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UK’s £26bn Hinkley Point C nuclear station now faces 11 year delay

Britain’s flagship Hinkley Point C nuclear power station is facing the risk of an 11-year delay, piling further pressure on efforts to keep the lights on. According to a new contract between the Government and French company
EDF, Hinkley will still be funded even if it does not start operating until 2036 – more than a decade after its initial deadline in 2025.

It raises the prospect of significant further hold-ups at Hinkley, which has already been delayed until mid-2027. The change to the subsidy contract terms comes as the Government is paying China a reported £100m to exit its involvement in a second planned new nuclear project, Sizewell C in Suffolk, which is also being developed with EDF. The Government confirmed on Tuesday that CGN will exit Sizewell C, with the state paying an unconfirmed sum to cover its 20pc shareholding and a commercial return. The Times reported this to be £100m. CGN’s involvement with Hinkley Point C is believed to be unaffected.

However, as part of the negotiations, Hinkley Point C now has more leeway than previously to get up and running. The project has a deal with the Government under which it gets a guaranteed £92.50 per megawatt hour for its electricity for the first 35 years of its life, backed by a levy on consumer bills.

When the project was first agreed in 2016, it was due to start generating at the end of 2025. In January 2021, that was pushed back
to June 2026, and in May 2022 it was pushed back again to 2027, with EDF blaming the pandemic and supply chain issues. Costs are now expected to be as high as £26bn. The plant is using a new type of generating technology, EPR, which is so far only in commercial operation in Taishan, China, where one reactor has been shut down due to problems.

Telegraph 29th Nov 2022


November 30, 2022 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

UK government to take 50% stake in the French development of Sizewell C nuclear station

Ed note: This is the Tory government plan. But didn’t they pinch the Great British Energy idea from Labour?

Sizewell C project takes major step forward as government unveils plans to establish Great British Energy, a new arms-length public body to oversee UK nuclear power pipeline. The government has approved plans to build the UK’s
first new nuclear power plant in a quarter of a century, today confirming it has agreed to invest £679m to take a 50 per cent stake in the Sizewell C project being developed in Suffolk by French energy giant EDF.

Then”historic” investment will see the UK government become joint shareholder in Sizewell C alongside developer EDF, which will also provide additionalminvestment to match the UK government’s stake, muscling out previousmshareholder China’s CGN in the process.

EDF and the government now plan to work together to attract further third-party investment in the 3.2GW low carbon power project, which once completed would be expected to provide enough power to meet the needs of six million homes for more than 50 years.

In addition, the government today also announced plans to establish Great British Nuclear, a new arms-length public body to help develop a pipeline of new nuclear projects. More details are expected early in the new year, including on the government’s funding commitment to the new body.

Business Green 29th Nov 2022

November 30, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Emmanuel Macron picks a bad time to promote France’s nuclear nuclear technology in a marketing tour to USA

With 40 percent of France’s nuclear power plants offline, there could hardly be a more awkward time to promote the country’s know-how

Macron to promote nuclear energy in U.S., as industry faces crisis in France, By Rick Noack, November 29, 2022, PARIS — As French President Emmanuel Macron makes the rounds in Washington starting Wednesday for the first state visit of the Biden administration, high on his agenda are his plans for a nuclear energy “renaissance.” His entourage includes the major players from France’s nuclear energy industry, who will be looking to the French leader to help boost the development and export of their technology, including smaller and more versatile reactors.

But there could hardly be a more awkward time to promote French nuclear know-how.

While Macron was preparing to head to Washington, France was relying on planes traveling in the opposite direction to prevent its nuclear-reliant power grid from collapsing. U.S. and Canadian contractors have been flown in to help after safety concerns forced the closure of half of the country’s nuclear power plants. Last week, 23 out of 56 were still offline, due to concerns over corrosion cracks and an accumulation of pandemic-related inspection delays.

………….. instead of bolstering its position as an energy exporter, France has had to import electricity from Germany — the country hit hardest by the shift away from Russia. And Britain, which normally depends on France for energy to get through winter, is talking about having to encourage people to keep their ovens and dishwashers off to avoid blackouts.

Other French neighbors, including Belgium, Switzerland and parts of Italy, may be under even more pressure as a result of the French reactor problems, said Clement Bouilloux, country manager for France at energy consultancy EnAppSys.

“Everyone was relying on the French nuclear power plants,” he said.

The situation has tarnished France’s reputation as a nuclear power leader and may have contributed to the country missing out on key contracts. Only weeks ago, France’s state-owned energy company EDF lost the first part of a $40 billion contract for Poland’s first nuclear power plant to U.S. company Westinghouse………………………………………………………..

Macron has acknowledged that the French industry has “fallen behind,” but he has defended its ability to recover, striking deals on nuclear energy cooperation in recent months with countries including India and Britain.

Macron is scheduled to attend a nuclear energy session on Wednesday, alongside four French cabinet members and several executives from the country’s major nuclear energy firms and its public regulator, the Élysée Palace said last week.

A French official added Monday that one area where France anticipates possible mutual interests is the development of small modular reactors (SMRs)……………..

November 30, 2022 Posted by | France, marketing | Leave a comment

Sizewll C nuclear white elephant could cost up to £43 billion

Grant Shapps follows Johnson and Kwarteng’s example by purposefully
avoiding any discussion or interaction with those directly affected by the
proposed Sizewell nuclear development during his recent visit to Sizewell
while reconfirming the government’s commitment to the £700m investment by
way of joining EDF in a 50:50 partnership in the Sizewell C White Elephant
financial sink hole on Suffolk’s eroding coast.

Jenny Kirtley, Chair of Together Against Sizewell C, said today, ‘There is nothing new in terms of
funding – this announcement still doesn’t go beyond the £700m already
promised, followed by a lot of sticking plasters to protect the government
from the criticism of doing nothing for years to drive down electricity on
the demand side. A pathetic response from a delusional government that is
long past its sell-by date.

The government’s own risk assessment forecasts
that Sizewell C may cost up to £43 billion –

yet another example of this government’s willingness to squander £billions of public money on a project
that may never operate as it still requires the resolution of EDF’s inability to secure a permanent and reliable supply of a potable water.

TASC 29th Nov 2022

November 30, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Stolen cryptocurrency has fuelled North Korea’s nuclear program. Could it collapse amid market turmoil?

With the general downturn in the crypto market, coupled with the recent FTX collapse and myriad other pitfalls, analysts estimate North Korea has probably lost most of its crypto haul.

Since the world’s second-largest crypto exchange, FTX, declared bankruptcy earlier this month, the flow-on effects have been felt far and wide.

But among the many victims are also some not-so-innocent parties. For the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, a country facing heavy sanctions, cryptocurrency theft has been a (relatively) simple way to fund the country’s expanding nuclear arsenal.

It’s well documented that Kim Jong-un’s military operation hackers have been stealing cryptocurrency to support North Korea’s nuclear and missile program for several years.

But with the general downturn in the crypto market, coupled with the recent FTX collapse and myriad other pitfalls, analysts estimate North Korea has probably lost most of its crypto haul.

Can we expect its nuclear weapons development to come to a halt or slow down? It seems unlikely.

What North Korea’s hackers have been up to………………………………………………………. more

November 30, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UK govt goes ahead, seeks financial backing for Sizewell nuclear project, despite strong objections on environmental grounds, especially about water use.

It bears noting that EDF was refused planning consent from Suffolk County Council and the Planning
Inspectorate in 2020 on the grounds that insufficient information was provided about the project’s impacts on local communities and nature.

Particular concerns included procuring water and potential impacts on the local nature reserve.

The UK Government has confirmed approval for the Sizewell C nuclear power
plant after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt moved to back proceeding with the
development at this month’s Autumn Statement. The Department for Business,
Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has stated that the Government will
take a £679m stake in the 3.2GW project and will urge China General Nuclear
to end its involvement.

It will allocate a multi-million-pound package to
cover buy-out costs, commercial arrangements and tax. This is a significant
increase from the £100m option fee contribution for Sizewell C which the
Government confirmed back in January. It will see the Government becoming a
50% shareholder in the project’s development phase. BEIS has stated that
EDF, which is developing the power plant, will “provide additional
investment to match the Government’s stake”.

But with the total project
cost sitting around £20bn, it is clear that additional backers will need to
be found. Sizewell C will be the UK’s first project to use a new funding
model for nuclear, the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model. This model
provides investors with regular returns before a plant begins generating
power. It has replaced the previous Contracts for Difference (CfD) approach
to nuclear funding due to the passage of the Nuclear Energy (Financing)
Bill earlier this year, when Kwasi Kwarteng was in the top job at BEIS.

Some local community groups and major environmental groups have argued that
BEIS rushed the decision on Sizewell C without accounting for key
information on impacts such as water extraction and disrupting wildlife.

On the former point, Sizewell B uses about 800,000 litres of potable water
each day. Friends of the Earth moved in August to launch a legal challenge
to BEIS over the Sizewell C approval decision. It bears noting that EDF was
refused planning consent from Suffolk County Council and the Planning
Inspectorate in 2020 on the grounds that insufficient information was
provided about the project’s impacts on local communities and nature.
Particular concerns included procuring water and potential impacts on the
local nature reserve.

The Planning Inspectorate stated that “unless the
outstanding water supply strategy can be resolved and sufficient
information provided to enable the secretary of state to carry out his
obligations under the Habitats Regulations, the case for an order granting
development consent for the application is not made out”.

Friends of the Earth argued that, when it launched its challenge, no more information had
been provided or considered about Sizewell C’s nature and water footprint.

Edie 29th Nov 2022

November 30, 2022 Posted by | UK, water | Leave a comment

NATO Exists To Solve The Problems Created By NATO’s Existence Caitlin Johnstone, 30 Nov 22

NATO has doubled down on its determination to eventually add Ukraine to its membership, renewing its 2008 commitment to that goal in a meeting between the foreign ministers of the alliance in Bucharest, Romania this past Tuesday.

Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp writes:

The Romanian city was where NATO initially made the promise to Ukraine back in 2008, and at the time, US officials acknowledged that attempting to bring the country into the alliance could spark a war in the region.

“We made the decision in Bucharest in 2008 at the summit,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday. “I was there … representing Norway as Prime Minister. I remember very well the decisions. We stand by those decisions. NATO’s door is open.”

In a joint statement, the NATO foreign ministers, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said that they “reaffirm” the decisions that were made at the 2008 Bucharest summit.

It has become fashionable among the mainstream western commentariat to claim that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had nothing to do with NATO expansion, but as recently explained by Philippe Lemoine for the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology, that’s a completely false narrative that requires snipping past comments made by Putin out of the context in which they were made. Many western experts warned for years in advance that NATO expansion would lead to a conflict like the one we’re seeing today, and they were of course correct.

The recent push to expand NATO in Ukraine along with nations like Finland and Sweden as justified by “Russian aggression” is a good example of what professor Richard Sakwa has called the “fateful geographical paradox: that NATO exists to manage the risks created by its existence.” As the late scholar on US-Russia relations Stephen Cohen explained years before the Ukraine crisis erupted in 2014, Moscow sees NATO as an “American sphere of influence,” and the expansion of NATO and NATO influence as expansion of that sphere. It reacts to this with hostility just as the US would react to China or Russia building up aggressive military alliances on its borders, and arguably with vastly more restraint than the US would.

Other future examples of Sakwa’s fateful geographical paradox are likely to include the push to reconfigure NATO into an alliance dedicated to “restraining” China, which of course means halting China’s rise on the world stage and working to constrict, balkanize and usurp it. A recent Financial Times article titled “Washington steps up pressure on European allies to harden China stance” gives new detail to this agenda:

The US is pushing European allies to take a harder stance towards Beijing as it tries to leverage its leadership on Ukraine to gain more support from Nato countries for its efforts to counter China in the Indo-Pacific.

According to people briefed on conversations between the US and its Nato allies, Washington has in recent weeks lobbied members of the transatlantic alliance to toughen up their language on China and to start working on concrete action to restrain Beijing.
US president Joe Biden identified countering China as his main foreign policy goal at the start of his administration, but his efforts have been complicated by the focus on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
But with Russian president Vladimir Putin’s invasion in its 10th month, Washington was making a concerted effort to push China back up Nato’s agenda, the people said.

The “North Atlantic” Treaty Organization added China to its security concerns for the very first time this past June, and ever since it’s seen a mad push from Washington to ramp up aggressions against Beijing. Another Financial Times article titled “Nato holds first dedicated talks on China threat to Taiwan” details a meeting between alliance members this past September:

They also discussed how Nato should make Beijing aware of the potential ramifications of any military action — a debate that has gained significance following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine amid questions about whether the west was tough enough in its warnings to Moscow.

The US has been urging allies, particularly in Europe, to focus more on the threat to Taiwan, as concerns mount that Chinese president Xi Jinping may order the use of force against the island.

Senior US military officers and officials have floated several possible timelines for military action, with some eager to increase the sense of urgency to ensure Washington and its allies are prepared.

Some are noticing that Washington’s eagerness to “increase the sense of urgency” on this front can easily wind up having a provocative effect which serves as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, told Bloomberg a month ago that Washington’s haste to prepare everyone for another major conflict could “end up provoking the war that we seek to deter.” 

“NATO should be renamed ASFP: the Alliance for Self Fulfilling Prophecies,” tweeted commentator Arnaud Bertrand of the alliance’s discussions about Taiwan.

“A defensive alliance doesn’t look to pick fights with a country on a different continent,” tweeted Jacobin’s Branko Marcetic. “This is some classic mission creep from NATO – or, more accurately, Washington.”

When you ignore all the empty narrative fluff and really boil it down to the raw language of actual behavior, NATO’s existence really does seem to be premised on the circular reasoning that without NATO there’d be nobody to protect the world from the consequences of NATO’s actions. It goes out of its way to threaten powerful nations and then justifies its existence by their responses to those threats. It’s a self-licking ice cream cone, or, if you prefer, a self-licking boot.

And this is all happening as news comes out that European nations are beginning to notice they’re bearing a lot more of the cost of Washington’s proxy warfare in Ukraine than the US is, while the US reaps all the profits. In an article titled “Europe accuses US of profiting from war,” Politico reports:

Top European officials are furious with Joe Biden’s administration and now accuse the Americans of making a fortune from the war, while EU countries suffer. 

When you ignore all the empty narrative fluff and really boil it down to the raw language of actual behavior, NATO’s existence really does seem to be premised on the circular reasoning that without NATO there’d be nobody to protect the world from the consequences of NATO’s actions. It goes out of its way to threaten powerful nations and then justifies its existence by their responses to those threats. It’s a self-licking ice cream cone, or, if you prefer, a self-licking boot.

And this is all happening as news comes out that European nations are beginning to notice they’re bearing a lot more of the cost of Washington’s proxy warfare in Ukraine than the US is, while the US reaps all the profits. In an article titled “Europe accuses US of profiting from war,” Politico reports:

Top European officials are furious with Joe Biden’s administration and now accuse the Americans of making a fortune from the war, while EU countries suffer. 

“The fact is, if you look at it soberly, the country that is most profiting from this war is the U.S. because they are selling more gas and at higher prices, and because they are selling more weapons,” one senior official told POLITICO. 

The explosive comments — backed in public and private by officials, diplomats and ministers elsewhere — follow mounting anger in Europe over American subsidies that threaten to wreck European industry.

Washington is taking extreme risks and angering allies at this time because it’s getting to do-or-die time as far as preserving US unipolar hegemony is concerned. As Antiwar’s Ted Snider explains in a recent article, the US proxy war in Ukraine has never really been about Ukraine, and hasn’t even ultimately been about Russia. In the long run this standoff has always been about China, and about the desperate campaign of the US empire to preserve its unrivaled domination of this planet.

“The war in Ukraine has always been about larger US goals,” writes Snider. “It has always been about the American ambition to maintain a unipolar world in which they were the sole polar power at the center and top of the world.”

“Events in Ukraine in 2014 marked the end of the unipolar world of American hegemony,” Snider says. “Russia drew the line and asserted itself as a new pole in a multipolar world order. That is why the war is ‘bigger than Ukraine,’ in the words of the State Department. It is bigger than Ukraine because, in the eyes of Washington, it is the battle for US hegemony.”

“If Ukraine is about Russia, Russia is about China,” Snider writes. “The ‘Russia Problem’ has always been that it is impossible to confront China if China has Russia: it is not desirable to fight both superpowers at once. So, if the long-term goal is to prevent a challenge to the US led unipolar world from China, Russia first needs to be weakened.”

Snider quotes Lyle Goldstein, a visiting professor at Brown University, who says that “In order to maintain its hegemonic position, the US supports Ukraine to wage hybrid warfare against Russia…The purpose is to hit Russia, contain Europe, kidnap ‘allies,’ and threaten China.”

As the world becomes more multipolar and securing total control looks less and less likely, the empire is fighting more and more like a boxer in the later rounds who’s been down on the scorecards the entire fight: taking more risks, throwing wild haymakers, preferring the possibility of a knockout loss over the certainty of losing a decision.

We’re at the most dangerous point in humanity’s abusive relationship with US unipolar domination, for the same reason the most dangerous point in a battered wife’s life is right when she’s trying to escape. The empire is willing to do terrible and risky things to retain control. “If I can’t have you no one can” is a line that can be said to a wife, or to the world.

The importance of opposing these megalomaniacs, and their games of nuclear chicken, has never been higher.

November 30, 2022 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment

Blinken: NATO nations have provided $40 billion in weapons to Ukraine, more on way — Anti-bellum

UkrinformNovember 30, 2022 Blinken: NATO members and partners have provided $40B worth of weapons to Ukraine, even more is on the way The United States, along with NATO Allies and G7 partners, intends to further increase the amount of aid to Ukraine…. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a corresponding statement during a press […]

Blinken: NATO nations have provided $40 billion in weapons to Ukraine, more on way — Anti-bellum

November 30, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Situation at Ukrainian nuclear plants worrying as shelling and power cuts threaten containment

Ukraine’s four operational nuclear power plants all have access to the national grid again following a complete loss of off-site power last week. It was the first time that all the plants suffered a loss of external power at the same time since the conflict began nine months ago. They relied on diesel generators for back-up electricity

‘The complete and simultaneous loss of off-site power for Ukraine’s nuclear power plants shows that the situation for nuclear safety and security in the country [has] become increasingly precarious, challenging and potentially dangerous,’ said Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). ‘It is extremely concerning. The situation further underlines the need for stepped-up action to protect the plants and prevent the danger of a serious nuclear accident.’

The recent shelling at the site of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) has been one of the most intense episodes in recent months, according to the IAEA, which has a team on site. The ZNPP, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, has lost power from the grid several times in recent months. Russia captured the plant early in the war.

The facility remains in shutdown mode but still needs electricity to maintain essential safety and security functions. Reactors need power for cooling even when they are in shutdown. Four of its six reactor units are in ‘cold shutdown’, while the two other units have been returned to ‘hot shutdown’ again – enabling them to provide steam to the plant and heat to the nearby city of Enerhodar.

The ZNPP has 20 diesel generators which start operating automatically when connection to the grid is lost. Typically, plants hold 10 days’ worth of fuel. In this latest episode, eight generators were needed over a day or so. The IAEA team reported that the plant’s six reactors were safe, and confirmed the integrity of the spent fuel, the fresh fuel and radioactive waste storage facilities. However, there was widespread minor damage across the site.

Matthew Bunn
, professor of the practice of energy, national security, and foreign policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, agrees that nuclear reactors in a war zone pose potentially deadly dangers. ‘Operating a reactor on the backup diesel generators is something that should be done rarely and briefly,’ he says. ‘In Ukraine, they are being forced to do it again and again. Every time off-site power gets cut off, you’re operating with no backup to the diesel generators. If they fail, within hours the water will boil off, the reactor core will be exposed, and the fuel in the core will begin to melt and a catastrophic radiation release is likely. This is true even if a reactor is not operating: when the reactor shuts down, it stops releasing energy from splitting atoms, but the intensely radioactive material in the core continues to generate a lot of heat from radioactive decay. However, some of the reactors at Zaporizhzhia have been shut for months and have cooled somewhat. Now, if there were a total loss of power at those reactors, there would be significantly more time to try to restore power before melting would begin.’……………………………………..more

November 30, 2022 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

UK government desperate for investors in its Sizewell C nuclear project, as it pays out the Chinese company previously involved

Construction will not begin in earnest until the consortium has raised close to £20bn of equity and debt from private investors. That fundraising could take at least a year and has no guarantee of success.

The UK government is to pay Chinese state-owned power group CGN over £100mn to exit Britain’s £20bn Sizewell C nuclear energy project in a bid to reduce Beijing’s involvement in the country’s infrastructure. The payment to CGN for its 20 per cent stake in the proposed nuclear plant in Suffolk is part of a £679mn UK state investment in Sizewell first announced by former prime minister Boris Johnson in September and finalised on Tuesday.

Construction will not begin in earnest until the consortium has raised close to £20bn of equity and debt from private investors. That fundraising could take at least a year and has no guarantee of success. UK government officials said that the departure of CGN would clear the way for US investors to put money into Sizewell C, since the Chinese company has been put under US sanctions.

CGN remains a minority 33 per cent investor in Britain’s giant Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset, another
EDF led project. Although this has already been delayed by several years, it is intended to be the first of a new generation of nuclear power stations. The Chinese group also controls a site at Bradwell-on-Sea in Essex, where it hopes to be the lead investor in a new generator.

CGN’s planned use of its own reactor technology at Bradwell received former approval from Britain’s nuclear regulator in February. But ministers think that ultimately it will not be allowed to build at the site, which they expect to change hands in due course.

FT 29th Nov 2022

November 30, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Ukraine’s nuclear plants face uncertain future after Russian attacks

Attacks on Ukraine’s power grid took all 15 of the nation’s nuclear reactors offline for the first time ever. Russia also retains control of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest nuclear power station in Europe

New Scientist, TECHNOLOGY | ANALYSIS 25 November 2022 By Matthew Sparkes

Ukraine’s nuclear power stations have been caught, both politically and literally, in the crossfire ever since the start of Russia’s invasion. But this week, for the first time in history, all 15 of its nuclear reactors were taken offline by fighting.

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), near the Ukrainian city of Enerhodar, is Europe’s largest nuclear power station and has been in Russian hands since in March. The final working reactor at ZNPP was shut down in September as a precautionary measure. Nuclear plants supply power to the grid when operating, but when shut down they actually draw power from it in order to run vital cooling and safety systems, which means disruption to electricity supply is a major concern.

On 23 November, shelling of power infrastructure in Ukraine by Russian troops led to blackouts that caused emergency diesel generators to start up at ZNPP, as well as at reactors across Ukraine’s three other nuclear plants that had previously made it through the war with relatively little disruption.

In a statement on its website, Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom said that for the first time in the 40-year history of the Ukrainian nuclear power industry, all of its nuclear power plants were not producing power, instead relying on diesel back-up generators. Access to the national grid resumed on 25 November………………………………………..

Olena Pareniuk
, a scientist working at the Chernobyl site, says the process of restarting a nuclear power plant is long and difficult, but that the energy supply is sorely needed by Ukraine’s citizens, who are experiencing widespread blackouts across the country.

“It won’t [come in time to] help us through winter,” she says. Equipment will need to be checked, which is a job that cannot be rushed, she says. ……….

November 30, 2022 Posted by | technology, Ukraine | Leave a comment

War and Nuclear Power: Stakes Are High for People, Environment, and Industry

Power, by Aaron Larson, 1 Dec 22, John Stevens Cabot Abbott, the 19th century American historian perhaps best known for writing History of Napoleon Bonaparte and History of the Civil War in America, is attributed with the quote, “War is the science of destruction.” In truth, however, I don’t think most combatants really think about science when going into battle; they have enough on their minds just trying to stay out of harm’s way. Nonetheless, there are many consequences, some that could require serious science to solve, that can result from the actions soldiers take during wartime.

The war in Ukraine has brought to light a few of the more significant risks associated with war in a modern world powered by nuclear energy. Ukraine is heavily dependent on nuclear power for its supply of electricity. The country is home to 15 reactors, which have provided more than half of Ukraine’s electricity in recent years. Among the nuclear power stations is the six-unit Zaporizhzhya facility, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant (NPP) with a total capacity of 6 GW (Figure 1). It is located in the “steppe zone” of Ukraine, a natural grassland plain in the southern part of the country.

Russian Troops Occupy Ukrainian Nuclear Site

Russian troops took control of the Zaporizhzhya NPP during the first week of March. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mario Grossi reported on March 4 that in the conflict leading up to the takeover, a projectile had hit a training/construction building within the plant site, causing a fire, which was extinguished by the local fire brigade at the power station. While none of the safety systems for the six reactors were affected and there was no release of radioactive material, the incident was significant in that it demonstrated the vulnerability both of the staff and the plant.

At the time, Grossi outlined “seven indispensable pillars for ensuring nuclear safety and security.” ……………….

It’s obviously easy for everyone to agree to maintain these pillars during peacetime, but during a war, the lines can be blurred. It’s understandable why the Russians, for example, might want to take the plant down, putting a crimp on the Ukrainian power grid. With some thought, and perhaps a little science, they could do so without jeopardizing the plant or the environment. But as I said in the beginning, soldiers don’t always think about things like that. Furthermore, many of the troops on the ground may not have a complete understanding of how a nuclear reactor works or what it needs to remain safe, which presents significant risk to everyone involved……………………………….

 perhaps the most serious infringement on the IAEA pillars during the Russian occupation has been the multiple times off-site power has been lost at the plant. The site is equipped with 20 emergency diesel generators that can provide the required power for safe operation of the reactors and the ability to bring them to cold shutdown should off-site power be lost, but the loss of off-site power violates defense-in-depth principles and adds significant risk to plant operations.

Russia, of all countries, should have a firm understanding of the importance of safety in the nuclear power industry. It has 37 reactors in operation with a total net capacity of about 27.7 GW and three more units under construction. Russia also has significant interest in exporting its nuclear goods and services around the world.

Today, Rosatom claims to be in “first place in terms of the number of simultaneously implemented nuclear reactor construction projects” with its three units in Russia and 34 abroad at various stages of implementation. In 2021, Rosatom’s package of foreign orders exceeded $139.9 billion, according to the company. It doesn’t take a scientist to conclude that NPP projects would be seriously stalled by a nuclear incident in Ukraine. While I don’t really care if Russia ever sells another reactor abroad, it’s still in everyone’s best interest to maintain plant safety at Zaporizhzhya and prevent a nuclear catastrophe.

Aaron Larson is POWER’s executive editor

November 30, 2022 Posted by | Russia, safety | Leave a comment

Taxpayers to hand China millions of pounds to quit Sizewell nuclear plant

Taxpayers will hand China millions of pounds to quit its nuclear power
venture in Suffolk as part of a £700m deal as the “golden era” of
UK-China relations comes to an end. The Government is spending an initial
£679m to help get the £20bn Sizewell C nuclear power plant project off the
ground and has confirmed part of this will go to state-owned China General
Nuclear (CGN) under an exit deal.

It has not disclosed what proportion will
go to CGN but a Government spokesman said the payment “covers the value
of their shareholding, their contribution to the project’s development and
a commercial return reflecting their work to date”. He added: “The
value of their 20pc stake in the project is commercially confidential.
“CGN has decided to exit the project at this stage in its development,
following constructive commercial negotiations.”

Telegraph 29th Nov 2022

November 30, 2022 Posted by | politics international, UK | Leave a comment

UN votes to press countries to stop terrorists from getting nuclear weapons.

Business Standard. 1 Dec 22

The UNSC voted unanimously to keep pressing all countries to implement a resolution aimed at keeping nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons out of reach of terrorists and black marketeers

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Wednesday to keep pressing all countries to implement a resolution aimed at keeping nuclear, chemical and biological weapons out of the hands of terrorists, black marketeers and others.

The council resolution approved by a 15-0 vote extends the mandate of the committee monitoring implementation of the 2004 resolution on the threat of non-state actors obtaining or trafficking weapons of mass destruction for 10 years until Nov. 30, 2032. It also continues support for the committee’s group of experts.

The resolution calls on the committee and the 193 U.N. member nations to take into account the use by non-government groups and individuals of rapid advances in science and technology to spread the use of these banned weapons.

The council says in the resolution that it is gravely concerned at the threat of terrorism and the risk that non-state actors may acquire, develop, traffic in or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, including by relying on advances in science and technology…………………

The resolution requires all U.N. member states to adopt laws to prevent non-state actors from manufacturing, acquiring or trafficking in nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, the materials to make them, and the missiles and other systems to deliver them.

It also requires all countries to take measures to account for and secure all banned weapons, missiles and weapons material, and to develop border controls and step up efforts to detect, deter, prevent and combat … the illicit trafficking and brokering in such items………………………………………………… more

November 30, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety | Leave a comment

Nuclear news -week to 29 November

Some bits of good newsThe coming culture peace.    Good News on Tuberculosis in Tanzania, Crime in the United Kingdom, and Forests in Nepal.

Coronavirus.  Omicron variant now prevalent – more infectious but fewer severe sases.

Climate.  COP27 was disappointing, but 2022 remains an historic year for international climate policy.  1.5C warming threshold to be passed in 9 years as emissions hit record high

Nuclear. The two main issues are the danger of nuclear war, sparking from the Ukraine conflict, and the drive for small nuclear reactors simultaneously with the news that their true costs are astronomic. I can only ponder on whether Kamala Harris really has any brain –  as she’s off and away trying to sell USA’s small nuclear reactors to poorer “Third World” countries.


ARTS and CULTURE   Russia’s former southern capital renounces its past: How Ukraine is destroying its heritage.

CLIMATE. It’s high time to defuse the military carbon bombNo country has the solution to nuclear waste. Nuclear is no preventer of global heating – in fact, it’s quite the reverse. New Talking Points delivers all the reasons why small modular reactors have no role to play for climate change.  “Environmental Social and Corporate governance” – EDF and the nuclear lobby try to trick the world with fake “green” credentials. 

Take it from the soup throwers, COP’s a cop-out. Fears that oil exporters will control the next COP climate summit. The COP27 promise to fund climate help for poor countries – will it really be kept?  The Amazon forest is reaching a tipping point and starting to collapse

CIVIL LIBERTIES. Videos showing execution of Russian POWs in Ukraine are authentic.


ENERGYEDF Delays Restart of Three Nuclear Reactors as Winter Hits. Amongst alternative energy sources, nuclear power’s prospects are not good.

HISTORYFrance opens archives related to nuclear weapons tests in the Pacific.

INDIGENOUS ISSUES. The consequences of nuclear imperialism and colonialism.

LEGAL.  Nuclear Industry Liability under the Paris Convention.    Legal challenge to UK nuclear plan by groups Stop Sizewell C and Together Against Sizewell C (TASC), and others.    Mayor of Ukraine’s second-largest city fined for speaking Russian.

MEDIA‘Publishing is not a crime’: media groups urge US to drop Julian Assange charges.The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine remains under Russian control, despite media reports.

NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGYNuclear power no solution for Canada’s North West Territory . Putin touts Russia’s ‘Arctic power’ with new nuclear icebreakerNuScam’s Utah small nuclear reactor project in doubt – needs $billions of tax-payer support.     World’s Biggest Nuclear-Fusion Project Faces Delays as Component Cracks.

OPPOSITION TO NUCLEAR. The Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) strongly opposes new Bradwell nuclear proposal.



RADIATION. Protecting kids from electromagnetic radiation in school and at home.

SAFETYNuclear Guinea Pigs: NRC’s Licensing of Experimental Nuclear Plants . Threat of Possible Nuclear Accident at Zaporizhzhia Sends Tensions Rising. U.N. Supplied Qatar With Tech to ‘Prevent Nuclear Security Incident’ at 2022 World Cup. Electricity production at Olkiluoto 3 reactor delayed until 2023..

SECRETS and LIES. Ukraine quietly abolishes corruption oversight rule. Ukrainian city names street after Nazi collaborator.

WASTES. Confusion over nuclear wastes from small modular reactorsEstonian public concerned about radioactive waste from planned nuclear power plant. Uniting to oppose Japanese plan to dump nuclear waste in Pacific. UK’s costly struggle to deal with dead nuclear submarines.

WAR and CONFLICT. US ‘success’ is Ukraine’s disaster.   Republished from 2019 Maligned in Western Media, Donbass Forces are defending their future from Ukrainian shelling.     China Prevented Transfer Of Polish MiG-29 Fighter Jets To Ukraine; Kept Russia Away From Nuclear Escalation. 


November 29, 2022 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment