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Japan’s Fukushima water set to be dumped as critics attack ‘flawed’ Tepco report

. Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant’s operator says its move to dispose some 1.23 million tons of treated radioactive water will have ‘minimal’ impact on public health

. But Greenpeace says Tepco’s scientific analysis is lacking in multiple areas, including an assessment of how the water will affect the wider Asia-Pacific region

Visitors watch as decommissioning work at the Fukushima power plant takes place on November 15, 2021.

16 Dec, 2021

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant has this week commenced test drilling for pipes to release more than 1.23 million tons of treated radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, the work coinciding with a study by an environmental group accusing Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) of using “flawed” scientific analysis to justify the release.

Tepco on Tuesday started a boring survey at the nuclear plant, which was destroyed in the March 2011 earthquake and the massive tsunami it triggered, causing the meltdown of three of the six reactors at the site and the second-worst nuclear disaster in history.

With the backing of the government, Tepco intends to lay a pipeline to a location about 700 metres offshore and start to release treated water into the ocean from the spring of 2023.

Storage tanks at Tepco’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant

The company claims that virtually all trace of the 64 radionuclides will be eliminated before the release of the water, which is used to keep the damaged reactors cool, but critics point out that no independent organisations had been permitted to test radiation levels in the water in the more than 10 years since the disaster.

Tepco on November 17 released a study that concluded the effects of the release of the water “on the public and the environment is minimal as calculated doses were significantly less than the dose limits, dose targets and the values specified by international organisations”.

On Thursday, Greenpeace released a study that took issue with the findings in Tepco’s report, saying its own radiological impact assessment “found many flaws in the approach and with their conclusions”.

The firm “does not apply the basic principles of radiation protection, which requires even low-level increases in radiation risks to be justified and demonstrate net benefits to society”, Greenpeace’s report said, while Tepco had also failed to take into account the existing radiation exposure of the local population as a result of the original disaster in its conclusions.

Tepco also ignored cumulative effects of exposure to elevated levels of radiation, as well as the long-term effects on marine ecology, species and food chains, the Greenpeace study found.

The Tepco report also failed to take into account future hazards at the plant due to “its fundamentally flawed decommissioning plan”, while the assessment of the impact of the radiation was “extremely limited” and failed to include the impact on the wider east coast of Japan or further afield in the Pacific.

The plan to discharge the water violates the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Greenpeace said, adding that Tepco continued to ignore alternative solutions to the problem of contaminated water at the site, including long-term storage.

“The Tepco document is flawed in its scientific analysis and disregard for basic international norms of radiation protection,” said Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace East Asia.

“It is wholly inadequate, legally takes no account of wider impacts, including to the Asia-Pacific region, and in no way provides justification to deliberately discharge radioactivity into the Pacific Ocean over at least 30 years,” he said. “Opposition, including by small Pacific island nations, continues. Tepco’s discharge plans can be stopped.”

In a statement, a Tepco official declined to comment directly on the Greenpeace report, but said the company would continue to seek the approval of the Nuclear Regulation Authority for the planned release of the water.

Tepco says an additional 210 tons of water builds up at the site every day and argues it is running out of space close to the reactors, and that another natural disaster could rupture the hundreds of tanks containing the contaminated water, causing a new environmental crisis.

The plant operator is pushing ahead with the plan in spite of criticism from home and abroad.

Fishermen and farmers in eastern Japan have expressed their anger, claiming it will further damage the reputation of their industries and ruin their livelihoods, while people living in coastal areas are similarly concerned at the possible impact on their health.

The work is taking place at the same time the Japanese government is calling on countries around the world to lift restrictions on imports of foodstuffs from northeast Japan as there is no evidence they pose any danger to the health of consumers.

A number of governments in the region, including Hong Kong, South Korea and China, have also expressed deep reservations about the proposal to dump the contaminated water into the Pacific. South Korea has already indicated it is planning to take legal action against the move and the case may be joined by other nations.

https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/health-environment/article/3159949/japans-fukushima-water-set-be-dumped-critics-attack

December 18, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

An irreverent call to Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison – ACT NOW to free Julian Assange

December 18, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Why Nuclear Power Is Bad for Your Wallet and the Climate

Fashionably rebranded “Small Modular” or “Advanced” reactors can’t change the outcome. Their smaller units cost less but output falls even more, so SMRs save money only in the sense in which a smaller helping of foie gras helps you lose weight.

They’ll initially at least double existing reactors’ cost per kWh; that cost is ~3–13x renewables’ (let alone efficiency’s); and renewables’ costs will halve again before SMRs can scale. Do the math: 2 x (3 to 13) x 2 = 12–52-fold. Mass production can’t bridge that huge cost gap—nor could SMRs scale before renewables have decarbonized the US grid.

Even free reactors couldn’t compete: their non-nuclear parts cost too much. Small Modular Renewables are decades ahead in exploiting mass-production economies; nuclear can never catch up. It’s not just too little, too late: nuclear hogs market space, jams grid capacity, and diverts investments that more-climate-effective carbon-free competitors then can’t contest.


Why Nuclear Power Is Bad for Your Wallet and the Climate,  
https://news.bloomberglaw.com/environment-and-energy/why-nuclear-power-is-bad-for-your-wallet-and-the-climate, 17 Dec 21, Amory B. Lovins, Stanford University

As Congress and the Department of Energy pile new subsidies on nuclear power and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission seeks to gut its regulation, its marginal output additions have shrunk below 0.5% of the world market, says physicist Amory B. Lovins, adjunct professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University. He explains why nuclear energy is not the answer to climate change, but actually worsens it due to climate opportunity cost.

Does climate protection need more nuclear power? No—just the opposite. Saving the most carbon per dollar and per year requires not just generators that burn no fossil fuel, but also those deployable with the least cost and time. Those aren’t nuclear.

Making 10% of world and 20% of U.S. commercial electricity, nuclear power is historically significant but now stagnant. In 2020, its global capacity additions minus retirements totaled only 0.4 GW (billion watts). Renewables in contrast added 278.3 GW—782x more capacity—able to produce about 232x more annual electricity (based on U.S. 2020 performance by technology). Renewables swelled supply and displaced carbon as much every 38 hours as nuclear did all year. As of early December, 2021’s score looks like nuclear –3 GW, renewables +290 GW. Game over.

The world already invests annually $0.3 trillion each, mostly voluntary private capital, in energy efficiency and renewables, but about $0.0150.03 trillion, or 20–40x less, in nuclear—mostly conscripted, because investors got burned. Of 259 US power reactors ordered (1955–2016), only 112 got built and 93 remain operable; by mid-2017, just 28 stayed competitive and suffered no year-plus outage. In the oil business, that’s called an 89% dry-hole risk.

Renewables provided all global electricity growth in 2020. Nuclear power struggles to sustain its miniscule marginal share as its vendors, culture, and prospects shrivel. World reactors average 31 years old, in the U.S., 41. Within a few years, old and uneconomic reactors’ retirements will consistently eclipse additions, tipping output into permanent decline. World nuclear capacity already fell in five of the past 12 years for a 2% net drop. Performance has become erratic: the average French reactor in 2020 produced nothing one-third of the time.

China accounts for most current and projected nuclear growth. Yet China’s 2020 renewable investments about matched its cumulative 2008–20 nuclear investments. Together, in 2020 in China, sun and wind generated twice nuclear’s output, adding 60x more capacity and 6x more output at 2–3 times lower forward cost per kWh. Sun and wind are now the cheapest bulk power source for over 91% of world electricity

Nuclear Power Has No Business Case

Nuclear power has bleak prospects because it has no business case. New plants cost 3–8x or 5–13x more per kWh than unsubsidized new solar or windpower, so new nuclear power produces 3–13x fewer kWh per dollar and therefore displaces 3–13x less carbon per dollar than new renewables. Thus buying nuclear makes climate change worse. End-use efficiency is even cheaper than renewables, hence even more climate-effective. Arithmetic is not an opinion.

Unsubsidized efficiency or renewables even beat most existing reactors’ operating cost, so a dozen have closed over the past decade. Congress is trying to rescue the others with a $6 billion lifeline and durable, generous new operating subsidies to replace or augment state largesse—adding to existing federal subsidies that rival or exceed nuclear construction costs.

But no business case means no climate case. Propping up obsolete assets so they don’t exit the market blocks more climate-effective replacements—efficiency and renewables that save even more carbon per dollar. Supporters of new subsidies for the sake of the climate just got played.

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December 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

European Union’s rift over nuclear power

EU faces nuclear rift in decision on energy funds, future, Ravalli Republic, By SAMUEL PETREQUIN and RAF CASERT – Associated Press By SAMUEL PETREQUIN and RAF CASERT -17 Dec 21,

BRUSSELS (AP) — The leaders of the European Union’s two most important nations faced reporters together during a joint news conference early Friday, a show of unity at the end of the EU’s final summit of the year.

Then two words – “nuclear energy” – intervened.

Heading into the Christmas week, atomic power is a topic on which France and Germany broadly differ, and one that has become a big thorn in the side of the EU as the 27-nation bloc decides whether to include nuclear-generated energy among the economic activities that qualify for sustainable investment.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who took office last week, and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed on most of the issues tackled during Thursday’s summit, including Ukraine-Russia tensions and an immigration dispute with Belarus.

On the the sustainable investment rules, however, the two leaders have yet to reach a compromise. The rift over nuclear energy was enough to scuttle any agreement on energy prices during the summit.

A big rise in energy prices has reignited the debate about whether the EU should promote nuclear power projects as a way of becoming greener and more energy independent.

France has asked for nuclear power to be included in the so-called “taxonomy” by the end of the year, leading the charge with several other EU countries that operate nuclear power plants.

The group initially faced strong opposition from Germany and other members that wanted nuclear power to be ineligible for green financing, but Scholz adopted a peacebuilding tone in the summit’s final hours early Friday.

“We are talking about countries with different business models. It’s important that each EU country can pursue its own approach without Europe becoming disunited,” Scholz said. “At the end of the day, we will have to come together despite the different priorities we may have set.”

Germany’s remaining nuclear power plants are due to go offline next year. France derives about 70% of its electricity from nuclear energy……………..

making future nuclear power projects eligible for billions in euros available as part of the European Green Deal while avoiding “greenwashing” remains a controversial issue.

……..  “The lack of agreement shows how lively this is, not only in our country, but throughout Europe,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, who faces a domestic crisis over how to phase out nuclear plants and still maintain energy security to his citizens.

De Croo suggested that amid the energy price crunch, nuclear energy and gas could be temporarily eligible for funds……..

The ball is now with the EU’s chief, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. She is expected to present before the end of the year the list of activities eligible for the green investment funds and must decide whether nuclear energy and natural gas make the cut.

Von der Leyen has been under pressure from environmental groups and Green European lawmakers to resist the inclusion of both.

“Fossil gas and nuclear power have no place in the EU taxonomy” for sustainable activities, said Sven Giegold, a Green lawmaker in the European Parliament……. https://ravallirepublic.com/lifestyles/technology/eu-faces-nuclear-rift-in-decision-on-energy-funds-future/article_9d325652-1272-5667-8c6b-1654e065aa61.html

December 18, 2021 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Nuclear Energy Can­not Meaningfully Contribute to a Climate-Neutral Energy System 

Nuclear Energy Can­not Meaningfully Contribute to a Climate-Neutral Energy System  https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/12/16/nuclear-energy-cannot-meaningfully-contribute-to-a-climate-neutral-energy-system/, BY SCIENTISTS FOR THE FUTURE   16 Dec 21,  In light of the accelerating climate crisis, nuclear energy and its place in the future energy mix is being debated once again. Currently its share of global electricity ge­n­eration is about 10 percent. Some countries, international organizations, private businesses and scientists accord nuclear energy some kind of role in the pursuit of climate neutrality and in ending the era of fossil fuels. The IPCC, too, includes nuclear energy in its scenarios.

On the other hand, the experience with commercial nuclear energy generation acquired over the past seven decades points to the significant technical, economic, and social risks involved. This paper reviews arguments in the areas of “technology and risks,” “economic viability,” ’timely availability,” and “com­patibility with social-ecological transformation processes.”

Technology and risks:

 Catastro­phes involving the release of radioactive material are always a real possibility, as il­lustrated by the major accidents in Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. Also, since 1945, countless accidents have occurred wherever nuclear energy has been deployed. No significantly higher reliability is to be expected from the SMRs (“small modular reactors”) that are currently at the plan­ning stage. Even modern ma­thematical techniques, such as probabilistic security analyses (PSAs), do not adequa­tely reflect important factors, such as deficient secu­rity arrangements or rare natural disasters and thereby systematically underestimate the risks.

Moreover, there is the ever-present proliferation risk of weapon-grade, highly enriched uranium, and plutonium. Most spent fuel rods are stored in scarcely protected surface containers or other interim solutions, often outside proper con­tainment structures. The safe storage of highly radioactive material, owing to a half-life of individual isotopes of over a million years, must be guaranteed for eons. Even if the risks involved for future generations cannot be authoritatively determined to­day, heavy burdens are undoubtedly externalized to the future.

Nuclear energy and economic efficiency: The commercial use of nuclear energy was, in the 1950s, the by-product of military programmes. Not then, and not since, has nuclear energy been a competitive energy source. Even the continued use of existing plants is not economical, while investments into third generation reactors are pro­jected to require subsidies to the tune of billions of $ or €. The experience with the development of SMR con­cepts suggests that these are prone to lead to even higher electricity costs.

Lastly, there are the considerable, currently largely unknown costs involved in dismant­ling nuclear power plants and in the safe storage of radioactive waste. Detailed ana­lyses confirm that meeting ambitious climate goals (i. e. global heating of between 1.5° and below 2° Celsius) is well possible with renewables which, if system costs are consi­dered, are also considerably cheaper than nuclear energy. Given, too, that nuclear power plants are not commercially insurable, the risks inherent in their operation must be borne by society at large. The currently hyped SMRs and the so-called Generation IV concepts (not light-water cooled) are techno­logically immature and far from commercially viable.

Timely availability: Given the stagnating or – with the exception of China – slowing pace of nuclear power plant construction, and considering furthermore the limited innovation potential as well as the timeframe of two decades for planning and con­struction, nuclear power is not a viable tool to mitigate global heating. Since 1976, the number of nuclear power plants construction starts is declining. Currently, only 52 nuclear power plants are being built. Very few countries are pursuing respective plans. Traditional nuclear producers, such as Westinghouse (USA) and Framatome (France) are in dire straits financially and are not able to launch a significant num­ber of new construction projects in the coming decade. It can be doubted whether Russia or China have the capacity to meet a hypothetically surging demand for nuclear en­ergy but, in any event, relying on them would be neither safe nor geopolitically de­sirable.

Nuclear energy in the social-ecological transformation: The ultimate challenge of the great transformation, i. e. kicking off the socio-ecological reforms that will lead to a broadly supported, viable, climate-neutral energy system, lies in overcoming the drag (“lock-in”) of the old system that is dominated by fossil fuel interests. Yet, make no mistake, nuclear energy is of no use to support this process. In fact, it blocks it. The massive R&D investment required for a dead-end technology crowds out the devel­opment of sustainable technologies, such as those in the areas of renewables, energy storage and efficiency.

Nuclear energy producers, given the competitive en­viron­ment they operate in, are incentivized to prevent – or minimize – investments in renewables. For obvious technical as well as economic reasons, nuclear hydrogen – the often-proclaimed deus ex machina – cannot enhance the viability of nuclear power plants. Japan is an exhibit A of transformation resistance. In Germany the end of the atomic era proceeds, and the last six nuclear power stations will be switched off in 2021 and 2022, but further steps are still needed, most importantly the search for a safe storage facility for radioactive waste.

By way of conclusion: The present analysis reviews a whole range of arguments based on the most recent and authoritative scientific literature. It confirms the assessment of the paper Climate-friendly energy supply for Germany – 16 points of orien­tation, pub­li­shed on 22 April 2021 by Scientists for Future (doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4409334) that nuclear energy can­not, in the short time re­maining before the climate tips, meaningfully contribute to a climate-neutral energy system. Nuclear energy is too dangerous, too expensive, and too sluggishly deploy­able to play a significant role in mitigating the climate crisis. In addition, nuclear en­ergy is an obstacle to achieving the social-ecological transfor­mation, without which ambitious climate goals are elusive.

This article is the English language summary of the findings of the German report by Scientists for Future (S4F) International. 

December 18, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Natalie Bennett, a Green member of UK Parliament deftly separates nuclear facts from nuclear fantasy

Separating fact from fission,   https://theecologist.org/2021/dec/15/separating-fact-fission Natalie Bennett , 15th December 2021  Nuclear is no panacea for the climate crisis – even if we build new power plants they will come on line too late. Natalie Bennett is a member of the House of Lords, and a member of the Green party.

“The role of civil nuclear power in meeting the UK’s electricity needs and energy security” has just been debated by peers in the House of Lords. Had a television inquisitor put that question to me, I’d start by saying that I don’t accept the terms of the question.

New nuclear should have no role in the UK’s electricity generation, and policies promoting new plants – far from offering any hope of security – present a threat to that essential provision in this age of shocks.

The failed 20th century technology that is nuclear power is something I’ve been debating for a long time. So I could go on at length about the failure to find a solution to the pressing issue of nuclear waste – as Lib Dem Lord Oates did very effectively in the debate.

Cleanest

I could talk about safety issues – from Three Mile Island to Chernobyl to Fukushima. And while many in the debate tried to say, well “not so many people died” on those occasions, that fails to address the huge risks, and in our age of shocks, the increasing dangers presented by multiple climate, human and physical threats that could hamper recovery efforts when things start to go wrong.

I could talk to the links of “civil” nuclear to nuclear weapons – those hideous weapons of mass destruction. I could talk about the handing of enormous sums of money to multinational companies – or foreign governments.

But there are two important arguments less often aired that deserve to be put.

First, that new nuclear power plants are a distraction from what we should be doing. Think about how often you hear ministers talking about new nuclear – such as the latest championing of the – rather modest – government investment in the Rolls Royce fantasy of “small” nuclear reactors.

You also rarely hear ministers talking about renewables. And consider how seldom you hear the politicians in government in serious discussion about energy conservation. For the cleanest, greenest, energy you can possibly have is the energy that you don’t need to use.

Resilient

The fact that government ministers are not talking about this is unsurprising, given that the Green Homes Grant was such an utter disaster. But, in fact, the silence predates that particular Rishi Sunak mess.

Talking about – and acting on – new nuclear power swallows up the space where the renewables and conservation should be.

That’s something that’s true on a global scale, as a brilliant University of Sussex study last year demonstrated. There are, in the academic jargon, path dependencies that see renewables and nuclear crowding each other out.

And it is most painfully evident in the UK in the failure to pursue the most obvious, and productive, path for renewables, community energy.

Despite promises – and recommendations from the Environmental Audit Committee, the Net Zero Strategy contained no plan of action for a key means of spreading prosperity around the country, as well as helping to secure a resilient, decentralised energy system and engaging people directly in the essential drive to Net Zero.

Fission

Secondly, nuclear power projects are too slow. This is a killer argument for which nuclear proponents can have no answer.

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December 18, 2021 Posted by | spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

Uncertainties persist, as France shuts down the 4 largest nuclear reactors, because of corrosion and cracks

Corrosion and cracks: the four largest French nuclear reactors shut down.
Four reactors were shut down by EDF, at the Civaux and Chooz power plants, due to a failure of an essential part in the event of an accident. Many uncertainties persist on the consequences of this discovery.

 Reporterre 16th Dec 2021

https://reporterre.net/Corrosion-et-fissures-les-quatre-plus-gros-reacteurs-nucleaires-francais-a-l-arret

 Challenges 15th Dec 2021

https://www.challenges.fr/finance-et-marche/edf-arret-des-reacteurs-de-chooz-objectif-d-ebitda-revu-a-la-baisse_793379

December 18, 2021 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

Accepting nuclear and gas as ”green” (or even ”amber”) would jeopardise the credibility of the entire European Green Deal

Granting nuclear and fossil gas the label of sustainability would undermine the EU’s climate targets, divert much-needed green investments in Central and Eastern Europe and jeopardise the credibility of the entire European Green Deal

Gas and nuclear: a lose-lose scenario for Eastern Europe, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2021/12/17/nuscale-nuclear-developer-goes-public-with-a-spac-but-nrc-is-still-a-drag/?sh=6afeedc82c0d EU Observer,  By PATRICK TEN BRINKBRUSSELS, 16. DEC, 21  After a year-long fight over the classification of fossil gas and nuclear energy under the EU taxonomy, the Delegate Act defining whether they’re considered as a sustainable investment will finally be released next week by the European Commission.

Yet a last major battle is taking place this Thursday (16 December) in Brussels. The 27 EU leaders will have a final word at the last European Council of the year on whether fossil gas and nuclear should be part of the EU list of environmentally-sustainable economic activities.

The battle lines are drawn: on one side France supporting nuclear with Poland, the Czech Republic and other Eastern partners who, for the most part, are for the inclusion of fossil gas in the EU green labelling; on the other side Italy, Spain, Denmark, Austria and Luxembourg, who are clearly opposed to considering any of them as a sustainable investment.

Paradoxically, central and eastern European governments have been very vocal in advocating for the inclusion of fossil gas on the EU green investment list, while they have most at stake in terms of climate, energy prices and energy sovereignty……………………………..

Nuclear gamble ‘does harm’

The potential contribution of nuclear power to reducing greenhouse gas emissions is as clear as its non-sustainable nature due to severe safety risks, environmental pollution, huge time investment and the unsolved waste problem.

Several inherent risks of nuclear energy, from the disaster potential, to waste management over hundreds of thousands of years, or uranium mining, were not properly addressed in the broadly-criticised report of the Joint Research Centre commissioned by the European Commission to back a decision on the EU taxonomy. It seems obvious that the current nuclear technology cannot ensure the “do no significant harm” EU principle.

Economically, investing in new nuclear plants does not pay off. Newly added capacities are not realistic due to high investment, competition of renewables and time costs.

For example, the Catalan government estimated that with the same budget of 19 billion euros used for the construction of the new nuclear reactor Flamanville 3 in France, they could invest in photovoltaic solar energy that would generate around 5 times more electricity and be operational in a quarter of the time.

Granting nuclear and fossil gas the label of sustainability would undermine the EU’s climate targets, divert much-needed green investments in Central and Eastern Europe and jeopardise the credibility of the entire European Green Deal……… https://euobserver.com/opinion/153831

December 18, 2021 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE | Leave a comment

 France’s EDF takes more nuclear reactors offline after faults found.

 France’s EDF takes more nuclear reactors offline after faults found.
French power giant EDF said on Wednesday it had found faults on pipes in a
safety system at its Civaux nuclear power station, and it would shut down
another plant because it used the same kind of reactors. The setback comes
as France plans a major nuclear power station building program, diverging
from neighbour Germany which retreated from nuclear power after the
Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011.

 Reuters 15th Dec 2021

 https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/edf-extend-civaux-nuclear-outage-shut-down-reactors-chooz-safety-measures-2021-12-15/

December 18, 2021 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

Fukushima toxins in Arctic add to pressure on Japan

Fukushima toxins in Arctic add to pressure on Japan http://www.ecns.cn/news/2021-12-17/detail-ihattyiu7541274.shtml   China Daily, Editor : Li Yan   

The revelation that radioactive material from the Fukushima nuclear plant has reached the Arctic Ocean is sparking renewed calls for Japan to scrap a decision to dump toxic water from the crippled plant into the sea.

According to a study by Yuichiro Kumamoto, a senior researcher from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, radioactive Cesium-134 that flowed into the ocean after the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011 arrived in the Arctic region about eight years later.

According to the study, which was published on Tuesday, seawater collected at 73 degrees latitude north in the Arctic Ocean in October 2019 contained 0.07 becquerel of Cesium-134 per cubic meter, who has a half-life of around two years.

Kumamoto’s study claimed that it is the first time that Cesium-134 has been detected beyond the marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday that it is not the first report that confirmed a radioactive substance from the Fukushima plant had been detected in the Arctic Ocean. “A Tsukuba University study in November also found that Cesium-137, a radioactive substance that flowed into the sea in the Fukushima nuclear accident, was detected in the Arctic Ocean,” Zhao said.

All these findings show that radioactive substances from the stricken nuclear plant have spread to the Pacific and Arctic oceans and may affect waters around the globe, he said.

“If the more than 1.2 million tons of nuclear contaminated water is discharged into the Pacific Ocean as planned by Japan, it will have an impact on the marine environment in the whole region and even the world. Is this the kind of consequence that can be borne by Japan alone?” Zhao said.

Japan announced in April that it would begin discharging nearly 1.25 million metric tons of treated but still radioactive wastewater from the tsunami-battered plant within two years.

Zhao said the release of the radioactive water is not “a private matter of Japan”, and urged the government to take a responsible attitude toward the marine environment and humanity’s health. It must revoke its wrong decision and stop the preparatory work for the discharge, he said.

December 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Call to rally against extending the lifespan of ageing Koeberg Nuclear Power Station

Call to rally against extending the lifespan of ageing Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, IOL. By Kristin Engel, 17 Dec,  Cape Town – The Koeberg Alert Alliance (KAA) and the Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute (Safcei), together with concerned Capetonians gathered on Bloubergstrand Beach for an anti-nuclear protest to question the safety of the nearby nuclear plant operated by Eskom.

The protesters’ chants of “down with nuclear” came as Eskom tries to extend the Koeberg plant’s operating life by another 20 years, after its initial 40-year lifespan ends in 2024, despite numerous challenges and safety concerns at the plant.

Safcei executive director Francesca de Gasparis said Eskom had been quiet about its plans for South Africa’s only nuclear power plant and have not provided information about this process or given the public sufficient evidence that it was safe and in the interests of electricity users to extend the lifespan of the ageing nuclear plant.

Ubuntu Rural Women and Youth Movement member Vainola Makan said: “We are certain that because of the lack of access to information and the lack of transparency, only private business individuals will benefit from this deal and the interests of citizens is of no concern.”

KAA spokesperson Peter Becker called on Eskom to shut down the Koeberg nuclear power plant as planned in 2024, and stop their attempts to extend its designed lifespan, especially with the old engineering and increasing problems at the plant.

However, the electricity supplier was adamant about the extension of the plant’s lifespan.

………  National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) spokesperson Gino Moonsamy said Eskom’s application would be undergoing a detailed review process in which the NNR would direct Eskom to publish the application for comment in local newspapers and serve notification letters to stakeholders.

Moonsamy said only after the NNR considered the insights and representations from public consultation, would they finalise the decision on the application and announce the decision on whether the plant would be able to operate beyond its current licensing basis.  https://www.iol.co.za/capeargus/news/call-to-rally-against-extending-the-lifespan-of-ageing-koeberg-nuclear-power-station-3826d950-5658-410e-9ca9-6dc8d2fc202b

December 18, 2021 Posted by | safety, South Africa | Leave a comment

Cracks cause Torness nuclear plant to close early

Cracks cause Torness nuclear plant to close early, The Ferret Rob Edwards. December 15, 2021

Spreading cracks at the Torness nuclear power station in East Lothian mean that it will have to close two years earlier than planned, according to its operator, EDF Energy.

The power company has told stakeholders it now expects to shut the station down in 2028 instead of 2030 because of “impacts on the graphite cores”.  

The Ferret revealed in May 2020 that the cores of the two reactors at Torness were predicted to start cracking in 2022, six years earlier than previous thought. At the time EDF maintained that the station could keep generating electricity safety until 2030…………….

A similar reactor at Hunterston B nuclear power station in North Ayrshire was permanently closed down on 26 November 2021, after 46 years of operation. The station’s second reactor is due to be turned off before 7 January 2022, 15 months earlier than previously planned. 

Hunterston is 12 years older than Torness, and has been plagued by increasing cracks in its graphite cores caused by radiation bombardment. The Ferret reported in October 2020 that EDF estimated that one of Hunterston’s reactors could end up with nearly a thousand cracks……………

Torness, near Dunbar, was officially opened in May 1989 by then-Conservative Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. The site had been the target of anti-nuclear protests since 1978………….

Campaigners are seeking assurances that nuclear safety is not being compromised. “Problems with cracks in the graphite core which led to the closure of Hunterston B are clearly expected to cause similar problems at Torness,” said Pete Roche, an Edinburgh-based nuclear critic.

But Torness has a significant design difference likely to make the problem worse. Judging by statements made by the nuclear regulator it might be expected that Torness should close in 2024 or soon after.”

Roche suggested that EDF would strive to keep the station open as long as possible. “The Scottish Government should seek assurances from the Office of Nuclear Regulation that EDF will not be allowed to drag things out so long that safety is compromised,” he added. 

Friends of the Earth Scotland argued that EDF had had to “admit the inevitable” and close earlier than planned. “The remaining question is whether they will make it even that far,” said the environment group’s director, Dr Richard Dixon.

“Nuclear is incredibly expensive, and suffers from complex problems like these cracks, as well as creating waste which will have to be looked after for thousands of years.”

Edinburgh Green councillor, Steve Burgess, also questioned how safe it was to keep running Torness. “This isn’t very reassuring news from Torness,” he said.

“Announcing that they are closing two years early, with mention of the graphite core, means EDF are acknowledging that they are coming hard up against a time when it really isn’t safe to operate.”………… more https://theferret.scot/torness-nuclear-plant-close-cracks/

December 18, 2021 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

French nuclear plants out of operation, exacerbating Europe’s energy crisis

On top of an ongoing natural gas crunch, Europe faces the winter season
with reduced nuclear output in France, exacerbating the energy crisis and
leaving large parts of the continent praying for a milder winter.
France’s EDF stopped on Thursday two nuclear power plants after finding a
fault at one during routine maintenance. This brings the total number of
nuclear plants out of operation currently at four, which account for 13
percent of the current power availability in France, a major electricity
exporter to neighboring countries and to the UK.

 Oil Price 16th Dec 2021

https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Europes-Energy-Crisis-Just-Got-Worse.html

December 18, 2021 Posted by | ENERGY, EUROPE | Leave a comment

10 inspiring environmental victories of 2021

Hope is a natural resource too, and it can sometimes feel in short supply. Here are 10 important and inspiring wins for people and the planet this year: let’s joyfully celebrate them and renew our strength to keep pushing for change in 2022.–


10 inspiring environmental victories of 2021

December 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jimmy Carter hailed as ‘action’ hero for stopping nuclear meltdown at 28

Jimmy Carter hailed as ‘action’ hero for stopping nuclear meltdown at 28  https://nypost.com/2021/12/16/jimmy-carter-is-action-hero-for-stopping-nuclear-disaster/
By Hannah Sparks, December 16, 2021  Who needs action movies when there are real-life superheroes like Jimmy Carter among us?

A viral Twitter thread is reminding the world that the 39th US President James Earl Carter Jr., now 97, actually rescued Ottawa, Ontario, from nuclear destruction as a 28-year-old way back on Dec. 12, 1952.

“Do you remember the world’s very first nuclear meltdown? That time the US President, an expert in nuclear physics, heroically lowered himself into the reactor and saved Ottawa, Canada’s capital?” asked Canadian physicist University of Ottawa professor Jeff Lundeen in his now-viral thread, originally posted Tuesday but officially trending two days later.

Sounds like schlocky action movie, but it actually happened!”

Lundeen’s revelatory tweet to his modest 1,078 followers now boasts nearly 50,000 likes, more than 20,000 retweets and hundreds of cheerfully shocked comments. He included data from the Ottawa Historical Society and a snippet of a 2011 report documenting Carter’s heroics, and he followed up with several other media sources that recount the historic tale.

As the story goes, the Plains, Ga., native planned his entire life to join the Navy — and did so when he received his appointment to the Naval Academy in 1942. After graduating with distinction, Carter spent two years completing his service ship duty before signing on to the Submarine Force. Following a series of relocations and promotions, the young lieutenant would request to join Captain Hyman G. Rickover’s nuclear sub program, where they were developing the world’s first atomic subs.

Rickover then sent Carter to work for the US Atomic Energy Commission, where he served on temporary duty with the Naval Reactors Branch. Meanwhile, a few months later, an accidental power surge at Chalk River Laboratories in Ottawa caused fuel rods within a nuclear research reactor to rupture and melt — risking a full nuclear meltdown.

It was the first such incident of its kind, and Carter’s team of 23 men was ordered to clean it up.

I

n a scene straight out of modern-day blockbusters, the operation would require the brave men to descend into the core by rope and pulley so they could deconstruct the reactor bolt by bolt. The lab had set up a duplicate reactor as a training field for Carter’s team, who would get only one shot at the real thing. Each man would have to descend into the core and complete their high-flying tasks in 90-second spurts, as exposure to toxic radiation within the reactor posed a high risk to their long-term health.

Their plan went off without a hitch. The core was shut down and then rebuilt. From there, Carter went on to become the engineering officer for the USS Seawolf, one of the first submarines to operate on atomic power. By 1961, he retired from the Navy and Reserves, and, in 1963, ran for his first political office.

For those who admire the single-term Democratic president, Lundeen’s tweet was just another reminder of Carter’s selfless service — and good jokes.

One top Twitter response included a quote from the president, who visited Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island power plant in 1979, during their disastrous partial meltdown.

When asked by media if he thought it too dangerous to visit the radioactive site, he reportedly quipped, “No, if it was too dangerous they would have sent the vice president.”

December 18, 2021 Posted by | incidents, PERSONAL STORIES, Reference, USA | Leave a comment