nuclear-news

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

Climate Demonstrations – Students Protest this Friday — GarryRogers Nature Conservation

You may wish to join in the “. . . upcoming global day of public demonstrations on March 15th, with details available at fridaysforfuture.org.

via Climate Demonstrations – Students Protest this Friday — GarryRogers Nature Conservation

Advertisements

March 14, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How Fukushima Nukes Kill Our Climate, Our Planet, Ourselves

By Harvey Wasserman, Reader Supported News

ight years ago this week apocalyptic radiation clouds began pouring out of Fukushima.

They haven’t stopped.

Nor have the huckster holocaust deniers peddling still more of these monsters of mass destruction. Some even deny the health impacts from Fukushima fallout that’s already more than 100 times greaterthan Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s.

Many push fake “new generation” reactors already priced out of by renewables.

But far more deadly is their demand to operate the old, crumbling reactors that daily grow more dangerous.

Here are some inconvenient truths:

    • About 450 reactors now spew huge quantities of waste heat that kill our global weather patterns.
    • All daily emit carbon and more during “normal” operations and the mining, milling, and enrichment of radioactive fuel.
    • All daily kill millions of marine creatures with hot offal dumped into oceans, lakes, and rivers.
    • Many kill birds and bats with tall cooling towers that spew radioactive and chemical pollutants.
    • None can safely manage their uber-intense radioactive waste.
    • All see human infant death rates drop when they shut.
    • All daily risk more partial explosions as at Fermi I (1966) and Three Mile Island 2 (1979), and full ones like Chernobyl 4 (1986) and Fukushima 1, 2, 3 and 4 (2011).
    • Many sit on or near active earthquake faults.
    • Many are vulnerable to death by tsunami.
    • Most are vulnerable to lightning strikes and air attack.
    • All are embrittled by decades of constant heat, pressure, and radiation that make them likely to shatter in an accident.
    • Nowhere are there credible evacuation plans.
    • Bankrupt nuclear utilities can’t manage their basic grid, let alone run dying reactors.
    • Diablo Canyon’s owner is under federal criminal probation for killing eight people in a 2010 San Bruno gas explosion caused by its faulty pipes.
    • PG&E’s faulty power lines sparked 2017-2018 fires that killed more than 80 people, incinerated more than 10,000 structures, drew $10 billion in lawsuits, and destroyed one of the world’s most precious ecosystems.
    • In bankruptcy, it’s now stiffing fire victims it promised to compensate.
  • A month ago, it burned down five buildings in San Francisco.

The forever “Nuke Renaissance” still fantasizes about new reactors that won’t be built.

The small ones are already priced out. The big ones are behind schedule and over budget.

Tax/ratepayer billions are being scammed to support dangerous, decrepit old nukes that can’t compete with wind, solar, batteries, and LED.

Their owners don’t want them inspected.

When the next Fukushima blows, they’ll yell that no one will be hurt, the climate won’t be heated, and the oceans will be safe.

But today our lives depend on moving those wasted trillions into our vital Solartopian transition.

ALL those Fukushimas-in-waiting must shut NOW.

And never again – like eight years ago this week – can we let exploding nukes destroy our climate, poison our oceans, kill our children, and threaten all life on earth.

March 14, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics | 1 Comment

It is now inevitable that Arctic temperatures will rise sharply

Earth Spasms from Profoundly Abrupt Climate Change

Sharp rise in Arctic temperatures now inevitable – UN https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/13/arctic-temperature-rises-must-be-urgently-tackled-warns-uFiona Harvey, Environment correspondent 14 Mar 2019

Winter temperatures at the north pole are likely to rise by at least 3C above pre-industrial levels by mid-century, and there could be further rises to between 5C and 9C above the recent average for the region, according to the UN.

Such changes would result in rapidly melting ice and permafrost, leading to sea level rises and potentially to even more destructive levels of warming. Scientists fear Arctic heating could trigger a climate “tipping point” as melting permafrost releases the powerful greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere, which in turn could create a runaway warming effect.

“What happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic,” said Joyce Msuya, the acting executive director of UN Environment. “We have the science. Now more urgent climate action is needed to steer away from tipping points that could be even worse for our planet than we first thought.”

The findings, presented at the UN Environment assembly in Nairobi on Wednesday, give a stark picture of one of the planet’s most sensitive regions and one that is key to the fate of the world’s climate.

Last year’s stark warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, setting out the dramatic impacts of 1.5C of global warming, did not include the impacts of potential tipping points such as melting permafrost.

If melting permafrost triggers a tipping point, the likely results would be global temperature rises well in excess of the 2C set as the limit of safety under the Paris agreement. Nearly half of Arctic permafrost could be lost even if global carbon emissions are held within the Paris agreement limits, according to the UN study.

Even if all carbon emissions were to be halted immediately, the Arctic region would still warm by more than 5C by the century’s end, compared with the baseline average from 1986 to 2005, according to the study from UN Environment.

That is because so much carbon has already been poured into the atmosphere. The oceans also have become vast stores of heat, the effect of which is being gradually revealed by changes at the poles and on global weather systems, and will continue to be felt for decades to come.

The assembly heard that there was still a need to fulfil the aims of the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change and to take further action that could stave off some of the worst effects of warming in the near term. “We need to make substantial near-term cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, black carbon and other so-called short-lived climate pollutants all over the world,” said Kimmo Tiilikainen, Finland’s environment minister.

Making drastic cuts to black carbon and short-lived pollutants such as methane could reduce warming by more than 0.5C, according to previous research.

March 14, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

Was this horrific murder done in order to protect the nuclear industry?

Robert isn’t alone. He has documented the harassment and even murder of other whistleblowers who spoke out about contentious nuclear issues, or attempted to supply him with sensitive information.  

March 14, 2019 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Nevada asks court to order removal of plutonium from this State

Nevada wants plutonium removed from state pending appeal https://www.kolotv.com/content/news/Nevada-wants-plutonium-removed-from-state-pending-appeal-507042751.html, 13 Mar 19, 

RENO, Nev. (AP) – Nevada wants a federal appeals court to order the U.S. government to remove weapon-grade plutonium the Department of Energy secretly trucked to a site near Las Vegas until the court decides whether the clandestine move was illegal.

The extraordinary request comes in an increasingly aggressive legal battle over the highly radioactive material the state says poses a danger to Nevadans’ health and safety.

A federal judge in Reno has denied a similar motion for a temporary injunction pending the outcome of an appeal before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

She ruled the matter was moot given the plutonium already had been shipped and DOE says no further shipments are planned.

Nevada’s lawyers said in a new filing late Monday the government can’t be trusted. They say removal of the plutonium is the only way to protect Nevada’s rights.

March 14, 2019 Posted by | legal, USA | Leave a comment

Rolls Royce, EDF, Centrica – all trying to sell of their money-losing nuclear businesses

Ian Fairlie 11th Marcvh 2019 UK nuclear going down the pan? Readers will have seen the news that Rolls
Royce is trying to get rid of the main bulk of its civil UK nuclear
business though not Small Modular Reactors, nuclear submarines and Hinkley
Point C involvement.

It has appointed the consultancy firm KPMG to find a
buyer. This follows the earlier revelation that EdF Energy has been doing
the same for at least a year, ie trying to find a buyer for its ageing UK
reactor fleet.

It is unlikely either company will find a buyer, or at least
find one willing to pay a reasonable price . For example, UK energy giant
Centrica[4] has been trying for years to offload its 20% shareholding of
EDF Energy. Back in 2012, after it pulled out of the mooted Hinkley Point C
development (thereby losing £200 million in sunk costs), Centrica
appointed the German investment bank UBS to look for a suitable buyer but
none has ever been found.

The main reason these companies are trying to
offload their nuclear reactor businesses is that they are essentially
unprofitable: the electricity they produce is more expensive than the sales
they generate. And their fuel costs are far more expensive than the
effectively zero fuel costs of electricity from wind and solar.

https://www.ianfairlie.org/news/uk-nuclear-going-down-the-pan/

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

SNC Lavalin, Holtec poised to cash in on the world’s massive nuclear de3commissioning, nuclear waste problems

The Energy Mix 10th March 2019 On the anniversary of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, investigative
journalist Paul McKay reveals that the trade in radioactive waste is
becoming a lucrative opportunity for SNC-Lavalin and its U.S. partner.
If it is true that one person’s garbage can be another’s gold, then
Montreal-based multinational SNC-Lavalin and its new U.S. partner, Holtec
International, plan to be big global players in what promises to be a very
lucrative, long-term business: handling highly radioactive nuclear wastes
until permanent disposal methods and sites might be found, approved, and
built.
That problem is pressing because the volume of spent reactor fuel is
cresting in the U.S., Canada, Europe, China, India, Russia, and Japan.
There are also hundreds of intensively contaminated reactors which must
sooner or later be entombed, dismantled, chopped up by robots, then sent in
special, sealed containers to interim storage sites somewhere.
But no country in the world has yet found a proven, permanent solution for the 250
million kilograms of spent fuel now in limbo in storage pools and
canisters, let alone the atomic furnaces which created them. There are now
about 413 operable civilian reactors in 31 countries, and another 50 under
construction. Physics tells us precisely how “hot” atomic garbage is.
Every commercial power reactor—regardless of model, type, country, or
owner/operator—contains the radioactive equivalent of many atomic bombs
locked within its spent fuel, reactor core, pumps, valves, and extensive
cooling circuits.

https://theenergymix.com/2019/03/10/hot-garbage-grifters-snc-lavalins-plan-to-turn-nuclear-waste-into-long-term-gold/

March 14, 2019 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment

New safety regulations for U.S. nuclear power stations

New regulations coming for US nuclear plants 8 years after Fukushima disaster , Washington Examiner, by John Siciliano March 12, 2019, Federal regulators are marking the eight-year anniversary of the horrendous tsunami and nuclear power plant disaster that rocked Fukushima, Japan, by issuing major new regulations this spring to harden the U.S. power plant fleet against multiple threats that could lead to similar disasters in the United States.

The new rules seek to codify individual actions taken by power plant operators at the behest of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the wake of the March 11, 2011, disaster…….

The forthcoming post-Fukushima regulation, called the “Mitigation of Beyond-Design-Basis Events rule,” is slated to go into effect this spring, giving utilities and power plant operators a little more than two years to comply with new safety procedures to guard against an incident such as an earthquake, or other event, that could cause a radiation leak and environmental disaster.

The regulation is considered a “major rule” because its cost will exceed $100 million, according to the draft rule’s impact analysis.

The rule will require commercial reactors to do three things that include physically modifying the plants to protect reactor cores while adding new planning and monitoring practices.

First, power plant owners must put in place the resources and implement the procedures required to keep a reactor’s core cool in the event a power plant’s emergency electricity supply is knocked out. Similar procedures and resources must be adopted to keep fuel rod pools, where a power plant stores its radioactive waste, full of water, following any event that knocks out all of a plant’s emergency power supplies.

The inability to keep the reactor cores cool at Daiichi, once power was knocked out and emergency power packs drained, resulted in the meltdowns in Japan.

Second, the power plants must install equipment that can reliably measure the water levels at the pools used to house and cool a power plant’s spent fuel rods.

Fuel rods are used to generate heat and electricity at a nuclear power plant. When they are used up, but still highly radioactive, they have to be stored underwater until a permanent waste facility is built to house them indefinitely. No national site has been built to house commercial waste from any power plant, so most of the waste is stored locally at the power plant.

Third, the rule requires the power plants to “reserve the resources” required to protect the core and spent fuel pools from external hazards that may breach the plant’s walls and containment areas. ……..https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/energy/new-regulations-coming-for-us-nuclear-plants-8-years-after-fukushima-disaster

March 14, 2019 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

New study on the social consequences of the 3/11 nuclear accidentin Fukushima prefecture.

IRSN 11th March 2019 IRSN publishes a study on social consequences of the 3/11 nuclear accident
in Fukushima prefecture. Result of the French-Japanese research project
Shinrai, the report “The 3/11 accident and its social consequences – Case
studies in Fukushima prefecture” analyses post accidental policy in
Fukushima prefecture, particularly the questions linked to return or
non-return to evacuated towns and villages. The report also compares the
concrete experience of the inhabitants and the decision-makers with a
number of principles that underlies international post accidental policy
and recommendations.

https://www.irsn.fr/EN/newsroom/News/Pages/20190311_Fukushima-shinrai-study-social-consequences.aspx

March 14, 2019 Posted by | Japan, social effects | Leave a comment

Cutbacks for every agency – in the Trump budget, with the exception of the Pentagon

Trump Budget Would Cut Spending for Nearly Every Agency Except Pentagon, Truthout, Lindsay Koshgarian, March 12, 2019 The budget request President Trump released on Monday represents a conservative vision taken to the extreme. It would shoot military spending skyward while dismantling domestic programs piece by piece, with few exceptions.

The budget peels back many of the promises the president made either on the campaign trail or in tweets. For instance, the president has stated an intention to pull back from military interventions in Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere — but his budget insists on an even bigger military budget. And the cash flow to the Pentagon, combined with ongoing tax cuts for the rich, puts the lie to the idea that Republicans care about deficits and balanced budgets.

The budget calls for $750 billion in military spending, a nearly 5 percent increase over 2019 spending. And it calls for a 9 percent cut in all other discretionary spending, which covers nearly everything else — including priorities like education, affordable housing, environmental protection, scientific and medical research, public health, and diplomacy, among others — taking it from $597 billion in 2019 to $543 billion in 2020.  The proposal also calls for additional cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security…….. https://truthout.org/articles/trump-budget-would-cut-spending-for-nearly-every-agency-except-pentagon/

March 14, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | 1 Comment

Trump budget request for 77 lawyers for Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump project

Yucca Mountain budget request includes funds to hire 77 lawyers  By Gary Martin March 11, 2019 – 

WASHINGTON — A Trump administration request to revive the licensing process at  Yucca Mountain includes funds to hire 77 lawyers and staff for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to adjudicate “contentions” to the Energy Department’s application to build the facility in Nevada, officials said Monday.

The Trump administration blueprint for fiscal year 2020, which begins Oct. 1, includes $116 million for the Department of Energy and $38.5 million for NRC to restart the process that was stalled in 2010 when the Obama administration withdrew money to stop the legal proceedings.

Those requests are similar to Trump administration requests the past two budgets, which were rejected in the Senate.

Energy’s request for $116 million for nuclear waste storage includes reviving the licensing process for the Yucca Mountain application and funding an interim storage program. Details on the proposed spending are expected to be released next week…….https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/nevada/yucca-mountain-budget-request-includes-funds-to-hire-77-lawyers-1615667/

March 14, 2019 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Petition against Sizewell nuclear project – an “overwhelming” case against it

BBC 12th March 2019   A 1,500-strong petition opposing plans for a new nuclear plant has been
delivered to a county council leader. EDF Energy hopes to build the £16bn
Sizewell C on the Suffolk coast, next to the existing Sizewell B.

The petition was handed to Suffolk County Council’s Conservative leader Matthew
Hicks ahead of the authority’s cabinet meeting.

Campaign group Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) said the case against the development was
“overwhelming”. Chairman Pete Wilkinson said it would force “10 to 12 years
of crippling social and environmental disruption on the county”. “It will
fundamentally change the way of life in this region, cause people to lose
their homes, destroy an area of outstanding natural beauty and leave us
with another legacy of lethal radioactive waste,” he said.

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

A new citizens group is raising alarms about the nuclear capacity of the F-35 fighter jet.

F-35 opponents shift focus to nuclear risks, Vt Digger , By Mike Dougherty, Mar 12 2019  A new citizens group is raising alarms about the nuclear capacity of the F-35 fighter jet.

Representatives from Citizens Against Nuclear Bombers in Vermont want officials to reverse the decision to base F-35s at the Burlington Air Guard base, saying the fleet’s nuclear capacity poses safety risks for Vermonters.

The group’s leaders include Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen, 2018 gubernatorial primary candidate James Ehlers and retired Air Force Col. Rosanne Greco, all of whom were involved in previous campaigns to reverse the project based on public health concerns and the potential use of nuclear weapons.

They say a 2018 Department of Defense documentproves that the U.S. military intends to use F-35s to deploy nuclear bombs if the need arises, making Burlington a potential target for the country’s enemies……. https://vtdigger.org/2019/03/12/f-35-opponents-shift-focus-nuclear-risks/

March 14, 2019 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

There are no “Local” nuclear wars. Urgent need for nuclear powers to disarm.

Nuclear Powers Need to Disarm Before It’s Too Late, Counter Punch,    The recent military clash between India and Pakistan underscores the need for the major nuclear powers — the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, and France — finally to move toward fulfilling their obligations under the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The Treaty’s purpose was not simply to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, but to serve as a temporary measure until Article VI could take effect: the “cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”

The 191 countries that signed the NPT — the most widely subscribed nuclear treaty on the planet — did so with the understanding that the major powers would de-nuclearize. But in the 50 years since the Treaty was negotiated, the nuclear powers have yet to seriously address eliminating weapons of mass destruction.

While over the years the Americans and the Russians have reduced the number of warheads in their arsenals, they — along with China — are currently in the midst of a major modernization of their weapon systems. Instead of a world without nuclear weapons, it is a world of nuclear apartheid, with the great powers making no move to downsize their conventional forces.

For non-nuclear armed countries, this is the worst of all worlds.

There Are No “Local” Nuclear Wars

The folly of this approach was all too clear in the recent India and Pakistan dustup. While both sides appear to be keeping the crisis under control, for the first time in a very long time, two nuclear powers that border one another exchanged air and artillery attacks.

While so far things have not gotten out of hand, both countries recently introduced military policies that make the possibility of a serious escalation very real.

On the New Delhi side is a doctrine called “Cold Start” that permits the Indian military to penetrate up to 30 kilometers deep into Pakistan if it locates, or is in pursuit of, “terrorists.” On the Islamabad side is a policy that gives front-line Pakistani commanders the authority to use tactical nuclear weapons………

If that [ a nuclear weapons attack exchange] happens, its effects will not be just regional. According to a study by the University of Colorado, Rutgers University, and UCLA, if Pakistan and India exchanged 100 Hiroshima-sized nuclear warheads (15 kilotons), they would not only kill or injure 45 million people, but also generate enough smoke to plunge the world into a 25-year long nuclear winter.

Temperatures would drop to Ice Age levels and worldwide rainfall would decline by 6 percent, triggering major droughts. The Asian Monsoon could be reduced by between 20 and 80 percent, causing widespread regional starvation.

Between the cold and the drought, global grain production could fall by 20 percent in the first half decade, and by 10 to 15 percent over the following half decade.

Besides cold and drought, the ozone loss would be between 20 and 50 percent, which would not only further damage crops, but harm sea life, in particular plankton. The reduction of the ozone layer would also increase the rate of skin cancers.

The study estimates that “two billion people who are now only marginally fed might die from starvation and disease in the aftermath of a nuclear conflict between Pakistan and India.”

In short, there is no such thing as a “local” nuclear war……… https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/13/nuclear-powers-need-to-disarm-before-its-too-late/

March 14, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Ratepayers, Gas industry, Environment groups fighting against Pennsylvania Nuclear Bailout Bill

Pennsylvania Nuclear Bailout Bill Draws Fire From Ratepayer, Natural Gas and Enviro Groups

The latest state policy effort to support nuclear power faces opposition on costs, market impacts and lack of clean energy guarantees. Greentech Media, 

But the long-awaited proposal is facing pushback from ratepayer advocates, natural-gas producers and environmental groups that say it’s a flawed approach…….

Opponents, including the AARP and other consumer advocates, have rallied against the bill, claiming it would add more costs than its sponsors have recognized by unnecessarily subsidizing the state’s still-profitable nuclear plants — a move that the state’s natural gas industry and energy analysts say will undermine the state’s competitive electricity market.

Environmental groups are opposed to a bill that lacks broader efforts to increase the state’s share of clean energy….

critics of the Pennsylvania bill, which was leaked in draft form two weeks ago, say that its flaws outweigh its potential benefits. An independent economic analysis of the bill found it could increase ratepayer costs by as much as $900 million per year, or roughly $5 per month for a typical household bill, compared to the author’s projections, raising the ire of ratepayer advocates.

Opponents have also questioned the wisdom of relenting to pressure from Exelon, owner of the Three Mile Island reactor, and FirstEnergy, owner of the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station, which have both announced plans to close the plants by 2021. While the Three Mile Island plant is losing money, Beaver Valley is still profitable. But parent company FirstEnergy Solutions, which filed for bankruptcy protection last year, has threatened to close the plant, along with money-losing coal and nuclear plants in Ohio, absent some form of state intervention.

At the same time, the bill could also extend financial support to the three nuclear power plants that have no plans to close and are projected to remain profitable through 2021, a feature that’s drawn criticism from ratepayer groups that call it an unnecessary subsidy.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania’s significant natural-gas industry opposes the bill on the grounds that it would increase the share of the state’s energy subject to out-of-market subsidies from its current 18 percent-by-2021 goal, to more than half of the state’s total generation mix — a move they say could undermine its participation in the energy markets of mid-Atlantic grid operator PJM.

Finally, the bill’s impacts may not be enough to save the money-losing Three Mile Island plant, according to  a November report by PJM’s independent marketing monitor. Stu Bresler, PJM’s senior vice president of operations and markets, told The Inquirer that the bill will likely result in “upward pressure” on some market prices, but that these pressures may not be enough to save any particular unprofitable power plant from closure.https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/pennsylvania-nuclear-bailout-bill-draws-fire#gs.0sasyx

March 14, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment