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A Just Recovery Renewable Energy Plan for Africa

Friends of the Earth Africa today launched ‘A Just Recovery Renewable Energy Plan for Africa’ which offers a practical and much-needed opportunity to change the trajectory of energy development, distribution, and access on the African continent.

The report stresses the urgency to democratise energy systems, reduce the power of transnational corporations and enable peoples and communities to access sufficient energy to live a dignified life. The report which was launched during a webinar with key climate justice voices demands a complete shift from current dirty energy systems to achieve 100% Renewable Energy in Africa.

The plan found that it is technically and financially feasible, with an annual investment requirement of around US$130 billion per year. It lays out clear targets for this vision, with over 300GW of new renewable energy by 2030, as agreed
by the African Union, and over 2000GW by 2050. It also shows that the finance and investment needed to achieve the 100% renewable energy goal can be done through public finance from the global North, ending tax dodging and dropping the debt.

 All Africa 2nd Sept 2021

https://allafrica.com/stories/202109020695.html

September 6, 2021 Posted by | AFRICA, renewable | Leave a comment

Walking the nuclear dog – a South African tale

Walking the nuclear dog – a South African tale,   ESI Africa,  By Chris Yelland, managing director, EE Business Intelligence, 6 Sept 21

Apparently, in government, there is an activity known as “walking the dog” – a strategy intended to keep self-serving politicians, officials and stakeholders quiet, and to calm them down when they are getting agitated and fidgety for some of the action.

Of course, there is some excitement at the prospect of sniffing out the territory on a brisk walk, with the anticipation that something big is on the cards. But this is inevitably short-lived, and things soon revert back to the normal and more leisurely state of inaction. Mission accomplished.

There are some examples of this in the coal and nuclear energy sectors of South Africa. The media and the public need to be careful not to be bamboozled by the noxious smoke and mirrors, sometimes radioactive, that emanate from these quarters in their excitement.

2,500MW of new nuclear power?

However, in the days following the board meeting, Nersa seemed to be acting very coy – firstly about clarifying exactly what it was that the board had concurred with, and secondly, whether this was even a concurrence by Nersa after all, as opposed to a conditional concurrence that was still subject to a number of suspensive conditions.

Of course, the independent Regulator was treading a very delicate line – to at least give the appearance that the noisy nuclear sector had got its way, while covering all political bases and legal angles, protecting its fragile reputation, and taking care not to become the scapegoat for scuppering the nuclear ambitions of a fractious Minister.

However, on 3 September 2021, Nersa finally succumbed to the growing pressure to release full details of its actual decision on 26 August 2021, with the reasons for the decision (RFD) to follow in due course. In so doing, the tricky game that Nersa was having to play became clearer.

Following a meeting by the board of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) on 26 August 2021, there were breathless public statements to the media by officials at the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) regarding a decision by the Regulator in respect of 2,500MW of new nuclear power in South Africa.

The Regulator was said to have “concurred” with a so-called Section 34 ministerial nuclear determination in terms of the Electricity Regulation Act (ERA). Some in the media fell for this hook, line and sinker. The nuclear energy sector was ecstatic, asserting that the procurement of 2,500MW of new nuclear power in South Africa would now commence.

Suspensive conditions?

Contrary to the public statements and media interviews by DMRE officials, written details of the board decision reveal that Nersa has in fact not yet concurred with the Section 34 determination per se, but that such concurrence is still subject to a number of suspensive conditions which have not yet been met.

The precise wording of Nersa’s decision of 26 August 2021 in respect of the suspensive conditions, indicate that the Energy Regulator has decided:

To concur with the commencement of the process to procure the new nuclear energy generation capacity of 2,500MW as per Decision 8 of the Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity 2019 – 2030 … subject to the following suspensive conditions:


  1. Satisfaction of Decision 8 of IRP 2019 – 2030, which requires that the nuclear build programme must be at an affordable pace and modular scale that the country can afford because it is no regret option in the long term;
  • Recognition and taking into account technological developments in the nuclear space; and
  • To further establish rationality behind the 2,500MW capacity of nuclear. A demand analysis aimed at matching the envisaged load profile post 2030, with the generation profile that would be needed to match that load profile, is required. This will assist to determine the capacity and the scale at which the country would need to procure nuclear.

It is thus clear that Nersa is only concurring with Decision 8 of the current Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity, IRP 2019 – 2030, to “commence preparations for a nuclear build programme to the extent of 2,500MW”, with this itself being subject to the suspensive conditions listed.

The Regulator is not concurring with the commencement of a request for proposals (RFP) for new nuclear power in South Africa, nor is Nersa giving the green light to any new nuclear construction programme.

Not so fast please!

It goes without saying that any public procurement must still comply with the requirements of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and the Constitution. As such, National Treasury remains a gatekeeper through the requirement for a positive outcome to a detailed cost-benefit analysis, and the requirement for National Treasury to establish the affordability of any such procurement.

It is still far from resolved as to the technology to be used for a nuclear new-build programme in South Africa. Would these be giant pressurised water reactors (PWRs) such as the Rosatom VVER 1200 units? Or small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) that still have to be developed, piloted, commercialised, licenced and proven elsewhere in the world?

The suspensive conditions even indicate that the very rationality of a 2,500MW nuclear new-build programme still needs to be established through long-term demand forecasting for the period post-2030 in order to determine the mix of the generation capacity required to meet that demand. 

Finally, as no new nuclear power is provided for in the current IRP in the years to 2030, it is clear that any new nuclear procurement can only commence, at the earliest, after an updated IRP has been considered by government’s “social partners”, approved by the Cabinet, and promulgated.

1,500MW of new, clean, coal-fired power?

A further example of “walking the dog” may be found in ongoing suggestions by the Minister and his officials at the DMRE that “clean coal” technologies can be deployed……………….

The 9,600MW nuclear fleet?

Yet another case of “walking the dog” was detailed in an article in Daily Maverick on 26 August 2021. In the article, former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas reveals that there was a general understanding in government that the 9600 MW nuclear deal with Russia, being pushed in 2017 by then-President Jacob Zuma and Energy Minister David Mahlobo, would be terrible for South Africa.

According to Jonas, President Ramaphosa’s instruction was to “walk it” as long as possible. “He [Ramaphosa] said that by the time we have to make a decision, Zuma will be gone. He told us to find everything in the book to delay”.Does a question arise as to whether the upsides of dog walking really outweigh the downsides? It is hard to give a clear answer to this question, but it would seem that our President clearly prefers walking the dog to dealing firmly with self-serving elements within the party circle.However, a poorly-founded but nagging question keeps popping up as to what Vice-President DD Mabuza was really up to during his extended five-week leave of absence in Russia in July 2021?Putin would likely be a big, vicious dog, ready for a fight, and not easily controlled on the walk – actually more of a bear than a dog. And I would hate to be walking a grumpy bear.    https://www.esi-africa.com/industry-sectors/generation/op-ed-walking-the-nuclear-dog-a-south-african-tale/

September 6, 2021 Posted by | politics, South Africa, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Israel’s ‘alarmist claims’ raise the stakes against Iran


Israel’s ‘alarmist claims’ raise the stakes against Iran, Israeli leaders have issued a series of threats against Iran over its nuclear programme, reviving ‘plans’ for action.   Aljazeera,   By Thomas O Falk, 5 Sept 21

Israeli leaders have revived threats against Iran after warning it is just months away from possessing a nuclear weapon.

The United States and Israel have formed a high-level team to tackle the Iran nuclear issue, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced last week after meeting President Joe Biden.

“The immediate follow-up was to form a joint team based on the joint objectives of rolling Iran back into their box and preventing Iran from ever being able to break out a nuclear weapon,” Bennett said

“We set up a joint team with our national security adviser and America’s, and we’re working very hard, and the cooperation is great… The president was very clear about he won’t accept Iran going nuclear, now or in the future.”

In light of the lack of progress on the negotiations with Iran on a return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Biden said during his meeting with Bennett at the White House that “other options” would be possible if the diplomatic approach with Tehran failed.

Israel’s Minister of Defense Benny Gantz, meanwhile, urged the international community to develop a “Plan B” to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons as prospects of returning to the 2015 nuclear deal dwindle.

“Iran is only two months away from acquiring the materials necessary for a nuclear weapon,” Gantz told dozens of ambassadors and envoys at an August 25 briefing.

“Iran has the intention to destroy Israel and is working on developing the means to do so,” he said. “Israel has the means to act and will not hesitate to do so. I do not rule out the possibility that Israel will have to take action in the future in order to prevent a nuclear Iran.”

‘Not empty words’

While Gantz did not go into specifics, analysts have their own idea of what Plan B could mean.

“What is referred to as Plan B actually appears to be Israel’s Plan A – coercive measures that likely will draw the US and Iran into a broader war that will see the balance in the region shift dramatically in the direction of Israel while forestalling any US-Iran rapprochement for years if not decades,” Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, told Al Jazeera

However, even if Plan B were slightly more subtle than the aforementioned scenario, Gantz’s words should be taken seriously, said Yaniv Voller, senior lecturer in politics of the Middle East at the University of Kent.

“These threats are not merely empty words. Israel and the US have proved that they can carry out operations inside Iran and sabotage Iranian nuclear facilities and infrastructure,” Voller told Al Jazeera.

The choice of words by Gantz is reminiscent of the previous times Israel exaggerated the Iranian threat, security experts said.

“These claims are probably no more valid than the whole series of alarmist claims the Israelis have been making about Iran’s nuclear capability since the 1990s,” Stephen Zunes, professor of politics and chair of the Middle Eastern Studies programme at the University of San Francisco, told Al Jazeera.

“Each and every one of these frightening predictions over the past quarter-century has proven wrong, so there is no reason to take this latest iteration any more seriously.”

Key stumbling block

The dispute over the international nuclear agreement with Iran remains one of the primary reasons for the tensions in the Middle East, which have increased in recent years. Israel continues to feel its very existence is threatened by Iran’s nuclear programme…………………..   https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/5/israels-alarmist-claims-raise-the-stakes-against-iran

September 6, 2021 Posted by | Israel, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Trident: Scots urged to write to UN to demand removal of nuclear weapons


Trident: Scots urged to write to UN to demand removal of nuclear weapons, The National
, 5 Sept 21, By Martin Hannan   THE Yes activist behind the project for Scots to make a declaration of sovereignty to the United Nations has taken the idea further with a plea for the UN to be told that Scotland doesn’t want nuclear weapons on its soil.

Mike Fenwick started the Declaration of a Sovereign Scot project asking people to send letters to the secretary general of the UN confirming the desire for self-determination, and now he wants letters sent to Antonio Guterres to draw attention to Scotland’s opposition to Trident and all nuclear weapons.

Fenwick says this concept is set against the background of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and how that compares with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement that he intends to increase the stock of such weapons.

He said: “At the beginning of this year at the United Nations, a treaty which had been in discussion for at least four or five years was finally announced and it was open to countries to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Straightforward you would think, but it only took a few months before Boris Johnson decided to announce it was not for the UK, and we’re going to increase our warheads despite any treaties prohibiting them.

“We’ve got 180 so far, and now they are to go up by a third to 240. How many people does Boris Johnson want to threaten with annihilation?

“My question is what, if anything, can we do about it?”…………..

Sometimes even the smallest action starts a chain of events where it is only with hindsight that you can tell what caused that event to occur.

“That will be true of how we regain independence for Scotland – lots of small actions which seem insignificant but which produce a chain of events that leads to independence for our country.”

Fenwick also suggested that a petition be submitted to the Petitions Committee at the Scottish Parliament calling for a referendum on the subject of nuclear warheads harboured in Scotland.

He said: “The parliament should allow a referendum in which all of us can voice our opinion on support for the UK’s position, or support for the UN’s position. We should be doing this well in advance of indy.”https://www.thenational.scot/news/19560455.trident-scots-urged-write-un-demand-removal-nuclear-weapons/

September 6, 2021 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Analysts In Iran Pessimistic Over Nuclear Talks, Oppose Further Delays

Analysts In Iran Pessimistic Over Nuclear Talks, Oppose Further Delays, Iran International, 6 Sept 21

Reza Nasri, a senior international relations expert in Iran has warned the Iranian government that delaying the resumption of nuclear talks with world powers would give an opportunity to the deal’s opponents in the West to erect new hurdles to a new agreement.

Nasri told ISNA news website in Iran that some American opponents of the 2015 nuclear agreement known as JCPOA may try to use this opportunity to form alliances against the revival of the deal among members of the US Congress………………….   https://iranintl.com/en/world/analysts-iran-pessimistic-over-nuclear-talks-oppose-further-delays

September 6, 2021 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

COP26 – the need to scrutinise hidden climate agendas

there may be a need to recognize the short comings of some of the technical fixes being promoted, for example, by some ‘net zero’ enthusiasts. The NGOs can perhaps help here.  For example, Oxfam has produced a useful report, ‘Tightening the Net’, which claims that using land-based techniques alone to remove CO2 from the air and help the world reach net zero by 2050 would require at least 1.6 billion hectares of new forests. That is equivalent to 5 times the size of India, or more than all the farmland on the planet.

The charity’s report, says governments and companies are hiding behind a smokescreen of ‘unreliable, unproven & unrealistic carbon removal’ schemes, so as to ‘continue dirty business-as-usual activities’. 

COP26 Agendas  https://renewextraweekly.blogspot.com/2021/09/with-intergovernmental-panel-on-climate.html?showComment=1630897750625#c4129514770472857573  September 04, 2021 With the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) having produced a new very grim report on climate issues, all eyes are now focused on COP 26, the 26th meeting of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention of Climate Change to be held in Glasgow in November. COP 26 has the obvious formal agenda of continuing with the negotiation process over climate policy, developing on the outline COP21 Paris agreement in terms of national and global emission targets and aid funding. There is a lot to do, with many key countries still dragging their feet and the main focus will be trying to improve on that. 

However, there are also underlying policy agendas reflecting different views as to how best to cut carbon, and they may shape what goes on and what is seen as important.  Most are backed by specific groups or interests. Most familiar, there are the vested fossil fuel interests- global/local oil, coal & gas companies. Some in the past backed climate change denial, but most are now in defensive mode, seeking to limit damage to their profits/portfolios. Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) is their fall back option as part of a ‘net zero’ carbon offset concession, with 2050 targets presumably being seen as far enough off to be survivable.

At the other end of the spectrum there are the various green NGO’s, all keen on maximum carbon cuts as soon as possible. Most back renewables as the main plank, along with energy saving and a commitment to reduced energy demand- and even perhaps reduced economic growth. Most greens oppose fossil CCS, but some do back biomass CCS as a negative carbon option. Very few however like nuclear, which, as ever, is trying to get in the act despite its generally poor showing compared with renewables. But you’ll find nuclear lobbyist hard at it, always, for good or ill, keeping the nuclear debate alive – even if nuclear PR displays were apparently blocked from access to the Green Zone at COP26!

Hydrogen has meantime become a new area offering angles for all sides. The fossil lobby looks to allegedly low-carbon blue hydrogen (from fossil gas SMR with CCS), an option that seems increasing challenged.  The greens look to zero carbon green hydrogen via electrolysis (using power from renewables), and costs do seem to be falling, while the nuclear lobby (both fission and later fusion) hopes it can also get in on the hydrogen act. That seems a long shot. Especially since there is also a strong showing from the electricity lobby, which wants to see heat pumps used, not hydrogen gas – and certainly not fossil gas!

Some underlying issues

Lobby groups certainly do keep it all alive.  Although the fossil and nuclear industry lobby groups are familiar enough, there is less of an obvious renewables industry lobby, apart from some trade associations. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) doesn’t get involved much direct campaigning. So it’s often left to political pressure groups and NGOs, and their interests transcend energy policy and spread across the whole of field of eco-sustainability. 

 The renewables v nuclear/ CCS issue has already been noted, and the role of hydrogen. However, there are also issues relating to scale and distribution. Most greens would prefer energy to be generated and used locally at the smaller scale. That can be aided by PV solar, but, even with storage, there may still be a need for top-ups and balancing from outside.  That means grids, and some actually see grids as a key thing, with low-loss supergrids allowing for power trading long-distance. ……………

Transport is also obviously a key area. The standard green argument is that flying is very bad, but actually, it is only making a small contribution to CO2 at present- about 2% globally. Cars are vastly worse (they use 45% of global energy) and many more people drive than fly. But, longer-term, flying demand will build up vastly, unless blocked. ………….

What can we expect from COP26? 

It will be interesting to see how the various technical fixes & social fixes issues are dealt with in Glasgow. It’s only a week, and that may mostly be taken up with haggling on targets and dodging invoices for aid!  But some of the wider issues and social fix options may get an airing. The world is changing, and though issues like meat eating are still on the fringe, wider issue are emerging, with Scotland often being a pioneer.   More immediately, Scotland is now getting almost all its power from from renewables, so that technical fix may be an inspiration to many people. . Though perhaps a bit peevishly, Greta Thunberg was not that impressed with Scotland’s progress. However, there may be a need to recognize the short comings of some of the technical fixes being promoted, for example, by some ‘net zero’ enthusiasts. The NGOs can perhaps help here.  For example, Oxfam has produced a useful report, ‘Tightening the Net’, which claims that using land-based techniques alone to remove CO2 from the air and help the world reach net zero by 2050 would require at least 1.6 billion hectares of new forests. That is equivalent to 5 times the size of India, or more than all the farmland on the planet. The charity’s report, says governments and companies are hiding behind a smokescreen of ‘unreliable, unproven & unrealistic carbon removal’ schemes, so as to ‘continue dirty business-as-usual activities’. 

Well, CCS and the like may not be the main reason, but it certainly is worrying that growth in renewable capacity had slowed in the UK. The latest DUKES statistics indicate a year-by-year fall in new capacity added since 2015, with just a 1GW expansion last year, half of that being for offshore wind. The slow down is arguably mainly due the demise of the Feed in Tariff and the block to CfD access for onshore wind and large PV. That may be reversed in the next CfD round, due to be opened up for bids in December. Let’s hope so, otherwise we could have the odd spectacle of the UK promoting renewables hard at COP26 while its own efforts have been diminishing. 

September 6, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, climate change, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster | 2 Comments

How much energy do we need to achieve a decent life for all?

 the amount of energy needed for decent living worldwide is less than half of the total final energy demand projected under most future pathways that keep temperature rise below 1.5° C. This indicates that achieving DLS for all does not have to interfere with climate goals. While this ratio changes in different climate mitigation scenarios and by region, the energy needs for DLS always remain well below the projected energy demands on the level of larger global regions.

How much energy do we need to achieve a decent life for all?,  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/09/210902125025.htm

September 2, 2021 Source: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Summary:

For many, an increase in living standards would require an increase in energy provision. At the same time, meeting current climate goals under the Paris Agreement would benefit from lower energy use. Researchers have assessed how much energy is needed to provide the global poor with a decent life and have found that this can be reconciled with efforts to meet climate targets.

For many, an increase in living standards would require an increase in energy provision. At the same time, meeting current climate goals under the Paris Agreement would benefit from lower energy use. IIASA researchers have assessed how much energy is needed to provide the global poor with a decent life and have found that this can be reconciled with efforts to meet climate targets.

In the fight to eradicate poverty around the world and achieve decent living standards (DLS), having sufficient energy is a key requirement. Despite international commitments such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in many areas progress on achieving DLS worldwide has been slow. There are also fears that improving energy access could lead to higher carbon dioxide emissions, which would interfere with goals to alleviate climate change.

In a new study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, IIASA researchers used a multidimensional approach to poverty to conduct a comprehensive global study on DLS. The researchers identified gaps in DLS by region and estimated how much energy is needed to fill them. They also assessed whether providing everyone with a decent life is compatible with climate goals.

Studies on poverty often use an income-based definition for defining poverty thresholds ($1.90/day or $5.50/day), which obscures that there are other factors contributing to human wellbeing more directly. In contrast, DLS represent a set of material prerequisites to provide the services needed for wellbeing, such as having adequate shelter, nutrition, clean water, sanitation, cooking stoves and refrigeration, and being able to connect physically and socially via transportation and communication technologies. Crucially, this allows for calculation of the resources needed to provide these basic services.

The largest gaps in DLS were found in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 60% of the population are lacking in at least half of the DLS indicators. The researchers also identified high DLS deprivation in indicators such as sanitation and water access, access to clean cooking, and thermal comfort in South and Pacific Asia, and more moderate gaps in other regions. One of the most striking findings of the study was that the number of people deprived of basic needs according to DLS generally far exceeds the number of people in extreme poverty, meaning that current poverty thresholds are often inconsistent with a decent life.

When looking at which components of DLS require the most investment in energy, the researchers identified shelter and transport as having the largest share.

“The majority of the global population does not currently have decent levels of motorized transport. An important policy lesson for national governments is the large impact of investing in public transit to reduce the use of passenger vehicles, which generally have much higher energy use per person,” says Jarmo Kikstra, lead author of the study and a researcher in the IIASA Energy, Climate, and Environment Program.

The upfront energy required globally to build new houses, roads, and other materials to enable DLS provision for all from 2015 to 2040 is about 12 exajoules per year. This is only a fraction of current total final energy use, which exceeds 400 exajoules per year. The increase in annual energy for operating this increase in services, including maintenance costs, is more substantial, eventually increasing by about 68 exajoules. For some countries, reaching this goal would require robust changes in development, which will be challenging, especially in the Global South.

“For most countries, especially many poor countries in Africa, unprecedented growth in energy use as well as more equitably distributed growth are essential to achieving DLS before mid-century,” Kikstra adds. “Therefore, the biggest challenge for policymakers will be to achieve an equitable distribution of energy access worldwide, which is currently still out of reach.”

According to the study, the amount of energy needed for decent living worldwide is less than half of the total final energy demand projected under most future pathways that keep temperature rise below 1.5° C. This indicates that achieving DLS for all does not have to interfere with climate goals. While this ratio changes in different climate mitigation scenarios and by region, the energy needs for DLS always remain well below the projected energy demands on the level of larger global regions.

“To achieve decent living conditions worldwide, it seems that we do not have to limit energy access to basic services as there is a surplus of total energy. What is perhaps unexpected is that even under very ambitious poverty eradication and climate mitigation scenarios, there is quite a lot of energy still available for affluence,” says study author Alessio Mastrucci.

“Our results support the view that on a global scale, energy for eradicating poverty does not pose a threat for mitigating climate change. However, to provide everyone with a decent life, energy redistribution across the world and unprecedented final energy growth in many poor countries is required,” concludes study author, Jihoon Min.

September 6, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, ENERGY | Leave a comment

We mustn’t kick the radioactive nuclear waste can down the road any longer. It’s time to tackle the problem head-on.

The current reality, as stated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, is that a repository might never materialize, saddling nuclear plants with storing spent fuel onsite indefinitely.

Creating more U.S. nuclear plants and deadly waste is insane when we can’t guarantee the safety of either existing aging plants or the 80,000-pluss metric tons of spent fuel already generated. The argument that nuclear is needed to address global warming reflects the same foolhardy mindset — ignoring adverse long-term impacts for short-term gains — that created the climate crisis in the first place.

We mustn’t kick the radioactive nuclear waste can down the road any longer. It’s time to tackle the problem head-on.  

Opinion: Investing in More Nuclear Power Can’t Be Our Solution to Climate Change  https://timesofsandiego.com/opinion/2021/09/03/investing-in-more-nuclear-power-cant-be-a-solution-to-the-climate-crisis/ by Sarah Mosko, Two days agoIf you live in Orange or San Diego County, hopefully you’re aware that San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has been turned into a nuclear waste dump for the foreseeable future. If you live on planet earth, you’re wise to be tracking domestic and foreign moves to increase reliance on nuclear energy.

The United States ushered in the atomic age in 1945 by dropping a uranium bomb on Hiroshima and a plutonium bomb on Nagasaki. We now have 3.6 million pounds of these and other lethal radioactive elements sitting on the beach at San Onofre in temporary canisters, scheduled to remain there indefinitely.

No one has figured out how to safely dispose of deadly nuclear waste. Yet, to combat the climate crisis, the United States and the world propose to create more of it by extending the life of existing nuclear power plants and building new ones. Has the world learned nothing from the catastrophes of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima?

Since San Onofre closed down in 2013, controversy has swirled around the dry waste storage systems selected by the plant’s operator, Southern California Edison.

As is true of all U.S.’s nuclear plants, San Onofre wasn’t designed for nuclear waste storage after decommissioning. The Nuclear Waste Act of 1982 mandated construction of a deep geological repository to store the nation’s spent fuel for the hundreds of thousands of years it remains deadly. However, as hopes for a repository at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain collapsed out of concern about groundwater contamination, talk turned to creating “interim” storage sites in Texas and New Mexico, though those states are balking at the prospect too.

The current reality, as stated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, is that a repository might never materialize, saddling nuclear plants with storing spent fuel onsite indefinitely.

As of last August, all of San Onofre’s spent fuel was transferred into 123 dry storage canisters, each with the potential to release as much highly radioactive Cesium-137 as was released during the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

San Onofre’s canisters are thin-walled (5/8 inch) stainless steel and susceptible to “stress corrosion cracking” in a marine environment. They weren’t designed for safe maintenance, inspection, storage or transport.

The potential consequences of cracks are far worse than small radiation releases into the atmosphere: Canisters are filled with helium expressly to limit corrosion and prevent explosions triggered by air or water getting inside.

Contrast this with thick-walled (10-19 inches) casks used in most countries which aren’t susceptible to stress corrosion cracking and are designed for maintenance, inspection, storage and transport.

Continue reading

September 6, 2021 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Global Cooperation, Not Endless War Should Be Future of US Foreign Policy

Biden was right to pull out of Afghanistan, yet wrong on the larger picture.

America’s mortal enemies are not China, Iran, and Russia. Our real enemies are the common scourges facing humanity today. Global problems cannot be solved by individual nations alone.

It is uncertain whether America will change its relentless aggressive foreign policy for our own good, and the world’s. Our nation has been at war for centuries. Our repeated failures have led the political right to double down, calling with increasing fervor for more weapons, and further escalation with China, Iran, Russia, and other alleged foes. Yes, we have pulled out of Afghanistan—42 years too late—and that is good. But will the United States adopt a new foreign policy based on peace and problem-solving? That’s the real question.

Global Cooperation, Not Endless War Should Be Future of US Foreign Policy
Ours have been wars of hatred, not logic, and doomed to fail—at a mind-boggling human and financial cost. https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/09/03/global-cooperation-not-endless-war-should-be-future-us-foreign-policy, JEFFREY D. SACHS  September 3, 2021 by the Boston Globe During the past 60 years, the United States has suffered a series of failed wars in Indochina, Central America, the Middle East, and Afghanistan. Each of these wars produced mayhem and suffering, followed by an American retreat. While the American right wing has always argued that success needed just one more surge or bombing spree, the truth has been simpler and sadder. Ours have been wars of hatred, not logic, and doomed to fail—at a mind-boggling human and financial cost.

America has never cared to help those we have pretended to “save” by these wars. For that reason alone, America has never had the broad support of local populations that would have been essential for any kind of success in these misguided wars.

Americans didn’t want to save the Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians, who were despised in US popular culture; America wanted to stop communism and the supposed “falling dominoes” across Southeast Asia. America didn’t want to save Salvadorans, Nicaraguans, and others in poverty-stricken Central America; it wanted to stop leftist radicals who threatened American investments in the region. America didn’t want to save the Iraqis, Libyans, and Syrians; it wanted to topple regimes and replace them with US-backed regimes.

And America cared not a whit about Afghanistan, a point confirmed repeatedly by President Biden in recent days. Biden has noted, approvingly, that the United States went to Afghanistan for one reason and one reason only: to get Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda after 9/11, not to help the people of Afghanistan.

Tellingly, Biden has not been truthful about the real origin of US intervention in Afghanistan, following a pattern set by his predecessors. America’s intervention in Afghanistan goes back to 1979, more than 20 years before 9/11, when the CIA secretly trained, armed, and funded Islamic jihadists in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Union. The US-created fighting force morphed into Al Qaeda and the Taliban, but no president, including Biden, has honestly explained the basic facts to the American people.

America’s right-wing culture has often been hostile toward the non-European world—the “shithole countries” in Donald Trump’s disgusting yet telling phrase. For the past 60 years, the United States has waged war after war for America’s narrow interests alone, and has created havoc, destruction, and death in its wake.

I have worked for decades in countries that all too many Americans find contemptible due to their poverty, religion, skin color, desire to migrate from hunger and violence, and insolence for trying to claim control over their own oil, uranium, and other minerals that America craves. Begrudging development assistance to these countries is a congressional pastime. People in those countries know all too well about American power, and its destructive potential. They try their best to stay out of harm’s way.

In pulling the United States out of Afghanistan, Biden showed scant sympathy for the Afghan people. He mocked the idea of “nation-building,” an American phrase of scorn that seems to mean being naïve enough to try to help another country. Is it any surprise that the regime in Afghanistan propped up by American power crumbled so rapidly just as America departed?

Lest any American mistakenly think that much of the roughly $1 trillion the US spent in Afghanistan for war and reconstruction went towards nation-building, it did not. Perhaps 2 percent of the total US spending went for purposes such as health, education, and civilian infrastructure. Almost all the money went for military and security purposes—troops, armaments, Afghan security forces, and the like. After 20 years, we left behind a country where 38 percent of the children are stunted due to chronic undernutrition.

In explaining America’s exit, Biden played the typical American foreign policy tune, that the world is very dangerous place filled with foes of America. The job of the president, Biden emphasized, is to protect America from those enemies, just no longer in Afghanistan. Here is how Biden summarized the global scene:

“This is a new world. The terror threat has metastasized across the world, well beyond Afghanistan. We face threats from Al Shabab in Somalia; Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria in and the Arabian Peninsula; and ISIS attempting to create a caliphate in Syria and Iraq, and establishing affiliates across Africa and Asia … And here’s a critical thing to understand: The world is changing. We’re engaged in a serious competition with China. We’re dealing with the challenges on multiple fronts with Russia. We’re confronted with cyberattacks and nuclear proliferation. We have to shore up America’s competitive[ness] to meet these new challenges in the competition for the 21st century.”

Here is what he should have said instead: All countries—including the United States, members of the European Union, Russia, China, Iran, and, yes, Afghanistan—are destabilized by the COVID-19 pandemic; the effects of the climate crisis (floods, droughts, hurricanes, forest fires, heatwaves); widening income inequality further dividing the haves and have nots; the upheavals of digital technologies; and the dangerous political influence of plutocrats. All of these are shared problems across the globe, and all require intensive global cooperation rather than confrontation.

Biden was right to pull out of Afghanistan, yet wrong on the larger picture.

America’s mortal enemies are not China, Iran, and Russia. Our real enemies are the common scourges facing humanity today. Global problems cannot be solved by individual nations alone.

It is uncertain whether America will change its relentless aggressive foreign policy for our own good, and the world’s. Our nation has been at war for centuries. Our repeated failures have led the political right to double down, calling with increasing fervor for more weapons, and further escalation with China, Iran, Russia, and other alleged foes. Yes, we have pulled out of Afghanistan—42 years too late—and that is good. But will the United States adopt a new foreign policy based on peace and problem-solving? That’s the real question.

September 6, 2021 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear New Orleans: Another Fukushima? Post-Ida Dangers at Waterford Nuclear

Nuclear New Orleans: Another Fukushima? Post-Ida Dangers at Waterford Nuclear – Arnie Gundersen, Maggie Gundersen, Nancy Foust – NH #532 Nuclear New Orleans: Another Fukushima?  Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Energy Education spells out the dangers.  http://nuclearhotseat.com/2021/09/01/nuclear-new-orleans-another-fukushima-post-ida-dangers-waterford-nuclear/?fbclid=IwAR2CB7VmbPY8NQORzjf8qxIIcSba1qFlwiwqjUOCQ6rFlLDJGRfYxbxhY4M

This Week’s SPECIAL Interviews:

Following the devastation to New Orleans by Hurricane Ida, mainstream media has failed to cover the situation at the Waterford nuclear facility only 25 miles west of the city.  The facility is shut down, without grid power, and currently cooling the reactor with emergency back-up generators.

But is this enough? Will the fuel last long enough? Does this emergency system have enough “juice” to do its job until grid power is restored? And what is the exact nature of the other problems this nuclear reactor is facing in the days, weeks, even months ahead?

We talked with three of our most reliable sources to learn the extent of what we might be facing:

  • Arnie Gundersen is a nuclear engineer and expert witness who serves as the chief engineer for Fairewinds Associates, Inc, a paralegal services and expert testimony firm, as well as a member of Fairewinds Energy Education’s Board of Directors.
  • Maggie Gundersen is a journalist, paralegal, and former atomic power industry spokesperson who founded Fairewinds in 2008. She is the president of Fairewinds Energy Education as well as a member of the Board of Directors.
  • Nancy Foust is Communications Manager & Research Team Member SimplyInfo.org, a not-for-profit research collective that holds and manages the world’s largest public archive of data on the Fukushima disaster. She has been following Hurricane Ida’s progress and damages from the first, and here provides a clear overview of the current situation as of the time of our talk, noon Pacific time on Monday, August 30.

September 6, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In China, wind and solar energy are the clear winners over nuclear.

A Decade Of Wind, Solar, & Nuclear In China Shows Clear Scalability Winners
China’s natural experiment in deploying low-carbon energy generation shows that wind and solar are the clear winners.   https://cleantechnica.com/2021/09/05/a-decade-of-wind-solar-nuclear-in-china-shows-clear-scalability-winners/ By Michael Barnard, 6 Sept 21,

Generation in TWh added each year by wind, solar and nuclear in China 2010-2020

My 2014 thesis continues to be supported by the natural experiment being played out in China. In my recent published assessment of small modular nuclear reactors (tl’dr: bad idea, not going to work), it became clear to me that China has fallen into one of the many failure conditions of rapid deployment of nuclear, which is to say an expanding set of technologies instead of a standardized single technology, something that is one of the many reasons why SMRs won’t be deployed in any great numbers.

Wind and solar are going to be the primary providers of low-carbon energy for the coming century, and as we electrify everything, the electrons will be coming mostly from the wind and sun, in an efficient, effective and low-cost energy model that doesn’t pollute or cause global warming. Good news indeed that these technologies are so clearly delivering on their promise to help us deal with the climate crisis. 

In 2014, I made the strong assertion that China’s track record on wind and nuclear generation deployments showed clearly that wind energy was more scalable. In 2019, I returned to the subject, and assessed wind, solar and nuclear total TWh of generation, asserting that wind and solar were outperforming nuclear substantially in total annual generation, and projected that the two renewable forms of generation would be producing 4 times the total TWh of nuclear by 2030 each year between them. Mea culpa: in the 2019 assessment, I overstated the experienced capacity factor for wind generation in China, which still lags US experiences, but has improved substantially in the past few years.


My thesis on scalability of deployment has remained unchanged: the massive numerical economies of scale for manufacturing and distributing wind and solar components, combined with the massive parallelization of construction that is possible with those technologies, will always make them faster and easier to scale in capacity and generation than the megaprojects of GW-scale nuclear plants. This was obvious in 2014, it was obviously true in 2019, and it remains clearly demonstrable today. Further, my point was that China was the perfect natural experiment for this assessment, as it was treating both deployments as national strategies (an absolute condition of success for nuclear) and had the ability and will to override local regulations and any NIMBYism. No other country could be used to easily assess which technologies could be deployed more quickly.

In March of this year I was giving the WWEA USA+Canada wind energy update as part of WWEA’s regular round-the-world presentation by industry analysts in the different geographies. My report was unsurprising. In 2020’s update, the focus had been on what the impact of COVID-19 would be on wind deployments around the world. My update focused on the much greater focus on the force majeure portions of wind construction contracts, and I expected that Canada and the USA would miss expectations substantially. The story was much the same in other geographies. And that was true for Canada, the USA and most of the rest of the geographies.

But China surprised the world in 2020, deploying not only 72 GW of wind energy, vastly more than expected, but also 48 GW of solar capacity. The wind deployment was a Chinese and global record for a single country, and the solar deployment was over 50% more than the previous year. Meanwhile, exactly zero nuclear reactors were commissioned in 2020.

And so, I return to my analysis of Chinese low-carbon energy deployment, looking at installed capacity and annual added extra generation.

Grid-connections of nameplate capacity of wind, solar and nuclear in China 2010-2020 chart by author
Continue reading

September 6, 2021 Posted by | China, Reference, renewable | 1 Comment

Murdoch’s news media hasn’t seen the light on climate – they’re just updating their tactics —

Is News Corp really seeing the light on climate? More likely it’s pivoting to a modern style of greenwashing and delay, just like Morrison. .

What might reasonably seem like a surprising change of heart in News Corp’s stance on climate is actually a long-term tactical shift that has been occurring for at least a few years. Whatever policies they failed to destroy through their earlier campaigns, they will try and reframe through racist, nationalistic, technocratic and pro-business frames.

Whatever policies they can delay or destroy, they’ll simply keep running scare campaigns about, insisting that ‘the balance isn’t right’, and that the threat of climate action is greater than climate change, as they always have (in Australia, News Corp’s partnerships with Google and Facebook mean these campaigns to destabilise climate action are growing more powerful and more harmful every day). When the next federal election comes around, the “COSTS OF NET ZERO” scare campaigns will ramp up in Australia as they are in the UK, and News Corp will be at the forefront, pleading that acting too fast will cause catastrophe. Absolutely mark my damn words: this is what will happen.

Net zero by 2050 isn’t enough. We’ll know that the denialism has truly ended when organisations like News Corp treat the IPCC’s latest report like it’s real.

Delay is the main game

There are many substantial recent examples of this. A good one was the severe blackouts that spread across Texas in February this year, which were immediately blamed on wind power failures, alongside easily debunked claims that snows and ice were blocking solar panels and freezing up wind turbines in Texas and around the world.

This isn’t climate change denial: it’s “mitigation denial“. That is, a move away from denying the problem exists and towards decrying its solutions as utterly unacceptable. An important part of this performance is pretending to have a moment of having seen the light, but then continuing to commit the same acts of delay as before.

News Corp hasn’t seen the light on climate – they’re just updating their tacticshttps://reneweconomy.com.au/news-corp-hasnt-seen-the-light-on-climate-theyre-just-updating-their-tactics/, 5 Sept 21, Have you heard the good news? One of the key institutions holding back climate action in Australia – Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation – is suddenly on Team Climate Action! Today, the Sydney Morning Herald revealed that the company’s Australian outlets are set to launch a campaign urging “the world’s leading economies” to embrace a target of net zero emissions by 2050; to be fronted by columnist Joe Hildebrand. The details aren’t out yet, but I contend that we can comfortably predict what it will look like.

It will be a centrist, pro-business approach to climate action. It will make a show of dismissing the “hysterics” of climate activists, while urging governments, including Australia’s, to set distant, meaningless and non-binding climate targets. It won’t allow any room for emissions reductions in line with the 1.5C goals or the Paris agreement; no short-term meaningful targets or actions such as those highlighted in the IEA’s recent ‘net zero’ report. It won’t argue for a coal phase-out by 2030, or the end of all new coal, gas and oil mines in Australia, or a ban on combustion engine sales by 2030-2035; all vital actions if Australia is to align with any net zero target.

It’ll champion controversial technologies like CCS and fossil hydrogen. It’ll highlight personal responsibility: tree planting, recycling and electric vehicle purchases. It will not propose or argue in favour of any new policies; at least none that might reduce the burning of fossil fuels.

How can we know all this before we’ve seen the actual campaign? It’s easy – let me explain.

Done with denial

Here’s a remarkable statistic for you. In the month of August this year, global media coverage of climate saw its highest volume since the December 2009 Copenhagen climate meetings. That’s partly down to the release of the IPCC’s AR6 Working Group one report into climate change, six years in the making.

That report reiterated something extremely important: every single tonne of carbon dioxide does damage. Actions must be immediate and aggressive to align with the most ambitious pathways. Delay is deadly.

No media coverage records for Australia: coverage of climate change has dropped almost entirely off the radar relative to the high volumes of late 2019 and early 2020 (partly driven by the Black Summer bushfires).

During the Black summer bushfires of 2019-20, I did a few interviews about Australia with baffled and perplexed international reporters. “What is going on over there? Why did the people elect such a climate laggard?”. A key part of my response was to pin blame on Australia’s media industry. Mostly on News Corp, which dominates the country’s uniquely concentrated media landscape, and which is notorious for its heavily politicised climate views. In fact, a recent study quantified this in historical terms, analysing media coverage within Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia for its climate science accuracy.

By a comfortable margin, News Corp’s Daily Telegraph and the Courier Mail scored the second and fourth worst among every media outlet analysed between 2005 and 2019 (The Australian wasn’t included in the analysis). Australia has, in general, seen the least accurate climate science coverage from 2013 onwards, despite a general rising trend in scientific accuracy over the past decade. For a decade and a half, News Corp lied about climate science with the blatant aim of protecting the revenue streams of the fossil fuel industry, and protecting its political allies.

This is important as a historical study, but today, it’s increasingly irrelevant. As the study points out, the accuracy of climate science has essentially plateaued in media coverage, with outright denial consigned to the dustbin.

The authors highlights that “the terrain of climate debates has shifted in recent years away from strict denial of the scientific consensus on human causes of climate change toward ‘discourses of delay’ that focus on undermining support for specific policies meant to address climate change”. The fundamental goal is the same – staving off action – but the way it manifests is very different.

Delay is the main game

There are many substantial recent examples of this. A good one was the severe blackouts that spread across Texas in February this year, which were immediately blamed on wind power failures, alongside easily debunked claims that snows and ice were blocking solar panels and freezing up wind turbines in Texas and around the world.

This isn’t climate change denial: it’s “mitigation denial“. That is, a move away from denying the problem exists and towards decrying its solutions as utterly unacceptable. An important part of this performance is pretending to have a moment of having seen the light, but then continuing to commit the same acts of delay as before.

Murdoch’s The Sun, in the UK, did precisely this. In October 2020, The Sun launched a ‘Green Team‘ campaign that focused on ‘individual responsibility’ in the lead-up to COP26, to be held in Glasgow at the end of this year. It wasn’t long until they were celebrating their own victory in freezing fossil fuel taxes.


how it started how it’s going pic.twitter.com/p1ZVOnOKmX

— Zach Boren (@zdboren) March 3, 2021

The UK’s Daily Express, another hyper-conservative outlet that ‘saw the light’, continues to publish articles attacking climate activism and, more significantly, framing climate action in an explicitly “eco nationalist” way, as UK writer Sam Knights highlights in this article in Novara media. He says,

“Make no mistake: these newspapers are not your friends. They are not your allies. Their politics are not in any way ecological. They are deeply racist, reactionary, right-wing publications. Their sudden interest in climate change is not to be celebrated – it is a terrifying indication of things to come:”

Last week, @GreenpeaceUK@WWF@nationaltrust, and @friends_earth signed up to the “green crusade” of the Daily Express. Just ten days later, the rightwing newspaper has already run two articles attacking Greta Thunberg… Surely these charities will now withdraw their support? pic.twitter.com/Xz5NcjLu8N

— Sam Knights (@samjknights) February 18, 2021

It’s notable that these examples seem to manifest in the UK, and less so in similar anglophone countries like Canada or the US or New Zealand. Those are led by centre-left parties and politicians, but the UK’s conservative embrace of climate action is surely a model that Australia’s PM Scott Morrison pines to replicate. Sure, the UK certainly is miles ahead of Australia in terms of climate action – but there remains a very significant gap between Boris Johnson’s climate policies and where the country actually needs to be to align with the carbon budget that its independent climate advisor body has laid out.

A technocratic, rich white country with a government more concerned with optics than doing what needs to be done to protect people from being hurt by fossil fuels. Morrison’s obviously inspired by the UK, but Australia’s conservative media outlets are increasingly inspired, too.

Net zero by sometime after I retire, please

This is all coming to a head at COP26. George Brandis, Australia’s attorney general, who once declared that “coal is very good for humanity indeed”, is now High Commissioner for Australia to the UK, and has significantly ramped up the broader greenwashing exercise that the government has been enacting over the latter half of last year and most of this one. As I wrote in RenewEconomy, that means creative accounting, dodgy charts and deceptive framing, all designed to paper over Australia’s significant failure to reign in emissions.

Morrison will almost certainly set a net zero by 2050 target before COP26, but it’ll be packaged with a collection of loop holes that allow for rising emissions in the short term. It is dawning on the government just as it is dawning on News Corp: the best way to protect the fossil fuel industry today is not to deny the science, but to pretend to accept it. This is not the end of climate denial. It’s evolution from a common ancestor.

That this effort will be lead by Joe Hildebrand is telling enough. His previous work on climate change does exactly what a centre-right campaign like this would be best at – decrying both sides as ‘hysterical’ while failing to propose anything meaningful or substantial.

This @Joe_Hildebrand piece is a near-perfect example of what I mean when I say that this is more about reassurance and excuses than it is about persuasion.

This is about figuring how to be internally okay with their own antagonism towards climate action.https://t.co/TLiiIVY2ih pic.twitter.com/k1HIoxUFIR

— Ketan Joshi (@KetanJ0) October 6, 2019

We can also see hints of what a conservative climate message looks like in a previous editorial from the more progressive News Corp outlet, NT News, which – of course – continues to host syndicated climate denial from the Sky News Australia channel. Ditto for News dot com.

This is News Corp’s northern territory outlet.

Note the ‘affordable’ – a reference to the conservative meme that decarbonisation is bad because it’s too expensive.

Even in accepting the need for action, they need to throw in messaging from previous fossil fuel advocacy. https://t.co/HifYmyX2R3

— Ketan Joshi (@KetanJ0) January 15, 2020

What might reasonably seem like a surprising change of heart in News Corp’s stance on climate is actually a long-term tactical shift that has been occurring for at least a few years. Whatever policies they failed to destroy through their earlier campaigns, they will try and reframe through racist, nationalistic, technocratic and pro-business frames.

Whatever policies they can delay or destroy, they’ll simply keep running scare campaigns about, insisting that ‘the balance isn’t right’, and that the threat of climate action is greater than the threat of climate change, as they always have (in Australia, News Corp’s partnerships with Google and Facebook mean these campaigns to destabilise climate action are growing more powerful and more harmful every day). When the next federal election comes around, the “COSTS OF NET ZERO” scare campaigns will ramp up in Australia as they are in the UK, and News Corp will be at the forefront, pleading that acting too fast will cause catastrophe. Absolutely mark my damn words: this is what will happen.

Net zero by 2050 isn’t enough. We’ll know that the denialism has truly ended when organisations like News Corp treat the IPCC’s latest report like it’s real. That is, when they acknowledge that every additional unit of greenhouse gases causes harm to life on Earth, and that actions to stop their release must be as fast as possible. That climate change is an emergency that requires rapid action to wind down the fossil fuel industry in a just and equitable way, and that its replacement must be grown to full size with just as much passion and urgency.

This campaign won’t look anything like that. We know what it will look like – and it won’t be anything surprising at all.

September 6, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change, media | Leave a comment

The Faslane Peace Camp inspired the BBC drama Vigil

Meanwhile the series recalls the real drama

 Sitting on Scotland’s strikingly beautiful west coast, the world’s longest-running anti-nuclear peace camp has been uniting protesters for 39 years. But after dropping out of the headlines as its numbers dwindled from 400 to just three, Faslane Peace Camp has the nation’s attention once more – as the inspiration for gripping BBC drama Vigil.

 Mirror 4th Sept 2021

https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/inside-worlds-longest-running-anti-24909945

September 6, 2021 Posted by | media, UK, weapons and war | 2 Comments

Taiwan says 19 Chinese aircraft including nuclear-capable bombers have invaded its airspace

Taiwan says 19 Chinese aircraft including nuclear-capable bombers have invaded its airspace, Independent, 6 Sept 21,

Taiwan dispatched combat aircraft to warn the Chinese planes and deployed the missile defence system to monitor them
Namita Singh  Taiwan has accused China of a huge military incursion in its air defence identification zone (ADIZ), saying that at least 19 chinese military aircraft, including fighters and nuclear-capable bombers were detected on Sunday.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said they issued radio warnings to the crews after they tracked the 19 planes including ten J-16 and four Su-30 fighters,……. (Subscribers only)   https://rinj.press/2021-fpmag/march/are-distancing-and-lockdown-mandates-a-violation-of-civil-liberties/

September 6, 2021 Posted by | Taiwan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Study: Mars Missions Should Be Limited to 4 Years to Protect from Radiation

Study: Mars Missions Should Be Limited to 4 Years to Protect from Radiation, VOA Learning English, 5 Sep 21,  A new study has found that future missions to Mars should be limited to four years to protect astronauts from harmful radiation.

The study also says that missions should be carried out during specific times to reduce the level of exposure to dangerous particles.

The U.S. space agency NASA currently has plans to send astronauts back to the moon. It also plans to one day send astronauts to Mars. Those plans include missions that would keep astronauts in space for long periods.

China has also announced plans to send astronauts to Mars by 2033. Such missions present great risks to humans because of the high level of radiation in space.

Radiation exposure can cause a series of health issues, including skin burns, heart problems and cancer. NASA has spent many years studying ways to protect human space travelers from radiation.

On Earth, we also experience exposure to radiation from the sun. But our planet’s magnetic field protects us from dangerously high levels.

Two main kinds of radiation can affect humans and equipment in space. One is produced by particles released from the sun. The other comes from high energy particles created by cosmic rays from outside our solar system. NASA says the second kind can be more dangerous to humans and more destructive to equipment.

In the new study, researchers used modeling methods to predict levels of radiation exposure during future space missions. They combined geophysical models of particle radiation with models for how radiation would affect human passengers and spacecraft……………………. https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/study-mars-missions-should-be-limited-to-four-years-to-protect-from-radiation/6202556.html

September 6, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, space travel | Leave a comment