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November 9, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Investor backlash predicted, if European Union were to include Nuclear and Gas as ”Green” in its EU Taxonomy


Net-Zero Alliance Plans to Reject Gas, Nuclear as Green Assets,  
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-11-08/net-zero-alliance-plans-to-reject-gas-nuclear-as-green-assetsBy John Ainger and Alastair Marsh9 November 2021

  • UN-convened asset owners weigh in on taxonomy debate
  •  The group favors separate legislation for energy transition

The European Union will likely face investor backlash if it includes natural gas and nuclear energy in its green rulebook, known as the EU taxonomy.

The United Nations-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, which is part of the wider finance industry’s $130 trillion climate agreement announced last week, wrote in a document that hasn’t been finalized that it would oppose such a decision. Instead, fossil fuels should go into an extension or separate piece of legislation for transition technologies, the group said.

“The Alliance supports a taxonomy that is credible, usable, as well as science- and evidence-based,” according to the document seen by Bloomberg News. The inclusion of gas “would be inconsistent with the high ambition level of the EU taxonomy framework overall.” For nuclear, “it will be of utmost importance to apply strict criteria when assessing” the principle of do-no-significant-harm, “with respect to the other environmental objectives to identify a potential taxonomy alignment,” it said.

The development marks a blow to those EU members who’d hoped the bloc would take a softer stance on gas and nuclear. It also sets the tone for other investors keen to put their net-zero pledges to work, less than a week after international financial institutions representing 40% of total global assets pledged to work toward carbon neutrality by the middle of the century. 

The European Commission is under pressure from member states such as France, which want to include nuclear and gas as key planks of their green transition strategies. The debate has intensified in recent months as energy prices soar amid a lack of supply. A decision on the so-called complementary delegated act is expected in the coming weeks.

Environmental groups have criticized the potential inclusion of gas, arguing it would undermine the EU’s ambition of setting the “gold standard” for green investing. It also would result in the bloc failing to meet its goal of cutting emissions by 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels and becoming carbon neutral by mid-century, they said. For nuclear, meanwhile, there are concerns over the environmental impacts of radioactive waste.

The Net-Zero alliance, whose members include Allianz SE and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, urged the EU Commission, member states and their expert bodies to make sure any decision arrived at is “science and evidence-based,” according to the document.

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November 9, 2021 Posted by | Belarus, business and costs, climate change | 1 Comment

France and other pro nuclear countries push for nuclear to be included as ”sustainable” in EU taxonomy.

Mairead McGuinness urged to reclassify nuclear power as possible ‘green’ solution for EU https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/mairead-mcguinness-urged-to-reclassify-nuclear-power-as-possible-green-solution-for-eu-41028296.html

Irish Commissioner under pressure amid global warming and energy crisis, John Downing .

November 08 2021  Ireland’s EU Commissioner Mairead McGuinness is under pressure to reclassify nuclear power as “green energy”, giving it a central role in the battle against global warming and easing Europe’s energy crisis.

Commissioner McGuinness hopes to decide in the coming weeks on a controversial move which could also give natural gas a transition role in scaling down carbon emissions burning the planet.

Decision time comes amid a major EU energy crisis, with spiralling prices in every member state, and an increasing demand for real action on the pledged 55pc reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 with zero carbon by 2050.

If Ms McGuinness gets the move through the policy-guiding Commission, the issue will then pass to member governments and the European Parliament where battle-lines are already drawn.

On one side, pro-nuclear countries like France will promote the change as a “pragmatic solution” – but others will speak of “greenwashing” and creating more problems to solve immediate issues.

Ms McGuinness told the Irish Independent that member states must ultimately decide their own energy mix whatever the outcome.

There is an important debate ongoing about the role of nuclear energy and natural gas in the transformation of the EU energy sector and their potential inclusion in the EU taxonomy – a classification system for sustainable investments,” Ms McGuinness said yesterday.

“To be part of the EU sustainable investment taxonomy, an energy source must make a significant contribution to the fight against climate change. Nuclear energy is low carbon,” she added.

But she also warned that other aspects of nuclear power were still being studied, looking at “the requirement to do no significant harm” to the environment.

“Right now our work is focusing on scientific reports on this aspect of nuclear power,” Ms McGuinness said.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gave a strong hint on the direction of travel when speaking to reporters after a leaders’ summit in Brussels on October 22.

“The energy mix of the future needs more renewable and clean energy. Alongside this, we also need a stable source, nuclear energy, and during the transition, also natural gas.

“That is why – as called for by many leaders – the Commission is going to come forward with a taxonomy proposal in the near future,” said Ms von der Leyen.

A pivotal issue in all of this will be the attitude taken by the new German government which is expected to be in place by December 6, the feast of St Nicholas and an important national day.

Back in June 2011, the now outgoing German chancellor, Angela Merkel, committed to ending all nuclear power in the state by December 2022.

She will be replaced by Social Democrat leader Olaf Scholz, heading a three-party coalition of the Green Party and the Liberal FBD.

The Green Party is, by definition, committed to ending nuclear power generation in Germany but the current energy crisis, aggravated by undue dependence on Russian natural gas, complicates this matter as coalition negotiations continue.

France gets 70pc of its electricity from nuclear power stations.

Ireland is committed to creating a ‘Celtic Interconnector’, taking power from France via an undersea powerline due for completion by 2026.

France and other pro nuclear countries push for nuclear to be included as ”sustainable” in EU taxonomy.

November 9, 2021 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE | 1 Comment

The Children Who Suffered When a U.S. Nuclear Test Went Wrong

The Children Who SufferedWhen a U.S. Nuclear Test Went Wrong  https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-children-who-suffered-when-a-us-nuclear-test-went-wrong

YEARS OF SUFFERING

In 1954 the U.S. executed its largest nuclear detonation. The people of the Marshall Islands would endure the effects of fallout for years.Walter Pincus Nov. 07, 2021. During the 1954 Castle Bravo test over Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, America executed its largest nuclear detonation, a thousand times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Nuclear fallout rained down on inhabitants of atolls more than 100 miles away, including Rongelap.

What follows is an excerpt of Blown to Hell: America’s Deadly Betrayal of the Marshall Islanders, where Dr. Robert A. Conard, a former Navy doctor who was among those who first examined the Marshall Island natives after Bravo, discovers a new impact of the radioactive fallout on children. Beginning in 1956, as an employee of the Atomic Energy Commission’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, Conard led annual medical examinations of the Rongelapese.

Over the years, Dr. Robert A. Conard and pediatricians he brought with him to Rongelap carefully watched the slow development of several children who had been exposed to the 1954 fallout. In the survey done in March 1963, the doctors’ attention was initially focused on two boys who had been one-year-olds at the time of the fallout.

Both showed early signs of cretinism, a condition of stunted physical and mental growth owing to a deficiency of a thyroid hormone often related to iodine deficiency.

Also of particular interest was the development of a palpable nodule in the thyroid gland of 13-year-old Disi Tima, a fisherman’s daughter, who had been exposed to the Bravo fallout when she was four years old.

November 9, 2021 Posted by | children, OCEANIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Over time, radiation causes damage to the structure of nuclear reactors

Fission reactions also produce intense radiation that causes a deterioration in the nuclear reactor‘s structural materials.

At the atomic level, when energetic radiation infiltrates these materials, it can either knock off atoms from their locations, causing point defects, or force atoms to take vacant spots, forming interstitial defects. Both these imperfections disrupt the regular arrangement of atoms within the metal crystal structure.

And then, what starts as tiny imperfections grow to form voids and dislocation loops, compromising the material’s mechanical properties over time.

How prolonged radiation exposure damages nuclear reactors, Phys org, 7 Nov 21, by Vandana Suresh, Texas A&M University.   New research from Texas A&M University scientists …By using a combination of physics-based modeling and advanced simulations, they found the key underlying factors that cause radiation damage to nuclear reactors,…..

“Reactors need to run at either higher power or use fuels longer to increase their performance. But then, at these settings, the risk of wear and tear also increases,” said Dr. Karim Ahmed, assistant professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering. “So, there is a pressing need to come up with better reactor designs, and a way to achieve this goal is by optimizing the materials used to build the nuclear reactors.”

…………… fission reactions also produce intense radiation that causes a deterioration in the nuclear reactor‘s structural materials. At the atomic level, when energetic radiation infiltrates these materials, it can either knock off atoms from their locations, causing point defects, or force atoms to take vacant spots, forming interstitial defects. Both these imperfections disrupt the regular arrangement of atoms within the metal crystal structure. And then, what starts as tiny imperfections grow to form voids and dislocation loops, compromising the material’s mechanical properties over time.

While there is some understanding of the type of defects that occur in these materials upon radiation exposure, Ahmed said it has been arduous to model how radiation, along with other factors, such as the temperature of the reactor and the microstructure of the material, together contribute to the formation defects and their growth.

“The challenge is the computational cost,” he said. “In the past, simulations have been limited to specific materials and for regions spanning a few microns across, but if the domain size is increased to even 10s of microns, the computational load drastically jumps.”

In particular, the researchers said to accommodate larger domain sizes, previous studies have compromised on the number of parameters within the simulation’s differential equations. However, an undesirable consequence of ignoring some parameters over others is an inaccurate description of the radiation damage……..  https://phys.org/news/2021-11-prolonged-exposure-nuclear-reactors.html

November 9, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety | Leave a comment

Scientists pour cold water on Bill Gates’ nuclear plans

”The recent attention on nuclear energy is fully driven by the declining industry’s desperation for capital and its related lobby depicting it as a solution for climate change,” 

The Natrium reactor is what we call a fast breeder reactor type. These reactors are proliferation nightmares,” 

“They are delivered together with the reprocessing technology that also is necessary to isolate material for nuclear bombs. For that reason alone, I think the ideas of Gates in this respect are outright dangerous,”

Scientists pour cold water on Bill Gates’ nuclear plans  https://www.dw.com/en/scientists-pour-cold-water-on-bill-gates-nuclear-plans/a-59751405

Companies owned by billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are planning to launch the first so-called Natrium nuclear reactor project. Many experts see the project as a misguided attempt to hit CO2 reduction targets.

Bill Gates’ nuclear energy firm TerraPower and power company PacifiCorp — owned by Warren Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway — teamed up in September 2020 to launch the Natrium project. It’s about a small modular reactor they say will be commercially viable by 2030…….

Gates said the site of the reactor to be built by GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy will be in Wyoming, the United States’ top coal-producing state. “We think Natrium will be a game-changer for the energy industry,” he said……….

“They aren’t that small, this is 350 MW,” Antony Froggatt, a research fellow at Chatham House, told DW.

“While much smaller than existing reactors (1,000 MW), they are still large and may not be as modular as intended and this undermines the argument that they can be built in factories and then shipped out, which is how they are supposed to be cheaper,” he warned. ……..

“Bill Gates has continually downplayed the role of proven, safe renewable energy technology in decarbonizing our economy, playing up instead more dangerous and risky technology like geoengineering and nuclear,” Michael E. Mann, professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University, told DW.

Mann, a signatory to a recent declaration calling for decarbonization through 100% renewable energy, says he finds it troubling that Gates is trying to profit now from what he calls  “misdirection.” 

It’s misguided and dangerous, because it leads us down the wrong path. The obstacles to meaningful climate action aren’t technological at this point. They’re political,” Man argued.

Others agree. “Nuclear energy is a diversion from urgent climate action,” Jan Haverkamp of Greenpeace told DW. 

The recent attention on nuclear energy is fully driven by the declining industry’s desperation for capital and its related lobby depicting it as a solution for climate change,” he added.

“New nuclear power, be it large reactors evolved from the existing fleet, or new small designs, can deliver only a marginal part of greenhouse gas emission reduction,” Haverkamp said, adding that a doubling of current capacity would yield less than 4% reduction compared with business as usual.

“It also does so too late and at a far too high cost. To make a dent in greenhouse gas emissions, we would need hundreds of new reactors, spreading the risk of proliferation,” he said.

“The Natrium reactor is what we call a fast breeder reactor type. These reactors are proliferation nightmares,” said Haverkamp. “They are delivered together with the reprocessing technology that also is necessary to isolate material for nuclear bombs. For that reason alone, I think the ideas of Gates in this respect are outright dangerous,” he went on.

“These are what we call PowerPoint reactors: They are in the design phase and before they are ready and tested and approved to go commercial, we will be well beyond 2030, for most of them rather around 2050. That means they have no role to play in urgent climate action,” he added.

Critics say production of these reactors would be a very capital-intensive enterprise. “So my short answer is: No, these reactors will most probably not play any significant role in climate action, if any,” Haverkamp said.

“Today, wind and solar energy are far cheaper, far faster to deploy, and far safer than traditional nuclear plants,” Robert Howarth, professor at Cornell University, told DW. 

“Might the plants envisioned by Gates and Buffet be better than traditional nuclear plants? Perhaps, but this is still just an experiment. And I doubt the claims being made. In any case, they are a distraction, and we are best off giving up on nuclear power and moving to 100% renewables as quickly as we can,” Howarth concluded.

November 9, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

China’s Taishan nuclear power plant remains closed, following fuel leak.

A nuclear reactor in China run by the developers behind Britain’s £20bn
Sizewell C power station remains shut for repair after fuel rods started
leaking.

Inspections are ongoing at the Taishan power plant, where the
reactor was shut in August after radioactivity was found in the cooling
waters. The plant is owned by China General Nuclear (CGN) and France’s
EDF, which are also building the Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset and
Sizewell C in Suffolk, using the same reactor design as at Taishan.

CGN,
which is a minority partner to EDF in Hinkley, has a 20pc development phase
stake in the Sizewell with an option to participate in the construction
phase. The Government is understood to be keen to push CGN out of the
project, however, amid rising concern about Chinese influence in critical
national infrastructure.

There are also hopes that more American investors
would be encouraged to invest if CGN were not involved. Experts have said
cracked fuel rods are “not uncommon” in the industry. An EDF spokesman
said: “The fuel and reactor vessel inspection is still ongoing. The
origin of the fuel rod leakage will only be determined once the analysis is
completed.” The inspection is being carried out under the joint venture
company which runs the plant, TNPJVC, owned 70pc by CGN and 30pc by EDF.

 Telegraph 7th Nov 2021

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/11/07/chinese-reactor-run-sizewell-hinkley-developers-still-shut-leaking/

November 9, 2021 Posted by | China, technology | Leave a comment

The small nuclear reactor salesmen have bamboozled government officials into funding X-Energy, Terra Power and NuScam’s untested projects.

I’m frankly speechless at the success that the proponents of these plants have had in bamboozling … a lot of government officials,” said Peter Bradford, a former member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and former chair of the Maine and New York utility commissions. “They should be shouldering a much heavier burden when it comes to the credibility of what they are saying.”

This Next-Generation Nuclear Power Plant Is Pitched for Washington State; Can It ‘Change the World’?  Hal Bernton / The Seattle Times, 8 Nov 21,

RICHLAND — Near the Columbia River, Clay Sell hopes to launch a new era of nuclear power with four small reactors, each stocked with billiard ball-sized “pebbles” packed full of uranium fuel.

Chief executive officer of Maryland-based X-energy, Sell aims to bring the project online by 2028 as part of a broader attempt to develop safer, more flexible reactors to redefine the nation’s energy future.

These efforts have gained support in the nation’s capital where many Democrats eager to make progress on climate change have joined with Republicans to funnel money into development. The federal Energy Department has received $160 million to help fund X-energy, and the infrastructure bill that cleared Congress on Friday ups that amount to cover almost half the projected $2.2 billion cost of the Washington reactor project.

“We believe what starts here in Washington is going to change the world,” Sell said to public-utility officials gathered Oct. 28 in Kennewick.

X-energy is one of three companies with ties to the Pacific Northwest that have received federal funds to help develop a new generation of small nuclear power plants,

…………………. TerraPower plans to build its project at the site of a Wyoming coal plant in a partnership with a subsidiary of PacifiCorp, a private utility. NuScale is proposing a project in Idaho and has considered eventually locating a unit in Washington state.The nuclear industry, in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere in the nation, has a history of pitching, and sometimes starting, projects that fail to come to pass. Skeptics say these next-generation projects are being oversold and face big challenges in producing competitively priced power without compromising safety and security, and in a time frame soon enough to help reduce carbon emissions by midcentury.

“I’m frankly speechless at the success that the proponents of these plants have had in bamboozling … a lot of government officials,” said Peter Bradford, a former member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and former chair of the Maine and New York utility commissions. “They should be shouldering a much heavier burden when it comes to the credibility of what they are saying.”

The NuScale project in southern Idaho involving small reactors cooled by water is furthest along in development, and has struggled with delays, design changes and escalating cost projections.

NuScale has partnered with a Utah-based utility consortium to develop what initially was proposed to be a power plant with 12 small reactors. The project, which is now forecast to cost $5.1 billion, has since been scaled back to six reactors expected to start coming online in 2029, according to LaVarr Webb, a spokesperson for the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems.

Though Webb says sign-ups to take power are “going very well,” some utilities have had second thoughts and pulled out of participation in the project. As of early November, the consortium had secured contracts to take 22% of the project’s proposed 462 megawatts of power.

Central Washington site?

Sell has found fervent support for X-energy in the Tri-Cities area, the hub of Washington state’s nuclear industry that has long been buoyed by billions of taxpayer dollars flowing into the cleanup of the federal Hanford site, where plutonium produced for U.S. atomic bombs has left a toxic, radioactive legacy.

The Columbia Generating Station, Washington’s only commercial nuclear power plant, is located at the edge of Hanford. And its operator, Energy Northwest, would manage the X-energy reactors under an agreement announced last year.

A third partner is Eastern Washington’s Grant County Public Utility District, which would own the reactors and be responsible in raising about $1 billion in financing.

This utility boasts an abundance of low-cost hydroelectric power, which has attracted to the county Microsoft, Intuit and other companies that require lots of electricity for data centers and other operations.

……..  The costs of power produced by next-generation nuclear are a key concern and source of uncertainty.  Over the past decade, the cost of renewables has plummeted.

 Nordt said… a more in-depth financial review is needed, and Grant County might decide not to move forward with any of these projects.

“We may say, ‘You know, hey, the nuclear path was looking favorable, but it’s not for us right now…..

X-energy pushes ahead

X-energy was created by Kam Ghaffarian, an entrepreneurial Iranian immigrant who founded a major NASA contracting company and other ventures. In 2009, he turned his attention to nuclear power 

………….X-energy’s four reactors would be able to generate 320 megawatts of power, less than one-third the amount of the roughly 1,200 megawatt capacity of the Columbia Generating Station.

The project, with a reactor dubbed Xe-100, would be the state’s first new nuclear power development since the 1970s, when the Washington Public Power Supply System — the initial name for the Energy Northwest utility consortium — tried to build five large nuclear power plants but finished only one in a disastrous effort based on flawed forecasts of future power demand.

The unfinished plants left a bitter legacy — including the largest municipal bond default in U.S. history and, among some, a deep mistrust of the nuclear power industry.

One of the most visible reminders of the Washington Public Power Supply System, which detractors nicknamed “Whoops,” is a massive concrete-domed building that dominates a 100-acre tract close to the Columbia Generating Station. This was supposed to be WPPSS No. 1 but construction halted in 1982 when it was almost 65% complete.

X-energy’s proposal submitted to the Energy Department calls for installing the reactors on 22 acres of this site, which already includes water intakes from the Columbia River.

Next-generation tech

X-energy’s website promotes the helium-cooled reactor as safely producing electricity “in a process that’s as clean as wind and solar.”

The reactor operates at much higher temperatures than the water-cooled nuclear plants now in operation. It is stocked, like a gumball machine, with the pebbles, each of which holds thousands of fuel particles………

The claims of a meltdown-proof fuel are dismissed as “absurd” by Edwin Lyman, a physicist with the Union of Concerned Scientists who has researched nuclear reactor safety for many years.

Lyman questions whether the X-energy reactor would be safe enough to justify a design that does away with costly leak-tight containment buildings standard for the current generation of water-cooled reactors.

He says the safety of TRISO fuel requires the ability to consistently manufacture it to exacting standards. So far, he said, that has not been demonstrated in the United States.

In a report he published this year, Lyman notes a 2019 test of the fuel at a national laboratory in southern Idaho “had to be terminated prematurely” when monitoring indicated “the fuel began to release fission products at a rate high enough to challenge offsite radiation dose limits.”

If the project moves forward, Lyman calls for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to take a more cautious licensing approach that would first approve the reactor as a prototype before moving into commercial production.

“A lot of the rationale for why you would embark on this journey is not supported by the evidence,” Lyman said……….

X-energy’s project in Washington also is receiving pushback in from a Northwest tribe.

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation does not support placing small modular reactors such as those proposed by X-energy or any new nuclear missions at Hanford, according to an Aug. 6 letter to the Energy Department from the chair of the tribes’ board, N. Kathryn Brigham.

The federal Hanford reservation includes areas that rank as the most contaminated nuclear sites in North America. The massive task of treating 177 tanks storing a perilous brew of radioactive and chemical waste, some of which are leaking, represents a huge cleanup challenge.

The letter noted that 1855 treaties ceding millions of acres of land called for the preservation of important rights, including hunting, fishing and gathering. Hanford is partially within these treaty territories, and new reactor development could impact those rights and resources, said Brigham’s letter, which called for consultation to discuss the federal government’s trust responsibility under the treaty.

The tribes’ concerns are shared by the Columbia Riverkeeper, a Northwest environmental group that released a September report blasting small nuclear reactors as an “unacceptable solution to climate change.”

X-energy has yet to apply for a Nuclear Regulatory Commission license to operate the reactor, a complex process that includes an extensive safety review, according to Scott Burnell, a commission spokesperson.

“This has to be competitive”…….  https://www.chronline.com/stories/this-next-generation-nuclear-power-plant-is-pitched-for-washington-state-can-it-change-the,277542

November 9, 2021 Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA | Leave a comment

Unfair restrictions on observers at COP26 climate talks

The legitimacy of the Cop26 climate summit has been called into question
by civil society participants who say restrictions on access to
negotiations are unprecedented and unjust.

As the Glasgow summit enters its
second week, observers representing hundreds of environmental, academic,
climate justice, indigenous and women’s rights organisations warn that
excluding them from negotiating areas and speaking to negotiators could
have dire consequences for millions of people.

Observers act as informal watchdogs of the summit – the eyes and ears of the public during
negotiations to ensure proceedings are transparent and reflect the concerns
of communities and groups most likely to be affected by decisions. But
their ability to observe, interact and intervene in negotiations on carbon
markets, loss and damage and climate financing has been obstructed during
the first week, the Guardian has been told.

 Guardian 8th Nov 2021

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/08/cop26-legitimacy-questioned-as-groups-excluded-from-crucial-talks

November 9, 2021 Posted by | civil liberties, climate change | Leave a comment

The biggest delegation of all at COP26 is that of fossil fuel lobbyists

There are more delegates at COP26 associated with the fossil fuel industry
than from any single country, analysis shared with the BBC shows.


Campaigners led by Global Witness assessed the participant list published
by the UN at the start of this meeting. They found that 503 people with
links to fossil fuel interests had been accredited for the climate summit.


These delegates are said to lobby for oil and gas industries, and
campaigners say they should be banned. “The fossil fuel industry has spent
decades denying and delaying real action on the climate crisis, which is
why this is such a huge problem,” says Murray Worthy from Global Witness.
“Their influence is one of the biggest reasons why 25 years of UN climate
talks have not led to real cuts in global emissions.”

 BBC 8th Nov 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-59199484

 Drill or Drop 8th Nov 2021

November 9, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

At People’s Summit for Climate Justice, campaigners accuse COP26 of failing the climate

COP26: Campaigners accuse UN talks of failing climate as they hold counter
summit for most marginalised. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC) was found guilty of “violating its charter” because it had
“forged an intimate partnership with the corporations”.

At the start of the People’s Summit for Climate Justice, the UNFCCC was also found guilty
of failing to: address global social and economic injustices. recognise,
promote and protect the rights of nature; The Sudanese diplomat, Lumumba Di
Aping, said: “The UNFCCC has allowed itself to be converted at best into
a catering company for the G7, at worst into a carbon noose for the global
south.” Global Justice Now, one of the summit’s organisers, said:
“There’s one technology that the UNFCCC has an unwavering faith in –
it is the market. It promotes the ponzi scheme of capitalism. The UNFCCC no
longer represents us, we need to represent ourselves.”

 Drill or Drop 7th Nov 2021

 https://drillordrop.com/2021/11/07/cop26-campaigners-accuse-un-talks-of-failing-climate-as-they-hold-counter-summit-for-most-marginalised/

November 9, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

The People’s Summit forClimate Justice plans ambitious pressure on governments for real action

 A counter climate summit kicks off in Glasgow on Sunday amid mounting
criticism from activists about greenwashed solutions and stalled action
from corporations and rich nations inside Cop26.

The People’s Summit for Climate Justice will bring together movements and communities from across
the world to amplify voices, ideas and solutions it believes are largely
absent from Cop – including the global green new deal, polluters’
liability, indigenous ecological knowledge and the gulf between net zero
and real zero emissions.

Organisers hope that sharing expertise onequitable and transformative non-market solutions to the climate emergencywill help create a powerful grassroots collective to force governments to
be more ambitious and less beholden to big business.

 Guardian 7th Nov 2021

 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/07/counter-climate-summit-kicks-off-as-activists-lament-cop26-inaction

November 9, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Ethical Investors press Serco to drop bid for contract with the Atomic Weapons Establishment

Best known for its involvement with NHS test and trace during the
coronavirus pandemic Serco is believed to have had plans to compete for
contracts with the Atomic Weapons Establishment, which makes and maintains
warheads. Serco abandoned its bid after investors warned that if the
FTSE250 company began working on nuclear weapons they may have to dump
shares to meet Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards, the
Telegraph first reported. A spokesperson for Serco declined to comment on
the news.

 City AM 7th Nov 2021

November 9, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Winning and losing the nuclear peace

HOW TO AVOID NUCLEAR WAR, War on the Rocks, MICHAEL KREPON  8 Nov 21,  Arms control has become passéRussian and U.S. leaders have cast aside treaties as inconvenient to their pursuit of freedom of action. Republican presidents produced great arms control achievements. At present, most Republican senators and aspirants for higher office denigrate arms control and treaty-making as a failedunnecessary, and unwise pursuit. Arms control provided necessary guardrails in the past. Now, dangerous military practices are on the rise, especially in Ukraine and across the Taiwan Strait. U.S.-Chinese relations are trending toward crisis. Four nuclear-armed states in Asia — ChinaPakistanIndia, and North Korea — are increasing their nuclear arsenals. Every nuclear-armed competitor is relying increasingly on deterrence as the diplomacy of arms control is in the doldrums. If unaltered, these trend lines point toward tragedy.

Many have forgotten what is crucial to remember: Deterrence is dangerous by design and has a track record of failure in lesser cases. ……………………………………..

Those who denigrate arms control forget that, by the end of the Cold War, conditions for lasting nuclear peace were in hand — not because of strengthened deterrence, but because champions of deterrence adopted the practices of arms control. The United States and Russia were no longer enemies. Crucial norms were in place alongside the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which codified national vulnerability, thereby removing one incentive for increased nuclear force levels. Strategic forces were no longer threatening: Indeed, Boris Yeltsin agreed in the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty to the prohibition of land-based missiles carrying multiple warheads. Conditions for strategic, crisis, and arms race stability were therefore at hand. Deep cuts were envisioned. Dangerous military practices were absent. Major powers respected the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of others.

This was the inheritance that Vladimir Putin, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump found unnecessary and inconvenient. ……………………..

In my book, Winning and Losing the Nuclear Peace: The Rise, Demise, and Revival of Arms Control, I propose that we embrace an ambitious goal of extending the three norms of no use, no testing, and no new proliferation to the 100th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki…………………………………………..

Michael Krepon is the co-founder of the Stimson Center and the author of Winning and Losing the Nuclear Peace: The Rise, Demise, and Revival of Arms Control, from which this essay is drawn.   https://warontherocks.com/2021/11/how-to-avoid-nuclear-war/

November 9, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, resources - print, weapons and war | Leave a comment

How Bodega Head almost ended up with a nuclear power plant – but a resistant commmunity won.


How Bodega Head almost ended up with a nuclear power plant,  
https://www.sonomacountygazette.com/sonoma-county-news/how-bodega-head-almost-ended-up-with-a-nuclear-power-plant/. TOM AUSTIN. November 8, 2021   Bodega Bay, and nearby Bodega, have deeper histories than most Sonoma County towns. Being a pristine, protected natural harbor will do that for you. Bodega Bay was nearly the landing spot for Sir Francis Drake, although recent finds have pretty conclusively held that Drake’s Bay in nearby Pt. Reyes is properly named. Bodega Bay was named after Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, an explorer for the Spanish Navy –except where HE landed was nearby Tomales Bay. And of course both seaside hamlets are famous for being the locale for the classic Hitchcock thriller “The Birds.”

However, the most significant happening in Bodega Bay is of much more modern vintage. In 1958, four full years before Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” ignited the modern environmental movement, PG&E was planning the world’s first commercially viable nuclear power plant. In an absolutely characteristic example of Big Power’s public instincts, they had chosen scenic Bodega Head as the location for this Atomic Age wonder. “What could go wrong?” they chirped. “Nuclear power is clean, safe and limitless!”

Of course, it wasn’t just scenic wonder at stake here. Bodega Head, as most people know, is within spitting distance of the San Andreas Fault (running along the shoreward side of the bay), and even closer to two smaller faults straddling Bodega Head itself.

The full story of the fight over the Bodega Head nuclear plant would be book-length, so please pardon my brevity here. The cast of characters are timeless: on the “pro” side: PG&E itself, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, and nuclear advocates across political spectra (at the time, nuclear was considered by many environmentalists to be less damaging than, for example, hydroelectric power from dams). On the “con” side was the whole spectrum: The Sierra Club (or at least factions within it) was concerned about the loss of a wild and scenic place: the local ranchers and fishermen were concerned about the dangers to their livelihood; the nascent New Left that started gaining steam in the early ‘60s were concerned about the antidemocratic nature of the pro-business, pro-development organizations pushing for the plant.

The fight was long, protracted and dirty. From 1958 to 1962, as opposition was just coalescing, PG&E continued planning and started building, getting a series of approvals and permits from apparently compliant state and local governments. The building for the main reactor, located on the harbor side of the Head, included a 70-foot-deep circular pit. As construction continued, the opponents were educating far and wide about the dangers of nuclear power, the earthquake danger, the thermal effects on local fisheries and more. In 1962, “Silent Spring” was published, and the environmental movement grew ever faster: musicians were performing at benefits and writing anti-nuclear songs. However, it was the earthquake danger that eventually served as the deal-breaker: UC Berkeley Conservation Editor David Pesonen, one of the leaders of the opposition, hired Geologist Pierre Saint-Amand to consult on the suitability of the proposed plant site. Saint-Amand found a “spectacular” earthquake fault slicing directly through the deep pit. His testimony that “a worse foundation condition… would be difficult to envision.” His argument was the tipping point, as political supporters started peeling away from PG&E, who at length threw in the towel and suspended construction in October 1963.

What remains at the site today is a quiet spot favored by songbirds. Rainwater filled the pit and turned it into a pond. The rest, you know: when you spot whales at the Head, or walk the trails nearby. If you venture a little bit north, you find the Kortum trail, named after local environmentalist Bill Kortum (1927-2014), one of many citizen leaders of the fight. The reverberations are still being felt today.

November 9, 2021 Posted by | history, opposition to nuclear, Reference, USA | Leave a comment