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It’s a dead end: the French wish to include nuclear power as ”green” in the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy

MEP Canfin: The French hard line on nuclear is a dead end,Euractiv.com, 19 Apr 2021

Everyone agrees that neither gas or nuclear can be included in the “green” category of the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy, says Pascal Canfin………

The hard line defended by France over the inclusion of nuclear power in the green finance taxonomy is a dead end because there is no majority in favour of it at the EU level, warns lawmaker Pascal Canfin.

……On nuclear, the hard line defended by France will lead the country to isolation……….

In France, the subject is extremely sensitive. Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire recently promised that France will fight to have nuclear power recognised as “green” in the taxonomy. According to him, “this is a real political fight” on which France will fight with the greatest determination at the European level. Is there a fundamental misunderstanding here on the part of French leaders about the very role of the taxonomy?…………

April 20, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The danger of Japan dumping Fukushima wastewater into the ocean

Storage tanks for radioactive water are seen at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan February 18, 2019. Picture taken February 18, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato

The danger of Japan dumping Fukushima wastewater into the ocean, https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/548726-the-danger-of-japan-dumping-fukushima-wastewater-into-the-ocean

BY RICK STEINER,— 04/17/21  The Japanese government just announced that it intends to release over 1.2 million tons of radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant into the North Pacific. This would result in dangerous radionuclides flowing across the ocean to Russia, Alaska, Canada, Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast. The release of this material — which is strongly opposed by local scientists and residents in Japan — would begin in two years and continue for another 40 years.

The Biden administration must urge Japan to abandon this unnecessary and dangerous plan.

The 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster was caused by the 9.1 magnitude Tohoku earthquake and a 14-meter-high tsunami. The tsunami flooded and disabled emergency generators needed to pump cooling water into the nuclear reactor cores, causing three reactor core meltdowns and hydrogen explosions. Radionuclides flowed eastward across the Pacific and were eventually found in waters off California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia  and Alaska. We all live downstream. 

The storage tanks now hold seawater that has been used to continue cooling the reactor cores, and this water is contaminated with such radionuclides as Cesium-137, Carbon-14, tritium (including the more dangerous “Organically Bound Tritium”), Strontium-90, Cobalt-60, Iodine-129, Plutonium-239 — and over 50 other radionuclides. Some of this has reportedly been removed, but some has not (e.g. radioactive tritium and C-14).  

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) that owns Fukushima, and is now responsible for the cleanup (that is likely to last the remainder of this century), didn’t admit until recently that the wastewater contains significant amounts of radioactive Carbon-14. As C-14 has a half-life of 5,730 years, and is known to bio-accumulate in marine ecosystems and cause cellular and genetic impairment. This is a very serious concern.

Fukushima C-14 will be added to the already elevated radioactive C-14 load in the oceans from nuclear weapons tests — or  “bomb carbon” — last century. It’s now found in organisms even in the deepest part of the ocean, the Marianas Trench. It is easy to imagine the impact this new, intentional Fukushima release could have, rightly or not, on the public image of clean marine seafood and tourism along the Pacific coast.

TEPCO claims the water has been sufficiently treated and is OK to release, but the treatment system they are using is reported to be substandard and not up to the job. Communities across the Pacific deserve an independent scientific assessment of TEPCO’s claims, by an Independent Scientific and Technical Commission. Remember, TEPCO and the Japanese government approved locating the nuclear power plant’s emergency generators in a tsunami flood zone. Their assurances now that there is no risk in releasing this radioactive water are neither credible nor scientifically defensible.

China and South Korea have registered objections to the release plan with Japan, but other downstream nations — the U.S., Russia and Canada — have stayed quiet. It isn’t often that China expresses more concern for the environment than the U.S., but this is one such time.

And even if the ecological and public health risk from the planned release is indeed low, as claimed (this is highly doubtful), the risk is entirely unnecessary and avoidable. 

Beyond marine discharge, several other disposal options have been considered, including evaporating the water, or injecting it into deep geologic formations.

But by far the best solution is for TEPCO to build more storage tanks and continue holding all contaminated water for another 15 years or so, during which time the radioactive tritium level will decay by half, and simultaneously treat it with best available technology (such as ion exchange systems and modular “detritiation” systems in the U.S.) to remove all radionuclides possible. 

Japan and TEPCO considered this long-term storage option, but opted instead for the cheapest choice — simply dumping the wastewater into the Pacific. 

The era of intentionally dumping toxic waste in our one global ocean is, or should be, over.

Fukushima was, and continues to be, a nuclear nightmare, and all nations should join together in a collaborative effort to resolve this mess. This effort will take hundreds of billions of dollars, over many decades, and the U.S. and other G20 nations must step up and help both financially and technically.

Unless and until this wastewater is independently certified as effectively free of radionuclides and safe, not one drop should be released into the beautiful deep blue Pacific.

Finally, Fukushima should be the last nail in the coffin for the notion that nuclear fission power could be a realistic solution to our climate crisis.

Rick Steiner is a marine conservation biologist in Anchorage and former professor of marine conservation with the University of Alaska from 1980-2010. He now consults for the U.N., governments and NGOs on marine environmental issues. He is author of “Oasis Earth: Planet in Peril.”

April 20, 2021 Posted by | oceans, radiation, wastes | Leave a comment

USA’s Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin – a ”soldier’s soldier” and a useful purchaser for Raytheon’s military merchandise

Austin’s personal history and connection to the military and Raytheon mark him as a fitting Pentagon chief in an era of destructive militarism and creeping fascism in the U.S.

When civilians no longer control the key institutions of government and war industries ensure the perpetuation of endless wars from which they make obscene profits, the political system can no longer be defined as a democracy. 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin—Former Member of Raytheon Board of Directors—Has Awarded Over $2.36 Billion in Contracts to Raytheon Since His Confirmation in January, Covert Action Magazine By Jeremy Kuzmarov – April 19, 2021 he Pentagon has awarded the defense giant Raytheon Technologies over $2.36 billion in government contracts since Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III’s confirmation on January 22nd.

Austin was on Raytheon’s board of directors prior to his confirmation.

Austin at the time had made a commitment to resign from Raytheon’s board and recuse himself from all matters concerning Raytheon for four years and agreed to divest from his financial holdings in the company, amounting to between $500,000 and $1.7 million in stock.

These initiatives, however, have not prevented Austin from using his position to bolster Raytheon’s fortunes. Nor those of other defense contractors on whose board he has sat such as Booz Allen Hamilton, the world’s “most profitable spy organization,” according to Bloomberg News, and Pine Island Capital, a private equity firm that invests in military industry.[1]

At Austin’s nomination hearing, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) questioned him about his ties to Raytheon—whose headquarters are based in Warren’s home district (Waltham, Massachusetts).

A year earlier, Warren had proposed legal changes to strengthen ethics at the Defense Department by blocking the revolving door between the Pentagon and giant defense contractors like Raytheon, including by prohibiting big defense contractors from hiring former Pentagon officials for four years after they leave government.

Warren paradoxically voted to confirm Austin’s appointment as Defense Secretary—even though he embodies the danger of the revolving door.

Mark Pocan (D-WI), who with Barbara Lee wrote a letter in November 2020 to President-elect Joe Biden requesting that he nominate a Secretary of Defense with no previous ties to weapons manufacturers, stated that “American national security should not be defined by the bottom lines of Boeing, General Dynamics and Raytheon.”

With men like Austin at the helm, however, it is very clearly being defined in this way…………….

Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies, a left-wing think-tank, told The Intercept that since “Raytheon manufactures the bomb components that are used in Yemen, [General Austin] bears a direct responsibility [for war crimes and civilian deaths]. He was making money as a board member of this company that is directly responsible for the death and destruction there.”

William Hartung, the director of the arms and security project for the Center for International Policy, said that “picking Austin was tantamount to making the position of Secretary of Defense the Secretary of Defense contractors.”

Raytheon’s 2021 Pentagon Contracts

Fitting with Hartung’s assessment, Raytheon has benefitted from multi-million-dollar government contracts on a near-daily basis since Austin has taken charge at the Pentagon.

On February 1st, the company secured a whopping $290,704,534 government contract to produce equipment for depot maintenance facilities and services in support of the F-35 Lightning II, which military analyst Pierre Sprey characterized as “overweight and dangerous.”……………….

Promoting More War

Though Austin claims to have recused himself from decisions involving Raytheon, the Pentagon under his direction is providing his old company with huge contracts on a daily basis that is bolstering its profits and stock price.

Austin furthermore has used his new bully pulpit to advocate for yet greater levels of military spending—to the benefit of Raytheon.

On February 25th, for example, on a visit to the U.S.S. Nimitz, Austin emphasized the need for U.S. warships throughout the globe to deter security threats—from China to Iran. A week later on a tour of Southeast Asia with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Austin warned about China again and the North Korean nuclear threat and pledged that the U.S. would maintain a robust military presence in the Indo-Pacific.

He further cautioned North Korea that the United States, following military exercises with South Korea, was “ready to fight tonight.”

When fighting resumed in Eastern Ukraine in early April, Austin assured Ukraine’s Defense Minister Andrii Taran of the “U.S. commitment to building the capacity of Ukraine’s forces to defend more effectively against [supposed] Russian aggression”–which was demonstrated by a recent $125 million military aid package–and took to Twitter to reaffirm the U.S.’s “unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

…………A Soldier’s Soldier

Besides his connection to Raytheon, Austin’s appointment as Pentagon chief was controversial because he had not been retired from the military for the requisite seven years and required a legal waiver.

Traditionally, the role of Defense Secretary is supposed to be a civilian position, ensuring the U.S.’s military apparatus is led not by a warfighter, but a policymaker. That requirement is laid out in the National Security Act of 1947 that established the Defense Department.

Heralded as a “soldier’s soldier” who would endure hardships with his troops, the 6’4” tall Austin graduated from West Point in 1975, and led infantry troops in the capture of Baghdad during the 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom.

After a stint commanding the 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan, Austin was appointed as chief of staff of the U.S. Central Command at McDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, a high-tech command post where military officers could watch live imagery on plasma screens and order air-strikes through the Pentagon’s secure internet server.

Groomed for high military command by Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2007 to 2011, Austin was appointed as Commanding General of U.S. forces in Iraq in 2010, and Commander of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), which is responsible for all military operations in the Middle East, by President Obama in 2013.

In this latter capacity, Austin drafted a war plan—approved by Obama—that allowed the U.S. military for the first time to directly provide ammunition and weapons to Syrian opposition forces, who included Islamic jihadists.

President Obama also endorsed General Austin’s idea to increase the air campaign on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. The result was an increase in civilian deaths. Journalists Anand Gopal and Azmat Khat determined that one in five of the 27,500 coalition air strikes in the 2nd Iraq War resulted in at least one civilian death, more than 31 times the number that was publicly acknowledged

Austin’s personal history and connection to the military and Raytheon mark him as a fitting Pentagon chief in an era of destructive militarism and creeping fascism in the U.S.

When civilians no longer control the key institutions of government and war industries ensure the perpetuation of endless wars from which they make obscene profits, the political system can no longer be defined as a democracy. https://covertactionmagazine.com/2021/04/19/defense-secretary-lloyd-austin-former-member-of-raytheon-board-of-directors-has-awarded-over-2-36-billion-in-contracts-to-raytheon-since-his-confirmation-in-january/

April 20, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Bill Gates and 28 other billionaires pushing their small nuclear reactors, on the pretext that they’re ”clean”

Billionaires leading push for nuclear reactors in Canadian mining

By Joyce Nelson, Rabble, April 19 2021https://rabble.ca/news/2021/04/billionaires-leading-push-nuclear-reactors-canadian-miningThis is part two of a two-part series on small modular reactors.

In January 2019, Gordon Edwards, president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, warned that the Trudeau government has a “desire to build small modular nuclear reactors [SMRs] all over Canada, especially in the North, to support the accelerated exploitation of natural resources.” Edwards included an excerpt from Nuclear Energy Insider, published January 16, 2019, which stated: “Canada’s large mining sector is seen as a key early market for SMR plants as operators look to reduce carbon emissions and costs.”

That “early market” for small modular reactors has been cleverly targeted by a key lobby group. As I wrote for Watershed Sentinel, Bill Gates and 28 other billionaires and “high-net-worth” individuals launched the Breakthrough Energy Coalition at the 2015 Paris climate talks to lobby for small nuclear reactor development as “clean technology” in dozens of countries, including Canada.

This billionaires’ nuclear club has been working closely for years with Natural Resources Canada in the push for small modular reactors, especially for use in off-grid mining………………….

With Gates and his billionaires’ nuclear club backing KoBold, it’s likely that their off-grid mining projects would welcome government financing for small modular reactors.

When asked about the situation, Mining Watch Canada’s Jamie Kneen told me by email:

“On the one hand, the mining industry faces so much risk in the markets that it’s unlikely to add to that risk by jumping on an unproven technology [like SMRs]. On the other hand, the mining industry is used to leaving masses of toxic waste behind for others to deal with — and getting away with it — so it’d be a perfect fit.”

Three political parties are fully against small modular reactors: the NDP, the Bloc Québécois, and the Green Party — worth remembering if the federal budget causes an election.

This is part one of a two-part series on small modular reactors. Read part one here.

Freelance writer Joyce Nelson is the author of seven books. She can be reached via www.joycenelson.ca

https://rabble.ca/news/2021/04/billionaires-leading-push-nuclear-reactors-canadian-mining

April 20, 2021 Posted by | Canada, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | 2 Comments

How weapons maker Raytheon determines U.S. foreign policy decisions

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin—Former Member of Raytheon Board of Directors—Has Awarded Over $2.36 Billion in Contracts to Raytheon Since His Confirmation in January, Covert Action Magazine By Jeremy Kuzmarov – April 19, 2021

”…………… One of the Raytheon company founders, Vannevar Bush, became president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and chairman of the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) during World War II, which initiated the Manhattan Project that led to the development of the atomic bomb.

In 2003, Raytheon put out a press release bragging that half of all air-to-ground precision guided missiles (PGMs) used by coalition forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom were made by Raytheon.

…………….On February 25th, for example, on a visit to the U.S.S. Nimitz, Austin emphasized the need for U.S. warships throughout the globe to deter security threats—from China to Iran. A week later on a tour of Southeast Asia with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Austin warned about China again and the North Korean nuclear threat and pledged that the U.S. would maintain a robust military presence in the Indo-Pacific.

He further cautioned North Korea that the United States, following military exercises with South Korea, was “ready to fight tonight.”

When fighting resumed in Eastern Ukraine in early April, Austin assured Ukraine’s Defense Minister Andrii Taran of the “U.S. commitment to building the capacity of Ukraine’s forces to defend more effectively against [supposed] Russian aggression”–which was demonstrated by a recent $125 million military aid package–and took to Twitter to reaffirm the U.S.’s “unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

The latter implied the joining of the European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which would inevitably escalate conflict between the world’s two major nuclear-armed powers (the U.S. and Russia).

On April 13th, Austin announced that the United States would increase its military presence in Germany by about 500 personnel and was scuttling plans introduced by President Donald Trump for a large troop reduction in Europe.

Austin meanwhile in Tel Aviv affirmed the U.S. “ironclad commitment” to Israel, which receives a record $3.8 billion in U.S. military aid each year, and on a visit to Afghanistan stated that the Biden administration wanted to see a “responsible end” to the Afghan war, but that the “level of violence must decrease” for “fruitful diplomacy” to have a chance.

These comments and many others were music to the ears of Raytheon, which gave $506,424 in donations to Biden’s presidential campaign.

…………….Raytheon was also the first major defense contractor to sell weapons to Saudi Arabiaselling the kingdom over 1,000 cluster bombs designed to maximize civilian casualties between 1970 and 1995. The company further hired members of the Saudi Royal Family as consultants, and opened a branch in Riyadh in 2017.

After the Yemen war began in 2015, Raytheon, according to an analysis by The New York Times, booked more than $3 billion in new bomb sales to the Saudis, causing its stock prices to increase from about $108 to more than $180 per share.

In 2019, Raytheon sold an estimated $8 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are centrally involved in the war in Yemen.

After an October 2016 Saudi airstrike on a funeral home in Sana’a that killed 140 people and wounded 500 more, human rights workers discovered a bomb shard bearing the identification number of Raytheon.[2]    It was one of at least 12 attacks on civilians that human rights groups tied to Raytheon’s ordnance during the first two years of the war.

In order to secure the lucrative Saudi deals, Raytheon took advantage of federal loopholes by sending former State Department officials to lobby their former colleagues, and later benefitted by having their former top lobbyist, Mark Esper, appointed as Defense Secretary in June 2019 in a precursor to General Austin’s hiring.………..

https://covertactionmagazine.com/2021/04/19/defense-secretary-lloyd-austin-former-member-of-raytheon-board-of-directors-has-awarded-over-2-36-billion-in-contracts-to-raytheon-since-his-confirmation-in-january/

April 20, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Growing opposition to Rocket Lab in New Zealand

Rocket Lab: Growing opposition in New Zealand. By Murray Horton, 18 Apr 21,

Rocket Lab started life as a small New Zealand company but is now much bigger and has become the local subsidiary of a US company, with its owners including arms industry behemoths such as Lockheed Martin. 

It specialises in frequent launches of small satellites for clients including a range of US military and intelligence agencies. These launches are conducted from New Zealand, which prides itself on being nuclear free (it was kicked out of the ANZUS Treaty in 1986 by the other two parties – the US and Australia – for having banned US nuclear warships from entering. That remains the status quo today). 

NZ also claims to have an independent foreign policy. But it remains the most junior of the Five Eyes global electronic spying network (with the US, UK, Canada and Australia). Having Rocket Lab operating a private enterprise space port in New Zealand for US military and intelligence agencies, with the active backing of Jacinda Ardern’s Government, totally undermines that claim.

Rocket Lab has, up until recently, received uncritical, even adulatory, coverage by the NZ news media. That, plus the fact that its’ launch pad is in a very remote, sparsely populated area (the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast) means that it has been off the radar (pardon the pun) of the NZ public. 

In 2021 that is now changing. Mainstream media coverage has become more critical, the best example being  “Mahia, We Have A Problem”, by Ollie Neas in the March 2021 North & South (a national monthly magazine). And opposition has started, right in Rocket Lab’s back yard, in the Mahia area, led by local Maori women (Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand). 

There was a protest against Rocket Lab’s most recent military satellite launch; the group – Rocket Lab Monitor – has taken its case to the local media; and, via billboards, etc, directly to the people. They have set up a Website

Opposition is also being organised on a more national scale – New Zealand is one of the most urbanised countries in the world and Rocket Lab’s assembly plant and headquarters is situated in the country’s biggest city, Auckland.
 
Murray Horton
Secretary/Organiser
Anti-Bases Campaign
Christchurch, New Zealand

April 20, 2021 Posted by | New Zealand, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Trudeau government’s extraordinary push for small nuclear reactors – tax breaks, no environmental assessment …

Budget may reveal extent of federal support for risky new nuclear reactors. Rabble.Ca   Joyce Nelson 15 Apr 21, Across Canada, environmentalists and First Nations will be closely watching the April 19 release of the federal budget to see just how far the Trudeau Liberals will go in their push for small modular reactors (SMRs).

In September 2020, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan endorsed SMRs and stated that there is “no pathway to net zero [carbon emissions] without nuclear,” which prompted David Suzuki to famously tell the CBC: “I want to puke.”

Apparently, many share that feeling.

More than 100 Indigenous and civil society groups across Canada are now opposed to the new nuclear reactors, which are being pushed by the federal government and four provinces — Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick and Alberta — as so-called “clean energy” and a supposed solution to climate change.

These governments argue that the reactors would be the replacement for diesel in remote communities and for use in off-grid mining, tar-sands development, heavy industry, and as exportable expertise in a global market.

But opponents call SMRs “dirty, dangerous and distracting” from real climate solutions.

Even before the budget, the Trudeau Liberals have already taken several steps to advance development of the reactors, especially for use in off-grid mining.

Steps towards small reactors

The feds endorsed the March 2019 Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan, drawn up by federal, provincial and territorial governments. That plan urges governments to “accelerate efforts to develop and adopt clean energy sources, especially for northern, remote and isolated communities that rely on diesel” and “continue to study the feasibility of small modular reactors in mining operations, as well as the potential market for this technology.”

Then, in September 2020, Canada and the U.S. agreed to collaborate on the financing and production of rare-earth and other key metals, which are necessary for a wide range of products including batteries, solar panels, electric vehicles, AI, and weaponry.

After the December 2020 release of the “SMR Action Plan,” the federal government also decided that there would be no environmental impact assessments for small modular reactors, and that tax incentives should be given for this so-called “clean technology.”

The recent mandate letter to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland directs her to “cut tax rates by 50 per cent for companies that develop and manufacture zero-emission technology” in order to “make Canada a world leader in clean technology.”

As rabble.ca noted, “[t]he Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has just given a green light to the preferred industry solution for disposal of nuclear reactors — entomb and abandon them in place, also known as ‘in-situ decommissioning.’ This paves the way for the introduction of a new generation of ‘small modular’ nuclear reactors or SMRs.”

While this would be a disaster for the environment and nearby communities, it would be a boon for the nuclear industry and the off-grid mining sector, which would not have to deal with the fallout and repercussions of such nuclear waste once a mining project is finished.

Important policy change

On December 7, 2020 the Hill Times published an open letter to Treasury Board from more than 100 women leaders across Canada, stating:

“We urge you to say ‘no’ to the nuclear industry that is asking for billions of dollars in taxpayer funds to subsidize a dangerous, highly polluting and expensive technology that we don’t need. Instead, put money into renewable, energy efficiency and energy conservation.”………….. https://rabble.ca/news/2021/04/budget-may-reveal-extent-federal-support-risky-new-nuclear-reactors

April 20, 2021 Posted by | Canada, politics, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

In Ontario, opponents of nuclear waste disposal join forces 

Opponents of nuclear waste disposal join forces  https://www.tbnewswatch.com/local-news/opponents-of-nuclear-waste-disposal-join-forces-3644864 ‘Ignace should not get to decide’ whether to accept a storage site, a spokesperson says.

By: Gary Rinne   19 Apr 21, KENORA, Ont. — Thirty thousand households and businesses in Northwestern Ontario are receiving postcards from a group of organizations opposed to nuclear waste disposal in Northwestern Ontario.

We the Nuclear Free North calls itself an alliance of Indigenous and non-Indigenous volunteers and organizations who believe the risks of transporting and burying nuclear waste are too high.

It’s delivering information cards outlining its concerns to residents living between Upsala and the Manitoba border.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization has identified the Revell Lake area, about 35 kilometres from Ignace, as a candidate site for an underground repository, and is continuing to conduct studies in the area.

NWMO is also still looking at a site in Bruce County in southern Ontario.

We the Nuclear Free North says it has launched a website to provide information about the project from sources that are independent of the nuclear power companies that generate and own Canada’s nuclear waste. 

It says NWMO is proposing to send multiple truckloads of highly radioactive waste to its selected site “every day for at least 40 years.”

Spokesperson Fred Melanson, who served on Ear Falls council when that community was being studied for nuclear waste disposal, said “This is not the kind of development the people of Northwestern Ontario want. Burying nuclear waste is a high-risk experiment.”

Although NWMO has developed a working relationship with the Township of Ignace during the study process, Environment North representative Dodie LeGassick said “This is not an issue for one community. It is an issue for the entire region.”

LeGassick said “Ignace should not get to decide whether 22,000 trucks hauling radioactive waste drive through Nipigon and through Shuniah Township and all of the other many communities along the route.”

On its website, the alliance – which includes Environment North and Northwatch – also notes that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples requires that states “take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent.”  

Peter White, an elder with Grand Council Treaty # 3’s Ki’ieshgitabaaning Cultural and Healing Lodge said “The lives of our children and future generations are too precious to be used as a nuclear experiment and should not have this burden put on their shoulders.”

NWMO intends to make a final decision on the location of the underground storage site in 2023.

April 20, 2021 Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment

Sexual harrassment: reUSA’s National Nuclear Security Administration could improve prevention and response efforts in its nuclear security forces.


Sexual Harassment:NNSA Could Improve Prevention and Response Efforts in Its Nuclear Security Forces, Government Accountability Office GAO-21-307 Apr 19, 2021
. Sexual harassment is harmful to employees and negatively affects workplaces. Reports of sexual harassment have been rare in the nuclear security forces at the National Nuclear Security Administration, but research shows those experiencing harassment are unlikely to report it.

NNSA and its security contractors may have limited information on the prevalence of harassment within their forces. The degree to which the agency and its contractors follow recommended practices to prevent and respond to harassment varies.

We made 5 recommendations that include proven approaches for preventing and responding to sexual harassment………… https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-21-307

April 20, 2021 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Czechs exclude Rosatom from nuclear tender after dispute with Russia

Czechs exclude Rosatom from nuclear tender after dispute with Russia, Reuters, 19 Apr 21,

The Czech government will not invite Russia’s Rosatom to take part in security assessments before a planned tender for a new unit at the Dukovany nuclear power plant, Industry Minister Karel Havlicek said on Monday.

The decision, which effectively excludes Russia from the multi-billion dollar tender, was announced two days after Prague expelled 18 Russian embassy staff, saying it suspected Russian intelligence was involved in explosions at an ammunition depot in 2014.

Russia has dismissed the accusation as absurd.  Rosatom called the decision to exclude it regrettable and politically motivated……….. https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/czechs-exclude-rosatom-nuclear-tender-after-dispute-with-russia-2021-04-19/

April 20, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment

Governments of Ireland and Northern Ireland are urged to move fast on renewable energy transition, and ignore calls for nuclear power

Nuclear power and climate change,   Irish Times,  19 Apr 21, Sir, – We read with real interest William Reville’s opinion piece on Ireland needing nuclear power to manage climate change (“We need nuclear power to manage climate change”, Science, April 15th).

For Ireland to go for nuclear power would require not just spending billions on the technology, but also considerable resource in setting up an independent regulator and a waste agency for dealing with the radioactive waste that comes from the nuclear fission process.

Small modular nuclear reactors are being put forward as the panacea for the nuclear industry, but there is currently no agreed design that has been approved in Europe. They would only be cost-effective if being done in bulk and such reactors have safety, emergency planning and waste issues that all need to be considered. Instead, there is a growing number of peer-reviewed academic and industry reports that show that a 100 per cent renewable energy system is feasible. Ireland has been slower than other European countries in its energy transformation, but there is growing evidence that it is moving in the right direction. With the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster this month, we urge the Government in Dublin and the Northern Ireland Executive to move fast on a renewable energy transition and ignore any call for nuclear power. – Yours, etc, Cllr DAVID HEALY, Cllr KAREN McKEVITT, Co-Chairs, NFLA All Ireland, Sustainable Energy Forum, Newry.  https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/nuclear-power-and-climate-change-1.4540707

April 20, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Progress in Iran nuclear talks but resolution still far away

Progress in Iran nuclear talks but resolution still far away
By DAVID RISING, 19 Apr 21, BERLIN (AP) — High-level talks in Vienna aimed at bringing the United States back into the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran are moving ahead with experts working on drafting proposals this week, but a solution remains “far away,” Russia’s delegate said Monday.

The U.S. unilaterally left the agreement, which promises Iran economic incentives in return for curbs on its nuclear program, in 2018 under then President Donald Trump, who said it needed to be renegotiated and imposed crippling sanctions.

In response, Iran has steadily been violating the restrictions set by the deal, by enriching uranium far past the purity allowed and stockpiling vastly larger quantities, in a thus-far unsuccessful effort to force the other countries involved to provide economic relief that would offset the American sanctions.

U.S. President Joe Biden wants to return Washington to the deal, and Iran has been negotiating with the five remaining powers — Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia — for the past two weeks on how that might take place. Diplomats from the world powers have been shuttling between the Iranian delegation and an American one, which is also in Vienna but not talking directly with the Iranian side.


BERLIN (AP) — High-level talks in Vienna aimed at bringing the United States back into the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran are moving ahead with experts working on drafting proposals this week, but a solution remains “far away,” Russia’s delegate said Monday.

The U.S. unilaterally left the agreement, which promises Iran economic incentives in return for curbs on its nuclear program, in 2018 under then President Donald Trump, who said it needed to be renegotiated and imposed crippling sanctions.

In response, Iran has steadily been violating the restrictions set by the deal, by enriching uranium far past the purity allowed and stockpiling vastly larger quantities, in a thus-far unsuccessful effort to force the other countries involved to provide economic relief that would offset the American sanctions.

U.S. President Joe Biden wants to return Washington to the deal, and Iran has been negotiating with the five remaining powers — Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia — for the past two weeks on how that might take place. Diplomats from the world powers have been shuttling between the Iranian delegation and an American one, which is also in Vienna but not talking directly with the Iranian side.

Two expert groups have been brainstorming solutions to the two major issues: The rollback of American sanctions on one hand, and Iran’s return to compliance on the other…………..

The ultimate goal of the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, is to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, something it insists it doesn’t want to do. Iran now has enough enriched uranium to make a bomb, but nowhere near the amount it had before the nuclear deal was signed.

Challenges also remain outside of the negotiations.

An attack suspected to have been carried out by Israel recently struck Iran’s Natanz nuclear site, causing an unknown amount of damage. Tehran retaliated by beginning to enrich a small amount of uranium up to 60% purity, its highest level ever. Inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency also could be disrupted without an agreement…………… https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-donald-trump-iran-iran-nuclear-europe-d236858e8fef9cf48b4e1c9d2482b0bf

April 20, 2021 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Book review: How Green is Your Smartphone? — The Earthbound Report

Given how ubiquitous these everyday devices are, the title of this book is a fair question and one that should be asked more often: How Green is Your Smartphone? News stories crop up regularly about e-waste, the carbon footprints of cloud computing, or the human and environmental cost of mining. But how much do we […]

Book review: How Green is Your Smartphone? — The Earthbound Report

April 20, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

April 19 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Secretary Granholm Shows The Joe Biden Administration Is Focused On Electric Vehicle Matters That Matter” • Secretary Jennifer Granholm gets it. She went on a great rant about this in a recent MSNBC interview. She also touched on other cleantech and energy matters that are of critical importance. You can watch her in […]

April 19 Energy News — geoharvey

April 20, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Solar and wind are leading the fastest energy transition the world has seen — RenewEconomy

The latest IRENA data shows that Australia is in the number two spot of new renewables per person and number one spot for installed solar PV. The post Solar and wind are leading the fastest energy transition the world has seen appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Solar and wind are leading the fastest energy transition the world has seen — RenewEconomy

April 20, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment