nuclear-news

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

Nuclear News – week to 1st June

Covid 19 coronavirus: Around the world – situation update

Climate change behind global heat deaths

Nuclear.  The coronavirus, with its global effects on health, human suffering is also, of course, affecting the economy, and most (though not all) businesses. The ”commercial” nuclear industry is affected, but not the nuclear weapons industry. The nuclear-armed nations are revving up their weapons expenditure. The USA is the shiningly obscene example. Clearly the nuclear weapons industry has captured the American government, it hardly matters whether the administration is in Democratic or Republican hands.


Some bits of good news
:  Chernobyl Guards Have Befriended Abandoned Dogs, Feeding Them and Bringing Medical Care. World’s Largest Wind Turbine Manufacturer Says All Its Blades Will Soon be Fully Recycled.

A People’s Guide to the War Industry .

The appalling mistreatment of Australian citizen, Julian Assange, – by USA, UK, and Australia. Targeted surveillance threatens human rights defenders.

“Unqualified” —who is allowed to talk about nuclear power ?

Report on the threat of nuclear terrorism.

New technology comes nowhere close to solving the problem of nuclear waste. Despite the Small Nuclear Reactor push from Bill Gates and the rest of the nuclear lobby, we already have the technologies to decarbonise our global economy.

 New research highlights need for international standards to safeguard against plutonium ”hot” particles.    

Ionising radiation the big danger to astronauts.

The time to divest from Bitcoin is now.

1st U.N. nuclear ban meeting may be postponed until after Non Proliferation Treaty review.

U.S. Energy Information reports uranium at lowest price since 2007.

  As electric vehicles take off, we’ll need to recycle their batteries

 USA. 

5 Republicans and 1 Democrat – the U.S. Senate nuclear caucus – Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Coalition – bribed by nuclear weapons companies to pour $1.7trillion into new and ‘modernised’ nukes. USA’s $634Billion nuclear weapons budget. For USA, health care is too costly, while weapons makers wildly profitable -as $634 Billion to go to nuclear arms.   Ain’t it lovely to see USA Democrats and Republicans in full agreement – on spending $squillions in unnecessary nuclear weapons, of course?.      Senator Markey and Rep. Blumenauer introduce Bill to cut $73 billion from USA’s bloated nuclear weapons budget. Costs of upgrading USA’s nuclear arsenal has jumped up by $140 billion in just 2 years 

 In 1958,U.S military had plans to use nuclear weapons against China, in a crisis over Taiwan. 

Biden’s Budget Proposal Funds Most of the World’s Dictators 

Biden’s Budget Proposal Funds Most of the World’s Dictators 

CANADA. Canadian government in the grip of the nuclear lobby’s ”NICE” dishonest spin about small nuclear reactors. American experts warn Trudeau that Moltex small nuclear reactors are likely to prove a nightmare for Canada.

EUROPE. NATO’s U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe not safe. U.S. soldiers’ Flashcard Apps reveal secrets.

ASIA. Abdul Khan and the illegal and immoral world of nuclear proliferation.

IRANIran agrees to extend IAEA nuclear monitoring deal for one month. UN nuclear watchdog chides Iran over uranium enrichment .

JAPAN. TEPCO’s history of covering up radioactive water risks. China says Japan ‘repeatedly betrayed public trust‘ in Fukushima response . Radioactive Fukushima soil stored in flood zones.

FRANCECorrosion in the fuel cladding at France’s Chooz and Civaux nuclear stations.

UK

UKRAINEFission reactions have been spiking in an inaccessible Chernobyl chamber since 2016 – possibility of a runaway nuclear reaction.

RUSSIA. Russia’s plans for nuclear-powered spacecraft to Jupiter. Russia launches a mission to investigate te Komsomolets, Soviet nuclear submarine sunk 32 years ago .

AUSTRALIA. 
 Australia, the USA’s only ”best friend” in the Indo Pacific, to deploy more USA military equipment, heightening the threat against China.

June 1, 2021 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

“Unqualified” —who is allowed to talk about nuclear power ?

Who is allowed to talk about nuclear power?

“Unqualified” — Beyond Nuclear International Nuclear trolls turn on the aggression as industry collapses around them  

By Linda Pentz Gunter, 31 May 21, “My advice is to look out for engineers. They begin with sewing machines and end up with nuclear bombs.” Marcel Pagnol
My normal rule of thumb is to ignore the unrelenting pro-nuclear trolls who pepper our sites with incessant nay-saying and, occasionally ad hominem name-calling. After all, they have only one goal in mind — other than to get up one’s nose — which is to dominate and thereby control the narrative.
But recently, a recurring theme has emerged which needs addressing, because it speaks to who is allowed to talk about nuclear power.

In the view of the trolls, if you have no scientific credentials, you are unqualified to comment on nuclear power. In my case, because I have a degree in English literature, albeit garnered many decades ago, I have, according to the trolls, no authority to expound on the negatives of nuclear anything.

There are some rather obvious flaws in this argument, the first being that it pre-supposes the human brain is incapable of learning anything new after the age of 21. 

But it also exemplifies the theme of a recent conference held virtually in Linz by three Austrian anti-nuclear groups which examined the “Atomic Lie.” How has this lie been perpetuated? Answer: by those who promote the nuclear power industry anointing themselves as the only authority deemed knowledgeable enough to either comment about it or make decisions on its use and safety.

What kind of a world we will end up with if, heaven forfend, we allow only engineers to decide what is in our best interest (with all due respect to my friends who are engineers and who, I suspect, would be the first to agree)? Hence the Pagnol quote at the top of this page.

This would mean, for example, that the Western Shoshone should have no say in the fate of the land in Nevada they steward, because nuclear engineers have decided it is perfectly alright to dig a big hole in the volcanic ground and bury nuclear waste there.

It would mean that Marshall Islanders should have nothing whatever to say about the generations of cancers and birth defects they have suffered as the unwilling guinea-pigs of atomic “testing,” because after all it was scientists who decided that it was perfectly alright to detonate 67 atomic bombs there and obliterate islands………..

This intent to dominate the narrative — in our case the nuclear power one — and silence critics, was aptly described by Arnie Gundersen in his presentation during the Linz conference. He talked about the origins of the nuclear cabal — under its alias, Atoms for Peace — in which its originator, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, described the program as solving “‘the fearful atomic dilemma’ by finding some way in which the ‘miraculous inventiveness of man’ ‘would not be dedicated to his death, but consecrated to his life’”.

Gundersen looked up the Oxford Dictionary definition of “consecrate” and found it to mean “to make sacred or declare sacred; dedicate formally to a religious or divine purpose.”

This nuclear priesthood into which believers were ordained did not welcome skeptics gladly, however. Quite the reverse. When Gundersen, a nuclear insider at the time, blew the whistle on a safety issue, he was told to his face that “in this business, you’re either with us or against us, and you just crossed the line.” He was not only fired but persecuted in further attempts to silence him.

Luckily for our movement, the nuclear inquisition was largely unsuccessful in this latter endeavor, but it came at a steep price for Gundersen and his family personally.

As evidenced by Gundersen’s experience, these attacks are by no means restricted to us “lay” advocates, but they have grown observably more vitriolic. This disturbing trend was flagged recently by Andy Stirling of the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex in the UK, responding to an aggressive critique of an article he co-authored in Nature Energy.

His detractor, Jeremy Gordon, “goes beyond pejorative labelling to actively ridicule any position not in-principle supportive of nuclear power,” Stirling wrote in a letter published in Nuclear Engineering International. “This is exemplified by Gordon’s intemperate ad hominem attack on my fellow author (the globally leading energy scholar Benjamin Sovacool).” Stirling concludes that it is “reasoned policy discourse that forms the lifeblood of democracy itself”.

We are a grand collective of experts. We do have scientists and engineers —Gundersen is one — to whom we can turn in order to unravel the deeper complexities of the workings of nuclear power plants or uranium mines or reprocessing facilities. But it is not the only dimension that matters. So we need Indigenous people, and writers, and lay advocates, and economists, and historians, and artists, and humanitarians to tell this story and set the agenda, too. 

Even if it is rocket science, rocket scientists aren’t the only ones who count when decisions are made about whether to put missiles into space or send a nuclear-powered probe to Mars.

As Pagnol implied, when you leave it to the scientists and engineers, you get a Manhattan Project, where consciences pricked far too late. Imagine if humanitarian voices had held sway inside Los Alamos. Would things have turned out differently?

The Japanese mothers, evacuated from Fukushima, who shout on street corners through bullhorns about their experiences, warning Japan never to re-embrace nuclear power, don’t hold engineering degrees. But they know a lot more about the real, lived consequences of using nuclear power than any of the nuclear industry trolls.

Those voices of truth need to be heard, along with those who practice sound science and honest engineering and who are willing to call out the dangers, not control the lies.

It’s one thing to have command of the facts, which of course we must. But it’s another to accompany these with a hefty dose of integrity. And that’s what we are here for, even if we can quote Shakespeare while we are doing it.

Linda Pentz Gunter is the international specialist at Beyond Nuclear and writes for, curates and edits Beyond Nuclear International. https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2021/05/30/unqualified/

June 1, 2021 Posted by | culture and arts, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

5 Republicans and 1 Democrat – the U.S. Senate nuclear caucus – Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Coalition – bribed by nuclear weapons companies to pour $1.7trillion into new and ‘modernised’ nukes

why the missile caucus is so influential is: money

Meet the Senate nuke caucus, busting the budget and making the world less safe,   https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2021/05/26/meet-the-senate-nuke-caucus-busting-the-budget-and-making-the-world-less-safe/ These lawmakers represent states with a direct interest in pouring billions into modernizing and building new weapons.   Marcy Winograd and Medea Benjamin, MAY 26, 2021    

Democrats might control the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government right now, but a small Republican-dominated Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Coalition exercises outsized influence in a frightening campaign for nuclear rearmament.

The coalition, comprising six senators from states that house, develop, or test underground land-based nuclear weapons, is pushing a wasteful and dangerous $1.7 trillion, decades-long plan to produce new nuclear weapons, some with warheads 20 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

While the 1980s witnessed the nuclear freeze and a mass movement to demand nuclear disarmament between the U.S. and Soviet Union, the 1990s gave birth to the missile caucus, the Congressional engine careening the U.S. into a renewed nuclear arms race.

All but one of the members of this caucus is a Republican from a deep red state — including North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and South Dakota — that didn’t vote for Joe Biden. Members of the Senate ICBM Coalition are Co-Chairs John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.); John Barrasso (R-Wyo.); Steve Daines (R-Mont); Mike Lee (R-Utah); and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.).

The lone Democrat, Tester, a third-generation farmer and former elementary school music teacher, wields a critical gavel as Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, a committee that will write the appropriations bill for military expenditures. Tester told the D.C.-based Advanced Nuclear Weapons Alliance this year that he was committed to keeping new nuclear weapons production “on track.”

If the ICBM Coalition and the weapons lobby have their way, the United States will brandish a new nuclear arsenal in order to, in their view, replace aging and outdated nuclear weapons ill-suited to meet the challenges of a renewed Cold War. Critics charge that the development and production of new nuclear weapons violates the spirit and letter of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), signed by the United States and Soviet Union in 1968.

In addition to violating a treaty joined by 191 nations, U.S. production of new nuclear weapons is likely to escalate the arms race, sabotage future arms control negotiations with Russia or China and encourage non-nuclear nations to enrich weapons-grade uranium.

Although it was the Trump administration that in 2020 awarded Northrop Grumman a $13.3 billion sole-source contract to build new land-based nuclear missiles called Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), it is the Biden administration that is slated to include, as part of its record high $753 billion military budget, $30 billion or more for the GBSD. This would be  a down payment on the estimated $264 billion cost to replace all 400 underground Minuteman III missiles in North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska and Colorado, from 2029 through 2075. 

The GBSD is part of a euphemistically labeled “nuclear modernization” program proposing, in addition to new ICBMs, new ballistic missile submarines outfitted with low-yield, five-kiloton tactical nuclear weapons, as opposed to larger 100-kiloton “strategic” nuclear weapons meant for a global nuclear showdown.

 The Trump administration’s 2018 nuclear posture review reasoned these “more usable” tactical nuclear weapons would keep the Russians and Chinese in check. Critics argue that these smaller, shorter-range tactical nuclear weapons blur the distinction between conventional and nuclear war, making these weapons more likely to be employed under the misguided assumption that a nuclear war can be limited.

The push for rearmament, including a new nuclear cruise missile, a modified gravity bomb with two-stage radiation implosion and long-range strike bomber, comes amid concern the Biden administration’s heated anti-China rhetoric could plunge us into a nuclear war.

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg recently released classified documents that revealed U.S. military leaders penned plans in 1958 to execute a first nuclear strike against China in a dispute over Taiwan’s sovereignty. According to the documents, Pentagon officials were willing to risk a million deaths in the event the Soviet Union fired back with nuclear weapons.  In releasing the classified material and purposefully risking prosecution, Ellsberg told the New York Times, “I do not believe the participants were more stupid or thoughtless than those in between or in the current cabinet.”

With Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Republicans and Tester cheerleading for the GBSD, a missile caucus lobbyist might think the American people would prefer to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on new ICBMs and nearly two-trillion dollars on the entire nuclear escalation package than investing in Medicare for All or clean water in Flint, Michigan. A 2020 University of Maryland poll revealed, however, that 61 percent of Americans–including both Democratic and Republican majorities–support phasing out the United States’s 400 land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Knowing this, why would Biden and Democratic politicians carry out the mission of the small Republican-dominated missile caucus and its chums in the profitable weapons industry? Northrop Grumman, with a net worth of $50 billion, promises nuclear rearmament will create 10,000 jobs, but compare that number to the 3-million employed under FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps that planted 3-billion trees.

The answer to why the missile caucus is so influential is: money. And lots of it.

ICBM weapons contractors contributed more than $15 million from 2012-2020 to members of the Senate and House Armed Services and Appropriations committees and subcommittees, according to the Arms Control Association. Steven Semler, co-founder of the Security Policy Reform Institute, notes these contractors even buy influence among members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), last year donating $376,650 to Democrat Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chair of the House Armed Services Committee; $148,135 to Donald Norcross (D-N.J.) and $63,086 to Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), all of whom belong to the CPC.

While Biden may fear appearing “soft” on defense if he retreats from relaunching our nuclear program, progressives are preparing for a fierce debate. GBSD opponents include an impressive diplomatic team: William Perry, former Secretary of Defense; Daniel Ellsberg, author, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner; and William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Program at the Center for International Policy.

Hartung, author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex,recommends nixing the ICBMs entirely“Because of their extreme vulnerability to attack, ICBMs are kept on high alert status, leaving the president a matter of minutes to decide whether to launch them on warning of an impending attack,” he says.

There is no law of gravity that compels the current president or Congress to continue funding this drive for nuclear rearmament.

June 1, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Abdul Khan and the illegal and immoral world of nuclear proliferation


Smiling Buddha and how Khan network’s inside job made Pakistan a nuclear state
, Financial Express, May 31, 2021 By Subhash Jangala

By conducting the first confirmed nuclear weapons test by a non-member of the UN Security Council, India caught the entire international intelligence community unawares.

On 26th May 2021, India celebrated Buddha Jayanti, the anniversary of the great soul obtaining enlightenment. Exactly 47 years ago, on the Buddha Jayanti of 1974, Smiling Buddha ushered India into the nuclear age. By conducting the first confirmed nuclear weapons test by a non-member of the UN Security Council, India caught the entire international intelligence community unawares. Thousands of miles away from the test site in Pokhran, Rajasthan was Almelo, a tiny municipality in eastern Netherlands. As the news of the Indian nuclear test trickled in, a silent storm started brewing in a man’s heart. 1974’s Buddha Jayanti not only heralded India’s geopolitical assent, it also flagged off Pakistan’s steep decline in international status and reputation.


Abdul Qadeer Khan, a Pakistani metallurgical engineer employed in a uranium enrichment plant in Almelo, took India’s successful nuclear test to heart. In his work, Khan got several opportunities to work with Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) in Netherlands. Khan quickly dispatched a letter to Pakistan’s newly powerful Prime Minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto explaining why HEU was the miracle cure for Pakistan’s struggle with making a plutonium bomb. After several attempts, Bhutto did give Khan a hearing and was impressed. Thus began a decades-long saga of illegal and criminal transfer of nuclear materials and technologies from across the world into Pakistan and then via Pakistan to other states like Iran and Libya.

Back in the 1970s and 80s, Anti Money Laundering regulations and investigation into Proliferation Finance weren’t as developed as they are today. This allowed Khan and the Pakistan Government to run a complex international network of benami companies and suppliers that have created and helped sustain a nuclear black economy. A deeper study of the proliferation episode makes for interesting reading……………………..

As years progressed, Khan used his contacts to obtain components from across the world, expanding Pakistan’s chances of testing their first nuclear bomb. At the same time, the West, unmindful of Khan’s dogged belief in his experiment and Pakistan’s tenacious resolve to match India kiloton-for-kiloton, took a laid-back and lackadaisical route to control the black nuclear economy that Pakistan was helping create. Eventually, his endearing nature and Pakistan’s resolute support, Khan managed to assemble all the components required to make his nuclear dream go live.

However, Khan’s dream did not end with making Pakistan a formidable opponent to India in the nuclear battlefield. Khan expanded his activities deeper into the illegal and immoral world of nuclear proliferation. He helped create a market where any budding nuclear adventurist could order from a list of raw materials which could be sourced from any of the reliable suppliers across the world. A “Flipkart for Nuclear dummies” was born. This market place operated from the following places, [shown on map on original]

Khan Research Laboratories in Pakistan and SMB Computers in Dubai (a front company) operated as the hub and the rest were all procurement or delivery centres. An investigation by the Malaysian Police into one such transaction revealed the inner workings of the network. The same is presented below in 8 steps. [diagram on original]

……….. The most important link that connected the entire network was the fact that, apart from the core individuals, no entity had a clue what was being produced and for whom.

The fraud continued for a while. On a fateful day in 2004, the US exposed the outlines of the world;s largest nuclear proliferation ring. In a dramatic television appearance Feb. 4, Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of the Pakistani bomb, acknowledged that he had secretly provided North Korea, Libya, and Iran with crucial building blocks for making nuclear weapons. Khan, considered a national hero, apologized to the people of Pakistan for what he had done and was pardoned by the then Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf shortly afterward.

On this Buddha Jayanti, the story of AQ Khan should alert sanctions compliance organisations across the globe to the new challenges like the need to transition to a low carbon energy economy, introduction of advanced materials and growth of underground markets through the dark web. International organisations should re-dedicate themselves to technology, co-operative diplomacy, Exchange of Information and cross-cultural capacity building to ensure rogue proliferators and black markets don’t emerge in newer and more sophisticated areas of crime.


(The author is an officer of the 2011 batch of the Indian Revenue Service. He is presently posted as Joint Director (OSD) in the Directorate General of Administration and Taxpayer Services at New Delhi. Prior to this role, he worked as a Tax Diplomat in the Foreign Tax and Tax Research Division of the Central Board of Direct Taxes. The views expressed are the author’s own, and do not represent the official position or policy of the Government of India or Financial Express Online.)     https://www.financialexpress.com/world-news/smiling-buddha-and-how-khan-networks-inside-job-made-pakistan-a-nuclear-state/2262259/

June 1, 2021 Posted by | ASIA, secrets,lies and civil liberties, weapons and war | Leave a comment

As electric vehicles take off, we’ll need to recycle their batteries



As electric vehicles take off, we’ll need to recycle their batteries
Electric car batteries contain critical minerals like cobalt and lithium. We’ll need to recycle them unless we want to keep mining the earth for new ones.As electric vehicles take off, we’ll need to recycle their batteries

Electric car batteries contain critical minerals like cobalt and lithium. We’ll need to recycle them unless we want to keep mining the earth for new ones.
BY MADELEINE STONE, 29 May 21 , When Ford unveiled the F-150 Lightning last week — an all-electric version of the best- selling vehicle in the United States—it was a big moment in the short history of electric cars. The 530-horsepower, 6,500-pound truck’s sticker price of just under $40,000 ($32,474 with a federal tax credit) drew comparisons to Ford’s Model T, the vehicle credited with making cars accessible to the middle class. In the first 48 hours after the battery-powered behemoth debuted, Ford received close to 45,000 pre-orders for it, equivalent to nearly 20 percent of all EVs registered in the U.S. last year……… (subscribers only)

June 1, 2021 Posted by | energy storage, RARE EARTHS | Leave a comment

UN nuclear watchdog chides Iran over uranium enrichment


UN nuclear watchdog chides Iran over uranium enrichment
, DW, 31 May 21,

A report by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi says Tehran has failed to provide a proper explanation for the discovery of uranium particles at three sites across the country. The IAEA suspects Iran has been boosting uranium enrichment since April, dampening hopes of salvaging the JCPOA

The UN nuclear watchdog said on Monday that Iran has failed to explain traces of processed uranium found at several undeclared sites.

A quarterly report by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said Iran is continuing to breach enrichment limits set by a 2015 nuclear accord, and that Tehran has failed to provide enough information about the discovery of uranium.

IAEA chief Rafael Grossi has been warning about the direction of Tehran’s compliance with the 2015 deal for weeks.

The report added that Iran has produced more than 2.4 kilograms (5.2 lbs) of nearly weapons grade uranium: a clear breach of the deal that its leadership says it wants to salvage.

The move to enrich uranium to a purity level of nearly 60% began in April, said the IAEA’s Grossi, who has for weeks been signaling that he is worried about the direction of Iran’s nuclear program.

……………….. What could happen next?

It will now be up to the three European powers to decide whether to go ahead with their plan amid fears it could undermine wider negotiations to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal at talks currently underway in Vienna.

…………. Iran started limiting inspections in a bid to put pressure on US President Joe Biden to lift crippling sanctions reimposed after then-President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran unilaterally in 2018.

According to the 2015 deal, Iran is only allowed to enrich uranium to a level of 4%, which is what is needed to fuel atomic reactors.

Nuclear weapons require uranium enriched to a level of 90%.

But once uranium has been taken to 60%, it is possible to enrich it to the higher level very quickly https://www.dw.com/en/un-nuclear-watchdog-chides-iran-over-uranium-enrichment/a-57733155

June 1, 2021 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

How decentralised energy will massively reduce grid costs

How decentralised energy will massively reduce grid costs,

100% Renewables 30th May 2021

There’s lots of information being pumped out by the anti-renewables lobby about how renewable energy causes great increases in the costs of upgrading electricity networks, but in fact there’s a lot of ways in which decentralised energy will actually REDUCE network costs. A recent study from California emphasizes how the cheapest path to clean energy is a mixture of large renewable energy projects and small decentralised renewables (mainly solar pv) linked to battery storage systems. Solar pv-battery systems can exist as a mixture of domestic systems and larger ground-mounted systems.

There isn’t yet a similar study for the UK (the big energy companies who fund these things won’t want the truth leaking out!), but there’s logic to suggest that much the same thing might be the case in the UK. Sure, the UK isn’t as sunny as California, although in winter there’s a lot of wind power. But in any case the untold secret of a decentralised solar-plus-battery system is that the batteries will soak up electricity produced from whatever sources so as to even out the pressures on the electricity network. By reducing pressure on the electricity network both transmission and distribution network costs can be reduced.

Of course the rub is that these battery systems which will reduce network costs are themselves made economic by being associated with the solar pv systems – and the same things works the other way around. The solar pv systems are made more economic by being alongside the batteries. Indeed these sorts of systems are so cheap that they are being installed already in the UK at two levels without even any incentives for the Government.

First, as reported in the trade press, companies like Gridserve are doing solar pv-battery systems. The batteries can soak up energy from the solar panels when there is a lot of electricity being generated and electricity prices are low and then sell it back to the grid at other times of the day or night when electricity prices are higher.

This sort of ‘arbitrage’ trading can now also be done at the second, domestic household, level. An even quieter revolution is taking place as ordinary households can now install solar pv plus battery systems for costs that would have been regarded as fancifully low five years ago. One company called ‘Growatt‘ is currently offering a system comprising 5.5 kW of solar pv and a 6.5 kWh battery for less than £9000 (note: five or so years ago you could have been doing well just to get the solar pv for that price!). This system works best with a supplier like Octopus who offers a time-of-use tariff so that you can charge the batteries when it is cheapest to do so whether from the grid or the solar panels. Solar pv is used when buying electricity from the network is expensive and stored in the battery when network prices are cheap. Then the batteries can power consumption when prices are higher and it isn’t sunny enough to generate much solar pv.

Of course there’s also a novel energy storage company, Sunamp, that is offering the possibility the use solar pv to heat and store water. As they say: ‘SunampPV stores excess electricity from a Solar PV
array as heat. This delivers high flow rate hot water on demand, so that your instant water heater or combi boiler can operate much less, saving you money’

So, you’d expect the Government to be shouting about all of this and giving this nascent new decentralised energy industry a boost? No way! The Government will be told what is needed by the big energy companies who definitely want to keep decentralised energy a secret – especially as it gets in the way of their incessant demands for featherbedding, whether it is for capacity payment subsidies for large power stations or massive handouts to nuclear power plant.

June 1, 2021 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

Targeted surveillance threatens human rights defenders

OPERATING FROM THE SHADOWS: INSIDE NSO GROUP’S CORPORATE STRUCTURE   https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/doc10/4182/2021/en/

31 May 2021, Index number: DOC 10/4182/2021, Targeted surveillance is a serious threat facing human rights defenders globally. Though often carried out by states, this practice is enabled by digital surveillance tools provided by private companies. However, the lack of transparency about the operations of the surveillance industry poses a serious obstacle for victims of unlawful surveillance to seek accountability and the right to remedy. This briefing seeks to shed light on one specific company – NSO Group – and thereby help to overcome this barrier. This briefing is jointly written by Amnesty International, Privacy International and The Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO).

June 1, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, civil liberties | Leave a comment