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Environmental Coalition to Energy Secretary Granholm: Again Reject Massive Bailout Scheme at Palisades “Zombie” Atomic Reactor — Beyond Nuclear

Restarting Dangerously Age-Degraded Nuke Would Risk Health, Safety, Security, and Environment, Watch-Dogs Warn See the letter, endorsed by 115 organizations (31 in Michigan) and 179 individuals (including 49 Michiganders), here:   1 23 23 Demand letter re Palisades – 2 COMPLET-2   A PDF of the letter will be emailed — simply send request to…

Environmental Coalition to Energy Secretary Granholm: Again Reject Massive Bailout Scheme at Palisades “Zombie” Atomic Reactor — Beyond Nuclear

January 23, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Investigation underway after nine nuclear missileers develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

ABC News 23 Jan 23

Nine military officers — who had worked decades ago at a nuclear missile base in Montana — have been diagnosed with a blood cancer, and there are “indications” the disease may be linked to their service, according to military briefing slides obtained by The Associated Press. One of the officers has died.

Key points:

  • One of the nine officers diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma has since died
  • Top officials say military medical professionals are investigating the new cases
  • Previously, 14 cancer cases were investigated at the base, which was deemed safe

All of the officers — known as missileers — were assigned as many as 25 years ago to Malmstrom Air Force Base, home to a vast field of 150 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile silos.

The nine officers were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to a January briefing by US Space Force Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Sebeck.

Missileers ride caged elevators deep underground into a small operations bunker encased in a thick wall of concrete and steel.

They remain there sometimes for days, ready to turn the launch keys if ordered to by the country’s president.

“There are indications of a possible association between [this] cancer and missile combat crew service at Malmstrom AFB,” Lieutenant Colonel Sebeck said in slides presented to his Space Force unit this month.

The “disproportionate number of missileers presenting with cancer, specifically lymphoma” was concerning, he said…………………………..

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma — which, according to the American Cancer Society, affects an estimated 19 out of every 100,000 people in the US annually — is a blood cancer that uses the body’s infection-fighting lymph system to spread………………..

The median age for adult non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is 67, according to the National Institutes of Health.

However, the former missileers affected are far younger.

Officers are often in their 20s when they are assigned duty watch.

The officer who died, who was not identified, was a Space Force officer assigned to Schreiver Space Force Base in Colorado, with the rank of major, a rank typically achieved in a service member’s 30s.

Two of the others are in the same Space Force unit with the rank of lieutenant colonel, which is typically reached in a service member’s early 40s…………………………………………………

Last year, President Joe Biden signed the PACT Act, which greatly expanded the the types of illnesses and toxic exposures that would be considered presumptive — meaning a service member or veterans would not face an uphill battle to convince the government that the injury was tied to their military service — in order to received covered care.

January 23, 2023 Posted by | health, USA | Leave a comment

Ukraine storing weapons at nuclear plants. 23 Jan 23

Kiev is using the facilities as cover for stockpiles of Western-made munitions, Moscow’s foreign intelligence chief says.

Ukrainian forces are storing Western-supplied missiles and artillery shells in nuclear power plants, Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergey Naryshkin said on Monday. He claimed that Kiev has been using the plants as cover for ammunition stockpiles..

There is credible information that Ukrainian troops are stockpiling the Western-supplied weapons and ammunition on the territory of nuclear power plants,” Naryshkin said, according to a statement on the intelligence service’s website. He added that the armaments include rockets for US-made HIMARS launchers and missiles used by foreign air defense systems, as well as “large-caliber artillery shells.”

According to Naryshkin, several cars loaded with “lethal cargo” were delivered by rail to the Rovno Nuclear Power Plant in western Ukraine during the last week of December alone. “They rely on the calculation that the Russian Armed Forces would not strike nuclear power plants because they realize the danger of a nuclear disaster,” the intelligence chief said.

Both sides have raised concerns over the safety of power plants since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine broke out in late February. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) deployed a monitoring mission to the Rovno plant last week and promised to station experts in other facilities in Ukraine.

Russia has accused Ukrainian forces of shelling the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, which is Europe’s largest. It is located in the eponymous region which, along with three other former Ukrainian territories, joined Russia following referendums in September.

Kiev denied targeting the facility and claimed that Russia was using the plant as a base and cover for its soldiers. Russian officials said that heavy weapons have never been deployed to the site, and that a select number of armed security personnel were maintaining the safety of the plant, as it is located near the frontline.

January 23, 2023 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

January 22 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “‘Climate Deniers Are Victims Not Villains’ – A Psychologist’s Guide To Winning Them Over” • Climate denial comes from different kinds of people. Some are angry because they believe the fossil fuels interests. But the average climate dismissive is not an evil business mogul looking to squeeze all possible profit from the world […]

January 22 Energy News — geoharvey

January 23, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

David Schlissel: Small modular reactor project likely to end badly for Utah utilities

NuScale plan shows no promise of being better than solar and wind. By David Schlissel The Tribune, Jan. 20, 2023,

Solar and wind power, augmented by battery storage, are becoming less expensive. Hydropower and geothermal energy already are providing substantial amounts of power in many parts of the country. Cost-effective, proven technologies exist and can speed the transition to a carbon-free economy.

Small modular reactors (SMRs) designed by NuScale are not among them.

More than two dozen of the 48 Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) members have signed on to buy power from the NuScale SMR when the project is planned to come online in 2029. But a history of the project — and of nuclear energy projects in general — suggests the project is likely to end badly for utilities and worse for ratepayers.

UAMPS announced earlier this month that the cost per megawatt-hour (MWh), a unit of measurement roughly equivalent to the electricity used by the average U.S. home for a little more than a month, has risen from $58/MWh to $89/MWh, a 53% increase. Plus, the cost of power from the project would be much higher than $89/MWh without more than $4 billion in subsidies the project would receive from the U.S. government. Already, the total cost of the project has risen from $5.3 billion to $9.3 billion.

Nuclear advocates often claim that the costs of nuclear reactors fall after a first design, which (if true) would be very good news for the NuScale design. Unfortunately, the nuclear industry has never shown the ability to take advantage of a learning curve, and there is no evidence to suggest that it will be able to do so now. A 2020 Massachusetts Institute of Technology study found the costs of successive nuclear projects are more expensive than the original project, which is very bad news for the NuScale design.

It’s also not good news for ratepayers. New reactor designs are already notoriously expensive and highly unlikely to meet initial deadlines. The Westinghouse AP1000 design at Plant Vogtle in Georgia, for example, was originally expected to cost $14 billion and begin operation in 2016. Its price tag has soared past $34 billion, and it won’t provide power until later this year.

Think corporations like Georgia Power, which are posting record profits, will pick up the tab? Think again: Residential consumers have already eaten $1.66 billion of construction costs, with more on the menu.

To be sure, nuclear energy has some advantages. It doesn’t emit carbon dioxide, takes up a relatively small amount of space and produces large amounts of energy. Its advantages, however, become far less apparent when the costs of a nuclear facility — and the time that it takes to build even a modest-sized project — are considered.

Proven, less-costly clean alternatives exist, especially in the western U.S. Geothermal, for example, made up 5.7% of California’s electricity generation in 2021; it was responsible for 9% in Nevada, and it’s being pushed as a much less expensive alternative to the NuScale project. Solar covers about 16% of Arizona electricity production and 6% in New Mexico. Almost 20% of Wyoming electricity comes from wind; in Idaho, the figure is about 16%.

The NuScale SMR is just another in a long line of overhyped and overpriced nuclear projects that take too much time and money — resources the planet doesn’t have in abundance if we’re serious about avoiding cataclysmic climate change by limiting global warming to 1.5⁰C by 2050.

Small modular reactors may be viable one day — but they are not today, will not be tomorrow, and may never make as much economic sense as renewable sources of electricity. We should stick to carbon-free energy sources that make financial and environmental sense.

January 23, 2023 Posted by | business and costs, USA | 1 Comment

It comes down to weapons

NewAge, by Richard Moser , Jan 22,2023

THE deep divisions in the US left over the Ukraine war can be reduced to a single practical question: Do you support sending weapons to Ukraine?

The answer to that question depends on whether or not you accept the idea that we’re the cops of the world. The two parties accept this without question but the pro-weapons left? Behind a facade of left-sounding words, political practice tells the tale……………..

The pro-weapons left hides their collaboration with NATO behind the seemingly simple idea that ‘Ukraine has the right to get weapons or seek aid from anywhere they see fit.’ Except that ‘anywhere’ does not exist in the real world. Ukraine is not a customer in some free market for weapons. There is a highly structured supply chain for weapons that is a long-standing feature of the US empire and it is directed by the US war machine.  The US has dominated the weapons trade since its rise to global power after WWII. Yes, Russia was often in second or third place, but Ukraine will sure not get its weapons from Russia. The only ‘anywhere’ that actually exists is the US government, which is the primary source for weapons transfers to Ukraine. 

The other flaw in the ‘from anywhere they see fit’ formula is the assumption that weapons given from the US to Ukraine are simply an exercise in Ukrainian self-determination — not one way it’s incorporated into the US-dominated global order. Self-determination is not a by-product of the world’s largest military alliance, whose standard operating procedure is to turn allies into pawns and proxies. The drill begins with the mandatory weapons trade demanded of all NATO members. The Ukrainian defense minister recently admitted that Ukraine is a NATO proxy trading blood for weapons.

No, the existing international order is not some normal, natural state of affairs whose peace and harmony was disrupted by the ‘unprovoked’ Russian invasion. To believe that, you’d have to ignore decades of historical context, including the obvious expansion of NATO that put missiles and troops on Russia’s borders, military advisers inside Ukraine and the less obvious policy of ‘full spectrum dominance’ by which the US seeks to dominate ‘everyone, everywhere, all at once.’ The neoliberal world order is no more based on free markets than self-determination or peace.

Instead, Ukraine found itself between two great powers with a long history of hostility and rivalry. Its only hope for self-determination would have been to maintain the balancing act of neutrality and diplomacy, playing one power off the other. …………………………………………………….. more

January 23, 2023 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

French government moves to fully nationalise the nuclear industry

The French state acquired enough EDF shares on the market to start
squeeze-out proceedings as it fully nationalises the nuclear energy giant,
the finance ministry said on Friday.

The government now holds 92.71% of
voting rights in EDF, the ministry said, marking the successful end of the
full takeover proceedings, launched by President Emmanuel Macron’s
government last summer, which cost Paris some $10 million.

Debt-laden EDF, Europe’s biggest nuclear power operator, runs France’s nuclear reactor
fleet, some hydropower plants and other production sites and supplies
millions of households with electricity. Its de-listing from the Paris
stock market will be the end of an era for the utility which was partially
privatised in 2005, when a chunk of its share capital was floated at 33
euros ($35.82) a share.

Reuters 20th Jan 2023

January 23, 2023 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

The French nuclear sector up against the wall in terms of recruitment.

The French nuclear sector up against the wall in terms of recruitment. To
build the six reactors announced by the government, the sector must recruit
at least 10,000 people per year until 2030.

L’usinenouvelle 18th Jan 2023

January 23, 2023 Posted by | employment, France | Leave a comment

UK High Court to hear legal challenge against plans for Sizewell C nuclear station

Suffolk: ‘Delight’ as Sizewell C court hearing confirmed

more By Dominic Bareham 21st January

A date has been announced for a two-day judicial review hearing into a legal challenge by campaign groups to plans for the new Sizewell C nuclear power station.

The High Court will hear arguments against the £25bn project by groups, including Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) and Stop Sizewell C on Wednesday, March 22 and Thursday, March 23.

TASC deputy chair Pete Wilkinson said: “TASC are delighted that we now have the date for our judicial review hearing in the High Court.

“A two-day hearing has been set for Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 March 2023 which will give our legal team the opportunity to present TASC’s full legal arguments.

“TASC remain shocked that the Secretary of State went against the considered and reasoned view of the independent Planning Inspectorate and granted development consent in a potentially legally flawed manner.

“We have real concerns that the environmental impacts of Sizewell C have not been properly assessed and we have every confidence in our legal team to bring this to the court’s attention.”

The campaigners had pledged to fight on after chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced in his budget autumn statement that the Government would continue to provide £700m towards the £25bn cost of the project.

A first-stage review of the legal appeal by the High Court initially recommended refusal, but the matter will now be determined by a formal judicial review hearing.

The review of July’s approval for the project had been sought on the grounds that the decision was unlawful amid concerns about the maintenance of a water supply to the new £20bn station and the resilience of the coastline.

Other concerns include the environmental impact of the new power plant and the threat posed to the site by coastal erosion.

Paul Collins, of Stop Sizewell C, said: “The right and proper conclusion to this legal challenge would be that the planning decision by former Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is found to be unlawful.”

January 23, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Canadian MP Charlie Angus Questions the Claims of SMRs (Small Modular Reactors)

Proponents of SMRs are on a major spin campaign. None of them have been approved for licensing. The Toronto Star calls them a “boutique boondoggle”. The IPCC raises serious questions about the dangers of nuclear proliferation. Chris Keefer is their big proponent. Here is the exchange at the Natural Resources Committee.

  “Proponents of SMRs are on a major spin campaign. None of them have
been approved for licensing. The Toronto Star calls them a “boutique
boondoggle”. The IPCC raises serious questions about the dangers of
nuclear proliferation.”

January 23, 2023 Posted by | Canada, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Nuclear Regulatory Commission certifies NuScam’s design for small nuclear reactor, despite predictions on uneconomic costs

1st small modular nuclear reactor certified for use in US

AP News, By JENNIFER McDERMOTT, January 21, 2023

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has certified the design for what will be the United States’ first small modular nuclear reactor.

The rule that certifies the design was published Thursday in the Federal Register. It means that companies seeking to build and operate a nuclear power plant can pick the design for a 50-megawatt, advanced light-water small modular nuclear reactor by Oregon-based NuScale Power and apply to the NRC for a license.

It’s the final determination that the design is acceptable for use, so it can’t be legally challenged during the licensing process when someone applies to build and operate a nuclear power plant, NRC spokesperson Scott Burnell said Friday. The rule becomes effective in late February………

It’s the seventh nuclear reactor design cleared for use in the United States. The rest are for traditional, large, light-water reactors………….. The first small modular reactor design application package included over 2 million pages of supporting materials………..

However, David Schlissel at the Ohio-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis expressed concerns about the costs. Schlissel, who has studied the history of the nuclear power industry and the finances of the NuScale project, expects they will continue to go up, which could limit how many NuScale reactors are built. He said he thinks they’re not competitive in price with renewables and battery storage.

………… The U.S. Energy Department said it provided more than $600 million since 2014 to support the design, licensing and siting of NuScale’s VOYGR small modular reactor power plant and other domestic small reactor concepts. ……………………………..

January 23, 2023 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Four separate reports show that the UK could save over €120 bn by 2050 by switching to a renewable energy strategy

LUT University in Finland has found that a 100% renewable energy/storage
mix would save the UK over €120 bn by 2050 compared with the UK
Government’s current net zero plan.

That’s one conclusion from a series of
scenarios in a new LUT report. Its ‘Best Policy Scenario’ (BPS), aims for
100% renewable energy in 2050, with offshore wind as the main resource,
limiting onshore wind and solar according to available land area, but it’s
backed up by a second scenario called ‘Inter-Annual Storage’ (IAS) which
adds on to the BPS the required inter-annual storage needed to provide good
levels of insurance against the possibilities of low-wind years.

A third scenario (BPSplus) tests the limits of higher land area availability for
onshore wind and solar photovoltaics, and where also renewable
electricity-based e-fuel imports are allowed. And finally, a fourth scenario, called ‘Current Policy Scenario’ (CPS), looks at the UK Government’s strategy for net zero as published in 2020.

A very worthwhile assessment exercise – all credit to Dr David Toke and the ‘100%
Renewables’ lobby group for supporting it. It does clearly show that a zero
carbon 100% renewables scenario is possible, at lower cost than any other
scenario. As Toke notes the implications are that ‘all public and
enforced consumer spending on new nuclear power and carbon capture and
storage should be scrapped and instead funding should be put into renewable
energy, energy efficiency and storage capacity.’

Renew Extra 21st Jan 2023

January 23, 2023 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment