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

Whistleblowers and the safety problems at Hanford nuclear waste site


October 31, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, investigative journalism, USA | Leave a comment

No, thorium nuclear power is still not a viable energy technology

There’s little reason to consider thorium, molten salt reactors and Gates’ “traveling wave” TerraPower technology when considering the future of energy. We have solutions today. They may be boring and low-tech, but they are cheap, fast to build, reliable, predictable, and have incredibly low negative externalities.

CleanTechnica‘s policy will be to continue to ignore them in favor of the actually transformative technologies reshaping our world for the better.  

Why Thorium Nuclear Isn’t Featured on CleanTechnica Redux,   30 Oct 19, Seven years ago, CleanTechnica published its policy position to not cover thorium nuclear reactors. Today, the United States has a Democratic presidential candidate in the top 10 who loves thorium, yet CleanTechnica still ignores it. Why is that? Continue reading

October 31, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, thorium | Leave a comment

A Govt panel to decide on dumping Fukushima waste water

Panel deciding whether to dump radioactive water from Fukushima into the ocean By Chris Loew October 30, 2019 

The Japanese government may allow Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to dump more than 250 million gallons of contaminated water accumulated in tanks around its Fukushima nuclear power plants into the ocean.

Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada commented in September that he supports the plan, as it may be the only solution for the wastewater. An expert panel is now studying the options, and its recommendation is likely to become policy.

The contaminated water was used to cool the superheated fuel rods in the Fukushima Daiishi facility prior to and during the nuclear meltdown that occurred as a result of the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. The water has already been treated by multiple facilities, including a multi-nuclide removal facility (an advanced liquid processing system, or “ALPS”), which removed most of the radioactive materials, including cesium and strontium, but not tritium. Tritium is difficult to separate from water, because it closely resembles hydrogen, which is a natural component of water.

Many methods, both practically tried and theoretical, do exist for separation and removal of tritium, and they were assessed in a report presented by the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning in 2013.  But all of them had the drawback of requiring a large amount of energy and equipment. Also, performance is poor for the low concentrations in the water at Fukushima Daiichi.

Last year, a team of researchers from Kindai University and private companies in western Japan developed an aluminum filter with holes of five nanometers or less in diameter. Steam of water containing tritium can be stopped, while that of water can pass. However, another issue is that 400 cubic meters of groundwater flowing into the basements of the buildings every day needs to be pumped and treated, necessitating treatment on a very large scale. This may not be justified when considering the actual danger of release to the ocean, according to the report.

Before the accident, tritium in cooling water was thinned with circulated sea water so that the allowable concentration might not be exceeded, and the diluted tritium was routinely released into the sea. Releasing the water at a rate that would allow it to be well diluted may be the best option, the report said.

While tritium has a radioactive half-life of 12.3 years, its biological half-life in the human body is only 10 days, and in fish it is less than two days. This is because tritium easily bonds to water, replacing the hydrogen atom. So as we drink and expel water, the tritium is carried away rather than accumulating in tissues. While some radioactive materials become concentrated as they move up the food chain, tritium is diluted.

The main danger of the policy is not actual harm, but rather public perceptions about the safety of seafood from Fukushima and its neighboring prefectures. Countries that have been gradually relaxing restrictions on imports of Japanese seafood may be forced by public fears to take a wait-and-see approach before further easing—a setback to local seafood firms, which have waited for years to return to their pre-disaster export figures.

October 31, 2019 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, Reference | Leave a comment

French activists broke into nuclear plant, demonstrating the risk of terrorism

Greenpeace 28th Oct 2019, In the early hours of 12 October 2017, eight people sneaked inside the grounds of the Cattenom nuclear plant in northern France. Without much difficulty, they reached the foot of a spent fuel pool – where the still highly radioactive fuel rods are stored after use.

It was a scenario Greenpeace France had been warning about since 2001 through numerous reports, letters and speeches. France’s aging fleet of reactors is poorly protected, and not designed to withstand big impacts, such as an explosion set off by terrorists.

A loss of water from the spent fuel pools – protected by walls only 30cm thick – could lead to a massive release of radioactivity. Fortunately, the eight intruders turned out to be peaceful activists from Greenpeace France; they set off some fireworks to demonstrate their presence and then allowed themselves to be led away.

The ease with which they had penetrated alarmed the government of Luxembourg, which lies just north of Cattenom. It also finally spurred the French authorities into action; a parliamentary investigation into nuclear safety
was announced the following month. It’s a textbook example of the role of
non-violent direct action (NVDA) in a democracy, much like the recent
climate strikes.

When the authorities are sleeping at the wheel, and not
responding to polite arguments, citizen action is needed to wake them up.
In this case, it did. A happy end? Unfortunately not.

In a classic case of shooting the messenger, prosecutors have pressed for stiff penalties. In February 2018, a court in Thionville sentenced the ‘Cattenom nine’ – the eight activists and a Greenpeace France employee. It imposed a 2-month jail sentence on two of the individuals, and suspended sentences on the
rest. It also ordered Greenpeace France to pay €50,000 to the power
company, EDF as ‘moral damages’.

October 31, 2019 Posted by | France, incidents, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

African countries being conned into nuclear debt, by Russia

African countries rush to sign nuclear deals with Russia, Daily Maverick By Peter Fabricius• 29 October 2019

But concerns are being raised about whether they can all afford nuclear energy.

The Russian nuclear power corporation Rosatom has already signed nuclear cooperation agreements with about 18 African counties, as Russia accelerates its drive for nuclear business on the continent.

The growing commitment of African countries to high capital cost nuclear energy has raised some concern about whether they are committing themselves to unaffordable debt.

Rosatom director-general Alexey Likhachev revealed a large number of nuclear agreements with African countries after signing an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy with the Ethiopian Minister of Innovation and Technology, Getahun Mekuria Kuma, during the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi on the Black Sea last week.

Mekuria later told the Russian official news agency Tass that Ethiopia had plants to build a nuclear power plant.

Rosatom later also signed an agreement with Rwanda at the summit on cooperation for the construction of a centre of nuclear science and technology in Rwanda. Rosatom had a strong presence at the economic forum which paralleled the political summit. The Rosatom stand attracted scores of interested African government officials on the sidelines of the forum. …..

Likhachev told journalists after the discussion that Rosatom had now signed memoranda of understanding or intergovernmental agreements with about one-third of countries on the continent – about 18. He could not say how many of these were about scientific cooperation and how many were about producing nuclear energy “because very often those two tracks go hand in hand”.

But he did say in the discussion that about half of the African countries with which Rosatom had signed nuclear agreements were actively discussing joint projects with the corporation, which had been stipulated in contracts. The most advanced joint project is with Egypt, which has contracted Rosatom to build a 4,800MW nuclear power plant……

“We are ready to propose to Ethiopia cutting-edge solutions of nuclear technology. And our Ethiopian partners are invited to visit nuclear facilities in our country.

“Apart from larger capacity nuclear power plants, we also stand ready to offer smaller capacity, modular reactors.”

……..However, the apparent rush to nuclear energy by African countries has raised some concerns that they may be committing themselves to high capital costs of nuclear power production which they will be unable to afford.

Analysts have noted that even South Africa, one of the top two economies on the continent, backed away from an apparent commitment by former president Jacob Zuma to order 9,600MW of nuclear power plant production from Rosatom – at an estimated cost of about R1-trillion.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said after meeting Putin on the sidelines of the summit that the Russian president had once again asked him if South Africa was still interested in building a nuclear power plant and he had told him once again that it still could not afford to.

An African minister at the summit told Daily Maverick that although power plants could be an important source of economic growth, African countries were sinking further into debt and had to be careful to ensure they could afford the infrastructure they built.

Likhachev defended nuclear energy as an economical source of electricity over the long term. ……….

Olivier Nduhungirehe, Rwandan minister in charge of the East African community  would not be drawn on the cost and affordability implications, saying the details of the agreement would be announced in due course.

October 31, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, marketing, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

UK Government propaganda for nuclear war in the 1980s

”Sinister yet pathetic’: how the UK was primed for nuclear war, A new history of the government’s cold war public information reveals a range of sometimes alarming, often ridiculous propaganda, Guardian , by Sian Cain,  30 Oct 19,  Even if you didn’t buy a copy of Protect and Survive in 1980, you may still be familiar with the UK government’s official guide to surviving nuclear war. The British public’s reaction, when they learned that their government had been making preparations for a nuclear conflict for almost three decades, was both immediate and very British: they made fun of it.The 32-page booklet, which contained instructions for civilians on how to best prepare their homes – the contents for a good “survival kit”, how to build a toilet from a chair and a bucket, and what to do with your loved ones when they died – was a unique combination of sinister and silly; societal collapse and radiation poisoning don’t really suit the bland language of bureaucrats. Previously only distributed to journalists and emergency planners, it had remained a badly kept secret until 1980, when The Times ran a campaign challenging Britain’s preparedness should the cold war turn hot. Finally, the government published it. …..

Taras Young, author of a new history titled Nuclear War in the UK, estimates he has collected 500 booklets, pamphlets and posters produced by national and local government, volunteers and businesses.

“Until you see them all in one place, it’s hard to appreciate the scale of how much of this stuff was being produced,” he says. “There was so much more going on than Protect and Survive.”…..

“They were essentially advertising campaigns. For me as a marketer, it’s like the ultimate form of marketing – can you convince people that they’re going to survive when they won’t?”

The first pamphlet distributed to the public was Civil Defence and the Atom Bomb, published in 1952. In 1955, the Strath report – a government-commissioned investigation into how Britain would cope after a nuclear war – found that the country would be left on the brink of collapse with millions dead. This made the next pamphlet, 1957’s The Hydrogen Bomb, hugely popular.

By 1963, Advising the Householder on Protection Against Nuclear Attack had a print run of 500,000 copies. Meanwhile, councils across the UK were producing localised guides that imagined nuclear war decimating their high streets, with everywhere from Hull to Bristol getting their own dedicated pamphlets……..

The dilemma for the government since the 1950s, Young says, was that they knew that their guides “weren’t necessarily particularly useful.”

“But at the same time, they had to be seen to be producing something, as they couldn’t just admit that we’d all die,” he says. “If they produce the stuff, people will criticise it as being useless. If they don’t produce it, then they’ll be criticised for not doing anything.”…….

While researching his book, he found a note by one of the civil servants preparing Protect and Survive: “It said something like, ‘We must make people believe that they can survive.’ Not that they could survive, but they needed to believe they could – that kind of sums up the whole thing. And even if you did survive, then what? You’ve survived into hell on Earth. Is there any point in living with envy of the dead?”

……… the legacy of these cold war documents is quite interesting, because it’s just meant that the government no longer communicates with the public in that way any more. They are obviously trying to avoid any public reaction whatsoever.”

• Nuclear War in the UK by Taras Young is published by Four Corners Books

October 31, 2019 Posted by | spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

USA negotiating nuclear sales with Saudi Arabia

October 31, 2019 Posted by | marketing, Saudi Arabia, USA | Leave a comment

Countries vie to market nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia

October 31, 2019 Posted by | marketing, Saudi Arabia | Leave a comment

Officials confirm that Indian nuclear power plant’s network was hacked

Indian nuclear power plant’s network was hacked, officials confirm

After initial denial, company says report of “malware in system” is correct. SEAN GALLAGHER – 10/31/2019 

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has acknowledged today that malware attributed by others to North Korean state actors had been found on the administrative network of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP). The admission comes a day after the company issued a denial that any attack would affect the plant’s control systems.

In a press release today, NPCIL Associate Director A. K. Nema stated, “Identification of malware in NPCIL system is correct. The matter was conveyed by CERT-In [India’s national computer emergency response team] when it was noticed by them on September 4, 2019.”

That matches the date threat analyst Pukhraj Singh said he reported information on the breach to India’s National Cyber Security Coordinator.

“The matter was immediately investigated by [India Department of Atomic Energy] specialists,” Nema stated in the release. “The investigation revealed that the infected PC belonged to a user who was connected to the Internet connected network used for administrative purposes. This is isolated from the critical internal network. The networks are being continuously monitored.”

Lazarus in the house

It’s not clear if data was stolen from the KKNPP network. But the nuclear power plant was not the only facility Singh reported being compromised. When asked by Ars why he called the malware attack a “casus belli”—an act of war—Singh, a former analyst for India’s National Technical Research Organization (NTRO), said, “It was because of the second target, which I can’t disclose as of now.”

The malware in question, named Dtrack by Russian malware protection company Kaspersky, has been used in widespread attacks against financial and research centers, based on Kaspersky data collected from over 180 samples of the malware. Dtrack shares elements of code from other malware attributed to the Lazarus threat group, which, according to US Justice Department indictments, is a North Korean state-sponsored hacking operation. Another version of the malware, ATMDtrack, has been used to steal data from ATM networks in India.

DTrack appears to be an espionage and reconnaissance tool, gathering data about infected systems and capable of logging keystrokes, scanning connected networks, and monitoring active processes on infected computers. The malware may have been delivered by an “in-memory implant,” Singh said, though he added that he is waiting for confirmation from other sources. He added that he had not seen any data indicating whether data had been stolen from the KKNPP network. “I didn’t have the full indicators,” Singh said.

While the attack may not have given direct access to nuclear power control networks, it could have been part of an effort to establish a persistent presence on the nuclear plant’s networks. As a paper published in May by the International Committee of the Red Cross on the human cost of cyber operations pointed out, “the majority of the computer devices in the world are only one or two steps away from a trusted system that a determined attacker could compromise.” Lukasz Olejnik, a security researcher who co-authored the paper, noted that “preemptive compromise of trusted systems would make attacks significantly easier,” and that establishing a persistent presence on a network could aid in things such as supply-chain attacks—attempts to use software update processes or other potential opportunities to move to isolated networks to deliver an attack in the future.

That’s similar to the route demonstrated by Stuxnet, the malware attributed to US and Israeli intelligence that managed to jump an “air gap” into Iranian nuclear enrichment equipment controls. While the administrative network of KKNPP was likely not a good route for such an attack given standards for nuclear control systems security, it certainly could provide information about maintenance operations that would be useful for espionage—or for a future attempted cyber-attack. more

October 31, 2019 Posted by | India, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Cutting through the nuclear advocacy’s nonsense – for the Philippines, nuclear benefits only Russia

The supposed cost benefits of nuclear power are completely misrepresented by the nuclear advocacy.

Only Russia will benefit if PH goes nuclear, in Press   by— 360 Feed Wire By BEN KRITZ, TMT, October 29, 2019 FOR the second time during the term of the current administration, fast-talking salesmen from Russia’s nuclear energy agency Rosatom have managed to convince a few impressionable officials here that the mighty atom is the answer to all the Philippines’ energy needs, especially if it is packaged in the product Rosatom has to offer.

The only people who will benefit from the Philippines’ adopting nuclear power will be the shareholders of Rosatom. Nuclear power is an economically and environmentally disastrous proposition for the Philippines, and no amount of persistence from the misguided nuclear advocacy can change that.

On October 17, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi announced the Department of Energy had signed a memorandum of intent with Rosatom for the latter to conduct feasibility studies on the possible deployment of so-called small modular reactors (SMRs) in the Philippines.

These reactors, which generate between 20 to 200 megawatts (MW) of power, can be mounted on floating platforms to provide electricity to island provinces, or slaved together like giant batteries to create larger land-based power plants.

Russia currently has one such floating plant in operation, a 21,000- metric ton barge carrying two 35-MW reactors and dubbed the Akademik Lomonosov. The craft, which will replace a coal plant and an old nuclear plant in Russia’s far east, can provide power to about 100,000 homes and has a crew of about 70.

The (weak) case for nuclear power

Hard on the heels of the announcement of the DoE’s agreement with Rosatom, local nuclear advocates took part in a “Stand Up for Nuclear” event held in Manila and other cities around the world on October 20. The event achieved what its organizers presumably hoped it would — the publication of a rash of news articles and opinion columns in the days following it, all touting the supposed benefits of nuclear power to the energy-challenged Philippines.

The arguments put forth in favor of nuclear power in general — which haven’t changed in years — and of SMRs in particular are rather shallow, but at first glance seem to be valid.

The benefits of nuclear power, according to its advocates, are that it does not produce harmful emissions, unlike conventional fossil-fueled power plants; it is an extremely efficient energy source, which results in lower power costs to consumers; it has a very good overall safety record, in spite of attention-grabbing disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima; and it provides reliable baseload power to augment energy from intermittent sources like solar and wind power.

SMRs are touted as a good option for countries like the Philippines without well-developed nuclear capabilities or budgets to sustain them because they are small, versatile, relatively inexpensive, and less complicated than normal-scale nuclear plants. For example, unlike a conventional pressurized water or boiling water reactor, the cooling and steam generation water flows in most SMR designs are gravity-fed. This presumably makes them immune from the sort of loss-of-coolant accidents that led to the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters.

All of these arguments are very positive-sounding, enough to convince many impressionable government officials and media commentators, whom the nuclear advocacy hopes have neither the time, inclination nor capacity to look critically at the facts, which tend to be a more than a little inconvenient.

Cutting through the nonsense

The first argument that “nuclear plants do not produce harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions,” is true in a very literal sense, but it is not true that nuclear plants do not contribute to harmful emissions at all, as some advocates claim. All nuclear plants emit heat and water vapor to the atmosphere at the rate of 4.4 grams CO2-equivalent per kilowatt-hour (g CO2-e/kWh) of energy produced. While this is certainly very much less than a conventional power plant, it is not zero, and compares unfavorably with solar and wind power, which actually remove water vapor and heat flux to the atmosphere at the rate of -2.2 g CO2-e/kWh.

An even bigger environmental problem with nuclear power is that any nuclear reactor uses an enormous amount of fresh water and discharges a large amount of heated wastewater.

Because of the complicated chemistry within a nuclear reactor, seawater cannot be used, and even fresh water must be “scrubbed” to remove any impurities. In a country such as the Philippines, where fresh water supplies are increasingly constrained, any nuclear power facility is a problematic option.

The second argument, that nuclear energy is extremely efficient and therefore less expensive than other forms of power, is again only literally true in a narrow context.

Uranium as a fuel is incredibly efficient; one ton of uranium has the energy content of about 80,000 tons of coal. However, to obtain useable fuel a great deal of processing is necessary, which of course comes at an energy cost, and the amount of useful uranium to be used as nuclear fuel is quickly being depleted; US reserves of uranium have virtually disappeared, and reserves elsewhere in the world are estimated to last no more than 100 years.

The supposed cost benefits of nuclear power are completely misrepresented by the nuclear advocacy. A comparison between an existing nuclear plant and an existing coal plant, for example, would show that electricity derived from nuclear power is less costly on a per-MW basis, but power costs, as Filipino consumers have long been painfully aware, include all the costs associated with building and maintaining a power plant. The proper way to calculate comparative costs is through a formula called levelized cost of energy (LCOE), which takes into account construction costs, regulatory costs, fuel costs, available subsidies, and operating costs.

This is where nuclear power completely falls apart compared to other energy alternatives.

According to the 2018 report of Lazard (the go-to source for energy cost analysis), nuclear has a high-end LCOE of $189 per megawatt hour (MWh). Coal has an LCOE of $143/MWh; utility-scale solar of between $44/MWh and $48/MWh; and wind, $56/MWh. Of the various energy sources analyzed, only gas peaking plants and rooftop solar installations had a higher LCOE than nuclear power, at $208/MWh and $287/MWh, respectively.

And Lazard’s results may be a serious underestimate of the true cost of nuclear power. In the next installment, I’ll explain further why, despite supplying about 20 percent of the world’s electricity, nuclear power is one of the worst solutions for the Philippines, or any other country for that matter

October 31, 2019 Posted by | Philippines, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Regulators to review Fukushima Daiichi plant work

Regulators to review Fukushima Daiichi plant work, NHK. 30 Oct 19, Japan’s nuclear regulators plan to look into work management at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which is being decommissioned following the 2011 accident.

The move follows a series of mistakes and violations. In June this year, smoke came out when workers misconnected power lines at the No.5 and No.6 reactors.

It has also come to light that water servers were placed for the past four years in restricted areas where radioactive materials are stored.

The commissioners at the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday certified both incidents as safety violations.

In addition, work to remove nuclear fuel from the No.3 reactor’s storage pool has been delayed due to repeated mechanical problems…..

October 31, 2019 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

Toxic effects of uranium mining on indigenous communities

Coconino Voices: Solving Our Toxic Nuclear Legacy,, BRYAN BATES, 30 Oct 19, 

    • When creating any system, whether a building, a community or an energy system, waste products need to be safely managed. This should be true if we’re building an energy system where the waste products can cause cancer and genetic mutations in humans or any organism within range of long-lived radioactive particles. However, it  hasn’t been.

First discovered in 1895, radiation was shown to kill bacteria in 1898; however, with a high energy potential and money-making promise, radioactivity was not linked to cancer and genetic change until much later and even then its true health effects were hidden from miners and the public.

Because the geologic Chinle Formation on the Navajo Nation is rich in Uranium, Navajo men were put to work without protection from known hazards. Several hundred Navajos became sick from radiation exposure, many at the same time that other Navajos enlisted in the Marines to become Navajo Code Talkers.

Health effects from mining Uranium persist on the Navajo Nation with numerous pit mines still open and potentially affecting water, plants, livestock and Navajo. The amount of pain, illness, death and cost are still unknown. (See Judy Pasternak, 2011, Yellow Dirt.)

With the geologic uplift of the Grand Canyon upwarp, it’s hypothesized that numerous vertical shafts eroded allowing broken rock carrying Uranium from the Chinle Formation to fall into these “breccia pipes”. Left alone, the Uranium and other metals remain isolated from the biotic world; drilled into, these metals can migrate into interconnected aquifers that discharge into the Colorado River, water often used to grow food. The Grand Canyon upwarp has the greatest concentration of Uranium containing breccia pipes in the world.

This region is sacred to the Hopi, Navajo, Pai and other native people. The Canyon Mine has promised to create jobs; however, tourism and outdoor activities “support over 9,000 jobs, contribute over $938 million annually to (local) economies, and generate over $160 million in annual state and local tax revenues. Uranium mining threatens these economic drivers while possessing little capacity to support the regional economy.” (

Under President Obama, a twenty-year moratorium on Uranium mining was instituted to allow for compilation and review of scientific information and energy policy. President Trump has requested and will receive a proposal from the nuclear industry to assess opening up mining on the Grand Canyon upwarp.

Mined Uranium would be used to generate nuclear electricity in reactors that are at or nearing their engineered lifespan. Building new nuclear reactors is massively expensive and concrete, the primary component of reactors, is the second largest emitter of climate changing CO2. (United Nations, IPCC report). Claims that nuclear energy is climate neutral only look at the internal nuclear reaction and ignore the entire fuel cycle necessary to keep the nuclear system functioning. Currently, nuclear waste is stored on-site at numerous reactors, several of which have moderate security and leaky infrastructure. The one national nuclear repository, Yucca Mountain, has been mothballed after expending $15Billion of taxpayer money.  

To be sure, mining engineers are very intelligent people, and if they can pull Uranium out of breccia pipes, they can pull Uranium out of 1940’s open mining pits and then close off any radiation leakage. These same engineers could pull nuclear fuels from corroding storage bins on-site at nuclear reactors across the country. If a future President decides we need fewer nuclear weapons, future engineers could pull those radioactive elements, though it is questionable whether nuclear power will even be necessary given energy conservation and emerging sustainable energy sources.

In short, our country is not at lack of energy, but our current leadership is at lack of offering practical energy options. The best option is to leave the Uranium in the ground and clean up our country’s toxic nuclear legacy.

October 31, 2019 Posted by | environment, health, indigenous issues, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

Russia’s Rosatom nuclear firm targets its marketing at African countries

Russia’s State-Owned Nuclear Giant Is Targeting Africa for its Growth

By Paul Burkhardt   October 30, 2019, 
  •  Russian developer has signed over a dozen agreements in Africa
  •  Various financing options being considered for the plant build

Rosatom Corp., is eyeing Africa as one of its “priority regions” to build more nuclear reactors and expand its business……(Subscribers only)

October 31, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, marketing | Leave a comment

New legal hearing for opposition to Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion

Lawsuit challenging decision to finish Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion to get new hearing,   By Dave Williams  – Staff Writer, Atlanta Business Chronicle Oct 30, 2019, A lawsuit challenging the Georgia Public Service Commission’s (PSC) decision to let Georgia Power Co. finish the long-delayed, over-budget Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion is about to get another airing.The Georgia Court of Appeals issued a ruling late Tuesday sending the case back to Fulton County Superior Court, which had dismissed the suit without considering its merits.

The Southern Environmental Law Center and the Barnes Law Group, headed by former Gov. Roy Barnes, filed suit following the December 2017 PSC vote authorizing Atlanta-based Georgia Power to finish building two additional nuclear reactors at the plant south of Augusta, Ga.

The cost of the project has ballooned from $14 billion when it was approved a decade ago to $25 billion. The work has run into numerous delays caused in part by the bankruptcy of Westinghouse Electric Co., the original prime contractor, forcing the schedule for completion to be put back from 2016 and 2017 to 2021 and 2022.

The lawsuit contends opponents should not have to wait until the project is completed to press their claims that the PSC vote was improper. The Court of Appeals returned the case to Fulton County for the lower court to determine whether the groups that filed the suit have demonstrated delaying their appeal until after the project is finished would not provide an adequate remedy.

“We’re glad to have another day in court to show the commission’s decision to continue Plant Vogtle despite dramatic changes to the cost and schedule and increased risk to customers was rushed and procedurally improper,” said Kurt Ebersbach, senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center. “We will make our case that the only way to undo the enormous harm to customers resulting from that decision is for the superior court to hear this case now.”

Georgia Power, a subsidiary of The Southern Co. (NYSE: SO), issued a statement Wednesday defending the PSC’s decision as “well within its authority” and appropriate under the law.

“The recommendation to move forward with the Vogtle project was thoroughly discussed and evaluated through Georgia’s open and transparent regulatory process,” the statement read. “Georgia Power complied with all rules and laws throughout the proceeding, and we strongly disagree with any claims to the contrary.”

While the PSC allowed the Vogtle expansion to continue in its December 2017 vote, commissioners also ordered Georgia Power to absorb some of the cost overruns.

October 31, 2019 Posted by | legal, USA | Leave a comment

Environmentalists concerned: Turkey Point nuclear station could be allowed to operate for 80 years

FPL on the way to licensing Turkey Point nuclear plant for another 20 years, By MARCIA HEROUX POUNDS, SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL , OCT 29, 2019 Turkey Point nuclear power plant, which is located about 20 miles south of Miami and helps power Florida Power & Light’s electric grid, has gotten a green light for extending its license.

The staff of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission recommended Monday that the commission approve the extension of Turkey Point for another 20 years, given its “limited” environmental impact. Renewing the licenses, as requested by FPL, “would not be unreasonable,” the staff says in its favorable report.

Juno Beach-based FPL said it was “pleased with this step forward,” which would allow FPL to operate the nuclear power plant for as long as 80 years total. If the extensions are approved, Turkey Point could be the oldest nuclear power plant in the country, according to data by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

……… Environmentalists have objected to extension of nuclear licenses or new plants due to concerns about climate change and environmental issues.

In 2018, FPL requested that customers pay more than $100 million to clean up environmental issues caused by Turkey Point’s cooling tanks leaking into Biscayne Bay. In April of this year, the Florida Supreme Court sided with the Florida Public Service Commission in allowing FPL to collect from customers for the cleanup.

If the license extension is granted, the twin nuclear units 3 and 4 at Turkey Point could be operated through 2052 and 2053. That could also have an impact on other nuclear power plants built in the 1970s and 1980s that are looking to extend their licenses. …….

FPL also has proposed two new nuclear power plants at the Turkey Point site, and has received a license. “We’re not planning to build a new nuclear plant at this time,” Silagy told the Sun Sentinel’s Editorial Board.

October 31, 2019 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment