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Japan’s huge radioactive waste problem

Japan Times 3rd Feb 2021, Two fishing villages in Hokkaido are vying to host the final storage
facility for half a century of Japanese nuclear waste, splitting
communities between those seeking investment to stop the towns from dying,
and those haunted by the 2011 Fukushima disaster, who are determined to
stop the project.

In the middle is a government that bet heavily on nuclear
energy to power its industrial ascent and now faces a massive and growing
pile of radioactive waste with nowhere to dispose of it. Since it first
began generating atomic energy in 1966, Japan has produced more than 19,000
tons of high-level nuclear waste that is sitting in temporary storage
around the country.

After searching fruitlessly for two decades for a
permanent site, the approaches from Suttsu, population 2,885, and Kamoenai,
population 810, may be signs of progress. The towns have focused a debate
that has bedeviled an industry some regard as a vital emissions-free energy
source and others revile as a dangerous liability. The accidents at
Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukushima in 2011 reinforced public skepticism about
both the safety of reactors and our ability to safely store their residue
for centuries. While new generations of fail-safe reactor designs may
eventually help assuage the first concern, the problem of the waste
remains.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/02/03/national/hokkaido-nuclear-villages/

February 4, 2021 Posted by | Japan, wastes | Leave a comment

America’s ”fleet” of dangerously embrittled nuclear reactors

 

February 4, 2021 Posted by | Reference, safety, USA | 1 Comment

Unsafe plan for abandoning nuclear reactors onsite, and developing Small Nuclear Reactors

“IAEA guidance that entombment is not considered an acceptable strategy for planned decommissioning of existing [nuclear power plants] and future nuclear facilities.”

February 4, 2021 Posted by | decommission reactor, Reference, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Nuclear Rubberstamping Commission rushes to approve Holtec’s New Mexico nuclear waste plan

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has categorically denounced the Holtec project and all other proposals to store nuclear waste in the area.

there are “no plans of ever removing” the waste. “We see no reason,” they said, “to rush a decision that affects generations of New Mexicans during a pandemic on behalf of an international, for-profit corporation.”

New Mexico’s nuclear rush,  A massive nuclear waste site near Carlsbad is seemingly on a fast track. Can the company behind it be trusted?   Searchlight New Mexico, By Sammy Feldblum and Tovah Strong|February 3, 2021

This article was reported in collaboration with the Institute of American Indian Arts’ journalism program.

For most New Mexico businesses, the arrival of COVID-19 wreaked havoc, caused shutdowns or threatened doom. But for one enterprise — potentially one of the world’s largest nuclear waste sites — the pandemic offered an unusual opportunity.

A long-planned nuclear waste storage facility in the southeastern New Mexico desert was rushed through the approval process during the pandemic, according to New Mexico’s congressional delegation, environmentalists and other opponents.

Typically, project foes would have been able to voice their disapproval at Nuclear Regulatory Commission hearings around the state. The coronavirus brought an end to such public gatherings, however, so New Mexico lawmakers asked the NRC to pause the hearings.

Instead, the agency switched to online meetings — and shut out dissenters in the process.

“There is a large population of individuals living in New Mexico without internet or phone access” — and the virtual hearings required both, said environmental activist Leona Morgan of the Nuclear Issues Study Group. A Diné woman who protests what she calls nuclear colonialism, Morgan said that many people couldn’t join the meetings because they didn’t have robust broadband connections, a common problem in tribal areas and remote parts of New Mexico. Continue reading

February 4, 2021 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Although Biden is pro-nuclear, there’s a chance that the new Nuclear Regulatory Commission might get out of bed with the nuclear lobby.

NRC has been too deferential to a nuclear industry eager to reduce the cost of operating nuclear plants while keeping aging plants online.

Nuclear has another friend in Biden, but changes at the NRC could mean more scrutiny ahead, Utility Dive . 1 Feb 21,  Matthew Bandyk

Nuclear power is in a period of transformation, and so is the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. On Jan. 23, President Joe Biden appointed NRC Commissioner Christopher Hanson, a Democrat, as the new chairman of the agency. Hanson replaces Kristine Svinicki, a Republican who was designated by President Donald Trump to lead the commission days after his 2017 inauguration, and left Jan. 20, ending a 3-2 Republican majority on the commission……..

And now, while the industry faces an administration that sees nuclear as an important source of carbon-free power  [ carbon-free – this is a lie] , the NRC under Biden is not likely to have the same regulatory approach as the commission did under Trump.  ……

Environmental groups say NRC has been too deferential to a nuclear industry eager to reduce the cost of operating nuclear plants while keeping aging plants online. Jeffrey Baran, the sole remaining Obama appointee on the commission, has echoed these criticisms across a number of issues, such as the new safety rules for reactors based on lessons learned from the 2011 Fukushima incident and the process for evaluating advanced reactors.  ……..

Biden enters the White House with one of the most explicitly pro-nuclear agendas of any president. His climate plan calls out nuclear as a zero-carbon technology [ but it’s NOT zero-carbon] that has a role to play in addressing climate change, and says his administration will look at ways to overcome the cost, safety and waste disposal challenges for nuclear power.

Based on his campaign’s policies, Biden’s presidency “bodes well” for nuclear power, Doug True, the chief nuclear officer at the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), the main advocacy organization for the industry, said in an interview…….

Subsequent license renewal

A top priority of the nuclear industry continues to be extending the lifetime of existing nuclear plants, …….

Over the past several years the NRC started accepting applications from nuclear plants to remain open for 80 years. The commission is also considering whether it should begin developing a framework for licensing plants to run for up to 100 years, holding the first public meeting on that topic on Jan. 21.

No U.S. nuclear plant had ever been licensed to operate beyond 60 years until Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point reactors received a second license renewal from the NRC at the end of 2019, allowing operation for 80 years. Exelon’s Peach Bottom plant in Pennsylvania got permission to operate up to 80 years a few months later. These approvals came despite objections from environmental groups that the NRC was failing to do its duty by not requiring these plants to undergo more extensive reviews of the potential environmental and safety risks from 80 years of operation.

The NRC rejected a challenge to the Turkey Point relicensing process filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Friends of the Earth. Baran dissented, saying the commission should evaluate the groups’ position that Turkey Point cannot rely on a review of the environmental impacts of relicensing the reactors that was from 2013 and not specific to the site, and that the plant must instead perform a new review.

NRDC and Friends of the Earth have appealed the NRC’s decision on Turkey Point, and that challenge is currently pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The nuclear watchdog group Beyond Nuclear brought a similar challenge against the Peach Bottom relicensing, and Baran once again dissented when the NRC released its order in November 2020 rejecting the group’s claim, but this time, he was joined by Hanson, who had been appointed to the commission after the Turkey Point decision.

The dissent of Baran and Hanson “conveys that a Democratically-led commission is at least more open to taking the hard looks at these license extensions that [the National Environmental Policy Act] demands,” said Paul Gunter, reactor oversight project director at Beyond Nuclear. A “hard look” would mean performing new environmental assessments of issues related to the aging of a nuclear plant, such as whether components of the plant have been embrittled by exposure to radiation over the course of decades, according to Gunter.

Dominion’s North Anna and Surry reactors in Virginia are next in line to potentially receive 80-year licenses. In addition, last November, NextEra Energy applied for license extensions up to 80 years for both of its reactors at the Point Beach plant in Wisconsin, and Duke Energy has told the NRC it intends to apply for similar extensions for the three reactors at its Oconee plant in South Carolina later this year.

Beyond Nuclear is still reviewing whether or not it will file more challenges to the environmental reviews of plants going for 80 year licenses, according to Gunter. An NRDC spokesman said that given the group’s active litigation on the mater, it cannot comment on how the change in the NRC leadership could affect future relicensing challenges.

The future of nuclear technology

Another priority for the NRC that will continue under the Biden administration is the consideration of new types of reactors that are intended to represent a leap forward for nuclear technology …….

The commission is wrestling with the question of how much of the safety requirements that apply to existing power reactors, such as the need to maintain evacuation zones, strict security procedures and more, should apply to advanced reactors. It also recently announced it is seeking public comments on how the process for licensing new reactors can be made overall more efficient……….

The NRC is expected to make many future decisions about the extent to which advanced reactors should be subject to existing regulations. One issue that has not been decided yet but could be voted on by the new commission, according to Merrifield, concerns the security measures that advanced reactors must follow, such as how much security staff a reactor must maintain.

The commission is under pressure to transform its treatment of advanced reactors — under the 2019 Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act, by this summer, the NRC must report to Congress on how it has established a “technology-inclusive regulatory framework” that eases the path to approval for advanced reactors.

Safety regulations

Another area where opposing views inside and outside the NRC have clashed is over nuclear plant safety and whether or not the commission is mitigating the risk of severe accidents at the existing nuclear fleet to a reasonable level.

“A general trend toward deregulation and streamlined regulation…accelerated under Svinicki, for sure,” according to Tim Judson, executive director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, a group focused on creating “a nuclear-free, carbon-free world.” He said “the industry is desperately trying to reduce regulation to reduce operating costs.” 

Nuclear plants have a financial incentive to reduce the amount of inspections because “they are billed for every hour that inspectors are on site,” said Lyman, of UCS.

Baran has also expressed concern that the NRC is easing off safety regulations. One of his most strident dissents came in 2019 when he said that a decision approved by a majority of the commission “guts” the U.S. safety response to Fukushima because the majority did not require plants to prepare for Fukushima-level disasters based on the most recent evaluations of the earthquake and extreme weather threats posed to individual plants……….  https://www.utilitydive.com/news/nuclear-has-another-friend-in-biden-but-changes-at-the-nrc-could-mean-more/593609/

February 4, 2021 Posted by | politics, safety, USA | Leave a comment

Bees may be more susceptible to ionising radiation than previously estimated

Insects Might Be More Sensitive to Radiation than Thought
A study of bumble bees exposed to levels of radiation equivalent to those existing in Chernobyl hotspots shows that the insects’ reproduction takes a hit.   
The Scientist, February 2021 Notebook  Alejandra Manjarrez, Feb 1, 2021   

A few years ago, on one of her first visits to Chernobyl, Katherine Raines went to the Red Forest, a radioactive cemetery of pine trees scorched by the nuclear accident in 1986. She was curious to see if there were bees living in the area. Research on the effect of chronic exposure to ionizing radiation on insects is limited, and some of the findings are controversial, but most experts support the idea that bees and other invertebrates are relatively resilient to radioactive stress.

Raines, a radioecologist at the University of Stirling in Scotland, didn’t spend long in that forest. In one spot there, her personal radiation dosimeter measured an environmental level of ionizing radiation of 200 microsieverts (µSv) per hour; more than a few hours of that exposure could have increased her cancer risk. But even during that brief visit, she did see bees. Whether they were living there or just visiting, Raines says, is hard to tell.

Back in the UK, Raines and colleagues recreated the same levels of radiation in a specialized facility. Boxes each containing a bumble bee colony made up of a queen, workers, and brood were placed at different distances from a radiation source, creating a gradient where bees in each box received a fairly steady dose of between 20 and 3,000 micrograys (µGy) per hour. (The two kinds of units, sieverts and grays, are essentially equivalent measures of the amount of exposure to radiation; sieverts factor in the type of radiation and account for the sensitivity of the exposed tissue. Bees at the site Raines visited in the Red Forest would experience around 200 µGy per hour.) The bees stayed in their artificial homes for four weeks before being moved outdoors into the university gardens for around one month, until the colonies were no longer viable—that is, once the queen had died and only a few workers remained. 

The limited lab studies previously carried out by other groups had suggested that bees and other insects should be safe below 400 µGy per hour. So, Raines says, she was shocked when she found that even those colonies exposed to lower rates showed signs of a negative effect of radiation, especially on reproduction. Bumble bee colonies experiencing just 100 µGy per hour, for example, had reduced their production of queens by almost half, dramatically impairing the chances of successfully founding new colonies. According to the study, the overall effect was stronger than the one-fourth reduction observed in colonies exposed to a popular pesticide

This work “sheds new light on the importance of chronic low-dose radiation exposure in a nonmodel species [with] profound relevance for the natural world,” says Timothy Mousseau, an ecological geneticist at the University of South Carolina who was not involved in this research. But he adds that it is hard to determine how some of these results, based on experimental manipulations in an artificial setting, can translate “to what’s actually going on in Chernobyl” for these important pollinators. 

Mousseau and his colleague Anders Pape Møller (now at CNRS in France) have been doing field studies since 2000 to assess the abundance of wildlife populations living in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ), a 2,600 square-kilometer area surrounding the nuclear power plant. Their results have shown a negative correlation between radiation levels—which vary a great deal within the zone—and wildlife abundance. Insects were no exception: the team observed fewer bumble bees in the most contaminated areas, a relationship that held even within a range of extremely low radiation levels (from 0.01 to 1 µGy per hour)

Those studies have been criticized, partly over the accuracy of their estimations of radiation levels. Mousseau and Møller have collaborated with some of their critics to reanalyze some of their data, and maintain that there has been wildlife reduction in the CEZ due to radiation. ………

Researchers who spoke to The Scientist about the study agree that further work is needed to conclusively demonstrate the effects of radiation on bumble bees. ……. Raines is now gathering more data. The next stage of her research, she says, will be to look at the interaction between parasite load, which reduces longevity, and radiation exposure—both in lab-kept bees and in bees she sampled on one of her visits to deserted agricultural land around Chernobyl. “It would be ideal to directly relate lab and field [data].”       https://www.the-scientist.com/notebook/insects-might-be-more-sensitive-to-radiation-than-thought-68366

February 4, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, environment | Leave a comment

Rapacious nuclear company Holtec: its dodgy record on safety, finance and lack of transparency

New Mexico’s nuclear rush.  A massive nuclear waste site near Carlsbad is seemingly on a fast track. Can the company behind it be trusted? Searchlight, By Sammy Feldblum and Tovah Strong|February 3, 2021

-” ………………There really is no fixed date on a repository,” said Rod McCullum of the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry trade group. In the absence of a permanent storage place, the conversation has turned to interim storage sites that could save companies money until a final destination is established.Enter Holtec. The company was formed in the 1980s to design spent-fuel storage technology for nuclear plants. By the early 2000s, Holtec had secured contracts to provide specialized dry storage casks for a never-built interim facility on the Skull Valley Goshute reservation in Utah and the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Sequoyah Nuclear and Browns Ferry Nuclear plants. By 2018, Holtec operated branches in seven countries, including Ukraine and Spain.

In 2019, Holtec began acquiring decommissioned nuclear power plants. (Such plants can bring large profits, including whatever decommissioning funds are left over after they’ve been cleaned up.) Holtec purchased New Jersey’s Oyster Creek Generating Station; Massachusetts’ Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station; New York’s Indian Point Energy Center; and Michigan’s Palisades Nuclear Generating Station, as well as spent fuel from the former Big Rock Point Nuclear Power Plant.

But the company’s record was not without concern. Holtec has received an estimated nine violation notices since 2001 for failing to follow NRC quality assurance procedures, including rules meant to ensure that the company’s storage casks — the kind it would be using in New Mexico — consistently met safety standards.

The most recent violation occurred in 2018 when Holtec modified its casks without notifying the NRC, as mandated. The change was only discovered when workers preparing to load a cask at San Onofre Generating Station in California noticed a four-inch pin, meant to hold the fuel basket, loose at the bottom of the cask — an obvious manufacturing flaw. When asked for comment on the incidents, a Holtec spokesman told Searchlight that the company is an industry leader in quality assurance.

Holtec has run into other problems as well. An investigation conducted in 2010 by the Tennessee Valley Authority into suspected overbilling revealed that the company had bribed a TVA employee in order to secure a contract. In 2007, the employee pleaded guilty to concealing more than $54,000 received from Holtec. In the wake of the investigation, the TVA ordered the company to pay a $2 million fine, open its operations to outside monitors and face a largely symbolic 60-day ban from doing federal business — the first debarment in TVA history.

In 2014, Holtec failed to mention that debarment on tax credit application forms. The misrepresentation initially went unnoticed, allowing the company to receive $260 million in tax credits from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), a story first reported by ProPublica and WNYC.

In 2019, the NJEDA announced it would investigate Holtec’s use of tax credits, prompting the company to sue the agency for withholding money. (The NJEDA declined to answer questions about the investigation’s status, saying it did not comment on matters related to pending litigation.)

Holtec’s use of offshore banking has also come under scrutiny. According to leaked records called the Paradise Papers, Holtec has operated at least one shell corporation in Bermuda between 2005 and 2007. The records, which were obtained by the German daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, listed Krishna P. Singh II as an officer: He is the son of Holtec CEO Krishna P. Singh. Several of the CEO’s other family members were also listed as officers, as was Niraj Chaudhary, director of the executive committee for Holtec Asia. An additional offshore company in Bermuda that operated during the same time period, Southampton Technologies Ltd., included nearly identical officers and was listed at the same address.

Holtec did not respond to questions from Searchlight about why the accounts were used and whether the company still keeps bank accounts in tax havens. The leaked records don’t reveal this information, either. But tax havens like Bermuda can allow companies to avoid paying taxes.

“There’s nothing inherently nefarious about [the accounts],” said Jack Blum, a national authority on international tax evasion and money laundering whose anti-corruption work contributed to the establishment of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. However, Blum told Searchlight, Holtec “is a closely held company that has a history of being controlled by its founders, and wherever it goes, it wants to keep its finances as secret as it can and its taxes as low as it can.”

In general, Blum said: “Companies that are dealing in nuclear materials are in a world where there’s very little transparency.” 

Holtec did not respond to questions from Searchlight about why the accounts were used and whether the company still keeps bank accounts in tax havens.  ……. https://searchlightnm.org/new-mexicos-nuclear-rush/

February 4, 2021 Posted by | Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

USA and Russia extend The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START Treaty) to 2026

February 4, 2021 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Increasing business and jobs in closing down Europe’s nuclear reactors, as renewable energy grows

the rising demand for power generated from renewable energy sources is propelling the decommissioning of nuclear power reactors

Europe Nuclear Decommissioning Service Market Forecast to 2027: COVID-19 Impact and Analysis by Reactor Type; Strategy; Application; Capacity and Country – ResearchAndMarkets.com  Yahoo Finance, 3 Feb 21,   The “Europe Nuclear Decommissioning Service Market Forecast to 2027- COVID-19 Impact and Analysis by Reactor Type; Strategy; Application; Capacity and Country” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.The nuclear decommissioning service market in Europe was valued US$ 2.68 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach US$ 4.29 billion by 2027; it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% from 2020 to 2027.

The growing health concerns due to radioactive emissions from aging infrastructures have compelled the European countries to decommission nuclear power plants that are nearing the end of their operational lives. France and Germany are among the leading countries in the nuclear decommissioning services market in this region.

The two countries rely heavily on nuclear power generation; however, the rising demand for power generated from renewable energy sources is propelling the decommissioning of nuclear power reactors in the countries mentioned above. The main countries contributing to the European nuclear decommissioning services market include the UK, Italy, Russia, and the Rest of Europe (Sweden and Belgium).

In Germany, the nuclear energy generation sector contributes 12% to the total electricity generation. The country has no plans to construct newer nuclear power plants in the coming years. Germany decommissioned 11 nuclear power plants in the past decade, including Philippsburg nuclear facility that retired in 2019.

The German government has laid down its plans to decommission the remaining 6 nuclear power plants by 2022; these plants are Gundremmingen nuclear plant (2021), Grohnde nuclear power plant (2021), Brokdorf nuclear power plant (2021), Neckarwestheim nuclear power plant (2022), Isar nuclear plant (2022), and Emsland nuclear power plant (2022). The decommissioning strategies laid down by the government have been creating business growth opportunities for decommissioning service providers.

With the growth in the demand for electricity generated via renewable sources, rise in thermal power plants, and aging of long-established nuclear power plants, the governments are undertaking significant steps to decommission several power plants that are nearing the end of operational life. This is boosting the demand for services offered by the nuclear decommission services market players. The average lifespan of a commercial power reactor is 35-40 years.

A large number of commercial reactors operating today are soon likely to reach the end of operational life, and the governments of respective countries have approved the plans for their decommissioning. The cost of dismantling and decommissioning a commercial nuclear power plant is high and requires huge workforce.

The Italian nuclear power generation and transmission sector contributes to only 8% of the country’s overall electricity generation and transmission. The country had 4 reactors in the past, but it has been decommissioning the reactors following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Italy relies heavily on import of electric power and is the world’s second-largest net importer of electricity. Sogin S.p.A., a government-owned nuclear decommissioning service provider, has been engaged in dismantling and decommissioning several nuclear power plants in the country. ……….https://finance.yahoo.com/news/europe-nuclear-decommissioning-market-forecast-124000767.html 

February 4, 2021 Posted by | decommission reactor, EUROPE | Leave a comment

New Chernobyls on Europe’s doorstep? 

February 4, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international, safety | Leave a comment

Radiation illnesses and COVID-19 in the Navajo Nation

Radiation illnesses and COVID-19 in the Navajo Nation, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, By Jayita SarkarCaitlin Meyer, February 3, 2021 The COVID-19 pandemic is wiping out Indigenous elders and with them the cultural identity of Indigenous communities in the United States. But on lands that sprawl across a vast area of the American West, the Navajo (or Diné) are dealing not just with the pandemic, but also with another, related public health crisis. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says COVID-19 is killing Native Americans at nearly three times the rate of whites, and on the Navajo Nation itself, about 30,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and roughly 1,000 have died. But among the Diné, the coronavirus is also spreading through a population that decades of unsafe uranium mining and contaminated groundwater has left sick and vulnerable.

In Indigenous lands where nuclear weapons testing took place during the Cold War and the legacy of uranium mining persists, Indigenous people are suffering from a double whammy of long-term illnesses from radiation exposure and the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, we have not witnessed in the mainstream media and policy outlets a frank discussion of how the two public health crises have created an intractable situation for Indigenous communities. The Diné are drinking poisoned water, putting them at risk for more severe coronavirus infections.

From 1944 until 1986, 30 million tons of uranium ore was extracted on Navajo lands. At present, there are more than 520 abandoned uranium mines, which for the Diné represents both their nuclear past as well as their radioactive present in the form of elevated levels of radiation in nearby homes and water sources. Due to over four decades of uranium mining that supplied the US government and industry for nuclear weapons and energy, radiation illnesses characterize everyday Diné life.

The water crisis Continue reading

February 4, 2021 Posted by | health, indigenous issues, Uranium, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Kepco seeks prefectural government approval to restart aging nuclear reactors

February 4, 2021 Posted by | Japan, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

Why Spain plans to ban uranium mining.

Shock waves: what will a Spanish ban mean for uranium mining in Europe?, Mining Technology, Yoana Cholteeva12 January 2021 ” ………. Reasons behind the proposed ban

The proposed ban has been welcomed by environmental groups and local organisations concerned about the potential damage to ecosystems in the country and overall safety, as argued by the Spanish organisation Stop Uranio (Stop Uranium). The group, which was established in 2013, has since then been trying to prevent the approval and construction of Berkley Energy’s uranium mining project in the Campo Charro area of Salamanca.

For the past seven years, Stop Uranium has organised a number of campaigns and protest rallies over the country, with activists from both Spain and Portugal raising concerns over Salamanca’s agriculture lands, pastures, rural tourism, and the population’s health being at stake.

Stop Uranium member and spokesperson Jose Manuel Barrueco has written in The Free –  blog of the post capitalist transition, that “the majority of the inhabitants of the area oppose the planned mines due to the negative effects that this activity will entail for the region: explosions with release of radioactive dust into the atmosphere, the continuous transfer of trucks and heavy machinery, loss of forest, diversion of water courses, etc.”.

It terms of scientific evidence to support the some of the claims, according to a 2013 peer reviewed article, ‘Uranium mining and health’, published in the Canadian Family Physician journal, the chemical element has the potential to cause a spectrum of adverse health effects to people, ranging from renal failure and diminished bone growth to DNA damage.

The effects of low-level radioactivity include cancer, shortening of life, and subtle changes in fertility or viability of offspring, as determined from bothanimal studies and data on Hiroshima and Chernobyl survivors.

….. MP Juan Lopez de Uralde has in turn voiced his support of a holistic approach, telling the Spanish online newspaper Publico that banning uranium extraction is directly linked to the energy policies of both Spain and the EU. He continued that “since no uranium mine is active in the Old Continent”, “by committing to the closure of nuclear power stations we should complete the circle entirely by banning uranium mining”………. https://www.mining-technology.com/features/shock-waves-what-will-a-spanish-ban-mean-for-uranium-mining-in-europe/

February 4, 2021 Posted by | environment, politics, Spain, Uranium | Leave a comment

Australian uranium mining company threatens Spanish government with legal action

Miner threatens Spain over uranium ban, Cosmo Sanderson, 01 February 2021

An Australian company developing a controversial €450 million uranium project has threatened to bring an arbitration against Spain over a proposed law banning mining of the material……  (subscribers only)   https://globalarbitrationreview.com/miner-threatens-spain-over-uranium-ban

February 4, 2021 Posted by | Legal, Spain, Uranium | Leave a comment

Unusually damaging Mw 4.9 earthquake near several French nuclear reactors

Nature 20th Jan 2021, An unusually damaging Mw 4.9 earthquake occurred on November 11, 2019 inthe south east of France within the lower Rhône river valley, an
industrial region that hosts several operating nuclear power plants.
The hypocentre of this event occurred at an exceptionally shallow depth of
about 1 km. Here we use far-field seismological observations to
demonstrate that the rupture properties are consistent with those commonly
observed for large deeper earthquakes.
In the absence of strong motion
sensors in the fault vicinity, we perform numerical predictions of the
ground acceleration on a virtual array of near-fault stations. These
predictions are in agreement with independent quantitative estimations of
ground acceleration from in-situ observations of displaced objects. Both
numerical and in-situ analyses converge toward estimates of an exceptional
level of ground acceleration in the fault vicinity, that locally exceeded
gravity, and explain the unexpectedly significant damage.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s43247-020-00089-0

February 4, 2021 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment