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Epidemiology – an important guide to the pandemic – why not to nuclear radiation-caused disease? -theme for July 2021

Epidemiology – a forgotten science?   But now, in the time of pandemic, it has come into its own.

The coronavirus illness is a global phenomenon. Epidemiologists, formerly just boring old farts, in a world that reveres high tech and space scientists, now are called upon for guidance .

Epidemiologists are not industry’s favourite people. Sir Richard Doll, in the 1950s, combined laboratory studies on mice with painstaking epidemiological research, proving that cigarette smoking causes cancer,  British Tobacco  did not like him.

The nuclear industry learned  – to downgrade epidemiological research, and prevent it wherever possible.  Subservient governments complied with the nuclear industry.

BUT – there has been epidemiological research applied to nuclear’s ionising radiation and its effect on health – just a few examples –  on nuclear workers’ health., on residents of Belarus and Ukraine, on the developing foetus,

Right now, the world sees value in identifying cases, clusters – where the invisible coronavirus exists, with its threat of immediate illness and death.

Equally dangerous  the cases and clusters of accumulating radioactive particles lead to the threat of later illness and death.

It is time that epidemiological research on ionising radiation was done, properly, thoroughly, like Richard Doll’s cigarette study. Time to no longer allow the nuclear industry to downplay and stifle such research, (and not to let them rely on  their own biased studies)

July 8, 2021 Posted by | Christina's themes, health | 4 Comments

Key witness in Julian Assange case admits to lies in indictment

A maj­or wit­n­ess in the United States’ Depart­ment of Justice ca­se against Ju­li­an Assange has admitted to fabricat­ing key accusati­ons in the indict­ment against the Wiki­leaks found­er. STUNDIN,  Bjartmar Oddur Þeyr Alexanderssonbjartmar@stundin.is, Gunnar Hrafn Jónssonritstjorn@stundin.is 26 June 21,

The witness, who has a documented history with sociopathy and has received several convictions for sexual abuse of minors and wide-ranging financial fraud, made the admission in a newly published interview in Stundin where he also confessed to having continued his crime spree whilst working with the Department of Justice and FBI and receiving a promise of immunity from prosecution.

The man in question, Sigurdur Ingi Thordarson, was recruited by US authorities to build a case against Assange after misleading them to believe he was previously a close associate of his. In fact he had volunteered on a limited basis to raise money for Wikileaks in 2010 but was found to have used that opportunity to embezzle more than $50,000 from the organization. Julian Assange was visiting Thordarson’s home country of Iceland around this time due to his work with Icelandic media and members of parliament in preparing the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, a press freedom project that produced a parliamentary resolution supporting whistleblowers and investigative journalism. 

The United States is currently seeking Assange’s extradition from the United Kingdom in order to try him for espionage relating to the release of leaked classified documents. If convicted, he could face up to 175 years in prison. The indictment has sparked fears for press freedoms in the United States and beyond and prompted strong statements in support of Assange from Amnesty International, Reporters without borders, the editorial staff of the Washington Post and many others. 

US officials presented an updated version of an indictment against him to a Magistrate court in London last summer. The veracity of the information contained therein is now directly contradicted by the main witness, whose testimony it is based on.

No instruction from Assange

The court documents refer to Mr Thordarson simply as “Teenager” (a reference to his youthful appearance rather than true age, he is 28 years old) and Iceland as “NATO Country 1” but make no real effort to hide the identity of either. They purport to show that Assange instructed Thordarson to commit computer intrusions or hacking in Iceland. 

The aim of this addition to the indictment was apparently to shore up and support the conspiracy charge against Assange in relation to his interactions with Chelsea Manning. Those occurred around the same time he resided in Iceland and the authors of the indictment felt they could strengthen their case by alleging he was involved in illegal activity there as well. This activity was said to include attempts to hack into the computers of members of parliament and record their conversations.

In fact, Thordarson now admits to Stundin that Assange never asked him to hack or access phone recordings of MPs. His new claim is that he had in fact received some files from a third party who claimed to have recorded MPs and had offered to share them with Assange without having any idea what they actually contained. He claims he never checked the contents of the files or even if they contained audio recordings as his third party source suggested. He further admits the claim, that Assange had instructed or asked him to access computers in order to find any such recordings, is false.

Nonetheless, the tactics employed by US officials appear to have been successful as can be gleaned from the ruling of Magistrate Court Judge Vanessa Baraitser on January 4th of this year. Although she ruled against extradition, she did so purely on humanitarian grounds relating to Assange’s health concerns, suicide risk and the conditions he would face in confinement in US prisons. With regards to the actual accusations made in the indictment Baraitser sided with the arguments of the American legal team, including citing the specific samples from Iceland which are now seriously called into question.

Other misleading elements can be found in the indictment, and later reflected in the Magistrate’s judgement, based on Thordarson’s now admitted lies. One is a reference to Icelandic bank documents. The Magistrate court judgement reads: “It is alleged that Mr. Assange and Teenager failed a joint attempt to decrypt a file stolen from a “NATO country 1” bank”………..

On the FBI radar

Thordarson’s rogue acts were not limited to communications of that nature as he also admits to Stundin that he set up avenues of communication with journalists and had media pay for lavish trips abroad where he mispresented himself as an official representative of WikiLeaks……………………….  https://stundin.is/grein/13627/key-witness-in-assange-case-admits-to-lies-in-indictment/

July 8, 2021 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

“EDF’s Chinese dream seems well and truly over”- a minor nuclear incident becomes a major industrial disaster for the French nuclear firm.

 Le Monde 6th July 2021 “EDF’s Chinese dream seems well and truly over”. The minor incident at a Chinese nuclear power plant could have repercussions … on French industrial cooperation with China, explains Frédéric Lemaître, correspondent for “Le Monde” in Beijing, in his column.

Since June 14, Fabrice Fourcade, the head of EDF in China, and the economic service of the French Embassy in Beijing have been absent subscribers. Within hours, an apparently minor technical incident at a Chinese nuclear power plant turned into a perfect crisis for the French electrician.

The cluster bomb came from the United States. Monday June 14, while the American President, Joe Biden, is in Europe, the American channel CNN announces that the French Framatome, a few days earlier, informed the White House of an “imminent radiological threat” to the nuclear power station of Taishan, in the far south of China.

Why Framatome? Because this plant, in which EDF is a 30% shareholder, was built on the model of the French EPR and because Framatome is one of its main architects. “The largest commercial contract signed by the French nuclear industry and, more generally, in the history of civil nuclear power, this project strengthens Framatome’s presence in China, one of the most promising markets in the world,” explains the group on its site.

Why the United States? The answer is complicated. According to Le Figaro, the French engineer in charge of monitoring the file – in fact, a leak of fuel rods supplied by Framatome – warned a colleague across the Atlantic because it is the American subsidiary which manages the database of all incidents in the group.

Problem: Taishan’s majority shareholder, Chinese CGN, is on the US government’s blacklist. In order to work on the
case and possibly come to Taishan’s aid, an American must therefore obtain the approval of the White House. EDF communicators may try to put out the fire by explaining, from Paris, that the incident is minor, while the industrial disaster is major.

The episode proves that EDF, a 30% shareholder in Taishan, has no say in the matter, is not informed of technical problems and cannot get a board meeting. In Xi Jinping’s China, where any situation is the result of a balance of power, a minority has – by definition – no rights.

https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2021/07/06/le-reve-chinois-d-edf-semble-bel-et-bien-termine_6087130_3232.html

July 8, 2021 Posted by | France, politics international | Leave a comment

The 44 year process for demolishing TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 2 nuclear station, – with nowhere to put the radioactive trash.

TEPCO grants 1st peek at work to scrap Fukushima No. 2 plant, http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14389389 THE ASAHI SHIMBUN, July 7, 2021 

 Work to prepare for the decommissioning of Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant is under way in Fukushima Prefecture, a mammoth project the operator plans to complete in about 44 years.

However, TEPCO has not yet secured a location to dispose of a large amount of radioactive waste, a difficult task that it plans to tackle in the years to come.

The project is expected to prove an enormous challenge to TEPCO as the utility needs to proceed with it while simultaneously taking on the even more formidable task of cleaning up the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Together, 10 reactors are housed at the two plants: four at the No. 2 plant and six at the No. 1 plant.

The company will need to train workers for the decommissioning, secure a workforce for the lengthy project that will span decades, and put measures in place to ensure the safety of the facilities when hit by natural disasters such as torrential rain, earthquakes and tsunami.

On July 6, reporters were granted access to the decommissioning work at the Fukushima No. 2 plant so they could show the work to the public for the first time since the process began on June 23.

The No. 2 plant is located on the coastal side of the towns of Tomioka and Naraha, and the work on July 6 revolved around decontamination at its No. 1 reactor building.

Donning protective gear, 12 workers from TEPCO and contractors cleaned up pipes around water tanks with a high-pressure washer in a room for inspecting the equipment that inserts and removes control rods from the reactor core.

The work to decommission the No. 2 plant will be divided into four stages, with each stage spanning a decade or so, according to TEPCO.

In the first stage, operators will focus on decontaminating the facility to prepare for the following stages.

After that, TEPCO expects to move on to the second stage, which involves the demolition and removal of equipment surrounding the nuclear reactors. The reactors will be dismantled and cleared in the third stage, and then finally the reactor buildings in the fourth stage.

“We are determined to steadily and safely proceed with the decommissioning work while gaining support and understanding from local residents,” said Takaki Mishima, the head of the plant.

Perhaps the most crucial question that must be resolved will be where high-level and low-level waste that will be produced from the decommissioning process should be temporarily stored before a permanent disposal site is found.

A total of 9,532 spent nuclear fuel rods–highly radioactive materials–are stored at the plant.

Fukushima officials are demanding they be removed from the prefecture by the time the decommissioning wraps up in fiscal 2064.

But no municipalities in Japan want to accept and house such dangerous materials in their backyards.

TEPCO estimates the amount of low-level radioactive waste will total 52,000 tons.

To dispose of the waste, it needs to be buried underground at a depth from several meters to more than 70 meters from the surface, depending on the levels of radioactivity.

But as of now, no potential sites in Japan for temporary storage have been determined, not to mention a final disposal site.

“That is a question we will address later,” an official from the utility said.

Although the Fukushima No. 2 plant was damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of 2011, it was spared from a meltdown and has been idle since.

TEPCO’s decision to pull the plug on the plant came at the insistence of the prefectural government and local residents.

(This article was compiled from reports by Shigetaka Kodama, Tetsuya Kasai, Yu Fujinami and Tsuyoshi Kawamura.)

July 8, 2021 Posted by | decommission reactor, Japan | Leave a comment

As wind power becomes half the price of nuclear, nuclear power may not be an election winner.

this is not a time to invest in nuclear technology, but offshore wind looks increasingly attractive.

The problem seems to be that getting the Hinkley Point C reactors off the ground brought out into the open how expensive and delay-prone building a new nuclear plant has become.

Nuclear Resurgence Fades In The UK; Huge Expectations For Offshore Wind,  Seeking Alpha 4th July 2021

Approximately, 16% of UK power comes from nuclear reactors, which are almost all due to close soon. The UK Government has gone quiet about nuclear renewal.

In late June, the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Nuclear Energy has called for urgent action to revitalise the industry, a call which seems too late to be viable.

New UK report suggests massive expansion of offshore wind to 108 GW; this will drive new power needs in the UK. Investors might consider the risks of investing in nuclear technology now and instead consider the rise of companies involved with offshore wind. Four years ago, I wrote about the struggling global nuclear industry and specifically nuclear power in the UK.

I updated the UK situation earlier this year. Very recent developments suggest that a further update is timely because what happens in the UK will impact the global nuclear industry.

Here I suggest that this is not a time to invest in nuclear technology, but that offshore wind looks increasingly
attractive. It takes a long time to get nuclear permitting sorted out and construction commissioned. The clock is ticking for the renewal of the UK nuclear fleet which currently provides ~16% of UK power requirements, but all but one of the existing fleet of 15 reactors plans to close by 2030.

The problem seems to be that getting the Hinkley Point C reactors off the ground brought out into the open how expensive and delay-prone building a new nuclear plant has become.

Probably focusing the Government’s mind is the fact that financing Hinkley Point C has left the public with a “strike price” of 92 pounds/MWh and 35 year inflation adjusted bill, which is already more than double the cost of a major wind farm (e.g. Dogger Bank wind farm has a strike price of 40 pounds/MWh, IRR of 5.6% and payback time 17 years).

No doubt the recently updated 100+ year program to decontaminate the UK’s 17 old nuclear facilities is another confronting fact that may not be an election winner.

 https://seekingalpha.com/article/4437798-nuclear-resurgence-fades-in-the-uk-huge-expectations-for-offshore-wind

July 8, 2021 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

New Mexico leaders oppose Holtec nuclear waste site proposal

The opposition contended the project posed too much risk and could upend other major industries in the region like agriculture …

”This leaves us extremely concerned that ‘interim’ storage sites …. will become the country’s de facto permanent nuclear waste storage facilities.  We cannot accept that result.”

New Mexico leaders oppose Holtec International nuclear waste site proposed near Carlsbad, Adrian HeddenCarlsbad Current-Argus  6 Jul 21,  New Mexico’s top Democrat political leaders voiced their opposition to a proposed storage facility for nuclear waste to be built near Carlsbad and Hobbs, warning the U.S. Department of Energy that the site could become a perpetual dumping ground as a permanent repository does not exist.

Holtec International applied for a 40-year license to build a consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) at a remote location near the Eddy-Lea county line, through the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commissions (NRC) in 2017.

The company signaled it planned to file for subsequent licenses to continue to operate the facility during 20 phases which would total more than 100,000 metric tons of waste when complete.

The site would be designed to hold spent nuclear fuel rods, brought in via rail from nuclear power plants around the country, on a temporary basis while a permanent repository is built….

The opposition contended the project posed too much risk and could upend other major industries in the region like agriculture and fossil fuels.

In the July 2 letter, New Mexico Democrat U.S. Sens. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan, U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM) and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Holtec’s proposal contained no plan for permanent disposal of the waste and thus risked leaving it in New Mexico forever.

Lujan Grisham was a frequent critic of the project since its inception, calling the proposal “economic malpractice” for the risk she said it posed to other industries.

The lawmakers also opposed a similar proposal to expand a facility owned by Waste Control Specialists in Andrews, Texas along that state’s western border with New Mexico, to also hold the spent fuel.

“We are strongly opposed to the interim storage of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level waste (HLW) in New Mexico. There is currently no permanent disposal strategy for SNF and HLW in place at the Department of Energy,” the letter read.

“This leaves us extremely concerned that ‘interim’ storage sites with initial 40-year leases, like one proposed for (the NRC) licensing in New Mexico, will become the country’s de facto permanent nuclear waste storage facilities.  We cannot accept that result.”

New Mexico had already seen the impacts of radiation exposure, the letter read, resulting from uranium mining and other activities in the state………….. https://www.currentargus.com/story/news/local/2021/07/06/new-mexico-leaders-oppose-holtec-nuclear-waste-site-near-carlsbad/7872429002/

July 8, 2021 Posted by | politics, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Both UK and European Commission want nuclear energy excluded from clean energy investments -”otherwise clean energy finances would not be credible”.

Nuclear energy has been excluded from the UK government’s Green Financing Framework, while several EU Member States have written to the European Commission to oppose nuclear’s inclusion in the bloc’s green taxonomy.

Nuclear energy faces hurdles to be included in clean energy investments, Word Nuclear News, 02 July 2021,

The UK’s Green Financing Framework describes how the government plans to finance expenditures through the issuance of green gilts and the retail Green Savings Bonds that it says will be critical in tackling climate change and other environmental challenges. The framework, which was produced and published yesterday by the Treasury, sets out the basis for identification, selection, verification and reporting of the green projects that are eligible for such financing.

Under ‘exclusions’, the document says: “Recognising that many sustainable investors have exclusionary criteria in place around nuclear energy, the UK government will not finance any nuclear energy-related expenditures under the Framework.”…………

The letter – signed by the environment or energy ministers of Austria, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg and Spain – points to “shortcomings” in the JRC report, which was published in April.

The ministers said the JRC’s conclusion was “a misconception” and based on “two grave methodological shortcomings”.

The JRC “neglects to address the residual nuclear risk, assessing only the normal operation of nuclear power plants” and “disregards the life-cycle approach”, according to the ministers.

“We recognise the sovereign right of Member States to decide for or against nuclear power as part of their national energy systems. However, we are concerned that including nuclear power in the Taxonomy would permanently damage its integrity, credibility and therefore its usefulness,” they wrote………….. https://world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/UK-excludes-nuclear-from-green-taxonomy

July 8, 2021 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE | Leave a comment

British households will pay for nuclear construction long before it supplies any electricity, under the govt’s new plan

the model is deeply unpopular with nuclear sceptics, who have said it would expose consumers to construction risks, notably any cost overruns. 

EDF and its junior partner in Hinkley Point C, the Chinese state-owned company CGN, are financing the plant in return for a generous electricity price of £92.50 per megawatt hour guaranteed by the government.  

The price… was agreed in 2012 and rises in line with inflation.

UK households face energy bills surcharge to fund nuclear plants

Ministers plan legislation for new financing model to underpin building of £20bn Sizewell C reactor,   Ft.com 
Nathalie Thomas in Edinburgh and Jim Pickard in London, 7 jul 21,

British households face paying a surcharge on their energy bills to pay for new nuclear power stations in the UK as the government draws up legislation to underpin the new financing plan. Ministers aim to unveil legislation in the autumn that would enable Sizewell C, a £20bn nuclear power plant proposed by France’s EDF for England’s east coast, to go ahead through a financing model called the regulated asset base, said several people briefed on the government’s thinking. This model would mean that energy bill payers start contributing towards the cost of the plant at Sizewell in Suffolk long before it generates any electricity.  

Boris Johnson has said he wants the government to reach a final investment decision on “at least one” new nuclear power station before the next general election ……….

  Under the model, owners of a power station could add chunks of the value of a partly built plant to what would be its regulated asset base in stages during the risky construction phase. They could then charge an agreed regulatory return on this value to UK households through their energy bills, in a move designed to cover financing costs. State-backed EDF has said the steady returns guaranteed by the regulated asset base model would allow it to attract low-risk investors such as pension funds and would lead to overall savings for consumers.

But the model is deeply unpopular with nuclear sceptics, who have said it would expose consumers to construction risks, notably any cost overruns.  

  EDF is planning to use a design called the European Pressurised Reactor at Sizewell C, but budgets have spiralled at other projects deploying similar technology, including the Hinkley Point C plant under construction in Somerset. The Treasury is supportive of the regulated asset base model, said several people briefed on the department’s stance…..

EDF and its junior partner in Hinkley Point C, the Chinese state-owned company CGN, are financing the plant in return for a generous electricity price of £92.50 per megawatt hour guaranteed by the government.  

The price, which was controversial with environmental groups, was agreed in 2012 and rises in line with inflation.  UK ministers entered formal negotiations with EDF over the financing of Sizewell C in December. The government said at the time that consideration would be given “to the potential role of government finance in construction, provided there is clear value for money for consumers and taxpayers”.  

Stephen Thomas, emeritus professor of energy policy at the University of Greenwich, said he imagined that the government would have to take a “strategic stake” in Sizewell C “as a signal to investors that this won’t be allowed to collapse, and ditto EDF”. It is not yet clear what role CGN will play in Sizewell C. CGN is financing 20 per cent of the development costs of the Suffolk plant alongside EDF but some Conservative MPs are opposed to Chinese involvement in critical UK infrastructure. CGN declined to comment.  https://www.ft.com/content/d115c0bd-da17-4bbf-a070-b62b525c7fa1

July 8, 2021 Posted by | politics, UK | 1 Comment

William Perry and Jerry Brown address the unwisdom of spending $2 trillion on new nuclear weapons

Spending $2 trillion on new nuclear weapons is a risk to more than just your wallet, Business Insider, BILL PERRY, JERRY BROWN, JOHN GARAMENDIJUL 7, 2021,

  • The US is pursuing the modernization of all three legs of the nuclear triad, at an estimated cost of $1.7 trillion over 30 years.
  • Simultaneous modernization exceeds what’s needed for an effective nuclear deterrent and is an unnecessarily costly and risky way to achieve our deterrence requirements.
  • Bill Perry is a former US secretary of defense. Jerry Brown is a former governor. John Garamendi is the US Representative for California’s 3rd Congressional District.

The world is witnessing a new, dangerous nuclear arms race. Tensions are rising between the Great Powers. As the US, Russia, and China rush to modernize their nuclear arsenals, the trip wire is becoming more taut by the day.

Observation and communication satellites and systems are increasingly vulnerable to attacks. All three countries are fielding stealth and hypersonic nuclear delivery systems designed to evade detection. The risks of a false alarm or a political miscalculation has always haunted the nuclear landscape, and they do even more today.

Last week, legislation was introduced in the US House of Representatives to address the misguided nuclear modernization strategy the US is currently employing and chart a safer, more cost-effective course for our modernization efforts – one that is predicated on deterrence rather than dominance.

As long as nuclear weapons exist, we must have a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent. However, simultaneous modernization efforts across all three legs of the nuclear triad exceed  that scope and are an unnecessarily costly and risky way to achieve our deterrence requirements.

The current US nuclear modernization strategy includes the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), the B-21 bomber, the Columbia-class submarine, the Long-Range Standoff (LRSO) air-launched cruise missile, the sea launched nuclear cruise missile, and new nuclear warheads.

The costs of these projects are extraordinary: a 2017 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report estimated that the 30-year cost of nuclear weapons spending would be $1.2 trillion ($1.7 trillion adjusted for inflation).

As the Government Accountability Office recently noted, the current plan to modernize every part of the US nuclear arsenal simultaneously is a recipe for schedule delays and cost overruns.

The ICBM leg of the triad deserves special attention. The total price tag to procure the GBSD is projected to be at least $95 billion, and up to $264 billion when accounting for total life-cycle costs. A pause in the GBSD will help defray short-term costs for the Air Force and will also defer a long-term expenditure.

Additionally, the W87-1, the warhead that is being designed for the GBSD, will cost at least $12 billion to build – and is not part of the estimated GBSD procurement cost of $95 billion. To build new warhead cores for the W87-1, the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA) is expanding plutonium pit production, which will cost at least another $9 billion through the late 2020s according to the Congressional Budget Office…………..

Maintaining and upgrading the current Minuteman III missile is not only technically possible – it is also cost-effective. According to a 2017 CBO report, it would cost $37 billion less to maintain the MMIII than developing and deploying the GBSD through 2036.

It’s clear that replacing the Minuteman III for the GBSD is a wasteful and costly undertaking that is not in our national security interest. That’s why we are supporting the “Investing in Commonsense Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) Act of 2021,” which was introduced in the US House of Representatives last week by Congressman Garamendi.

This bill will simply pause the development of the GBSD, and the associated W87-1 nuclear warhead, and life extend the Minuteman III until 2040 – something that is both technically feasible and more cost-efficient. This extension provides time for arms control negotiations and additional debate on the utility of a ground-based system, which may make this program unnecessary.

This legislation will help deescalate the modern nuclear arms race and prevent the unnecessary spending of billions of taxpayer dollars. That’s why nine members of Congress joined Garamendi’s “ICBM Act” as original cosponsors, and it’s why 12 policy experts and arms control associations have joined us in endorsing the legislation.

The “ICBM Act” will strengthen our national security and save billions of tax-payer dollars by:

  • Prohibiting the use of funds for the GBSD program and W87-1 warhead modification program for fiscal years 2022 through 2031;
  • Extending the service life of the Minuteman III missiles until at least 2040, and requiring use of nondestructive testing methods and technologies similar to those used by the Navy for Trident II D5 SLBMs; and
  • Transferring back to the Air Force all unobligated funds for the GBSD program, and transferring unobligated funds for the W87-1 warhead modification program from the National Nuclear Security Administration to the Treasury.

As a former US secretary of defense, governor of California, and current chair of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, we have an intimate understanding of this issue and the urgency with which we must address it.

We have visited the launch sites. We have met the young Air Force captains who sit in the buried bunker ready to turn the launch keys for atomic bombs capable of destroying a city three times the size of Hiroshima. It sobers the mind and underscores the need to chart a new course for our modernization strategy before we cross a line from which we cannot return.

Bill Perry is the former US secretary of defense who served under President Bill Clinton. Jerry Brown is the former governor of California and is currently the executive chair of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. John Garamendi is the US Representative for California’s 3rd Congressional District and chair of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness.https://www.businessinsider.com.au/nuclear-modernization-plans-are-unnecessarily-costly-and-risky-2021-7?r=US&IR=T

July 8, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Residents of Andrews County, Texas, speak out against plan for high level nuclear waste dump.

FILE – In this Oct. 14, 2009 file photo provided by Waste Control Specialists, canisters filled with uranium byproduct waste are placed into a burial pit at at Waste Control Specialists near Andrews, Texas. Trucks carrying low-level radioactive waste from 38 states will likely be rolling along Texas highways as early as April, bound for permanent burial at a dump near the New Mexico border. The arrival of the low-level radioactive waste will end a years-long effort by a Dallas-based company, whose majority owner is a big-time political contributor Harold Simmons, to win permission from Texas officials to accept the waste at 1,340-acre tract of scrub brush terrain about 360 miles west of Dallas. (AP Photo/Waste Control Specialists, File)

Andrews County commissioners hear from public on nuclear waste proposal,  Caitlin Randle, MRT.com/Midland Reporter-Telegram July 6, 2021, ANDREWS,

During a packed special meeting of the Andrews County Commissioners’ Court on Tuesday, residents spoke out against plans by the company Waste Control Specialists to store high-level nuclear waste.Andrews County Judge Charlie Falcon said he called the meeting to discuss whether the court should pass a resolution stating their opposition to the storage of high-level waste in the county.

…..  Several residents said they were against bringing high-level waste to the community and asked the commissioners to pass a resolution opposing the project. Some also said they were angry at WCS, which currently operates a low-level waste site in Andrews, for promising that they would never store high-level waste then going back on that promise………..

Julie Stevenson, who said she was a nurse and lifelong Andrews resident, spoke to the court about the medical side effects from exposure to radiation. She said low-level radiation poisoning is akin to receiving 100 to 150 X-rays, while mid-level exposure can cause your gastrointestinal tract to shut down.

“High-level, you will die within three days,” she said. “I don’t want to take that risk for my children. I’m sure you have a lot of geologists speaking with you … but they’re looking at charts, graphs, they’re not looking at my 7-year-old son and my 87-year-old grandfather……… https://www.mrt.com/news/local/article/Andrews-County-commissioners-hear-from-public-on-16297025.php

July 8, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Taiwan Shuts Another Reactor as Part of Nuclear-Free Goal,


Taiwan Shuts Another Reactor as Part of Nuclear-Free Goal, Jul 7, 2021, Power, by Darrell Proctor

Taiwan’s move to end the country’s use of nuclear power continues, with Unit 1 of the Kuosheng Nuclear Power Plant being shut down. The reactor was taken offline at the end of June, six months ahead of its scheduled Dec. 27 retirement, with officials saying spent fuel-storage capacity constraints meant the unit could not be refueled…..

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has made closing the country’s nuclear power plants a goal of her administration, saying the three remaining reactors will go offline by mid-2025. The 985-MW Kuosheng unit, which officials said generated about 3% of the nation’s total electricity, is the third of what were six operating reactors to be shuttered……

Decommissioning Plan

Taipower first proposed its decommissioning plan for Kuosheng Unit 1 in 2018, and it was approved by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in October 2020. The plan included construction of a dry storage facility for used fuel, but a dispute between the city of New Taipei and Taipower has delayed the project.

Officials in New Taipei have yet to issue a permit for the storage facility, which would house the used fuel rods from Unit 1. The New Taipeil government has said it does not want a permanent spent nuclear fuel storage facility within the city……..

Tsai, who took over as Taiwan’s first female president in 2016, is the leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The DPP has championed a “nuclear-free homeland.” The president in her opening remarks at the renewable energy-focused EnergyTaiwan event in October 2020 called on Taiwan to be “a leading center of green energy in the Asia-Pacific region.”

New policy initiatives have supported that goal, including amendments to the country’s Electricity Act that mandated nuclear power generation be ended no later than 2025. The government has said it expects moving away from coal-fired and nuclear power, and support of gas-fired generation and renewable energy, will generate about $36 billion in investment in the country’s energy sector by 2025, along with creating 20,000 jobs………..

Voters also on Aug. 28 will be asked about a plan to restart construction of the Lungmen Nuclear Power Plant 4. That plant, designed with two General Electric advanced BWR reactors and generation capacity of 2,700 MW, was expected to be completed in 2004 after construction began in 1999. Numerous delays, cost overruns, and government opposition put the project on hold in 2014. Even if voters approve a restart, analysts have said it’s unlikely the project would resume under the current administration. https://www.powermag.com/taiwan-shuts-another-reactor-as-part-of-nuclear-free-goal/

July 8, 2021 Posted by | decommission reactor, Taiwan | Leave a comment

France refuses to hand over maps of nuclear tests in Algeria

France refuses to hand over maps of nuclear tests in Algeria, https://en.mehrnews.com/news/175726/France-refuses-to-hand-over-maps-of-nuclear-tests-in-Algeria 7 Jul 21, France conducted several nuclear tests in the Algerian desert between 1960 and 1966, four of which were conducted on the ground and 13 underground.

Tayeb Zitouni, minister of Mujahideen and Right Holders of Algeria made the remarks on the occasion of the 59th anniversary of the country’s independence from France (July 5, 1962).

According to Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, Zitouni said that the French side refuses to provide a map showing the exact location of the tests and the disposal of nuclear and chemical waste.

He said France had so far taken no action to clear the area of the contaminated areas or pay compensation to the victims of the nuclear tests.

The case of the atomic explosions is one of the most important unresolved cases between Algeria and France, which has reached a stalemate in negotiations, and on any occasion, the Algerian authorities ask Paris to accept responsibility for this sensitive case.

July 8, 2021 Posted by | France, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

The UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) deplore the new secrecy on defence nuclear safety reports

The UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) is very disappointed with the decision of a tribunal appeal related to the Information Commissioner that has decided to not allow certain defence nuclear safety reports to be published, citing ‘national security’ grounds.

As ‘The Ferret’ investigative journalism site has uncovered, annual reports by the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) internal watchdog, the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR), were published for 10 years under the Freedom of Information Act, but ceased in 2017, when the MOD deemed these reports now as ‘too sensitive’ to go into the public realm.

The Ferret has noted previously that the reports for 2005 to 2015 highlighted “regulatory risks” 86 times, including 13 rated as ‘high priority’. One issue repeatedly seen as a high risk was a growing shortage of suitably qualified and experienced nuclear engineers, which is of real concern to
the NFLA.

 NFLA 5th July 2021

July 8, 2021 Posted by | safety, secrets,lies and civil liberties, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Tim Farron MP Calls for Inspector into Coal Inquiry to Have Sight of Secretive Licences – Coal Boss/GDF Advisor Refuses Public View – Why? — RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

Originally posted on Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole: Top image is?Copeland Search area for Consideration for Geological Disposal Facility Bottom image is?West Cumbria Mining licence application areas?for under the Irish Sea – the black bits are known land and sea coal reserves. ?Details of the latest applications from the developers are being withheld from…

Tim Farron MP Calls for Inspector into Coal Inquiry to Have Sight of Secretive Licences – Coal Boss/GDF Advisor Refuses Public View – Why? — RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

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

July 7 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Why North America’s Killer Heat Scares Me” • When he saw North America’s killer heat dome, BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin felt a “gut-tightening sense of foreboding.” It was not because new heat records were set in north-western US and Canada. That happens from time to time. It was because the old records […]

July 7 Energy News — geoharvey

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