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The US Cries About War Crimes While Imprisoning A Journalist For Exposing Its War Crimes 20 Apr 22, In what his lawyers have described as a “brief but significant moment in the case,” a British magistrates’ court has signed off on Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States, bringing the WikiLeaks founder one step closer to a US trial under the Espionage Act which threatens press freedoms worldwide.

The extradition case now goes to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel for approval, which will likely be forthcoming as Patel is a reliably loyal empire manager. After that point, Assange’s legal team will be able to launch an appeal. 

This is happening at the same time the United States and the United Kingdom are loudly demanding accountability for alleged war crimes by the Russian military in Ukraine, which is interesting because attempting to bring accountability for war crimes is precisely why Julian Assange is in prison.

“He is a war criminal,” President Biden said of Vladimir Putin following allegations of war crimes in Bucha, Ukraine earlier this month. “I think it is a war crime. … He should be held accountable.”

Biden: Putin should face war crimes trial for Bucha killings 4 April 2022

Wikileaks 5 April – 12 years ago today 5 Julian Assange published the Collateral Murder video detailing the gunning down of civilians, children & 2 Reuters journalists. Assange faces a 175 year sentence if extradited for revealing this and other war crimes

This is why the US government is trying to extradite Julian Assange: for revealing the US massacre of civilians, including two Reuters journalists in Iraq

And that’s all I’d like to say here today, really. That this discrepancy is very interesting.

I mean, can we take a moment to deeply appreciate the irony of this? Because it’s so obscene and outrageous it’s actually hard to take in unless you really let it absorb. The most powerful government in the world, which serves as the hub of the most powerful empire that has ever existed, is working to extradite a journalist for exposing its war crimes while simultaneously rending its garments over war crime allegations against another government.

I mean, damn. You would think a power structure that had recently been caught red-handed committing war crimes and is currently in the process of imprisoning a journalist for exposing those war crimes would at least have the sense not to yell too loudly about war crimes for a little while. But this is how confident the empire is in its ability to control the narrative.

Really take it in. Really digest it. The more you think about it, the freakier it gets. Not only is the empire persecuting a journalist for exposing its war crimes while at the same time demanding that others be held accountable for war crimes, it is also attacking the free press for reporting the truth about the powerful while at the very same time engaging in a massive propaganda operation which holds that it is involved in Ukraine to protect its freedom and democracy.

I mean, the gall. The absolute temerity. The balls on this empire, man.

I have said it before and I will say it again: Assange exposed many ugly realities about the powerful in his work with WikiLeaks, but everything that he has managed to expose thereafter simply by forcing them to prosecute him far surpasses the revelations in those publications.

If the highest form of journalism is exposing the darkest secrets of the most powerful people in the world, then Julian Assange is the highest form of journalist.


April 21, 2022 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Big Tech monopolies — Facebook, Google, and Amazon control media in the interests of American militarism

Former Intelligence Officials, Citing Russia, Say Big Tech Monopoly Power is Vital to National Security, Glenn Greenwald, Substack 20 Apr 22,

When the U.S. security state announces that Big Tech’s centralized censorship power must be preserved, we should ask what this reveals about whom this regime serves.

A group of former intelligence and national security officials on Monday issued a jointly signed letter warning that pending legislative attempts to restrict or break up the power of Big Tech monopolies — Facebook, Google, and Amazon — would jeopardize national security because, they argue, their centralized censorship power is crucial to advancing U.S. foreign policy.

The majority of this letter is devoted to repeatedly invoking the grave threat allegedly posed to the U.S. by Russia as illustrated by the invasion of Ukraine, and it repeatedly points to the dangers of Putin and the Kremlin to justify the need to preserve Big Tech’s power in its maximalist form. Any attempts to restrict Big Tech’s monopolistic power would therefore undermine the U.S. fight against Moscow.

While one of their central claims is that Big Tech monopoly power is necessary to combat (i.e., censor) “foreign disinformation,” several of these officials are themselves leading disinformation agents: many were the same former intelligence officials who signed the now-infamous-and-debunked pre-election letter fraudulently claiming that the authentic Hunter Biden emails had the “hallmarks” of Russia disinformation (former Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Obama CIA Director Michael Morrell, former Obama CIA/Pentagon chief Leon Panetta). Others who signed this new letter have strong financial ties to the Big Tech corporations whose power they are defending in the name of national security (Morrell, Panetta, former Bush National Security Adviser Fran Townsend)………………….

Why would these former national security and intelligence officials be so devoted to preserving the unfettered power of Big Tech to control and censor the internet? One obvious explanation is the standard one that always runs Washington: several of them have a financial interest in serving Big Tech’s agenda.

Unsurprisingly, Apple CEO Tim Cook has himself pushed the claim that undermining Big Tech’s power in any way would threaten U.S national security. And there is now an army of well-compensated-by-Silicon-Valley former national security officials echoing his message. A well-researched Politico article from September — headlined: “12 former security officials who warned against antitrust crackdown have tech ties” — detailed how many of these former officials who invoke national security claims to protect Big Tech are on the take from the key tech monopolies:………………………………….

Big Tech censorship of political speech is not random. Domestically, it is virtually always devoted to silencing any meaningful dissent from liberal orthodoxy or official pieties on key political controversies. But in terms of foreign policy, the censorship patterns of tech monopolies virtually always align with U.S. foreign policy, and for understandable reasons: Big Tech and the U.S. security state are in a virtually complete union, with all sorts of overlapping, mutual financial interests:

Note that this censorship regime is completely one-sided and, as usual, entirely aligned with U.S. foreign policy. Western news outlets and social media platforms have been flooded with pro-Ukrainian propaganda and outright lies from the start of the war. A New York Times article from early March put it very delicately in its headline: “Fact and Mythmaking Blend in Ukraine’s Information War.” Axios was similarly understated in recognizing this fact: “Ukraine misinformation is spreading — and not just from Russia.”…………….

there is little to no censorship — either by Western states or by Silicon Valley monopolies — of pro-Ukrainian disinformation, propaganda and lies. The censorship goes only in one direction: to silence any voices deemed “pro-Russian,” regardless of whether they spread disinformation….Their crime, like the crime of so many other banished accounts, was not disinformation but skepticism about the US/NATO propaganda campaign………………

It is unsurprising that Silicon Valley monopolies exercise their censorship power in full alignment with the foreign policy interests of the U.S. Government. Many of the key tech monopolies — such as Google and Amazon — routinely seek and obtain highly lucrative contracts with the U.S. security state, including both the CIA and NSA. Their top executives enjoy very close relationships with top Democratic Party officials. And Congressional Democrats have repeatedly hauled tech executives before their various Committees to explicitly threaten them with legal and regulatory reprisals if they do not censor more in accordance with the policy goals and political interests of that party.

Needless to say, the U.S. security state wants to maintain a stranglehold on political discourse in the U.S. and the world more broadly. They want to be able to impose propagandistic narratives without challenge and advocate for militarism without dissent. To accomplish that, they need a small handful of corporations which are subservient to them to hold in their hands as much concentrated power over the internet as possible.

If a free and fair competitive market were to arise whereby social media platforms more devoted to free speech could fairly compete with Google and Facebook— as the various pending bills in Congress are partially designed to foster — then that new diversity of influence, that diffusion of power, would genuinely threaten the ability of the CIA and the Pentagon and the White House to police political discourse and suppress dissent from their policies and assertions. By contrast, by maintaining all power in the hands of the small coterie of tech monopolies which control the internet and which have long proven their loyalty to the U.S. security state, the ability of the U.S. national security state to maintain a closed propaganda system around questions of war and militarism is guaranteed………………………….


April 21, 2022 Posted by | media, Reference, USA | 1 Comment

The life and slow death of nuclear power plants

The UK government and EDF have pledged 20% of the cost each, but the additional 60% is yet to be found. Some of that is a levy on our electricity bills for a decade before Sizewell generates a single Kwh.

once planning permission is given, construction of a small-scale wind farm, 10MW or less, could take less than two months.

A further elephant in the room is that the costs of new nuclear are highly “back loaded”, i.e., that by building them you commit to high levels of expenditure at the end of their working life, to remove the fuel rods, decommission, remove and store nuclear waste.

The Life and Death of nuclear power plants By NEWSROOM, Apr 18, 2022, By Peter Rowberry with additional reporting by Newsroom

It seems that the policy [in the UK] to build new nuclear power stations has caused some friction at the heart of the cabinet, with the Prime Minister trying to get the agreement of the Chancellor to spend at least £100 billion on eight new nuclear power stations. This didn’t stop the government issuing its energy security strategy last week.

Such a huge commitment merits careful scrutiny. Hinkley Point C was one of eight announced by the British government in 2010 with a nuclear site licence granted in November 2012. EDF’s board approved the project in July 2016 and on 15 September 2016 the UK government approved the project in principle. Construction work on-site began by late September 2016. Completion of the reactor bases was completed in June 2019 for reactor 1 and June 2020 for reactor 2. The two bases required a total of 633,700 cubic feet of concrete.

Hinkley C is the only one of the 2010 eight designated sites to have commenced construction. The UK government strategy paper calls for 8 further new nuclear plants but does not name locations. This is similar to the Brown government’s announcement in 2008 which the coalition government pinned down in 2010. With only 1 of 8 since 2010 actually under construction the conclusion is the new 8 suggested could be decades from coming online.

Earlier costs for Hinkley C were estimated at around £18 billion. The current cost estimate is around £22 to £23 billion, and the first reactor will not be complete until June 2026 at the earliest, and the second at least six months later.

This timetable is currently being reviewed, with a fault found in similar nuclear reactors in China meaning the design may need to be changed. EDF have not commented on whether this will affect the timescale for completing the projectThese delays, and the consequent impact on other nuclear projects, such as Sizewell C and Wylfa, have resulted in serious failures to meet the government obligations to move to low carbon generation and taken up time, time which we are now desperately short of if we are to meet our target of reducing carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and to net zero by 2050.

The building of the two reactors that form the Sizewell C project is still not fully financed. Nor has the planning process been completed. All the work in progress so far is on vast quantities of paper and construction cannot commence until Sizewell C plant receives planning permission.

There remains considerable opposition to Sizewell C over the high cost of nuclear energy and environmental issues. The cost of a plant that is over 10 years away from generating power will start hitting electricity bills sometime soon. The BBC reported “Legislation allowing construction and financing costs to be added to customer bills, as Sizewell C is built over the next decade, is due for a second reading in the House of Commons next month.”

The UK government and EDF have pledged 20% of the cost each, but the additional 60% is yet to be found. Some of that is a levy on our electricity bills for a decade before Sizewell generates a single Kwh. The government’s plans to have eight nuclear reactors up and running by 2030 seem naively optimistic. New nuclear is not a quick fix, as our near neighbours will attest. The Finnish reactor, Olkiluoto 3, was started in 2005, but only went onto the grid seventeen years later, on 15 March this year.

Of the eight nuclear power plants announced back in 2010, Hinkley Point C might be generating by 2026 (16 years) and Sizewell C by 2032, subject to planning permission (22 years) None of the other 6 proposed nuclear plants are anywhere near getting off the ground.

France, a country which historically generates a large percentage of its electricity from nuclear, is in the process of building only one new reactor, a third at the Flamanville site. EDF, the state-owned energy giant, began work in December 2007 and the cost was estimated to be €3.3 billion. It is now expected to cost more than €12.7 billion and it is yet to generate a single kilowatt of power.

In contrast, according to the European Wind Energy Association, once planning permission is given, construction of a small-scale wind farm, 10MW or less, could take less than two months. A larger 50MW facility may take six months, although considerably smaller in scale, this is substantially quicker than any new nuclear. This has not stopped president Macron from announcing that his government will support the building of between six and fourteen new reactors.

A further elephant in the room is that the costs of new nuclear are highly “back loaded”, i.e., that by building them you commit to high levels of expenditure at the end of their working life, to remove the fuel rods, decommission, remove and store nuclear waste. The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority currently spend around £3 billion a year for Site Licence Companies to make the current decommissioned reactors safe.

The Nuclear Provision is the best estimate of how much it will cost to clean up 17 of the UK’s earliest nuclear sites over a programme lasting over 120 years……………………………………………………

All of this will be less significant if nuclear could deliver low carbon electricity at an affordable price. The biggest issue on the cost of nuclear energy is the so called “strike price”, the price which the government has agreed to pay the owners, EDF, for electricity from their nuclear stations. Originally EDF said that electricity from nuclear could be produced at around £24 per megawatt hour. The strike price is now set at £92. It has also been agreed that the strike price should rise in line with inflation, which as we know has reached a thirty-year high and is likely to continue to be high for the foreseeable future.

Although the cost of the raw materials for building wind turbines has increased, copper and steel in particular, the cost of generation by renewables has steadily decreased over time. The latest strike price for offshore wind is around £40 per megawatt hour and less for onshore wind. There have been several missed opportunities and poor decisions by both the Labour and Conservative parties and both party’s obsession with new nuclear have put us in a position where we need urgent action. In February 2004 the Labour party undertook a £40 billion project to update schools, but, despite intense lobbying, energy efficiency did not form part an integral part of that plan.

The Conservative party made changes to the planning system to make it virtually impossible to get permission to build onshore wind farms, although that policy has now been reversed. They also brought an end to the “feed in tariff (FITs)” for local solar power and increased VAT from 5% to 20% on solar installations – now VAT is zero as part of Sunak’s Spring statement.

Although FITs were replaced by the Smart Export Guarantee, this was significantly less financially attractive and has reduced the incentive to install Solar photovoltaic cells…………………………… more

April 21, 2022 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Investigations continue into possible stress corrosion in several of EDF’s nuclear reactors in France.

EDF has said it found indications of possible stress corrosion on the
auxiliary circuits of four French nuclear power reactors totalling 4.8 GW
in capacity, namely Chinon 3, Cattenom 3, Flamanville 2 and Golfech 1. The
signs of possible corrosion were detected during ultrasonic inspections of
parts of the piping at its Chinon 3 (905 MW), Cattenom 3 and Flamanville 2
(1.3 GW each) reactors, the French state-owned utility said in a statement
at the end of last week.

The units are among six reactors that EDF
considers as “priority” for these checks, with the other three being
Flamanville 1 (1.3 GW) and Bugey units 3 and 4 (880 MW each). Meanwhile,
inspections carried out on the safety injection system circuit at Golfech 1
(1.3 GW) during planned maintenance also detected indications of possible
corrosion, EDF added. A spokeswoman told Montel on Tuesday that the utility
was carrying out further investigations to find out whether it was
corrosion or not.

 Montel 19th April 2022

April 21, 2022 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

New Mexico Governor concerned over plans for plutonium waste being disposed of in Carlsbad.

Adrian Hedden, Carlsbad Current-Argus, 20 Apr 22,

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signaled support for an activist group opposing a plan at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to dispose of diluted, weapons-grade plutonium in the underground nuclear waste repository near Carlsbad.

Lujan Grisham, in an April 8 letter to U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, shared a petition circulated by Santa Fe-based group 285 All in opposition of the plan and called on the federal Department of Energy to “take action” to address the concerns.

The plan proposed by the DOE would see 35 metric tons of down-blended plutonium waste sent from the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas to Los Alamos National Laboratory in northern New Mexico for processing.

It would then be sent to the DOE’s Savannah River in South Carolina for final preparation and then to the WIPP site in southeast New Mexico for disposal…………..

Critics of the proposal argued the plan would transport nuclear waste across New Mexico multiple times, and the inclusion of down-blended plutonium would mark an “illegal” expansion of WIPP’s statutorily allowed waste streams.

The petition expressing those fears was signed by 1,146 people in New Mexico and delivered to Lujan Grisham’s office in Santa Fe on March 1.

In her letter to Granholm, Lujan Grisham called on the agency which owns and operates WIPP to consider the concerns raised in the petition.

April 21, 2022 Posted by | - plutonium, USA | Leave a comment

Israel ranked as world’s eighth largest nuclear power

20 Apr, 2022 Idan Eretz   

According to a report published by the American Federation of Scientists, Israel has 90 nuclear warheads.

According to a report published by the American Federation of Scientists entitled “Status of World Nuclear Forces,” Israel is the world’s eighth largest nuclear power.

The estimated global nuclear warhead inventories in 2022 are dominated by the US and Russia, which have 5,428 and 5,977 nuclear warheads respectively, out of 13,000 nuclear warheads worldwide. China has 350 nuclear warheads, France 290, the UK 225, Pakistan 165, India 160, Israel 90, and North Korea 20…………………………….

April 21, 2022 Posted by | Israel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Orano, Holtec squabble over Diablo Canyon nuclear spent fuel contract

April 20, 2022Orano, Holtec trade barbs over Diablo Canyon spent fuel contract

The company selected to manage Diablo Canyon Power Station’s spent fuel inventory fired back Wednesday at claims from a competitor that its cask system was unsafe and untested. Orano USA, whose subsidiary TN Americas on April 6 locked down the spent fuel contract…

April 21, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kenya. Treasury allocates Sh2bn for nuclear and coal units, but nuclear is unlikely to happen for decades.



April 21, 2022 Posted by | Kenya, politics | Leave a comment

South Africa. Fired National Nuclear Regulator board member takes Minister Gwede Mantashe to court

 Daily Maverick  By Sasha Planting 20 Apr 22,

Peter Becker is seeking declaratory relief that the minister’s decision to discharge him as a board member was unlawful and unconstitutional, and wants an order reviewing and setting aside this decision.

Peter Becker, formerly a member of the board of the National Nuclear Regulator, has served papers on the minister of mineral resources and energy, the National Nuclear Regulator and the chairman of that body to challenge his dismissal in February this year. 

Becker is seeking declaratory relief that the minister’s decision to discharge him was unlawful and unconstitutional, and wants an order reviewing and setting aside this decision. 

Becker’s initial suspension came in January, just days before the regulator approved the extension of life project for the Koeberg nuclear power station, a decision that should be reviewed, given the delays and safety concerns that have arisen since.  

The role of the regulator is not to protect the interests of Koeberg or nuclear power, but to ensure that nuclear activities are conducted safely in South Africa, ultimately in the interests of the public. 

Becker was appointed to the board in June 2021 by Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe. He was nominated by civil society organisations, including the Koeberg Alert Alliance, the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute and the Pelindaba Working Group, to represent communities that may be affected by nuclear activities. 

However, on 25 February Mantashe fired Becker, arguing that he was guilty of misconduct and was conflicted. This was because Becker had, in his personal capacity, and before his appointment, expressed critical and challenging views on the use of nuclear energy.  

“The minister has fundamentally misunderstood those duties. His decision is vitiated by substantive and procedural irrationality, errors of law and fact and unreasonableness,” Becker responds in the affidavit. 

His removal has not come at a good time. Maintenance and replacement work are being carried out at Koeberg, under authorisations granted by the regulator. However, this work is already behind schedule and several safety concerns have been raised. 

Moreover, Mantashe has signalled his intention to tender for new nuclear power proposals as soon as possible, possibly before the year is out. 

The alleged conflict of interest arose because Becker is concerned about the use of nuclear power in South Africa, is opposed to the building of more reactors at Koeberg and is worried about its lifespan being extended. He has been publicly vocal in this regard. However, as Becker has deposed, these views were well known and were included in his CV before he was appointed to the job.  ………………………..

At least one member of the board is actively and vocally pro-nuclear. This is  Katse Maphoto, the chief director of nuclear safety and technology in the minister’s department. On several occasions he has indicated his support for nuclear power, saying it should form part of SA’s energy mix.   

Thus Becker says, it is inconsistent and irrational to take the position that people who are generally critical of nuclear activity should be disqualified from exercising proper judgment concerning safety issues, while those who are supportive, are not. 

The minister has 15 days in which to submit a “record of proceedings” — the documents, evidence, arguments and other information relating to the dismissal — failing which, a court date will be set.

April 21, 2022 Posted by | legal, South Africa | Leave a comment

Iran nuclear negotiations at stalemate over IRGC terror listing

Iran and the United States seemingly do not want to budge over the designation of the IRGC in reviving the nuclear deal.  April 20, 2022

The talks in Vienna to revive the Iran nuclear deal have reached a stalemate, with neither side appearing to want to budge from the final sticking point regarding the designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the United States.

In his latest comments Monday on the state of the negotiations, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said, “Until all issues are agreed upon, nothing is agreed upon.” He said that “the remaining issues in Vienna are clear to everyone.” Meanwhile, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price, responding to a reporter’s question, said, “If Iran wants sanctions lifting that goes beyond the JCPOA, they’ll need to address concerns of ours that go beyond the JCPOA,” using the acronym for the deal’s official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Price’s comments about addressing other concerns were not welcomed by Iranian media. Javan, a newspaper linked to the IRGC, headlined their article on Price’s comments “Washington’s request again to negotiate beyond the JCPOA.” The story read, “Once again another recommendation to negotiate beyond the JCPOA was put on the table.” The article added that these negotiations would include not just the nuclear program but also Iran’s missile capabilities and regional role. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, has repeatedly said that Iran would not negotiate on other issues within the context of the nuclear deal. Previously, long before the US exit of the 2015 deal, Khamenei had once said that if the JCPOA deal comes to fruition and all sides meet their obligations, then Iran would be open to discussing other matters — though the time for that has passed now apparently.

The Trump administration’s poison pill of designating the IRGC as an FTO has brought the talks to a standstill. Iran wants all Trump-era sanctions removed before it returns its nuclear program to levels written out in the JCPOA, especially concerning the level of enrichment and advanced centrifuges in use. The United States is insisting that the designation of the IRGC is not nuclear-related. Since the US exit in 2018 under former President Donald Trump, Iran and the United States have not negotiated face to face and instead communicate via European intermediaries. ………………………………………….   The best both sides can hope for now is at least an interim agreement of some sort.

April 21, 2022 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Energy Department’s own survey shows 8 in 10 Britons support onshore wind – and the Nuclear Free Local Authorities says the Government should back it

Whilst government ministers continue to deride onshore wind as
‘unpopular’, the energy department’s recent public survey shows
otherwise – with 8 in 10 Britons surveyed expressing their support for
the technology, over twice the number endorsing new nuclear – leading the
Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) to urge the UK government to back it.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has
collected data every quarter since 2012, recording responses from the
public to a range of energy related questions. The latest public attitude
survey was carried out over the Winter of 2021/22 and published at the end
of last month.

The results reveal continued strong support for renewables,
with onshore wind receiving a favourable response. Contrary to the myth
that onshore wind is unpopular, only 4% of those surveyed registered their
opposition, with 8 in 10 saying they supported it. By way of contrast only
37% of participants supported the development of nuclear energy and only
17% supported the resumption of fracking for shale gas. The government’s
own UK Energy Security Strategy concedes that ‘Onshore wind is one of the
cheapest forms of renewable power’, yet there has been no public funding
made available, nor any target for new generation set, with only a vague
promise to ‘consult this year on developing local partnerships for a
limited number of supportive communities who wish to host new onshore wind
infrastructure in return for benefits, including lower energy bills’.

 NFLA 20th April 2022

April 21, 2022 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, public opinion, renewable | Leave a comment

France’s nuclear energy output falling, as signs of corrosion halt several nuclear reactors

Electricite de France SA has found corrosion on key piping on four nuclear
reactors during recent checks, taking the number of affected units at its
French fleet of atomic generators to nine.

Corrosion issues have forced the French energy giant to halt some of its 56 reactors for lengthy checks and repairs, just as Europe faces its worst energy crisis in half a century.
The state-controlled utility previously said its nuclear output will fall
to the lowest in more than three decades this year and hardly rebound next
year due to the reactor works.

Signs of corrosion were found in pipings of
the Chinon-3, Cattenom-3 and Flamanville-2 reactors, three of the six units
that EDF had decided to check in February, EDF said in a statement posted
on its website last week. Indications of corrosion have also been found at
the Golfech-1 unit during a planned maintenance halt, and deeper checks
will be carried out, the utility said.

 Bloomberg 19th April 2022

April 21, 2022 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

Constant cheap renewable power to Britain – the Sahara wind and solar cables

Within five years, the world’s longest undersea cable will link Devon to
a vast territory of solar panels in the Sahara Desert, supplying
electricity directly into Britain’s grid at a fraction of today’s power
prices. A second cable will land two years later in 2029.

Together they will provide 3.6 gigawatts (GW) of constant baseload power, equivalent to
two Hinkley-sized nuclear reactors. The difference is that we will be able
to afford it.

That, at least, is the plan. The £16bn Xlinks Morocco-UK
Power Project – chaired by former Tesco chief Sir Dave Lewis – has an
elegant feature. It combines wind and solar in perfect geographic
circumstances to make near-constant power for 20 hours a day.

Trade winds on the coast of North Africa raise the average “capacity factor” of
onshore wind turbines to 54pc. A desert convection effect creates a regular
wind current in the early evenings and smooths the handover from solar to
wind. “It picks up every afternoon just as the sun is setting,” said
Simon Morrish, the project’s chief executive.

This overcomes the curse of intermittency, with lithium batteries in the desert to cover the remaining
gaps. Xlinks will be a park of 580 square miles at Guelmim Oued Noun on the
28th parallel south of Agadir, picked because it is at the top of the
global horizontal irradiance index. The yield is three times higher than in
the UK. The sun shines for 10 hours a day in winter. “The space is
unlimited. We could in theory put up 500 of these projects in Morocco,”
he said. The consortium is already planning a second hub to power Benelux.
It could multiply the scale several times over for the UK, constrained only
by the safe limits of energy security.

 Telegraph 20th April 2022

April 21, 2022 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Future of Antarctica’s Larsen C ice-shelf will have consequences for sea level rise world-wide

 Scientists know the surface of the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica is
melting, making it vulnerable to collapse. For the first time, we can rank
the most important causes of melting over the recent past.

In a new two-part paper in Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, we show how
the amount of energy reaching the ice from the sun is the dominant factor,
followed by warm winds, clouds and weather patterns. These drivers of
melting can interact and overlap to reinforce or counteract each other, so
it is a complex picture.

Understanding what is causing melting over Larsen
C is vital as it will help predict the future of the ice shelf, which will
have knock-on consequences for sea levels worldwide. In 2002, Larsen C’s
neighbouring ice shelf, Larsen B, experienced melting so severe that it
eventually caused the shelf to collapse completely. Larsen C restrains
glaciers that contain enough ice to raise global sea levels by around 22mm. 

Carbon Brief 14th April 2022

April 21, 2022 Posted by | ANTARCTICA, climate change, oceans | Leave a comment

An increased 2 degree Celsius world will not be liveable for vast swathes of humanity – but that’s the latest semi-optimistic research result

Christiana Figueres: Should we feel joy or despair that we’re on track
to keep global heating to 2C? The atmosphere does not react to pledges for
the future or reports about past achievements. It only reacts to real
emission reductions.

The research published in Nature last week showing
that the pledges by countries to reduce emissions made since the Paris
agreement could keep warming within 2C, if met on time, has therefore
understandably sparked a series of conflicting reactions.

Outrage that even
if the promises are met, they don’t come close to 1.5C; and optimism that
2C is such a huge improvement on where we’d be headed without the Paris
agreement. On the one hand, we have to acknowledge this looks very much
like failure. A 2C world will not be liveable for vast swathes of humanity,
and half of the world’s children are already at extremely high risk from
the impacts now, including hunger-inducing floods and droughts. 

Guardian 19th April 2022

April 21, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment