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Major study finds that renewables lower emissions substantially, and nuclear power does not

Two’s a crowd: Nuclear and renewables don’t mix,   https://techxplore.com/news/2020-10-crowd-nuclear-renewables-dont.html by University of Sussex OCTOBER 5, 2020

If countries want to lower emissions as substantially, rapidly and cost-effectively as possible, they should prioritize support for renewables, rather than nuclear power, the findings of a major new energy study concludes.

That’s the finding of new analysis of 123 countries over 25 years by the University of Sussex Business School and the ISM International School of Management which reveals that nuclear energy programs around the world tend not to deliver sufficient carbon emission reductions and so should not be considered an effective low carbon energy source.

Researchers found that unlike renewables, countries around the world with larger scale national nuclear attachments do not tend to show significantly lower carbon emissions—and in poorer countries nuclear programs actually tend to associate with relatively higher emissions.

Published today in Nature Energy, the study reveals that nuclear and renewable energy programs do not tend to co-exist well together in national low-carbon energy systems but instead crowd each other out and limit effectiveness.

Benjmin K Sovacool, Professor of Energy Policy in the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex Business School, said: “The evidence clearly points to nuclear being the least effective of the two broad carbon emissions abatement strategies, and coupled with its tendency not to co-exist well with its renewable alternative, this raises serious doubts about the wisdom of prioritizing investment in nuclear over renewable energy. Countries planning large-scale investments in new nuclear power are risking suppression of greater climate benefits from alternative renewable energy investments.”

The researchers, using World Bank and International Energy Agency data covering 1990-2014, found that nuclear and renewables tend to exhibit lock-ins and path dependencies that crowd each other out, identifying a number of ways in which a combined nuclear and renewable energy mix is incompatible.

These include the configuration of electricity transmission and distribution systems where a grid structure optimized for larger scale centralized power production such as conventional nuclear, will make it more challenging, time-consuming and costly to introduce small-scale distributed renewable power.

Similarly, finance markets, regulatory institutions and employment practices structured around large-scale, base-load, long-lead time construction projects for centralized thermal generating plant are not well designed to also facilitate a multiplicity of much smaller short-term distributed initiatives.

Andy Stirling, Professor of Science and Technology Policy at the University of Sussex Business School, said: “This paper exposes the irrationality of arguing for nuclear investment based on a ‘do everything’ argument. Our findings show not only that nuclear investments around the world tend on balance to be less effective than renewable investments at carbon emissions mitigation, but that tensions between these two strategies can further erode the effectiveness of averting climate disruption.”

The study found that in countries with a high GDP per capita, nuclear electricity production does associate with a small drop in CO2 emissions. But in comparative terms, this drop is smaller than that associated with investments in renewable energy.

And in countries with a low GDP per capita, nuclear electricity production clearly associates with CO2 emissions that tend to be higher.

Patrick Schmid, from the ISM International School of Management München, said: “While it is important to acknowledge the correlative nature of our data analysis, it is astonishing how clear and consistent the results are across different time frames and country sets. In certain large country samples the relationship between renewable electricity and CO2-emissions is up to seven times stronger than the corresponding relationship for nuclear.”

October 6, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, renewable | Leave a comment

14 million tonnes of plastic on ocean floor – more on the coasts

A confronting amount’: CSIRO study finds 14 million tonnes of plastic on ocean floorhttps://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/10/05/micro-plastics-ocean-floor/   Samantha Dick
Every drink bottle we buy, face scrub we use and chip packet we finish results in tiny plastics entering the ocean.But where are these tiny micro-plastics, exactly?

Are they floating around on the ocean’s surface, waiting to be scooped up by a surfer?

Or are they stuck in the tummies of turtles or seabirds?

A new study by the CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, has estimated up to 14 million tonnes of micro-plastics have sunk to the bottom of the ocean floor.

The peer-reviewed research, published on Tuesday, is the first global estimate for micro-plastics on the seafloor.    Dr Britta Denise Hardesty, team leader with CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere, said 14 million tonnes of micro-plastics was a “huge amount, especially when you think about how tiny all those bits are”.Dr Britta Denise Hardesty, team leader with CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere, said 14 million tonnes of micro-plastics was a “huge amount, especially when you think about how tiny all those bits are”.

Every drink bottle we buy, face scrub we use and chip packet we finish results in tiny plastics entering the ocean.

But where are these tiny micro-plastics, exactly?
Are they floating around on the ocean’s surface, waiting to be scooped up by a surfer?

Or are they stuck in the tummies of turtles or seabirds?

A new study by the CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, has estimated up to 14 million tonnes of micro-plastics have sunk to the bottom of the ocean floor.

The peer-reviewed research, published on Tuesday, is the first global estimate for micro-plastics on the seafloor.

Dr Britta Denise Hardesty, team leader with CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere, said 14 million tonnes of micro-plastics was a “huge amount, especially when you think about how tiny all those bits are”.

To put it into perspective: Imagine five carrier bags stuffed with plastic dotted along every single metre of coastline around the world, excluding Antarctica

The piles of bags would sit on every Australian beach, along Italy’s Amalfi Coast, around Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay, and all around Canada’s coastlines and beyond.

Now imagine someone pushing those bags into the ocean, and letting them sink into the darkness.

“It’s a confronting amount, and hopefully it provides a reasonable wake-up call,” Dr Hardesty told The New Daily.

“We’re finding them hundreds of kilometres offshore and thousands of metres deep – more micro-plastics than has been found by lots of other studies.”

“Micro-plastics come from the same place as plastics,” Dr Hardesty said, adding “micro just means they’re smaller than 5mm”.

“It’s really just small plastic from single-use items, consumer goods, industry or fishing-related goods, cosmetics, micro-beads, agriculture, aquaculture, household waste, everything.”Many of these tiny plastics end up in our oceans via stormwater drains, sewage systems, sea-based activities, littering, things falling off the backs of trucks, and improper waste management where people intentionally dump rubbish straight into the sea or rivers.

They often end up in the stomachs of marine animals like dolphins or fish, while bigger pieces of plastic can be just as dangerous.

“Masks that have those little straps can tangle the feet and legs of sea birds and things like that,” Dr Hardesty said.

“Rubber gloves might be more likely to look like a jellyfish that could be mistakenly eaten by turtles if they end up in the ocean.”

The World Economic Forum estimates one garbage truck of plastic alone is dumped into the ocean every minute of every day.

It estimates there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.

The missing piece

Although the CSIRO’s findings are troubling, perhaps what’s more concerning is the answer to the following question: Where is the rest of the missing plastic?

Compared to the tonnes of plastic entering the ocean every day, Dr Hardesty said 14 million tonnes on the ocean floor was “just a drop in the ocean”.

“Where is all the missing plastic? Is it in the stomachs of animals? Is it floating on the surface?” she said.

“I’d say most of it is on our coastlines.”

October 6, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, oceans, Reference | Leave a comment

Promises, promises — the media keeps buying the tired old nuclear spin marketing small reactors

Promises, promises — Beyond Nuclear International– Sometimes it’s “Promises promises”. On other days it’s “Another one bites the dust”.

Nuclear power is failing. So why does news coverage suggest the opposite?

By Linda Pentz Gunter  5 Oct 20, Sometimes it’s “Promises promises”. On other days it’s “Another one bites the dust”………

 the unavoidable story, no matter what myths the pro-nuclear propagandists try to spin. Reality has an annoying habit of grabbing the headlines. And right now, those read:

“Fresh delays at EDF’s Flamanville 3”

“Scottish nuclear power station to shut down early after reactor problems”

“Hitachi ‘withdraws’ from £20bn Wylfa project”

“Olkiluoto-3 nuclear power plant 11 months behind latest schedule”

“Nuclear reactor in France shut down over drought”

“Exelon vows to shut down Byron, Dresden nuclear plants”

And so on.

However, despite this breaking news, you have to sort through a lot of aspirational chaff to find these headlines. The majority of articles about nuclear power are still centered around a rosy future as a climate-busting, jobs-providing cornerstone of any energy policy. 

And the majority of politicians in countries where nuclear power still holds sway continue to support it. Why do we let them? Because they think we want them to. As linguistic and messaging guru, George Lakoff, so often repeats: “Voters don’t vote their self-interest. They vote their values.”

So when a nuclear company, or a politician, trumpets instant, well-paying jobs, voters line up to support it too. No matter that nuclear jobs are not likely to be instant, safe or long-lasting, will destroy the environment and do nothing for climate change — and even, in the case of promised new nuclear plants like Summer in South Carolina or Wylfa-B in Wales, may never materialize at all. A boost to the local economy is a good soundbite. Why look behind the arras, only to find nothing there?

But when the media looks behind the nuclear arras they find small modular reactors, micro reactors, “new generation” reactors, and the perpetual promise of fusion. And they interpret this as news, even though none of these reactor designs are new and fusion has been decades away for, well, decades.

These “new” nuclear developments are also often reported on as if they are actually happening. Such overstatements are routinely exposed in the annual World Industry Status Report, (a veritable Bible of empirical data, with the 2020 edition just released last week), which looks into the substance of such breaking news and finds it is almost always aspirational. Take a closer look and it is all about plans, not reality.

The same with alleged turncoats. The media love them.

So we get Zion Lights, a refugee from Extinction Rebellion UK, who is getting plenty of ink and headlines for her new found pro-nuclear delusions. She has positioned herself as an ex-co-leader of XR, a false claim the movement has corrected in a thorough takedown of Lights and her boss, Michael Shellenberger, which we published last week………. https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/72759838/posts/2949326488more https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/72759838/posts/2949326488

October 6, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Boukadoum: Algeria to ratify Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons “as soon as possible”

Boukadoum: Algeria to ratify Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons “as soon as possible”  http://www.aps.dz/en/algeria/36012-boukadoum-algeria-to-ratify-treaty-on-the-prohibition-of-nuclear-weapons-as-soon-as-possible

 05 October 2020  ALGIERS/NEW YORK (United Nations) – Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum reaffirmed Sunday during his participation in the works of the UN GA high-level meeting marking the celebration of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, Algeria’s determination to ratify “as soon as possible” the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

October 6, 2020 Posted by | AFRICA, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pacific Island Nations determined to say NO to nuclear weapons, and support UN Treaty Ban

October 6, 2020 Posted by | OCEANIA, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Sleepwalking into a crisis — Beyond Nuclear International

Former world leaders appeal for nuclear disarmament

Sleepwalking into a crisis — Beyond Nuclear International

October 6, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

France should reveal the location of its nuclear waste dump in Algeria

October 6, 2020 Posted by | AFRICA, France, wastes | Leave a comment

USA ‘s Environment and climate cases face a bleak future with a Republican dominated Supreme Court

HOW WILL CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENTAL CASES FARE ON A 6-3 CONSERVATIVE SUPREME COURT? THE ALLEGHENY FRONT, REID FRAZIER, OCTOBER 2, 2020 

It appears that President Trump has enough votes in the Senate to confirm Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett before Election Day. That means the court’s balance would tip from a 5 to 4 advantage for conservatives to 6 to 3. What would this majority mean for the environment?

For our podcast, Trump on Earth, Reid Frazier examines what the loss of RBG could mean for the environment with Ellen Gilmer, senior legal reporter for Bloomberg Law.

But first, we take a look back at Ginsburg’s environmental legacy with Pam King and Jeremy Jacobs, reporters for E&E News who wrote in a recent article, “The passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could shake the foundation of America’s bedrock environmental laws, leaving a chasm on the bench where once sat an environmental champion.” (Read the transcript to that interview HERE.)

(The interviews were conducted before Amy Coney Barrett was nominated to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court.)


Listen to the full episode or read the transcript below:

……. https://www.alleghenyfront.org/how-will-climate-and-environmental-cases-fare-on-a-6-3-conservative-supreme-court/

October 6, 2020 Posted by | climate change, environment, Legal, USA | Leave a comment

China-Saudi nuclear pact can trigger an arms race in West Asia

October 6, 2020 Posted by | politics international, Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Texas Governor Greg Abbott opposes 2 plans for nuclear waste dumping

October 6, 2020 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear power to cut greenhouse gas emissions? a costly waste of time

SCIENTISTS: NUCLEAR ENERGY IS A WASTE OF TIME   https://futurism.com/the-byte/scientists-nuclear-energy-waste-time  5 Oct 20,

Status Quo

It turns out that nuclear energy, which advocates say is a more feasible means of transitioning away from fossil fuels than solar or wind, might not actually be up to the task.

That’s according to research published Monday in the journal Nature Energy, which shows that countries that adopted nuclear energy didn’t actually reduce their carbon emissions a significant amount — but that countries with renewable energy investments did. It’s a compelling case that clean energy initiatives ought to focus on solar and wind, and perhaps skip nuclear as a stepping stone on the road to decarbonization.

Town Ain’t Big Enough

Looking at global data from the years 1990-2014, the University of Sussex science policy researchers also found that nuclear and renewable energy programs don’t play well together, in part since large, centralized nuclear plants require different infrastructure from more distributed solar fields, for example. Since one had a much bigger impact on emissions than the other, the team recommends being strategic.

“This paper exposes the irrationality of arguing for nuclear investment based on a ‘do everything’ argument,” study coauthor Andy Stirling said in a press release.

Least Resistance

With only so much time and money available, study coauthor Benjamin Sovacool argues that spending money on a new nuclear program might effectively block subsequent renewables programs from working and, as a result, continue to emit too much carbon into the air.

“Countries planning large-scale investments in new nuclear power are risking suppression of greater climate benefits from alternative renewable energy investments,” Sovacool said in the release.

October 6, 2020 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

India test-fires new version of nuclear capable Shaurya missile

India test-fires new version of nuclear capable Shaurya missile, DECCAN CHRONICLE. | AKSHAY KUMAR SAHOO
Oct 4, 2020,   Bhubaneswar: India on Saturday successfully test-fired indigenously developed hypersonic nuclear-capable Shaurya missile, an advanced version of Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) K-15 (B-05).

The test was carried out by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from a defence facility off Odisha coast, said reports…..

The test-flight of Shaurya missile comes just a couple of days after the country successfully test-fired an extended range version of surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile BrahMos off Odisha coast.  ….. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/041020/india-test-fires-new-version-of-nuclear-capable-shaurya-missile.html

October 6, 2020 Posted by | India, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Ohio nuclear reactors expect tax-payer subsidy, they’re making a profit anyway !

Nuclear plants at center of Ohio subsidy fight operating above wholesale prices, S and P Global,Darren Sweeney, Gaurang Dholakia  5 Oct 20, 

As the owner of two Ohio nuclear plants is pressed to open its books on the profitability of the units, the timing of subsidies at the center of a federal criminal investigation may be a larger issue.

An S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis shows Energy Harbor Corp.’s 908-MW Davis-Besse and 1,268-MW Perry nuclear plants, both in northern Ohio, have operating costs higher than wholesale electricity prices. A mid-2019 analysis showed the plants with operating costs running below wholesale electricity prices.

The most recent analysis shows wholesale prices in the PJM Interconnection rising through the end of 2020 and into 2021, which is when Ohio’s clean air credit for nuclear plants kicks in.

House Bill 6, which establishes a $9/MWh credit for clean air resources, provides $150 million in annual financial support for the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear units beginning Jan. 1, 2021, through Dec. 31, 2027…………

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has reportedly told state lawmakers to bring Energy Harbor and FirstEnergy Corp. officials before legislative committees to disclose whether the nuclear plants need the subsidies.

In addition, Yost on Sept. 23 filed a civil lawsuit to halt the collection of ratepayer-backed subsidies for the state’s nuclear plants.

The lawsuit and legislative hearings come after federal prosecutors in July filed bribery charges against former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four associates. They have been indicted and accused of using “more than $59 million” through a “slush fund” to steer H.B. 6 through the Ohio Legislature. An affidavit filed by an FBI special agent implies that FirstEnergy and affiliated entities, though not mentioned by name, wired funds through a 501(c)(4) nonprofit group called Generation Now to support H.B. 6 and combat a statewide referendum to repeal the law.

Former FirstEnergy subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. emerged from bankruptcy in late February as Energy Harbor. https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines/nuclear-plants-at-center-of-ohio-subsidy-fight-operating-above-wholesale-prices-60569193

October 6, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Scientists find that renewable energy cuts emissions far better than nuclear power does

Countries that backed renewables over nuclear power have cut more CO2, New Scientist .  By Adam Vaughan 5 Oct 20  Nations that embraced renewable energy have significantly cut their carbon emissions, but those pursuing nuclear power failed to do so, researchers have found.

Nuclear and renewables are seen as two key ways for governments to decarbonise, but the question of whether one is more effective for tackling climate change hasn’t been fully addressed. With several countries on the brink of deciding whether to back new nuclear plants to meet carbon targets, the answer matters.

To find out, Benjamin Sovacool at the University of Sussex, UK, and his colleagues looked ….. (subscribers only) https://www.newscientist.com/article/2256123-countries-that-backed-renewables-over-nuclear-power-have-cut-more-co2/

October 6, 2020 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

New Zealand installs its biggest solar farm, floating on a wastewater pond — RenewEconomy

A 1MW solar plant installed on a wastewater plant in Auckland marks New Zealand’s first ever floating solar array and first megawatt-scale solar project. The post New Zealand installs its biggest solar farm, floating on a wastewater pond appeared first on RenewEconomy.

New Zealand installs its biggest solar farm, floating on a wastewater pond — RenewEconomy

October 6, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment