nuclear-news

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

This week’s nuclear news

NUCLEAR. While the pandemic goes on, not much physically is happening. But on the lobbying scene, it’s at fever pitch. The target is the European Commission. The goal is to get the Commission to declare nuclear power as clean, green and sustainable in the European Taxonomy.  And then on to inclusion in the COP 26 Climate Summit in November, so that the nuclear industry can get the money that goes with that acceptance. Even more beneficial-  by saving this failing industry, they’ll be able to keep old reactors going for longer, thus avoiding the huge costs of demolishing them, and thus kicking that problem down the road, for our grandchildren to solve.Delay in climate change action helps, too, as nuclear power is depicted as ”transitional” from fossil fuels.

Coronavirus: What’s happening in Canada and around the world .    

Climate changeFossil fuels must stay underground, scientists say


A bit of good news – New data shows vaccines are cutting the risk of serious COVID-19.

We need global action on climate, just like global action on pandemic – Jane Goodall. Jane Goodall still has hope for humanity. Here’s why.

Vested interests — controlling the news about nuclear safety.

UN General Assembly President calls for halt to nuclear tests.

BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) reaffirmed commitment to preventing an arms race in space.

Nuclear ”ethics” – fatally ill man kept alive against his will, in the cause of nuclear research. Irradiated man kept alive .

British Scientist discovers the cause of cancer in the Hiroshima Black Rain survivors -2021.

Thorium nuclear fuel has risks.

‘Fossil Free Media’‘ aims to redress the balance of well-funded press that opposes action on climate change.

EUROPE

  Nuclear sharing must end in Europe .

The nuclear lobby gears up to take ”green” nuclear energy spin to the European Commission and on to COP26.  Expert response to the pro nuclear report by the Joint Research Centre.:  

Extracts from Expert response to pro nuclear JRC Report.  

USA.  

RUSSIA. Russia aims to dominate the Arctic, with nuclear ice-breakers.

IRAN. Iran blocking UN atomic agency access to nuclear-related sites, IAEA says

FRANCE. Protests as France sends latest shipment of used nuclear fuel to Japan .

UKNuclear weapons out of Scotland within three years of independence, SNP agrees, The real-life anti-nuclear peace camp that is the subject of BBC drama ”Vigil”. Earthquake risks for proposed coal mine in Cumbria, all too close to Sellafield nuclear site. Planned UK-Australia trade deal – a dangerous precedent for climate change policy. Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council supports Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

JAPAN. Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party hopes that presidential contender Taro Kono will drop his anti nuclear stance. Energy Markets Bet Against Nuclear As Election Nears In Japan. IAEA Seeks Japan Transparency in Release of Fukushima Water. Media Coverage of Fukushima, Ten Years Later. Pharyngeal cancer recognized as work-related injury for two convergence workers after Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.

NEW ZEALANDMururoa nuclear test veterans fight for their children and grandchildren.

SOUTH KOREA. U.S., Japan, S.Korea to meet over N.Korea nuclear standoff.

SPAINRadioactive water leak in Valencia.

RUSSIA. Russia aims to dominate the Arctic, with nuclear ice-breakers.

IRAN. Iran blocking UN atomic agency access to nuclear-related sites, IAEA says.

FRANCE. Protests as France sends latest shipment of used nuclear fuel to Japan .

NEW ZEALANDMururoa nuclear test veterans fight for their children and grandchildren.

SOUTH KOREA. U.S., Japan, S.Korea to meet over N.Korea nuclear standoff.

  SPAIN. Radioactive water leak in Valencia.  

AUSTRALIA.  News Corpse’s climate change shame. News Corpse’s new snide approach on climate change – to help Morrison win next election? 

September 13, 2021 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Vested interests — controlling the news about nuclear safety

Who controls the truth about a nuclear disaster?

The end of the monopoly of these experts would allow a proper debate on the risks of nuclear energy. At a time when many voices are speaking out in favor of the development of atomic energy as the lesser evil in the face of climate change, such a debate is urgent.

How monolithic institutions decide what is safe for the rest of us, Beyond Nuclear, By Christine Fassert and Tatiana Kasperski, 12 Sept 21,

In December 2020, twenty years after the final closure of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine announced its intention to prepare an application to include certain objects in the exclusion zone around Chernobyl in the UNESCO World Heritage List….

The Chernobyl site would symbolize the long history of accidents that have marked the atomic age, from Kychtym and Windscale (1957), to Three Mile Island (1979) and Fukushima (2011), whose tenth anniversary we commemorated this year.

Moreover, the Chernobyl accident constitutes a particular moment in this history, namely the beginning of the institutionalization of the international management of the consequences of nuclear accidents, whose impact became fully apparent at the time of the Fukushima accident.

A small group of organizations

If the origins of accidents are most often explained by factors related to the development of the nuclear industry and its regulatory bodies at the national level, the “management” of their consequences gradually extends beyond national borders

In this respect, Chernobyl established the monopolization of the authoritative knowledge of ionizing radiation by a small group of organizations — the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR).

Through a series of alliances and co-options, these organizations formed a monolithic bloc on the issue of radiological risk.

Relegated to a militant marginality

From that moment on, divergent points of view were de-legitimized and relegated to a form of militant marginality. These included the positions of such individuals as “dissident” scientist Keith Baverstock who directed the radiation protection program at the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Europe, and those of such organizations as the International Association of Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW).

This monopoly translates into an internationalization of accident management that relies on a series of tools designed to establish a “normalization” of the post accident situation through the depoliticization of the management of risks related to radioactive fallout. They enshrine the power of experts close to international nuclear organizations to determine what sacrifices in terms of health and the environment are acceptable.

As physicists Bella and Roger Belbéoch point out:

“Far from calling into question the power they have secured for themselves in society, the nuclear disaster allows them to constitute themselves into a unified international body with even greater powers. It is at the moment when the scientific experts can no longer promise anything other than disaster management that their power inevitably takes hold.”

Fukushima

This monopoly over knowledge and management of an accident was very much present in Japan in 2011, when the Japanese authorities put in place measures, which, by largely referring to international standards, warded off objections: the accident was dealt with by the experts.

However, a shift occurred in this monopoly when a UN rapporteur, Anand Grover, severely criticized Tokyo’s management of the disaster. 

At the same time, new conceptual tools proposed by the social sciences, such as the “production of ignorance”, offer a framework for analysis that makes it possible to extend the criticisms beyond the domain of a purely expert debate, opening the way to a re-politicization of the accident and its consequences.

Making nuclear accidents manageable

But, first of all, how can you make a nuclear accident manageable when, as was the case at Chernobyl and Fukushima, it causes very large releases of radioactive particles, spreading around the globe and causing long-term contamination of tens of thousands of square kilometers?

Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated or relocated from these territories, and hundreds of thousands of others continue to live in an environment affected by radioactivity.

Zoning, that is, the division of these territories into several “zones” according to the density of contamination and the necessary protective measures, was the first instrument that made it possible, in Japan and in the former Soviet Union, to make the accident manageable……

This zoning mechanism set up by the Japanese government is part of a regulatory framework established by the two major international nuclear institutions, the IAEA and the ICRP. The ICRP sets the dose limit for the public at 1 millisievert (mSv)/year. Since 2007, the ICRP has authorized  government authorities to raise this threshold (from 1 to 20 mSv/year) in the case of a nuclear accident.

When the Japanese authorities, like the Soviet authorities in 1986, chose to raise the threshold following the accident, they justified it in terms of the virtual absence of any health risks.

The radiological threshold

The mechanism is based in particular on the choice of a radiological threshold from which the population will be evacuated.

In Japan, government officials consider that the risk of developing cancer from exposure to a dose of 100mSv or less is so low according to “the international (scientific) consensus, (that) it is made undetectable by the carcinogenic effects of other factors.”

Limiting evacuations and compensations

The sociologist and historian of science Sezin Topçu shows how this zoning mechanism, which has become an indispensable element of nuclear accident management, is above all a way of limiting evacuation and compensation for damage caused by an accident, since its costs (economic, political or social) would be prohibitive for the nuclear industry and the State.

This optimization approach is also enshrined at the international level in the recommendations issued by the IAEA and the ICRP.

For example, in the case of Japan, the threshold of 20 mSv/year appears to have been chosen in part to avoid evacuating the Naka Dori region and its major cities: the established zone borders made it possible to exclude such cities in the center of the prefecture, including Fukushima, from evacuation orders…………………………..

Mechanisms of ignorance production

More recently, however, various social scientists have proposed an analysis of the promotion of a reassuring stance on these dangers as part of the mechanisms of ignorance production.

The production of ignorance, which can be both involuntary and intentional, was initially studied for a number of risks, such as tobacco.

Approaching radiological risks in terms of the production of ignorance makes it possible to break with the “exceptionalism” with which the nuclear issue has long been associated, and to consider the dangers of ionizing radiation within the broader field of health risks and its banal issues of power.

Minimizing gravity

The internationalized management of nuclear disasters is in fact based on various mechanisms of ignorance production. For instance, the sociologist of science, Olga Kuchinskaya,- describes the “politics of invisibility” that were adopted after the Chernobyl disaster.

She points out that the public visibility of the effects of ionizing radiation depends on the existence of material infrastructures – such as measuring devices, information systems and equipment — but also institutional infrastructures (for example, following a cohort of people in order to make health effects visible depends on this articulation between material and institutional elements).

This infrastructure is very costly and, in the case of Chernobyl, has not been maintained over time. Moreover, the assessment of the effects of radiation was essentially taken care of by international institutions, while local doctors and researchers, for their part, revealed a completely different and much more alarming picture of the health situation.

Kate Brown describes how various international bodies, primarily the IAEA and WHO, worked to redefine the health effects of Chernobyl, to minimize their severity, and thus actively to produce “ignorance” about the impact of the disaster.

This non-knowledge was in fact a crucial instrument that made the disaster “manageable” and allowed, as Adriana Petryna points out, “the deployment of authoritative knowledge, especially when applied to the management of the exposed population”.

The monopoly of international experts, until when?

By addressing the “exceptional” character of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation, these criticisms, whether they are made within UN bodies or by social science researchers, open the way to questioning the monopoly of international nuclear institutions in assessing radiological risk and framing so-called “post-accident” policies.

A re-politicization of the management of accident consequences that brings the “management” of a nuclear accident into the broader framework of human rights therefore becomes possible.

When the next nuclear accident occurs, it is not a given that citizens will accept the “inevitability” of the power of international experts to decide, on their behalf, what constitutes an acceptable risk.

The end of the monopoly of these experts would allow a proper debate on the risks of nuclear energy. At a time when many voices are speaking out in favor of the development of atomic energy as the lesser evil in the face of climate change, such a debate is urgent.

This article was first published in The Conversation in French on April 26, 2021, as well as on Beyond Nuclear International. English translation provided by the authors.

Christine Fassert is a social anthropologist at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-SorbonneTatiana Kasperski is a research associate– Department of Humanities at Universitat Pompeu Fabra   https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2021/09/12/vested-interests/

September 13, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, radiation, safety, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Expert response to the pro nuclear report by the Joint Research Centre

Any major expansion of nuclear energy would delay the decommissioning of fossil-fired power plants, as the latter would have to remain in operation during this period and therefore make it hard to achieve the climate change mitigation objective. It is even possible to argue that nuclear energy hinders the use of other alternatives with low CO2 emissions because of its high capital intensity.  Otherwise this capital could be used to expand alternative energy sources like sun, wind and water

While nuclear power generation in the electricity generation phase has been associated with relatively low greenhouse gas emissions from a historical perspective, the lions’ share of greenhouse gas emissions in the nuclear fuel cycle is caused by the front-end and back-end processing stages. Based on estimates, the CO2 emissions can be broken down into the construction of nuclear power plants (18%), uranium mining and enrichment (38%), operations (17%), processing and storing nuclear fuel (15%) and decommissioning activities at the power plant (18%) (BMK, 2020, p.6)   

Generating huge quantities of dangerous waste is being continued for decades without any effective disposal solution being available. The JRC itself says that the primary and best waste management strategy is not to generate any radioactive waste in the first place. However, this assessment is not consistently applied within the report. 

The draft of the delegated legal act is based on the recommendations of the so-called Technical Expert Group (TEG). …..The TEG did not recommend that nuclear energy should be included in the EU taxonomy register at that time and recommended an in-depth study of the DNSH criteria (TEG, 2020b). 

It is clear that the JRC barely touched on some environment-related aspects of using nuclear energy or did not consider them in its assessment at all.

.…  Questions must also be raised about the ageing process and the brittleness of materials and therefore the long-term behaviour of nuclear power plants beyond the original design period. 

This very positive presentation of future prospects for nuclear energy, which is shown in the JRC Report, must be viewed critically………..this presentation by the JRC is suspect from a professional point of view and possibly indicates a lack of adequate independence .

  Expert response to the report by the Joint Research Centre entitled “Technical assessment of nuclear energy with respect to the ‛Do No Significant Harm’ criteria in Regulation (EU) 2020/852, the ‛Taxonomy Regulation’”    Particularly considering the suitability of criteria for including nuclear energy in EU taxonomy The Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BASE) with support from the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS)  June 2021


Summary

The Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BASE) with support from the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS), acting on behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), has examined the report by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Union (EU) entitled “Technical assessment of nuclear energy with respect to the ‘Do No Significant Harm’ criteria of Regulation (EU) 2020/852 (‘Taxonomy Regulation’)” to see whether the JRC has used expertise that is complete and comprehensible when determining whether the use of nuclear fission to generate energy can be included in the taxonomy register. 

The Taxonomy Regulation defines criteria that determine whether an economic activity (and therefore investments in this activity) can be viewed as ecologically sustainable. The JRC, the EU’s research centre, concludes in its report dated March 2021 that the conditions for including nuclear energy in EU taxonomy are met in terms of the “Do No Significant Harm” criteria (DNSH). Prior to this, the Technical Expert Group (TEG) had not yet recommended the inclusion of nuclear energy in EU taxonomy and advised the EU Commission to review the DNSH criteria more closely. 


This expert response finds that the JRC has drawn conclusions that are hard to deduce at numerous points. Subject areas that are very relevant to the environment have also only been presented very briefly or have been ignored. For example, the effects of severe accidents on the environment are not included when assessing whether to include nuclear energy in the taxonomy register – yet they have occurred several times over the last few decades. This raises the question of whether the JRC has selected too narrow a framework of observation. The aspects mentioned and others listed in this expert response suggest that this is true. 

This expert response also points out that the JRC mentions topics, but then fails to consider them further or in more detail, although they must be included in any assessment of the sustainability of using nuclear energy. The need to consider them is partly based on the fact that certain effects on the other environmental objectives in the Taxonomy Regulation must be expected if the matter is viewed more closely or at least cannot be excluded. In other cases, this need results from the fact that the Taxonomy Regulation refers to the UN approach in its 2030 Agenda in its understanding of sustainability – and the latter, for example, contains the goals of “considering future generations” and “participative decision-making”. Any sustainability, particularly for future generations, can only be guaranteed if attempts are made at an early stage to achieve acceptance in the population, enable future generations to handle the use of nuclear energy and its legacy or waste appropriately and ensure that information and knowledge are maintained in the long term. Generally speaking, it should be noted that the problem of disposing of radioactive waste has already been postponed by previous generations to today’s and it will ‘remain’ a problem for many future generations. The principle of “no undue burdens for future generations” (pp. 250ff) has therefore already been (irrevocably) infringed, while the DNSH-hurdle “significant[ly] harm” has also been infringed. 

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September 13, 2021 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE, politics international, Reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Small nuclear reactors, uranium mining, nuclear fuel chain, reprocessing, dismantling reactors – extract from Expert Response to pro nuclear JRC Report


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………… If SMRs are used, this not least raises questions about proliferation, i.e. the possible spread of nuclear weapons as well as the necessary nuclear technologies or fissionable materials for their production.    ………..

By way of summary, it is important to state that many questions are still unresolved with regard to any widespread use of SMRs – and this would be necessary to make a significant contribution to climate protection – and they are not addressed in the JRC Report. These issues are not just technical matters that have not yet been clarified, but primarily questions of safety, proliferation and liability, which require international coordination and regulations. 

  • neither coal mining nor uranium mining can be viewed as sustainable …….. Uranium mining principally creates radioactive waste and requires significantly more expensive waste management than coal mining.
  • The volume of waste arising from decommissioning a power plant would therefore be significantly higher than specified in the JRC Report in Part B 2.1, depending on the time required to dismantle it

    Measures to reduce the environmental impact The JRC Report is contradictory when it comes to the environmental impact of uranium mining: it certainly mentions the environmental risks of uranium mining (particularly in JRC Report, Part A 3.3.1.2, p. 67ff), but finally states that they can be contained by suitable measures (particularly JRC Report, Part A 3.3.1.5, p. 77ff). However, suitable measures are not discussed in the depth required ……..

    Expert response to the report by the Joint Research Centre entitled “Technical assessment of nuclear energy with respect to the ‛Do No Significant Harm’ criteria in Regulation (EU) 2020/852, the ‛Taxonomy Regulation’”  2021

    ”…………………3.2 Analysing the contribution made by small modular reactors (SMRs) to climate change mitigation in the JRC Report   
      The statement about many countries’ growing interest in SMRs is mentioned in the JRC Report (Part A 3.2.1, p. 38) without any further classification. In particular, there is no information about the current state of development and the lack of marketability of SMRs.

    Reactors with an electric power output of up to 300 MWe are normally classified as SMRs. Most of the extremely varied SMR concepts found around the world have not yet got past the conceptual level. Many unresolved questions still need to be clarified before SMRs can be technically constructed in a country within the EU and put into operation. They range from issues about safety, transportation and dismantling to matters related to interim storage and final disposal and even new problems for the responsible licensing and supervisory authorities 


    The many theories frequently postulated for SMRs – their contribution to combating the risks of climate change and their lower costs and shorter construction periods must be attributed to particular economic interests, especially those of manufacturers, and therefore viewed in a very critical light

    Today`s new new nuclear power plants have electrical output in the range of 1000-1600 MWe. SMR concepts, in contrast, envisage planned electrical outputs of 1.5 – 300 MWe. In order to provide the same electrical power capacity, the number of units would need to be increased by a factor of 3-1000. Instead of having about 400 reactors with large capacity today, it would be necessary to construct many thousands or even tens of thousands of SMRs (BASE, 2021; BMK, 2020). A current production cost calculation, which consider scale, mass and learning effects from the nuclear industry, concludes that more than 1,000 SMRs would need to be produced before SMR production was cost-effective. It cannot therefore be expected that the structural cost disadvantages of reactors with low capacity can be compensated for by learning or mass effects in the foreseeable future (BASE, 2021). 


    There is no classification in the JRC Report (Part A 3.2.1, p. 38) regarding the frequently asserted statement that SMRs are safer than traditional nuclear power plants with a large capacity, as they have a lower radioactive inventory and make greater use of passive safety systems. In the light of this, various SMR concepts suggest the need for reduced safety requirements, e.g. regarding the degree of redundancy or diversity. Some SMR concepts even consider refraining from normal provisions for accident management both internal and external – for example, smaller planning zones for emergency protection and even the complete disappearance of any off-site emergency zones. 

     The theory that an SMR automatically has an increased safety level is not proven. The safety of a specific reactor unit depends on the safety related properties of the individual reactor and its functional effectiveness and must be carefully analysed – taking into account the possible range of events or incidents. This kind of analysis will raise additional questions, particularly about the external events if SMRs are located in remote regions if SMRs are used to supply industrial plants or if they are sea-based SMRs (BASE, 2021). 

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    September 13, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, decommission reactor, EUROPE, Reference, reprocessing, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, spinbuster, Uranium | Leave a comment

    Radiation, nuclear wastes, transportation, uncertainties – extract from Expert response to pro nuclear JRC Report

    The DNSH-related TSCs state, among other things, that the repository facility must guarantee that the waste is contained and isolated from the biosphere. This also applies if extreme natural phenomena occur such as earthquakes, tornadoes, floods or the loss of technical barriers. 

    ……  nuclear energy has been used for several decades, but there is still no repositoryfor high-level radioactive waste operating anywhere in the world. Responsibilities are therefore passed on to following generations and they are restricted in their freedom of choice. Section 6 of this expert response will deal with this matter in greater detail. 

    General results of the reviewThe JRC Report contains unfounded generalisations at many points. Conclusions are drawn from individual, selected examples and their global validity is assumed. Readers without any detailed specialist expertise will find it hard or impossible to recognise this.


    .……….  The JRC presents the disposal of high-level radioactive waste as a completely resolved problem by citing the example of the disposal projects in Finland and France. This largely ignores the fact that the Finnish repository is still under construction and the licence application from the operational company has already been delayed on several occasions. Both countries are still years away from starting to operate the facilities. 

    The JRC Report does not mention the aspect of transportation in its presentation of the life cycle analysis. This would have been necessary for a conclusive overall presentation of all the aspects of nuclear power.

    the JRC Report states that a closed fuel cycle provides the advantage of significantly reducing the space required for a deep geological repository for HLW. It is necessary to add here that not only the volume, but also the decay heat at the time of disposing of the waste is relevant for the size of the disposal facility (KOM, 2016, p. 227). Additional low- and intermediate-level waste would also be produced and this would increase the disposal volume.

    Expert response to the report by the Joint Research Centre entitled “Technical assessment of nuclear energy with respect to the ‛Do No Significant Harm’ criteria in Regulation (EU) 2020/852, the ‛Taxonomy Regulation’” 2021

    “”………… 4.6 Ionising radiation and its impacts on people’s health and the environment during all the life cycle phases (apart from disposal and transportation)The JRC Report largely restricts itself in Part A 3.4 to the “impact of ionizing radiation on human health” (JRC Report, Part A 3.4.1, p. 167ff) and the environment (JRC Report, Part A 3.4.2, p. 173ff). The impact of emissions of non-radioactive substances is only considered at one point (publication [3.4-1]). ……..


    The figures quoted for the radiation exposure of human beings in Part A 3.4.1 of the JRC Report are plausible. It is correct that human exposure to radiation as a result of the civil use of radioactive materials and ionising radiation is low in comparison with radiation exposure from natural sources and its range of variation. However, the report does not match the latest findings in radiation protection when specifying average effective doses per head of the population for nuclear facilities and installations. According to the latest recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the so-called “representative person” in the sense of the ICRP has to be considered an individual in the population, who is exposed to higher levels of radiation because of his or her lifestyle habits. 

    5 Criterion 2 in the Taxonomy Regulation – the DNSH criteria: disposal of radioactive waste, transportation, research and development The subject of disposing of radioactive waste is considered in this section. It professionally examines the scientific statements in the JRC Report about the topics of storage (section 5.1 of this expert response), disposing of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste (section 5.2), disposing of high-level radioactive waste (section 5.3), transportation (section 5.4) and research and development (section 5.5). Sub-headlines have been used to interconnect the subsections 


    ……….. The JRC Report does not adequately consider the fact that no successful, deep geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste, including the permanent seal, has yet been introduced anywhere in the world. 


    5.1 Interim storage of radioactive waste The JRC Report generally fails to provide any basis for the findings that are listed in the Executive Summary of the report related to storing radioactive waste. As a result, questions must be raised about the transparency of the conclusions that are drawn

    …………..  the assessment of interim storage consistently takes place according to the standard adopted by the JRC, which, however, is inadequate from an expert point of view. For beyond design basis events it is impossible to exclude that uncontrolled discharges of radioactive substances and therefore considerable effects on the environment may occur through incidents and accidents or by some other intrusion involving third parties (e.g. terrorist attacks) when operating storage facilities; a risk therefore remains. A holistic assessment of using nuclear energy must therefore include a risk assessment related to these events too (cf. section 2.1 and 2.2.1 of this expert response). 

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    September 13, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, radiation, Reference, spinbuster, wastes | Leave a comment

    Future generations, participative decision-making, proliferation, uranium mining – extract from Expert response to pro nuclear JRC Report

    Consideration of participative decision-making in societies in the JRC Report The involvement of stakeholders is greatly oversimplified in the JRC Report and is described in very optimistic terms. For example, NGOs are not considered in the description of interest groups and their role in developing a programme for deep geological repository sites

    The effects on indigenous peoples, on whose land most of the uranium mines are located, is not mentioned in the report,

    Expert response to the report by the Joint Research Centre entitled “Technical assessment of nuclear energy with respect to the ‛Do No Significant Harm’ criteria in Regulation (EU) 2020/852, the ‛Taxonomy Regulation’”  2021

    ………………………………...6.  Future and further criteria in the Taxonomy Regulation – other sustainability goals and minimum standards  The JRC Report deals with other aspects that are important for sustainable development in conjunction with disposing of high-level radioactive waste, in addition to the ecological criteria. The JRC Report particularly highlights consideration for future generations (JRC Report, Part B 5.2.3.3, p. 258) and the importance of participative decision-making (JRC Report, Part B 5.2.3.1, p. 254) when searching for a repository site. The JRC Report formulates both aspects as important requirements when searching for a repository site. The two requirements of “considering future generations” and “participative decision-making“, however, are not considered in any further depth – e.g. mentioning the challenges associated with these requirements when searching for a repository site for radioactive waste. The report emphasises that there is still no repository for high-level radioactive waste in operation anywhere in the world (JRC Report, Part A 1.1.1, p. 17), but leaves open the question of whether there is any connection here with the challenges of “considering future generations” and “participative decision-making”.   ..

    Regardless of disposal, the problem of proliferation (cf. section 6.3), which is only mentioned in a very rudimentary manner in relation to reprocessing in the JRC Report, and uranium mining (cf. section 6.4) mean that it is necessary to treat the topics of intergenerational justice and participation separately in terms of the sustainability of using nuclear energy. Even in the case of severe nuclear power plant accidents, where large amounts of radioactive substances are discharged into the environment, generational justice is an important aspect of sustainability. The example of Chernobyl shows that coping with the consequences of an accident will also plague future generations – ranging from restrictions or non-usage possibilities in the affected areas and even the planned dismantling of the damaged reactor block and disposing of the retrieved nuclear fuel.


    6.1 “Considering future generations” and “participative decision-making” in conjunction with disposal ……..

    Considering future generations and participative decision-making in any society represent individual sustainability goals in the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UN, 2015) ……..  These two sustainability goals are not adequately considered in the JRC Report with a view to nuclear disposal, but are important for assessing the fundamental issue of sustainability, which is also part of the Taxonomy Regulation 


    Consideration of sustainability aspects and future generations in the JRC Report Developing and introducing a geological disposal programme/disposal system takes decades and is associated with costs that are hard to calculate. Monitoring after the closure of the repository will also continue for at least another 100 years. For example, France expects the operational time for a repository alone to exceed 100 years. During this long period, following generations will have to deal with problems that have been caused by previous generations 


    The risk of long-term financial burdens that are hard to calculate (as the example of the Asse II mine illustrates) and the risks caused by geological disposal for several generations are not adequately treated in the JRC Report. ………  The report fails to provide any in-depth analysis of this aspect and provides a distorted picture, particularly with a view to the aspect of sustainability and intergenerational justice, by ignoring the negative consequences of using nuclear energy. 

    Consideration of participative decision-making in societies in the JRC Report The involvement of stakeholders is greatly oversimplified in the JRC Report and is described in very optimistic terms. For example, NGOs are not considered in the description of interest groups and their role in developing a programme for deep geological repository sites (JRC Report, Part B 5.2.3.1, p. 253-254). Part B 5.2.3.1, p. 254 of the JRC Report ignores the fact that it may not be possible to reach consensus among the stakeholders. This also oversimplifies the problem of searching for a site and presents it in a one-sided way 

    There is no discussion either that – where no social consensus on using nuclear energy exists – its use itself can represent a blockage factor for solving the repository issue – at least experience in Germany illustrates this. Abandoning nuclear power and therefore resolving a social field of conflict, which had continued for decades, was a central factor in ensuring that discussions were relaunched about a site election procedure and led to a broad consensus. …….

    Conclusion 

    Overall, it is necessary to state that the consideration of sustainability in the JRC Report is incomplete and needs to be complemented in terms of the minimum objectives and other sustainability goals. The broad sustainability approach adopted by the United Nations is not picked up. EU taxonomy is based on this broad approach. It therefore makes sense to already analyse the use of nuclear energy and the disposal of radioactive waste specifically now – and in the context of other sustainability goals like considering future generations and participative involvement in societies. 

    6.2 Preservation of records, .Preservation of records, knowledge and memory (RK&M) regarding radioactive waste repositories is only mentioned once as a quotation from Article 17 of the Joint Convention (JRC Report, Part B 1.2, p. 206) and once rudimentarily in Part B 5.2.3.3, p. 259f. This does not do justice to its importance for future generations (cf. sections 2.1 and 6.1 of this expert response). ………….  . Requirements like these are not taken into account in the JRC Report. 

    6.3 Proliferation The JRC Report only mentions the risk of proliferation – i.e. the spread or transfer of fissionable material, mass weapons of destruction, their design plans or launching systems – very briefly in conjunction with the civil use of nuclear power. This analysis is inadequate to do justice to proliferation in the light of the DNSH criteria related to the environmental objectives, as it represents a considerable risk for almost all sustainability goals. 

    The military and civil use of nuclear energy have been closely connected to each other historically. The technologies for their use are often dual-use items, i.e. they can in principle be used for both civil and military purposes. It is therefore necessary to create an extensive network of international controls as part of using nuclear energy and the supply and disposal of fuels associated with it in order to minimise the risk of military misuse by state or non-state players. This particularly applies to fissionable material like uranium-235 and plutonium-239, which are used when generating nuclear energy or produced in power reactors. In addition to this, significant risks are also created by other radioactive substances if they are stolen and used in an improper manner (“dirty bombs”). 


    Processes that are particularly important for proliferation are created when manufacturing nuclear fuel (uranium enrichment) and reprocessing spent nuclear fuel materials: the technologies for uranium enrichment can be used with modifications to produce highly enriched uranium to build a nuclear weapon. During reprocessing, plutonium is separated and it can be used for nuclear weapons. Even if the plutonium vector, which is produced in power reactors, does not have the ideal properties for military use from a physics point of view, it is still basically suitable for making weapons (Mark, 1993; US DoE, 1994). 

    Using nuclear energy to generate electricity is therefore associated with specific risks of proliferation. As nuclear weapons have unique destructive potential in many respects (Eisenbart, 2012), the issue of sustainability for this type of energy generation should not ignore this aspect. ……


    6.4 Uranium mining – specific requirements for sustainable mining ………………..  There is no real discussion of the term “sustainable mining” in the JRC Report (cf. particularly JRC Report Part A 3.3.1.4, p. 76 at the bottom). The report does not examine the discussion about sustainable mining has any repercussions for investigating the environmental effects of uranium mining. However, it is important in terms of other sustainability goals or the minimum safeguards laid down in Article 18 of the Taxonomy Regulation (cf. BMK, 2020, p. 22 too) 

    All those involved in mining and processing uranium ore should be mentioned in conjunction with sustainability. The effects on indigenous peoples, on whose land most of the uranium mines are located, is not mentioned in the report, for example. The rights of these people for a just share in all the resources (ranging from clean water to reasonable healthcare and even the ownership of the raw material, uranium) are not considered, but should be to an extensive degree from sustainability points of view as regards taxonomy …………….. https://www.base.bund.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/BASE/EN/reports/2021-06-30_base-expert-response-jrc-report.pdf.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=6

    September 13, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international, Reference | Leave a comment

    The nuclear lobby gears up to take ”green” nuclear energy spin to the European Commission and on to COP26

    As German election nears, EU plays for time on nuclear’s green recognition. Euractiv, 10 Sept 21, The inclusion of nuclear power in the EU’s green finance taxonomy is “the most likely” outcome in view of the scientific reports submitted to the European Commission in the past months, EU experts believe. But Brussels is not entirely decided yet and is seen playing for time before the German election this month.

    Is nuclear electricity a green source of energy or does it pose a “significant harm” to the environment?This seemingly simple debate, which has divided EU politicians for the last two years, is about to reach its climax with a decision expected in the coming months……………

    The Commission’s in-house scientific body, the Joint Research Centre, released a much-awaited report on nuclear power on 2 April. Its conclusions were clear: nuclear power is a safe, low-carbon energy source comparable to wind and hydropower, and as such, it qualifies for a green investment label under the EU’s green finance taxonomy.

    These conclusions were subsequently backed by two other EU bodies, the Euratom Article 31 expert group and the Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER)…………

    Diplomats and industry lobbyists consulted by EURACTIV concurred: the most likely outcome is that the European Commission will table a proposal in the coming months, possibly as late as November or December, after the formation of the new German government.

    From what we understand, the [proposal] itself will likely come out around October–December this year,” said Jessica Johnson, communications director at Foratom, the trade association representing the nuclear industry in Brussels.

    An EU diplomat, for his part, spoke of “September-November”.

    German political hurdles

    The recognition of nuclear power as a ‘green’ source of energy is not a foregone conclusion though, and the decision could still go either way because of continued opposition to nuclear in Germany and four other EU member states.

    In July, Germany’s environment minister Svenja Schulze sent a letter to the Commission – also signed by her counterparts in Austria, Denmark, Luxembourg, and Spain – asking for nuclear to be kept out of the EU’s green finance taxonomy.

    The topic is politically sensitive in Germany, which is about to complete its nuclear phase-out next year. Any move by the European Commission to label the energy source as ‘green’ is likely to pollute the political debate ahead of the election on 26 September………….

    German political hurdles

    The recognition of nuclear power as a ‘green’ source of energy is not a foregone conclusion though, and the decision could still go either way because of continued opposition to nuclear in Germany and four other EU member states.

    In July, Germany’s environment minister Svenja Schulze sent a letter to the Commission – also signed by her counterparts in Austria, Denmark, Luxembourg, and Spain – asking for nuclear to be kept out of the EU’s green finance taxonomy.

    The topic is politically sensitive in Germany, which is about to complete its nuclear phase-out next year. Any move by the European Commission to label the energy source as ‘green’ is likely to pollute the political debate ahead of the election on 26 September.

    “Assuming that the Commission already knows it is going to propose including nuclear in the taxonomy, it would indeed be in its own interest to wait for the outcome of the German elections,”  said Thomas Pellerin-Carlin, a researcher and director at the Jacques Delors Institute’s energy centre. 

    From the Commission’s point of view, the German election may not be the biggest source of worry, though.

    In the pro-nuclear camp, positions are possibly even more entrenched, with France leading a coalition of seven pro-nuclear countries, which also includes Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

    France will fight for nuclear to be considered as a decarbonised energy source in Europe,” said the country’s economy minister Bruno Le Maire.

    “I don’t want there to be any doubts about this. We will lead this fight with the greatest determination,” he said in April……..

    French elections looming large

    Seen from Brussels, the political context in France may actually appear more daunting than the German one.

    With the presidential election coming up next April, a negative decision on nuclear risks triggering a political backlash in France, just as the country prepares to take the rotating EU Council Presidency in January.

    “It would fuel French political attacks on ‘Brussels’” from a wide range of parties, Pellerin-Carlin said. In turn, this would undermine Emmanuel Macron’s re-election campaign because the French president has always positioned himself as a convinced pro-European.

    “From a political point of view, the debate on nuclear power and the taxonomy risks raising questions about Macron’s European record and Europe’s place in France,” he said……………

    the anti-nuclear camp has not given up just yet. And the most prominent critic is the German environment ministry, which appointed its own expert group to review the EU’s JRC study.

    In their conclusions, published on 14 July, the German experts slammed the JRC report for ignoring entire subject areas like the possibility of a nuclear accident.

    “For example, the effects of severe accidents on the environment are not included when assessing whether to include nuclear energy in the taxonomy register – yet they have occurred several times over the last few decades,” the report noted. “This raises the question of whether the JRC has selected too narrow a framework of observation,” it added.

    The German experts also remarked that the JRC mentions topics like radioactive waste disposal, but then fails to consider them in more detail.

    “The JRC itself says that the primary and best waste management strategy is not to generate any radioactive waste in the first place. However, this assessment is not consistently applied within the report,” the German experts wrote.

    According to them, “the JRC Report is therefore incomplete and fails to comprehensively assess the sustainability of using nuclear energy.”

    A pro-nuclear Commission

    So what will the Commission now do?

    According to Pellerin-Carlin, the various scientific reports have clearly paved the way for the Commission to label nuclear as ‘green’.

    “The current dynamics lead me to think that the Commission will make a proposal in this direction,” he told EURACTIV. “According to expert reports that have been issued, there is not enough evidence that waste is a problem that causes ‘significant’ harm to the environment,” he said.

    Besides, the European Commission itself is seen as broadly pro-nuclear. “Within the Commission, President Ursula von der Leyen is not known for taking anti-nuclear positions, unlike many German politicians,” Pellerin-Carlin pointed out.

    “In fact, looking at the College of Commissioners, I don’t see anyone who is fiercely anti-nuclear,” he added, saying a majority of Commissioners “have accepted nuclear power as a transitional energy source, and in any case as a necessary evil” in the energy transition, while coal is being phased out.

    “And then within the Commission, there is Thierry Breton, who is a key figure on this subject, and who somewhat exceeds his prerogatives as Internal Market Commissioner by campaigning publicly in favour of nuclear power.”

    Throwing gas into the mix

    The outcome of the Commission’s thinking may be slightly different though, and could also incorporate natural gas into the mix.

    In its April communication on the taxonomy, the EU executive said it “will adopt a complementary delegated act” that will cover nuclear energy subject to the completion of the various EU scientific assessments. “This complementary Delegated Act will also cover natural gas and related technologies as transitional activity,” the Commission added………..

    French elections looming large

    Seen from Brussels, the political context in France may actually appear more daunting than the German one.

    With the presidential election coming up next April, a negative decision on nuclear risks triggering a political backlash in France, just as the country prepares to take the rotating EU Council Presidency in January.    https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/as-german-election-nears-eu-plays-for-time-on-nuclears-green-recognition/

    September 13, 2021 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment

    Independent scientists speak the truth about ionising radiation.

    How monolithic institutions decide what is safe for the rest of us, Beyond Nuclear, By Christine Fassert and Tatiana Kasperski, 12 Sept 21,

    ”………………..The condemnation of this [ Fukushima area radiation] threshold came first of all from within: the special adviser on radiation protection of the Prime Minister’s Office, Professor Toshiso Kosako, resigned in tears on April 30, 2011:

    “I cannot accept such a threshold, being applied to babies, children, and elementary school students, not only from an academic point of view, but also because of my humanistic values,” he said.

    Many critiques

    At the international level, the decision to raise the threshold was also criticized by the two successive UN Special Rapporteurs, Anand Grover and Baskut Tuncak. Moreover, the two experts question the very foundations of radiation protection, which rely on the ALARA principle: As Low as Reasonably Achievable.

    This “reasonably” indicates that criteria other than health are taken into account, which Grover criticizes, referring to the “right to health”. Indeed, the rapporteur points out that “the ICRP recommendations are based on the principle of optimization and justification, according to which all government actions should maximize the benefits over the detriments. Such a risk-benefit analysis is not in line with the framework of the right to health, because it gives priority to collective interests over individual rights”.

    Tuncak echoes Grover’s criticism in his October 2018 report, stating that “the Japanese government’s decision to increase what is considered the acceptable level of radiation exposure by a factor of 20 is deeply troubling.”

    Better protecting individuals

    Similar arguments were also used by Belarusian and Ukrainian scientists who, in the late 1980s, opposed the lifetime dose limit of 35 rem (350msv) over a maximum period of 70 years from the time of the accident — a limit that Soviet experts in Moscow, with the support of ICRP representatives, including the head of the French Central Service for Protection against Ionizing Radiation, Pierre Pellerin, were trying to impose as the basis for all post-accident response measures. 

    The Belarusian and Ukrainian researchers considered the 35 rem criterion to be unacceptable not only from a scientific point of view but also, and above all, from an ethical point of view.

    They pointed out that under the conditions of scientific uncertainty about the effects of ionizing radiation, it was dangerous to underestimate the risks that radioactivity represented for the inhabitants of the affected territories, and they considered that the country’s authorities had a moral obligation to devote all the necessary means to greater protection of the inhabitants of the affected regions, especially the most vulnerable individuals.

    The danger of low doses

    The protagonists of the optimization of radiation protection in the post-accident context insist on the absence of studies proving significant health effects below these thresholds.

    For a long time, the arguments for and against these thresholds have been discussed in the public arena and by social scientists in terms of scientific and medical “controversies” — opposing scientists connected to the nuclear sphere who have long denied the harmfulness of low doses, to scientists outside this sphere who consider that the risks were underestimated.

    The question of the level of danger of low doses of radioactivity is one of the best known examples of such controversies, which regularly resurface despite the development of scientific knowledge about these risks.

    This debate did not arise at the time of the Fukushima accident, but has been going on for a long time and is part of the “motives” also found in the debates about Chernobyl as well as other nuclear accidents such as Kyshtym, in Russia, in 1957………………… https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2021/09/12/vested-interests/

    September 13, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

    ”Fossil Free Media” aims to redress the balance of well-funded press that opposes action on climate change.

    Jamie Henn, a co-founder of the climate group 350.org, had for a long time noticed a gap in climate advocacy that many had overlooked: while the fossil fuel industry pours money into ad campaigns, much of the climate movement simply doesn’t have the resources to do that work.

    Inspired to change that, Henn launched Fossil Free Media to give public relations and communications support to grassroots groups taking on the fossil fuel industry and campaigning for climate justice. Fossil Free Media is also
    trying to change the wider PR and advertising industry through its Clean Creatives campaign, pressuring agencies to break their ties with the fossil fuel industry.

     Guardian 11th Sept 2021

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/sep/11/greenwash-fossil-fuels-ad-agencies

    September 13, 2021 Posted by | climate change, media | Leave a comment

    Prison sentence for corrupt nuclear executive

    Ex-SCANA CEO to become first to get handed a prison sentence over VC Summer failure, https://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/article254135578.html      BY JOHN MONK SEPTEMBER 11, 2021 COLUMBIA, S.C.

    An Oct. 7 date has been set for the sentencing of Kevin Marsh, the former CEO of SCANA who pleaded guilty earlier this year to federal conspiracy fraud charges involving a cover-up of financial troubles connected to the failure of the company’s $10 billion V.C. Summer nuclear project.

    Marsh, 65, who pleaded guilty in February, has agreed to a two-year prison sentence for his role, according to federal court records.

    Marsh was eligible to receive a maximum five-year sentence for his crimes, but he caught a break after he agreed to cooperate in other ongoing investigations and prosecutions in the SCANA case, according to court records. Marsh had worked his way from a position in SCANA’s accounting department to CEO.

    The Oct. 7 hearing will be at the federal courthouse in Columbia before U.S. District Judge Mary Lewis.

    Marsh would be the first person to receive a prison sentence in the failure of the company’s nuclear project. Another former SCANA executive, Stephen Byrne, also has pleaded guilty to similar conspiracy charges.

    Marsh is one of four senior executives — two from SCANA and two from Westinghouse Electric Corp. — charged in the four-year federal investigation into the July 2017 abandonment of the nuclear project by SCANA and its junior state-owned project partner, Santee Cooper.

    From 2008 to July 2017, Westinghouse was the major contractor for SCANA’s nuclear project, overseeing construction at the utility’s VC Summer site in Fairfield County, north of Columbia.

    At Marsh’s guilty plea in February, assistant U.S. Attorney Jim May told Lewis that Marsh’s crime was “a violation of public trust” — not an effort to illegally make millions for himself.

    What Marsh did was hide the true state of the project as costs were spiraling out of control and finishing dates were being unduly delayed from the public, investors and regulators, May said at the hearing.

    The highly publicized project had a worthy goal, May said.

    “The project was to do something that it had not been done in the United States since late 1970’s — build a nuclear power plant — with the idea that this success would spark a nuclear renaissance and provide for reduction on dependence of fossil fuels,” May said.

    SCANA was under pressure to meet construction deadlines to qualify for more than $1 billion in federal tax credits, but it also was under obligation to make public true information about the status of the project, May said.

    “Mr. Marsh did not make these disclosures but repeated positive (false) information about the project’s status. It is for this failure that he is criminally liable,” May said.

    MORE FACE CHARGES

    Two of the other three have pleaded guilty and one is fighting the federal charges connected to giving false information about the project. They are:

     Carl Churchman, a Westinghouse official who oversaw construction at the nuclear project. He has agreed to plead guilty to lying to an FBI agent about what he knew about the progress of the project when it was still ongoing.

     Jeffrey Benjamin, a former Westinghouse senior vice president of new plants and projects, faces multiple counts of fraud, according to an 18-page indictment made public in August in U.S. District Court in Columbia. Benjamin’s lawyer has said he is innocent of the charges and plans on seeking a trial.

    Stephen Byrne, a former top SCANA official, pleaded guilty in July 2020 to criminal conspiracy fraud charges in federal court in Columbia.

    Byrne’s guilty plea, the first of three guilty pleas so far, showed that SCANA’s downfall — triggered by the failed nuclear project — was the result of not just mismanagement or incompetence, but criminal conduct at the company’s highest levels.

    Like Marsh, Churchman and Byrne have agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and could be witnesses in any future court proceedings, including those concerning Benjamin.

    SCANA, a Fortune 500 publicly traded company whose business lineage traced back to 1846, was one of the crown jewels of South Carolina’s economy.

    But the failure of its effort to build two nuclear reactors at its plant in Jenkinsville led to multiple lawsuits and mounting financial troubles. Eventually the company was absorbed by Dominion Energy. SCANA’s downfall is perhaps the most costly business failure in state history.

    Once SCANA and Santee Cooper announced they were abandoning the venture in July 2017, SCANA’s stock price began to plummet and its financial and political troubles began to mount. SCANA was hit by multiple lawsuits, most of which have now been settled with multi-million dollar payoffs to investors and ratepayers.

    The motives of Westinghouse and SCANA officials in covering up the project’s true status were different, according to evidence in the case.

    Westinghouse officials lied about of the status in order to have SCANA keep on paying the company for ongoing construction; the lies of SCANA officials were aimed at deceiving the public and regulators in hopes of figuring out a way to still get the federal tax credits, even if SCANA missed the deadline to qualify for the credits, according to evidence in the case.

    SCANA’s failure affected the pocketbooks of hundreds of thousands of people and businesses.

    For years, the company had jacked up customers’ monthly power bills to help pay billions in ongoing construction costs for the two nuclear reactors that were supposed to be built, but now will never generate power.

    When the plant was abandoned, several thousand construction employees also lost their jobs.

    September 13, 2021 Posted by | Legal, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

    Radioactive water leak in Valencia, Spain

    Environmentalists denounce radioactive water leak, The Portugal News

    The Iberian Anti-Nuclear Movement (MIA) has denounced the existence of a “highly radioactive” water leak at the Cofrentes nuclear power plant, located in the Spanish province of Valencia, but the owner says there was no environmental or safety impacts.

    By TPN/Lusa, 12 Sept 21,

    In a statement sent to Lusa, MIA states that the information on the occurrence of this nuclear accident came from the Tanquem Cofrents platform, which is part of the Iberian movement and that brings together the main ecological groups and organisations of the Valencian civil society.

    The accident was recorded on Thursday, with “a leak of highly radioactive water in the turbine of the plant, in the reactor’s primary circuit”……..

    According to environmentalists, the Cofrentes plant “is old and deteriorated” which, together with the management policy “of maximising production at all costs, makes it more than predictable that accidents like this or more serious will be repeated.”

    “The MIA has insisted that this plant be closed as it endangers all citizens, and that a rapid transition be made to a system based solely on renewable energy, that avoids catastrophic climate change and that will make it cleaner, safer and cheaper,” he concludes.

    It also warns of the danger of extending the operation of the Almaraz nuclear power plant, located 100 kilometres from the border with Portugal and next to the Tagus River. https://www.theportugalnews.com/news/2021-09-11/environmentalists-denounce-radioactive-water-leak/62314

    September 13, 2021 Posted by | incidents, Spain | Leave a comment

    The real-life anti-nuclear peace camp that is the subject of BBC drama ”Vigil”

    ‘BAN THE BOMB’ Inside real-life anti-nuclear peace camp that inspired Vigil’s Dunloch from mass arrests to blockades  BBC drama Vigil has had viewers glued to their screens. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/16093525/real-nuclear-peace-camp-vigil-faslane/

    The series, which pulled in 5.4 million viewers with its second episode, stars Suranne Jones as a detective sent on to a Trident submarine after the death of a sailor.

    While Suranne’s character DCI Amy Silva has been trying to uncover who murdered Craig Burke underwater, her colleague and lover DS Kirsten Longacre, played by Rose Leslie, has been visiting the fictional Dunloch camp to probe possible links to a cover-up.

    And it turns out that Dunloch was based on the world’s longest-running anti-nuclear peace camp in Scotland, Faslane, set up in 1982.

    The camp only has three members left now – but used to have thousands of occupiers.

    Faslane was set up in 1982 by anti-nuclear campaigners Margaret and Bobby Harrison, in response to the decision by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to replace the ageing Polaris submarines with Trident – which were even bigger.

    It began as just a couple of tents pitched outside the Faslane naval base, then slowly evolved into more permanent shacks, huts and caravans.

    Margaret and Bobby eventually left after a few months – but thousands of other activists have held the fort over the years.

    Nicola Sturgeon protested

    In its four decades, the camp has lived on through the end of the Cold War and changes in government on either side of the Scottish border.

    It has been the focus of a great number of protests at the naval base.

    First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, and her deputy John Swinney are just two of the politicians who’ve joined protests at Faslane

    In 2001’s “Big Blockade”, left-wing rebels Tommy Sheridan and George Galloway were among 300 arrested, along with 15 church ministers.

    In 1983, an Easter march by 1,500 Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament supporters, all singing and dancing, led to five arrests, including two women dressed as Easter bunnies.

    Year-long protest

    But the last major event at the camp was Faslane 365 – which was originally meant to be a year-long protest running from 2006 to 2007.

    The protest, which was in response to Labour PM Tony Blair ’s decision to replace Trident with more modern nuclear weapons rather than get rid of it, saw police arrest 1,110 people over 190 days.

    On 7 January 2007, a group of around 40 world-renowned academics including Sir Richard Jolly and 25 students from OxfordCambridgeSussex and Edinburgh held a seminar discussing the replacement of the Trident missiles at the base. 

    Protesters subsequently managed to stage the most successful blockade of the campaign, closing the North Gate for six hours. 

    All those who blockaded were arrested and held overnight. 

    The vast majority of arrested protesters were released, receiving a letter from the Procurator Fiscal’s office explaining that although “evidence is sufficient to justify my bringing you before the Court on this criminal charge”, the Procurator Fiscal has “decided not to take such proceedings”.

    Dwindling members

    Since then, the more urgent climate emergency has been a focus for the peace camp, and, by 2017, the camp only had 10 residents.

    It now has just three – however just one woman is still permanently living there, Willemein Hoogdendoorn.

    She is on remand awaiting trial after refusing bail conditions following her arrest last month at a blockade on the anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb.

    Despite the dwindling number of members, Faslane still definitely cares about stopping nuclear weapons.

    One banner at the camp reads: “£200billion Trident Renewal. Let’s fund our NHS instead”. 

    A bus is colourfully graffitied with the words “Ban the bomb”.

    ‘We don’t want to be misrepresented’

    Camp dwellers turned away Vigil producers hoping to film on location at the camp, claiming the plot is “unrealistic”.

    Johnny Rodgers, 36, from Bingley, West Yorks, told the Mirror: “The BBC came and offered £500 to film on site.

    “When we saw the script we said, ‘No, that’s not realistic. We don’t want to be misrepresented’.”

    ‘Vigil is unrealistic’

    Another protester, Andy – who has lived there on and off for 15 years – claimed Vigil is unrealistic due to the fact that sailor Craig Burke was secretly dating peace camp protester Jade Antoniak.

    He added:  “We were told one of the women from the camp falls in love with a submariner. That just isn’t ­realistic.

    “Sailors aren’t even allowed to come here any more as far as I’m aware, or they’d get into trouble.

    “They stay at the base and we stay here, there’s no fraternisation at all.”

    Michael McGuinness, 35, from nearby Helensburgh, agreed.

    He said no sailors have visited in more than a decade. 

    He recalled: “Back in 2006 you’d have all the drunk sailors in. They’d sit and have a laugh with you.”

    The remaining Faslane residents may not be onboard with Vigil, but there’s no denying the BBC drama has put it firmly back on the map.

    September 13, 2021 Posted by | media, UK, weapons and war | 2 Comments

    13-18 September – free films on radiological accident in Brazil

     The International Uranium Film Festival in Rio de Janeiro remembers the
    worst radiological accident in Latin America that took place in September
    1987 in the city of Goiânia in central Brazil. From September 13th to
    19th, 2021, the festival will show online and free of charge eight
    documentaries and movies about this accident caused by the release of
    highly radioactive Cesium-137. Above all, the festival wants to give the
    „nuclear“ victims of the cesium accident a voice so that they are not
    forgotten. In addition an online meeting with one of the surviving
    radiation victims, Odesson Alves Ferreira, brazilian filmmakers and a
    scientist in radiobiology marks the opening of this virtual film event that
    is supported by the Cinematheque of Rio’s Modern Art Museum (MAM Rio).

     Uranium Film Festival (accessed) 12th Sept 2021

    https://uraniumfilmfestival.org/en/to-not-forget

    September 13, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Nuclear weapons out of Scotland within three years of independence, SNP agrees,

    Nuclear weapons out of Scotland within three years of independence, SNP agrees, The National, By Kirsteen Paterson  @kapaterson 12 Sept 21,

    NUCLEAR weapons must be removed from the River Clyde within three years of an independence vote, SNP members agree.

    At today’s party conference, which is being held remotely, members voted by 528 to 14 in favour of a resolution calling upon “a future SNP government of an independent Scotland to remove nuclear weapons from Scotland within three years”.

    Speaking in favour of the move, SNP CND convener Bill Ramsay urged members not to allow HM Naval Base Clyde, which houses the Trident system, to become “Guantanamo on the Clyde”, retained as UK territory in a sovereign Scottish state, and Joan Anderson of the party’s Glasgow Kelvin branch spoke against the potential for a “Gibraltar model” which would allow “de facto colonial possession” of the site, near Helensburgh………..

    Under SNP defence diversification plans, the base could become the headquarters of an independent Scottish conventional military, a move which could cushion the local economy from the impact of Trident removal.  https://www.thenational.scot/news/19575650.nuclear-weapons-scotland-within-three-years-independence-snp-agrees/

    September 13, 2021 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment