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Robot for removing nuclear fuel debris at Fukushima Daiichi

19 janv. 2022

Footage of a robot developed to remove nuclear fuel debris from the No. 2 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is released.

January 20, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Six people to sue Tepco over thyroid cancer after Fukushima disaster

The No. 1 and No. 2 reactor buildings of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture

Jan 19, 2022

Six people are set to sue Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. over thyroid cancer that they claim they developed due to exposure to radioactive substances released from the 2011 triple reactor meltdown at its stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, their lawyers said Wednesday.

The plaintiffs, who were between the ages of 6 and 16 at the time of the nuclear disaster and lived in Fukushima Prefecture, home to the plant, will seek ¥616 million in total damages.

This is believed to be the first lawsuit involving Fukushima Prefecture residents suing Tepco over thyroid cancer in connection with the nuclear disaster.

The six plan to file the suit with Tokyo District Court on Jan. 27, the lawyers said during a news conference.

They currently live in Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture and Fukushima Prefecture. Four of them have had their entire thyroid glands removed, the lawyers said. Some have undergone multiple rounds of surgery because of cancer metastasis or recurrence, they said.

A health survey by the Fukushima prefectural government, which covered some 380,000 people age 18 or younger at the time of the disaster, showed in October last year that 266 people had cancer or suspected cancer.

Some experts have pointed out the possibility of overdiagnosis, or the discovery of cancers that do not require treatment. The lawyers claimed that the plaintiffs developed cancer due to the nuclear disaster and needed to undergo surgeries.

A review committee on the prefectural health survey has said that the thyroid cancer apparently has nothing to do with what happened at the Fukushima No. 1 plant in March 2011.

Kenichi Ido, a former judge who leads the lawyers, criticized the Japanese government for determining that there has been no health damage from the disaster.

Lawyer Hiroyuki Kawai said that “there is strong social pressure to believe that cancer is not caused by the accident, so it took a lot of courage for the six plaintiffs to file the lawsuit.”


January 20, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , | 1 Comment

Holding in the deep: what Canada wants to do with its decades-long pile-up of nuclear waste

no country in the world has solved the conundrum of how to permanently dispose of waste that will stay toxic for 400,000 years. And after decades of trying hard to figure it out, Canada doesn’t seem especially close to a solution. 

This is the legacy that we are leaving for our children, our grandchildren, great grandchildren, or great, great grandchildren,”

it would be irresponsible and morally wrong to commit future generations to a technology that produces such dangerous material, unless there is at least one proven safe method of dealing with it,”

Canada plans to store spent nuclear fuel deep, deep underground near the Great Lakes. That is, if an industry group can find a community willing to play host,  The Narwahl, By Emma McIntosh Jan. 19, 2022,   The final resting place of Canada’s most radioactive nuclear waste could be a cave about as deep below the surface as the CN Tower is tall.

If it happens, the chamber and its network of tunnels will be drilled into bedrock in the Great Lakes basin. Pellets of spent nuclear fuel — coated in ceramic material, loaded into bundles of metal tubes the size of fireplace logs, then placed into a metal container encased in clay made from volcanic ash — will be stacked in the underground chamber sealed with concrete 10 to 12 metres thick. Though the radioactive pellets will have spent several years cooling down in pools and concrete canisters, they will still emit so much energy that their presence will heat up the space where they sit for 30 to 60 years. The warmth will linger for anywhere from a few centuries to a few millennia.

But none of this will become reality unless the industry-backed Nuclear Waste Management Organization can find a willing host. Two Ontario towns are in the running: South Bruce, located about two hours’ drive northwest of Toronto near Lake Huron, and Ignace, roughly 200 kilometres north of Lake Superior, not far from the Manitoba border. The municipalities, along with 10 First Nations and two Métis councils, are awaiting the completion of dozens of studies as they mull whether the economic benefits of such a project outweigh the risks.

“We have to make sure that there isn’t an environmental risk for us, or it’s a relatively remote risk,” said Dave Rushton, a project manager for the Municipality of South Bruce.

If anyone thinks they’re informed today, I kind of question it. We’re not fully informed because we haven’t got this information yet.”   

……….   no country in the world has solved the conundrum of how to permanently dispose of waste that will stay toxic for 400,000 years. And after decades of trying hard to figure it out, Canada doesn’t seem especially close to a solution. 

“This is the legacy that we are leaving for our children, our grandchildren, great grandchildren, or great, great grandchildren,” said Bzauniibiikwe, whose English name is Joanne Keeshig. She’s Wolf Clan from Neyaashiinigmiing, also known as Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, which is located near the South Bruce proposal.

“Seven generations from now, this will not be resolved unless we start seriously taking a look at what can be done.” Modelling suggests underground nuclear waste disposal is safe. But no country has tried it yet…………….

High-level waste, meanwhile, is the responsibility of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, a non-profit established by Ontario Power Generation, New Brunswick Power Corporation, and Hydro-Québec. In the 60 or so years that Canada has produced nuclear power, it has never had a place to dispose of spent fuel. As of 2020, the country’s nuclear power utilities had produced about three million fire log-sized bundles of it — enough to fill eight hockey arenas from the ice to the top of the boards — and that number grows by about 90,000 each year. In the absence of a place to leave it permanently, producers are currently keeping high-level waste in temporary storage near the reactors. By 2100, when the federal government says it expects all of the country’s existing nuclear plants to be decommissioned, industry projects it will be holding onto nearly 5.6 million bundles.

Accumulating nuclear waste has raised red flags for a long time. In 1978, the Ontario government commissioned a report titled “A Race Against Time,” which concluded the waste was proving trickier to handle than experts initially thought and suggested a potential moratorium on new nuclear plants if the industry didn’t progress within eight years. 

Another report from the United Kingdom the same year came to a similar but stronger conclusion, said Gordon Edwards, a mathematician who has long critiqued the nuclear industry as the president of the not-for-profit Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility. 

“One of their main conclusions was that we are agreed that it would be irresponsible and morally wrong to commit future generations to a technology that produces such dangerous material, unless there is at least one proven safe method of dealing with it,” Edwards said.

“The problem with radioactivity is you can’t shut it off … You have to somehow keep it out of the environment.” 

Federal and provincial governments never issued a moratorium: construction on the Darlington plant in Bowmanville, Ont., which had been approved in 1977, began in the ‘80s. The Bruce and Pickering plants, meanwhile, continued to get new reactors. 

These days, the federal government is pushing to advance new nuclear technology, called small modular nuclear reactors (commonly known as SMRs), which some argue could be a climate mitigation tool. The technology is less efficient than larger reactors and produces more waste. Two of these new reactors might be built in the near future — the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, which oversees the industry, is considering an application for one at the Chalk River Laboratories research site in Deep River, Ont., and Ontario Power Generation has announced its intent to build another at Darlington. 

In 2002, Parliament did pass legislation requiring the industry to band together and deal with its waste and later that year, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization was formed. Twenty years on, it still hasn’t figured out what to do with high-level radioactive waste. Keeping it above ground, as is done now, leaves it vulnerable to natural disasters, or human ones like terrorism and war. 

“It’s a question of ethics,” said Brian Ikeda, an associate professor at Ontario Tech University who studies the management of radioactive waste and has a contract to do upcoming work for the Nuclear Waste Management Organization.

“Do you want to leave this stuff — which you don’t like and you think is really dangerous — and have your grandchildren figure out what to do with it? Because that’s what’s actually going to happen … we could be putting those people at huge risk by having this material out.”

As such, a consensus has emerged among global experts that the best way forward is to dispose of spent fuel far underground, a concept called a deep geological repository. But putting nuclear waste underground isn’t simple. 

The waste — which in worst-case scenarios could poison groundwater or soil — must be packaged securely enough to withstand a future ice age, which could bring massive glaciers three kilometres thick, heavy enough to affect underground geology. It must be placed in rock that is stable and won’t shift for 400,000 years, the length of time the Nuclear Waste Management Organization believes the waste would remain radioactive enough to be harmful if leaked. It must be climate change proof. 

It must also account for the many unknowns of future generations, who might not know how to  actively maintain the storage site, but on the other hand will hopefully be able to monitor it. It must be buried so deep that, if our languages disappear or the information about what’s sealed within is somehow lost, our descendants would be unlikely to disturb the buried chamber and expose themselves to the unimaginable risk inside.

Another challenge is the simple fact of entropy: everything breaks down over time. No matter what type of container holds the nuclear waste, its material will corrode over the course of many thousands of years, Ikeda said. The trick is to buy as much time as possible. …………………………………………….
Finding a nuclear waste disposal site in Ontario will require First Nations consent and buy-in from local towns…………………………………………………………

January 20, 2022 Posted by | Canada, wastes | 1 Comment

What the heck is going on with Ukraine?

Emma Elsworthy,  Crikey Worm 20 Jan 22 Worm editor
”’………………..So what the heck is going on? Well, Ukraine is stuck between a rock and a hard place, with the European Union on one side and Russia on the other — Russian is widely spoken there, and they have strong ties as a former soviet republic. But Russia has long demanded Ukraine resist the West and stay more Russian, as BBC explains, saying in no uncertain terms that Ukraine must not join NATO. Cast your mind back to 2014, as Vox explained, and you may recall Russia taking Crimea after Ukraine booted their pro-Moscow president. Ever since, things have been really tense, but Russia recently upped the ante by putting 100,000 troops on their border. So what do Russia want? Mostly for NATO to stop moving into the East and for it to return to its pre-1997 borders, which means it’d have to bail from stations in Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

January 20, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Ukraine crisis is a terrifying impasse

No (Nuclear) War Over Ukraine, Please,   Viewpoint by Jonathan Power, 19 Jan 21,

LUND, Sweden (IDN) — War over Ukraine? It mustn’t be. Some of us believed that at the end of the Cold War in 1991 American and Soviet nuclear rockets would be left to rust and rot in their silos. Indeed, we actually saw Ukraine, where the Soviets made most of their rockets and based many, (who says that Ukraine doesn’t have an umbilical relationship with Russia?), deciding to give up its nuclear armoury—for which the world should give more praise than it does.

Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush did quite a lot for nuclear disarmament. At a summit in Iceland, Reagan and Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev, panicked most of their advisors and western commentators when they nearly agreed to total nuclear disarmament. …………………..

the US has not ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty which would help stymie the further spread of nuclear arms to other countries. For new nuclear powers, if you can’t test you don’t know if you have a workable bomb.

The next stage in the disarmament process should be getting rid of short-range tactical nuclear-tipped missiles based in Europe. Moscow is insisting that the first step must be the US removing all its tactical weapons from Europe, which is fair given their proximity to Moscow. It would be as if Russia had rocket bases in Mexico. As for cutting the number of intercontinental rockets, the last big cut was made in the time of Obama and President Dimitri Medvedev. Biden did renew the agreement, but no disarmament talks are presently planned.

All this adds up to very little nuclear disarmament. The US Senate is an immovable brake on Biden, as it was earlier on President Barack Obama. For his part, Donald Trump wanted to upgrade the US armoury of nuclear missiles…………

how is it, 30 years after the end of the Cold War, that either side can justify nuclear weapons? Is Russia an enemy or is it not? Successive American presidents have said it no longer is. Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barak Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden have all said it is not. The Russians say the same thing about the US and Europe. Putin still calls them “our friends”. But surely non-enemies don’t have nuclear weapons pointed at each other…….

So what is it all about? Why are we allowing events around the issue of the independence of Ukraine to slip out of our control to where the warriors call the shots? Loose talk in Moscow about bringing a nuclear-armed Russian submarine up close to the US coast does not help. Neither does the present deployment of similar US submarines in the Black Sea…………………………

Biden is checkmated by the intransigent forces around him. Maybe it is the same with Putin. Therefore, the world is checkmated. What a terrifying impasse this Ukraine crisis is.

January 20, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Ukraine | Leave a comment

New radioactive waste plan poses ‘Milennia of Risk” for Ottawa River communities

New Radioactive Waste Plan Poses ‘Millennia of Risk’ for Ottawa River Communities 16, 2022 : Ole Hendricksen  Canada’s first-ever radioactive waste disposal facility may be headed for disaster.

Canada’s nuclear regulator is about to hold wholly-inadequate hearings on building a controversial 60-foot-high mound for one million cubic metres of radioactive and hazardous wastes, with the potential to leak for millennia into the Ottawa River—a drinking water source for millions of Canadians in Ottawa, Gatineau, Montreal, and other downstream communities

Euphemistically called a “Near Surface Disposal Facility”, or NSDF, the mound would be on unceded Algonquin territory, on a hillside adjacent to a lake and wetlands that drain into the Ottawa River a kilometre away. An environmental impact statement (EIS) ordered by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) says that without mitigation practices, “leakage of leachate or other releases of substances may affect surface water quality at downstream locations,” but then goes on to say that these changes are not expected to have significant impact on human health or aquatic biodiversity.

The EIS lists a number of possible threats to the mound’s integrity, including earthquakes, floods, fires, tornadoes, malfunctions, and accidents. At each count, the (EIS) concludes that the risks are “not significant” thanks to the facility’s proposed design features, monitoring plans, and mitigation strategies like treating effluents.


The CNSC has never refused to grant a licence, according to a memo obtained by the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility. The Expert Panel on Reform of Environmental Assessment noted in its final report that CNSC is widely seen as a captured regulator that promotes the projects it is supposed to regulate.

The surface-level nuclear mound idea was put forward by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL). In 2015, ownership of CNL was transferred from Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) to SNC-Lavalin and Texas-based Fluor and Jacobs through a 10-year, multi-billion-dollar AECL contract issued by the Harper government.

The mound is central to CNL’s strategy to reduce AECL’s C$16-billion nuclear waste clean-up liability as quickly and cheaply as possible. This federal nuclear liability has grown despite billion-dollar annual appropriations to AECL, which AECL hands over to CNL’s multinational owners.

The CNSC has signalled its approval of the NSDF by scheduling a two-part licencing hearing for February 22 and May 31,2022. A licencing document and an Environmental Assessment report will be released on January 24. CNSC’s licencing document will likely say the NSDF project is consistent with requirements of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act. CNSC’s EA report will likely repeat the assertion that the NSDF project “is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects”, or that the significant adverse environmental effects it is likely to cause are justified in the circumstances.

The CNSC initially also promised a public hearing and a public comment period on its EA report, but later eliminated them. Public participation in CNSC licencing hearings is a mere formality.


There are many problems with the proposed project.

The NSDF location was chosen without a proper siting process, even though the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says siting is a “fundamentally important activity in the disposal of radioactive waste.” Proximity to contaminated structures awaiting demolition at AECL’s Chalk River Laboratories—not environmental protection—seems to have been the priority.

Use of the term “NSDF” misrepresents the proposed facility. The EIS says it would be an above-ground mound “similar to a municipal landfill.” The IAEA says landfills are suitable only for very low level waste that has “very limited concentrations of long-lived radionuclides,” and that a “disposal facility at or near the surface makes it susceptible to processes and events that will degrade its containment and isolation capacity over much shorter periods of time.”

The waste inventory in the EISshows 23 of 31 radionuclides with half-lives exceeding 1,600 years, including man-made reactor products such as americium, neptunium, plutonium, and technetium. Much of this waste dates back to the Cold War era when Chalk River Laboratories produced materials for U.S. nuclear weapons. AECL’s NRX reactor experienced a partial meltdown in 1952. An above-ground mound is simply not capable of containing and isolating wastes like these for the duration of their radiological hazard.

The EIS says the mound would experience degradation as a result of “normal evolution”. That means mixed radioactive and hazardous industrial wastes (arsenic, beryllium, mercury, benzene, dioxins, PCBs, etc.) would leak into the Ottawa River, essentially forever. Future generations might be tempted to scavenge for scrap metal in the mound—an estimated 33 tonnes of aluminum, 178 tonnes of lead, 3,520 tonnes of copper, and 10,442 tonnes of iron.


Cobalt-60 would emit the highest amounts of radiation by far during the first 50 years of operation (99% of the total). CNL proposes to allow unlimited quantities of this powerful “short-lived” gamma-emitter in certain “packaged” wastes. Cobalt-60 is used in high-activity gamma irradiation sources for food sterilization and cancer treatment. Owing to cobalt-60’s 5.3-year half-life, these devices are no longer useful after 20 years but remain highly radioactive. They are sent back to Canada and stored at Chalk River.

CNL wants to put these “disused sources” in the mound, even though the IAEA requires their disposal at depths “of at least tens of metres”. And more are coming from around the world: a 2021 federal report says Canada supplies “approximately 95% of the global demand”.

The EIS does not mention that such commercial industry wastes would go in the NSDF. Nor does it discuss the worker safety and environmental risks created by cobalt-60 and the hundreds of tonnes of lead required to shield it.

Overall, the EIS contains minimal information on the wastes that would go into the mound. It refers to waste “packages” that could range in size up to intermodal shipping containers. Some packages supposedly would be “leachate controlled”, but no evidence or details are provided that they would withstand the heavy equipment (bulldozers, rollers) used to compact the mound.

Because the mound’s contents would be exposed to wind, rain, and snow during a 50-year operating phase, the project includes a water treatment plant to remove leachate contaminants. Tritium, the radioactive form of hydrogen, would not be removed. Partly treated leachate would be discharged into wetlands or into nearby Perch Lake through a pipeline. Both are already contaminated by groundwater plumes from existing leaking waste areas.

Despite assertions that the NSDF project would remediate “historically contaminated lands”, remediation plans are not included. Available data indicate that the leaking waste areas already contain far more radionuclides than a “licenced inventory” would allow in the NSDF.

A former AECL staff member says CNL does not rigorously track its wastes and has inadequate waste characterization and waste segregation procedures. This raises concerns about CNL’s capacity (and willingness) to adhere to the licenced inventory.


The CNSC’s mandate does not include cost-effectiveness. The $750-million cost estimate in the EIS lacks credibility. Canada has no experience with permanent radioactive waste disposal. Why build such an expensive facility that would do little to reduce the federal nuclear liability, would not conform to international safety standards, and would pollute the Ottawa River?

In 2018, six First Nations and dozens of civil society groups wrote the IAEA about the flawed NSDF proposal and Canada’s radioactive waste policy void. A 2019 IAEA mission to Canada found virtually “no evidence… of a governmental policy or strategy related to radioactive waste management.” In response, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) launched an “engagement process to modernize Canada’s Radioactive Waste Policy” in November 2020.Seven environmental petitions related to the NSDF have been filed with Canada’s Auditor General, who anticipates publication of a nuclear waste management audit this year.

As Canada’s first-ever facility for permanent disposal and eventual abandonment of nuclear reactor waste products, the NSDF would set a very poor precedent for future facilities to come. The Auditor General’s nuclear waste management audit and NRCan’s policy modernization process should conclude before the CNSC holds licencing hearings for the NSDF. Their results may help prevent the NSDF from becoming a financial and environmental disaster that would permanently contaminate one of Canada’s most treasured heritage rivers.Retired forest ecologist Ole Hendrickson is a researcher with Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area.

January 20, 2022 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment

 Stranded in Vladivostok: KIMO International and NFLA express concern at mysterious plight of Russian nuclear-powered freighter

Richard Outram, KIMO International, 19th January 2022,

KIMO International and the UK/Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities, two organisations campaigning for pollution-free oceans have expressed their concerns at the possible danger posed to the marine environment by a Russian nuclear-powered freighter stranded in the Russian Far East.

The Sevmorput (or Northern Sea Route) is the sole survivor of Russia’s original fleet of four nuclear powered cargo ships which traversed the Arctic trade routes.  Sevmorput has now been operational for over thirty years, and though refitted within the last decade, is showing her age with recent voyages plagued by mechanical breakdowns.  Her latest transit of the Northern Sea Route which links North Western Russia to Eastern Siberia ended badly.

The Sevmorput was ordered in 1978 and was completed more than a decade later. With a maximum seasonal displacement of 62,000 tons and 260 metres in length, the ship is powered by a single 135 MWt reactor at a maximum speed of 21 knots. With an ice-breaking capacity, the ship can pass through 1 metre thick ice at a speed of 2 knots.

Operated by the Murmansk Shipping Company for her first twenty years of service, the Sevmorput was transferred to ATOMFLOT, the mercantile marine subsidiary of ROSATOM, Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation, in 2008.

In early November 2021 the Sevmorput set sail from western Russia to Vladivostok, via the Arctic with a cargo of reactor parts, intended for transshipment to another vessel for onward transport to the Rooppur nuclear project in Bangladesh. The Rooppur plant is being built under contract by ROSATOM. During the passage, sea ice conditions worsened, but the Sevmorput, with nuclear propulsion and its ice-breaking capability, was able to battle through to Vladivostok.

Other shipping was less fortunate with a significant number of vessels becoming frozen fast in the Arctic, necessitating rescue by ROSATOM’s fleet of nuclear-powered ice breakers.  Amongst them were ships carrying supplies to the copper and gold mines and processing plants at Pevek in the remote Chukotka region of Eastern Siberia and undefined spare parts and equipment for the Russian floating nuclear power plant, the Akademik Alexander Lomonosov which supplies Pevek with its heat and power; these cargoes remained undelivered.

In a response to the set-back, ROSATOM assigned the Sevmorput to hasten back to Murmansk, collect the supplies for Pevek and deliver them by early January.  The ship was unable to carry out the assignment and it fell instead to ROSATOM’s newest icebreaker Arktica, escorting three cargo ships, to carry out this task.

For unexplained reasons, the Sevmorput has remained moored and immobile for almost two months, first at Nakohodka around 85 kms away from Vladivostok and then from early January anchored in an offshore ‘dry cargo holding area’ about 10kms away from the port.  Here she is being attended to by another mysterious Russian vessel, identified only as ‘SPK-44150’, which has moored alongside the freighter.

ROSATOM has not explained why the Sevmorput was unable to sail to Pevek and has made no statement as to why the Sevmorput has been immobile for so long or about her current condition.

Commenting, Councillor Jerry Ahlström, President of KIMO International, said:

“Any leaks of radioactive material at sea will enter the marine environment where containment and remediation are near impossible. The lack of transparent emergency planning in the event of a marine accident involving nuclear materials and the question of liability and compensation in the event of a nuclear accident at sea raises huge concerns for KIMO’s coastal authority members.

“The consistent lack of decision-making input, of consultation and of information and transparency on shipping routes means they are left facing a real and present risk of harm that disempowers the very communities who health and livelihoods depend upon the sea.”

Commenting, Councillor David Blackburn, Chair of the NFLA Steering Committee, said:

“The NFLA is concerned that the immobility and isolation of this nuclear-powered vessel away from prying eyes for so long might indicate that there has been some kind of nuclear accident on board or that the vessel has suffered some equipment failure that seriously compromises nuclear safety on the ship. 

“Our fear is of course that such a scenario might lead to an escape of radioactive materials into the atmosphere or into our oceans, where currents might carry it to distant shores compromising the health of the Pacific environment or its inhabitants.  It would be helpful if ROSATOM made a statement about the condition of this vessel and the mysterious activities of the SPK-44150’. For more information please contact: Richard Outram, Secretary, NFLA email   / mobile 07583 097793

The websites for both organisations can be found at:

KIMO International

Nuclear Free Local Authorities

January 20, 2022 Posted by | Russia, safety | Leave a comment

January 22 -one year since nuclear weapons became illegal

January 22: Nuclear weapons illegal one year, January 19, 2022, By Dawn Burleigh   The corporate-military-political complex that continues to renew the arsenals of the nine nuclear nations represents a colossal failure of imagination.

Everyone knows that a nuclear war cannot be won, that the weapons are strategically useless, and that they are a catastrophic world-ending accident waiting to happen.

Everyone knows that the trillions spent on these weapons along with boondoggles like the F-35 Strike Fighter are heartlessly siphoned away from the fight against Covid, acute hunger in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and the climate emergency—let alone decent pay for day-care workers.

If nuclear catastrophe happens, say the optimists (when it happens say the pessimists), anyone who survives will cast a searching look upon the whole rotten system that fostered such a monstrous end to the human effort to secure itself on the planet. Some will want to assign blame, assuming enough institutional structure remains to replicate the conditions of a Nuremberg-like court of judgment, but that worthy effort would come too late.

Let us choose optimism and posit that disaster can be averted. We then find ourselves between two paradigms, the first where war has often been the first resort in conflict and always looms as a possibility behind diplomacy, and the second where everyone understands the no-win reality of the weapons that requires eliminating them and evolving a different kind of global security system.

Whatever form such a system might take, a world federation, a renewed United Nations, or a major upgrade in prestige and publicity for diplomatic processes, is less important than the simple education of all the citizens of the planet to the reality of our situation: we must change or die.

The extended moment of the paradigm shift may be, as former Secretary of Defense Perry has ceaselessly warned, the most dangerous time of all, where nuclear war is even more likely than during the Cold War. But the risk of continuing to drift is far greater than the risk of efforts, like those of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and countless others, to eliminate these world-ending weapons.

Global conflicts remain complex and of course not principally caused by the weapons makers, though it is clear that the arms race is fueled by greed, and its inertial momentum immensely complicates diplomatic efforts to resolve conflict short of war. Nuclear weapons overshadow the points of tension involving the nuclear superpowers, including Ukraine (Russia vs. NATO, Taiwan (China vs. the U.S. et al.) and Kashmir (India vs. Pakistan).

A relatively small number of people, heads of government and of large corporations along with diplomats, hold the fate of the earth in their hands. In the United States Congress should hold hearings where members of this elite group of nuclear strategists can be held to a standard of absolute clarity—justifying to American citizens why they need to spend above a trillion dollars to renew our arsenal, and why they refuse to consider the will of the Earth’s people:

86 nations are signatories to the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. January 22 will mark the one year anniversary of the date the treaty became international law. Nuclear weapons are illegal, immoral, and useless.

Winslow Myers, syndicated by PeaceVoice, author of “Living Beyond War: A Citizen’s Guide,” serves on the Advisory Board of the War Preventive Initiative.

January 20, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Austria preparing for a legal battle to prevent EU from calling nuclear power ‘sustainable’

Austria gears up to fight EU ‘green’ nuclear energy plan,  France 24Vienna (AFP) 19 Jan 22, – As the EU moves to label energy from nuclear power and natural gas as “green” investments, Austria is gearing up to fight this, including with a legal complaint.The European Commission is consulting with member states and European lawmakers until Friday on its plans.A final text could be published by end of the month and would become EU law effective from 2023 if a majority of member states or the EU Parliament fail to oppose it.

“Neither of these two forms of energy is sustainable and therefore has no place in the taxonomy regulation,” Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler told AFP in an interview this week in her eighth-floor office overlooking the Danube canal that flows through central Vienna.
The European Commission is consulting with member states and European lawmakers until Friday on its plans.A final text could be published by end of the month and would become EU law effective from 2023 if a majority of member states or the EU Parliament fail to oppose it.

“Neither of these two forms of energy is sustainable and therefore has no place in the taxonomy regulation,” Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler told AFP in an interview this week in her eighth-floor office overlooking the Danube canal that flows through central Vienna.

Strong arguments’

The 44-year-old said Austria had “very, very strong arguments” why energy from nuclear power and natural gas should not be labelled as green and as such she had “great confidence” a complaint at the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) could succeed.
“The question of waste disposal (from nuclear energy) has not been solved for decades… It’s as if we give our children a backpack and say ‘you will solve it one day,'” she said……………

January 20, 2022 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Australia continues to lead the world for solar installations.

Rooftop solar took a hit in 2021 with the industry growing a third less than expected thanks to lockdowns and supply chain disruptions, despite still showing strong growth overall. More than 3m households and small businesses across the country now have solar panel systems installed, with the milestone reached in November. According to registration data provided by solar consultancy company SunWiz, 3.24GW of new solar capacity was added across the country last year, representing 10% growth on the previous year.

These figures include small rooftop systems of less than 100MW registered by homeowners and small businesses, and do not include large, industrial-scale solar installations. Queensland now has the most installed capacity, with 4,483MW, closely followed by New South Wales (4,256MW) and Victoria (3,839MW). Australia continues to lead the world for solar installations with a total installed capacity of just under 17GW.

 Guardian 19th Jan 2022

January 20, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, renewable | Leave a comment

Why nuclear power can never be green

Why nuclear power can never be green, RANVIR S. NAYAR, January 15, 2022,   Jan. 14 was a frightening Friday for EDF, the French state-owned utility company that is also the world’s largest nuclear power operator.

The week had begun on a bad note for EDF when it announced another delay in commissioning its EPR, the third-generation pressurized water reactor it has been trying to build at Flamanville (pictured) in France and a couple of other sites in other countries. EDF said the plant would now be ready only in 2023, and the cost had further increased to €12.7 billion.

Barely had the stock markets digested this bit of bad news — albeit not entirely unexpected, since EPR has been EDF’s bete noire since it was conceived over a decade ago — than the French government said EDF ought to cut its electricity price down to the same level as rivals in the French market. This sent EDF stock plunging on Friday by 20 percent.

Meanwhile another battle, of far greater consequence to Europe and the world, was raging just across the border in Brussels. That began when the European Commission tried to slip in a major modification to how power sources are labeled, by according the “green investment” tag to nuclear power.

If officials in Brussels had hoped that the media and others would be too busy welcoming 2022 to notice, within hours they were proved wrong as the new government in Germany and numerous environmental groups rejected the new designation and asked for it to be withdrawn.

The “green” designation had been in the offing for a while, as the EU and the rest of the world struggles to meet the ambitious targets for reduced carbon emissions required by the Paris Agreement.

Not surprisingly, a key driver is France, which is not only the biggest user of nuclear power, but has also just begun its six-month rotating presidency of the EU. However, French and EC officials ought to have realized that such a controversial move could not just be slipped in, especially with a new government in Germany that includes as a major partner, for the first time, the Green Party — who have actively campaigned for a total phase-out of nuclear power.

If a “green investment” tag is indeed given to nuclear energy, driving hundreds of billions of dollars of fresh capital into hundreds of new nuclear power projects, then world leaders must pause and consider whether they putting ticking timebombs under all of us.

On the same day as European officials moved the draft to give the green investment tag to nuclear power, Germany shut down three of its last six nuclear reactors, as part of its promise to phase out nuclear power totally by end of 2022.

Little wonder, then, that the German government called the European move greenwashing, and said it diluted the good label of sustainability. Germany was joined by Austria, which said it would sue if the EC went ahead, and that neither gas nor nuclear power could be called green as they were both harmful for the environment.

Indeed, calling nuclear power “green” or “sustainable,” attempting to equate a nuclear reactor with a solar panel or a wind turbine, is plain and simple fraud. Certainly, nuclear power does not lead to carbon emissions once production begins, but to give it the same treatment as a trully renewable source such as solar or wind is not just twisting the truth, it is a bare-faced lie.

Sustainability cannot be measured simply by carbon emissions, it must also take into account the overall impact on the environment, and the possibility of accidents and damage. From Chernobyl to Fukushima, and many more incidents that pass unreported or don’t make global headlines, the world has already seen the dangers of nuclear power.

Nuclear power accounts for less than 10 percent of the world’s total electricity generation. One reason for this low share is that these projects are extremely capital intensive, with the construction cost for each MW of nuclear power exceeding €7.7 million in the case of Flamanville. Moreover, nuclear power projects have a long history of lengthy delays and cost over runs. Flamanville’s initial budget was €3.3 billion and the plant was to be operational in 2013. Now it is over a decade late and the cost has grown over 400 percent, with no certainty that it will not have further cost or time over runs. In contrast, solar power in many parts of the world has become even cheaper than coal, the cheapest source so far.

The nuclear industry lobby says that the cost of running a nuclear power plant is minimal and that over a life-cycle nuclear power is competitive. However, this is false again, as decommissioning a nuclear power plant can be more expensive than building it in the first place. There is also doubt over how safely the nuclear waste has been stored, and whether it would leak into ground water or contaminate the soil over the course of tens of thousands of years that will be radioactive.

If a “green investment” tag is indeed given to nuclear energy, driving hundreds of billions of dollars of fresh capital into hundreds of new nuclear power projects, then world leaders must pause and consider whether they putting ticking timebombs under all of us.

The world must ponder whether it is worth tackling the poison in the air that is carbon by spreading poison all around us, in air, in soil and in water — because that is what will happen if we go full-tilt for nuclear energy.

  • Ranvir S. Nayar is managing editor of Media India Group, a global platform based in Europe and India, which encompasses publishing, communication, and consultation services.

January 20, 2022 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Anti-radiation pills given out to residents, nurseries, schools, care homes and clinics near UK’s nuclear submarine ports.

 EARLY 100,000 anti-radiation pills have been handed out to residents of three English ports in case nuclear submarines go into meltdown, Declassified UK has found. The medication, issued between 2016 and 2021 in Plymouth, Portland and Barrow-in-Furness, went to nurseries, schools, care homes and clinics near naval docks.

The figures were revealed in a freedom of information request by the investigative website. Nuclear-powered submarines are built for the Royal Navy by arms company BAE Systems at Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, and the vessels moor at sites such as Devonport dockyard in Plymouth and Dorset’s Portland harbour.

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) general secretary Kate Hudson said: “The production, servicing and berthing of nuclear powered submarines in or near population centres presents an unacceptable health risk. “Safeguarding our communities cannot be achieved through limited distribution of pills.”

 Morning Star 18th Jan 2022

January 20, 2022 Posted by | health, UK | Leave a comment

Could Plutonium Shipping in New Mexico Lead to Disaster?

Could Plutonium Shipping in New Mexico Lead to Disaster?   Legal Reader, 

PETER CHARLES — January 18, 2022   Santa Fe already sees a considerable amount of radioactive waste transported near its city limits, as contaminated gloves, equipment, and soil are regularly shipped from Los Alamos Laboratory.

Residents of New Mexico are concerned about a plan to ship plutonium through the Land of Enchantment. Many people are totally unaware that nuclear materials are transported through the state on a fairly regular basis, and fewer still are aware of the potential risks. So what happens if one of these semi-trucks crashes, and nuclear waste spills out? What happens if you are injured or irradiated as a result? 

If you have been injured in a semi-truck accident, it’s always best to reach out to a qualified, experienced semi-truck accident attorney in New Mexico. These legal professionals have the resources and knowledge to help you fight for justice in a confident, efficient manner. The truth of the matter is that cargo spills can cause serious injuries to innocent motorists, especially if that cargo is radioactive. This type of material should have never been transported across New Mexico in the first place, and a lawyer can help you seek justice

Cold War Plutonium a Concern for Santa Fe Residents

Santa Fe already sees a considerable amount of radioactive waste transported near its city limits, as contaminated gloves, equipment, and soil are regularly shipped from Los Alamos Laboratory to an underground disposal site near Carlsbad. However, the Department of Energy’s new plan is to ship leftover plutonium from the Cold War through the south side of the city, which is much more dangerous compared to normal radioactive waste. There are 26 metric tons of plutonium that needs to be disposed of, and this plutonium has to be extracted from bomb cores before being transported. 

In addition, the plutonium is so deadly that it must be diluted before it is transported. Otherwise, it would violate regulations at New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. The site explicitly rejects anything other than low-level nuclear waste. The process involves shipping the plutonium to Los Alamos Lab, turning it into an oxide powder, and then shipping back across New Mexico’s highways to South Carolina.

Finally, the powder would be diluted even further before returning back to New Mexico and being stored at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Critics say that having plutonium shipped back and forth multiple times across New Mexico is an accident waiting to happen. ……..

January 20, 2022 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

ITER nuclear fusion – a spectacular waste of time, money, and political clout

 Is a $22bn giant magnet the ‘holy grail’ of clean energy? Dozens of
nations have staked huge sums – and decades of work – on a nuclear
fusion project they hope can play a key role in ending the climate crisis.
But is the ITER programme more than a pipe dream?

If ITER works, it will be the first fusion device in history to produce a net energy gain, producing
10 times more power than it needs to function, all without the dangerous
waste of its cousin nuclear fission, which powers contemporary nuclear

To its critics, ITER is a spectacular waste of time, money, and
political clout, at a moment when the planetary clock has nearly run down.
For Jan Haverkamp, an energy expert at Greenpeace, nuclear has a record of
overpromising, underdelivering, and costing astronomical sums of money –
precisely the wrong combination when the world needs a rapid, reliable
transition to green energy.

According to modelling from Greenpeace and
others, the world could reach a fully renewable energy system without
nuclear by 2050. Even before the pandemic, the project was running at least
10 years behind schedule and billions over budget. A 2013 review of ITER
management called its structure “ill-defined and poorly implemented”,
leading to a large-scale reorganisation.

In 2015, ITER’s director-general, Bernard Bigot, wrote that previous generations of ITER
leadership had “proved incapable of solving issues and responding to the
project’s needs, so accumulating technical difficulties have led to
stalemates, misunderstandings and tension between staff around the

 Independent 18th Jan 2022

January 20, 2022 Posted by | EUROPE, technology | Leave a comment

Rolls Royce aims to market its Small Nuclear Reactors to Saudi Arabia (a good step towards nuclear weapons?)

Rolls-Royce heads to Middle East as Saudi Arabia plots £74bn nuclear investment, 

ROLLS-ROYCE is looking to the Middle East to export its new [so-called] green technology while Saudi Arabia is reportedly eyeing up a £74billion nuclear investment.

Express UK By JACOB PAUL, Wed, Jan 19, 2022………….. Rolls-Royce looks set to bring its SMR technology to the World Future Energy Summit. This is a global conference showcasing green energy technology. Mr Samson said the company is hoping to start talks with government representatives and large industrial in the Middle East……

And this comes as Saudi Arabia is reportedly exploring options of investing $100 billion (£73.55billion) in several nuclear plants with a combined capacity of 22 gigawatts………

It comes as Rolls-Royce looks set to bring its SMR technology to the World Future Energy Summit.

This is a global conference showcasing green energy technology.

Mr Samson said the company is hoping to start talks with government representatives and large industrial in the Middle East.

And this comes as Saudi Arabia is reportedly exploring options of investing $100 billion (£73.55billion) in several nuclear plants with a combined capacity of 22 gigawatts……..

Mtr Samson – “We have opened up a whole spectrum of customers.”

And Rolls-Royce has already been looking for opportunities to sell its technology to potential UK customers.

But the first SMR units are not expected to come online before the early 2030s. Mr Samson said the company needs to first go through the regulatory processes in Britain. It also needs time to build factories, certify its designs and move on to the production process…………

January 20, 2022 Posted by | marketing, Saudi Arabia, UK | Leave a comment