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The week in nuclear news

This week s news –   Olympic ecstasy – all those lovely medals. It’s hard to get past that, – for example, to find out how many of the 220  or more coronavirus positive people associated with the Games, are actually athletes. It is not polite to discuss the costs of the Games, – money that could have gone into tackling Tokyo’s heath problems, as Tokyo’s state of emergency  hits 4,000 new Covid-19 cases daily.I’m sorry, but I can’t get enthused about an event designed as the ”recovery” from the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. It’s so in line with that other timely myth, that it was OK, in 1945, to obliterate  two whole cities of children, women and men, in each case, with just one diabolical new bomb. (Attached is a video, 5 years old, but still valid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-07xiaBl2vk)World coronavirus–  case numbers keep growing. Climate change:  Critical measures of global heating reaching tipping point.  Climate Change Is Driving Deadly Weather Disasters From Arizona To Mumbai

Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki – no excuses for having nuclear weapons !

Degrowth: the necessary climate solution no-one is talking about. terrific, thought provoking article 


Small nuclear reactors
, a dangerous experiment, and distraction from real climate action – David Suzuki.

If man cannot overcome his desire to kill, we are doomed.

JAPAN. A-bomb survivor activist, 89, calls Japan’s failure to back nuclear ban ‘disgraceful‘. International Symposium for Peace 2021: The Road to Nuclear Weapons Abolition- online international conference – held from Hiroshima.

UK. 

  UK debate should not be about excluding China from nuclear build, but about whether nuclear build is even necessary. All logic says that UK’s Hinkley Point C nuclear power project should be abandoned now. 

Britain’s secret shortlist of areas earmarked for the dumping of nuclear waste. English and Welsh concerns – call on Marine management leaders to postpone the dumping of Hinkley radioactive mud in te British Channel. Over 1.5k people sign petition against nuclear waste storage in Lincolnshire, UK.

USA. 

CHINA. Taishan nuclear reactor shut down for repairs to damage. Over a month after radioactive leak, China decides to shut down Taishan nuclear reactor ”for maintenance”.

IRAN. U.S. Weighing New Sanctions on Iran as Nuclear Deal Hangs in Balance.

ALGERIA. Algeria: deep resentment of French colonialism and the effects of nuclear bombing -still very real today.

AUSTRALIA. Higher cancer and stillbirth rates in Aboriginal people living near the Ranger uranium mine.

August 2, 2021 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki – no excuses for having nuclear weapons !

On Friday, ‘Say no to nuclear weapons’    https://www.theday.com/article/20210801/OP03/210809975 August 01. 2021

Frida Berrigan  It was a long time ago, but it is still important. On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped a new bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. It was morning, children were walking to school and adults were headed to work. When the bomb dropped, tens of thousands of people were turned to ash in an instant; human beings became shadows on the wall.

A few days later, on August 9, the U.S. dropped another nuclear bomb on Nagasaki

The two bombs killed as many as 210,000 people instantly, destroyed most of the city centers and poisoned countless people with radiation. In the last seven decades, nine countries have come to possess these powerful, nation-destroying weapons. The Soviet Union, which engaged in a decades long Cold War and nuclear arms race with the United States, was joined in the nuclear club by China, France, the United Kingdom, Israel, Pakistan, India and North Korea.

But most of the firepower is in the possession of the U.S. and Russia, the former super-power rivals.

In January 2021, the world celebrated the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Under international law, it is now illegal to possess, use, or threaten to use nuclear weapons. This is a huge step towards abolition — but the United States, Russia and the other nuclear weapons states stand outside the international consensus that nuclear weapons are an existential and unconscionable threat to the future.

Nuclear weapons have cost the United States more than $5.5 trillion since 1945, according to the Brookings Institution. Over the next decade, it is projected that the United States will spend another $634 billion on nuclear weapons research and development. So, while our government has not detonated another weapon in war since 1945, that choice to spend so much money on building and perfecting nuclear superiority means that so many key priorities — from environmental protection to infrastructure restoration — have been underfunded or not funded at all.

People living and working in poor communities say: the bomb goes off every day in my neighborhood.

Here in New London, General Dynamics/Electric Boat is making massive profits designing and building nuclear-powered and armed submarines. The new Columbia-class submarine is another boon to the company, which is the sixth largest U.S. military contractor. CEO Phebe Novakovic personally earned almost $19 million in 2020.

Meanwhile, the median income in New London is less than $36,000 a year. But it isn’t just about money, it’s about what these weapons are capable of: massive destruction and the grim future that will result from spending so much on weaponry and not nearly enough to solve the big problems that face us and future generations.

Each of the 12 new Columbia Class submarines are designed to be armed with up to 16 Trident D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, or SLBMs, which have a range of 4,500 miles. Those D-5s can each carry as many as 14 W-76-1 thermonuclear warheads. Each one of those warheads is six times more powerful than the atomic bomb that the U.S. military detonated at Hiroshima all those years ago.

Multiply 12 times 16 times 14 times 6 and the potential carnage is almost unfathomable.

The best way to understand the Columbia class submarine, then, is as a $100 billion-plus initiative that aims to deliver 16,128 Hiroshimas.

On this 76th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, we must say no to nuclear weapons. We call for abolition. We say yes to a better future. Nuclear weapons do not make us secure. A better future must include affordable health care, housing, education, a universal basic income, a functional and modern infrastructure, and sustainable solutions to the climate crisis.

Frida Berrigan is a New London resident and a member of the Connecticut Committee for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It is organizing a public witness on Friday, Aug. 6 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the intersection of Howard and Bank streets. Demonstrators will call on General Dynamics to honor the victims of seven decades of nuclearism by converting its operations to the long overdue work of repairing infrastructure and addressing the climate crisis. For more information, email joanne@warresisters.org.

August 2, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Degrowth: the necessary climate solution no-one is talking about

The Necessary Climate Solution No-one is Talking About   https://www.tasmaniantimes.com/2021/08/degrowth-necessary-climate-solution-no-one-is-talking-about/ Erin Remblance 1 Aug 21,

For all the talk of renewable energy, electric vehicles and plant-based diets, there’s a gaping hole in the way we’re trying to solve accelerating climate change.

We will not stay below 2°C of warming while pursuing economic growth – yet barely anyone talks about it.

 Since the end of World War II Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth has been the metric of human prosperity in Western nations – the idea being that if the productivity of the economy increases so will the wellbeing of the people within that economy. And for a while that was the case – but since the 1970’s increases in GDP have, on average, failed to translate into increases in wellbeing and happiness.

It is not surprising. Research has shown that once a certain GDP threshold, or level of wellbeing, has been met people gain little from consuming more ‘stuff’ – a necessary requirement for continuous GDP growth.

 Robert F Kennedy eloquently summed up the inadequacy of GDP as a metric of wellbeing at a speech he gave in 1968:t]

The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.

It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.

What’s more, GDP has never been, and can’t be, decoupled from material footprint, including energy[i]. This means we cannot roll out renewable energy fast enough to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement – to keep warming below 2°C – if we continue growing our economy.

Three percent growth every year for the rest of this decade is 30% growth by 2030. Achieving a 75% reduction on 2005 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 is a Herculean effort already, let alone if the economy is 30% bigger by that time. And surely, given the urgency with which we must decarbonise, reducing energy demand must be a part of the mix, even if it means reducing GDP?

There are nearly 8 billion people in the world today – but they haven’t all contributed equally to the climate crisis. Between 1990 and 2015 the world’s wealthiest 1% were responsible for double the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the poorest 50%. Over that same period, the wealthiest 10% of the world’s population were responsible for 52% of the world’s GHG emissions, while the poorest 50% were responsible for only 7% of the world’s GHG emissions.

Degrowing our economy to fit back within the planetary boundaries will also allow people living below satisfactory standards of human wellbeing to improve their living conditions. Data from 2016 showed that 940 million people still didn’t have access to electricity, and 3 billion people didn’t have access to clean fuels for cooking. These people don’t even own a washing machine, let alone a car and they certainly aren’t flying anywhere. Degrowth is not only necessary to solve the climate crisis, it’s the only way to address widening inequality across the globe.

For all the talk of renewable energy, electric vehicles and plant-based diets, there’s a gaping hole in the way we’re trying to solve accelerating climate change.

We will not stay below 2°C of warming while pursuing economic growth – yet barely anyone talks about it.

 Since the end of World War II Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth has been the metric of human prosperity in Western nations – the idea being that if the productivity of the economy increases so will the wellbeing of the people within that economy. And for a while that was the case – but since the 1970’s increases in GDP have, on average, failed to translate into increases in wellbeing and happiness.

 It is not surprising. Research has shown that once a certain GDP threshold, or level of wellbeing, has been met people gain little from consuming more ‘stuff’ – a necessary requirement for continuous GDP growth.

 Robert F Kennedy eloquently summed up the inadequacy of GDP as a metric of wellbeing at a speech he gave in 1968:t]he gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.

It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.

What’s more, GDP has never been, and can’t be, decoupled from material footprint, including energy[i]. This means we cannot roll out renewable energy fast enough to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement – to keep warming below 2°C – if we continue growing our economy.

Three percent growth every year for the rest of this decade is 30% growth by 2030. Achieving a 75% reduction on 2005 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 is a Herculean effort already, let alone if the economy is 30% bigger by that time. And surely, given the urgency with which we must decarbonise, reducing energy demand must be a part of the mix, even if it means reducing GDP?

There are nearly 8 billion people in the world today – but they haven’t all contributed equally to the climate crisis. Between 1990 and 2015 the world’s wealthiest 1% were responsible for double the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the poorest 50%. Over that same period, the wealthiest 10% of the world’s population were responsible for 52% of the world’s GHG emissions, while the poorest 50% were responsible for only 7% of the world’s GHG emissions.

Degrowing our economy to fit back within the planetary boundaries will also allow people living below satisfactory standards of human wellbeing to improve their living conditions. Data from 2016 showed that 940 million people still didn’t have access to electricity, and 3 billion people didn’t have access to clean fuels for cooking. These people don’t even own a washing machine, let alone a car and they certainly aren’t flying anywhere. Degrowth is not only necessary to solve the climate crisis, it’s the only way to address widening inequality across the globe.

What could life in a degrowth economy look like? It would involve shorter working weeks and less commuting, giving us more time to do things we enjoy. Less individual ownership and more sharing. Less debt and more services provided by the government. A focus on community and connection rather than individualism and perpetually trying to find happiness through our next purchase, holiday or experience.In a degrowth economy environmentally destructive and resource intensive industries would be scaled back, and more people would be working in jobs that benefited one another and the planet, putting more meaning and purpose into our lives.



We would value different things in a degrowth economy and define success differently. A degrowth economy does not need to mean a degrowth lifestyle, indeed we could be richer for it.

It’s probably tempting to define a ‘degrowth’ economy as socialism, but it’s a false binary that an economic system is either capitalism or socialism. All economies are a mix of both, often with other bits of ‘isms’ thrown in for good measure. Let’s use our imaginations and contemplate what life could look like if we focused on the things that really matter, and not simply the amount of growth in our economy.

In the end, the economy is a man-made construct. It can be changed. The laws of nature, however, cannot. It would be tragic to look back and think we gave it all up because we weren’t brave enough to challenge the insane notion of endless growth on a finite planet with the urgency it deserves.

 [i] Chart page 102, Less is More, Jason Hickel Global GDP & Material Footprint.

Erin Remblance is a mother-of-three who works in carbon reduction, is a climate activist and is studying wellbeing economies.

August 2, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, climate change | 1 Comment

A hard rain did fall — Hiroshima victims beyond “official” zone will now be compensated

Hiroshima victims beyond “official” zone will now be compensated

A hard rain did fall — Beyond Nuclear International A hard rain did fall,   Black rain” victims finally win in court  https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2021/08/01/a-hard-rain-did-fall/ By Linda Pentz Gunter
Just weeks before the 2021 commemoration of the August 6, 1945 US atomic bombing of the city of Hiroshima, a Japanese court ruled that victims of the radioactive “black rain” who were living beyond the officially recognized contamination zone at the time, should be included in the group considered bomb “survivors” or “Hibakusha” and receive the same benefits.
A Hiroshima high court acknowledged in its July 14, 2021 ruling that many more people suffered as a result of exposure to “black rain” than have hitherto been recognized as victims.

“Black rain” was described in a CNN story as a “mixture of fallout particles from the explosion, carbon residue from citywide fires, and other dangerous elements. The black rain fell on peoples’ skin and clothing, was breathed in, contaminated food and water, and caused widespread radiation poisoning.”

When the verdict was first released last month, it appeared that the Japanese government, under Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, might appeal the decision. Instead, Suga declared his government, the defendants in the case, would not appeal it and even suggested that relief might be extended to other affected people beyond the plaintiffs. According to the Asahi Shimbun, this may even include those exposed to radiation as a result of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster on the Japan coast.

The court ruling was important because it recognized and acknowledged not only the heaths effects of the radioactive “black rain” atomic bomb fallout, but also the internal exposure to radiation through the ingestion of contaminated water and food experienced by the 84 plaintiffs in the case.

The ruling of course comes very late in the day as many Hibakusha are already deceased. Indeed, one of the plaintiffs, 79-year-old Seiji Takato, told CNN he was worried that if there was no verdict soon, “we would all die if this (case were) prolonged”.

The plaintiffs will now receive the same benefits as residents of the state-designated black rain zone. According to the Kyodo News, these will include “free health checkups and atomic bomb survivors’ certificates entitling them to medical benefits in the event that they develop 11 specific illnesses caused by radiation.”

The United States, the country which dropped the two atomic bombs — on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and then on Nagasaki three days later — has taken neither responsibility for the devastating health consequences, nor offered an apology or compensation. 

Indeed, President Truman, in office when the bombings were authorized, told the Japanese, chillingly, that their sacrifice and suffering were “urgent and necessary.” President Clinton declared that the US “owes no apology to Japan”. He, like other US presidents before and since, clung to the disputable notion that the atomic bombings saved at least one million American lives, an argument ably dispatched by Ward Wilson on these pages in 2018.

To date, Barack Obama is the only sitting US president to have visited Hiroshima, when he traveled there in 2016, but he too failed to apologize for the atrocity. There have been plenty of lively debates on this question: Would an apology open up old wounds, focus too much on the past and be an admission of wrongdoing? Would it also open the door to a floodgate of demands for monetary compensation? Or is an official apology an essential atonement, albeit merely symbolic at this late stage? Could an apology lead in turn to meaningful international engagement on global peace?

Slowly, the Hibakusha have been gaining recognition. One of its most famous and outspoken members, Setsuko Thurlow, accepted the Nobel Peace Prize awarded the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) alongside its executive director, Beatrice Fihn, in 2017. 

The award came on the heels of the instrumental role the Hibakusha played in persuading the UN to create the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weaponsnow ratified by 55 countries and counting, five more than the number that ensured it became law this past January. None of the nuclear weapons states, nor Japan, has signed or ratified the treaty.

At the end of the day, the lesson here is the mantra adopted by the nuclear researchers, whistleblowers and watchdogs at Fairewinds Energy Education: “Radiation knows no borders.”

As Fairewinds wrote in the context of the “black rain” verdict: “Radioactive microscopic particles generated from mining uranium ore, reprocessing atomic fuel, bomb tests, and disastrous meltdowns travel well beyond the arbitrary boundaries and demarcation lines that governments establish to limit their liability and to maintain control over others.”

These warnings serve as a compelling reason to neither test nor use atomic weapons and also as a powerful admonition against the continued use of “civil” nuclear power.

August 2, 2021 Posted by | health, Japan, Legal, Reference | Leave a comment

Small nuclear reactors, a dangerous experiment, and distraction from real climate action – David Suzuki

Renewables cost less than nuclear, come with fewer health, environmental and weapons-proliferation risks and have been successfully deployed worldwide.

Given rapid advances in energy, grid and storage technologies, along with the absolute urgency of the climate crisis, pursuing nuclear at the expense of renewables is costly, dangerous and unnecessary. 

Is smaller better when it comes to nuclear? Pique,  By: David Suzuki  1 Aug 21,  Nuclear power hasn’t been in the news much since the 2011 Fukushima meltdown in Japan. Thanks to a push by industry and governments, you might soon hear more about how nuclear reactors are now safer and better. 

Specifically, the conversation has shifted to “small modular nuclear reactors” or SMNRs, which generate less than 300 megawatts of electricity, compared to up to 1,600 MWe for large reactors.  

Some of the 100 or so designs being considered include integral pressurized water reactors, molten salt reactors, high-temperature gas reactors, liquid metal cooled reactors and solid state or heat pipe reactors. To date, the industry is stuck at the prototype stage for all models and none is truly modular in the sense of being manufactured several at a time—an impediment considering the speed at which global heating is worsening. 

The benefits touted by industry have convinced many countries, including Canada, to gamble huge sums on nuclear, despite the poor odds. The Small Modular Reactor Action Plan hypes it as the possible “future of Canada’s nuclear industry, with the potential to provide non-emitting energy for a wide range of applications, from grid-scale electricity generation to use in heavy industry and remote communities.” ………

given the seriousness of the climate emergency and the various options for transforming our energy systems to combat it, is nuclear—regardless of size or shape—the way to go? We must rapidly reduce emissions now, and we have readily available technologies to do so. 

New nuclear doesn’t make practical or economic sense for now. Building reactors will remain expensive and time-consuming. Studies estimate electricity from small nuclear can cost from four to 10 times that of wind and solar, whose costs continue to drop. SMNRs will require substantial government subsidies. 

Even when nuclear has to compete against renewables prepackaged with storage, the latter wins out.  

One recent study of 123 countries over 25 years published in Nature Energy found that renewables are much better at reducing greenhouse gas emissions than nuclear—whose benefits in this area are negligible—and that combining nuclear and renewables creates a systemic tension that makes it harder to develop renewables to their potential.  

Like all nuclear reactors, SMNRs produce radioactive waste and contribute to increased nuclear weapons proliferation risk—and Canada still has no effective strategy for waste. Nuclear power also requires enormous amounts of water. 

Corporate interests often favour large, easily monopolized utilities, arguing that only major fossil fuel, nuclear or hydro power facilities can provide large-scale “baseload” power. But many experts argue the “baseload myth” is baseless—that a flexible system using renewables combined with investments in energy efficiency and a smart grid that helps smooth out demand peaks is far more efficient and cost-effective, especially as energy storage technologies improve. 

Even for remote populations, energy systems that empower communities, households, businesses and organizations to generate and store their own energy with solar panels or wind installations and batteries, for example, and technologies like heat-exchange systems for buildings, would be better than nuclear. 

Renewables cost less than nuclear, come with fewer health, environmental and weapons-proliferation risks and have been successfully deployed worldwide. Given rapid advances in energy, grid and storage technologies, along with the absolute urgency of the climate crisis, pursuing nuclear at the expense of renewables is costly, dangerous and unnecessary. 

David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. Written with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Senior Writer and Editor Ian Hanington.            https://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/opinion/opinion-is-smaller-better-when-it-comes-to-nuclear-4175458

August 2, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Higher cancer and stillbirth rates in Aboriginal people living near Australia’s Ranger uranium mine

Aboriginal people near the Ranger uranium mine suffered more stillbirths and cancer. We don’t know why,  The Conversation, Rosalie Schultz, Adjunct Senior Lecturer, College of Medicine and Public Health Centre for Remote Health, Flinders University, August 2, 2021 This article mentions stillbirth deaths in Aboriginal communities.

The Ranger uranium mine, surrounded by Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, operated for 40 years until it closed in 2021During this time, Aboriginal people in the region experienced stillbirth rates double those of Aboriginal people elsewhere in the Top End, and cancer rates almost 50% higher.

But a NT government investigation couldn’t explain why. And as I write today in the Medical Journal of Australia, we’re still no wiser.

We owe it to Aboriginal people living near mines to understand and overcome what’s making them sick. We need to do this in partnership with Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations. This may require research that goes beyond a biomedical focus to consider the web of socio-cultural and political factors contributing to Aboriginal well-being and sickness.

Investigating the health impacts

Uranium was mined at Ranger from 1981 until 2012. Processing of stockpiled ore continued until 2021. This is despite community opposition when the mine was proposed and during its operation.

Over the life of the mine, there have been more than 200 documented incidents. Diesel and acid spills have contaminated creeks and drinking water.

The Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation represents the Mirarr people of the region. For decades it has expressed grave concerns about continuing incidents and the lack of an effective government response.

When Ranger’s operators proposed expanding the mine in 2014, opponents pointed to suggestions of higher rates of stillbirth and cancer among Aboriginal people living nearby.

The NT health department then set up an investigation. Investigators began by identifying all Aboriginal people who had spent more than half their lives near the mine between 1991 and 2014. These people were compared with all other Aboriginal people in the Top End.

The investigators considered the worst-case scenario would be if Aboriginal people were exposed to radiation from the mine contaminating bush food, water or air, and this exposure increased stillbirth and cancer rates.

Investigators also looked at smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol and poor diet as possible contributing causes.

Here’s what they found

Investigators found the rate of stillbirth was 2.17 times higher among Aboriginal women near the mine. Radiation can lead to stillbirth by causing congenital malformations, and some other risk factors for stillbirth appeared more common amongst women near the mine. However the investigation found neither radiation nor other risk factors explained the higher rate of stillbirth.

The rate of cancer overall was 1.48 times higher among Aboriginal people near the mine than elsewhere in the Top End. No rates of single cancers were significantly higher…………. https://theconversation.com/aboriginal-people-near-the-ranger-uranium-mine-suffered-more-stillbirths-and-cancer-we-dont-know-why-164862

August 2, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, health, indigenous issues, Reference | Leave a comment

International Symposium for Peace 2021: The Road to Nuclear Weapons Abolition- online international conference – held from Hiroshima

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) that took effect in January was the central theme of an international conference held online from Hiroshima on July 31. Issues discussed included how the treaty would contribute toward nuclear disarmament as well as the role Japan should play within the pact that it has not yet ratified.

The International Symposium for Peace 2021: The Road to Nuclear Weapons Abolition was sponsored by the
Hiroshima city government, the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation and The Asahi Shimbun. The theme for this year’s event was “A new world illuminated by ‘treaty of hope.’”

 Asahi Shimbun 31st July 2021

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14408019

August 2, 2021 Posted by | Japan, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Over a month after radioactive leak, China decides to shut down Taishan nuclear reactor ”for maintenance”

China has shut down a nuclear reactor for “maintenance” because of what it said was minor fuel damage, after an increase in radiation levels prompted warnings from its French designers of an “imminent radiological threat”.

The authorities switched off the new-generation European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) at Taishan in Guangdong province today, more than a month after saying minor fuel rod damage had led to the “common
phenomenon” of a build-up of radioactive gases that were no cause for concern.

“After lengthy conversations between French and Chinese technical personnel, Taishan Nuclear Power Plant decided to shut down Unit 1 for maintenance,” China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) said. It added that it was putting safety first and wanted to be “conservative in decision making”.

 Times 30th July 2021

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/china-shuts-taishan-nuclear-reactor-over-imminent-safety-threat-srx2wjw6f

August 2, 2021 Posted by | China, safety | Leave a comment

English and Welsh concerns – call on Marine management leaders to postpone the dumping of Hinkley radioactive mud in te British Channel

 EDF has this week rejected concerns about radioactivity from its dredging in the Bristol Channel around Hinkley Point power station near Burnham-On-Sea. A coalition of concerned Bristol Channel researchers and
campaigners says they have undertaken a pre-dredging radioactivity survey near Hinkley Point because “EDF, who want to dump radioactivity in the Bristol Channel, refuse to do it.”

The coalition, representing interests from both Welsh and English communities along the Bristol Channel/Severn estuary coasts, has appealed to the CEOs of the Marine Management Organisation and Natural Resources Wales (who must both adjudicate on EDF’s application to dredge) and the Westminster and Welsh Governments, who oversee those two agencies, to postpone any dumping decision until the survey results are published. The coalition has also formally requested a Public Inquiry to discuss the issues.

 Burnham-on-sea.com 30th July 2021
 https://www.burnham-on-sea.com/news/edf-rejects-radioactivity-concerns-over-hinkley-point-dredging/

August 2, 2021 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Britain’s secret shortlist of areas earmarked for the dumping of nuclear waste


Southend-on-Sea, Essex, is the county’s most populous area, with more people living in the borough than anywhere else, but it’s a different story when you go to one of its most easterly points. Once you pass Shoeburyness, the area becomes almost entirely uninhabited.

A series of islands, including Foulness Island and Wallasea Island, are situated here. They’re mostly marshy, boggy areas, but a few people still live there. A number of these islands are or have been owned by the government’s Ministry of Defence, who use this area for a variety of purposes, including as a
shooting range.

One of these islands is Potton Island. This island is mostly uninhabited, separated from the mainland by a thin creek only navigable via a small bridge which leads to the village of Great Wakering.
In the 1800s, it was used as farmland until a major flood left the island abandoned. It was restored in the 1940s, and fell under the control of the Ministry of Defence in the 1950s before being turned back into a space for
pasture and farmland.

Documents released in 2005, after decades of secrecy, outlined areas the British government had earmarked for dumping nuclear waste in the 1980s and 1990s. Whilst any dumping would have been done in
managed and safe ways, it’s still concerning to know that areas across Britain were being earmarked as graves for radioactive waste. Waste could have potentially been buried on Potton Island, and pedestrian access onto
it possibly restricted completely. Southend Borough Council reportedly had no idea that Potton Island was on the government’s list of potential dumping locations, and were shocked when they found out it was on the
shortlist.

 Essex Live 31st July 2021

 https://www.essexlive.news/whats-on/classified-plans-use-essex-island-5713965

August 2, 2021 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

All logic says that UK’s Hinkley Point C nuclear power project should be abandoned now.

 

“Anything that passes nuclear’s costs on to the taxpayer — costs like nuclear waste management, nuclear station decommissioning, or delays and cost overruns — will be a total betrayal of taxpayers and cost every household in Britain a small fortune,”

Times 1st Aug 2021, David Cameron could barely hide his glee. In June 2014, the then prime minister welcomed Chinese premier Li Keqiang, who signed a string of trade and investment deals totalling £14 billion. The deal bonanza came a year before the Chinese agreed to pump billions into Hinkley Point C in a move that was meant to revive Britain’s nuclear industry, ushering in a new Sino-British golden era.

That vision is long gone and the future of the UK’s nuclear industry is up in the air after reports that the government is exploring ways to remove state-owned China General Nuclear (CGN) from the proposed £20 billion Sizewell C nuclear plant on the Suffolk coast, amid mounting concerns about Beijing’s influence in critical infrastructure projects.

If the government removes CGN from Sizewell, the Chinese could pull out of all three, leaving a multibillion-pound black hole in Britain’s nuclear plans.

One way in which the government might attract new backers to replace Chinese money would be by introducing a regulated asset base (RAB) funding model. Usually reserved for capital -intensive sectors such as water and energy where monopolies exist, RAB takes the risk away from the developer and piles it on to consumers through higher bills during the construction phase. The RAB model was used
to support the Thames Tideway “super sewer”. Steve Thomas, professor of energy policy at Greenwich University, said: “On Hinkley, intuition says it cannot possibly be abandoned now — but all logic says it should be abandoned now.

You can’t imagine that after 15 years, the government is going to say, ‘Sorry, we made a mistake with this.’ But the reality is that it will be the most expensive power on the system, so from a consumer point of view, it will be awful.” A paper authored by Thomas with Alison Downes of the pressure group Stop Sizewell C estimated that using the RAB model could pile more than £500 on to household bills during the
construction, assuming cost overruns and delays.

Sir Ed Davey, the former energy secretary and now Liberal Democrat leader said “Anything that passes nuclear’s costs on to the taxpayer — costs like nuclear waste management, nuclear station decommissioning, or delays and cost overruns — will be a total betrayal of taxpayers and cost every household in Britain a small fortune,”

Sources told The Sunday Times that EDF was also keen to eject CGN from Sizewell, as its involvement was becoming a block on securing further investment. Thomas at Greenwich University said: “The problem is going to be finding investors who think the project [Sizewell C] is attractive enough, whilst at the same time not dumping huge amounts of risk on to consumers. And I don’t see how you can square that equation.
All the experience in the past 20 years says that costs are going to go horribly over budget and construction times are going to be horribly delayed. Who’s going to take that risk?”

 https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/britains-nuclear-winter-wch7cg2t5

August 2, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, politics | Leave a comment

Vogtle nuclear power project’s costs – $27 Billion and rising!

“We’re really so far down the path of absurdity with this project.”

Georgia nuclear plant cost tops $27B as more delays unveiled, By JEFF AMY, July 30, 2021 ATLANTA (AP) — Two new reactors at Georgia’s Plant Vogtle will cost another billion dollars, with shareholders of the parent company of Georgia Power Co. taking a $460 million loss and other owners absorbing the rest.

The news came Thursday as Atlanta-based Southern Co. again admitted what outside experts have been telling regulators for months — its $27 billion-plus project at the complex outside Augusta will take longer and cost more than previously estimated.

Managers project construction will take another three to four months. That pushes the projected start date of Unit 3 into the second quarter of 2022, while Unit 4 is now projected to start in 2023. But independent monitors testified in June that they don’t think Unit 3 will start operation until at least June 2022 and projected total additional spending of up to $2 billion.

“It’s hard to be surprised at this point,” said Kurt Ebersbach, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, which opposes the project. “We’re really so far down the path of absurdity with this project.”

The company and regulators insist the plant — the first new U.S. reactors in decades — is the best source of clean and reliable energy for Georgia. Opponents have long pointed to what they say would be cheaper, better options, including natural gas or solar generation.

Southern Co. recorded the entire additional cost as a loss to shareholders on its quarterly earnings report, citing “the significant level of uncertainty that exists regarding the future recoverability of these costs” because the Georgia Public Service Commission must approve spending. The company said it could ask ratepayers to pay for the overrun, though.

Customers are already paying for the plant. Rates have gone up 3.4% to pay for earlier costs and Georgia Power projects rates will rise another 6.6 percentage points for a total increase of 10%. Commissioners are scheduled to vote on another rate increase in November……….

Georgia Power’s capital budget for Vogtle is $9.2 billion, with another $3.2 billion in financing costs projected. The total effect on the budget of the Vogtle project isn’t clear because Georgia Power is paying for only 45% of the project. Electric cooperatives and municipal utilities are paying for the remainder and have different financing costs.

Georgia Power also announced Thursday that it agreed with Public Service Commission staff to not seek any amounts above $7.3 billion until commissioners decide whether the company spent prudently during construction.

Georgia Power already agreed to write off about the first $700 million over the $7.3 billion……..

Besides extended testing, Georgia Power said Vogtle has been delayed by poor construction productivity, the necessity to redo substandard work, the slow pace of contractors turning over systems to the company and repairs to a leak in Unit 3′s spent fuel pool.

In June, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission began a special inspection to determine why so much of the electrical wiring in the plant had to be redone…….

Every month of delay at Vogtle costs roughly $90 million in capital costs, excluding financing costs.

The reactors, approved in 2012, were initially estimated to cost $14 billion, with the first new reactor originally planned to start generation in 2016. Delays and costs spiraled, especially after the main contractor filed for bankruptcy in 2017.

……. The Public Service Commission has reduced the amount that Georgia Power can earn on construction costs because of delays. Southern Co. said those penalties cost it $150 million last year and are projected to cost it another $630 million through 2023.

___    Follow Jeff Amy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jeffamy.  https://apnews.com/article/business-environment-and-nature-georgia-90bbe5cc8e3a1a6077b9e4318e2bbf7e

August 2, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

If man cannot overcome his desire to kill, we are doomed

 If man cannot overcome his desire to kill, we are doomed Independent Australia, We are racing with great speed towards a nuclear holocaust unless man can conquer his fatal disposition for war, writes Dr Helen Caldicott. 1 Aug 21,

”……………..We stand on the brink of extinction unaware that our time on this precious lump of rock in the endless universe is almost certainly to come to an end.

Although the Cold War ended in 1989 to the relief of everyone, vast stores of hydrogen bombs possessed by Russia and the U.S. not only remain intact but missiles armed with these hideous weapons stand on “hair-trigger alert” ready to be activated with a press of the button by either the U.S. or Russian president.

Circling the northern hemisphere they arrive at their destinations 30 minutes after launch, during which the targeted country detects the attack and launches its missiles. Nuclear war would take approximately one hour to complete — eliminating, eventually, most life on the planet.

Failing that catastrophe, the human race and our fellow species face other dreadful futures including the rapid advancement of global warming and radioactive elements emanating from nuclear reactors contaminating food chains for eternity — leading to epidemics of cancer, leukaemia, genetic diseases and congenital deformities. However, presently we are racing with great speed towards a nuclear holocaust.

This deleterious situation is treated with ignorance by politicians and the mainstream media who practice psychic numbing as we stumble blindly towards our demise. 

In the past, men have perpetually fought and killed over territorial disputes, religious convictions, tribal animosities, jealousy and sheer stupidity. But unless men stop fighting and killing we are doomed, because any fraught international event could hold the seeds of a holocaust.

For instance, on 9/11 United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) put its nuclear weapons on the highest state of alert ready for launch because nobody knew what was happening — was it the Russians, or someone else? Nevertheless, the U.S. was poised to blow up the world if necessary. This is apparently routine practice during international crises of unknown origin.

Recently, the world was faced with an ignorant narcissist with his finger on the nuclear button. How come the physicists, engineers and military men who have laced the world with nuclear weapons ready to launch with a three-minute decision time by fallible men – most likely, a U.S. or Russian president – never factored into their equations of probability that an immature, petulant man-baby could hold the seeds of our destruction in his tiny hands?

So, the outstanding question presents itself — is the human species an evolutionary aberrant with a fatal disposition for war?

Equipped as we are with a large neocortex capable of wondrous scientific discoveries – but little psychological maturity – can we now, armed as we are with nuclear weapons, conquer this disposition and stop fighting, or are we doomed? To use an apt medical analogy, the planet is dominated by a particularly virile pathogenic species and that is us. If we cannot overcome and conquer this desire to kill, then we and most other planetary species are doomed.

So why do men kill?

Albert Einstein believed:

The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything except our thinking. Thus, we are drifting toward catastrophe beyond conception.’

He also said:

‘It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.’

When I was 12 years old I asked my father: “Why do men rape women after they conquer a territory and win a war?”

I respected this man enormously who usually provided answers to my questions, but he was stumped this time. It was obvious that the men had waged the war and killed, but what on earth was the animosity towards women?

This raised the obvious question — what is the connection between violence and sex in males?

‘Apparently, the circuitry for sex and violence is intimately linked in the male brain.’

This work [research on rodents] has not been repeated in humans, however, it is assumed that the circuitry is similar in other mammalian species…………………………………

https://independentaustralia.net/article-display/helen-caldicott-if-man-cannot-overcome-his-desire-to-kill-we-are-doomed,15357

August 2, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

August 1 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Enbridge’s Pipeline 3 Threatens An Endangered Species – Contact The EPA” • The drinking water of people who live along the Mississippi River is put into danger by Enbridge’s Pipeline 3. There are many other reasons to oppose it. One, however, is the survival of a rare mussel species. And that gives us […]

August 1 Energy News — geoharvey

August 2, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment