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Nuclear news as COP26 closes

It’s all about COP26 this week, but the pandemic persists.And- the media’s gone quiet on nuclear issues, – but at COP26 and elsewhere, the nuclear lobby is working away relentlessly.

The greenest energy is the energy we don’t use

COP26 – while some progress has been made, a current policy world of 2.6C or 2.7C warming is still one with potentially catastrophic impacts on human and natural systems. COP 26 waters down the prospects of world action to stop coal pollution.

COP26 – Why Nuclear is NOT a Solution. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjSMd1pmsqQ EU states split on classifying nuclear energy as ‘green’.  Is nuclear power the way forward to combat the climate crisis? – Allison Macfarlane cautions.

Action on global heating? Inadequate COP26 kept this possibility alive, by just a thread. Experts alarmed at the weakening of climate targets at COP26. “Cover decision” – a draft outcome of COP26 climate talks – planet still headed for 2.4C of warming above pre-industrial levels. New draft of climate deal of COP26 weakens plans to get rid of fossil fuels

The People’s Summit for Climate Justice plans ambitious pressure on governments for real action. At People’s Summit for Climate Justice, campaigners accuse COP26 of failing the climateGreta Thunberg and youth activists filing legal petition to UN, urging for a declaration of “system-wide climate emergency”. 

Study shows that the biggest delegation of all at COP26 is that of fossil fuel lobbyists. Unfair restrictions on observers at COP26 climate talks. Honest Government Ad | Net Zero by 2050 .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FqXTCvDLeo  Carbon capture and storage – not all that it’s cracked up to be. China and Saudi Arabia blocking progress towards a deal at COP26.

cross-continental electricity interconnector grid system may be a practical option for renewable energy.

Nuclear weapons. The environmental dimension of the use of nuclear weapons. Nuclear War and Climate Change: The Urgency for Action .

ICAN and PAX show how despite $billions still going to nuclear weapons, – $63 billion has moved away from this funding. “Perilous Profiteering: The companies building nuclear arsenals and their financial backers

Escalation of nuclear tensions between USA and China as a result of the AUKUS deal. Winning and losing the nuclear peace.

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

Wind and solar can supply most of world’s energy needs, most of the time, says study.

Bitcoin could be nuclear power’s last hope of salvation?

EUROPEInvestor backlash predicted, if European Union were to include Nuclear and Gas as ”Green” in its EU Taxonomy. Germany, Denmark, Luxembourg, Austria and Portugal warn against including nuclear in the proposed EU taxonomy. France and other pro nuclear countries push for nuclear to be included as ”sustainable” in EU taxonomy.. Europe’s dilemma over whether or not to include nuclear power in its sustainabble finance taxonomy.

GERMANY. Germany reaffirms its opposition to nuclear power being designated as ”sustainable’‘.

FRANCE. President Macron boosts nuclear industry, but in reality, France’s prospects for new reactors are grim. President Macron does not have the legal power to decide on new nuclear reactors – requires Parliamentary agreement . France: public inquiry for the authorization to reprocess new fuels. EX manager sues EDF over safety concerns.

JAPAN. Agency to phase out health care aid for evacuees in Fukushima. Pacific concerns over plans to release contaminated water from Fukushima. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh8It7lFpZM

UK. 

USA

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

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


TAIWAN.
 Taiwan’s referendum about unsealing nuclear power plant: but safety risks persist. Referendum on safety issues concerning Taiwan’s long-mothballed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.

FINLAND. Finland’s Greens remain anti-nuclear, despite antics of a breakaway group.

RUSSIA. Russia sends nuclear-capable bombers on patrol over Belarus for second day amid ‘migration crisis’.

SOUTH AFRICA. FW de Klerk, who ended South African apartheid, leaves another legacy: nuclear disarmament.

HUNGARY. Opposition Leader Keresztes accuses Hungarian government of secrecy and errors in approval of Paks Nuclear Power Plant Upgrade.

AUSTRALIA. Nuclear power for Australia? A crazy fantasy that would surely lose the election for the Liberals. Issue for The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA): IS ANSTO’s NUCLEAR REACTOR VIABLE?

November 15, 2021 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

The greenest energy is the energy we don’t use

The fact that Bill Gates’ .. book does not focus on energy efficiency – while giving nuclear energy a large and not very imaginative role – slightly annoys me. [ed. only slightly?] Because decision makers, young people, and many others will read the book and draw the wrong conclusions. But also, because it feels like a symptom of a broader issue: intellectually it is evident for most people that energy efficiency is a central, cost-effective and economically smart way to contribute to the green transition. Yet energy efficiency does not play a central role in many countries’ efforts to secure a green transition. It is as if they overlook the fact that the greenest and cheapest energy is the energy we don’t use at all

The greenest energy is the energy we don’t use, energypost.eu 

November 12, 2021 by Martin Rossen   As COP26 comes to a close, Martin Rossen, Senior Vice President, Head of Group Communication and Sustainability at Danfoss reminds us in a powerfully persuasive way why the most direct route to net-zero is managing consumption. Inspired by a glaring omission by Bill Gates in his recent book, Rossen draws our attention to the futility of developing new tech if we don’t prioritise making use of readily available energy efficiency solutions. According to IEA figures almost half of emissions reductions must come from efficiency and the solutions are already at hand. Article promoted by Danfoss.

The Glaring Omission

The summer of 2021 was the first time in a while that I not only felt the urge but also had time to read a book. No more government files and committees. I read Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ newest book “How to Avoid A Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need.” …………

However  ……. Bill Gates basically ignores that the greenest and cheapest energy is the energy we don’t use. I will get back to that, but let’s first look into climate action according to Bill Gates:

Primary Energy Consumption virtually unchanged through 26 years of COPs…….   According to the British economist Helen Thompson, fossil fuels constituted 86% of the world’s primary energy consumption when COP1 was held in Berlin in 1995. What is the progress today, 26 years later? The answer is almost nothing. According to the latest numbers, fossil fuels now constitute 84% of the world’s primary energy consumption.

………Reversing the Energy Density Trend

Czech-Canadian environmental researcher Vaclav Smil, of whom Bill Gates is big fan, says the underlying challenge is the fact that humanity historically has moved in the direction of more and more energy-intense energy sources……….

Bill Gates encourages decision makers around the world to make big investments in new technologies. …….

IEA’s “Green Equation”

So, what’s the plan, I’m tempted to ask? To a large degree, I agree with Bill Gates’ conclusions – but I can’t help being a bit disappointed by the fact that he essentially ignores the importance of energy efficiency to the green transition. Bill Gates briefly mentions that energy efficiency could make the green transition easier, but after that, it is left out of his analysis.

Yet the International Energy Agency (IEA), a central source in the book, mapped out the cheapest and most effective path to reach the goals of the Paris agreement – let’s call it the green equation – like this: 36% of carbon reductions must come from renewable energy, 2% from switching fuels, 6% from nuclear power, 9% from carbon capture ands, 3% from other sources – and the biggest chunk, with a total of 44% reductions, has to come from energy efficiency. In other words, we can’t merely build windmills.

The world’s energy consumption has risen dramatically since 1945. For each day that passes, the green transition challenge we face is growing …………  it is important we become better at creating more societal value by using less energy, for example, by recycling it.

Now to the good news

Solutions already exist. In Denmark, we know that. We often live in an energy efficient manner – in bright, well-isolated homes with a secure water supply. This didn’t come by coincidence, but out of necessity.

During WWII, the Danes rationed. This included use of energy, so the living room temperature was to be kept at about 18 degrees Celsius. On a farm on the island of Als in the corner of Denmark, Danfoss’ founder Mads Clausen had the idea to develop a thermostatic expansion valve, which automatically keeps a constant temperature. The result? An improved indoor climate in millions of homes all over the world, as well as energy bills and emissions that have dropped. It was a green breakthrough before we knew we needed it. Today, the island of Als is one of the global centers of energy efficiency.

The solutions vary, but at their core, they are the same – they provide energy efficiency. According to the IEA, these are the solutions to be put into play if we are to overcome the many barriers on the road to climate neutrality………..

 even in buildings with thermostats, heat pumps and other energy efficient solutions, we must take action. We need to equip our buildings with ‘intelligent’ systems – a ‘brain’ that links the buildings’ thermostats, heat pumps and air conditioning – as well as any other cooling and heating appliances– to big data that constantly optimizes energy consumption. The modern thermostat includes all factors in the equation – including the weather, showering habits of the inhabitants and expensive peak hours – and adjusts the consumption of energy accordingly. With solutions like this, according to the consultants ECOFYS, we can reduce CO2 emissions in Europe by 156 million tons – equaling the emissions of 82 million cars.

Industry, Transport and Food distribution

The industrial sector consumes a lot of energy and is responsible for one-fourth of the world’s emissions, so this sector demands our focus, too. Electric motors are a good place to start. In Europe alone, there are eight billion in use at the time of writing this. However, most of them only have two functions: they are either on or off. If electric motors were fitted with AC drives that enabled them to have adjustable speeds, the world’s demand for electricity could be reduced by 8%, according to the IEA – corresponding to the combined demand for electricity of India and France.

And then we have the transport sector that accounts for 24% of the world’s energy-related CO2-emissions. If cars are to be powered by electricity instead of gasoline, batteries and drives need to replace the combustion engine. This means that the gearbox of the future is a power module that converts power so the car can drive at various speeds. That movement is already on the way. What few people know is that Danfoss’ power modules already are installed in about 40 million cars, but there is still quite a way to go to replace the world’s 1.5 billion cars……….

Massive amounts of the world’s resources go into the production of food that is lost or wasted in areas without proper cooling facilities. In India, more than a third of food is lost on the journey from fields to the hungry population. It isn’t hard to imagine farmers’ disbelief and frustration in the face of this inconceivable loss of value. In many developing countries, proper cooling facilities in the supply chain can reduce the blatant waste of food (and associated emissions) by up to 40%, according to estimates.

The Solutions are already at hand

These are big numbers, and I could go on, because it is the same in practically the entire economy. We are not using our energy wisely. This results in a massive waste of energy. It costs fortunes on the energy bills of families and companies all over the world. It results in the emission of many billion tons of greenhouse gasses. And it makes the renewable energy infrastructure bill much bigger than it has to be.

We need to take this in hand, particularly in the Western World. It is necessary if we are to reach net zero. But also, because net zero is a zero-sum game, imposing a certain responsibility on us. We need to make an extra effort in the green transition so developing countries are not held back in their efforts to reach the same level of prosperity that we are privileged with.

Luckily, there are various energy-efficient solutions from many competent companies, that have a payback time of only a few years. That’s good because there is plenty of work to be done.

According to the IEA, the steam has gone off investments in energy-efficient buildings, equipment and vehicles. Both literally and figuratively speaking, we are wasting our energy at the same time we should be doing the exact opposite. It is a huge challenge many seem to forget: the green transition, in a lot ways, neither requires technological breakthroughs nor revolutions. It simply requires that we apply readily available cost-efficient solutions – not the least within energy efficiency.

The fact that Bill Gates’ .. book does not focus on energy efficiency – while giving nuclear energy a large and not very imaginative role – slightly annoys me. Because decision makers, young people, and many others will read the book and draw the wrong conclusions. But also, because it feels like a symptom of a broader issue: intellectually it is evident for most people that energy efficiency is a central, cost-effective and economically smart way to contribute to the green transition. Yet energy efficiency does not play a central role in many countries’ efforts to secure a green transition. It is as if they overlook the fact that the greenest and cheapest energy is the energy we don’t use at all. https://energypost.eu/the-greenest-energy-is-the-energy-we-dont-use/

November 15, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, ENERGY | Leave a comment

A cross-continental electricity interconnector grid system may be a practical option for renewable energy .

One of the key discussions at the COP26 summit in Glasgow has been the practicalities of building a cross-continental electricity interconnector system, and this may be rather more practical than some of the commentators have implied. It could, indeed, eventually turn into a global energy system where solar pv as well as wind power and other renewables, could supply power 24/7 with a much-reduced need for storage for systems dominated by renewable energy. Talking about supplying Europe with solar pv from North Africa, eg via the putative Desertec scheme, has often been a source of debate amongst renewables afficianados.

Some greens have decried the notionas a centralised vision of renewable energy that is little more desirable than centralised nuclear power plant. The traditional preference among greens has been on locally owned plant either on rooftops or at least, in
the case of ground-mounted solar pv, owned by community renewable energy organizations. But in a world where the overall prize is the achievement of net zero carbon energy systems, then two key factors come into play: cost and resource availability (which of course are related to each other).

If solar and wind resources in some countries, especially some of the most landlocked states, are difficult to access at reasonable cost, then international, even intercontinental, supplies could come into play. If it is cost-effective to build plant and build the interconnectors to trade in electricity, then it is quite likely to happen.

 100% Renewables 13th Nov 2021

November 15, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Is nuclear power the way forward to combat the climate crisis? – Allison Macfarlane cautions.

Is nuclear power the way forward to combat the climate crisis?

Nuclear power can go horribly wrong and is notorious for cost overruns, but it is gaining high-profile champions. Aljazeera,  By Patricia Sabga 12 Nov 2021
  ”’ ……………………… 

Allison Macfarlane is a professor and the director of the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia. Before that, she was chair of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

She wrote an article for Foreign Affairs (paywall) this summer on the subject of nuclear energy and climate goals. Her arguments generated some pointed pushback (paywall) as world leaders descended on Glasgow, Scotland for COP26.

Macfarlane describes herself as neither a proponent nor a detractor of nuclear power, but an analyst who prefers to give a “measured analytical response” to questions surrounding nuclear energy.

She recently shared her views with Al Jazeera Digital’s Managing Business Editor Patricia Sabga about nations building more nuclear power plants to battle the climate crisis.

Allison Macfarlane: ……………… But I live in a pragmatic, realistic world. And I don’t think, at least in the next 10 or 20 years, that nuclear power will be able to have a big impact on reducing carbon emissions because we can’t build new plants fast enough.

PS: And why is that? Why can’t we build new plants fast enough?

AM: It’s complicated. These are mega projects, and they require a level of quality control and programme management that doesn’t exist in a lot of other industries. And though people may promote some of the newer reactor designs as being easy to produce in factories, if we look at the existing reactors that have been produced in factories – for instance, the ones that are under construction in Georgia, the Vogtle plant [where two additional reactor units are under construction] – the experience in factories has not been good.

The factory that built the modules for the Georgia plant built them incorrectly for years. They welded them incorrectly and they had to be rewelded at the reactor site. That factory led in large part to the bankruptcy of Westinghouse.

PS: You mentioned newer reactor designs. What are these designs and what challenges do they face?

AM: First of all, a lot of them aren’t new. A lot of these designs are 70 years old or older. But given that, there are new sorts of twists to some of these designs.

Many of them exist only on paper, or as small-scale models. And the way engineering works is that you design something – these days, it’s computer-assisted – and then you build a scale model. When you build the scale model, you see where you are wrong in your computer design, and so you fix that. Then you have to build the full-scale design. And when you scale up again, there will be things that you’ve gotten wrong in the scale model, and you’re going to have to fix that.

And so, for many of these designs, we’re still at the computer model stage. We haven’t done the other steps. And those steps take years. And when you get to the full-scale model, that’s really expensive. Where’s that money coming from?

PS: Let’s talk about expense then. In terms of just cost, how does nuclear stack up to say wind or solar?

AM: It’s significantly more expensive. Of course, it depends on what solar you’re talking about. But if you look at Lazard’s recent analysis of levelized costs of energy [an analysis that takes into account how much it costs to finance and build a power plant and to keep it running throughout its lifetime and then divides that cost by how much energy it kicks out each year] and you look at solar PV [photovoltaic] utility scale, and wind, they are significantly cheaper than nuclear.

AM: Expenses are dominated by the capital costs of plant construction. These plants are very expensive to build. I think we’re up to at least $14bn a plant for the Vogtle plants in Georgia. That’s for a thousand gigawatts generation capacity. They’re just really expensive to build and they take a long time to build. And so not only do you have the cost of the capital of building the plant, but you have the cost of the interest on the capital, which becomes a big cost.

That’s really what hurts nuclear. Now there are claims made about the small modular reactors that they’ll be cheaper. But because nobody’s ever built one, and nobody’s established the supply chains to build them and to operate them, we really have no idea what those will cost……………..

[on intermittency]    Ten years ago, it was a really big deal. It’s becoming less of a deal, I think. What’s interesting to note is that when you talk to utility companies, they are really interested in having plants be load following [responding to surges and ebbs in power demand]. They’re really orienting themselves towards dealing with intermittency. But that means they need a plant that can ramp up and down quickly. Nuclear can’t do that. The existing nuclear fleet can’t do that. They’re either on or they’re off, and it takes a long time for them to ramp up to full scale on………….. https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/11/12/is-nuclear-power-the-way-forward-to-combat-the-climate-crisis

November 15, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Questions still remain on the suspicious death of nuclear worker Karen Silkwood

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Silkwood,K

Karen Gay Silkwood (February 19, 1946 – November 13, 1974) was an American chemical technician and labor union activist known for raising concerns about corporate practices related to health and safety of workers in a nuclear facility. Following her mysterious death, which received extensive coverage, her estate filed a lawsuit against chemical company Kerr-McGee, which was eventually settled for $1.38 million. Silkwood was portrayed by Meryl Streep in Mike Nichols‘ 1983 Academy Award-nominated film Silkwood.

She worked at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron Fuel Fabrication Site plant near Crescent, Oklahoma, United States. Silkwood’s job was making plutonium pellets for nuclear reactor fuel rods. This plant experienced theft of plutonium by workers during this era. She joined the union and became an activist on behalf of issues of health and safety at the plant as a member of the union’s negotiating team, the first woman to have that position at Kerr-McGee. In the summer of 1974, she testified to the Atomic Energy Commission about her concerns.

For three days in November, she was found to have plutonium contamination on her person and in her home. That month, while driving to meet with David Burnham, a New York Times journalist, and Steve Wodka, an official of her union’s national office, she died in a car crash under unclear circumstances.

Her family sued Kerr-McGee on behalf of her estate. In what was the longest trial up until then in Oklahoma history, the jury found Kerr-McGee liable for the plutonium contamination of Silkwood, and awarded substantial damages. These were reduced on appeal, but the case reached the United States Supreme Court in 1979, which upheld the damages verdict. Before another trial took place, Kerr-McGee settled with the estate out of court for US $1.38 million, while not admitting liability. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_Silkwood

Questions Still Remain In Suspicious Death Of Karen Silkwood

November 15, 2021 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Anniversary of the mysterious death of Karen Silkwood

 Massimo Greco https://www.facebook.com/groups/361888987167863/ 13 Nov 21, Museum of the Gulf Coast
This Day In History.…..On November 13, 1974, 28-year-old Karen Silkwood, who is from Nederland, is killed in a car accident near Crescent, Oklahoma, north of Oklahoma City. Silkwood worked as a technician at a plutonium plant operated by the Kerr-McGee Corporation, and she had been critical of the plant’s health and safety procedures.

Silkwood had an appointment with a union staff representative and a New York Times investigative reporter. At this meeting, she was to provide documentation to the reporter, showing charges that Kerr-McGee had been negligent in quality control and had falsified records were justified.

Police were summoned to the scene of an accident along Oklahoma’s State Highway 74: Silkwood had somehow crashed into a concrete culvert. She was dead by the time help arrived. An autopsy revealed that she had taken a large dose of Quaaludes before she died, which would likely have made her doze off at the wheel; however, an accident investigator found skid marks and a suspicious dent in the Honda’s rear bumper, indicating that a second car had forced Silkwood off the road.

The documents she was to have turned over to the reporter were never found.Silkwood’s father sued Kerr-McGee, and the company eventually settled for $1.3 million, minus legal fees. Kerr-McGee closed its Crescent plant in 1979.

November 15, 2021 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

UK’s Regulated Asset Base (RAB) “a very bad deal for consumers” – like the USA’s disastrous system in South Carolina


 Reaction to the Bill from stakeholders has been mixed. Some environmental bodies have questioned whether the RAB model set out in the Bill offers value for money for consumers and whether it transfers the risk of cost overruns to consumers. Tom Burke, the co-founder of E3G, a climate think-tank, told the Financial Times that the model risked being “a very bad deal for consumers” on the grounds that electricity generated from nuclear power would be more expensive than that from ‘homegrown’ renewables and would simultaneously “inhibit the market in wind, [an] area where we have the opportunity to create a global competitive industry in the UK”.145

The same article included comment from Steve Thomas, Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Greenwich, who questioned whether people would want their pension funds exposed to construction risk cost and whether that meant the consumer would take on all the risk. In an article in the i on the day the legislation was published, Doug Parr, Chief
Scientist at Greenpeace, noted that the RAB model had already been used to finance nuclear power in the United States, adding that the “results were disastrous”: “It transfers huge financial risk from the builders to bill payers. In South Carolina, 18 per cent of residents’ energy bills went to pay for a half-built reactor which has been abandoned and will
never produce electricity.”

 House of Commons Library 1st Nov 2021

 https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-9356/CBP-9356.pdf

November 15, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Opposition Leader Keresztes accuses Hungarian government of secrecy and errors in approval of Paks Nuclear Power Plant Upgrade


LMP Accuses Govt of Secrecy on Paks Nuclear Power Plant Upgrade  
https://hungarytoday.hu/lmp-accuses-govt-of-secrecy-on-paks-nuclear-power-plant-upgrade/MTI-Hungary Today 2021.11.13.  Publicity, professionalism, and security are the most important principles in the use of nuclear energy, yet the government has chosen secrecy, outsourcing, and political control, the leader of the opposition LMP party’s parliamentary group said on Saturday.

Speaking at an online press conference, László Lóránt Keresztes said the government is unwilling to admit that it has made seriously wrong decisions and it is ready to take further ones.

In addition, “substantive information (.) has been classified in connection with the failure to secure permission for the Paks II [upgrade] project,” he said.

They make wrong decisions such as licensing excavation work in the absence of key permissions, Keresztes said.

The government has reached a dead-end over the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel rods. The decisions made in the recent period are especially detrimental to the city of Pécs and Baranya County, he said.

If the government keeps hiding information, LMP will resort to legal means to finally inform the Hungarian public about the state of the Paks nuclear power plant expansion. The opposition party is convinced that the project should not be negotiated in Moscow, behind closed doors, he added.

LMP is of the view that the deeply flawed project should be stopped, Keresztes said.

József Kóbor, LMP’s municipal councilor of Pécs, said the disposal of radioactive waste is a huge problem throughout Europe.

November 15, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, politics | Leave a comment

Action on global heating? Inadequate COP26 kept this possibility alive, by just a thread

The best that can be said about Cop26 is that it has kept the possibility of limiting global heating to 1.5C alive, if only by a thread. The worst outcome of this conference would have been if countries had agreed to next reopen their commitments to reduce emissions only in five years’ time, as was agreed in Paris in 2015. This would have been nothing short of a disaster. It would have firmly put the world on the path to catastrophic and irreversible overheating – involving the deaths of tens of millions of people and the total obliteration of some countries as a result of rising sea levels. It would have thrown away humanity’s last chance of
avoiding this fate.

Instead, countries have agreed to come back to revisit their commitments in a year’s time, and every year after that. Something
radical will need to shift in the next year or two in order to achieve the commitments that are urgently needed to limit warming to 1.5C. Take the UK’s net zero strategy, for example, which falls far short of what is needed in order for it to achieve its stated goal of net zero emissions by 2050. It has been estimated we need to be investing about 1% of GDP to meet this; but the government has committed just a fraction of that, and the strategy is further undermined by the government reneging on its own policy
commitments, including its recent scrapping of the green homes schemes and the delay in the phase-out of gas boilers.

 Observer Editorial 13th Nov 2021

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/commentisfree/2021/nov/13/the-observer-view-on-the-cop26-agreement

November 15, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

COP 26 waters down the prospects of world action to stop coal pollution

Cop26: Alok Sharma in tears as India and China dilute pledge to phase out coal. A historic United Nations deal to end the use of coal power was watered down last night after a dramatic last-minute intervention from China and India.

Alok Sharma, the president of Cop26, was reduced to tears as he apologised to delegates for the way the late change was made. The deal, dubbed the Glasgow climate pact, had been set to include a pledge to accelerate the “phase-out” of coal power but this was switched late on to “phase-down”. The change in wording lessens the urgency with which countries are required to reduce the use of coal, the world’s strongest driver of climate change. Chris Stark, chief executive of the Climate Change Committee, an independent adviser to the government, said: “The writing is on the wall for fossil fuels now. We are in a new period of
action and if that is the legacy of Glasgow, I will be delighted.”

 Times 14th Nov 2021

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/cop26-alok-sharma-in-tears-as-india-and-china-dilute-pledge-to-phase-out-coal-hfd29x7t6

November 15, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Scottish MP seeks commitment from UK govt to protect Beaufot’s Dyke from nuclear waste dumping

MSP concerned about potential for dumping in Beaufort’s Dyke. South
Scotland list MSP Emma Harper (SNP) is seeking a commitment from the UK
Government that Beaufort’s Dyke will not be used as a dumpsite for
nuclear and radioactive waste.

Ms Harper has written to the Secretary of
State for Scotland and the Defence Secretary following speculation that
through committing to upgrading the A75 and building a new nuclear power
station, that the Government will once again use Beaufort’s Dyke as
dumping site.

Previously Ms Harper has also raised concerns over the noted
increase in the amount of unexploded ordnance which has washed up on
beaches across south west Scotland over recent years. Beaufort’s Dyke
became the United Kingdom’s largest offshore dumpsite for surplus
conventional and chemical munitions after the Second World War.

 Galloway Gazette 12th Nov 2021

 https://www.gallowaygazette.co.uk/news/environment/msp-concerned-about-potential-for-dumping-in-beauforts-dyke-3456195

November 15, 2021 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Referendum on safety issues concerning Taiwan’s long-mothballed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant

REFERENDUMS 2021/Nuclear advocate, opponent argue over safety issues in televised forum   

Focus Taiwan, (By Lee Hsin-Yin)

Enditem/HY–Taipei, Nov. 13 (CNA) A deputy minister defending the government’s anti-nuclear position and a nuclear advocate argued over safety issues concerning Taiwan’s long-mothballed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant Saturday in a televised forum ahead of an upcoming referendum that will determine its fate.

Nuclear advocate Huang Shih-hsiu (黃士修), who initiated the campaign for a public vote to unseal the power plant and start commercial operations, said a majority of the plant’s safety checks were passed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) before it was mothballed by then-President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in 2014 due to public concerns.

The referendum question on the nuclear plant, which Huang wrote, asks: “Do you agree that the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant should be unsealed and operated commercially to generate electricity?”

The refusal of the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) to conduct a safety inspection of the power plant made it look like a safety failure, Huang said during the first of five televised forums on four referendums scheduled for Dec. 18.

In response, Deputy Economic Affairs Minister Tseng Wen-sheng (曾文生) said “the completion of safety tests is a lie,” as an MOEA inspection, instead of one conducted by the AEC, was like a “mock test,” which was not credible.

Even if the safety checks were completed for the plant’s test run, it did not mean there were no safety concerns, Tseng stressed, as such a check was only one of the 75 tests required for formal operation.

There were 40 tests that the power plant failed to pass, he said, arguing that it was an “unrealistic” expectation to think it was possible to reactivate the power plant.

Tseng also pointed out that counting on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant to tackle Taiwan’s energy shortage was exactly why the country has been struggling with the problem, accusing the Kuomintang’s Ma of failing to invest in energy development other than nuclear power during his tenure………..

The next four forums – on issues including nuclear power, pork imports, conservation of algal reefs, and whether future referendums should be held on the same day as major elections – will take place on Nov. 18, Nov. 24, Dec. 2, and Dec. 11, the Central Election Commission (CEC) said.   https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202111130012  

November 15, 2021 Posted by | politics, safety | Leave a comment

EX manager sues EDF over safety concerns

A former manager at EDF’s Tricastin nuclear plant in southern France has
filed a complaint in a Paris court alleging the state-owned utility failed
to report or minimised safety concerns at the plant, Le Monde newspaper
reported on Friday.

The newspaper said the plaintiff, whom it did not name,
filed the lawsuit in early October at the Paris judicial court. It said the
plaintiff was also suing EDF for harassment, without detailing those
allegations. EDF declined to comment on the allegations, but said safety at
its nuclear sites was its priority. “Transparency and compliance with
regulations are strictly applied and respected at all sites”, it said.

 Yahoo 12th Nov 2021

https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/ex-manager-sues-edf-over-123859453.html

November 15, 2021 Posted by | France, Legal, safety | Leave a comment

Some more COP26 headlines



Climate Change

‘Deeply sorry’ COP26 president breaks down as action on coal is watered down in climate deal

Government negotiators from nearly 200 countries have adopted a new deal on climate action after a last-minute intervention by India to water down the language on cutting emissions from coal.

What are the key points of the Glasgow climate pact?

Analysis: Cop26 delegates made progress on emissions cuts and climate adaptation but fell short on coal


Island nations rise up as their homelands start to sink

What happens to a nation if its territories disappear under the sea? Pacific Island nations are exploring legal and diplomatic paths to retaining statehood.

November 15, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

France: public inquiry for the authorization to reprocess new fuels

**France – Reprocessing**

 A public inquiry for the authorization to reprocess new fuels, particularly from foreign heavy water or MOX reactors, is open until
November 17, 2021. It is closely following another survey for the densification of the C D E swimming pools at La Hague in order to increase spent fuel storage capacity by 30%. Based on files with blackened lines, it only confirmed decisions already taken.

 Crilan 12th Nov 2021

http://crilan.fr/densification-des-piscines-de-la-hague-mayak-en-cotentin-non-merci/

November 15, 2021 Posted by | France, reprocessing | Leave a comment