The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

This week – nuclear news

News – oh dear – it’s all too much. And a kind of lethargy sets in, in this uncertain time of pandemic.  I’ve started to type in green bold just those items that I selected as particularly interesting.  

The big news this week is the Afghanistan story.This  USA -led futile military adventure comes to an end. We now prepare for the next one, as weapons industry leaders  salivate in anticipation –  will it be against Iran, North Korea, China …?

With the delta variant – the pandemic rages on.

Climate change news and views continue, with fires and floods, and following the IPCC Report.  I’m finding that only Radio Ecoshock and climate scientist Paol Beckwith seem  to put this all together, clearly.   And someone raised the heretical suggestion that we should give up the system of endless economic growth via consumption.

Some bits of good news –   Rainforest agriculture brings a climate-friendly system to Honduras and other South American nations.  English moor transformed into ‘giant sponge’ to absorb CO2.

The War On Afghanistan Was A $2 Trillion Scam. U.S, costs to date for the war in Afghanistan  in $ billions, 2001-2021.      How War Profiteers Manufacture Consent

NO SUPPORT for NUCLEAR in the new report from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Urgency of the IPCC climate report makes it clear that new nuclear is not the answer. If nuclear power is adopted as the way ahead, the climate fight will be lost.

World careering towards irreversible climate impacts, top scientists warn.

A Day in the Death of British Justice – the case of Julian Assange.

The real photos of the Hiroshima bombing tell the story – no need for fictionalised ones.

JAPANNagasaki remembers the atomic bomb, Olympic officials refuse to allow a minute’s silence. UN pledges full support to Nagasaki voices fuelling ‘powerful global movement’ against nuclear arms. Japanese teenager calls for nuke-free world at U.N. disarmament confab .

CHINA. China starting new nuclear power project, with technology from Russia. Why China is increasing its nuclear deterrence capacity.

CANADA. Canada’s political leaders oblivious to the dangers in making plutonium accessible? Canada’s Moltex small nuclear reactor project -its plutonium process brings danger of nuclear weapons proliferation. Revell River Action Draws Attention to Nuclear Waste Burial SiteUSA


IRAN. Iran’s research reactors prove the nuclear deal is still working. Hopes rise that Iran hardliner will rejuvenate nuclear deal.

NORTH KOREA. The Case for a New North Korean Nuclear Deal.

TURKEY. Turkey’s Akkuyu nuclear station a cause for anxiety in the Eastern Mediterranean,BELGIUM. Inconclusive findings on attempted sabotage of Belgian nuclear reactor.

AUSTRALIA.  Seven vital questions about Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and its nuclear wastes.

August 16, 2021 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

The French nuclear complex — Macron’s love letter to the nuclear industry

Macron’s love letter to the nuclear industry

The French nuclear complex — Beyond Nuclear International The French nuclear complex
  August 15, 2021 by beyondnuclearinternationa      
The all too easy alliance between the civil and military sectors
From the Swiss Energy Foundation sans nucléaire militaire, pas de nucléaire civile (“and without the military nuclear sector, no civilian nuclear sector”). These were the words of French head of state, Emmanuel Macron, during his visit at the end of the year to Le Creusot, a hotspot of the French nuclear industry. Indeed, the civil and military uses of nuclear energy were, are, and will remain, inextricably linked. This is exemplified by the French reactor research project NUWARD. 

The year 2020 ended with a declaration of love from Emmanuel Macron to the French nuclear industry: “Our energy and ecological future depends on nuclear energy”. He added: “Our economic and industrial future depends on nuclear energy. ” Macron addressed these words in a well-received speech delivered at Le Creusot, Burgundy, the very heart of the nuclear industry. The industrial town of Le Creusot is an important production site for components for nuclear power plants as well as for nuclear weapons systems for military use.

The nuclear industry in crisis

However, the last few years have not been a time of joy for the French nuclear industry, but rather a time of crisis. To stay with Le Creusot: The reactor forge facility there, which among other things manufactures the safety-relevant components for nuclear power plants, drew attention to itself in 2016 with a series of irregularities: it emerged that, for years, there had been systematic forgeries. Faulty forged parts were produced. Instead of discarding the rejects, reports were falsified and quality assurance undermined. France’s new-build project, the Evolutionary Power Reactor (EPR), was also affected. The former showcase project sank steadily into a billion-dollar grave.

Along with the Le Creusot scandal, numerous other miscalculations and breakdowns cast a bad light on the French nuclear industry. The construction of the new EPR in Flamanville, as well as other construction projects abroad, made headlines with years of delays and cost explosions. The builder is the French quasi-state nuclear giant EDF. It did not want to bear the cost debacle alone, but also pointed the finger at EPR nuclear giant Areva. However, since 2018, Areva has ceased to exist. 

To prevent bankruptcy, the state has virtually ransomed Areva by means of subsidies. The group was split into the state-owned company New Areva (now “Orano”), responsible for the fuel cycle business, and the reactor construction division Areva NP (now “Framatome”), which also includes the Le Creusot forge. Meanwhile, EDF, 80% of which is state-owned, is struggling with enormous debts —some 41 billion euros at the end of 2019, according to the French Ministry of Economy.

Nuclear DNA – French identity

So the task at hand is to shore up the once-radiant sector in crisis. And Macron’s assurances to Framatome and Co. came at the just right time. On the one hand, there are economic interests, as just explained with the problem child EDF, on the other hand, there is also the French identity and military capacity, founded on France’s nuclear power status. Since the post-war period, France’s self-image has been based to a large extent on the nuclear sector. In Le Creusot, Macron not only praised those present, he also announced the construction of a new aircraft carrier —nuclear-powered, of course.

The NUWARD project: an exemplary case

Among those present at Le Creusot, in addition to Framatome, were managers from EDF, Orano and the Naval Group defense contractor. All of the players are a hybrid of government and private funding, civilian and military exploitation interests. And with the exception of Orano, they are all involved in the new French Small Modular Reactor (SMR) project called NUWARD. The nuclear industry is pinning its hopes on “small modular reactors”.

The project for the French variant NUWARD started about ten years ago, when the contractors EDF, Naval Group (then DCNS), the state nuclear and energy research center CEA (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives) and the then Areva were commissioned with initial feasibility studies. TechnicAtome (formerly Areva TA), a specialist in marine nuclear propulsion systems, was also brought in for the pre-conceptual design. Finally, in September 2019, the partners presented their collaborative NUWARD project at the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

The parties involved emphasize the benefits of NUWARD as an export commodity in the global energy market: it is necessary to meet the increasing demand for energy in the context of rising population and climate policy challenges. To wit: Nuclear energy is again praised as a (supposedly) climate-friendly solution. The small NUWARD with a capacity of about 340 MW is intended as a complement to the EPR with a capacity of about 1700 MW. 

But civilian applications are hardly ever the only ones. The new aircraft carrier, which is to replace the retired “de Gaulle” from 2038, will be nuclear-powered. The experts responsible for this are TechnicAtome and Naval Group.  The new generation of French submarines, currently being developed under the so-called Barracuda program with the same stakeholders, also relies on nuclear propulsion. The suspicion is that TechnicAtome and Naval Group’s interests in NUWARD are aligned on this. According to ASAF, the French Army’s support association, the latter enjoys the opportunity to acquire knowledge that can later be applied in the military field.

From research to armament leader

A deeper look at the project partners involved and their activities shows that the mixture of civil-military engagement is by no means new. For example, the defense industry group Naval Group, the CEA and TechnicAtome are involved in the Barracuda project mentioned above. Naval Group itself, which calls itself the “European leader in naval defense”, is majority-owned by the French government and one-third by the defense contractor Thales Group (which in turn is about one-third owned by the government). In addition to its largely military projects, the group is also active in the civilian sector, as in the case of the EPR4 or through offshore wind energy projects.

Naval Group, meanwhile, is a 20% shareholder in TechnicAtome, whose core business is nuclear submarine propulsion. In addition, the corporation pursues civil nuclear activities. For example, it was responsible for safety systems at Hinkley Point (UK) at the EPR. TechnicAtome was spun off in the 1970s from the state research institute CEA, which remains a shareholder today, along with the state and EDF (itself 85% state-owned). 

The CEA can be seen as a symbol of the interdependence of the military-civilian nuclear establishment. CEA, from the French acronym for Atomic Energy Commission, was founded after World War II and oversees all French nuclear research, both military and civilian. To this day, the research institution is wholly owned by the government. Of note are the unique privileges the CEA enjoys as a public agency: it is accountable for its decisions solely to the French president and is not subject to the same financial controls as other government agencies.

France Nucléaire – Quo vadis?

For the French head of state, abolishing the civil-military “double dimension” makes no sense at all. Rather, it illustrates the coherence between strategic autonomy and energy independence. And this is now being proudly presented in public again, as in Le Creusot.

It is therefore not only worthwhile for the French state to support the struggling civilian nuclear industry, but it seems almost imperative. It does so not only through share packages (see Areva). In addition, Macron is lobbying Brussels to give nuclear energy more prominence in the EU’s climate strategy, with the hope of receiving money from the Green New Deal pots. This would also help the enforcement of the planned national subsidies vis-à-vis the EU. 

State aid en masse is thus intended to save civil nuclear power in France, because the French presidential palace cannot afford to — and will not — do away with the civilian part. As Macron revealed in his closing homage to nuclear power at Le Creusot: “Our strategic future, notre status de grande puissance, depends on nuclear energy”. 

The original article in German, can be found here on the Swiss Energy Foundation (SES) website in its Focus France section. We are grateful to the SES for this translation.

August 16, 2021 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

Canada’s Moltex small nuclear reactor project -its plutonium process brings danger of nuclear weapons proliferation.

Diane Francis: Trudeau’s multi-million dollar nuclear deal called out by non-proliferation experts ,

Scientists fear that the technology used to extract plutonium from spent fuel could be used to make nuclear bombs, Diane Francis Aug 12, 2021  In May, the Geneva-based International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) called out Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government over a deal he has approved and funded that critics say will undermine the goal of nuclear non-proliferation, according to an article published in the Hill Times and recently republished in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Moltex Energy was selected by NB Power and the Government of New Brunswick to develop its new reactor technology and locate it at the Point Lepreau nuclear plant site by the early 2030s. Moltex is one of several companies that are promoting small, “next generation” nuclear reactors to replace fossil fuels in the production of electricity.

Moltex, a privately owned company that is based in the United Kingdom and has offices in Saint John, N.B., says it will “recycle nuclear waste” from New Brunswick’s closed Point Lepreau nuclear plant for use in its small-scale nuclear reactor. Federal funding and approval was announced on March 18 by Dominic LeBlanc, a  New Brunswick MP who serves as minister of intergovernmental affairs.

The scientists dispute the claim that this is “recycling” and are concerned because the technology Moltex wants to use to extract plutonium, a key ingredient in nuclear weapons, from spent fuel could be used by other countries to make nuclear bombs. Decades ago, the U.S. and many of its allies, including Canada, took action to prevent this type of reprocessing from taking place.

“The idea is to use the plutonium as fuel for a new nuclear reactor, still in the design stage. If the project is successful, the entire package could be replicated and sold to other countries if the Government of Canada approves the sale,” reads the article.

On May 25, nine high-level American non-proliferation experts sent an open letter to Trudeau expressing concern that by “backing spent-fuel reprocessing and plutonium extraction, the Government of Canada will undermine the global nuclear weapons non-proliferation regime that Canada has done so much to strengthen.”

The signatories to the letter include senior White House appointees and other government advisers who worked under six U.S. presidents and who hold professorships at the Harvard Kennedy School, Princeton University and other eminent institutions.

The issue of nuclear proliferation dates back to 1974, when Canada got a black eye after India tested its first nuclear weapon using plutonium that was largely extracted using the CIRUS reactor, which was supplied by Canada for peaceful uses. Shortly after, other countries attempted to repurpose plutonium from reactors and were stopped — except for Pakistan, which, like India, succeeded in creating atomic weapons.

The Hill Times pointed out that, “To this day, South Korea is not allowed to extract plutonium from used nuclear fuel on its own territory — a  long-lasting political legacy of the 1974 Indian explosion and its aftermath — due to proliferation concerns.”

The letter to Trudeau concluded: “Before Canada makes any further commitments in support of reprocessing, we urge you to convene high-level reviews of both the non-proliferation and environmental implications of Moltex’s reprocessing proposal including international experts. We believe such reviews will find reprocessing to be counterproductive on both fronts.”

The scientists’ letter has not yet been answered by the government. However, Canadians deserve to be fully briefed on all this and its implications. They deserve to know who owns Moltex, what the risks are to non-proliferation and why taxpayers are sinking millions of dollars into a project that’s morally questionable and potentially hazardous.Read and sign up for Diane Francis’ newsletter on America at

August 16, 2021 Posted by | Canada, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Limited consultation on UK’s commercial nuclear ships’ safety regulations.

On 9 August 2021 the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (Agency) published a Consultation (Consultation) on the draft merchant shipping (nuclear ships) regulations 2021 (Regulations). The Consultation seeks views from interested parties (Consultees) on the proposed Regulations which will transpose the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS Convention) into UK law.

The proposed Regulations only cover commercial ships with nuclear propulsion systems and do not cover barge-mounted reactors for power generation or floating nuclear plants. Responses to the Consultation will be accepted until the 5th of October 2021.

 JDSupra 13th Aug 2021

August 16, 2021 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

Will Sizewell C nuclear project finish off UK’s Avocet bird species?

Will Sizewell C see off the avocet? There are many reasons why birds disappear — and why they return. The avocet, however, is probably the only one that owes its resurgence to the Nazis. After a 100-year hiatus in Britain, this elegant black and white wader reappeared after the second world war. Four pairs were found in Minsmere nature reserve and another four in Havergate Island, both along the Suffolk coast. These areas had been flooded to prevent a German invasion, making them ideal nesting grounds.

The avocet had taken flight from parts of Holland damaged by the Nazis, travelling 100 miles or so here across the North Sea. Today, visitors to Minsmere would be hard pressed not to see an avocet during the summer, and nationally they are no longer listed as endangered. But there are fears of a new danger to their continued success — the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station. The ten-year construction of the plant will involve major disruption to water levels in the area, threatening a huge range of wildlife. So, despite avocets’ recent triumphs, the future
may not be so black and white for these beautiful monochrome birds.

 Spectator 14th Aug 2021

August 16, 2021 Posted by | environment, UK | Leave a comment

America’s ground-based nuclear missile silos – expensive and unnecessary

New report questions the necessity of ICBM silos in Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota

Researchers question whether America can afford to spend money on new system

BY: DARRELL EHRLICK – JULY 28, 2021   A massive recent report by the Federation of American Scientists calls into question whether ground-based nuclear missiles, like the ones siloed in Montana, are still necessary to the country’s safety.

The question of nuclear missiles is not new, but lead author Matt Korda, a research associate at the Nuclear Information Project of the federation, said the issue needs revisiting since the war system that was created at the beginning of the Cold War has outlived the Soviet Union, and the world’s political system has rapidly changed.

Korda explained that new security threats have presented themselves, which means that America’s defenses must adapt. For example, terrorism from small groups instead of threats from countries are a reality that was unlikely during the height of the Soviet-America conflict. Also, economic inequality and social unrest within the country have also changed the conversation. Furthermore, global warming and the effects of climate change and the new threat of pandemics mean that America must re-think its priorities.

A massive recent report by the Federation of American Scientists calls into question whether ground-based nuclear missiles, like the ones siloed in Montana, are still necessary to the country’s safety.

The question of nuclear missiles is not new, but lead author Matt Korda, a research associate at the Nuclear Information Project of the federation, said the issue needs revisiting since the war system that was created at the beginning of the Cold War has outlived the Soviet Union, and the world’s political system has rapidly changed.

Korda explained that new security threats have presented themselves, which means that America’s defenses must adapt. For example, terrorism from small groups instead of threats from countries are a reality that was unlikely during the height of the Soviet-America conflict. Also, economic inequality and social unrest within the country have also changed the conversation. Furthermore, global warming and the effects of climate change and the new threat of pandemics mean that America must re-think its priorities.

Korda’s research questions whether the assumptions – like trying to make a snap-judgment decision – isn’t more of a liability than a strength.

“There’s a bias in this system toward launching them really quickly,” Korda said.

Moreover, because anyone looking to launch an attack on America wouldn’t necessarily know the location of bombers or submarines, it would make the stationary missiles in places like Montana a target.

“It would invite a devastating attack,” Korda said.

In other words, in the event of a nuclear attack, Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota may be the first places to be wiped off the map.

He said part of the report’s purpose was to dive into the theories that have become a sort of gospel in the defense world – that America’s enemies would be forced to attack the ground-based silos first before targeting larger population centers like Washington, D.C., Los Angeles or New York City.

He said with countries like China and North Korea developing nuclear missiles with quick flight times, the idea that they would target a place like Montana or Wyoming before more populated West Coast targets isn’t logical.

“We have always assumed that ground-based missiles would deter an attack, but there’s no evidence that would happen,” Korda said.

Instead, Korda argues in the report, the entire system and the next generation of missiles, estimated at a lifetime cost of more than $260 billion, is based on the idea that an enemy would have to target the ground-based system first.

Moreover, because of the quick launch decisions, the ability to recall the nuclear missiles would be nearly impossible, raising the chances that a false alarm could trigger an accidental nuclear war.

Korda’s study also calls into question whether as many nuclear warheads are necessary. For example, China currently has around 300, with plans not to exceed 600. Its current stockpile of nukes is less than 10 percent of the United States’ inventory. Korda said that if a threat like China only needs 600, then that would seem to indicate America may not need as many to be safe.

“The U.S. nuclear posture and policy kind of presumes that escalation (of a nuclear attack) can be controlled after they go off, but I don’t think that’s the case,” Korda said.

He pointed out that even the conservative-leaning RAND Corporation has stated that America’s nuclear arsenal is two to three times as much as the country likely needs.

The new study doesn’t just call into question the military strategy and history of the ground-based nuclear missiles, it also links it to an economic question: Whether America can afford to update and continue the program with emerging threats.

“Is the money better spent in missiles or would it be better to put it toward action on  climate change or even disinformation?” said research assistant Tricia White.

August 16, 2021 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The importance of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act and of coming to terms with USA’s nuclear history.

When Nuclear Fallout Comes Home.   Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández (NM03) spoke on the importance of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act and coming to terms with our nuclear history. Harry Tarpey      Whether in New Mexico, Guam, or the Marshall Islands, the consequences of uranium mining, atmospheric testing, and nuclear weapons manufacturing continue to impact communities around the world, with little awareness from the international community.

I know people who have been impacted by uranium mining, and by the fallout and nuclear testing, so this is not abstract,” said Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández of New Mexico’s 3rd District, who recently sat down for an interview with Press the Button. “These are people I know, these are families I know—you can’t ignore it.”

Leger Fernández is a leading advocate in Congress for the extension and expansion of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), reforms that would establish a more robust and easier to navigate compensation program for the victims of nuclear radiation in the United States and its territories.

RECA is a federal statute established in 1990 as a mechanism to compensate individuals whose health or livelihood was affected by unintended radiation exposure due to our nuclear weapons complex. To date, it has compensated over $2.2 billion to tens of thousands of claimants suffering from health ailments caused by exposure to radiation.

 These include atomic veterans, downwinders, and individuals working on atmospheric nuclear tests and in uranium mines.

Though many of these recipients have undoubtedly benefited from the program, Leger Fernández and her colleagues are recommending several improvements to the statute to expand its impact.

One such change she is championing is an increase in the amount of compensation provided per individual grant. “Right now, [RECA payments] are $50,000. That’s not sufficient, so we’re going to raise it to $150,000.” The legislation she will be co-sponsoring, if passed, would expand the limited scope of eligibility that RECA currently maintains to include geographic areas and age groups not currently covered by the statute.

When RECA was first designed, “it had a very limited area where, if you happen to be exposed in these certain counties, you got compensation. But we know that it’s not just a few counties that were impacted,” argues Leger Fernández, “we need to make sure they are all entitled to the compensation.”

Although this expansion would no doubt have a positive impact within her district, Leger Fernández views it as an issue that resonates well beyond her constituency: “I want to take on this fight because this impacts not just New Mexicans, but people elsewhere, who were exposed to radiation from testing, from the development of the weapons, through no fault of their own are

now suffering the consequences. We as a government who inflicted this harm cannot stand back and say ‘too bad’—we must act.”

With RECA set to either expire or be reauthorized in July 2022, Leger Fernández views the year ahead as an important opportunity to reassess and refine RECA to ensure its continued effectiveness. “We need to take this moment and re-authorize the act,” she told guest host Lily Adams, “but also, when we look at it, ask ‘where is [RECA] efficient, and what do we need to do to make it better?”

August 16, 2021 Posted by | employment, health, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Inconclusive findings on attempted sabotage of Belgian nuclear reactor.

The seven-year-long investigation into an attempted sabotage of the Doel
nuclear power plant in 2014 has ended inconclusively.

The incident took place on 5 August 2014, when the reactor at the Doel 4 installation shut
down automatically. Inspections revealed a disturbance in the steam turbine
in a non-nuclear part of the complex. It soon became clear that the problem
was an act of sabotage: someone had manually opened a valve in the plant
evacuation system, intended to quickly evacuate the 65,000 litres of oil
used to lubricate the turbine to an emergency reservoir in the case of

No order had been given to open the valve, and operators Electrabel
filed a criminal complaint for sabotage with the prosecutor’s office in
Dendermonde in East Flanders. But when the possibility of a terrorist
motive was raised, the investigation moved to the federal prosecutor’s
office, where all terrorist cases are handled.

One of the first discoveries made by investigators was the dubious status of the plant’s own security
measures. There were no CCTV cameras in strategic places – like the
vicinity of the blue valve that set off the alarm – to check who had
opened it.

 Brussels Times 13th Aug 2021

August 16, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, safety | Leave a comment

Japanese teenager calls for nuke-free world at U.N. disarmament confab 

Japanese teenager calls for nuke-free world at U.N. disarmament confab

 KYODO NEWS – Aug 13, 2021  A Japanese teenager on Thursday called for the abolition of nuclear weapons at a U.N. disarmament conference session that highlighted the importance of incorporating the voice of youth in its discussions.

“We must take a big step towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons,” said Rio Sasaki, an 18-year-old student at a senior high school in Hiroshima, which, along with Nagasaki, was one of the two Japanese cities devastated by U.S. atomic bombs in the final days of World War II.

Addressing the conference online, she related the physical and psychological pains suffered by her grandmother throughout her life as a victim of the atomic bomb and said that young people like herself bear a strong responsibility to eliminate nuclear weapons.

“I hope the world will respond to our call,” she said.

The session, which was dedicated to a discussion on youth and disarmament, was opened by U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu.

Nakamitsu highlighted in a video message the huge potential of youth to bring positive change in the world, including in the field of disarmament.

Noting that 40 percent of the world’s population is under the age of 25, Nakamitsu said that “inclusiveness is necessary to achieve the ultimate objectives of disarmament, nonproliferation and arms control, and for the effectiveness and sustainability of the agreements that we reach and the work that we do.”

Other youths who attended the meeting included those from Canada and Vietnam.

Sasaki is among Japan’s so-called high school student peace messengers who are selected each year to convey the messages of the two Japanese A-bombed cities.

The messengers have usually visited the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, where disarmament conferences take place, and submitted signatures that they have collected to push for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

But this year, like last year, they have not been able to travel to Switzerland due to the coronavirus pandemic.

August 16, 2021 Posted by | Japan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Turkey’s Akkuyu nuclear station a cause for anxiety in the Eastern Mediterranean

Turkey’s Akkuyu nuclear power plant is a cause of concern  August 15, 2021  Dr Yiorghos Leventis

Turkey is an energy hungry economy. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) assessment of Turkey’s energy needs in 2020, the country currently imports approximately 72 per cent of its energy demand.

To address the problem of increasing domestic energy demand, Ankara has been actively pursuing nuclear energy to lessen its high dependency on energy imports. Consequently, in May 2010, Russia and Turkey signed a cooperation agreement, under which Rosatom State Cooperation has since been constructing the Akkuyu  nuclear power plant (NPP). This NPP will eventually contain four reactors with a combined capacity of 4800 MW. Other nuclear power projects in Sinop, Black Sea region and the Eastern Thrace region remain in the planning stages.

Construction of the Akkuyu NPP begun in December 2017. Its final cost is expected to rise to over 20 billion USD – roughly equivalent to the size of Cyprus’ economic output in 2020. The first reactor is expected to become operational in 2023, the year that marks the centenary anniversary of the Republic of Turkey. No doubt, Erdogan’s government is planning festivities for this significant event, to boost its plunging popularity.

Despite serious concerns about the safety of the Akkuyu NPP, located as it is, in the high seismic activity region of Mersin, construction continues. Every consecutive year in the following three years (2024-26) will see a new reactor coming into operation.

The first controversy over the impact of this huge nuclear power project on the environment appeared already six years ago: on January 12, 2015, it was reported that the signatures of specialists on a Turkish government-sanctioned environmental impact report had been forged. The appointed specialists had resigned six months prior to its submission, and the contracting company had then made unilateral changes to the report. Naturally so, this revelation sparked protest within the Turkish Cypriot community. The proximity of the prospective Akkuyu nuclear power plant to our island could not be lightheartedly ignored. This powerful NPP will operate at about 110 kms from Nicosia. In the context of an unexpected nuclear accident caused by an earthquake or otherwise, north or south Cyprus becomes immaterial. A fatal nuclear accident carries the danger of overwhelming both parts of the island.

In this respect, it is vital that the leaderships of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots stand in unison: the Eastern Mediterranean environment and its protection is a common cause. More so as Ankara exhibits a mixed approach, to say the least, towards international legal instruments on nuclear safety: Whereas Turkey signed up to the Convention on Nuclear Safety which entered into force October 24, 1996, it has not done the same with the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management which entered into force June 18, 2001.

Dr Yiorghos Leventis is director of the International Security Forum:

August 16, 2021 Posted by | safety, Turkey | Leave a comment

Join the fight against climate change and nuclear war

Join the fight against climate change and nuclear war Louis Brendan Curran, Baltimore 14, 2021   We face two existential threats: climate change and nuclear war. We must fight both.

I salute President Joe Biden and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s dedication of $3.8 billion to directly combat the effects — if not the causes — of climate change (”Biden announces record amount of climate resilience funding,” Aug. 6). But we would be complete fools if we guard against an existential threat that will be years in reaching maximum effect and we do not also make an equal effort to end the threat of nuclear annihilation, something that could happen accidentally or intentionally in only a matter of hours.

This month marked the 76th anniversary of two other “dates that live in infamy”: the Aug. 6 and 9th atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The devastation wreaked there, while truly horrific, claiming well over 250,000 lives, pales in comparison to what any single nuclear weapon could do today. Despite some gradual reduction in the world’s nuclear arsenal over the past couple decades, there are now way more than 1,000 nuclear warheads spread out among 13 countries. This is literally a potential nuclear apocalypse just waiting to happen.

……….. the Baltimore City Council passed a “Back From The Brink” resolution urging our federal government to do everything possible to make progress toward disarming and eliminating all nuclear weapons worldwide. Other cities and towns have done so as well.

More significantly, 86 nations have signed, and 55 (and counting) countries have become, state parties to the U.N. Treaty for the Prevention of Nuclear War, a treaty that now binds all state parties to forswear all nuclear weaponry. One country, South Africa, has disarmed its nuclear arsenal,q but the United States and the other Nuclear Dozen nations have not.

The battle to belatedly address climate change will cost way more than the $3.8 billion that FEMA now plans to spend. The United States alone spends exponentially more than that maintaining our current nuclear arsenal, and even is budgeting a multibillion dollar “updated-replacement” arsenal, to continue this expensive insanity.

What can we do? First, Baltimore can get off its duff and post large “Nuclear Free Zone” signs at all city gateways, as required by law. Second, we can insist that our state’s two U.S. senators and eight representatives prioritize working to end the nuclear threat — and we can elect replacements for those who won’t or don’t. Third, we can insist that our president prioritize nuclear arms reduction treaties with all other nuclear nations at once or elect one who will in 2024. Fourth, we can support the nonprofit organizations that amplify our voices in this effort to dismantle this coequal threat to life on earth.

And lastly, we can divert the billions of taxpayer dollars that we spend on maintaining a weapons system that we will never use to instead fight climate change. Two threats. Two battlefronts. We have no choice. We must fight both until we succeed.

August 16, 2021 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Revell River Action Draws Attention to Nuclear Waste Burial Site, 

Revell River Action Draws Attention to Nuclear Waste Burial Site,    Residents concerned about a site near the Revell River being put on the receiving end of all of Canada’s high level radioactive waste have set up a pop-up event at the Ministry of Transportation’s Revell River picnic area, drawing attention to the project and the threat it will pose to the region and the watersheds in Northwestern Ontario.The MTO picnic area, approximately 40 km west of Ignace, is approximately 2 km from the nearest of six drill sites that the Nuclear Waste Management Organization has disclosed.

“These drill sites are at the height of land between the English River – Wabigoon River system and the Turtle River Lake of the Woods system” explained Charles Faust, a volunteer with the group who has studied the area watersheds and waterflow.“One of the many concerns we have with this project is its potential to impact the downstream areas.

The NWMO can point to their computer models and their wishful thinking, but the reality is that this project carries a lot of risk, both during its operation and for the thousands of years afterwards that the radioactive wastes remain highly hazardous.Local residents  think that most people in Northwestern Ontario don’t know the details or the risks of the NWMO project, and are unaware of how it could impact them, both before and after the waste is buried in the Revell River area.

“The drill sites are just a couple of kilometres off the highway – just a few kilometres from where we’re standing now at the Revell River picnic area – and most people are unaware of it. The NWMO spends a lot of money promoting their project in a very glossy magazine manner, but have done nothing in terms of signage for the drill sites or alerting people to where they are actually investigating their candidate sites”, commented Brien Polek, a resident of Dryden.I

n addition to signage on the highway drawing attention to the drill sites and the nuclear waste project, the group setting up the pop-up event today today at the Revell River picnic area will provide information to the public from noon until 4 pm. Similar to the information events in Ignace on August 14 and at the Dyment Hall on August 16, the group is encouraging the public to stop by the outdoors events, which they say will be all about information sharing, conversation, and discussion of the NWMO’s project and important concerns.

Volunteers from across the region will be on hand to discuss environmental and soci

nformation sharing, conversation, and discussion of the NWMO’s project and important concerns.

Volunteers from across the region will be on hand to discuss environmental and social concerns with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s plan to construct a deep geological repository for all of Canada’s high level radioactive Waste. Those wanting more information in advance about the alliance’s independent critiques of nuclear waste burial and transportation, or any interested in arranging a small meeting (following COVID-19 health directives) are encouraged visit the We the Nuclear Free North website at wethenuclearfreenorth.caSOURCE – We the Nuclear Free North

August 16, 2021 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment

Widening concrete cracks in Seabrook Nuclear Station

Nuke Plant Cited Over Widening Concrete Cracks, The Town Common by Stewart Lytle, Thursday August 1
2, 2021  REGIONAL – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) slapped the wrist of Seabrook Station Thursday for not projecting the likely deterioration of its structural concrete caused by alkali-silica reaction (ASR).

In a 20-page quarterly inspection report, the NRC issued a Green finding, its lowest level of citation, to NextEra. It found that the staff of the New Hampshire nuclear plant “did not adequately account for the future progression of ASR in their prompt operability determination for several Seabrook structures. 

“Specifically, NextEra staff did not trend and project the periodic threshold monitoring data for the affected structural elements to ensure the structures would remain capable of performing their safety functions to the next scheduled inspection.”

Starting last fall, the NRC conducts inspections at Seabrook Station every six months. 

During their walk-through of the plant, the inspectors also found that three structures – the emergency feedwater pumphouse, service water cooling tower and control and diesel generator building – had widening cracks that exceeded the design limits. The mechanical penetration area also has cracks that are approaching the limits. 

Once a threshold limit is exceeded, more frequent inspections are required and may result in corrective action such as a structural modification to alleviate the condition, the report stated.

The 30-year-old atomic reactor has concrete infected by ASR, an irreversible type of concrete degradation, caused by water reacting with the concrete. It has been called “concrete cancer.” 

The inspectors were also concerned with the degradation of the steel rebar in the concrete structures. …………….

relative to Seabrook’s ASR testing and monitoring program.  While the Board ultimately approved the plant’s concrete management program, it did so with four new license conditions that direct NextEra Seabrook to conduct much more frequent and stringent monitoring and engineering evaluations in a number of situations. They were:

  • NextEra must increase the frequency of monitoring from 10 years to six months.
  • NextEra must develop a monitoring program to anticipate or monitor rebar failures.
  • If the cracks in the concrete get worse, NextEra must monitor the concrete more often. 
  • Each concrete core extracted from Seabrook must undergo a detailed microscopic petrographic evaluation to detect microcracks. 

“It’s frightening to think that were it not for C-10’s challenge, the inspection interval referenced in this report may have been as long as a decade,” Treat said. “Now NextEra has to perform them every six months. But collecting data without using it to model future trends in concrete degradation is of little use.”

August 16, 2021 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

August 15 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “How Investors, And Everybody, Should Think About Climate Change” • Companies that don’t make a transition to deal with climate change risk falling behind or having their business models usurped. For example, consider the $5.8 trillion global insurance industry and the upheaval that climate change is creating there. [Yahoo Finance] Houses built on permafrost […]

August 15 Energy News — geoharvey

August 16, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The War that Could Not Be Won: My Article from 2012 — The Inglorius Padre Steve’s World

Friends of Padre Steve’s World, I have been watching with great concern the situation in Afghanistan since President Biden made what I believe was the correct decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. Yesterday, Kabul fell to the Taliban which overthrew the Afghan government in a lightening campaign that lasted just 10 days. It wasn’t so much […]

The War that Could Not Be Won: My Article from 2012 — The Inglorius Padre Steve’s World

August 16, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment