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Crushing children instead of climate change — Beyond Nuclear International

Kids’ climate lawsuit continues to be halted by Trump administration

via Crushing children instead of climate change — Beyond Nuclear International

December 10, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fossil nations sideline science at Katowice, even as emissions rise and warming accelerates — RenewEconomy

In a deadly diplomatic strike, big oil and gas nations took a key scientific report out of the Katowice text, replacing it with an ambiguous formulation that merely notes its existence. The post Fossil nations sideline science at Katowice, even as emissions rise and warming accelerates appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Fossil nations sideline science at Katowice, even as emissions rise and warming accelerates — RenewEconomy

December 10, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear Expansion in Kaiga: Is India Ready for the Risk?

the proposed project area is clearly within the buffer zone of Kali (Dandeli-Anshi) Tiger Reserve. In this context, it is shocking that about 54 Hectares of thick forest lands of very high ecological value from the Climate Change perspective and in the buffer zone of a Tiger reserve is being proposed to be diverted to the project;

The MoEF&CC, in its previous avatar, had dealt a policy blow to the people of this region and of the country by allowing such a high impact project in the thick forests of Western Ghats. It must not aggravate the same blunder by allowing an expansion which will be more than the double the size of the original capacity at enormous costs to the region and to the global ecology.

In view of the insignificant/irrelevant contribution of nuclear power to Indian scenario (the installed nuclear capacity is less than 2% of the total power capacity in the country as on today, and the same will be most likely to be less than 0.5% by 2026, which is completion target for this project as per EIA), the local community, the state of Karnataka and the entire country should not be burdened with the unacceptable costs and risks associated with the financial, social and environmental/ecological aspects of building, operating, decommissioning and safe disposal of nuclear wastes.

December 10, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New nuclear station next to Minsmere wildlife reserve? Sizewell action group to hold EDF to account

Theberton & Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell 16th Nov 2018 Did you know that EDF wants to build two new reactors on the Suffolk coast, next to the internationally-famous RSPB Minsmere wildlife reserve and AONB?

It is to be a twin of EDF’s new Hinkley Point plant – so what is actually coming for Sizewell? Watch, share and sign up to receive our updates, and get ready to help us hold EDF to account in caring for this special place when they share their new proposals in January.

Grateful thanks to Lush Charity Pot for their support which made this video possible, and a huge shout out to UK Aerial Photography for all the Suffolk drone photography and editing the video.

December 10, 2018 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

South Africa Energy Minister Fires Nuclear Corporation’s Board  

Daily Maverick, 7 December 2018South African Energy Minister Jeff Radebe has dissolved the board of the Nuclear Energy Corporation, suspended the chief executive officer and appointed Rob Adam as chairman and Don Robertson as interim CEO, his department said……

December 10, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Implications of Brexit: are nuclear energy problems being ignored?

David Lowry’s Blog 6th Dec 2018 As the wider debate over Brexit interminably winds on in Parliament and the
public sphere, some detailed aspects of the implications of Brexit get
overlooked. For example, today Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business,
Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has written to energy minister
Richard Harrington, to call for clarity on a series of issues relating to
the UK’s ongoing relationship with the EU and Euratom and the
Government’s plans for civil nuclear in the event of a ‘no deal’

December 10, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

When UK leaves European Union how will disputes on the new UK-Belgium energy interconnector be resolved?

David Lowry’s Blog 7th Dec 2018 , Letter to Guardian: Your energy editor’s report on the new UK-Belgium
energy interconnector (“Funding Nemo: £600m power cable now links UK to Belgium,” overlooks one crucial matter: how will any disputes arising from the joint facility be resolved once the UK has left the EU and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice?
This complexity was foreseen in a research paper issued by London-based think tank Chatham House 18
months ago ( “Staying Connected: Key Elements for UK–EU27 Energy Cooperation After Brexit”, 10 May 2017,
authored by Antony Froggatt, Senior Research Fellow on Energy, Environment and Resources at CH, (and his colleagues from CH Europe Programme plus the Energy Policy Group at University of Exeter). Their research paper proposed  that energy – particularly electricity – should be treated as a special case in the UK’s future relationship with the EU27. They argue that “strong UK–EU27 energy cooperation could help ensure that existing and future interconnectors – physical pipes and cables that transfer energy across borders – between the UK, Ireland and the continent are used as efficiently as possible.”

December 10, 2018 Posted by | politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Death of Alexander Litvinenko by radioactive poisoning

How Radioactive Poison Became the Assassin’s Weapon of Choice, Matter, 26 Nov 2013, The mysterious life and brutal death of a Russian dissident.

TUCKED INTO THE Millennium Hotel on London’s Grosvenor Square, the Pine Bar is a place of hush and shadows. Dark wood panelling, leather seats, and black shaded chandeliers cosset those who seek discretion in style. Head barman Norberto Andrade has hidden many celebrities in its recesses during his 27 years of service, including James Bond stars Sean Connery and George Lazenby.

The three Russians who ordered drinks on the chilly afternoon of November 1, 2006 had little of the lethal glamour one might expect of spies. ………

The men eventually left, and Andrade cleared the table. As he poured the remaining tea away, he noticed that the consistency of the liquid that tipped into the sink was strange. Gooey. He couldn’t have known it as he puzzled over its weird yellow tinge, but the man who’d been sipping the tea was a 43-year-old Russian dissident called Alexander Litvinenko, and the tea itself, draining away into the London sewers, was lethally radioactive. …….

During the night, his temperature plummeted, yet he begged for the windows to be opened so he could gulp down more of the freezing November air.

“It looks like they’ve poisoned me,” he said to his wife.

The next night she called an ambulance: doctors took a cursory look, diagnosed a stomach infection, and sent him home. But two days later he was sicker yet. His doctor immediately sent him to Barnet General, a bright local hospital not far from his home. When Litvinenko told the medics his theory — that he’d been poisoned by the Russian security services — they suggested he call a psychiatrist. The probability, they thought, was that his sickness had a far more routine cause: food poisoning from an unfortunate lunchtime dose of sushi.

The doctors treated Litvinenko with a heavy dose of antibiotics. And yet his body continued to break down. ………….

Polonium-210 spits out alpha particles. Normally, alphas aren’t a problem. Their huge size means that even a barrier as thin as a few inches of air — or a layer of human skin — stops them before they can do any harm. But if a high dose finds its way inside a human body, the damage can be immense. “An alpha particle leaves the equivalent of a motorway as it goes through tissue,” says Wakeford. “Sufficient cells in your body would commit suicide that you’d die.”

Polonium-210 is unusual in another way, too: it leaves the body relatively quickly. It sheds radiation so fast that the amount of poison in the body decreases by half in less than two months. “It’s sufficiently long lived that it’ll be around for a bit, but after that will leave no trace,” says Wakeford.

Polonium-210 is very rare in that it is almost a pure alpha emitter. When it gives out alpha particles there’s hardly any chance of there being a gamma particle emitted as well. You need a special instrument to look for alpha particles, because they’re so easy to block. ”

In short, it’s deadly, hard to find and doesn’t hang around. “And that,” says Wakeford, “is why it makes such a good poison.”……….

Polonium is hugely radioactive, firing off a massive bombardment of alpha particles — and without any screening, the delicate mechanisms of the body’s internal organs get the full dose. As the atoms try to stabilize, alpha particles crash into nearby body tissue, knocking electrons from the molecules they encounter. Each time they do, the trail of wrecked cells expands; the poison turns them cancerous, or kills them off entirely.

And that is just the beginning………..

THE IDEA OF POISONING — radioactive or otherwise — is not new to Russian intelligence. According to former Russian intelligence officer Boris Volodarsky, now a historian and one-time associate of Litvinenko, the Russians have a history of substance assassination going back nearly a century. It was Lenin who ordered the establishment of their first laboratory, known simply as the ‘Special Room’, for developing new lethal toxins.

“There is also a long succession of poisonings by Russian intelligence services in different countries, starting in the early 1920s,” he says.

At its height, says Volodarsky, the Soviet Union had the largest biological warfare program in the world. Sources have claimed there were 40,000 individuals, including 9,000 scientists, working at 47 different facilities. More than 1,000 of these experts specialized in the development and application of deadly compounds. They used lethal gasses, skin contact poisons that were smeared on door handles and nerve toxins said to be untraceable. The idea, at all times, was to make death seem natural — or, at the very least, to confuse doctors and investigators. “It’s never designed to demonstrate anything, only to kill the victim, quietly and unobtrusively,” Volodarsky writes in The KGB’s Poison Factory. “This was an unbreakable principle.”

Murderous poisons come in three varieties: chemical, biological, and radiological. It’s believed that the first Soviet attempt at a radiological assassination took place in 1957. The target was Nikolai Khokhlov, a defector who had left for the United States a few years earlier. He became drastically ill after drinking coffee at an anti-communist conference he was speaking at in West Germany. After his collapse, he was successfully treated at a US army hospital in Frankfurt for what was believed to be poisoning by radioactive thallium.

In the years before Litvinenko’s murder, a series of other killings bore similar hallmarks. In 2004, Roman Tsepov, a prominent and controversial political operative from St Petersburg, died after being poisoned with an unidentified radioactive substance on a visit to Moscow. The year before, Yuri Shchekochikhin had died in similarly mysterious circumstances. An investigative journalist and member of parliament, he had exposed a series of scandals, including an FSB racket that laundered money through the Bank of New York. His death came after a brief, undiagnosed illness with familiar symptoms: hair loss, vomiting, red blotches, fatigue. He was due to fly to the United States to meet FBI agents just days later.

The Russians may not be the only ones to have used nuclear technology for targeted execution, however. East Germany’s secret police, the Stasi, are alleged to have used radioactive poisons and even deployed modified x-ray machines to irradiate and injure political prisoners. They also used radiation as a tool, surreptitiously tagging dissidents with chemicals so they could trace and track them with Geiger counters.

And in November 2013, scientists in Switzerland announced that they had found heightened levels of polonium in the remains of the former Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat. Investigations began two years previously, when researchers discovered the strange news that some of the personal items that Arafat had been wearing shortly before his death appeared to be contaminated with high levels of polonium-210 and were emitting alpha radiation. It was a finding that raised difficult questions for those who may have wanted to get rid of him.

But still, Russia’s ability to source and use radioactive poisons seems to be pre-eminent. Only about 100 grams of polonium are manufactured each year, and just three countries are known to produce it reliably: Israel, the United States, and Russia. And 97 percent of that supply is manufactured in one place — a converted nuclear weapons facility that operates under high security, on the banks of the Volga, 450 miles south east of the Kremlin.

The case for official Russian involvement in Litvinenko’s death was growing. And there was more evidence to come: unbeknown to them, the assassins had left a trail — and it seemed to lead east…………

This story was written by Will Storredited by Deborah Blum, fact-checked byFangfei Shenand copy-edited by Rupert GoodwinsThe illustrations were by Ed Tucker, and the audiobook was narrated by Ian Parkinson.

December 10, 2018 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

UK govt allowing Chinese nuclear technology for Bradwell reactor?

Times 9th Dec 2018 Something that would once have been unthinkable took another step towards
becoming reality last month just 40 miles east of London on the Essex

Britain’s nuclear watchdog nudged a Chinese reactor a step closer
to being allowed to operate in the UK, sending it through the “initial
high-level scrutiny” phase. It will eventually be built at
Bradwell-on-Sea. Much tougher hurdles lie ahead, but regulators have so far
been able to find no reason to block China General Nuclear’s HPR1000.

This is the dilemma facing Britain — one that has been thrown into stark
relief by the events of the past week. The arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the
chief financial officer of telecoms giant Huawei, means all that must be
seen through a different lens. The daughter of Huawei’s founder was
arrested in Canada at the behest of the US authorities and faces charges of
fraud and breaching US sanctions on Iran.

However, the tone on Chinese investment in Britain has now changed and recalls the words of Theresa
May’s former adviser Nick Timothy in 2015, when he said the government was
“selling our national security to China”. A deep-seated suspicion of
Huawei at GCHQ has finally surfaced as open hostility, while,
coincidentally, BT is removing Huawei technology from its 4G mobile
network. Yet all this looks remarkably like shutting the stable door after
the horse has bolted. If there was a time to reject Chinese investment, it
was 20 years ago.

Now, with ministers reliant on Chinese cash to fund a
significant slice of our future power needs, do they dare bite the hand
that feeds? Plus, in a post-Brexit world, a trade deal with China is meant
to top the priority list. For all the braggadocio, I suspect there will be
much soothing talk between London and Beijing in the months ahead. Does the
government really think it can put the Chinese dragon back in the bottle?
And can it afford to?

December 10, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, politics, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

USA Energy Dept extends period for public comment on classification of High Level nuclear waste

Public gets more time to consider controversial radioactive waste issue, BY TRI-CITY HERALD STAFF, December 08, 2018 RICHLAND, WA 

The Department of Energy has agreed to extend the public comment period on its proposal to loosen its interpretation of what it considers high level radioactive waste.

The 60-day public comment period, which was set to end Dec. 10, has been extended until Jan. 9

The extension came at the urging of Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and 75 organizations across the nation, including Hanford Challenge, Columbia Riverkeeper, Heart of America Northwest and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Defining less of the nation’s nuclear waste as high level could speed up environmental cleanup at places like the Hanford nuclear reservation and save billions of dollars.

It could give DOE more flexibility on how it deals with some of the 56 million gallons of waste stored in underground tanks.

The Energy Communities Alliance — which includes Hanford Communities, a coalition of local government near the Hanford Site — supports the proposal.

But critics like Hanford Challenge say it also could mean more toxic waste would be allowed to remain in the ground at Hanford.

Comments may be emailed to

December 10, 2018 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

S.C. ratepayers still vulnerable to next billion-dollar nuclear disaster

S.C. ratepayers still vulnerable to next billion-dollar disaster, Post and Courier, 9 Dec 18

South Carolina’s next multibillion-dollar disaster could be just around the corner.

That’s especially concerning given that the state is still reeling from the $9 billion fallout from abandoning two nuclear reactors that were under construction at the V.C. Summer site. SCE&G and Santee Cooper customers could end up paying for that debacle for decades…….

December 10, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment