nuclear-news

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

Nuclear news to 18 October

The past week has seen a bigger than usual burst of news items about small nuclear reactors (SMRs) – with  numerous claims about how SMRs are going to be the focus of a nuclear revival that will combat climate change. In country after country, political leaders announce SMRs  as a central part of their climate policy, even reversing policies to phase out nuclear power. France is the leading example. There’s even a very interesting logic that goes like this: 
‘Big nuclear power reactors are unsustainable: therefore small nuclear reactors will be sustainable” –  as they say in all those police shows on TV – copy that!


Pandemic 
Coronavirus around the world.

The climate disaster is here.  Climate. Earth is already becoming unlivable. Will governments act to stop this disaster from getting worse?


Some bits of good news.–  Solar-Powered Desalination Device Will Turn Sea Water Into Fresh Water For 400,000 People.  World’s First Totally-Green Tractor Set to Plow Down European Farming Emissions

New push for nuclear energy in Australia, but does it really stand the test? Pro nuclear argument has ‘more holes than Swiss cheese’ – Ian Lowe. Nuclear power is too expensive for AustraliaCollapse of the nuclear industry‘s ”golden hope”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvpmGP8P6Mk

‘It makes us sick’: remote NT community wants answers about uranium in its water supply.

INTERNATIONAL.

Bizarre twists in USA’s war on Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

Epidemiology – research on baby teeth gives valuable information on health effects of ionising radiation.

What Does Building A Nuclear Power Station Mean for CO2 Emissions As We Near COP26 ?

Crypto currency and nuclear power – a worrying partnership.

Smoke from nuclear war would devastate ozone layer, alter climate.

The scale of global e-waste .

Vale Sister Megan Rice – an anti-nuclear hero. Libbe HaLevy’s interview with Sister Megan Rice 2019.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_cguuNy-3U

Prince William: Saving Earth should come before space tourism.

Catholic Archbishop at UN urges immorality of nuclear weapons, and of militarising space.

Patients lack knowledge on radiation in medical imaging,

JAPANNuclear hawks under Kishida threaten Suga’s renewables push. Japan’s new pro nuclear push – and for small nuclear reactors. Lethal radiation levels detected in Fukushima nuclear plant reactor lid . Japan’s new PM won’t delay release of contaminated water into ocean.

CHINA. US nuclear submarine accident sparks safety fears in South China Sea.

EUROPE. European Commission urges member states to speed up solar energy deployment .

Prince William: Saving Earth should come before space tourism.

Catholic Archbishop at UN urges immorality of nuclear weapons, and of militarising space.

Patients lack knowledge on radiation in medical imaging,

JAPANNuclear hawks under Kishida threaten Suga’s renewables push. Japan’s new pro nuclear push – and for small nuclear reactors. Lethal radiation levels detected in Fukushima nuclear plant reactor lid . Japan’s new PM won’t delay release of contaminated water into ocean.

CHINA. US nuclear submarine accident sparks safety fears in South China Sea.

EUROPE. European Commission urges member states to speed up solar energy deployment .

USA.

FRANCE

UK. 

INDIA. India, China and the new missile silos.

BELGIUM. Belgium’s Energy Minister calls for the government to speed up plan to shut down nuclear reactors.

GERMANYNuclear power is not sustainable energy – German environment ministry.

NEW ZEALANDKeep space for peace – opposition to New Zealand’s space industry and its military connections.

PHILIPPINES. AUKUS and the Philippines – sleepwalking into military-nuclear entanglements. 

AUSTRALIA. AUKUS nuclear submarines deal must be abandoned.     Australia’s nuclear submarines are looking more and more like a mirage

 

October 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Epidemiology – research on baby teeth gives valuable information on health effects of ionising radiation


Baby Teeth Hold Key to Illinois, Michigan Nuclear Reactor Radiation Exposure – Epidemiologist Joseph Mangano – NH #538   
http://nuclearhotseat.com/2021/10/14/illinois-michigan-nuclear-reactor-radiation-studied-in-baby-teeth/?fbclid=IwAR268TYnERFMNoEuCYGlk2xbsH_-sq0XESbzxOuMmaEdeDB44TzG4s2CPfg

by Libbe HaLevy | Oct 14, 2021 |  

Listen to This Week’s Featured Interview:


Baby teeth
 were studied in the 1950’s and 60’s to determine childhood exposure to radioactive strontium 90 from atmospheric nuclear bomb tests.  The results from what was called theTooth Fairy Project led to U.S. President Kennedy and Russia’s Premier Khrushchev creating the 1963 Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water, known as the Atmospheric Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Now, a cache of more than 100,000 teeth not used in that initial study has just recently been discovered.  These teeth will be compared with baby teeth from communities in Illinois and Michigan near nuclear reactors.  The more recent teeth are being collected now by epidemiologist Joseph Mangano, the Executive Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP) to determine through data analysis if radiation releases from nuclear reactors pose health problem.


  • Mangano
     is a health researcher who has served RPHP since 1989.  He is author or co-author of 33 medical journal articles on radiation health, and is the author of the books Low Level Radiation and Immune System Damage: An Atomic Era Legacy (1998) and Radioactive Baby Teeth: The Cancer Link (2008). He managed the study of Strontium-90 in baby teeth, and now manages the citizen-based radiation monitoring programs near the Indian Point NY and Oyster Creek NJ nuclear plants.

October 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fukushima: Japan’s new PM won’t delay release of contaminated water into ocean

Lying by omission. In that accumulated radioactive water on Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant site, tritium is only one of the 64 radionuclides present, as the ALPS filtering system did not work fully to remove ALL radionuclides from that water.

Contaminated wastewater, which has built up at the site of the Fukushima nuclear plant, is set to be released into the Pacific Ocean starting next year.

Fumio Kishida said every effort would be made to reassure local people that disposing of the water in the Pacific was safe

Japan’s new prime minister, Fumio Kishida, has said that there can be no delay to plans to release contaminated water from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea, despite opposition from fishers and neighbouring countries.

Kishida, who made his first trip to the plant at the weekend since becoming prime minister last month, said every effort would be made to reassure local people that disposing of the water in the Pacific Ocean was safe.

The wastewater, which is pumped up from reactor basements and treated to remove all but one radioactive material, has built up at the site since the plant suffered a triple meltdown in March 2011.

“I felt strongly that the water issue is a crucial one that should not be pushed back,” Kishida told reporters after being shown around by the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power.

More than one million tonnes of water are being stored in 1,000 tanks at the site, and Tepco has warned that space will run out late next year.

The government and Tepco said in April that work to release the heavily diluted water would begin in the spring of 2023 and take decades to complete.

The move is opposed by nearby fishing communities which say it will undo years of hard work rebuilding their industry’s reputation since the plant was struck by a huge tsunami in March 2011, soon after Japan’s north-east coast was rocked by a magnitude-9 earthquake.

The decision ended years of debate over what to do with the water, with other options including evaporation or the construction of more storage tanks at other sites.

Neighbouring South Korea, which still bans seafood imports from the region, has repeatedly voiced concern, claiming that discharging the water represented a “grave threat” to the marine environment.

The South Korean Olympic committee made separate catering arrangements for the country’s athletes during the Tokyo Olympics amid concern they could be served food from Fukushima, even though produce from the region undergoes rigorous safety checks.

Japan’s government says releasing the water is the most realistic option and will enable workers at the site to proceed with decommissioning the plant – a costly operation that is expected to take about 40 years.

“We will provide explanations about safety from a scientific viewpoint and transparency in order to address people’s concerns,” Kishida said.

Japan has requested help from the International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure the discharge meets global safety standards, including treating the wastewater so its radioactivity levels are below legal limits.

Tepco’s Advanced Liquid Processing System reduces radioactive substances in the water to safe levels, but the system is unable to filter out tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen.

Experts say tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, is only harmful to humans in very large doses, while government and Tepco officials have pointed out that working nuclear plants routinely dilute and release tritium into the ocean.

Kishida, who supports the restart of nuclear reactors that were idled after the Fukushima meltdown, offered flowers and prayed at a monument to the disaster in Namie, one of several communities near the plant that were declared no-go zones after the disaster. Some residents have since returned to their homes after evacuation orders were lifted.

Kishida has said that nuclear power must be part of Japan’s energy mix if it is to become carbon neutral by 2050. But he has yet to confirm if he will attend the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow early next month, with Japanese media reports suggesting he won’t decide until after lower house elections are held at the end of this month.

Boris Johnson encouraged Kishida to attend the summit during a phone call last week, adding that Britain was considering lifting import restrictions on Fukushima produce that were introduced while it was a member of the European Union, according to the Kyodo news agency.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/18/fukushima-japans-new-pm-wont-delay-release-of-contaminated-water-into-ocean?fbclid=IwAR3fHQfhxnQ2-VX_5Ojj8NrvcnIxhbRxU2VPxQd6IOQUfsGQ_YctGV7uYQA

October 18, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive contamination from the partially-burned former Santa Susanna nuclear research facility

Radioactive microparticles related to the Woolsey Fire in Simi Valley, CA  SCience Direct, MarcoKaltofenaMaggieGundersenbArnieGundersenb    Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Dept. of Physics, Fairewinds Energy Education, 8 October 2021. 

Highlights

Wildfire in radiologically contaminated zones is a global concern; contaminated areas around Chernobyl, Fukushima, Los Alamos, and the Nevada Nuclear Test Site have all experienced wildfires.

Three hundred sixty samples of soil, dust and ash were collected in the immediate aftermath of the Los Angeles (CA, USA) Woolsey fire in 2018.

Radioactive contamination from the partially-burned former Santa Susanna nuclear research facility was found in the fire zone.

A limited number of widely scattered locations had evidence of radioactive microparticles originating at the research facility.

X-ray data showed that ashes from the fire could spread site contaminants to distant, but widely spaced, locations.

Abstract

In November 2018, the Woolsey Fire burned north of Los Angeles, CA, USA, potentially remobilizing radioactive contaminants at the former Santa Susana Field Laboratory, a shuttered nuclear research facility contaminated by chemical and radiochemical releases. Wildfire in radiologically contaminated zones is a global concern; contaminated areas around Chernobyl, Fukushima, Los Alamos, and the Nevada Nuclear Test Site have all experienced wildfires. Three weeks after the Woolsey Fire was controlled, sampling of dusts, ashes, and surface soils (n = 360) began and were analyzed by alpha- and beta-radiation counting. Samples were collected up to a 16 km radius from the perimeter of the laboratory. Controls and samples with activities 1σ greater than background were also examined by alpha and/or gamma spectroscopy or Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-ray analysis. Of the 360 samples collected, 97% showed activities at or close to site-specific background levels. However, offsite samples collected in publicly-accessible areas nearest to the SSFL site perimeter had the highest alpha-emitting radionuclides radium, thorium, and uranium activities, indicating site-related radioactive material has escaped the confines of the laboratory. 

In two geographically-separated locations, one as far away as 15 km, radioactive microparticles containing percent-concentrations of thorium were detected in ashes and dusts that were likely related to deposition from the Woolsey fire. These offsite radioactive microparticles were colocated with alpha and beta activity maxima. Data did not support a finding of widespread deposition of radioactive particles. However, two radioactive deposition hotspots and significant offsite contamination were detected near the site perimeter……………………………

4. Conclusions

A significant majority of samples (97% of 360 samples) collected in the study zone registered radioactivity levels that matched existing area background levels. Nevertheless, some ashes and dusts collected from the Woolsey Fire zone in the fire’s immediate aftermath contained high activities of radioactive isotopes associated with the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL). The data show that Woolsey Fire ash did, in fact, spread SSFL-related radioactive microparticles, and the impacts were confined to areas closest to SSFL and at least three other scattered locations in the greater Simi Valley area. Alpha and beta counting, high-resolution alpha and gamma spectroscopy, and X-ray microanalysis using SEM/EDS confirmed the presence of radioactive microparticles in the Woolsey Fire-related ashes and dusts.

Most of the fire-impacted samples found near the SSFL site’s perimeter were on lands accessible to the public. There were, however, scattered localized areas of increased radioactivity due to the presence of radioactive microparticles in ash and recently-settled dusts collected just after the Woolsey fire. These radioactive outliers were found in Thousand Oaks, CA, and Simi Valley, CA, about 15 and 5 km distant from SSFL, respectively. The Thousand Oaks samples had alpha count rates up to 19 times background, and X-ray spectroscopy (SEM) identified alpha-emitting thorium as the source of this excess radioactivity. Excessive alpha radiation in small particles is of particular interest because of the relatively high risk of inhalation-related long-term biological damage from internal alpha emitters compared to external radiation.

The nuclides identified as the sources of excess radioactivity in impacted samples were predominately isotopes of radium, uranium, and thorium. These have naturally-occurring sources, but these isotopes are also contaminants of concern at SSFL and were detected at generally increasing activities as the distance from SSFL decreased. In addition, the number of radioactive microparticles per gram of particulate matter also increased strongly with decreasing distance from SSFL. These data demonstrate that fire and/or other processes have spread SSFL contamination beyond the facility boundary………..

……https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0265931X21002277?dgcid=coauthor

October 18, 2021 Posted by | environment, radiation, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

Bizarre twists in USA’s war on Julian Assange and Wikileaks

Britain’s Guantanamo: is Julian Assange a terrorist?  https://www.michaelwest.com.au/britains-guantanamo-is-julian-assange-a-terrorist/ By Gary Lord|October 18, 2021  

As Julian Assange prepares to face a British court for possibly the last time, threatened with up to 175 years detention in a US supermax prison, journalist Gary Lord, explores the latest bizarre twists in the US effort to extradite the Wikileaks founder and the silence of global media.

Julian Assange likes to say that censorship is “always an opportunity” that should be welcomed because it indicates that “there is something worth looking at”. He also says that it is a sign of weakness because it “reveals a fear of reform”. 

So it’s interesting that recent bombshell stories about Assange himself are being censored by global media giants. As the WikiLeaks founder prepares to face a British court for possibly the last time on October 27, threatened with up to 175 years detention in a US supermax prison, perhaps this media censorship is something worth looking at?

wo major stories have emerged since a UK judge ruled against Assange’s extradition to the United States (on health grounds only) at the start of this year.

Firstly, Icelandic media revealed in June that the US prosecution’s prize witness, a convicted pedophile and fraudster who has since been jailed, had withdrawn his testimony against Assange. 

Sigurdur Thordarson, who worked for Wikileaks in 2010 but embezzled over $50,000 from the organization, admitted to fabricat­ing key accusati­ons in the US indict­ment. This important story was almost totally ignored by global media.

Secondly, some 30 anonymous US officials recently confirmed that CIA boss Mike Pompeo, US President Donald Trump, and other staff “at the highest levels” of the Trump administration actively discussed assassinating Julian Assange, and even enlisted UK government support to shoot out airplane tyres if required. 

The US government officially designated WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service” in order to provide legal cover for any violent action, with “sketches” including possible shootouts with Russian agents on the streets of inner London.

The USA’s FAIR media watch group investigated the extraordinary lack of media coverage this astonishing revelation received, noting that “BBC News, one of the most-read news outlets in the world, appears to have covered the story just once — in the Somali-language section of the BBC website”.

The New York Times, the Washington Post, and many other major media outlets totally ignored it. The Guardian published just two articles about it; by comparison, they devoted 16 articles to alleged Russian government attempts to murder Alexei Navalny.

Sadly, this media censorship of Assange is not new, even if it does appear to be reaching new heights of absurdity. Another widely ignored story is the relentless and invasive spying on Assange and his visitors – including lawyers, family and journalists – while he was in the Ecuadorian embassy. 

A Spanish court is currently investigating allegations that UC Global, the company that supposedly provided “security” at the behest of the Ecuadorian government, was secretly working for the CIA as a client of former Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, a major supporter of Donald Trump. 

Max Blumenthal first reported back in May 2020 that these spies also discussed plots to kidnap or poison Assange.

A “fix” or media apathy?

How to explain the widespread lack of mainstream media interest in such shocking news stories which could easily be given front page importance? 

Are we to assume that “the fix is in”? Is this part of a deliberate effort to suppress public support for Assange, ahead of his inevitable extradition? If so, who is behind it, and what does it say about the politicisation of the British court system, never mind global media organisations? If not, how else can we understand it?

It’s well known that Assange fell out with many of his old media partners following the 2010 Cablegate publications, but most of those journalists still argue that the Australian should not be extradited for the “crime” of journalism. 

Editorials in the Guardian, New York Times, the Sydney Morning Herald and other newspapers have called for the US extradition case to be dropped. But the media fraternity’s “support” for Assange has never extended to a full-blown campaign, such as we saw when (for example) Peter Greste was jailed.

In fact, there has been a remarkable lack of Western media interest in Assange’s court case – coupled with smearslies and poor reporting – for over a decade.

Italian journalist Sefania Maurizi, who has worked closely with WikiLeaks for many years, appears to be the only journalist who bothered to lodge Freedom of Information requests about the Assange case with the British and Swedish governments. 

A “non-state hostile intelligence service”

She discovered that the Crown Prosecuting Service, which was then controlled by Sir Keir Starmer (now UK Labour Party leader), advised Swedish prosecutors not to come and question Assange in London, and not to “get cold feet” and close the case. “Please do not think this case is being dealt with as just another extradition,” they wrote – then they deleted all their emails!

In Australia, lawyer Kellie Tranter has been putting Aussie journos to shame by lodging her own FOI applications and sharing the results. Maurizi also has FOI applications lodged with the Australian and US governments, but they have been stalled for years with no explanation.

Assange and WikiLeaks still enjoy huge public support around the world. So why don’t big media organisations want more online clicks from readers digging into these amazing stories?

A clue may come from the CIA’s determination to get WikiLeaks officially designated a “non-state hostile intelligence service”. This legal designation would surely make media reporting on WikiLeaks the subject of increased government attention and maybe even censorship.

All the AUKUS countries have now adopted extreme new “anti-terror” laws that include Orwellian restrictions on the media. Maybe it’s time for AUKUS journalists to ask whether WikiLeaks is also officially designated a “non-state hostile intelligence service” in Canberra and London?

Is it possible that Julian Assange – who has been held in “Britain’s Guantanamo Bay” since 11 April 2019 – has been secretly defined as some new form of “information terrorist“? And if so, would our media today even be allowed to report it? Gary Lord is the author of Julian Assange biography “Wikileaks: a True History

October 18, 2021 Posted by | media, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

America’s paralysis on nuclear waste, as radioactive trash continues to accumulate.

San Onofre closed nuclear station – stranded waste containers


GAO urges Congress to tackle nuclear waste storage impasse

‘The ghost of Yucca still stalks the policy debate and … there hasn’t been enough sustained pressure to find solutions’
By TERI SFORZA | tsforza@scng.com | Orange County Register, October 17, 2021 Who’s to blame for the paralysis that strands millions of pounds of radioactive waste at reactor sites all over the nation, and will cost taxpayers some $40 billion — and perhaps a lot more?

Congress, the U.S. Government Accountability Office says. And Congress must fix it.

In a dispassionate but merciless examination of the string of follies that has put the federal government nearly a quarter-century behind accepting waste from commercial reactors like the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station — where 3.6 million pounds of waste must sit for years or possibly decades — the GAO chronicled the weeds that have choked the effort, then hacked through them to clear a path forward.

“Commercial spent nuclear fuel is extremely dangerous if not managed properly,” the report said. “About 86,000 metric tons of this fuel is stored on-site at 75 operating or shutdown nuclear power plants in 33 states, an amount that grows by about 2,000 metric tons each year.”

The radioisotopes produced in a reactor can remain hazardous from a few days to many thousands of years, the GAO said.

“The longer it takes the federal government to resolve the current impasse and develop a solution for the permanent disposal of commercial spent nuclear fuel, the greater the potential risk to the environment and public health, or of security incidents associated with temporary on-site storage,” the report said. “(T)he safety of long-term dry cask storage is unknown, and the risks, such as environmental and health risks, of on-site storage increase the longer the fuel is stored there.”

Attempted sabotage and theft of radioactive material are also potential security risks, the report said…………….

How to fix

Obama assembled a Blue Ribbon Commission that laid out a path forward in 2012, and it’s largely the path that the GAO urges lawmakers to embrace now. It recommends that Congress:

  • Amend the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to allow the DOE to implement a new, consent-based process for siting temporary storage and permanent geologic disposal facilities.
  • Restructure the Nuclear Waste Fund, which has about $43 billion in it to ensure reliable and sufficient funding.
  • Create an independent board or similar mechanism to provide political insulation for a nuclear waste disposal program, as well as continuity of leadership.
  • Direct DOE to develop a temporary waste management strategy that includes plans for the transportation, interim storage and permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel.
  • It’s not as if officials don’t know what to do with nuclear waste. In 1957, the National Academy of Sciences concluded that disposal in a geologic formation was the safest way to isolate nuclear waste. Myriad studies in the decades since have reached the same conclusion…………………………..  https://www.ocregister.com/2021/10/17/gao-urges-congress-to-tackle-nuclear-waste-storage-impasse/

October 18, 2021 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Terra Power’s Natrium nuclear reactor will be an economic lemon

This host of factors makes it reasonably certain that the Natrium will not be economically competitive.

In other words, even if has no technical problems, it will be an economic lemon.


Ramana, Makhijani: Look before you leap on nuclear   
https://trib.com/opinion/columns/ramana-makhijani-look-before-you-leap-on-nuclear/article_4508639b-d7e6-50df-b305-07c929de40ed.html, Oct 16, 2021  

The Cowboy State is weighing plans to host a multi-billion dollar “demonstration” nuclear power plant — TerraPower’s Natrium reactor. The long history of similar nuclear reactors, dating back to 1951, indicates that Wyoming is likely to be left with a nuclear lemon on its hands.

The Natrium reactor design, which uses molten sodium as a coolant (water is used in most existing commercial nuclear reactors), is likely to be problematic. Sodium reacts violently with water and burns if exposed to air, a serious vulnerability. A sodium fire, within a few months of the reactor starting to generate power, led to Japan’s Monju [at left] demonstration reactor being shut down.

At 1,200 megawatts, the French Superphénix was the largest sodium-cooled reactor, designed to demonstrate commercial feasibility. Plagued by operational problems, including a major sodium leak, it was shut down in 1998 after 14 years, having operated at an average capacity of under 7 percent compared to the 80 to 90 percent required for commercial operation. Other sodium-cooled reactors have also experienced leaks, which are very difficult to prevent because of chemical interactions between sodium and the stainless steel used in various reactor components. Finally, sodium, being opaque, makes reactor maintenance and repairs notoriously difficult.

Sodium-cooled reactors can experience rapid and hard-to-control power surges. Under severe conditions, a runaway chain reaction can even result in an explosion. Such a runaway reaction was the central cause of the 1986 Chernobyl reactor explosion, though that was a reactor of a different design. Following Chernobyl, Germany’s Kalkar sodium-cooled reactor, about the same size as the proposed Natrium, was abandoned without ever being commissioned, though it was complete.

All these technical and safety challenges naturally drive up the costs of sodium-cooled reactors, making them significantly more expensive than conventional nuclear reactors. More than $100 billion, in today’s dollars, has been spent worldwide in the attempt to commercialize essentially this design and associated technologies, to no avail.

The Natrium design, being even more expensive than present-day reactors, will therefore be more expensive than practically every other form of electricity generation. The Wall Street firm, Lazard, estimates that electricity from new nuclear plants is several times more than the costs at utility-scale solar and wind power plants. Further, the difference has been increasing.

To this bleak picture, Terrapower has added another economically problematic feature: molten salt storage to allow its electric output to vary. Terrapower hopes this feature will help it integrate better into an electricity grid that has more variable electricity sources, notably wind and solar.

Molten salt storage would be novel in a nuclear reactor, but it is used in concentrating solar power projects, where it can cost an additional $2,000 per kilowatt of capacity. At that rate, it could add a billion dollars to the Natrium project.

This host of factors makes it reasonably certain that the Natrium will not be economically competitive. In other words, even if has no technical problems, it will be an economic lemon.

To top it all off, the proposed Wyoming TerraPower demonstration project depends on government funds. Last year, the Department of Energy awarded TerraPower $80 million in initial taxpayer funding; this may increase $1.6 billion over seven years, “subject to the availability of future appropriations” and Terrapower coming up with matching funds.

Despite government support, private capital has recently abandoned a more traditional project, the mPower small modular reactor, resulting in its termination in 2017. And it was Congress that refused to appropriate more money for the sodium-cooled reactor proposed for Clinch River, Tennessee when its costs skyrocketed, thereby ending the project in 1983.

A much harder look at the facts is in order, lest Wyoming add to the total of many cancelled nuclear projects and abandoned construction sites. Of course, the Natrium lemon might be made into lemonade by converting it to an amusement park if it is never switched on, like the Kalkar reactor, now refashioned into Wunderland Kalkar, an amusement park in Germany, near the border with the Netherlands. For energy, the state might look to its natural heritage – its wind power potential is greater than the combined generation of all 94 operating U.S. nuclear reactors put together, which are on average, about three times the size of Natrium.

M. V. Ramana is Professor and Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security and the Director of the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, University of British Columbia. Dr. Ramana holds a Ph.D. in Physics from Boston University.

Arjun Makhijani, President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, holds a Ph.D. in engineering (nuclear fusion) from the University of California at Berkeley.

October 18, 2021 Posted by | Reference, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Flamanville nuclear power plant has exceeded the threshold for discharging a powerful greenhouse gas.

Flamanville nuclear power plant has exceeded the threshold for discharging
a powerful greenhouse gas. In nine months, the quantity of SF6, the most
powerful greenhouse gas, released by the Flamanville nuclear power plant in
La Manche, has already exceeded the annual declaration threshold. This
threshold was reached on September 27, 2021, as confirmed by EDF on
Thursday, October 14, 2021.

 Ouest France 14th Oct 2021

https://www.ouest-france.fr/normandie/flamanville-50340/la-centrale-nucleaire-de-flamanville-a-depasse-le-seuil-de-rejet-d-un-puissant-gaz-a-effet-de-serre-4ef83064-2cdc-11ec-9285-f388b2ea32b0

October 18, 2021 Posted by | climate change, France | Leave a comment

UK government’s grand energy plan – focus is on saving the nuclear industry

 ”Nuclear power is slow, dangerous and extortionately expensive. It will do nothing to address the current energy crisis, neither will it be effective to counter climate change”

Reviving nuclear power station projects such as Wylfa B on Anglesey and Trawsfynydd in Gwynedd is at the heart of the UK Government’s ambitions to attain net zero carbon emissions by 2035, government sources have said.

The UK Government is expected to reveal its new nuclear strategy in documents to be published next week, alongside a plan for how to pay for the new array of nuclear plants. US nuclear company Westinghouse is planning to revive plans for a nuclear power plant at Wylfa that was abandoned by Japan’s Hitachi in 2019, and the UK Government has indicated that it is keen to see the plan come to fruition.

Ministers are also expected to back smaller modular reactors which are being developed by a consortium led by Rolls-Royce. One of these is planned for installation in the now-decommissioned Trawsfynydd nuclear plant. Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary who has been under fire from industry this week due to
the rising cost of energy prices, is to unveil the overarching ‘Net Zero Strategy’ paper on Monday.

According to the Financial Times, the strategy will have a “heavy focus” on Britain’s languishing nuclear power
programme. Under the plans, an energy levy on consumers by the UK Government finance the cost of producing the power before the nuclear energy plants are built. Kwasi Kwarteng has set a target of 2035 to reach
‘net zero’ based on nuclear power, renewables and carbon capture and storage.

Anti-nuclear groups have already criticised the plans, saying that the emphasis should be placed on green renewable energy instead. Dylan Morgan of PAWB (People Against Wylfa B) said: “We have an immediate crisis now. Building huge reactors at a nuclear power station take at least 15 years. “Nuclear power is slow, dangerous and extortionately expensive. It will do nothing to address the current energy crisis, neither will it be effective to counter climate change”

 Nation Cymru 16th Oct 2021

October 18, 2021 Posted by | ENERGY, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Libbe HaLevy’s interview with Sister Megan Rice 2019

Anti-Nuclear Peace Nun Sister Megan Rice of Plowshares  http://nuclearhotseat.com/2019/12/24/anti-nuclear-peace-nun-sister-megan-rice-of-plowshares/

by Libbe HaLevy | Dec 24, 2019 |   Listen Here:

Anti-Nuclear Peace Nun Sister Megan Rice – To celebrate the holidays, a reminder of one of 2015’s successes — the early release from prison of Sister Megan Rice, one of three brave activists who broke into high security nuclear weapons at the Y-12 nuclear facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee – the so-called “Fort Knox of Nuclear“- to protest nukes and war.  She was arrested on-site and, at age 82, convicted of sabotage – a conviction that was overturned after she’d already served two years in prison.


We’ll hear from:

  • Sister Megan Rice, the now-89-year-old anti-nuclear peace nun.  She speaks at length about the peaceful 2012 Transform Now Plowshares protest action.   She and two other activists broke into the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee which resulted in her being charged with sabotage and sentenced to almost three years in prison.  This interview was recorded when she was newly out of prison pending a re-sentencing hearing.  All further charges were later dropped.  The break in was an antiwar protest referred to as “the biggest security breach in the history of the nation’s atomic complex.” All it took? Three determined senior or senior-adjacent activists, some wire cutters, and a deeply spiritual love for people and the planet.
  • Co-defendant Gregory Boertje-Obed, 60, who along with co-defendant Michael Walli, 68, was sentenced to over five years in prison for their non-violent protest.

Originally presented on May 26, 2015, for Nuclear Hotseat #205.


LINKS 
to the Transform Now Plowshares statement and Indictment of Oak Ridge for War Crimes that were drawn up by these three brave activists and read at the Y-12 site.

October 18, 2021 Posted by | PERSONAL STORIES, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

US nuclear submarine accident sparks safety fears in South China Sea

US nuclear submarine accident sparks safety fears in South China Sea  https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3152181/us-nuclear-submarine-accident-sparks-safety-fears-south-china?module=perpetual_scroll&pgtype=article&campaign=3152181Busy waterway’s complex underwater terrain and shipping litter make it a challenging environment for the giant vessels


Collision has also highlighted the difficulties in safely disposing of the reactors from decommissioned subs, with no agreed guidelines, experts say.    Minnie Chan 16 Oct, 2021   

The damage to a US nuclear attack submarine which collided with a mystery object in the South China Sea earlier this month has raised concerns about their operational safety, as well as what happens to damaged and decommissioned nuclear reactors.

Defence experts have warned that nuclear submarines – among the world’s deadliest weapons – are also vulnerable in the event of an underwater accident causing a nuclear leak, regardless of whether they are general-purpose attack subs (SSN) or platforms for the launch of ballistic missiles (SSBN).

October 18, 2021 Posted by | China, incidents, oceans | Leave a comment

Orano’s nuclear reprocessing problems at La Hague

 Nuclear: the CGT denounces “a congestion” of rejects from Mox in Orano La
Hague. Due to recycling problems at the Marcoule plant, Orano La Hague has
to deal with scraps from Mox. A situation denounced by Greenpeace, but
under control according to Orano.

 La Presse de la Manche 15th Oct 2021

https://actu.fr/normandie/la-hague_50041/nucleaire-la-cgt-denonce-un-engorgement-de-rebuts-de-mox-a-orano-la-hague_45696007.html

October 18, 2021 Posted by | France, reprocessing, safety | Leave a comment

Sizewell C nuclear station – a white elephant that will irreversibly damage the environment

Campaigners protesting the building of Sizewell C have responded with
frustration to EDF’s £250 million package of funding to mitigate the
impacts of the proposed site. The biggest concern for those against the
project was the money put towards environmental causes – £78 million for
an independent environmental body to enhance the landscape of the area and
£22 million for investment in landscape impact mitigation and creation of
wildlife and habitat areas.

“It’s notable that by far the biggest sum –
£100 million – is for environmental projects,” said Alison Downes from
Stop Sizewell C. “This work will have to be ongoing for decades – through
the life of the station and potentially decommissioning – to make any
significant difference.”

“The environmental funding is simply a
recognition of the long term and irreversible damage they will do to the
environment,” said Pete Wilkinson of Together Against Sizewell C. “The
rest is a measure of the damage to this community EDF intends to inflict
for what will be a huge white elephant on our eroding, heritage coast.”

 East Anglian Daily Times 15th Oct 2021

https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/sizewell-c-campaigners-react-to-money-plans-8415128

October 18, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Suffolk County Council taking ”big ticket” concerns to Government over Sizewell C nuclear project

A £250million package of funding to mitigate the impacts of Sizewell C
has been pledged by developers if it goes ahead – but Suffolk County
Council has said that ‘big ticket’ concerns remain that it is addressing
directly to the Government.

The examination phase of the £20billion
nuclear facility plans has concluded, with interested parties setting out
their positions. A report with a recommendation will now be written by the
Planning Inspectorate and handed to the Secretary of State, who then has a
further three months to make a final decision, likely to be in April.

 Suffolk News 15th Oct 2021

https://www.suffolknews.co.uk/felixstowe/developers-set-out-250m-plan-to-mitigate-impacts-of-sizewel-9221069/

October 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Demonising China is unhelpful while encouraging China to participate in Cop26

As Britain prepares to host the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow next month, it is pursuing two contradictory policies that undermine its chances of success. On the one hand, it is seeking a unified global response to the climate crisis with nations agreeing to targets for the reduction of their coal and petroleum emissions.

But at the same time, it has joined the US in escalating a new cold war directed at confronting China and Russia at every turn. The two policies have polar opposite objectives in trying to persuade China, responsible for 27 per cent of global carbon emissions, to cut back on building new coal-fuelled power stations, but at the same time demonising China as a pariah state with whom political, commercial and intellectual contacts should be as limited as possible.

 Independent 15th Oct 2021

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/opinion/china-russia-climate-cop26-b1939164.html

October 18, 2021 Posted by | China, climate change, politics international, UK | Leave a comment