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Hiroshima – Nagasaki week – nuclear news

There’s a not at all funny irony in that significant nuclear weapons decisions have been made by USA and Russia in this anniversary week.    USA formally withdraws from nuclear treaty with Russia and prepares to test new missile. Putin warns that Russia will follow if USA develops new nuclear missiles. A dangerous nuclear arms race likely to follow, if the New Start Treaty is not renewed.  USA Democrats struggle with Senator Elizabeth Warren and others’ determination to change America’s present “presidential first use” policy, and make it official U.S. policy not to be the first to use a nuclear weapon.

Intense heat waves have swept Europe this summer, breaking temperature records in at least a dozen countries. Scientists have warned that the world should expect more scorching heat waves and extreme weather due to climate change.   July confirmed as the world’s hottest month ever recorded.

Samantha Smith – a 10 year old who acted to reduce nuclear weapons.

The Myths, the Silence, and the Propaganda That Keep Nuclear Weapons in Existence.  Collapse of the INF treaty could be followed by the expiry of New Start.     What Exactly Is Nuclear ‘No First Use’?

Nuclear power will ‘lumber into extinction,’ ex-regulator says.  Nuclear power has never been financially viable.

Major problem for astronauts – radiation damages mood and memory?

UKRAINE. Belarus’ forgotten children – victims of Chernobyl’s nuclear radiation.

JAPAN.

USA. 

MARSHALL ISLANDS. Radiation Levels Higher in Marshall Islands Than in Chernobyl. Marshall Islands to survey leaking nuclear dome.

FRANCE. Another French nuclear plant having difficulties due to hot weather and poor river flow. Climate change continues to affect France’s nuclear power industry.

RUSSIA. Sunken Soviet Sub leaking high levels of radiation, Norwegian researchers say.The nuclear disasters that we don’t hear about – The Kyshtym DisasterRussia’s coverup of 2017 nuclear accident in the Ural mountains.   The nuclear accidents we don’t hear about – Soviet Submarine K-19.

INDIA. Kashmir, nexus of conflict between nuclear antagonists India and Pakistan, faces crackdown, plunges into fear.

UK. The nuclear disasters we don’t hear about – The Windscale Fire.

IRELAND. Overwhelming arguments against nuclear power for Ireland.

BRAZIL. The nuclear accidents we don’t hear about – The Goiânia Accident.

CANADA. The nuclear accidents we don’t hear about – Chalk River Ontario.

BELGIUM. Belgium broke law but can keep nuclear plants open, EU court rules.

UK. Brexit: nuclear medicine at risk from no-deal. UK union unhappy with financing plan for new nuclear power plants.  Concern in Suffolk over the socio-economic and environmental effects of massive Sizewell nuclear project.

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August 6, 2019 Posted by | Christina's notes | 2 Comments

The nuclear bombing of Hiroshima -City Lying in Ashes and Rubble

From the Archives, 1945: The terrible fate of Hiroshima,  SMH, 56 Aug 19 First published in The Age on August 9, 1945, TERRIBLE FATE OF HIROSHIMA  City Lying in Ashes and RubbleTOKIO SAYS IMPACT WAS TERRIFIC   Guam – Photographs of Hiroshima taken after the atomic bomb raid reveal a terrible story. The area destroyed in this single volcano lies in ashes and rubble, with here and there a reinforced wall left sadly standing.

A communique issued from the headquarters of General Spaatz announces that four and one-tenth square miles, or 60 per cent., of Hiroshima, which is as large as Brisbane, was wiped out by the bomb.

The announcement is based on reconnaissance photographs, which showed additional damage outside the completely destroyed area.

Answering a question why Hiroshima, rather than Tokio, was chosen as the first target, an army spokesman replied: “Maybe we did not want to risk hitting Government buildings and destroying people who may make the decision to surrender.”

Tokio Radio’s version of the raid said that the impact of the bomb was so terrific that practically all living things, human and animal, were literally seared to death. All the dead and injured were burned beyond recognition.

The broadcast added that the effect of the bomb was widespread. Those out of doors were burned to death, and those indoors were killed by indiscriminate pressure and heat. Houses and buildings were smashed, including emergency medical facilities.

Another broadcast warned the Japanese homeland to brace itself for new atomic bomb attacks. Osaka Radio said since it was presumed that the enemy would continue to use the new bomb the authorities should point out measures to cope with it immediately if this was possible…..

Tokio Radio claims that Hiroshima was an open city, and says authorized bombing was a violation of international law, which forbids belligerents an unlimited choice in the means of destruction. https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/from-the-archives-1945-the-terrible-fate-of-hiroshima-20190802-p52dd2.html

August 6, 2019 Posted by | history | Leave a comment

Hiroshima Day – a time to review America’s “presidential first use” nuclear weapons policy

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and no first use   https://thebulletin.org/2019/08/hiroshima-nagasaki-and-no-first-use/  By Elaine ScarryZia Mian, August 5, 2019  On August 6 and August 9, we again take time to contemplate the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The arrangements that permitted a US president to drop an atomic bomb on tens of thousands of civilians continue to be in place today.

The United States has a “presidential first use” policy which means that President Trump, acting alone, can issue the order for a nuclear strike, even if our own country is not under nuclear attack. This concern has been raised in the Democratic Party presidential primaries for the 2020 election, with some candidates arguing for a shift to a US policy of no first use of nuclear weapons. There is already legislation pending in Congress to this effect.

A conference held at Harvard in 2017, “Presidential First Use of Nuclear Weapons: Is it Legal? Is it Constitutional? Is it Just?” brought together a US congressman, a US Senator, a former missile launch officer, several constitutional law professors, a former secretary of defense, a physicist, and several philosophers to address this question as it applies to the United States, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and North Korea.

Youtube videos of all their lectures can be found here.    An edited transcript of some of the talks at the conference is available here.

August 6, 2019 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Belarus’ forgotten children – victims of Chernobyl’s nuclear radiation

Kevin Barry in Chernobyl: ‘Misha is an example of what happens when a country is on its knees’  Irish Examiner, August 05, 2019 

In 2000 the Irish Examiner sent Kevin Barry, now longlisted for the Booker Prize for his novel Night Boat to Tangier, to Chernobyl. Here we reproduce what he reported

Misha photographed by Eugene Kolzov at the No 1 orphanage in Minsk.Misha, aged seven, is the victim of not one but many sicknesses. His physical disorders, as can be plainly seen, are many and various.

But Misha is the victim of another ailment too, a kind of compassion deficiency.

Chernobyl isn’t fashionable these days, it’s been around so long now. April 26, 1986 seems a long time in the way-distant past. After the initial blurt of paranoia and charitable outreach, the fickle gaze of public interest quickly flicked from the incident at Reactor No 4 to fresher horrors.

Misha, then, has been shuffled way back in the compassion pack. He has fallen behind the other ravaged children who sombrely people the planet’s trouble spots, in places like Mozambique and Ethiopia.

He’s competing with Rwanda and Chechnya. And it’s beginning to tell Misha’s illness is a direct consequence of the Chernobyl explosion.

The radioactive danger in Belarus is not so much in the air now as in the food chain. Professor Yuri Bandashevsky, a dissident scientist, told the Irish Examiner this week that the mutations caused by radiation in children like Misha have by now entered the gene pool and thus the effects of the ‘86 explosion can stretch to infinity.

After criticising the state’s alleged misspending of research money for Chernobyl, Professor Bandashevsky recently found himself banged up in jail for five months, bound at the feet.

Which isn’t the sort of thing that bodes well for the likes of Misha. Some aid continues to filter through. This week, a convoy run by the Chernobyl Children’s Project has been on a drive through Belarus, dispensing almost £2 million in food and medicines.

One of the institutions the orphanage supports is Novinki, a children’s asylum on the outskirts of Minsk. Such is its Dickensian squalor, its actual existence was long denied by the state. This is where you’ll find little Misha.

Project leader Adi Roche says she has known the child since he was a baby, but has been stunned at his deterioration since she last visited in December.

After finding him emaciated and dying this week, the project has placed a Dublin nurse and a local Chernobyl nurse on 24-hour care alert with Misha, an attempt to make whatever is left of his life as painless as possible

“We don’t know how long Misha will live, or if he will live, but we are morally obliged to do everything in our power to attempt saving his life,” said Ms Roche last night.

“‘He is not the only child in Belarus suffering as horrifically as this. he’s just one of many.” she added. “‘These children are the victims of 14 years of neglect by the international community.”’

Many children in Belarus consigned to mental asylums have no mentaI handicap. “All orphaned children with any kind of disability are put into mental asylums if they live beyond the age of four,” she said.

Meanwhile, staffed by1,000 workers, the Chernobyl plant continues operate a couple of kilometres inside the Ukraine border.

The authorities say it will close this year. The concrete sarcophagus built to contain contamination from the reactor has 200 holes and counting.

Orphans of the nuclear age

Kevin Barry, in Chernobyl, finds a land and its people scarred by a disaster from which they may never recover.

Chernobyl at this time of year is beautiful, the borderlands of the Ukraine and Belarus a pastoral and idyllic place. Vast swardes of rich woodland are full of babbling brooks and twittering songbirds, every way you turn, there’s a postcard vista to please even the most jaded eyes.

The locals, however, are edgy. The President of Belarus, Alaksandr Lukashenko — aka ‘Batska’ (‘The Father’) — has decreed that the farmlands here–abouts are now safe to plant and he’s threatening to fly overhead and make sure the workers are toiling.

If not, he says, there will be trouble. Big trouble.

The notion of Batska in an airplane is enough to prompt sleepless nights for those who remain in the Purple Zone, the area most contaminated by the accident in 1986 at Smelter No 4 of the nuclear plant that lies inside the Ukranian border.

In a tragedy of happenstance, because there was a stiff northerly gusting that day, Belarus took the brunt of the damage and because radioactivity is most lethal when it attacks developing human systems, children have borne most of the pain.

But for these children, the most serious ailment is not the thyroid cancer or the leukaemia or the heart trouble or the kidney failure or the various disorders of colon and spleen prompted by Chernobyl.

The greatest danger is the compassion-fatigue. 1986 seems a long time ago now and the incident at Smelter No 4 is no longer swaddled in the necessary event-glamour or crisis-chatter.

When the evening news is an atrocity exhibition, when daily there are hellish dispatches from Mozambique, Ethiopia and Chechnya, the Belarussians fall ever further back in the line.

The foreign correspondents have long since moved on elsewhere. The story of a child developing thyroid cancer over a period of years doesn’t conform neatly with the sound-byte culture.

By this stage, the Belarussians have had enough. A condition of mass denial exists in the country and a native of the village Solchechy in the Purple Zone says that up to around 1993, everybody fretted and freaked out but then they decided, well, to hell with it.

“The mess got to be too much,” she says.

We don’t think about it now. Life is life and we try to get on with it.

This is easier said than done in Belarus. The country’s economy is shot — agriculture was its mainstay and since Chernobyl, the income from farming has been negligible. Almost 30% of the country’s annual turnover goes to the clean-up operation.

Belarus remains the most Soviet of states. There are thickly-piled layers bureaucracy and this tangle of demented protocol regulations and petty restrictions is amorphic, constantly shape-shifting.

The natives have had to develop a stoic acceptance of a hard frustrating life…….. https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/views/analysis/kevin-barry-in-chernobyl-misha-is-an-example-of-what-happens-when-a-country-is-on-its-knees-941735.html

August 6, 2019 Posted by | Belarus, children, PERSONAL STORIES, Reference | Leave a comment

As USA leaves the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, Putin warns that Russia will follow if USA develops new nuclear missiles

Putin to Trump: We’ll develop new nuclear missiles if you do https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-arms-putin/putin-to-trump-well-develop-new-nuclear-missiles-if-you-do-idUSKCN1UV1GV, Andrew OsbornPolina Devitt, 5 Aug 19, 

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Monday that Moscow would start developing short and intermediate-range land-based nuclear missiles if the United States started doing the same after the demise of a landmark arms control treaty.

The U.S. formally left the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia on Friday after determining that Moscow was violating the treaty and had already deployed one banned type of missile, an accusation the Kremlin denies.

The pact banned land-based missiles with a range of between 310 and 3,400 miles (500-5,500 km), reducing the ability of both countries to launch a nuclear strike at short notice.

Putin on Monday ordered the defense and foreign ministries and Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence service to closely monitor any steps the U.S. takes to develop, produce or deploy missiles banned under the defunct treaty.

If Russia obtains reliable information that the United States has finished developing these systems and started to produce them, Russia will have no option other than to engage in a full-scale effort to develop similar missiles,” Putin said in a statement.

U.S. officials have said the United States is months away from the first flight tests of an American intermediate-range missile that would serve as a counter to the Russians. Any deployment would be years away, they have said.

Putin issued his warning after holding a meeting with Russia’s Security Council to discuss the U.S. move, which Moscow had argued against for months, warning it would undermine a key pillar of international arms control.

Putin said Russia’s arsenal of air and sea-launched missiles combined with its work on developing hypersonic missiles meant it was well placed to offset any threat emanating from the United States for now.

But he said it was essential for Moscow and Washington, the world’s largest nuclear powers, to resume arms control talks to prevent what he described as an “unfettered” arms race breaking out.

In order to avoid chaos with no rules, restrictions or laws, we need to once more weigh up all the dangerous consequences and launch a serious and meaningful dialogue free from any ambiguity,” Putin said.

Officials from President Donald Trump’s administration, speaking on condition of anonymity, have said Russia has deployed “multiple battalions” of a cruise missile throughout Russia in violation of the defunct pact, including in western Russia, “with the ability to strike critical European targets”.

Russia denies the allegation, saying the missile’s range put it outside the treaty and rejected a U.S. demand to destroy the new missile, the Novator 9M729, known as the SSC-8 by the NATO Western military alliance.

Additional reporting by Tom Balmforth, Editing by Ed Osmond

August 6, 2019 Posted by | politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Hiroshima and Nagasaki mayors calling for Japan to sign the UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

August 6, 2019 Posted by | Japan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Radiation research facility opens to public on anniversary of Hiroshima bombing to raise awareness of effects

Radiation research facility opens to public on anniversary of Hiroshima bombing to raise awareness of effects, https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/08/05/national/radiation-research-facility-opens-public-anniversary-hiroshima-bombing/#.XUiq5m8zbIU  

KYODOm A Japan-U.S. joint research organization opened one of its radiation research facilities in Hiroshima to the public Monday to raise awareness of the effects of radiation on human health, ahead of the anniversary on Tuesday of the atomic bombing of the city.Although the Hiroshima facility will only be open to the public for two days, the Radiation Effects Research Foundation will open another research facility in the city of Nagasaki on Thursday and Friday to coincide with the city’s Aug. 9 A-bomb anniversary.

This marks the 25th annual public opening of the facility in Minami Ward, Hiroshima. It aims to share research content and help the public better understand the health effects of radiation. The research facility has been collecting data from hibakusha since the institute was established in 1975, when it succeeded the research efforts of its predecessor, the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission.

Some of the exhibition booths explain the risks of radiation, as well as the role of blood. Visitors can also experiment with freezing cells in liquid nitrogen for preservation, which tends to be popular with children when the experiment is successful.

“The (facility was) full of things I didn’t know were there, like health research on second generation hibakusha. Even as a Hiroshima resident, I learned a lot,” said Sanae Yamamoto, a 41-year-old housewife from Asakita Ward in the city who visited the facility with her children.

August 6, 2019 Posted by | Japan, radiation | Leave a comment

To resuscitate the nuclear industry, USA Dept of Energy promotes yet another gimmick The Versatile Test Reactor

Energy Department wants to build nuclear test “fast” reactor,  BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A new nuclear test reactor is needed as part of an effort to revamp the nation’s fading nuclear power industry by developing safer fuel and power plants, the U.S. Department of Energy said Monday.

The federal agency said it will prepare an environmental impact statement as part of the process to build the test reactor in Idaho or Tennessee by the end of 2025. Public comments on the environmental review are being taken through Sept. 4.

The Versatile Test Reactor would be the first new test reactor built in the U.S. in decades and give the nation a dedicated “fast-neutron-spectrum” testing capability. Such reactors are called fast reactors. ……

The Energy Department had a fast reactor, the Experimental Breeder Reactor II, operating in eastern Idaho until it was shut down in 1994 as the nation turned away from nuclear power.

Edwin Lyman, senior scientist and acting director of the Nuclear Safety Project at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit, said fast reactors such as the proposed Versatile Test Reactor are less safe than current reactors.

Most nuclear reactors in use now are “light-water” reactors fueled by uranium and cooled with water. Lyman said the test reactor will be cooled with harder to control liquid sodium and likely fueled by plutonium, increasing potential nuclear terrorism risks because plutonium can be used to make nuclear weapons.

“There is nothing good about these reactors,” he said. “I think there is a love of plutonium in the (Energy) Department that is irrational.”…….

Reducing spent nuclear fuel, federal officials say, is also an objective of the new test reactor. The U.S. has no permanent repository for about 77,000 tons (70,000 metric tons) of radioactive spent fuel, stored mainly at the commercial nuclear power plants where they were used to produce electricity.

But Lyman said fast reactors would produce waste even more hazardous and difficult to dispose…….

The Energy Department is considering building the test reactor at the Idaho National Laboratory in eastern Idaho or the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in eastern Tennessee. …….. https://apnews.com/64194c2125ad4dc6add67d412e9024c5

August 6, 2019 Posted by | technology, USA | Leave a comment

Radiation Levels Higher in Marshall Islands Than in Chernobyl

Radiation Levels Higher in Marshall Islands Than in Chernobyl   https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/veteran.html

Aug 5, 2019 George Winston  The Marshall Islands are a chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean that lie between Hawaii and the Philippines. They contain the Bikini and Enewetak atolls which you may have heard of if you’ve studied your history lessons.

This is where the United States tested atomic weapons in the 1940s and 1950s. Though it has been over sixty years since testing ended there, the islands are still more radioactive than Chernobyl and Fukushima, sites of two of the worst nuclear reactor disasters.

In a recent study, researchers tested the soil of these sites for plutonium-239 and plutonium-240. In some places, the islands had levels that were ten times higher than soil in the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

While the study was limited, the results indicate that a more thorough test is warranted. The surprising thing to the researchers was that they could not find any guidance from governments or from international organizations which indicated what a permissible level of plutonium would be.

The US tested radioactive weapons in the Marshall Islands even after dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. At the time, the islands were a district of the Trus Territory of the Pacific Islands. The US ran this district on behalf of the United Nations.

The first tests were carried out on Bikini Atoll in 1946 and involved two bombs names Able and Baker. Over the next twelve years, the US tested 67 weapons on the Bikini and Enewetak atolls.

Those tests included one in 1951 code-named Ivy Mike – the first hydrogen bomb test. The largest hydrogen bomb test occurred in 1954 with the Castle Bravo test. Castle Bomb was over 1,000 times more powerful than Little Boy. Little Boy was the bomb that completely destroyed Hiroshima.

The radioactive damage from the tests was not contained to Bikini and Enewetak, though. Fallout from the test contaminated the Rongelap and Utirik atolls which are also part of the Marshall Islands. People on those islands became sick from the radiation levels.

In 2016, a study of background gamma radiation on the three northern atolls in the Marshall Islands, Bikini, Enewetak, and Rongelap, found elevated levels of the radiation. The study found that Bikini even had a higher level than had previously been reported.

That team returned to do more testing. They recently released the results of those studies in the PNAS journal. The studies focused on the Bikini, Enewetak, Rongelap, and Utirik Atolls in the northern part of the islands.

The studies found levels of gamma radiation that were significantly higher than the levels of a southern Marshall Island that the researchers used as a control.

Especially bad were the levels on Bikini and Naen islands. Those levels were found to be higher than the maximum exposure limit that the US and the Republic of the Marshall Islands had agreed to in the 1990s.

Along with Runi and Enjebi islands in the Enewetak Atoll, the islands were found to have radioactive plutonium levels in the soil that were higher than what has been found at Chernobyland Fukushima.

Ivana Nikolic-Hughes, director of the K1 Project at the Center for Nuclear Studies, stated that the researchers were surprised at the levels of external gamma radiation on Naen Island.

This island is on the outer edge of the Rongelap Atoll and was populated at the time of the Bravo test. The people were moved from the island, moved back and then moved away again, Nikolic-Hughes called it a “dreadful history” of treatment for the Rongelapese people.

A second study by the group used professional divers to collect 130 samples from the Castle Bravo Crater on the Bikini Atoll. Here, isotopes such as plutonium-239 and 240, americium-241 and bismuth-207 were much higher than they were on other Marshall Islands.

The researchers were interested in testing the crater because they feel it is a first step in determining how the testing of nuclear weapons has affected the ocean.

The third study tested over 200 fruits from the islands. They found many of the fruits contained higher levels of cesium-137 which would be deemed unsafe by several countries and international organizations.

The researchers hope the data gathered can be used to educate the residents of the Marshall Islands about the dangers there and inform them of whether it is safe to live on these islands or gather food from them.

August 6, 2019 Posted by | environment, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Major problem for astronauts – radiation damages mood and memory?

August 6, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, space travel | 2 Comments

Sunken Soviet Sub leaking high levels of radiation, Norwegian researchers say

August 6, 2019 Posted by | environment, radiation, Russia | Leave a comment

Kashmir, nexus of conflict between nuclear antagonists India and Pakistan, faces crackdown, plunges into fear,

Kashmir, nexus of conflict between nuclear antagonists India and Pakistan, faces crackdown, plunges into fear, By India and Pakistan have fought two wars and engaged in countless cross-border military skirmishes over Kashmir.

Now India has plunged the mountainous region into fear by revoking Kashmir’s constitutionally mandated “special privileges.” The federal government in Delhi sent in thousands of troops over the weekend, and Kashmiri political leaders have been put under house arrest. Internet service to the area has been cut off or restricted…..

The crackdown did not come as a surprise: The Delhi government ordered tourists out of the Himalayan region last week, warning of a possible terrorist attack.

Kashmir has been claimed by both Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan — and administered by India — since the two countries won their independence shortly after World War II. Great Britain partitioned its colony on the Indian subcontinent in 1947 before pulling out, sparking widespread violence. “Under the partition plan provided by the Indian Independence Act,” the BBC notes, “Kashmir was free to accede to India or Pakistan” — and the region’s maharaja at the time chose India, even though the population is predominantly Muslim. This led to a two-year war between India and Pakistan, with another one erupting in 1965.

In the 1990s, both India and Pakistan successfully tested nuclear weapons and began stockpiling warheads. Various armed separatist outfits have been operating in Kashmir for decades…….. https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2019/08/kashmir-nexus-of-conflict-between-nuclear-antagonists-india-and-pakistan-faces-crackdown-plunges-into-fear.html

August 6, 2019 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

Overwhelming arguments against nuclear power for Ireland

The arguments against nuclear as an energy solution are overwhelming, Irish Examiner, 5 Aug 19,   “……….Tony Lowes, director of Friends of the Irish Environment, accepts that the nuclear question can provoke impassioned responses. “It hits some fundamental terror in people,” he says.

But he says the arguments against nuclear as an energy solution are overwhelming.

“It’s not a renewable fuel for a start — it’s a fossil fuel because you have to mine for uranium — and any efforts made to bring in nuclear energy would be at the expense of actually solving our problems which we have to do through wind and solar.”

Off-shore wind farms are the real answer, Lowes says, both because of the enormous amount of energy available to be harnessed off Ireland’s coasts and because of the growing opposition among local communities to the proliferation of onshore turbines and solar farms.

He is critical of the delays in overhauling the planning and licencing system needed to support offshore. Currently, developers face a mountain of bureaucracy with a multitude of national and local agencies to work through, with sometimes overlapping or duplicated processes.

In late July, the Government finally approved the general scheme of the Marine Planning and Development Management Bill 2019 which promises to clarify and streamline the procedures but, as the official announcement itself pointed out, this replaces the Maritime Area and Foreshore Amendment Bill of 2013.

Six years on and we still have only a general scheme of a bill with a long way to go before legislation is enacted and processes change accordingly.

Meanwhile investors have a number of large-scale project proposals on hold awaiting legislative clarity.

“We’ve known for a long time that off-shore wind is essential. It’s a no-brainer. The blockages to it are just so reprehensible,” Lowes says.

“We don’t have a very clear picture of how the rules for offshore will work and we haven’t addressed it with anything like the urgency we need to which is why we’re talking about nuclear energy. But I think it would be a really fatal mistake to make nuclear part of the energy mix in the long-term.”……

Off-shore wind and solar at times produce a surplus of energy. Battery storage facilities — often looking like a cluster of large office cabinets — can be installed in open spaces to store excess power but already plans for some in this country are facing local opposition.

The excess can also be processed to produce hydrogen that could be used for heating and fuelling vehicles which would take the pressure off the electricity supply at times when the sun is down and winds are light.

The idea works at the experimental level but the challenge is to get it working on a large scale and cheaply enough to make it worthwhile. A breakthrough on that front is imminent, so the energy industry says, but the proof is awaited……

Oisin Coghlan, director of the Friends of the Earth Ireland, however, doesn’t believe a debate on nuclear is necessary or justifiable.

“I think it’s a massive distraction,” he says. “You’d have to change the law and even if Friends of the Earth changed our position and said, you know what, we think nuclear is the solution and we’re going to drop everything and campaign for it for the next 10 years, I don’t think it would make the slightest bit of difference……

Coghlan believes nuclear has as much to do with psychology as technology. “Nuclear appeals to engineers and it appeals to politicians who want big solutions and macho solutions,” he says. ……

“Lagging every attic and double-glazing every window would be far more efficient and far quicker and have none of the hassle but engineers and politicians have been very resistant to this kind of approach.

“They don’t like starting small — putting solar panels on every school and house — because that’s lots of little people doing little things.

But that’s what makes this a societal journey where we all change together. When every school has solar power, while that won’t be enough on its own, it will mean that maybe the parents are less likely to oppose the solar farm planned for down the road because they start to feel like they’re part of the solution.

“I think nuclear is a red herring that appeals to a certain mindset and I think that mindset is outdated. We need to look at decentralised, renewable electricity that many of us are involved in owning, that many of us are involved in supplying and all of us are involved in supporting.”……

For Tony Lowes, here is no argument — nuclear is not an answer. “We were ahead of the game in wind energy 10-15 years ago and we got stuck but we can still transform the energy picture if we get moving again,” he says.

“Bringing nuclear into the conversation is just going to slow us down even more and we don’t have any more time to lose.”

August 6, 2019 Posted by | Ireland, politics | Leave a comment

Marshall Islands to survey leaking nuclear dome,

August 6, 2019 Posted by | environment, OCEANIA | Leave a comment