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Japan scraps mascot promoting Fukushima wastewater dump

Japan scraps mascot promoting Fukushima wastewater dump, Guardian, , Justin McCurry in Tokyo, Thu 15 Apr 2021 

‘Little Mr Tritium’ was meant to help win support for release of contaminated water into sea.   The Japanese government has been forced to quickly retire an animated character it had hoped would win support for its decision this week to release more than 1m tonnes of contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea.

Although the water will be treated before being discharged, it will still contain tritium, a radioactive hydrogen isotope represented on a government website by a cute fish-like creature with rosy cheeks.

The character’s appearance in an online flyer and video on the reconstruction agency’s website angered Fukushima residents.

“It seems the government’s desire to release the water into the sea takes priority over everything,” Katsuo Watanabe, an 82-year-old Fukushima fisher, told the Kyodo news agency. “The gap between the gravity of the problems we face and the levity of the character is huge.”

Riken Komatsu, a local writer, tweeted: “If the government thinks it can get the general public to understand just by creating a cute character, it is making a mockery of risk communication.”

Social media users named the character Tritium-kun – or Little Mr Tritium – an apparent reference to Pluto-kun, who appeared in the mid-1990s to soften the image of plutonium on behalf of Japan’s nuclear industry.

Spare a thought for Pluto-kun, or Little Mr Pluto, who appeared in the mid-1990s to soften the image of plutonium on behalf of Japan’s nuclear industry.

With his cherubic face and green helmet bearing the chemical symbol for plutonium, Pluto-kun fell out of favour after an appearance in an animated educational film in which a boy who downs a glass of plutonium, with no apparent ill-effects.   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/may/12/kumamon-japan-mascot-plutokun     2013]

The reconstruction agency, which oversees recovery efforts in the region destroyed by the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown, removed the promotional material on Wednesday, a day after it first appeared…….https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/15/japan-scraps-mascot-promoting-fukushima-wastewater-dump

April 17, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Puerile publicity tactics of pro nuclear publicist “Think Atom”

The keynote speexh at the World Nuclear Cycle Forum was so absurd as to be almost funny. It avoided consideration of nuclear power’s huge costs, safety problems, weapons connection, terrorism risk, – and above all, the fact that the nucleare fuel cycle is highly carbon-emitting. It also sidesteps the fact that nuclear power , even if it did combat climate change, could never be operating fast enough to be of any use anyway.

But that didn’t stop gee-whiz nuclear spinner ”Think Atom” from insulting our intelligence by recommending the most puerile publicity tactics to win over the hearts and minds of the general public.

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You need to put it in context: ‘The worst case scenario is a similar dose that you get from eating a bag of chips or a couple of bananas.’ And use emotion: ‘But that’s ridiculous! Yes, but it’s true!’ This context gives you an image of something. It’s easier [to convince people]/

Nuclear industry must change the way it communicates, says Think Atom, World Nuclear News, 15 April. 21, ”……….The fact that nuclear is clean [really?] energy is already “out there” and so the issue is not a lack of information,  Rauli Partanen, the CEO of Think Atom,   said, but rather of believing that information and then acting on those beliefs. For that to happen, data and reports proving the science are not enough. There also needs to be emotion and an alignment of values, he said, which will turn the information into something that has value.

“Why do people dislike nuclear? Forty years ago, the nuclear industry left the public discussion to those who opposed nuclear. These people, groups and organisations said that nuclear is dangerous and irresponsible, ……..

There has therefore been no progress in having a vision for the nuclear industry and instead it has focused on fighting against the premature closure of reactors or on decommissioning.

“That’s not very inspiring. How many young people are going to go into a field that’s focused on getting rid of itself? Not many……

The nuclear industry needs to start talking publicly about a “mission of expansion”, he said……  the nuclear industry should demand support from policymakers and legislators to create a fair market in clean [really?] energy, …….  enabling the nuclear industry to enjoy access to low-cost finance the way that other clean energy technologies already do.

The high rate of nuclear power plant construction seen in the 1970s and 1980s should be repeated over the next 40 years because “even when we get to net zero, we need to get into negative emissions, and that is not going to happen by itself, it will need a lot of energy”, he said.

“The key point is that, if the nuclear industry doesn’t have a big vision on its role, potential and importance in stopping climate change, how can it expect the rest of us to have that vision for them?”……

 World Nuclear Association’s Harmony goal – the addition of 1000 GWe of new nuclear capacity and a 25% share in the global electricity mix, by 2050………. It needs to spread out from World Nuclear Association onto the slide presentations of utilities, with statements like; ‘We’re looking forward to doubling our fleet’.”…………

“He is certainly an influencer and thought leader in some circles, but we also need others – rock stars, famous politicians, climate scientists. The issue is you cannot have one single message for everyone. Know your audience.”

The message however needs to make clear that being ‘anti-nuclear’ effectively means being against a proven way to mitigate climate change……….

Asked how attitudes towards nuclear energy could be changed at the political level, he said this was difficult, but “when change starts it can happen pretty fast”……..”One of the catalysts for this has been advanced nuclear reactors and small modular reactors, which is a new way of thinking about nuclear. It can give people a second chance to rethink nuclear…”’

,,,,,, The anti-nuclear countries, like Austria, Germany and Luxembourg, are constantly joining up and bullying other nations 

………..  The answers to those questions [about radioactive wastes] must be in a context the audience can understand, he said. For example, “the worst-case scenario” of radiation leaking from the Onkolo final repository would be a tiny number of millisieverts per year.

“Nobody will understand that. You need to put it in context: ‘The worst case scenario is a similar dose that you get from eating a bag of chips or a couple of bananas.’ And use emotion: ‘But that’s ridiculous! Yes, but it’s true!’ This context gives you an image of something. It’s easier than ‘many zeros of millisieverts’, which means nothing to the non-nuclear engineer.”

April 17, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, spinbuster | Leave a comment

*Net Zero Without Nuclear**

Jonathon Porritt 15th April 2021, Jonathon Porritt: Even as the prospects for nuclear power continue to decline, the industry is spending more and more money seeking to persuade Governments, commentators and ‘gullible greenies’ that we’re going to need new nuclear power to get us to a Net Zero economy by 2050.

I’ve spent the last six months looking into this mismatch: declining prospects, escalating hype. All captured in my new Report, ‘Net Zero Without Nuclear’ – accessible here: Net Zero Without Nuclear 15.04.21 ‘Net Zero Without Nuclear’ has been generously endorsed by Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the Green Party, CND and a host of experts in this critical scientific and policy area.

 http://www.jonathonporritt.com/net-zero-without-nuclear-the-case-against-nuclear-power/

April 17, 2021 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

French MPs urge Macron to provide data about nuclear waste buried in Algeria

French MPs urge Macron to provide data about nuclear waste buried in Algeria https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20210415-french-mps-urge-macron-to-provide-data-about-nuclear-waste-buried-in-algeria/, April 15, 2021   Nine French MPs have called on President Emmanuel Macron to provide data and maps about nuclear waste sites in Algeria, agencies reported yesterday. The French conducted nuclear tests in the Algerian Sahara in the 1960s You now have the opportunity to take concrete action in favour of the civilians and the environment which continue to be affected by nuclear waste buried by France in the sands of the Algerian Sahara,” the MPs told Macron. “You must seize it.”They  pointed out that the fifth session of the Algerian-French high level intergovernmental committee, which should have held on 11 April, has been postponed indefinitely. The committee works to resolve historical disputes between France and Algeria.

In February, the MPs said, the sky over a large part of France had an orange hue which was the result of sand carried by strong winds from Algeria. “This meteorological episode reminded us once again that France has left an indelible radioactive imprint in the heart of the Sahara… Seventeen nuclear explosions were carried out in [Algeria] between 1960 and 1966, both above ground and underground, to test the French atomic bomb.”Key information is still missing about the waste for the most part buried in the sand, added the MPs. “Providing the details requested,” they insisted, “will ensure the health and safety of the people living in the areas in question, protect future generations and take the necessary and appropriate measures for the restoration of the environment.”

April 17, 2021 Posted by | AFRICA, environment, France, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

China to Japan: If treated radioactive water from Fukushima is safe, ‘please drink it’

China to Japan: If treated radioactive water from Fukushima is safe, ‘please drink it’,  WA Today, By Adam Taylor, April 15, 2021 —Washington: A spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry challenged Japan’s deputy prime minister Wednesday to drink treated water, contaminated from contact with reactors, from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant, after the Japanese official suggested the water released would be safe to drink.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, infamous for trolling Australia over the Afghanistan war crimes cases, said during a press briefing: “A Japanese official said, it’s okay if you drink this water. Then please drink it.”

The ocean is not Japan’s trash can,” Zhao also said.

The Chinese official also tweeted a similar message in English.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s remarks came after the Japanese government announced on Tuesday it had decided to release into the sea more than 1 million tons of water collected from Fukushima, which melted down during a 2011 nuclear disaster following a tsunami………….

China’s Zhao, known for his aggressive style of diplomacy, has responded at length to the issues surrounding Fukushima water this week, on Tuesday denying the suggestion that China had itself been in a comparable situation when it released treated radioactive water from power plants into the sea………..

Chinese records show that local power plants like Daya Bay in Shenzhen have also released large amounts of tritium into the sea. Zhao said that the water from the Fukushima was different from that released to the ocean by other nuclear plants.

“No comparison can be drawn between the two,” he said, without further explanation…..

While the United States has offered its support for Japan’s move on the Fukushima water, Zhao said on Wednesday that the Japanese side needed to reach an agreement with all stakeholder countries before it could proceed.

“China reserves the right to make further responses,” Zhao said.https://www.watoday.com.au/world/asia/china-to-japan-if-treated-radioactive-water-from-fukushima-is-safe-please-drink-it-20210415-p57jcj.html

April 17, 2021 Posted by | Japan, politics international | Leave a comment

Australian Strategic Policy Institute sees nuclear submarines as a step towards the full nuclear chain

Nuclear submarines could lead to nuclear power for Australia, The Strategist 15 Apr 21‘………..Submarines could lead to a broad nuclear industry in Australia. This possibility will be the subject of a seminar to be held at ASPI on Thursday 15 July, jointly hosted by the Submarine Institute of Australia and UNSW Canberra. More information is available here….””
https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/nuclear-submarines-could-lead-to-nuclear-power-for-australia/

April 17, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Israel (itself having 80 nuclear weapons) will do ”whatever it takes” to stop Iran getting a nuclear weapon

Israel will do ‘whatever it takes’ to stop Iran on nuclear front -foreign minister  https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/israel-will-do-whatever-it-takes-stop-iran-nuclear-front-foreign-minister-2021-04-16/Reuters, 17 Apr 21,  Israel will do “whatever it takes” to ensure that Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said on Friday.

Speaking after a summit with his Greek and Cypriot counterparts and a senior representative from the UAE in Paphos, Cyprus, Ashkenazi said discussions centred around possibilities for building on prosperity and stability in the region.

“We also took time to discuss challenges that Iran and Hezbollah and other extremists pose to the stability of the Middle East and to the regional peace,” he said. “We will do whatever it takes to prevent this extremist … success and definitely, to prevent this regime from having nuclear weapons.”

April 17, 2021 Posted by | Iran, Israel, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

US lawmakers introduce bill to stop Saudi Arabia from obtaining nuclear weapons

US lawmakers introduce bill to stop Saudi Arabia from obtaining nuclear weapons

Measure would stop ‘most US arms sales’ to the kingdom if it receives help in building nuclear facilities that do not meet IAEA standards, 
By MEE staff in Washington,

16 April 2021 A group of US lawmakers have introduced legislation that seeks to stop the possibility of Saudi Arabia obtaining a nuclear weapon, after reports surfaced last year that China had secretly assisted Riyadh to expand its nuclear programme.

The bill, titled, The Saudi WMD Act, aims to “take steps to impede access to sensitive technologies that could pave the way to Saudi Arabia acquiring a nuclear weapon”, according to a press release announcing the legislation on Thursday.

It was introduced in the Senate by senators Ed Markey and Jeff Merkley, and introduced in the House of Representatives by congressmen Ted Lieu and Joaquin Castro.

“Nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists and rogue regimes is one of the gravest threats to the security of the American people and to our partners around the world,” Merkley said in a statement.

If Saudi Arabia is working to undermine the global nonproliferation and arms control regime, with the help of China or anybody else, the US must respond.” 

Markey said the bill “requires greater transparency into Saudi Arabia’s efforts to build out a ballistic missile and civilian nuclear program”.

If passed, the measure would require the Biden administration to determine whether any foreign person or country has transferred or exported to Saudi Arabia a Category One item under the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), an informal political understanding that aims to limit the amount of missile proliferation worldwide.

A Category One item would include unmanned aerial vehicle systems such as ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and target drones that are capable of delivering a payload of at least 500kg to a range of at least 300km.

If such an entity is found, the bill would require the White House to sanction them.

The bill would also terminate “most US arms sales to Saudi Arabia”, if it was found that the kingdom received help in building a nuclear fuel cycle facility not under the standards set by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Saudi Arabia has not signed up to the same restrictions to nuclear proliferation that other countries have, and the country only has a limited safeguards agreement with the IAEA………….

Under the previous Donald Trump administration, the US had given several authorisations to American companies to share sensitive nuclear power information. https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/us-lawmakers-introduce-bill-stop-saudi-arabia-obtaining-nuclear-weapons

April 17, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Democrats reintroduce ban on US using nuclear weapons first

Democrats reintroduce ban on US using nuclear weapons first

Democrats reintroduce ban on US using nuclear weapons first, Defense NewsBy: Joe Gould   17 Apr 21,  WASHINGTON — Two key Democratic lawmakers reintroduced legislation Thursday that would make it U.S. policy not to use nuclear weapons first.

Opponents, including top military leaders, argue the vague threat of nuclear escalation serves as a deterrent to conventional war as well as the use of chemical and biological weapons. But the sponsors ― House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., and Senate Armed Services Committee member Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. ― argue a “no first use” policy would lower the risk of an accidental nuclear war.

“The United States should never initiate a nuclear war,” Smith said in a statement. “This bill would strengthen deterrence while reducing the chance of nuclear use due to miscalculation or misunderstanding. Codifying that deterring nuclear use is the sole purpose of our nuclear arsenal strengthens U.S. national security and would renew U.S. leadership on nuclear nonproliferation and disbarment.”

The legislation faces an uphill path through Congress, particularly the evenly divided Senate. However some nonproliferation advocates see a possible opening with President Joe Biden, who is expected to conduct his own Nuclear Posture Review and said as vice president that he was “confident we can deter and defend ourselves and our allies against nonnuclear threats through other means.”

“The major risk of nuclear use today comes from the danger that a small or accidental clash or conflict will escalate quickly through confusion or fear and cross the nuclear threshold,” Global Zero’s chief executive, Derek Johnson, said in a statement. “America’s decades-long policy of threatening its own possible first use of nuclear weapons only adds to this danger.”………… https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2021/04/16/democrats-reintroduce-bill-to-bar-us-from-using-nuclear-weapons-first/

April 17, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

American Physical Society – scientists discuss global threats -pandemics, cyberattacks, over-population, climate, nuclear annihilation…

Unconventional takes on pandemics and nuclear defense could protect humanity from catastrophic failure, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/04/210416194919.htm April 16, 2021, Source: American Physical Society Summary: From engineered pandemics to city-toppling cyber attacks to nuclear annihilation, life on Earth could radically change, and soon. 

From engineered pandemics to city-toppling cyber attacks to nuclear annihilation, life on Earth could radically change, and soon.

“Our Earth is 45 million centuries old. But this century is the first when one species — ours — can determine the biosphere’s fate,” said Martin Rees, the United Kingdom’s Astronomer Royal and a founder of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risks at Cambridge University.*

“Our globally-linked society is vulnerable to the unintended consequences of powerful new technologies — not only nuclear, but (even more) biotech, cyber, advanced AI, space technology,” he added.

Royal astronomer predicts the world in 2050 and beyond

Rees thinks biohackers pose a particularly underappreciated threat to humanity. In the near future, simple equipment will enable people to reengineer the human genome irrevocably or build a superspreading influenza. Like drug laws, regulations could never prevent all such actions — and in a world more interconnected than ever before, the consequences would spread globally.

He will discuss other dangers: population rise leading to plummeting biodiversity, disastrous climate change, uncontrollable cybercriminals, plans for artificial intelligence that erodes privacy, security, and freedom.

But Rees is an optimist. He will offer a path toward avoiding these risks and achieving a sustainable future better than the world we live in today.

“If all of us passengers on ‘spaceship Earth’ want to ensure that we leave it in better shape for future generations we need to promote wise deployment of new technologies, while minimizing the risk of pandemics, cyberthreats, and other global catastrophes,” he said.

Scaling back missile defense could prevent a nuclear attack

A single nuclear weapon could kill millions and destroy a city instantaneously. Hundreds of weapons could wipe out functioning society in a large nation. Even a limited nuclear war could cause a climate catastrophe, leading to the starvation of hundreds of millions of people.

Recently, Russia, China, and North Korea have deployed new types of nearly unstoppable missiles.

Missile defense is an idea that can sound appealing at first — doesn’t defense sound like the right thing to do?” said Frederick Lamb, astrophysicist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, cochair of the 2003 APS Study of Boost-Phase Missile Defense, and chair of the current APS Panel on Public Affairs Study of Missile Defense and National Security.

“But when the technical challenges and arms race implications are considered, one can see that deploying a system that is intended to defend against intercontinental ballistic missiles is unlikely to improve the security of the United States,” he said.

Lamb points to the United Kingdom’s decision to increase its nuclear arsenal by 44%, possibly motivated by Russia’s new missile defense system around Moscow. He sees the move as yet another sign that existing limits on nuclear weapons are unraveling. Even missile defenses that would never work in practice can catalyze the development of new nuclear weapons and increase global risk.

Lamb will share what may happen if the United States ramps up new missile defense systems.

“What is done about nuclear weapons and missile defenses by the United States and other countries affects the safety and survival of every person on the planet,” he said.

*Scientists will forecast the fate of the planet at a press conference during the 2021 APS April Meeting.

April 17, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, environment | Leave a comment

Nuclear comes out as far more expensive than any other energy option

Renew Extra 10th April 2021, Dave Elliott: Depending on how you do the sums, in most assessments, in direct Levelised Cost of Energy terms, nuclear comes out as far more expensive than any other energy option. For example, the US National Renewable Energy Research Labs have put the cost of nuclear at about $163/MWh and wind and solar at around £40/MWh, these figures being mid range of the 2020 data from Lazard. And as their costs continue to fall,
wind and solar win against all the others.

But these are just the direct costs. A study by Sovacool et al adds in estimates for the additional so called ‘external’ social and environmental costs. On that basis, wind still wins overall, and does better than solar PV, but nuclear is
over-taken by coal as the worst option. The rest fall somewhere in between.

The JRC has now concluded that nuclear could meet the ECs ‘do no significant harm’ criteria ‘provided that all specific industrial activities in the whole nuclear fuel cycle (e.g. uranium mining, nuclear fuel fabrication, etc.) comply with the nuclear & environmental regulatory frameworks and related Technical Screening Criteria’. That might seem a little tautological or even complacent.

Certainly there is no shortage of conflicting views, some stressing the opportunity cost issue- nuclear sucks
funds and vital political attention away from imperative renewable investments. The debate continues.

https://renewextraweekly.blogspot.com/2021/04/energy-costs-direct-and-indirect.html

April 17, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A new plan for disposing of nuclear waste at USA’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

Carlsbad Current Argus 14th April 2021, A plan to build two new areas to dispose of nuclear waste began taking
shape at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant after the U.S. Department of Energy published a report on the feasibility of adding an 11th and 12th waste panel to the underground nuclear waste repository.

At WIPP, low-level transuranic (TRU) waste made up of equipment and materials radiated during nuclear activities is permanently emplaced in an underground salt deposit more than 2,000 feet underground. In its original design, WIPP was planned to have eight panels for such disposal, but much of that space wasrestricted and abandoned following an accidental radiological release in2014 that contaminated parts of the underground and led to a three-year
pause of WIPP’s emplacement operations.

https://eu.currentargus.com/story/news/local/2021/04/14/wipp-aims-expand-underground-facility-hold-nuclear-waste/7149136002/

April 17, 2021 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear power combined with nuclear weapons – confronts Britain with an intractable problem.

Electrical Review 14th April 2021, Nuclear waste has been an intractable problem ever since nuclear power was
developed over 60 years ago. It has become a very expensive and politically embarrassing issue all around the world.

Not that the Johnson Government would admit this. Many in it still argue that nuclear power is the answer
to climate change, conveniently forgetting that they are passing the waste buck onto future generations. To those in power, the solution to the waste problem is always just around the corner, to be resolved just beyond their term of office.

But the history of nuclear over the last six decades, across the globe, is of dozens of failed schemes. Currently the UK is
undertaking its sixth search in 42 years for a nuclear waste dump site. Yet again wrestling with the problem of years of public consultations, planning inquiries and geological investigations, only to be finally rejected, even as scientists warn that continued neglect of the issue is placing citizens in increasing danger.

The problem is that civil nuclear industries, especially when, as in Britain, they are combined with a weapons programme, produce plutonium and other by-products in spent fuel that take as long as 100,000 years to decay. International law requires the country that produced the waste to dispose of it within its own boundaries. Identifying
somewhere to put this waste, where they could be safe for that length of time, requires stable geological formations that are very hard to find anywhere.

https://electricalreview.co.uk/2021/04/14/nuclear-powers-waste-problem-complicates-it-as-a-green-energy-solution/

April 17, 2021 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES PROTECTIONS FOR SAFE CLOSURE OF INDIAN POINT NUCLEAR POWER FACILITY

Holtec Agrees to Extensive Monetary Assurances and Administrative Safeguards to Ensure Safe, Rapid, Complete Dismantling & Cleanup of Nuclear Power Facility

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a joint proposal with Holtec International and its subsidiaries to safely close the Indian Point nuclear power facility in the lower Hudson Valley. The agreement, negotiated by the State of New York, County of Westchester, local governments, Public Utility Law Project, Riverkeeper, Entergy — the owner of Indian Point and Holtec, provides for a transfer of the nuclear power facility to Holtec for a swift, complete and safe decommissioning and site remediation. 

The joint proposal, which is now available for public comment, is slated to be reviewed and considered by the State Public Service Commission during a future session.   “Since my time as Attorney General I have been deeply concerned with the safety of the Indian Point nuclear power facility given its proximity to the most densely populated area in the country,” Governor Cuomo said. “Shuttering Indian Point was, at one time, one of the main progressive causes in New York, and after years of relentless work, we’ve finally reached an agreement to close it safely and responsibly. This is a victory for the health and safety of New Yorkers, and moves us a big step closer to reaching our aggressive clean energy goals.”


In 2017, Entergy — the owner of Indian Point — agreed with Governor Cuomo to close the two remaining operating units at the site. Unit 2 powered down in April 2020, and Unit 3 is scheduled to cease operations this month. In November 2019, Entergy and Holtec filed an application for license transfer with the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission and separately filed a petition asking the PSC not to exercise any jurisdiction over the sale of the Indian Point facilities and site. Instead, the State Department of Public Service staff, Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of Attorney General, local governments and others worked to ensure that the public’s interests were protected, and those agencies secured the financial and administrative provisions contained in the Joint Proposal that will now be presented to the Public Service Commission for its review and consideration. The NRC approved the license transfer without the provisions contained in the joint proposal, and the State of New York filed a lawsuit challenging NRC’s decision. This joint proposal to the Public Service Commission will also resolve the federal litigation.  

Decommissioning, the radiological clean-up and dismantling of a nuclear facility, is extremely demanding, both technically and financially. Accordingly, the NRC requires that nuclear facilities establish and maintain funding to pay for facility decommissioning following closure. In the case of Indian Point, portions of its three decommissioning trusts were capitalized by New York ratepayers through electricity bills. Holtec obtained the NRC’s approval to use the trust money, not only to conduct the required radiological decommissioning, but also to fund spent fuel management and site restoration. Of the approximately $2.4 billion of aggregated decommissioning trust funds, Holtec estimated that it will spend more than $630 million for spent fuel management alone, which raised concerns whether the remaining funds were adequate to conduct safe and comprehensive decommissioning at a site known to harbor substantial contamination.  The Joint Proposal to resolve the ongoing PSC proceeding and address the State’s concerns is intended to ensure that adequate funds are available to complete the project subject to State oversight. Under the agreement, Holtec is required to adhere to financial and administrative provisions, including:

  • Maintaining a minimum balance of no less than $400 million in the Decommissioning Trust Fund for 10 years following the Transaction Closing Date; 
  • Maintaining a minimum balance of no less than $360 million in the Decommissioning Trust Fund at partial site release from the NRC for costs related to waste management and radiological cleanup of the site;  
    • Requiring Holtec to return 50 percent of the money it recovers from the Department of Energy for spent fuel management costs to the Decommissioning Trust Fund; 
  • Conduct site restoration and remediation under an order on consent with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which will oversee the hazardous materials cleanup at Indian Point, including through the use of an on-site monitor; 
  • Providing funding towards state and local emergency management and response; and 
  • Providing financial and project reporting to the State and the public through a website and other channels to ensure transparency regarding project status and costs. 

Per additional agreement terms, the State of New York, Riverkeeper, the Town of Cortlandt and the Hendrick Hudson School District will withdraw their lawsuits against the NRC that are currently pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Today marks a milestone in the State’s sustained efforts to shut down Indian Point. It’s a victory for public safety and the millions of New Yorkers living in the shadow of this aging facility. As New York State continues its transition to a safer, renewable green energy future, it’s imperative that we work together to ensure the swift and safe dismantling and decommissioning of this facility. I commend everyone who worked to secure this agreement today to advance a comprehensive cleanup of this site.” 

Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “As the State’s nuclear coordinator, NYSERDA has been pleased with the robust stakeholder engagement leading to this joint proposal and that the agreement appropriately addresses both the financial and environmental interests of New Yorkers.” 

April 17, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear power will be a big issue in France’s 2022 presidential election

Le Monde 15th April 2021, Why nuclear will be featured in the 2022 presidential campaign. The left
and the Macronist majority seem divided on the rapid construction of new
EPRs, while the right and the far right are stepping up their support for
the sector.

https://www.lemonde.fr/politique/article/2021/04/15/pourquoi-le-nucleaire-va-s-inviter-dans-la-campagne-presidentielle-de-2022_6076899_823448.html

April 17, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment