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

RADIATION lies – theme for OCTOBER 2021

As the world prepares for the Glasgow  Climate Summit , the nuclear lobby aims to get its status approved there as clean, green and the solution to climate change.

New nuclear reactors do NOT solve the radioactive trash problem, despite the nuclear lobby’s pretense on this.

banana-spinThe nuclear lobby is intensifying its lies about ionising radiation, with the cruel lie that it is harmless, even beneficial. The nuclear liars claim that radioactive isotopes like Cesium 137 and Strontium 90 are the same as the harmless Potassium 40 in bananas. They espouse the quack science of “radiation homesis”  – i.e. a little more ionising radiation is good for you.

Ionising radiation is the most proven cause of cancer. The nuclear industry from uranium mining through nuclear power, nuclear weapons, nuclear waste, is the planet’s recent new source of ionising radiation.  Even medical radiation has its cancer risk. Radioactive minerals left in the ground are a minor source.

radiation-causing-cancer

September 25, 2021 Posted by | Christina's themes | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Mass youth protests to hit more than 1,400 locations weeks before COP 26 climate summit.

Young global climate strikers vow change is coming – from the streets

Mass youth protests to hit more than 1,400 locations weeks before Cop26 climate summit.

In ageing Germany, the young get desperate over climate

In one of the world’s most aged countries, some young people are resorting to drastic measures to voice their frustration at politicians’ failure to tackle climate change.

September 25, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Good ideas, good work and good luck’: Australian grassroots campaigners on how they got it done

Good ideas, good work and good luck’: Australian grassroots campaigners on how they got it done

From town hall meetings to QR codes and crowdfunding, three environmental campaigners share the practical tips that helped make their work effective

September 25, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jane Goodall launches effort in support of planting 1 trillion trees by 2030

Jane Goodall launches effort in support of planting 1 trillion trees by 2030

Primatologist and conservation icon Jane Goodall has formally joined a global effort to counter climate change and the extinction crisis by planting a trillion trees within a decade.

September 25, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

25 September Protest against UK university’s Nuclear Futures Institute, as nuclear suffers a new setback

DANGER – NUCLEAR COLLEGE! News / By Stop Wylfa 23 Sep 21,

Members and supporters will meet at Bangor Town Clock on the High Street at 1.45 Saturday afternoon, September 25 before moving ahead to Pontio to hold an artistic and symbolic protest against Bangor University’s Nuclear Futures Institute.

Nuclear power’s crebibility has suffered another setback this week from the direction of the first chairman of the Climate Change Committee, Lord Turner. A prominent businessman and ex-chairman of the Financial Services Authority and the Pensions Commission, Lord Turner said he has changed his mind about nuclear power, saying it is no longer needed.

Today, Thursday Serptember 23, the Ser Cymru professor for Nuclear Policy and Regulation at Bangor University, Laurence Williams OBE will present evidence to the Welsh Affairs Committee at Westminster regarding the Wylfa site alongside a number of other individuals who are members of the “nuclear village”. This is a totally onesided and undemocratic session which does not consider any anti-nuclear views. The Committee should convene another session to include campaigning movements such as PAWB, CND Cymru and Greenpeace. it would also be a simple matter to invite Lord Turner to explain his new position on nuclear power.

September 25, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

More evacuation orders to be lifted in Fukushima for some areas

Yoshito Konno’s home in a difficult-to-return zone, seen here on Aug. 30 in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, is shrouded in trees and weeds as tall as people.

September 24, 2021

Shrouded in trees and weeds as tall as people, his old house rests quietly in a difficult-to-return zone in the Tsushima district of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, only some 30 kilometers from the hobbled nuclear plant.

“I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel, although there will likely be a race against the clock of my lifetime,” said Yoshito Konno, 77. “I wish to be comfortably back in my hometown while I am still healthy enough to be moving around.”

The central government announced it will lift evacuation orders by the end of the decade for residents who wish to return to their homes in the last remaining difficult-to-return zones around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The new policy was approved at a joint meeting at the end of August by the Reconstruction Promotion Council and the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters.

But the government has no prospect of totally lifting evacuation orders for all the difficult-to-return areas as the new policy is expected to cover only limited areas.

Konno’s home community had 262 residents from 80 households prior to the 2011 nuclear disaster.

About 45 of them, mostly advanced in age, have since died.

“Those who died while separated from their hometown must have felt so frustrated and let down,” he said. “The central government and the town government should take action as soon as possible in line with the newly approved plan.”

Currently, areas where about 22,000 residents used to live remain designated as difficult-to-return zones.

This latest decision covers sparsely populated areas which are outside the areas designated for earlier lifting and once home to some 8,000 people, who previously had little hope of ever returning given the absence of a plan for them.

Some of the more populated areas had been designated as reconstruction bases where evacuation orders will be lifted by spring 2023.

Local communities had been pressing the central government to come up with a plan for lifting the evacuation orders in those undesignated areas. The government has committed to fund cleanups and lift evacuation orders on a limited basis, when requested by the locals.

For people like Konno, the news came as a relief.

But more than a decade since the disaster, others have mixed feelings about the prospect of one day returning after finding new lives and livelihoods in the communities to which they have evacuated to. 

MOST WON’T RETURN

A survey taken by the Reconstruction Agency in fiscal 2020 showed that in the four towns that contain part of the difficult-to-return zones, only about 10 percent said they wished to return.

About 50 to 60 percent of respondents from each of those towns said they did not want to return.

Kazuharu Fukuda, 50, president of a local construction company and evacuee from the town of Futaba, said he will not be returning home any time soon because he now resides and works in another town.

The central government’s plan to decontaminate areas where cleanup is necessary to allow people to return has not impressed Fukuda.

“Even if I were to return, the land plots next to mine would remain contaminated with high radiation levels and with everything left in a dilapidated state,” he said. “How could I take up residence in such a place? I want the central government to clean up all the areas and restore them to their original state before letting us decide whether to return.”

Under the new plan, which was presented by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga during the joint meeting, residents of the areas in question will be surveyed.

After that, the surroundings of the homes of those who wish to return will be decontaminated, and the government will develop key infrastructure to facilitate their return.

There is no prospect for evacuation orders to be completely lifted in those areas because the decontamination work will be done only in limited areas at the request of those who wish to return.

The decontamination process will be funded by two special central government accounts: one designated for rebuilding from the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011; and another designated for energy policy measures, financed by revenues from electricity rates.

The difficult-to-return zones straddle six towns and villages in Fukushima Prefecture.

Some areas in those zones, including the surroundings of town halls, village offices and residential districts, have been designated “Specified Reconstruction and Revitalization Bases” by the central government.

The goal is to lift the evacuation orders in those places sometime between 2022 and the spring of 2023.

The central government is funding cleanup, construction of public housing complexes for disaster survivors and other work currently under way in these locations.

The areas outside the “specified bases” account for more than 90 percent of all the landmass of the difficult-to-return zones and slightly less than 40 percent of the population. Cleanup and other related work will only be conducted in those outside areas after considering whether the residents are expected to return.

Local governments had called on the central government to set a date to lift all the difficult-to-return zones so residents outside the designated reconstruction bases will not be left behind.

The central government has so far lifted evacuation orders for areas home to about 45,000 people. Only about 14,000 of those residents–about 30 percent–have returned to their home communities, although the government has spent some 3 trillion yen ($27 billion) on cleaning up those areas alone.

The government remains skeptical that large-scale decontamination will be effective for post-disaster rebuilding, so it has decided to clean up only limited areas based on requests.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14436070

September 25, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , | Leave a comment

LDP candidates debate on nuke power must be based on realities

Storage tanks hold contaminated water at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on April 12.

September 24, 2021

Japan’s nuclear power policy has emerged as one of the main issues for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s leadership race.

The four candidates for the party presidential election on Sept. 29 should face up to the lessons from the disaster that unfolded at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant a decade ago and offer specific policy proposals for ensuring in-depth debate on key questions.

Taro Kono, the minister of administrative reform who also served as foreign and defense minister in the past, is the only one among the contenders who has clearly argued for phasing out nuclear power generation.

Kono has stated that Japan should pull the plug on its nuclear fuel recycling program “as soon as possible” while promising to allow offline reactors to be restarted when they are officially endorsed as safe, for the time being.

The other three politicians seeking to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga have committed themselves to maintaining the current policy of keeping nuclear reactors running. During a recent debate, they voiced skepticism about Kono’s vow to end the fuel recycling program.

Fumio Kishida, a former foreign minister and LDP policy chief, questioned the consistency between Kono’s position on fuel recycling and his policy of allowing reactors to be brought on stream.

Seiko Noda, executive acting secretary-general of the LDP, ruled out any energy policy change that could cause a disruption in the stable supply of power. Sanae Takaichi, a former communications minister, stressed she would promote the development of small reactors and nuclear fusion reactor technology.

The nuclear fuel recycling process involves recovering plutonium from spent nuclear fuel for recycling back into new fuel.

But Japan’s original plan to reprocess spent nuclear fuel to obtain start-up plutonium for a new generation of plutonium “fast breeder” reactors fell through when its Monju prototype fast breeder reactor, which was supposed to be the core technology for the program, was shut down after a sodium leak and fire.

The government then shifted to a strategy of converting spent plutonium, formed in nuclear reactors as a by-product of burning uranium fuel, and uranium into a “mixed oxide” (MOX) that can be reused in existing reactors to produce more electricity.

But this approach has also hit a snag as the number of operating reactors has declined sharply since the Fukushima meltdowns.

Asahi Shimbun editorials have argued that the government should concede that the fuel recycling program is no longer viable and declare an end to it. To be sure, withdrawing from the program would mean spent nuclear fuel must be disposed of as waste. But Japan would only make the world uneasy if it keeps a massive stockpile of weapons-usable plutonium without any plan to use it.

Arguments concerning nuclear policy issues in general, not just fuel recycling, tend to overlook reality. The most important fact about the catastrophic accident at the Fukushima plant is that it caused tremendous damage to society.

Not much is known about the current conditions of the reactors whose cores melted down during the accident. There is no predicting when and how the process of decommissioning the plant will come to an end.

The LDP presidential candidates are divided over whether to build new nuclear plants or expand current ones. But it is obvious that winning the support of the public in general and the local communities involved for such plans would be next to impossible.

It is also unclear when the small reactor and the nuclear fusion reactor that are under development will enter commercial use.

A new estimate by the industry ministry on the future costs of power generation published in August predicts that solar power will eclipse nuclear energy in terms of costs as of 2030. It is hardly surprising that the government’s draft new Basic Energy Plan, unveiled in July, says promoting renewable energy sources should be the top energy policy priority.

Since the Fukushima disaster, the government has been seeking to restart offline reactors one by one while leaving the decisions up to the Nuclear Regulation Authority. But the government should not shy away from a sweeping review of its broken nuclear energy policy.

There are many sticky questions the LDP presidential hopefuls need to address. How would they try to change the country’s current energy mix in what ways and in what kind of time frames while maintaining a steady power supply? What would they do with the growing amount of spent nuclear fuel?

The LDP election requires them to clarify their approaches to tackling these tough challenges.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14446745

September 25, 2021 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

The Record-Breaking Failures and Costs of Nuclear Power

Let’s look at the track record as a whole. According to Wikipedia’s article, List of cancelled nuclear reactors in the United States: “Of the 253 nuclear power reactors originally ordered in the United States from 1953 to 2008, 48 percent were cancelled, 11 percent were prematurely shut down, 14 percent experienced at least a one-year-or-more outage, and 27 percent are operating without having a year-plus outage. Thus, only about one fourth of those ordered, or about half of those completed, are still operating and have proved relatively reliable.”

Wikipedia’s stunning list on the same page details 157 reactors that were either canceled before or during construction.

The Record-Breaking Failures of Nuclear Power,    https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/09/24/the-record-breaking-failures-of-nuclear-power/ BY LINDA GUNTER  SEPTEMBER 24, 2021The Tennessee Valley Authority could likely rightfully claim a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, but it’s not an achievement for which the federally-owned electric utility corporation would welcome notoriety.

After taking a whopping 42 years to build and finally bring on line its Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear power reactor in Tennessee, TVA just broke its own record for longest nuclear plant construction time. However, this time, the company failed to deliver a completed nuclear plant.

Watts Bar 2 achieved criticality in May 2016, then promptly came off line due to a transformer fire three months later. It finally achieved full operational status on October 19, 2016, making it  the first United States reactor to enter commercial operation since 1996.

Now, almost five years later, TVA has announced it has abandoned its unfinished two-reactor Bellefonte nuclear plant in Alabama, a breathtaking 47 years after construction began.

TVA was apparently happy to get out of the nuclear construction business, because, as the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported, the company “did not see the need for such a large and expensive capacity generation source.” No kidding!

Ironically, this is precisely the argument used to advance renewables, in an energy environment that cannot and will no longer support inflexible, large, thermo-electric generators that are completely impractical under the coming smart grids as well as climate change-induced conditions.

Accordingly, TVA was more than happy to accept overtures from a purchaser for Bellefonte — the Haney real estate company— whose director, Frank Haney, gained his own notoriety by lavishing $1 million on former President Trump and courting Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, possibly, suggested media reports, to curry regulatory favors for his new nuclear toy.

But when TVA announced last month that it had withdrawn its construction permit for Bellefonte, Haney got his down payment back — to the tune of $22.9 million plus interest. TVA had itself spent at least $5.8 billion on Bellefonte over the 47 years, which included long stoppages, before finally pulling the plug.

This kind of colossal waste of time and money on failed nuclear power projects is, of course, the more typical story than the myths spun in the press about the need for “low carbon” nuclear energy, a misleading representation used to argue for nuclear power’s inclusion in climate change mitigation.

In reality, the story of nuclear power development in the US over the last 50 years is beyond pitiful and would not pass muster under any “normal” business plan. How the nuclear industry gets away with it remains baffling.

As Beyond Nuclear’s Paul Gunter told the Chattanooga Times Free Press, “Bellefonte is just the most recent failure for this industry,” noting that “of the 30 reactors the industry planned to build 15 years ago with the so-called nuclear renaissance, only two are still being built. (Those two, at Plant Vogtle in Georgia, are years behind schedule with a budget that has more than doubled to $27 billion.)

As Gunter noted in the same article, “TVA has had major problems meeting projected costs and timetables for new nuclear plants, as the entire industry has had over the past 50 years. The inability to meet any budgets for these plants is what has repeatedly been the demise of nuclear energy.

“Nuclear energy is the most expensive way ever conceived to boil water and Bellefonte just shows once again how unreliable this technology really is in terms of projecting what it will cost and how long it will take to build these power plants,” Gunter told the newspaper.

That was certainly true for Westinghouse Electric Company and SCANA, still embroiled in the ever unraveling scandal around the failure to complete two new reactors at the V.C. Summer nuclear power plant in South Carolina. As executives of the bankrupt Westinghouse and SCANA, who retained them, continue to face criminal charges, Westinghouse has already had to shell out $2.168 billion in settlement payments related to the Summer debacle.

In August, news reports said Westinghouse would also be required to reimburse low-income ratepayers to the tune of $21.25 million. That’s because the new reactors got funded in part through electricity rates, even though they never delivered a single watt of electricity. The cost of the project itself eventually ballooned to more than $9 billion before collapsing.

Let’s look at the track record as a whole. According to Wikipedia’s article, List of cancelled nuclear reactors in the United States: “Of the 253 nuclear power reactors originally ordered in the United States from 1953 to 2008, 48 percent were cancelled, 11 percent were prematurely shut down, 14 percent experienced at least a one-year-or-more outage, and 27 percent are operating without having a year-plus outage. Thus, only about one fourth of those ordered, or about half of those completed, are still operating and have proved relatively reliable.”

Wikipedia’s stunning list on the same page details 157 reactors that were either canceled before or during construction.

The massive costs, of course, send most corporations running scared, the Haney family notwithstanding. Even when meaty subsidies have been dangled — as they were for the Calvert Cliffs 3 EPR project in Maryland — utility companies balk and bail. In the case of Calvert Cliffs, Constellation Energy was the US partner with the French government utility EDF. But even when offered a $7.5 billion loan guarantee by the Obama administration, Constellation viewed those terms as “too expensive and burdensome” and quit.

This left EDF, a foreign company, as sole owner, a violation of the Atomic Energy Act. The project duly collapsed, one of many referred to earlier by Paul Gunter as the fantasy of a nuclear renaissance that first sputtered, then went out.

President Obama, of course, was no friend to the anti-nuclear movement. So eager was he to boost new nuclear construction in the US that he called for the inclusion of $55 billion for nuclear loan guarantees in his $3.8 trillion 2011 budget. In his State of the Union address that year, Obama talked of “building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country.” Kool-Aid thoroughly drunk, then.

All of this should send an obvious message to the deaf ears of Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), the leading pro-nuclear evangelists in the U.S. Senate. Cardin’s power production credit bill actually has the gall to describe nuclear power as “zero-emission”, a lie that even Cardin’s own staffer was forced to concede in a recent meeting attended by Paul Gunter who called him out on it.

Not that any of this will stop the bill going forward and almost certainly passing. Like the three not-so-wise monkeys, those Senators and their colleagues will acknowledge no negatives about nuclear power, even as the industry’s appalling litany of financial fiascoes and failures stares them in the face. They will forge right ahead, thus dooming to its own failure the very progress on climate change they claim to champion.

September 25, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, Reference | Leave a comment

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison on the defensive as Europe and South-East Asian countries react badly to AUKUS and the nuclear submarines

Morrison in defence mode as AUKUS fallout goes global,  Frozen out in Europe, feted in Washington, alarming some of its south-east Asian neighbours: questions are being raised about whether Australia has the right diplomatic skills and resources to perform on the world stage.  The Age  By Anthony Galloway SEPTEMBER 25, 2021  or six days, the Indonesians knew something big was coming from Australia.

At a meeting in Jakarta on September 9, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne let her friend, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, know a major shift was coming.

“The Foreign Minister of Australia mentioned there will be an announcement, but at the time we didn’t receive any information [about] what sort of announcement because I assume at that time it was not final yet,” Retno said this week.

The following Wednesday, Payne messaged Retno hours before the announcement of the AUKUS defence pact between Australia, the United States and Britain to share military technology and help Canberra build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines in the face of Beijing’s growing aggression and military might.

The two ministers then talked over the phone, and Retno told Payne she hoped Australia would uphold its obligations to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and its commitment to “contribute to the peace and stability of the region”.

“I mentioned to my good friend Marise that Indonesia really hopes Australia will fulfil that commitment,” Retno said.

Since then, Malaysia has gone even further in expressing its reservations about the agreement, saying this week it will now consult China on how to react to the development.

And French President Emmanuel Macron is continuing to snub Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s offer of a phone call after he was infuriated by Australia’s decision to dump a $90 billion submarine agreement with Paris and instead negotiate the AUKUS deal behind his back.

All of this contrasts sharply with Morrison’s week-long trip to New York and Washington. His interactions with the Americans have been glowing: not just with President Joe Biden, but also Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell. The first physical leaders meeting of the “Quad” grouping – Australia, the US, Japan and India – was expected to have a similar air of friendliness to it on Friday.

A week after the announcement of AUKUS, Australia finds itself at the forefront of world politics in a way it has never before been. Frozen out in Europe, feted in Washington, alarming some of its south-east Asian neighbours, and backed in by the Quad, these are unfamiliar times for little old Australia. And questions are being asked about whether we’ve got the right diplomatic skills and resources to perform on the world stage.

The ‘Anglosphere’ is back

When announcing AUKUS, Morrison described it as a “forever partnership”, while British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was an agreement among “kindred” nations. This led to a perception it was an alliance, when it is not. AUKUS is an agreement to share military technology including nuclear submarine capability, long-range missiles, cyber, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and undersea drones.
Former senior diplomat and intelligence official Allan Gyngell, now national president of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, says Australia sent a problematic message to the region that the “Anglosphere is back”.

It reinforces perspectives that Australia is not really a legitimate part of the region, but a junior partner in a three-way partnership between English-speaking countries,” Gyngell says. “However much we say Asia is important to us, it is clear that home is where the heart is and the heart is with our two great and powerful friends.”

Some south-east Asian countries were also said to be uneasy with the focus on “values” and “democracy”. Many countries in the region are anxious about the growing assertiveness of China but they aren’t liberal democracies. They don’t see a nexus between liberal democratic values and the need to counterbalance a stronger, more aggressive China………………….

With the emergence of new formations such as the Quad and AUKUS, south-east Asian nations have been concerned about the power of ASEAN weakening. Australian diplomats have been insisting the nation is committed to “ASEAN centrality” in both private meetings and public statements.

Gyngell says Australia needs to be careful not to dismiss the concerns of south-east Asian nations, adding “we always look to vindication of our own positions and prejudices”.

Europe’s fury

Further afield, the Morrison government is most concerned about the repercussions in Europe, where there is visceral anger stemming from the AUKUS agreement being negotiated in secret all year even though the US and Britain are key members of NATO.

On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, European Council President Charles Michel reminded Morrison of the need for “transparency and loyalty” during an awkward encounter, while German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas described the agreement as “unsettling”.

While the EU contemplates whether to scuttle talks over a free trade deal with Australia, Canberra can also expect a Europe that is less forgiving over its action on climate change………

Not enough focus has been on whether Australia is adequately investing in all the instruments of statecraft, most notably diplomacy and foreign aid, to support its strategic intentions.

Between 2013 and 2020, Australia’s total diplomatic and development budgets fell from 1.5 per cent of the federal budget to 1.3 per cent. The government gutted parts of the foreign aid budget in south-east Asia to pay for its “step-up” in the Pacific………….  https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/morrison-in-defence-mode-as-aukus-fallout-goes-global-20210924-p58ui2.html

September 25, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international | 6 Comments

Nuclear lobby stooge Jennifer Granholm wants ”unusual partnerships” in order to save the nuclear industry

Top U.S. Energy Official Sees ‘Unusual Partnerships’ for Nuclear, From reactors at coal plants to hydrogen production and potential cross-border collaboration, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm is seeking new roles for U.S. nuclear power

Bloomberg Green, By Jonathan Tirone, 21 September 2021, The Biden administration’s top energy official said the nuclear industry should broaden its business case beyond power markets in order to ensure its place in a carbon-free economy. 

U.S. nuclear energy has come under relentless pressure in recent years from cheap natural gas, solar and wind power. More reactors are being taken offline permanently than built, risking the long-term future of the country’s biggest clean energy source.  resident Joe Biden has pledged financial support to keep aging atomic plants online. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said “building back better” for nuclear might mean more than just generating electricity as it competes with emerging renewable energy and storage technologies.

“We need to pursue a silver buckshot rather than a silver bullet approach,” Granholm said in an interview with Bloomberg News in Vienna.  The former governor of Michigan said some “unusual partnerships” between nations and industries might be needed for U.S. nuclear operators to tap the $23 trillion global clean [nuclear is NOT clean] energy market over the next decade. Granholm urged more cross-border collaboration in developing a new generation of small modular reactors, as well as using nuclear plants for the production of emissions-free hydrogen…….

Granholm spoke at a meeting of senior officials at the International Atomic Energy Agency, where Chinese and Russian envoys called for more research-and-development collaboration to accelerate the deployment of new generations of miniature reactors. 

The Department of Energy curtailed some joint projects with China during the Trump administration, including work on a test reactor backed by billionaire Bill Gates. Granholm suggested the urgency of the climate crisis might require re-evaluating prohibitions on some technology transfers and cooperation. She did not signal any new near-term partnerships with Russia or China. The issue could be revisited during two weeks of international climate talks — known as COP26 — beginning Oct. 31 in Glasgow, Scotland…..

Granholm reserved special praise for the Gates-led company, TerraPower LLC, which in June announced it would build its first test plant at a shuttered coal site in Wyoming rather than in China. …. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-09-21/top-u-s-energy-official-sees-unusual-partnerships-for-nuclear

September 25, 2021 Posted by | marketing, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Pentagon forces out  Leonor Tomero, a top official with moderate views (they can’t have that!)

Pentagon hawks circle Biden’s nuclear policy, Politico, By ALEXANDER WARD 09/23/2021 With help from Daniel Lippman   The forced dismissal of a top Pentagon nuclear official could mean curtains for President JOE BIDEN’s nuclear agenda.

Biden installed national security officials intent on negotiating new arms control treaties and curtailing nuclear weapons spending. One of them was LEONOR TOMERO, a leading voice for nuclear restraint on Capitol Hill and in the think tank community, who was appointed to oversee the Nuclear Posture Review that will set the administration’s nuclear weapons policy and strategy.

But officials with more traditional views on nuclear weapons, who promote a more hawkish nuclear agenda to include modernizing the land, sea and airborne legs of America’s nuclear arsenal, did not take kindly to Tomero’s progressive ideology, 11 current and former defense officials, as well as others with insight into the debate, told our own LARA SELIGMAN and BRYAN BENDER (with an assist from your host).

“Her appointment was something that people were immediately resistant to,” JEFFREY LEWIS, a professor and nuclear weapons expert at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies and host of the podcast Arms Control Wonk, told POLITICO. “People with very traditional views of nuclear weapons policy did not want someone in charge of the Nuclear Posture Review who might think differently about those issues.”

The Defense Department insists Tomero was nothing more than a casualty of a reorganization, leaving no space for her as her duties were moving to another office……….

Experts now worry that her removal signals the Nuclear Posture Review, or NPR, will not fully consider alternative options for maintaining the U.S. nuclear deterrent that might be less costly or evaluate new ways to carry out nuclear strategy.

“The decision to fire Leonor suggests to me that the first draft of NPR is going to be a continuation of the line of thinking we saw in the Trump administration’s NPR,” Lewis said. “They have put themselves on the course that is a first draft that is 180 degrees to what Biden said on the campaign trail.”

If that’s the case, one staffing change over at DoD might be the death knell for Biden’s hopes of changing U.S. nuclear policy for the foreseeable future.

The United States is currently planning to upgrade the nuclear force to the tune of $634 billion over the next decade, according to a recent analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Read Seligman and Bender’s full story here.  https://www.politico.com/newsletters/national-security-daily/2021/09/23/pentagon-hawks-circle-bidens-nuclear-policy-494450

September 25, 2021 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Jennifer Granholm and Westinghouse enthusiastic to sell ”clean” nuclear power to Poland

You really have to wonder just who Jennifer Granholm works for. Is it the American people, or is it the nuclear industry? She’s great at regurgitating nuclear lies about ”clean” nuclear

US lures Eastern Europe with nuclear power, $23t in clean [nuclear is NOT clean]energy market

By Frédéric Simon | EURACTIV.com  24 Sept 21, The climate crisis presents “a market opportunity for carbon-reducing technologies” such as nuclear power, said US energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, teasing a $23 trillion market to countries in Central and Eastern Europe by 2030.

Low-carbon technologies “will be a 23 trillion-dollar market by the end of this decade,” which offers “an enormous potential to countries on both sides of the Atlantic,” Granholm said on Wednesday (22 September).

Speaking from Poland during an online press briefing, Granholm said the transatlantic market “will give us a chance to launch new business, new industries, to attract billions of dollars of new investment, and certainly to create millions of new jobs”………

In the US, President Biden’s ‘build back better‘ agenda includes an objective to have 100% of US electricity produced from “clean sources” by 2035, [nuclear is NOT clean] she explained, saying this involves reducing CO2 emissions by more than 50% by 2030 and cutting them down to net-zero by 2050……

Nuclear: ‘The reason we’re here.’

And nuclear power features highly among the US objectives.

“The reason we’re here in Poland is because we have been talking about a partnership in the area of nuclear,” Granholm said. “We’re really excited that we may have this partnership here with Poland”.

In October last year, Warsaw and Washington signed a 30-year intergovernmental agreement on future cooperation in the development of the Polish civil nuclear energy programme.
And the US is in pole position to win those contracts.

“Our collaboration to develop Poland’s civil nuclear programme is vital to Poland achieving EU carbon reduction targets and to guarantee its energy security,” Granholm said. “That dispatchable, clean [nuclear is NOT clean] , uninterruptable power is the gold standard of what every nation is looking for” in their quest to reduce CO2, she explained.

In July, US nuclear power firm Westinghouse announced the launch of a front-end engineering and design study – or FEED – under a grant from the US Trade Development Agency to advance Poland’s nuclear energy programme.

“It’s an opportunity to give American technology to help meet Poland’s clean-energy needs, [nuclear is NOT clean] and Westinghouse is going to offer its AP1000 nuclear reactor for the project,” Granholm said. https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/us-lures-eastern-europe-with-nuclear-power-23tln-clean-energy-market/

September 25, 2021 Posted by | marketing, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Senator Markey calls on Biden administration for answers on removal of top Defense official Ms. Tomero

SENATOR MARKEY ASKS BIDEN ADMINISTRATION FOR ANSWERS ON ELIMINATION OF KEY NUCLEAR POLICY POSITION AS PART OF DEPARTMENT REORGANIZATION  https://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/senator-markey-asks-biden-administration-for-answers-on-elimination-of-key-nuclear-policy-position-as-part-of-department-reorganizationLead civilian official within the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) was responsible for drafting the Nuclear Posture Review Washington (September 24, 2021) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today wrote to President Joseph R. Biden to express concern about organizational changes at the Department of Defense in the midst of drafting the administration’s Nuclear Posture Review. On September 21, 2021 the Department of Defense announced that it removed the lead civilian official within the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) responsible for drafting the Nuclear Posture Review, part of the Administration’s Integrated National Security Strategy.

The Department of Defense stated that it eliminated the position of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy, held by Leonor Tomero, as part of a reorganization within the Department.  But according to press reports, Department officials may have driven Ms. Tomero from her position for challenging traditional views on the role of U.S. nuclear weapons.

“Congress needs to understand whether ideology played any role in Ms. Tomero’s dismissal. I am also concerned that the sudden departure of a top appointee, charged with presenting you options on the future of the U.S. nuclear weapons enterprise, will result in a draft Nuclear Posture Review that reflects the Cold War era’s overreliance on nuclear weapons, rather than your lifetime of work championing policies that reduce nuclear weapons risks.”  A copy of this letter can be found HERE

In his letter, Senator Markey requests responses to the following questions:

1.     Why did the Defense Department eliminate the top civilian position in OSD responsible for the Nuclear Posture Review? Why was the position eliminated in the midst of that Review, as opposed to before it began or when it is completed?
2.     Ms. Tomero’s demonstrated expertise in nuclear deterrence policy, arms control, and missile defense made her well-suited to lead and contribute substantively to the Nuclear Posture Review process. Why, given Ms. Tomero’s specific expertise on nuclear policy, was she removed from the Nuclear Posture Review process or why was she not reassigned to a position under the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy, who will be taking over responsibility for nuclear policy?

3.     When did the Department of Defense inform Ms. Tomero that it had eliminated her position as a result of a reorganization? Which Department officials communicated with Ms. Tomero about her dismissal and when? I am particularly interested in any communications that occurred between or among Ms. Tomero, her then-boss Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities, Melissa Dalton, and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl. After Ms. Tomero’s dismissal, did any senior Department leader communicate with her about the reason(s) for her dismissal?4.     The Defense Department stated that the decision to eliminate the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy was part of a reorganization within OSD Policy. How will the reorganization change the current OSD Policy office structure? Which officials will take over the duties previously performed by the former Deputy Assistant Secretary position?  

5.     On September 22, 2021, Defense Department Spokesperson John Kirby said that “we have a wide-ranging team of experts working” on the Nuclear Posture Review. Please identify the individuals and organizations consulting on the Nuclear Posture Review, including paid contractors.

6.     Mr. Kirby also said: “We’re going to continue to consider and include a wide range of viewpoints in the Nuclear Posture Review, including those from Administration Officials, of military leaders, academics and all others.” How will the Department ensure that the advice of individuals who do not support the default military reliance on nuclear weapons is included in this process?

7.     The President’s 2021 Interim National Security Guidance stated that the Administration will “re-establish [its] credibility as a leader in arms control” and “take steps to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in [U.S.] national security strategy. How will you ensure that your guidance is reflected in the options the Department of Defense puts forth?  

8.     I understand that the Department of Defense expects that by 2022 an independent review will be completed to evaluate the technical feasibility of extending the life of the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). To what extent will that independent review impact the options presented to you in connection with the Nuclear Posture Review and your Fiscal Year 2023 budget request

In July, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Jeffrey A. Merkley (D-Ore.) and Representatives Don Beyer (VA-08) and John Garamendi (CA-03), co-chairs of the Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control Working Group, led 18 of their colleagues in aletter calling on President Biden to actively guide the formation of the Department of Defense-led Nuclear Posture Review.  The lawmakers urged the Administration to consider a series of bold actions that would fulfill the President’s pledge to reduce the role of “nuclear weapons in our national security strategy”.

September 25, 2021 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Spot the Difference: When is a Mine not a Mine? Answer When it is in the “Search Area” for a Deep Nuclear Dump! — RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

The following letter is in this weeks Whitehaven News Dear Editor While our view at Lakes Against Nuclear Dump is that there should be a complete halt to the plan for one or more deep nuclear dumps, we are glad to hear that the Copeland Working Group have confirmed exclusion of the National Park and […]

Spot the Difference: When is a Mine not a Mine? Answer When it is in the “Search Area” for a Deep Nuclear Dump! — RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

September 25, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment