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Saskatchewn ponders new small nuclear reactors, but opposition unsure about safety and environmental impacts

‘Will be changed very shortly’: Premier confident nuclear energy generation will be coming to Sask.  Wayne Mantyka, CTV News Regina Video Journalist, 25 Mar 22, ”…………………………..  In 2019, Saskatchewan signed an agreement with Ontario and New Brunswick toward evaluation of new SMR technology. On Monday, SaskPower will announce the next steps in the decision making process and will also now assess reactors on the market and consider possible locations.

The opposition NDP would like to see more public discussions before any final decisions are made.“We’ve been clear about where we’re at on the opportunity and the challenges that SMRs may provide in Saskatchewan,” NDP MLA Aleana Young said. “Of course energy security is of massive concern to everyone in Saskatchewan as is the condition of our grid and the necessity for clean base load power, but there are going to be a huge number of people in the province who have questions and who have concerns.”

We’re not like Ontario. We don’t have existing nuclear power facilities and this needs to be a real conversation with people in Saskatchewan, not just about the business case and dollars and cents but about the environment and all of the implications for our communities,” Young added.

SaskPower has not made a decision about generating nuclear energy. If the idea wins public support and proves feasible, a small modular reactor could be operating in the province as early as 2030……………….   https://regina.ctvnews.ca/will-be-changed-very-shortly-premier-confident-nuclear-energy-generation-will-be-coming-to-sask-1.5833828

March 26, 2022 Posted by | Canada, politics | Leave a comment

With threats of nuclear war and climate disaster growing, America’s ‘bunker fantasy’ is woefully inadequate


With threats of nuclear war and climate disaster growing, America’s ‘bunker fantasy’ is woefully inadequate

The Conversation  March 25, 2022 David L. Pike

Professor of Literature, American University  At the end of the Academy Award-nominated film “Don’t Look Up,” with a meteor hurtling toward Earth, the movie’s three scientist-protagonists gather with family and friends for a last supper around a dinner table in central Michigan.

Having exhausted their efforts at action, they eat the food they’ve prepared and purchased, give thanks and pray before “dying neighborly” – to borrow a phrase coined by poet and writer Langston Hughes in 1965.

“Dying neighborly” was something of a common refrain in the small number of stories told by those writers and artists in the 1960s and 1980s who recognized the dangers of nuclear war but were unwilling or unable to accept the only measure recommended by the government: to buy or build your own shelter and pretend that you’d survive.

These stories didn’t get as much attention or acclaim as “Don’t Look Up.” But they continue to influence how the climate emergency or nuclear war is depicted in books and films today.

Shelter or die?

Faced with a Congress unwilling to fund large-scale sheltering measures, the Kennedy administration decided instead to encourage the private development of the individual shelter industry and to establish dedicated spaces within existing public structures.

Although in Europe and elsewhere, vast public shelters were built, the community bomb shelter was almost universally rejected in the U.S. as communistic. As a result, sheltering was available primarily to the military, government officials and those who could afford it. The practicality and the morality of private shelters were debated publicly. The morality or survivability of nuclear war itself seldom was………………………..

The opposite of dying neighborly was the mainstream debate over the right to shoot someone you didn’t want intruding into your private shelter.

This debate was dramatized in a 1961 episode of “The Twilight Zone,” in which desperate neighbors storm the entrance to the basement shelter of the only suburban family with enough foresight to build one.Yet as musician Bob Dylan recalled of the mostly working-class region of Minnesota where he was raised, nobody was much interested in building shelters because, “It could turn neighbor against neighbor and friend against friend.”………….
Until culture finds effective ways of telling other stories than the one I call the “bunker fantasy,” it will be difficult to sustain effective action in response to the climate emergency or the persistent threat of nuclear war………………………..https://theconversation.com/with-threats-of-nuclear-war-and-climate-disaster-growing-americas-bunker-fantasy-is-woefully-inadequate-179625

March 26, 2022 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

World’s richest men enthuse over new nuclear power, despite its poor progress

The world’s richest people are going nuclear, By Lizette Chapman, SMH, March 24, 2022 — In recent weeks, some of Silicon Valley’s most famous technologists have hailed a historically polarising energy source — nuclear power — as a solution to both cutting carbon emissions and weaning the world off now-controversial Russian gas.

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk wrote on Twitter that nuclear is “critical” to national security, while the risk of radiation is overplayed. And venture capitalist Marc Andreessen called for “1,000 new state-of-the-art nuclear power plants in the US and Europe, right now.”

The war galvanised a sentiment which has been building in recent years in the startup world, where billionaires including Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Peter Thiel have opened their wallets to back next-generation nuclear companies. None of the advanced reactor startups has yet produced an operating commercial product, but some believe that the combination of tech advances and a new urgency around ditching fossil fuels could be a catalyst for the sector — which has mostly languished in regulatory purgatory since the 1970s.

“We wouldn’t be having a conversation about innovation in nuclear power today without the investment and thinking of the leaders of Silicon Valley,” said Josh Freed, who specialises in climate and energy at public policy think tank Third Way in Washington.

Last year, venture investors ploughed a record $US3.4 billion into nuclear startups — more than in every year over the past decade combined, according to research firm PitchBook. That number reflects very early-stage startups as well as more mature companies like Commonwealth Fusion Systems and Helion Energy, both of which raised funding rounds of $US500 million or more in 2021. In the previous decade there was an average of fewer than 10 deals a year. Last year the number jumped to 28.

“We wouldn’t be having a conversation about innovation in nuclear power today without the investment and thinking of the leaders of Silicon Valley,” said Josh Freed, who specialises in climate and energy at public policy think tank Third Way in Washington.

Last year, venture investors ploughed a record $US3.4 billion into nuclear startups — more than in every year over the past decade combined, according to research firm PitchBook. That number reflects very early-stage startups as well as more mature companies like Commonwealth Fusion Systems and Helion Energy, both of which raised funding rounds of $US500 million or more in 2021. In the previous decade there was an average of fewer than 10 deals a year. Last year the number jumped to 28.

Despite the uptick in interest from governments, TerraPower’s Navin said the company had yet to reach a deal. It’s a reminder that even the most advanced startups are likely still many years away from a wide commercial rollout. Says Navin: “It takes time to sell a nuclear power plant.” https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/the-world-s-richest-people-are-going-nuclear-20220323-p5a6zj.html

March 26, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs | Leave a comment

Iran blames US for delays in reaching nuclear deal

Iran blames US for delays in reaching nuclear deal

Iran’s foreign minister says his country is ready to reach a lasting agreement with world powers and is blaming the latest failure to revive Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal on an allegedly “unrealistic vision” by the United States

ByThe Associated Press, 25 March 2022  BEIRUT — Iran’s foreign minister claimed Thursday that his country is ready to reach a lasting agreement with world powers, blaming the latest failure to revive Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal on an allegedly “unrealistic vision” by the United States.

Speaking during a visit to Beirut, Hossein Amirabdollahian urged the U.S. to stop “wasting time.”

Nuclear negotiations nearly reached completion on the deal earlier this month before Russia demanded that its trade with Iran be exempted from Western sanctions over Ukraine, throwing the process into disarray. Negotiators have yet to reconvene in the Austrian capital, and its unclear exactly what hurdles lie ahead…………………

On Monday, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, signaled support for Tehran’s nuclear negotiations to secure sanctions relief — a rare reference to the still-halted talks as world powers near a diplomatic turning point.

And last Friday, news of Tehran’s decision to reprocess a fraction of its stockpile of highly enriched uranium into material that can be used in medicine — instead of enriching further, to weapon-grade levels — appears to signal the negotiations may still see the parties return to Vienna and reach a deal. https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/iran-blames-us-delays-reaching-nuclear-deal-83652616

March 26, 2022 Posted by | Iraq, politics international | Leave a comment

No surety that Europe will favour nuclear power, following Ukraine crisis

Will the Ukraine War change Europe’s thinking on nuclear? Energy Monito

The war is prompting countries like Belgium to delay nuclear phase-outs to be less dependent on Russia, but for countries like Germany, Russia’s missile attacks on nuclear plants reaffirm concerns about safety.

”……………………………………………………….  

Changed thinking on nuclear?

Grossi (of IAEA)N says it is too early to know exactly how the Ukraine crisis will impact Europe’s thinking on nuclear power in the long term, although last week’s developments in Belgium and Germany give some clues. “The gas and power price crisis has already lasted for some months now and a lot of governments have in mind that something should be done,” he says. “The current situation isn’t sustainable and solutions have to be found.”

As the energy price crisis has unfolded, fuelled by the economic recovery from the pandemic, its impact is already clear in the outcome of a long-running debate over an EU taxonomy for green investments. In the end, both gas and nuclear were included on the list. It was a demonstrable comeback for nuclear power in Europe after fears that Brexit would tip the balance of opinion against it in the remaining EU 27.

However, when the European Commission came out with its REPowerEU strategy on how to wean the EU off of Russian gas on 8 March, nuclear was strangely absent. The strategy had been in the works since the start of the year as a response to rising energy prices, but it was quickly retooled with a Russia focus following the outbreak of the war.

New nuclear power plants will not solve today’s energy security problems, he [Grossi] acknowledges, because they will take at least ten years to build and come online, but at the very least the Commission should be advising against taking existing plants offline, he says……….

recent decommissionings, coupled with fewer new plants being built as they struggle to attract investment, means the number of nuclear reactors operating globally fell to a 30-year low in 2020, according to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report. A total of 55 new reactors are currently being constructed in 19 countries, but they are almost all outside Europe. China, India and Russia are building the most new plants. The only plants being built in the EU are one in France and one in Slovakia.

The very different reactions in Belgium and Germany this past month show it is hard to predict how the Ukraine crisis will impact European policy on nuclear power. Much may depend on whether the nuclear plants in Ukraine stay safe in the coming weeks and months.

Were any kind of nuclear incident to occur, it would likely be game over for nuclear power in Europe – no matter its climate benefits.

March 26, 2022 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment

Nagasaki survivor calls for joint resistance to nuclear threat amid Russian invasion

Nagasaki survivor calls for joint resistance to nuclear threat amid Russian invasion

March 25, 2022 (Mainichi Japan)

NAGASAKI — Under a blue sky in early March, about 400 people including atomic bombing survivors, or hibakusha, and high school students gathered in front of the Peace Statue at Nagasaki Peace Park holding signs bearing messages such as “Peace for Ukraine” and “No War.”

In the emergency rally on March 6 to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, participants expressed their anger at Moscow for shunning peace and even hinting at the use of nuclear weapons. The rally was called by five organizations of A-bomb survivors in the city of Nagasaki, one of which is the Nagasaki Prefecture peace movement center’s hibakusha liaison council.

Koichi Kawano, 82, chairman of the council, asked with concern, “Can a superpower get away with doing whatever it wants? If the international community is powerless, we the people have no choice but to raise our voices.”

For more than 40 years, Kawano and other A-bomb survivors have been staging sit-ins in front of the Peace Statue in Nagasaki to call for peace and anti-nuclear actions on the ninth of every month — a tribute to Aug. 9, 1945, the day when the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on the city. Around 100 people participate in each sit-in, but some 400 gathered for this emergency rally, largely because two anti-nuclear groups, which had taken separate paths due to policy differences, got together.

One of the groups is the Japan Congress against A- and H-Bombs (Gensuikin) which Kawano heads as co-chair. The other is the Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (Gensuikyo). The former is affiliated with the now-defunct Japan Socialist Party (JSP) and the latter with the Japanese Communist Party (JCP).

……………  A-bomb survivors involved in anti-nuclear and peace movements have aged. Kawano himself is now in his 80s. Many hibakusha organizations nationwide have begun to dissolve and their membership continues to decline, and there is concern that the movement will taper off. Senji Yamaguchi, Sumiteru Taniguchi, Sunao Tsuboi, and other longtime leaders of the movement have all passed away…………………….. (Japanese original by Yuki Imano, Kyushu News Department) https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20220325/p2a/00m/0na/040000c

March 26, 2022 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear, weapons and war | Leave a comment

 Residents react after huge military convoy spotted travelling through Preston, UK

 Residents react after huge military convoy spotted travelling through
Preston. An unmarked military convoy was spotted passing through Preston,
sparking lots of speculation about what it was for.

Residents reported
seeing the convoy travelling along Eastway in Fulwood at around 4.25pm on
Wednesday (March 23). Footage of the convoy showed the fleet of dark green
military vehicles was escorted by police and fire crews.
 Lancashire Post 24th March 2022 https://www.lep.co.uk/news/transport/residents-react-after-huge-military-convoy-spotted-travelling-through-preston-3625257

March 26, 2022 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

March 25 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion:  ¶ “Russia’s Days As An Energy Superpower Are Coming To An End” • In a matter of weeks, the war in Ukraine has upended an energy relationship between Europe and Russia that goes back decades. Russia’s role in the European and global energy system has been shaken. This is a profound shift that will […]

March 25 Energy News — geoharvey

March 26, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NATO troops deployed to Hungary despite government’s reservations — Anti-bellum

Hungary TodayMarch 25, 2022 NATO Troops Set to Deploy into Western Hungary NATO is strengthening its eastern flank by deploying troops to four new battlegroups in Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, adding to the four battalion-sized battlegroups already deployed to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, led by the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and the United […]

NATO troops deployed to Hungary despite government’s reservations — Anti-bellum

March 26, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment