nuclear-news

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

Nuclear, coronavirus, climate -news to 22 February

Coronavrus update:

Climate;  disinformation is rampant.   –we have allowed governments around the world to throw away the time when we could have stopped the endless killer heat waves, fires, rising seas, superstorms, dying coral, dying everything. We let governments from Monarchies to Oligarchies to alleged Democracies endanger life on this planet, including our kids future.

If we can’t change that, we really are doomed.” – Alex Smith, Radio Ecoshock.

Nuclear – it is disappointing to me to listen to interviews with Bill Gates-  he is not questioned on his statements pushing nuclear power for climate. It seems that being a billionaire entrepreneur qualifies him for a kind of reverent belief and trust . Meanwhile, a real climate expert , Michael Mann, has just published an authoritative book on the subject.

Hunting for good news – but it’s tricky. Lots of good news on things like individuals being kind to homeless people. But there’s a dearth of news about public, government, action to provide homes for the homeless.

Nuclear lobby planning to take over the U.N Climate Change Conference.

Living longterm in radioactively contaminated areas damages our health.

On nuclear power as climate solution, Bill Gates shows alarming ignoranceBill Gates’undemocratic approach to climate crisis.  New books on climate change; Michael Mann versus (nuclear promoter) Bill Gates.

The “negaWatt” – the best energy is the energy you don’t use.

JAPAN.    ICAN chief urges Japanese govt to attend UN Nuclear Ban Treaty meeting.  Japan town mayor OKs restarting nuclear reactor over 40 years old– A decade after the Fukushima meltdown, this Japanese region faces a new nightmare — radioactive water in the sea. Water leaks indicate new damage at Fukushima nuclear plant.  New highly radioactive particles found in Fukushima .

EUROPE.  Nuclear industry very nervous about EU evaluation of its’green’ claims.

CANADA.  Community fights Canadian govt’s slick propaganda pushing for high-level radioactive waste dumpCanada’s nuclear waste storage ”“cannot and will not go forward without the informed and willing consent of potential host communities”

UKRAINENew documentary explores Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

USA.

BRAZIL.  Global nuclear industry – rotten to the core: it’s not just Brazil.

UK.

IRAN.  Iran foiled series of assassinations planned by Israel – says Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi.  Iran vows to limit nuclear inspections if partners fail to act.

POLANDGermany concerned about Poland’s nuclear energy plans.

BULGARIA.  Bulgaria prosecutes former energy ministers over mismanagement of Belene nuclear power project.

SOUTH AFRICA.  South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa ignores nuclear his State of the Nation Address.  South Africa: an example of how nuclear waste costs are passed on to later generations.

ISRAEL.  Israel expands Dimona nuclear facility previously used for weapons material.

FRANCE. Significant safety incident at EDF nuclear power plant in Flamanville.

AUSTRALIA. Wise warning to Australian government to withdraw embarrassing Nuclear Waste Dump Bill.

February 22, 2021 Posted by | Christina's notes | 2 Comments

South Africa: an example of how nuclear waste costs are passed on to later generations

Questions we should therefore all be asking of government, the Department of Energy, the nuclear regulator, Nersa, Nuclear Waste Disposal Institute, Necsa, Eskom and the South African nuclear sector are: 

  • Who should bear the cost of nuclear plant decommissioning and long-term storage and disposal of high-level nuclear waste – the polluter, the customer or the taxpayer? 
  • Where are the real asset-based funds set aside within Eskom and Necsa for future decommissioning and long-term storage and disposal of high-level nuclear waste? 
  • Does the “polluter pays” principle apply in practice, or will the customer and taxpayer end up paying twice through government bailouts? 

One can only guess who may end up bearing the real decommissioning, high-level waste storage, disposal and final repository costs in due course – perhaps not the polluter at all, but our children’s children as taxpayers in the next generation. 

South African taxpayers exposed to high-level nuclear waste disposal and decommissioning liabilities, Daily Maverick, By Chris Yelland• 21 February 2021  

Citizens and taxpayers in South Africa continue to labour under the misguided belief that Eskom and the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) make real funding provisions monthly, over the operating life of their nuclear reactors, to cover the costs of decommissioning and disposal of high-level nuclear waste from their nuclear plants, in terms of the ‘polluter pays’ principle.

Page 69 of the 8th National Report prepared by the Department of Energy and the SA National Nuclear Regulator,  and presented to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in August 2019 in terms of South Africa’s obligations  to the Convention on Nuclear Safety, states in respect of Eskom’s Koeberg nuclear power station:

“Financial provision for decommissioning (as well as spent fuel management) continues to be accumulated on a monthly basis since commercial operation of the installation began in 1984. The financial provision is reflected in the annual financial statements of Eskom. These financial statements are audited in accordance with South African national legislation.

“In terms of decommissioning financial plans, the amount of decommissioning and spent fuel provision made each month is determined by the present value of future estimated cash flows. These financial plans are reviewed regularly and adjusted annually, and informed by the South African inflation rate.”

However, the problem with these fine words to the IAEA is that they are misleading, perhaps deliberately so, and that the so-called provision is actually something of a “Potemkin village” to placate and impress the IAEA and the public that all is well and under control.

In fact, no real money, securities or investments of any kind have actually been set aside monthly, annually or at stage and in any fund during operation of South Africa’s nuclear facilities as provision for decommissioning, long-term storage and final disposal of high-level nuclear waste, and/or the construction and operation of a high-level nuclear waste repository.

Continue reading

February 22, 2021 Posted by | South Africa, wastes | Leave a comment

Fukushima – radioactive water into the sea – a nightmare for fishermen

A decade after the Fukushima meltdown, this Japanese region faces a new nightmare — radioactive water in the sea, ABC, By North Asia correspondent Jake Sturmer and Yumi Asada in Fukushima, Japan, 21 Feb 21, 

I won’t lie — I was a little nervous heading inside the destroyed nuclear plant at the centre of Japan’s 2011 nuclear accident.

It was a rare opportunity to look at how the clean-up effort was going 10 years on.

But weighing on my mind as I headed inside and took a look around was that this was of the most radioactive places on earth right now.

I’ve been inside Fukushima’s no-go zones, where the radiation levels are so high it’s unliveable and overgrown weeds entangle anything in their way — from abandoned homes, cars and even vending machines.

It is always an eerie experience seeing entire towns frozen in time and the stories from those who once called it home are equally chilling.

This is the first time I’ve been in the place responsible for it……..

It’s been 10 years since Japan’s worst nuclear accident, which was triggered by the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in the country and a massive tsunami that wiped out everything in its path.

Yet the aftershocks from the devastating March 11 disaster continue to rattle these parts — the most recent occurring only a week ago.

Japan’s nuclear disaster site is still a hive of activity

When the tsunami hit the nuclear plant in 2011, it cut power and consequently cooling to three operational reactors.

At that point, only flooding the reactors with seawater could have cooled them quickly enough to avoid a meltdown.

But that decision was delayed because of fears it would permanently destroy the reactors.

By the time the government ordered the seawater to be used, it was too late. The nuclear fuel overheated and melted down.

Some of the reactors exploded and the twisted wreckage of the blast is still exposed today.

When I arrived at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, I was given a radiation dosimeter and handed a plastic bag containing gloves, a mask and three pairs of socks.

I had been given specific instructions to put on one after the other.

The idea was to prevent any radioactive material from getting onto my pants — if it does, the officials jokingly told me, I’ll have to leave them there.

Once I’m ready, I follow an official through a maze-like path to the Whole Body Counter room.

That’s where I have a scan that measures the existing radiation levels inside my body so they can check how much I have been exposed to throughout the day.

It’s a bustling hive of activity — there are thousands of workers here and as we pass by many say ‘otsukaresama deshita’, a Japanese phrase that loosely translates to ‘thank you for your service’.

We’re accompanied and guided by several officials from the plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)……….

The long process of removing 800 tones of radioactive fuel

TEPCO has spent the last 10 years trying to cool and stabilise the three reactors so that they can eventually start to remove the molten fuel debris that sits inside them.

As we pull up to the destroyed reactors, which contain more than 800 tonnes of highly radioactive molten nuclear fuel, we can see many workers in full protective equipment heavily involved in the decontamination effort.

In the space of just a few steps, radiation levels spike from 80 microsieverts an hour to 100. At the same time, my radiation alarm goes off to tell me I’ve accumulated 0.02 millisieverts of radiation while at the plant.

It’s about the same as a chest x-ray and nothing to be worried about at this stage — but our minders tell us we shouldn’t spend too much more time here.

It’s estimated the full clean-up effort will take another 30-40 years, though some experts feel this is optimistic.

The company was hoping to start removal of the highly radioactive debris this year, but the coronavirus pandemic will prevent that from happening.

“We are planning to remove the fuel debris from Unit 2 using a robot arm and the plan was to make the arm and carry out a performance test in the UK,” TEPCO’s Yoshinori Takahashi told me.

“But because of the coronavirus, the manufacturing process and testing has been delayed.”

The delay could be up to 12 months. But that is not the most pressing issue facing TEPCO.

How do you remove a million tonnes of contaminated water?

All of the water that touches the highly radioactive molten fuel also becomes contaminated.

The water is processed to remove more than 60 different types of radioactive materials from it, but the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) doesn’t completely purify the water.

The radioactive element, tritium, remains inside all of the stored water, albeit at “low” levels, according to TEPCO.

Currently, 1.2 million tonnes of contaminated water is stored in more than 1,000 tanks spanning the entire power plant facility. But by the end of next year, the tanks and the site will be full.

The Japanese government is now weighing up what to do next.

A panel of experts has recommended disposing of it in the ocean as the most practical option as opposed to releasing it into the air, which TEPCO said would be more difficult to monitor.

Mr Takahashi said tritium was a weak form of radiation and that the water would be released in such limited quantities over such a long period that it would be safe.

But for those who make their living from the part of the ocean where TEPCO is proposing to dump its contaminated water, they fear the damage this poses to their reputation.

That includes Haruo Ono, who has been fishing in Fukushima’s waters for 50 years.

Fisherman worried about what water release will mean for their livelihoods

Although most fishermen are receiving compensation payments from TEPCO to cover their revenue shortfalls, he fears that if contaminated water is released into the ocean, it will finish off the industry for good.

“They say it’s OK to release tritium, but what do consumers think? We can’t sell fish because the consumers say no,” he said.

The 70-year-old is opposed to the scheme and says he’s hoping to watch the decommissioning first-hand over the next 30-40 years…………… https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-21/a-tour-inside-fukushimas-nuclear-plant-10-years-after-accident/13158976

February 22, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

The ”New Yorker” sinks to sloppy sentimenta praise of pro nuclear advocates

The Once-Proud New Yorker Soils Itself in Radioactive Offal  https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/67935-rsn-the-once-proud-new-yorker-soils-itself-in-radioactive-offal, By Harvey Wasserman, 21 February 21

or decades, The New Yorker has set a high bar for journalistic excellence.

Graced by its signature brand of droll, sophisticated cartooning, the magazine’s exquisitely edited screeds have reliably delivered profound analyses of the world’s most pressing issues.

But in a breathless, amateurish pursuit of atomic energy, the editorial staff has leapt into a sad sinkhole of radioactive mediocracy.

The latest is Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow’s shallow, shoddy “Activists Who Embrace Nuclear Power,” yet another tedious plea that we learn to love the Peaceful Atom.

For at least a century, countless scientific pioneers have exposed the murderous realities of nuclear radiation. Legendary researchers like Marie Curie, Alice Stewart, Rosalie Bertell, Helen Caldicott, John Gofman, Ernest Sternglass, Thomas Mancuso, Karl Z. Morgan, Samuel Epstein, Robert Alvarez, Arnie Gundersen, Amory Lovins, and others have issued vital warnings.

In Pavlovian opposition, the industry has rolled out an endless array of amateur “environmentalists” whose activist credentials are distinguished only by an endless love for atomic power.

Most infamous are Greenpeace veteran Patrick Moore and Berkeley-based Michael Shellenberger, both climate skeptics who share a theatrical passion for uninspected, uninsured nukes. With no credible scientific credentials, this unholy pair has conjured imaginative advocacies for companion corporate embarrassments like genetically modified food, clear-cut deforestation, and more.

With far more prestige, climate pioneer Dr. James Hanson and Whole Earth Catalogue founder Stewart Brand have brought significant gravitas to the nuclear debate.

But The New Yorker dotes on two workers at California’s Diablo Canyon. Neither is a scientist. Both claim to be “environmentalists.” One wears a lavender pendant made of uranium glass which “emits a near-negligible amount” of radiation, despite a huge body of scientific evidence warning this is a literally insane thing to do – especially for someone who might be around small children.

The writer lauds her heroines for calling themselves “Mothers for Nuclear” while snubbing legendary “Mothers for Peace” activists who’ve organized locally for a half-century. While touring Diablo with her new best friends, the author coos that “we smiled as if we were at Disneyland.”

Such “Nuclear Renaissance” absurdities are very old news.

Given The New Yorker’s stellar history, we might expect a meaningful, in-depth exploration of today’s core atomic realities: no more big reactors will be built in the US, and our 90+ old plants are in deep, dangerous disarray.

Forbes long ago branded atomic power “the largest managerial failure in US history.” America’s very last two reactors (at Georgia’s Plant Vogtle) sucked up $8.3 billion in federal loan guarantees from Barack Obama plus $3.7 billion more from Donald Trump. Years behind schedule, Vogtle’s final price tag (if it ever opens) will exceed $30 billion.

South Carolina’s engineering and legal morass at V.C. Summer wasted more than $10 billion on two failed reactors. In Ohio, $61 million in utility bribes for a massive nuke bailout have shattered the state.

As for alternatives, Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow says, “nuclear scientists, for their part, are working on smaller, more nimble nuclear reactors. There are complex economic considerations, which are inseparable from policy.”

In other words, the proposed Small Modular Reactors are already so clearly uncompetitive that only obsessive pro-nukers (like Bill Gates) think they’ll hold market value against wind and solar (which The New Yorker attacks).

Precisely as ice storms froze feedwater pipes and shut one of two reactors at the South Texas Nuclear Plant, the magazine falsely claims that atomic reactors do “not depend on particular weather conditions to operate.” Globally-warmed rivers can no longer reliably cool many French reactors. Earthquakes have dangerously damaged US-designed nukes in Ohio and Virginia. Intake pipes at Diablo and other coastal plants are vulnerable to tsunami surges. Staggering design and construction flaws (a major Diablo component was once installed backwards; boric acid ate through key parts of Ohio’s Davis-Besse) give the entire industry a Keystone Kops/Rube Goldberg aura.

Tuhus-Dubrow skims the waste issue. Dry casks at Diablo and elsewhere are generally less than an inch thick. They can’t be re-opened for inspection or maintenance, and are already cracking (more-versatile German casks are 19 inches thick).

With an average age of well over 30, US reactors face dangerous decay. After four years of Trump, and even longer as a corrupt rubber stamp, the infamously dysfunctional Nuclear Regulatory Commission has left these collapsing, uninsured jalopies virtually unregulated and uninspected.

Tuhus-Dubrow ignores the fact that (unlike Disneyland) Diablo Unit One was long ago reported to be severely embrittled. That means critical components could shatter like glass if flooded to contain a meltdown. Ensuing Chernobyl-scale steam and hydrogen explosions would spread apocalyptic radiation throughout the ecosphere.

Despite a petition signed by more than 2,000 Californians and key Hollywood A-listers, Gov. Gavin Newsom refuses to inspect Diablo’s decayed reactors.

The New Yorker says smoke coming from huge northern California fires dimmed solar panels. But those fires were caused by the gross incompetence, neglect, and mismanagement of the twice-bankrupt Pacific Gas & Electric, which runs Diablo.

PG&E is a federal felon, convicted for killing scores of Californians in avoidable explosions and fires. Tuhus-Dubrow simply ignores such slipshod mismanagement, which could prove catastrophic at a nuke as old as Diablo.

Overall, the nuke power debate has long since transcended random, folksy industry devotees who like to label themselves “green.” No serious analyst argues that, after the fiscal fiascos at V.C. Summer and Plant Vogtle, any big new reactors will ever be built in the US. Small ones are cost-prohibitive pipe dreams, especially as wind, solar, battery and LED/efficiency technologies continue to advance.

The question of how long America’s 90+ jalopy nukes can run until the next one explodes remains unanswered … and utterly terrifying.

Somehow, the revered New Yorker has polluted its pages with a pro-nuke fantasy while missing this most critical atomic issue.

Let’s hope it corrects the deficiency before the next Chernobyl lays waste to our own nation.

 


Harvey Wasserman’s Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth is at www.solatopia.org, along with The People’s Spiral of US History.

February 22, 2021 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

The Children with Cancer UK conference: nuclear power and nuclear weapons are two sides of the same coin

Low level radiation – a game changer for the nuclear power and weapons industries?  Pete Wilkinson, 21 February 2021 https://yorkshirebylines.co.uk/low-level-radiation-a-game-changer-for-the-nuclear-power-and-weapons-industries/
  “If you placed a teacup sized piece of high level waste (what’s left of used or ‘spent’ nuclear fuel after it has been treated) in the middle of football pitch, you and everyone in the stadium would be dead before you left the centre circle.”

Phil Hallington, head of operations and development, Sellafield. BBC Radio 4, 7/1/15 ‘How to dismantle a nuclear power station’

In order to gain public acceptance of atmospheric bomb testing in Nevada, President Dwight E. Eisenhower declared the policy of the US government to be “keep the public confused”…

(Extracts from ‘The Dangers of Low Level Radiation’, Charles Sutcliffe, Avebury Press, 1987 ISBN 0 566 05482 5)
These two quotations sum up the murky world of deceit, lies and deliberate withholding of information that characterised the race to develop the A and H-bombs in the immediate aftermath of WW2 as former allies became cold war enemies. The greater ‘good’ of possessing weapons of mass destruction to deter an aggressor outweighed the need to inform people of the unknowns surrounding the long-term effects of exposure to radiation. “Keeping the public confused” made it possible to develop those weapons without the encumbrance of protests.

The raw materials for weapons of mass destruction – plutonium and enriched uranium – come from the nuclear reactors developed under the guise of generating electricity ‘too cheap to meter’. The policies of secrecy and obfuscation have likewise haunted the nascent civil nuclear power industry. Nuclear power stations have been essential for producing the materials that have incinerated and liquidised tens of thousands of innocents, and left thousands more with crippling genetic malformations all in the name of defence through the threat of mass murder.

The Windscale Calder Hall reactors, opened by HM the Queen in 1956 and heralded as the first power station to provide nuclear-generated electricity to the UK grid, concealed the true impetus for their construction: to produce plutonium for domestic and American nuclear weapons. Nuclear power and nuclear weapons are two sides of the same coin, despite minister after minister, decade after decade, telling parliament and the public the opposite.

It is thought that around 200,000 people – mostly civilians – died as a result of the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945. The US sent teams of officials into the fallout zones soon after the attacks to catalogue the effects on people as well as to evaluate their destructive capability. The US authorities developed a measure of radioactivity’s effect on human health which assumed that the greater the exposure to radiation, the greater the effect on the individual, leading to the ‘linear no threshold’ or LNT principle which has underpinned the relationship between dose and risk ever since.

With little concern for detail, the authorities assumed that the LNT model was good for calculating the effects of both whole body exposure as well as internal exposure through nuclear particulate inhalation or ingestion and that the relationship between dose and risk remained constant. But in fact, in case after case of exposure to ionising radiation, the observed effect on health outstrips the theoretical effect LNT would suggest.

Decades of grudging engagement from the authorities with its critics has still not delivered open and transparent examination of the uncertainties around the issue. The government, the nuclear industry itself, the regulators, nuclear industry trades unions, the supply chain companies, cheerleading university research and science departments all support and defend an industry which is well aware of these uncertainties. Yet still we commit to new nuclear build while wringing our hands about the rising cancer rate now affecting every second person in the country.

Particulates of plutonium and uranium, invisible to the naked eye, produce energetic and highly interactive emissions that, while presenting little danger when outside the body, can present a serious internal hazard when inhaled or ingested. They represent a small ‘dose’ but can have a disproportionate effect on health if the body doesn’t manage to rid itself of the particle. The reality is actually ‘small dose, large risk’, the opposite of the LNT principle. It is perhaps no surprise that neither government nor its agencies wish to engage in fact-based debate on the issues: any recognition that critics of LNT have a case would require a fundamental review of nuclear discharges, their safety and the number of people qualifying for compensation.

Nuclear weapons were routinely tested until the practice was banned, sometimes requiring the enforced removal of the inhabitants over whose remote atolls and islands the bombs were tested. Of the 2,000+ tests since the 1950s, more than 200 took place in the atmosphere, releasing unknown quantities of uranium and plutonium. Accidents at nuclear power stations – notably Chernobyl, Fukushima and the accident in 1957 at our own plutonium production plant in Cumbria, then known as Windscale – have also released unknown amounts of plutonium into the environment.

Nuclear power plants routinely discharge small amounts of radioactive material into sea, land and air. Plutonium has been deliberately and routinely discharged into the Irish Sea since the 1950s from the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing plant. These materials circle the earth in the jet stream and wash around our oceans. And the authorities, particularly the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (CoMARE), refuse to debate key issues with their critics.

In 1983, a ten-fold excess of childhood leukaemia was identified in the small village of Seascale, a few miles south of Sellafield. At the end of a Yorkshire TV documentary film screened in the November of that year, nuclear bosses refused to concede that the plutonium discharges from the plant to the Irish Sea which were shown to be returning to shore and even turning up in household dust, could possibly have anything to do with the children’s illnesses. In December 1984, Hansard recorded the following speech from Lord Skelmersdale (extract):

“As from next year, discharges of caesium to the sea will be reduced to one-tenth of the maximum released in recent years. The revised authorisation sent to the company in draft will, when implemented, reduce discharges of plutonium and other alpha emitters to 200 curies a year, which is also a very sharp reduction from previous levels.”

In 2008, the German government financed a report known by the acronym KiKK. It showed that children under five years of age living within five kilometres of every German nuclear power station ran a risk of contracting leukaemia that was twice the national average in the country.

Following a Children with Cancer UK international conference in 2018, a modest grant was awarded to the Low Level Radiation Campaign to write a report, compiling the evidence that supported the view that the health effects of exposure to low doses of alpha emitting radioactive materials are woefully underestimated.

The report has been sent to every major government department, to MPs and to regulators. The response has been totally underwhelming. The government is unable even to consider that the industry on which it has relied since the 1940s to provide its plutonium, its nuclear engineers, its nuclear research facilities, much of its electricity and its medical isotopes, might be contributing to disease and death in the population. And it refuses to instruct its publicly funded expert body, CoMARE, to do so on its behalf.

The Children with Cancer UK conference was addressed by one contributor who spoke movingly about the conditions required for a healthy and contented population – a sustainable and peaceful planet. Instead, we have created a soup of chemical, radioactive and other toxic materials casually tossed into the air while we have little or no idea as to their health effects. This, along with the 500,000 cubic metres of nuclear waste, is our legacy to our descendants. How on earth are we going to acknowledge this and begin the process of reconciliation and redress?

February 22, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Nuclear weapons — they’re illegal 

February 22, 2021 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

New books on climate change; Michael Mann versus (nuclear promoter) Bill Gates

Let’s not forget that Bill Gates recommends tax-payer support for new small nuclear reactors, and just happens to be promoting his own nuclear  company TerraPower
The rise of the climate dude  New Statesman , 17 Feb 21, 
Bill Gates’s faith in a technological fix for climate change is typical of privileged men who think they can swoop in and solve the problems others have spent decades trying to fix.

………   How to Avoid a Climate Disaster provides a run-through of all the reasons we need to act on climate change and achieve net zero emissions. Gates insists this will be difficult and expensive to do, but that new and existing technologies can get us there. “I don’t have a solution to the politics of climate change,” he writes, but he acknowledges the importance of “developing new policies so we can demonstrate and deploy those inventions in the market as fast as possible”.

Alongside Gates’s book comes The New Climate War, by Michael Mann, a well-known American climate scientist. Mann is the genuine article. He started in the field in the early 1990s as a graduate student at Yale University and has never left it. He is less than convinced by Gates’s relatively late conversion to the climate cause.Gates is a classic example of a “first-time climate dude”, believes Mann. This phenomenon is “the tendency for members of a particular, privileged demographic group (primarily middle-aged, almost exclusively white men) to think they can just swoop in… and solve the great problems that others have spent decades unable to crack”. The result is a mess, “consisting of fatally bad takes and misguided framing couched in deeply condescending mansplaining”.

Such doom-mongering fires up Mann. In the “new climate war”, he heads an army that discounts the prospect of failure. “The climate crisis is very real,” he says. “But it is not unsolvable. And it’s not too late to act.” The opposition is no longer the climate deniers of yesteryear, but a more insidious group: “doomsayers” and “defeatists” who push “climate doom porn” and the idea that “climate change is just too big a problem for us to solve”, says Mann. They also peddle the other “Ds”: “disinformation, deceit, divisiveness, deflection, delay”.
That two high-profile books on climate change have been published within a week of each other proves the subject has reached the top of the mainstream agenda. Together, Mann and Gates offer a rounded view of the climate debate, but Mann’s book is the more readable. His prose rattles along, entertaining and horrifying us in equal measure as he exposes scientists, politicians, the conservative media and other supposed experts who have slowed climate action by caring more about the interests of big industry.
Gates, on the other hand, can be irksome. He’s never afraid to name drop, so the book is littered with phrases such as, “I met with François Hollande, who was the president of France,” or, “Warren Buffett and I were talking…” And he loves nothing more than reminding us how much he is investing in fighting climate change. “I’ve put more than $1bn into approaches that I hope will help the world get to zero,” he casually notes.
Mann is correct the world needs to speed up its adoption of existing solutions, end its love affair with fossil fuels and “call out false solutions for what they are”. However, framing climate action as a “war” is more questionable. Mann suggests some of his colleagues are in denial because they dismiss his notion that they are fighting with powerful interests. “The dismissiveness of soothing myths and appeasement didn’t serve us well in World War II, and it won’t serve us well here either,” he says. That may be true, but war can encourage people to retreat further into their own views, meaning greater destruction and a slower pace of change.
….. Gates should pay more attention to Mann’s conclusion that technological innovation is only a part of the solution, and not even necessarily the biggest one. Systemic change “incentivised by appropriate government policy”, and intergovernmental agreements matched with the belief that “there is still time to create a better future” should form the basis of all climate plans.  https://www.newstatesman.com/bill-gates-avoid-climate-disaster-michael-mann-new-climate-war-review

February 22, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

The “negaWatt” – the best energy is the energy you don’t use

We Demain 18th Feb 2021, Amory Lovins: “Pursuing nuclear power is madness”. Cheaper, cleaner and more efficient: for the great American energy specialist, renewables have already won the game. Implacable, his demonstration shows up France, which persists in the atom. He is THE energy guru, the one consulted by governments and companies around the world.
But for 73-year-old American Amory Lovins, the best energy is the energy you don’t use. Since the end of the 1980s, this physicist resembling Professor Tournesol, passed through
Harvard and Oxford, has been promoting the concept of “negaWatt”, a theoretical unit of saved energy. According to him, it is possible to achieve collosal savings on the energy necessary for human activities.

https://www.wedemain.fr/dechiffrer/amory-lovins-poursuivre-le-nucleaire-est-une-folie/

February 22, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, ENERGY | Leave a comment

Significant safety incident at EDF nuclear power plant in Flamanville

La Presse de la Manche 19th Feb 2021, The EDF power plant in Flamanville (Manche) declared, on Friday February 19, 2021, a level 1 event concerning the diesel of production unit n ° 1, still at a standstill. The management of the Flamanville 1-2 nuclear power plant (Manche) declared, on Friday February 19, 2021, a significant safety event at level 1 of the INES scale, with the Nuclear Safety Authority .

https://actu.fr/normandie/flamanville_50184/nucleaire-un-nouvel-incident-a-la-centrale-edf-de-flamanville-2_39650828.html

February 22, 2021 Posted by | France, incidents | Leave a comment

Bill Gates’undemocratic approach to climate crisis

The Nation 16th Feb 2021, Tim Schwab: Gates proceeds from a precarious position, not just because of his thin credentials, untested solutions, and stunning financial conflicts of interest, but because his undemocratic assertion of power—no one appointed or elected him as the world’s new climate czar—comes at precisely the time when democratic institutions have become essential to solving climate change.

https://www.thenation.com/article/environment/bill-gates-climate-book/

February 22, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Lobbyists from West Cumbria Mining appointed to Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM)

Radiation Free Lakeland 19th Feb 2021, Letter sent today to MP Tim Farron from Radiation Free Lakeland. We haven been looking at West Cumbria Mining’s lobbying over the last several years. While WCM class themselves as a “small company” in order it seems to avoid full filing of company finances, they have been afforded incredible access to key government departments. Access that other Cumbrian small businesses could only dream of.
Meetings have taken place between West Cumbria Mining and at least three government departments including BEIS – the dept which is responsible for CoRWM appointments. The public would rightly assume that CoRWM and other government departments in the interests of transparency and ethics would not ever consider public appointments of individuals who have previously and continue to repeatedly lobby government departments to advance their business interests.
Especially when those business interests include the most controversial coal mine in UK history which coincidently is in the area where the UK government have repeatedly tried to progress Geological Disposal plans despite cumulative scientific evidence that the plan is dangerous (we
wonder how CoRWM expect Mark Kirkbride’s business interests of a coal mine in the same area will make the already complex and faulted geology in the Eastern Irish Sea area safer?)

https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2021/02/19/government-appointment-of-coal-mine-ceo-to-uk-nuke-dump-plans-not-dodgy-at-all/

February 22, 2021 Posted by | politics, UK | 1 Comment

Problems in decommissioning legacy nuclear waste silos

Machinery Market 19th Feb 2021, Decommissioning legacy nuclear waste silos on the former UK power generating site at Sellafield requires a large number of bins to be machined to close geometrical tolerances to ensure they can be stacked afely. They are three-metre-cube, double-walled, box fabrications that are highly resonant and, to make their production even more difficult, they are made from 6mm thick Duplex stainless steel plate that tends to induce vibrations when it is milled.
One of the firms leading the Sellafield decommissioning work, Stillington-based Darchem Engineering, had been taking delivery of machined bins from contract machinists BEL Engineering in Newcastle-upon-Tyne since 2017. The problem was, in the words of CEO
Jonathan Lamb: “We wanted to increase productivity but realised that further improvements to the machining process were impossible using conventional machinery and fixturing.

https://www.machinery-market.co.uk/news/29278/Kingsbury-awarded-a-patent-covering-novel-fixture-for-machining-nuclear-waste-containers

February 22, 2021 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Lies in Texas, as Republicans blame renewable energy for cold weather traumas

February 22, 2021 Posted by | politics, renewable, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

U.N. nuclear watchdog found uranium particles at two Iranian sites

Reuters 19th Feb 2021, The U.N. nuclear watchdog found uranium particles at two Iranian sites it inspected after months of stonewalling, diplomats say, and it is preparing to rebuke Tehran for failing to explain, possibly complicating U.S. efforts to revive nuclear diplomacy.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-iaea-idUSKBN2AJ269

February 22, 2021 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

City giant Legal and General will not be funding Sizewell nuclear project

Telegraph 20th Feb 2021, Sizewell C proves to be a turn-off for City giant Legal & General. Legal & General has ruled out helping to fund the new Sizewell C nuclear power plant, dealing a blow to EDF as it seeks backers for the £20bn project.
EDF is in negotiations with the government about taxpayer support for the planned plant in Suffolk bues of a reactor’s life.
It will also need institutional investors, which it argues can make stable returns over the decad
L&G has not spoken publicly about its plans but in a written response to a pension-holder, one of its investment service consultants said: “I have had it confirmed that Legal & General will not be investing in the Sizewell C nuclear power plant.” L&G declined to comment further. It comes after Aviva Investors expressed concerns about the potential ESG (environmental, social and governance) risks of nuclear power. It said the ESG impact of nuclear was “far from clear at this time.” L&G’s boss Nigel Wilson reportedly described Hinkley in 2016 as a “£25bn waste of money”.  https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/02/20/sizewell-c-proves-aturn-off-city-giant-legal-general/

February 22, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment