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Huge study on France’s energy system and scenarios for 2050 includes costs and environmental effects of nuclear and of renewables

Electricity: between nuclear and renewable energies, six scenarios for 2050. The national manager of the Electricity Transmission Network (RTE) published on Monday, October 25, a vast study aimed at defining the future of the French electricity system. It is an understatement to say that this work was expected, and that it will be commented on.

Launched in 2019 at the request of the government, this forward-looking exercise entitled “Energy Futures 2050”
sets out six scenarios that are supposed to make it possible to achieve carbon neutrality within thirty years, and therefore to fight against climate change. For the country’s future electricity production, the various trajectories range from a “100% renewable energy” option to another with another 50% nuclear.

Each time, RTE, majority-owned by EDF and Caisse des Dépôts, describes the technical feasibility conditions, but also the cost and expected impact for the environment and for society. In addition to this first report of some 600 pages, the full result of the modeling should be made public in early 2022.

 Le Monde 25th Oct 2021

https://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2021/10/25/electricite-entre-le-nucleaire-et-les-energies-renouvelables-six-scenarios-pour-2050_6099789_3234.html

October 28, 2021 Posted by | ENERGY, France | Leave a comment

Response to claims about China’s space aims

Response to claims about China’s space aims, by Michael Wong, 25 Oct 21
The claim –  ”US must build space superhighway before China stakes claims-Senior Space Force Officer.  From “Breaking Defense”: https://breakingdefense.com/2021/10/us-must-build-space-superhighway-before-china-stakes-claims-senior-space-force-officer/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EBB%2010.21.21&utm_term=Editorial%20-%20Military%20-%20Early%20Bird%20Brief

Some quotes with falsehoods: 

  • “China fully intends to extend its “territoriality” to the Moon, flouting international law in exactly the same way as it has with regard to the South China Sea, Brig. Gen. John Olson, chief advisor to Space Force head Gen. Jay Raymond on mobilization and space logistics, asserted today.”   My comment: There is no evidence that China has any such intentions. China has not said anything like that, has not broken any international laws, nor taken any actions that are anywhere near as aggressive as US actions. 
  • “If you read their language, if you read their products — which I am a vigorous student of — if you look at what they do they telegraph everything that they’re going to do, they believe that the Moon is manifest destiny for them” and part of their “economic … and security equation,” Olson said.”  My comment: In the San Francisco Chinese community of which I’m a part, I have many political friends including scholars, retired elected officials, and others who are from Hong Kong, China, or Taiwan, are native Chinese speakers, and follow the news from China and Asia closely.  They have not reported any language, products, or anything else which implies that China believes the moon is “manifest destiny” for China.  Remember American lies about WMD in Iraq, incubator babies thrown on the floor in Kuwait, or the Gulf of Tonkin “incident” in Vietnam?  These are typical American lies to demonize a nation that the US decides to attack, and justify increased US defense money.  
  • “The officer drew a direct line between how Beijing has ignored a World Court ruling on a sovereignty dispute with the Philippines in the South China Sea to how Chinese leaders could act in space, without regard to the prohibitions of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty (OST.)”  My comment: Check out this 11 minute video from a US Marine veteran living in Thailand, which breaks down this whole distorted narrative about China and the South China Sea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=if-fV9U_sWs
  • “…US military space leaders more and more openly paint China as an aggressor in space, with goals of not just world but galactic domination.”  My comment: “…galactic domination???”  Come on, Washington, have you any idea how big the galaxy is? Do you really think China intends to dominate it?  What is it with you guys?  We hippies were the ones doing LSD in the ’60’s, why are you guys the ones hallucinating now? 

Bottom line, it’s all about the money and American domination of the world.  To get more and more of the US national budget, the military industrial complex needs an enemy to justify their existence.  And they project their mindset onto the Chinese, who are a completely different nation and culture, and who simply don’t think like Washington (if you want to read a longer article on the mindset of the Chinese, here’s my take on it: https://peacepivot.org/america-china-life-death-the-long-game/ ). 

October 28, 2021 Posted by | China, space travel | Leave a comment

Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor, who taught others about opposing nuclear weapons, dies at 96.


Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor, who taught others about opposing nuclear weapons, dies at 96, Fox News, 

Sunao Tsuboi was 20 years old when he survived atomic bombing Sunao Tsuboi, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing who made opposing nuclear weapons the message of his life, including in a meeting with President Obama in 2016, has died. He was 96. 

Tsuboi died Oct. 24 in a hospital in Hiroshima in southwestern Japan. The cause of death was given as an irregular heartbeat caused by anemia, Nihon Hidankyo, the nationwide group of atomic bomb survivors he headed until his death, said Wednesday. 

When Obama made his historic visit to Hiroshima, Obama and Tsuboi held each other’s hand in a long handshake and shared a laugh. An interpreter stood by. Tsuboi, a gentle yet passionate man, recalled he tried to talk fast, to tell Obama he will be remembered for having listened to atomic bomb survivors, known in Japanese as “hibakusha.” …………..

“Here it was about annihilation,” he told the AP. 

Tsuboi worked as a junior high school teacher. He was so intent on educating youngsters about anti-nuclear proliferation his nickname became “pikadon sensei,” combining the “flash-boom” onomatopoeia Japanese use to describe the bomb and the word for “teacher.” 

“Never give up” was his trademark phrase, especially for his fight for a world without nuclear weapons. 

Akira Kawasaki of ICAN, or the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a coalition of non-government organizations, said the death of a man who had been the poster boy for anti-nuclear proliferation left him with a “big hole” in his heart. 

We must not only mourn the death of a great leader for our cause, but we must also continue in his path, undeterred, and always remember his words,” he told Japanese public broadcaster NHK TV. …….. https://www.foxnews.com/world/hiroshima-atomic-bomb-survivor-dies-96

October 28, 2021 Posted by | Japan, PERSONAL STORIES, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UK govt slow to commit to Sizewell nuclear project in the long-awaited net zero strategy paper

 The government’s long-awaited net zero carbon strategy paper published within weeks of the COP 26 summit in Glasgow once again fails to give the Sizewell C project the sort of definitive support predicted by its French
initiators, Électricité de France (EdF). In a statement which has drawn much criticism for being unambitious and unrealistic in its attempt to provide finance for the decarbonisation of the housing sector, the
government could not even bring itself to do more than commit £120 million towards the development of nuclear projects through the Future Nuclear Enabling Fund, announcing that ‘There remain a number of optimal sites, including the Wylfa site in Anglesey.’

The only crumb of comfort for the beleaguered nuclear industry is the intention to support ‘one large scale
nuclear project by the end of this Parliament’, but even this is conditional on the need to demonstrate ‘value for money’ and the ‘relevant approvals’, the first of which is a condition that is impossible to comply with from a UK consumer perspective and the second of which is subject to planning inspectorate and Secretary of State approval in the case of Sizewell.

Pete Wilkinson, Chairman of Together Against Sizewell C, said today, ‘While the government has not ruled out Sizewell, its omission from the statement today as well as the absence of any funding decision beyond the tiny by comparison £120m future nuclear fund, gives us hope that the government recognises the Sizewell project as one of significant risk, of huge environmental cost and in a place which could not be more unsuited to such a massive development.

 Essex Magazine 20th Oct 2021

 https://www.essexmagazine.co.uk/2021/10/boris-johnsons-net-zero-strategy-leaves-edf-and-the-nuclear-industry-in-limbo/

October 28, 2021 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

A nuclear arms race is unavoidable without serious intervention.

This one-upmanship will never provide a solution to the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons. The only winning move is to step off the track and return to the negotiating table. The parties to the 1970 nuclear non-proliferation treaty, including the P5 nuclear weapon states, are obliged to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race”. They will meet in January 2022 to take stock of their progress. Diplomacy, for all its certain challenges, is the only path forward.

A nuclear arms race is unavoidable without serious intervention. China, the US and Russia are each investing in highly effective missiles and defence systems,  https://www.ft.com/content/e30c0402-32a1-4c96-846d-48f2a2da7276 Ft.com LAURA GREGO  27 Oct 21, There are conflicting interpretations of the news that China has tested a specialised new long-range missile, capable of carrying a nuclear weapon around the Earth. US officials claimed it was part of a fractional orbital bombardment system (FOBS) which could travel in Earth orbit and then release a manoeuvring vehicle to glide toward a terrestrial target. China’s Foreign Ministry objected to that description, calling the launch simply a test of reusable space technology.

Details may be obscure, but a few things are clear. One, none of these technologies are new, and it should be no surprise that China is capable of fielding them. Two, while China’s nuclear arsenal remains much smaller than that of the US or Russia, Beijing is pursuing strategies to make it larger and more sophisticated. A nuclear arms race is on, absent a serious effort to stop it.  

So why is China building new nuclear delivery systems and modernising its weapons after decades of retaining a modestly sized arsenal? One core driver is to make clear to an unconvinced United States that it is vulnerable to Chinese nuclear retaliation despite enormous investments in missile defences. Many of the technologies China is pursuing, including those believed to have been tested this summer, are designed to overwhelm or evade such defences.  

If this sounds familiar, it should. This dynamic has echoes of the US-Soviet Cold War arms race. Many of the technologies — FOBS, hypersonic gliders, missiles equipped with multiple nuclear warheads — are even the same. It took years for the United States and Soviet Union to arrive at a shared understanding that unconstrained pursuit of missile defences was destabilising the strategic balance.

However, having exited the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty designed to halt that race, the US has been developing a defence against intercontinental-range ballistic missiles for the past two decades. China’s new missiles hedge against the possibility that the United States may one day believe its technical advances permit it to strike China first while remaining invulnerable to a retaliatory nuclear attack.  


If this sounds familiar, it should. This dynamic has echoes of the US-Soviet Cold War arms race. Many of the technologies — FOBS, hypersonic gliders, missiles equipped with multiple nuclear warheads — are even the same. It took years for the United States and Soviet Union to arrive at a shared understanding that unconstrained pursuit of missile defences was destabilising the strategic balance. However, having exited the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty designed to halt that race, the US has been developing a defence against intercontinental-range ballistic missiles for the past two decades. China’s new missiles hedge against the possibility that the United States may one day believe its technical advances permit it to strike China first while remaining invulnerable to a retaliatory nuclear attack.

This one-upmanship will never provide a solution to the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons. The only winning move is to step off the track and return to the negotiating table. The parties to the 1970 nuclear non-proliferation treaty, including the P5 nuclear weapon states, are obliged to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race”. They will meet in January 2022 to take stock of their progress. Diplomacy, for all its certain challenges, is the only path forward.

October 28, 2021 Posted by | ANTARCTICA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear power, as well as nuclear weapons, must be opposed: George Monbiot gets it wrong

Nuclear power, as well as nuclear weapons, should be opposed, https://www.thenational.scot/community/19674158.nuclear-power-well-nuclear-weapons-opposed/ Tor Justad, Chair, HANT (Highlands Against Nuclear Weapons), 27 Oct 21,

I REFER to two recent items in the Sunday National – an interview with environmentalist George Monbiot headed “A chance to lead” (Oct 17) and an item headed “Pressure Grows on Scottish Government to oppose nuclear fusion site” on Oct 24.

HANT (Highlands Against Nuclear Transport) is a campaigning group opposing both nuclear weapons and nuclear power, which aligns with current SNP/Scottish Greens government policy.

There is much to commend in George Monbiot’s article, in which he states his belief that the Scottish Government could show the world a way out of the climate crisis and in particular the idea of pursuing “public luxury” with more public facilities, transport, health services and public land ownership as opposed to increasing private wealth and inequality.

However, he fails to mention his support for nuclear power, which he described in an article in The Guardian in 2011 headed “Why Fukushima made me stop worrying and love nuclear power” in which he argued that nuclear was safer than coal and should be supported together with renewables, which he also has doubts about.

He claimed the effect of Fukushima was small for people and planet – clearly untrue, as 150,000 people had to be evacuated from the area and radiation spread over a wide area. 18,000 people were killed by the tsunami which caused the disaster – the clean-up by thousands of workers will continue for 30 years.

In relation to nuclear fusion, HANT stated its opposition to a pilot project proposed for Dounreay in Caithness and it has recently been announced that the bid for the project was unsuccessful.

HANT supports Scottish CND’s opposition to the nuclear fusion project proposed for Ardeer in Ayrshire and urges the Scottish Government to oppose this project.

Attempts to harness nuclear fusion have been made in several countries for the last 70 years costing millions of pounds without success, and as Scottish CND points out there are concerns about safety, the production of waste and the potential link to nuclear weapons production.

Both support for new nuclear and support for nuclear fusion projects, along with proposals for small modular reactors, are all desperate attempts by the nuclear industry to revive nuclear at a time when it is in decline worldwide.

HANT would urge the Scottish Government to maintain its policy of opposition to nuclear weapons and to nuclear power of any kind.

October 28, 2021 Posted by | spinbuster, UK | 1 Comment

America’s F-35 fighter jet to quietly join the nuclear arsenal

The F-35 is one step closer to carrying nuclear bombs. What’s next??

America’s most advanced fighter jet is on its way to becoming the newest addition to the nuclear arsenal.

The Air Force recently wrapped up the flight testing needed to ensure the B61-12 thermonuclear bomb design is compatible with the F-35A Lightning II, paving the way for the jet to begin carrying nuclear weapons. The airframe must still become certified to conduct nuclear operations as well.

By Rachel S. Cohen  Two F-35As launched realistic test versions of the B61-12 for the first time on an unspecified date earlier this year at the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada, the Air Force said Oct. 6. Past versions of the B61 have relied on gravity to drop onto their targets, but the newest design can also hit coordinates using digital guidance…………….

The F-35′s atomic ambitions are a piece of the country’s nuclear modernization plan — slated to cost $634 billion from 2021 to 2030 alone — that flies under the radar…………….. https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2021/10/27/the-f-35-is-one-step-closer-to-carrying-nuclear-bombs-whats-next/

October 28, 2021 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pumice may affect nuclear power plants in Japan

to me
to me

Pumice may affect nuclear power plants in Japan

Pumice may affect nuclear power plants in Japan, https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20211027_36/      Japan’s nuclear regulator says a massive number of pumice stones drifting in waters in the country’s southwest could affect domestic nuclear power plants.

Ishiwatari Akira, a member of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, told a regular meeting on Wednesday that the stones may affect the intake of water used for cooling nuclear reactors.

The pumice stones are being washed ashore on the coast of Okinawa Prefecture and the Amami region of Kagoshima Prefecture. They come from an undersea volcanic eruption near the Ogasawara island chain in the Pacific Ocean in August.

Japan’s nuclear regulator says a massive number of pumice stones drifting in waters in the country’s southwest could affect domestic nuclear power plants.

Ishiwatari Akira, a member of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, told a regular meeting on Wednesday that the stones may affect the intake of water used for cooling nuclear reactors.

The pumice stones are being washed ashore on the coast of Okinawa Prefecture and the Amami region of Kagoshima Prefecture. They come from an undersea volcanic eruption near the Ogasawara island chain in the Pacific Ocean in August.

October 28, 2021 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

China squeezed out of Sizewell C nuclear, in UK’s new funding plan.

Ministers moved yesterday to cut China out of involvement in Britain’s
nuclear power sector with a new funding model that will place the risk of
future projects on to consumers. Under plans announced by Kwasi Kwarteng,
the business secretary, investors in new nuclear power stations will see a
return on their money before the plants are even built.

The move will effectively mean that consumers take on the risk of delays and cost
overruns to projects and will start paying for the new plants through their
bills before the reactors are built.

 Times 27th Oct 2021

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/china-squeezed-out-of-sizewell-c-in-plan-to-fund-nuclear-power-mdf5rrvmk

October 28, 2021 Posted by | politics international, UK | Leave a comment