nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Conflict resolution – the positive way out of the Ukraine crisis

According to Anatol Lieven, an academic and Ukraine specialist, this is “the most dangerous crisis in the world today; it is also in principle the most easily solved”. A solution exists, drawn up by France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine in 2015, which involves the implementation of the Minsk II agreement. This offers demilitarisation, a restoration of Ukrainian sovereignty including control of the border with Russia, and full autonomy for the Donbas region. The main objection for Kyiv is that autonomy for the Donbas would prevent Ukraine from joining Nato and the EU.

One way through this would be for Nato to declare Ukraine a neutral country and decree that it does not join Nato for at least a decade. In practice, Ukrainian membership of the EU is ruled out for at least a generation because of Ukraine’s corruption, political dysfunction and lack of economic progress.

I’m a conflict mediator. This is a way out of the Ukraine crisis   https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/feb/09/conflict-mediator-ukraine-vladimir-putin, Gabrielle Rifkind

Instead of ramping up the threats, western nations should be offering Vladimir Putin a ladder to climb down,  The current western narrative on the Ukraine crisis is that Russia is a machiavellian power with an expansionist agenda. That view is shaping our response: we are matching Vladimir Putin’s aggression, meeting strength with strength and threats with threats. But what if we tried to get inside the mind of the enemy, and ask what was motivating the aggression? By doing so, could we break this cycle – and offer Putin a way out, too?

When the USSR deployed ballistic missiles to Cuba in the 1960s, their proximity to the US nearly unleashed a third world war. Sitting in Moscow today, does Putin see being encircled by Nato as an equivalent threat? After all, one of his core demands is that Nato curbs its expansion close to the Russian border, and that Ukraine must not join. Russia claims that the US repeatedly told Soviet leaders it would incorporate Russia into a cooperative European security framework. In practice, Nato emerged as a US-dominated security frame with about 75,000 US troops still on European soil. Great powers always treat with suspicion and hostility the presence of rival great powers on their borders.

Putin was always bitter about the collapse of the Soviet Union. He bided his time, and in 2014 Russia seized Crimea and sent troops into Ukraine’s mostly Russian-speaking Donbas region to support the separatist movement.

Russia today is no benign liberal democracy and President Putin has an intelligence mindset, playing poker, not chess. He is prepared to threaten war, create chaos and spread misinformation to push back Nato from Russia’s borders. Using coercive diplomacy, he has amassed more than 130,000 troops on the eastern border of Ukraine, a continued threat to its sovereignty.

Yet however provocative Russia’s behaviour, western governments have a responsibility not to escalate the threat of war. The consequences of a direct US-Russian confrontation in Ukraine would be catastrophic on all sides. A full-scale conventional war could escalate into nuclear war. Even a limited war would create a ruinous global economic crisis that could destroy for the foreseeable future any chance of serious action against climate change.

I have worked in conflict resolution for the past 20 years and seen the dangers of stumbling into wars, unable to stop or turn back. Selling weapons to a country may look like a principled act in support of an ally but it usually takes them deeper and deeper into the quagmire of conflict. The US and the UK have instigated and been involved in four failed wars this century, but we seem to have failed to have learned the lessons.

There are those who argue that sending military support to Ukraine strengthens Nato’s hand at the negotiating table. Yet there are inherent dangers in this approach – the use of deterrence could be the very thing that escalates the situation.

Washington and London have pledged to increase offensive military aid to Ukraine and have announced arms deliveries, ammunition and anti-tank weapons. The UK is seeking to put itself at the forefront of western efforts to forestall what the prime minister, Boris Johnson, has called the risk of a “lightning war” in eastern Europe.

Germany has been much more sceptical, blocking the transfer of German-made weapons from Baltic states to Ukraine. It has long argued against sending weapons to active conflict zones. Germany has declared that it is prepared to have a serious dialogue with Russia to defuse the highly dangerous situation, arguing that diplomacy is the only viable way.

Whatever western governments feel about Moscow’s behaviour, de-escalating the conflict and giving Moscow a ladder to climb down is in everyone’s interest. We should not underestimate the link between humiliation and aggression. Putin is a very proud man, and smart politics by western governments should offer face-saving gestures if we are serious about avoiding war.

According to Anatol Lieven, an academic and Ukraine specialist, this is “the most dangerous crisis in the world today; it is also in principle the most easily solved”. A solution exists, drawn up by France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine in 2015, which involves the implementation of the Minsk II agreement. This offers demilitarisation, a restoration of Ukrainian sovereignty including control of the border with Russia, and full autonomy for the Donbas region. The main objection for Kyiv is that autonomy for the Donbas would prevent Ukraine from joining Nato and the EU.

One way through this would be for Nato to declare Ukraine a neutral country and decree that it does not join Nato for at least a decade. In practice, Ukrainian membership of the EU is ruled out for at least a generation because of Ukraine’s corruption, political dysfunction and lack of economic progress.

Talks between Putin and France’s President Macron this week were more conciliatory in tone. Macron said: “There is no security for Europeans if there is no security for Russia.” A permanent forum where Russia is welcome is needed to re-examine the post-cold war security system in Europe. This approach to issues such as missile deployments, arms control and transparency around military exercises could ease this conflict. Such a dialogue could create a climate of security cooperation with Russia.

  • Gabrielle Rifkind is a specialist in conflict resolution and the director of Oxford Process

February 12, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Russian Congress of Intellectuals: An Open Letter to the Russian Leadership

Russian Congress of Intellectuals..An Open Letter to the Russian Leadership.  https://johnmenadue.com/russian-congress-of-intellectuals-an-open-letter-to-the-russian-leadership-february-4-2022/ February 4, 2022, By John Menadue, (letter, signed by a large number of individuals)

Our position is simple: Russia does not need a war with Ukraine and the West. Such a war is devoid of legitimacy and has no moral basis.

There is an ever-increasing flow of alarming news about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine. Reports are emerging about stepped-up recruitment of mercenaries within Russia and the transfer of fuel and military equipment to Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions. In response, Ukraine is arming itself and NATO is sending additional forces into Eastern Europe. The tension is not abating, but rather mounting.

Russian citizens are becoming de facto hostages of a reckless adventurism that has come to typify Russia’s foreign policy. Not only must Russians live with the uncertainty of whether a large-scale war will begin, but they are also experiencing a sharp rise in prices and a devaluation of their currency. Is this the sort of policy Russians need? Do they want war—and are they ready to bear the brunt of it? Have they authorized the authorities to play with their lives in this way?

But no one asks Russian citizens for their opinion. There is no public debate. State television presents only a single viewpoint—that of the warmongers. Direct military threats, aggression and hatred are aimed at Ukraine, the US, and the West. But the most dangerous thing is that the war is being depicted not only as permissible, but as inevitable. This is an attempt to deceive the population, to impose upon them the idea of waging a crusade against the West, rather than investing in the country’s development and improving living standards. The cost of the conflict is never discussed, but the price—the huge, bloody price—will be paid by the common Russian people.

We, responsible citizens and patriots of Russia, appeal to Russia’s political leadership. We openly and publicly call out the Party of War that has been formed within the government.

We represent the viewpoint of those in Russian society who reject war, who consider unlawful the use of military threats and the deployment of a blackmailing style in foreign policy.

We reject war, whereas you, the Party of War, consider it acceptable. We stand for peace and prosperity for all Russian citizens, whereas you put our lives on the line for the sake of political games. You deceive and manipulate people, whereas we tell them the truth. You do not speak in the name of the Russian population—we do. For decades, the Russian people, who lost millions of lives in past wars, have lived by the saying: “if only there were no war.” Have you forgotten this?

Our position is quite simple. Russia does not need a war with Ukraine and the West. No one is threatening us, no one is attacking us. Policies based on the idea of such a war are immoral and irresponsible and must not be conducted in the name of the Russian people. Such a war is devoid of legitimacy and has no moral basis. Russian diplomacy should take no other position than a categorical rejection of such a war.

Not only does such a war not reflect Russia’s interests, but it also threatens the country’s very existence. The senseless actions of the country’s political leadership, which is pushing us in this direction, will inevitably lead to a mass anti-war movement in Russia. Each of us will naturally play a part in it.

We will do everything in our power to prevent this war, and if it begins, to stop it.

Signed,

Continue reading

February 12, 2022 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Macron goes for a new nuclear renaissance, despite the industry’s woes in France

France to build up to 14 new nuclear reactors by 2050, says Macron. French president says ‘renaissance’ of atomic energy industry will help end country’s reliance on fossil fuels, Guardian,  Angelique Chrisafis in Paris 11 Feb 22, Emmanuel Macron has announced a “renaissance” for the French nuclear industry with a vast programme to build as many as 14 new reactors, arguing that it would help end the country’s reliance on fossil fuels and make France carbon neutral by 2050.

“What our country needs … is the rebirth of France’s nuclear industry,” Macron said in a speech in the eastern industrial town of Belfort, in which he lauded the country’s technological prowess.

The centrist French president, who is expected to announce his campaign for re-election this month, is conscious of a growing debate about energy ahead of this spring’s presidential vote as costs to consumers rise. Environmental issues are also a growing concern among French voters.

….. recent attempts to build new-generation reactors to replace older models have become mired in cost overruns and delays.

Presidential candidates on the right have supported more nuclear power plants saying France should have “sovereignty” over its electricity, while detractors on the left have warned of the cost and complexity of building new reactors. Environmentalists have raised safety concerns over radioactive waste that remains deadly for tens of thousands of years.

……… He also announced a major acceleration in the development of solar and offshore wind power. He said France had no choice but to rely on renewables and nuclearand that the country would also have to consume significantly less energy in the next decades.

He said he would seek to extend the lives of all existing French nuclear plants where it was safe to do so.

The announcement comes at a difficult time for debt-laden, state-controlled energy provider, EDF, which faces delays and budget overuns on new nuclear plants in France and Britain, and corrosion problems in some of its ageing reactors.

Macron announced the construction of at least six new reactors by EDF by 2050, with an option for another eight.

His recent focus on nuclear power marks a policy shift from the start of his presidency, when he had promised to reduce its share in France’s energy mix.

The French government lobbied hard and successfully to get the European Commission to label nuclear power “green” this month in a landmark review which means it can attract funding as a climate-friendly power source.

The Green presidential candidate, Yannick Jadot, said it was a moral imperative to progressively end France’s dependence on nuclear to protect the climate and French people’s safety. He said Macron’s project was backward-looking and would condemn France to a kind of “energy and industrial obsolescence”. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/10/france-to-build-up-to-14-new-nuclear-reactors-by-2050-says-macron

February 12, 2022 Posted by | France, politics | 1 Comment

Entergy nuclear plant accused of overcharging ratepayers – customers could now get $millions on refunds.

there are also allegations that the utility is living high on the hog and trying to stick ratepayers with the bill. Among other charges, regulators questioned Entergy’s expenses for $1.6 million of private airplane travel, lobbying expenses, advertisements promoting Entergy and industry association dues. The PSC said Entergy has improperly assessed ratepayers for those expenses.

Growing fight over Entergy nuclear plant could net millions in refunds for customers. Probe over accounting at Grand Gulf has spawned a litany of allegations, BY SAM KARLIN  THE ADVOCATE  STAFF WRITER, FEB 11, 2022 – 

A probe over Entergy’s accounting at its Grand Gulf nuclear power plant in Mississippi has morphed into a larger fight between regulators and the power company, which is accused of overcharging ratepayers at its various subsidiaries hundreds of millions of dollars over a period of several years.

If the Louisiana Public Service Commission and other regulators prevail in the three main probes now open before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, Entergy could be forced to pay customers substantial refunds.

What started as an obscure probe into arcane accounting practices has turned into a broader battle – over tax maneuvers, compensation for executives and the plant’s performance – the latter of which has drawn in former FERC commissioners and even Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, who wrote a letter to the commission about Grand Gulf’s economic impact to his state.

The potential refunds could amount to $1 billion or more across Entergy’s network if FERC sides with regulators across the board, which could mean hundreds of dollars for each affected customer. Regulators in one of the cases already won a favorable recommendation from a judge, who advised FERC to make Entergy pay back $422 million to customers, plus interest, for one of the allegations, likely bringing the tally for that case alone to over $600 million, according to an SEC filing Entergy made late last year.

The judge made that recommendation in April 2020. FERC hasn’t yet made a decision on the case.

Customers of Entergy Louisiana and Entergy New Orleans would split the refunds with ratepayers in Mississippi and Arkansas – a group that totals about 2.5 million customers. Entergy Louisiana and New Orleans customers would get roughly 14% and 17% of the total refunds, respectively, according to the best estimates available in FERC filings…………………………………

The PSC, which regulates Entergy Louisiana, filed a complaint in 2018 accusing the company of violating accounting rules by overbilling ratepayers for a sale-leaseback arrangement – where Entergy sold assets and leased them back from the new owner. Entergy owns 90% of Grand Gulf through a subsidiary called SERI, while Cooperative Energy of Mississippi owns the other 10%.

While investigating that complaint, regulators say they uncovered a host of accounting practices that, taken together, amount to a scheme to systematically overcharge electric customers who get power from Grand Gulf. Among those allegations is essentially that Entergy charged ratepayers more for taxes than it was paying. …………..

there are also allegations that the utility is living high on the hog and trying to stick ratepayers with the bill. Among other charges, regulators questioned Entergy’s expenses for $1.6 million of private airplane travel, lobbying expenses, advertisements promoting Entergy and industry association dues. The PSC said Entergy has improperly assessed ratepayers for those expenses.

Complaints turn to performance issues

Last year, the inquiry widened further. The PSC, the New Orleans City Council and regulators in Arkansas and Mississippi filed a new complaint asking FERC to force Entergy to reimburse customers for a host of glaring performance problems at the nuclear plant – the least reliable nuclear plant in the nation from 2018-2020, according to figures compiled by the Nuclear Energy Institute. The figures showed Grand Gulf was running at full power less frequently than any other nuclear plant in the U.S.………………..

Grand Gulf, which was built in the 1970s, has been troubled from the start. Its two units were budgeted to cost $1.2 billion, but its first unit wound up costing nearly $3 billion. The energy it produced when it went online was about 13 cents per kilowatt hour, well above the typical price of power of about 3 cents per kilowatt hour, according to a FERC filing made by the PSC.

“Grand Gulf has been a bad apple since the late 1970s,” said Logan Burke, head of the Alliance for Affordable Energy. “The costs to run it are going up, benefits from running it are going down, and customers are kind of stuck paying for this thing.” https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/article_6e99be86-8b7a-11ec-8155-e3988c8fc7b3.html

February 12, 2022 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Space rocket with NASA satellites launched, but now lost in space

Astra rocket seen spinning out of control at fairing sep, payloads lost

Astra Space launches from Space Coast, but rocket last seen spinning in space

By RICHARD TRIBOU. ORLANDO SENTINEL| FEB 10, 2022 

 Astra Space successfully launched a rocket Thursday for the first time from the Space Coast, but the mission was a failure as the upper stage was last seen spinning in space with its ultimate fate unclear……….   

The plan was to deploy four satellites for NASA a little more than eight minutes after liftoff, but cameras on board ahead of the deployment showed the second stage tumbling in space. 

Speed and altitude data on the stream showed the rocket hit a maximum velocity of nearly 9,700 mph and continued to climb in altitude even after the malfunction, moving from 85 miles altitude when the fairing separated and last seen at around 140 miles altitude and climbing when data cut off on the video.

……………………  This mission, which was the culmination of $3.9 million awarded to the company as part of NASA’s Venture Class Launch Services Demonstration 2 contract was dubbed ELaNa 41, as in the Educational Launch of Nanosatellites.

The four CubeSats lost in space came from the University of Alabama (BAMA-1), New Mexico State University (INCA), the University of California at Berkeley (QubeSat) and NASA’s Johnson Space Center (R5-S1).

The company had looked to complete the first of what is planned to be many launches from Florida. Last week it became the first company to get Federal Aviation Administration approval for a new type of license that combines what previously required multiple licenses.  https://www.orlandosentinel.com/space/os-bz-astra-space-launch-attempt-thursday-20220210-n7bxzytogrd2flsq7j4ajm6xqi-story.html

February 12, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Philippines: the case against coal, other fossil fuels and nuclear power

Building a nuclear power plant will only further burden Filipino consumers economically and expose the country and citizens to more health hazards, contamination and disaster risks.Nuclear energy is the most expensive and most dangerous source of electricity. Contrary to others’ expectations, nuclear will actually cost us so much: fuel, expertise and technologies all have to be imported overseas. That’s aside from the huge costs of dealing with the safety risks and disasters associated with nuclear power plants.

 By Ludwig Federigan, Manila Times, February 12, 2022, The author is the executive director of the Young Environmental Forum and a nonresident fellow of the Stratbase ADR Institute. He ranks 236th among global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) influencers, according to the Taking Action Online. You can email him at ludwig.federigan@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter at @WiggyFederigan

GROWTH is difficult to imagine without energy and energy that does not take the needs of future generations into consideration can only destroy and not build………The Philippines has enough renewable resources to meet its power needs but some are unevenly distributed.

Some locations may not be as well-endowed. Geographic features, such as mountains, may cause clouds to appear more often and block sunlight. Others may disrupt wind flows, making it harder to generate electricity from the wind.The solution in such cases is to import power from nearby areas better endowed with renewable sources.

 Given that we can be self-sufficient in renewable electricity nationwide, less endowed areas should not have to look too far to source electricity. This is no different from what we do today when we construct hundred-megawatt and gigawatt-level power plants — these are so widely-spaced apart that they have to export their output to distant  locations, too.

Delivering electricity to localities in need requires transmission and distribution lines. Thus, even where renewables make it possible for more households and communities to consume electricity at the point it is generated, we still need transmission infrastructure to support less endowed localities.The importance given to baseload plants — plants that provide a steady output 24/7 — is an outdated idea. It was useful in the past when renewables were very expensive but is less so today in an era of cheap renewables. It is possible to cope with the variable output of solar panels and wind turbines in the same way that banks cope with the inherent unpredictability of deposits and withdrawals.

The claim that renewable electricity is too expensive to compete with fossil fuels might have been valid a few years ago. It is not so true today. Various case studies have already shown how rooftop solar is cheaper than grid electricity in most parts of the country. Of course, if consumers still think otherwise, then the market for renewables will remain  sluggish.

What is needed at this point is for the policymakers, academics, media and the public to be better informed about the state of prices. This is something that can be done by suppliers and the government. Unfortunately, too many  policymakers, academics and media people still think that “solar is expensive.”

………………The government must do more to support renewable energy (RE). When people say RE is expensive, it’s in large part because it takes so many permits and many years to develop a project in the country. Many of the steps are unnecessary and sometimes are subject to discretion and abuse of public officials. If we cut this red tape, it will decrease the cost and risks of development, allow more local and foreign companies to compete, and reduce costs  for all consumers.

On nuclear power

Building a nuclear power plant will only further burden Filipino consumers economically and expose the country and citizens to more health hazards, contamination and disaster risks.Nuclear energy is the most expensive and most dangerous source of electricity. Contrary to others’ expectations, nuclear will actually cost us so much: fuel, expertise and technologies all have to be imported overseas. That’s aside from the huge costs of dealing with the safety risks and disasters associated with nuclear power plants.

The uranium needed to fuel a nuclear facility will have to be imported as deposits do not exist in the country. Not only will this reduce the country’s energy independence, it will also render the price we pay for power dependent on changes in world uranium prices. Transportation of the fuel is also another cost that has to be shouldered. The costs of building, operating and eventually decommissioning nuclear plants are also much more higher than renewables.Nuclear energy is not clean or truly renewable. While atomic energy can be regenerated, substances such as uranium are finite resources. These materials are also mined, just like fossil fuels, and need further processing before they are  usable. The processing also poses risks for the environment and is likely to contribute to greenhouse gas emissions  rather than mitigate them, as is often claimed by nuclear power proponents…………..

The risk and costs of environmental destruction and the impacts on health and livelihoods outweigh any short-term perceived benefits from nuclear. The government must instead focus on achieving ambitious RE targets and aim for  100-percent RE power generation. We should stop wasting time, money and effort on pursuing nuclear energy, which is a losing proposition for consumers, the economy, and our health and safety. https://www.manilatimes.net/2022/02/12/business/green-industries/the-case-against-coal-other-fossil-fuels-and-nuclear-power/1832623.

February 12, 2022 Posted by | Philippines, politics | 1 Comment

Furthest from Ukraine frontline, Washington is most eager for war

Washington intends to instigate wars, in a bid to increase the legitimacy of NATO’s existence and the bloc’s internal cohesion to tie Europe – which has shown some signs of departing from Washington – more tightly to the US. Some other analysts say the US can take the opportunity to sell arms – a reasonable suspicion based on history. 

Furthest from Ukraine frontline, Washington is most eager for war: Global Times editorial, By Global Times, Feb 07,   US President Joe Biden recently approved the deployment of 3,000 US troops to the eastern part of Europe. The first batch has arrived in Germany and Poland. This is an eye-offending move the US made after it withdrew its troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. The Pentagon previously announced that 8,500 US troops are placed on heightened alert to possibly deploy to Eastern Europe. In addition, NATO defense ministers will discuss further reinforcements at their next meeting on February 16 and 17. Although these troops are not deployed directly in Ukraine, the move has de facto made people think Eastern Europe is on the brink of war.

Washington, it must be noted, is furthest away from the Ukrainian frontline but it is most eager for a war, while both Russia and Ukraine have repeatedly announced they have no intention of going to war or solving their problems by force. Ukraine’s president and defense minister publicly stated that the situation is not as tense as the US has portrayed. But Washington, which is far away from the region, has been hyping that war is on the verge of breaking out. US media Bloomberg has even released fake news that “Live: Russia Invades Ukraine.” The US has not only fanned the flames of public opinion, but also provided arms to Ukraine and enhanced military deployment around the European country. The US’ intention is to urge Ukraine to “hold on” and not “fall behind” in its confrontation with Russia.

Washington intends to instigate wars, in a bid to increase the legitimacy of NATO’s existence and the bloc’s internal cohesion to tie Europe – which has shown some signs of departing from Washington – more tightly to the US. Some other analysts say the US can take the opportunity to sell arms – a reasonable suspicion based on history. 

In short, the US is trying to hit various birds with one stone, but it is playing an immoral and dangerous game. The New York Times reported that “even many reliably hawkish voices in both parties show no appetite for seeing US troops fight and potentially die for Ukraine.” The US is pushing Ukraine into the firing line, but it itself has jumped aside to avoid being implicated.

One of Washington’s aims is to make Russia feel uncomfortable, but Ukraine is very likely to become the victim. Anyone with a discerning eye can figure out that the last thing Ukraine really needs is arms. The US’ donating or selling weapons to Ukraine cannot change the military balance between Russia and Ukraine. What Ukraine does need is a peaceful and stable internal and external environment. The country has to focus on developing its economy, improving people’s livelihoods, and easing tensions with Russia. If the US “stands with Ukraine” as it has claimed, it should have provided Ukraine the necessary and substantial help in these fields. It needs to be underlined that the most difficult thing for Ukraine to withstand right now is to add fuel to the fire, but Washington has repeatedly “created” opportunities to escalate the situation between Russia and Ukraine.

……………. the China-Russia joint statement stated clearly: “Peace, development and cooperation lie at the core of the modern international system… and the international community is showing a growing demand for the leadership aiming at peaceful and gradual development.” 
Against this backdrop, Washington still intends to impair other countries and maintain its hegemony by instigating wars. This is a staggering geopolitical daydream. To wake up from such a pipe dream, the bunch of political elites in Washington should carefully read this joint statement and understand how to make the US conform to the trend of the times and become a truly responsible power. https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202202/1251577.shtml

February 12, 2022 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Amid Ukraine Tension, US Deploys Nuclear-Ready B-52 Bombers to UK

Amid Ukraine Tension, US Deploys Nuclear-Ready B-52 Bombers to UK “The West is trying to make a tragedy out of this,” said Russia’s foreign minister. Common Dreams, JULIA CONLEY February 11, 2022  Despite repeated warnings from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that the U.S. is  driving the rise of tensions at Ukraine’s eastern border, the U.S. Air Force has deployed four B-52 bombers with nuclear capabilities to the U.K., where one official acknowledged that the deployment is at least partially connected to Russia’s recent military activities.

Two B-52 Stratofortress aircrafts arrived at Royal Air Force Fairford on Thursday, with two more following. The bombers integrated with other NATO members’ forces en route to Fairford, according to the Air Force, including “British Typhoon aircraft and Portuguese F-16s currently assigned to NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing mission.”………

According to The Telegraph, a former British intelligence official noted that the Pentagon could launch air strikes from Fairford as it has before.

“From Fairford they could operate against a range of targets: troop concentrations in southern Russia and Belarus, Moscow/St. Petersburg, even the naval bases in the White Sea,” the former official told the outlet. “In 1991 they hit Baghdad from Fairford, flew on to Diego Garcia, refueled and rearmed, bombed Baghdad again on the way back, and returned to Fairford.”

The bombers sent from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota are capable of carrying precision-guided and nuclear weapons……………………………..   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/02/11/amid-ukraine-tension-us-deploys-nuclear-ready-b-52-bombers-uk

February 12, 2022 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Safety concerns as counterfeit parts found in U.S. nuclear reactors.

Counterfeit parts have been discovered in U.S. nuclear plants, potentially increasing the risk of a safety failure, the inspector general of the federal nuclear industry regulator said in a report released on Thursday.

The report is a blow to a U.S nuclear industry that has shrunk in recent years due to competition from renewable power and plants that burn natural gas and lingering public concerns following high-profile mishaps includinga 2011 tsunami at Japan’s Fukushima plant.

“Counterfeit parts are safety and security concerns that could have serious consequences in critical
power plant equipment required to perform a safety function,” the report from the inspector general’s office of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
(NRC) said.

 Reuters 10th Feb 2022

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/counterfeit-parts-present-many-us-nuclear-power-plants-inspector-general-2022-02-10/

February 12, 2022 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

BBC Cons the Public with Reports of “Sadness as Somerset nuclear power station nears closure” Tell us the Truth.

BBC Cons the Public with Reports of “Sadness as Somerset nuclear power station nears closure” Tell us the Truth,       https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2022/02/11/bbc-cons-the-public-with-reports-of-sadness-as-somerset-nuclear-power-station-nears-closure-tell-us-the-truth/   The following is a Guest Blog by Jim Duffy former co-ordinator of Stop Hinkley republished with permission from a social media post. This lifts the veil on Hinkley Point B in a way that the BBC are wilfully neglecting to do.

No sadness on my part. It all started badly with bodged welds in the cooling circuit which luckily a welder owned up to some years later when the Chernobyl accident made him worry about the defects he and others made. A regulator told me that the whole cooling system had to be rebuilt while the welder was threatened with prosecution for his honesty and not allowed on site to show the faulty areas.

In 1995 a new low level waste incinerator was refused permission from the Environment Agency after Somerset Green Party campaigned against it with Dr Chris Busby ‘s help. It already had planning permission from the local council but Somerset County Council was worried it would pave the way for a regional incineration centre for radioactive waste. We argued it would harm people’s health.

Chris Busby researched local cancer rates from 2000 onwards which Stop Hinkley commissioned and publicised. He found a doubling of breast cancer mortality in downwind Burnham on Sea together with raised leukaemia and other cancers. BNFL announced the closure of Hinkley ‘A’ when Dr John Large also lambasted the plant for dangerous corrosion. Hinkley ‘B’ carried on running despite evidently contributing to the radioactive discharges.

In the 2000’s Dr John Large supported Stop Hinkley’s campaign to shut it down after worrying cracks and weight depletion were discovered in the graphite reactor core. The regulators forced it to operate at lower temperature and radiation levels to try to maintain safety thus generating less electricity.

At the same time we discovered that one of the three vital safety systems was never fitted to the twin reactors. The boron beads system is designed to slow down the nuclear reactions if the reactors overheat. For some unexplained reason the system was not fitted nor added later despite our protests at the increased risks from the cracks in the reactor cores.

In the mid 2000’s a 20 by 20 metre patch of radiation was found on nearby Kilve beach by a retired submarine engineer with his Geiger counter. His two dogs had died unexpectedly after digging and playing in the sand. The Environment Agency refused to visit the site for five weeks by which time they couldn’t detect the patch. It wasn’t clear if the leak came from Hinkley ‘A’ or ‘B’.

So I can’t cheer at the closure of the plant as it has caused so much worry and concern over the years. Relief is more my feeling although the story isn’t over by a long chalk with all the spent fuel and radioactive waste to take care of for hundreds of thousands of years…”

February 12, 2022 Posted by | media, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Hugely costly venture – nuclear fusion – now going private – but success is as elusive as ever

So far, while nuclear fusion has been successfully achieved in labs, ignition has remained elusive.

 Europe’s Nuclear Fusion Race Is Going Private. The race is on to achieve commercial nuclear fusion. Believers in the “holy grail of clean energy” are hopeful that a breakthrough in nuclear fusion is imminent
enough that the clean energy source could power a green energy transition sweeping and swift enough to help the world achieve the emissions targets set by the Paris climate accord.

So far, relatively few large-scale nuclear fusion initiatives have gotten off the ground, due to huge barriers to entry. Because of the enormous expense associated with building a reactor capable of facilitating fusion, so far the field has been dominated by publicly funded projects such as Europe’s ITER and China’s EAST (Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak). As scientists have gotten closer and closer to achieving ‘ignition’ – which refers to a nuclear fusion reaction that emits more energy than it consumes – the private sector has become increasingly interested in getting into the industry on the bottom floor and positioning itself at the forefront of what could be a world-changing innovation. So far, while nuclear fusion has been successfully achieved in labs, ignition has remained elusive.

 Naked Capitalism 10th Feb 2022

February 12, 2022 Posted by | EUROPE, technology | Leave a comment

Government approval for Bradwell B project does not really give a green light for nuclear reactors to be built.

This absolutely does not give a green light for reactors to be built at Bradwell. “And, given the problems of the Bradwell site and the fierce local opposition, CGN would surely struggle to gain the permits, licences and planning permission that it will need over coming years.

 A MAJOR milestone has been reached for a nuclear reactor intended for a new power plant in Essex, but campaigners say the approval shouldn’t be seen as a go-ahead for the plant. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the Environment Agency (EA) have confirmed the UK HPR1000 nuclear reactor is suitable for construction in the UK after completion of an in-depth assessment of the design, marking the end of a five year process.

The technology has been developed by China General Nuclear Group (CGN) and its adaptation to the UK has been jointly performed by CGN and EDF. It is intended to be used in their Bradwell B project.

However. the approval by the regulators should not be read as a go-ahead for a new nuclear power
station at Bradwell, according to the Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG). Prof. Andy Blowers, BANNG’s chairman, said: “This absolutely does not give a green light for reactors to be built at Bradwell. “And, given the problems of the Bradwell site and the fierce local opposition, CGN would surely struggle to gain the permits, licences and planning permission that it will need over coming years.

Prof. Blowers said the approval does not recognise the “serious long-term risks” the impacts of
climate change pose to “people and environments from reactors and radioactive waste stores on vulnerable low-lying coasts threatened by flooding, storm surges and sea level rise”. He added: “If Bradwell B ever comes to pass, the ONR and EA will have to grant permits and licenses and we must hope that they will then apply their ‘rigorous and detailed asesssment’ to the issues of radioactive waste, decommissioning, cooling, environmental impact and climate change at the Bradwell site.

 Maldon Standard 10th Feb 2022

https://www.maldonandburnhamstandard.co.uk/news/19911766.uk-hpr1000-approval-milestone-bradwell-b-plans/

February 12, 2022 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

EU plan to call nuclear power ”green”, but for Asia, nuclear’s outlook is poor

EU plans to label natural gas and nuclear ‘green’ ‘reflect Asia position’    Pinsent Masons, OUT-LAW NEWS | 11 Feb 2022  John Yeap john.yeap@pinsentmasons.com   The EU executive arm the European Commission has presented a plan to classify some gas and nuclear power as “transitional” green investments.

Known as the EU Taxonomy Complementary Climate Delegated Act, the plan aims to define sustainable investment to guide spending on projects in line with EU’s climate goal to become climate neutral by 2050. The Commission said it would include certain gas and nuclear power activities as ‘transitional activities’.

………….. “Nuclear involves different considerations as its role in power generation in Asia has to date been and will likely continue to be limited. The small landmass of several nations as well as geological considerations of earthquake, volcanoes and tsunamis will likely inhibit the growth of nuclear in nations not currently deploying nuclear. Where nuclear is currently deployed in the region, its continued growth will continue to be influenced by policy, which remains generally negative to its continued use,” he said.

“China has the largest fleet of nuclear power plants in the region and with its advancing domestic technologies, may continue to champion nuclear power generation…….

……  Nuclear power must meet strict nuclear and environmental safety requirements, and natural gas must contribute to the transition from coal to renewables – investment must meet strict conditions and not squeeze out investment in renewables.

Nuclear-related activities classified as ‘sustainable’ under the Act include advanced technologies with closed fuel cycles; new nuclear power plant projects for energy generation, which will be using best-available existing technologies, will be recognised until the date of approval of construction permit in 2045; and modifications and upgrades of existing nuclear facilities for the purposes of lifetime extension will be recognised until the date of approval by competent authority in 2040.

………  The College of Commissioners has reached political agreement on the text of the Act, which will be formally adopted once translations are available in all EU languages, a statement by the Commission said.https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/eu-plans-label-natural-gas-nuclear-green-reflect-asia-position

February 12, 2022 Posted by | ASIA, politics international | Leave a comment

Macron pledged to close down over a dozen nuclear plants, but now he’s done a U-turn

 Mr Macron’s decision to extend the lifespan of existing plants marked a U-turn on an earlier pledge to close more than a dozen of EDF’s 56 reactors by 2035. Nuclear safety still divides Europe following Japan’s Fukushima disaster.

 Independent 10th Feb 2022

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/france-to-build-up-to-14-new-nuclear-reactors-b2012331.html

February 12, 2022 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

Slovak government plans to tax nuclear power plants

Slovak government plans to tax nuclear power plants, owners threaten bankruptcy

By Michal Hudec | EURACTIV.sk  11 Feb 22,  The “excessive profits” of nuclear power plants should be taxed as this would open up millions to compensate for the soaring energy prices, the economy ministry has said. But Slovenské elektrárne a.s, the owner of both Slovak nuclear power plants, claims the bill would lead to the private company filing for bankruptcy.

The government already agreed on a proposal and sent it to parliament to request a shortened legislative procedure. “The proposal introduces a tax on excessive profits for trading in electricity produced by nuclear facilities. The tax period will be a calendar month, ” the ministry wrote in an explanatory report.

According to the bill, excessive profit is a difference between electricity market prices and expenditures for their production in nuclear power plants. If parliament approves the bill, the state will get half of this difference. This year, it would be approximately €50 million………..

Slovenské elektrárne a.s. is a company owned by EPH of Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský and Italian energy giant Enel. Together, they own two-thirds of the shares, with the rest belonging to Slovakia’s economy ministry.  https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/short_news/slovak-government-plans-to-tax-nuclear-power-plants-owners-threaten-bankruptcy/

February 12, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, EUROPE, politics | Leave a comment