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Euphoria about nuclear costs, especially about decommissioning – Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) warns Indonesia.

IEEFA: Nuclear power euphoria in Indonesia is all smoke and mirrors with no current technical, financial or market viability,

2 June 21,    https://ieefa.org/ieefa-nuclear-power-euphoria-in-indonesia-is-all-smoke-and-mirrors-with-no-current-technical-financial-or-market-viability/

Renewables should be the focus of Indonesia’s net-zero pledge.   (IEEFA Indonesia) In growing energy markets like Indonesia, decision makers are facing a barrage of pro-nuclear media coverage as the nuclear industry floods the market with panels and webinars focused on the potential of nuclear power.

new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) highlights that while nuclear is promising as a baseload substitute for coal power, it currently has no technical, financial, or market viability in the Indonesian context. Author of IEEFA’s report Elrika Hamdi says that Indonesian nuclear power supporters often promise that nuclear will be an affordable, safe and sustainable solution for the problem of over-reliance on fossil fuel.

Yet, 70 years after the first nuclear power developments were announced, the technology is quickly losing market share as global power markets pivot toward more cost-competitive renewables and storage solutions.

“Despite the steady erosion of nuclear power’s competitive potential, key Southeast Asian energy ministries continue to be lobbied by nuclear advocates. Many of these lobbyists are international backers of new small modular reactor (SMR) technologies, who are actively engaging with governments and utilities around the region,” says Hamdi.

As old generation large-scale nuclear units face decommissioning, there is little consensus about how long it will take for newer small-scale nuclear technologies to be economically viable or how long-standing safety and waste disposal risks will be addressed.


“Determining the suitability of nuclear for the Indonesian power market will be a challenging task that will require honest and deep engagement by senior policymakers to ensure there is a high degree of accountability as Indonesians need to know the real cost of having nuclear in the power system as well as how the government will handle the problem of nuclear waste.”

Hamdi says that the short-list of nuclear power issues includes technology reliability, safety and safeguards, the geographic conditions of Southeast Asia, the prospects for decommissioning, waste treatment and permanent disposal, fuel availability, affordability, and the risk of persistent cost overruns and frequently overlooked shut-down costs.

Research has shown that an estimated 97% (175 out of 180 projects examined) of nuclear power projects exceed their initial budgets. The average cost overrun for a nuclear power plant was US$1.3 billion per project with construction delays adding 64% more time than initially projected.

Nuclear waste disposal costs also complicate the cost estimation process—typically raising project costs as political risk factors crystallize. The inability of leading nuclear nations to find safe and affordable solutions for permanent high-level nuclear waste disposal leaves expensive back-end cost issues on the table.

The economics of nuclear power in Indonesia is also blurred by the fact that under existing regulations, nuclear accident liabilities for nuclear owners/operators are capped at a maximum of IDR 4 trillion (US$276 million) for power plants with a capacity of more than 2000MWe. It is cut in half as the capacity decreases. This means smaller nuclear reactors would be liable for only a fraction of potential accident costs.

“These open-ended cost issues make it hard to evaluate claims about the market viability of nuclear power in Indonesia’s cost-sensitive market. This is particularly true when most established nuclear nations are pivoting away from commitments to new nuclear power facilities as more flexible renewable plus storage options reshape power sector economics,” says Hamdi.

“If a decision is reached to move ahead with pilot stage nuclear projects, policymakers and the government will need to do a lot of policy work including the technical evaluation, the regulatory preparation and the financial support, including preparation of the currently non-existent third-party liability insurance framework.

“This will place a serious burden on a government already taxed by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to revitalize the financially constrained PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), Indonesia’s national power company.”

PLN also recently pledged to become carbon neutral by 2060. However, the plan released shows nuclear only entering the energy mix in 2040. This demonstrates that PLN is realistic about the technical, financial, and market challenges that need to be overcome if nuclear power is to successfully integrate into Indonesia’s future energy mix.

Hamdi says that until these issues have been acknowledged and fully addressed, the safe path for Indonesia, for now, would be to pause and set realistic goals for its power development strategy.

This includes taking advantage of Indonesia’s abundance of renewable energy resources and market viability.

“Currently only 2.5% of Indonesia’s 400GW renewable energy potential has been utilized.  That means that new technology options such as nuclear must compete with the deflationary cost curve in evidence with increasingly low-cost and low-risk renewable power solutions.

“New innovations to support grid flexibility such as demand response and storage are providing a cost-effective alternative to baseload-heavy planning disciplines. This trend raises questions about how small-scale nuclear reactors will fit into a more diverse power market where more cost-competitive renewable options could under-cut untested technologies that are years away from realizing economies of scale.

“The smaller, easily dispatchable, and walk-away safe promise of the new Gen-IV SMR technology offer is promising, IF and when the technology reaches commercial stage. But until such technology is proven to be technically and financially feasible, Indonesia’s safest option is to pause and set a more realistic net-zero scenario with resources and technologies that are already readily available with less cost, less risk, and less future liabilities.”

Read the report: Tackling Indonesia’s Nuclear Power Euphoria

June 8, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, decommission reactor, Indonesia | Leave a comment

“IT’S VERY PROFITABLE to prepare for omnicide,”

NOT EVEN COVID-19 COULD SLOW DOWN NUCLEAR SPENDING  https://theintercept.com/2021/06/07/nuclear-weapons-spending-pandemic-ican/
A new report finds that nine countries collectively spent $72 billion in 2020 on nukes., Jon Schwarz
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June 7 2021, IT’S VERY PROFITABLE to prepare for omnicide,” Daniel Ellsberg, famed whistleblower and anti-nuclear weapons activist, said in a recent interview. “Northrop Grumman and Boeing and Lockheed and General Dynamics make a lot of money out of preparing for such a war. The congressmen get campaign contributions, they get votes in their district and almost every state for preparing for that.”

But don’t just take it from Ellsberg. At an investor conference in 2019, a managing director from the investment bank Cowen Inc. queried Raytheon’s CEO on this subject. “We’re about to exit the INF [Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty] with Russia,” said the Cowen executive. Did this mean, he asked, whether “we will really get a defense budget that will really benefit Raytheon?” Raytheon’s CEO happily responded that he was “pretty optimistic” about where things were headed.

There are currently nine countries that possess nuclear weapons: the United States, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea. ICAN calculated that they collectively spent $72.6 billion in 2020 on nukes. (picture below – a little out of date – 2019 )

The U.S. was responsible for just over half of this doomsday payout, at $37.4 billion. According to the Congressional Budget Office, U.S. nuclear spending is anticipated to soon increase sharply due to plans for technological upgrades, rising to $41.2 billion next year and totaling $634 billion during the 10 years from 2021-2030.

China came in second in 2020 at an estimated $10.1 billion. Russia was third at $8 billion. Notably, in a year when the world economy was flattened by the coronavirus pandemic, nuclear spending continued on an upward trajectory without a hiccup.

Despite these hefty numbers, they’re probably an underestimate. “There’s always more [nuclear spending] out there … even more still lurking in the shadows,” said Susi Snyder, co-author of the report and managing director of the project Don’t Bank on the Bomb. Snyder points out that “governments, especially U.S., U.K., [and] France are always demanding ‘transparency’ … yet they do not hold themselves to the standards they demand of others.”

A great deal of U.S. nuclear spending consists of profitable contracts with private corporations.

The four companies Ellsberg said were raking in cash “preparing for war” indeed received the most money in 2020:

  • Northrop Grumman — $13.7 billion
  • General Dynamics — $10.8 billion
  • Lockheed Martin — $2.1 billion
  • Boeing — $105 million

These enormous contracts create obvious incentives for these companies to lobby for more government expenditures on Armageddon, and they assiduously do so. Indeed, lobbying unquestionably is the most profitable investment these companies make. According to ICAN’s report, for every $1 they spent on lobbying, they received $239 in nuclear weapon contracts.

The specifics are notable here. Northrop reported $13.3 million in lobbying expenses in 2020. Last year it was formally awarded the enormous initial contract to develop a new intercontinental ballistic missile system called the “Ground Based Strategic Deterrent.” It will inevitably receive the contract for the entire program, estimated to be worth $85 billion over its life. In discussion on the GBSD, the Air Force’s assistant secretary for acquisition stated that he didn’t see the pandemic affecting nuclear spending.

There is also much more to lobbying than that which goes by the name. In the 2006 documentary “Why We Fight,” journalist Gwynne Dyer explained that President Dwight Eisenhower considered the military-industrial complex actually to have three components: the military, defense corporations, and Congress. But now, Dyer said, there’s a fourth: think tanks, which generally push their funders’ policies under a thin veneer of scholarship.

According to the report, companies profiting from nuclear weapons contributed $5-10 million to think tanks in 2020. Northrop alone spent at least $2 million funding nine of them, including the Atlantic Council, the Brookings Institution, the Center for a New American Security, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

However, ICAN did not produce the report for passive consumption or as an inducement to despair. Instead, it is part of a sophisticated strategy to eventually make nuclear weapons as taboo worldwide as chemical and biological weapons are now.

ICAN was a key force behind the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was adopted in 2017 at the United Nations. It makes illegal any activities related to nuclear weapons and has been signed by 86 countries and ratified by 54. It entered into force this past January.

None of the nuclear powers are signatories. Yet they need not be for the treaty to create a noose around those countries and their companies that should tighten over time. For instance, Airbus produces missiles for France’s nuclear weapons arsenal. But it is headquartered in the Netherlands, so if that country ratified the TPNW, it could no longer do so.

This financial threat has now attracted the attention of the stockholders of these nuclear corporations. Snyder notes that a 2020 Northrop shareholders resolution stated that the company “has at least $68.3 billion in outstanding nuclear weapons contracts, which are now illegal under international law,” and it received 22 percent support. A similar Lockheed resolution got over 30 percent support. The KBC Group, the 15th-largest bank in Europe, has announced that it will not fund any nuclear weapon-related activity because of the TPNW.

Success here will obviously require a long-term campaign and increased activism across the world. But the trajectory is headed in the right direction. “The days of spending with impunity on WMD,” believes Snyder, “are numbered.”

June 8, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

USA still has ban on major foodstuffs from Fukushima region. Why did Philippines lift their ban?

Silence on Japan’s dumping nuclear wastes and historical revisionism risks world environment, Manila Times, 
Kim Chui, June 8, 2021

JAPANESE Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s recent announcement of Japan’s unilateral decision to dump 1.2 million tons of nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean should be of real concern to everyone. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted that the US supported Japan’s announcement, but the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) extended its import ban on major foodstuff from the Fukushima region that has been in effect since 2011.

More worrisome is Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.’s announcement in January 2020 during the visit of Japan Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu, that the Philippines had lifted all import bans of food products from Japan without reporting whether any proper scientific tests had been done. Were there safeguards established to protect Filipino consumers, or were we made to be the dumping ground of rejects again just to extend goodwill to a “friend?”    Is the Philippine FDA more capable of testing radioactive foodstuff than the US FDA?…………….  https://www.manilatimes.net/2021/06/08/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/silence-on-japans-dumping-nuclear-wastes-and-historical-revisionism-risks-world-environment/1802316

June 8, 2021 Posted by | environment, Philippines | Leave a comment

Lawsuit aims to stop the dismantlement of San Onofre nuclear plant (closed in 2012)


Hearing set for lawsuit aimed at stopping dismantlement of San Onofre nuclear plant,  LA Times  ROB NIKOLEWSKI SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, JUNE 4, 2021  SAN DIEGO — 

A June 16 court date has been set to hear a lawsuit filed by an advocacy group against the California Coastal Commission, seeking to stop dismantlement work at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff will consider the petition by the Samuel Lawrence Foundation that argues the commission should not have granted a permit to Southern California Edison, the majority owner of the plant, to take down buildings and other infrastructure at the now-closed generating station, known as SONGS.

“The public interest is at risk, based on [the commission’s] decision,” said Chelsi Sparti, associate director of the Samuel Lawrence Foundation, based in Del Mar. “The waste is located right next to the ocean, [and] the economy, transportation, the environmental and natural resources that we have are at risk from the long-term storage of stranded radioactive waste.”…………

In October 2019, the commission on a 9-0 vote approved a permit for Edison to begin demolition work at the plant, which has not produced electricity since 2012. Dismantlement began in early 2020 and is expected to take about eight years to complete.

Before granting the permit, the commission required Edison to agree to a number of provisions, including establishing an enhanced inspection and maintenance program for the 123 stainless steel canisters filled with nuclear waste that sit in a pair of dry storage facilities at the north end of the plant.

The permit lasts 20 years and includes a condition that allows the commission by 2035 to revisit whether the dry storage site should be moved to another location in case of rising sea levels, earthquake risk, canister damage or other possible scenarios.

One of the major contentions in the lawsuit deals with what to do with a pair of wet storage pools at SONGS. Before going into canisters, the highly radioactive fuel rods were placed into pools 40 feet deep in order to cool………..

Some 3.55 million pounds of used-up nuclear fuel, or waste, remain at SONGS because the federal government has not opened a facility to deposit all the waste that has accumulated at commercial nuclear power plants across the country. About 80,000 metric tons has piled up at 121 sites in 35 states……………. https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-06-04/hearing-set-for-lawsuit-aimed-at-stopping-dismantlement-at-san-onofre-nuclear-plant

June 8, 2021 Posted by | Legal, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Militarization of the Arctic, Dangerous US NATO Expansion in Norway,

GNspace4peaceIn recent years, the US and NATO have been militarizing the Arctic through Norway as a means to confront Russia. This militarization is increasing tensions between nuclear-armed nations. As the Arctic melts away, these powerful nations are competing for dominance in the region as new routes are established, building new military bases, constructing new radars, and less efforts are placed in diplomacy. Thank you to Bård Wormdal, author of The Satellite War.Learn more: http://www.space4peace.org/articles/t…
The Satellite War: https://amzn.to/2RVytEZ Global Network: Website:

June 8, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Illinois nuclear power stations’future hangs in the balance, awaiting decision on taxpayer subsidies.


Fate of Illinois nuclear plants in balance after PJM auction fail and stalled subsidy 
plan. Utility Dive  June 7, 2021  By Scott Voorhis  

Dive Brief:

  • Exelon Corp. reports that three of its nuclear plants in Illinois failed to clear the PJM Interconnection’s capacity auction last week.
  • Exelon, in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, revealed that its Bryon, Dresden and Quad Cities nuclear plants in Illinois all failed to sell their power at the PJM auction, losing out to other power plants and energy resources. Bryon and Dresden are currently slated to be retired this fall, with Quad Cities remaining open thanks to previously awarded subsidies from the state of Illinois.

The fate of Illinois’ nuclear power sector, meanwhile, remains in the balance, as an impasse drags on in the state legislature over an energy bill that would provide hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to the sector………….. https://www.utilitydive.com/news/fate-of-illinois-nuclear-plants-in-balance-after-pjm-auction-fail-and-stall/601324/

June 8, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

‘Koeberg Nuclear Plant is like an old car that simply can’t be kept on the road’

Cape Talk,    7 June 2021, by Barbara Friedman    Refilwe Moloto speaks to Hilton Trollip, a research fellow in energy at UCT’s Global Risk Governance Programme.

  • Koeberg GM suspended but energy expert says the nuclear power station is past its sell-by date
  • Researcher Hilton Trollip is skeptical about refurbishing Koeberg
  • All coal-firing and nuclear plants need to end and move over to renewable sources, says Trollip

On Friday the general manager of Koeberg Nuclear Power Station was replaced by Eskom’s Chief Nuclear Officer. Velaphi Ntuli has been suspended for operational reasons.

RELATED: Eskom suspends Koeberg Power Station GM for ‘performance-related issues’

One of those being that one of Eskom’s biggest generating units with a capacity of 900MW, Koeberg Unit 1 has been on an outage since January 2021.

Just how concerned should we be as we head into winter, and at the same time, try to revive our economy?

We don’t know what’s happening inside Koeberg because we have no information on that, but what we do know is that Eskom is sitting with a power station fleet that is 30, 40, and 50 years old.

Hilton Trollip, Research Fellow – Global Risk Governance Programme UCT

Koeberg was built in 1985 and reaches the end of its design life in 2024, he notes.

It’s like a 20 or 30-year-old car. There comes a stage when it simply can’t be kept on the road, or to keep it on the road is too expensive or you are going to have regular breakdowns.

…………….Should the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station be given a longer lease on life?

