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Nuclear and climate news- week to 12 November

Global heating is behind critical news in California, and Eastern Australia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyNHKrM0qBE.  Following the huge wildfires, Californians are realising that it’s more like a war situation, with more battles to come. Preparedness and adaptation are now the immediate needs, as well as reducing carbon emissions. And extreme heat waves will bring public health crises to American cities, despite the current very cold burst.

Australia’s ruling Liberal Coalition is still studiously avoiding the words “climate change”, and pouring abuse on The Australian Greens for their supposed insensitivity in mentioning those words in connection with bushfires and drought.

A bit of good news  – New Zealand – one small nation shows how to be nuclear- free and climate friendly.

Planet in peril as world leaders ignore global heating’s catastrophes.

Julian Assange’s father comes to Ireland, Europe, to campaign for his son’s release.

Nuclear medicine has radiation dangers – a reminder to clinicians.

JAPAN.  Fukushima:  Radioactive waste bags still missing after Typhoon Hagibis.  Japan still has land space to store radioactive waste tanks, but tries to justify dumping into ocean.  $2.7 Billion Renewables Project to revitalise Fukushima. 11 solar power plants and 10 wind power plants for Fukushima prefecture. Decommissioning Fukushima nuclear station – cost-cutting culture is causing mistakes.

UK.

USA.

IRAN. Iran building a second nuclear reactor at Bushehr plant.

ARCTICFrozen nuclear city to ‘seep radiation into environment’ as ice melts.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXELlX-5iFY&t=12s

INDIA. In Tamil Nadu, Rooftop Solar Has the Potential to Outdo Nuclear Power.

AUSTRALIA.  Australia’s media fights for freedom of press – BUT NOT FOR JULIAN ASSANGE. Australia’s out of control bushfires (all along the region where the nuclear lobby wants to put reactors!).  Sydney and surroundings – “Catastrophic” fire warning.

NEW ZEALAND. Deadline looms for nuclear veterans and descendants study.

PHILIPPINES. Philippines not prepared for the dangers of nuclear energy.

PACIFIC ISLANDS. Tuvalu heads for 35% renewables with $6m solar and storage grant.

NETHERLANDS. Netherlands floats its solar boat as it aims for 27GW by 2030.

November 11, 2019 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

$2.7 Billion Renewables Project to revitalise Fukushima

Fukushima Starts $2.7 Billion Renewables Project https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-10/fukushima-s-2-7-billion-project-takes-shape-nikkei-says By Isabel Reynolds    November 10, 2019, 

  •  600 megawatt wind and solar project to supply Tokyo area
  •  Development Bank of Japan, Mizuho to provide part of funding

Work is set to begin on a $2.7 billion renewable energy project in Japan’s Fukushima, the site of one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters, the Nikkei newspaper said Sunday.

The plan is for the wind and solar project to generate and transmit up to 600 megawatts of power, which will be supplied to Tokyo and the surrounding area, according to the paper.

Development Bank of Japan and Mizuho Bank are among the institutions planning to provide the 300 billion yen in funds needed for the project by 2023, the paper said.

The project forms the main pillar of a government plan to help revive the region’s economy by generating energy in mountainous areas and on farmland that became unusable after the 2011 disaster, the Nikkei said.

November 11, 2019 Posted by | Japan, renewable | Leave a comment

Scottish National Party could want scrapping of Trident nuclear system, in return for co-operating with minority Labor government

Blackford signals scrapping Trident could be part of SNP ‘wish-list’ for supporting Corbyn Govt, Herald Scotland By Michael Settle, 10th November UK Political Editor SCRAPPING Trident could be part of a “wish-list” the SNP will set out for co-operating with a minority Labour Government, Ian Blackford has signalled.

The Nationalist leader at Westminster stressed how Britain should not be investing in weapons of mass destruction.

Questioned about whether the issue of Trident would stop the SNP holding negotiations with another political party in the case of a hung parliament, Mr Blackford said the SNP had been “pretty consistent” that they did “not wish to see nuclear weapons” on Scottish soil.

He explained how his party would “come up with a wish-list” of policies they would want to secure for a potential confidence and supply deal with a future UK Government…….

The SNP’s parliamentary candidate for Ross, Skye and Lochaber described Britain’s nuclear arsenal as “not fit for purpose,” explaining: “The simple fact of the matter is I’m not sure that we’re taking our responsibilities for conventional defences as seriously as we should be doing and to waste up to £200 billion on these weapons of mass destruction that can never be used is a fallacy.”

During campaigning last week, Nicola Sturgeon made clear she wanted nuclear weapons removed from Scotland “as soon as it is safely possible”.  The First Minister explained: “When we’re talking about nuclear weapons, safety has to be the primary consideration but the SNP is implacably opposed to nuclear weapons.”

The First Minister explained: “When we’re talking about nuclear weapons, safety has to be the primary consideration but the SNP is implacably opposed to nuclear weapons.”……..

Although Jeremy Corbyn is well-known as being personally opposed to Britain retaining nuclear weapons and Scottish Labour has come out against Trident, the UK Labour Party backs the policy and included support for renewing the nuclear arsenal in its last manifesto……. https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18026979.blackford-signals-scrapping-trident-part-snp-wish-list-support-corbyn-govt/

November 11, 2019 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Julian Assange’s father comes to Ireland, Europe, to campaign for his son’s release

Will you come and help?’ Father of Julian Assange on campaign to free his son, Irish Examiner,  MICHAEL CLIFFORD  November 09, 2019    At 80, John Shipton thought he would be enjoying his retirement, he tells Michael Clifford. Instead, he is touring European capitals campaigning for his son, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

A parent’s work is never done. John Shipton entering his ninth decade. He’d like to kick back, maybe learn a few recipes, stroll at a leisurely pace towards the declining years.

But his son needs him. His son’s health is in serious danger and his future looks dark, with the prospect of spending decades, if not the remainder of his life, in prison.

His son is Julian Assange. It’s a name that is familiar to most people, although many would, at this remove, find it difficult to couple his celebrity standing with his talent or achievement.

Assange is an Australian who has been a serious thorn in the side of the powerful. His Wikileaks organisation was responsible for disseminating information that showed what exactly the US and its allies were getting up to in foreign wars.

Wikileaks exposed war crimes. It was the receptor for whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s treasure trove of documents that painted a picture of torture and maltreatment by US forces in Iraq, among other crimes.

Vanity Fair described the resultant stories as “one of the greatest journalistic scoops of the last 30 years… they have changed the way people think about how the world is run”…….

Assange is a category B prisoner, which means he’s not considered an immediate danger to fellow human beings or society in general, but his conditions of detention are still onerous.

“He’s locked up 22 or 23 hours a day,” his father says. “It’s a grade A maximum security prison. Because those in it are treated like terrorists, that’s what Julian is being subjected to.”

Shipton was in Dublin recently on a flying visit that now forms part of his current “job”. That entails lobbying, meeting, and publicising on behalf of his son. Shipton is on a tour of European capitals trying to round up support……

Assange is in a bad way, there is no doubt about that. Both physically and psychologically, his condition is deteriorating. The prison conditions are onerous but they come following eight years cooked up in the embassy, at times under serious stress. The day before arriving in Dublin Shipton had been in to see his son.

“As you would expect after nine years of persecution, he’s a bit down in the dumps,” he says.

“The report of the UN rapporteur on torture says it all really, pointing out that he has every sign of having suffered torture with both physical and mental results…..

The UN rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, did visit Assange with two doctors in June in Belmarch and were highly condemnatory of the conditions in which he was being kept.

Last week, Melzer issued a further statement, saying Assange’s life was at risk and that he must not be extradited to the US as a consequence of “exposing serious governmental misconduct”…..

Melzer goes further and offers an opinion on what is driving the harsh treatment.

“In my view, this case has never been about Mr Assange’s guilt or innocence, but about making him pay the price for exposing serious governmental misconduct, including alleged war crimes and corruption,” he says. “Unless the UK urgently changes course and alleviates his inhumane situation, Mr Assange’s continued exposure to arbitrariness and abuse may soon end up costing his life.”…..

Since coming to power, Trump has railed against many forms of the free press. And his government has requested Assange’s extradition to stand trial for spying.

If he is extradited, his father doesn’t have much confidence in the prospects of a fair trial.

“The espionage law courts are held in Elizabeth, Virginia,” says Shipton. “It’s a town where all the constituents are from the intelligence community. Every judgement in the espionage courts they say just go to jail. It’s not theoretical. If he’s tried he will go to jail.”

The next hearing on extradition isn’t scheduled until February and on the basis that he previously did skip bail while awaiting an extradition hearing he is unlikely to get bail. For his family and close friends, the most immediate issue is his health rather than the political and legal vortex into which he has been drawn.

At a recent court appearance on October 21, he was described by eyewitnesses as appearing “distressed and disorientated”.

He is subject to a legal process, but few could argue that it is anything more than political. Assange published leaked material. In that he was performing an act of journalism.

Manning, for instance, was prosecuted and served seven years of what was originally a 35-year sentence. But Assange’s role was that of publisher.

Much of Wikileaks most serious material was presented in collaboration with leading global newspapers, including the New York Times and The Guardian.

His father believes that the attack on the press through Assange is not fully appreciated.

“It’s in the self interests of all journalists and news corporations to ensure that this is fought,” he says…… https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/views/analysis/michael-clifford/will-you-come-and-help-father-of-julian-assange-on-campaign-to-free-his-son-962776.html

November 11, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, politics international | Leave a comment

Philippines not prepared for the dangers of nuclear energy

Philippines unprepared for nuclear energy: Senate energy panel chair,  https://news.abs-cbn.com/business/11/06/19/philippines-unprepared-for-nuclear-energy-senate-energy-panel-chair, Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News, Nov 06 2019  MANILA – The Philippines is “not ready” to use nuclear power as an energy source, a senator said Wednesday, adding more should be done to prepare for potential risks.

The Department of Energy announced recently its plan to draft a national nuclear program, which the Senate Energy Committee, chaired by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, will investigate.

“Saan natin itatapon ang nuclear waste? Pag may leakage ano ang gagawin natin? Meron ba tayong capability? Handa ba tayo in case of a nuclear leak?” he told reporters.

(Where will we dump nuclear waste? What will we do in case of a leak? Do we have the capability? Are we ready in case of a nuclear leak?)

The DOE should be more transparent about the benefits of harnessing nuclear power before it drafts a nationwide plan. Coal and solar are cheaper alternatives, he said.

“Nuclear energy is a very controversial source of energy dahil ang risk ay napakataas (because the risk is very high),” he said.

The government is eyeing the deployment of modular nuclear plants to some islands where electricity supply is low, Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi earlier said.

The Philippines also signed a memorandum with Russia’s state-owned Rosatom for a pre-feasibility study for nuclear power plants.   President Rodrigo Duterte “wants to learn more” about nuclear power, which could lower electricity prices and stabilize supply, Cusi said.

“We are hungry for power and we will tap any sources that would satisfy our own needs now,” he said.

November 11, 2019 Posted by | Philippines, politics | Leave a comment

Australia’s media on a campaign for freedom of press, but not when it comes to Julian Assange

Mainstream Media Fights for Own Freedom, But Not for Assange’s, Sydney Criminal Lawyers, 02/11/2019 BY PAUL GREGOIRE Major Australian mainstream media outlets joined forces a fortnight ago to launched the Right to Know campaign. It aims to see public interest journalism decriminalised, and safeguards for whistleblowers enhanced.This unprecedented display of unity has seen The Guardian, the ABC, Nine, News Corp, SBS and the MEAA join forces in calling on the government to enact reforms. And this is rather significant, considering some of these organisations have been much criticised for towing the party line.

The Right to Know has six demands: exceptions so journalists can’t be prosecuted under national security laws, freedom of information reform, defamation law reform, a narrowing of the information classified as secret, protections for whistleblowers and the right to contest warrants.

Of course, the campaign was sparked by the June AFP press raids, which saw agents rifle through the house of a News Corp journalist, as well as the offices of the national broadcaster, in what was understood by many to be a warning to the media and whistleblowers to keep quiet.

However, a glaring campaign omission is the case of an Australian publisher who’s currently being remanded in the UK over charges that apply in the US, which relate precisely to public interest journalism. Yet, the Australian media has all but forgotten their colleague, Julian Assange.

Silenced by association

“The Right to Know campaign drives to the heart of the matter more than many journalists realise,” remarked Ian Rose, a member of the Support Assange and Wikileaks Coalition.

“While on the one hand, they’re right to finally be calling out the creeping incursions and restrictions into media freedoms,” he told Sydney Criminal Lawyers. “On the other, they don’t have the inner fortitude to stand up for Assange.”

According to Rose, there are two reasons that the Australian media has abandoned the Walkley award-winning journalist. One is that he’s “an egalitarian”, which “frightens the hell out of the ruling class”, as most of the work of WikiLeaks has been all about exposing their lies.

The second reason behind the silence is that the “oligarchs” are the “journalists’ paymasters”. And for this reason – which is underscored by the justifiable fear of losing their lives – journalists have refrained from “calling these people out”.

An excuse for silencing

Attorney general Christian Porter spoke out against the Right to Know campaign, claiming that by providing the media with the right to contest warrants could hinder criminal investigations. And he also asserted that the campaign demands could lead to national security threats.

As an example of how the media could become such a threat, Porter pointed to Assange having published leaked classified documents on WikiLeaks. The top lawmaker further set out that while this act of publication was widely condemned, the local industry still awarded Assange a Walkley……..

Neglecting an ally

And as for what the Australian media should be doing about one of its own locked away in isolation in circumstances that undermine the rule of law, Mr Rose says that it “ought to get over its jealousy and unite to support Assange”.

Indeed, the Right to Know campaign should embrace Assange’s cause, as it’s the quintessential example of the concerted crackdown on journalists that’s currently taking place across the western world. And there’s a clear correlation between his silencing and the local AFP raids.

“The way Assange is being treated is the way journalists are starting to be treated, and the way all of society will be treated if we don’t collectively call for a stop to the new dictatorial world order,” Rose warned.

And as an example of how this silencing of dissent is spreading beyond the media, Rose pointed to the recent assault on nonviolent climate activists, which has seen the application of ongoing arrests,  draconian bail conditions,  intimidatory procedures and the passing of restrictive laws……..https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/mainstream-media-fights-for-own-freedom-but-not-for-assanges/

November 11, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties, media | Leave a comment

Entire world wants nuclear weapons-free Middle East — except for USA and Israel

US and Israel were lone votes against UN resolutions opposing space arms race, nuclear Middle East, Cuba embargo, The United States and Israel were the only countries that voted against UN General Assembly draft resolutions calling for a nuclear weapons-free Middle East, measures to stop an arms race in outer space, and an end to the blockade of Cuba. THE GRAYZONE, By Ben Norton, 11 Nov 19,

Important breakthroughs have arrived at the United Nations seeking to prevent an arms race in outer space and create a nuclear weapons-free Middle East. There are just two main obstacles: the United States and Israel.

While Washington and corporate media outlets portray China and Russia as aggressive warmongering rogue states, their votes at the UN show which nations are actually expanding dangerous militarism into new frontiers.

China and Russia joined dozens of other countries in sponsoring resolutions at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) that sought to prevent armed conflict in space. Most of the international community supported these historic peace measures. The only consistent outliers were the US and Israel.

Beijing and Moscow have been leading global efforts to stop the use of weapons in space. Meanwhile, Washington has unilaterally blocked the international consensus on preventing the deadly space race.

Moreover, as nearly all UN member states have united in calling for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons, the US and Israel have singlehandedly undermined their peace efforts.

This roguish behavior predates the election of President Donald Trump.

At the UNGA on November 7, almost every country in the world also voted to end the US embargo against Cuba. This was the 28th year in row that the international community united in calling for the American noose to be taken off the neck of the Cuban people.

While 187 member states supported the resolution demanding an end to the blockade, the US, Israel, and Brazil’s far-right government were the lone nations to oppose it. American allies Colombia and Ukraine abstained.

Washington’s UN votes show who truly is a rogue state.

Entire world wants nuclear weapons-free Middle East — except for USA and Israel

The UNGA’s First Committee, which oversees disarmament and international security, voted on November 1 to overwhelmingly approve a draft resolution entitled “Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East.”

A staggering 172 countries voted in support of this resolution. Only two nations voted against it: the US and Israel. Just two more countries abstained: the United Kingdom and Cameroon.

At the same meeting, the First Committee approved a draft resolution on “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East,” which called for the region to abide by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

Given Israel is the only country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons, the UNGA resolution called on Tel Aviv to join the NPT (Israel has long refused to sign the treaty), and demanded that Israeli nuclear facilities be overseen by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.

The draft resolution was also overwhelmingly approved, with 151 votes in support and a mere six votes against — from the US, Israel, and Canada, along with the tiny island nations of Palau, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands, which function as vassals of Washington at the UN.

American and Israeli votes against resolutions to prevent an arms race in outer space…….https://thegrayzone.com/2019/11/08/us-israel-un-resolutions-space-arms-race-nuclear/

November 11, 2019 Posted by | Israel, politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

November 10 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “India Doesn’t Need To Choose Between Clean Air And Growth” • In India, air pollution causes over a million deaths annually. It increases healthcare costs and leads to the loss of productivity as people take sick days, leading to a $55 billion loss in 2013. Some people believe dealing with pollution will be […]

via November 10 Energy News — geoharvey

November 11, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

11 solar power plants and 10 wind power plants for Fukushima prefecture

Fukushima to be reborn as $2.7bn wind and solar power hub https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Energy/Fukushima-to-be-reborn-as-2.7bn-wind-and-solar-power-hub  

Twenty-one plants and new power grid to supply Tokyo metropolitan area SHIKO UEDA and SUGURU KURIMOTO, Nikkei staff writersNOVEMBER 10, 2019 TOKYO –– Japan’s northeastern prefecture of Fukushima, devastated during the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster, is looking to transform itself into a renewable energy hub, Nikkei has learned.

A plan is under way to develop 11 solar power plants and 10 wind power plants in the prefecture, on farmlands that cannot be cultivated anymore and mountainous areas from where population outflows continue.

The total cost is expected to be in the ballpark of 300 billion yen, or $2.75 billion, until the fiscal year ending in March 2024.

The government-owned Development Bank of Japan and private lender Mizuho Bank are among a group of financiers that have prepared a line of credit to support part of the construction cost.

The power generation available is estimated to be about 600 megawatts, or equivalent to two-thirds of a nuclear power plant. The produced electricity will be sent to the Tokyo metropolitan area.

The plan also envisions the construction of an 80-km wide grid within Fukushima to connect the generated power with the power transmission network of Tokyo Electric Power Co. That part of the project is expected to cost 29 billion yen.

November 11, 2019 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, renewable | Leave a comment

Iran building a second nuclear reactor at Bushehr plant

November 11, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics | Leave a comment

Boris Johnson and the UK plan for nuclear fusion

Boris Johnson’s   nuclear energy pledge backed by UK firm with ‘answer to world’s problem’ By CALLUM HOARE. Express UK, Nov 5, 2019  A UK firm has pledged to build on Boris Johnson’s plans to take the “big step” in treading the path for nuclear energy which the Prime Minister claimed will be on sale “around the world” during the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.

Last month, Mr Johnson tabled £220million over the next four years towards the design of a commercially viable fusion power station in the UK with the hope to supply the world with renewable energy starting in 2024. Also known as star fusion, the breakthrough is a form of renewable electric power generation created during the same fusion process of a star – and it could “save the world”. In October, Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom announced the Government’s new funding package – the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) during a visit to the site in Culham, Oxfordshire.  ……..Currently, the Joint European Torus (JET) is the world’s largest operational facility located at the Fulham Centre for Fusion Energy in Oxfordshire, where scientists work around the clock to scrutinise the technology.

JET was built by an international consortium in 1983, which formed the nucleus for the EU’s contribution to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) – a megaproject which will open in Saint-Paul-Les-Durance, France, in 2025………
However, UK firm Pulsar Fusion is already ahead of the game, CEO Richard Dinan told Express.co.uk. ……..

The only thing that’s going to restrict us is capital.

“To an investor – no one wants to invest in fusion for safety, it’s very high risk – don’t worry about cracking fusion, it’s about cracking the finance.”

Pulsar Fusion recently opened up the UK’s biggest nuclear fusion centre in a secret location near Bletchley, Buckinghamshire.

Mr Dinan is confident his company will, during the next few months, create matter hot enough to replicate the temperature of the Sun in the UK.

A vacuum chamber will form the heart of the reactor and it is claimed it could soon reach temperatures above 100 million degrees Celsius.

November 11, 2019 Posted by | politics, technology, UK | Leave a comment

Donald Trump’s impulsiveness may play right into Kim Jong Un’s hands

November 11, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Leak shuts down V.C. Summer nuclear plant

November 11, 2019 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment