nuclear-news

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

San Onofre Task Force Questions Edison About Nuclear Waste Canisters

   https://www.kpbs.org/news/2019/may/29/san-onofre-task-force-questions-edison-about-nucle/ May 29, 2019, By Alison St John  Members of a San Onofre Task Force convened by San Diego Congressman Mike Levin are meeting Wednesday with officials from Southern California Edison, which owns and operates the shuttered nuclear power plant in North San Diego County.

Advertisements

May 30, 2019 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

The long-lasting impact on North Wales agriculture, from Chernobyl nuclear disaster

Daily Post 28th May 2019 ,Despite being over 2,000 miles apart, North Wales was directly affected by the huge blast of radioactive particles which were released into the air
following the Chernobyl disaster. The most significant way this impacted on
the region was the effect it had on livestock, primarily in north western
areas.
Radiation plumes that blew across Europe in the days after the April
1986 catastrophe reached upland farms of over 53,000 hectares – with the
impact lasting for more than 20 years. Just days after the Ukrainian
disaster, the UK Government announced a ban on the sale of sheep across
parts of the region as well as in Cumbria and Scotland – as the enormity of
the problem for farmers became apparent. The protocol was motivated by
heavy rain following the explosion, which washed radioactive decay – mostly
caesium 137 – out of clouds and on to fields all across the continent.
And because of the nature of soil in North Wales, the radioactive particles
were absorbed by plants – rather than being locked up in the soil itself.
Local sheep grazing on the land then became contaminated by eating the
radioactive grass, with restrictions affecting 180,000 sheep. The
restrictions in Snowdonia and beyond – which remained in some areas until
2012 – were imposed on more than 300 Welsh farms following concern for the
caesium in soil and vegetation in upland areas.

https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/chernobyl-disaster-how-north-wales-16340587

May 30, 2019 Posted by | environment, UK | Leave a comment

73 years ago today – radiation-caused death of nuclear physicist Louis Slotin, in the Manhattan Project

Paul Waldon   Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 30 May 19

Today the 30th of May 2019 marks the 73rd anniversary of the death of nuclear physicist Louis Slotin who was the second worker to succumb to acute radiation poisoning attributed to the Demon Core while working on the Manhattan Project.
The nuclear coterie has continued to orate its safety record as one to be proud of in an industry that continues to have shortcomings to the abandonment of the radioactive material it produces. “You can not throw out waste when there is no out.”  more  https://www.facebook.com/groups/941313402573199/

May 30, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Church should oppose nuclear waste in Utah   

May 30, 2019 Posted by | Religion and ethics, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Young voters supported Europe’s Greens – big winners in European elections

Guardian 28th May 2019 Europe’s Greens, big winners in Sunday’s European elections, will use
their newfound leverage in a fractured parliament to push an agenda of urgent climate action, social justice and civil liberties, the movement’s leaders say. “This was a great outcome for us – but we now also have a great responsibility, because voters have given us their trust,” Bas Eickhout, a Dutch MEP and the Greens’ co-lead candidate for commission president, told the Guardian.
“Our voters, especially the younger generation, for many of whom we are now their first choice, are deeply
concerned about the climate crisis, and they are pro-European – but they feel the EU is not delivering. They want us to change the course of Europe.”https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/28/greens-eu-election-mandate-leverage-climate-policy

May 30, 2019 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment

Scotland the first country to set legally binding annual emission reduction targets

Scotsman 29th May 2019 ,  Scotland is leading way by being first country to set legally binding annual emission reduction targets, writes Jamie Livingstone, head of Oxfam Scotland. Earlier this month, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham reaffirmed in the Scottish Parliament the First Minister’s declaration that we are facing a “climate emergency”.

It’s a phrase that’s suddenly in vogue among political leaders from Edinburgh to Cardiff, London, Dublin and
beyond. It’s not hard to see why. Politicians are feeling the climate heat after schoolchildren went on strike and campaigners brought prominent locations, including in Edinburgh, to a standstill.

A recent poll by Stop Climate Chaos Scotland shows 70 per cent of people in Scotland support further action on climate change. It follows dire warnings by climate scientists that we have until 2030 to avert a climate catastrophe.

Political language is, it seems, catching up with reality. And not before time. When I hear the words “climate emergency”, I picture Jenipher, a young woman from the Mulanje district of southern Malawi. When I met her in 2016, Malawi was suffering from the worst drought the country had experienced in over 30 years, one made worse by climate change. Jenipher’s crops had withered; her family was starving; her life depended on the rain
coming next season.

https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/the-heat-is-on-for-politicians-as-world-faces-a-growing-climate-emergency-jamie-livingstone-1-4936375

May 30, 2019 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

Robot boats, drones, artificial intelligence to repair Britain’s repair offshore wind farms

Times 29th May 2019 Robot boats with drones guided by artificial intelligence will take to
Britain’s seas to repair offshore wind farms within two years, a coalition
of arms makers, space scientists and green energy experts said yesterday. A
£4 million project funded by the government will develop an autonomous
mothership that will transport a fleet of self-piloting drones, which will
carry a swarm of six-legged, insect-like robots known as Bladebugs. These
will use suction pads to cling to the blades of wind turbines and assess
them for wear and tear. They should also be able to carry out basic repairs
such as sanding and repainting damaged areas. The system will also make use
of artificial intelligence techniques pioneered by Nasa to run unmanned
space missions. It will be tested at Levenmouth in Fife using a wind
turbine owned by a renewable energy research facility funded by the
government.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/182d58a8-817f-11e9-bb89-165499dc1684

May 30, 2019 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

World’s second EPR nuclear reactor starts work in China

 Phys Org, 6 May 19 A next-generation EPR nuclear reactor in China has carried out its first chain reaction, French energy giant EDF announced Wednesday, becoming the second using the much-delayed European technology to reach the milestone…….

EDF, which helped design the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR), is a minority shareholder in the Taishan project, which is a joint venture with China’s state-run CGN and regional Chinese utility Yuedian.

The first nuclear fuel was loaded into the Taishan 2 reactor in early May in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong……….

EDF has faced serious problems rolling out the technology and has managed to sell just a handful of the reactors as construction problems piled up.

EDF has been building an EPR reactor at Flamanville along the Atlantic coast of northwest France. It was originally set to go online in 2012 but the project has been plagued by technical problems and budget overruns.

Levy acknowledged that the “difficulty” of the Flamanville project had been “underestimated.”

French President Emmanuel Macron has asked EDF to study the feasibility of building more next-generation EPR nuclear reactors in the country, but will wait until 2021 before deciding whether to proceed with construction. https://phys.org/news/2019-05-world-epr-nuclear-reactor-china.html

May 30, 2019 Posted by | China, politics | Leave a comment

May 29 Energy News — geoharvey

Science and Technology: ¶ “A Warming Arctic Produces Weather Extremes In Our Latitudes” • Atmospheric researchers have shown that rising temperatures in the stratosphere are causing the jet stream to falter and follow a wave-like course. And the weakening of the jet stream is spreading downward from the stratosphere, producing weather extremes in lower latitudes. […]

via May 29 Energy News — geoharvey

May 30, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

[The Kyunghyang Newspaper] Safe design can’t guarantee nuclear power plant’s safety — New Silk Road for Life and No-Nukes

“Safe design can’t guarantee nuclear power plant’s safety” by reporter Nam Jiwon, May 26, 2019. Japanese nuclear power plant experts, Goto Masashi & Makita Hiroshi, visited Korea. “People w/o permit is suspected for reactor operation, No touch, please! Japan need not to oppose Korea’s import ban of Fukushima marine food product.” Original Article: http://news.khan.co.kr/kh_news/khan_art_view.html?artid=201905262055005&code=100100#csidx730f23f1aa8c989a4f2090ee898c4b3 %5B…%5D

via [The Kyunghyang Newspaper] Safe design can’t guarantee nuclear power plant’s safety — New Silk Road for Life and No-Nukes

May 29, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How about a peace race instead of an arms race? — IPPNW peace and health blog

Today we face not only an increasingly militarized world, but even a resumption of the nuclear arms race, as nuclear powers brazenly scrap nuclear arms control and disarmament treaties and threaten one another, as well as non-nuclear nations, with nuclear war. Why not wage a peace race instead of an arms race―one bringing an end to the immense dangers and vast waste of resources caused by massive preparations for war?

via How about a peace race instead of an arms race? — IPPNW peace and health blog

May 29, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This week’s nuclear and climate news

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Media freedom now under grave threat, as USA aims to gaol Julian Assange for life.  Gross injustice! Ecuador to hand over Assange’s entire legal defense to the United States .

Journalism should awaken the world to the looming climate catastrophe.  Link between global warming and war.  Despite misogyny, women continue to fight the reckless spending on nuclear weapons.  Carbon dioxide soars to record-breaking levels not seen in 800,000 years.  Climate crisis – the Impact of Ocean Acidification?      A fight for the future as climate change school strikes grow for fourth month running. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCVQdr9QFwY

 

AUSTRALIA.  US charges Julian Assange with 17 counts under Espionage Act. (He’s an Australian citizen. Does the government or anyone care?)  Torres Strait lodges case at UN against Australia on human rights as climate change issue.  Australia can be a global leader on combating climate change, and rejecting nuclear.

CANADA. Vancouver’s international ‘Clean Energy Summit’ – Clean Energy Ministerial in the grip of the nuclear lobby.

MARSHALL ISLANDS. USA’s radioactive dump in the Marshall Islands is leaking.

FRANCE. France forced Polynesians to accept nuclear tests – they finally admit this!

USA.

NORTH KOREA. North Korea warns that nuclear talks “will never be resumed” if USA continues ‘hostile acts’

UK.  Academics advise Labour that there’s no viable place for nuclear in renewable energy plans.   In UK Councillors to get briefing from nuclear panel – anyone can offer their land for nuclear waste dump!  EDF planning to restarttroubled Hunterston and Dungeness B nuclear reactors/

PAKISTAN. Pakistan Tests Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missile .

IRAN. President Rouhani says that Iran might hold a referendum on its nuclear programme.

SWITZERLAND. Swiss authorities intervene to halt exports of nuclear weapons material.  Court orders Swiss authorities to publish arms export data A nuclear accident in one of Switzerland’s old reactors would be devastating to the health of other European countries.

ISRAEL. Wildfires rage in Israel during heatwave.

RUSSIA. Russia Launched New Nuclear Power Icebreaker While Other Countries Pay To Clean up Russian Nuclear Waste Ship.  A high risk operation removing spent nuclear fuel from Russian ship “Lepse”.  Design problems delay development of Russia’s High-Tech Nuclear Submarine.

UKRAINE. Misleading and dangerous – the downplaying of Chernobyl’s radiation risksAnother Chernobyl could happen, by accident, or by sabotage.  Comparing the radioactive pollution from Fukushima and Chernobyl nuclear accidents.  Chernobyl’s spent nuclear fuel to be stored (Holtec’s in on this one, too).

KENYA. In Kenya, 87% of the electricity is from renewal sources.

SOUTH AFRICA. The tiny plant that helped save a desert from uranium mining.  Nuclear power seen as obsoletein South Africa, but they must ramp up renewables, get out of coal.

JAPAN.    Danger in foreign workers at Fukushima nuclear clean-up – Tepco abandons plans for them. At June G20 meeting, Japan to push for international conference on nuclear waste disposal (but no talk on stopping making radioactive trash).  240 shrines within 20 K of Fukushima reactor 1, so a move to build a new shrine.

JORDAN. Renewable energy, replacing nuclear plans with solar, is the obvious way forward for Jordan.

SOUTH KOREA. Risky incident at South Korean nuclear reactor.

May 29, 2019 Posted by | Christina's notes | 3 Comments

Vancouver’s ‘Clean Energy Summit’ – Clean Energy Ministerial in the grip of the nuclear lobby

At Vancouver’s Clean Energy Summit, Nuclear Is Making a Play   Note to ministers from 25 nations: Prepare to be dangerously greenwashed.  By Tanya Glafenhein and M.V. RamanaTanya Glafenhein is an undergraduate political science major at UBC focused on ecological sustainability, and environmental and social justice.

M.V. Ramana is the Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at UBC, and the author of The Power of Promise: Examining Nuclear Energy in India, Penguin Books, New Delhi (2012).

This week Vancouver is host to a summit of ministers from over 25 countries gathered “to accelerate progress toward a clean energy future.

Created in 2010, the Clean Energy Ministerial describes itself as a “high-level global forum to promote policies that advance clean energy technology” and “to encourage the transition towards a global clean energy economy.”

As we face massive environmental challenges, a transition is clearly needed. The problem is that one significant focus of the CEM is to find ways of preserving the existing energy infrastructure while greenwashing it.

Case in point: the cleverly termed NICE Future, which stands for Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future, that was set up in 2018 by the CEM initiative. Its stated aim is “to initiate a dialogue on the role that clean and reliable nuclear energy can play in bolstering economic growth, energy security and access, and environmental stewardship.”

But nuclear energy is not clean except in some narrow definition, and our experience over the decades with this technology has shown that it cannot “bolster” any of the other goals.

Dirty truths about ‘clean energy’

Before going further, it would help to beVanctter understand the term clean energy. For years now, there is an open and growing preference for renewable energy among the public around the world.

This was a problem for the large private and public sector organizations that owned other forms of electricity generation technologies, particularly coal, nuclear, or natural gas. One of the strategies that these large organizations, and supportive politicians and government officials, have been undertaking is to sweep these, or slight variants thereof, under the term clean energy.

The key word is clean, and its use has been promoted by multiple fossil fuel and other industry groups. In the mid-2000s, dozens of coal and utility companies formed something called the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. It then spent tens of millions of dollars on advertisement campaigns about “clean coal” being a solution to global warming.

The Clean Energy Ministerial buys into a similar narrative by promoting what it calls the “Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage Initiative.”

This branding strategy continues to pay off. Utilities and friendly politicians have promoted existing but uneconomical power plants as clean energy options and sought subsidies, for example in the state of New Jersey in the United States.

Last week, Republicans in Ohio proposed legislation known as the “clean energy” subsidy bill. What does this legislation do? Bail out old and uneconomical coal and nuclear power plants in the state, and endmandates that utilities use more renewable and efficient energy.

Of course, neither coal nor nuclear power plants are clean by any reasonable definition. Unless you focus entirely on carbon dioxide and ignore all the other potential pollutants.

Radioactive waste

In the case of nuclear energy, the most difficult environmental legacy is the radioactive waste produced by all nuclear reactors. Radioactive waste is inextricably linked to nuclear energy production, because each nucleus of uranium or plutonium gives rise to radioactive fission products as they break apart. Other radioactive “transuranic elements” are produced when uranium-238 in the fuel absorbs a neutron, again an inevitable occurrence in nuclear reactors.

The problem is that it takes hundreds of thousands of years before the radioactive materials decay to levels that could be considered relatively safe. For those long periods of time, this waste will have to be kept away from human contact — an unprecedented challenge for which there is still no demonstrated solution.

But nuclear plants are not the only source of radioactive wastes. At the very start of the nuclear fuel chain, the mines that produce uranium ore and the mills that process the ore into uranium that is used to fuel nuclear power plants generate radioactive materials that are harmful to the environment and human health.

Around the world, uranium mining and processing has been primarily carried out on Indigenous lands and Indigenous peoples have been significantly affected. Impacted communities include the Navajos in the United States, the Dene people in the Northwest Territories, and the Santhal, Munda, and Ho people in India. Proposed sites for the deep geological repository in Canada are almost all on traditional First Nations land, in a practice that has been termed nuclear colonialism.

Accidents

Nuclear energy is unique among all electricity generating technologies in its propensity for catastrophic accidents such as Chernobyl and Fukushima that create radioactive contamination on a potentially global scale. In those locations near the site of the accident where contamination levels are high, the hazards to health will last for decades if not centuries.

The “exclusion zone” with radiation levels deemed too high for human habitation encompassed 4,300 square kilometres in the case of Chernobyl; at least 116,000 people were evacuated from the area.

The contaminated area is smaller in the case of Fukushima because most of the atmospherically released radionuclides were deposited into the Pacific Ocean due to the prevalent wind direction during the first few days of the accidents.

Many proponents of nuclear energy argue, despite this history of disastrous accidents, that reactors can be operated safely. Critics respond: “The key question is not whether it can be safe, but whether it will be safe.”

The simple answer is no. Not when this has to be done across countries, across many facilities, according to multiple priorities including cost cutting and profit making, and using multiple technologies, each with its own vulnerabilities.

Weapons

Though the nuclear industry is loath to admit it, there is a very close relationship between nuclear power and weapons. In the words of the late Ted Taylor, a former weapons designer turned nuclear abolition advocate, “the connections between nuclear technology for constructive use and for destructive use are so closely tied together that the benefits of the one are not accessible without greatly increasing the hazards of the other.” Nuclear war would be the ultimate environmental catastrophe.

This connection is particularly important to emphasize given that many of the members of the Clean Energy Ministerial are either nuclear weapon states or members of military alliances with nuclear weapon states. Members include the U.S., China, France, Russia, India, United Kingdom, Canada, and Japan to name a few.

But isn’t nuclear the cheap way to fight climate change?

Despite all these problems with nuclear energy, some might argue that this technology remains the only way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The problem with this argument is that nuclear energy is fading in importance globally. Nuclear power’s share of global electricity generation was 17.5 per cent in 1996. Since then, this fraction has steadily declined, reaching 10.3 per cent in 2017. For a variety of reasons, the downward trend is expected to continue.

What is behind this trend? The primary reason is that nuclear plants are no longer financially viable. Because they are hugely expensive, it has been known for a while that building new nuclear plants makes little economic sense. What has changed in the last decade is that it is not just constructing new reactors, but just operating one, even one that is old and has its capital costs paid off, that has ceased to make economic sense in many cases.

This is because alternatives to nuclear energy, in particular renewable sources of electricity like wind and solar energy, have become drastically cheaper. In contrast, just about every nuclear plant that was constructed in the last decade has proven more expensive than initially projected.

The Wall Street consulting company, Lazard, publishes annual cost figures for different energy technologies. In 2018, the Lazard estimate for the construction cost of a new nuclear plant in the United States was over $9,000 per kilowatt and each megawatt-hour of electricity produced would have cost around $150.

In comparison, a new wind energy plant cost $1,350 per kilowatt to construct; it cost $1,110 per kilowatt for solar energy. The generation costs for wind and solar energy are around $40 per megawatt-hour. The comparison has only been becoming more favourable to renewable technologies over the years.

These economic trends suggest that to expect nuclear energy to play an important role in climate change mitigation is wishful or delusional at best. The Clean Energy Ministerial should drop its support for technologies like nuclear power and coal. Or it can change its name to Unclean Energy Ministerial.   https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2019/05/27/Nuclear-Making-Play-Clean-Energy-Summit/ 

May 28, 2019 Posted by | spinbuster | Leave a comment

Wide swathe of USA affected by major tornadoes -to the alarm of climate scientists

Tornadoes Cut Across Unusually Wide Swaths of US, Raising Alarm for Climate Scientistshttps://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/05/27/tornadoes-cut-across-unusually-wide-swaths-us-raising-alarm-climate-scientists There’s reason to believe major outbreak days are getting worse.”  by Julia Conley, staff writer,

As the death toll in Oklahoma rose to six Monday amid an outbreak of nearly 200 tornadoes across the Midwest in recent days—as well as in areas far less accustomed to them—climate scientists said such patterns may carry warnings about the climate crisis and its many implications for extreme weather events.

In Oklahoma, tornadoes touched down in at least two cities, including El Reno and Sapulpa, over the weekend, injuring dozens and leveling a number of homes. The tornado that hit El Reno, a suburb of Oklahoma City, was given an EF3 rating, with wind speeds up to 165 miles per hour. Only about five percent of tornadoes are given an EF3 rating or higher.

 The tornadoes hit after much of the state endured severe flooding last week, following powerful storms that overflowed the Arkansas River and damaged about 1,000 homes.

Outside the Midwest, at least one twister touched down near Washington, D.C., with reports of tornadoes in Texas and Colorado, and Chicago facing a tornado watch on Monday.

While tornadoes have long been a fixture in the Midwest, meteorologist Eric Holthaus tweeted last week that there is “reason to believe major outbreak days…are getting worse,” while climate scientists are examining links between the storms and the climate crisis.

The so-called “Tornado Alley,” which covers parts of Texas and Kansas as well as Oklahoma, appears to be growing, according to a study published in Nature last year—making tornadoes more frequent in states that rarely saw them previously including Arkansas, Mississippi, and eastern Missouri.

“What all the studies have shown is that this particular part of the U.S. has been having more tornado activity and more tornado outbreaks than it has had in decades before,” Mike Tippett, a mathematician who studies the climate at Columbia University told PBS Newshour earlier this year.

As the Kansas City Star reported on Sunday, scientists believe the warming of the globe—fueled by human activities like fossil fuel extraction—is contributing to higher amounts of water vapor in the atmosphere, causing heavier rainfalls which can spawn tornadoes.

The increase in destructive tornadoes across wider swaths of the country than in previous decades “may be suggestive of climate change effects,” Purdue University researcher Ernest Agee told the Star.  And the unusual occurrence of tornadoes in far more densely-populated areas than those that frequently see such weather events has led to concerns that tornadoes will become more deadly and destructive than they’ve been in the past

May 28, 2019 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Temporary dome over radioactive trash on Runit Island – now leaking waste to the Pacific

May 28, 2019 Posted by | OCEANIA, Reference, wastes | Leave a comment