There are plans to refurbish it, but I am skeptical about the wisdom of that. I am an engineer and everybody knows, things wear out, including power stations. Hilton Trollip, Research Fellow – Global Risk Governance Programme UCT
He says the government as a whole has not taken on board the fact that this energy era has to come to an end and be replaced with renawables……….. https://www.capetalk.co.za/articles/418543/koeberg-nuclear-plant-is-like-an-old-car-that-simply-can-t-be-kept-on-the-road

June 8, 2021 Posted by | politics, safety, South Africa | Leave a comment

Nuclear Notebook: How many nuclear weapons does Russia have in 2021?

Nuclear Notebook: How many nuclear weapons does Russia have in 2021? Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists . By Hans M. KristensenMatt Korda, March 15, 2021,  Russia is in the middle of a decades-long modernization of its strategic and nonstrategic nuclear forces to replace Soviet-era weapons with newer systems. In December 2020, President Vladimir Putin reported that modern weapons and equipment now make up 86 percent of Russia’s nuclear triad (Russian Federation 2020a), compared to the previous year’s 82 percent (Russian Federation 2019a). He additionally noted that he expects that number to rise to 88.3 percent in 2021. As in previous years, Putin’s remarks emphasized the need for Russia’s nuclear forces to keep pace with Russia’s competitors: It is absolutely unacceptable to stand idle. The pace of change in all areas that are critical for the Armed Forces is unusually fast today. It is not even Formula 1 fast—it is supersonic fast. You stop for one second and you start falling behind immediately” (Russian Federation 2020a).

Putin also noted his disappointment with the “deterioration” of the US-Russia arms control regime, and declared that the United States withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and the Open Skies Treaty under “contrived pretexts.” He also addressed the “uncertainty” around New START: “We have repeatedly stated our readiness to extend the treaty but there has been no response” (Russian Federation 2020a).

As of early 2021, we estimate that Russia has a stockpile of nearly 4,500 nuclear warheads assigned for use by long-range strategic launchers and shorter-range tactical nuclear forces……………….

Russia has significantly reduced the number of warheads deployed on its ballistic missiles to meet the New START limit of no more than 1,550 deployed strategic warheads. Russia achieved the required reduction by the February 5, 2018 deadline, when it declared 1,444 strategic warheads attributed to 527 launchers (Russian Federation Foreign Affairs Ministry 2018). The most recent data, declared on September 1, 2020, listed Russia with 1,447 deployed warheads attributed to 510 strategic launchers………….

Russia has significantly reduced the number of warheads deployed on its ballistic missiles to meet the New START limit of no more than 1,550 deployed strategic warheads. Russia achieved the required reduction by the February 5, 2018 deadline, when it declared 1,444 strategic warheads attributed to 527 launchers (Russian Federation Foreign Affairs Ministry 2018). The most recent data, declared on September 1, 2020, listed Russia with 1,447 deployed warheads attributed to 510 strategic launchers…………

Overall, Russia’s nuclear modernization effort will present the international arms control community with new challenges. Unless a new arms reduction agreement is reached in the future to replace New START, the shrinking of Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal that has characterized the past two decades will likely come to an end, …………………………………………. https://thebulletin.org/premium/2021-03/nuclear-notebook-russian-nuclear-weapons-2021/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=MondayNewsletter03152021&utm_content=Notebook_Russia_03152021

June 8, 2021 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UK spent more than £8000 every minute on nuclear weapons in 2020,

UK spent more than £8000 every minute on nuclear weapons in 2020, report says, The National , By Kirsteen Paterson  @kapaterson 7 June 21,    THE UK spent more than £8300 a minute on nuclear weapons last year, a new report claims.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Ican) estimates £4.38 billion was splurged on the defence systems in 2020, making the UK the fourth biggest spender behind the US, China and Russia.

The UK has around 200 nuclear weapons and is committed to replacing the ageing Trident submarine system, which is housed at HM Naval Base Clyde, near Scotland’s biggest population centre. However, it does not publish detailed accounts of its spending on this area.

In a report released today, analysis by Ican suggests that is equivalent to $11,769 per minute. The estimate is based on reports from the National Audit Office, the Ministry of Defence and more.

Janet Fenton, Ican’s Scottish liaison and the vice chair of Scottish CND, told The National: “Scotland has been forced to act as an involuntary host to the UK’s nuclear weapons, while the UK is one of the least transparent nuclear armed states about its expenditure and the technical difficulties it faces in upgrading and replacing its nuclear weapons system.

“All this is regardless of the complete democratic deficit in a Scotland that has just elected a parliament with a majority that supports independence and returned an even bigger number of parliamentarians who are committed to supporting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons than the number who support independence.”………………..

The Scottish Greens are vocal opponents of nuclear weapons. The party’s external affairs spokesperson Ross Greer MSP, who represents the West Scotland region, said: “Nuclear weapons are an abomination. The day the world is free of these weapons of mass slaughter can’t come soon enough. Not only do nuclear weapons present a real and immediate danger, this report shows that they put us at greater risk by diverting vast sums of public money which could otherwise be spent on what really keeps us safe, such as high quality health and care services during a pandemic.

“Spending such vast sums on these evil weapons can never be justified but for the UK Government to prioritise this expenditure at a time when it is slashing international aid budgets just sums up the mentality of this heartless Tory administration.”   https://www.thenational.scot/news/19353768.uk-spent-8000-every-minute-nuclear-weapons-2020-report-says/

June 8, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

‘EU aware of nuclear material proliferation incident in India’

‘EU aware of nuclear material proliferation incident in India:’ Geo News, Peter Stano, Khalid Hameed Farooqi, 7 June 21,

The European Union is aware of the nuclear material proliferation incident in India, Peter Stano, the lead spokesperson for the External Affairs of the European Union has said during an interview with Geo News.

“All we can say at the moment is that the EU is aware of the information and understands that the Indian authorities are investigating,” he said when asked whether nuclear proliferation could pose a serious threat to international peace and security. 

When asked whether the EU had taken notice of these incidents and raised them with India, and what are the assurances which the EU has received to stop the proliferation of nuclear materials, Stano said that at the moment, investigations are underway. 

The South Asian region, in particular, and the world, in general, is concerned about international peace and security as the current incidents in India indicate the presence of a nuclear black market there.

It should be noted that India has been able to acquire large reserves of nuclear material under the auspices of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) — a multilateral export control regime and a group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation.

According to an Indian newspaper report, two persons have been arrested in India on charges of illegal possession of seven kilogrammes of natural uranium. 

This is not the first case of its kind in the country, as last week, a similar incident was reported which raises the question of Indian nuclear plants’ security being compromised.


Similarly, the continuation of these events is also an indication of the presence of nuclear and radioactive substances in India. 

Indian police arrest seven suspects for attempt to sell uranium in Jharkhand

On June 4, Indian police in the state of Jharkhand arrested seven people for having “mineral uranium” in their possession and for their plans to sell it in the black market………….. https://www.geo.tv/latest/353967-eu-is-aware-of-nuclear-material-proliferation-incident-in-india-peter-stano

June 8, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Russia beefs up its sub-critical non-nuclear experiments at its top secret far remote Novaya Zemlya site.

12th Directorate beefs up support facilities at nuclear test site, Russian Defence Ministry’s 12th Directorate talks public about ongoing subcritical experiments with nuclear warheads material at Novaya Zemlya. Barents Observer, By Thomas Nilsen  June 07, 2021

The Defence Ministry’s own TV channel Zvezda on Sunday broadcasted a nearly 40 minutes long unique documentary about one of Russia’s top-secret military units, the Central Test Site at Novaya Zemlya.

Established in the mid-1950s, a total of 132 nuclear weapon tests are carried out at the archipelago in the period until October 24th 1990. Much less is told about the activities after President Mikhael Gorbachev the year after announced a unilateral nuclear test moratorium.

“Non-nuclear experiments are being carried out to confirm the reliability of the existing nuclear ammunition,” said the head of the Defence Ministry’s 12th Main Directorate, Major General Igor Kolesnikov, from his office in Moscow.

Non-nuclear experiments do not mean that weapons-grade material is not included. Simply, it means experiments are carried out but with no nuclear yield.

For example, such a test could include a small portion of plutonium, enough to explode, but not enough to reach a critical mass and therefore not create a self-sustaining chain reaction, or a nuclear bang. The effects of a full-size bang are then validated in advanced computer simulations.

Subcritical tests are done for two main purposes, determine the status of ageing plutonium warheads or aimed at developing new warheads.

“I must say that the United States is doing the same, they are also conducting similar experiments in Nevada,” Kolesnikov said in the interview with TV Zvezda.

Sub-critical tests are allowed under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). However, carrying out such tests in tunnels deep into the mountains in the far remote Novaya Zemlya have caused speculations that real, although very small, nuclear explosions could happen without the global network of monitoring stations would be able to detect it.

The Major General, though, said only non-nuclear explosive experiments take place at Novaya Zemlya…………… https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/nuclear-safety/2021/06/12th-directorate-beefs-support-facilities-nuclear-test-site

June 8, 2021 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Israel’s 1981 bombing of Iraq nuclear reactor may have fuelled Saddam’s nuclear ambitions

ILeaked documents reveal secret French plans to stop Baghdad from getting nuclear weaponsBorzou DaragahiInternational Correspondent@borzou   Four decades ago, a squadron of Israeli fighter jets on a secret mission snuck over Saudi Arabian airspace and swooped in to destroy an Iraqi nuclear reactor site that was being built by French and Italian engineers just outside Baghdad. It was a surprise attack lauded by Israel’s defenders and cited as an example of effective derring-do, showing how raw military power could serve as a tool of arms control.

But a trove of previously secret United States documents release…….. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/israel-iraq-nuclear-osirak-military-b1861255.html

June 8, 2021 Posted by | Iraq, Israel, weapons and war | 1 Comment

USA’s Greenpeace Climate Campaign – opposes nuclear power – ”just because nuclear pollution is invisible doesn’t mean it’s clean,”

In an article (7/6/21) enthusing about nuclear as the cure for climate, Voice of America still has to admit that top environmenta organisation Greenpeace USA Climate Campaign does not swallow the nuclear-for-climate hoax.

”in response to a query from VOA about the group’s contemporary stance, it did send a statement.

“The climate crisis demands solutions that are fast, equitable and affordable. Nuclear energy is none of these. Nuclear energy is both expensive and dangerous, and just because nuclear pollution is invisible doesn’t mean it’s clean,” according to Greenpeace USA Climate Campaign Manager Anusha Narayanan. “We have the renewable energy technology needed to meet the demands of the climate crisis. Instead of pouring money into new nukes, the Biden administration should focus on phasing out fossil fuels and investing in the transition to a renewable energy economy.”

June 8, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Austria and other European countries concerned about safety aspects of Hungary’s nuclear power plant expansion.


Hungary’s nuclear power plant expansion unnerves Austria,  euobserverBy ESZTER ZALAN  7 June 21, BRUSSELS
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Austria’s Federal Environmental Agency has raised concerns over Hungary’s planned Russian-built Paks II nuclear power station, saying it lies on an active seismological fault line.

The report adds to existing concerns over safety issues surrounding the expansion of the Paks nuclear plant, a project pushed by the government of prime minister Viktor Orbán.

The potential occurrence of a permanent surface displacement on the site cannot be reliably excluded by scientific evidences. The Paks II site should therefore be deemed unsuitable,” the report, published last month, said.

The report also raises concerns over the authorisation-process for the site, saying the study compiled by the company behind the project, Paks II Ltd., which underpins the site-licensing, “omits relevant data”.

The report also notes that Hungarian legislation requires that “permanent surface replacement” needs to be “reliably excluded by scientific evidences” before a site can be deemed suitable.

The report stated that the Hungarian Atomic Energy Agency (HAEA) granted the site licence for the Paks nuclear plant II in 2017 in spite of the “potential conflict” with Hungarian regulations and the safety issues…………….

MEPs concern

The safety issue was also raised recently by a group of six Green MEPs, in a question to the EU Commission.

They say that “significant discrepancy has emerged from the location approval process for the Paks II nuclear plant between the results obtained by baseline studies on the earthquake risk of the site and the official application submitted by the MVM II company for site approval by the Hungarian nuclear supervisory authority”……….

”This nuclear power plant should never have been approved for many reasons. There is proof now that the site of Paks is at high risk of earthquakes. This applies not only to the new expansion, but also to the four existing power units. Any further expansion must be stopped immediately. The EU Commission must not be blinded by Orbán’s charade and must act immediately,”  said Austrian Green MEP Thomas Waitz……….   https://euobserver.com/climate/152035

June 8, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, safety | Leave a comment