposal works have been running since the mid-80s, they are expected to be completed in 2060. There are 177 tanks in the ground, with at least 50 million gallons of garbage in them. Included: 1500 different, easily evaporating chemicals, many highly toxic. And they regularly quit and injure workers, as Attorney General of Washington State lists Bob Ferguson.

“You have a headache, the skin is burning, your lungs are sometimes completely damaged and there are cancer cases.”

In September 2019, the workers involved in cleaning up the nuclear waste were able to celebrate an important success. Washington State, Hanford Challenge, and a union group had sued the Department of Energy for safer working conditions in 2015. Hanford Site is under the Ministry. A court in Seattle has now, after three years, the plaintiffs right. The ministry has been sentenced to over $ 900,000 in fines and must provide better protection for workers.

“Workers have been getting sick for years, but energy, and there’s no way to sugarcoat this, they did not take it seriously.”

Workers have been ill for years

Bob Ferguson says the Energy Department did not take the problem seriously, although workers had been ill for years. Next to him was Tom Carpenter, managing director of the Hanford Challenge interest group………..

“Years pass and it still looks the same. This lack of progress frustrates people. Here, so much money flows in here. But you do not hear that it goes ahead. Because it does not.

One of the main problems: where to go with the destructive stuff? an official final deposit does not exist in the US either.

“We do not even have a place to put this waste once we get it out of these high-level nuclear waste tanks.”

Cleaning costs: up to $ 200 billion

And yet there is no alternative for Tom Carpenter:

“Cleaning Hanford will cost up to $ 200 billion. Nothing – compared to the cost of the atomic bomb. We have to do it, we have no choice. To protect our resources, our people and future generations. It would be an incredible crime on the environment not to dispose of this material. “

Washington State also depends on the financial drip. Each year, $ 2 billion goes to the state for the so-called ‘clean up effort’. There is not much in the region except some farming – and workers are well worth a job with a minimum income of $ 60,000 a year. As absurd as it is, the contaminated land is lucrative for Washington State.  

Hanford Site is a place of extremes. Once a flagship project in the Cold War, today the bearer of a frightening title: the radioactively most contaminated site in the Western Hemisphere.

Anthropologist Holly Baker:

“I think the challenge Hanford is too big to be understood by a single person. One would have to be a physicist – I know too little about water, radiation, engineering – one would need to have the knowledge of each of these issues associated with Hanford. No single person can do it. And maybe that’s not why Hanford has yet to be solved – because it’s such a complex place where so many different things overlap. ” https://www.deutschlandfunkkultur.de/verseuchte-us-nuklearanlage-hanford-site-plutoniumlieferant.979.de.html?dram:article_id=433666

November 24, 2018 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Uncertainty and delay, as UK struggles with plans for dealing with radioactive trash

November 24, 2018 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Calls for permanent shutdown of Hunterston nuclear reactor 3, with its 350 cracks

The National 22nd Nov 2018 NUCLEAR experts have warned of a Chernobyl-like “catastrophic accident”
after more than 350 cracks were discovered in the power reactor at the
Hunterston plant in North Ayrshire. This breaches the Government’s agreed
safety limit and has prompted calls for a permanent shutdown. Hunterston’s
operator, EDF Energy, insist the reactor is safe.
Reactor three at Hunterston B nuclear power station originally started generating
electricity in 1976, and is the oldest in the UK. It was closed in March
this year to allow inspectors to probe for cracks.
The reactor was initially due to restart on 30 March, but the date has been repeatedly
postponed as more cracks have been found. EDF is now hoping for permission
from the UK government’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to fire up the
reactor on 18 December. It follows a long-running investigation by the
Ferret website. In April they revealed that new cracks had been discovered
in the reactor, but at the time neither EDF nor the ONR would say how many.
In May, EDF said that 39 cracks had been found and they were “happening at
a slightly higher rate than modelled”. But yesterday, the website reported
that more than 350 cracks had been discovered.
https://www.thenational.scot/news/17239354.nuclear-expert-warns-of-chernobyl-like-disaster-at-scottish-plant/

November 24, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

IAEA Director General Amano says Iran is abiding by nuclear deal, says North Korea should re-admit inspectors

IAEA calls on North Korea to re-admit nuclear inspectors, Money control , 23 Nov 18
IAEA inspectors were expelled from North Korea in 2009 but Director General Yukiya Amano said the agency continues to prepare for their possible re-admittance.  
 The head of the UN’s atomic watchdog has called on North Korea to allow inspectors back into the country to monitor its nuclear program………

On the other hand, Amano told board members that Iran continues to abide by the deal reached in 2015 with major world powers that aimed at preventing Tehran from building atomic weapons in exchange for economic incentives.

He reiterated the agency’s findings in a report distributed to member states earlier this month that “Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”

The issue has grown more complicated since the US 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 to make it work. Amano stressed that “it is essential that Iran continues to fully implement” its commitments.

In its full report, the IAEA said its inspectors continue to have access to all sites in Iran that it needs to visit and that inspectors confirmed Iran has kept within limits of heavy water and low-enriched uranium stockpiles.

“The agency continues to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its safeguards agreement,” Amano said. “Evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran continue.https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/world/iaea-calls-on-north-korea-to-re-admit-nuclear-inspectors-2-3213921.html

November 24, 2018 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority concerned about risks of radioactive leaks from facility near Tokyo

Low-level radioactive waste stored at Tokai research facility near Tokyo may leak, agency says, Japan Times, 
KYODO, 23 Nov 18 
The Japan Atomic Energy Agency said Wednesday that some of the low-level radioactive waste stored underground at a facility near Tokyo may leak from its containers due to inadequate disposal procedures.

The government-backed agency keeps 53,000 drums of low-level radioactive waste, or about 10,600 kiloliters, in a concrete pit in the basement of a building of the Nuclear Research and Science Institute in the village of Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture.

Some of the waste did not undergo the proper water removal process when placed in the pit, and leakage and corroded containers in the pit were found during inspections between 1987 and 1991, according to the agency.

The nuclear research body planned to inspect the drums over the next 50 years to check for leakage. But the Nuclear Regulation Authority said at a meeting Wednesday that the agency needs to check them more quickly……..https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/11/22/national/low-level-radioactive-waste-stored-tokai-research-facility-near-tokyo-may-leak-agency-says/#.W_hm2IczbGg

November 24, 2018 Posted by | Japan, safety, wastes | Leave a comment

Bulgaria’s Belene Nuclear Power Plant project unlikely to ever be built, now needs EU approval

Belene nuclear power plant will need new EU approval, Emerging Europe, November 23, 2018, Yoan Stanev 

The European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, has said that the commission’s approval for the Belene Nuclear Power Plant project – given more than a decade ago – is no longer valid. As such, Belene must be treated as a new project and must undergo a new assessment by the commission. Mr Cañete was responding to a question raised by a Bulgarian member of the European Parliament, Svetoslav Malinov, of Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria, part of the European People’s Party……..

“In practice, any new investors will have to agree to a project that is not currently approved by the European Commission and will still have to be assessed according to [now more] stringent European criteria after Fukushima,” said Mr Malinov, who added: “no investor will agree to this.”

Belene nuclear power plant will never be built, but it still offers the opportunity to steal money from Bulgarian taxpayers. Belene is dead. Why does GERB [Bulgaria’s ruling party] refuse to bury it?” said Mr Malinov.

The Bulgarian government has not yet responded to the commission’s statement and the energy ministry is still looking for strategic investors for the project and plans to make an announcement by the end of 2018. https://emerging-europe.com/news/belene-nuclear-power-plant-will-need-new-eu-approval/

November 24, 2018 Posted by | Bulgaria, politics | Leave a comment

Julian Assange at risk, as changes occur in Ecuadorian Embassy

Will shake-up at London embassy leave Assange out in the cold?, By Claudia Rebaza and Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN, November 23, 2018 London The Ecuadorian government has removed its ambassador to the UK, sparking speculation over Julian Assange’s future at the diplomatic mission there.

November 24, 2018 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Czechs consider nuclear power options: would require tax-payer funding

Prague weighs replacement options for nuclear plants, Ft.com, 23 Nov 18 

The Czech decision is being watched by neighbours considering investments in reactors  “……..

The reactors, which are owned by CEZ, the state-controlled energy group, are due to expire in 2035. Given the long lead time for nuclear projects, government and company officials have spent the past year debating whether — and how — to finance their replacement. With another plant run by CEZ in Temelin, the Dukovany reactors accounted for about two-fifths of Czech energy needs last year, making how to deal with their expiry one of the most important, and potentially one of the most expensive, decisions facing Mr Babis’s government. Analysts estimate that building new reactors would cost at least 100bn Czech koruna (€3.8bn) each — or about a third of CEZ’s market capitalisation.

………,The deliberations in Prague mirror debates elsewhere in central Europe, where the Czech Republic is not alone in considering another bet on nuclear energy Poland has been debating whether to build a nuclear plant of its own, while Vladimir Putin, Russian president, said in September that the Russian state-owned nuclear group Rosatom would soon start construction on two new reactors in Hungary.

Given the huge costs of building new reactors, CEZ’s leadership has been reluctant to embark on such a project without state guarantees, while minority shareholders are opposed to the idea of CEZ building new nuclear plants on its own, as they fear it will hit their dividend payments. ……https://www.ft.com/content/26cced6c-c8be-11e8-86e6-19f5b7134d1c

November 24, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, politics | Leave a comment

Doubts on future of South Africa’s nuclear research reactors, with glut of medical isotopes, and with particle accelerator production

SA nuclear radio-isotope production facility back in business, but… Money Web, 22 Nov 18

Earlier shutdown resulted in shortages to SA’s government hospitals, global market.

The facility is the main supplier of medical nuclear radio-isotopes such as Molybdenum-99 in Africa, and one of only four such facilities globally. As a result of safety procedure lapses, the plant was shut down in November 2017, which lasted almost a full year. Several attempts had been made in the interim to restart the plant, but without success.

The process of rectifying shortcomings and bringing the operating and safety procedures in line with the requirements of the NNR has been marred by what appears to be conflict between NTP and its parent company, the Necsa……..

The initial shutdown occurred in November 2017 as a result of procedural errors. It appears that calibration of hydrogen sensors, an important component in the safety chain, had not been carried out correctly, and that records were not being kept properly. This was considered to be a critical safety issue, and the plant was shut down by the NNR.

An investigation was held which resulted in the suspension of a number of NTP staff. Following a number of further senior executive and staff replacements, suspensions and reinstatements, Necsa placed its own employees in charge of the plant, who then attempted to rectify the problems and restart the production facility.
………Several incidents occurred which caused restarts to be halted or abandoned. One example that has been cited is the institution of various changes to parameters which were unrelated to the cause of problems. The reasons for Necsa’s actions in this regard are unclear……

following an announcement during the recent Brics Summit in Sandton of a cooperation agreement in the field of nuclear medicine between NTP and Rusatom, the nuclear medical subsidiary of Russian state-owned nuclear company Rosatom, there are some questions as to whether a second or replacement nuclear research reactor will be built.
NTP said that the current global production over-capacity of medical radio-isotopes does not justify a second nuclear research reactor, since the Safari-1 reactor at Pelindaba still has between 15 and 20 years of life, and this could be extended still further. The Safari-1 nuclear reactor produces medical nuclear radio-isotopes by bombarding target plates of low-enriched uranium with neutrons.

Furthermore, medical nuclear radio-isotopes can also be produced by particle accelerators such as cyclotrons, which could make the consDtruction of second or replacement nuclear research reactor unnecessary, the company said.

There are also concerns regarding the financial health of Necsa. The Auditor-General has raised ongoing concerns about inadequate financial provisions by Necsa for decommissioning and dismantling costs for the Safari-1 reactor end-of-life.

As a result, Necsa’s annual financial statements for the year ending March 31, which were due to be published by end September 2018, have still not been tabled. https://www.moneyweb.co.za/news/south-africa/sa-nuclear-radio-isotope-production-facility-back-in-business-but/

November 24, 2018 Posted by | health, South Africa | 3 Comments