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Nuclear news – week to 19 July

Today, Dr Helen Caldicott speaks out forcefully on the omnicidal threat of nuclear war, on male aggression, and the need for women to take control in national governments.

On matters nuclear – not much is happening – news items this week, from UK, Canada, France and USA show that  nuclear development is stalling.    Meanwhile renewable energy is charging ahead globally – cheaper and faster. I am not able to keep up with solar, wind, developments etc.

CORONAVIRUS –  What’s happening in Canada and around the world.

CLIMATE.  Cascading Tipping Points & Permafrost. Germany the latest victim of extreme weather.

A bit of good news. Huge Supply of Water is Saved From Evaporation When Solar Panels Are  Built Over Canals 

AUSTRALIA

INTERNATIONAL.

With all its wisdom, the human race is killing itself.

As the world starts to panic over climate change, nuclear evangelists offer spurious solutions.

British court ruling heightens danger of Assange extradition to the US.

How Right-Wing Extremists Pose A Nuclear Threat.

The International Atomic Energy Agency is well aware of that danger we don’t discuss – NUCLEAR TERRORISM.

Automation in nuclear weapon systems: lessons from the man who saved the world.

The Catholic Worker Movement, and its anti-nuclear heroes in prison.

EUROPE. Expert opinion: why nuclear energy should not be included as sustainable in Europe’s green taxonomy financing.

USA

CANADA. Small Nuclear Reactors are all the hype. But here’s the reality.

FRANCE. French nuclear company EDF struggles with increasing debt and poor prospects for its nuclear fleet. A new problem for France’s nuclear company EDF threatens to further delay its plans for new model European Pressurised Reactor (EPR2). Costly dismantling of France’s Brennilis nuclear power plant continues, 35 years after shutdown.

PACIFIC ISLANDS. Nuclear-free Asia Pacific Report.

SPAIN. Spain’s nuclear regulator blocks permit for a uranium concentrate plant.

JAPAN. Japan’s government acknowledges that solar power will be cheaper than nuclear. Japanese government considers extending maximum nuclear reactor lifespan beyond 60 years. 

3rd-gen Nagasaki A-bomb survivor continuing decades-long work for nuclear free world

UK. UK government’s pointless pursuit ofnuclear power, as renewable energy proving to be cheaper and faster. UK government plan – residents on the hook in advance for costly Sizewell nuclear plan that will be useless to combat climate change. Green energy suppliers protest at UK government’s funding plan to promote nuclear power, with residents exposed to nuclear cost overruns. Nuclear colonialism.

ISRAEL. Israel determined to“maintain military superiority’‘, in preparation for a nuclear Iran.

GREENLAND. Greenland moves toward a stricter ban on uranium mining.

 

July 19, 2021 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Small Nuclear Reactors are all the hype. But here’s the reality

promoting a dizzying assortment of  next-generation models that have collectively been dubbed “small modular reactors” (SMRs).……..

The real challenge “is answering all the safety questions that any good regulator would ask: ‘How will this behave if there’s an earthquake or fire? What happens if there’s a complete blackout? What happens if this component fails?’ ” Answering such questions requires an intensive research program and countless hours of laboratory work, which can take decades. There’s no guarantee the answers will be favourable.

Governments, utilities and the nuclear industry hope small modular reactors will power Canada’s future. Can they actually build one?  The Globe and Mail MATTHEW MCCLEARN, JULY 17, 2021  Ontario Power Generation plans to make a decision this year that might determine the future of Canada’s nuclear industry.The utility, by far Canada’s largest nuclear power producer, promises to select a design for a 300-megawatt reactor it proposes to build at its Darlington Nuclear Generating Station by 2028. The estimated price tag: up to $3-billion. It would be the first new reactor built on Canadian soil in well over three decades. OPG won’t make that decision alone, because it’s intended to be the first of many reactors of the same design built across the country.Canada’s nuclear industry desperately needs a next act…..  With a supply chain of more than 200 companies covering everything from uranium mining, to operating power plants, to decommissioning them, Canada is considered a Tier 1 nuclear country.

But lately, this machine has been devoted to squeezing more life out of old CANDU units, largely through Ontario’s $26-billion plan to refurbish its Darlington station, east of Toronto, and the Bruce Power complex, on Lake Huron. The industry has few, if any, exciting new products for sale……
but  renewable forms of generation – hydro, wind, solar and biomass – have become preferred tools for decarbonizing electricity grids. And utilities can buy inexpensive wind turbines and solar panels today.

Seeking to catch up, dozens of nuclear vendors sprung up just in the past few years, promoting a dizzying assortment of  next-generation models that have collectively been dubbed “small modular reactors” (SMRs)………

U.S. President Joe Biden and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson have also indicated they will also support SMR development, as have some prominent investors, notably Bill Gates.

Here’s the reality: Most SMRs exist only as conceptual designs and are not yet licensed for construction anywhere.

The promised assembly lines that would churn them out like clockwork don’t exist


Here’s the reality: Most SMRs exist only as conceptual designs and are not yet licensed for construction anywhere. (The international law firm White & Case says the only contemporary SMR in existence is located on a vessel anchored off Russia’s Arctic coast. According to reports, construction of China’s first SMR recently commenced on the southern island of Hainan.) The promised assembly lines that would churn them out like clockwork don’t exist; many vendors are early-stage companies with hardly any revenues.
To change this, the federal government will probably have to open wide the taxpayer’s wallet. And the industry must move quickly from bold marketing claims to commercially viable products

OLD IDEAS, NEW PACKAGESMR is a marketing term, rather than a technical one, reflecting the industry’s aspirations rather than what it can deliver today.In Canada, SMR has come to describe reactors that generate 300 megawatts or less. That isn’t exactly small – it’s enough to power a small city – but for comparison’s sake, Ontario’s largest current reactors generate around 900 megawatts. Some proposed SMRs would produce just a few megawatts. The industry pitches them for remote Indigenous communities, industrial use (at mines, for instance) and tiny island nations.Small reactors aren’t new. They’ve been used in icebreakers, submarines and aircraft carriers. And many SMRs are based on concepts contemplated as long ago as the 1950s.

Oakville, Ont.-based Terrestrial Energy Inc., one of OPG’s potential partners, intends to use molten salt, rather than water, as a coolant. The company says its technology is a “game-changer”: The Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) would operate at much higher temperatures (about 700 C) than conventional reactors (about 300 C)….

As for the “modular” part, the notion is that SMRs would be mass-produced on assembly lines and shipped to where they’re needed, rather than custom-built onsite. This plug-and-play approach is intended to reduce purchase costs and accelerate deployment…………….

SMRs appeal to certain nationalist impulses as well: Canada is, after all, the world’s second-largest uranium producer.
…… The industry has made limited progress in addressing wastes from decades-old reactors; it’s unclear how novel detritus from SMRs might be handled. Perhaps most damagingly of all, reactors have earned a reputation for being overpriced relative to other forms of generation, and oftenbeleaguered by massive delays and cost overruns.

SMR GAME PLAN

The nuclear industry’s plan to reverse its flagging fortunes begins at Darlington. OPG announced late last year it was working with three SMR developers on preliminary design and engineering work: North Carolina-based GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Terrestrial Energy and X-energy. It promises to select a winner by year’s end….
Naturally, of course, no SMR developer aspires to be a one-hit wonder. So next up: Persuade Saskatchewan to build a fleet of the same reactors……….. Winning Saskatchewan would be a major coup: Jurisdictions that go nuclear tend to stay nuclear for decades. ……  quandary remains: Prospective SMR buyers such as SaskPower can only look at conceptual designs. “There’s been some small demonstration units built, but nothing of the size that we would expect to see in operational terms,” Mr. Morgan said.

……... NUCLEAR GHOSTS Twenty years ago, Canada’s nuclear industry staked its future on updating the venerable CANDU design. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL), the
 Crown corporation that pioneered it, talked up the Enhanced CANDU 6, CANDU 9 and Advanced CANDU Reactor (ACR) as safer, faster to construct, cheaper and better than previous models. The federal government pumped untold sums into their development.None were licensed. None were ordered. None were built.

In 2011, the federal government sold AECL’s reactor business to SNC-Lavalin for a paltry $15-million. After six decades of development, and dozens of bona fide reactors built and operated in seven countries, the CANDU had become nearly worthless.

The proposed site for OPG’s first SMR, next to the existing Darlington Station, is an artifact of that era. In 2006, OPG began preparing to build up to four reactors at the same location. AECL’s Enhanced CANDU 6 and the ACR 1000 were candidates.But the project was derailed in late 2013 when the Ontario government asked OPG to stand down, essentially because the province no longer needed the power. The viability of those “next-generation” CANDUs, however, was never clear.

It’s relatively easy to sketch a reactor design on the back of a napkin, or create promotional videos and brochures with snazzy renderings. Professor M.V. Ramana, of the University of British Columbia’s Liu Institute for Global Issues, says a few graduate students can develop a conceptual design for a few hundred thousand dollars.

But it’s quite another matter to advance a design to the point of actually building it. The real challenge, Prof. Ramana said, “is answering all the safety questions that any good regulator would ask: ‘How will this behave if there’s an earthquake or fire? What happens if there’s a complete blackout? What happens if this component fails?’ ” Answering such questions requires an intensive research program and countless hours of laboratory work, which can take decades. There’s no guarantee the answers will be favourable.

……………  Even a mature design isn’t enough. Just as Ford wouldn’t build an assembly line for the Mustang Mach-E if it thought it could sell only a handful, SMR vendors need assurances they’ll receive enough orders to justify mass production. It’s unclear how many orders would be sufficient, but published estimates have ranged from as low as 30 to well into the hundreds.

……… Prof. Ramana said many of the earliest power reactors met the modern definition of SMRs. But their diminutive size was rarely a virtue: It meant they couldn’t take advantage of economies of scale, resulting in high costs per unit of electricity generated, not to mention disproportionately greater volumes of radioactive waste. Many were shut down early.

“The lesson that we learned from some of these experiences is that designs that might seem captivating on paper might not actually work so well in real life,” Prof. Ramana said. “SMRs are not going to be economical. You can see that from the outset.”

………………. FEDERAL SUPPORT – THE CRUCIAL INGREDIENT. In contrast with the CANDU, the nuclear industry promises SMRs will be funded largely by the private sector. Many observers are skeptical. “Without government programs and financial support promoting SMRs, industry alone is unlikely to invest in the high up-front costs,” opined lawyers at Stikeman Elliott in a recent commentary.
Nor are non-nuclear provinces likely to make the leap alone. Mr. Morgan confirmed Saskatchewan seeks federal support to deploy SMRs, although the form of that support has yet to be determined.

For several years, federal and provincial government officials have signalled they want Canada to be one of the earliest adopters of SMRs. They’ve partnered with industry to produce road maps for making that happen. The governments of Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Alberta have agreed to collaborate on advancing SMRs. Mr. O’Regan, the federal Natural Resources Minister, has fully embraced the industry’s claim that Canada’s clean-energy transition cannot succeed without them,

So far, however, such pronouncements haven’t translated into generous subsidies. The federal government has channelled just meagre amounts of funding to SMRs, such as $20-million last October toward development of Terrestrial’s IMSR, and $50.5-million to New Brunswick-based Moltex Energy in March.
The latest federal budget didn’t mention SMRs. Nevertheless, studying its fine print, lawyers at McCarthy Tétrault LLP noticed what they described as “exciting policy levers.” They pointed, for example, to an income tax break of up to 50 per cent for manufacturers of zero-emission technologies. There was also $1-billion offered for clean tech projects “where there is a perceived lack of patient capital or ability to scale up because of the size of the Canadian market.” SMR vendors could capitalize on such programs, the lawyers concluded, depending on how they’re implemented.

Meanwhile, SMR vendors seek relaxed safety requirements that could make SMRs more cost-competitive. 
……It’s unclear to what extent the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) will acquiesce………….
Obtaining a licence typically takes a few years. “Experience has shown that it will be dramatically affected by the [proponent’s] capability of submitting adequate and complete information on day one,” Mr. Carrier said. Only one SMR has so far commenced a full licensing review: Ottawa-based Global First Power Ltd. submitted documentation for its Micro Modular Reactor in March.
The Union of Concerned Scientists, a long-time opponent of nuclear power, released a study in March which concluded that SMR designs, including molten salt reactors, are no safer than previous designs. It therefore urged regulators to maintain current requirements.

“The intense scrutiny, from policy makers and the public – given the safety and security angle combined with a nascent technology – will likely cause delays and conflicts” for SMR developers, lawyers from global law firm White & Case predicted in a recent commentary.

In short, SMRs’ future depends to a large extent on vendors delivering hard proof supporting their most ambitious promises about safety, efficiency, cost and other matters……..   a late arrival by SMRs could consign them to irrelevance. And right now, many observers regard them as too speculative to factor into forecasts. The federal government’s own Canada Energy Regulator projects the amount of power generated by nuclear reactors in Canada will continue on a declining trend.


Dennis Langren is a regulatory lawyer with Stikeman Elliott. He says the earliest deployments of SMRs in Canada are at least a decade off
Paris-based Mycle Schneider Consulting has reviewed the status of global SMR development three times since 2015. In the firm’s most recent review, published in September, 2020, it found little had changed over the period.

“Overall, there are few signs that would hint at a major breakthrough for SMRs, either with regard to the technology or with regard to the commercial side,” the firm observed. “Delays, poor economics, and the increased availability of low-carbon alternatives at rapidly decreasing cost plague these technologies as well, and there is no need to wait with bated breath for SMRs to be deployed.”

Ralph Torrie is a partner at Torrie Smith Associates, an energy and environmental consultancy. He says he’s focused on power generation options that can be built this decade to address a warming climate – a criterion that, in his view, disqualifies SMRs.“They’re a long way off.”  theglobeandmail.com/business/article-governments-utilities-and-the-nuclear-industry-hope-small-modular/#:~:text=The%20utility%2C%20by%20far%20Canada’s,Nuclear%20Generating%20Station%20by%202028.–













July 19, 2021 Posted by | Canada, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

With all its wisdom, the human race is killing itself

HELEN CALDICOTT: With all its wisdom, the human race is killing itself,  Independent Australia, By Helen Caldicott | 17 July 2021 From a historical perspective, Homo sapiens are an evolutionary aberrant.

Unlike other forms of life, armed with an opposing thumb and a highly developed and advanced neocortex, we have, over time, developed the capacity to destroy most organisms on planet Earth.

This has been accomplished either with the energy of heat, light and power that exist inside the sun or, conversely, by slowly cooking the planet as we release fossil gases — carbon dioxide and methane………..

Little did people know when they developed steam engines, motor cars and factories that were powered by these fossil fuels that within several centuries, such wonderful inventions which made life incredibly easy would, in the long run, threaten the biosphere with eventual extinction.

And ever since humans evolved, the male species has seen fit to harness the overwhelming power of testosterone to kill invading species, but more to the point, slaughter his fellow constituents for territorial gains, power plays and control dynamics. Yes, it is true that other male species will fight to the kill over mating imperatives, food or territorial control, but they have no access to reason, scientific knowledge and moral imperatives.

Congruent with this history, it is obvious that as we became more obsessed with gaining scientific knowledge, such wisdom would be put to better methods of killing.

So where does the human race stand now? Nine countries now own nuclear weapons, with the USA and Russia greatly predominating, owning 94 per cent of all the approximately 14,000 in the world……….

The U.S. now spends over one trillion dollars a year on potential murder, all dressed up in the name of “national defence” which is pure rubbish. Because let’s face it, America has no enemies, Russia has joined the capitalist sphere, China is, at the moment, a little belligerent but the U.S. more so with 800 military bases in 80 foreign countries.

For the human race to survive, it is imperative that we encourage and foster friendship with all nations on Earth, that we reign in the killing testosterone instinct, that women with their nurturing hormones rapidly take control of national governments and pursuant to the teachings of the great moral profits – Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, and all others – that we rapidly learn to live in peace with each other. Or let’s face it, we are doomed and will take the wonders of billions of years of creation with us. https://independentaustralia.net/article-display/helen-caldicott-with-all-its-wisdom-the-human-race-is-killing-itself,15300

July 19, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | 1 Comment

The Catholic Worker Movement, and its anti-nuclear heroes in prison.

Beating Nuclear Arms Into Plowshares, Jacobin, BY EILEEN MARKEY 18 Jul 21, The US nuclear arsenal gobbles up massive resources for death that should be used for human life. For decades, Catholic activists have put their bodies on the line to insist we dismantle that arsenal.

Mark Colville knew he would go to prison. When he and six others took wire cutters to the fence at the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia, home to a Trident nuclear submarine, the night of April 4, 2018, they weren’t trying to evade the law. They intended to break it.

It was the fiftieth anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination, and his 1967 speech on the “triple evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism” echoed in their heads. “Somehow these three evils are tied together,” King had intoned.

For these activists, the bonds are clear: the US dedication to its nuclear arsenal impoverishes the nation as it makes utter annihilation possible. This is a crime far more destructive than any people are routinely put in prison for, the trespassers argue………………

Like hundreds of nuclear weapons sites across the country and around the world, the fifteen-thousand-acre Kings Bay is a central feature of economic and psychic life in its area — in this case, Camden County, Georgia. “We’ve put the world on this hair-trigger alert where every city is fifteen minutes from annihilation — and yet we’re in this state of lethargy,” O’Neill said. “The entire economy of this town is predicated on the end of the world. They are doing the work of Armageddon.”

By midnight, O’Neill and Colville arrived at their destination: a monument in steel and concrete, models of the nuclear arms stored at the base. “It was an idol. We called it the missile shrine,” O’Neill explained. To them it was a false God — a rapacious one who has demanded seventy-five years of human sacrifice.

But their argument is deeper than objection to brutal or wanton spending priorities. To be forced to live under a regime prepared to unleash complete destruction at any moment, knowing that the government is willing to hijack the energy of the most basic bonds at the root of life — the energy in the atom — to destroy the world a hundredfold turns life into a death cult, O’Neill argues.

Eventually the three groups gathered at the missile monument. In a ritual rich with Christian symbolism, McAlister and Hennessy poured their blood on the monument. “Our nation is spilling a lot of blood. The killing our country does, it does in our name, and I strongly object,” Hennessy said.

“Part of the problem,” Colville explained later, “is that the blood spilled by our military isn’t seen. When you see the blood, it offers a potential shift in perspective from this end of the weapon to the other end.” Grady spray-painted “Love One Another” on the pavement. The group read the indictment aloud and unfurled the banner Kelly had been hefting in his backpack: “The Ultimate Logic of Trident: Omnicide.” Then they sat down and waited for the military police to arrest them.

The Catholic Worker Movement………….

The first Plowshares action — named for the biblical admonition from Isaiah to beat swords into plowshares — was launched in 1980 when eight people (including McAlister’s husband and her brother-in-law) broke into the General Electric nuclear missile facility at King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, beat hammers on nuclear warhead nose cones, and poured blood on nuclear blueprints. Since then, there have been more than one hundred similar actions across the United States and in New Zealand, Ireland, England, Australia, Germany, Holland, Scotland, and Sweden. They are direct inheritors of the hundreds of draft-board raids that so bedeviled the United States during the Vietnam War that J. Edgar Hoover established a specific unit to track Catholic activists……………

The Kings Bay seven were arrested on April 4, 2018, and held in the Camden County jail. A few posted bail and went back to their lives to await trial, …..

In 2019, the trial finally began. In October of that year, they were convicted, their arguments about the absurdity that disarming a nuclear weapon could be a crime but possessing one is not, their invocation of religious freedom, and their disputations on justice having convinced neither judge nor jury. Their sentencing was delayed by COVID. Finally, between June 2020 and April 2021, each was sentenced separately……………

“There is not an issue, no matter how small or local, that is not connected to our willingness to murder our children as the necessary cost of achieving security,” he said. “To resist nuclearism is to touch the main wire of racism, violence, poverty in our society.”   https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/07/nuclear-weapons-antinuclear-movement-plowshares-catholic-workers-movement-trident-camden-kings-bay-seven

July 19, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Green energy suppliers protest at UK government’s funding plan to promote nuclear power, with residents exposed to nuclear cost overruns.

Green energy suppliers oppose bills surcharge for new nuclear plants, Critics warn the UK government’s plans could expose households to cost overruns.

Ft.com Nathalie Thomas in Edinburgh  Green energy suppliers are protesting at the prospect of having to add a surcharge to household bills to pay for new nuclear plants in Britain when their customers purposely choose not to support the divisive technology.  

UK ministers are aiming to introduce legislation in the autumn that would allow for a large nuclear power plant proposed for Sizewell on England’s east coast to be financed via a “regulated asset base” model. The scheme would see households help fund the construction of the £20bn plant via a surcharge on their energy bills, regardless of their supplier. 

Households already pay for a number of policy costs via their energy bills, such as subsidies for wind and solar schemes, yet a nuclear surcharge would prove particularly difficult to stomach for companies that offer their customers “100 per cent renewable energy” deals, which do not include nuclear power.
 Dale Vince, the founder of Ecotricity, the first company in Britain to have offered customers green electricity, told the Financial Times: “It’s bonkers we would all have to pay this subsidy for at least a decade of construction and not for power generated.”  

 “The government is reluctant to fund nuclear projects itself, so allowing Sizewell [C] to access the RAB [regulated asset base] system is simply dumping the cost on consumers — even those who have gone renewable, and that’s just unfair,” added Vince. 
 Kit Dixon, policy manager at Good Energy, the UK’s first supplier to offer customers 100 per cent renewable electricity, said that “we should be deeply concerned” by the nuclear industry potentially being offered such a deal to build expensive new plants “with little incentive to deliver on time or within budget”. 

“We’ve got to stop seeing customers’ bills as a sort of cash machine for folly projects,” said another energy chief executive who asked not to be named.  

…………………….Critics of the regulated asset base model warn that it would expose households to cost-overruns, which have proved common in the nuclear industry. 
 Environment groups oppose nuclear on the grounds that it is more expensive than technologies such as offshore wind and leaves a legacy of highly toxic waste that takes more than 100,000 years to decay.  

Bulb, Britain’s seventh biggest supplier by market share, also warned in a response to a consultation on the regulated asset base model that using the financing mechanism for nuclear plants “doesn’t protect customers who choose to be on a renewable tariff but adds costs to their bills for a technology they won’t directly benefit from”………..   https://www.ft.com/content/a12bc937-a91f-4341-ba3e-25d7f7edc6d2

July 19, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

UK government’s pointless pursuit ofnuclear power, as renewable energy proving to be cheaper and faster.

Renewable energy, mainly wind and solar, is rising on the back of rapidly falling costs. So much so that the International Energy Agency, which has in the past been rather guarded about their potential, has switched over to seeing them as the main way ahead, supplying 90% of global electric power by 2050.

 Dave Elliott: No room for nuclear. As noted in an article in Regional Life, a local conservation e-magazine linked to a local anti nuclear group, the flat landscape of the Dengie peninsula in Essex is punctuated by a line of tall wind turbines, slowly turning and the massive grey-blue hulk of the
former Bradwell ‘A’ nuclear power station.

These two features it says graphically express the contrast between rise of renewable energy and the
demise of nuclear power, the past and the future of electricity generation.

Renewable energy, mainly wind and solar, is rising on the back of rapidly falling costs. So much so that the International Energy Agency, which has in the past been rather guarded about their potential, has switched over to seeing them as the main way ahead, supplying 90% of global electric power by 2050.

That is actually quite conservative compared to some projections for the UK: renewables are supplying over 43% of UK power at present and the Renewable Energy Association says that reaching 100% is possible by 2032 – indeed Scotland is already almost there.

All of which raises thequestion of why we are still pursuing nuclear power- which just about
everyone agrees is very much more expensive than wind and solar. The recent BBC TV documentary series on construction work at Hinkley Point C in Somerset made stunningly clear the massive scale and environmental footprint of nuclear projects like this. Especially notable was the vast amount of concrete that had to be poured- the production of which involves significant release of carbon dioxide gas.

That is one reason why nuclear plants are not zero carbon options, another being the fact that mining and processing uranium fuel are energy and carbon intensive activities.

By contrast, renewable energy systems like solar cells and wind turbines need no fuel to run, and, although energy is needed to make the materials used in their construction, the net carbon/energy lifetime debt is less than for nuclear- one study suggested nuclear produces on average 23 times more emissions than onshore wind per unit electricity generated.

The Government’s stated aim is to generate ‘enough electricity from offshore wind to power every home by 2030’. That means many more offshore wind farms, off the East coast and also elsewhere around the UK. With the other renewables also added in and more of them planned (we have 14 GW of solar capacity so far) it is hard to see what the nuclear plants are for – the 9 GW or so of old plants and the new 3.2 GW Hinkley Point C plant, much less any other proposed new ones.

The nuclear lobby sometimes argues we need more nuclear to replace nuclear plants that are being closed and also to back up renewables. It is hard to see how that could work, unless the new plants were flexible, and able to compensate for the variable output of the 30GW or so of wind and solar capacity we have at present. As yet there are no plans to run the Hinkley Point C plant that way, or for that matter, the proposed 3.2 GW Sizewell C.

In which case, adding more nuclear will mean that, at times of low demand, some cheap renewable output, or some low cost flexible gas plant output, would have to be curtailed. What a waste! All of this to keep the £22bn Hinkley Point, and any that follow, financially viable.

 Renew Extra 17th July 2021

 https://renewextraweekly.blogspot.com/2021/07/no-room-for-nuclear.html

July 19, 2021 Posted by | politics, renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Greenland moves toward a stricter ban on uranium mining.

Greenland has taken the first step towards outlawing uranium mining after lawmakers there proposed a stricter version of a ban that the country’s national assembly overturned in 2013. Only July 2, the elected government began a month-long public consultation period for a proposed bill that, in addition to mining uranium, would prohibit the feasibility studies and exploration activities that must be completed before a mining project can be considered for a license to begin operation.

According to proposal, Naalakkersuisut, the elected government, is hoping that a reinstatement of what was known as the zero-tolerance policy, to achieve its goal of ensuring that “Greenland neither produces nor exports uranium.”

 Artic Today 14th July 2021

July 19, 2021 Posted by | ARCTIC, opposition to nuclear, politics | 1 Comment

3rd generation Nagasaki A-bomb survivor continuing decades-long work for a nuclear-free world.


3rd-gen Nagasaki A-bomb survivor continuing decades-long work for nuclear free world, 
July 18, 2021 (Mainichi Japan)NAGASAKI — A third-generation atomic bombing survivor from Nagasaki is fulfilling a promise he made to A-bomb survivors, or hibakusha, who have passed on to continue their work for a world without nuclear weapons.

In anticipation of “an age without hibakusha” where already aging A-bomb survivors will no longer be able to directly pass down their stories, Mitsuhiro Hayashida, 29, has returned to his home city of Nagasaki for the first time in a decade to tell a wide range of generations the reality of atomic bombings. He assumed the position of a specially appointed research fellow at the Nagasaki University Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition on July 1.

……………..  Moved by hibakusha who appealed for a world without nuclear arms even though they were sick themselves, Hayashida promised aging A-bomb survivors that he would work with them toward the goal of nuclear abolishment……….

In 2016, he assumed leadership for the International Signature Campaign in Support of the Appeal of the Hibakusha for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, calling for all states to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which bans all forms of nuclear arms activities including the possession and use of such weapons. The movement collected over 13.7 million signatures and the group submitted them to the U.N.

While the nuclear weapons ban treaty came into effect in January 2021, many hibakusha who treated Hayashida like their grandson have passed away. Wanting to keep his promise he made to the A-bomb survivors, Hayashida returned to Nagasaki in June this year.

He still remembers his late grandfather, who was exposed to the radiation approximately 1.5 kilometers from the hypocenter in the Nagasaki atomic bombing, telling him tearfully about his experience on that fateful morning on Aug. 9, 1945, right before his death. Going forward, Hayashida will be involved in the digitalization of hibakusha testimonies and atomic bombing-related documents. He also plans to work on finding people who are willing to talk about their experience in the bombing.

“For people to feel what the lives of hibakusha were like, which cannot be conveyed just by numbers, I want to record threads of their stories in ways so that people will be able to see their faces, and pass down intimate hibakusha testimonies to the next generations,” Hayashida said.

(Japanese original by In Tanaka, Nagasaki Bureau)  https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210716/p2a/00m/0na/022000c



July 19, 2021 Posted by | Japan | Leave a comment

Significant downsizing of NuScale’s small nuclear reactor project for Idaho – (cost of project unknown)

The company  [NuScale] refused to disclose the modular reactor project’s exact costs.

Eastern Idaho nuclear reactor project downsized, Post Register, By KYLE PFANNENSTIEL kpfannenstiel@postregister.com, Jul 16, 2021

A project to build a first-of-its-kind nuclear reactor in eastern Idaho has been significantly downsized.

The initial plan for the Carbon-Free Power Project was to build 12 interconnected miniature nuclear reactor modules to produce a total of 600 megawatts. It would be the first small modular reactor in the United States. After the company tasked with manufacturing the plants said it could make the reactors more power-efficient, planners reduced the project down to six module reactors that could produce 462 MW total.

“After a lot of due diligence and discussions with members, it was decided a 6-module plant producing 462 MW would be just the right size for (Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems) members and outside utilities that want to join,” said LaVarr Webb, UAMPS spokesman.

The project between UAMPS and Portland-based reactor producer NuScale received $1.4 billion from the U.S. Department of Energy last year. The reactor is planned to be built on the DOE’s 890-square mile desert site west of Idaho Falls at Idaho National Laboratory. 

…….. now that we have made significant progress, including a large cost-share award from the Department of Energy, and NuScale has received design approval from the (Nuclear Regulatory Commission), we’re seeing more and more utilities express interest in the plant.”

So far, Webb said 28 participants have committed to a total of 103 MW. But, he said, “all are currently evaluating whether to increase or decrease” their commitments.

…….. Others who support the project worry about its incomplete financial support. All but one council member that day voted to continue Idaho Fall’s 5 MW commitment. But two voiced direct concern over the project not having full subscriptions. Council member Jim Francis was the sole nay vote.

Last October, the Idaho Falls City Council halved its then-10 MW commitment. The move maintained the city’s involvement but reduced the risk to customers of the city-ran grid, by Idaho Falls Power, if the investment doesn’t pan out, the Post Register previously reported.

Downsizing the project reduces the project’s costs and the amount of power it can produce, overall. 

…….. The company  [NuScale] refused to disclose the modular reactor project’s exact costs.

Webb said the project is currently working toward submitting an application to the NRC in 2024 to build and operate the reactor.  https://www.postregister.com/news/inl/eastern-idaho-nuclear-reactor-project-downsized/article_0c60abf6-d0ea-5d42-9f9e-3cdb1a49b381.html

July 19, 2021 Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA | Leave a comment

Students from North Arizona researched and wrote about the effects of uranium mining, especially on indigenous people.

Navajo youth essay winner looks at uranium trail in Arizona

Picking up the fight — Beyond Nuclear International Diné student wins uranium essay contest, Beyond Nuclear, By Sandra J. Wright, 18 july 21,
Charisma Black, along with other students from northern Arizona, took on a challenge issued by the 4th World Foundation to research uranium mining effects on Black Mesa.

Each writer was also asked to propose actions to limit exposure to radiation.

Black was named the winner of the contest in April. On May 13, she accepted the $500 scholarship award along with a large hand-woven basket filled with traditional clothing and jewelry.

Tommy Rock, an alumnus of Northern Arizona University’s School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, presented the award to Black.

Black’s extended family is from the Pinon, Arizona, area of the Navajo Reservation. But her immediate family moved to Phoenix when she was young.

She returned to northern Arizona about two years ago, and is a graduating student of Flagstaff High School. Only 18 years old, Black has spent a lot of time thinking about uranium.

“My greatest concern was for family members,” Black said. “Uranium has shortened my time with some of them. We have to take care of them. I hope things can change for everyone, not just us Navajo and Hopi people.”

Her awareness of the uranium issue began when she was 10 years old……………

Black’s essay spoke to the environmental reality of living on Black Mesa.

“Uranium is a big issue because it contaminates the water source from underground aquifer of both Navajo and Hopi,” Black wrote. “Water that is accessed is being not only depleted at a dramatic rate, water is also undrinkable in areas that only have wells and windmills for drinking.

“This impacts their health, their livestock, their fields, etc.,” she said. “It is becoming unsafe, uninhabitable and unsustainable to live on the land in Black Mesa. New disease and sickness have come to Black Mesa.”

Black concluded that people “have to participate and learn better ways to keep our land, air and water clean for our peoples, animals and other species. We need to continue the advocacy and organizing to bring attention to the issue of uranium contamination on Black Mesa for sustainability, healthy communities and future generations.”………….

Somana Tootsie, the director of the 4th World Foundation, was on hand during the dinner held in Black’s honor.

Tootsie said that the contest was designed to get tribal youth in the region talking about the larger picture of environmental awareness and responsibility.


“This was an opportunity for young people to hold a conversation with their family members about the effects of uranium on their tribes and neighbors,” Tootsie said.

“We received amazing responses and great ideas on what to do to get more attention on the need for the removal or remediation of radioactive materials left exposed throughout northern Arizona,” she said. “We wanted to get them interested in science.”………….

Exposure not just Navajo

Exposure is not limited to the Navajo, Hopi and other tribes of the region. Radiation from the nuclear testing begun during World War II has created “downwinder” victims across the country to the east.

He finds hope that more people are working the devastating effects of the uranium industry.

“We have many grass-roots organizations addressing uranium,” Rock said. “The University of New Mexico has undertaking a study on uranium exposure. Amended by these studies, we have better access to health care from exposure.

The Navajo Nation Environmental Agency has been stepping up,” he said. “We have the Dine’ Uranium Remediation Advisory Committee, which I sit on.”

The uranium industry has definitely affected drinking water across northern Arizona, and people need to be informed of that fact, Rock said.

“We all must face the reality that we need access to potable water,” Rock said. “Not just for us, but for future generations. We need to be informed.

“We live off the land, and uranium has a great impact on our environment,” he said. “We have to educate tribes, chapter houses, communities, and tell them what we are learning, what we are doing.”………….. https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2021/07/18/picking-up-the-fight/

July 19, 2021 Posted by | indigenous issues, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear-free Asia Pacific Report 

Nuclear-free  Asia Pacific Report 
By APR editor – July 19, 2021   Over the past 50 years, France has continued to deny the tragedies of nuclear testing in French Occupied Polynesia by propagating the theory of “clean nuclear tests”. Image: Youngsolwara Pacific

Asia Pacific Report newsdesk    Moana activists, campaigners, scholars, researchers and Green MPs gathered today in a show of solidarity for Tahiti’s Ma’ohi Lives Matter rally at Auckland University of Technology and vowed to work towards independence for the French-occupied Pacific territory.

A live feed from the Tahitian capital of Pape’ete was screened and simultaneous events happened across the Pacific, such as in Fiji.

Many of the Auckland participants were stalwarts from the early days of the Nuclear-Free and Independent Pacific (NFIP) movement from the 1970s and 1980s and declared their support for pro-independence Tahitian leader Oscar Temaru.

Many speakers protested that Tahitians were still awaiting compensation for the legacy of health problems and the devastation of Moruroa and Fangataufa atolls during 30 years of testing and 193 nuclear blasts, both atmospheric and underground.

The speakers said it was appalling that serious attempts for compensation and a state apology had not happened in the two decades since the tests ended in 1996.

However, reports from Paris at the weekend hinted that the French Polynesian President had indicated that France had for the first time conceded it should compensate Tahiti’s social security agency CPS for the medical costs caused by the tests.

The agency had repeatedly said that since 1995 it had paid out US$800 million to treat a total of 10,000 people suffering from cancer as the result of radiation from the tests.

French PM’s letter
Tahiti’s territorial President Édouard Fritch said he received a letter from French Prime Minister Jean Castex, in which he admitted that the demand for a re-imbursement of the outlays was legitimate…………….

Environmental journalist, author and academic Dr David Robie denounced the “decades of lies, bluster and cover-ups” by French authorities, saying recent allegations published by the book Toxique and investigative website The Moruroa Files were a “game changer” forcing action from Paris…………

The rally participants acknowledged the connection between indigenous struggles in Mā’ohi Nui, Aotearoa, Australia, Hawai’i, Kanaky New Caledonia, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Rapa Nui, Solomons, Vanuatu, West Papua, and the rest of Moana.,,,,,,,    https://asiapacificreport.nz/2021/07/19/nuclear-free/

July 19, 2021 Posted by | OCEANIA, politics international | Leave a comment

A new problem for France’s nuclear company EDF threatens to further delay its plans for new model European Pressurised Reactor (EPR2)

EPR2**

 In a discreetly published notice in March, the Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) – the technical office of the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) – asks the State-owned company EDF to identify the origin of the vibrations affecting the circuit primary water from EPRs, already built or under construction.

And to find a solution to this problem, so that it does not reproduce on its new model of reactor, called EPR 2.

Passed under the radar, the news is yet another hard blow in a story with twists and turns. Indeed, EDF has to date no idea how to solve it.


Consequently, we can already anticipate new years of additional delay inthe development of a technology, supposedly easier to produce and therefore more competitive, on which the group led by Jean-Bernard Levy plays very heavily.

 Blast 17th July 2021

https://www.blast-info.fr/articles/2021/nucleaire-epr2-le-feu-rouge-de-linstitut-de-surete-a-edf-y4TmgjhVQtmts-E5HAkKKA

July 19, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics | Leave a comment

Nuclear colonialism

An Australian artist has accused a group of Conservative councillors of
using “bullying strategies” to silence and censor her work after an
installation she created to highlight Britain’s “identity as a colonial
nuclear state” was removed from a park in Essex. The councillors
threatened to “take action against the work” if it was not removed,
according to Metal, the arts organisation that commissioned and then
removed the installation from Gunners Park in Southend.

 

Guardian 17th July 2021

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2021/jul/17/not-in-this-town-artwork-about-britains-nuclear-colonialism-removed

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July 19, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

July 18 Energy News — geoharvey

World: ¶ “Green Transport Can Only Succeed With A Greener Grid” • To decarbonize the UK’s roads, railways, and flight paths, more clean energy is needed. Senior energy industry sources warned that the UK’s ambitious targets to drive down carbon emissions from the transport sector will require an acceleration of green investment in the energy […]

July 18 Energy News — geoharvey

July 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment