nuclear-news

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

Greta Thunberg speaks out for climate, at World Economic Forum

The Latest: Teen climate activist chides Davos elites https://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article224945785.html,THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, JANUARY 23, 2019 DAVOS, SWITZERLAND

Advertisements

January 24, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Nationalise the UK nuclear industry- the only way to save it – says Hitachi chairman

January 24, 2019 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

UK CAN meet its climate goals without the Wylfa nuclear plant

Q&A: Can the UK meet its climate goals without the Wylfa nuclear plant? 

Carbon Brief, 21 January 2019   “……. recent analysis from the government’s official advisers the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) shows the UK could meet its power demand and climate goals to 2030 at low cost, without any new nuclear beyond the Hinkley C scheme already being built in Somerset.

This new analysis reflects the dramatic cost reductions seen for renewables in recent years. Greg Clark, the UK’s secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS), made a similar point last week as he spoke in parliament about the failed Wylfa deal. He told MPs:

“The economics of the energy market have changed significantly in recent years. The cost of renewable technologies such as offshore wind has fallen dramatically…The challenge of financing new nuclear is one of falling costs and greater abundance of alternative technologies, which means that nuclear is being outcompeted.”……….

The CCC’s “central renewables” and “high renewables” scenarios meet the 2030 carbon target without new nuclear beyond Hinkley C. In these scenarios, nuclear generation in 2030 is 35TWh – the estimated output of Hinkley C plus Sizewell B, each running for 90% of available hours……….

 each of the 2030 scenarios supplies enough electricity to meet projected demand, meaning the lights would not “go out”. Gas would still supply 20-25% of electricity, most of which would be used to cover peak demand during winter or to fill gaps in variable renewable output.

The CCC scenarios out to 2030 all massively expand renewables, whether or not additional new nuclear plants get built. The renewable share of the mix increases from 33% in 2018 to at least 58% in 2030. Nuclear’s share falls from 18% in 2018 to between 10% and 17% in 2030. At the low end, where no new nuclear is added after Hinkley C, it is renewables that make up the gap.

[The CCC says: “We do not consider [the BEIS 2030] pathway credible.” This pathway sees nuclear’s share hold steady, though, as BEIS notes, this is “not based on [nuclear] developers’ proposed pipeline”. BEIS also assumes imports via electricity interconnectors reach 21% of the total while the CCC assumes net-zero imports, with interconnectors helping balance supply and demand.]

The CCC says expanding wind and solar is a “low-regrets” option as renewables are likely to be cheaper than new gas, with similar costs to running existing gas plants or raising imports, even after accounting for the costs of integrating their variable output onto the grid. The CCC adds:

“If new nuclear projects [beyond Hinkley C] were not to come forward, it is likely that renewables would be able to be deployed on shorter timescales and at lower cost.”

Replacing the output of the shelved new nuclear plants at Wylfa, Moorside and Oldbury with renewables would be 13-33% cheaper, including the costs of balancing variable output, according to quickfire analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit.

Note that reductions in per-capita electricity generation have saved the UK the equivalent of four Hinkley Cs of demand since 2005, according to recent Carbon Brief analysis. The CCC assumes continued efficiency improvements to 2030 are offset by demand for electric vehicles and heating. ……https://www.carbonbrief.org/qa-can-the-uk-meet-its-climate-goals-without-the-wylfa-nuclear-plant

January 24, 2019 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

UK: Rolls Royce has mothballed its plans for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

Evening Standard 22nd Jan 2019 The British nuclear industry is a mess. Successive governments spent 13 years devising a nuclear policy, and after years of debate, six nuclear power stations were eventually selected. The idea was that private contractors, not government, should take the risk and build the plants. But the contractors were wary, and with the collapse of renewable energy prices they have become warier still.
Of the six sites, three have been abandoned, two — Sizewell and Bradwell in Suffolk and Essex — are still to be finalised. Only one, Hinkley Point C in Somerset is proceeding and it is controversial to say the least. Chances are that Hinkley will be abandoned
and we won’t build any more giant plants, but Government is still wedded to its policy so it may take a few years, or a general election.
The cost of renewable energy is, however, coming down fast and environmentalists say new electricity storage systems still to be developed will eventually bridge the gap for when the wind does not blow enough. We are not there yet though. But there is another option, though not one which environmentalists favour, and that is small modular reactors. Rolls-Royce has been making and
maintaining the power plants which drive the nuclear-powered submarines
carrying Britain’s nuclear deterrent since at least the Sixties.
 SMRs required Government to make available resources so the licensing and safety-assessment programme could
run smoothly and remove the risk of the whole thing being endlessly delayed. It required further long-term thinking in the form of a promise to buy at least seven of the plants so that Rolls-Royce could capture the economies of scale in manufacturing which are essential to bringing the costs down. It required Government to be willing to provide matched funding in the development phase of the project. And finally it required Government support to assist the company in fully developing its export markets.
Needless to say the Government has declined to do this and Rolls-Royce as a result is no longer speculatively prepared to pour in its own funds and has mothballed the project. So the chances are that we will not have small nuclear reactors either, other than in our submarines.  https://www.standard.co.uk/business/anthony-hilton-the-government-s-ignoring-a-mini-solution-to-nuclear-mess-a4045696.html

January 24, 2019 Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Another nail in UK’s nuclear coffin, happening as media focuses on Brexit

Jonathon Porritt 20th Jan 2019 Were it not for blanket Brexit, smothering every other news item, I suspect there would have been a lot more coverage of the recent collapse of Hitachi’s nuclear pretensions here in the UK. And a lot more questioning
about what the hell happens next – in terms of UK energy and climate policy.

As Chair of the Sustainable Development Commission, [we] invested significant resource in seeking to persuade Tony Blair that his 2005 change of heart on nuclear (Labour’s position before then was to keep the nuclear option ‘in the long grass’), was profoundly ill-judged. And then, together with three other former Directors of Friends of the Earth,
in 2012 and 2013, warning David Cameron and his and his pro-nuclear Lib Dem groupies that his plans for six new plants by 2030 had zero prospect of ever being delivered.

Maybe even Greg Clark will be forced to recognise that his much-loved nuclear parrot really is a definitively dead parrot. After all, he’s a smart guy, and reassuringly free of the kind of ideological blinkers that make so many of his Cabinet colleagues unfit to lead anything other than an endangered cult. His statement to Parliament on the collapse of the Hitachi deal was appropriately measured, and he acknowledged unhesitatingly that nuclear power ‘is being out-competed’.

The unquestioned credibility of the Committee on Climate Change is a precious asset, and one which has served us well over the last ten years. But it cannot possibly go on pretending that nuclear power will be making much of a contribution to the low-carbon generation we need by 2030. If ever.
http://www.jonathonporritt.com/blog/yet-more-nails-nuclear-coffin

January 24, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Japan had pinned its hopes on nuclear exports – that dream is over!

Climate News Network 21st Jan 2019 Once hailed as a key part of the energy future of the United Kingdom and several other countries, the high-tech atomic industry is now heading in the opposite direction, towards nuclear sunset. It took another body blow
last week when plans to build four new reactors on two sites in the UK were abandoned as too costly by the Japanese company Hitachi. This was even though it had already sunk £2.14 billion (300 bn yen) in the scheme.

Following the decision in November by another Japanese giant, Toshiba, to abandon an equally ambitious scheme to build three reactors at Moorside in the north-west of England, the future of the industry in the UK looks
bleak. The latest withdrawal means the end of the Japanese dream of keeping its nuclear industry alive by exporting its technology overseas. With the domestic market killed by the Fukushima disaster in 2011, overseas sales
were to have been its salvation.
https://climatenewsnetwork.net/nuclear-sunset-overtakes-fading-dreams/

January 24, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

5 countries scramble to sell nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Receives Offers from 5 Countries to Build 2 Nuclear Reactors 23 January, 2019 Riyadh – Asharq Al-Awsat

Five countries have submitted their requests for the establishment of two nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia on the Arabian Gulf coast.

The bid was made after the peaceful Saudi nuclear project met the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The oil-rich Kingdom launched a tender to define specifications of sites that will host the two reactors, said Chairman of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) Khalid al-Sultan.

He added that KACARE asked the services providers in the US, Russia, France, South Korea and China to present their preliminary offers……. https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1558606/saudi-arabia-receives-offers-5-countries-build-2-nuclear-reactors

January 24, 2019 Posted by | marketing, Saudi Arabia | Leave a comment

Greenpeace study slams Japan’s plan to dump radioactive Fukushima water into the ocean

 
Greenpeace slams Japan’s plan to dump radioactive Fukushima water into the oceanThe decision by the government and the tsunami-devastated plant’s operator to release contaminated water into the Pacific was ‘driven by short-term cost-cutting’, a new study has found, SCMP. Julian Ryall Tuesday, 22 January, 2019  Greenpeace has slammed a plan by the Japanese government and an electric utility company to release into the ocean highly radioactive water from the tsunami-devastated Fukushima Daiichi power plant, saying in a new report the decision was “driven by short-term cost-cutting”.

Released on Tuesday, the Greenpeace study condemns the decision taken after the disaster to not develop technology that could remove radioactivity from the groundwater, which continues to seep into the basement levels of three of the six nuclear reactors at Fukushima.

An estimated 1.09 million tonnes of water are presently stored in more than 900 tanks at the plant, which was destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, with up to 4,000 tonnes added every week.

The decision by the government and the plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), to avoid developing the relevant technology “was motivated by short-term cost-cutting, not protection of the Pacific Ocean environment and of the health and livelihoods of communities along the Fukushima coast”, said Kazue Suzuki, campaigner on energy issues for Greenpeace Japan.

“We have raised the water crisis with the UN International Maritime Organisation and firmly stand with local communities, especially fisheries, who are strongly opposed to any plans to discharge contaminated water into their fishing grounds.”

The backlash against the plan jointly put forward by the government and Tepco began late last year after the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) held public hearings in Tokyo and Fukushima designed to convince local people that releasing the water into the ocean would have no impact on marine or human life.

Anti-nuclear and environmental groups had obtained data leaked from government sources, however, that showed that the water was still contaminated, triggering public anger. Tepco was forced to admit late last year that its efforts to reduce radioactive material – known as radionuclides – in the water had failed.

The company had previously claimed that advanced processes had reduced cancer-causing contaminants such as strontium-90, iodine-129 and ruthenium-106 in the water to non-detectible levels.

Despite the much-vaunted Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) plant at Fukushima, Tepco has confirmed that levels of strontium-90, for example, are more than 100 times above legally permitted levels in 65,000 tonnes of water that have already been through the ALPS system.

In one of the hearings, Tatsuhiko Sato, a resident of Naraha who only returned to his home last spring because of contamination from the nuclear accident, accused Tepco of “not gathering all the data” and failing to adequately investigate reports that dangerous levels of radionuclides were still in the water after it was treated.

Local fishermen used the public hearing to express their “strong opposition” to plans to release the water, with one, Tetsu Nozaki, pointing out that while levels of radiation in locally caught fish and shellfish have been at or below normal levels for the past three years, releasing contaminated water would “deal a fatal blow” to the local fishing industry.

There has also been anger in some nearby countries, with environmental groups demonstrating in Seoul in November and Korea Radioactive Watch declaring that releasing the water “will threaten the waters of South Korea and other neighbouring nations”.

………..The Greenpeace report concludes that the water crisis at the plant will remain unresolved for the foreseeable future – and that the only viable option to safeguard local communities and the environment is to continue to store the water.

“The Japanese government and Tepco set an objective of ‘solving’ the radioactive water crisis by 2020 – that was never credible,” said Shaun Burnie, a nuclear specialist with Greenpeace Germany.

“The reality is that there is no end to the water crisis at Fukushima, a crisis compounded by poor decision-making by both Tepco and the government. Discharging into the Pacific is the worst option and must be ruled out.”https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2183175/greenpeace-slams-japans-plan-dump-radioactive-fukushima-water

January 24, 2019 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Environmentalists and nuclear watchdog groups strongly oppose Holtec’s plan for nuclear waste facility in New Mexico

US Panel to Hear Arguments in Nuclear Waste Storage Case  https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-mexico/articles/2019-01-23/us-panel-to-hear-arguments-in-nuclear-waste-storage-case

Environmentalists and nuclear watchdog groups are lining up against plans to build a $2.4 billion storage facility in southeastern New Mexico for spent nuclear fuel from commercial reactors around the United States., Jan. 23, 2019 BY SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press, ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Environmentalists and nuclear watchdog groups are lining up against plans to build a $2.4 billion storage facility in southeastern New Mexico for spent nuclear fuel from commercial reactors around the United States.

Attorneys for the groups are scheduled Wednesday to make oral arguments before a panel with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission during a hearing in Albuquerque.

The panel will determine which groups have standing and which objections will be considered as part of the case.

New Jersey-based Holtec International has applied for a license to construct the facility about 35 miles (56 kilometers) east of Carlsbad. It would be capable of storing as much as 120,000 metric tons of high-level radioactive waste.

Opponents have concerns about the project’s legality, the safety of transporting the fuel across the country and potential environmental effects.

January 24, 2019 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

For UK it;s now time to double down on wind and solar energy

January 24, 2019 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

America may be overspending on unnecessary nuclear weapons – the nuclear triad now obsolete?

Does America Still Need the Nuclear Triad? The U.S. can deliver nuclear weapons from air, land, and sea. That could change. Jan 24, 2019   Popular Mechanics, By Kyle Mizokami

“……..Because the U.S. can launch nukes from the air, land, or sea, it would be practically impossible for another country to knock out America’s offensive capabilities and prevent the counterstrike.

The U.S. is currently working on replacing all three legs of the triad: bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and submarine-launched missiles. It’s an overhaul that will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, and no doubt overshoot the Pentagon’s price estimates when all is said and done. But before we spend all that money, one must look around and ask the question: Is this still the best way? In the 21st century, does America really need three ways to launch nukes?………

During the Cold War, each arm of the triad justified its existence by doing something better than the other two. Strategic heavy bombers such as today’s B-2 Spirit and the longstanding B-52H Stratofortress could carry many nuclear bombs and strike multiple geographically distinct targets ……..

Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) loft nuclear warheads into space on ballistic trajectories. They are buried by the hundreds in underground concrete silos scattered across America……

The third arm of the triad was nuclear-powered submarines carrying their own nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles……

But as the second decade of the 21st century draws to a close, the nuclear triad is showing its age. The B-2 Spirit bomber was introduced in the 1990s, while the B-52H has been flying since the early 1960s and may keep working for decades to come. The Minuteman III ICBM was first deployed in the early 1970s. The U.S. Navy’s Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines date to the 1980s and 1990s.

After decades of pushing back plans to replace all three arms, the U.S. is now faced with a situation where it needs to replace all three at once. The new B-21 Raider bomber, which will replace the B-2 bomber, will cost an estimated $97 billion dollars. The new ICBM, Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), will cost around $100 billion. Finally, new ballistic missile submarines will cost $128 billion.

That adds up to a serious bill. The cost is about the equivalent of running the entire U.S. Armed Forces for five months. And the price tag could rise substantially if any of the programs run into expensive technical problems. If history is any guide, then at least one of them will.

Could the U.S. thrive in 21st century without a nuclear triad? To see a possible way forward, just look at the emerging colossus of China. The world’s most populous nation is building more aircraft carriers, more amphibious ships, and more modern combat aircraft than ever before. What China is not doing is significantly expanding its nuclear arsenal.

China has approximately 280 nuclear weapons, a number we can deduce from the amount of fissile material it has produced. That total represents about one sixth the number of deployed U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons. China’s nukes are spread between land-based ballistic missiles and submarine-launched missiles. It has no air-delivered nuclear weapons for its modest bomber force. In other words, China has a diad.

China is a “no first use” country, meaning it has vowed to never use nuclear weapons first. It also bother with advanced nuclear technologies such as anti-ballistic missile systems or placing multiple warheads on a single missile. Why not? China’s entire nuclear philosophy boils down to this: The country may very well be destroyed by a surprise nuclear attack, but enough Chinese nuclear weapons will survive to make the attack simply not worth it.

Essentially, China’s nuclear doctrine is assured destruction, but stripped of unnecessary complexities. China doesn’t lose any sleep over Russia or America’s overwhelming advantage in nuclear arms. As long as China can hit back and nuke at least a handful of American (or Russian) cities, the balance of terror remains.

Does China’s nuclear posture work? Even a strike against tiny North Korea runs the risk of a nuclear counterstrike by China, and the loss of just one American city would be a catastrophe.

……. it’s hard to ignore the stripped-down logic of the Chinese model, which says the only credibility necessary is the ability to strike back after an attack—the rest is just overthinking the issue.

If that’s truly the case, then what use is a triad? Could the U.S. get rid of one or two arms of the triad, spending that money elsewhere in the defense budget to enhance conventional capabilities?

………Could the U.S. cut ICBMs and rely on a force of submarines and bombers, or submarines alone? These are important questions the American people need to ask before spending $300 billion replicating the weapons of the Cold War. Perhaps the U.S. should stick with the nuclear triad—but at the very least, America needs a national conversation about what nuclear security means and how to achieve it. https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a25983826/us-nuclear-triad/

 

January 24, 2019 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment