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Is Ukraine ready for another Chernobyl-like catastrophe? – Paul Dorfman

Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of shelling Zaporizhzhia. Now,
International atomic energy agency team will visit Zaporizhzhia. Still the
question arises, is Ukraine ready for another Chernobyl-like catastrophe?
Paul Dorfman at 3.57

 WION 20th Aug 2022

August 21, 2022 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | 1 Comment

Germany rules out delay to nuclear phaseout

Germany’s three remaining nuclear power stations are due to close at the end of the year

DW, 21 Aug 22, Germany won’t extend the lifespan of three remaining nuclear power stations due to the energy crisis, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said. He also warned against public panic over a potential winter gas shortage.

Germany’s three remaining nuclear power stations are due to close at the end of the year

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Sunday that allowing the country’s three last nuclear power stations to remain operational would be of little help in solving the country’s energy crisis.

Speaking during a discussion with citizens at the government’s open-door day in Berlin, Habeck said extending the lifespan of the plants — which are due to close at the end of the year — would only save about 2% of gas use.

t is the “wrong decision given how little we would save,” Habeck, who is also Vice Chancellor, added.

One nuclear plant could stay open

However, the minister said he was open to extending the lifespan of one nuclear plant in Bavaria, subject to the results of a stress test of the country’s power system.

The results of the test, to calculate how the country will cope if Russia cuts off natural gas supplies this winter, are due out in a few weeks.

Bavaria is a major manufacturing hub that depends on gas-fired power plants and has few coal-fired plants and low wind power production.

Germany has been phasing out nuclear energy since legislation was passed by former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan.

But voices calling for some nuclear plants to be kept in use have grown louder since energy prices soared over the past year and tensions with one of Germany’s main suppliers, Russia, intensified. The government has not signaled that it would reconsider the Merkel-era policy.

No need to panic over winter gas supplies

Habeck also told the public not to panic about the prospect of a gas shortage during the colder months, noting if households and industry cut their usage by 15-20% “then we have a really good chance of getting through the winter.” 

Even if Russia were to cut supplies entirely, there would be no situation where zero gas would reach Germany, the minister said,……….

Over the longer term, Habeck said Germany must expand its investment in renewable energies and phase out fossil fuels, which he said were the cause of many political conflicts and abuse of power………….


August 21, 2022 Posted by | Germany, politics | Leave a comment

Why Crimea matters. Russia shoots down Ukrainian drone over Crimea

Russia shoots down Ukrainian drone over Crimea | DW News 21 Aug 22, Russian officials in occupied Crimea say they’ve shot down a drone, headed for a key military base. It was targeting the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol. It was the second assault of its kind against the naval command in Crimea in less than a month – and it comes as Russia claims to have shot down drones elsewhere on the peninsula. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. However, the international community still recognizes it as part of Ukraine.

August 21, 2022 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Boris Johnson has secretly committed Britain to costly tax-payer funding for Sizewell nuclear plant

Boris Johnson commits to Sizewell on the quiet. The prime minister’s decision to part-fund a new nuclear plant will ‘tie Liz Truss’shands’ in tackling the cost of living. Boris Johnson has secretly given the green light for a £30 billion nuclear power station — sparking concerns within Liz Truss’s team that the cost will limit her ability to cut taxes and help the public with the cost of living.

The government is proposing to buy a 20 per cent stake in the plant, at a cost to the taxpayer of around £6 billion. But experts believe the plans are at risk of cost overruns and delays. One of Truss’s senior aides complained that Johnson’s decision to take a taxpayer-funded stake in the project would eat into the headroom available to her.

Johnson and Zahawi, lame ducks both, are understood to see the new power station as vital to Britain’s
future energy security and to want to make the announcement themselves to burnish their legacies in office. An ally of Zahawi stressed that the decision was made with Kwasi Kwarteng, the business and energy secretary, who is set to become Truss’s chancellor and that “no one is more enthusiastic than Kwasi”.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Kwarteng told voters that “help is on the way” but also stressed the need to raise domestic energy production. “We need to crack on with more nuclear power stations,” Kwarteng said, “back British-made small modular reactors, invest in cheap renewable energy like offshore wind, and lift the ban on shale gas extraction in England where there is local consent.”

 Times 21st Aug 2022

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

Nuclear power not a realistic option for the Philippines, given the seismic and other disaster risks

“Just last month, we saw the impacts of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake (which) should serve as a warning. Exposure to unpredictable seismic events should make us think twice about having a nuclear power plant,” he said.

Nuclear power, Mr. Arances said, is not a solution to the climate and energy crises, adding that it does not guarantee lower electricity prices.

Safety regulations seen as ‘first step’ in nuclear power shift, By Alyssa Nicole O. Tan, Reporter

THE Philippines is running late with its regulatory preparations for a safe nuclear power transition, the head of the Senate energy committee said.

Senator Rafael T. Tulfo said a law is needed to lay down standards for the incorporation of nuclear power companies, the construction of power plants, and the their operation.

“We have not even made a first step and we’re overdue,” he told BusinessWorld in a Viber message. Safety standards are needed because the Philippines sits astride an area of high tectonic activity, he said, adding that disaster response capacity must be developed should anything go wrong with such plants.

According to the World Bank, the Philippines is vulnerable to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tropical cyclones, and floods, making it one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world.

“In regulating the nuclear energy sector, there must be stringent standards as to the minimum standards for facilities, minimum qualifications for the persons or entities operating it, considerations as to where and how to acquire nuclear material, contingencies in case of emergency scenarios, proper standards on nuclear fuel disposal, limitations on foreign influence in the nuclear industry, and how the LGU where the plant is situated should gain a just and equitable share of the plant’s profits,” he said.

Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development Executive Director Gerry Arances told BusinessWorld in an e-mail that it would take years to create a policy framework thorough enough to take into account all safety, environmental, and electricity price risks, and years more to build nuclear facilities.

“Even small modular reactors would take about three to five years to construct. That means nuclear energy cannot provide immediate solutions to today’s energy crisis. In that span of time, renewable energy facilities could already have been deployed,” he said. 

Nuclear power, Mr. Arances said, is not a solution to the climate and energy crises, adding that it does not guarantee lower electricity prices.

“The price of fuel for nuclear energy like plutonium and uranium, neither of which can be sourced domestically, will put Filipino consumers at the mercy of global market prices and vulnerable to shocks,” he said. “We are already seeing this today with fossil fuel volatilities triggered by the Ukraine-Russia war.”

“In developing nuclear power, the Philippines will devote time and energy to figuring out where we can source nuclear fuel, how we will manage nuclear waste, and how we can prevent the possibility of our country turning into the next Fukushima or Chernobyl,” he added.

Even then, he said there is no assurance of eliminating the risk of nuclear accidents, given the country’s geographic location and the intensifying climate crisis.

“Just last month, we saw the impacts of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake (which) should serve as a warning. Exposure to unpredictable seismic events should make us think twice about having a nuclear power plant,” he said.

There were 10 deaths from the magnitude 7 earthquake that struck the northern Philippines, with more 300,000 people from about 82,000 families affected, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The earthquake also damaged more than 21,000 houses, 302 of which were destroyed, the agency said. Damage to infrastructure was about P414 million in the Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley and Cordillera Administrative Region.

Mr. Arances said time and effort should instead be channeled to effecting a 100% transition to genuinely sustainable and safe renewable energy.

“We have an abundant supply of renewable energy just waiting to be developed at an increasingly affordable cost — case in point are the winning bidders of the GEA Reserve prices, of whom the lowest bid is P3.4 per kilowatt hour from solar,” he said.

August 21, 2022 Posted by | Philippines, safety | Leave a comment

South Africa’s nuclear sector has failed its test: the Koeberg nuclear plant life extension

The Conversation, Hartmut Winkler, Professor of Physics, University of Johannesburg, August 21, 2022, South Africa’s only nuclear power plant, Koeberg, has frequently been in the news in 2022, all for the wrong reasons.

Its operating licence expires in 2024, and its continued operation thereafter depends on critical refurbishments and upgrades. Work on these finally began in January this year, but immediately ran into difficulties, forcing significant delays.

Koeberg is supplying only half of its power while work is in progress. This has amplified the crippling power shortages South Africa has been experiencing. This state of affairs, where the country effectively has 3% less generating power available than it would otherwise have, is expected to persist for the bulk of the next two years.

Other potential signs of turbulence linked to Koeberg include:

  • the delayed application to the nuclear regulator to extend the plant’s licence
  • the controversial dismissal of one of the regulator’s board members – an opponent of nuclear power – by the Minister of Mineral and Energy Resources
  • resignations of senior Koeberg staff, though there is no evidence that these were due to friction.

All of this has led to speculation that the Koeberg life extension exercise is in difficulty. In turn it casts doubt on the capacity of South Africa’s nuclear sector, and is likely to put to bed the highly ambitious proposals still advocated within the sector to build new nuclear plants.

Koeberg’s history

Koeberg, Africa’s only operational nuclear power station, 27km north of the Cape Town city centre, is reaching the end of its scheduled life cycle.

The plant consists of two units of just over 900 megawatts each, and together these contribute roughly 5% of South Africa’s electricity.

Koeberg was built by the French company Framatome between 1978 and 1984. In line with international practice, the plant was granted a 40-year operational licence which will expire in July 2024. Licensing the plant for a further 20 years is possible, as long as it meets specific safety criteria. Typically these involve particular upgrades and the replacement of various components……………………

The upgrade is projected to cost R20 billion (US$1.2 billion). Most of this would go towards buying and installing six new steam generators.

The need to replace them was identified over 10 years ago, but protracted litigation over who would do the job held up the project. The operation was eventually scheduled for 2022.

Life extension project

The replacements and upgrades needed to secure a 20 year operating licence extension require each Koeberg unit to be shut down for a projected five months. Unit 2 was therefore switched off on 18 January 2022 and was supposed to reopen in June 2022. Unit 1 was then to go through the same process, starting in October.

Things then went wrong. The critical steam generator replacement was again postponed to 2023. The full reasons have not been officially disclosed. But there has been no denial of reports that the onsite storage facilities for the now radioactively contaminated old steam generators were not ready.

The delay in getting Koeberg Unit 2 up and running on schedule resulted in an additional 900 MW shortfall during South Africa’s most recent midwinter bout of severe power blackouts.

Unit 2 finally started operating again on 7 August, almost two months later than projected. Another outage of comparable duration is still required in 2023.

Significance for the nuclear sector

The mishandling of the Koeberg life extension project raises serious questions about the capacity of South Africa’s nuclear sector. This sector has advocated the building of a large fleet of new nuclear plants, implying that it could be done without major cost and time overruns. But the much smaller and far more straightforward Koeberg upgrade has not gone well……………

August 21, 2022 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

Sizewell C nuclear plant funding approved despite Tory split.

Our next prime minister should call Sizewell C in. There are so many better ways to spend billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money than on a project that won’t light a single lightbulb for at least a decade.”

Boris Johnson gives financing go-ahead after warnings decision could limit incoming government, Rowena Mason Deputy political editor Mon 22 Aug 2022

Boris Johnson has approved funding for a new nuclear power station at Sizewell in Suffolk in the final weeks of his premiership, but some of Liz Truss’s senior allies are split over the decision.

The prime minister and the chancellor, Nadhim Zahawi, approved financing for the construction of two new reactors known as Sizewell C, enabling private funding of about £20-30bn to be raised.

However, Simon Clarke, another key Truss ally and a Treasury minister, warned in a letter leaked to the Sunday Times that the decision could limit Truss’s economic vision.

In the letter, he said the costs of Sizewell C were “sufficient to materially affect spending and fiscal choices for an incoming government, especially in the context of wider pressures on the public finances”.

In an article for the Mail on Sunday, Kwasi Kwarteng stressed the need to “crack on with more nuclear power stations” in order to increase Britain’s energy security.

He gave development consent for Sizewell C in July, but negotiations over the government’s investment decision had been ongoing.

A Whitehall source said Boris Johnson had taken the decision to press ahead with Sizewell several weeks ago. However, he dismissed the idea that the move would tie the hands of the next prime minister, following reports that the Truss campaign was worried that it was irreversible.

“In the next few weeks, we will announce a government investment decision on Sizewell C where the government formally commits to the project’s financing. It allows the project to raise private capital in the markets. But it’s only at the point of the final investment decision in early 2023 that the government would formalise any equity share.”

Johnson’s decision over Sizewell was challenged by a campaign to stop the nuclear reactor being built.

A spokesperson for the campaign, Stop Sizewell C, said: “Whatever way you look at it, this is a very dodgy decision. Has it been made by a lame duck PM who is not supposed to tie the hands of his successor, or was it in fact made before Sizewell C was granted planning consent, lending serious weight to our conviction that this was a prejudiced, political decision?

“Our next prime minister should call Sizewell C in. There are so many better ways to spend billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money than on a project that won’t light a single lightbulb for at least a decade.”

Truss has not stated a clear position on Sizewell C, but hinted last year at concerns about the involvement of China’s state-owned energy company, CGN, as part of a consortium providing funding for the preparatory work at the nuclear plant. She told the Telegraph at the time: “I think it’s very important that we don’t become strategically dependent and I think it’s important that we make sure that we’re working, particularly in areas of critical national infrastructure, with reliable partners.”

EDF, the French state energy firm, worked with CGN on the first phase of the project for a new nuclear power station to sit alongside Sizewell B, which is operational, and Sizewell A, which is being decommissioned. The UK government is keen to ease CGN out, however, over concerns about Chinese involvement in sensitive assets.

Johnson’s government has already put up £100m of funding this year to support the development of Sizewell C.

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

Pacific Alliance of Municipal Councils starts Petition against dumping nuclear wastewater in Pacific Aug 22, 2022 , The Pacific Alliance of Municipal Councils or PAMC has started a petition on ( to try and stop Japan from dumping its Fukushima nuclear wastewater into the Pacific Ocean.

PAMC  President and Secretary of the  Rota Municipal Council, Councilman Jim Atalig, expressed his strong opposition saying, “If it’s not good for their land, it is definitely not good for our ocean where most of us get our food on a daily basis!”

Chairman Joseph E. Santos, PAMC  member and chairman of the Tinian Municipal Council, says, “It is an outrage for anyone to think that it’s okay to dump their toxic wastes in our ocean when we rely on it for food, health activities, and economic sustainability.”

The other members of PAMC are Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council member Ana Demapan-Castro, Chairwoman, Antonia Tudela, member Daniel Aquino; Rota Municipal Council Chairman Jonovan Lizama, Vice Chairman William Taitano;  Tinian Municipal Council Vice Chairwoman  Thomasa P. Mendiola,  and Secretary Juanita M. Mendiola, who is also the vice president of PAMC.

PAMC is urging everyone to please circulate the petition through their Facebook page so we can prevail in preventing  Japan and any other countries from using our ocean as their toxic waste dumping ground!

“Nothing good will come out of this, just as the toll of human suffering  as a result of all nuclear energy fallouts were never worth their well-intended, but disastrously misguided, objectives!”

August 21, 2022 Posted by | OCEANIA, oceans | Leave a comment

The £billions cost of the Sizewell nuclear plan becomes an issue in the fight for the role of Prime Minister

 In a move that has caused great irritation in Team Truss, Nadhim Zahawi, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Johnson are set to approve the financing of the Sizewell C nuclear plant in Suffolk. It received planning consent last month and the government signalled that it would buy a 20 per cent stake in the project, which is being run by the French company EDF and is expected to cost between £20 billion and £30 billion after inflation. The final investment decision has not been announced.

Simon Clarke, the chief secretary to the Treasury who backs Truss and who sources say will have a “top half of the cabinet job” under her leadership, wrote to Johnson and Zahawi warning that a signoff for Sizewell would compromise the new prime minister’s ability to cut taxes or spend more on the cost of living. In his letter, Clarke wrote:

“The quantum is sufficient to materially affect spending and fiscal choices for an incoming government, especially in the context of wider pressures on the public finances.” While the cost to government is likely
to be about £6 billion, rather than £30 billion, that will give Truss far less room for manoeuvre.

 Times 20th Aug 2022

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

Expert forum Claverton Energy Group concludes that renewable energy +battery storage can meet UK’s needs – nuclear is not needed.

 Open University Professor Bill Nuttall’s updated version of his 2005 ‘Nuclear Renaissance’ book makes a case for nuclear power as low carbon and reliable, although, as the promotional blurb says, it accepts that
‘in recent years it has struggled to play a strong role in global plans for electricity generation in the 21st century’.

The new book also accepts that the much-hyped renaissance didn’t in the event happen- with Fukushima blowing it off course. Do we really want to build new nuclear plants to be ready on standby to provide spinning reserve backup and/or to provide rotational grid stability? Hydro can do that, and wind too to some extent, and virtual inertia can be provided by battery systems fed by PV solar.

Claverton Energy Group (CEG), a UK energy expert forum, has recently summarised some of the key conclusions of current research on energy system mixes and say they show that renewables can supply all our needs, with grid balancing provided in part by battery and heat storage.

Nuclear is not needed. The newly revised and updated 100% renewables global energy scenario produced by Prof Mark Jacobson and his team at Stanford University has come to similar conclusions, with 4 hour battery storage playing major balancing roles. All at competitive costs.

 Renew Extra 20th Aug 2022

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

Putin Claim U.S. Is Dragging Out War Isn’t Crazy, Military Expert Says

Newsweek, BY NICK MORDOWANEC ON 8/18/22

aims made by Russian President Vladimir Putin that the United States is intentionally prolonging the Russia-Ukraine conflict may not be as implausible as described, says one U.S. military veteran and journalist.

In a speech this week, Putin called out “Western globalist elites” who he said are “provoking chaos, inciting old and new conflicts,” and attempting “to preserve the hegemony and power that is slipping out of their hands.” He added that the situation in Ukraine shows the U.S. is “trying to prolong the conflict.”

Sean Spoonts, a U.S. Navy veteran and editor-in-chief of Special Operations Forces Report (SOFREP), told Newsweek that President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seem to have separate policy goals in mind.

“It seems like while Ukraine would like to end the war quickly and decisively defeat Russian forces and drive them out of their country, U.S. policy almost seems designed to prolong the conflict hoping to bring about the collapse of Russia itself, both militarily and economically,” Spoonts said.

……………. As a recent report by The Washington Post indicated, the U.S. was privy to some of Russia’s plans for the invasion of Ukraine before it officially began on February 24. Spoonts alluded to Biden’s remarks on that day, when he said, “Some of the most powerful impacts of our actions will come over time as we squeeze Russia’s access to finance and technology for strategic sectors of its economy and degrade its industrial capacity for years to come.”

“Biden has said publicly that his goal is to degrade Russia as a world power, never again in the position to threaten its neighbors,” said Spoonts. “That goes a lot further than Zelensky’s goal, which is to simply get Russian armies out of his country and regain lost territories in Donbas, Luhansk and Crimea.”……………………………….

August 21, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Macron that Ukrainian shelling of Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant risks disaster

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned his French counterpart Emmanuel
Macron that shelling of the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power
plant in southern Ukraine, which he blamed on Kyiv, could result in a
large-scale disaster.

 Reuters 19th Aug 2022

August 21, 2022 Posted by | Religion and ethics, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Islanders in Latin America face relocation, because of climate change.

 Some 2,000 islanders in Guna Yala will become one of the first indigenous
communities in Latin America to relocate because of climate change.
Islander Magdalena Martínez, who has campaigned for new housing on the
mainland, tells the BBC how she feels about leaving the island she grew up

The Panama government estimates all islands of the Guna people could be
under water by 2050, based on forecasts by an independent group of
scientists, although others think the islands may not all be submerged
until the end of the century.

 BBC 20th Aug 2022

August 21, 2022 Posted by | climate change, SOUTH AMERICA | Leave a comment

Russian Military From Nuclear Plant Showing Signs Of Radiation Sickness – Paramedic 21 Aug 22, The Russian military men, who were on the territory of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, were hospitalized with symptoms of radiation sickness. To find out what is really happening on the territory of the Zaporizhzhia NPP, it is necessary to immediately demilitarize it and put it under the control of international organizations.

Paramedic Bohdan Bondarenko, who is now on the front line, stated this on Facebook.

“The Russian military, who performed tasks at the Zaporizhzhia NPP, were taken to intensive care with signs identical to radiation sickness. The Russians, of course, talk about chemical poisoning, but brought the wounded from the nuclear plant. Not to mention  the level of trust in Russian information. Now, before it is too late, you need to do everything possible to get a true picture of the situation at the station,” Bondarenko said.

He noted that the military from the Zaporizhzhia NPP on July 31 were taken to a military hospital and are in intensive care. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation distributed information that examination of the victims “revealed the presence of an organic poison of artificial origin.” But this happened when the Russians fired on the Zaporizhzhia NPP.

“Around this time, Russia and Ukraine exchanged mutual accusations of shelling the station. Ukrainian Energoatom announced a possible radiation leak at the Zaporizhzhia NPP. At the same time, Rosatom brought its employees out of the station as an emergency, and the occupiers refused access to the station to IAEA inspectors,” writes Bondarenko.

The paramedic believes that the situation with the concealment of information by Russia resembles the behavior of the leadership of the USSR immediately after the Chornobyl tragedy.

“Something similar was last observed in the first month after the Chornobyl disaster. The leadership of the USSR desperately hid and distorted the truth, which led to catastrophic consequences both for the health and life of millions of people, and for the Soviet government itself, which was not forgiven for this lie. It is necessary to immediately demilitarize the station and put it under the control of the UN, IAEA or other independent structure. It’s a matter of survival. Aware of the level of opportunities of international organizations, or rather their level of helplessness, but there is no other,” Bohdan Bondarenko stressed.

August 21, 2022 Posted by | health, Ukraine | Leave a comment

India: Centres to be set up for people exposed to chemical, nuclear attacks

The Union Health Ministry has drawn up a proposal to set up two tertiary level centres for the treatment of people exposed to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents or attacks,

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi , August 21, 2022,

In a first, the Union Health Ministry has drawn up a proposal to set up two tertiary level centres for the treatment of people exposed to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents or attacks.

It is aimed at managing medical emergencies arising out of incidents such as the Bhopal gas tragedy, Visakhapatnam HPCL refinery blast, Tughlaqabad gas leak, Kanpur ammonia gas leak and other industrial accidents, official sources told PTI.

The detailed project report for setting up of these two chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) facilities at Stanley Medical College in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Jhajjar Campus, AIIMS has been readied.

The project report has been prepared by HLL Infra Tech Services Ltd (HITES) in consultation with experts drawn from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Defence and other sectors like the Department of Atomic Energy as well as its affiliate organisations like Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, they said.

The two facilities are to be set up over one-and-half years at an estimated cost of Rs 230 crore……………… more

August 21, 2022 Posted by | health, India | Leave a comment