The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

“Atomic Bamboozle” Probes False Hopes for the Future of Nuclear Power

“Atomic Bamboozle” Probes False Hopes for the Future of Nuclear Power.
Portland documentarian Jan Haaken returns with another powerful and
provocative film. “Every tool in the toolbox.” Documentarian Jan Haaken
has heard recent proponents of nuclear power employ the phrase “like a
mantra” when discussing the fight against climate change.

Having made a two-part film about that planetary emergency (Necessity), Haaken
understands the fight. But not every tool is worth reaching for, posits her
new documentary, Atomic Bamboozle. Haaken, a professor emeritus of
psychology at Portland State University and director of documentaries about
abortion providers (Our Bodies Our Doctors), dairy farmers (Milk Men) and
drag queens (Queens of Heart), now explores what she calls a
“repackaging” of nuclear power in the form of small modular reactors,
or SMRs. Interviewing physicists, activists and conservationists, the
46-minute film portrays a nuclear industry rising quickly while downplaying
nuclear power’s most crucial and recurring issues—those unresolved and
unchanged by SMRs.

Willamette Week 7th March 2023


March 16, 2023 Posted by | media, spinbuster | Leave a comment

TODAY. Isn’t it wonderful how the men in opposing political parties can unite in hate and belligerence?

It really is quite sweet to see,- in America, the Democrats and Republicans being friendly – “on the same page”. Same for Australia, where the Labor and Liberals are being lovely to each other.

So good to see. It’s a bit of a pity that they fight each other so strongly about everything else, policies on health, education, welfare, environment – all those things that are crucial for the common good.

But now, and this really is very much a blokey thing, the opposing political parties are agreed on hating China, and on the need to spend many, many billions of the taxpayers’ money on weapons, especially nuclear. (Australia’s nuclear submarines won’t have weapons, I hear your cry) Australia’s subs will be controlled by USA, secretly, like the Pine Gap facility – Australians won’t even know what’s on them.

Well, the blokes are good at business, too, and so are the bought females that are celebrated these days (think of Victoria Nuland, Jennifer Granholm, Penny Wong ). And, they are right. You couldn’t get a more reliable customer for your weapons business than the tax-payers, who have to just pay up, bindly. with no say in these $multibillion nuclear decisions made on their behslf.

March 16, 2023 Posted by | Christina's notes | 6 Comments

UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt accused of ‘£20bn gamble’ on nuclear energy and carbon capture

Campaigners say chancellor is in the grip of the fossil fuel and nuclear lobbies and is ‘squandering taxpayers’ money’

Guardian, Alex Lawson Energy correspondent, 15 Mar 23

Jeremy Hunt has been accused of wagering a “dangerous gamble on unproven technologies” in an effort to decarbonise Britain’s energy industry after ploughing more than £20bn into a series of projects.

In his budget speech, the chancellor confirmed plans to spend the money over the next two decades on carbon capture and low carbon energy projects; announced a competition to co-fund small nuclear plants and launched a consultation to classify nuclear as “environmentally sustainable”.

The government has created Great British Nuclear, a body designed to ease the creation of nuclear projects which are regularly delayed and over budget, and set a target for nuclear to “provide up to one quarter of our electricity by 2050”.

Hunt, who has been under pressure to respond to Joe Biden’s $369bn (£306bn) of climate subsidies, said: “Increasing nuclear capacity is vital to meet our net zero obligations.”

However, climate campaigners attacked the drive, which had no giveaways for the solar or wind industries.

Ami McCarthy, Greenpeace UK’s political campaigner, said: “This misguided budget shows the stranglehold fossil fuel and nuclear lobbies have on this government. Why else would it take such a dangerous gamble on unproven technologies?

“Squandering taxpayers’ money on nuclear reactors that don’t even exist yet and fanciful carbon capture is irresponsible, and does nothing to reduce our emissions now.

“Committing to £20bn over 20 years is frankly pathetic compared to the green growth investments being made in the US, EU and China.”

Helen Clarkson, chief executive of Climate Group, said: “This spring budget overlooks cheap and clean renewable energy, and instead rebrands nuclear as ‘environmentally sustainable’ and throws cash at carbon capture technology. This was a missed opportunity to renew the UK’s commitment to climate leadership.”

………….. Stuart Murphy, founder of tidal energy specialist TPGen24, said: “There is nothing environmentally sustainable about a finite resource which leaves a legacy of hazardous waste.”………………….

March 16, 2023 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Georgia’s big new nuclear reactors could be the last built in the US

Billions over budget and years behind schedule, the expansion of the Vogtle nuclear power plant signals that conventional nuclear projects are a dying breed.

Eric Wesoff, Canary Media, 13 March 2023

The first new nuclear reactor built in the U.S. in the last 30 years reached a milestone last week that brings it tantalizingly close to syncing up with the electrical grid and generating power for customers. But this is not the dawn of the long-threatened nuclear renaissance — it’s more like the swan song of the conventional nuclear industry in the U.S.

………….. Construction started for the two reactors in 2009, with plans to get them online by 2017, but the project is six years overdue and has cost utility customers well over $30 billion, more than double the original price tag. The Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office provided about $12 billion in loan guarantees to help complete the project against a backdrop of spending freezes and lawsuits.


If and when Georgia’s two new Vogtle reactors become fully operational, they will be the first nuclear reactors to have completed the full licensing process under the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. All other reactors in operation began licensing before the NRC opened its doors in 1975.

It’s the end of the reactor as we know it

……….“Vogtle 3 and then Vogtle 4. And then most likely nothing,” said Gregory Jaczko, a former chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

…….The NRC has issued permits for eight more nuclear reactors to be built at or near existing plant sites in the U.S., but none of these are expected to be completed. Instead, the industry is betting on advanced nuclear reactors to save the day.

It’s a bad bet.

The Idaho National Laboratory has an optimistic timeline for the demonstration and test-bed reactors it expects will power up this decade, but the commercialization path for these experiments is uncertain. The advanced and small modular reactors (SMRs) under development face a raft of economic, regulatory, technological and temporal risks. This will translate to cost overruns, project delays and uneconomic power, with utility customers ultimately left holding the bag at some distant day in the 2030s or 2040s.

The advanced reactor closest to market in the U.S. is being developed by NuScale, which has a nonbinding agreement to build a first-of-its-kind SMR project in Idaho. The company has already raised its projected power cost from $58 per megawatt-hour to $89, even though it’s still years away from even beginning construction. The first module at the plant is set to begin commercial operation in December 2029, NuScale says, but nuclear project timelines are inevitably Pollyannaish and wildly off-base.

NuScale’s regulatory journey with the NRC has been long and arduous, and it’s far from over. Advanced reactors such as TerraPower’s Natrium, which are significantly different in design from existing light-water reactors, face an even steeper regulatory climb. And they’ll have to contend with broken or nonexistent supply chains because the more highly concentrated uranium fuels used by most advanced reactors are currently unavailable in large quantities outside of Russia.

Regardless of rosy messaging from DOE and the industry, it’s almost certain that Vogtle 3 and 4 are going to be the last big nuclear reactors coming online in the U.S. for a long time.

March 16, 2023 Posted by | technology, USA | Leave a comment

Wiped out: Scientist’s ‘gigantic tsunami’ warning signals ‘grave threat’ to Sizewell C

The warning given yesterday by leading scientist Sir David King that London
and other UK coastal cities could be inundated in the future by a gigantic
tsunami reveals that coastal nuclear power developments in the South-East
of England would also be under a ‘grave threat’, says UK/Ireland Nuclear
Free Local Authorities English Forum Chair Councillor David Blackburn.

Sir David King was for seven years Chief Scientific Advisor to the British
Government. In widely reported press articles yesterday, Sir David warned
that a gigantic tsunami could hit Britain ‘at any time’ should there be a
landslide in the Canary Islands, which would trigger a huge wave headed for
this country.

In such an eventuality, coastal cities such as Portsmouth,
Plymouth and Southampton would be inundated and so too would London and the
Thames Estuary, and much of low-lying South-East England.

NFLA 14th March 2023

March 16, 2023 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

Tons of uranium missing from Libyan site, UN nuclear watchdog tells member states

Straits Times, 15 Mar 23

VIENNA – UN nuclear watchdog inspectors have found that roughly 2.5 tons of natural uranium have gone missing from a Libyan site that is not under government control, the watchdog told member states, in a statement on Wednesday seen by Reuters.

The finding is the result of an inspection originally planned for last year that “had to be postponed because of the security situation in the region” and was finally carried out on Tuesday, according to the confidential statement by International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi.

IAEA inspectors “found that 10 drums containing approximately 2.5 tons of natural uranium in the form of UOC (uranium ore concentrate) previously declared by (Libya)… as being stored at that location were not present at the location,” the one-page statement said……………………. more

March 16, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UN Secretary-General’s video message to the 58th Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

This will be the first comprehensive IPCC report in nine years – and the first since the Paris
Agreement on Climate Change.

It could not come at a more pivotal time. Our
world is at a crossroads – and our planet is in the crosshairs. We are
nearing the point of no return; of overshooting the internationally agreed
limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming. We are at the tip of a
tipping point.

But it is not too late – as you have shown. Your report last
year clearly demonstrated it is possible to limit global warming to 1.5
degrees with rapid and deep emissions reductions across all sectors of the
global economy.

And your recent reports have also underscored the need to
act now. In less than nine months, leaders will gather at COP28 for the
first global stocktake to bring the world in line with the goals of the
Paris Agreement. They need solid, frank, detailed scientific guidance to
make the right decisions for people and planet.

They must understand the
enormous consequences of delay and the enormous dividends from making the
tough but essential choices. To accelerate the phasing out of fossil fuels
and close the emissions gap. To race to a carbon-free, renewables future.
And to secure climate justice, helping communities adapt and build
resilience to the worsening impacts.

UN Secretary General 13th March 2023

March 16, 2023 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Something Is Missing From Americans’ Greatest Fears. It’s the Bomb.

NYT, By Serge Schmemann, Mr. Schmemann is a member of the editorial board., March 13, 2023

“……………………………………………………….. More than 30 years after the end of the Cold War, the threat of nuclear obliteration simply doesn’t rank among Americans’ greatest fears. For a while after Sept. 11, global terrorism reigned in the public’s mind as the most pressing threat. According to a 2022 survey by the Pew Research Center, cyberattacks are now considered the major global menace, followed by false information, China, Russia, the global economy, infectious diseases and climate change. My grandson, a college student, told me his peers don’t see a global nuclear war as a real danger today.

Yet even the sharply reduced Russian and American nuclear arsenals are still enough to wipe out much of the world, China is pushing hard to become the third nuclear superpower, and at least six other countries, including the uber-dictatorship North Korea, have nuclear weapons (the others: Britain, France, Israel, India and Pakistan).

Perversely, the complexity of today’s world has even generated something akin to nostalgia for a time when there were only two superpowers to deal with and stability depended on mutually assured destruction. But it is hard to be nostalgic about a time when President John Kennedy urged all Americans to prepare nuclear shelters (“The time to start is now”) and nuclear nightmares were the stuff of popular movies like “On the Beach,” “Fail Safe” and “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”

……………………………  nuclear arms controls are as needed today as they ever were, and not only with Moscow. Mr. Putin obliquely acknowledged that when, after saying on Feb. 21 that Russia would suspend participation in New START, Russia quickly added that the country would continue to respect the treaty’s limits on nuclear warheads and delivery systems.

…………………….. Even if the Doomsday Clock doesn’t move any closer to midnight, time is still running out. New START expires in three years. It’s hard to imagine negotiations on a new treaty so long as the war in Ukraine rages on. At the same time, China is racing ahead in an apparent bid to match the U.S. and Russian arsenals by 2035. So far, Beijing has rebuffed any efforts to negotiate limits with the United States, though it joined the United States, Russia, France and Britain in January 2022 in declaring that “nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” Even if Russia and China can be brought to the table, the parties will need a new way to define how many bombs each nation needs to deter the other two………………………………….more

March 16, 2023 Posted by | psychology and culture, USA | Leave a comment