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The nuclear industry is dying: with Small Nuclear Reactors they pretend it’s not – theme for December 20

nuclear is dead, but pretending it’s not” – so writes Michael Barnard in a brilliant study of the state of the industry in the UK and USA.

Barnard doesn’t even mention Small Nuclear Reactors – he is concentrating on the clean-up costs and the rorts.

But the entire crooked and dirty industry is now hanging its desperate last hopes on Small Nuclear Reactors, which will probably turn out to be even dirtier and more crooked than the old industry’

The Small Nuclear Reactor push is a confidence trick being played on the whole world.   In the Western world, by slick propaganda regurgitated by journalists, who, for whatever reason, don’t seek the truth.

In the totalitarian world of Russia and China,  it is unlikely that any criticism of government policy would be tolerated.

Small Nuclear Reactors  do have that one use –   siphoning off public money towards nuclear weapons, training scientists for nuclear weaponry, while putting up the lying facade of peacefulness, and “climate action”

 

 

 

December 3, 2020 Posted by | Christina's themes | 6 Comments

UK’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Department rejects the claim that nuclear power is ”zero carbon”

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Department accept that nuclear is not a ‘zero carbon’ source of electricity– implications for EdF’s advertisement claims. TASC 30th November 2020

On the 15th October, Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) wrote to BEIS pointing out that the nuclear power developer behind Hinkley Point C and the notional Sizewell C plants was justifying its TV ad claim that it is the ‘biggest producer of carbon free electricity’ by referencing a BEIS website in which the claim of ’zero carbon’ was made for renewables and nuclear.

In a response to TASC received on the 25th November, Director of Nuclear at BEIS, Stephen Speed who also co-chairs the BEIS/NGO nuclear forum acknowledged the error, stated, ‘….we agree with your argument that the environmental impact table of the Fuel Mix Disclosure report could cause confusion. I have asked for the report to be amended with a line that explains that the table relates only to generator emissions in the operational phase and does not include emissions related to the fuel supply chain or maintenance
activities.’

Despite the fact that TASC would still contest the assumption that even generator carbon emissions are zero, the concession
from BEIS is a good interim result. Commenting on the agreement to alter the information on the website, Pete Wilkinson, Chairman of TASC, said today, ‘This acknowledgement from BEIS is welcome and important. At a time when the future of nuclear power in the UK is in the balance, removing official support for the zero carbon claim changes the game, and  fundamentally exposes nuclear power’s climate change credentials as insignificant.

The word ‘zero’ can no longer be used when referencing nuclear power and carbon. ‘Moreover, it forces EdF to desist in making
the assertion which they had hitherto justified by pointing to a BEIS website which upheld their misplaced claim. ‘It may also, finally, force our local MP, Dr Therese Coffey, to drop the phrase as well. Incredibly for a Secretary of State, she has used the zero carbon claim in her response to the EdF planning application which the inspectorate will be examining next year and has refused to meet members of TASC on the grounds that our anti-nuclear views are ‘well known’. Such an attitude is rude, facile and possibly in breach of the Parliamentary Code.’

https://tasizewellc.org.uk/tasc-news/

December 3, 2020 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

Small Modular Reactors would create a Large Problem of Nuclear Wastes

Nuclear has fewer emissions than other sources of power? Think again! https://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editors/2020/12/02/nuclear-has-fewer-emissions-than-other-sources-of-power-think-again.html  Evelyn Gigantes, Ottawa, Wed., Dec. 2, 2020   – “Nuclear a source of clean energy, waste still a problem to be solved, “

There is more than one problem with nuclear (energy).

It is not true that nuclear produces no carbon emissions once it is in operation. The problem is not just the highly dangerous waste, itself, but the fact that dealing with the waste would necessarily involve enormous amounts of machine-handled waste packaging, transportation, construction and maintenance, each of which would produce significant carbon emissions.

To claim that the “only” problem with nuclear is the unsolved waste problem is to sneakily promote more nuclear development: witness the new campaign by the nuclear industry and its backers to start a new building program of so-called SMRs (small modular reactors), some fuelled by recycled high-level nuclear fuel waste and producing more radioactive waste than current CANDU reactors.

You think we have waste problems now?

 

December 3, 2020 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Trump’s Support for Israel’s Killing of Iranian Nuclear Scientist Could Lead to War

December 3, 2020 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

UK and USA nuclear waste clean-up – a $billion here, a $billion there – pretty soon you’re talking real money

US Nuclear Site Cleanup Underfunded By Up To $70 Billion, Clean Technica, December 1st, 2020 by Michael Barnard 


Headlines out of the UK are pointing out the horrible state of affairs for nuclear generation decommissioning after a committee of Members of Parliament that the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority really doesn’t have a handle on the 17 sites, their costs, or the vendors they selected for cleanup. They are currently projecting $177 billion and 120 years for the full decommissioning, over $1 billion per site. Some of this is due to botched procurement, with two different cleanup vendors stripped of their contracts.

Certainly the UK cleanup is a fustercluck of epic proportions, equivalent in fiscal sense to building Hinkley. That new reactor, billions and years over budget and schedule, required a commitment for 35 years to pay $150/MWh for every MWh they generated, at a time when onshore wind and solar in the UK are at or under $50/MWh and offshore wind is under $100/MWh.

Some US commenters were feeling chuffed, although that’s not a term they would use, that the US was handling things so much better. But the USA isn’t far behind the UK in problems, it just isn’t as public.

Per the World Nuclear Association:

In the USA, utilities are collecting 0.1 to 0.2 cents/kWh to fund decommissioning. They must then report regularly to the NRC on the status of their decommissioning funds. About two-thirds of the total estimated cost of decommissioning all US nuclear power reactors has already been collected, leaving a liability of about $9 billion to be covered over the remaining operating lives of about 100 reactors (on the basis of an average of $320 million per unit). NRC data for the end of 2018 indicated that there was a combined total of $64.7 billion held in the decommissioning trust funds covering the 119 operational and retired US nuclear power reactors.

An OECD Nuclear Energy Agency survey published in 2016 reported US dollar (2013) costs in response to a wide survey. For US reactors the expected total decommissioning costs range from $544 to $821 million; for units over 1100 MWe the costs ranged from $0.46 to $0.73 million per MWe, for units half that size, costs ranged from $1.07 to $1.22 million per MWe. For Finland’s Loviisa (2 x 502 MWe) the estimate was €326 million. For a Swiss 1000 MWe PWR the detailed estimate amounts to CHF 663 million (€617 million). In Slovakia, a detailed case study showed a total cost of €1.14 billion to decommission Bohunice V1 (2 x 440 MWe) and dismantle it by 2025.

[Brief aside: I love the World Nuclear Association, because they are actually honest and report details that contradict their mission. I cite them on Germany’s wholesale electricity prices, which they freely admit are among the lowest in Europe as that country ramps up renewables rapidly and dumps nuclear. They aren’t just a lobbying organization, although they are an industry-funded lobbying association. Unlike the equivalent oil and gas organizations, they seem compelled to be honest and complete, perhaps because being honest and complete usually isn’t so disgustingly horrific for them, just simply bad.]

Back to the thread. The US has collected a bunch of money from operating reactors into a cleanup fund that they acknowledge is underfunded to the tune of billions already. But the industry estimates show that they are collecting under half of what it will actually take to decommission the sites.

There are about 100 reactors in the United States. Assuming they collect the $320 million per reactor (they won’t, as reactors are closing prematurely), they would have a fund of $32 billion. But they need a fund of closer to $70 billion, and they are short regardless. So the US fleet cleanup is going to cost the taxpayer probably closer to an additional $40 billion, if it all goes according to the estimates.

Note that the UK and Slovakia examples show that it usually doesn’t, just as building new nuclear never seems to come in on time or budget. The reality is going to be closer to the European and Slovakian costs, so let’s assume a billion per reactor as a reasonable number.

The US will have maybe $30 billion. They’ll need $100 billion. Yeah, $70 billion is the more reasonable number.

“A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking real money.”

– US Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen

Of course, this is on top of the $1.6 billion annual tax breaks nuclear plants in the US get, the $10 billion liability insurance cap with the taxpayer holding the bill should a Fukushima-scale disaster occur and the state-level boondoggles like the $1.1 billion Ohio subsidy that came with a side helping of $60 million in bribes…………….https://cleantechnica.com/2020/12/01/us-nuclear-site-cleanup-underfunded-by-up-to-70-billion/

December 3, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear corruption – this time it’s Taiwan

December 3, 2020 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Armenia’s ticking time bomb – a decaying Soviet nuclear reactor

December 3, 2020 Posted by | EUROPE, safety | Leave a comment

Nuclear power is dead. Here’s why it’s pretending that it’s not

 

December 3, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Incidents at Belarus nuclear station have alarmed neighbouring Lithuania

Lithuania wary of incident at Belarus nuclear plant  https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/short_news/lithuania-weary-of-incident-at-belarus-nuclear-plant/   Benas Gerdžiūnas |   1 Dec 20LRT.lt/en  Lithuania has asked Belarus for clarification after its new nuclear plant located some 50 kilometres from the country’s capital suffered an incident just five days after launch.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko took part in the opening of the plant on 6 November, where he said the launch of the Astravyets NPP was as “ordinary” as building a metro.

“Belarus is becoming a nuclear power,” he declared.

Several voltage-measuring transformers outside of the nuclear reactor exploded during an incident on 7 November, according to sources at TUT.by, an independent media outlet in Belarus.

On Monday, the Belarusian Energy Ministry said that “a need to replace the measuring equipment arose” during testing, without providing further details.

Lithuania’s State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) said the plant is still undergoing testing. However, “we have also received no information about the [planned] next steps to launch the plant”, VATESI told BNS in a written comment.

Lithuania has been one of the most ardent critics of the nuclear plant built by the Russian state atomic corporation Rosatom and funded by a loan from the Kremlin.

Vilnius says the plant is unsafe and was built in breach of international safety standards. Minsk denies all allegations.

In September, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland had sent a joint statement to the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and contracting parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS), calling on Belarus to start addressing nuclear safety issues without delay.

At the same time, the Russian company Rosatom is in talks with Belarus about the construction of a second nuclear power plant and a research reactor in the country, Rosatom chief Alexander Likhachev announced on Tuesday in a video statement.

In August, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania agreed not to purchase electricity from the plant.

The Baltic states are gearing up to switch from the Russian-controlled BRELL electricity grid that also includes Belarus, and synchronise with the continental European system by 2025.

(Benas Gerdžiūnas, LRT.lt/en | Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV.com)

December 3, 2020 Posted by | Belarus, safety | Leave a comment

Armenian paper urges use of a nuclear ”dirty bomb” on Azerbaijan

paper urges use of nuclear bomb on Azerbaijan, Writer urges Armenia to use nukes against Azerbaijani population, turn capital into ‘wasteland for next 5,000 years’ AA 2020 Vakkas Doğantekin   |01.12.0   ANKARA

An Armenian newspaper in the US published an opinion piece that urges the use of universally banned weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) against Azerbaijan and its civilian population.

The piece by Stepan Altounian called on the Armenian government to use any nuclear weapon available to turn the Azerbaijani capital Baku into a “wasteland for the next 5,000 years.”

“I, as probably all Armenians, was devastated but not necessarily surprised over the news that Armenia lost to the Azeris,” Altounian wrote, referring to Armenia’s Nov. 10 surrender to Azerbaijan in the conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, also known as Upper Karabakh.

Intense fighting that erupted on Sept. 27 ended weeks later when the Armenian occupiers retreated from territories internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

In the controversial piece, endorsed and published by the Armenian media group Asbarez, Altounian asked “Where was the nuclear option?” at a time when governments and the UN are urging nuclear disarmament.

“Why not take the nuclear waste from Metzamor and manufacture dirty bombs?” he wrote. …….. https://www.aa.com.tr/en/azerbaijan-front-line/armenian-paper-urges-use-of-nuclear-bomb-on-azerbaijan/2062187

December 3, 2020 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

America’s underground radioactive dump – Waste Isolation Pilot Plant facing disruption

December 3, 2020 Posted by | safety, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear reactors are NOT clean, and NOT zero-emission

December 3, 2020 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

America’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant needs more space as increasing as nuclear trash amounts increase

Daily Mail 1st Dec 2020, The federal government’s only underground nuclear waste dump could run out of room if the number of drums shipped to the New Mexico site keeps expanding or if a new method for measuring the waste is unraveled as part of a pending legal challenge, according to a nonpartisan congressional watchdog.

The Government Accountability Office in a recent report said better planning is needed at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to avoid
potential disruptions. The report specifically points to the need for adding more physical space at the repository before it becomes full, which the U.S. Energy Department estimates could happen as soon as 2025. The agency faces statutory limitations on how much waste can be disposed of at the site.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-9006739/Watchdog-US-nuclear-dump-facing-space-staffing-challenges.html

December 3, 2020 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Australia and USA to develop hypersonic missiles

December 3, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Assassination of top scientist may push Iran closer to nuclear bomb

December 3, 2020 Posted by | politics international, secrets,lies and civil liberties, weapons and war | Leave a comment