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The week in nuclear news

A bit of good news.  Australia – the leper of world climate politics, – is a leper no more. Beyond all expectations, we turfed out the corrupt and anti-environment Morrison Liberal Coalition government. The driving forces in this election were the Greens, and the very climate conscious ”teal” independents.  It seems that intelligent Liberals who care about the environment defected to the ”teals”, while intelligent Labor people who care strongly about the environment defected to the Greens. Either way –   Australia at long last will have a government that might work for the cause of a clean planet, and for addressing global heating, and climate justice.

Pandemic–  WHO chief: The COVID pandemic is ‘most certainly not over

Climate – New IPCC Report: Addressing Climate Change Is Now About Damage Control 

Extraditing Julian Assange would be a gift to secretive, oppressive regimes.

War in Ukraine is getting complicated, and America isn’t ready 

Ukraine War Has No End in Sight.    Ukraine Contact Group: war used to expand global NATO.

NATO doubles members since 1999, completes sweep of Nordic nations IT IS FOOLISH FOR FINLAND AND SWEDEN TO JOIN NATO.      Up to 100 U.S. nuclear weapons surround Russia’s border.       Disinformation’ Label Serves to Marginalize Crucial Ukraine Facts.

Switzerland: NATO swallowing Europe’s few remaining former neutrals .

Nuclear Bomb Blast Map Shows What Would Happen if One Detonated Near You.

New book – does nuclear power have a future?. Tritium isn’t harmless.

The Arctic Council (AC) and NATO aims conflict with no climate change mitigation.

 COP26: No countries have delivered on promise to improve climate plans. 1.2 billion people threatened by escalating heat due to climate change. Climate change: The global climate crisis is also a health crisis

UKRAINE. Chernobyl nuclear fears as forest near Exclusion Zone in FLAMES – emergency triggered      Ukraine controlled by US and UK – Russia. Injured troops to be evacuated from Azovstal – Moscow. Nuclear lobby happily predicts a bright and beautiful future for new nuclear reactors in Ukraine.

EUROPE. Borrell: EU defense chiefs to approve another half billion Euros to arm Ukraine — Anti-bellumRussia’s grip on Europe’s nuclear power industry – this is being ignored. EU lawmakers move to block green investment label for gas and nuclear.

Unusually high temperatures to hit western Europe this week.Nuclear Fusion Is Already Facing a Fuel Crisis.

EU hits fast forward on renewables, including “massive deployment” of solar .

GERMANY. Germany to reject EU green investment label for nuclear power. Germany will vote against EU plans to label nuclear power as a green investment,.

FRANCE. France’s Nuclear Safety authority struggles with the problems related to corrosion in 12 reactors.     France’s nuclear corrosion problem will need a ”large scale” plan, and ”several years” to fix. 3 unplanned shutdowns of French nuclear reactors due to corrosion concerns, in the Framatome-designed piping.       EDF shares fall after new profit warning due to nuclear outages.    Nuclear: seven questions about the industrial disaster that threatens EDF.    France’s woes with nuclear power plants mean more energy uncertainty for Europe.

SWEDEN. Sweden’s Green Party demands nuclear weapons ban.

INDIAExtreme heat hitting India.

PAKISTAN. Climate change makes record-breaking heatwaves in northwest India and Pakistan 100 times more likely.

RUSSIA. Five reasons that Russia’s nuclear exports will continue, despite sanctions and the Ukraine invasion. But for how long?


CANADAOpposition mounts against 25-year licence extension request from New Brunswick nuclear plant with no long-term waste disposal plan.

JAPAN. Magnitude 6.0 quake shakes Japan’s east and northeast. Japan OKs plan to release Fukushima nuclear plant wastewaterNuclear expert reaffirms harm of dumping nuclear-contaminated water into ocean, calls on Japan to stop pressuring opposition voices.  Japan’s nuclear water disposal plan irresponsible.

SOUTH KOREA. New South Korean President plans to reverse the nuclear phaseout policy.       S. Korea denies report of alleged approval of Japan’s Fukushima water release plan.     Korea to keep close tabs on Japan’s Fukushima water discharge plan.


Peter Becker, sacked from South Africa’s National Nuclear Regulator Board, won’t go down without a fight.  From Russia with very expensive love – Karyn Maughan on South Africa’s bombed nuclear deal .

NEW ZEALAND“We must wean ourselves off fossil fuels:” New Zealand launches “landmark” climate plan .

TURKEY. Turkish nuclear plant threatened by Russian sanctions.

MYANMAR. Invading Russia U.S., allies may be planning Ukraine proxy war model for Myanmar — Anti-bellum 

AUSTRALIA. Will Anthony Albanese and Labor have the guts to free Julian Assange? Australians have voted for bolder climate action and integrity in politics


May 23, 2022 Posted by | Christina's notes | 2 Comments

War in Ukraine is getting complicated, and America isn’t ready — The New York Times Author Valery Moiseev, 22 May 22,

The Senate passed a $40 billion emergency aid package for Ukraine, but with a small group of isolationist Republicans loudly criticizing the spending and the war entering a new and complicated phase, continued bipartisan support is not guaranteed. This is stated in an editorial published in The New York Times (NYT).

Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence, warned the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that the war in Ukraine could take “a more unpredictable and potentially escalatory trajectory”, with the increased likelihood that Russia could threaten to use nuclear weapons.

The newspaper also notes that there are many questions that President Biden has yet to answer for the American public.

Is the United States, for example, trying to help bring an end to “this conflict” (as the newspaper calls the war in Ukraine) through a settlement that would allow for a sovereign Ukraine and some kind of relationship between the United States and Russia? Or is the United States now trying to weaken Russia permanently? Has the administration’s goal shifted to destabilizing Putin or having him removed? Does the United States intend to hold Putin accountable as a war criminal? Or is the goal to try to avoid a wider war — and if so, how to achieve this?

Without clarity on these questions, the White House not only risks losing Americans’ interest in supporting Ukrainians — who continue to suffer the loss of lives and livelihoods — but also jeopardizes long-term peace and security on the European continent, the NYT says.

The authors of the article believe that Americans “have been galvanized by Ukraine’s suffering”, but popular support for a war far from U.S. shores will not continue indefinitely. Inflation is a much bigger issue for American voters, and problems in global food and energy markets are likely to intensify.

“It is tempting to see Ukraine’s stunning successes against Russia’s aggression as a sign that with sufficient American and European help, Ukraine is close to pushing Russia back to its positions before the invasion. But that is a dangerous assumption.”

The article says that Russia remains too strong, and Putin has invested too much personal prestige in the invasion to back down.

“Unrealistic expectations could draw the United States and NATO ever deeper into a costly, drawn-out war. Russia, however battered and inept, is still capable of inflicting untold destruction on Ukraine and is still a nuclear superpower with an aggrieved, volatile despot who has shown little inclination toward a negotiated settlement.”

The NYT says that it is the Ukrainians who must make the hard decisions: they are the ones fighting, dying and losing their homes to Russian aggression, and it is they who must decide what an end to the war might look like. “If the conflict does lead to real negotiations, it will be Ukrainian leaders who will have to make the painful territorial decisions that any compromise will demand.”

But as the war continues, “Biden should also make clear to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his people that there is a limit to how far the United States and NATO will confront Russia, and limits to the arms, money and political support they can muster. It is imperative that the Ukrainian government’s decisions be based on a realistic assessment of its means and how much more destruction Ukraine can sustain.”

Confronting this reality may be painful, but it is not appeasement, the NYT stresses. This is what governments are duty bound to do, not chase after an illusory “win.” Russia will be feeling the pain of isolation and debilitating economic sanctions for years to come, and Putin will go down in history as a butcher. The challenge now is to shake off the euphoria, stop the taunting and focus on defining and completing the mission.

May 23, 2022 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Extraditing Julian Assange would be a gift to secretive, oppressive regimes

Handing over the WikiLeaks founder to the US will benefit those around the world who want to evade scrutiny

Peter Oborne 22 May 22,

In the course of the next few days, Priti Patel will make the most important ruling on free speech made by any home secretary in recent memory. She must resolve whether to comply with a US request to extradite Julian Assange on espionage charges.

The consequences for Assange will be profound. Once in the US he will almost certainly be sent to a maximum-security prison for the rest of his life. He will die in jail.

The impact on British journalism will also be profound. It will become lethally dangerous to handle, let alone publish, documents from US government sources. Reporters who do so, and their editors, will risk the same fate as Assange and become subject to extradition followed by lifelong incarceration.

For this reason Daniel Ellsberg, the 91-year-old US whistleblower who was prosecuted for his role in the Pentagon Papers revelations, which exposed the covert bombing of Laos and Cambodia and thus helped end the Vietnam war, has given eloquent testimony in Assange’s defence.

He told an extradition hearing two years ago that he felt a “great identification” with Assange, adding that his revelations were among the most important in the history of the US.

The US government does not agree. It maintains that Assange was effectively a spy and not a reporter, and should be punished accordingly.

Up to a point this position is understandable. Assange was anything but an ordinary journalist. His deep understanding of computers and how they could be hacked singled him out from the professionally shambolic arts graduates who normally rise to eminence in newspapers.

The ultimate creature of the internet age, in 2006 he helped found WikiLeaks, an organisation that specialises in obtaining and releasing classified or secret documents, infuriating governments and corporations around the world.

The clash with the US came in 2010, when (in collaboration with the Guardian, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, the New York Times and other international news organisations) WikiLeaks entered into one of the great partnerships of the modern era in any field. It started publishing documents supplied by the US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

Between them, WikiLeaks and Manning were responsible for a series of first-class scoops that any self-respecting reporter would die for. And these scoops were not the tittle-tattle that comprises the daily fodder of most journalism. They were of overwhelming global importance, reshaping our understanding of the Iraq war and the “war on terror”.

To give one example among thousands, WikiLeaks published a video of soldiers in a US helicopter laughing as they shot and killed unarmed civilians in Iraq – including a Reuters photographer and his assistant. (The US military refused to discipline the perpetrators.)

To the intense embarrassment of the USWikiLeaks revealed that the total number of civilian casualties in Iraq was 66,000 – far more than the US had acknowledged.

It shone an appalling new light on the abuse meted out to the Muslim inmates at Guantánamo Bay, including the revelation that 150 innocent people were held for years without charge.

Clive Stafford Smith, the then chairman of the human rights charity Reprieve who represented 84 Guantánamo prisoners, praised the way WikiLeaks helped him to establish that charges against his clients were fabricated.

It’s easy to see why the US launched a criminal investigation. Then events took an unexpected turn in November 2010 when Sweden issued an arrest warrant against Assange following allegations of sexual misconduct. Assange refused to go to Sweden, apparently on the grounds that this was a pretext for his extradition to the United States and took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Sweden never charged Assange with an offence, and dropped its investigation in 2019.

This was an eventful year in the Assange story. Ecuador kicked him out of the embassy and he was promptly arrested for breaching bail: he’s languished for the past three years in Belmarsh prison. Meanwhile the US pursues him using the same 1917 Espionage Act under which Ellsberg was unsuccessfully prosecuted. Assange’s defence, led by the solicitor Gareth Peirce and Edward Fitzgerald QC, has argued that his only crime was the crime of investigative journalism.

They point out that the indictment charges Assange with actions, such as protecting sources, that are basic journalistic practice: the US alleges that “Assange and Manning took measures to conceal Manning as the source of the disclosure of classified records”. Any journalist who failed to take this elementary precaution when supplied with information by a source would be sacked.

The US stated that Assange “actively encouraged Manning” to provide the information. How disgraceful! No wonder Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, has warned that: “It is dangerous to suggest that these actions are somehow criminal rather than steps routinely taken by investigative journalists who communicate with confidential sources to receive classified information of public importance.”

Despite all this, there’s no reason to suppose that Patel will come to Assange’s rescue – though there may yet be further legal ways to fight extradition.

Even if Patel wasn’t already on the way to winning the all-corners record as the most repressive home secretary in modern history, the Johnson government, already in Joe Biden’s bad books, has no incentive to further alienate the US president.

If and when Assange is put on a plane to the US, investigative journalism will suffer a permanent and deadening blow.

And the message will be sent to war criminals not just in the US but in every country round the globe that they can commit their crimes with impunity.

May 23, 2022 Posted by | civil liberties, media, politics international | Leave a comment

Ukraine Contact Group: war used to expand global NATO

NATO becoming more bloated

  Defense News May 22, 2022,  Rick Rozoff, m

More nations expected to sign up for Pentagon’s Ukraine aid group

A group of international defense chiefs convened by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to coordinate military aid for Ukraine is likely to expand when it meets for the second time on Monday.

The Ukraine Contact Group, which included 40 member countries at the inaugural gathering at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on April 26, has since attracted more interest….

“In its first iteration, you had countries from the Middle East, you had countries from the Indo-Pacific,” he said. “It wasn’t just Europe, and it certainly wasn’t just NATO….”

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, co-organizer of the push, is expected to make an opening statement along with Austin and a Ukrainian delegate, according to a British official, who spoke on condition of anonymity….

At the last meeting, Germany agreed to provide 50 Cheetah air-defense vehicles to Ukraine. The vehicles are slated to be delivered in July, German broadcaster ZDF reported. The British government also agreed to provide Ukraine with anti-aircraft capabilities, along with Canada’s offer of eight armored vehicles.

Austin will hold a call with Ukraine’s defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, to discuss its military requirements in advance of the contact group meeting, Kirby said….

May 23, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international | Leave a comment

Nuclear expert reaffirms harm of dumping nuclear-contaminated water into ocean, calls on Japan to stop pressuring opposition voices

By Zhang Changyue, May 22, 2022 

Nuclear expert reaffirms harm of dumping nuclear-contaminated water into ocean, calls on Japan to stop pressuring opposition voices

Experts have reaffirmed the inevitable radioactive pollution to be caused by the dumping of nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean after Japan on Wednesday initially approved the discharge plan.  

They demanded the Japanese government to stop pressuring those opposed to the plan and to truly listen to concerns from domestic public and international community, as a 30-day public comment period will finally determine the fate of the plan.

The Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) haven’t conducted a comprehensive environmental impact assessment as required by international law, Shaun Burnie, a senior nuclear specialist at Greenpeace, a global environmental protection organization, told the Global Times.

Their assessment made fundamental mistakes in radiation protection by ignoring the evidence that many different radionuclides would be discharged from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. For example, how much radioactivity in total is planned to be discharged has not been provided,” Burnie pointed out.

“The contaminated water contains radioactive cesium, strontium, tritium and other radioactive substances, which could be incorporated and concentrated in marine biota and end up in the bodies of humans. Some could cause damage to DNA, while others result in higher risks of diseases such as leukemia and blood cancer,” said Burnie.

“To assess the consequences of the tank releases, we need a full accounting of what isotopes are left in each tank after any secondary treatments. This is not just for the nine isotopes currently reported but for a larger suite of possible contaminants, such as plutonium,” explained Burnie. The expert added that since different radionuclides behave differently in the environment, models of tritium’s rapid dispersion and dilution in the ocean cannot be used to assess the fate of other potential contaminants.

Some isotopes are more readily incorporated into marine biota or seafloor sediment, said Burnie. For example, the biological concentration factor for fish for carbon-14 is up to 50,000 times higher than for tritium. Cobalt-60 is up to 300,000 times more likely to end up associated with seafloor sediment.

Also, the discharge could in reality continue for many decades longer than the period of 30 years claimed by the Japanese government – potentially for the rest of this century and beyond, Burnie noted. 

Although the Japanese government and TEPCO agreed in 2015 that the consent of the Fukushima Fishermen’s Association would be a condition for any future discharges, they are trying to pressure those opposed to say yes, said Burnie, encouraging efforts in Japan and the international community to continue to stop the unlawful and unjustified dumping plan.

May 23, 2022 Posted by | Japan, oceans, radiation | Leave a comment

Magnitude 6.0 quake shakes Japan’s east and northeast earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.0 struck Fukushima and other prefectures in Japan’s east and northeast on Sunday, but there was no threat of a tsunami, the Meteorological Agency said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or serious property damage following the quake, which occurred around 12:24 p.m.

The quake’s magnitude was later revised upward from the initial estimate of 5.8, the agency said.

The quake registered lower 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale to 7 in the city of Iwaki in Fukushima, according to the agency. Its focus was at a depth of about 30 kilometers in the Pacific off Ibaraki Prefecture.

The quake registered 4 in some other parts of Fukushima and 3 in the neighboring prefectures of Miyagi, Yamagata, Ibaraki, Niigata and Tochigi.

No abnormalities were found at the Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant on the coast of Ibaraki or at the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear power plants, their operators said.

There were also no major transport disruptions. JR East said it briefly suspended services on a section of the Tohoku Shinkansen line between Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures.

May 23, 2022 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

Tritium isn’t harmless — Beyond Nuclear International

Dumping Fukushima’s radioactive water is one of many wrong options

Tritium isn’t harmless — Beyond Nuclear International Japan plan to dump tritiated water into the ocean comes with big risks
On May 18, Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority gave its initial approval for Tokyo Electric Power to release radioactive water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean, claiming that there are no safety concerns. But science disagrees with this conclusion. In a September 2019 blog entry, now updated by the author, Dr. Ian Fairlie looks at the implications of dumping largely tritiated water into the sea and whether there are any viable alternatives.
By Ian Fairlie

At the present time, over a million tonnes of tritium-contaminated water are being held in about a thousand tanks at the site of the Fukushima Daichi nuclear power station in Japan. This is being added to at the rate of ~300 tonnes a day from the water being pumped to keep cool the melted nuclear fuels from the three destroyed reactors at Fukushima. Therefore new tanks are having to be built each week to cope with the influx.

These problems constitute a sharp reminder to the world’s media that the nuclear disaster at Fukushima did not end in 2011 and is continuing with no end in sight.

Recently TEPCO / Japanese Government have been proposing to dilute, then dump, some or all of these tritium-contaminated waters from Fukushima into the sea off the coast of Japan. This has been opposed by Japanese fishermen and environment groups.

There has been quite a media debate, especially in Japan, about the merits and demerits of dumping tritium into the sea. 

Many opinions have been voiced in the debate: most are either incorrect or uninformed or both. This post aims to rectify matters and put the discussion on a more sound technical basis.

  1. TEPCO / Japanese Government have argued that, as tritium is naturally-occurring, it is OK to discharge more of it. This argument is partly correct but misleading. It is true that tritium is created in the stratosphere by cosmic ray bombardment, but the argument that, because it exists naturally, it’s OK to dump more is false. For example, dioxins, furans and ozone are all highly toxic and occur naturally, but dumping more of them into the environment would be regarded as anti-social and to be avoided.
  2. TEPCO / Japanese Government have argued that it is safe to dump tritium because it already exists in the sea. Yes, tritium is there but at low concentrations of a few becquerels per litre (Bq/l). But the tritium concentrations in the holding tanks at Fukushima are typically about a megabecquerel per litre (MBq/l). In layman’s terms, that’s about a million times more concentrated.
  3. TEPCO / Japanese Government have argued coastal nuclear plants routinely dump water that contains tritium into the ocean. Yes, this does (regrettably) occur as their cooling waters become tritiated during their transits of reactor cooling circuits. But two wrongs do not make a right. Moreover, the annual amounts are small compared with what is being proposed at Fukushima. A one GW(e) BWR reactor typically releases about a terabecquerel (trillion Bq) of tritium to sea annually. But Fukushima’s tanks hold about one petabecquerel (PBq or a thousand trillion Bq) of tritium – that is, a thousand times more. A much bigger problem.
  1. Readers may well ask where is all this tritium coming from? Most (or maybe all) the tritium will come from the concrete structures of the ruined Fukushima reactor buildings. After ~40 years’ operation they are extremely contaminated with tritium. (Recall that tritium is both an activation product and a tertiary fission product of nuclear fission.) And, yes, this is the case for all decommissioned (and by corollary, existing) reactors: their concrete structures are all highly contaminated with tritium. The older the station, the more contaminated it is. In my view, this problem constitutes an argument for not building more nuclear power stations: at the end of their lives, all reactor hulks will remain radioactive for over 100 years.
  2. What about other radioactive contaminants? Reports are emerging that the tank waters also remain contaminated with other nuclides such as caesium-137 and especially strontium-90. This is due to the poor performance of Hitachi’s Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS). Their concentrations are much lower than the tritium concentrations but they are still unacceptably high.

For example, on 16 October 2018, the UK Daily Telegraph stated:

“Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) which runs the plant, has until recently claimed that the only significant

contaminant in the water is safe levels of tritium, which can be found in small amounts in drinking water, but is dangerous in large amounts. The [Japanese] government has promised that all other radioactive material [apart from tritium] is being reduced to “non-detect” levels by the sophisticated (ALPS). 

“However documents provided to The Telegraph by a source in the Japanese government suggest that the ALPS has consistently failed to eliminate a cocktail of other radioactive elements, including iodine, ruthenium, rhodium, antimony, tellurium, cobalt and strontium. 

“That adds to reports of a study by the regional Kahoko Shinpo newspaper which it said confirmed that levels of iodine-129 and ruthenium-106 exceeded acceptable levels in 45 samples out of 84 in 2017. Iodine 129 has a half-life of 15.7 million years and can cause cancer of the thyroid; ruthenium 106 is produced by nuclear fission and high doses can be toxic and carcinogenic when ingested. 

In late September 2017, TEPCO was forced to admit that around 80 per cent of the water stored at the Fukushima site still contains radioactive substances above legal levels after the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry held public hearings in Tokyo and Fukushima at which local residents and fishermen protested against the plans. It admitted that levels of strontium 90, for example, are more than 100 times above legally permitted levels in 65,000 tons of water that has been through the ALPS cleansing system and are 20,000 times above levels set by the government in several storage tanks at the site.”

So what is to be done?

First of all, the ALPS system has to be drastically improved. After that, some observers have argued that, ideally, the tritium should be separated out of the tank waters. Some isotopic tritium removal technologies have been proposed, for example by the International Atomic Energy Agency, but the picture is complicated. The only operating facility I’m aware of, is located at Darlington near Toronto in Canada, though secret military separation facilities may exist in the US or France.

However the Darlington facility was extremely difficult and expensive to construct (~12 years to build and to get working properly), and its operation consumes large amounts of electricity obtained from the Darlington nuclear power station nearby. Its raison d’ȇtre is to recover very expensive deuterium for Canadian heavy water reactors.

Other proposed remedies will probably be more expensive. One problem is basic physics. The tritium is in the form of tritiated water, which is effectively the same as water itself, so that chemical separation or filtration methods simply do not work. 

Another problem is inefficiency: with isotope separation, one would have to put the source hydrogen through thousands of times to get even small amounts of separated non-radioactive hydrogen. A third problem is that hydrogen, as the smallest element, is notoriously difficult to contain, so that gaseous tritium emissions would be very large each year.

None of these technologies is recommended as a solution for Japan: any such facility would release large amounts of tritium gas and tritiated water vapor to air each year, as occurs at Darlington. Tritium gas is quickly converted to tritiated water vapor in the environment. The inhalation of tritiated water vapor from any mooted Japanese facility would likely result in higher collective doses than the ingestion of tritiated sea food, were the tritium to be dumped in the sea.

I recommend neither of these proposed solutions.

There are no easy answers here. Barring a miraculous technical discovery which is unlikely, I think TEPCO/Japanese Government will have to buy more land and keep on building more holding tanks to allow for tritium decay to take place. Ten half-lives for tritium is 123 years: that’s how long these tanks will have to last – at least.

This will allow time not only for tritium to decay, but also for politicians to reflect on the wisdom of their support for nuclear power.

May 23, 2022 Posted by | Japan, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

3 unplanned shutdowns of French nuclear reactors due to corrosion concerns, in the Framatome-designed piping

EDF revealed on Thursday that it will shut down the 1.3 GW Paluel 2, Penly
2 St Alban 2 and Cattenom 1 reactors next year, when no shutdowns were
planned so far, to check whether their auxiliary pipes to the primary
circuit are affected by corrosion. The dates of these shutdowns, which will
occur in the second quarter of 2023, must be published imminently on Remit,
said the deputy director of EDF’s nuclear production department Régis
Clément at a press conference in Paris.

The French group intends to check the rest of these 56 reactors by the end of 2023, or even the beginning of 2024, during the planned shutdowns which will be extended and the ten-year
visits, seven of which are scheduled for the rest of this year, he added.

Earlier on Thursday, EDF on Thursday revised the dates for thirteen
scheduled outages at nuclear power plants in 2022-23 due to
corrosion-related checks and repairs. Mr. Clément also asserted that the
“preponderant” cause of cracks due to corrosion on the auxiliary piping
to the primary circuit of certain reactors in the nuclear fleet was the
design of these circuits, developed by the EDF subsidiary Framatome. “Today
what we have as a clear conviction is that the design [of the auxiliary
circuits] appears to us as a preponderant cause”, he said.

 Montel 19th May 2022

May 23, 2022 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

Leaked emails expose UK Home Secretary Priti Patel’s connection to MI6-style ‘research and influence operation’AND to extraditing Julian Assange

British Home Secretary Priti Patel is due to imminently decide on whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is extradited to the US, where he faces life imprisonment for journalistic activities.

Patel sat on the advisory council of the neoconservative Henry Jackson Society think tank alongside Lord James Arbuthnot – a former Conservative Minister of Defence whose wife, Lady Emma Arbuthnot, made two key rulings against Assange in 2018, before being forced to step aside due to a “perception of bias.”

it is safe to assume the intelligence cabal bringing its influence to bear on Patel would strongly favor his extradition to the US.


A deeply anti-democratic MI6-linked cabal’s apparent influence on Priti Patel raises serious questions about her fitness to rule on Julian Assange’s extradition to the US.

  • Cabal now managing MI6-inspired “research and influence operation” 
  • Effort may be funded by intelligence agency actors
  • British Home Secretary implicated in plot
  • Green advocates and perceived Chinese agents targeted
  • Home Office infiltrated by cabal’s civil service mole
  • Cabal seeks to seize power over energy policy and “displace” government minister
Continue reading

May 23, 2022 Posted by | civil liberties, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Hinkley Point C – costs soar, delays again. UK govt’s big bet on nuclear is backfiring

The risks to the government’s plans to build another eight nuclear power
plants have been underlined by the latest wave of ballooning costs and
delays at Hinkley Point C. EDF, which is constructing the 3,200MW reactor
in Somerset, has warned that estimated costs have jumped to between £25
billion and £26 billion, while the power station will not now start
producing electricity until June 2027 at the earliest.

The revised estimates are £3 billion higher than the previous cost projections in
January last year, which were in turn well ahead of the group’s initial
£18 billion forecast when the project was approved in 2016.

Hinkley is Britain’s first new nuclear plant in decades. It is expected to power six
million homes, with the government guaranteeing that consumers pay an
index-linked £92.50 per megawatt hour, in 2012 prices, for its
electricity. Construction costs are being met by EDF and its junior partner
in the project, CGN of China.

Critics seized on the latest overruns to
point out the risks to Boris Johnson’s blueprint for another 24 gigawatts
of new nuclear power by 2050. The Stop Sizewell C lobby group pointed out
that, while EDF and CGN are on the hook for Hinkley’s “rocketing
costs”, a proposed new financing model would see consumers paying upfront
via higher bills for cost overruns.

“The £20 billion estimate for
Sizewell C is already two years out of date, with zero chance of it being
delivered at that cost,” it said, noting that the risk of spiralling
costs would “fall on consumers”. Doug Parr, Greenpeace’s UK policy
director, said: “The government’s big bet on nuclear is backfiring with
every extra billion added to the bill”. He advocated investment in
offshore wind instead. Costs at the prototype for Hinkley, the Flamanville
plant in France, have rocketed from €3.3 billion to €12.7 billion.
Construction is running more than a decade late. 

Times 20th May 2022

May 23, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Australia. Will Anthony Albanese and Labor have the guts to free Julian Assange?

I am astonished that in all the brouhaha of Labor kicking out the truly awful Morrison Liberal Coalition government, so far no media noise about the scandalous persecution of Australian citizen Julian Assange.

OK, kindly, I suggest that there’s a lot to digest, a lot to overturn and untangle, in the state of corruption left by the Morrison government.

But now, if ever, is the time for Australia to stop cringing, and stand up to our supposed friend, the USA.

War atrocities happen. Right now there’s a legal case on, all about atrocities committed by Australian soldiers. We have to face up to that. America should have the decency to face up to atrocities committed by its military, instead of viciously persecuting the journalist who revealed them.

Australia could stop its pathetic subservience to the uSA and UK, and stand up for an Australian journalist.

We kowtowed 75 years ago, when Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett revealed the humanitarian horrors of Fukushima. Now, with a decently oriented Labor government, Australia could do the right thing and demand Assange’s freedom. The USA and UK might even respect us for that.

May 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

£3 billion more, 1 year longer: EDF Energy announces latest price hike and further delay at Hinkley Point C

£3 billion more, 1 year longer: EDF Energy announces latest price hike
and further delay at Hinkley Point C. Whilst news that yet another civil
nuclear power plant is to be delivered still further over-budget and still
further behind schedule may be ‘par for the course’, the Nuclear Free
Local Authorities still find EDF’s latest pronouncement that Hinkley
Point C will cost £3 billion more and take one year longer to build

In a media release yesterday (Thursday 19 May), the French parent
of UK nuclear operator, EDF Energy, conceded that, on their latest
estimate, Hinkley Point C will now cost £25 to 26 billion to build and
become operational no earlier than July 2027.

EDF last updated its Hinkley
Point construction schedule in January 2021, when it stated the plant would
be delayed by a further six months to June 2026 with the cost rising by an
additional half billion pounds to £22 billion to 23 billion. NFLA Chair
Councillor David Blackburn commented: “EDF Energy have blamed COVID and
the Ukraine conflict for the price hike and the delay, but Hinkley Point C
was already way over budget and way behind schedule before either of these
calamities occurred. For the simple reality is that nuclear costs too much
and takes too long”.

 NFLA 20th May 2022

May 23, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Painful defeat of Australia’s right-wing Morrison government, as new Labor government vows action on climate change.

Anthony Albanese, Australia’s new Labor prime minister, vowed to end the
country’s “climate wars” after he ousted Scott Morrison’s conservative
government on Saturday night. For the first time in nearly a decade, the
Labor party will lead Australia after a general election that delivered a
bruising defeat to Mr Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition.

At the latest count on Sunday afternoon, Labor had won 72 seats – just four short of the
half-way mark required to form a majority government in the 151-seat lower
house. It is likely that they will have to go into coalition with
independents – who performed particularly well – or the Greens Party to get
over the line. Morrison suffered the most painful defeat at the hands of
climate-focused independent candidates in a string of once ultra-safe
conservative urban constituencies including
Josh Frydenberg, the deputy leader of the Liberal Party,

. So-called “teal independents”, campaigned on
demands for tougher action on climate change, a major political issue in
Australia, which has suffered severe drought, catastrophic bushfires and
major flooding in recent years. Labor intends to cut its emissions by 43
per cent within the decade, well in excess of the Liberal Party’s goal.

Telegraph 22nd May 2022

May 23, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics | Leave a comment

UK Ministers taking the public for fools, as they tout grandiose and delusional nuclear power schemes

 Betting on the French will not keep Britain’s lights on, EDF’s latest
Hinkley Point delay shows PM’s nuclear ambitions are divorced from

It is testament to the sheer incompetence of France’s
state-backed utility EDF that Hinkley Point C has become Britain’s most
radioactive construction project and it hasn’t even been built yet. In
fact, one wonders if it ever will be at this rate after yet more delays and
cost overruns.

For critics of atomic energy, Hinkley Point is the gift that
keeps on giving. For the rest of the country it remains laughably elusive.
After repeated setbacks, Britain’s first new plant in three decades was
already scheduled to be nine years overdue and £7bn over budget having
been pushed back to 2026, while estimated build costs had rocketed to

And now? An announcement from EDF, snuck out at 10pm on Thursday
night, reveals that the project has been delayed by another year at best,
and will cost a further £3bn, with Covid the excruciatingly predictable
excuse being provided. It is the fourth time that EDF has had to revise the
timetable and budget since construction began in October 2016.

At this point, any suggestion that the Prime Minister’s recently announced
ambition to build 24 gigawatts of new nuclear capacity, equivalent to
another six Hinkleys, each costing £20bn, have any chance of being
realised should be banished. Ministers are taking us for fools with these
grandiose yet delusional schemes.

Like so many of this Government’s plans
to transform important areas of the economy, Britain’s nuclear ambitions
are totally divorced from reality, and will remain so while we continue to
depend on the same unreliable partner with a risible track record of
delivering on its promises.

But it is in France where the major red flags can be found. EDF’s flagship Flamanville plant in
Normandy, which is being built using the same European Pressurised Reactors
(EPR) that are set to be deployed at Hinkley, was originally meant to come
on line in 2009. Instead, it won’t be ready until 2023, nearly a decade and
a half later than originally planned, and is £10bn over budget after costs
quadrupled from initial estimates in 2004.

Yet Flamanville is just one of
many plants where EDF is experiencing problems. The company has been forced
to launch a programme of checks on its entire fleet of 56 nuclear reactors
after the discovery of corrosion caused outages at some. A total of 12 are
offline, exacerbating a perilous financial squeeze as it prepares to
spearhead Emmanuel Macron’s plans to put nuclear power at the heart of
his country’s pursuit of carbon neutrality by 2050. And yet, incredibly,
EDF harbours ambitions to build another plant in the UK, at Sizewell C in

 Telegraph 21st May 2022

May 23, 2022 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Climate change: The global climate crisis is also a health crisis

Climate change: The global climate crisis is also a health crisis

Without effective climate action, more than 100 million people could be forced back into poverty by 2030, according to estimates from the World Bank.

May 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment