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The European Commission struggles with push to have nuclear power included as clean and sustainable

The Green Brief: Gas, nuclear and the EU taxonomy saga

By Frédéric Simon and Kira Taylor | EURACTIV.com 27 Oct 21, ……………………………..The EU taxonomy regulation has created three categories for sustainable investments: “green”, “enabling” and “transition”. In an interview with the FT, McGuiness said a possible compromise could be to create a new “amber” category for activities that are not “green” as such but are still helpful for the green transition. The Commission is also looking at redefining the “transition” category to prevent the taxonomy from becoming too “binary”, McGuiness said.

With the creation of a new intermediate category, and the definition of clear sustainability thresholds for nuclear and gas, the European Union may just have found the answer to a question that has been bogging down the taxonomy for years.

Some will denounce it as a fudge and an assault on the EU’s green objectives. Others will call it a pragmatic answer to one of the trickiest questions posed by the energy transition.

October 29, 2021 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE | Leave a comment

The big climate crisis we aren’t talking about: is nuclear winter coming?

The big climate crisis we aren’t talking about: Is nuclear winter coming?  https://www.salon.com/2021/10/27/the-big-climate-we-arent-talking-about-is-nuclear-winter-coming/

America’s aging arsenal of land-based nuclear missiles could far too easily lead to total climate catastrophe

By NORMAN SOLOMON, OCTOBER 27, 2021

When world leaders gather in Scotland next week for the COP26 climate change conference, activists will be pushing for drastic action to end the world’s catastrophic reliance on fossil fuels. Consciousness about the climate emergency has skyrocketed in recent years, while government responses remain meager. But one aspect of extreme climate jeopardy — the prospect of “nuclear winter” — has hardly reached the stage of dim awareness.

Wishful thinking aside, the threat of nuclear war has not receded. In fact, the opposite is the case. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has been moving the “Doomsday Clock” ever closer to cataclysmic midnight; the symbolic hands are now merely 100 seconds from midnight, in contrast to six minutes a decade ago.

A nuclear war would quickly bring cataclysmic climate change. A recent scientific paper, in sync with countless studies, concludes that in the aftermath of nuclear weapons blasts in cities, “smoke would effectively block out sunlight, causing below-freezing temperatures to engulf the world.” Researchers estimate such conditions would last for 10 years. The Federation of American Scientists predicts that “a nuclear winter would cause most humans and large animals to die from nuclear famine in a mass extinction event similar to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs.”

While there’s a widespread myth that the danger of nuclear war has diminished, this illusion is not the only reason why the climate movement has failed to include prevention of nuclear winter on its to-do list. Notably, the movement’s organizations rarely even mention nuclear winter. Another factor is the view that unlike climate change, which is already happening and could be exacerbated or mitigated by policies in the years ahead, nuclear war will either happen or it won’t. That might seem like matter-of-fact realism, but it’s more like thinly disguised passivity wrapped up in fatalism. 

In the concluding chapter of his 2017 book “The Doomsday Machine,” Daniel Ellsberg warns: “The threat of full nuclear winter is posed by the possibility of all-out war between the United States and Russia. … The danger that either a false alarm or a terrorist attack on Washington or Moscow would lead to a preemptive attack derives almost entirely from the existence on both sides of land-based missile forces, each vulnerable to attack by the other: each, therefore, kept on a high state of alert, ready to launch within minutes of warning.”

Ellsberg adds that “the easiest and fastest way to reduce that risk — and indeed, the overall danger of nuclear war — is to dismantle entirely” the Minuteman III missile force of ICBMs comprising the land-based portion of U.S. nuclear weaponry.

The current issue of The Nation includes an article that Ellsberg and I wrote to emphasize the importance of shutting down all ICBMs. Here are some of its key points:

Four hundred ICBMs now dot the rural landscapes of Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wyoming. Loaded in silos, those missiles are uniquely — and dangerously — on hair-trigger alert. Unlike the nuclear weapons on submarines or bombers, the land-based missiles are vulnerable to attack and could present the commander in chief with a sudden use-them-or-lose-them choice.”

Former Defense Secretary William Perry wrote five years ago: “First and foremost, the United States can safely phase out its land-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) force, a key facet of Cold War nuclear policy. Retiring the ICBMs would save considerable costs, but it isn’t only budgets that would benefit. These missiles are some of the most dangerous weapons in the world. They could even trigger an accidental nuclear war.”

“Contrary to uninformed assumptions, discarding all ICBMs could be accomplished unilaterally by the United States with no downsides. Even if Russia chose not to follow suit, dismantling the potentially cataclysmic land-based missiles would make the world safer for everyone on the planet.”


Frank von Hippel, a former chairman of the Federation of American Scientists who is co-founder of Princeton’s Program on Science and Global Security, wrote this year: “Strategic Command could get rid of launch on warning and the ICBMs at the same time. Eliminating launch on warning would significantly reduce the probability of blundering into a civilization-ending nuclear war by mistake. To err is human. To start a nuclear war would be unforgivable.”

“Better sooner than later, members of Congress will need to face up to the horrendous realities about intercontinental ballistic missiles. They won’t do that unless peace, arms-control and disarmament groups go far beyond the current limits of congressional discourse — and start emphasizing, on Capitol Hill and at the grassroots, the crucial truth about ICBMs and the imperative of eliminating them all.”

At the same time that the atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases have continued to increase, so have the dangers of nuclear war. No imperatives are more crucial than challenging the fossil fuel industry and the nuclear weapons industry as the terrible threats to the climate and humanity that they are.

October 29, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The French Négawatt program presents its 2022 scenario for getting France to fully renewable nuclear-free energy system

A nuclear-free future is possible, according to Négawatt. The Négawatt association presented its 2022 scenario for a France with fully renewable and nuclear-free electricity production by 2050. It hopes that its proposals, which are urgently to be implemented, will be taken up by the presidential candidates.

Energy consumption halved, electricity production 100% from renewable sources, 500,000 jobs created… This is what France could look like in 2050, if we are to believe the latest edition of the Négawatt scenario published on Tuesday 26 October .

The trajectory described by the eponymous association is not science fiction, assures its director, Stéphane Chatelin. Developed from detailed modeling of our energy system, this scenario shows that it is possible to achieve carbon
neutrality in 2050 without resorting to nuclear power. And proposes a concrete strategy to achieve it.

 Reporterre 26th Oct 2021

October 29, 2021 Posted by | France, renewable | Leave a comment

NATO and Washington spoiling for another war

Washington always looking for another war  http://space4peace.blogspot.com/2021/10/washington-always-looking-for-fight.html

  NATO ‘Master Plan’ aimed at Russia  BRUCE K. GAGNON , BATH, MAINE, UNITED STATES,

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran…a sign of psychopathology for sure.

It didn’t take long for the US to up the ante with China and Russia. So soon after the crushing defeat from 20 years of death and destruction in Afghanistan we find Washington stirring the fire pit and looking for more trouble.

It’s really no surprise. Just take a close look at US history – one filthy war after the other.

Just this past week we’ve seen ‘F the EU’ Victoria Nuland go to Moscow hoping for an audience with Putin. She only got to meet with lower level, but competent Russian diplomats, and came away with nothing other than furthering the divide between our two nations. Actually, that might have been the US strategy. 

The word is that Nuland went in with a list of Washington’s demands. Russia said ‘nyet’ and handed Nuland a list of their own. Of course Nuland said ‘No’ and was then sent packing back to the US.

Secretary of War Lloyd Austin (former Raytheon board member) just stopped in Georgia, Ukraine, and Romania before heading to Brussels for hand-wringing with the NATO clowns. 

Austin stated during a news conference in Bucharest that the purpose of these visits was to highlight “the importance of deepening cooperation among our Black Sea allies and partners to deter and defend against Russian malign activities in the region.” 

That’s the political hype. His real purpose in Georgia, Ukraine, and Romania? Spur them to make trouble for Moscow in any way and every way they possibly can. And I’m sure Austin said the magic words, ‘Of course the US will back you if you get into a fight with Russia. First, we’ll supply you with more weapons and plant more of our troops in your nation to protect you from the Russian bear.’ 

At the Brussels meeting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the following:


  • Allies will kick off a $1.16 billion NATO Innovation Fund to develop dual-use emerging and disruptive technologies. NATO will also establish its first artificial intelligence strategy to incorporate data analysis, imagery, and cyber defense.
  • The allies are spending more on defense and they agreed to increase the readiness of forces.
  • Significant improvements are being made to alliance air and missile defenses. NATO calls for strengthening conventional capabilities with fifth-generation jets, adapting exercises and intelligence, and improving the readiness and effectiveness of the nuclear deterrent.
    • We exchanged views on how to preserve the gains and ensure Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists.
    • NATO’s new strategy ensures that the alliance will have “the right forces in the right place at the right time.”They also characteristically took at shot at China from behind the safe walls of NATO HQ in Brussels with a stream of rhetoric.

Austin’s remarks followed the completion of a two-day NATO ministerial where he said officials offered “unique perspectives” on China, which he noted remains the Pentagon’s “primary pacing challenge.”

“Indeed, I applaud NATO’s work on China and I made it clear that the United States is committed to defending the international rules-based order which China has consistently undermined for its own interests,” Austin told reporters.

At an October 21 CNN town hall, Joe Biden was asked about China.

“I just want to make China understand that we are not going to step back, we are not going to change any of our views.” Biden said. Asked whether the US would come to Taiwan’s defense if it were attacked, he replied: “Yes, we have a commitment to do that.”

  • Now let’s analyze this NATO meeting and the comments on China just a bit.First, who has Russia invaded? Since the US orchestrated coup in Ukraine in 2014 (when the Russian-ethnic people in Crimea voted to ask Russia to take them back into the federation) there has been no invasion of anyone near its borders. At the same time US-NATO has been holding war games repeatedly all along Russian borders. When Moscow has responded by holding counter-war games inside its own country Washington and Brussels have howled in condemnation. Talk about a double-standard!And please note the words above by Austin – “I applaud NATO’s work on China” – just what does that mean? 
  • NATO has gone global. The North Atlantic Treaty Alliance has now decided that it should be ‘defending democracy in the Pacific’. Who is the aggressor in this case? What right does NATO have to decide it is the new global cop?
  • Can’t lick Afghanistan so let’s take on China & Russia
    NATO has no legitimate reason to exist today – the Soviet Union and their Warsaw Pact Alliance are long gone. Russia just built an undersea natural gas pipeline called Nord Stream 2 to furnish fuel to Europe in order to help alleviate their current energy crisis. It’s a big business deal for Moscow. Why would Russia want war with Europe?The insanity of US-NATO is exposed for anyone willing to see the obvious. Washington and Brussels got their high-tech asses kicked by a ill-armed rag-tag but determined Taliban in Afghanistan. Now they somehow dream that they can take on both China and Russia who have formed a military alliance as they watch the NATO endless war machine heading their way.
  • I understand that all these moves by US-NATO absolutely benefit the military industrial complex which has installed one of their agents (Lloyd Austin) as secretary of war. But do these psychopaths actually believe they can start a war with China and Russia and possibly win? Don’t they know that such a war would go nuclear in a hot flash?

It’s obvious that the US-NATO war cabal are blinded by power and greed. There can be no other explanation that comes close to making sense.

It’s a dangerous and dirty game these fat cats are playing – at the same time that climate crisis rages in our faces, legions of people face evictions from their homes, and the basic cost of living goes sky high.

Are we heading for a collapse in the US and around the globe? How could that not be happening under these present conditions? 

And the US-NATO response? 

How about another war?

Which party in Washington is leading this descent into hell?

October 29, 2021 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Stiff opposition to Japan PM’snuclear push as election approaches

Japan PM’s nuclear push faces resistance ahead of election, By Sakura Murakami,   KASHIWAZAKI, Japan, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s push to restart Japanese nuclear power plants idled after the Fukushima disaster faces stiff opposition ahead of a general election on Sunday, where his future as leader hangs in the balance if the vote is tight.

A decade after triple meltdowns at Fukushima forced mass evacuations and a shut-down of the nuclear industry, Japan has restarted only a third of its 33 operable reactors.

Debate over whether to fire more of them back up is highly charged, with 40% of the population opposing the move.

It matters most in rural cities hosting the idled plants which had once relied on them for economic activity, such as Kashiwazaki, 265 km (165 miles) northwest of Tokyo – home to the world’s largest atomic power complex.

“The reason why we feel so strongly about this is because we feel the danger of the nuclear power plant – it hangs over our heads every day,” said Mie Kuwabara, a resident of a town close to Kashiwazaki and anti-nuclear activist.

Voters mostly care about economic recovery from the pandemic. But energy policy came into sharp focus last month, when Kishida beat a popular anti-nuclear candidate in the race for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) chief.

The architect of Kishida’s victory, party veteran Akira Amari, assumed a key party post and immediately pushed for restarts of 30 reactors while also promoting new, smaller reactors to replace ageing ones…….

Amari faces a tight race in his home district, where he is struggling to attract support from anti-nuclear junior coalition partner, Komeito.

Opposition to his plan is strong in Kashiwazaki too.

“This prefecture as a whole, even within the LDP, is united behind the idea that the nuclear power plant can’t be restarted,” said Mineo Ono, who runs the LDP’s local chapter where anti-nuclear proponent Taro Kono polled higher than Kishida in the leadership race vote.

Ono cited local distrust caused by what he called multiple mishaps by the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Holdings (Tepco) (9501.T).

………… even the local chamber of commerce, instrumental in wooing the plant which started operations in 1985, says it is tired of what it sees as Tepco’s repeated failures.

“It’s almost unbearable, seeing how shoddy they are,” said chamber of commerce chief Masao Saikawa………..  

Reporting by Sakura Murakami; Additional reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Antoni Slodkowski and Lincoln Feast  https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/japan-pms-nuclear-push-faces-resistance-ahead-election-2021-10-27/ 

October 29, 2021 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Electricite de France (EDF) will not proceed with Sizewell nuclear project unless the UK govt institutes tax – the Regulated Asset Base

 Stop Sizewell C denounces the government’s announcement today of legislation for a new tax on consumer energy bills to help build nuclear power stations such as Sizewell C. The Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model would transfer substantial upfront costs, and considerable risk, onto consumers already struggling with rising energy bills and other tax
increases.

Developer EDF Energy estimates Sizewell C – which does not have planning consent and may never get it – would cost at least £20 billion and has made no secret that the project could not proceed without a RAB. The announcement is clearly earmarked for large-scale nuclear projects, as Rolls Royce says it doesn’t anticipate using RAB for Small
Modular Reactors. The government is moving with extreme haste, with the second reading of the bill tomorrow.

 Stop Sizewell C 26th Oct 2021

https://stopsizewellc.org/category/news/

October 29, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, politics, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Ireland European Commissioner considers joining the push to classify nuclear as acceptable in the energy transition to sustainability.

McGuinness moves towards including gas and nuclear in green transition

Irish commissioner in eye of storm as member states row amid energy crisis

Irish Times, Oct 26, 2021, Naomi O’Leary Europe Correspondent . Ireland’s European Commissioner Maireád McGuinness is moving closer to classifying nuclear energy and gas as having a role to play in the transition to climate neutrality as an energy price crisis consumes the European Union.
Soaring electricity bills have made the issue politically explosive as the European Commission prepares to release the second part of its so-called taxonomy, which determines what activities are eligible for funding by green bonds, and therefore billions of euro in budget and Covid-19 stimulus cash directed towards the EU’s goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.


France
 has lobbied intensely for nuclear energy to be classified as green, and plans to invest massively in the sector. But the inclusion of nuclear has been fiercely resisted by other countries, including Italy and Germany, which has almost completed a planned phase-out of the fuel begun in response to the 2011 Fukushima accident.

Other member states, including Greece, have demanded that natural gas be acknowledged as a good replacement for dirtier fuels though this is abhorred as “greenwashing” by climate groups……..

The deep divisions between member states over the energy issue were evident as they met in Luxembourg for an extraordinary summit on Tuesday dedicated to addressing the electricity cost crisis, which has been spurred by dramatic increases in the price of gas due to a combination of factors including demand in Asia and tight supplies from Russia.

Ireland was among a group of nine northern member states to back a quicker shift to renewable energy, and to reject a call led by Spain and France for EU-level intervention to change how the energy market works to counter price rises.

“We’re coming into the winter and the big concern not just in Ireland but across Europe. was how do we protect people from the rising price of energy, how do we keep vulnerable people warm in their homes this winter,” Minister of State Ossian Smyth said as he left the meeting.

“In the medium term, we also need to think about what we need to do to prevent this kind of crisis from happening again. How do we avoid dependence on foreign powers or unstable areas for our supply of gas, and how can we move faster towards energy independence in clean energy sources like renewables.” https://www.irishtimes.com/business/innovation/mcguinness-moves-towards-including-gas-and-nuclear-in-green-transition-1.4711205

October 29, 2021 Posted by | climate change, Ireland, politics | Leave a comment

Nuclear power is a divisive issue in France, leading up to the election.

 Nuclear power, a surprise and divisive subject of the presidential
campaign. With the increase in energy prices and the climate emergency, the
future of the French nuclear fleet has become a central theme of the
electoral campaign. Six months before the ballot, the main candidates have
very disparate positions.

 Les Echos 25th Oct 2021

https://www.lesechos.fr/elections/presidentielle/le-nucleaire-sujet-surprise-et-clivant-de-la-campagne-presidentielle-1358170

October 29, 2021 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

World heading for catastrophe without bolder climate plans, UN warns.


World heading for catastrophe without bolder climate plans, UN warns. The
world is way off course from averting climate disaster, and countries’
new commitments to cutting greenhouse gas emissions – unveiled ahead of
the Cop26 climate summit – “fall far short” of what is required to
reach net zero by 2050, the UN has warned.

With just days to go before the
critical summit, the UN Environment Programme has found countries’
updated “nationally determined contributions” or NDCs – which set out
the level of carbon emissions cuts they are planning – only take a
further 7.5 per cent off projected global emissions for 2030, while cuts of
55 per cent are needed to meet the 1.5C Paris goal. That means the current
plans would need to have seven times the level of ambition to remain under
that limit.

 Independent 26th Oct 2021

 https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/unep-emissions-gap-cop26-catastrophe-b1945011.html

October 29, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

War hawks quietly positioning Canada to participate in US-led Ballistic Missile Defence program

War hawks quietly positioning Canada to participate in US-led Ballistic Missile Defence program,  The Canada Files: Joyce Nelson  , 20 Sept 21, 

During the 2021 federal election campaign, there has been almost no emphasis or discussion in the media on the Liberal government’s plan to spend more than $553 billion on the military over the next 20 years, including the awarding of contracts for purchase of military fighter jets and armed drones in the next few months. The contracts for new frigates have already been awarded, including design components by Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and BAE Systems.

Even more telling, there has been virtual silence about the fact that Canada is quietly being moved into position to participate in U.S. ballistic missile defence (BMD) – a hot-button issue in Canada since December 2001, when U.S. President George W. Bush withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

Since then, the U.S. has spent more than $100 billion attempting to build a missile shield, and for almost two decades the U.S. and defense industry lobbyists (Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin) have been pressuring Canada to join in.

In January 2021, CBC News reported, “The recent Liberal defence policy reaffirmed the 2005 decision by Paul Martin’s government to remain on the sidelines of any continental BMD effort, despite pleas from both the Senate and House of Commons defence committees to reconsider joining.”

Only six months later, however, that Liberal policy appears to have dramatically changed.

In fact, the day before the election call, Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a joint statement agreeing to “modernize” NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, and outlining “priority areas for new investments”.

Their August 14th joint statement says: “Canada and the United States share a desire to coordinate in fielding new capabilities to complement and eventually replace the North Warning System with more advanced technological solutions as soon as possible, including next-generation over-the-horizon radar systems that can dramatically improve early warning and persistent surveillance of North American airspace and approaches. Ensuring effective awareness ultimately requires a system-of-systems approach including a network of Canadian and U.S. sensors from the sea floor to outer space.”

“System-of-systems” is Pentagon jargon for BMD.

Political/Defense analyst Keith Jones has stated that this joint commitment is meant to pave the way “for Canada’s participation in the US ballistic missile shield, whose underlying purpose is to enable the US to wage ‘winnable’ nuclear war.” 

That may be why there has been so much silence around the joint statement. If no one knows about it, or what it means, then there can be no opposition to it.

A Bit of History………

Renewed BMD Rhetoric……….

Increased Insecurity Both Russia and China have warned that the Pentagon’s relentless pursuit of ballistic missile defense destabilizes security for their countries and causes nuclear escalation.  

Both Russia and China have warned that the Pentagon’s relentless pursuit of ballistic missile defense destabilizes security for their countries and causes nuclear escalation.  

As Canadian peace activist Peggy Mason, president of the Rideau Institute, recently wrote, “So the untold billions spent by the USA on nuclear modernization and missile defences have played a key role in convincing China that it, too, must increase its nuclear arsenal. Can there be clearer proof of the utter disconnect between the US nuclear posture and the security of that country (and its allies)?”

For a thorough analysis of BMD, a must-read is the lengthy July 26, 2021 report by Ernie Regehr, called “Canada and the Limits to Missile Defence,” available on The Simons Foundation website. Regehr is particularly scathing about U.S. “first strike,” pre-emptive attacks and the chronic strategic destabilization and instability that BMD is causing around the world.

Perhaps a deeper dive into the origins of the missile shield concept will reveal the urgency of stopping it.

A Deeper Dive…….

Canada & BMD Presently, the NDP is further embracing militarism. Their current party platform complains about “outdated” military hardware

and states : “In contracting for new military equipment, including ships and fighter jets, New Democrats will ensure maximum industrial benefits and jobs. This will help ensure the survival of healthy shipbuilding and aerospace industries all across Canada.”

With anti-Russia and China rhetoric so paramount, with militarism and military spending so rampant, and with Canada’s war hawks (especially Harjit Sajjan and Chrystia Freeland) eager to please the U.S., it looks like BMD is quietly back on the federal agenda in Canada.

Ernie Regehr asks the important questions about ballistic missile defence: “Would Canada want to be partnered to a system headed for the weaponization of space? Would Canada want to be a partner in a defence system that depends on pre-emptive attacks?” 

Regehr urges that Canada “maintain its decades-long wariness of strategic missile defence” and instead pursue, “in the company of like-minded states, the arms control/disarmament and prevention strategies on which Canadian and global security really do depend.” https://www.thecanadafiles.com/articles/war-hawks-quietly-positioning-canada-to-participate-in-usa-led-ballistic-missile-defence-program

October 29, 2021 Posted by | Canada, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Belgium: Higher Health Council is very critical of nuclear power

The Higher Health Council very critical of nuclear power. Nuclear power
poses environmental, ethical, health and safety questions, says a
high-level panel of experts. It is possible for Belgium to get out of it,
including with regard to the climate. Extending two reactors is not without
risk.

 Le Soir 25th Oct 2021

https://www.lesoir.be/401941/article/2021-10-25/le-conseil-superieur-de-la-sante-tres-critique-envers-le-nucleaire

October 29, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, health | Leave a comment

UK government pledges Government pledges £1.7bn of public money to new nuclear plant

By making a direct investment in a nuclear plant through the new financial framework, known as a Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model, the government could effectively put both taxpayers and energy bill payers on the hook for costly construction delays.………

Government pledges £1.7bn of public money to new nuclear plant

The Guardian understands the funding is likely to be used to back the planned £20bn Sizewell C, Guardian,   Jillian Ambrose Energy correspondentThu 28 Oct 2021 The government will make its first direct investment in a large-scale nuclear reactor since 1995 after pledging to plough up to £1.7bn of taxpayers’ money into a new power plant.

Treasury documents published alongside the autumn statement did not name which nuclear project would be in line for the public funds, but the Guardian understands it is most likely to be the planned £20bn Sizewell C plant in Suffolk.

Government officials are locked in talks with Sizewell C’s developer, the French state-backed energy company EDF, about how to finance its successor to the Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset………..

The government set out new legislation earlier this week for a financial support framework for nuclear plants which would make the projects more attractive to investors by piling part of the upfront cost on to household energy bills before the plants start generating electricity.

By making a direct investment in a nuclear plant through the new financial framework, known as a Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model, the government could effectively put both taxpayers and energy bill payers on the hook for costly construction delays……….

A spokesperson for the Treasury was not immediately available to comment.

The government’s nuclear ambitions are also backed by £385m for research and development of ‘advanced nuclear’ technologies, and it has set aside £120m to address the nuclear industry’s barriers to entry…..   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/oct/27/government-pledges-17bn-of-public-money-to-new-nuclear-plant

October 29, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Temperature rises over 10 degrees Celsius in some parts of the “frozen earth wall” to reduce contaminated water at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

October 28, 2021

As a countermeasure to reduce the amount of contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, it was found that the temperature of the ground in some parts of the “frozen soil wall”, which freezes the ground around the buildings to prevent the inflow of underground water, has been rising above 0 degrees Celsius since the middle of last month, reaching a maximum of 10 degrees Celsius. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) is investigating the cause of the problem, saying that it does not affect the function of the wall to prevent the inflow of underground water.

The “frozen earth wall” is one of the measures to reduce the amount of contaminated water. Pipes are embedded around the buildings of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and liquid at 30 degrees below zero is poured into the pipes and frozen, forming an “ice wall” that prevents groundwater from flowing into the buildings.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has installed thermometers in the “frozen earth wall” to measure the underground temperature, and in some areas located on the mountain side of the No. 4 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the temperature, which is usually below freezing, has been rising and has been above zero since the middle of last month.

The temperature in the area where the increase was confirmed was between 1 meter and 4 meters deep, and the temperature exceeded 10 degrees Celsius on some days.

The freezing wall is about 10 meters thick, and TEPCO has stated that there is no significant difference in the water level between the inside and outside of the wall, so there is no impact on its ability to control the inflow of groundwater.

It is possible that water leaked from cracks in the drainage channel that intersects the frozen soil wall and seeped into the frozen area, causing the temperature to rise.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20211028/k10013326291000.html?fbclid=IwAR3MBXXF1TlJxKAfYqkv0A5QS9Oddy0SJV86EvVul_HnWKcFSdaWmOH0Vp 8

October 29, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021, Fukushima continuing | , | Leave a comment

Freezing wall to be used for longer period than expected, “trump card” of countermeasure against contaminated water at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, without sufficient verification

 The frozen soil barrier wall at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) was built at a cost of 34.5 billion yen. Initially, TEPCO had planned to finish the work by 2021, but five years have passed since the freeze, and a large amount of contaminated water continues to be generated, with no prospect of even reaching zero. The ice wall, which will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to maintain every year, will enter long-term operation without sufficient verification. (Kenta Onozawa)


Freezing soil with cooling liquid, annual maintenance cost of billions of yen
The freezing wall was built to prevent groundwater from the mountains from entering the buildings where highly radioactive materials such as melted nuclear fuel (debris) remain after the accident. Freezing began in March 2004, and the entire area was frozen in nearly two years. The annual maintenance costs, including electricity for freezing, cost more than one billion yen when the system was first introduced, and TEPCO is bearing the cost.

From December 2007 to January 2009, there were a series of problems with cooling liquid leaking from a total of five frozen pipes. According to TEPCO, all of them are located under the road near the reactor building, and it is highly likely that the vibration of passing vehicles caused fatigue damage to the metal parts.


 TEPCO, which had not envisioned long-term operation of the plant, had been repairing problems only after they occurred, but from this year, it has set a frequency for replacement of parts and will prepare replacement parts in advance. A spokesperson said, “The frozen earth wall is effective and will be used continuously. However, from this year, the frequency of replacement will be set and replacement parts will be prepared in advance.


Groundwater through gaps, limited effect
 ”In March 2006, TEPCO announced that it would build a freeze-earth wall at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
 In March 2006, TEPCO announced an estimate that the frozen soil wall prevented about 95 tons of groundwater per day from entering the buildings. Without the wall, the amount would have been 189 tons per day, and the company stressed that the amount had been halved.
 However, there is a lack of evidence for the estimate, as it was based on an evaluation of the period when there was little rainfall, and it does not distinguish between the effects of other measures, such as the pumping up of groundwater by sub-drainage wells around the building. Toyoshi Sarada, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), has declared that “the main role of groundwater countermeasures is to pump up the sub-drainage.
 At the press conference when the calculations were released, Naohiro Masuda, who was the chief decommissioning officer of TEPCO (now president of JNFL), stated clearly that “we will continue to verify” the effectiveness of the frost wall. However, the spokesman now avoids explaining, saying, “It is difficult to show the effects of individual measures.


Calls from the Regulatory Commission for an alternative plan
Initially, the government and TEPCO had set a goal of stopping the generation of contaminated water by around 2009. However, they still do not know where the groundwater is coming from.
 The amount of contaminated water, which was 490 tons per day in FY2003, was reduced to about 140 tons in FY2008, but zero was not achieved, and the goal was set back to 100 tons in 2013. TEPCO said, “We will continue with the current measures until 2013. After that, we are still studying.


 The cost of maintaining the frost wall will be covered by the electricity bills paid by consumers to TEPCO. In the regulatory commission’s study group, there is a strong opinion among experts that “from the viewpoint of cost-effectiveness, the frozen soil wall should be abandoned and steel plates or concrete walls should be embedded. In response to this opinion, TEPCO simply replied, “We are considering it,” and even 10 years after the accident, there is no end in sight to the contaminated water measures.

https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/117551?fbclid=IwAR22EHyloXPo8UJUlsQrTBreHGz1ZNzT_z11KkUNStmn6p7x6LJ6Sp6uPgA

October 29, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , | Leave a comment

Iran says nuclear talks with six powers to resume by end November

Iran says nuclear talks with six powers to resume by end November, By Parisa Hafezi,   DUBAI, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Iran’s talks with six world powers aimed at reviving a 2015 nuclear deal will resume by the end of November, its top nuclear negotiator said on Wednesday, as Western concerns over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear advances grow.

“Had a very serious & constructive dialogue with @enriquemora_ on the essential elements for successful negotiations. We agree to start negotiations before the end of November,” Ali Bagheri Kani wrote on Twitter after meeting EU officials in Brussels……….

the talks have been on hold since the election of Iran’s hardline President Ebrahim Raisi in June, who is expected to take a tough approach if the talks resume in Vienna.

Raisi, like Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, wants results-oriented talks aimed at bringing Tehran and Washington back into full compliance with the pact……….

Iran has been unable to access tens of billions of dollars of its assets in foreign banks, mainly from exports of oil and gas, due to U.S. sanctions on its banking and energy sectors.Reporting by Dubai Newsroom, Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Alison Williams, Timothy Heritage and Hugh Lawson  https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/iran-ready-direct-talks-with-european-parties-2015-nuclear-deal-press-tv-2021-10-27/

October 29, 2021 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment