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No country has the solution to nuclear waste. Nuclear is no preventer of global heating – in fact, it’s quite the reverse

  • uranium mining and 
  • milling, 
  • conversion of ore to uranium hexafluoride  
  • construction and
  • decommissioning
  • fuel reprocessing
  • waste management
  •  rehabilitation of mining sites
  • transport throughout all stages. 

 In the words of Shaun Burnie of Greenpeace Germany, “not a single country can claim that it has the solution to manage the most dangerous radioactive wastes.”

Several storage facilities, the NGO argues, are on the verge of saturation, and spent fuel sitting in the power plants is at risk of overheating, sometimes without emergency generators for cooling. Deep geological disposal is not a credible option for Greenpeace.

The World Nuclear Waste Report agrees that, apart from the current construction of a permanent repository in Finland (see box), there is still no real solution for the waste. It points out that it is even difficult to quantify global nuclear waste, as various countries apply different definitions.

But waste is not the only objection of some experts to this new “nuclear gold rush.” Although electricity production itself does not emit GHGs, the rest of the associated processes do. According to the list compiled by sustainability expert Manfred Lenzen of the University of Sydney, GHGs are emitted in all the stages of the nuclear power cycle:  uranium mining and
milling, conversion of ore to uranium hexafluoride, enrichment, fuel fabrication, reactor construction and decommissioning, fuel reprocessing, waste management, rehabilitation of mining sites, and transport throughout all stages. 

 Other experts point to an additional risk caused by climate change itself. According to energy expert Paul Dorfman of University College London, two out of five power plants operate on the coast because of the need for cooling water, and at least a hundred are only a few metres above sea level. As the oceans rise due to global warming, their safety could be compromised; although the Fukushima disaster was caused by an
earthquake, it was a good illustration of what happens when a nuclear power plant is flooded.

Inland power plants are also at risk, in this case because of the opposite, the risk of drought in the watercourses that provide cooling water. Perhaps science and technology will eventually solve the major hurdles of nuclear power (see box), but they will hardly put an end to a controversy that continues to rage.

 Open Mind 15th Nov 2022


November 28, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Reference | Leave a comment

The coming Sinophobic calamity

Expect to see such China-hating maniacs back in government in the unlikely event that Trump regains the white house.

powerful Dems like Biden and Nancy Pelosi went out of their way prior to the election to prove that they, too, are tough on China; Pelosi with her idiotic and inflammatory jaunt to Taiwan last summer and Biden, with his many pronouncements that Washington backs Taipei to the hilt and will go to war to prove it.

there are people in his administration who walk back his bellicose yowls….. they ARE oblivious. They aim to drag the Ukraine war out as long as possible By Eve Ottenberg, Nov 24, 2022,

Neither the red wave nor the blue one materialised in the latest USA election, which removes some of the impetus for the coming congressional Sinophobic rampage.

Some, not all. The relatively good results for Biden mean that for the moment he no longer needs the Beijing boogeyman and could afford to be gracious toward China’s leader, Xi Jinping at the G20 summit. But the GOP won by enough last week to say that so did Sinophobia. The Dems may be, quite despicably, all about World War III with Moscow, but it is a partisan endeavour, because a recent poll revealed that 48 percent of Republicans think we spend too much on the Ukraine war. And the congressional GOP responds to its base.

But war with Beijing, the GOP project, is not a partisan effort; it is bipartisan, and the Republicans are quite proud of and open about that. So their House win last week means one thing: the military and the security state will push ferociously for the assault on China that they have long lusted for, though they are happy, for now, for that assault to remain economic. But don’t be fooled. There is real danger afoot. Those Dems who really want to avert World War III with Beijing will have to be very nimble. And they will have to go about it in a relentless, low-profile manner, because anyone perceived as standing up to the bash-China juggernaut will be crushed, regardless of the lull in Biden’s incendiary rhetoric.

At the top of the GOP foreign affairs agenda is economic war with China – no matter what price we pay (and it will be high) in inflation. Because you can’t slap economic sanctions on your biggest trading partner with impunity. You can’t even slap economic sanctions on any major economy, like Russia’s, without them backfiring badly, as Biden and birdbrain Eurocrats found out when their precious sanctions on Moscow started destroying western economies. Regardless, an economic fight to the death with Beijing is the first item on the GOP to-do list. The second item is actual, all-out, military hot war with China, if it makes any hostile move on Taiwan. Or, for some congressional Neanderthals, even if it doesn’t.

GOP congressmen are all keyed up about confronting Beijing militarily and have been since the Trump administration, with its Sinophobic fanatics like his trade advisor Peter Navarro and Trump national security council member, a foaming-at-the-mouth China-basher, Matt Pottinger, both egging Trump on to heights of folly that could have culminated in a planet-killing nuclear war. Navarro and Pottinger hyped the insane hysteria that China deliberately created covid in a lab and unleashed it (on its own population, an oddity that these two geniuses never bothered to explain), with Navarro proclaiming the arrant nonsense that the “virus was a product of the Chinese Communist Party.” Expect to see such China-hating maniacs back in government in the unlikely event that Trump regains the white house.

According to Trump’s NSC advisor H.R. McMaster, quoted by the Washington Post in April 2020, Pottinger is “central to the biggest shift in U.S. foreign policy since the cold war, which is the competitive approach to China.” So, not to put too fine a point on it, Pottinger bequeathed us disaster. And don’t forget Trump secretary of state Mike Pompeo, no slouch in the anti-China psychosis department, jetting into Taiwan last year to inflame the separatist movement by lauding the Chinese territory as a great “nation,” and hectoring Europeans, as he did in 2020, to sever economic ties with Beijing. This crabby approach to Europe’s Chinese links is now de rigueur in Washington.

And when the Exceptional Empire gets crabby, watch out! The empire carped and groused about Nordstream 1 and 2 for years. Then came the imperial news – from Biden of course – that if Russia invaded Ukraine, Washington would stop Nordstream 2. When asked how this would happen, he said, “I promise you, we will be able to do it.” No one speculated back then that this pronouncement might mean Washington was ready to go full-on Don Corleone. Because Biden didn’t specify how. But barely a year later – voila! Some mysterious somebody blew up both pipelines. Whoever could it be?

So it’s time for imbecile Eurocrats to wake up. The gangsters who exploded their gas pipelines now eye their trade with China, though admittedly blowing up tankers shipping manufactured goods is a more complicated affair. But the Empire is nothing if not creative when it comes to destroying what it perceives as a threat. Assassinations, riots, coups, curating Nazi movements, bombing pipelines – and I’m sure the list includes things we haven’t even thought of or don’t know about. So who knows what could be afoot. Who knows? I’ll tell you: Bipartisan anti-China thugs, led by the GOP, the same GOP whose senator Ted Cruz made a cause celebre out of blocking Nordstream.

Knowing all this, powerful Dems like Biden and Nancy Pelosi went out of their way prior to the election to prove that they, too, are tough on China; Pelosi with her idiotic and inflammatory jaunt to Taiwan last summer and Biden, with his many pronouncements that Washington backs Taipei to the hilt and will go to war to prove it. But at least the election soothed and lowered the temperature of Biden’s bullying, and at least there are people in his administration who walk back his bellicose yowls. They know what a global nuclear catastrophe such a war would be, even if they appear oblivious to the same thing in Ukraine. And they ARE oblivious. They aim to drag the Ukraine war out as long as possible, something Moscow, with its repeated warnings that more NATO weapons only prolong the war, seems not to have taken note of.

Thus the two hydra heads of the bipartisan war party, demonstrating that if indeed the next stage of development after imperial, late-capitalist oligarchy is outright fascism (and if it is, we better figure out a way to stop it, fast), the death wish remains the same. Because no, fascists are not pacifists, no matter how much they demur over the cost of Washington’s abominable proxy war with Moscow in Ukraine. Biden risks global conflagration in Europe, while whoever the GOP vomits up to replace him will simply refocus the nukes onto East Asia.

Expect the worst. “House Republicans plan to put sharp scrutiny on China next year if they win the majority, including establishing a select committee to take on Beijing on a range of economic and military issues,” led an article in the Hill October 28. The GOP believes this work would largely be bipartisan. Gee, I wonder how they got that idea? Could Biden’s war whoops directed at Beijing have anything to do with it? If those whoops and hollers were cynical politics as usual (I suspect they were), this is a very dangerous game. They may box the white house into a policy it didn’t really mean to adopt and one that could leave tens of millions of Americans and an equal number of Chinese, uh, radioactive. But Biden’s played that game before. During the Reagan years and after, while in congress, he tacked right, leaving a ghastly legislative legacy that the great cowards in the progressive caucus would do well to ponder.

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy has long wanted a China select committee, the Hill reports, and “tried to work with Democrats to create one in 2020.” But Pelosi pulled Dems out of this potential quagmire – quite surprisingly, considering her characterisation of the very violent and brutal Hong Kong riots as “beautiful” and her later incitement of Taiwan’s independence, that is, incitement of war – with a foresight she has since lost and one can only hope she quickly recovers.

But intermittent Dem common sense isn’t the only hope. Hard at work to avert the coming debacle between the U.S. and China has been Code Pink. This organisation currently runs campaigns to urge the senate to oppose the Taiwan Policy Act, which would arm Taiwan to the teeth and end the One China policy – a huge blow to peace prospects; to tell congress to stand for peace with China; and condemning “the escalating U.S. militarisation of Guam and the wider Asia-Pacific region.” Code Pink does great work to contain the U.S. anti-China lunacy. But that’s only one organisation.

The GOP wants war with China. The Dems want – and have got – war with Russia, one they intend to drag out for years. Either way, ordinary people all over the globe lose badly. If there’s anyone in government with the sense and the power to stall or, better yet, undo Washington’s coming confrontation with Beijing, now would be a good time to get cracking.

First published in COUNTERPUNCH Nov 19

November 28, 2022 Posted by | politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Russia’s former southern capital renounces its past: How Ukraine is destroying its heritage 27 Nov 22, Ukraine is turning into a significantly more homogeneous and far less culturally diverse country.

In recent years, Ukraine has become the battleground for a ‘war of monuments’ waged among various political forces. In 2014, the process reached a peak during the mass demolition of statues of Vladimir Lenin and other Soviet politicians. These events fundamentally changed the symbolism and policy of the country’s historical memory, paving the way to a reality in which any public speech must now be accompanied by the words ‘Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!’

This was the slogan of Stepan Bandera’s World War Two nationalist movement, which collaborated with Adolf Hitler’s Nazis and took part in the Holocaust. 

Although Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s team initially tried to ‘reset’ the historical memory policy, radical nationalism got the upper hand in this symbolic battle. Following the start of Russia’s military operation, this year, the so-called ‘decommunization’ policy became openly known as ‘de-Russification’ – even with over half of the population officially recognized as Russian-speaking.

Memory wars

After Russian troops entered Ukraine in February, many locals projected their hatred of Moscow onto objects of cultural and historical heritage that were in any way linked to the Russian Empire or the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, politicians actively supported such sentiment, using it as a cheap way to boost their personal ratings.

Over the past months, the number of initiatives aimed at the cultural and historical ‘de-Russification’ of Ukraine have ballooned. Examples abound. The Kiev City Council recently renamed 11 streets having any reference to Russia (Lomonosov, Magnitogorsk, and Belomorskaya streets, among others). It also completely excluded the Russian language from the curricula of the capital’s kindergartens and schools. 

The decision was supported by 64 out of 120 deputies. Vadim Vasilchuk, head of the Standing Committee on Education, Science, Family, Youth and Sports of the body, commented that teaching Russian in the current situation is “inappropriate.” In fact, Kiev’s educational institutions stopped teaching the language in any shape or form (including as electives) at the beginning of the academic year.

Meanwhile, other Ukrainian cities saw a wave of ‘de-Pushkinization’ sweep through. In November, monuments to the great Russian poet were toppled in Kharkov and Zhitomir, while the monument in Odessa was painted over with the inscription ‘Get out!’ In Kiev, one of the oldest monuments to the bard had been taken down a few weeks earlier.

The demolition of monuments to Russian and Soviet statesmen has continued as well. The Ukrainian Ministry of Culture’s expert council on ‘overcoming the consequences of Russification and totalitarianism’ decided to demolish monuments to Soviet military commanders Nikolay Vatutin and Nikolay Shchors (even though Leonid Kravchuk – a student at the time and later the first president of Ukraine – posed for the Shchors monument).

A memorial to Soviet soldiers erected on May 8, 1970 on the 25th anniversary of victory in WWII was demolished in Uzhgorod in November. The decision dates back to October 13. In its place, Kiev proposed a memorial to the soldiers of the 128th separate mountain assault brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – a military unit that took an active part in the Donbass war unleashed by Kiev in 2014.

The story of one monument

Perhaps the most dramatic case of ‘de-Russification’ unfolded in the port city of Odessa. The city’s history dates back to the end of the 18th century, when the Russian Empire colonized the northern Black Sea region. In November, Odessa’s mayor, Gennady Trukhanov, announced the impending demolition of one of the historical city symbols – a monument to its founders that shows Catherine the Great and her associates, thanks to whom the city became the southern capital of the Russian Empire by the end of the 19th century………………………………………………………………….

How has this become possible? When Ukraine gained independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union, its political (electoral) geography acquired stable borders and became integrated into the self-consciousness of the country’s two parts. In fact, several population groups with powerful national identities emerged at the time: Ukrainian-speaking (mostly living in the western and central regions, and professing a purely ethnic narrative), Russian-speaking (mostly living in the center, south and east, for whom Russians were not ‘strangers’ or ‘enemies’), and actual Russians.

These groups, particularly the Ukrainian speakers and Russian speakers, long had their own heritage, language, and political representation. Recall the Orange Revolution of 2004 or the Euromaidan of 2014, during which the ‘pro-Ukrainian’ part of society opposed the ‘pro-Russian’ leader Viktor Yanukovych. Who, in reality, had spent years negotiating with the EU about eventual Ukrainian membership. ………………………………………….

A few years ago, residents of Ukraine’s south and east spoke Russian while recognizing themselves as Ukrainians. Now, the Russian language and its cultural and historical symbols are undergoing irreversible changes and becoming a marker of political affiliation – namely, of being pro-Russian.

Conscious of this, the authorities are striving to gain control over historical heritage and memory policies and expect to win this battle for public opinion. The current southern and eastern regions are turning into a testing ground for experimental nation-building. Their political self-determination fully depends on the historical memory and language policies. Meanwhile, nationalism offers all the necessary tools for constructing a cohesive socio-political community. That is why such a striking ‘de-Russification’ initiative as the demolition of the monument to Catherine the Great in Odessa will not be the last.

For many years, the main political and cultural debate in Ukrainian society has revolved around the question of preserving or eradicating its Russian and Soviet cultural heritage. In the present situation of armed conflict, supporters of the latter skillfully use public outrage to achieve their aims. Should the process continue (and there’s little reason to think it won’t), in a few years Ukraine will turn into a significantly more homogeneous and far less culturally diverse country – one that has willingly renounced a major part of its heritage.

By Alexander Nepogodin, an Odessa-born political journalist, expert on Russia and the former Soviet Union.

November 28, 2022 Posted by | culture and arts, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Why small modular reactors are a climate liability, not a solution, (but good for nuclear weapons development)

Touted as a solution to global heating – small nuclear reactors have zero usefulness

Beyond Nuclear International, By Linda Pentz Gunter, 27 Nov 22

“……………………………………………………. SMRs will be needed in their hundreds if not thousands, requiring up front investment in factories and a known source of readily available fuel. None of this is in place. The typical timeframe for even a known reactor design is more than a decade — sometimes several decades. We don’t have that kind of time.

Small modular reactors would deliver electricity that is more expensive than that provided by traditional large reactors today

SMRs will actually produce more radioactive waste per unit of electricity generated than today’s reactors, waste for which there is still no safe and permanent solution.

Every dollar sunk into new small modular reactor plans could have reduced more carbon faster if invested instead in renewable energy and energy efficiency. It’s a no-brainer simple equation that an elementary school kid could work out. But not, apparently, our leaders. Why not?

See above (follow the money) and then there’s the weapons link.

“A strong domestic supply chain is needed to provide for nuclear Navy requirements,” said the Energy Futures Initiative in its report — The U.S. Nuclear Energy Enterprise: A Key National Security Enabler. “This supply chain has an inherent and very strong overlap with the commercial nuclear energy sector and has a strong presence in states with commercial nuclear power plants.”

SMRs would keep that supply chain — and the civil nuclear sector — alive. A 2019 Atlantic Council report — The Value of the US Nuclear Power Complex to US National Security — agrees. “Civil nuclear underpins military nuclear,” it said. “The lack of a civilian nuclear sector would present an immediate and significant economic shock (and impact on the labor force) — which, in turn, would have immediate and longer-term budgetary implications for the US government.”

At least two of the companies striving to develop SMRs in the US have direct links to the nuclear weapons sector. Bill Gates’s TerraPower — whose reactor can be modified to “dual purpose” for weapons and power — has research and development partnerships with Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex, both of which design and test nuclear weapons. NuScale is majority owned by Fluor Corporation, which operates the U.S. Pantex and Y-12 nuclear weapons complexes. 

Furthermore, SMRs are largely destined for export, and hardly for any domestic use at all. That hands proliferation-friendly materials, technology and know-how to countries not presently in possession of this relatively straightforward pathway to nuclear weapons.

If we are to understand the blind obsession with SMRs, the weapons connection offers one of the only plausible explanations. The stranglehold in the halls of power is the other — sound science, economics and our future be damned.

Only we can change this. Please use this latest edition of our Talking Points [Our newest edition — Unfounded Promises: Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) solve none of the challenges of nuclear power and make climate change and proliferation worse ] to contribute to a tsunami of our own — decrying the reckless waste of precious time and taxpayer money that would favor an elusive SMR program. These funds must urgently be directed to renewable energy, an industry that is here now, growing fast and one that can both reduce carbon emissions and provide good, long-term jobs into the future.

Note: In the interest of brevity, the Talking Points do not include footnotes. However, the sources and references used for the SMR Talking Points can be found in a separate document here.

November 28, 2022 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

No use in the climate crisis — small nuclear reactors

Why small modular reactors are a climate liability, not a solution

No use in the climate crisis — Beyond Nuclear International By Linda Pentz Gunter
We’ve written a lot on these pages about small modular reactors (including again last week) and there’s a reason. Even though SMRs are a mirage, languishing as aspirational power point reactors loaded with false promises, there is a tsunami of license applications coming down for them. 

And we are saddled with a compliant Congress, White House and nuclear regulator, all of whom have bought into the Great Lie that SMRs can do something — anything — for the climate crisis. So they will likely rubber stamp the lot. Unless we stop them.

On December 2 it will be 80 years since the first human-made self-sustaining chain reaction occurred, at the Chicago Pile-1 under the leadership of Enrico Fermi and his team. That generated the first cupful of radioactive waste, which, along with the numerous other attendant problems of nuclear energy, has never been solved. Here we are, 80 years later, still relentlessly tilting at nuclear windmills. By now, we ought to know better.

You would think it would be obvious to anyone giving this technology a second thought, that given the immense lead times, high costs, uncertainties about design and safety, and the complete absence of a radioactive waste management plan, any nuclear reactor, large or small, is a climate liability, not a solution.

Nevertheless, the empirical evidence is being drowned out by denial. “We don’t get to net zero by 2050 without nuclear power in the mix,” US Special Climate Envoy, John Kerry, unhelpfully, and untruthfully, told a press conference during the COP27 climate summit while announcing SMR deals with Romania and Ukraine.

It’s possible that our illustrious leaders know better. They just prefer to maintain the creature comforts of the status quo, content to be the puppets of big polluters — fossil fuels and nuclear power — where the votes and, more importantly, the money are.

We can’t compete with the money. But we can change the votes. Elected officials want to stay elected. That means pleasing their electorate. So they need to hear from us. Because when it comes to pushing small modular reactors, we aren’t at all pleased.

The Beyond Nuclear series of Talking Points is designed to make our job easier in outreaching to politicians, the press and each other. Our newest edition — Unfounded Promises: Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) solve none of the challenges of nuclear power and make climate change and proliferation worse — published today, focuses on all the downsides to small modular reactors.

Each one in the Talking Points series — now up to No. 6 — provides simple messages and clear statements that show, without a doubt, and backed by the facts, that nuclear power not only has zero role to play in mitigating the worst of our climate crisis, but actually makes that crisis worse…………………………………….

November 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Uniting to oppose Japanese plan to dump nuclear waste in Pacific

Lydia Lewis, RNZ Pacific Journalist,, 28 Nov 22,

Activists and academics are joining forces to fight plans by Japan to start dumping nuclear waste from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean.

It is scheduled to start next year and continue for 30 years.

A statement of solidarity opposing the move was being drafted following the Nuclear Connections Across Oceania conference in Dunedin at the weekend.

At least 800,000 tons of radioactive wastewater was scheduled to be dumped into the Pacific Ocean over 30 years from early next year.

“We understand this is within Japan’s jurisdiction but the ocean is not stagnant and Pacific Islands will be at the forefront of disposal,” Pacific Network on Globalisation Deputy Coordinator Joey Tau said.

Pacific anti-nuclear activists, a Hiroshima bomb survivor and academics voiced their opposition at the event and set up a working group to tackle the issue.

International law expert Duncan Currie told the conference Japan had not considered the impacts or conducted baseline studies, which he said was “completely unacceptable”.

He said modelling suggested the waste would travel to Korea, China, and then the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.

“Japan has other options like storing the waste on land which is costly, but countries need to take a stand now. It is an open and shut case,” Curry said.

“Very simply, any country, any Pacific country, Korea, China could take a case against Japan in the international tribunal of Law of the Sea demanding an injunction or what are called provisional measures in international law be exercised.”

Toshiko Tanaka, an 84-year-old survivor of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima in 1945, urged the world to remember the suffering nuclear weapons cause.

Marshallese ‘still suffering’ from nuclear testing

The newly-elected Vanuatu Climate Minister Ralph Regenvanu said Vanuatu was against the move as the country was a member of the Pacific Islands Forum which had expressed its opposition to the dumping.

Fiji-based Bedi Racule said hearing about Japan’s plans and the potential impacts had been re-traumatising as Marshall Islands residents were still facing the impacts of nuclear testing by the United States………………. more

November 28, 2022 Posted by | OCEANIA, opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment

Middle East investors and French developers for Sizewell C nuclear station to be paid by “an extra tax” on UK public’s bills ?

Alison Downes of campaign group Stop Sizewell C criticised the idea of foreign investors paid with money from ‘an extra nuclear tax on our bills’. She added: ‘The promise of UK energy independence looks pretty hollow if Sizewell C turns out to be French-built and Middle East-funded.’

 UAE wealth fund may invest in Sizewell C – Mubadala one of main names in frame to back £20bn nuclear plant. Emirati sovereign wealth fund Mubadala has been tipped as a potential investor in Sizewell C. Sources said the investment group, whose board includes the owner of Manchester City FC, is one of the main names in the frame to back the £20billion nuclear plant.

They suggested talks with the fund may already have taken place. Mubadala is chaired by UAE president Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Its vice-chairman Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan bought Manchester City in 2008.

The Government is expected to give the go-ahead to Sizewell C within days with a ‘general investment decision’ that will formalise taxpayer support. The Government and French energy firm EDF, which is developing the power station, are each taking a 20 per cent stake. They are racing to recruit investors to fill a 60 per cent funding gap.

Ministers have put in place a new funding model, the ‘regulated asset base’, which lets investors receive cash back during construction. This is intended to attract pension funds and institutional investors. But they are also said to be approaching potential supporters in the Middle East, Australia and North America.

Alison Downes of campaign group Stop Sizewell C criticised the idea of foreign investors paid with money from ‘an extra nuclear tax on our bills’. She added: ‘The promise of UK energy independence looks pretty hollow if Sizewell C turns out to be French-built and Middle East-funded.’

A BusinessDepartment spokesman said it would ‘not be appropriate to comment on potential investors’.

 Mail on Sunday 26th Nov 2022

November 28, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

USA government forks out a $billion to keep uneconomic Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant going.

U.S. Ponies Up $1B to Keep California’s Last Nuclear Plant Humming

The Diablo Canyon Power Plant was scheduled to close in 2025, but federal backing will now prolong its (half) life indefinitely

Los Angeles Magazine, By Julius Miller, November 27, 2022,

The Biden Administration announced this week that it had reached preliminary approval to allocate at least $1.1 billion in an effort to keep California’s sole remaining nuclear power plant running.

The Energy Department says that it is negotiating final terms for the Diablo Canyon Power Plant on the central coast of California to remain open and avoid its 2025 end date, according to the Associated Press. The plant was selected in the first round of funding for the administration’s new civil nuclear credit program, which is intended to help owners or operators of the nation’s last nuclear plants help cover the costs of preserving the existing U.S. reactor fleet. 

 Applicants must not only demonstrate that closure of their plant could directly lead to economic suffering, but also that carbon emission and air pollutant levels will rise without their continued operation………………………

“This investment creates a path forward for a limited-term extension of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant to support reliability statewide and provide an onramp for more clean energy projects to come online,” Newsom said……………

The Diablo Canyon Power Plant produces nine percent of California’s electricity. For comparison, the wind power provides roughly seven percent of the state’s electricity, while solar makes up nearly 14 percent of the total.

November 28, 2022 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Legal challenge to UK nuclear plan by groups Stop Sizewell C and Together Against Sizewell C (TASC), and others

 Campaigners against Sizewell C say they will not give up their fight to stop the nuclear power project and now have a date for a High Court case in London. The next stage of the legal challenge against the plans for the £25billion power station is set to take place with an oral hearing before a judge.

Campaign groups, including Stop Sizewell C and Together Against Sizewell C (TASC), have pledged to fight despite chancellor Jeremy Hunt announcing in his Autumn Budget that the Government would continue to provide £700m towards the cost of the project.

Chris Wilson, legal liaison officer with TASC, said the oral hearing would be held on December 14, during which the campaigners’ barrister will be able to present their arguments against the project before a High Court judge. If the judge deems there’s a case, the next stage will be a formal judicial review hearing
before the High Court, which could result in the development consent for the nuclear power station, granted by the Government in July, being overturned.

Even if the legal challenge is rejected at the oral hearing, the campaigners will still have the option of going to appeal. A first stage review of the legal appeal by the High Court initially recommended refusal, but the next stage, the oral hearing, will determine whether the challenge goes to a formal judicial review hearing.

 East Anglian Daily Times 27th Nov 2022

November 28, 2022 Posted by | legal, UK | Leave a comment

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

Rolls Royce interest in Bradwell for nuclear reactors, By Millie Emmett @millieemmett Reporter, 26th November

FRESH proposals to develop nuclear reactors in the Maldon district have been branded “outrageous”.

Rolls Royce announced that it is looking at the Bradwell site, owned by EDF, as a potential base for four to six small modular reactors (SMRs).

The Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) has strongly opposed any plans as it believes it would be larger than the proposed Bradwell B, which is under consideration by Chinese company CGN.

Professor Andy Blowers,chair of the Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group, said: “This proposal, if it ever came about, would place up to six nuclear reactors on the Bradwell site.

“And they are hardly ‘small’ since each reactor would be close to the size of the old Bradwell A station.

“Together these reactors would comprise a nuclear complex larger than the massive proposed Bradwell B currently under consideration for development by the Chinese company, CGN.

“It is hard to state how utterly inappropriate such a development, which would include long-term storage of highly radioactive nuclear wastes, would be on the low-lying Bradwell site, threatened by the impacts of climate change and sea level rise.

“It is an outrageous proposal which must be nipped in the bud before it gets anywhere near off the ground”

The group attended a meeting for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) NGO nuclear forum and asked if CGN had withdrawn from the Bradwell B project.

The group was told “there was no change to the proposals for Bradwell B but that further discussion was not possible because of commercial confidentiality”.

BANNG has written to the Government to urge it to declare that the Bradwell site is unsuitable and to remove it from any further consideration by Rolls Royce or any other nuclear developer.

The anti-nuclear group has been campaigning to protect the people and the environment of the River Blackwater estuary for years.

Its aim is to raise awareness of the consequences of new nuclear development and to challenge any proposals for future nuclear power at the Bradwell site.

November 28, 2022 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Pandora’s box of nuclear progress

Why uranium mining, nuclear energy, and atomic bombs are all steps in the path to destruction

By Cymry Gomery, Coordinator of Montréal for a World BEYOND War

This op-ed was inspired by a presentation by Dr. Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility on November 16, 2022.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has many worried that we are on the brink of nuclear war. Putin has put Russia’s nukes on high alert and President Biden grimly warned last month of the risk of nuclear “armageddon”. New York City shocked the world with its PSA on how to survive a nuclear attack, while the Doomsday Clock is just 100 seconds to midnight.

However, nuclear bombs are just the last in a series of related products and activities—uranium mining, nuclear energy, and nuclear bombs—whose production is rooted in the fact that human moral understanding of the world lags far behind our technical skills. They are all progress traps.

What is a progress trap?

The notion of progress is generally perceived in a positive light in Western society. If we can find an innovative way to do something more quickly, with less effort, we feel pleased. However, this perception was called into question by Ronald Wright in his 2004 book A Short History of Progress. Wright defines a progress trap as ”a chain of successes which, upon reaching a certain scale, leads to disaster. The dangers are seldom seen before it’s too late. The jaws of a trap open slowly and invitingly, then snap closed fast.”

Wright mentions hunting as an early example, because as humans developed tools that were more efficient at killing ever more animals, they eventually exhausted their food supply and starved. With industrialization, hunting gave way to factory farms, which seems very different, but in fact was just another version of a progress trap. Not only do factory farms cause immense suffering to animals, they are hurt humans too: People in developed countries consume too many calories, of food of questionable suitability to humans, and often die of cancers and obesity-related diseases.

Now let’s look at uranium mining, nuclear energy and nuclear bombs in this light.

The Uranium mining progress trap

Uranium, a heavy metal that was discovered in 1789, was initially used as a colorant for glass and pottery. However, eventually humans discovered that uranium can be used to effect nuclear fission, and since 1939 that miraculous property has been harnessed to produce nuclear energy for civilian purposes, and to make bombs for the military. That is the “successful” aspect of Wright’s definition (if you are okay with considering both keeping people warm and killing them as desirable outcomes).

Canada is the world’s single largest supplier of uranium, and most of the mines are in the North where Inuit communities—typically the most disadvantaged and least politically influential demographic in Canada—are exposed to uranium dust, tailings, and other hazards.

Uranium mining creates radioactive dust that workers can inhale or accidentally ingest, leading to lung cancer and bone cancer. Over time, workers or people living near a uranium mine can be exposed to high concentrations, which can damage their internal organs, notably the kidneys. Animal studies suggest that uranium affects reproduction, the developing fetus, and increases the risk of leukemia and soft tissue cancers.

This is alarming enough; however the progress trap comes into play when one considers the half-life of uranium, the period during which it decays and emits gamma radiation (electromagnetic radiation which we also know as X-rays). Uranium-238, the most common form, has a half-life of 4.46 billion years.

In other words, once uranium is brought to the surface through mining, a Pandora’s box of radiation is unleashed on the world, radiation that can cause lethal cancers and other illnesses, for billions of years. That’s a progress trap right there. But that’s not the whole story. This uranium is not finished its destructive mission. It can now be used to make nuclear energy and nuclear bombs.

The Nuclear energy progress trap

Nuclear energy has been touted as a clean energy because it does not produce greenhouse gasses (GHG). However, it is far from clean. In 2003, a study produced by nuclear advocates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology identified costs, safety, proliferation, and waste as the four “unresolved problems” with nuclear power……………………………………………………………

So nuclear energy is also a progress trap. Anyway, there are other means of producing energy—wind, sun, hydro, geothermal–which are less costly. However, even if nuclear energy were the cheapest energy, it would still be off the table to any project manager worth her salt, because it is highly polluting, entails the risk of nuclear disasters such as have already happened at Fukushima and Chernobyl, and because persistent nuclear waste poisons and kills humans and animals.

Also, nuclear waste produces plutonium, which is used to make nuclear bombs—the next step in the “progress” continuum.

The nuclear bomb progress trap

Yes, it has come to this. Humans are capable of wiping out all life on Earth with the push of a button. Western civilization’s obsession with winning and hegemony has led to a situation where we have mastered death but failed at life. This is the penultimate example of human technological intelligence outpacing human emotional and spiritual evolution.

An accidental missile launch could lead to the greatest global public health disaster in recorded history. A war using fewer than half the nuclear weapons of India and Pakistan alone would lift enough black soot and soil into the air to cause a nuclear winter. In his book Command and Control, author Eric Schlosser documents how nuclear weapons provide what he calls an “illusion of safety,” while, in fact, posing real danger due to the threat of accidental detonation. Schlosser documents how hundreds of incidents involving nuclear weapons have nearly destroyed our world through accident, confusion, or misunderstanding.

One way out of the mutually assured destruction (so tellingly rendered as MAD) trap we have created is the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which entered into force in 2021, and has been signed by 91 nations and ratified by 68. However, the nuclear armed nations have not signed, nor have NATO member countries like Canada.

November 28, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international | Leave a comment

USA’s Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) cleverly worded so it could be a bonanza for small nuclear plant developers

Advanced Nuclear Plants Poised to Benefit from Inflation Reduction Act, Retiring Coal Plants

American Power Association, November 27, 2022 Peter Maloney “………………………………… The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) provides production tax credits (PTC) for existing nuclear power plants but, more importantly, for new nuclear power plants and specifically for advanced reactors and small modular reactors – the type NuScale Power is working on. The IRA amends the definition of a qualified facility eligible for a “clean PTC” to mean any plant placed into service after Dec. 31, 2024, that produces zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The IRA also amends the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules on qualifying for a clean energy investment tax credit (ITC) by changing the language in the code to allow investments for advanced reactors to qualify for the credit. The change provides a tax credit of 30 percent of the cost of building a zero-emission advanced nuclear power plant that is placed in service after 2025.

“If you design and plan to put in a small modular reactor at the site of a retired coal plant, there is a further 10 percent ITC available, and if you use domestic content there is another 10 percent ITC added on,” Colbert said. “That can add up to a 50 percent reduction in costs.”

In September, the Department of Energy (DOE) released a study that found that hundreds of coal power plant sites across the country could be converted to nuclear power plant sites……………………..

Each NuScale small modular reactor (SMR) is designed to generate 77 megawatts (MW) of electricity. Up to 12 SMRs can be combined to make a 924-MW VOYGR™-12 power plant. In addition to their compact design, which makes them scalable and cost competitive, …………………………..

NuScale is now looking forward to reaching another milestone in the regulatory process.

In July, the NRC directed its staff to issue a final rule certifying NuScale’s SMR design.

The rulemaking would amend NRC regulations to incorporate NuScale’s SMR standard plant design, which would allow applicants intending to build and operate an SMR plant to reference the design certification rule.

“If approved, the certification would be published in the Federal Register and have the effect of law,” Colbert said.

The rulemaking is on the docket for the NRC to make a decision in November.

November 28, 2022 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Kamala Harris, nuclear saleswoman extraordinaire, touting small nuclear reactors to Thailand

US to help Thailand harness nuclear energy, Manila Times. By Agence France-Presse, November 28, 2022

IN SEARCH OF CLEAN FUEL A staff member works at the production line of Dunan Metals Co. Ltd in the Thai-Chinese Rayong industrial zone in Rayong province, Thailand, Nov. 8, 2022. The United States will help Thailand develop nuclear power through a new class of small reactors, part of a program aimed at fighting climate change, Vice President Kamala Harris announced on a visit Saturday, November 26. XINHUA PHOTO

BANGKOK: The United States will help Thailand develop nuclear power through a new class of small reactors, part of a program aimed at fighting climate change, Vice President Kamala Harris announced on a visit Saturday.

The White House said the assistance was part of its Net Zero World Initiative, a project launched at last year’s Glasgow climate summit in which the United States partners with the private sector and philanthropists to promote clean energy.

Thailand does not have nuclear power, with the public mood on the issue souring after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan.

The White House said it would offer technical assistance to the Southeast Asian country to deploy the developing technology of small modular reactors, which are factory-built and portable………………

The White House did not give a timeline but said it would support Thailand, which is highly vulnerable to climate change, in its goal of going carbon neutral by 2065.

Harris is visiting the US ally for an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and discussed climate efforts in a meeting with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha…………

November 28, 2022 Posted by | marketing, USA | Leave a comment

Washington’s Iron Curtain in Ukraine

Peace and Planet Newsby Diana Johnstone | Fall 2022 Edition

This article is from June 2014; the editors found it profoundly accurate and quite prescient about the shape of things we are witnessing today. 

ATO leaders are currently acting out a deliberate charade in Europe, designed to reconstruct an Iron Curtain between Russia and the West.

With astonishing unanimity, NATO leaders feign surprise at events they planned months in advance. Events that they deliberately triggered are being misrepresented as sudden, astonishing, unjustified “Russian aggression.” The United States and the European Union undertook an aggressive provocation in Ukraine that they knew would force Russia to react defensively, one way or another.

They could not be sure exactly how Russian president Vladimir Putin would react when he saw that the United States was manipulating political conflict in Ukraine to install a pro-Western government intent on joining NATO.  This was not a mere matter of a “sphere of influence” in Russia’s “near abroad,” but a matter of life and death to the Russian Navy, as well as a grave national security threat on Russia’s border.

A trap was thereby set for Putin. He was damned if he did, and damned if he didn’t.  He could underreact, and betray Russia’s basic national interests, allowing NATO to advance its hostile forces to an ideal attack position.

Or he could overreact, by sending Russian forces to invade Ukraine.  The West was ready for this, prepared to scream that Putin was “the new Hitler,” poised to overrun poor, helpless Europe, which could only be saved (again) by the generous Americans.

In reality, the Russian defensive move was a very reasonable middle course.  Thanks to the fact that the overwhelming majority of Crimeans felt Russian, having been Russian citizens until Khrushchev frivolously bestowed the territory on Ukraine in 1954, a peaceful democratic solution was found. Crimeans voted for their return to Russia in a referendum which was perfectly legal according to international law, although in violation of the Ukrainian constitution, which was by then in tatters having just been violated by the overthrow of the country’s duly elected president, Victor Yanukovych, facilitated by violent militias. The change of status of Crimea was achieved without bloodshed, by the ballot box.

Nevertheless, the cries of indignation from the West were every bit as hysterically hostile as if Putin had overreacted and subjected Ukraine to a U.S.-style bombing campaign, or invaded the country outright – which they may have expected him to do.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry led the chorus of self-righteous indignation, accusing Russia of the sort of thing his own government is in the habit of doing. “You just don’t invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests. This is an act of aggression that is completely trumped up in terms of its pretext,” Kerry pontificated.  “It’s really 19th-century behavior in the 21st century.” Instead of laughing at this hypocrisy, U.S. media, politicians and punditry zealously took up the theme of Putin’s unacceptable expansionist aggression. The Europeans followed with a weak, obedient echo.

It Was All Planned at Yalta

In September 2013, one of Ukraine’s richest oligarchs, Viktor Pinchuk, paid for an elite strategic conference on Ukraine’s future that was held in the same Palace in Yalta, Crimea, where Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill met to decide the future of Europe in 1945.

The Economist, one of the elite media reporting on what it called a “display of fierce diplomacy,” stated that: “The future of Ukraine, a country of 48m people, and of Europe was being decided in real time.” The participants included Bill and Hillary Clinton, former CIA head General David Petraeus, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, former World Bank head Robert Zoellick, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, Shimon Peres, Tony Blair, Gerhard Schröder, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Mario Monti, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, and Poland’s influential Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski. Both President Viktor Yanukovych, deposed five months later, and his recently elected successor Petro Poroshenko were present. Former U.S. energy secretary Bill Richardson was there to talk about the shale-gas revolution which the United States hopes to use to weaken Russia by substituting fracking for Russia’s natural gas reserves. The center of discussion was the “Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement” (DCFTA) between Ukraine and the European Union, and the prospect of Ukraine’s integration with the West. The general tone was euphoria over the prospect of breaking Ukraine’s ties with Russia in favor of the West.

Conspiracy against Russia? Not at all. Unlike Bilderberg, the proceedings were not secret. Facing a dozen or so American VIPs and a large sampling of the European political elite was a Putin adviser named Sergei Glazyev, who made Russia’s position perfectly clear.

Glazyev injected a note of political and economic realism into the conference. Forbes reported at the time on the “stark difference” between the Russian and Western views “not over the advisability of Ukraine’s integration with the EU but over its likely impact.” In contrast to Western euphoria, the Russian view was based on “very specific and pointed economic criticisms” about the Trade Agreement’s impact on Ukraine’s economy, noting that Ukraine was running an enormous foreign accounts deficit, funded with foreign borrowing, and that the resulting substantial increase in Western imports could only swell the deficit. Ukraine “will either default on its debts or require a sizable bailout.”

The Forbes reporter concluded that “the Russian position is far closer to the truth than the happy talk coming from Brussels and Kiev.”

As for the political impact, Glazyev pointed out that the Russian-speaking minority in Eastern Ukraine might move to split the country in protest against cutting ties with Russia, and that Russia would be legally entitled to support them, according to The Times of London.

In short, while planning to incorporate Ukraine into the Western sphere, Western leaders were perfectly aware that this move would entail serious problems with Russian-speaking Ukrainians, and with Russia itself. Rather than seeking to work out a compromise, Western leaders decided to forge ahead and to blame Russia for whatever would go wrong. ……………………….

Plan A and Plan B

U.S. policy, already evident at the September 2013 Yalta meeting, was carried out on the ground by Victoria Nuland, former advisor to Dick Cheney, deputy ambassador to NATO, spokeswoman for Hillary Clinton, wife of neocon theorist Robert Kagan. Her leading role in the Ukraine events proves that the neo-con influence in the State Department, established under Bush II, was retained by Obama……………..

As Victoria Nuland boasted in Washington, since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States has spent $5 billion to gain political influence in Ukraine (this is called “promoting democracy”)…….

What called public attention to Victoria Nuland’s role in the Ukrainian crisis was her use of a naughty word, when she told the U.S. ambassador, “Fuck the EU.” But the fuss over her bad language veiled her bad intentions.

……………………………… What called public attention to Victoria Nuland’s role in the Ukrainian crisis was her use of a naughty word, when she told the U.S. ambassador, “Fuck the EU.” But the fuss over her bad language veiled her bad intentions.


The Protection Racket Returns

But first of all, the United States needs Russia as an enemy in order to “save Europe,” which is another way to say, in order to continue to dominate Europe.

…………………………………………………………….. Perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of the current charade is the servility of the “old” Europeans. Apparently abandoning all Europe’s accumulated wisdom, drawn from its wars and tragedies, and even oblivious to their own best interests, today’s European leaders seem ready to follow their American protectors to another D-Day … D for Doom.

November 28, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Ukrainian city names street after Nazi collaborator

Vinnitsa is replacing world-famous Russian author Leo Tolstoy with Stepan Bandera 27 Nov 22

The city council of Vinnitsa in Ukraine announced on Friday it was renaming one of its streets after WWII Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. The local authorities described their drive to rid the city of all toponyms linked to Russia as a “process of decolonization.”

The street previously bore the name of Leo Tolstoy, the 19th-century Russian author of world renown. Vinnitsa authorities said they paid “special attention” to memorializing those they described as “heroes of the national liberation struggle.” Bandera, who led a nationalist movement responsible for many atrocities against Russians, Jews and Poles in WWII, is regarded as a national hero by the current Ukrainian authorities.

Another street was named after Ivan Treiko, one of the “generals” and the “military intelligence chief” of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), a paramilitary group that also collaborated with the Nazis. Warsaw in particular has blamed the UPA for the genocide of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia. The ethnic cleansing operations against Poles were ordered by Nazi Germany and carried out by paramilitary units that consisted primarily of ethnic Ukrainians.

A total of 232 toponyms have been changed as part of the “decolonization” campaign in Vinnitsa and neighboring towns, the city council said, praising itself as one of the “most active participants” of this nationwide drive. 

Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, has renamed one of its streets after the notorious Azov regiment, which has had open neo-Nazis in its ranks. That street previously bore the name of the Soviet Marshal Rodion Malinovsky. Ukrainian by origin, Malinovsky liberated much of southern Ukraine, including his home city of Odessa, from the Nazis in 1943-1944.

In June, the mayor of Odessa expressed his concern over the growing enmity for “all things Russian” amid the prolonged conflict between Moscow and Kiev.

The removal of references to Russia from street names and other institutions has been a trend in Ukraine since the 2014 Maidan coup, but intensified after the launch of Moscow’s military operation.

November 28, 2022 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine | Leave a comment