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OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the North-East Atlantic discreetly postpones its commitment to reduce radioactive discharges at sea

The OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the North-East Atlanticdiscreetly postpones its commitment to reduce radioactive discharges at sea from 2020 to 2050. Following the Cascais meeting of the OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the North-East Atlantic, which took place on October 1, the participating ministers discreetly postponed until 2050 the commitment made in 1998 in Sintra to reduce radioactive discharges into the sea to levels close to zero by 2020.

Once again, international commitments to the environment are being disregarded. This does not bode well for the
upcoming COP26 in Glasgow.

France is the first beneficiary of this 30-year postponement because, with its reprocessing plant at La Hague, it has the
highest radioactive discharges to the sea in Europe. And these discharges are not decreasing, as shown by the results of the citizen monitoring of radioactivity in the environment carried out by ACRO for over 25 years.

 ACRO 19th Oct 2021

The OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the North-East Atlantic discreetly postpones its commitment to reduce radioactive discharges at sea from 2020 to 2050

October 21, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, oceans, wastes | Leave a comment

COVID Restrictions Deny Southern Belarus Children Rare Escape From Chernobyl Radiation

COVID Restrictions Deny Southern Belarus Children Rare Escape From Chernobyl Radiation   https://www.voanews.com/a/covid-restrictions-deny-southern-belarus-children-rare-escape-from-chernobyl-radiation/6278627.html

October 20, 2021 Ricardo Marquina. In Belarus, just across the border from Ukraine, many children have been living with chronic radiation sickness since a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded in 1986. They have returned to school after being unable to escape contamination for yet another summer due to COVID-19 pandemic border restrictions. For VOA, Ricardo Marquina has more from the Gomel region of southern Belarus in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.

October 21, 2021 Posted by | children, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Research shows that a rapid truly green energy transformation will achieve a near-net-zero emissions energy system

Rapidly decarbonising the global energy system is critical for addressing climate change, but concerns about costs have been a barrier to implementation. Most energy-economy models have historically underestimated deployment rates for renewable energy technologies and overestimated their costs.

The problems with these models have stimulated calls for better approaches and recent efforts have made progress in this direction. Here we take a new approach based on probabilistic cost forecasting methods that made reliable predictions when they were empirically tested on more than 50 technologies.

We use these methods to estimate future energy system costs and find that, compared to continuing with a fossil-fuel-based system, a rapid green energy transition will likely result in overall net savings of many trillions of dollars – even without accounting for climate damages or co-benefits of climate policy.

We show that if solar photovoltaics, wind, batteries and hydrogen electrolyzers continue to follow their current
exponentially increasing deployment trends for another decade, we achieve a near-net-zero emissions energy system within twenty-five years. In contrast, a slower transition (which involves deployment growth trends that are lower than current rates) is more expensive and a nuclear driven transition is far more expensive. If non-energy sources of carbon emissions such as agriculture are brought under control, our analysis indicates that a rapid green energy transition would likely generate considerable economic savings while also meeting the 1.5 degrees Paris Agreement target.

 Oxford University 14th Sept 2021

October 21, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Insurance industry not convinced that nuclear power is ”green”, and is wary of nuclear as an investment risk.

INSURANCE ASSET RISK  

IAR 2021 EMEA conference: highlights from day 2

”…………what constitutes a ‘green’ asset is not yet universally accepted, and this became apparent during a panel on infrastructure investing. The question of nuclear financing crept in the debate, and although politicians may have their ideas on the topic, the jury is still out for investors.….. https://www.insuranceassetrisk.com/content/news/iar-2021-emea-conference-highlights-form-day-2.html

October 21, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs | Leave a comment

The nuclear industry might get taxpayers money by calling itself ”amber”, if it’s too hard to appear ”green”

possible compromises included creating an “amber” label for activity that did not win the green label but would still secure a place in the bloc’s transition and not discourage private sector investment.  ………..

Brussels to delay decision on how to classify nuclear power for green finance. Debate over energy has been supercharged by surging electricity costs, Ft.com   Mehreen Khan and Sam Fleming in Brussels, 20 Oct 21

Brussels will delay long-awaited proposals on how to classify nuclear power and natural gas under the EU’s landmark labelling system for green finance, as member states demand looser rules to help counteract the continent’s energy crisis. EU financial services commissioner Mairead McGuinness told the Financial Times that Brussels would take more time before deciding how to deal with the controversial energy sources under the so-called “taxonomy on sustainable finance” that had been due this autumn.  

The debate about how to classify low carbon natural gas and nuclear energy, which produces no CO2 [ ed.except in its long complex fuel and waste chains] but whose waste byproducts are toxic for the environment, has been supercharged by surging electricity costs that have prompted EU governments into emergency financial action to protect households. European leaders are due to debate the taxonomy and how to mitigate soaring prices at a summit in Brussels on Thursday. 

“As we come to the end of the year there will be more pressure to resolve this,” said McGuinness. “We don’t have a ready-made solution because this is, both technically but politically . . . one of those issues where you have very divided views.” Europe’s pro-nuclear countries, led by France, and pro-gas member states in the south and east, are demanding the taxonomy rules do not penalise technologies they say are vital in securing the transition to net zero emissions. Environmental groups, however, want the system to abide by scientific criteria to ensure the rules stamp out, rather than encourage, so-called “greenwashing” in the investment industry. ………..

Europe’s energy crisis is the latest challenge to the credibility of the EU’s green labelling system which was designed to be a “gold standard” for investors to know what counts as truly sustainable economic activity. But the rules have been mired in controversy as Brussels struggles to balance science with sensitive political decisions about whether to award some activities the highest green label — penalising those that do not. Ten countries, including France, Finland, Poland and Hungary this week said it is “absolutely necessary that nuclear power was included in the taxonomy framework”.  

McGuinness said it remained an “open question” as to whether the green label would be expanded to “accommodate nuclear and gas”. She said possible compromises included creating an “amber” label for activity that did not win the green label but would still secure a place in the bloc’s transition and not discourage private sector investment.  ………..

The rules are being closely watched by investors and regulators in the US and UK, who have also said they will come up with their own classification systems. Within the EU, the taxonomy will be used to judge whether investments made by member states are truly green and will form the basis for an EU “green bond standard” that will be used to issue €250bn in sustainable debt under the bloc’s recovery fund.  https://www.ft.com/content/898e6c53-8e85-4cfc-b00b-16a09d50b462

October 21, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, climate change, EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment

UK’s ”Net Zero” climate strategy fails to give concrete commits to reduce energy use, promote renewables.

In reaction to the government’s Net Zero Strategy, Rebecca Newsom,
Greenpeace UK’s head of politics, said “This document is more like a pick and mix than the substantial meal that we need to reach net zero. Extra cash for tree planting and progress on electric vehicles doesn’t make up
for the lack of concrete plans to deliver renewables at scale, extra investment in public transport, or a firm commitment to end new oil and gas licences.

There are only half-hearted policies and funding commitments to decarbonise our draughty homes at the speed necessary, and it fundamentally fails to grapple with the need to reduce our meat and dairy consumption to
stop global deforestation. With just eight years left to halve global emissions, the government can’t just keep dining out on its ‘ambitious targets’.

Until the policy and funding gaps are closed, Boris Johnson’s plea to other countries to deliver on their promises at the global climate conference next month will be easy to ignore.”

 Greenpeace 19th Oct 2021

 https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/latest-updates/?news_type=press-release

October 21, 2021 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

Tamil Nadu leaders call for a nuclear-free zone, and stopping of development of Kudankulam project

TAMIL NADU Declare T.N. a nuclear free zone, say leaders   https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/declare-tn-a-nuclear-free-zone-say-leaders/article37100662.ece 20 Oct 21, They express concern over KKNPP

Leaders of political parties, led by VCK chief Thol. Thirumavalavan, on Wednesday sought to declare Tamil Nadu a “nuclear-free zone”.

At a press conference here, he said the unscientific disposal of radioactive waste from the nuclear reactor at Kudankulam was likely to increase the risk to public health. “Experts have said some of the reasons for the disaster in Chernobyl and Fukushima were similar to the existing conditions at Kudankulam,” he said.

Pointing to the issues in the disposal of radioactive waste from the Kudankulam reactor, Mr. Thirumavalavan said the Union Government had continued such activities which were dangerous to people. “The Union Government should suspend the operations pertaining to the third and fourth reactors. It should announce the location of the deep geological repository before conducting the public consultations on the development of the facility away from reactor.”

The government should not develop the fifth and sixth reactors too, he added.

The group of leaders called for a White Paper on the Kudankulam project and the withdrawal of cases against the residents who protested against the project.

The first reactor was stopped for maintenance from June 22 and resumed operations on September 2. After 35 days, it was stopped again. The frequent disruption of operations and snags had increased the risk of disaster, a release said.

October 21, 2021 Posted by | India, politics | Leave a comment

If nuclear is at the heart of our trip to net-zero, then it is a rotten heart.

A substantial step forward, or huge letdown? The green economy reacts to the Net-Zero Strategy. The UK’s Net-Zero Strategy is finally here, but the reaction to the nation’s blueprint to decarbonisation ranges from those believing it provides much-needed clarity for business to others claiming it does nowhere near enough to drive all parts of the economy to net-zero by 2050.

Tom Burke, chair, E3G said “New nuclear power can do nothing to help the UK achieve a net-zero power system by 2035. It will, however, take away a huge amount of public investment from things that could get us to net-zero cheaper and faster. If nuclear is at the heart of our trip to net-zero, then it is a rotten heart.”

 Edie 19th Oct 2021

https://www.edie.net/news/11/A-substantial-step-forward–or-huge-letdown–The-green-economy-reacts-to-the-Net-Zero-Strategy/

October 21, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment