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

UK to use Regulatory Asset Base (RAB) funding for Wylfa nuclear plant, exposing consumers to financial risk?

Times 13th Jan 2019 Ministers will be forced to pioneer a new way of financing nuclear power after Hitachi walked away from a £16bn plant in north Wales. The suspension of the Japanese giant’s Horizon project on Anglesey, expected to be confirmed at a board meeting tomorrow, will force the government to lure investors with a financing method that would pile costs on to consumers, even before a plant has been built.
Ministers are expected to accelerate plans to introduce regulated asset base (RAB) financing, which is popular in the water and infrastructure sectors, for nuclear plants including the Horizon site. Hitachi’s mothballing of its scheme, which could cost about 400 jobs, will be a damaging blow to Britain’s energy policy.
In November, its Japanese counterpart Toshiba scrapped plans to build a nuclear plant at Moorside in Cumbria. Japan’s withdrawal from the UK market will kill the country’s ambitions to sell reactors around the globe.
It leaves Britain dependent on France’s EDF and the Chinese company CGN. Together they are
building the £20bn Hinkley Point power station in Somerset, and CGN has ambitions to build its own reactors on the Essex coast at Bradwell-on-Sea. Industry insiders said state-controlled CGN could swoop on Anglesey if Hitachi puts the project up for sale. Kepco of South Korea would also be interested.
The project’s collapse follows years of negotiations between Tokyo and London. Last summer Britain agreed to split the equity equally with the Japanese government and Hitachi. Ministers were keen to avoid a repeat of the deal struck with EDF, which guarantees at least £92.50 per
megawatt hour for Hinkley Point’s electricity for 35 years. The Horizon deal would have guaranteed about £75 per megawatt hour, falling to the £50s for future reactors on the site.
However, the Japanese government balked at the risk, and tried to pass the equity on to Japanese utility companies. That triggered nervousness at Hitachi, a conglomerate with interests from train manufacturing to power grids. Nuclear power makes up just 4% of its business.
Shares in Hitachi surged almost 9% on Friday amid speculation about Horizon being halted, despite the company having spent more than £2bn on the plans.
EDF is keen to use RAB financing for Sizewell C in Suffolk, its next UK plant. The funding method, which allows investors to earn a set return, has been used for a huge new sewer beneath London and Terminal 5 at Heathrow. However, the pre-funding formula passes some of the risk of cost overruns on to consumers, and their bills rise even before a project has been completed.

January 14, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Collapse of UK’s nuclear power plans as Hitachi Exit Follows Toshiba

U.K’s Nuclear Future Fades as Hitachi Exit Follows Toshiba, Bloomberg, By Lars Paulsson and Mathew Carr January 11, 2019, 

EDF’s atomic plants need to be replaced by new generation

Offshore wind could be the winner from withdrawal, RBC says

…….Japanese conglomerate Hitachi Ltd. will halt work on the Wylfa project and take a one-time charge as negotiations with the British government over funding stalled, the Nikkei newspaper reported. After Toshiba Corp.’s withdrawal from its Moorside plant in November, it leaves the nation with just Electricite de France SA’s Hinkley Point project underway and that’s been mired in controversy because of delays and the cost to the U.K. consumer.

……..The Nikkei report said the company’s board will make a decision next week and cited an unidentified executive saying the project isn’t being abandoned entirely and could be restarted in the future.

Toshiba said in November it planned to liquidate NuGeneration Ltd., its U.K. nuclear power developer, after failing to find a partner or a buyer for the Moorside project. In September, China General Nuclear said it may give upthe chance to operate a nuclear plant at Bradwell amid political sensitivities over Chinese investments, the Financial Times reported.

As the U.K. is running out of nuclear options, other technologies stand to benefit.

“We see offshore wind as increasingly viable,” said John Musk, utilities analyst at RBC Europe Ltd. Natural gas power will probably provide a significant amount of the baseload power not met by renewables……..

January 14, 2019 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

The fossil fuel industries’ successful strategy, conning the media to doubt climate change

By demanding “balance,” the industry transformed climate change into a partisan issue. We know that was a deliberate strategy because various internal documents from ExxonMobil, Shell, the American Petroleum Institute and a handful of now-defunct fossil fuel industry groups reveal not only the industry’s strategy to target media with this message and these experts,  but also its own preemptive debunking of the very theories it went on to support.

many took the industry’s bait, routinely inserting denialist claims into stories about climate science in the interest of providing balance:

How the fossil fuel industry got the media to think climate change was debatable, WP, By Amy WesterveltAmy Westervelt is an audio and print reporter who covers climate and gender, and sometimes the intersection of the two. Her podcast Drilled is about the creation and spread of climate denial and her first book “Forget ‘Having It All'” was published by Seal Press in November 2018., January 10 2019 

Late last year, the Trump administration released the latest national climate assessment on Black Friday in what many assumed was an attempt to bury the document. If that was the plan, it backfired, and the assessment wound up earning more coverage than it probably would have otherwise. But much of that coverage perpetuated a decades-old practice, one that has been weaponized by the fossil fuel industry: false equivalence.

Although various business interests began pushing back against environmental action in general in the early 1970s as part of the conservative “war of ideas” launched in response to the social movements of the 1960s, when global warming first broke into the public sphere, it was a bipartisan issue and remained so for years. On the campaign trail in 1988, George H.W. Bush identified as an environmentalist and called for action on global warming, framing it as a technological challenge that American innovation could address. But fossil fuel interests were shifting as the industry and its allies began to push back against empirical evidence of climate change, taking many conservatives along with them.

Documents uncovered by journalists and activists over the past decade lay out a clear strategy: First, target media outlets to get them to report more on the “uncertainties” in climate science, and position industry-backed contrarian scientists as expert sources for media. Second, target conservatives with the message that climate change is a liberal hoax, and paint anyone who takes the issue seriously as “out of touch with reality.” In the 1990s, oil companies, fossil fuel industry trade groups and their respective PR firms began positioning contrarian scientists such as Willie SoonWilliam Happer and David Legates as experts whose opinions on climate change should be considered equal and opposite to that of climate scientists. The Heartland Institute, which hosts an annual International Conference on Climate Change known as the leading climate skeptics conference, for example, routinely calls out media outlets (including The Washington Post) for showing “bias” in covering climate change when they either decline to quote a skeptic or question a skeptic’s credibility.

Data on how effective this strategy has been is hard to come by, but anecdotal evidence of its success abounds. In the early 1990s, polls showed that about 80 percent of Americans were aware of climate change and accepted that something must be done about it, an opinion that crossed party lines. By 2008, Gallup found a marked partisan divide on climate change. By 2010, the American public’s belief in climate change hit an all-time low of 48 percent, despite the fact that those 20 years saw increased research, improved climate models and several climate change predictions coming true.

By demanding “balance,” the industry transformed climate change into a partisan issue. We know that was a deliberate strategy because various internal documents from ExxonMobil, Shell, the American Petroleum Institute and a handful of now-defunct fossil fuel industry groups reveal not only the industry’s strategy to target media with this message and these experts,  but also its own preemptive debunking of the very theories it went on to support.

It need not have been such a successful strategy: If news purveyors really wanted to be evenhanded on coverage of climate change, they could certainly weave in the insights of more conservative scientists — those whose predictions err on the sunnier side of apocalypse. Instead, many took the industry’s bait, routinely inserting denialist claims into stories about climate science in the interest of providing balance: In an analysis of 636 articles covering climate change that appeared in “prestige U.S. outlets” from 1988 to 2002, researchers from the University of California at Santa Cruz and American University found that 52.65 percent presented climate science and contrarian theories as equal. The practice continued into the mid-2000s. As recently as 2007, PBS NewsHour invited well-known (and widely debunked) former weatherman Anthony Watts on to counterbalance Richard Muller, a former Koch-funded skeptic who had shifted his view…………

It’s well past time the media stopped allowing itself to be a tool in the fossil fuel industry’s information war. Oreskes likens the push for “balance” on climate change to journalists arguing over the final score of a baseball game. “If the Yankees beat the Red Sox 6-2, journalists would report that. They would not feel compelled to find someone to say actually the Red Sox won, or the score was 6-4,” she says

January 14, 2019 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

What are the hazards of transferring spent nuclear fuel rods from dry cask to canister repository?

Derek Abbott Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia, 13 Jan 19,    Something that is never discussed about dry cask storage (before it is transferred into a repository canister) is that the fuel rods have been emitting alpha particles for 40 years in the dry cask. 

The nuke enthusiasts who don’t understand physics naively think those alpha particles are impotent. They say “a piece of paper can block an alpha particle.” True but misleading.
What actually happens is that alpha particles do indeed get blocked and don’t go far within a fuel rod, but they get converted to back to helium. [Remember an alpha particle is a helium nucleus anyway].So you get helium bubbles building up inside the fuel rod. Over 40 years this can fracture the fuel rod into pieces. So transferring the rods into a repository canister may not be possible. Because no one has actually opened up a bunch of old dry casks to get the rods into a repository yet, there isn’t much experience on exactly how much alpha particle damage affects the rods. I’m not sure there has even been a proper study of this. I am searching and will post it here if I find a study.

January 14, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, wastes | 1 Comment

US on verge of 139GW solar boom — RenewEconomy

New research reveals the United States sits on the precipice of what could be a monumental solar boom set to play out over the next five years. The post US on verge of 139GW solar boom appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via US on verge of 139GW solar boom — RenewEconomy

January 14, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

USA govt could live with a Nuclear North Korea, but wouldn’t admit it

Can America Live with a Nuclear North Korea? National Interest, January 11, 2019 MilitaryTechnologyWorldICBM

Question: Can America live with an atomic North Korea, and could any presidential administration openly admit it can? The answer: Yes it can, and no it couldn’t.

by James Holmes friend asks: can America live with an atomic North Korea, and could any presidential administration openly admit it can? Yes it can, and no it couldn’t. The Trump administration and its successors can live with a North Korean doomsday arsenal because living with it represents the least bad option at hand. Military action is the other apparent alternative to the administration’s “ maximum pressure ” strategy of stifling the North into compliance through diplomacy and UN-approved economic sanctions . Yet the hazards, costs, and sheer uncertainty of war abound. Few presidents would embrace armed force barring an unambiguous and egregious provocation from Kim Jong-Un & Co.

Forcibly disarming Pyongyang could and probably would involve sacrificing thousands of American and Korean lives. Here’s a crude yardstick. The Korean War, a conventional conflict to preserve an independent South Korea, cost the United States some 37,000 military lives. Many more service folk suffered wounds. Thirty-seven thousand. That’s more than fivefold the combined American military death toll from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars since 9/11. And that leaves aside countless more Korean military and civilian lives expended fighting to the current standstill along the inter-Korean border.

It’s hard to see how war could be waged more cheaply than it was in 1950-1953 when the principal combatants, not to mention North Korea’s ally China and neighbor Russia, all boast nuclear weapons to accompany formidable conventional forces. And Washington must not delude itself into thinking air and sea power can do the job alone, any more than aviators and mariners repulsed the North Korean invasion in 1950. It took land forces back then—and today, in all likelihood, ground combat would be required to destroy the dug-in North Korean nuclear complex.

Any military strategy worth the name would demand that U.S. Army and Marine forces again seize and control ground—allowing them the leisure to ferret out underground facilities and armaments.

In short, a new Korean War would not be a come-and-go affair. Such a forecast is solidly grounded in the classics of strategy. For instance, Admiral J. C. Wylie points out that the proper goal of military strategy is to impose control on the foe. Aircraft and missiles flit by overhead while ships remain offshore. Though formidable, their presence is too intermittent to qualify as control. That being the case, he pronounces the soldier slogging through mud the “ultimate determinant” of who emerges the victor. The soldier goes and stays. “He is control,” proclaims Wylie. No control, no strategic success.

Or as the historian T. R. Fehrenbach puts it regarding the Korean War: “you may fly over a land forever; you may bomb it, atomize it, pulverize it and wipe it clean of life—but if you desire to defend it, protect it and keep it for civilization, you must do this on the ground, the way the Roman legions did, by putting your young men in the mud.” Wylie says much the same thing when he observes that— aviators’ and rocketeers’ assumptions notwithstanding—the ability to destroy something from aloft does not equate to controlling it.

Nor is it obvious that winning control is crucial in Northeast Asia………

Chances are, then, Washington will continue to insist on complete disarmament on the Korean Peninsula but will refrain from using force to bring about that happy end. …….

January 14, 2019 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Australia, (with its climate-sceptic government) getting record heat across the continent

Record-breaking heatwave to hit every state and territory,  13 Jan 19, Every state and territory in Australia will experience heatwave conditions on Monday, forecasters say.  A cyclone is brewing off Western Australia’s Kimberley coast while much of the country is set to swelter in heatwave conditions.

Every state and territory will cop the heat on Monday when temperatures soar with some regions to experience severe and extreme hot weather.

The Bureau of Meteorology forecasts low intensity heatwave conditions in parts of central WA to southern parts of the Northern Territory, southwestern Queensland and across NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.

It will be worst in South Australia where multiple days of temperatures above 40C, an unusual event even for summer, meteorologist Dean Narramore said on Sunday.

Particularly northern South Australia, they’re looking at maybe five days in a row above 45 and normally they might only get five or 10 a year,” he said.

Melbourne can expect to see a few days in the mid to high 30s, while temperatures in Sydney’s west will peak above 40C for four or five days.

January 14, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change | Leave a comment

Donald Trump’s administration’s plan to reclassify nuclear wastes is unacceptable to Washington State 

Trump administration wants to reclassify leaking nuclear waste to avoid cleaning it up, say officials

‘This is unacceptable, and we will not stand by while this administration plans to abandon its responsibility to clean up their mess’, Independent UK Josh GabbatissScience Correspondent @josh_gabbatiss   ( AP ) 13 Jan 19, 

Donald Trump‘s administration has been accused of trying to downplay the danger of nuclear waste so it can “abandon its responsibility to clean up their mess”.

A federal government plan to reclassify this waste as less dangerous has been fiercely criticised by officials in Washington state, who said the move would allow it to walk away from its responsibility to clean up millions of gallons of toxic, radioactive material.

The state is home to the Hanford nuclear site which houses the nation’s largest collection of nuclear waste, left over from atomic bomb production. There are the 177 ageing underground tanks stored at the site containing the most dangerous material – some of which are leaking.

Amid fears much of the waste will be left in the ground, earlier this week, Washington state filed its objections to the US Department of Energy. These were accompanied by a letter from the state’s Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

The US Department of Energy is seeking to reclassify a large percentage of the waste as lower-level waste. That would allow treatment and disposal options that would not guarantee long-term protections.

At present the government is obliged to keep the waste safely in a “deep geological repository”, but if it was reclassified there would be no such obligation. Critics are concerned this could mean that the was allowed to reside in areas in which it posed a threat.

“This dangerous idea will only serve to silence the voices of tribal leaders, Hanford workers, public safety officials, and surrounding communities in these important conversations,” said Mr Inslee, a Democrat who is considering a presidential run in 2020. “This is unacceptable, and we will not stand by while this administration plans to abandon its responsibility to clean up their mess.” ……..

The proposed measure would also cover other waste disposal facilities in places like South Carolina and Idaho, and could be implemented without the approval of Congress.

January 14, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

New danger for Julian Assange as Ecuador toes the USA line (and Australia won’t help him, though he’s their citizen)

More troubles for Julian Assange as Ecuador bows to pressure to extradite him following this letter,  We have been monitoring Julian asange’s asylum in Ecuadorian embassy in britain to outline the dangers the computer proggrammer and  wikileaks founder face in coming future and it seems alot have been happening lately than the mainstream media’s  are reporting.

Ecuador has begun a “Special Examination” of Julian Assange’s asylum and citizenship as it looks to the IMF for a bailout, the whistleblowing site reports, with conditions including handing over the WikiLeaks founder.

Former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa tweeted an image of the letter he received from the State Comptroller General on December 19, which outlines the upcoming examination by the Direction National de Auditoria.

The audit will “determine whether the procedures for granting  asylum and naturalization to Julian Assange were carried out in accordance with national and international law,” and will cover the period between January 1, 2012 and September 20, 2018.

Assange has been in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since he sought asylum there in 2012. He was granted Ecuadorian citizenship last December in a bid to protect him from being extradited to the US where he fears he faces secret charges for publishing US government cables and documents.

WikiLeaks tweeted the news on Wednesday, joining the dots between the audit and Ecuador’s consideration of an International Monetary Fund bailout. The country owes China more than $6.5 billion in debt and falling oil prices have affected its repayment abilities.

According to WikiLeaks, Ecuador is considering a $10 billion bailout which would allegedly come with conditions such as “the US government demanded handing over Assange and dropping environmental claims against Chevron,” for its role in polluting the Amazon rainforest.

Assange’s position has increasingly been under threat under Correa’s successor, President Lenin Moreno, with Ecuadorian authorities restricting his internet access and visitors.“I believe they are going to turn over Assange to the US government,

January 14, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties, SOUTH AMERICA, UK | 1 Comment

South Carolina Senators unlikely to approve sale of Santee Cooper

January 14, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Vermont Yankee nuclear plant sold to dismantling firm, Indian Point next?

Entergy sells Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, signaling what’s to come for Indian Point, Lohud, Thomas C. Zambito, Rockland/Westchester Journal News  Jan. 11, 2019 

Entergy sold its Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant to a dismantling firm, a first-of-its-kind deal that offers a blueprint for Indian Point’s future


  • The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the deal in October
  • Towns near Indian Point are hoping for a similar deal so Indian Point can be opened to development after it shuts down in 2021
  • Deal with dismantling firm a first for dismantling of a nuclear plant

Entergy sold its Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant to a New York dismantling firm Friday, finalizing a deal that could offer the blueprint for Indian Point’s future after it shuts down in 2021.

The deal with NorthStar Group Services represents the first time a nuclear power plant has transferred its license to a company that take over the lengthy process of dismantling nuclear reactors and securing spent radioactive fuel.

It’s likely more will follow.

With nuclear power plants struggling to compete against the cheap price of natural gas, more than a dozen nuclear plants across the U.S. have, in recent years, shut down or announced plans to close…….

January 14, 2019 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

Schoolchildren co-opted to promote propaganda on Fukushima food safety

Students tasked to develop dishes with Fukushima produce to promote prefecture’s recovery, Japan Times, 13 Jan 19 

 A group of elementary, junior high and high school students in the city of Fukushima are taking part in an initiative to develop original recipes using local agricultural products as part of a broader project to highlight the city’s recovery from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

The first phase of the campaign, known as the Fukko Project, whereby the students create new dishes, started Dec. 16. It is designed to help the children learn about local agriculture so they will be able to implement their own action plans to assist Fukushima’s recovery……

January 14, 2019 Posted by | Japan, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Russia’s Rosatom to manage accident plan at the Fukushima NPP

Russia’s Rosatom wins two bids for accident management at Fukushima NPP, January 12, 2019, MOSCOW, Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom has been engaged in the nuclear control plan at Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant and has already won two bids in that project, Rosatom CEO Alexei Likhachev said in a televised interview with Rossiya’24 news channel on Saturday.

“We have been engaged by Japan to implement the nuclear accident management plan at the Fukushima NPP. We have won two tenders and are getting ahead,” he said.

In September 2017, Rosatom’s First Deputy CEO Kirill Komarov said that Rosatom offered help to Japanese counterparts in handling the crippled Fukushima NPP.

The nuclear disaster at the Fukushima-1 power plant in March 2011 was triggered by an earthquake-induced tsunami that knocked out vital reactor cooling systems. This resulted in three nuclear meltdowns, hydrogen explosions and a massive release of radioactive waste, which contaminated the surrounding area. Clean-up operations continue at the power plant and adjacent territories. According to the current action plan, full decommissioning of the station may take place only around 2040.

January 14, 2019 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, Russia, safety | Leave a comment

People Against Wylfa B (PAWB) has warned for years of the coming financial failure of Wylfa nuclear project

Wales Online 11th Jan 2019 , The campaigning group People Against Wylfa B (PAWB) said in a statement: “Should the news be confirmed at a meeting of the Hitachi Board next week
then it will be a relief for all of us who worry about the future of our
island, our country, our language, our environment and indeed renewable

PAWB has warned for years that the costs associated with the Wylfa
project would be likely to prove fatal to the project, but we were ignored.
“Consequently, millions of taxpayers’ money from the island, Wales and
the UK was invested to back Wylfa B. In addition huge political capital has
been invested, and there has been a failure to have a mature public
discussion about the project other than in terms of cash and jobs.

“The legacy of this, if the reports from Japan prove to be true, is that over a
decade has been wasted on Wylfa, with very little alternative economic
planning in evidence. Our young people have been promised jobs on very
shaky foundations. “Good land has been destroyed to create infrastructure
to back the project. It is time for politicians and officials from the UK
Government, the Welsh Government and Anglesey to admit that they were
wrong. “Wales is rich in natural resources which can be used to create a
vibrant and sustainable energy future, and above all else create more jobs
in less time than Wylfa would have done.”

January 14, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

‘Local Hero’ – a campaign to raise awareness of the environmental threat of planned Sizewell nuclear station

TEAGS 11th Jan 2019 Locals and campaigners create ‘Sizewell Hero’ – a tribute to the film
‘Local Hero’ – to launch a new online campaign, urging EDF to change
its approach. Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell [TEAGS]
today launched a new video and online campaign.

Made by local people, it is aimed at increasing awareness and concern about the impacts of the proposed Sizewell C&D nuclear power station to audiences beyond east Suffolk. EDF
launched its Stage 3 consultations on the twin-reactor development last
week. ‘Sizewell Hero, hosted on YouTube and Facebook, is a three-minute
homage to the award-winning 1980s film ‘Local Hero’, and shows a
company executive transformed and inspired by the beauty of Minsmere and
the coast at Sizewell to think again about the company’s plans.

The video is entirely a local initiative, starring Middleton actor Simon Bridge and
featuring other residents from Theberton and Middleton. The film was shot
and produced by Steve Sutton and crew from UK Aerial Photography Ltd, based
in Peasenhall. Permission to use the famous ‘Local Hero’ theme music
was kindly granted by Mark Knopfler’s management, Crockford Management
and the project was made possible by a grant from Lush Charity Pot. Stills
and ‘making of’ photos are available.

January 14, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment