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

The price of staying — Beyond Nuclear International

Family who stayed in Fukushima was unwarned and exposed

via The price of staying — Beyond Nuclear International

March 9, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The half lives of the abandoned — Beyond Nuclear International

The price paid by those who did not evacuate

via The half lives of the abandoned — Beyond Nuclear International

March 9, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear and climate news in International Women’s Week

The nuclear industry took the opportunity to push itself as an equality-for-women champion. Also, in the media, parents were warned to see that their girls got STEM skills (Science Technology Engineering Maths), or else they’d be jobless dropouts.

Now I too believe that these skills are important.  But I deplore the downgrading of the so-called “soft” studies, that is going on at the same time. With the crises facing the world now, surely for decision-making, we need people with knowledge of languages, history, sociology, ecology. On the health effects of nuclear radiation, and of global heating, the “soft” sciences of biology and genetics are essential.  And, as social commentator Eva Cox has pointed out, the occupations with social values of caring and nurturing ought not to be downgraded and poorly paid, in comparison with the techno world and competitive occupations with macho values.

While climate and nuclear threats are the focus of this newsletter,  the reality is that the planetary mess is made of many interconnecting factors, in the unsustainable economy of “endless growth”. A big reminder –  investigative journalismPlanet Plastic.

A bit of good news -Farming in the Forest: A Chance to Reverse 1,000 Years of Destructive Land-Use Practices

Why don’t we treat the climate crisis with the same urgency as coronavirus?

Investigative journalism Big Oil and Big Soda and plastically polluted Planet Earth.

The Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty – now more important than ever.The Threat of a Nuclear War Between the US and Russia Is Now at Its Greatest Since 1983.

A sceptical look at NuScam’s small nuclear reactor plans.

RUSSIA. Nuclear reactors on the sea floor – Russia’s costly problem. Russia’s Poseidon thermonuclear torpedo being tested.


UK. Government advisers warn Britain against costly new nuclear reactors.  Nuclear industry appeals for new funding model to support Sizewell C.    12 week public consultation on proposals for Bradwell B nuclear reactors. 50 years of uranium enrichment.   Protesters call for Capenhurst Urenco nuclear plant to be closed down.    Worker at Hinkley Point nuclear station has now developed coronavirus COVID-19. Nuclear and other toxic wastes dumped in Beaufort’s Dyke, which lies between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

USA.  Investigative journalism – Deceit and Dark Money -Ohio’s nuclear subsidy saga.  Dr Chris Busby exposes the facts on Cancer in US Navy  Nuclear Powered Ships.  Trump gives huge funding increase to nuclear agency that develops nuclear warheads.  Trump’s America prepares to use  low-level nuclear weapons as a “viable option“. – Russia fears.   Trump picks nuclear envoy – Marshall Billingslea, formerly involved in torture program. Tennessee Valley Authority violated whistleblower protections for nuclear workers.  Bill in California to call nuclear power “renewable“!.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES.  Middle East arms race to begin, as United Arab Emirates to open world’s largest nuclear reactor?

INDIA. Westinghouse nuclear reactors – a very poor deal for India. India retains its nuclear weapons no-first-use policy.

FRANCE. France starts a series of nuclear power shutdowns.

MARSHALL ISLANDS. Marshall islanders continue their fight for nuclear justice.

SOUTH AFRICA. Strange turnaround for South Africa’s EFF leader Julius Malema – nuclear best for blacks, renewables for white elites?

PHILIPPINES. Catholic prelate calls on President Duterte to reject nuclear energy. Nuclear power a very bad option for the Philippines.

CANADA. Nuclear – a failing technology, example Canada’s risky CANDU reactors.

POLAND. Poland’s nuclear power development with USA to cost $15.56 billion.

AUSTRALIA. The demonisation of Julian Assange: Former foreign minister Carr calls on the Australian govt to intervene.     Investigative journalism  – Flinders University, South Australia: collusion with nuclear power promotion, Prof Pam Sykes, and the scam of “hormesis”,

March 9, 2020 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

A sceptical look at NuScam’s small nuclear reactor plans

Recent experience supports skepticism. Westinghouse worked on an SMR design for a decade before giving up in 2014. Massachusetts-based Transatomic Power, a nuclear technology firm, walked away from a molten salt SMR in 2018, and despite an $111 million dollar infusion from the US government, a SMR design from Babcock & Wilcox, an advanced energy developer, folded in 2017. While the Russians have managed to get their state-funded SMR floating, its construction costs ran over estimates by four times, and its energy will cost about four times more than current US nuclear costs. 
Eventually, every nuclear conversation turns to radioactive waste and safety. SMRs using a pressurized water reactor will continue to generate highly radioactive spent fuel, yet no country has a permanent solution for how to safely store this kind of waste.  ……..
small modular reactors suffer from many of the same problems as large reactors, most notably safety issues
“It would be irresponsible for the NRC to reduce safety and security requirements for any reactor of any size.”

The Smaller Is Better Movement in Nuclear Power, Are miniature reactors really safer? Mother Jones  LOIS PARSHLEY, 8 Mar 20, 

Huge computer screens line a dark, windowless control room in Corvallis, Oregon, where engineers at the company NuScale Power hope to define the next wave of nuclear energy. Glowing icons fill the screens, representing the power output of 12 miniature nuclear reactors. Together, these small modular reactors would generate about the same amount of power as one of the conventional nuclear plants that currently dot the United States—producing enough electricity to power 540,000 homes. On the glowing screens, a palm tree indicates which of the dozen units is on “island mode,” allowing a single reactor to run disconnected from the grid in case of an emergency. 

This control room is just a mock-up, and the reactors depicted on the computer screens do not, in fact, exist. Yet NuScale has invested more than $900 million in the development of small modular reactor (SMR) technology, which the company says represents the next generation of nuclear power plants. NuScale is working on a full-scale prototype and says it is on track to break ground on its first nuclear power plant—a 720-megawatt project for a utility in Idaho—within two years; the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has just completed the fourth phase of review of NuScale’s design, the first SMR certification the commission has reviewed. The company expect final approval by the end of 2020. The US Department of Energy has already invested $317 million in the research and development of NuScale’s SMR project.

Continue reading

March 9, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Nuclear reactors on the sea floor – Russia’s costly problem

Lifting Russia’s accident reactors from the Arctic seafloor will cost nearly €300 million, are discussing the framework for safe lifting of dumped reactors from four submarines and uranium fuel from one icebreaker reactor in the Kara Sea, in addition to one sunken nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea. By Thomas Nilsen 8 Mar, 20, 

Russian and European experts agree that the dumped Soviet-era nuclear reactors in the Kara Sea can’t stay on the seafloor forever.

The Soviet Union used the waters east of Novaya Zemlya to dump accidental reactors, spent nuclear fuel and solid radioactive waste from both the navy and the fleet of nuclear-powered civilian icebreakers.

About 17,000 objects were dumped in the period from the late 1960s to the late 1980s.

Most of the objects are metal containers with low- and medium level radioactive waste. The challenge today, though, are the reactors with high-level waste and spent uranium fuel, objects that will pose a serious threat to the marine environment for tens of thousands of years if nothing is done to secure them.

According to the Institute for Safe Development of Nuclear Energy, part of Russia’s Academy of Science, the most urgent measures should be taken to secure six objects that contain more than 90% of all the radioactivity.

It is the information site for Russia’s submarine decommissioning program that informs about the plans.

The reactors from the submarines K-11, K-19 and K-140, plus the entire submarine K-27 and spent uranium fuel from one of the old reactors of the Lenin-icebreakers have to be lifted and secured.

Also, the submarine K-159 that sank north of Murmansk while being towed for decommissioning in 2003 have to be lifted from the seafloor, the experts conclude.

Special priority should be given to the two submarines K-27 in the Kara Sea and K-159 in the Barents Sea.

The study report made for Rosatom and the European Commission has evaluated the costs of lifting all six objects, bringing them safely to a yard for decommissioning and securing the reactors for long-term storage.

The estimated price-tag for all six will €278 millions, of which the K-159 is the most expensive with a cost of €57,5 millions. Unlike the submarines and reactors that are dumped in relatively shallow waters in the Kara Sea, the K-159 is at about 200 meters depth, and thus will be more difficult to lift.

Lifting the K-27, transporting to a shipyard for decommissioning and long-term storage in Saida Bay will come at a price of €47,7 millions the report reads.

The work can be done over an eight years period, according to the expert.

But, as the expert-group underlines, the €278 millions funding does not exist in any Russian Federal budgets today.

March 9, 2020 Posted by | Russia, wastes | Leave a comment

The Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty – now more important than ever

March 9, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Government advisers warn Britain against costly new nuclear reactors

Times 7th March 2020, Net Zero Report.  Plans for nuclear plants in Britain face fresh uncertainty after government advisers warned against backing costly new reactors. The nuclear industry wants the government to commit to a funding system to back the construction of reactors, including EDF’s proposed Sizewell plant in Suffolk.

However, the National Infrastructure Commission, set up in 2015 to provide impartial advice to the government, reiterated concerns in a report about backing more nuclear plants. It noted that there had been cost reductions in renewable power technologies such as wind and solar over the past ten years, but “costs of building and running nuclear power stations have not
fallen consistently, even in countries that have built fleets of similar reactors”. Given the potential for other non-intermittent technologies to complement renewables, it said that this “weakened the case for committing to a new fleet of nuclear power stations”.

March 9, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Negative reputation for Fukushima fishing industry – recovery is a long way away

Fukushima Fishing Industry Still Far from Recovery   Mar 9, 2020   [excellent graphs]  While fishing ports and other infrastructure in Fukushima Prefecture have made progress toward recovery, the area still suffers from a negative reputation.

The coastal area off Ibaraki and Fukushima Prefectures, where the Oyashio and Kuroshio Currents meet in the Pacific Ocean, is an excellent fishing ground. The seafood caught in this area became known as Jōban-mono and was prized by professional chefs and Tsukiji Market connoisseurs. However, the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake had a profound effect on the local fishing industry, when it caused a tsunami that destroyed all the fishing ports and led to an accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant that damaged the reputation of the waters.

According to Fukushima Prefecture sea-fishing industry statistics, the total catch in 2010 stood at 38,600 tons, before plummeting in 2011. While fishing ports and other infrastructure have steadily recovered since, catches remain low. In 2018, 5,900 tons of fish were caught, equivalent to only 15% of the volume prior to the earthquake. This was worth ¥796 million, or only 7.3% of the ¥11.0 billion generated in 2010. (Aggregated data for 2019 is due to be released later in March 2020.)

After the nuclear accident, the fishing industry in Fukushima came to a standstill for approximately one year. Then, in June 2012, trial fishing operations began. Currently, there are still no catches within a 10-kilometer radius of the Daiichi plant and any made outside that area are subject to prefectural inspections for radioactive materials, alongside inspections by the fishing cooperatives themselves, in order to ensure safety. Although there have been zero cases of results for prefectural inspections outside acceptable levels for more than four years, the area’s negative reputation remains, so full recovery in the fishing industry is yet to be seen  .

March 9, 2020 Posted by | Japan, oceans | Leave a comment

Nuclear industry appeals for new funding model to support Sizewell C.

East Anglian Daily Times 8th March 2020, Campaigners say fresh funding fears have cast doubt on the viability of Suffolk’s new nuclear power station. The Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell C (TEAGS) said a letter from the nuclear industry urging government to support a new financing model for electricity infrastructure exposed the vulnerability of new projects.

TEAGS’ Alison Downes said the Nuclear Industry Association submissions to the Chancellor highlighted growing worries the Treasury may ditch plans for a new funding model, on which EDF Energy’s business case for Sizewell C depends. The NIA’s letterwarns it will be impossible to replace the nation’s ageing nuclear power stations and achieve carbon net zero targets without the right investment policy. It says there is an “urgent need” for a new financing mechanism to ensure “investor confidence, reduce the cost of capital and provide very significant value to the consumer.”

The letter goes onto say timing is “critical” – as the business case for Sizewell C depends on the timely transfer of operations from Hinkley Point C; EDF’s sister project in Somerset. It calls on government to respond to consultation on the
‘Regulated Asset Base’ model of funding, which was opened last year. RAB
grants companies rights to charge a fixed price to consumers in exchange
for providing the infrastructure. EDF said RAB could lead to lower
financing costs and “significant savings” for consumers.

However, opponents say RAB would expose bill-payers to huge costs. Paul Dorfman, founder of the Nuclear Consulting Group, said new nuclear projects had experienced “vast cost and time over-runs”. “Under RAB, the plan is for the burden of risk to pass to hard-press UK consumers and taxpayers,” he added. The RAB model, which has also been termed a “Sizewell surcharge”, sparked major opposition when consultation launched last year. More than 46,000 people have signed a petition opposing the plans.

Chris Wilson of Together Against Sizewell C said at the time of the petition that without massive subsidies, nuclear projects will “crash and burn”. Mrs Downes said the industry was  right to worry that the Treasury may ditch RAB. “Based on its other projects, it will be impossible for EDF to accurately predict how much Sizewell C will cost and how long it will take to build,” she added. “EDF has made it clear that RAB is essential for Sizewell C to proceed, but it
will be too expensive, slow to deliver and is not the answer to our climate

March 9, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment