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Understanding Iran — Beyond Nuclear International

With the Iran nuclear deal crushed, war looms

via Understanding Iran — Beyond Nuclear International

January 27, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ask presidential candidates about nuclear and climate issues, says former energy secretary Moniz

January 27, 2020 Posted by | election USA 2020 | Leave a comment

Japan could decide on fate of radioactive waste water before the Olympics in July

January 27, 2020 Posted by | Japan, wastes, water | Leave a comment

Lawmakers seek safeguards on decommissioning of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station

January 27, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

Tepco estimates 44 years to decommission its Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant.

Japan Times 23rd Jan 2020, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. has estimated that it will take 44 years to decommission its Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant. Tepco presented the outline of decommissioning plans to the municipal assembly of Tomioka, one of the two host towns of the nuclear plant, on Wednesday.

The Fukushima No. 2 plant is located south of the No. 1 plant, which suffered a triple meltdown accident in the wake of the March 2011 massive earthquake and tsunami.

According to the outline, the decommissioning process for the No.
2 plant will have four stages, taking 10 years for the first stage, 12
years for the second stage and 11 years each for the third and fourth
stages.

Tepco will survey radioactive contamination at the nuclear plant in
the first stage, clear equipment around nuclear reactors in the second,
remove the reactors in the third and demolish the reactor buildings in the
fourth. Meanwhile, the plant operator will transfer a total of 9,532 spent
nuclear fuel units at the plant to a fuel reprocessing company by the end
of the decommissioning process, and 544 unused fuel units to a processing
firm by the start of the third stage.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/01/23/national/tepco-fukushima-decommissioning/#.Xi1KBmj7RPb

January 27, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, Japan | Leave a comment

Republicans try to get nuclear power accepted as “renewable” in California

Proposed bill would include large hydro, nuclear in California’s renewable portfolio standard,  Utility Dive, By Kavya Balaraman Jan. 23, 2020  
Dive Brief:

  • California Republicans on Tuesday introduced legislation to temporarily halt the requirements of the state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) program and redirect funds to ensure utilities improve their infrastructure and vegetation management programs.
  • The proposed bill would also, if and when the program is reinstated, include nuclear generation and all hydroelectric facilities operating as of January 1, 2021 in the program’s definition of an “eligible renewable energy resource.”
  • The bill, along with a second piece of legislation introduced by state Assemblyman James Gallagher, R, and Sen. Jim Nielsen, R, “will help prevent future wildfires and utility power shutoff events,” according to a press release. But environmental advocates say that the move to extend RPS eligibility to hydro and nuclear facilities might not go far in California’s current political landscape.

Dive Insight:

California established its RPS program in 2002, requiring at the time that renewable resources make up 20% of electricity retail sales by 2017. However, the program’s targets have changed over the years; the state passed Senate Bill 100 in 2018, accelerating RPS requirements to 60% by 2030, as well as requiring that carbon-free resources supply all of the state’s electricity by 2045.

Large hydropower and nuclear generation don’t currently count toward the RPS standard requirements, but the state is still defining the zero-carbon requirement passed in SB 100, Alex Jackson, senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told Utility Dive.

In the last three years, California utilities have also been wrestling with the increased threat of wildfires posed by their infrastructure. Devastating fires in 2017, 2018 and 2019 have caused billions of dollars in damage across the state, pushing Pacific Gas & Electric to declare bankruptcy in early 2019.

To reduce this risk, the utility adopted a public safety power shut-off (PSPS) program, proactively de-energizing areas that are particularly prone to fires during windy or dry weather conditions. The shut-offs have drawn widespread criticism from regulators, lawmakers and customers in Northern California……..

Environmental advocates pushed back against the proposal to include both large hydropower and nuclear generation as eligible resources under the RPS program.

The RPS is part of a deliberate state move away from fossil fuels, and utilities already get a lot of their power from hydro, so counting it in the RPS requirements would discourage investments in wind, solar, and other renewables, Kathryn Phillips, director of Sierra Club California, told Utility Dive…..

On the nuclear energy front, “there’s no way you can call nuclear renewable,” she said. “It doesn’t emit carbon, but it has lots of other very intense environmental impacts.”

“Nuclear is being phased out not because of its ineligibility for RPS requirements, but because these large inflexible baseload plants are increasingly incompatible with a system that’s predominantly run on intermittent clean energy resources,” according to Jackson.

Flexibility is key going forward and the high operating costs of nuclear plants is what led PG&E to propose the retirement of the Diablo Canyon plant in the first place, he added. …….https://www.utilitydive.com/news/proposed-bill-include-large-hydro-nuclear-power-californias-rps/570919/

January 27, 2020 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Class action lawsuit about failed V.C. Summer nuclear plant goes back to state court

January 27, 2020 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

Ontario landowners sign deal with agency looking to store used nuclear fuel

January 27, 2020 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment

Donald Trump threatens to get rid of National Public Radio

January 27, 2020 Posted by | civil liberties, media | Leave a comment

Despite years of negotiations, we came once again to the brink of conflict with Iran.

Reporting on the Iran nuclear deal: ‘nothing happens until everything happens’Our world affairs editor reflects on how, despite years of negotiations, we came once again to the brink of conflict. Guardian, Julian Borger  Sun 26 Jan 2020, Countries tend to go to war when diplomacy fails. But Washington and Tehran are now facing off because it succeeded. It was because the 2015 nuclear deal was Barack Obama’s proudest foreign policy achievement that Donald Trump was so determined to destroy it.

The US and Iran are sliding back towards the brink of conflict. If a missile had landed a little bit differently in the course of the latest exchange of hostilities, they would probably be at war by now.

As the pendulum has swung one way and then the other, the Guardian has tried to cover the diplomacy with the same depth and emphasis as the military manoeuvres, even when it seems slow-moving and complex.

When formal talks began between the Obama administration and the new government of Hassan Rouhani in September 2013, our foreign editor, Jamie Wilson, decided we should cover the whole process in detail because of the potentially historic nature of success, and the very high price of failure.

. When formal talks began between the Obama administration and the new government of Hassan Rouhani in September 2013, our foreign editor, Jamie Wilson, decided we should cover the whole process in detail because of the potentially historic nature of success, and the very high price of failure.

……… For Rezaian – now a Washington columnist – and many of those who saw the worst side of the Islamic Republic, its cruelties are all the more reason to prevent it developing nuclear weapons, and bind it into an international agreement. For others, particularly on the American right, any deal that eased the pressure on Iran’s economy would make the west complicit in Iran’s oppression at home and aggression abroad.

In the end, all those years of diplomacy and all the delicate compromises of the JCPOA, by which the Iranians accepted nuclear limits for sanctions relief, came to naught. Tehran’s nuclear programme is expanding again, and the US and Iran are back on the brink of conflict.

It is a chilling thought that no one in the US chain of command has the authority to stop Trump if he were to pick up the verification codes on the small plastic card (for some reason called the nuclear “biscuit”) that a US president always has close by, and order up Armageddon.

With that other extinction-level threat, the climate emergency, there is so much happening that it is impossible to keep up. But the nuclear threat is different: nothing happens until everything happens. By the time there is something substantial to report on, it could be far too late.https://www.theguardian.com/membership/2020/jan/25/iran-nuclear-deal-us-reporting

 

January 27, 2020 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

India joins the panic to sell costly, impractical, nuclear power to Africa and Middle East

January 27, 2020 Posted by | India, marketing | Leave a comment

Davos conference – an expensive exercise in corporate spin

Andrew Allison 26 Jan 2020 The Davos conference will never produce an original idea that is helpful to the majority of people on the planet.

John Ralston Saul described Davos as follows:
<< DAVOS (THE ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM) Tucked away into the Swiss Alps, a consecrated temple of tomorrow’s conventional wisdom for political and business leaders.

Once a year in the depths of winter two thousand businessmen, academics, politicians and civil servants gather there under the gaze of three hundred journalists. The consultants speak up in hope of winning clients. Politicians attempt to impress lenders. Businessmen glad-hand like salt-tax collectors, happy to be there and filled with world-saving ideas.

Davos is a slightly ludicrous attempt at something worrying – an international assembly on the corporatist model.

Last year we learned that corporations don’t want to pay tax. This year we learned that don’t want to do anything that might impact on short-term profits, so they ignore all appeals to limit CO2 emissions. In short, we cannot expect anything from Davos “except business as usual”, until crises occur, and they propagate to the point where they threaten short-term profits.

January 27, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, spinbuster | Leave a comment

January 26 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “What Should You Know Before Signing Up For A Tesla Solarglass Roof” • The Tesla Solarglass Roof finally makes solar beautiful and easy to look at for folks who don’t appreciate the look of conventional solar panels. I think the Solarglass roof tiles are more beautiful, more functional, and more durable than most […]

via January 26 Energy News — geoharvey

January 27, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Yesterday the nuclear nations pushed the fantasy of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

William Sanford. 25 January 2020
Faux News “The Five” tried to push the Safe SMR Narrative just yesterday. Complete nonsense on the Climate Crisis shows how doubling down on stupid (and old) technology is a last resort effort to preserve their doomed industry.

Sweden, Switzerland, and Germany all announced increased rates of decommissioning. Add Spain, Italy, as USA continues to hide, censor, and deflect the TRUTH. The IAEA playbook directly from Vienna …and the worst part is many “climate activists” actually buy into the false narrative that nuclear energy is “carbon free.”

The ‘Nuclear Cycle’ uses huge amounts of gas/diesel. From pulling uranium out of the ground to enrichment, use, removal, dry cask ops, and delivery to a repository, LOTS of petroleum. And NO, nuke plants DO NOT RUN on their own power. 1.7 !illion cancers annually worldwide AS A direct result of nuclear power plants directly from the IAEA/NRC.

January 25, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, spinbuster | 1 Comment

In UK “deep disposal” is planned for the mounting, costly and forever problem of nuclear wastes

How To Solve Nuclear Energy’s Biggest Problem  https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/How-To-Solve-Nuclear-Energys-Biggest-Problem.html  By Haley Zaremba – Jan 22, 2020, Nuclear waste is a huge issue and it’s not going away any time soon–in fact, it’s not going away for millions of years. While most types of nuclear waste remain radioactive for mere tens of thousands of years, the half-life of Chlorine-36 is 300,000 years and neptunium-237 boasts a half-life of a whopping 2 million years.

All this radioactivity amounts to a huge amount of maintenance to ensure that our radioactive waste is being properly managed throughout its extraordinarily long shelf life and isn’t endangering anyone. And, it almost goes without saying, all this maintenance comes at a cost. In the United States, nuclear waste carries a particularly hefty cost.

Last year, in a hard-hitting expose on the nuclear industry’s toll on U.S. taxpayers, the Los Angeles Times reported that “almost 40 years after Congress decided the United States, and not private companies, would be responsible for storing radioactive waste, the cost of that effort has grown to $7.5 billion, and it’s about to get even pricier.” 

How much pricier? A lot. “With no place of its own to keep the waste, the government now says it expects to pay $35.5 billion to private companies as more and more nuclear plants shut down, unable to compete with cheaper natural gas and renewable energy sources. Storing spent fuel at an operating plant with staff and technology on hand can cost $300,000 a year. The price for a closed facility: more than $8 million, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute.” 

With the United States as a poster child of what not to do with your nuclear waste, the United Kingdom is taking a much different tack. The UK is currently undertaking what the country’s Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) department says “will be one of the UK’s largest ever environmental projects.” This nuclear waste storage solution comes in the form of a geological disposal facility (GDF), a waste disposal method that involves burying nuclear waste deep, deep underground in a cocoon of backfill, most commonly comprised of bentonite-based cement. This type of cement is able to absorb shocks and is ideal for containing radioactive particles in case of any failure. The GDF system would also be at such a depth that it would be under the water table, minimizing any risk of contaminating the groundwater.

According to reporting from Engineering & Technology, nuclear waste is a mounting issue in Europe and in the UK in particular. “Under European law, all countries that create radioactive waste are obliged to find their own disposal solutions – shipping nuclear waste is not generally permitted except in some legacy agreements. However, when the first countries charged into nuclear energy generation (or nuclear weapons research), disposal of the radioactive waste was not a major consideration. For several of those countries, like the UK, that is now around 70 years ago, and the waste has been ‘stored’ rather than disposed of. It remains a problem.”

In fact, not only does it remain a problem, it is a mounting problem. As nuclear waste has been improperly or shortsightedly managed in the past, the current administration can no longer avoid dealing with the issue. In the past the UK used its Drigg Low-Level Waste Repository on the Cumbrian Coast to treat low and intermediate level waste, but now, thanks to coastal erosion, the facility will soon begin leeching radioactive materials into the sea, although that might not be quite as scary as it sounds.

Back in 2014, the Environment Agency raised concerns that coastal erosion could result in leakage from the site within 100 to 1,000 years, although it was counter-claimed that the levels of radioactivity after such a time would be low enough to be harmless,” Engineering & Technology writes. “This would definitely not be the case for high-level wastes, where radioactivity could remain a hazard into and beyond the next ice age, hence the need for longer-term disposal.” 

Where exactly will that longer-term disposal be based? That’s up for debate. And it won’t be an easy thing to decide, as the RWM says that they will need a community to volunteer to be involved in such a costly, lengthy, and potentially unpopular project. And it’s not just an issue for the current inhabitants of potential locations in the UK, but for many generations to come over the next tens of thousands of years of radioactivity

January 25, 2020 Posted by | UK, wastes | 1 Comment