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Renounce the use and further development of nuclear weapons

‘Renounce the use and further development of nuclear weapons,

By ANDREW LARKIN 8/4/2021 I am a child of the nuclear age.

My father was a radiologist. He  witnessed the aftermath of the bombing of Nagasaki. He wrote the first paper that appeared in the American literature about the effects of the bomb. He documented the injuries to the bone marrow and to the skin. He noted that the thermal injuries to the skin felt warm, but radiation injuries to the skin felt cold.

My father was left with the 1,000-yard stare characteristic of people who have been exposed to trauma, as were so many other members of the Greatest Generation, the victors of World War II. They were advised to go home and keep secrets; they were to be silent. Those with severe moral and physical injuries filled the beds of the VA across the nation for decades.

Then the above-ground testing ended, and children could once again play outdoors. However, the radiation lingers in the earth; the half-life of strontium 90 is 30 years. Today, 60 years later, there remains one-quarter of the original amount.

We have been destroying both ourselves as well as the environment with the development of our nuclear arsenal. There has been injuries where radioactive ore has been mined, such as the Sioux Indian Reservation in the Dakotas. The processing and enrichment of the ore has lead to superfund sites in Hanford, Washington.

The consequences of radiation exposure, including cancer, vascular disease, and birth defects, persist long after the exposure is over. Untold numbers have suffered and died. This destruction is occurring in a state of peace.

As with global warming, this is not a problem of the future. The nuclear disaster is already happening now. The consequences of nuclear weapons use in war today would be cataclysmic.

Most people here agree that Trump should not have had his finger on the button. I do not believe that anyone should be able to push the button.

Some argue for nuclear deterrence. They believe that they have the knowledge to use these weapons wisely. The word hubris comes to mind.

For love of the world and its continuation I believe we must renounce the use and further development of nuclear weapons before we destroy ourselves.

August 5, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Please Remember ‘Hiroshima – Nagasaki Never Again’ Kendal and Lancaster — RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

Many thanks to South Lakeland and Lancaster CND Hiroshima Commemoration, 7.30 pm Friday 6 August 2021 (Kendal) Please gather at the peace pole in Abbott Hall Park at 7.30 pm. The only essential thing to bring is yourself, but, if possible, please also consider bringing a relevant reading / song /poem or similar to share, […]

Please Remember ‘Hiroshima – Nagasaki Never Again’ Kendal and Lancaster — RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

August 5, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mainstream media ignores how Israel continues sabotaging the Iran nuclear deal 

Mainstream media ignores how Israel continues sabotaging the Iran nuclear deal again, the danger of conflict between Israel and Iran is rising. Once again, the mainstream U.S. media is either ignoring or distorting the news.BY JAMES NORTHAUGUST 4, 2021  Once again, the danger of conflict between Israel and Iran is rising. Once again, the mainstream U.S. media is either ignoring or distorting the news.

A drone attacked an Israeli-linked oil tanker in the Arabian Sea last week, and after a few days the U.S., Britain and Israel all accused Iran. The Washington Post report briefly noted that the drone strike is the latest in “tit-for-tat attacks” by both Israel and Iran, but stopped there. The Post nowhere mentioned that Israel is credibly charged with sponsoring attacks inside Iran, including assassinating Iranian scientists. At least the Post carried a report: the New York Times so far has ignored the latest escalation. 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised a “collective response” to the allegedly Iranian drone attack, but the new Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett warned that Israel could act against Iran on its own.

You have to turn to Fred Kaplan in Slate to find out what’s really going on here. Kaplan, who is not known as a foreign policy dove, accurately points out that the escalation must be considered against the backdrop of the negotiations to restore the Iran nuclear deal, which have reportedly stalled. He starts by noting that in the past two years “Israel has launched at least 10 attacks on Iranian vessels,” a statistic missing in the Post and Times. Even more vitally, Kaplan explains that Israel stokes the tension to try and sabotage the deal. He says that once Biden took office, then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu “stepped up attacks on Iran — knowing that Iran would strike back, which would make a new nuclear deal still more unpalatable politically.”

Kaplan connects the dots:

On April 6, hours before U.S., Iranian and European diplomats assembled in Vienna to reopen talks on the nuclear deal, an elite commando unit of the Israeli Navy attacked an Iranian military vessel.

Netanyahu is gone, for now, but Kaplan argues that Bennett must maintain the same hardline, anti-nuclear deal policy: “Israel’s fragile new government is in no position to take daring moves toward engaging with Iran.”

Contrast Kaplan’s insights about the Iran deal with a July 31 New York Times report on the same subject. The Times article does warn that the negotiations have stalled. But somehow the paper does not mention Israel one single solitary time. 

August 5, 2021 Posted by | Israel, media | Leave a comment

Group of USA Republicans and Democrats united in $trillion Bill to subsidise the nuclear and carbon capture industries

Bipartisan $1 trillion Senate infrastructure bill focuses on nuclear, carbon capture, transmission, Utility Dive  Aug. 3, 2021

Bipartisan $1 trillion Senate infrastructure bill focuses on nuclear, carbon capture, transmission, Utility Dive  Aug. 3, 2021

Catherine Morehouse A bipartisan group of senators on Sunday unveiled its nearly $1 trillion infrastructure bill, formalized into text following a 67-32 consensus to advance the legislation. The vote to advance the bill included the support of 17 Republicans.

The approximately 2,700-page bill would invest billions of dollars in transmission and grid infrastructure, new advanced nuclear plants as well as current nuclear facilities, electric vehicle infrastructure, carbon capture and other clean energy resources.

Ten senators led negotiations on the bill over the weekend, and it remains to be seen whether the legislation has enough support on either side of the aisle to make it to President Joe Biden’s desk. The bill will likely face several rounds of amendments, according to multiple reports…………………

Nuclear, carbon capture a focus

The Senate bill targets two clean [whaa aa t?] energy technologies that currently aren’t an economically viable investment for most utilities: carbon capture and storage and nuclear power. It focuses less on renewables,…..

On nuclear power, the legislative package targets aging power plants as well as yet-to-be-built small modular reactors. It sets aside $6 billion for the Department of Energy to spend on nuclear facilities that are under threat of being shut down due to economic factors. It also sets aside $6 billion in funding for microreactors, small modular reactors and advanced nuclear reactors.

The nuclear industry has struggled economically for decades, and proponents of the fuel believe policy should focus on saving existing plants and financing newer, smaller facilities. 

The chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission earlier this year predicted that without congressional assistance, the nuclear industry would go under trying to compete with cheaper resources like wind, solar and natural gas. Three nuclear plants owned by Exelon in Illinois failed to clear the PJM capacity auction in June, following the utility’s announcement earlier that year that the plants might face retirement without economic assistance from the state. Only one nuclear unit has been put into service in the last 30 years, and two units are under construction in Georgia, but the Georgia Vogtle project has run over budget and been delayed for years.

The Senate package is “a welcome step forward,” said John Kotek, senior vice president of policy development and public affairs at the Nuclear Energy Institute, but “additional action must be taken” to retain the existing fleet of nuclear power plants, including through a production tax credit………….

August 5, 2021 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

The UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA)and other organisations dismayed at approval for dumping Hinkley radioactive mud into coastal waters

The UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) and the
campaigning group Geiger Bay express their deep dismay on the decision over
the weekend by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to allow EDF Energy
to dredge mud and sediment from the cleared Hinkley Point C site into a
coastal site close to the North Somerset town of Portishead. (1)

That this controversial decision was issued unusually over a weekend in the middle of
the holiday season, and from initial reading, appears to be a rushed
response after previous delay, adds to that dismay. The NFLA and other
groups raised significant concerns in our submission to the MMO urging them
not to approve this application. Our concerns, like that of local councils
and a wide range of environmental and community groups, appear to have been
simply ignored. Campaigning groups and other environmental groups are now
seeking legal advice on the decision document.

 NFLA 3rd Aug 2021

August 5, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Framatome’s sub-standard nuclear fuel is threatening the survival of France’s nuclear company EDF

 It is not only in China, in the world’s first operational EPR nuclearreactor, that the fuel produced by EDF’s subsidiary, Framatome, is a problem. In France, in the Ardennes, an unprecedented incident on the nuclear fleet has just occurred in a reactor and potentially concerns ten reactors, to varying degrees of severity.

This nuclear fuel that poisons the life of EDF

by Martin Leers,  Le Journal de l’energie 2nd Aug 2021

Metal guards that enclose the reactor fuel, called cladding, deteriorate too quickly. A problem far from trivial: fuel cladding plays a key role in the safety of nuclear reactors. This “accelerated” corrosion appeared between 2020 and 2021 in one of the two reactors at the Chooz power plant. A fault which currently forces EDF to extend its shutdown since March 2021 and has therefore already cost it more than a hundred million euros.

But the stakes for EDF are much more important than a shutdown of a reactor. The “M5” alloy sheaths, which wear out prematurely in Chooz reactor n ° 2, are fitted to all EPR reactors in France, Finland and China, as well as dozens of other reactors in France and abroad.

Is there a link between this incident in France and that of the leaking ducts of the first EPR reactor in service in the world in Taishan (China)?

Why do these latest generation sheaths wear out prematurely?

A burning question for EDF, which is trying to convince the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) and the Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) to reuse cladding with questionable reliability in reactors.

How did the problem come to be at the Chooz nuclear power plant?

When the Chooz reactor n ° 2 was shut down in February 2021 to reload the fuel, particles were discovered on the fuel assemblies and in the water of the primary circuit [1] . “Numerous white migrant bodies of a few millimeters were either collected by the anti-debris devices or remained on the assemblies”, explained EDF in an internal letter to ASN, dated July 7, 2021. An abnormal phenomenon . These particles are zirconium oxide which originates from the surface of the fuel cladding. [2] Their presence indicates that the sheaths are degrading. “The consequence of an abnormally high corrosion rate”, clarified EDF in the letter to ASN.

These particles are very friable and cannot cause a loss of tightness in the nuclear fuel, explained Karine Herviou, deputy director general of IRSN, to the Journal de l’énergie .

The fuel claddings are tubes more than 4 meters long and less than 1 centimeter in diameter, very thin (0.6 mm thick) in which the uranium pellets are stacked. These sheaths, commonly called rods, are brought together in assemblies, each made up of 264 sheaths. The core of Chooz nuclear reactor No. 2 contains 205 assemblies. In Chooz reactor n ° 2, the abnormal wear is only in the upper part of certain assemblies.

What consequences for the safety of the nuclear reactor could have the accelerated wear of the fuel rods?

The cladding plays an important role for reactor safety: they form the first barrier between nuclear fuel, containing very dangerous radioactive substances, and the environment. They must prevent radioactivity from spreading in the water circulating in the nuclear core. However, “damage to the surface of certain fuel cladding calls into question the demonstration of the integrity of the fuel in service”, considers ASN. This means that this incident calls into question the parameters which guarantee, in the eyes of ASN, the safety of the reactor in normal operation and during accident scenarios.

“Accelerated corrosion is likely to weaken the cladding and increase the risk of loss of integrity of the rods concerned during accidental transients and therefore lead to rupture of the first barrier”, explains EDF in the internal letter to ASN from July 7, 2021. But EDF does not consider this scenario plausible.

What are the causes of abnormal wear of the fuel rods?

EDF estimated on July 7 that “at this stage of the investigations, no single cause appears at the origin of the phenomenon of accelerated corrosion (…) which rather finds its explanation in a combination of several unfavorable factors”. But the M5 alloy from which the sheaths are made “seems to be the trigger,” notes EDF.

The iron content of the sheaths singled out

It is the low iron content of the cladding alloy which is partly responsible for their degradation. Two production batches for low iron content sheaths have been identified by EDF. The most damaged sheaths come from these lots, which EDF calls “hyper sensitive castings”. But until the February 2021 incident on Chooz reactor no.2, slight variations in iron in the cladding alloy were not considered to be a factor in the degradation of the fuel rods. The variable iron content of fuel cladding does not appear to have been perceived as a problem in France by the fuel assembly manufacturer, Framatome, or by the operator EDF, or by ASN and IRSN.

The sheaths which deteriorate are “in conformity” with the specifications

“The iron content of these batches is within the standards”, explains IRSN. “The products supplied by Framatome comply” with the specifications, “iron was not considered as a characteristic parameter for the behavior of the rods in the core. », Adds ASN.

Following the incident, EDF informed ASN that the iron content will be increased in the cladding which will be used in reactor No. 2 at Chooz from “cycle 20”. Not the next time the reactor is reloaded, but the next.

A “multifactorial” phenomenon

The iron content of pencils is not the only culprit. EDF puts forward other causes to explain the degradation of the fuel cladding. The temperature is higher at the top of the nuclear core in the most powerful reactors, those of 1450 MW, than in the less powerful reactors, those of 1300 MW. It is in this area that the cladding deteriorated in two 1,450 MWe reactors in France. What would happen if low iron cladding was introduced into EPR reactors, even more powerful than the 1450 MW reactors?

Another unfavorable element: the positioning of the fuel assemblies in the reactor vessel. “The corrosion rate depends on the place of an assembly in the reactor core during the first cycle”, particularly in the four most powerful reactors in the French fleet, explains EDF in an internal document. [3]

An unprecedented incident in France but not abroad

If this wear had never been observed in France, it had already occurred on three nuclear reactors in Brazil and Germany, two of which used the same M5 alloy. [4] As at the Chooz power station, the most worn cladding was the one with the lowest iron content. “The phenomenon of accelerated corrosion observed at the end of cycle 18 of Chooz B2 is comparable to other events in Konvoi reactors abroad”, notes EDF in the internal letter to ASN. Therefore, why was this incident not anticipated in France when the nuclear operators and institutions say they maintain a permanent dialogue on safety at the global level?

The nuclear safety experts from the German GRS institute have not been able to fully identify the causes of the corrosion of the cladding on German reactors, adds Karine Herviou of IRSN.

M5 alloy sheaths are fitted to all EPR reactors in France, Finland and China, as well as dozens of other reactors.

Designed to be more corrosion resistant than previous alloys and to improve nuclear fuel efficiency, the M5, manufactured by Framatome, is widely used in nuclear power worldwide.

“A large majority of reactors in France use assemblies with M5 cladding,” explains Karine Herviou of IRSN. Framatome claims its M5 sheaths are used in 96 nuclear reactors around the world, in a 2018 brochure .

The same cladding is used in the EPR reactors at Flamanville (Manche), Olkiluoto in Finland and Taishan in China. M5 alloy sheaths had many leakage problems in the 2000s, says a 2008 IRSN report:

“Between 2001 and 2008, around thirty fuel assembly leaks with M5 alloy cladding were detected. To date, EDF has identified three types of faults causing leaks in fuel rods with M5 alloy cladding. »Defects now corrected……………

10 nuclear reactors in France affected by the cladding defect discovered at the Chooz power plant

For the moment, ten nuclear reactors in France are directly or indirectly affected by the defect in the cladding discovered on the reactor n ° 2 at Chooz.

“To date, seven 1,300 MWe reactors and three 1,450 MWe reactors have at least one rod with a low iron content, in the core or in the management reserve,” ASN told the Journal de l’énergie .

But the inventory of potentially defective rods is still in progress, “even if it should not change”, added ASN. In addition to the two production batches for low iron content sheaths, EDF identified other batches of concern and informed ASN of them in an internal letter. How many ? Mystery.

“An inventory of the iron content of each of the rods of each of the assemblies present in the reactor or in reserve is being drawn up”, specifies ASN…………..

Is EDF’s priority to save fuel even if it means playing stunts with nuclear safety?

EDF is therefore forced to adapt the operation of the two reactors to the defective ducts with “compensatory” measures. EDF proposes that Chooz reactor no. 2 only operate at 92% of its power during its next cycle. For Chooz reactor n ° 1, the operator proposes to reduce load monitoring. [6] “Depending on the elements, EDF could be required, on reactors 1 of Chooz, 1 and 2 of Civaux and 3 of Cattenom to take compensatory measures (either to limit maneuverability or to operate at a drop in power)” , announces the operator in the internal letter of July 7, 2021 to ASN.

Measures that would have a financial impact. The aim, explains ASN, is “not to allow a reactor operating mode where this corrosion acceleration is possible”.

IRSN must deliver its opinion on EDF’s proposals in a few weeks, then ASN will decide.

Why does EDF not give up using potentially defective cladding in reactors? Is it about saving fuel even if it means doing acrobatics with nuclear safety?

Neither EDF nor Framatome answered questions from the Journal de l’énergie .

August 5, 2021 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

The incident that caused the shutdown of the Taishan nuclear power plant occurs regularly in France

The incident that caused the shutdown of the Taishan nuclear power plant
occurs regularly in France. An expert will have to determine whether the
responsibility of the French fuel manufacturer, Framatome, is engaged in
the incident at the Chinese plant.

 France TV info 3rd Aug 2021

August 5, 2021 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

US companies announce plans for nuclear-powered bitcoin mine

US companies announce plans for nuclear-powered bitcoin mine WNN, 04 August 2021  Talen Energy Corporation has announced a joint venture with US-based bitcoin mining company TeraWulf to develop up to 300 MW of zero-carbon bitcoin mining capacity. The Nautilus Cryptomine will be powered by Talen’s Susquehanna nuclear power plant.Phase I of the Nautilus Cryptomine facility will be a 180 MW bitcoin mining facility, which will be built on Talen’s digital infrastructure campus adjacent to the nuclear power plant in Berwick, Pennsylvania. The facility will be powered via a direct interconnection to Susquehanna ………….

August 5, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Israel Says Iran Should ‘Never Become a Nuclear Power.’ But What if It Already Is One?

Analysis | Israel Says Iran Should ‘Never Become a Nuclear Power.’ But What if It Already Is One? When politicians talk of a ‘nuclear Iran,’ what exactly do they mean? It is important to understand the terminology, and also for Israel to be on the same page as the Americans before nuclear talks resume The epicenter of the core of Israeli policy on Iran’s nuclear ambitions and program can be reduced to one sentence: “Israel will never allow Iran to become a nuclear power.” A sentence that says it all despite the inherent vagueness, and accurately reflects Israeli interests and its mode of thought…..

August 5, 2021 Posted by | Iran, Israel, politics international | Leave a comment

Technology won’t be enough to tackle climate emergency, researchers say — RenewEconomy

Researchers say relying on technologies alone will not be enough to avoid a climate emergency, and question the viability indefinite economic growth. The post Technology won’t be enough to tackle climate emergency, researchers say appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Technology won’t be enough to tackle climate emergency, researchers say — RenewEconomy

August 5, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

US Renewables Generated More Power Than Coal Or Nuclear In 2020 For First Time

US Renewables Generated More Power Than Coal Or Nuclear In 2020 For First Time,  IFL SCience,  Jack Dunhill, 3 Aug 21, Renewables produced more power than coal or nuclear power in the USA last year for the first time in history, according to a new report by the Energy Information Administration. With surges in windsolar and hydroelectric power, the renewable industry produced 21 percent of all electricity generation in the US last year, a massive increase over the previous decade.  

Over the past year, the US has seen record growth in renewable power generation, adding 26 gigawatts of production capability in 2020 alone, 80 percent more than 2019. Combined with previous infrastructure, it brought the total renewable power production up to 170 gigawatts, which edged out both nuclear and coal by just a few percent (20 percent and 19 percent of total energy production, respectively). …..

August 5, 2021 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

EDF’s plans to produce pink hydrogen at proposed 3.2GW nuclear plant are ‘daft’: argues influential independent analyst Liebreich

EDF’s plans to produce pink hydrogen at proposed 3.2GW nuclear plant are ‘daft’: Liebreich

French utility wants to divert nuclear power to electrolysers at times when the supply of wind and solar is high, but ‘the economics won’t work’, argues the influential independent analyst, Recharge,  2 August 2021    EDF is planning to produce low-carbon “pink” hydrogen at a controversial planned nuclear power plant in the UK only at times when the supply of wind and solar is plentiful — an idea that influential analyst Michael Liebreich has dismissed as “daft”

The French state-backed power giant wants to build the £20bn ($27.8bn) 3.2GW Sizewell C facility on the coast of eastern England, and the UK government is said to be keen to give it the go-ahead as it aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

But in the wake of the hugely expensive Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in southwest England — which is now under construction after receiving an eye-wateringly high strike price of £92.50/MWh for 35 years (rising with inflation) — the government is wary of committing so much taxpayer money to the project.

In what could be seen as an effort to firm up government support for Sizewell C, which would come on line in 2034, EDF has unveiled plans to use the proposed facility to produce clean hydrogen by diverting electricity to H2-producing electrolysers on days when the supply from wind, solar and hydro are high.

If new nuclear is to have any chance of succeeding it will be by being paired with demand-responsive processes like electrolysis or desalination,” Liebreich wrote on Twitter. “But the idea of making H2 [from nuclear] only with excess power on sunny or windy days is daft: the economics won’t work.”………

Producing hydrogen through electrolysis only at times of excess renewable power has long been derided as uneconomic. This is because using electrolysers only occasionally will significantly increase the levelised cost of the hydrogen (LCOH……….

UK’s nuclear problems

The UK government is said to be considering funding Sizewell C through a “regulated asset base” model, through which consumers would pay a top-up on their electricity bills way before the plant starts generating power. But this would potentially mean that consumers would also have to pay for any cost overruns — a very common problem for the nuclear industry.

According to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the typical nuclear power plant built since 1970 had a cost overrun of 241%. This has meant it has been hard for new nuclear projects to attract investment.

The UK government is said to be considering taking over the 20% stake in Sizewell C currently owned by China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN), after declaring that it no longer wanted Chinese state-owned companies involved in the UK atomic power sector. CGN owns a 33% stake in Hinkley Point C.

Former UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey, who is now the leader of the Liberal Democrat party, says the government’s focus should be on far cheaper wind and solar, rather than expensive, risky nuclear.

“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,” he said………..

August 5, 2021 Posted by | technology | Leave a comment

Campaigners dismayed as application to dump Hinkley Point mud in the Bristol Channel is approved.

 Campaigners dismayed as application to dump Hinkley Point mud in the
Bristol Channel is approved. Anti-nuclear campaigners have expressed
‘deep dismay’ following confirmation that the Marine Management
Organisation (MMO) has approved EDF Energy’s application to dump mud and
sediment from the construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station
into a coastal site close to the north Somerset town of Portishead.

“The MMO document endangers health all around the estuary, including the coast
of south Wales, as the Welsh Government Davidson Committee’s independent
report makes it clear that material dumped at Portishead travels
anticlockwise round the estuary,” Geiger Bay spokesperson Richard
Bramhall said. “This includes a long-term threat from inhalable particles
of uranium and plutonium. We are facing a culture of deliberate ignorance.
Future generations will pay the price.”

 Nation Cymru 3rd Aug 2021

August 5, 2021 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

UK Taxpayer funding will pour in, to get Rols Royce’s small modular nuclear reactors happening

 Rolls-Royce lines up funding for mini nuclear reactor revolution. Private
backing for Rolls-led consortium to build new generation of ‘mini nukes’
unlocks hundreds of millions of taxpayer support. Britain has taken a
crucial step towards creating a fleet of mini reactors that would reduce
reliance on Chinese money and nuclear technology after Rolls-Royce secured
investment to build the world’s first production line.

A consortium led by the FTSE 100 engineer has secured at least £210m needed to unlock a
matching amount of taxpayer funding, which will make it the first “small
modular reactors” (SMR) developer to submit its designs to regulators. It
is understood heavyweight financial investors specialising in energy are
now thrashing out the final details of their backing to drive work on the
so-called “mini nuke” power plants.

State support for SMRs – which
each generate about 450 megawatts, about a seventh of the output of
conventional nuclear power stations such as Hinkley Point – was revealed
in the Prime Minister’s ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution
released in the autumn. ………..

SMRs must play a
critical role in our clean energy transition and can open new export
markets worth billions of pounds. “To realise this potential, however,
the Government needs to establish a siting and policy framework by next
year to enable the deployment of a fleet of SMRs and capture the promise of
a net zero [that’s a lie] future.” Although officials are engaging with other businesses
on SMRs, one Whitehall source described the Rolls-led consortium as “by
far the most advanced”.

The UK SMR consortium also includes the National
Nuclear Laboratory and Laing O’Rourke, the construction firm. Ministers
are expected to push for the Office for Nuclear Regulation to prioritise
assessment of the consortium’s SMR design, while simultaneously driving the
planning process to get potential sites.

 Telegraph 3rd Aug 2021

August 5, 2021 Posted by | politics, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

A 1967 Solar Storm Nearly Caused A Nuclear War

A 1967 Solar Storm Nearly Caused A Nuclear War, Earth Sky, Lia De La Cruz,August 3, 2021 

The great 1967 solar storm

On May 23, 1967, more than two decades into the high drama of the Cold War, surveillance radars on far-northern parts of the globe (northern Alaska, Greenland, and the U.K.) suddenly and inexplicably jammed. These radars were designed to detect incoming Soviet nuclear missiles. An attack on them by another nation was considered an act of war.

It was a time when tensions between the U.S. and Soviet Union were running high. U.S. military commanders did consider that the jammed radars might be an attack by our enemies. On that fateful day in 1967, these commanders ordered a high alert. They authorized aircraft armed with nuclear weapons to take to the skies. Luckily, before they did, another reason for the jammed radar emerged.

In the end, an unlikely set of heroes – some of the earliest space-weather forecasters – emerged to save the day. They realized that the effects of a powerful solar flare had jammed the radar. Their knowledge of the sun averted what might have become an all-out nuclear war.

Atmospheric physicist Delores Knipp of the University of Colorado and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (both in Boulder, Colorado) collaborated with retired U.S. Air Force officers to bring this story to light in 2016. Their article – how a solar flare nearly triggered a nuclear war – was published on August 9, 2016, in the American Geophysical Union’s journal Space Weather. The authors wrote:

We explain how the May 1967 storm was nearly one with ultimate societal impact, were it not for the nascent efforts of the United States Air Force in expanding its terrestrial weather monitoring-analysis-warning-prediction efforts into the realm of space weather forecasting.

How could this happen?!

Solar flares are massive bursts of radiation from the sun, associated with sunspots. They’re our solar system’s largest explosive events, lasting from minutes to hours. They’re seen as bright patches on the sun’s surface. But solar flares are ordinary events. Especially near the peak of the sun’s 11-year cycle of activity, they happen often………….

As the flare’s effects on Earth unfolded, the three different Ballistic Missile Early Warning System radar sites – the Clear Air Force Station in Alaska, Thule Air Base in Greenland, and Fylingdales in the U.K. – all stopped working. The sudden influx of solar radio waves had overwhelmed their systems, the study authors wrote…………..

According to the study authors, it was NORAD’s correct diagnosis of the solar storm that prevented the U.S. military from taking disastrous action. Knipp noted in their paper that the critical information was likely relayed to the highest levels of government. It possibly even reached then-President Lyndon B. Johnson……….

How would a space superstorm affect us today?

The solar storm demonstrated why reliable forecasting of what’s come to be called space weather is so important. The world learned this lesson: intense solar flares are capable of disrupting radio communications……….

Bottom line: The U.S. Air Force began preparing for war on May 23, 1967, thinking that the Soviet Union had jammed a set of American surveillance radars. But military space-weather forecasters intervened in time, telling top officials that a powerful sun eruption was to blame. Physicists and Air Force officers described the close call in an August 2016 paper published by the American Geophysical Union.

Source: The May 1967 great storm and radio disruption event


August 5, 2021 Posted by | history, incidents, weapons and war | Leave a comment