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France’s sodium-cooled fast Nuclear reactor turns out to be a dud. Cancelled

News1 29th Aug 2019 The Astrid Fast Reactor Project is shut down by the Atomic EnergyCommission. A blow to the future of the sector. This was to be the nextstep in the development of the French nuclear industry, one that wouldallow it to project into the future, but which is likely never to see the
light of day. According to our information, the Astrid Fast Neutron Reactor
(RNR) project is being abandoned by the Atomic Energy and Alternative
Energies Commission (CEA), which is nevertheless at the origin.

Le Monde 29th Aug 2019 Astrid, the acronym for Advanced Sodium Technological Reactor for Industrial Demonstration, is a sodium-cooled fast reactor prototype project to be built at the Marcoule nuclear site in the Gard.

The objective of this new generation is to use depleted uranium and plutonium as fuel, in other words to reuse the radioactive materials from the electricity generation of the current nuclear fleet and largely stored at the La Hague site. (Channel), operated by Orano (formerly Areva).

August 31, 2019 Posted by | France, reprocessing | Leave a comment

Canada didn’t sign the nuclear ban treaty, but can still take up its humanitarian provisions  

August 31, 2019 Posted by | Canada, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia Spreads Influence in Africa Using Nuclear Power

Russia Spreads Influence in Africa Using Nuclear Power – Reports, Moscow Times, 30 Aug 19, Russia is working to win influence in at least 10 African states with high-cost nuclear technology that for the most part does not suit their needs, researchers and NGOs have told The Guardian newspaper.

With booming exports, nuclear energy is one example of Russia’s increasing presence in Africa in recent years. Elsewhere, a businessman known as “Putin’s chef,” Yevgeny Prigozhin, is widely reported to be spearheading Russia’s push to exchange security and electioneering services for mining rights in Africa.

Russia’s state nuclear agency Rosatom has approached the leaders of “dozens” of African countries with various nuclear energy projects in the past two years, The Guardian reported Wednesday. Rosatom has existing deals with Egypt and Nigeria and other various agreements with other countries on the continent.

Few African countries have the capacity to distribute the amount of nuclear energy generated by the type of reactors that Rosatom is exporting, experts told the outlet. Observers also noted that the costly projects favored by Rosatom likely wouldn’t benefit Africa’s poorest populations……..

August 31, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Residents skeptical of plans to dismantle Oyster Creek nuclear plant

Residents skeptical of plans to dismantle Oyster Creek nuclear plant, WHYY, Nicholas Pugliese,

Residents in Ocean County, New Jersey, are skeptical of plans to dismantle the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant, which includes an accelerated timeline for removing the facility’s spent nuclear fuel and storing it indefinitely in casks onsite.

More than 150 people attended a town hall Thursday night to grill representatives from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Camden-based Holtec International, which is overseeing the decommissioning process together with Canadian company SNC-Lavalin.

They also implored U.S. Rep. Andy Kim, who hosted the event, and other elected officials in the audience to hold Holtec accountable. “You need to protect us,” said Barnegat resident Marianne Clemente, 73.

Many questions focused on Holtec’s assertion it can decommission the plant in six to eight years thanks to new technology and streamlined processes. Exelon, the company that operated the plant, had proposed a 60-year timeline.

“What technology miraculously got discovered to take you from 60 years to six years?” Clemente asked.

Other residents raised concerns about the safety of storing spent fuel onsite — a virtual necessity given there are few alternative places to put the waste. Holtec wants to build an interim nuclear waste storage facility in New Mexico but is yet to win federal approval to do so, and the U.S. government has not established a permanent repository.

“Do you have the research and the proof that you can monitor whether or not there is hydrogen gas build-up in those casks once they are sealed?” said Janet Tauro, an environmental activist with the group Clean Water Action. ……

Holtec will host an informational session on Sept. 23 to give residents another chance to ask questions, while the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has a public meeting scheduled on Oct. 3 in Manahawkin to discuss the potential role of a local community advisory board.

Oyster Creek was the nation’s oldest operating commercial nuclear power plant until it shut down last September after 49 years in operation.

Holtec purchased the 650-megawatt facility from Exelon Corporation in July, and with it assumed the plant’s $1 billion trust fund for dismantling the site.

Holtec says a faster decommissioning helps the community because it allows the site to be repurposed. Moving more quickly also would provide profit for Holtec. It’s getting paid from the $1 billion trust fund and it gets to keep any money left over if it costs less than that.

Oyster Creek is not the only site going through this process. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is currently overseeing the decommissioning of about 20 other sites across the country.

That includes one unit at Peach Bottom station in York County, Pa., and one unit at Three Mile Island, in Dauphin County, Pa. Both facilities are still operating with other reactors, although Three Mile Island is scheduled to shut down completely next month

August 31, 2019 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Watchdogs ask court to stop Edison from dumping San Onofre plant’s nuclear waste at beach

August 31, 2019 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

The Once and Future Threat of Nuclear Weapon Testing

The Once and Future Threat of Nuclear Weapon Testing, Just Security by Ambassador Thomas Graham Jr.   30 Aug 19    The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is the central security instrument of the United States and the world community. It is based on a strategic bargain between the five nuclear weapon states in the NPT (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China) and the 185 non-nuclear-weapon parties to the treaty. The current worldwide moratorium on nuclear weapon testing and the intended ultimate conversion of that ban to legally binding treaty status by bringing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) into force are essential to the long-term viability of this strategic bargain. But some Trump administration officials have signaled hostility to the CTBT and an interest in the United States resuming nuclear weapon testing, which could cause a catastrophic unraveling of that bargain……..

August 31, 2019 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Holtec Ignores New Mexico State Land Office Authority,

August 31, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Hurricane Dorian Skips Puerto Rico & Instead Sets Sights on Trump PB Club & Nuclear Power Station in Florida — Mining Awareness + — nuclear-news

“DORIAN FORECAST TO STRENGTHEN INTO A MAJOR HURRICANE DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS…” says National Hurricane Center. Updates here: While the official NHC forecast shows it centered a bit north of Trump’s PB Mar-a-Lago club and the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Station, they don’t really know what it will do, apart from almost […] […]

via Hurricane Dorian Skips Puerto Rico & Instead Sets Sights on Trump PB Club & Nuclear Power Station in Florida — Mining Awareness + — nuclear-news

August 31, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hurricane Dorian Skips Puerto Rico & Instead Sets Sights on Trump PB Club & Nuclear Power Station in Florida — Mining Awareness +

“DORIAN FORECAST TO STRENGTHEN INTO A MAJOR HURRICANE DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS…” says National Hurricane Center. Updates here: While the official NHC forecast shows it centered a bit north of Trump’s PB Mar-a-Lago club and the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Station, they don’t really know what it will do, apart from almost […]

via Hurricane Dorian Skips Puerto Rico & Instead Sets Sights on Trump PB Club & Nuclear Power Station in Florida — Mining Awareness +

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

Julian Assange: the latest blackout by Mnar Muhawesh and Robert Sheer on effects on journalism — Rise Up Times

If you are waiting for corporate media pundits to defend freedom of the press, you’re going to be disappointed.

via Julian Assange: the latest blackout by Mnar Muhawesh and Robert Sheer on effects on journalism — Rise Up Times

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

Refuting Australian Financial Review’s disinformation on Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs)

August 29, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, media, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Nuclear winter – the global threat to life

Nuclear winter would threaten nearly everyone on Earth

Second study of its kind confirms extreme impacts from US vs. Russia nuclear war

August 28, 2019
Rutgers University
If the United States and Russia waged an all-out nuclear war, much of the land in the Northern Hemisphere would be below freezing in the summertime, with the growing season slashed by nearly 90 percent in some areas, according to a new study. Indeed, death by famine would threaten nearly all of the Earth’s 7.7 billion people, according to the research.

If the United States and Russia waged an all-out nuclear war, much of the land in the Northern Hemisphere would be below freezing in the summertime, with the growing season slashed by nearly 90 percent in some areas, according to a Rutgers-led study.

Indeed, death by famine would threaten nearly all of the Earth’s 7.7 billion people, said co-author Alan Robock, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

The study in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheresprovides more evidence to support The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons passed by the United Nations two years ago, Robock said. Twenty-five nations have ratified the treaty so far, not including the United States, and it would take effect when the number hits 50.

Lead author Joshua Coupe, a Rutgers doctoral student, and other scientists used a modern climate model to simulate the climatic effects of an all-out nuclear war between the United States and Russia. Such a war could send 150 million tons of black smoke from fires in cities and industrial areas into the lower and upper atmosphere, where it could linger for months to years and block sunlight. The scientists used a new climate model from the National Center for Atmospheric Research with higher resolution and improved simulations compared with a NASA model used by a Robock-led team 12 years ago.

The new model represents the Earth at many more locations and includes simulations of the growth of the smoke particles and ozone destruction from the heating of the atmosphere. Still, the climate response to a nuclear war from the new model was nearly identical to that from the NASA model.

“This means that we have much more confidence in the climate response to a large-scale nuclear war,” Coupe said. “There really would be a nuclear winter with catastrophic consequences.”

In both the new and old models, a nuclear winter occurs as soot (black carbon) in the upper atmosphere blocks sunlight and causes global average surface temperatures to plummet by more than 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Because a major nuclear war could erupt by accident or as a result of hacking, computer failure or an unstable world leader, the only safe action that the world can take is to eliminate nuclear weapons, said Robock, who works in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.

August 29, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

’12 Years to Act on Climate Change’ – what does this really mean?

What Does ’12 Years to Act on Climate Change’ (Now 11 Years) Really Mean? doesn’t mean the world can wait until 2030 to cut greenhouse gas emissions, or that chaos will erupt in 2030. Here’s what the science shows., BY BOB BERWYN, INSIDE CLIMATE NEWS, AUG 27,2019We’ve been hearing variations of the phrase “the world only has 12 years to deal with climate change” a lot lately.Sen. Bernie Sanders put a version of it front and center of his presidential campaign last week, saying we now have “less than 11 years left to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels to energy efficiency and sustainable energy, if we are going to leave this planet healthy and habitable.”

But where does the idea of having 11 or 12 years come from, and what does it actually mean?

The number began drawing attention in 2018, when the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report describing what it would take to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, a goal of the Paris climate agreement. The report explained that countries would have to cut their anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, such as from power plants and vehicles, to net zero by around 2050. To reach that goal, it said, CO2 emissions would have to start dropping “well before 2030” and be on a path to fall by about 45 percent by around 2030 (12 years away at that time).

Mid-century is actually the more significant target date in the report, but acting now is crucial to being able to meet that goal, said Duke University climate researcher Drew Shindell, a lead author on the mitigation chapter of the IPCC report.

We need to get the world on a path to net zero CO2 emissions by mid-century,” Shindell said. “That’s a huge transformation, so that if we don’t make a good start on it during the 2020s, we won’t be able to get there at a reasonable cost.”

How Do Scientists Know?

Basics physics and climate science allow scientists to calculate how much CO2 it takes to raise the global temperature—and how much CO2 can still be emitted before global warming exceeds 1.5°C (2.7°F) compared to pre-industrial times.

Scientists worked backward from that basic knowledge to come up with timelines for what would have to happen to stay under 1.5°C warming, said Scott Denning, who studies the warming atmosphere at Colorado State University.

“They figured out how much extra heat we can stand. They calculated how much CO2 would produce that much heat, then how much total fuel would produce that much CO2. Then they considered ‘glide paths’ for getting emissions to zero before we burn too much carbon to avoid catastrophe,” he said.

“All this work gets summarized as ‘in order to avoid really bad outcomes, we have to be on a realistic glide path toward a carbon-free global economy by 2030.’ And that gets translated to something like ’emissions have to fall by half in a decade,’ and that gets oversimplified to ’12 years left.’

“There’s certainly a grain of truth in the phrase, but it’s so oversimplified that it leads to comically bad misconceptions about how to get there, conjuring up ridiculous cartoon imagery suggesting we just go on with life normally for the next 11 years and then the world ends,” Denning said.

That’s not what the IPCC writers envisioned, he said.

The science on the 2030 date is clear, said Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University. The controversy stems from people mischaracterizing the carbon reduction timeline as a threshold for climate disaster. He noted that people promoting climate science denial and delay have also latched on to the phrase “to intentionally try to caricature the concern about climate change.”

What Would Success Look Like?

It would be helpful if people looked at the 2030 target in terms of what success looks like rather than what failure means, Denning said.

“Solving the problem by 2030, 2040 or 2050 requires a new global energy infrastructure, which is arguably easier and less expensive than past infrastructure shifts like indoor plumbing, rural electrification, the automobile and paved roads, telecommunications, computers, mobile phones or the internet.

“All of these past changes cost tens of trillions of dollars, adjusted for inflation. All of them were hugely disruptive. All of them took a decade or more, completely changed the industrial and economic and social landscape, and created bursts of growth and productivity and jobs. And arguably, all of them made life better for huge numbers of people.”

This time, the shift is from heavy reliance on carbon-emitting fossil fuels to carbon-free energy sources, like wind power. And even with a speedy energy transition, the IPCC says keeping temperatures from warming more than 1.5°C will also likely require removing CO2 from the atmosphere on a large scale.

Missing the target doesn’t imply the onset of cataclysmic climate change in 2030, Denning said.

“Things just keep getting worse and worse until we stop making them worse, and then they never get better,” he said. “But no matter what, the world has to move on from fossil fuels just as we moved on from tallow candles and outhouses and land lines.”

What Would Exceeding 1.5°C Warming Mean?

The IPCC report described how increasing greenhouse gas emissions will result in more dangerous and costly disruptions to global societies and ecosystems, including longer, hotter heat waves and more frequent crop-killing droughts.

Mountain glaciers will melt faster as the planet warms, creating new risks for settlements in the valleys below. The meltdown of polar ice sheets is also projected to accelerate, intensifying flooding and speeding up sea level rise to a rate that will be hard to adapt to. More Arctic permafrost will thaw, releasing more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

Despite the rising risks, it’s important to understand that, “in the physical climate system, there are no scientists claiming that there is a magical threshold that we breach or don’t breach that determines whether we have a habitable climate system,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s Center for Climate and Weather Extremes.

The 2030 target is useful because it shows how the “next decade is incredibly consequential for what we do.” Swain said. “But I think the emphasis that’s being placed on this specific 12-year window as a differentiator between existential crisis or not is problematic.

“First of all, it negates some of the risks that already exist and that will continue to build no matter what. And it also potentially suggests that anything short of complete victory in the next 12 years is pointless, which is exactly the opposite of the truth. At any point along the spectrum, more progress is always going to be better than less progress, less warming is always going to be better than more warming.”

Have We Passed Tipping Points Already?

In some ways, the “12 years” narrative may set up a deadline that’s too lenient, because some key part of the climate system may already be at or past tipping points, Swain said.

It creates the false illusion that there is some sort of guardrail moving forward, that if we just get in under the deadline we’ll be OK, he said. But “twelve years from now, it could be too late for some of these things, like the ice sheets.”

Research in the past few years reinforces the idea that some climate tipping points have already been breached. Studies show some parts of the Greenland Ice Sheet are unlikely to recover, and parts of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet may also be at or very near a tipping point to rapid disintegration.

A study published in June suggested that the rate of permafrost thawing is progressing much faster than climate models projected. And scientists studying the link between global warming and European heat waves said those recent extremes are also outside the scope of what they expected at current levels of warming.

The world will still exist if we breach 1.5°C and 2°C, but “the climate impacts and risks will be higher and the temperature will be higher,” said Glen Peters, research director at the CICERO climate research center in Oslo. That all seems to be sinking in to public awareness, he said.

“But in terms of deadlines, we have already missed the deadline,” he said. “We should have started mitigating decades ago, then we would have the problem solved.”

August 29, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Reference | Leave a comment

Narrow escapes from nuclear war

August 29, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, incidents, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Parliamentary Inquiry told that renewable energy, not nuclear power, is Australia’s best option

Nuclear inquiry told “firmed renewables” cheapest and best option for future   , Sophie Vorrath

But in a hearing in Sydney on Thursday morning, it heard that nuclear power just doesn’t stack up against firmed renewables – already at price parity with new-build coal and gas and “well and truly” on track to becoming the lowest cost generation form for the National Electricity Market.

“Unfirmed renewables are effectively the cheapest form of energy production today,” said Alex Wonhas, the chief system design and engineering officer at the Australian Energy Market Operator.

“If we look at firmed renewables, that current cost is roughly comparable to new-build gas and new-build coal, but given the learning rate, this will well and truly become the lowest cost generation form for the NEM.

“There is a certain amount of energy that we expect renewables to deliver,” Wonhas added. “But we will need dispatchable resources, and generators that can respond quickly.

“Gas is an effective firming option, but there’s a whole range of other technologies out there – such as solar thermal, that are dispatchable.” He also added pumped hydro and battery storage.

“We are quite fortunate that we have many different technology options available that we can use to build Australia’s future generation system.”

And nuclear, it is becoming blindingly clear, is not one of them.

Even Ziggy Switkowski, who headed up the Coalition’s last big excursion into nuclear power, was unequivocal on that.

“The window (in Australia) is now closed for gigawatt-scale nuclear,” he told the Committee on Thursday, noting that current large-scale versions of the technology had failed to find anywhere near the same economies of scale that had been enjoyed by solar and wind.

“Nuclear power has got more expensive, rather than less expensive,” he added, while also noting that the time required to develop new nuclear projects could cover at least five political cycles. There is no business case, and no investor appetite.”

Switkowski told the Committee that the only hope for nuclear in Australia hinged on the future of Small Modular Reactors – which, as Jim Green explains here, are currently “non-existent, overhyped, and obscenely expensive.”

Current costs for SMR generation, as modelled by the AEMO and CSIRO, are estimated at $16,000/kW, which as Committee member and Labor MP Josh Wilson pointed out, is more expensive than large-scale nuclear by at least 50 per cent, and four or five times higher than capital cost of new solar wind. And while other technologies are modelled to see a decrease in their cost over time – solar thermal and storage, for example, at $7,000/kW is expected to fall to around half that in 2050 – SMR nuclear costs stay flat in AEMO/CSIRO modelling out to 2050.

August 29, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics | Leave a comment