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Looks as if 20 municipalities in Utah have been NuScammed for those not so small nuclear reactors

readers may wonder how UAMPS convinced some members to sign an “option” contract, which eventually converts to a “hell-or-high-water” contract, meaning that the buyer has no right, under any circumstances, to abandon the contract once construction, the Achilles heel of nuclear projects, is authorized.

July 28, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, marketing of nuclear, politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

The Santa Susana site – America’s Secret Chernobyl

July 28, 2020 Posted by | safety, secrets,lies and civil liberties, wastes | Leave a comment

Dismantling of San Onofre nuclear station, but high level radioactive trash remains onsite

San Onofre Decommissioning Update Monday, July 27, 2020, By Alison St John  Work continues to dismantle the San Onofre nuclear power plant, which provided San Diego with 20% of its electricity until 2012 when it shut down prematurely, due to a radiation leak. The process of decommissioning the plant is more controversial than its 44 years in operation. The question is whether the high-level nuclear waste, which remains radioactive for tens of thousands of years, can be safely disposed of?

Rob Nikolewski, energy reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune, has been following the progress of decommissioning and storing the radioactive waste.

Nikolewski said one very large chunk classified as low-level nuclear waste has already been transported to a storage site near Clive, Utah. The 770-ton reactor vessel was shipped by rail and a convoy of eight trucks across over 400 miles to its destination. Millions more pounds of low-level waste will be broken down into smaller pieces and transported to Clive, where the private company Energy Solutions has a licensed repository.

However the high-level waste — hundreds of spent fuel rods — remains on-site, since the federal government has failed to approve a long- term storage site for the nation’s high-level nuclear waste. Southern California Edison, which owns the plant, has nearly finished transferring canisters of highly radioactive spent fuel rods into over 70 concrete bunkers next to the beach.

Earlier this month the California Coastal Commission approved Edison’s permit for the decommissioning, including removing the cooling pools which originally held the stored spent fuel rods. The Commissioners reserved the right to review the permit in 15 years and if there is evidence of cracking or other problems such as sea-level rise that threaten the integrity of the canisters, the permit holder could be required to move them.

San Diego Congressman Mike Levin is concerned about the safety of the site, which is in his district and has millions of people living within 50 miles. Levin convened a task force that met for a year and recently came out with a report. One recommendation is that since the federal government has not approved a long-term storage site for high-level nuclear waste, the state of California should take more responsibility for how the nuclear waste is disposed of.

Nikolewski said he has not seen any evidence of state officials stepping forward to hold the companies accountable. He said federal law may need to be changed to allow for that.

The distinctive twin domes that are visible from the Interstate 5 will be removed sometime between 2025 and 2027, and decommissioning the plant, including removal of the low-level nuclear waste, should be complete within 6 to 8 years. The high-level waste will remain indefinitely, in bunkers near the beach.

July 28, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

U.S. International Development Finance Corporation now calling nuclear projects “renewable”

July 28, 2020 Posted by | politics, politics international, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Investigation into several Ohio nuclear bailout bills

July 28, 2020 Posted by | legal, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Former executive of South Carolina utility Scana Corp has pleaded guilty in nuclear conspiracy case

US executive pleads guilty in nuclear project delay cover-up, 27 July 2020 | By GCR Staff 

A former executive of South Carolina utility Scana Corp has pleaded guilty to his role in what investigators called a “breathtaking” conspiracy to hide unresolvable problems in a project to build a $10bn nuclear power plant.

Stephen Byrne, 60, an executive vice president of Scana, repeatedly assured investors, taxpayers and state officials that two new units at the VC Summer nuclear power station would be finished in time to qualify for a federal nuclear production tax credit, worth up to $1.4bn, that is set to expire on 31 December this year.

Prosecutors said Byrne knew the scheme was hopelessly behind and over budget, but that his and co-conspirators’ deceptions allowed Scana to obtain rate increases from Scana’s customers to continue financing it.

“This conspiracy to defraud Scana customers is breathtaking in scope and audacity,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jody Norris. “The FBI remains committed to ensure all those responsible for this crime, which only served to enrich a few by robbing families and communities within South Carolina, are held accountable.”

Byrne, who was in charge of Scana’s nuclear work, agreed a plea deal with prosecutors and has been cooperating with investigators. He faces up to five years in prison.

Peter McCoy, US attorney for the district of South Carolina, told reporters outside the courtroom after the plea: “Today is a good start to years upon years of investigation, so we’re mighty proud about what happened here today.”

The project to add two reactors to the station was abandoned by Scana subsidiary SCE&G three years ago after it became mired in cost overruns and then fell foul of the collapse of Westinghouse, a subsidiary of Japanese engineer Toshiba, which was carrying out the work.

The first concrete pour for unit two was made in March 2013, making it the first reactor to start construction in the US in 30 years. The first concrete for unit three was completed in November of the same year. However, the original $9.8bn cost of the scheme had increased to roughly $25bn by 2017.

As an example of Byrne’s deception, prosecutors gave evidence that in July 2016, Byrne submitted written testimony to the South Carolina Public Service Commission, the Office of Regulatory Staff and the public stating that the construction schedule was “logical and appropriate” when Byrne knew it was unreliable and unlikely to be achieved.

As part of the plea deal, the Virginia-based utility Dominion Energy, which acquired Scana in 2018, will provide $4bn to state rate-payers as damages for criminal activity that took place in 2015 and 2016.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission filed a second lawsuit against Byrne and former Scana chief executive Kevin Marsh in February, also connected with misleading statements about progress at VC Summer.

Byrne joined Scana in 1995 and has more than 30 years’ experience in the utility industry. He has been released pending sentencing.

Image: The second containment vessel ring being placed on unit two in February 2017 (Santee Cooper)

Further reading:

July 28, 2020 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Renewables output outpacing coal and nuclear in USA

Renewables output outpacing coal and nuclear in US, 27 July 2020 by Craig Richard

Renewable energy sources outperformed coal and nuclear in the US during the first five months of the year, according to analysis of Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.  The fastest growing energy sources during this period were wind and solar, according to analysis by renewables advocacy group the Sun Day Campaign.

Wind generated 11.1% more electricity (144.8GWh) than it did in the same period one year earlier , and accounted for 9.4% of the United States‘ total generation between January and May — up 1.4 percentage points from the first five months of 2019.

According to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly, the US’ wind power fleet reached nearly 109.3GW by the end of May 2020 — an increase of 11.7% year on year.

Meanwhile, solar generated 23.1% more electricity in the first five months of 2020 (50.6GWh) than it did in the same period one year earlier, and accounted for 3.3% of the US’ total electricity generation in this time  — up half a percentage point from January-May 2019.

Combined, renewable energy sources — also including hydropower, biomass and geothermal — generated 331.2GWh in the first five months of the year. This is more than both coal (258.9GWh, down 33.9% year on year) and nuclear (327.6GWh, down 1%).

However, natural gas still produced the most electricity in the first five months of the year — 606.9GWh, up 7.9% year on year.

The Sun Day Campaign’s executive director Kenneth Bossong said: “With each passing month, it is becoming ever more probable that renewables will outpace both this year and then begin closing the gap with natural gas.”

July 28, 2020 Posted by | renewable | Leave a comment

U.S. Navy’s safety culture’s deficiencies

Faults Cited After A 2008 Nuclear Carrier Fire Exacerbated The Bonhomme Richard Conflagration, Forbes,
Craig Hooper,  Senior Contributor, 27 Jul 20,   
In the aftermath of the disastrous fire aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) the U.S. Navy is cracking down on lax waterfront safety practices. This is not enough. Unless the U.S. Navy wants to risk a repeat of the Bonhomme Richard fire at sea, the Navy’s safety standup must extend beyond the pier, encompassing fire safety across the entire Navy enterprise.

As the USS Bonhomme Richard fire—and as at least 4 other major pier-side fires have demonstrated since a shipyard arsonist torched the attack submarine USS Miami (SSN-755) in 2012—the pier is a dangerous place for any naval vessel. Earlier in the month, as the wrecked amphibious assault ship still smoldered, the Navy’s waterfront chronic safety culture shortcomings were re-emphasized and emphasized again after workers inexplicably sparked two minor fires aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) and America’s undelivered super carrier, the John F. Kennedy (CVN-79).

The Navy’s pier-side safety standup is as welcome as it is overdue.  . But the Navy also needs to take a closer look at fire safety at sea and throughout the enterprise. In the past month, far too many have sought to minimize safety culture,……………


The fact that the Navy is moving so quickly to address almost exactly the same deficiencies as those identified after the 2008 fire aboard the USS George Washington is concerning. At a minimum, it suggests that most of the firefighting deficiencies and lax pier-side safety culture that contributed to the demise of the USS Bonhomme Richard are well-known and widely disseminated across the Navy enterprise.

The fact that exactly the same firefighting and safety deficiencies still exist little more than decade after a fire sidelined an underway and strategically critical U.S. Navy platform is inexplicable. The lack of urgency in driving and sustaining a solution to the Navy’s lax fire safety culture is mind-boggling. This is a massive vulnerability. And with Navy’s fire safety proven to be a large—and systemic—national security risk, America must assume sophisticated rivals have noted the Navy’s lax safety culture and are currently targeting these vulnerabilities at individual, command and enterprise levels.

If a rival knows that the persistent encouragement of bad safety practices and the deliberate minimization of real safety risks can effectively sink a carrier for less than the cost of a single carrier-killing missile, there is no reason not to try it.

July 28, 2020 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Kim Jong Un says that North Korea’s nuclear weapons guarantee its freedom from attack, and war

North Korea’s Kim Says No More War Thanks to Nuclear Weapons, VOA, By Reuters   July 27, 2020 SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said there will be no more war as the country’s nuclear weapons guarantee its safety and future despite unabated outside pressure and military threats, state media said Tuesday.

Kim made the remarks as he celebrated the 67th anniversary of the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, which fell on July 27, with a reception for veterans, the official KCNA news agency said.

The country developed nuclear weapons to win “absolute strength” to stave off another armed conflict, Kim said in a speech carried by KCNA, emphasizing the defensive nature of the programs. ………

The speech came amid stalled talks aimed at dismantling Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs in exchange for sanctions relief from Washington.  ……

July 28, 2020 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Lithuania urges EU to convince Belarus not to hurry with nuclear power plant start

Vilnius claims that the plant is being built in violation of international requirements to nuclear energy,  TASS, VILNIUS, July 27. /TASS/. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda called on the head of the European Council Charles Michel to convince President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko not to hurry with the launch of the nuclear power plant, which is under construction near the Lithuanian border. This is according to a statement by the press service of the Lithuanian leader.

“It is necessary to send a clear political signal to President Lukashenko with an insistence not to start operating the nuclear power plant until the issue of nuclear safety is resolved and recommendations following the results of stress tests are fulfilled,” Nauseda said. …..

July 28, 2020 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment