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Iran launches rocket into space as nuclear talks continue

Iran launches rocket into space as nuclear talks continue, Aljazeera, 31 Dec 21,

Iran uses satellite carrier rocket to send three research devices into space, state media reports, as talks to revive nuclear deal continue in Vienna.   

Iran has launched a satellite carrier rocket bearing three research devices into space, according to state media, as difficult negotiations over its tattered nuclear deal with world powers continue in Vienna.The reports on Thursday did not say when the launch was conducted, nor what devices the carrier brought with it. It was unclear whether any of the objects entered orbit around the Earth…………………….. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/12/30/iran-announces-new-space-launch-amid-nuclear-talks-in-vienna

January 1, 2022 Posted by | Iran, technology | Leave a comment

Britain under pressure to follow Joe Biden’s plan to honour nuclear test veterans


Britain under pressure to follow Joe Biden’s plan to honour nuclear test veterans

Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey has written to Defence Secretary Ben Wallace urging the British Government to follow the White House’s example
, Mirror UK, ByBen Glaze, Deputy Political Editor, 30 Dec 2021

Ministers are under fresh pressure to grant medals to Britain’s nuclear test veterans after Joe Biden pledged to honour America’s nuke guinea pigs.

The US President announced legislation for an “Atomic Veterans Service Medal” to “honor retired and former members of the Armed Forces who are radiation-exposed veterans”.

The plan would cover those who “participated in nuclear tests between 1945 and 1962”………..

t is thought around 22,000 men, many of them on National Service, took part in hundreds of nuclear blasts in America, Australia and the South Pacific.

They now report a legacy of rare cancers, a higher risk of miscarriages for their wives, and 10 times the usual rate of birth defects in their children.

Genetic research has proved they have the same level of DNA damage as clean-up workers at Chernobyl……………….. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/britain-under-pressure-follow-joe-25819130

January 1, 2022 Posted by | health, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA reclassifies nuclear waste, with new interpretation, making it easier to move to storage.

The Biden administration has affirmed a Trump administration
interpretation of high-level radioactive waste that is based on the
waste’s radioactivity rather than how it was produced.

The U.S. Department of Energy announcement last week means some radioactive waste
from nuclear weapons production stored in Idaho, Washington and South
Carolina could be reclassified and moved for permanent storage elsewhere.

“After extensive policy and legal assessment, DOE affirmed that the
interpretation is consistent with the law, guided by the best available
science and data, and that the views of members of the public and the
scientific community were considered in its adoption,” the agency said in
a statement to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The policy has to do with nuclear waste generated from the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel to
build nuclear bombs. Such waste previously has been characterized as high
level. The new interpretation applies to waste that includes such things as
sludge, slurry, liquid, debris and contaminated equipment. The agency said
making disposal decisions based on radioactivity characteristics rather
than how it became radioactive could allow the Energy Department to focus
on other high-priority cleanup projects, reduce how long radioactive waste
is stored at Energy Department facilities, and increase safety for workers,
communities and the environment. The department noted that the approach is
supported by the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future,
formed during the Obama administration.

The department identified three
sites where waste is being stored that will be affected by the new
interpretation.

 ABC News 29th Dec 2021

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/us-affirms-interpretation-high-level-nuclear-waste-81991323

January 1, 2022 Posted by | radiation, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Finland’s underground nuclear waste facility in construction, seeks licence

On 30 December 2021, Posiva Oy submitted to the Government an operating
licence application referred to in the Nuclear Energy Act for an
encapsulation plant and a disposal facility for spent nuclear fuel.

The facility is currently under construction in Olkiluoto, Eurajoki. Posiva has
been preparing for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel for more than 40
years. Its encapsulation plant is located above ground, and the fuel
repository of underground disposal facility is located in the bedrock at a
depth of approximately 400-430 metres.

Posiva is applying for an operatinglicence for a period from March 2024 to the end of 2070. According to theapplication, most of the spent nuclear fuel of Posiva’s owners, i.e.
Teollisuuden Voima Oyj’s Olkiluoto nuclear power plant and Fortum Power
and Heat Oy’s Loviisa nuclear power plant would be disposed of in
Posiva’s facility between 2024 and 2070. The disposal of all the spent
nuclear fuel of the Posiva owners is expected to be completed until the
late 2120s according to the present nuclear power operation plans.

 Ministry of Economic Affairs 30th Dec 2021

https://tem.fi/en/posivas-operating-licence

January 1, 2022 Posted by | Finland, wastes | Leave a comment

Kazakhstan may build nuclear power plant to provide electricity for energy-guzzling Bitcoin mining.

Kazakhstan Mulls Nuclear Power to Deal With Electricity Shortages Blamed on Crypto Miners,  Bitcoin.com, 31 Dec 21,  The government in Kazakhstan is considering building a nuclear power plant to overcome an electricity deficit allegedly caused by the booming crypto mining industry. Problems with power supply are driving away miners that saw the Central Asian country as a new home when China recently cracked down on the industry.

NPP Project Revived Amid Short Supply of Energy for Crypto Mining Sector in Kazakhstan

Authorities in Kazakhstan are now thinking of implementing a decade-old plan to construct a nuclear power plant (NPP) in order to solve the country’s pressing issues with a growing electricity deficit. With capped tariffs and a crypto-friendly attitude, the former Soviet republic attracted a throng of Chinese miners chased away by Beijing’s offensive against the crypto industry launched in May of this year. However, some of them are now leaving the country as their hardware is idling.

Two locations are currently under consideration as potential sites for a nuclear station, Kazakhstan’s Energy Minister Magzum Mirzagaliev revealed this week. These are the village of Ulken in the Alma-Ata region and the city of Kurchatov in the East Kazakhstan region………… https://news.bitcoin.com/kazakhstan-mulls-nuclear-power-to-deal-with-electricity-shortages-blamed-on-crypto-miners/

January 1, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, Kazakhstan, politics | Leave a comment

Harry Reid’s legacy – a staunch opponent of Yucca nuclear waste disposal site

Over a decades-long political career, former Senate Majority Leader Harry
Reid will be remembered for many battles fought on behalf of Nevadans.
Perhaps one of the most memorable was his vehement opposition to the Yucca
Mountain disposal site. The Yucca Mountain saga followed Reid throughout
his career in the Senate. The Department of Energy recommended the site for
a nuclear waste repository in 1986, the year Reid was elected to the
Senate.

 KTNV 29th Dec 2021

https://www.ktnv.com/news/harry-reids-legacy-a-staunch-opponent-of-yucca-mountain-nuclear-waste-disposal-site1

January 1, 2022 Posted by | PERSONAL STORIES, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Germany aiming for far-reaching methods to reduce carbon emissions across all sectors

Germany is likely to fail to hit its carbon emissions reduction targets in
the coming two years, Economy and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck
told Die Zeit newspaper. The previous government set more ambitious CO2
reduction targets, including being carbon neutral by 2040, after a top
court ruled in April that Germany must tighten its climate protection law.

The new coalition government presented plans to step up climate protection
efforts entailing far-reaching reforms for the utility sector and across
manufacturing industries, buildings, transport and agriculture.”We will
probably miss our targets for 2022. … Even for 2023 it will be difficult
enough. We are starting with a drastic backlog,” said Habeck, co-leader of
the Greens who are part of the new ruling coalition. Germany aims to cut
emissions in industry, the biggest carbon emitting sector, to 177 million
CO2 tonnes in 2022, down 38% compared with 1990.

 Independent 30th Dec 2021

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/germany-carbon-targets-robert-habeck-b1984463.html

January 1, 2022 Posted by | climate change, Germany | Leave a comment

World urgently needs a Paris-style agreement for biodiversity

‘We’ll get it done. Come hell, high water or Covid’: Can 2022 be a
super year for nature? Biodiversity talks in Kunming are likely to be
delayed again, but the world urgently needs a Paris-style agreement for
nature.

 Guardian 30th Dec 2021

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/dec/30/super-year-for-nature-is-on-hold-again-but-how-long-can-planet-wait-kunming-aoe

January 1, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, environment | Leave a comment

With 15 nuclear reactors shut down, France faces risk of power cuts

  With nuclear production at its lowest in January, RTE admits the risk of
voltage drops. French nuclear production will reach a historically low
level in January. RTE accepts the possibility of brownouts or calls to
reduce consumption. Even, as a last resort, power cuts. L’Usine Nouvelle 31st Dec 2021

https://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/la-production-nucleaire-au-plus-bas-en-janvier-rte-admet-des-risques-de-baisses-de-tension.N1172352

 Electricity: the availability of French nuclear power plants at its
lowest. Out of 56 reactors, 15 are shut down, which can pose a problem in
the event of extreme cold, underlines the manager RTE, who has raised his
level of vigilance.

 Le Monde 30th Dec 2021

https://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2021/12/30/la-disponibilite-des-centrales-nucleaires-francaises-au-plus-bas_6107699_3234.html

January 1, 2022 Posted by | ENERGY, France | Leave a comment

Dismantling of German nuclear reactor will be expensive, but provide jobs for several decades.

Asked about possible job losses, Gundremmingen mayor Tobias Buehler said
the plant’s employees would be busy with dismantling the reactor after the
shutdown. “And this period of dismantling will certainly take another one
or two decades,” Buehler said. Total costs for the dismantling are
estimated by E.ON at 1.1 billion euros ($1.25 billion) per plant. In 2020,
E.ON made provisions of 9.4 billion euros for the nuclear post-operational
phase, including dismantling the facility, packaging and cleaning up the
radioactive waste. The dismantling is expected to be completed by 2040.

 NBC 30th Dec 2021

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/germany-pull-plug-3-its-last-6-nuclear-power-plants-n1286771

January 1, 2022 Posted by | decommission reactor, employment, Germany | Leave a comment

Germany will pull the plug on 3 of its last 6 nuclear power stations

Germany will pull the plug on three of its last six nuclear power stations
on Friday, another step towards completing its withdrawal from nuclear
power as it turns its focus to renewables.

The government decided to speed
up its phasing out of nuclear power following Japan’s Fukushima reactor
meltdown in 2011 when an earthquake and tsunami destroyed the coastal plant
in the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl 25 years earlier.

The reactors of Brokdorf, Grohnde and Gundremmingen C, run by utilities E.ON
(EONGn.DE) and RWE (RWEG.DE), will be shut down on Friday after three and
half decades in operation. The last three nuclear power plants – Isar 2,
Emsland and Neckarwestheim II – will be turned off by the end of 2022.

 Reuters 30th Dec 2021

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/germany-pull-plug-three-its-last-six-nuclear-plants-2021-12-30/

January 1, 2022 Posted by | decommission reactor, Germany | Leave a comment

Increased compensation for those damaged by nuclear accident – OECD

 The protocols to amend two international instruments that bolster the
compensation rights of those affected by nuclear energy accidents were
formally ratified in Paris on 17 December 2021 at the OECD headquarters by
all the Contracting Parties, except for Turkey who has approved the
ratification and will be depositing its instrument of ratification soon.

The Protocols to amend the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the
Field of Nuclear Energy and the Brussels Convention Supplementary to the
Paris Convention will enter into force on 1 January 2022. These revised
conventions combined ensure that those suffering damage resulting from an
accident in the nuclear energy sector will be able to seek more
compensation – the operator liability will be of at least EUR 700 million
under the Paris Convention and the public funds provided under the Brussels
Supplementary Convention will complement up to EUR 1.5 billion, a sharp
increase from the previous 5 million Special Drawing Rights (SDR)
(approximately EUR 6 million as of 13 December 2021) and SDR 125 million
(approximately EUR 155 million as of 13 December 2021) respectively.

The revised Paris Convention also provides now for a minimum of EUR 70 million
and EUR 80 million in case of accidents at low-risk installations and
during transport of nuclear substances, respectively.

 OECD-NEA 17th Dec 2021

 https://www.oecd-nea.org/jcms/pl_63006/new-treaties-to-strengthen-rights-of-people-affected-by-nuclear-accidents

January 1, 2022 Posted by | EUROPE, safety | Leave a comment

UN Nuclear Ban Treaty conference postponed again because of Covid-19

A U.N. conference on nuclear nonproliferation due to take place in New
York from early next month was postponed again because of surging COVID-19
cases, diplomatic sources said Wednesday. The meeting to review the Treaty
on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was scheduled to be held Jan. 4
to 28 in New York after being delayed three times from its original date in
2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The NPT, joined by 191 countries, is
the world’s most widely ratified nuclear arms control agreement. Its review
conferences involving both nuclear and non-nuclear states have been held
every five years since 1975, with the last gathering in 2015.

 Kyodo News 30th Dec 2021

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2021/12/359525ac8ded-un-nuclear-nonproliferation-gathering-put-off-again-due-to-covid-19.html

January 1, 2022 Posted by | politics international | Leave a comment

UK’s fossil fuel use at an all-time low , as renewables generate 67% of Britain’s electricity

Fossil fuel use on the UK’s power grid dropped to an all-time low this week, in a sign analysts say is further evidence of the “renewables revolution” under way on the British electricity generation.

Just before midnight on Wednesday evening coal and gas were providing just six per cent
of electricity, according to Drax Electric Insights. “Renewables generated 24.19 GW – 65 per cent of the country’s entire electricity needs – while fossil fuels were at a new record low,” the analysts said
in statement on Thursday.

 iNews 30th Dec 2021

https://inews.co.uk/news/fossil-fuels-power-wind-renewable-1375827

January 1, 2022 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

UK govt delays final decision on Sizewell nuclear project

 The Government has agreed to a six-week extension to the final decision on
proposals for two nuclear reactors to be built on the Suffolk coast. As a
result of the Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, agreeing to the
extension, the Planning Inspectorate now has until February 25 to produce a
report on the project proposals. However, it appears that Mr Kwarteng was
not overly happy to extend the deadline by six weeks and has asked the
Planning Inspectorate to “ensure that future timetables, including the
reporting stage, are adhered”.

 Suffolk Live 30th Dec 2021

https://www.suffolklive.com/news/sizewell-c-nuclear-power-station-6418440

January 1, 2022 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment