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Plutonium-affected U.S. airmen, cancers, deaths, and a new legal ruling

The Palomares disaster occurred on Jan. 17, 1966, when an American B-52 bomber on a Cold War patrol exploded during a midair refueling accident, sending four hydrogen bombs hurtling toward the ground. They were not armed, so there was no nuclear detonation, but the conventional explosives in two of the bombs blew up on impact, scattering pulverized plutonium over a patchwork of farm fields and stucco houses.

Plutonium is extremely toxic, but it often acts slowly. The alpha-particle radiation it gives off travels only a few inches and would not penetrate skin. But inhaled plutonium dust can lodge in the lungs and steadily irradiate surrounding tissue, gradually inflicting damage that can cause cancer and other ailments, sometimes decades later. A single microgram absorbed in the body is enough to be harmful;  according to declassified Atomic Energy Commission reports, the bombs that blew apart at Palomares contained more than 3 billion micrograms.


February 13, 2020 Posted by | health, incidents, legal, PERSONAL STORIES, politics, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Cuts to public benefit programs,$billions to nuclear weapons – Trump’s 2021 budget

February 13, 2020 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Decline and uncertainty in UK nuclear construction

Construction News 10th Feb 2020, Contractors hoping to work on nuclear builds have been forced to scale back their workforce in recent months, according to the head of the sector’s trade body. Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) chief executive Tom Greatrex told Construction News that the uncertain future for nuclear megaprojects such as the £16bn Wylfa Newydd , which was suspended by Hitachi in January 2019, has had a negative impact on construction firms

Greatrex said: “There’s a lot [of nuclear specialists] that have cut back their
headcounts. If they don’t feel there’s going to be any work to do in that
area, they’ll focus on other areas and costs will be cut.” He added that
the NIA was aware of “a few small companies that have ceased to trade”,
but declined to name them.

February 13, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Trump’s 2021 budget boosts nuclear energy

Trump’s budget continues to boost nuclear energy, He proposed $1.2 billion for nuclear energy programs and R&D, The Verge, By Justine Calma@justcalma  Feb 10, 2020,  Donald Trump’s budget proposal for 2021 earmarks $1.2 billion for nuclear energy research and development and related programs. That’s significantly more than the $824 million Trump proposed in his budget the previous year. Even with the sizable increase in requested funds, the amount is less than the $1.5 billion that Congress allocated for nuclear energy last year.

Trump sold the bump in funding as a way to promote “revitalization of the domestic industry and the ability of domestic technologies to compete abroad.” His administration also wants to ramp up uranium production in the US, calling it “an issue of national security.”

Keeping the nation’s nuclear reactors online has been a priority for Trump since taking office. Two bills he signed into law sped up the development of advanced nuclear reactors and streamlined the permitting processes. He’s also allocated funds, including $300 million in this year’s proposal, toward a Versatile Test Reactor (VTR) meant to test and develop advanced reactor fuels and materials. Nuclear power currently makes up 20 percent of the US energy mix and half of its carbon-free electricity. Nevertheless, nuclear energy has struggled to gain a larger foothold in the US.

…….. Last week, Trump seemingly backed away from a proposed waste site at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, which has been controversial ever since it was proposed in 1987. The proposed dump for radioactive waste is political kryptonite for someone who might want the state’s votes (Trump lost Nevada in 2016). “Nevada, I hear you on Yucca Mountain and my Administration will RESPECT you!” Trump tweeted on February 6th. “My Administration is committed to exploring innovative approaches – I’m confident we can get it done!” Trump had previously asked for funds to complete the nuclear waste repository in previous budget proposals…….

Trump’s $4.8 trillion budget proposal still needs to make its way through Congress, where it’s likely to face a fight. But there has been bipartisan support for nuclear energy in the past — last year, Congress upped the 2020 budget for nuclear energy by nearly $700 million.

“This sends a strong message that the Department of Energy (DOE) is all in on new nuclear,” Rita Baranwal, assistant secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy, said in a statement after Trump signed off on the 2020 spending bill in December……

February 13, 2020 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

5.2-magnitude earthquake near Fukushima

Japan is rattled by 5.2-magnitude earthquake near Fukushima, Daily Mail UK

  • The earthquake struck around 20 miles off the coast of Fukushima province
  • Witnesses said they had felt a 10-second long shake during the tremor today
  • No tsunami warning has been put in place by Japan’s meteorological agency 

By TIM STICKINGS , 12 February 2020 Japan was rattled by a 5.2-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Fukushima province today.

The quake struck just over 50 miles from the city of Fukushima where the nuclear disaster occurred in 2011.

Witnesses said they had felt a 10-second long shake during the tremor at around 7.30pm local time.

No tsunami warning has been put in place by Japan’s meteorological agency.

The US Geological Survey said today’s earthquake had struck at a depth of around 50 miles under the sea.

One witness told earthquake monitoring service EMSC that the quake produced a ‘weak but long shake’ lasting about 10 seconds.

Another said their heater had moved around on its four wheels while making a sound.

Officials in Fukushima prefecture warned residents that there could be aftershocks and directed them to official public safety advice.  Energy company TEPCO, which runs four nuclear power plants in the prefecture, said it was awaiting further information about the earthquake’s impact. …..

February 13, 2020 Posted by | incidents, Japan | Leave a comment

While the Australian government ignores Julian Assange’s plight, two MPs head to UK to help him

MPs take Assange freedom campaign to UK 12 Feb 20, 
Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie and Queensland Nationals MP George Christensen will travel to the United Kingdom to lobby for Julian Assange’s freedom
Paul Osborne, Two Australian politicians will travel to the UK this weekend at their own expense to visit Julian Assange in jail and seek his release.

Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie and Queensland Nationals MP George Christensen, who chair a parliamentary group in support of the WikiLeaks founder, will pay a visit to Belmarsh Prison near London and lobby the British government.

Assange is set to face trial on February 24 to determine whether he should be extradited to the US, where he has been charged with 17 counts of spying and one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.

February 13, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Correcting Anti-Renewable Energy Propaganda

Correcting Anti-Renewable Energy Propaganda, Clean Technica  B1 By Georg Nitsche, 12 Feb 20, In 1989, pro-nuclear lobbyists claimed that wind power couldn’t even provide 1% of Germany’s electricity. A few years later, pro-nuclear lobbyists ran ads in German newspapers, claiming that renewables wouldn’t be able to meet 4% of German electricity demand.

After the renewable energy revolution took off, in 2015, the pro-nuclear power “Breakthrough Institute” published an article claiming solar would be limited to 10–20% and wind to 25–35% of a power system’s electricity.

In 2017, German (pro-nuclear power) economist Hans-Werner Sinn tweeted that more than 50% wind and solar would hardly be possible. And in 2018, Carnegie Science reported a study claiming that “wind and solar could meet most but not all U.S. electricity needs.” According to one of the authors, their research indicates that “huge amounts of storage” or natural gas would need to supplement solar and wind power.

From a pro-renewable perspective, this is encouraging. The claims about the limits of renewable energy have moved from “not even 1% of electricity” to “most but not all of the electricity.” And yet, the anti-renewables message has always been the same: renewables will lead to a dead end.

In order to underscore their point, anti-renewable energy propagandists now publish incorrect cost figures that claim a fully renewable electric grid would be unaffordable or way more expensive than other options, such as, you guessed it, nuclear power. Continue reading

February 13, 2020 Posted by | renewable, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Uranium prices at rock bottom- doesn’t help the struggling nuclear industry

Uranium Week: The Nuclear Conundrum

By Greg Peel, Lack of demand continues to drag on uranium prices despite ongoing production curtailments, yet nuclear energy remains a matter of cost.

-Uranium spot prices drift lower
-Production curtailments ongoing
-Nuclear power a costly option

he world’s largest mining investment conference, now in its 26th year, began in Cape Town last week. Given the tenuous state of South Africa’s energy supply, the focus this year of the “Investing in African Mining Indaba” is on a transition from coal toward renewable and clean energy resources to deal with power shortages across the African continent. (Indaba means meeting.)

The five-day conference brought together representatives from 94 countries and regions, including more than 38 ministers, under the theme “Optimizing Growth and Investment in the Digitized Mining Economy.”

The CEO of the Minerals Council South Africa said at the conference the Council fully supports a transition from coal to non-fossil fuel forms of power generation such as wind and solar power and, where cost is not prohibitive, nuclear power.

“Where cost is not prohibitive” underscores the dilemma facing the global nuclear power and uranium mining industries at present. The US experience is one of US uranium miners being unable to compete with cheaper imports from the likes of Canada and Kazakhstan, with uranium prices near historically low levels. Yet the US nuclear power industry cannot compete with gas-fired and renewable power, despite historically low uranium prices.


February 13, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, Uranium | Leave a comment

Sellafield and Drigg, Today and tomorrow’s Flood Warning.

Radiation Free Lakeland 10th Feb 2020, Sellafield and Drigg, Today and tomorrow’s Flood Warning. This is why there
should be no new nuclear wastes arriving at Sellafield, no new so called
Small Modular Reactors on this floodplain ….and no new coal mine deep
under the Irish Sea. Cumbria (and the fallout is planetary) is ALREADY
under intolerable risks. Today’s flood warnings …fingers crossed.

February 13, 2020 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

Radioactive material ‘a magnet for groups with malicious intent’, warns UN nuclear watchdog chief

Radioactive material ‘a magnet for groups with malicious intent’, warns UN nuclear watchdog chief.  UN News, 10 Feb 20, Government ministers and other high-level representatives from more than 140 countries, on Monday adopted a new declaration to enhance global nuclear security and counter the threat of nuclear terrorism……

“Nuclear and radioactive material is a magnet for groups with malicious intent that see in this material a possibility to create panic and bring distress and pain to our societies”, said IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, at the opening of the week-long conference at IAEA headquarters, shortly before the declaration was adopted. …..

February 13, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety | Leave a comment